Monday, April 27, 2015

seventeen months

dearest Sweetpea,

with the warmer weather, you're absolutely loving spending time outside! it's no coincidence that you say "sigh" for both "outside" and "slide", since you could easily spend an hour going up and down the hand-me-down Little Tikes slide our neighbors generously gave us. sometimes you get to the top of the slide and just sit there, calmly surveying your domain. it must be fun to see the world from a new vantage point! 

you also love to "help" Daddy with yard work, picking up leaves and trying to use the rake. you're intrigued by caterpillars, ants, and any creepy-crawly thing, although the texture of grass on your barefeet still gives you the shivers sometimes. 

your sense of humor cracks us up. sometimes you'll walk around with an exaggerated strut (and check over your shoulder to make sure we're watching). other times, you'll be giving your baby doll her pretend bottle, when you suddenly put the bottle to her tummy or to her feet, and look up at us with a huge grin. you shriek with laughter when we chase you or when Kaiser licks your face.

inside the house, you're obsessed with going up and down stairs (you mostly scoot down the stairs on your bum, but sometimes you hold onto the railing and actually step down). you love to play dress-up with our big bin of winter accessories, and you nearly died of excitement the first time you were able to pull your boots on all by yourself. 

your favourite books this month are The Little Mouse, The Red, Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear, Shoe-la-la, Moo Baa La-La-La, and A Potty For Me. you know the sounds that cows, horses, sheep, and dogs make. in your world, birds say "cuckoo" (because of our cuckoo clock), cats say "m'lowwww", and ducks say "kak kak kak." you say "down", "wa wa" (water), and "see" (sit). Nana and Pappy are a single unit in your mind ("nana pap") and sometimes if you really feel like it, you'll tell us that your name is "Deh-duh" or sometimes just "baby". that "Gr" consonant blend is a tough one, kiddo ... sorry about that! 

we celebrated Easter in Martinsburg and you had your very first Easter egg hunt with your second cousin Aubrey. you were mostly interested in taking the plastic eggs apart and putting them back together again, or pulling them back out of the bag. it's so much fun to have you and Aubrey so close in age (she's eight months older than you). 

then you and i took our first long road trip to Winston-Salem, NC, to watch your Auntie Kira perform one of the leading roles in Guys & Dolls as a graduating senior at UNCSA. she did a phenomenal job as Miss Sarah. you were amazed by her pre-show pin-curls, and loved visiting with Grammy, Grandpa, Great-Grampa Wayne, Janeen, Great-Auntie Kris, Uncle James and Auntie Krista. we hit up a local playground two days in a row for some slide action. 

we love you, kiddo! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015


it's a contemplative sort of day. a day that finds me observing, remembering, pondering, life and relationships and all the tiny details that give our lives colour and depth and pathos and meaning. 

i'm curled up on our living room couch, listening to the genteel pulse of the mantel clock, while Greta vroom-vrooms her wooden blocks around the floor like so many little cars, then suddenly hurtles across the room to look out the window, barefeet slapping unevenly on the hardwood. Kaiser lets out a soft warning bark as someone walks down the sidewalk outside. the comforting scent of rosemary wafts in from the kitchen, where the filling for tonight's steak and cheese pie is cooking. (it's a classic British dish, in honor of today being the Feast of St. George, and i am unashamed to say that i got the recipe from a Buzzfeed article.)

the living room is strewn with books, the pots and pans from Greta's kitchen set, and  a few errant plastic Easter eggs. her Easter basket still sits on the coffee table, having become a toy in itself (put things in, take things out). "Mom-my! Mom-my!" she calls from the dining room, where she's poking her play spoon into the holes in the grate. then she starts humming to herself, an absent-minded little tune, and comes running back over to her play kitchen to put her pans on the range. 

she looks up and discovers for the first time that there's a cordless phone attached to the side of the microwave. she gleefully claps the phone to her ear and exclaims, "Dada? Dada?" followed by a string of unintelligible chatter. Nick is her favourite person to call, whether it's in reality using my phone, or just pretend. he's at a diocesan meeting this afternoon, followed by choir rehearsal this evening. i do miss singing with the choir. hearing them at mass every Sunday, and hearing the Schola sing for special masses, is transporting. 

i'm aching to go back to Europe. to visit the ancient cathedrals and museums, and people-watch for a few hours at a little outdoor cafe, and ride a spotlessly clean train whose schedule you could depend upon to set your watch. to drink the mineral water, and delve into a hotel continental breakfast spread that rivals any charcuterie. but! my wanderlust will be appeased by upcoming trips to San Francisco and the Outer Banks. and that's the way the cookie crumbles.