Snow cave!

February 5th, 2011

A snow crystal is a letter from the sky.

–Ukichiro Nakaya, Japanese scientist (1900-1962)

The snowbanks outside pile high to the sky, like Ezra Jack Keat’s illustrations in The Snowy Day. On my way to work, I brushed the feathery snow from one of the mounds with my glove. Diamond dust sprinkled from my hand. The crispy wafer thin ice crunched under my boot.

Tig was hard at work like a winter gnome, digging out a snow cave. After a morning’s work, he tunneled out to the other side.

The next day, one of V’s favorite friend, A came by to check out the snow cave. Tig sent me this endearing clip of them playing together, and I knew immediately what I had to do. V adores A and this is a tiny tribute to their friendship.

The Snow Cave from Serena on Vimeo.

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The bittersweet truth about firsts and lasts

February 3rd, 2011

My little man. My cherub.

A couple nights ago, I had stayed up working on changes to this site. By the time I went to bed, Otter woke up and stayed up for an hour or two. After that, he woke up every hour or so fussing and needing to nurse. Tig was sleeping with Violet, and he had a tough day ahead, so I let him rest and dealt with Otter myself. The exact times are fuzzy because I didn’t keep count or watch the clock. The next day I went to work.

This was a big contrast to two and a half years ago. Violet was a completely different baby and required a different level of care. We tracked her sleep and Tig wrote a web-based program that graphed her sleep patterns.

Two and a half years ago, I would’ve insisted that Tig shared in my pain (all it did was made us cranky with each other). I would have been angry a lot more. Nothing anyone said couldn’t swayed me from my obsessive fixation on her sleep back then. Maybe other first time parents were more relaxed, but I had to go through the ring of fire myself and come out the other side.

Now when I get frustrated, it means I truly need help.

Even through the haze of fatigue, I knew in my bones that there was a reason for his wakening. And the reason became clear that night: my finger spotted a sharp little tooth through his gums, like a thin blade of a screwdriver.

I felt a tide of two emotions. I was elated. For Otter, it is but one in a string of firsts that will stretch across his luminous life, the way stars spill across the night sky. I also felt what could be described as saudade, a deep longing, a nostalgic backward glance. Otter is going to be my last child (barring any accidents, ahem). And with each first, it will be my last. I’m incredibly happy for him and look forward to celebrating his milestones. At the same time, I mourn the fact that another phase in my life will be here soon, one where I will have children instead of babies.

The crashing of these two emotions at three a.m. in the morning swept over me as I went back to sleep.

Speaking of firsts, here’s a video of O’s first taste of food.

O’s first food: Avocado from Serena on Vimeo.

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The snow bowl

January 31st, 2011

Once there was a girl. She got a bowl of snow to play with. Her mama made some paints with food coloring and water, and the little girl drizzled colors on the snow.

And it was pretty.

Then the little girl wanted to chop the snow up with her spoon. She dug in and chopped it up into little pieces. And she was happy.

They built a snow-scape with little snowmen.

And little colored rocks that looked like translucent crystals.

When they were done, they melted the snow in water.

And the girl was happy.

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January 27th, 2011

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When life hands you a pink hello kitty purse

November 9th, 2010

Make a felt pony applique instead.This is one of those make-do projects.

I drew a horse literally on the back of an envelope.

Added felt pieces for the mane, a bead for the eyes, and yarn for the tail.

Sewed it on to the purse. You can see the outline of the kitty that, uhm, “fell off” one day. I’m a big believer in a commercial-free childhood, and I don’t feel too badly because 1) V loves ponies (see carousel ride), and 2) she has a hello kitty washcloth that she plays with at bath time anyways. One hello kitty item in our house is enough.

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Carousel ride

November 4th, 2010

Looking here.

Looking there.

Looking for the carousel operator.

The carousel wasn’t open for another hour, but the nice man let her on for a ride, lucky little monkey.

A sideways glance in gratitude. One happy little  girl.

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O in pebble vest

November 3rd, 2010

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The usual suspects

November 1st, 2010

The lineup.

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Uncle Eric

November 1st, 2010

A visit from uncle Eric.

A year ago

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Halloween is coming

October 27th, 2010

Making apple turnovers on daddy daycare day.

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