Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snow days in Hampden

At the start of the first snow day, Hannah had no snow pants, snow boots, snow gloves, long johns, warm socks, or sled. She donned two pairs of thin socks and her rain boots, and we trekked down to Soft and Cozy Baby to buy mittens. Then we trekked over to the dog park to meet Liam who gave Hannah the super nice snow pants and snow boots he'd outgrown. Hannah took a few turns on his sled before the stinging snow became unbearable, and then we retreated to the our respective homes.

I went out the next day and bought her warm socks, long johns, and a sled, so when it snowed again the day after that, we were ready. I strapped him Jacob to my back in the Ergo and dragged Hannah along in the sled all the way to the dog park.

After a while I unleashed the baby and let him join Hannah in the sled.

When she asked to pull him, I happily acquiesced. He is one big baby, and my back was already screaming at me so the option of being able to walk along without schlepping one kid on my back and towing the other behind me was incredibly liberating.

That day warmed up pretty quickly, so most of the snow had melted by the time we got to it, but a good time was still had by all. Bring on the snow!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tree peace

Liam's mom shared these pics she took of Hannah and Liam enjoying a nippy November afternoon at Cylburn Arboretum.

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Stafford

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Stafford
A yard would be nice, but in lieu of that, proximity to Cylburn will do.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rock star mama moments

Every now and again I have a particularly rock star mama moment in which I feel capable of anything and everything. If you've ever felt like this, you know that it's a pretty rad way to feel. If you haven't had one of these moments, you should look for them a little more carefully. They're there if you  are open to the idea of occasional awesomeness. Humility and modesty are great in moderation, but too heavy a dose can be a real downer. 

This afternoon spent backpacking Jacob and belaying Hannah while she cruised up wall after wall at Earth Treks was a good day in Terri town.

This was actually the second time that I took Hannah climbing and ended up wearing Jacob. This time was MUCH easier because I had two super awesome long-time climbing buddies to share the love. When young children are involved, three seems to be the magic number. With three, you've got a climber, a belayer, and a kid-watcher. Perfection. Three meant I got to climb for the first time in years. YES, I removed Jacob from my back prior to getting my figure eight knot on. Sheesh! What do you people take me for?? 

I only climbed two routes, but my weakened forearms screamed at me for the rest of the week for those two climbs. And I loved every second of that screaming.

Brandy was kind enough to indulge my not-so-humble rock star mama moment by taking pictures, so I'd have photographic evidence. Yes, I realize that there are millions of mamas out there who are rock stars every day with none of the glamor, and that my rock star moment pales in comparison to the harsh lives of mamas around the world. I'm a lucky, lucky lady for many reasons, and on this day particular day especially, I was feeling it. Rock star.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Date night with the kiddos

One Saturday evening in November I took the kids to the aquarium to watch the sharks in the newish Blacktip Reef exhibit. I love that the downstairs viewing area goes from floor ceiling because the kids can press their faces against the window and watch the fish, and if it's not crowded, I can sit down and just chill. So much better than TV!

When we tired of the reef, we went to the Australia exhibit to say hello to the pig-nosed turtles. We got lucky while there and got to watch a rarely-seen fruit bat crawl across the roof screen. It was cool and also a bit creepy looking, almost like something from a horror movie. I didn't realize they creeped like that, using those claws on their wings like eerie little fingers. Seems like if I had wings, I'd flap them rather than crawling around upside down with my creepy little bat claws....We cruised through the Jellies Invasion too before the masses started moving for the door, a sign I interpreted to mean that it was closing time.

After the aquarium I took the kids to dinner...at the grocery store. I plopped them down in the grocery cart, Jacob up front and Hannah in the back using a pile of reusable bags to prevent a waffle pattern indentation on her rump. First stop: baby food aisle to pick out an organic fruit and veggie pouch with no funkiness added. Yes, I have eased up on the reins of motherhood this time around. Packaged baby food never once crossed Hannah's lips, except for those Happy Baby Puffs. Jacob, on the other hand, probably eats a pouch or two a week. I grab one when I know we're going to be running around during a meal time. They're awesome because I don't have to have a bowl or a spoon. I just crack it open and hand it over, and he feeds himself. It's often a messy endeavor, but washing laundry is by far the easiest of all household so I'm fine with it.

From the baby food aisle, we made our way to the prepared foods counter where Hannah picked out turkey, roasted vegetables, and mashed potatoes. This was pre-Thanksgiving, and she was excited for the pending holiday. I heated her plate in the microwave at the front of the store, handed her a plastic spoon, and returned to the produce aisle to start crossing things off my grocery list, tucking pears and almond milk and garbanzo beans all around Hannah. 

As it turns out, this is a pretty peaceful way to grocery shop. It was also one of our more pleasant dining out experiences. That I also gained points for efficiency means that more of our Saturday nights without dad will be spent in this manner.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Climbing trees at Sherwood Gardens

Still posting pics from October...This fine October day we went to Sherwood Gardens to take advantage of the excellent tree climbing.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Apart, together: Hannah's dance class

Mid-October was parent observation week at Hannah's dance class.We moved her to the Peabody dance program this year. I miss the convenience of being able to walk to the previous place, but I didn't love the old class and wanted to try something new. Peabody has such an amazing reputation that I figured we couldn't go wrong. This class focuses on foundation techniques that set up dancers for more technical training. It has been invaluable for teaching coordination and body awareness. A lot of the stuff they do is so simple to adults (and even older children) that watching the young girls struggle to learn to skip or to side shuffle down the room was mind blowing, adorable, and also funny. I had no idea that skipping could be so complicated! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this "Apart, together" video I took of Hannah side shuffling down the room.

She took a while to warm up to being in a new class with new students and a new teacher, and there were a few weeks in the beginning where she didn't want to go, but she seems to enjoy it now. That said, it does not look like we'll be continuing in the spring. When she was not wanting to go I told her we needed to finish the session we started since she wanted to do this and we couldn't get our money back but that once that session was over we didn't have to sign up again. She's taking me up on that offer and has asked to do gymnastics instead, so gymnastics it is!