Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Pirate and a Winter Princess

 Yesterday was smooth as silk, today, not so much.  My intention to have Halloween be fun and memorable for the girls curdled into me forcing Marguerite to put on her costume before the parade, dictating to Genevieve which dress looked more pirate-like, threatening no trick-or-treating tonight if the bowl of cucumbers wasn't consumed stat.  My devil horns were hardly a costume.

At least mother nature was feeling less bitchy than me and paused her deluge for the parade through town:



I was surprised when I saw this photo of me on facebook posted by my friend Anna.  I look so happy and relaxed, the sweep for a gaggle of littles, like getting to this place in our day hadn't shredded my composure:


A good reminder to me.  If it isn't how I planned it or pictured it, it doesn't mean that it isn't just as it should be.





Later, as I walked through the dark and soggy streets of Edison, a rain soaked trick-or-treater holding on to each hand, Genevieve said, "Mama, we can do this for as long you want.  All night even.  I won't get tired of walking, looking at all of the pumpkins and decorations, finding every door bell in Edison, getting candy."  "Yeah Mama, Halloween fun" chimed in Marguerite. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

House Project: Downstairs Bathroom Reclaimed

Yesterday Drew entertained the girls for the better part of the day while I locked myself in the downstairs bathroom, rolled up my sleeves, and cleaned out all of the cabinets.  You see, since we started using the new bathroom upstairs a few weeks  ago we pretty much abandoned our former one and only (a post and pictures of the new bathroom pending the final strip of crown moulding and shower trim - don't hold your breath). 

I made it presentable and usable for my mom to use during her stay, and of course there's the daily ins and outs of family life and the 400 loads of laundry a day I do in there - but otherwise every ransacked drawer caked in pink toothpaste and every surface piled high with baskets and rubbermaids brimming over with miscellaneous had been abandoned.

After pitchforking through the detritus of a lively and colorful life and polishing up all of her bells and whistles, I present to you our downstairs bathroom/laundry room.  Go ahead, open any door or drawer.  Nothing to hide here.  All systems in place.  A phoenix rising from the ashes:



 Now will somebody please come over and clean that filthy mirror?  Because I've moved on.

Today was marked by decidedly less drudgery, less sneezing, huffing fewer chemicals, and breathing more fresh air. 

Marguerite may be usurping her sister's adventurous sense of style:


Here's Daddio recirculating his blood between football and baseball spectatorship.  Holy hell that was a long day of sports for those of us (me) who don't give a rat's ass about all things pro sports.  Good thing he's handsome:


And me and G in the great green field.


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Family Couch

Three years ago we bought "the family couch."  It's a super sized, oh so American, hulking sectional that we bought for one reason.  Comfort.  Oh, and a place for Drew to sleep while his spot in bed was monopolized by babies.  My loyalties to this mushroom colored monster waned these past few months.  I started scouring catalogs and craigslist looking for something less, well, ugly and drab. 

Drew did what he does and rejected my new couch overtures with silence and/or general practicality: That's too much money.  We don't need a new couch.  The one we have is fine.  The couch you are showing me a picture of looks exactly like the couch we have right now.  I don't understand how a used couch on craiglist can be described as "new."  Gross, that's a used couch.  Stop showing me pictures of new couches.  Etc.

When my mom was here she asked, so what's your problem with this couch?  The color, I confessed.  I hate the color.  This couch has a lot of life left in it, she said.  You don't need a new couch.  This is a couch you live with.  It's functional.  Just get some new pillows to brighten it up.

New pillows!  Brilliant!  Who would have thought?  Oh, everyone but me.  That's what you do to spruce up an "old" couch.  Home decorating 101. 

So, I switched gears from obsessive online couch shopping and started pillow scouring instead - no spousal consultation here.  I just went for it.  Lipstick on a pig did the trick.  For now.




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What a Zoo

We picked my dad up in Seattle yesterday on the tail end of a trip he took to visit his sisters.  We had a day to spend in the city before both of my parents started the trek back to Alaska.  It was an extreme urban adventure that involved getting lost three times,  Genevieve throwing up in the car, a claustrophobic grandmama trapped by her seatbelt and Marguerite's carseat, and watching a gorilla eat its own shit.  Sounds awful I realize, but it was actually so much fun!  After dropping my parents off at the airport we drove home in the dark, two girls racked out in their carseats and just my thoughts to keep me company on the road.  I hate saying goodbye to my parents, always leaving them with a lump in my throat, wishing we lived closer, grateful that they make the effort to be here. 

Left wondering why we saw a gorilla eating its own feces?  The zoo, silly.  We spent the better part of the day there, the girls vying for as much grandpapa time as they could squeeze out of an afternoon and my mom and I getting as much arm linked visiting in, debriefing our week of shared domesticity. 






I walk away from a zoo experience feeling conflicted.  Amazing conservation and educational efforts to celebrate and support juxtaposed by the heartbreaking gaze of animals in captivity. Heavy. 

Today was a day of sinking back into the routine, which I did a pretty crappy job of as evident by what I made for dinner:

  

(scrambled eggs and green beans not shown here)





Sunday, October 21, 2012

Green Tomatoes and Other Less Disappointing Bits

Can you believe that all of this ground,






and this wheelbarrel full of foliage pulled out today,


produced little more than this???

 

Dammit!  Tell me I'm not alone, please.

What fall is lacking in tomatoes it's making up for in dahlias, fuschia and pumpkins to cheer me up:



And it isn't a complete Grandmama visit without her spaghetti and meatballs:




She's really good at spoiling us.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Content

G and I had a mother-daughter date today.  We had lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant and ran a few errands downtown with a hot chocolate break to top it off.  It was the best. 


The last couple of days have looked a lot like this:


Socked in by rain, content in my house, sneaking away for a meal here, a glass of wine there and ending each day with a late night visit with my mom. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Glimpse Back

Genevieve is only four and I already reminisce about when she was a baby.  Here it is, midnight, and I just spent the last twenty minutes scrolling through her baby pictures rather than doing more tangible things like filling out my jury duty summons paperwork or researching grants or...sleeping!  Looking at these pictures does make me feel like there is purpose and meaning to this blog.  I will have these memories and images to share with my daughters, and to remember these often blurry days and weeks and years. 

Here's tonight's glimpse back at baby G:











Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mothering Squared

It's so much different now.  This pace.  This time.  My mom is here for a week and I don't have to miss the majority of her visit by being at work, and she doesn't have to jump into the deep end remedying piles of laundry, feeding us all and managing my feral daughters in my absence.  Maybe this time it can feel like a mini vacation for both of us.

I snagged a few pictures from her camera to share. 

The park on a beautiful fall day in Bellingham:


Dinner harvest:


Her cottage retreat:




The slough at high tide:


Pumpkins and dahlias:





Mothering while being mothered is where it's at!