Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today a trip to the shore meant having sand between our toes and in our hair, turning our faces to the wind, plucking crab shells and symmetrical rocks up from their resting places, running and skipping together, writing names in the sand, and lying on a blanket dozing. All these moments were exactly what we needed today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Free Motion Sewing Attempt One


I played around with my sewing machine again this morning and here is my free motion sewing collage stuck in a frame.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This picture is a fave that I discovered upon one of my recent photo perusals. I think Avery is about 8 months in this shot, making her sister (insert math computing sounds)2 1/2. I remember the way this fleece suit fit each of my tall girls, it was kind of tight and when they straightened out it had a way of holding them in a little, as Avery seems to be held in in this picture.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years and school's out, the calendar's clear, and we've been taking it easy around the house. Today I got out my sewing machine and managed to make a pair of pj bottoms out of the sunniest fabric, only to try them on and have them be too small. I started a nightgown and fear the same will happen, though in that case it would be way more work after tackling plackets, yokes, facings and collars. At one point I realized my limitations and put the whole project away for awhile, instead deciding to clean my machine. The lady working the Huskavarna desk at Joanne's told me that if I do anything to preserve the life of my machine, I should regularly clean it. Let me tell you, I am hanging my head in shame because that thing was FILTHY inside. But on the bright side, I learned how to do free motion sewing. This inspired me, I want to try and make something like it. Next time. At least now my machine is ready.

We are going to try and get out to pick some strawberries this week, something we haven't ever picked yet. Word at the patch is that they're just about ready to be taken home in droves. I'm late this year but on time, thanks to the chilly spring. My goal is to gorge out on them in their sweet peak flavor instead of waiting and treating them like gold, letting them go bruisy and transparent.

We are slowing down, taking it as it comes, relaxing into summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Happy Father's Day to the father of my darling children. We love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Part Deux


Dear Julia,
Knowing you want things to be fair, knowing that if you knew I'd written a long description of Avery at three, you'd want a long description of you at five, knowing that I, too, wanted to take more time to let you know who you are these days, here goes....

Today you got your five year shots. Wow. The receptionist made an apologetic comment about the five year visit but we slogged through because we had no choice. The nurse started to give you a shot and you flinched and the vaccination went ALL OVER EVERYWHERE but not into you. I had to hold you while you got three more pokes and then that one again. You cried very hard, red faced and in pain. Actually we left the Dr's office with both of you crying, you in pain, Avery because the nurse just HAD to remind her that she would not be getting to choose out of the doctor's toy box. That was only for kids who got shots. Thanks a lot nurse.

So. Enough about that. You prevailed. You had your pain, felt it acutely, then moved on. That was NOT the first thing you mentioned to your daddy when he got home from work today, rather you rushed outside to tell him that you'd ridden your new bike today. What fun we had, riding around and around our cul de sac and then around the neighborhood. You rode as fast as you could ahead of us on each block, stopping to wait at the corner. I now let you go ahead (whereas before I'd get nervous and keep you near) because I know you'll stop and wait for me to cross. Not a huge risk taker, you.

You're still eating the same favorite foods, some of them have even dropped off the list, like yogurt. You're trying new things every once in awhile, but mostly you're a creature of habit, and new things throw you for a loop. Give you a new dress and you'll wear it every day for a week if I let you. You love your dresses. You won't even wear pj pants anymore, it's gotta be a nightie. You nap once in awhile these days. You wake up cheerful in the morning. You hit the pillow and are out if you don't have a nap. You can sleep without lights now. You crawl into bed with Daddy and I in the morning. If Avery's already found a spot in bed with us it frustrates you. You love going downstairs with me alone if Avery's not yet up. You also love time together with just you and I or you and daddy and say so with gratitude. You are able to dictate the most heartfelt thank you messages, which we did yesterday for your friends who got you birthday presents.

You are so good about bedtime routines, about getting dressed in the morning, about getting your shoes and coat on to head out the door. You're completely independent and it is a HUGE help to me. You've probably noticed that your sister is in the middle of the terrible threes and those same tasks for her are met with fierce resistance.

You love to laugh and yet it's not me or daddy or sister that bring that out of you. It's mostly your silly uncles and your grandma that bring that giggle out of you, or Jordan or Laura, who you laugh with nonstop. Your best friend is Wynne these days and you ask for play dates regularly. You are enjoying playing with your dollhouse furniture, were very pumped to get your first Polly Pocket, and have been creating lots of things with the "Creativity Kit" mommy got you. You also really enjoyed the umbrella sister got you and we took a walk just the two of us last night to commemorate that.

On the phone you are serious and subdued but can carry on a conversation. You mostly say goodbye though after a few minutes. You still love music and singing, dancing, reading and books. You "read" us three books the other night, but were only willing if it wasn't made into a big deal. You are also writing letters together and asking, "What does this say?" You can write DADDY and TIA and of course your name, too. You are ever-so-industrious and absorbed with crayons or markers or any sort of drawing tools. Your drawings are ENCHANTING! I waited so long and in your fourth year you totally emerged as a blooming artiste creating many a detailed drawing in your journal. Today you informed me that I absolutely could NOT read your secret diary so I absolutely will not.

You are eager to show us your strength by picking up your sister, something we usually get nervous about. You also move a lot, while you eat, while you create, while you play. You just passed the swimming class that required multiple BOBS into the water. You look skeptically upon soccer camp as you think of that as a "boy's" sport but daddy and I think you will love the chance to run and move. It is your way to lunge forward and sway sideways and your shins are proof that you know how to get a bruise. You like helping. You love running around on the grass while someone is leaving our house, it's your routine with your sister. You know how to tie a knot but not a bow. We have that to work on, plus learning your phone number.

Julia Corrin, you are a blessing and a bright spot in my life and in this, your fifth year of life I aspire to give you even more of my attention, acceptance and love love love because that is what you give to me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Letter to my Five Year Old


Dear Julia,

Today you turn five. Technically it's tonight at about 9:43 if I remember correctly. But five years ago, I was laboring away, by now I'd gotten an epidural, something I'll tell you about someday. And you were about to come into my life and change it forever.

Today we celebrated your birthday with five of your closest pals and a pj/pancake party that started at 8:30 in the morning. You got to wake up and see your friends right away which for a girl like you energized you and put a HUGE smile on your face. You did laps together and cavorted and had the best time. You ate pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. You drank smoothies that stained your lips. You went on a scavenger hunt and found some surprises for you and your friends.

Your friends did a great job giving you gifts. One friend described in great detail a homemade gift he'd given you, another shyly presented you with a book of friendship quotations. You got a fairy paper doll world and a kitten in a purse and your first ever polly pocket and melty beads. You will also be getting some wonderful gifts later, namely a new bike, an umbrella, and that suitcase your aunt promised you.

After the presents everyone got a Costco cupcake (the size of your head, those cupcakes I tell ya). When it was time to say goodbye to your collection of preschool pals, I felt a little wistful and sad, knowing they'd be people we'd stay in touch with, but also knowing it would never be the same, that your worlds wouldn't intersect as often, that soon your hearts would rearrange themselves when new friends came into your midst.

Celebrating you is a joy. I want to remember who you are right now, today, this day when you turned five in your silky nightgown covered in hearts. I want to remember the way you clung to me, a little embarassed when we sang to you and you wished that every day could be your birthday. I want to hear you sing and see the flash of you as you skip past, occupied with your stuffed friend Marie. I want to hear you and your sister plan and talk and pretend together in melodic peace. I want to read another chapter of Ramona the Pest to you and laugh together about Ramona chasing Davy on the playground.
I love you!