Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Long Day

The trouble started yesterday afternoon when Kate woke up from her nap crying and stuffy and lethargic and just never got happy for very long.  Emily said they were up all night with her, trying to keep her fever down and get some sleep for everyone.

She was not much better today, and the only time she wasn't fussing or crying was when I walked her around or held her.

When she went to sleep in my arms, I wasn't about to disturb her, so Graysen and I sat on the couch and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a number of other shorter shows.  It suited both of us fine on this cold day.

I wish Kate felt better, but holding a warm sleeping baby with one arm and having this sweet girl hold my other hand is my idea of a pretty good morning.

This "old hand."  Earlier when I couldn't twist the top off a sippy cup, Graysen said it was because my hands were old.  I think that started a few days ago when we were out for a stroller ride on a really cold and windy day.  I was past being ready to be home and kind of jogged for a little bit on a hill - to get it over with sooner.  Graysen was thrilled.  She said, "Run with us like Daddy."  I told her I couldn't run like Daddy, and she asked why.  I told her I was too old.  Later on, I did another jogging half block, and she yelled, "No, Old Mimi, stop!  You'll hurt your legs."   Well, I asked for it.

She and I went to the grocery store once Emily got home to take care of Kate, and we saw a little bit of blue sky - and some snow on the mountains.  Beautiful.

This is such a thrilling time for Graysen, her first real Christmas to understand and be awed by everything - the lights in the town, the toy soldiers in the grocery store, all her decorations at home - but most all my apartment.  She spent an hour tonight just going back and forth between the manger and several other spots - music boxes and obviously paper plates.  I could hear her singing some words to Away in a Manger and talking and whispering and just in her own little fantasy world.

This was how the stable looked Sunday afternoon - filled with gifts from the Wise Men and a giant kitty in the hayloft.  Looks like only one Wise Man was allowed to visit - and the others had to stay outside.

This is the way I found it today when I got ready to take her home.  Same Wise Man in the stable, but Joseph had taken the other one plus the shepherd out to discuss the flock.  And now the baby is in the hayloft.  She doesn't like to be asked questions about anything - like why are Santa and Mrs Santa in the upside-down sleigh?  

Dinner for 10 at the front door.  I don't ask any questions!

Praying for the baby to have a better night and be well and happy tomorrow.  So sad to see her so sick and not able to tell us what hurts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Introduction to the Nutcracker

Graysen has been a big fan of the Nutcracker ballet for a couple of years - actually obsessed by it - and we have tickets for her second performance in a couple of weeks.

I showed her a picture of the nutcrackers I've collected over the years, and she fell in love with the white one, so I said she could have it.  It was a little intimidating up close, but she decided she loved it and took many pictures of it, along with the rocking horse music box, which she hugged.

I can't figure out how to get those pictures from my phone to here right now, but I'll post this video of Katherine getting her first introduction to a nutcracker.

She is scared of very little except for things that look at her funny, like the goggly eyes of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider book and the face of Llama, Llama, Red Pajama - and now nutcrackers.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hard Things

I could write every day and use this title because there is never a day that there is not a hard thing to overcome - a memory, a thought, a sadness - that will stop me in my tracks.

Emily, Elise, and I are aware that Christmas was not one of Mike's favorite holidays - not the holiday itself - but the over-the-top ways we ladies tended to celebrate.  Usually buying too many gifts or new decorations or just the usual craziness.  Most of it was bluster, but we thought this holiday would not be as painful as others might be.

We were wrong.

Ryan has been sorting through all the mess in my garage, trying to make sense of all those bins and boxes I seem to want to hang onto, and he is having some sadness too when he comes across familiar things that Mike had saved.  He brought up 2 boxes labeled "Christmas" for me to go through and make decisions on, and it just got so hard.  All those things brought out of storage every year and put out for a few weeks and all carrying their own memories or stories.  All those years of little children, and bigger children, then grown-up children - then the ones we loved leaving us and new folks coming in.

This is what made me have to stop for the day.

This silly frightened-looking horse graced one coffee table or another for 40 years in whatever house we were living in at the time.  I think it joined the family in 1975 when we were living in Geneva, Alabama.  The 14-month-old and almost 3-year-old could not keep their hands off of it, and it didn't come down to stay until the next year.  The horse came unglued and was reglued many times, and it looks like there are some other parts missing.  

But it takes my breath away to think how many times this music box has played and been touched by little hands through the years.  We'll now hand it down to 2 more sets of little ones to love it.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I love the sound of pouring rain when I know I'm snug inside and don't have to go out.  I just went down an hour ago to the mailbox and to take recycle things, and it was sprinkling then. 

We did this last Tuesday, I think. 

Last week was my first week of full-time babysitting, and I think we did pretty well.  I know the things I want to get done and when they should be done, but getting a 1-1/2-year-old and a 3-year-old to appreciate by schedule is nearly impossible.  They did fine though. 

Graysen had her "chore chart" and got to pick out a princess sticker every time she did what was expected of her.  She filled up her whole week's squares and got a quarter for her "piggy-pank" and an ice cream treat with Mom after school.  She does really well.  The jobs she has are clearing her dishes after breakfast and lunch, brushing her teeth, making up her bed (sorta - more like fluffing the pillows and lining up the stuffed animals), and getting dressed.  Then at night Mom and Dad get to give her a sticker if she picks up her toys. 

I'm not used to having Katherine all day long, and she cracks me up.  She knows a lot more than she mentions, and very little gets past her.  She has a definite temper and a pout, but she gets over it pretty fast.  I love seeing how their little minds are forming and seeing them learn things.  I'm physically tired at night but I do want to spend as much time as I can with them.

Halloween was fun.  Graysen had a red cape, so the natural thing was Little Red Riding Hood.  I made her a gathered skirt, and she had the other things to complete the look.  Emily wanted Katherine to be the wolf but quickly jinxed that idea.  No way would she wear anything like a wolf costume.  She did pull off the booted ballerina quite well and either didn't know about the tiara or didn't care for once.

Graysen had a hard time going up on porches and ringing doorbells, but she got some candy anyway even if people did have to chase her down to give it to her.  

Her favorite place was a zombie cemetery/horror house/really scary place.  Go figure.  She was fascinated by all the horrible things and laughed at the skeletons and man hanging from the porch in a box. 

After we got home, she got really brave and tried ringing her own doorbell and saying trick-or-treat.  Post event dress rehearsal.

Next week is my trip to Alabama.  I'm trying to get my mind on it, but I haven't started thinking about packing yet.