Showing newest 3 of 10 posts from 04.11. Show older posts
Showing newest 3 of 10 posts from 04.11. Show older posts

4.27.2011

hump day nuggets: exotic

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

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We have been planning and dreaming about a family vacation, one that isn't to visit family or friends. Like we go to a place where we don't know anyone and do whatever we want. Of course we love traveling to see our beloveds but there's something so unbound and lovely about a trip somewhere we've never been, where we don't know anyone.

All of our exotic plans have been swallowed by other life necessities. So, on Friday morning, we decided to load the station wagon and head east to the charming city of Butte, Montana where a colorful toxic pool sits above a town rich in history and then south through one of my favorite valleys on the planet to Dillon, Montana.

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It was a good trip although I wonder if I'll ever get over how effing long it takes us to get out of the house. I always think I can grab a toothbrush, wallet and jar of peanut butter and we're off! But then we have to water the chickens, get the oil changed, pack diapers, dig out gear. Right about the moment when I am shoehorning down coats, dog food and board books under the girls feet, I seriously fantasize about ditching everything and living in a yurt in the middle of nowhere.

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But once we hit the road and forget about the pile of dishes and puzzles we tripped over to leave, we are off.

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Friends joined us at the last minute and our trip was good, maybe even a bit exotic.

nuggets.

:: Just last week I noticed Margot's baby belly is flattening. I find extra joy when Ruby walks about with her shirt lifted, rubbing her round belly.

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:: So much of art making is about exploration, experimentation and tactile experience. Sometimes it's hard for me to paint with Margot when I sit next to her poised with my brush, ready to render shapes and she wants to palm the color and mix it all into brown. But I remind myself feeling the paint is cool, coloring inside the lines is boring.

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Art making with kids is rarely about a finished object.

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This is for you, mom. It is still stuck to the table and I am not sure it will make it in an envelope.

:: April wins for turquoise sky.

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:: We stopped at Fairmont Hot Springs on our drive (exotic!). We had the most fun at that funky old pool.

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:: Our friends shared a family apartment in Butte and the view knocked my socks off.

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:: Plus we could hike right out the door.

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We did a lot of adventuring before kids and while it is different now, we are safer and milder in our pursuits, I find the thrill of being on the tippy top of a rock with my daughters to beat just about any other summit.
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:: I wrote Monday about our current parenting challenge, which happens to be the most challenging so far. I got so much response and was left wondering why so many people all of the sudden felt got when it appears we all experience this. I think the hard parts of parenting are so quickly eclipsed by the beauty that by the time our friends ask what's new? or we sit at the computer to write, the challenge is blurry and the love is in sharp focus.

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Anyway, I am really thankful for the comments and emails, your sincere support and empathy. I am also happy to report things feel better. I so enjoyed hearing what works for your families and, I'd like to share a few things that work for our family.

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Andy and I had a "meeting"(we get good work done on road trips with both kids snoozing in the back.) We decided we'd place extra focus on making sure Margot feels heard and seen. We embrace empathetic parenting and decided to dig a bit deeper, resist hurrying and prioritize listening. Often all it takes is literally saying, "I hear you. I see you." when feelings boil up. The total opposite of the ignore undesirable behavior and they'll stop approach. And you know what? So far our deep digging is working so well.

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We also made a few scheduling guidelines for ourselves, to provide a bit of predictability and structure to our busy evenings and weekends. The one I am most excited about is family night on Wednesdays. We make dinner together and take turns picking the menu and post-meal activity. Next week is Margot's turn and she is over-the-moon excited for her evening of cheesy noodles and bowling.

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hat for sale here

:: Speaking of all that empathy, I am excited to present new dig sponsor Natural Parenting Center. Founder Kris Laroche is an inspiring mama and is offering an e-course in May called Magical Mothering: Befriending Ourselves. She asks, What is possible when we rewrite the stories of our lives to claim our honest and true brilliance? What transpires when we take our rightful seat in a circle of non-judgmental, loving and empathic support?

Click here to learn more and register! Also, Kris is generously giving away a spot in the class! Leave a comment for a chance to win.

:: Trip to the museum.

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:: My running partners.

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:: Easter Sunday was amazingly beautiful in Missoula.

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The bunny left baskets full of goodies on the back picnic table and eggs around the yard. The whole thing was super fun.

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:: Last year I made paska bread and this year I made challah (silent 'c') bread. From what I can tell, the big diff is that the paska is sweeter.

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I like the challah better even though I about challahed myself into a snit trying to braid six strands of greasy, warm dough.

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Margot LOVED painting with the egg
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The braiding exhausted Alice.

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:: Exotic is relative.

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Happy hump day out there.

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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

4.25.2011

fiery

This afternoon I boogied around our home picking up piles of animal hair-crusted socks, forks, crayons and cookie cutters. Despite my efforts to include Margot in my scene she sat, like a yogi, naked and wrapped in a purple quilt.

"Mama, what are you doing?"

"Cleaning up," as I breathlessly scraped dried peanut butter and alphabet stickers off the floor. She watched me labor and didn't move or speak.

I added cheerily, "It really takes no time at all to make our space clean! Especially when everyone chips in and helps!"

She flattened her brow and put her hands on her hips and plainly stated, "Mommy. Sometimes it's really hard for little kids to chip."

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And we both folded our hands at our hearts, bowed our heads and said namaste in unison.

Really, I stared at her as she nodded in agreement with her own assertion and then she laughed and asked for half apple juice, half water in the silver bear cup and the pink twirly straw.

Since she was a babe I have used the word fiery to describe Margot. I looked into other words and they work but none as completely as fiery. Burns strong and bright; a full or exuding emotion or spirit.

We've entered chapter 714 of Parenthood around here where Margot's will is wonderful and exhausting. I wrote a bit about it in mama digs: two humans trying to figure out life.

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:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

4.20.2011

hump day nuggets: thick and sweet like honey

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

We've had a great, full week. Our best pals flew in from Colorado for the weekend, we corked a dusty bottle of wine we bought in France six years ago. There was a birthday, egg dying, weeding, snow storms and Ruby's first haircut given, mercilessly, by her big sister.

I feel like my life exists in lists right now. A list of what to do tomorrow (things that I was supposed to do today), a list of what I wish to do this year (big travel with my kids, home projects, buy a goat) a list of what I am not going to do even thought I maybe should (hello tax extension). Or, like above, a list of this minute, a list of life happenings. I am in it thick and sweet like honey with these two.

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Nuggets abound.

I started hump day nuggets because I wanted a scheduled opportunity to be random and bullety, to document this minute in a carefree list. At first it was intended to be more photos than words but then I felt photo nuggets without word nuggets were one-dimensional and didn't tell my family's stories completely. Plus, I'm chatty.

nuggets.

:: Margot has always been attached to objects. The maraca, the coat, the elmo doll, the cowgirl boots, the pineapple skirt. She loves one thing until it falls apart and then she picks a new thing to love. Right now it's this handmedown yellow tutu that is at least a size too small and definitely not Montana spring-appropriate.

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She wears it at some point every day. Sometimes it's hard for me like when it's snowing outside or I wish it didn't require Houdini-like maneuvers to go to the bathroom. But then I remind myself how awesome it is that she feels beautiful, fast, smart and funny in the tiny yellow dance costume.

:: We dyed eggs and will probably just continue boiling and dying throughout the week because it is endlessly fun.

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We made dye using stuff we had on hand: coffee, red onion skin, blueberries and tumeric. I tried to make green out of cilantro and parsley stems but no dice.

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I am very unscientific about our process but it goes something like this: add a bit of the coloring material and a tablespoon or so of vinegar to a cup or two of water. Boil, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Strain into a jar, let cool and dip eggs.

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Ruby was flipping for the pile of eggs. Homegirl loves her eggs. I decided to just give her one to destroy. I imagined she probably bash it on the counter and peel the pieces but instead, she ravenously took a bite and chewed the shell and egg without pause.

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not to worry, I peeled it for her

Our beautiful eggs!

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The rich plum egg soaked in blueberry for about three hours, the awesome stripedy egg is Andy's contribution.

:: In April, in one minute, the sky opens to sun so bright and pure it feels like birth and then closes to relative blackness that spits snow. Both permutations are beautiful. When witnessed at the same moment on opposite sides of our valley, I feel alive, small and grateful.

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:: Not much better than old, great friends.

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xo Meg and Pete

Great friends who love your kids like their own.

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:: Margot has been asking about Ruby's hospital stay. "Ruby was so sick? Can I see the pictures again? She couldn't breathe? In the hospital?" I ask he what she remembers and she mentions things like her dad or noises. It's a foggy lifetime ago to Margot. Me too.

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:: I wonder if my kids will still have spontaneous dance parties with me in 12 years when I listen to uncool music say things like when I was a kid we didn't even have cell phones or facebook! Hope so.

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:: Welcome to dig sponsor Lil Junebug Boutique! Becca makes hair bling that will knock your socks off.

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These barrettes are solid and have a soft, grippy clasp that holds up to the kind of play we have around here. Seriously, these are the only hair clips that we've ever had that stay in all day. Plus, they are stinkin' cute and made by a mama.

Lil Junebug Boutique is offering you, dear readers, a sweet deal: use coupon code DIG15 to get 15% off your purchases this month. Thanks, Lil Junebug!

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Becca made a special sparkly darker blue barrette for bug and she is beside herself with adoration. The pink clip for sale here. Also, I wear them too!

:: Turns out Ruby won't be needing barrettes for a few months.

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I should have known something other than painting was happening when they were so quiet back at the art table. When I rounded to corner to find Margot, scissors in hand and Ruby's honey baby curls splayed across her navy blue shirt...oh.

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The top of Ruby's head is short stubble like Andy's winter chin that causes her longer hair to stick up. Sister also rocks an edgy, crooked stair step up the back of her head and some long wisps that cascade over the chunks. It's kind of hard to tell in that photo but just know that light area you see is bald.

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The Hairdresser. I was mad. She said, "It's ok, mama. I am just cutting Rube's hair a little bit. She likes it.

Yes, it's already funny, a rite of passage as so many of you mentioned in your stories on facebook. It's not a big deal but when I first gathered my emotions about the whole scene? Oofta.

Sisters.

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matching dresses made by my mom

They trust each other, love each other,

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don't know life without each other.

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I wonder what nuggets they'll recall. Margot might remember the thrill of severing Ruby's fine hair under the back window while Ruby's big blue eyes smiled in the early morning light. Ruby will remember through the story told. They'll laugh over that nugget on their list of childhood antics. It will fall after the broken-thumb-and-forehead-stitches week and before...we'll see.

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happy hump day out there.


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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com
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