Monthly Archives: September 2011

progressive trickle hump dinner nuggets, 2nd edition: sisters

trickle hump, 1st edition here :: Silence from the living room. “What are you doing in there?” “Nothing really. Just pretending your lipstick is really important medicine we need a lot of.” :: Andy and I madly cleaned our home one night to show and I said to Margot and Ruby, “I need your help.” They both stared wide-eyed and ready. “Can you two please play right here and not make a mess for 30 minutes?” Margot thought for a sec and Ruby looked to her for the answer. She said, “Well, probably not.” :: Last night I was gathering ingredients for dinner and I said hmm, Rubes, what else should we have? and she said OH!, raced to the pantry and returned with raisins and noodles. I told her we were having chicken for dinner and thought rice would go well. Kay she said as she ran off. I looked out the window to see she was trying to catch a chicken shouting, chickies! go! dinner! :: Ruby has little things all to herself that, before preschool, she shared with her sister. Like, grocery shopping. She is over the moon about owning the cart. At checkout, she smiles at the checkout dude and says “ticker pease” and gets to pick her own sticker without competition. This only-kid celebration is balanced by a achingly sweet love of her sister. She gets a sticker for Margot too and when she wakes from her naps says, “Margot cool! Go!” which actually translates to Margot school but cool is pretty dang true too. And when we enter Margot’s classroom for closing circle, Margot shrieks for Ruby who shrieks back and runs to sit on her lap where they hug and trace each other’s faces. I want to remember that forever. It’s the consideration that makes me swoon with mama pride. Ruby has the whole sticker bowl all to herself and wants one for Margot and Margot has school all to herself and wants to include Ruby. The bone-deep love they have for each other. It trumps everything. Lastly, a little something I nabbed from afar. There is seven whole minutes of it, here is 27 seconds from the last night of summer: happy day after hump day out there :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on progressive trickle hump dinner nuggets, 2nd edition: sisters…
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hump days nuggets: trickle hump

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last weekSo these days when there are many plans and items spinning into bigger plans and items, I just can’t seem to keep with the hump day nuggets. And that bums me right out because I really adore my nugs. But! There is always a solution to find time for things that matter. And, my solution is a trickle hump, where nuggets trickle in over a few days. It’s like a humpy progressive dinner. Yeow. So this selling-a-house business with two small children whose daily agenda includes unpacking, unfolding, unorganizing, undoing their environment is really, amazingly difficult. And funny in that way that isn’t funny at the time but really funny like 45 minutes later. I actually started to write a bit about it tonight and it turned into its own essay so that’ll be available to eyeballs in next Monday’s mama digs. progressive trickle hump dinner nuggets, 1st edition: :: We made a tomato pie. A Sure, Delicious Sign of Fall. :: Our friends have the amazing, awesome (and, at times, really hard) opportunity to caretake a local, historic homestead. The annual fall party/fundraiser was last weekend. The walk in was easy as pie. Margot hauled a bag full of pebbles and pine needles she had collected for our hosts. She insisted on carrying (the full 1/2 mile walk) and delivering. The walk out was also pie-like, yet a bit more adventurous, made easier by my husband’s fancy iphone and a flashlight app. :: I gave in on having all my fall stuff in my shop at the same time and embraced little-by-little, which feels way more appropriate anyway. An outtake: :: I’ll be a little nostalgic and woeful when Margot consistently wears her shoes on the right feet. :: I SO adore her style and, more so, her confidence in it. We were out and about on this day and many, many people said they loved her socks and she just said yeah. She knew it was awesome because it felt good to her. And oh how I wish that hangs on for the rest of her life, or at least through middle school. :: Been pulling a lot of carrots this week. Ruby is particularly proud. yes, that carrot is the length of her thigh happy hump day out there /trickle hump *Nugget it up and share. If you’d like, link to your nuggets in the comments.* :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on hump days nuggets: trickle hump…
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a lot of living to do

“Mama, I just can’t believe there aren’t any clouds. What do you think about that?!” It is the typical dazzling fall weather in Missoula. The morning just cold enough, the sun just low enough to remind every human to get outside for the last days of sunny warmth this year.  We went for a hike up the Rattlesnake and Margot walked and ran the whole distance, about 4.5 miles. She and Ruby collected pine needles for their friends. We found a caterpillar and talked about deciduous trees. Our toes felt the painfully cold but so delicious Spring Creek. Our friend and her two sons caught up to us on bikes and we chatted under the canopy of towering ponderosas. Her seven year-old was on his own mountain bike, tearing it up. Her four year-old on a trail-a-bike with his camelbak. She was effervescent and energetic. Andy and I both thought the same thing, did math in our heads. I don’t even remember who said it out loud first, something like wow, pretty awesome you can all just bike way up here like that! We moved into the kids- more kids-done having kids conversation. Our friend said she and her husband ultimately decided they had “a lot of living to do,”  that beginning anew with a wee babe wasn’t in their future and then she brightly explained how mobile and fun everything is these days. I get that, and look forward to that mobility. My husband practically nodded his head right off his body in agreement. And… When Margot was Ruby’s age my midsection was round with Ruby. I think about this time of year and how, for the last four years I’ve been pregnant and/or with a baby. For the last several years, fall means canning and preserving food, slow walks in the woods, anticipating big change in our family. My body fondly remembers this. I might daydream about more kids but on that day, on that hike, our family unit felt pretty dang complete and perfect. This year, new memories will cling to these months. Memories of two bipedal, talking kids participating in our family rituals. We’ll all be on skis! Looking forward to that. Seasons change. ps In this week’s mama digs, I wrote about My Swiss Army Ride. I carry a lot of stuff around in my car, it is my well-armed tool belt. Some might call it messy, I call it prepared. Click to read. :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on a lot of living to do…
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Ruby Morning

A great way to start a day. :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com
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hump day nuggets: shift

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last weekWe went to an outdoor dinner party last night and the sun cast the most beautiful gold light across the faces of friends. Kids ran around in green grass, taking turns picking each other up. Grown ups lounged and sipped in lightweight cardigans and bare toes. Then the sun nodded off behind the mountain and the air temperature shifted into an entire other season that sent people scrambling for fleece, hats and indoors. Once home we readied for bed at the hour that felt so early just a few months ago when the sun filled our home until 9:30pm. Andy and I exchanged our sleepy conversation until my eyes popped open and I said shit. Andy inquired and I said I felt in my guts that it would frost tonight. He groaned, knowing the next chapter all too well. I googled the weather and, sure enough, expected low: 32. We rolled out of bed, throwing down coats over pjs and shuffled into the black black night in search of tarps. We silently communicated, remembering the process of uncorking supportive bamboo stakes and literally tucking the tomatoes in under their plastic blankets. It didn’t freeze. Soon, though, that’s certain. I look up and the leaves wink gold against the bluest sky. Beets and corn replace tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s certain. nuggets. :: Canning hasn’t had the center stage she deserves. We just haven’t had full days to devote to the process. However! Where there’s a will there’s a way. This year I have been preserving in little bits here and there. Like, I spent three days canning beets: cooking one day, peeling the next and canning the third. While I do love to can start to finish, I am happy to have this option that better fits our “schedule.” :: She’s almost two. :: I left my camera, my dreamboat on a chair in a local coffee shop/restaurant where I like to write. And I didn’t realize it until many hours later when I called all stomach-in-throat to inquire. Yes, they said, it was there and waiting. We took the good fortune and opportunity to define our afternoon of gelato and park with camera. :: Our kids sit by the radio to listen to music and programs. I love this. ::  I worked at the museum for seven years, advocating and raising money for this amazing resource in our community. And every single time I go there with my daughters, I am gobsmacked by the awesomeness of now enjoying this space as a parent, member, donor. I love it. :: Ruby reads to Alice in the afternoons. :: I hope my kids have wonderful memories of being a part of my business. :: We are definitely seasonal library-goers. A rainy cool day planted Margot, Ruby and I there for a good bit and I remembered this slow-paced, good ol’ fashioned entertainment with fondness and excitement. This fall, they can both walk and talk and I am not pregnant. That’s a first.:: These days I feel like both of my kids are so full of intense feeling. Need, love, want, pain…everything is felt so severely. I have been thinking about that, about how adults buffer and censor. Ruby and Margot have an amazing capacity to work through issues by immediately and honestly feeling and saying. Like, last night, Ruby held the tiny toy snake and screamed MINE and Margot, who loves that snake, screamed no, MINE with tears and they grabbed, pulled and pushed. I took a deep breath and for the eleventh time that hour I said, what do you two think we should do here? And, after a few moments of thought, Ruby handed Margot the snake and Margot said, Thank you Ruby. You can have it at the store. Do you want to hold my special green baby until then? Ruby nodded yes. No grudges, no punishment. Just moving on. The things I learn from my kids, I swear. And, in the spirit of parenting tools, I am just loving this book right now. :: Tomatillo salsa. :: I so remember her extreme dependence, the days when I thought I’d crumble from the giving I had to do to make her happy. And now. My little confident, independent soul. :: “Ruby, see over there? Those aren’t quite ripe yet but if we get a few more days of sun, it just might happen. And, when we get home we should have a carrot. Does that sound like a good idea?” :: Last nugget is a big one. We might be, probably are moving. Staying in Missoula, but moving. This photo below could be our new back yard. I said it. For some reason I’ve held off from confessing this here but there you have it. This shift is a big part of our lives right now and deserves its own, solitary Nugget. Our home, our first home, the one we have fixed, redesigned and loved for eight years, the one that saw our family grow, that witnessed Ruby slip from my body…is for sale. Now that that gate is open, well, it’s open. More soon. My dear friend wrote me the most wonderful, encouraging note when I was feeling all how can we DO this?! She said “… I imagine it’ll be like Alice, then Margot, and Ruby … you will love the next house/chapter as much (and more, and different) than you loved the first one. It too will become your home.” happy hump day out there *Nugget it up and share. If you’d like, link to your nuggets in the comments.* :: :: :: all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com Read more on hump day nuggets: shift…
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