Monday, March 30, 2009

A Super Special Surprise

So... following my dear Gramma's passing. My lovely Aunt opted to come and help me while I recovered from back surgery, (Did I mention I had surgery on my back last week?) and as a super special secret surprise when I greeted them in the driveway I saw not just my aunt but also my FABuLOuS  little SISTER!!!

So while it is definitely not a vacation to come here, (just ask Nea who came when I was a little bit preggo with Lil Bit)  I was glad to be recovering in the special care of two of my favorite people. It was also quite heartwarming to be able to recall and voice special memories of Gramma with people who would be able to appreciate and enjoy that. 

I do hope they are not too terribly exhausted from their "vacation", and that they are able to recover in a timely fashion.

On another note, I knew Cubby had an artistic side, he loves drawing, dancing, costumes etc.. but his photography skills are amazing... check out these pics he took.. 

Pretty amazing huh? I know we are so blessed!

In case you were worried, I am doing quite well, the surgery was definitely successful, so as long as I follow the doctor's advice of not bending, lifting, twisting, or driving for the next five weeks I should be "cured". Also.. most likely my pole vaulting days are behind me. I suppose also I should use my new found physical freedom to start working off the baby weight I've been carrying around since Little Daddy's birth.. hmm maybe.  

Much love!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Snow Day

So I had put off updating this blog because I felt so badly about bumping GiGi down, however, as I started this blog specifically for her, I thought it would be important to keep it updated. (Guess who loves Gramma? ME ME ME!!)

I am a teacher, and I married a teacher, and teachers love snow days!! I cannot even communicate the excitement that buzzes around here when the weather people start calling for snow. The Mr. Gets more excited than anyone I think and has a whole series of rituals and rules about how to make the snow actually come. Well, the blizzard that had me reminiscing and thoughtful (see previous post) did deliver SIX INCHES of pure bliss. Around here, six inches is good enough for TWO snow days, and one two hour delay.  The Mr. and the kids headed out promptly at 8:00 and made it about an hour. I followed shortly after putting Lil Bit to bed. There were snow ball fights, and sledding, general magic until The Mr. slammed Miss H in the face with a snowball as she was coming down the slide. (He really is the biggest kid.) "Why did Daddy do that?" she said with boo hoo tears a streamin' "I have no idea "I said biting my lip and trying to remove stray flakes from inside her hood with only mild success, but I really do know why.. umm it was hilarious!!

Every time it snows I think there is little that is as magical as this, a blissful unexpected  mini-vacation with your husband and kids.  Of course I doubt I'll be thinking that in June when we are making up the days!! It is always a blessing to have the Mr. for a few more moments, or hours, or days.. Good grief he is at work ALL DAY!! 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Heart of My Heart

Outside my window is what can only be described as a North Carolina blizzard. Inches and inches of snow are piling up. Inside, the Mr. and the little ones are fast asleep, I am a quiet chaos. Just as the snowflakes flit here and their tossed about on the winds, so is my heart. My gramma is dying, actually, by the time you read this, my gramma is most likely gone. In my christian  heart I am rejoiced, glad at the end of her suffering, and the knowledge that she rests in the arms of a Heavenly Father, whole and comforted. In my selfish heart I am grieved, for all the opportunties I let slip by, for Lil Bit, who came so close to sharing her birthday, and yet, will never know her loving embrace. I grieve for Little Daddy, who won’t remember he ever did. 

My heart aches for my Dad, Aunt and Uncles who are losing their mother, and although I know from talking with them that they see the mercy of God in this as well, they have longer memories than I do of this remarkable woman, and so it would seem, a little more to press on their hearts.

I think of Gramma often in this new life so far removed from my youth. When I braid Miss H’s hair, I remember the feel of her plaiting my own many years ago. (Until the arthritis took her ability away.) When I eat doughnuts, (her favorite breakfast) pass the library, or work the crossword puzzle I picture her there in her favorite chair (a recliner) doing the same, (in pen no less). I keep a candy drawer here, just as she has kept at her house for as long as I can remember. And same as “gramma’s drawer” you don’t go in ours without asking!!

My Gramma is a no nonsense kind of woman, she never let us grankids get away with anything, and I suspect she ran her home the same way. But I foolishly never thought to ask her about being a mom to four kids, and now of course I realize, she’s one of the few people who had done this. 

Gramma told me once when I was pregnant with Little Daddy, about when she was pregnant with My Aunt no one knew because she gained such little weight,  (I believe it she was always thin as a rail.) I still can’t tell if she meant it as a point of pride, or point of admonishment, (I get rather tubby when pregnant). But I remember that is was one of the few times I found myself thinking of my Gramma as a mother too. 

My Gramma danced at my wedding, she flew across the country, partly against her will, (I heard tell there was some wine involved) to place my veil on my head moments before the Mr. and I were wed. She wore lavender, (her favorite color) and danced with my Dad at the reception. 

My Gramma played Bingo every week, again, for as long as I can remember, and when I turned eighteen she let me come too. I only went a few times, I never won. But sometimes she did. 

My kids call Gramma GiGi. An adorable mispronounciation that stuck, and I relish that Miss H and Cubby refer to GiGi and Rosie and Papa Mike with an affection reserved for their dearest playmates. 

I regret that I didn’t ask more questions of Gramma about motherhood and wifedom. (she wore her wedding ring for so long it was wearing through on the bottom) Obviously Gramma, was stronger than gold.)  I’m disappointed I didn’t press her harder for her potato salad recipe while she remembered it. (Although my husband and children will not eat it). 

Two Christmases ago, Gramma went through all her costume jewelry and packed some into a treasure box my uncle guy had made and sent it to Miss H to use for dress up. I remember thinking at the time, what a special gift that was, and each time the kids use it, I remember. 

Perhaps that is the point of this exercise, I remember. I remember video games, and croquet on the lawn, and 4th of July on main street (until it got too “wild”) and shopping at PACE for the free samples, and See’s Candies, (I loved the nut’s and chews and she loved the soft centers),Jelly bellys, gummi bears, Tweety Bird, and Grumpy the dwarf, bowling, and purple, butterflies, and loving a surprise. 

I hope I brought her joy, and that she is at peace now, comfortable without her earthly burden. I love her still. 

Three Little Birdies

The weather is quite rainy and cold here, and so we have been holed up in the basement playing and crafting away. Well, not so much me, my spine just won't tolerate it. Miss H hauled out her sewing machine and got back to work on some projects she's been wanting to finish. And guess who joined in on the fun?

So, just before Christmas we had seen this adorable pattern in a magazine called Sew Simple. So I photocopied the pattern, and Miss H cut and pinned and stitched. Creating an adorable Owl she named Fluffy Tink. If you could see her work, you would just be amazed!! Cubby followed suit choosing blue, red and white fabrics for an all american Cubs inspired softie, he named Soriano. Finally, theirs looked so adorable I stitched one up for Lil Bit, I'm thinking of calling it Snack because she just loves chewing on it. It was rather challenging to stitch it using the Little Hello Kitty machine (feed dogs on mine are not working properly) especially since the kids insisted I sit at the little table, but I am amazed at what a great little machine it is. (I had to use the button hole feature on it a few days ago to finish a dress for a friend). 
So introducing... Fluffy, Soriano, and Snack!

Finally, look who can sit up, just a lil bit! Sorry for the mild nudity, but I just think she's adorable. 

I know the photo is a little blurry, I am having a bit of trouble with the camera. I'm thinking that might be the next thing I save my babysitting money  up for, supposing of course my sewing machine is not completely broken (perish the thought, I've been sewing on that thing since I was ten!!)  So, the weather is deteriorating rapidly, and the rain is turning to hail!! Hopefully we can have a snow day. I just love being married to a teacher!

Happy March!!