Things I Love Thursdays

1. This quote.  As much as this political climate and administration has drained me, I still live within this hope.  Love love love.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.

– Barbara Kingsolver

 

2. The cutest office supply ever. Of course, it reminds me of the movie, Up.  And of course, it would get lost under stacks of paper on my desk, but still… ADORABLE.

Balloon Pin House byClive Roddy

Balloon Pin House by Clive Roddy

 

3. People who are nice, even when they don’t need to be. I had a funny, silly exchange with the voice at the Starbucks drive thru last week.  As I drove away, I noticed he had written me a message on my iced latte.  I never met him, I never saw him, I only heard his voice, but his small gesture made my day.

 

4. My mom!!! Happy birthday, Mom! I love you, and your grandies do, too!

 

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To Plum at Four

(Late again on this birthday update – time and tax season are to blame.  But now, here we are, just around the corner from Pickle’s 6th, so Plum certainly deserves a small ode to her 4th.)

To Plum at Four

And just like that, you turned the corner from toddler to kid.  Little to big.

 

My sweet Plum with the “golden” hair and silly hula moves.

You are the brightest star.  I finally understand what it means when they say someone is “beaming” because your huge smile IS sunshine.  Actual sunshine.

You love to play and be heard.  You love your own space.  Your hugs are always lovely surprises.

You are brave.  You love to run.  You love to help (until you don’t).  You love Elsie cat so much we worry slightly for her safety.  You are good at being part of a team.

You are silly and smart, fun and funny.  You are confident.  You work hard.  And more than anyone I know, the camera catches the essence of you.  Perhaps because you don’t hold back, or perhaps because you just can’t help but let your light shine through.

You are my middle, and perhaps – unsure when to lead and when to follow – you just decided to do it your own dang way in your own sweet time.   And I love you for it.

Happy birthday Plum.  Four is awesome, and so are you.

Happy 4th

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Pistachio Turned Two

A few weeks late my dearest little.
You turned two.  TWO!
And cried when we sang to you.
And passed on the cake, too.
Because now it’s time to do things your way.
Because you’re two.

Our puzzle doer, our book reader, who loves to show us and tell us that you get it, that you’ve got things figured out. You ask for what you want. Your demands are most often reasonable, a banana, a book, a binkie, a blanket, and bed.

Our blonde, dimple-cheeked boy, with the adorable almost-buck-toothed grin and throaty giggle.  I worry about that mischievous glint in your eye, but I don’t worry much.

Our curious boy, who tries to stump us, by suggesting random animals and items during our nightly singing of “Old MacDonald.”  I never knew that Old MacDonald’s farm contained a bear, an ear and a blanket.  And I do not know what sound an ear makes.

THS unfiltered. I'll eat you up I love you so.

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Celebrating his Scandinavian heritage.

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Our cuddly guy, the one most likely to climb into my lap, and cuddle into my side. Always willing to snuggle in the low light before bed.  Longer legs dangle now, but your head still fits perfectly between my ear and my shoulder.

I love how you love your siblings, and how they love you.  The three of you are so joyful in the mornings, when you greet each other in your room, tickled that you’re all together another day, making that laughing, glorious noise that can only be created by gaggles of small delighted children. You are gifts to one another.  You are gifts to us.

I love you so much my dear littlest one. Happy birthday to you.

To Pickle at Five

More than four, less than six

I kiss your tangy sweaty little boy head as you push me away.

There is sand in your hair clinging to your scalp.

Because you were doing somersaults in the dirt.

I should have known.

***

In early evening you sit, tired from a day spent figuring out the workings of the world, inside and out.

Your little brother crawls over you.  And over you again.

You don’t mind. You barely look away from the program on the TV.

***

You have grown so capable.

Limbs lengthening. Now all muscle and bone, and soft tight skin.

New freckles dot your nose. Your teeth used to seem so big.

***

Last week we saw the planets, and marveled at the vastness of the universe.

How this goes around that, and that goes around this.

And I marveled at you, my boy, who entered this world face up, eyes open.

***

Reflection

Happy belated birthday to my dearest Pickle, a kind and generous boy who has only just started being a little too cool for my kisses.

Close up

Plum is Three

My dearest Plum, 

Sweet Baby Girl

I was about to write your brother’s “Happy Birthday” post when I realized that I never wrote one for you.  Alas, your March birthday – right in the thick of winter and our family’s craziest time of year – means that your big 3rd birthday recap is 2 months late.

 Birthday #3

The way I feel about you, the way I love you is difficult for me to type out in words. Not just because the feelings are so big, but because you are a complicated and amazing little person.

 Bed head

You are my girl.

Love this Goofy gals Mom love

You are so able to go with the flow. Until you aren’t.  

image (2)

You know what you want. 

Anna loves balloons (1)

We never have to wonder about what you’re feeling, though I often wonder what you’re thinking.

All style (1)

You have worked so hard lately to understand your very big feelings.  I’m so proud of you for this. And I’m so proud of how you’ve put words to them.  

Joyful (1)

Sometimes you thrive on your successes, working to be a big girl.

She found a highlighter (1)

Sometimes you choose to do whatever the heck you feel like.  I love this about you, although it can make parenting you a challenge.

So serious.

You challenge me, you always have.  I hope I help to guide you to good choices, without tamping down your spirit, your pluck, your voice.

My Anna (1)

You are silly.  You ask good questions.  You are learning how to be in charge of yourself. 

Joyful Anna

You are brave. Not a daredevil, but brave. Braver than I ever was.

Edits-0074

Your waters run deep, my little girl.  This is so very obvious to me, and perhaps why it is hard to describe and define you. 

DSC_0421 (1)

I am sometimes too hard on you – and perhaps expect too much. After all you are only 3.  I’m not sure why I do this – maybe because we’re so different, or maybe because we’re so alike.

 Outside fun. Spring finally (1)

Happy birthday dearest Plum, you are my heart.

Things I Love Thursdays (One Day Late)

Thing I Love: IKEA Landet Farm and Animals

We have lots of great toys in our house. Lots. And with a recent birthday (Happy 1st, Plum!) we got even more.  On one hand, I am so very grateful for our abundance and loved ones’ generosity.  On the other hand, I’m kind of ready to purge some of the abundance.  My house is only so big, and we are slowly becoming overrun by small plastic pieces, music-making toys and STUFF.

But this week’s TIL is a keeper. No plastic, no batteries, just imagination, play, cute furry beasts and everything wraps up into a neat and tidy package. Thank you, IKEA! And thank you to Aunt S. and Uncle M. for sending it!

IKEA's Landet

IKEA’s Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Farm – Everyone tucked in tight!

 

Note: I may be Swedish, but IKEA doesn’t know me. I just love this toy.