A Springtime Thaw, In Cell Phone Photos

Ah, the transition from winter to spring, from snow to grass, from cold to warmth, from darkness to light.  After a Vermont winter, there is nothing more delightful than glorious spring, and around here there is more changing than just the plants.  Don’t forget my two big kids, who have nearly completed the transition from kindergartener and first-grader to the first and second grades. Our lives have changed since the days have gotten longer, and whether it’s the end of diapers, the end of homework, the end of our first year with two in school–our last with me at home full time–I am more aware than ever how blessed we are with the small, everyday things.

PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage1 PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage All these green grass and blue sky photos make my heart so happy.  I feel like I am coming out of my winter slumber as well!  Four more days of school and then a summer to remember is just around the corner, I just know it!

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

Saturdays

Saturdays for me and Little H look a lot like this…

IMG_7065

…while the big kids and Daddy spend their Saturdays like this.

IMG_7078

JDubbs is coaching both the big kids in t-ball, the reason why we held Jax back to play t-ball one more year rather than go on to coach pitch.  We wanted one year where both Jax and Em were on the same team with Daddy coaching them, in case Em didn’t take very well to baseball.  So far they’ve both been pretty good about it, and I hope they continue on, but if not we always have memories of this year!  Em is always trying her best and Jax does his best to boss everyone around, even kids on the other team!

IMG_7042 IMG_7047 IMG_7054

They both have the potential to be good enough to play, at least for fun, and I’m glad we will have these memories to start them on their baseball career.  Not all kids enjoy the slower pace of baseball, but playing is in their blood, on both sides.  I think with Daddy there to guide them and Little H and I there to cheer them on, they will continue on long enough to experience all the fun and camaraderie being on a team and baseball/softball has to offer.  There are too many fabulous memories for both JDubbs and me to look back on to hope that our kids don’t at least give baseball a try!  So far, so good!

   IMG_7072 IMG_7076 IMG_7082

I could get used to Saturdays like this.

IMG_7085 IMG_7088 IMG_7086

Both my big kids have had a great start, thanks to their Dad!  He has had lots of patience and given up his weekend mornings to encourage them and help them feel successful and proud!

IMG_7096 IMG_7097

They make quite a team!

 

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

Batting Practice

The minute the sun decided to come out of its slumber, and the grass turned the slightest bit greener, the kids, JDubbs and I were ready to stop hibernating and start living again.  With t-ball right around the corner, Jax started growing antsy to start practicing his skills.  So we took the kids to the local baseball diamond and savored every second of it.

IMG_6518 IMG_6519

At first the girls were more interested in being cheerleaders than participants, but we eventually won them over.  Life isn’t about being a bystander, after all.

IMG_6522 IMG_6526 IMG_6529

This particular boy is so no bystander; he is always eager to get out there.  Always eager to get better at everything he does.

IMG_6514 IMG_6521

And he’s getting pretty darn good!  Come on, girls, your turn!  Batter up!

IMG_6531 IMG_6533 IMG_6534

Em might be a pretty good hitter, but she frolics along the base path like the ballerina she is.  It’s a joyful sort of way to move, and I hope she never loses it, no matter how many outs she makes.

IMG_6536

Little H doesn’t dance around the bases; she has and always will hustle.  She hustles through life and knows what she wants.  Two different girls, one crazy boy, and a life that is full of practice for all of us.

IMG_6540 IMG_6537

 We just have to keep on hustling, keep on dancing, and stay eager for every season.  Play ball!

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

On The Clock

  Monday afternoons are a testament to this busy mom’s ability to juggle schedules and various after-school personalities, as we begin our foray into dragging siblings along to one child’s extracurricular activity without the other two losing their damn minds.  I know I am just dipping my toes into the sea of insanity, so I’m glad we’re taking baby steps, but the pressure (to remember all the gear, to bring food no one hates or already ate that day, to bring books, toys and my cell phone charger for all manner of distractions…) is real. On Mondays, Little H and I peel into the elementary school parking lot, grab the big kids and head south to make it to Em’s ballet class just in time.  Their school teachers and I barely make eye contact before the kids are dragged out the door by the handle of their backpacks and herded through the parking lot to the van I left running so we can get in and go (if I haven’t even just parked illegally in front of the school and left Little H in the car to shave precious seconds off our time).  There are updates on our days to share, Purell to be passed around and snacks to be desperately devoured (do these children eat at all during the day at school?), and various forms of entertainment to be doled out to the biggest and littlest once we arrive at the dance studio, all before my attention turns to my tiny dancer, because we are on the clock.  Costume change, bun in place, ballet shoes on and she scurries upstairs to take her place at the barre before I have even had a chance to take off my coat.  Half the time I am still stabbing bobby pins into her hair at random as she is halfway up the stairs, Jax’s voice already echoing behind me that he is bored.  The only thing that gets me through it all are glimpses of this through the classroom window, that make it worth the sweat and tears (mostly mine).

IMG_4459

Once back downstairs, the natives have already begun to grow restless, and beyond Little H’s willingness to play PJ Masks for hours on end (“To the Cat Car!”), I usually come to ballet armed with a bag full of new library books to appease Jax and all manner of distractions for Little H.  This past Monday I knew was going to be unseasonably warm, so Jax, Little H and I took a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy some February fresh air and earn me a breather from little people begging to use my cell phone.

Photo Feb 01, 3 51 13 PM

The sky was gray with no sunshine to be found, and even as the sun sunk lower to the horizon and the chill began to penetrate my wimpy bones, Jax and Little H were having a blast.  Could outside play be the key to my Monday afternoon survival?  Since the two of them have only finally begun to find a middle ground–mostly centered around a shared love for Transformers Rescue Bots–and it’s freaking winter and freezing dark outside before ballet is even over, I have not really attempted this tactic before.  I forced myself to man up and stay outside as long as they wanted to see how this experiment would play out.

Photo Feb 01, 3 54 25 PM

The playground was a soggy mess from all the rapidly melting snow, but to my kids, all the world’s a stage, with plenty of imagination at their fingertips, With Jax in rare Patient and Engaging Older Brother form, and Little H not telling him to take a hike as per usual, these two didn’t need me at all.  When they discovered an actual stage, just perfect for an elaborate performance of Rescue Bots: The Dance Party Variety Show, I was in for quite a treat.

Photo Feb 01, 3 57 26 PM

Jax was born to emcee.

Their play was so elaborate and Little H’s dance moves so comical, I actually was sorry for it to end, even if I was shivering.  Stupid winter.  Never fear, I assume I will be attending Part II of this epic saga next week at about the same time, and will keep you posted on the dramatic conclusion of Which Bot Is The Fastest and What Will Boulder Paint This Week?  Ah, the fleeting joys of motherhood.  Cue the nonstop whining that they are hungry for dinner in 3…2….1…

Such is life in this slushy part of the year, with three kids all on the threshold of big extracurricular things.  Mud season appears to have arrived early, and I will attempt to appreciate these wintery afternoons while I have them, while dreaming of green grass and picnic dinners after ballet (even if that would require one more thing for me to remember to pack!).  I’m glad to have found a bit of a key to surviving the Extracurricular Activity Chaos Black Hole, and will try to look on the bright side and appreciate the chance for Jax and Little H to carve out some time together…at least while they’re getting along!

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

Two Takes On The First Snow

The week after Christmas, we finally! got our first snow of the year.  Almost enough for skiing, barely enough for sledding.  It is very amusing for me to watch how children react to the first snow fall.

Five year olds can dress themselves in their snow gear, run through the snow under their own power, and gleefully slide on their bottoms, attempt to build snowmen, and make snow angels.  Ah, the five-year-old in the first snow of the year! Joy incarnate.

IMG_3811 IMG_3812 IMG_3814

Then, there’s the two-year-old: she cannot dress herself and is useless when it comes to putting her thumb in the right hole of her mittens.  She cannot wade through even the powderiest snow without losing a boot, and overall, her fun in the snow lasts approximately thirty seconds, 10 times as long as it took to get her dressed.

IMG_3806

The five-year-old wins! The snow vanquishes the baby.  Until next time, snow.  We’ll meet again soon.

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

Round Here

Round here Daddy is away for work this week, so we are trying to keep busy, get to school on time, and recover from an amazing wedding weekend in Massachusetts.  A tall order for this mom who is used to having a very hands-on Daddy around to help.  So here’s what we’re doing round here to pass the time until he comes back!  We’re enjoying…

doing chores.

Seriously? Doing chores? Absolutely. Little H loves nothing more than being helpful around the house! And I love letting her.

IMG_8608 IMG_8612 IMG_9817 1

our reading lamps.

There’s nothing like a good book before bed!

IMG_8637IMG_8639

finally!  A ponytail!

IMG_9361

and playing more independently.

IMG_9869 IMG_9871

But most of all, round here we are missing Daddy!  Come home soon, JDubbs!

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email

Of Dirt Roads And Solitude

On the last night of summer vacation, the last night before earlier bedtimes, clothes laid out, backpacks at the ready by the kitchen door, lunches waiting to be packed, my little family and I made the most of the time between dinner and bedtime, soaking in the sunshine and breathing in all the goodness that is a summer evening at home.  Meanwhile, I was soaking in more than that, taking mental pictures as well as photographs, absorbing the last few hours of this life before both my big kids were off to school.

IMG_8312

PicMonkey Collage IMG_8321

An unpaved cul-de-sac that is as good a baseball diamond as any is a remarkable place to grow up, where the outfield is the boundless grass of a country road, and the threat is not of passing traffic, but that the ball will get lost in the acres of woods around us or float away on the nearby stream.  What we lack in paved surfaces and sidewalks we make up in wildflowers, fallen trees, and the quiet companionship that comes of being nearly alone in the woods.  While there is not a streetlight as far as the eye can see, at night the only illumination comes from more stars than I have ever been able to see in my lifetime.

IMG_8306 IMG_8297

After Little H grew tired of whiffle ball, she and I walked to the bottom of our street to check out whether they had replaced our street sign and see how the waterfall across the street was flowing.  Then big brother and big sister helped me push our wagon back up our hill, and we settled back in for the last carefree night of summer.

PicMonkey Collage

IMG_8345

The older they get, and I suppose the older I grow as well, the more I truly appreciate this life we live, and the many, many benefits of a little house in the woods.

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email