Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nar what?

I was sitting at the office desk, when suddenly Mary Clare appeared at my elbow.

"Mom, let's look for narwhals on your computer."

Thankfully, Mary Clare's teacher gave us a head's up that last week was the letter N and the animal they studied was the narwhal. Because otherwise yeah, between never hearing of a narwhal and Mary Clare's completely lovable tendency to mispronounce words, I would have been at a complete loss.

So I did a Google image search for narwhals, and we looked at pictures of narwhal while she told me about them.

"Now, let's see some where they move."

"You mean a video?"

"Yeah, that."

So we watched a National Geographic Kids video about narwhals. With each fact the narrator stated, Mary Clare responded with a "I knew that," "Mrs. Porterfield said ..." or "Did you know that, mom?"

I did not. I didn't even know how to spell narwhal until Google was nice enough to correct the spelling for me in my search.

You learn the darnedest things from these kids. And I dare say, those five minutes with her on my lap, telling me all about narwhals, may have very well been the highlight of my day.

And then, while I typed this up while it was still fresh in my mind, she went ahead and drew me my very own picture of a narwhal.

I really love that girl sometimes.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monkey see, monkey do

Today we had a one-day break from temperatures in the teens, so we did like every other St. Louisan with kids and hit the car wash, followed by the park. After naps it was still quite nice out, and so back outside we went. The kids started off with chalk, followed by some soccer and scooters. We (hopefully) wore Buddy out as well. Dogs get cabin fever too, you know.

I took advantage of the natural light, busted out the big camera and snapped a few pictures of the kids in their chalk-covered glory. Also, is there anything cuter than a dad playing with his kids? I think not. Moms never look this cute.


Hoping to get a cute posed one of the kids, I asked them to sit next together on one of the landscaping walls. They did, but of course no one was smiling and no one was looking at the camera at the same time. There were pavers to color, people. Priorities.

So then Chip started shouting out requests like, "Show me sad! Show me silly! Show me mad! Show me surprised! Show me crazy clown!" and this is what we got. The only thing is that poor Charlie didn't really know what any of those thing were other than sad—he nailed sad, but sadly I did not nail the shot—so he had to look to Mary Clare first for inspiration.

I did get the obligatory "love" shot, complete with sidewalk chalk. They then followed that up with some booty shaking that was so um, inspired, that everything was blurry.

They were so muddy and dusty that I took their clothes off in the basement and threw it in the washing machine, and then Chip put them straight into the bathtub. We wrapped up the day with an inaugural Little Mermaid viewing paired with a fine, healthy dinner of frozen pizzas and toasted raviolis. Red Baron and Louisa are the secret loves of my freezer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A new year, three weeks into it

We are, what, over three weeks into the new year, and I am still experiencing the post-holiday blues. The holidays were such a nice mix or activity and lounging time, and while I stressed myself out at times, I miss the frenetic pace of things that left me feeling the need to reward myself with a bit of quiet time spent on the couch enjoying the Christmas lights and a glass of wine.

A fresh year lies ahead, and while my acknowledged lack of discipline will keep me from making resolutions I know I won't keep, I am going to try in 2014. Try to be more positive, less snarky. Try to be more patient, less pushy. Try to shop less, appreciate more. Try not to take things personally, but not be passive. Try to make the most of the free time I do have, but not feel guilty about guilty pleasures.

Most importantly, I'm going to try not get so caught up in it all. Which is a bit of a contradiction when we're talking about trying, I know, but surely I can strike a balance. Everything I want is right there in the happy medium where I usually so comfortably reside ... I just need to nudge myself here and there to keep from slipping into the doldrums.

Also, I am going to try to blog more—really!—but not make myself feel like I have to hit a certain number of posts. This blog is, after all, for me and our family. (And anyone who likes reading about that business, of course.)

So, here's to 2014 and trying, in the most positive sense of the word.

*Mary Clare's fifth birthday post will follow (but be post-dated for organizational reasons) as soon as I get those pesky pictures off the camera and iPhoto working for me again.