Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Born in the Month of Poetry

We celebrated Emmy's 27th birthday on a glorious April day. I thought about her mom that day, as white clouds sailed across a cool blue sky and wildflowers bloomed in every corner of the green green earth, and thought, she must have known that she was bringing forth a very special one that day.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Morning celebration: Emily and I took the girls for a little coffee date at the Argonaut and a spring walk down to the river. 

To honor her treasured aunt, Lucy wore a little dress that was Emily's as a girl.

Waving at kayakers floating by, Scout is so engaged, curious, passionate, excited by the goings-on of the world. A product of her parents indeed.

A maiden and a mother and a crone, no boundaries on this soul, a woman who can talk to anyone and make them feel important, a born storyteller, art maker, empath, romantic, kitchenwitch, mama.

The girls got semi naked and dipped in toes and feet and hands, threw their pebbles and splashed their sticks. They would've gone for a real swim if I'd let them, even in the iciest water.
We had a little visit from a curious friend. Lucy said she was a mama goose.

Back at the cafe the fiddlers had set up and children were dancing. Lucy had to roll down the hill a few times before we hit the road.

Sweet afternoon post-nap baby snugs, tickles, loves.

And then in the evening we all got together at Jack Russell Brewery for picnic food and blackberry ale, chasing romping babes, and just good togetherness. 

The birthday girl with her own best girl, two little peas in a pod.

I'm so proud that baby brother got such a damn fine family going.

Elsie came straight from working Passport Weekend at Lava Cap, in full regalia, tipsy, with funny stories and sass to beat the band.

living large.

This photo serves as the one and only indication that Lucy would be sick with a fever that next day and then take the whole next week or so to recover. Still, no regrets!

We had the most full and blossoming, wonderful day celebrating Emmy. She is a rare treasure on this earth and I am blessed every day to be her sister and friend. What I love most about her is how she contains multitudes, how she is at once playful and intensely wise, how she knows things almost before you say the words, before the thing itself happens, she is skipping one step ahead in this universe and she is a flying star.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Teeter Totter

Somewhere along the way playgrounds changed drastically. I remember so many fun things from parks and playgrounds of my own youth that don't seem to exist anymore. This dawned on me slowly, as I would look at Richard Scarry or other picture books with the girls and find myself explaining that there is another type of merry-go-round, at parks, a big metal wheel that you just hang onto while kids or parents spin it. That there is such a thing as a seesaw, it goes up and down, a kid on each side, that it helps you learn about balance and gravity and the power of your own body. Since this dawned on me I'm on a hunt everywhere I go for a real true old-fashioned playground. 

Well in our little neighboring town, good old Jackson, CA (where we go mostly for the bookstore and thrift stores) we found a teeter totter! Lucy was so excited to try it out. Polly isn't quite big enough to balance her out though, so I had to help. The girls had so much fun pushing up with their legs and going "Up! and DOWN!" Even Polly learned those words.

This playground even had a big lion head drinking fountain, which is definitely a big giant red alert of playground coolness.

and a geodesic dome climbing structure, seems to be an updated take on an old classic, which I can appreciate.

It had the standard 2-5 year old big, safe, plastic play area too. I can get behind that, if the odds and ends are there too. The seesaw and the metal slide. The various types of swings, the big old wooden fort, the climbing bars and tether ball. I don't expect a park to have them all, but I also don't expect my kids to be perfectly, unquestionably SAFE all the time. It's just not the nature of childhood. 

This park also had a lovely wooden bridge across the creek, and some girls were playing with their mom's crutches down below, which had my babes fascinated.

We then headed to cute little Sutter Creek for ice cream in an old fashioned parlour and another visit to a park, complete with three more bridge crossings! 

(yes, I took a break from my effort toward veganism that day)

I wore my favorite vintage Contempo Casual yellow skirt, a white eyelet crop top from a clothing exchange, vintage thrifted sandals, and glass beads from my grandma. 

Lucy picked out her own outfit and Polly's as well.

Any of you have amazing, old-fashioned playgrounds nearby? Maybe I'll start a teeter-totter-dream list for all our someday travels.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Easter Diaries

Easter is a holiday that makes me really happy to have children. I remember years past, how I'd enjoy the springtime and the day, maybe a picnic or gathering of some sort, but I always felt like it would be more fun with kids. Easter baskets and egg hunts just aren't really things that get adults all excited.  I also still stand by what I said last year; I daydream of a communal spiritual ceremony on Easter Sunday that incorporates a celebration of seasonal renewal with meaningful remnants carefully chosen from the world's great religious traditions. That's the kind of Easter I dream of for both adults and children, in addition to the normal hoopla of colored eggs and jellybeans.
But since I haven't got that planned just yet, for now, children, this holiday is for you. 

Easter morning, coming out to find their baskets of goodies.

It was fun gathering little things for them over the last couple weeks. Each girl got a My Little Pony (Lucy fell in love with them at the Barnes & Noble of all places) and a mini Mooshka doll (mermaid for Lucy, fairy for Polly) and a book and a fancy soap. Each got two packets of smarties and an organic lollipop and they got a package of Eric Carle bath toys to share. This was plenty for them to get excited about...BUT there was also a big basket of all the extra candy that came from grandparents and great grandparents, hollow chocolate bunnies and marshmallows and little foil wrapped chocolate eggs. Kind of intended for Darin and I but....Polly got into that basket while no one was looking and swiftly unwrapped what she hoped would be her own breakfast: a crispy chocolate bunny. Whoops!

Darin had to work and it was a cloudy rainy day. The girls and I spent part of the cool morning outside just wandering round our yard. The girls think the little shed is a dancefloor.


We took a naptime drive for Polly and I could tell Lucy was not going to fall asleep. So for the first time, we went on a pretty long drive and just chatted the whole way. I told her stories about my youth in Placerville, stories she could appreciate, like about my siblings and I climbing to the top of the airport tower at night. I heard her in the backseat quietly telling herself, "Mommy, and Jojo, and Addie...." Then I told her we'd drive out and look at some farms and she got obsessed with the idea of seeing a barn. I told her I know of a really cool barn but it's kind of falling down. She found this very interesting and when we finally arrived it was starting to sprinkle and we pulled over and got out to take a closer look. At first she said, "that's so sad." But we talked about how maybe horses stop by for a rest, and how owls and other birds might still build their nests in the rafter, how this barn still sees a lot of life. She loved this idea. The whole time she was rapt, almost prayerfully. It was very cool to see my two year old daughter feeling moved; I've noticed this a few times lately, she is feeling things very deeply and thinking them over, and getting a sense of her emotions.

When we got home we frolicked in the rain a little bit.

That ipod selfie was the only Easter picture I got with my girls, but we'd taken a few the day before, the day we had plans to go to a birthday party but I didn't think the girls' runny noses and sniffles would be appreciated. Our early April colds kept it a very mellow Easter season.

We did get to dye some eggs and make our own little circus.

Oh yeah, and I'm sure I've mentioned this before but isn't my Easter tablecloth (vintage Avon, thrifted) the cutest?

Polly slept for an almost four hour nap that sickly afternoon the day before Easter. The longest nap she's had since newbornhood.

She still has tiny feet. The girl is seriously independent, a little rambler, but her small stature and good-monkey-clingin-mama-love help keep her my sweet little tiny baby.

And even when she's got a cold she's usually up for some fun.  

Making a little hide-out under the fir tree out front on Easter:

Playing in the rain.

From my little chickies and all, we wish you all a happy spring!