Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Things

Here is our newest family member, spotted at the pet shop by me when I ran in to get rabbit food for the other bunnies we already have, and 'rescued' the very next day. I don't like to support the pet shop industry in general, and we did try to adopt a bunny from the local House Rabbit Society, but the woman who runs it still hasn't found us our 'perfect' bunny, six months later. I'd like Belle to have her bunny as a child, thanks, and now she has him.
We do have two other bunnies who we adopted from the APL last year, but alas, they do not love us, and never will. They are, however, deeply devoted to eachother, and so we keep them as an act of general kindness and good pet karma.
This fellow I wanted at first sight, as he is my favorite variety, a Mini-Rex, with fur like velvet and a reputation for friendliness, and he is still a baby, only ten weeks old.
Anyway, Belle named him Cinnamon, he lives in her room in a hutch, and he gets let out a lot to run about and socialise. And he is living up to all our hopes. He is affectionate, licking our hands and hopping into our laps, and settling in for a good nose scratching, indicated by a nudge of your hand in the right direction.
We are all completely smitten, even big D.

Here is a new thing I was not sorry to see the departure of;
The facial hair D. grew to commemorate his renovating of the bathroom. And now that the bathroom is done, thank God, so is the facial hair.

And speaking of the bathroom, here it is getting the finishing touches. Please refer back for before pictures, or not, because it was really ugly, and best forgotten.

The new niche created for the lav. It gave us enough space to open the bathroom up and make it accessible, and to make the door open in, instead of out into the hall where it would knock over unwary passers-by.

Our friend made those nice little arches over the shower, and we installed a longtime dream of ours - two showerheads. Yesterday Cakes and I took a lovely shower together and no-one (read: me) had to stand out in the cold while the other groused about the lack of hot water. It felt the very heights of luxury.

And here's me, doing what I have been doing far too much of lately. Between house hunting, writing this blog, emailing, checking the weather, reading other peoples blogs and of course, shopping - not to mention a nasty dose of procrastination in general - this is where you can be sure to find me. Look at that scowl, and that poor deprived child in my lap.
I must make a real effort to mend my ways.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Diarrhea (it's not what you think)

Today the sun came out and the snow started to melt again. Everything was drippy and glorious, and we remembered that it really is Spring.

We took a lovely family trip to Home Depot where we chose lavatory fixin's for the almost finished upstairs bathroom (pictures tomorrow), and the kids were such troopers that I offered to stop for bagels on the way home, after a quick run through Office Max. There, feeling guilty about their boring morning next door at HD, I let them have whatever they wanted. The little girls chose some tiny notebooks and sharpie pens and were quite satisfied, to the point of having to hold them in the car for the drive home.

Parked outside the bagel store with my window down and a fresh breeze blowing, my eyes closed and warm in the sun, I relaxed while waiting for the older two to come back with the bagels. Behind me the twins twittered like little birds to eachother, and all was right with the world.

I wasn't listening to the twins, but when I heard Cakes say to the Bean,
"You can't look at what I'm writing in my diarrhea," I must admit I perked up my ears, and when the Bean said "You're not allowed to see my diarrhea either" I really started to listen.
By the time the big kids came back with bagels I was snorting into my hands helplessly, having figured out of course that there was no diarrhea, only diaries.

At home then, Cakes asked me to help her write in her diarrhea, and I said, not wanting to embarrass her, that I would help her write in her diary (with emphasis), and helped her write an adorable little secret, which was that the day after tomorrow she did not finish her icecream or her pie, which was told to me in hushed tones.
Then she looked at me and said,
"Mama what is diarrhea?"
I said "Well, that's a kind of squirty poop, but a diary is a book you write in about your day."
She said "Oh, okay" and I was relieved because she can be very sensitive about feeling she's made a mistake.

Not long after she was in the bathroom right by the kitchen, and as the Bean went by she called her in. They closed the door but sound travels well from that bathroom (not the best trait in a bathroom, actually, except on occasions like these), and so I got the hear Cakes tell the Bean, in a very knowledgable tone,
"You know, a diary is a kind of squirty poop, and diarrhea is....(pause, deep sigh) wait, I've got that all wrong."

More falling about laughing, and really deep and abiding gratitude that they have eachother to keep on the straight and narrow about the important facts of life.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

Ahhh, the trappings of Easter...

Forsythia and dyed eggs on the breakfast table,

Foil wrapped chocolate,

and the devouring thereof.

Our nature table with it's Spring arrangement.

Gazing out upon the day in thoughtful repose...

Or maybe just wondering if it will ever stop snowing.

And what's this? Oh dear, there's been a terrible accident. Don't look.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Handwork, Bunnies, and Not the Easter I Ordered

If you're anything like me, at some point you have wondered how a day set aside to remember such an awful event as the crucifixion of a person who in a historical sense, even forgoing religion, was a great human being, could be somehow end up being called Good Friday.
Well, thanks to Wikipidia, I now understand that it is an evolving version of God's Friday, just as goodbye is a modern version of God be with you, and that many, mostly European cultures have similar names for this day. The Chinese though, bless them, call a spade a spade, and in China today is known as The Day of Jesus Crucifixion. Quite refreshing, really.
Anyway, at our house it is known as the day to make hot cross buns, which we did, and then we ate many many many. I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, but just imagine lumpy, currant speckled blobs, not as high or light as you might wish, but surely enough crossed and glazed with sugar, and deeply appreciated by all takers, and you have a pretty good idea of what we ended up with.

This remarkable one evolved with the face of a duck. Too bad it wasn't the figure of Mary, which would have been much more fitting.

Belle knit all day long, and created little dresses and jackets for her Daisy rabbit. She was incredibly prolific, and actually created pieces which worked.

The twins were supposed to get these bunnies for Easter but my haphazardly stowed sewing basket tipped over and bunnies fell out at little girls feet, who immediately got dibs and dashed away clutching them. At first I was cross, as I had stayed up until three making these no-longer surprises, but the broken hearted, tear stained faces convinced me to apologize for having a little fit, and let them have them today after all. Truthfully, I could hardly wait to give them anyway, and it was well worth it. They promptly named them Clover and Miffy Rose, and then played all day.

Here they are in their reversible dresses. Yes one, that would be Clover, does have a big head. It's not the camera angle, it's me and my amateur pattern making skills. Thanks again to Lynn at Mollychicken.

And finally, this is not the Easter I ordered. We have had all that snow we were missing at Christmas, and saddest of sad, all the blossoming trees that were out - magnolias, cherries and lilac buds, are frost burnt. I don't know if they will recover, and up until a few days ago it was a really beautiful spring. Usually I don't let weather quirks bother me, but this hurts.

Well, snow or not, Spring is here, I know it is, and on Sunday we will celebrate accordingly. In some places, of course, it's the start of Autumn, and there folks will get a nice long weekend, and some may even drink a little too much.
But, however and whatever you celebrate - I hope you have a good one, and that the sun does come out, even if only for a moment.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Today I submitted the twins applications to start full time Kindergarten in the fall at the Waldorf school where the older two are already going.
This is what I have always wanted, and why I homeschooled for all those years. I wanted nothing less than a Waldorf education, which I so deeply believe in, for my kids.
And finally, they will all be getting one, and the twins, best of all, will come in on the ground level, and will receive the full benefit of the curriculum.
Not just that, but I will enter a new phase in my life, where my days do not revolve around the needs of little ones. For the first time in twelve years, for the first time since I was twenty-two, I will be free to orient myself in the world. To get a job, write a book, go to school, begin a career.
I should be excited - I am excited, but I'm not just excited. I'm also sad, and full of bittersweet pangs at my first taste of an empty nest. Suddenly, these years which have seemed so long, the days when I thought I would surely go mad, are gone, and my last babies will go off to school, and that will be that. I'm not sure I did a good enough job. Did I read enough stories, play enough games, answer questions patiently enough? I'm certain that I didn't, because I felt I had all the time in the world.
Which is why I think I drove the poor admissions woman crazy, promising to submit their applications, and then not doing it, week after week. She finally threatened me with missing out on space in a full class, and the truth is that I don't want to hold onto my littlest ones like I did the older two, until I couldn't wait to have them busy elsewhere for their days, which is what happened this past fall when we enrolled the older two after all our years of homeschooling. So, I did it.
Today every lasy vestige of babyhood has leaped out at me. Kissing boo-boos, pretending to be dinosaurs, watching out the car windows for mermaids and mermaid castles, and their general freedom to play, draw, and lay around and dream. All these things seem finite and threatened by their imminent institutionalization, even if it is an institution I believe in.
I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing, but just because it's hard, doesn't mean it's not right, and I know I don't want to end up where I did with the older ones, so I am doing it.
And funnily enough, I'm starting to feel pretty grown up myself.