Monday, May 20, 2013

the Toby

18 months.  1.5 years.

My blonde-haired, sparkly blue-eyed, curious little critter has sprouted to be an opinionated, hilarious little boy.


Outdoors?  [Check].  Rock? [Check].  Happiness?  [Check].

his 'serious' look

leading the way to the computer...sneaky goose

I realize I haven't really written about him in the same way I did with Silas.  Thing is, I'm simply enraptured by him.  He's delightful.  Maybe I'm just more relaxed with him than I was with Silas, but this stage is simply heavenly.  Ever since 6 months I just can't get enough of this sweet, soft, mama's boy who is stronger than he looks in personality and strength. Sure, he has his fist throwing, feet flailing fits (no joke) but somehow they are much cuter coming from a pint-sized garcon. 

What do I think is so fabulous about this bundle of life?
-he says "woo woo" for trains, it's pretty much amazing.
-other than that he says NO very very well, ball, bus, dada and mama and BUbble
-he can play contentedly by himself with trains, cars, books or blocks for extended periods of time
-he is cuddly
-he wakes up with his hair in the craziest spastic fro that makes me laugh every time
-he is bound and determined to be independent in all things: feeding himself with a fork, finding and putting his shoes on, won't let me hold his hands to balance and well, his stubborn and fierce independence is wonderfully, uniquely him.
-he is an explorer.  Toby loves to wander outside.  He pokes slugs, collects rocks, goes on 2 hour bike rides or hikes and is happy as a clam, and could live in the mud or sand if I let him.
-when he is upset, he throws his head back and runs out of the room to find a place to throw himself down.  It's quite hysterical really.(And a wee bit scary for what toddler years hold)
-he is just ridiculously cute.  He has this frowning, serious face and I call him mr. grumps but he's one of those 'seems grumpy but is actually warm and cuddly' types of personalities and I love him for it.
-he loves to wrestle, jump and leap off things.  Dangerous.
-on that same note: he has no sense of limitation.  He thinks because Silas can do it, so can he.  Which makes for a very agile, and capable 1.5 year old - but also makes for an anxious nurse turned mother.  This boy is bound and determined to knock his teeth out of his head before he gets 'em all in. 
-he is a boy's boy.  Loves hockey sticks, balls, kicking, throwing, and well, yelling.  He's every bit a boy and I love him for it!
-he's also nicknamed "mr messer" in our home.  He is a mess-making machine.  Un-doing, un-raveling, emptying, scattering, dispersing, those are his skills.  Let me assure you, he is very talented.
-he is excellent at pointing out airplanes, buses, and all animals.  He loves animals and finds them everywhere, grunting at dogs, sqwaking at birds, and squealing at anything else.  It's fun to see him fascinated  by living things
-he eats as much as I do and will never turn down a snack of fruit, raisins, sweet potatoes or fig newton cookies
Toby and all his hilarity.  He's a goof.

He's a sparkle, a joy, a wonder, and we simply cannot imagine our home and lives without him.  What a gift!
...up next will be Silas...a whole different world and every bit as wonderful...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gardening: inside & out

Once I get a project in mind, I am a cliff-diver.  I just jump off, head first, and there's no turning back. I do well with short-term projects: lots of intense energy and passion in a short time period, with a clear 'end' goal and the satisfaction of saying "all done."

Lately that project has been our gardens.  I don't pretend to be a gardener, in fact, I am quite bad at it.  I am not a researcher.  I want to jump in right away, and don't have patience for endless planning and fretting.  I just want to do it.  Now.  I want all the beauty with no maintenance.  Endless options aside, I just want flowers in the dirt so I can look out my window and not feel depressed.   However, I'm realizing that gardening (like so many things) just doesn't work like that.  I can shout "GROW" as loud as I can, to no avail.  I can leave the plants to the elements but then bugs eat them, weeds destroy them, and the sun parches them.  I can prune aimlessly, care for them without intention, place the flowers ad lib and hope for the best, or, perhaps...

I should amend the soil with nutrious manures
Dig out the rocks, by hand
Pull weeds
Work the soil
Water it
Pick plants carefully
Plant them strategically
and guard them continuously.

Okay, so I guess this is a long term project (drat).   The overwhelming nature of the task paralyzes me. But it's also teaches me about how to grow my character, how to grow my kids, how to live in general.  Everything takes time and cultivation, intention and work, thoughtfulness and watchfulness.  (And a bit of hoping, a lot of praying, and expectation of good things to come from the time investment now).

I have been having some help from our lovely women's pastor who has the most breathtakingly beautiful garden.  Here's a quick shot of what I have so far in my 'baby' garden:
Oops, not a baby IN the garden, supposed to be a picture of my baby garden...
how'd that sneak in?

This trellis has been attached to my home since we moved in, but it 
finally has some life on it! 

Doing some gardening in the kitchen too.....mother's day cupcake bouquet!

Love this idea!  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Laughter = Good Medicine

Laughter is good.  I just spent 20 minutes laughing so hard that tears were rolling off my chin and I could hardly breathe or talk.

I made a complete and utter fool of myself, which I knew at the time of this incident, making it funnier and funnier.

What happened?
So I was calling the airline to add Toby as an "infant" to our flight for Hawaii.  I hate having to give letters over the phone because you have to come up with "C as in ____" etc and I don't know the 'official' words you're supposed to use.  I had to start our conversation by telling this man the confirmation code.  Now, I don't think on the spot and my mind was drawing a blank.  I don't know why I felt obligated to provide an example of a word that each letter started with, but I did and what came out was ridiculous.

M as in "martian...?"
L as in "leg?"

Then I started laughing.  So hard, in fact, that I couldn't carry on with the confirmation letters.  I would take deep snorting breaths, and try again, only to come up with another loud guffaw.
"G as in gopher?" (I live in the land of children, so animals were my first thought).

Laugh, laugh, chuckle, snort, laugh harder.

In the moment I couldn't believe how ridiculous I sounded and just laughed harder and harder.  So hard, I thought about hanging up on the poor guy in the background who remained quietly expectant for the next letter outburst.

And then, it got worse.  There was another L and my mind was still blank.  "L as in... another leg?!"  

Laugh, laugh, breathe, squeal, laugh.

Oh my goodness, I couldn't stop laughing and feeling completely ridiculous. I could barely finish the conversation and wondered what he was thinking about this crazy person on the other end of the phone.

I am sure that this phone call will go down in their records for "quality control purposes" and employees will be listening to it for generations to come about the fools who call their airline.  But that knowledge makes me laugh even harder.

Sigh.  Every time I think about it I burst into laughter again.  I would have been terrible as an air traffic controller.

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