Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keeping Busy

Whew! We are coming off of a busy and festive weekend. On Saturday, we went to see Santa. Noah ran toward him this year instead of away, while Isaac preferred to wave from a good healthy distance. We also got our Christmas Tree and put up lights outside right before the first snow of the season rolled through. Sunday morning, we awoke to a winter wonderland. It was the perfect weather for a little outing to meet some real reindeer. Isaac thought tromping through slush and snow to meet these guys was great fun...Noah, not so much. I'm not sure how much memory Isaac has of last winter, but it was like he was experiencing snow for the first time, "I like this!" he kept saying, while meanwhile, Noah was grumbling, "I want to leave."

On the way home from our snowy adventure, we stopped at a craft store where Noah picked out some yarn for a new 'non-itchy' hat, and Curtis picked out buttons for a little waistcoat for Isaac that has been awaiting this finishing touch for some time now. I picked up the yarn for this little vest in a yarn shop on a little side street in Sienna, Italy because the color reminded me of Isaac's eyes. I was worried I wouldn't have enough yarn if I included both pockets (and could not exactly go back for another skein!), so there is only one, but it is just the right size to stash a favorite little toy to keep it away from a big brother.

Last week on our nature walk, Isaac found a lonely cob of corn in a corn field, brought it home, and carefully plucked every last kernel off the cob, placing them in a little container in his kitchen. These kernels have been the favorite plaything of the week at our house. They have been food for his doggy (and probably the real dog as well), eyes and nose for a play dough snowman, and most recently, a shaker (when placed inside an empty oatmeal drum or honey container). "I love my corn, Mommy."

Finally, I have been trying to get motivated to finish a new hat, requested by Curtis, so that I can move on to Noah's hat before the flurry of baby knitting that I am anticipating after we find out in January if we will be welcoming another boy or a girl come May.
And last, but not least, I have been channeling my Dad's woodworking spirit, drawing out plans, making a little sawdust, and wishing he was here to answer my questions. Stay tuned for more on this joint family project...

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This very special boy turned FIVE yesterday. His Golden birthday. Daddy went to school with him and helped him read his favorite book to his class. It was a rousing rendition of Little Red Riding Hood, acted out with wooden figures. The parts of Mother, Little Red, and Grandmother were played by Noah, with Daddy as the Woodcutter (who happens to sound an awfully lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a Chinese accent). Last evening, after a dinner of homemade pizza and chocolate raspberry cake and several rounds of Happy Birthday!, Noah declared it to be "the best birthday party ever."

As Noah's birthday is followed immediately by St. Nicholas Day, we have in the past forgotten to even put out our shoes. St. Nicholas was very good to us though, and always came anyway, filling our shoes with chocolates, nuts, and clementines. This year, thanks to our Advent calendar with planned activities for each day leading up to Christmas, we not only remembered to put our shoes out, but also read some stories about the origin of St. Nicholas. It is important to us that the boys' understand the true meaning of our Christmas traditions, and their patience with longer and complex stories at such a young age amazes me.
We will be sharing more of our daily Advent activities as the month goes on.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finding Our Rhythm

Here I am again after a yet another blogging hiatus. This fall brought with it some highs (Noah started school and we will be welcoming another baby in May!), lows (losing my wonderfully inspiring and brave Dad to cancer), and some new challenges (starting a photography business). Somewhere in the midst of all that, I feel like we lost our daily and weekly rhythm.  But something about moving into the second trimester of pregnancy (no more all-day sickness!), this time of year, and new beginnings has me inspired to renew our routines and establish a new rhythm.

The biggest challenge to our daily rhythm has come about due to Noah attending school in the afternoon, necessitating an early lunchtime for him before school, a second lunchtime for Isaac and me, and snack time and a much needed late-afternoon nap for both kids (and occasionally, me). We have slowly adjusted to this new rhythm and it is finally starting to feel comfortable.

Noah's afternoon school has given Isaac and me some time just to ourselves. Today we went for what I hope will become a weekly nature walk, exploring a nearby trail on an unusually warm (52 degrees in WI!) day.

This December, the creek is still green and flowing, the leaves are still crunching underfoot, and sticks are still magical to a two year old boy.