Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sparrow's brilliant game

sparrow's game, originally uploaded by doristheblade.

while i'm at it, i might as well post another video of sparrow! this one is from a few months ago, but still so funny.

golden smelling roses

just a little vid to hold me over til i get back to blogging again. my dad and his wife have been in town, and it is so nice for the girls to get to know their grandparents from far across the sea. we went to the mission/ rose garden this afternoon, and here i caught sweet babe trying to smell a flower. she just learned to walk about 3 weeks ago, and is still a little wobbly, and so careful on her feet. i love that you can hear her smelling noise on the video. more to come soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

fashion genius for infant potty training

my newest help in the potty training world: baby leg warmers! now she can be potty-ready without having to sacrifice leg warmth.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

august wisdom

"i wanna name my first daughter 'pancake.' and i'll name my second kid 'cake.' " -aug. 2

me: "you look quite like a 1920s vixen, my dear."
sp: "mom, can you name me 'absynthe'?" -aug. 2
(that was a COMPLETE coincidence that she said absynthe after i had mentioned the 1920s. i think she was just making that word up on the spot, too.)

me: "we are borrowing way too much money."
sp: "are we obama?" -aug. 5 (the things she knows! ...i had no idea about the prez when i was three! of course now i know he was amazing. yeah reagan.)

me: "hold your horses."
sp: "do the horses have feelings? do the horses love me?" -aug. 5

we went to the kids' fair at fiesta. remembering this happy time, sparrow says,
"all i wanna do is make some money and do something else." -aug. 6
(yes, don't we all feel that way!!!)

"are you texting daddy?" -aug. 6

"mom, you're gonna have to start liking my snuggling." -aug. 6

"mom, does heaven have a door? does heaven have sky? ...hey, the sky does not have a door!" -aug. 6

"hey, when i die, i wanna find heaven in a rocket ship." -aug. 6

"look, mommy, i made a planet." -aug. 8 (holding a hoop around a ball like saturn!)

sparrow puts my coffee cone on a little bowl upside down & says
"now it looks like a jack-bowl."
me: " what do you mean?"
sp: "it has a hat on."
me: "oh like a jack-in-the-box!" -aug. 10

sp: "mommy, help me make a cave that i can sleep in."
me: "ok, but you're gonna have to wait. we are doing morning worship."
sp: "maybe Jesus could hide in a cave." -aug. 13

me: "do you want to learn german?"
(sparrow shakes head)
me: "well i think you should. it's a wonderful tool."
sp: "baby with no interested ears." -mid-august

(making fiesta-inspired confetti eggs at home)
sp: "the eggs don't like to be painted."
me: "then why did we paint them?"
sp: "because they need to be disciplined EVERY time." -aug. 17

"there's an angel! ...that's from God." -aug. 19 (seeing a satellite picture of hurricane Bill ...she was remembering the angel of death from 'the prince of egypt')

"does ma'am mean 'mom' in german?" -aug. 19

sp waking up: "i feel sick."
me: "where, in your tummy?"
(sp. shakes head)
me: "where?"
(sp. points to her neck)
me: "your throat hurts?"
sp. shakes head, then says: "let's talk about this later." -aug. 19

sp: "God is making more babies!"
me: "where do you think he's making them?"
sp: "in heaven."
me: "and then what does he do with them?"
sp: "he gives them to people. the mommies and the daddies." (randomly, at the park) -aug. 19

"this honey is not raw. it's for special occasions." -aug. 21

"there's grapes in my owie." -aug. 21 (her scab was a purple color.)

"i don't like this water. it tastes like halloween." -aug. 21

sp: "she wanted to worship Jesus."
me: "that's right. but she's not allowed to. her parents don't believe in Jesus."
sp: (processing worst thing imaginable to a 3-yr-old) "...does she not have any toys?" -aug. 23

"dogs are tired all the time." -aug. 26 (might have been the panting that gave her this idea?)

"i can't stand on my head all by myself. so that's why i need a couch to help me." -aug. 26

uncle rick playing scrabble: "i'm melting." -aug. 23
yep, he's funny too!

me: "this is so frustrating!"
sp: "is it made in china?" -aug. 27

(eating muffins)
"hey i love this! i am so glad you put sugar in here." -aug. 27

sp: "mom, how old are you?"
me: "27. think 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100!"
sp: "well you're gonna have a couple birthdays coming up soon." -aug. 27

(singing "along" during morning worship. she had a guitar too.)
"to the castle i ran...." -aug. 27

sp: "i'm cold!"
me: "well as soon as you're done playing in the water you can put your clothes on."
sp: "i'm warm again!" -aug. 27

"what's the tree's last name?" -aug. 30

"once upon a time there was a duck. not on a log. he floated and floated and floated. but one day, he sank. and a shark ate him." -aug. 30

sp: "mom, soldiers deserve spanks."
me: "why would you say that?"
sp: "because they do something naughty and they want to kill and hurt Jesus. and that's why they need a discipline." -aug. 31

sp: "may i have some corn bread?"
me: "no, you said 'may i be excused.'"
sp: "does that mean, 'i'm all done' in german?" -aug. 30

Monday, September 7, 2009

golden turns 1

one month ago, my baby turned one year old. it is overstated but true: time seems to go by so fast! what happened to my little newborn?! she is now a long, strong babe full of personality, who enjoys books, communicating with baby sign, who is saying words, and is on the verge of toddlerhood. she has been the best surprise of a child imaginable. honest confession: i thought that since i was having another girl, it would be more of the same, and that i pretty much knew what was coming up. i couldn't have been more wrong. golden has been so different from sparrow from the minute she came out, and she has held her own in this family beautifully. she has enchanted us all, and is our little joy-bringer. she truly carries the banner for us some days! and all at only one year of age. delightful.

golden's birthday party was held on saturday, the 8th of august, 2009. we didn't make a big fuss about her actual birthday the day before, except i kept reminding sparrow to be very nice to her. thomas was out of town for feldenkrais studies, which appropriately echoes last year's birth. but he was there in spirit.

i had spent all week staying up late and preparing things: making her birthday present (a tutu), making the party favors, making decorations, etc. i had found these gorgeous hanging tissue paper pom poms as decorations at marthastewart.com, and decided they would be perfect. the theme, of course, was "golden," so i got a few yellowish hues and set to work while trying to catch up on back episodes of "the office," which i have sadly missed enormous chunks of since season 3. fortunately, the pom poms turned out to take AGES to make, so i got to watch a lot of office! hee hee. i had been up since 2 or 3 am every night, but when the day of the party came, i was not tired at all. running on adrenaline.

the cake was my classic 1st birthday carrot/apple juice cake with no sugar, but i had decided to add whip to the butter cream frosting, and it almost ruined it, making it impossible to spread, it was soooo schloopy! it worked out ok in the end, and i decorated it with gold dust (symbolic of the Lord's favor, and i used to find gold specks on golden's temples almost every day when she was newborn), sunflowers, gerber daisies, and apricots. pretty! she got her own mini cake to tear into as well.

i had decided to keep the party small, but turns out there are a lot of people that we love and love us, so i praised God for a full house instead of being miffed about it, and we welcomed many lovely friends with joy.

sparrow had been excited about the party for weeks, continually asking me if it was happening "today," and--finally--it was! she got so excited when people started to come over, and exclaimed "i love parties at home!" she had helped me make the home made ice cream, and had gotten quite a few early servings that way! it was the recipe from "the natural way" with coconut milk, cream, vanilla, and honey. food processor, freeze, food processor, freeze, etc. lots of fun. i LOVED the ice cream! mmmmm...

the party was a happy mingling with children traipsing about, golden balloons everywhere and general fun and merriment. the kids had their cake and ice cream on the floor so as to avoid catastrophe. golden wore a white satin angel costume and looked so precious! she had quite a good time opening her presents, too, which i was happy there were not too many of--her invitation said "no gifts required." but it is a birthday, after all, so SOME gifts are nice, which is why i made her a tutu, and sparrow had beaded two necklaces to give her. we really don't need a bunch of new extra "stuff." we are trying to raise the girls up to be thankful and happy with simplicity. and not having grandparents/family living nearby really helps keep loads of kid stuff to a minimum around here.

golden has truly fulfilled her name this first year of her life, it has been an amazing joy getting to know her. praise God for babies, and especially baby girls!

Friday, September 4, 2009

san francisco mini trip

at the end of july, after returning from arizona, we headed up to san francisco to drop thomas off for his month of feldenkrais studies.

the main event of the road trip up there was me losing my keys in paso robles. i had set them on top of the car at the gas station. why? who knows. it made sense at the time. then we drove back off, (with thomas driving, using his keys) and of course mine were still up there and we were tootling merrily along for a mile or so when i suddenly heard a rattling noise across the roof of the car and remembered my keys! but it took me a couple seconds to process what had just happened, so when we turned around we were not sure of where exactly they had fallen off, and we drove back and forth looking for a good half hour, occasionally getting out and combing the side of the road, getting more and more heated and aggravated over the situation all the time (how much does it cost to replace those clicker keys again?), until FINALLY we were giving up and driving away, when we spotted them!! HAH! whew! THEN, finally, thomas laughed at it all. and we both breathed relief and decided to just be thankful about it. he said an hour or two later: "if you hadn't found them, i'd probably still be mad!" yeah, but who can blame him. so would i.

thomas would be staying with (and has been staying with, for most of these sessions) Al, a great guy who has been a family friend since the mcdonnells were little ones. He was so generous and let us stay there for four nights, furnishing his extra room with a mattress for us, and allowing us to practically take over his house as we cooked and did baby stuff in his area. he was so mellow and kicked back about it, allowed me to borrow his gps around the city, which was a lifesaver!! and generally was a great friend to us. people like that need to be celebrated, because i know hospitality is not easy! we almost went to the famous aquarium, but had no $25 to spend on entertainment, so the girls and i basically visited parks for three days, mainly this one that was close to al's, was brand new, and had tons of cool "toys." it had a huge, fast, big tunnel slide that freaked even me out when i went down, holding both daughters and whooping with surprise! akin to splash mountain at disneyland. i am a wuss when it comes to fast rides and heights. a super wuss, and am unafraid to admit it. it made the park slide so exciting. we also went to the library one day, had a couple of encounters with whole foods, trader joe's, peets... got to visit grandma alice in her care center! she is such an amazing woman. she sits there all day for months on end, going through rehab, trying to get stronger, and after a string of similar injuries, still smiles, gushes over grandchildren, proclaims Jesus, and is generally delightful to everyone around. she is my heroine. we got to rub her feet and sing her some kids praise songs and cuddle her for the few seemingly brief moments that we were able to visit. she's a steel magnolia. we visited larry at the fire station, too, and he took us on a ride in the fire truck! sparrow was melon-eyed. sparrow and i had fun for those few days looking at all the colorful houses and freaking out over steep hills. on thursday morning we reluctantly said goodbye to thomas, and to al, and drove drove drove, back to the empty apartment, dusty with afternoon sun beams, quiet and empty, and lay low for awhile to process all of that month. thomas would be back on the 21st and in the meantime, there was much to get done.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

birthday bliss

i finally recognized the desolate feeling: it was yearning for heaven.

i had a gorgeous birthday with my family yesterday:
we headed down to carpinteria, a mere drive of 25 minutes, but far away from our regular routine, to bask in dune sun, ocean spray, and tent life for the next 24 hours. together. it was my birthday wish that we might go camping, and my dancer husband indulged me graciously. he is the best!
borrowed a tent, loaded up the car, felt like vacation time. carp beach is wide, the sand is abundant and soft, the air tastes like salt. the campground was directly behind the dune, and we played in the beauty of the late afternoon california summer sun (finally it is summer here--finally!!! been cold and foggy this whole time). walked into town, that quaint little town, to get ice cream cones, firewood. built a smoky, smoky fire, darn firewood. had smoked corn, red bell peppers, carrots, portabellas, tzatziki with raw veggies, sparrow even got to eat hot dogs. met christians in neighboring camp spot who loaned us their propane lamp, and saved us from ourselves as we fumbled at our late smoked dinner with flash lights. golden to bed in her pack-n-play in the tent without protest. sparrow and thomas and i celebrate with cake and sweet singing. sparrow can't stop singing happy birthday to mommy. air mattress contains leak, not air. thomas has to leave us to go home for some thick blankets to sleep on instead. sparrow and i spied on the two raccoons who lived in the tree above our campsite. cleverly, quietly, they snuck over right after we entered the tent. we shone our lights on them and they faced us with cute, beguiling expressions. all our food and trash had been put away, so we did not discourage them, only looked, and sparrow asked if we could take them home. she was so tired and sugared that she practically fell asleep as we were attempting to roast marshmallows. "i'm really tired." that was a first. thomas back to sit by the coals, to snuggle with in the cool beach night. trains hooting by every now and then in the dark. baby awoke and went back to sleep without protest, she knows that you are supposed to feel safe at carpinteria beach. morning came with gray awakening to mandarin haze, and all tired and happy, watermelon morning, fire-coffee (which is how coffee tastes the best), more beach sand and chatting with neighbors (the family on the left had 4 under 8 and one on the way--it had been their dad's birthday last night too!) and that overdrive tired energy when you pack all the stuff together and tetris it into your volvo in preparation for departure. we said goodbye, and the forlorn feeling kicked in, my nostalgia, my sad longing to stay. ate lunch at oak park on the way back, then home to well-known parking lot and neighbors, into the familiar disorganization of our apartment. and my sticky reluctance clung to me til evening, when

i finally recognized the desolate feeling: it was yearning for heaven.

so it goes, every time there is a vacation creating an atmosphere of haven relaxation, augmented appreciation for love, carefree times of laughter... when the journey is over, my discontent sets in. a trip brings out the rapidly changing nature of life, that we don't notice so much in our everyday interactions with kitchen and carpet and grocery. and it highlights the poignant truth that everything must die. i long for it forever. and it only took me 28 years to figure out why.