Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July favorites

While the July posting was light, at best, I did hit it hard with the old iPhone photos. My July faves follow.

[keeping company]

 [family on the fourth]

[parade pro]


[booze with Buddy]

[racing faces]

 [celebrating a 36th birthday with Charlie, Chip, Mary Clare & Chip's baby pic]

[cool when it's hot]

[no sense in letting all that mint go to waste]

[patient as ever]


 [there's zucchini in that there cake]

Looking back at a month's worth of photos is really quite nice. I forget how much these nuts make me laugh on a daily basis.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

He speaks

So, turns out if you spend some one-on-one time with Charlie, he will spit out words rapid fire. Words you had no idea he knew. No idea. None. 

Case in point, one day last week Charlie accompanied me outside to hang some laundry on the clothesline. As I hung the items, I suddenly realized that he was trying to get my attention.

"Grash," he said, pointing to the ground. "Grash."

"Oh my gosh, that's right, Charlie! That is grass. Good job, buddy!"

Encouraged, he ran over to my parents' garden shed and pointed at the siding. "House. House. House."

"Yes, Charlie! Yes, that is a house!"

And then, I swept him up and hugged him. I dare say, we had a moment. Me marveling at how awesome it is when kids are learning how to speak, and him soaking up the attention. (We'll forget the part where I questioned if Charlie had been saying these words for weeks, and I was just too distracted to notice.)

I resumed my laundry duties, and as Charlie alternated between the house and the grass, I threw in some other doozies like tree, sky, plant and towel. He didn't seem to keen on giving any of those a go, but that's fine.

Fast forward to yesterday. The kids both took long naps, so I was well into dinner preparation by the time they finally awoke. Charlie hung out in the kitchen with me while we waited for Mary Clare to emerge from her room. As I mixed up the cucumber salad, I felt Charlie tug at the side of my shorts.

"Poppet," he said, beaming up at me. "Poppet."

Again, I dropped what I was doing and lavished praise upon him.

"That's right. That's a pocket. Good job, buddy."

More hugging, grinning and marveling ensued.

Charlie obviously has more words in his arsenal besides grass, house, pocket and what I covered in his second birthday post, and his pronunciation (beep-ch for beach) and occasional French accent are delightful as ever. So, I don't know what it was in particular that struck me, but there was something about our two little encounters. Like I said, they amazed me and shamed me, all at the same time. But shamed me in a good way, if that makes any sense. Like, "Hey, lady, I am picking stuff up left and right over here, so pay attention. And whatever you do, don't drop the F-bomb, because I will definitely seize on that one and say it on repeat. In church."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tomato, tomahto

Know how I know Mary Clare is my daughter? Girlfriend loves tomatoes. The other night she asked what we were having for dinner, and when I showed her the items above, she responded with a "YES!" complete with arm-pump action.

Chip thinks this is crazy.

I totally get it.

I love the damn things. Always have, always will. While my deep and abiding love no doubt stems from a childhood spent feasting on the top tomatoes from my parents' garden, I do not limit my consumption to three months out of the year. And Mary Clare is with me on this one. She will eat tomatoes in any shape, color or condition. Although I only serve sliced tomatoes as a side when they are fresh from the garden, we snarf grape tomatoes, yellow sunbursts and any decent-looking hydroponic wonders I find year-round.

The tomatoes in this picture are from the farmers' stand in Highland. They were good, but they were not Papa's garden good. Suffice it to say, Mary Clare and I are counting down the days until tomato time.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The muscle

Yesterday Chip took the kids to the playground while I did the grocery shopping. When I dropped them off, Mary Clare was elated to see that there were other kids ("friends," in preschool speak) already at the park.

Chip said she wasted no time making her presence known. She ran up to one little girl and announced, "I'm Mary Clare Thole Lindh, and this is my brother Charlie Lindh. You have to watch out for him. He's little. So be careful."

Luckily, she did not elaborate on what would happen to those who don't watch out for her brother. Some things are just best left unsaid.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

She apologizes like her mother

The other night, Mary Clare was not on her best behavior during bath time. Two solid days of pool time and lackluster napping meant that emotions were running high by 7 p.m. After admonishing her for screaming at her well napped, rather exuberant brother more times than I care to admit, I finally just extracted Charlie from the tub and left Mary Clare to work it out on her own.

Once Charlie was dried off and in his pajamas, I braced myself for dealing with Mary Clare, as drying off, putting on pajamas and combing her hair would likely mean 10 solid minutes of screaming and/or tears.

Instead, she was rather subdued. She was quiet while I dried her off and combed her hair. As I leaned down to help her put her arms in her pajamas, she threw her arms around my neck and pulled me to her.

"I love you, mommy," she said. "And I'm really sorry that sometimes ... sometimes ... sometimes I don't tell you that I love you enough."

Dammit. The girl is good.

"Well, Mary Clare, I love you, too. And I'm sorry that sometimes I don't tell you I love you enough, either. Sometimes mommy forgets."

"Well, you should, mommy. You should tell me you love me ALL the time. And I will tell you that I love you ALL the time."

And with that, I hugged her, kissed her forehead and told her I loved her. And the rest of the night all was well between mother and daughter.

We just both need cooling off periods sometimes. And a reminder that we're not mortal enemies. At least not yet.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chip Lindh, 36

Happy birthday to the bestest husband and father ever. We love you as much as strawberry ice cream with strawberries. Maybe even more. You're just that great.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

We vacationed

We spent last week in beautiful Saugatuck, Michigan. We did nothing. It was awesome.

And when I say we did nothing, I mean it. We lazed around, watched sunsets, took leisurely strolls, ate food we normally don't eat at home, made s'mores, took naps, read books, watched movies and of course, logged countless hours on the beach.

I didn't care what I wore or the kids wore. I didn't put on make up and barely did my hair. I didn't take out my big camera once. Now I regret it a little bit, but at the time, it just seemed like it would be an ordeal and get in the way of the low key thing we had going.

The only time the kids complained was when we made them take a shower after beach time. Because having sand in every nook and cranny of your being is apparently preferable to five minutes of soap and shampoo. So, yes. The kids had to take seven whole showers while we were there. Maybe eight. Because we're cruel, I tell you. Cruel.

Anyway, what you see is what you get in the photo department. And the photos don't lie. It was just that leisurely and lovely. And just what we needed.

(And what my parents needed as well.)