Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July

You know what happens when you are a mom and a toy store has a retirement clearance sale? You stock up on Christmas gifts. Or if you are addle-minded and sleep deprived (read Breanna), you buy age-inappropriate gifts that you'll need to store for a couple years (in addition to cutting your own bangs and experimenting with caffeine--it does indeed affect Pippa). Planning ahead. A skill yet to be mastered.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


We celebrated a 4 month birthday today :) And since we were thrilled that neither of us have dropped, burned, stepped on or elbowed Pippa, we decided the only thing to do was to try our hand at failing to submerge her in chlorinated water.

She loved the water and splashed about a bit. The photos below document the experience well. So for the word nerds here is a short story that sums up her emerging personality.

Even though Skip and I did all the work when we went swimming I expected Pippa to be worn out. I recently implemented a 9 p.m. bedtime and have loved the routine. As nine came and went I threw my hands in the air despairingly.

"We must get some ice cream from the shack on the corner," cried my bone-weary self.

As much as I welcomed sleep, Pippa fought it and only a chocolate-covered cherry frozen treat could console me. I later regretted this decision for many reasons, one that I screwed up my bedtime routine. That five minute trip cost me an extra hour of bouncing, rocking, rubbing, swinging and singing. In a dark room, on a dark bed I cuddle Pippa and struggled to find one more lullaby. When my memory failed me I launched into the eleventh round of "You are my sunshine..."By then it seemed Pippa's kicking and arm flailing beat in time with my broken record.

I stopped singing because my throat hurt from the soft tone I was using and because it wasn't working. I took a couple deep breaths and told Pippa that when she was older, she'd wished she'd had this extra hour of sleep. Then I dramatically threw my arm over my eyes. I felt a final move to my left then silence. I lifted one eyelid and swallowed a giggle. Pippa had thrown her arm over her eyes in mirror to me and promptly fell asleep. Stubborn but smart. I think she just might live another month.

Let Your Colors Burst

Fourth of July + heat wave + muggy damp air = SPARKLERS!

Out here in Peoria we have nightly light shows displayed by our neighborhood fireflies. So on the holiday of freedom we chose to give back and dazzle the fireflies with our wild sparklers' drawings. We drew dizzying circles, squares, figure eights and at times let the sparks sparkle on their own. Next year we'll incorporate some color.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


For Father's Day weekend Skip bought me some flowers to plant in my pots. Read that sentence again. I've got a good thing going here. Pippa and I planted all but one right away. That one was carefully put in the shade for later. And it endured a horrible storm that night. Whoops! But that would not be the end of this story.

We planted it a couple days after the storm (it took me that long to decide that it could be revived and I had not killed it). Surprisingly it perked up the next day and had bright pink flower buds. A morning or two after that I noticed some potting soil on the deck. At first I thought I'd been a messy gardener, but when I looked again there was noticeably more soil on the deck and my flower was lying on its side wilting in the heat.

So we anchored it in the soil again and gave it a drink.

Doomed, I thought. And possibly the end of me receiving gifts on Skip's holidays.

Once more it flourished, as much as one little plant can for two days before a horrendous night of wind and rain beat it down. I had placed the plant on a stool to keep the critters out of it. The storm knocked it over and my plant lay a few inches from its pot. By now you believe this to be the bitter end. It is not. We re-planted. And the flower buds returned. And I moved the pot back down on the deck....

And this morning I saw the chipmunk digging in the soil. And tonight I'll be ready with my Daisy Red Ryder. I'm declaring war on the flower obsessed chipmunk and the squirrel that stares at me when I eat.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Does anyone else see this and have the urge to snuggle up? I see her sleeping, smelling sweet and I want nothing more than to grab her and hold her tight and nap with her. Exactly like I used to do with my stuffed animals. Unfortunately I found some of those animals on the floor or crammed in a corner the next morning. So I must refrain.

Still the thought of holding her intoxicates me and my arms twitch. Often I find myself lying beside her, my head placed just so, in hopes that she'll sense me and skootch up to me. Or maybe just graze my face with her flickering fingers. And that explains the scratches, but does nothing to quell the desire to "hug her and squeeze her and pat her and pet her..." Soon I'll be calling her George.