Monday, January 31, 2011

Precious Moments

Scooping him up from his afternoon nap, which he still takes in the crib, I pull him close to me and he nuzzles his face into my neck, like he did much of the time as a baby.

Now, no longer a baby, these moments, these neck nuzzling moments, are fewer and even more precious.

He tucks his arms underneath his belly, cozying them between my belly and his for warmth, and comfort.

We talk in whispers for a bit, just after he wakes, about his nap, our evening plans, where the dogs have wandered off to, perhaps a cup of milk, and definitely a snack.

I put him in the little nook between my body and my arm, pulling him close and covering us in a fuzzy soft flannel blanket.

Together on the couch, in our chilly living room, we briefly tuning into a kids show on one of his channels.

In these moments, these precious moments, he is still, calm, and cuddly.

Husand and I both speak of the rarity of these soft moments makes us even more grateful for them.

The show plays softly, volume barely on, and I remind him of that afternoon snack.

"Would you like a snack?"

"Yes! A snack!" he shouts, falling back into his two year old self and wriggling out of my arms, the moment broken.

"What snack would you like? Maybe a fruit bar? an apple? a...."

"NO, I wanna pick it out!" he declares, waltzing to the pantry, opening the door and browsing the lower shelf. His shelf.

This line, this 'I wanna pick it out' line, is said a lot these days.

When it comes to any meal, any snack, and even what exact waffle comes out of the box, he wants to pick it out.

One day I quickly snagged  waffle out of the freezer and well, lets just say it was not the right waffle.

I point out a few options on his shelf, but he reminds me....

"Mommy. I wanna pick it out!"

"okay okay...." I agree as I open the fridge for him.

He opens the fruit drawer, grins and pulls out a big red juicy apple.

"I want an apple!" he tells me.

I nod, he bites right into it, holding it with both hands, and wanders into the living room.

I've gone from pureeing apples and feeding them to him off a tiny little spoon to this boy grabbing his own apple and eating it right off the very core.

These moments... well they're precious too.. but sometimes a little bittersweet.....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day!

*yes, somehow I have miraculously figured out how to center my header picture. A true miracle. It only took me three months to figure it out. trial and error is a wonderful thing. 

I've been wanting a snow day. A real snow day. Where work is canceled. We're somewhat stranded. And I can take the kid out to use that snow tube that Santa brought him.

Somehow, we just kept missing the mark. A few inches here. A few inches there. Half asleep, I would reach for the phone around 4:30am, calling the weather line for work, punching the numbers with my eyes half closed and hopin', wishin' for a snow day. Two hour delay. Three hour delay. Even a Four hour delay. Seriously? A four hour delay? Come on!

Husband and I stayed up late last night, already banking on that big storm really being a big storm. We huddled together on the sofa, tuning into the news, just for the weather report. and we never watch the news. ever. I didn't realized how hilarious snow coverage is - some comical stuff!

But today, I finally got my wish. Our first significant snowfall of the year. Our first real snow day.

Around 5am, I got those blessed words, "Closed to all non-essential personnel". Thank you Lord above that I am non-essential!

And who woke up at 6:30am? Uh huh. The kid himself.

"Mommy. I awake!"

"Go back to sleep!"

"But I awake!"

"And its still dark! Go back to sleep."

1 hour later.... when I finally was asleep again...

"Mommy. I ready. Come get me!"

"Go back to sleep!"

"Mommmyyy.... its Light out!"

"Well.... still.... go back to sleep. For a little bit!"

Time to invest in blackout curtains, for sure.

Eventually, we gave in, whisking him out of his bed, and yanking up the blind. SNOW! 

After lots of shoveling, and I mean heavy duty shoveling...

We ventured into the back yard for some fun...

That snow tube that Santa brought came in really handy!

"Does Avery have a snowpoobe too?"

"I think he does!" I told him.

And we invited his friend and neighbor Avery over to join us.

The boys had a ball snowpoobing together and throwing snowballs...

Did I mention that we got 14 inches? Yep. It was a whopper. And a bit deep for some of us...

I never realized how much work this sorta fun can be... carrying the snowtube, carrying the kid, walking, making a path, pounding the path, pushing the kid. My heavens above we were worn out!

But it was a good kinda worn out... the fun kind. The makin' memories kind. We ventured in to have a hot dinner of yummy leftovers. I even whipped up a batch of homemade brownies to finish off our fun day. I mean, any great day ends with brownies, right? 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A new year, A fresh start...

Sometimes you get a darn cute picture of your kid, not to mention, he's sitting on a rocking horse that was his Mamaws! Then you add Mamaw to the pic, hoping for one even cuter, you know, the kid, the Mamaw, and the horse. Then you get - this. So is the life and the pictures resulting - with a 2 1/2 year old boy! 

Our holiday travels were lovely. Lovely being with family and lovely in scenery as well. The snow that sprinkled down as we approached the TN state line was beautiful. After a few days in southwestern PA, we bid farewell to husbands family and hit the road Christmas day to venture on, anxious to see my family too.  Our Christmas morning pic before he hit the road... 

The further south we drove, the prettier the snowflakes, covering first the grass and trees, then driveways and parking lots, and finally the road was blanketed with snow. Our speed slowed and the last hour was quite a long last hour.  

There was a brief scare of an empty gas tank but thankfully one itty-bitty gas station was open and flooded with folks just like us, desperate to fill the tank. But we arrived, and cozied up at my Papaws house, with the gas logs burning and a fresh hot meal. 

Gifts were exchanged, cookies were eaten, and lots of snow kept falling. My parents house sits atop a mountain side with a driveway that has many folks gasping at its twisty turns and steep grade.

Parked at the bottom, we opted to just walk up, carrying the kid and enjoying the beautiful darkness blanketed in white powdered snow.

I grew up doing this walk and now husband and the kid got to have their chance.

Going back down was the kids highlight, being pulled in the sled...

Coming back to PA is always tough, especially after the holiday family time of the holiday. I'm sad at saying goodbye, coming back to our ole routine, and admitting the holidays are over.  I wish the kid could see these people every single day. It saddens me that he doesn't...

Yes, these people. The grandparents. The ones who can spoil them rotten and send them home to his parents.

The ones who can make him laugh in ways we can't and the ones who can play with him and never tire of that same game or that same book, the one mom and dad are tired of... 

The first day of the new year seemed to be the perfect day to take down the tree, put the living room back in place, and freshen things up. It was a Saturday.

Santa had just paid us a visit the night before since we had been traveling. 

He whisked in here the night of Dec 31...

He left a few lovely toys, dined on some grapefruit, and even took time to read the kids note...

Thankfully we remembered to put the key under the mat outside since we lack a chimney...

The stockings weren't hung exactly, but laid... 

As I lifted ornaments off the branches, laying them into the boxes, the kid asked, "what you doing Mommy?" 

"Oh, I'm taking down our tree honey." 

"But why?!?" 

"Well, because Christmas is over. And when Christmas is over, we take down our tree." 

"Christmas over?? Oh NO!" he said, putting his head down. "This is NOT good." Big Sigh. 

He eventually accepted the trees farewell, looking at it out the front door as it lay by the curb. 

I made promises to him to put one up again next Christmas. I made promises to myself  to ensure we work on how we do Christmas as the kid grows older. Ensuring he knows the real reason for this magical season. 

At 2 1/2, I told him the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. In the years to come I want to make sure he gets it. He can love Santa, the gifts and the fun spirit of all the hub-bub. But i want him to know in his heart that precious gift of Jesus. And I want him to know the importance of giving back to others as well... 

With the tree down, the house back in order (as much as it ever is), and our closets cleaned out, we start fresh this year. 2011. I type this on 1-11-11.  There are new goals. New tasks. And much of the same for us too. Husband and I talked one night about our goals for our family this year. Some are big (pay off student loan) and some smaller but just as important (take the kid camping). 

Santa delivered a mighty fine snow tube here a few weeks back and with a storm a'brewing just south of us, I'm thinking the kid might be ready to put it to use real soon! 

Happy New Year Folks! 

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