Tuesday, November 18, 2014

under the toadstool

Some Novembery tidbits:

Lucy left gifts of acorns for the tiny gnomes that live under these toadstools.

I could easily live on these Arkansas Black apples and mandarins I bought at my favorite stands down the road a bit.

A certain someone turned ten months on the 5th and is starting to walk! 

We went for a fall drive yesterday up to Camino through pretty country scenes.

and I wore a country mama outfit. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Perfect Day

What would a perfect day in the life of Heather be like, you might ask. Well, my 38th birthday will serve as a great example.

First of all, a rainy day would be preferred. Looks like the heavens are on my side because we wake up to misty rainy dreamy November day.

Also, most importantly, Darin is off work. He takes the girls in the morning and encourages me to sleep as late as I'd like. At 8:30 I roll out of bed and I am greeted in the living room by bright happy smiling faces and Tootie saying "Happy birthday mommy!" I get my coffee, we play and read, and Darin makes us a delicious smoothie for breakfast. I open gifts: new cds by Bonnie Prince Billy and Lucinda Williams, two books and an antique painting of horses running in the surf. Darin watches the girls while I shower, and also, he also cleans the catbox. So far, so good!

It might seem mundane, but children's storytime with the babes is one of my favorite activities. I generally see friends and their cute kids, get to talk to other parents, and the girls have a safe place to run around and have a great time. So on my birthday, storytime is one of my chosen activities. It's especially fun with the dads there as well, so they can learn some of the cute songs and see how much fun our babies have.

Joey's first storytime!

Polly loves all activities where she can put something on her head.

Lucy up front and center, always. She's kind of teacher's pet cause she's so into it, except not really because she's too rambunctious to really be teacher's pet, plus she is way too interested in what all the other kids are doing. It's not fading - full blown extrovert.

Polly really worked on her walking that day. Straight into that teddy bear's loving arms!

And these arms too!

Scout tries to be very patient with her wildling cousins. 
She's more of a lady, the most observant little squirt and loves to try to talk along. She is already saying "mom" and "yeah" among other adorable little snippets.

Back to my perfect day. After the library we check out the thrift store; I get a 70's space-dyed vintage sweater that Darin finds for me, and then we head down to Lotus. There is fog swirling up around Mt. Baker and the river flows through a heavy fertile green land laden with bright autumn leaves. Sprinkling rain turns our hair frizzy, and tree branches shaggy with raindrops, scattering leaves and mistletoe. Puddles and mole-holes for exploring, pebbles and acorns for examining.

We have warm drinks and lunch at the Argonaut. I'm feeling expansive so it's totally okay that Lucy steals all the whipped cream from our hot cocoa.

A walk around Coloma and down to the river's edge just to drink in the refreshing day.

Lucy practices her tree climbing and pretends to be a little squirrel. 

At home I have a crock pot of chili on that's been going since morning. It's almost ready. At the last minute I call a couple friends to come celebrate with us. Rebecca says she'll bring corn bread she is just putting in the oven. Scott and Jorden both bring wine. My mom has made me my favorite: Texas Chocolate Fudge Cake. Pops brings chips and salsa, vanilla ice cream.  Joey and Em come bearing gifts. We have everything we need and our babies stay up late, late, late. I am missing a few loved ones, of course, but I am so perfectly, wondrously happy to be surrounded by this fun and loving group of my beloveds on my special day, with my two sweet babies to help me blow out my many, many candles.

Really, it's the moms we should be celebrating on our birthdays. Scott asks her to tell the story, she tells how I was the only one of her five labors where her water broke. I came quick, she was sick with a terrible cold, and they made her wear a paper mask during and after my birth. My sister was only 13 months old. She was young, confident, happy, strict, protective. She got it done, she did it well; she was on her own a lot, my dad hardly remembers anything about our young days. She remembers it all fondly and vividly.

Oh such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you....

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Off with a Bang

How it goes around here: as soon as Halloween is over, we have Darin's birthday then my birthday, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, with tons of other important birthdays in between, and then Polly will turn one and I will be crying. not because i don't want her grow up, because seeing my babies grow is my greatest joy. But just because time moves too fast. No matter how i try to treasure each moment, (always have, ever since I was six years old, I felt funny about time passing, and I've been trying to write everything down ever since then.) it still flies, never more so than since I've become a mother. 
The time that our babies are actual babies is extremely fleeting. I learned that quickly.

So...Darin's birthday. My husband now begins his Walt Whitman year. I think he'll find it a vibrant one and I look forward to sharing it with him and our little family.

To make the day special I basically just tried to be a really good wife. I stayed up late the night before getting all the Halloween stuff put away and making it clean and tidy, getting the coffee ready, etc. In the morning I made him a nice omelette for breakfast and then brought out a few little gifts which Lucy opened for him.

His new favorite, a book whose release he has eagerly awaited. 

He did have to work on his birthday, but we met him at the park downtown for a little picnic lunch I'd made and some playing on the playground. We decided it was so nice we'd do that once a week or so.

He got off work a little early, we went to vote, and then met up with friends at Brick Oven Pub (which is under new ownership and now has giant flatscreen televisions with sports playing everywhere you look, ugh). Penelope brought Darin flowers. I led everyone in a rousing game of Darin Coelho trivia; turned out my questions were way too hard (I guess the stories I've heard a thousand times aren't so obvious to everyone else) but Emily did remarkably well and took first place, with Rebecca as a close second. 

I never got a photo of myself or Darin and I together on his birthday, so this one of our moms will have to suffice. Happy grandmas!


Some of my favorite traits of Darin's include: (in no particular order)
- his mystical nature
- extremely safe driver
- very sweet and completely doting father to his daughters 
- his unbelievable patience in all things except weed-eating
- endless creativity
- he has a special knack for coming up with good titles
- integrity.
- deeply questioning, deconstructing, thoughtful, discerning.
- broad range of knowledge.  
- loves comfort, kind of a homebody in an endearing way
- strong.

Basically, he's good at almost everything he does, he's got a great sense of humor, has a thousand interests and can discuss anything at great length, he's not afraid to admit the things he's not good at (cars) and he is handsome to boot. I love the man, I'm really lucky to have him as a husband and to get to be the one who knows just how many medals he took in the County Track and Field Finals in eighth grade, and in which events.  I can't wait for our little "birthday trip" in a week or so.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hallowed Highlights

We had a pretty cool Halloween. Prettttty, prettttty good. When I think about life-before-babies (which I basically can't) I'm certain nothing was ever this fun. Nothing was ever this harried either, but definitely not this fun.

We made it to library "Not-so-Spooky Storytime" (a title Lucy loved repeating over and over) only five minutes late, pretty good for us. The place was packed with three feet high goblins of all sorts.

Right away we found the most spectacular bunch in the room: Becky in her unicorn costume, with her sidekicks, the stripey dragon and black spider.

Guess who we ran into at storytime? Grandma Claudia! Mom/grandma to the famed Smith clan, (my sis-in-law Amy's mama) and original baby-lover extraordinaire. She snatched up my little plumpkins for a picture together.

Craft time was pretty sweet. I was busy gabbing, so Lucy just plopped right down and made the cutest jack-o-lantern face with no prompting. She's getting pretty good at drawing! (ps HOW CUTE IS BECKY!)

We sat together outside and the kids each got one treat and floated their little parachute ghosties.

Right before the storm came in, I took a picture of the front of my house because I love how this tree looks in fall and soon ALL the red leaves will be on the ground.

Polly fell asleep in her seat and Toot gently petted her face saying, "Love you so much Chacha Bear."

Lucy and I made chocolate cupcakes. I told her she would be allowed to eat one later "with our friends" so when Darin got home she said, "Daddy friend!" and slyly tried to grab one. She's definitely learning to work it.

This is a pumpkin Lucy painted black and then stuck a glow-in-the-dark face on. Little homegrown pumpkins from our beloved "grandma Vickey."

Despite the rain, we decided to tromp downtown and join the festivities. It was a lot more empty down on Main Street this year, but plenty of action to keep our girls enthralled.

Lucy was Kiki.....

and Polly was Jiji, her little familiar.

Crowds in front of the Bookery, where Lucy spied a Gumby and Pokey duo that rocked her world.

Luckily that lollipop took her an hour to eat and trumped any and all other candy. Polly is still delighted to crinkle the wrappers.

Love the eerie reflective light.

Back at home my chili was all done simmering in the crockpot and guests started to trickle in. We had a nice little spooky gathering with friends. 

Scout and her mama were matching witchies. Joey was "all he ever dreamed to be."

We had such a fun fun day.  Busy every moment. A late night for my tuckered out little pumpkins.

Hallowed indeed.