Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unplugged - Wrapping Paper

This is my first Unplugged Project since sometime in October. My thoughts and actions of the last few months have been dominated by my sister's battle with cancer, and her subsequent passing on November 19th. I am also participating in a second blog to help family and friends share memories of my sister's incredible life...

But here we are back again, and it was an appropriate theme to welcome us back. My husband and I are reuse nuts, and let's just say that there's no shortage of used wrapping paper in the house...any time of year. With E being just 2, some of the more elaborate ideas I had fell by the wayside and we settled on a wrapping paper "quilt". In one of her alphabet books she is a bit obsessed with "Q is for quilt," so I figured she would be all in.

I used a ruler to cut an 8x8 square of white paper and to trace a grid of 2 inch squares on it. Then I cut out a bunch of 2 inch squares of different types of wrapping paper, and I further cut a few of them into triangles. After some searching, I found the glue sticks (right where they belonged, btw) and we were off.E thought it was a great idea, and followed my directions well. Her biggest challenge was fitting together the triangles, but I was impressed that she kept asking for "triangles, not squares, Mommy." In retrospect, I should have found some solid colors to break up the craziness, but it really is quite pretty. The next morning E found the finished product on the kitchen table and told me that she was going to "fix it." Luckily I intercepted the destruction and managed to hang it high on the fridge for safe keeping.
Then I decided to have some Unplugged Fun of my own, and I made some little presents for E's Playmobil Santa. She seems to love the tiny boxes that came with the I printed out a box template and shrunk it on the copier (using scrap paper). Then I glued some wrapping paper to the back of the template and cut out both layers of paper. A few folds and some glue later, and voila, tiny box.When the kids get older, or when I have some time to try it myself, I will attempt the pretty wrapping paper stars on the Family Fun Magazine site. But for now, we are concentrating on projects that take 15 minutes or less. Thanks for the inspiration, Unplugged Momma!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Never Expected

Christmas is full of surprises. M and I were agonizing about when to open presents, because the morning church service was at 9am. That meant that we wouldn't really have time to tear through the loot before heading out the door, so the plan was to make E wait until after church. Uh, I did not hold out much hope for that one.

The first thing she said when she woke up was, "Are there presents under the tree?" I told her that we would have to go look. Out she went to the living room in her footie pajamas, where she found a pile of stuff from Santa. She actually jumped up and down...just like the commercials. She also found an empty cup ("Santa drank all the milk!") and a half eaten cookie ("He took a little nibble!") She started grabbing presents, but I told her that we would have to wait...we softened the blow by showing her that there were gifts in her stocking that we could open immediately.

M and I got our coffee in hand and went over to the couch to watch E paw through the little things in her stocking. Her favorites were the lip gloss and a pink fuzzy pen...ever the girlie. Baby m did say "Oooh" a few times as he looked through his stocking stuffers, but he really just wanted to hold E's fuzzy pen.

We got out the door for church without incident, and the service was very nice. We decided not to shake hands during the peace, after E rocked the church with a really gnarly cough. As it was, I'm sure those pews are still covered in toddler germs. Sorry, parishioners. Silent Night and Joy to the World were played beautifully by the organist, and we drove home in some very Christmassy weather.

I was really proud of the patience E showed in waiting for her gifts...but there may be another explanation. Later in the day she looked a little lethargic, and her temp turned out to be over 101. So maybe what looked like patience was actually the inability to put up any kind of fight!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smarty McSmart

My girlie has her own language. You may remember that she mistook my words, "grumpy mood" for "grumpy nude." Ever since, she has been using that as a phrase to describe anybody who's not happy. But today, I heard her use the apparent opposite. She said, "Mommy? I am a happy nude to see my Daddy!" I guess you have to give her credit for using it in the right context.

Later, at lunch, she asked me to put some icebergs in her lemonade.

But my favorite (and the latest) strange word of hers is "pangy." This is pronounced pain-gee, with a hard g sound. She uses it to mean just about anything. Like if you ask, "What do you want for breakfast?" She'll say, "Pangy." "What is that you're drawing?" "Pangy pangy." I even heard her singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" using only the word "pangy." What does it mean? I have no idea. But she thinks it's hysterical...and I'm sure it's a sign of brilliance.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Like Mother...

So my mother loves to tell people that I had imaginary friends when I was a little kid. I hear it's a sign of intelligence to talk to little invisible beings...mine were named Chatti and LaLa. Mom's favorite story about them is when I left them in a store and made her go back and get them. Apparently I was quite emotional, and persuasive enough to get her to turn around and save my poor little friends from being abandoned in the women's section of Rudolph's. I'm guessing that the sales people thought my Mom was a bit unbalanced, holding my hand on one side and and Chatti's on the other as we walked back out the door.

Who would have thought that 30 years later, my little girl would follow in my tiny footsteps? This weekend I sat on the couch and E screamed. "Oh, Mommy! You sat on my babies!" Huh? I moved over to the next cushion and looked at the spot where I had just been sitting...nothing there. "Mommy, you smushed them." I had to apologize, but when I tried to feed them an imaginary bottle, I was shut down. "No, Mommy. Don't do that. They're sad."

I know that I need to encourage this play, and I hate being the I asked in a friendly voice, "What are their names?" She thought for a minute, and came up with "Callie, Shallie, and Kashi." So when she went to bed, we tucked the three babies under E's blankets so they would be warm. I don't mind interacting with babies I can't see in the privacy of our own house, but I wonder what I'll do if E ever leaves them in a department store. When push comes to shove, will I risk being judged insane for the sake of my toddler's feelings? I'm betting we'll find out soon enough. That Shallie is a little stinker, just like Chatti.

Friday, December 12, 2008

6 More Years

Warning - This is not a happy post.

I have struggled with writing here lately, because I didn't want to write about the sad events that had been dominating my thoughts. But today I feel the need to throw some emotion out to the world, so here goes.

Today at lunch, I read an article about a man (a young father) who had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. The article took a very positive spin, pointing out that this guy was strong, "healthy", and had a great attitude. But as I read on, I found myself analyzing the state of the man's acceptance of his of the comments he made was, "I think I can control this outcome." I understand fighting...I understand positive thinking. But at the risk of sounding cruel, I wanted to say, "You have very little control here. Your life has need to get used to that fact."

In the face of a very serious diagnosis, there are so many different ways of getting yourself out of bed in the morning. I would never want to take away some one's coping mechanism, but is it really valuable to say and/or believe things that fly in the face of medical reason? Did my sister succumb to cancer because she didn't try hard enough to beat it? His wife says, "I don't necessarily find some of those stories about living six years very comforting right now." Well, we went through that too. When P was diagnosed, I looked up the odds of survival. Five percent probability of five more years. Even the best case scenario sounded awful. Right now, eight months later, we would give anything for just one or two more years...even one more Christmas would be nice.

So, I will try to live each day with the knowledge that there are no guarantees. My daily decisions are only a part of my life journey...most of the facets of this universe are out of my control. I couldn't save my sister, but I am still here. I'm going to wrap my Christmas presents, eat lots of holiday treats, and kiss my husband at midnight on New Year's Eve, thankful that I've been given the time on earth to do it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Walky Walker

Yes, we now have two, count 'em, two toddlers in the house. Mr. Walky Walker is now officially on the move, on two feet, off and running. Last week we SAID he was walking, but really he was holding on to one piece of furniture and then thrusting himself towards the nearest warm body...while moving his legs somewhat. Now, oh, now...

This little guy can not only walk while drinking his bottle, he can pull himself up without holding on to anything! I even saw him bend down to pick up his chuchi and stand back up! He is so darned proud of himself, too. He gets this s**t-eating grin from ear to ear every time you look at him, and he will even wave lambie-kins at you like a little flag.

We have video of E walking at 11 months, but everybody said "Girls walk sooner", "You never know with your second," stuff like that. Yet here he is, almost the exact time-table of his sister. If his verbal skills develop anything like hers, he'll be talking in sentences any day! Of course, those sentences will be along the lines of, "I wish my sister would stop hitting me with a toy golf club."
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr