Monday, April 10, 2017

Pretty Good Day for a Monday

I was hoping for a nice day to go to the park and have a picnic, but there was a 90% chance of rain.

When I got to Steller, I saw this little guy in the yard.  I stood quietly and watched him get up in the flower pot.  He looks like he's dined here before, but there's not much to be eaten right now.  All along, they thought it was deer taking bites off the flowers, but maybe it was the Easter Bunny.

I never know what's going to greet me when I walk in the door.  Usually some sort of costume.  Today it was hats, boots, and socks for mittens.  No one ever told me what they were playing.  But they immediately want me to be the Bad Mouse or Bad Queen.  I've found out that I can get a cup of coffee and drink it while sitting down and growl and grimace at them every once in awhile, just enough to elicit a scream here and there.  Much safer than risking another fall.

This glittery shamrock shirt has all of a sudden become one of Graysen's favorites.

So we saw some sunshine, talked about a picnic, and packed some snacks.  But by the time we cleaned up and found shoes and socks and jackets, it had started to rain again.  

We drove to North Bend to the grocery store instead and stopped by the post office in Snoqualmie.  Both are fun stops for the girls.  Graysen is so interested in cherry trees and likes pointing them out.  In North Bend there are a few bushes with flowers and drooping berries or something on them that we call the Fancy Nancy bushes after one of her favorite storybook friends.

She asks at least 3 questions a mile when we're driving.  I'm not sure how I'm going to find enough answers when Kate starts asking questions too.

This is the way Katherine likes to ride - side-saddle - and Graysen chose to hang on the side this time instead of ride inside.  They are so good in the store and give me lots of advice on what to buy.  Kate said orange juice and mac and cheese.  Graysen just wanted rainbow goldfish and also mac and cheese.  

We spent a good bit of time in front of the Easter bunny shelves, picking out which one they would like the Easter Bunny to bring them.  

As we were rolling around, I noticed a couple come toward us, and the man had a wooden leg - a peg leg  - yep, just like a pirate.  I felt lucky that Graysen was looking somewhere else because I just knew she would ask questions about that and make a pirate comment.  I breathed a sigh of relief, but I had to go back for something I forgot, and there they were blocking our aisle, for a good 3 minutes.  She did see it and look at me and say, "Why that man....."  But then she didn't mention it again.  I was relieved but figured she was going to bring it up again.  I guess she either forgot about it or figured it was really a pirate.  

Getting home with the groceries is my least favorite thing, especially with these two.  Graysen was able to take one bag upstairs for me, but Kate wanted to stand and stare at a crow a long time, so I was exhausted after one trip up and down.  

This bag of Fancy Feast was very interesting to Kate for some reason.  She stared at it for a long time.  There must have been some cute kittens on it.

After lunch, they played in the playroom very nicely while I cleaned up, and then Graysen wanted to color at the dining table.  I really felt lucky that they were both happy and passed by every once in awhile to check on Kate.

Looks perfectly innocent, right?

I did hear some prolonged scratching or scraping noises, so I got up to check.  I knew I was in trouble when Kate met me at the door with a hot pink crayon in her hand saying, "MoMo,"  Her word for rainbow.

LOTS of rainbows.  On the plastic storage box.

And on the wall of the playroom.

I guess Graysen dropped a crayon on the way to the table because I don't keep anything like that within reach.

I figured it would come off with a Magic Eraser, and I was right.

Not much remorse though.

In the meantime, Graysen was putting all the barrettes in her hair, "so my mommy will flip out!"

Kate finally took a 2-hour nap, and Graysen and I watched as a huge dark cloud descended, and it began to rain - loudly.  We went out onto the balcony just in time to enjoy a big hailstorm.

"Look Mimi, ice is falling from the sky.  And it hurts my ears."

Later on, I was just about to close my blinds for the night when I saw this.

I called Emily to see if she saw it, and she could see the whole thing.  So beautiful.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Sunshine Brought Me Out

That's still snow on the mountains, but look at that sky.

It's still cool but warm enough to shed coats, getting up to the high 50s during the afternoon.  When I left to come home, Emily and the girls were ensconced on the big swing in the park, totally enjoying their outside time.

Graysen is fascinated by the construction site as we get on the parkway, especially that crane.  We can't seem to catch it moving, but it's tall.  We're getting a new Safeway and Bartell Drugs and several other stores by summer.  While it will be nice to have a grocery store so close, I've come to enjoy driving to the Safeway in North Bend.  Extra nice folks every time I go, employees and customers.  I might still go back sometimes.

I haven't been out walking yet to enjoy the new growth, but I see cherry trees starting to bloom and forsythia.  Today as we pulled out from the school, I saw what I thought was a dogwood, but it turned out to be a huge star magnolia.  I couldn't get a good picture, but it's one of my favorites. I've only seen small ones before.

I had a nice surprise Saturday when I received a package from Georgia.  I had been too tired and cold Friday night to check the mail, so I went Saturday morning after I cleaned out the car a little.  I was already feeling sad because in my cleaning, I found little reminders of Mike - his library card that had slipped between the seat and the console, a few notes he had written, some mints.  Just enough to make my heart hurt.  Then when I opened the mailbox, I saw the new title to the car - the one in my name only.  Just one new pain after the other.  But then the package from Barbara was just what I needed.  She always thinks about the children when she's out and found just the perfect gifts.

The fabric kit looks like a little stuffed mermaid, and the girls will truly love that.  I'm going to try not to put off making that, but I do seem to be having trouble doing anything when I'm home.

I give myself pep talks several times a day and really do want to lift myself out of my rut.  Maybe it will come with the sunshine.  Right now, I am so comforted by reading by the fire and letting life just pass me by.  I think I have to do some of this right now.  Friends and family are pretty understanding that sometimes I don't feel like being social or even talking or answering emails.  I'm not sure how long it will take or what it will take, but I'm ready to see.

I'm really ready to get my balcony pretty again and spend some time out there, and, of course, there is going to be a big garden starting on Steller Way that I can dig in to my heart's content.  Graysen is like me about worms and snails, but we spent a good 10 minutes watching a worm make it's way across the yard until we lost it.   It's going to be a good summer with those girls.

Katherine is now obsessed with "draw draw" which is coloring - on everything she sees if we're not careful.

And always Play-Doh - except the cleanup is usually more than I want to tackle most days.

And also obsessed with shoes - hers or anyone else's. 

We're going to add some housework to the day as they are able to do it.  Graysen is really good at asking to be excused and taking her plate to the sink.  Katherine will say, "Cuse?" and loves to help me sweep.  She always runs and gets the dust pan when she sees me start to sweep (and I cringe, knowing my pile of trash is going to get scattered).

Graysen here is drying a pile of clean things for me to put away and doing a good job.  They would both prefer to stand in front of a sink of soapy water and "wash dishes," but my patience is not up to that every day.

The UNC flag has been flying on Steller, so I'm doing my best to watch the game tonight and cheer them on.  Basketball is not my favorite, and it's too close for me.

I did this video from the car last week.  A little rain doesn't keep the preschoolers from play time.  Elsie the guard dog doesn't linger after the last child is across the street - which happens to be Graysen in the yellow raincoat.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Still March

I think spring comes in March, and I'm ready.  We're all ready.  No one is more ready than the Rooster Valley Farm School moms, dads, and grandparents who stand in a huddle waiting to sign their babies in and sign them out.  The children are too busy running and jumping in puddles to really care.  Every morning this week, someone has fallen in a puddle and had to start the school day with muddy hands or clothes.  No one seems to care.

Now that Katherine is walking back and forth from the car, it's become a real problem to get her away from the puddles and the rocks that splash so nicely.  She is NOT happy to get put back in the car for the trip home.  I think I could just put her in the fenced playground at 12 and pick her up at 3, and she would be fine.

Today was my grocery day, and I woke up to hard rain.  Good day for sleeping in.  But I had to get my taxes in the mail and so got up and headed out.  I knew how nice it would be to finally get back home and get snug in the apartment.  Right.  Up.  There.  With a fire if needed.

The main street of Snoqualmie was blocked off, even on this kind of day, and I found out later there was some kind of run.

The North Bend Post Office.  I'm so glad I didn't do this.  Someone ran into the front with a car and did a lot of damage.

On a happy note:  I've been dreading figuring out how to file income taxes since I've never done it in my life.  Mike just always did it, and it was magic.  Fortunately, Patsy, our "tax lady" from Thomaston, offered to help me.  It didn't take much persuading - none, in fact.  She and Mike had such a good relationship over many years, and he always trusted her to get it all done just right.  It was so comforting to hear her say, "Don't worry.  I'll take care of it."  An answer to prayers.

Highlights of the week.

Graysen and I saw a little group of elk waiting to cross the road last week on the way to lunch.  Emily said she called them antlers to her.  She talked about them all the way to North Bend and all the way back.  So many questions!  Why do they go across the road?  Where are they going?  What do they eat?  Where do they live?  Why are they called elk?  Why, what, where?  I do my best to answer each one, but I make up a lot of stuff too.  About mamas and daddies and babies and what they eat and living in a little homes behind the trees.  Whatever.

I wish we could have gotten a picture, but it wasn't a big enough group to stop traffic for, and they were a little distance from the car.  Mike loved so much to see them and would stop and spend so much time taking pictures of them.  As we were on the way to get the car serviced the day before he went into the hospital, we saw a herd crossing the road.  I was behind in one car and he was in front, and I wished I had been there to hear his comments.  Sweet and sad memories.

I took the girls to Dairy Freeze for ice cream Thursday.  They loved it.  Katherine didn't particularly love the ice cream but did enjoy the outing.  We went early this time to avoid a crowd and had the place to ourselves.  Sweet little girls.  I got them some hot dogs to take home for a picnic, knowing they wouldn't pay attention to eating there.  Afterwards, they sat in the red chairs and ran like crazy around the picnic tables.  Katherine, of course, found some puddles and rocks and had to be forced into the car.

Once home, we spread out a blanket and had an indoor picnic.  No interest much in the food - just the experience.  I didn't have too much expectation, especially after Katherine got up and wandered off, stepping squarely on Graysen's hot dog.  Such howls of indignation from G!  I don't blame her! Then we died laughing, thinking about how babies just walk all over our food and don't care.

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated somewhat.  On Thursday morning, I found River Dance on YouTube TV, and we had a rousing morning.  Graysen was determined to learn Irish dancing.  I told her to wait until her mother got home, and she would teach her.

This is the outfit she chose Friday for the big day.  She first had to go to the doctor and get her 4-year checkup (and shots).  She was pretty dramatic about the shots when she got home, but I don't think it bothered her too much.

And I fell yesterday.  I thought about not mentioning it, but I told Emily there is something about people when they have an accident or surgery or come through something dangerous that they need to discuss it!  I guess it's relief that they survived!  And I also knew it would get mentioned casually, and someone would say, "No one told me that!"

I've now have had one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" moments.   A few moments actually.

I was chasing the children.  Probably shouldn't have been running, but they love it, and it's fun, and we were just getting some of the late afternoon energy out (for them - I could have just used another cup of coffee).  They were running around the island in the kitchen, and I was mainly just leaping out at them and making them scream.  Then I turned a corner, my rubber-soled shoe caught on the hardwood floor - and something happened.  I remember knowing I was going to fall, reaching to balance myself on the refrigerator, and then realizing my hand had gone between the door handle and the refrigerator - and was stuck.  I was falling one way and my hand was staying in the handle.  Ouch!  My hand got the worst of it, but it threw me off balance enough that I came down full force on my right knee.

I just lay there knowing I had broken something.  LOTS of pain.  Katherine thought it was part of the game and started to jump on me, but I told Graysen, "This is serious.  I'm really hurt.  Just wait a minute."  She went into her nursing mode and sat by my head and rubbed my hair and said all the right things.  She even took her little Auburn cup and got me some water.  Sweetest girl.  Once the pain started ebbing, I started moving everything and decided nothing was broken and could laugh about it a little.  I did have to scoot myself across to the rug and couch because I couldn't put weight on my wrist or either knee.  The girls thought that was hilarious and "rode" with me.

So I'm stiff this morning but feeling so lucky.  My hand is puffy and has a huge bruise, but my knee is okay.  I am so careful usually, especially on the stairs, because I figured if I ever fell, I would probably break something.  Now I'm so careful on the stairs, I know my neighbors think I'm 80 years old.  Two feet on each step going down.  Thank goodness the girls are old enough to manage their stairs without me - except for a little hand-holding.

So that's my week(s).  Pretty much the same.  I'll add a few pictures of the girls and their playtime.  We saw a partly sunny day and I know there are more coming soon!

This was last Saturday on the way home from getting my hair cut.

A peaceful 30 minutes before they both decided they wanted the watering can. 

I think the word she was trying to get me to understand was dirty and not juice.  

This was one afternoon at the apartment when I thought I would play sleepy music and have them rest or nap in the living room.  Not hardly!

So much energy.

This was another day and a more successful nap time.  I wonder if this is the way I sound reading this story!