hump day nuggets: January in Missoula

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

Missoula is quite gray this time of year. The inversion hugs our valley tight. The hug feels ok at first, maybe even kind of nice, because I have good reason to cozy up inside, read books, bake things and stay slippered all day. But, then, like any hug, I start to be all let go already! Enough! I can’t breathe!

The amazing thing about the inversion is how appreciative it makes me of the SUN. When the sun shines in January Missoulians claw their way out of their basements, forearms shielding their atrophied eyeballs from its brilliance.

I don’t mind the gray winter so much probably because it is so brief and makes spring that much more electric. As if Montana spring needed any extra oompf. Show off.

But when there’s a lot of this:

This makes me turn inside out with giddiness:

:: We’ve been going for morning walks. Sometimes, it is a goal all day and never happens and sometimes it is only 15 minutes before one child or both demand we head home. But, most of the time, this mama gets some fast-paced walking and quiet reflection for a decent chunk of time.

:: Margot enjoys making Alice eggs in her kitchen.

:: And, speaking of her kitchen, I pick up this exact mess approximately 57 times a day.

:: We enjoy hot beverages in our home and Margot is always asking for coffee. I bought her tea a while back and she was never into actual consumption…only the civilized gesture of holding a cup and lifting it to the lips on occasion. But with colds on a never-ending circuit among her friends and me wanting to do everything in my kung fu mama-grip to keep Ruby healthy this season, I started steeping this tea, letting it cool to room temp and adding a splash of apple juice in her cup. She loves it. (Also, check out that ratty old mug. I made it in high school.)

:: As promised, I made the husband some cookies.

:: Margot loving on her dolly. We never pushed babies or mothering and she, until recently, opted for musical instruments, animals and trucks or anything with wheels. While she is most in love with dinosaurs at present (she knows and can flawlessly say stegosaurus, brachiosaurus, triceratops and more) she has really taken to mothering her creatures. Burping, sushing, nursing, bouncing. It’s really very sweet.

:: Oh my Ruby.

:: The swing in our backyard remains a favorite even when very cold outside.

:: Gymnastics with a pile of her buddies is a great thing. This is the kind of stuff I get to do on Fridays at 11am now that I am at home. Love it.

:: Margot has been letting her ducky swim in Alice’s water bowl in the mornings. She gets very serious and stares me straight in the eyes and says, mama, ducky likes it.

:: Mama, help me. Elmo stuck. Cook it.

:: When shit hits the fan, I dance my ass off. Seriously. I crank music and shake my hips, jump high, squat low, twirl. It’s our reset button. Margot stops whining and either stares at me in total shock or joins in. Either way, when the song’s over, so is the fit and we both feel better.

:: Margot and Ruby at eight weeks old:

:: One year ago: Obama inauguration. Andy and I dressed in our wedding clothes and celebrated with friends. Our friend, Gita, took this photo not realizing the clever placement of the President’s hand and Andy’s body.

:: People told me the love I’d feel for my kids would amplify when I saw Margot love Ruby and I nodded and agreed. But now I know. It’s really something.

27 Responses to hump day nuggets: January in Missoula

  1. TM_Erin says:

    OH, the inversion. We have it UT too and it has been nasty. Yesterday I was standing in my kitchen and was suddenly blinded by sunshine reflecting off my dining room table.

    I could not get my girl and myself out the door fast enough. I’m sure my neighbor were like, JEEEZE, do you ever take off those track pants, but I didn’t care. I felt the sun on my cheeks. It was glorious.

    You’ve inspired me to hunt down a gymnastics class for my girl. Thanks. :)

  2. TRB Holt says:

    Good morning Burb! We here in The Miniapple are sister cities with Missoula…..gray, overcast and no sunshine…snow on the way. Good day to get my Valentine “goodies” finished up and sent to you all!

    Margot, I was laughing so loud, at Elmo stuck, the kitchen “creation” on the floor, Alice with egg on her face…kinda’…ducky taking a swim in Alice’s water bowl and the description of your mama shaking her booty to regain control, that all 3 dogs looked at me like I was crazy! What a fantastic way to start my day….LAUGHING! I told your mama yesterday that I wished I lived close enough to “steal” you away a few times a week to inhale your sweetness, not to mention to give her a bit of a reprieve. Someday I hope Bakka and I can live closer to you…. one of our goals! OH, & did you know that that dolly bed & blanket belonged to your mama…she loved her dolls! ( I love you a bushel and a peck!).

    Ruby, Ruby, Ruby…You have a beautiful smile, you are my sunshine! I see you are already making a fashion statement and one can never be too young to learn how to bake. I have said this before; you and your big sister are going to have so much fun growing and loving together.

    Thanks to you all for being in my life… you oodles!

    xoxo, Mom/ Grammy Gram

  3. Malissa says:

    Elmo in the oven! Sooooo funny! Ruby looks great in pink. :)

  4. Heidi says:

    oh my goodness…i LOVE these photos! they are so real life amazing. you have a another gift in photography. ruby and margot look SO MUCH a like at the same age. slippered all day and baking with bundles babies…yum! sometimes i miss dreary weather. enjoy!

    oh yeah…ruby’s little smile…reminded me of how far she has come and what a miracle she is!

  5. Thea Rae D says:

    The photos of gray Missoula are beautiful. Can’t believe I’m saying that…I am so ready for sunshine! Thank you for sharing, Nici!

  6. Jean says:

    Thanks for rescuing Elmo from the oven! :D

    So nice to see the new kid on the block smiling like that.

    Great post, Nici. So nice to wake up to.

  7. joan says:

    Well this was fun. Alice and the egg was so funny and of course Elmo in the microwave. I love to imagine Margot with her tea, sipping and being so grown up. Ruby Jane smiles!!! Now that is a happy sight. Looking forward to getting to know her better. Thank god you baked for Andy!!! He does love his cookies. How many did he hide from the rest of the family. I remember one summer when you both lived here it was always interesting to open a random drawer only to find things like bags of doritos and such hidden from us. Thanks again for the great look into your new routine. XOXOX J

  8. Talitha says:

    I love, love that you dance when things get out of control. That’s a little piece of parenting brilliance. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  9. joan says:

    By the way Terri, did you think the same thing I did when you saw the picture of Margot on the trapeze above the sponge cubes?

  10. Tammy B says:

    Loved all your tidbits as usual, the pictures too. I get tired of the gray too, although here Chicagoland we get more sun than you, I’m sure.

    But my absolute favorite? That picture of poor Elmo in the microwave. Priceless.

  11. TRB Holt says:

    GmaJ….germ city? :)

  12. jen says:

    i love winter primarily for the spring that it gives me.
    even if winter makes for skiing? (will i be banished from the blog if i mention that i’m not a downhill skier? i enjoy the cross country … but the down the hill part scares the crap out of me.)

    elmo in the oven … hilarious …

  13. Pam says:

    Perfect pics as usual! Bug IS an hilarious blur these days and Ruby, that little gem, is totally making up for lost time – now she looks just as big as Margot was at eight weeks. My faves though are the last two sister pics and particularly the second from last with Ruby’s hugely incredulous eye peeping around Bug’s leg as if to say, “Holy shit! How’d you do that?”.

  14. joan says:

    Yep Terri, exactly!!

  15. Lindsey says:

    awe… i love your blog nici. it gets me so excited to have a little one. you have such sweet sweet girls. hang in there with the fog… we’re in the same boat up here in whitefish. :(

  16. LeLo says:

    I don’t know how you do it, but everytime I read your blog, I smile. A big, cheesy grin. Thank you for that.

  17. jen says:

    by the way … emailed but haven’t heard … did you receive your package?
    just want to make sure that it made it …

  18. Kelle says:

    stuck elmo is so my fave now.
    Lainey loves this tea:
    It’s their Little Citizen’s line of kids tea, and it’s delicious.
    Nici, your girls are precious…I can hardly wait.

  19. Ann says:

    that’s just beautiful!

  20. *Wesley* says:

    Your girls are so stinkin’ cute! I was having coffee the other day, and though I’m not a mother, I decided to grab the Mamalode that was sitting in the doorway rack. Great articles!

    I LOVE Bitterroot Gymnastics! I used to take the kids I nanny to gymnastics there all the time. They loved the trampoline and hanging from the trapeze bar and falling into the pit. Fun!

  21. booksNyarn says:

    That photo of Elmo made me laugh after a very fast technology packed day. Although reading your blog online, it still reminds me that slowing down and appreciating what is going on inside and outside my home is a priority.

    And sunshine makes me dance these days too!

  22. So sweet to see the rhythm of your days. Looks like a happy group of girls, doggy included.

  23. Catherine says:

    Your little Margot sure has your sense of humor (that Elmo cooking story made me laugh out loud, so much that my partner had to come over and look and laugh too…).

    Love that old mug, they are the best!

    And I am going to give that dancing idea a shot! Thanks for the tip!

  24. oh goodness. I always laugh here. Love Obama’s hand.. that’s great. Alice with her eggs.. Margot in mid-air.
    P.S send your address.. I will send your honey!

  25. FinnyKnits says:

    You know, even here in NorCal, where our winters are mercifully short, I still long for the spring time. I mean, it’s only January and I’m already watching the cherry trees around here for the first sign of blossoms.

    But rather than wishing for winter to go away, I’m more of a change-craver. I love the contrast of changing from season to season – and then getting to swap boots for flip-flops and soup for salad.

    Meanwhile – I love that mug! And, not surprisingly, have one very similar – though I didn’t make it myself.

    Always I adore Alice. What a sweet gal with your girls. So what does she do when your crazy dance party starts?

  26. sarah says:

    hey! this is awesome. i think i remember the mug. i remember you once made something that was terra cotta. i remember you taught me what terra cotta was. maybe it was a box? or a tea pot? anyway, one nice thing about portland is that even though we have all this snow (snow! i’m learning to shovel! it hurts my back!) it is regularly sunny.
    yay winter.
    i’m learning.
    love you

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