Friday, September 26, 2008

Mothering in the Autumn

OK, here is not one, but two memes. The first one I will do is about being a mom. I was tagged by my friend Amy. The second is one is about the Fall, which I saw on Mimi's blog, and it just looks fun so here I go!

1. How many kids do you have? 2, and one on the way

2. What are their ages? An almost 4 year old, 16 month old, and the one in my belly is at18 or 19 weeks gestation.

3. What time do you usually start your day? 6:00 am

4. What do they eat for breakfast? James wakes up ferociously hungry at about 5 am. This started happening once he was weaned from nursing. So him and I make our way to the kitchen where I somehow manage to shovel some yogurt into his mouth with my eyes barely open. He's so happy once we do this, when we go back to bed, he smiles and gives me yogurt kisses and we sleep another hour or until Hannah wakes us up ready for her juice. Breakfast is sometimes Puffins munched on the couch while we wake up, and then we sit down a little later for oatmeal, or eggs, sometimes toast. Hannah likes cold cereal a lot too.

5. Do they get to watch T.V.? Oh sure, just a little bit though. James doesn't get to pick a show yet, so he just kind of watches whatever Hannah likes, but he really doesn't stay interested and would much rather play. Usually she gets one half hour show in the morning (like Clifford or Curious George) or a movie sometime during the day.

6. What's their favorite activity? They love to go outside with me in the morning when I water. They run around, play with their outside toys. Hannah usually starts some make-believe scenario, while James gravitates toward the dog's water dish or mud. Just the other day I caught him laying on his tummy trying to drink the water just like the dog.

7. Do you get a break during the day for some "you" time? Sometimes. It's hit and miss. James will always take a nap, but Hannah doesn't usually unless she's really crabby and tired. While he naps, she'll occasionally have her "quiet time" in her room and play by herself. But sometimes, we both miss eachother since James take so much of my energy, so I take advantage of just having time with only her for a while. I can tell she really loves it. They have a bed time though, so I guess I have an evening "Me" time.

8. How do you end your day? Dinner, hang out outside for a bit, clean up, bath, jammies, prayers, story time, lights out. Then I can unwind, have some tea, hang out with Jason, watch a little tv if anything is on, or read. I try once a week to clean house at this time, because it's so much easier and quicker to do so once they are in bed, but lately I've been so tired. But like Amy mentioned in her blog, there is nothing more inviting in the morning than an already clean house. It's complete bliss.

9. What's your best parenting advice or tip? Wow. I suppose it would be to really share yourself with your children. Love whole-heartedly. I remember holding Hannah and being a new mother and how the powerful feelings of love scared me so much I almost wanted them to go away to somehow guard myself. But I surrendered, and it helped me be confident in the new person I had become. Also to pray, pray, pray. Simply saying Lord have mercy can instantly drag me out of any pit of anger or frustration.

10. Tagging the following: Anyone who wants to do this - I'd love to see your answers!

Now to the Fall Meme! Thank goodness for these things, especially when one lacks inspiration.

When does fall begin for you? When I make something fallish - like last week, I made sweet potato pie.

What is your favorite aspect of fall? When the evenings get cool, and you actually need a sweater.

What is your favorite fall memory? I started dating my husband this time of year, so the Fall always reminds me of our dates grabbing a coffee in a sleepy little downtown, hanging out in a record store, me wearing my brown pea coat, him wearing his blue Carhart jacket, walking hand in hand.

What do you like to drink in the fall? Tea, coffee, hot cider, anything warm and sweet!

What’s your favorite fall food? comfort food like a roasted chicken and smashed potatoes.

What is fall weather like where you live? Dry, windy, and still rather warm, unfortunately. Except the evenings do get crisp.

What color is fall? orange, brown, gold, red

What does fall smell like? sadly, it often smells like smoke, because this is fire season in these parts.

Holiday shopping in fall: I always say I'm going to get Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, but that has yet to have happened.

If you could go anywhere in the fall, where would you go? Like Mimi said, New England of course!

What is your favorite fall sport? I'm not a sports fan.

Do you have a favorite fall chore? Putting up Fall decor, like our silly scarecrow I need to rescue from the garage.

What is your least favorite thing about fall? Fires.

What is your favorite fall holiday? Thanksgiving, and I think us Orthodox are especially fond due to the special allowance in the middle of the Nativity Fast. :)

What’s your favorite kind of pie? Pumpkin! It's my most favorite, and I can't wait to have some with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. YUM.

Which do you prefer, the Farm or the Fair? Well at our Fair, that's where the farm is too, so I guess both.

Do you have a favorite fall book? Can't think of one that reminds me of Fall besides the book I just read to Hannah a couple of weeks ago - Little House in the Big Woods. It goes through all the seasons, but I loved reading about the Fall and how they harvested their garden, and how they stowed away all their pumpkins and squash in the attic and that Laura and Mary used them as furniture and props as they played. The upcoming winter required so much work in the Fall, it really made me feel lazy, but at the same time like I wanted do more gardening and be more industrious.

How about a favorite fall poem or quote? I've got nothing. Sorry to not end with a bang.

Here's a picture instead:
And that's our homegrown pumpkin. It would still be growing, but as Jason cut back the garden, he actually cut this little guy's lifeline on accident. Oh no! But it's a cute pumpkin, and a lovely shade of orange. It's our only one too, so it's a special pumpkin. What do you think I should do with it?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Granny Whimsy

Today the kids and I went to visit my granny and dear old papa. Here's a couple peeks at her back yard, which has always captivated my imagination with it's whimsy, clutter, and my granny's amazing green thumb. I think my kids like it too. Sure it's got it's eyesores and she's got more whosits and whatsits galore than Ariel's Grotto, but amidst the random chotchkies, you really do wonder if some of them come to life when you aren't looking, or if fairies live there...

This (above) is a tree in between two other trees that create a canopy of green.
See? Whimsy. She has another chandelier that matches this, along with several different ones, and more angel figurines than I can count.
This is such a pretty tree. But it needed something. So these are tree earings. (Hmm...Maybe my I inherited my attraction to long earings from my granny...)
Meow. I love this cat. Everyone needs a green paisley cat.
Jamsey on the wind chimes. Just beyond him is a pond with some goldfish, and of course, some more goodies.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window... It is sunny, with a very nice and cooling breeze. The deck has chairs scattered about, and I can see my aloe vera plant looking perky next to a very bright orange pumpkin. There are various children's toys scattered about.

I am thinking... I don't feel like making dinner. The past few nights, my family has been complaining about my cooking like: "too many peas in this pot pie" and "this is too spicy" and "this sauce is a little sweet." I really hate it when they don't like my food. It gives me a complex.
I am thankful for... not having carpet throughout the house. With the amount of spilling that's been going on, I am so grateful that every mess is just a wipe and spray away from being gone. Now if only "spill proof" sippy cups really were spill proof....
From the kitchen... The smell of nearly rotting guavas permeates the house. Jason got them from a coworker, but they are so pungent I can't bring myself to eat one, and I'm going to ask for permission to discard them after he gets home tonight. Also, for dinner, I think I'm going to make enchilada casserole. I'm hoping for a redemptive crowd-pleaser.

I am wearing... A heather gray t-shirt and black capri pants. We didn't leave the house today.
I am creating... Some vegetable puppets with Hannah. I drew them, she painted them, and we will cut them out together and glue on the sticks.

I am going... For a walk, maybe. Or just the back yard.
I am reading... Nothing. I'm without a book right now. Any suggestions? The last novel I read was Sense and Sensibility which I ended up liking, but not until midway. Lately I've been reading random nonfiction special interest books like Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage; then a somewhat dated book about economical and enviro-friendly homemade formulas for everything from cleaning products to personal hygiene recipes; and gardening how-to books. I started Kite Runner but decided I didn't feel like becoming depressed. I'd love to get into a good book right now.

I am hoping... our seedlings will sprout. Jason seeded a bunch of winter veggies. I"m a nervous and novice gardener.
I am hearing... Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Breakdown. I'm a fan. I have the anthology. It's my house cleaning music. And kids playing, blocks and toys hitting the floor.
Around the house... There are spots of clean and spots of dirty. The house is never ALL clean.

One of my favorite things... getting kisses from the kids.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Well, it's almost over, but I do believe we will make it to the fair tomorrow. We scored some free tickets (free parking too) and can go early to see the farm animals before the rest of the fair opens and all the riff raff comes in. Thank you, you know who you are!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

He's always eating. Snickety snacks all day long.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My first Name Day

While yesterday was the Great Feast of the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, today is Joachim and Anna day - My Name Day (my middle name is Anne)!
Troparion (Tone 5)
Let us sing praises to Joachim and Anna,
the couple honored by God
(and they are His kinsmen).
They have borne for us the Maiden
who in a manner beyond understanding
gave birth to Him Who though fleshless,
became the incarnate to save the world.
With her they intercede for our souls.
Kontakion (Tone 2)
Anna rejoices, released from her barrenness,
and nurses her most pure child.
She calls all people to glorify Him
Who gave the Virgin Mother to mankind from her womb

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Scorching September is Here!

Summer here always goes out with a bang. Today should be about 100. Lovely. Though, despite my complaining, this has been an uncharacteristically mild summer of which we've enjoyed many a park day, evenings spent sitting outside on the deck watching the kids play while I read and Jason smokes a cigar, some swimming, and ice cream.

James is busy being a rambunctious boy; perpetually hungry and only to be satisfied with an endless supply of yogurt, bananas, and apple sauce. In steady ten minute intervals he shouts at us, "OWEEE!" We couldn't figure out why he kept saying that for a while until one day he pointed to the pantry and we learned that OWEE = hungry. He's shoveling yogurt into his mouth right now as I type. You can imagine the mess he leaves smeared on the table.

Hannah has been continuing her ice skating lessons, and I must say, I am impressed with the progress she has made. She's getting much more comfortable on the ice and skates unassisted forwards, backwards, and can go in a circle. So, my three year old has surpassed me in her skating skills.

We've also been doing lots of reading, library trips, coloring, drawing, and learning to write. I had tried to teach her to write the alphabet once before and that ended badly. It involved the letter B and a temper tantrum that didn't come from Hannah but ME! ACK! So I told myself to chill and back off, and then when I read THIS book, and it didn't recommend teaching writing until after reading, I felt much better and less of a hopeless failure. But then one day she was playing with her magnadoodle and busted out a bunch of letters all nonchalant. "Look Mom, I can draw a J!" So we're going with flow and having fun writing with chalk on the driveway and stuff like that.

Hannah had the special honor of being a flower girl for our dear friend Matt's (who is James' Godfather) wedding to his beautiful new bride Teri. As I curled her hair and got her ready, and then watched her walk down the aisle, I couldn't help but feel like a stage mom. We bribed her with a toy and Jason told her, "Just remember this: Walk down the aisle. Throw the flowers. Get a toy." We all said it out loud together ten times. She did succeed with the much appreciated help of her Godmother walking down with her - Thanks again Maria!

The wedding was absolutely beautiful, and the reception was where Jason and I got married and had our reception. It was so fun to see old friends and visit and gab and then dance like monkeys. Hannah, who was adamantly opposed to any dancing warmed up rather quickly and had to be dragged from the dance floor when it was time to go home. To his many admirer's disappointment, my sweet parents picked up James at the reception so I could eat my meal in peace and not get potatoes au gratin all over my dress, and so I would not have to spend the entire evening guarding the exits. So sorry people, mama needs a break sometimes!

So here is us being fancy in the gorgeous church.

OH! And three announcements for those of you who don't know already:

1. We are expecting our third little one come the end of February.

2. We are minivan shopping. I'm all about stow and go seating.

3. We get to stay in our house! (We had one of those rotten ARM loans that was bout to go berserk on us, and we were able to get a loan modification - Thank you Lord and thank you Mr. Attorney at Law.