January and most of February have come and gone. It has been more than a month since my last post. I didn't intend for it to be so long but I have been working on one single post since January 14th. It was to be a post about our dear little Rebecca's passing and I compose it over and over it in my head. Thoughts are as far as I get because in thinking I get to remembering and in remembering I get to missing her and in missing her I get to grieving and with the grief comes a complete inability to find the right words (there are no right words, it seems) and I lose the power to finish that post.
So I am looking forward. I am skipping blogging a very sad chapter for now and blogging out of chronological order (which is very difficult for my historian/documenting mind). As a blogger, I may come back to Rebecca. As a family, I have a feeling we will come back to Rebecca many times in our lives. There is comfort in that.
We have had some snow. Not the true 'Snowpocalypse" as some were predicting but enough to call for two cancelled-school days. The children rejoiced. The mother wished she was slightly more prepared.
Ok, the mother is done with third person!
Suffice it to say I was aware of the snow warnings but I didn't do much more than get to the grocery store (an imaginable nightmare) right before the snow hit.
But then this is the Midwest and most of our activities, traditions, gatherings and such are centered around food. With that in mind, I guess I managed to get the most needed thing done!
1. Burger Snowman (hamburgers, carrots, lettuce, sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup, bananas) 2. Snowman Pancakes (Paleo pumpkin pancakes, blueberries, unsweetened coconut flakes)
We did eat well. It was fun to make lunches that could be laid out on plates with no worries about everything being jostled around in lunchboxes. There is only so much shaping and arranging I can do in their school-day lunches without having what was meant to look like a cute bunny rabbit getting shaken into some deranged zombie-like apparition.
Suppers weren't so cutesy, promise. Dads don't do cutesy so well, do they? Dad's do thick soups and meaty-man dishes on cold Winter days like these. I tried to deliver.
We got super lucky because Mr. Loggerhead has been working pretty close to home the last two weeks and that means he is home every night. Can I get a big 'Yee-ha for dads'? Thank you, they deserve it!
There did happen to be a large stack of unread library books in the basket. These were gobbled in the first few hours. Is there anything quite so tempting as pile of colorful, well-illustrated, intriguing and enticing children's books? If there is, I don't think I've found it yet and I'm not sure I want to.
These were a few of our favorites this time. The first one is a flashback from my childhood and my voice caught as I read it to my three wiggly squirts. It's not an emotional book at all, in fact it is very hard to read without laughing, but I didn't expect to hear my mom's voice reading along with me. I had forgotten how many times she had read it to us growing up.
The second was a cute snow-day read and the third was delightful merely because it fits our family at the moment (I may be guilty of giving the characters our names).
They went out. I did not.
They romped. I sipped tea and watched out the window.
They waved. I smiled.
It was all good.
I am slightly in love with this picture. It basically sums up my two older children's personalities --
30 seconds out the door Lissie grabbed the shovel and started scooping the walks (this was somewhat pointless as it was still snowing). She is a server; a sweet, loving, smiling, adorable server.
2 steps behind her comes T-boy to clout her with a snowball. He is a scoundrel; a sweet, loving, smiling, adorable scoundrel.
This is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book.
Two kids in the snow. One mom out of the snow.
One girl with a shovel. One boy with a snowball.
One boy in the house wishing he was in the snow.
One girl with a big snowball. One boy with ten small snowballs.
Two kids crying with snow on their faces.
One mom saying snow-time is over.
Until the next day anyhow. But this was an all-boy version since that one girl decided the odds were too much against her with two boys with good arms and an endless supply of ammunition.
Note: They are not playing on or in-front of a snowplow! The city parked their extra snowplow blades right by our house after creating this large pile of snow by our sidewalk and disconnecting their trucks from the blades. The boys found this pile to be a great sledding "hill" and didn't even go near the blades. No worries, fellow-mother-worriers.
Other than that, here are a few more scenes from our snow days:
Not me. My children play this game. My children go to chess club. I flunked out of the club. I do not speak Chess, I guess. See, you are further disillusioned.
We didn't get out of our jammies or our snuggle-clothes all day. Slippers were mandated. As was throwing away your own soggy Kleenex! And just because it can't always be all warm and fuzzy around here, there was a certain amount of, "Youngster get your tail up to your room for some quiet-alone-time before your mother goes crazy over all the noise you are making, the furniture you are jumping on and the little brother you just walloped on the head with the tail of your stick-horse!!!"
Settlers of Catan:
Now here is a game I play and do enjoy. I taught the kids to play last night and may make it a regular thing because I have a lot higher chances of winning against them than I do against Mr. Loggerhead. That is until their Chess logic sets in and they actually understand all the rules. I am a good loser, truly.
Girls and boys do puzzles totally different at our house. With Lissie, it's all organized, border pieces first, laying out corners so the whole thing fits in the space you set out, neat piles and working in pattern, referring to the picture on the box. With the boys, it is a big pile, sit in the middle and shuffle and shove it all around until it comes together. Can you guess who was faster? That's right, boys, every time.
There may be some wisdom in there somewhere... but I'd have to organize my ideas and put my thoughts in order to come to a proper conclusion. Meanwhile, my husband says after a two-second observation and brain-shuffle, "You girls think too much."
So there you have it.
She does this on her own. I rarely say, "Go get your ------ supplies and do -----------." This is her way and she needs no encouragement. I do not question who she gets this trait from. We need to buy stock in a paper company, she and I.
I like this one. Three little monkeys washing all the dishes. One fell off and broke it's head (one of the dishes that is).
There was a heavy amount of motivation involved with their chores the last couple days. I told them if they helped clean up - willingly and cheerfully - then we would have Family Time. Family Time translates directly into: Doing all the things we normally do (reading books, playing games, doing puzzles, playing in the snow, eating, making crafts, etc) but with a fancy title, capital letters, italics, and hot chocolate.
Family Time is something to work for and to aspire to, let me tell you!
Lissie added this wisdom to the mix after we had been picking up the living room together, "Mom, it's so fun working together... it's like Family Time and chores at the same time!"
"Glory be, a whole new concept." I thought.
Snow Day Like a Snow Day in NE
P.S. This is Family Time.
Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
Note: I relented and let them have some screen-time to watch Happy Feet.
I love that movie. I listened from the other room just for the pleasure of hearing my favorite lines,
"How will I know mama when I see her?"
"Oh, you'll know! She has a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk. And when she sings, it darn near breaks your heart"
What better mama could you ask for?