Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Teeny Beanie

My darling Ellie Bean,

Today you are four.  FOUR!  Where has the time gone?  I know, I know, all parents ask that, but it's the truth--these four years feel like they've simultaneously dragged and flown by. 

You and Lil awoke about the same time this morning and came racing downstairs to veg in front of the TV.  I was good with that.  It's your birthday, after all.  We put on "Frozen" and you sang along--we all sang along.  You love to sing along to "Frozen" and "'Punzel" and have both soundtracks in your room.  You play them on repeat day and night and I can hear you in your room singing away.  Right now your favorite to sing along with is "Frozen" and I'm good with that.  It's a wonderful movie and you love it.  When we first watched it, I was terribly afraid Hans was going to replace Flynn as the object of your affection.  No dice.  You informed Nana and Pop tonight that, "Hans is a jerk!" In fact, when singing along with "Love is an Open Door" you'll cry out "NO!" when Hans asks Ana to marry him.  Smart kiddo!

After lunch, you and Daddy worked on building the Lego 'Punzel tower Lissie gave you for your birthday.  The box said it was for ages 6-12, but I knew you could handle it. 

You are a really bright girl and love to work puzzles and ponder solutions to tricky situations.  You are a good listener and eager to take on challenges and I knew you would love this.  The age on the box is merely a guideline anyhow. ;o)

There were lots of bags and pieces but you weren't daunted.  Daddy (an old pro at Lego building) sat with you and acted as a guide. 

When you finished with the first bag, Daddy figured you'd want to take a break and do something else.  He underestimated you.  You are not one to leave a job unfinished. 

 You insisted it was time to get out the next bag. 

And the next.

And the next.  Look at how you looked at the illustration to figure out which pieces you needed to work with next. 

 My heart swelled with pride watching you work.  You were do determined to get it done, just as you are with all you approach in life.  You are one determined little girl.

Nana and Pop came for dinner (you insisted you wanted spaghetti and meatballs), and while Daddy and I wrapped things up, you and Nana wrapped up the tower.

You finished up just in time to eat.  You worked on that tower for two and half hours without stopping.  Incredible. 

You are not deterred or daunted by much outside of flying insects which make you scream in holy terror, which in turn makes my blood run cold.  You really have to stop doing that.  :oS

You can play outside for hours.  I love to sit and watch you play.  You have a plethora of pals who come along--Flynn, 'Punzel, Ana and Elsa, Kristoff and Sven and Olaf.  Sometimes you are 'Punzel or Elsa or Ana.  You have very intense conversations with your friends, carrying on both sides of the conversation.  I love it!

You know what you like and what you want.  When I asked what kind of birthday cake you wanted, you told me, "Chocolate with chocolate frosting.  Just like Daddy's." 

So, that's what I did.  Just like Daddy's. 

You told me you needed chocolate ice cream to go with it.  You had it.  Then, you ate it all.  Snarfed it up, really.  You are a chocolate hound.  You are definitely my kid. :o)

One of the things I love most about you (there's so much I love about you it's not even funny--I think everything you do is my most favorite at some point or another) is your enthusiasm.  Oh my goodness, you were so delighted and excited with everything you received for your birthday, from the princess Little Golden Books to the "Frozen" puzzles to Pixy Cubes game, to the other books.  You loved it all!

But oh, how much did you love your Baby Ana?  She came with a matching dress you had to put on at once. 

Then, you had me braid your hair to match. 

You sat and rocked with Baby Ana.  You danced her around the living room.  You sang to her and cradled her.  You broke my heart with the beauty of your joy and tenderness and made me laugh at the same time. 

Then, you cuddled down in Pop's lap to read stories while Lil and Nana explored your Pixy Cubes. 

You are getting to be so grown up.  I caught a glimpse of you from the corner of my eye the other day, and the same thing that happened with your big sisters has happened to you as well--you're a big girl, you've left baby and toddlerhood far behind.  I rejoice because you are turning out to be such a delightful big kid (you were a handful as a toddler, you know), and yet, I mourn my baby.  You were my last and you never had time to be a baby.  Ever.

You are hysterical--intentionally--and make us all laugh all the time.  You rarely cry and aren't overly dramatic which is rather refreshing given your sisters and their personalities...;o)  You have a memory like a steel trap, just like mine and Lissie's (and GF's), and remember everything.  You will remind me at the store that we're running low on something or that I said we needed such and such an item. 

You are still a headstrong little thing, but you hate to disappoint a grownup and really don't like getting in trouble (I know this story well, you are so much like me in this respect), so it's not often you make bad choices.  But, you're still growing and learning, so you do make them.  This is usually when tears come and I'll remind you that when you make bad choices bad things happen.  We'll walk back through the choices you made and the consequences of those actions and typically you won't make those choices again. 

You are a creature of routine and habit and seem to like having things in order and in their place.  As soon as Isaac leaves the house you get to work putting his toys away--without me ever having to ask. You just do it.  Incredible. 

You are an amazing little kid and I can't express just how much I love you.  I'm getting weepy just thinking about it, my heart is so full to bursting with love for you. 

Happy birthday, Beanie Baby!

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dreamin' of Spring


Dreamin' of Spring is actually the name of one of my pin boards, and boy am I finally getting the fever!

Spring has been so slow coming this year, I'm way behind on everything.  I've not started any tomatoes or flowers.  I've not even cleaned out my beds yet!  Today was the first day I mowed!!

Getting out there with the mower I couldn't help but get in my beds just a bit and start dreaming as I worked. I came in and visited my favorite seed site and got together an order.


I picked up the same varieties of tomatoes we had last year (minus the Sungold II's because they were out!) and the zinnias I absolutely fell in love with.  We loved the cukes we had--no matter how big they got, they never got bitter or grainy--so I got a pack of those seeds as well.  


I loved the cosmos so much last year I decided they needed another go in my yard (the butterflies loved them too!).  The butterflies and finches all loved my Mexican sunflowers so those were a must as well.  I'm going to share those with GG. 
And, I picked up a couple of new things for my garden--the Black Eyed Susan Vine, and hollyhocks.  I looooove hollyhocks and have a couple of different locations in mind for them. 

I have a bad habit of picking up seeds, failing to check out the needs of the plant with regards to light and water.  I did well this year.  Whew!  Everything I got loves sun and is relatively drought tolerant.  :sigh of relief:

I'll direct sow everything since it's too late to do anything else.  Stupid spooty long winter...I lost track of what I was supposed to be doing with my yard.  Oy.   I'm going to put the tomatoes and cukes in the bed they were in last year so I can trellis them again--best. thing. ever!--and I think I'm going to go ahead and purchase a couple of pepper plants from the farmers' market for the middle bed.  The rest of that bed will be dedicated to butterfly happy plants and the end bed will once more be the great big bed of messy.  It made me happy, what can I say?  

I'm going to have to purchase my "minty weasel" and other herbs from the FM as well as I feel like I'm really behind.  I'm feeling sort of rushed.  

I don't know why since Spring sure hasn't been in much of a rush.  Do you see any leaves on that tree?  It was fully leafed by now last year.

Camellias are lovely, but they're usually starting to tucker out by now, not just get started.

I have no idea when calving typically happens, so I can't speak to that.

 I can however say that this is, without a doubt, the cutest calf ever.  I might have squealed a little bit out loud when I saw it...

Flowers are finally popping up.  Finally.

Daffodils have usually come and gone around these parts by now, blooming at the end of February.  

 This is April.  April.
  
Okay, I seriously love this shot. 
No wonder I'm behind. :eye roll:

Spring's late and I'm just following her lead...that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  :oP  

In the coming days I really do need to get out and finish getting my beds cleaned out.  The spring shade bed is looking gorgeous, and I saw some new growth on the butterfly weed in the great big bed of messy as well as some coreopsis and rudbeckia. The leftover weedy mess from last year's morning glories needs to be cleaned up and I need to cut back the hydrangeas and Indian hawthorn bushes (although I truly hesitate to do so since they're still looking a might nakey thanks to the hungry deer) and weed those beds.  

The incredibly hungry voles and moles out back (UGH! I thought they were gone!!!!) have managed to kill off all my Blue Chip butterfly bushes and I'm worried about the night blooming jasmine I put in last spring--it's not looking so hot.  So, I'm not putting anything in in back for the varmints to destroy.  They don't seem to like daylilies, maybe that's what I need to do...you know, because I need more daylilies...;o) I always need more daylilies. :oP

 We're back to the normal grind of the school year here tonight.  Lil's back in school tomorrow.  Lissie comes for a visit Tuesday (she's put in a request for tangerine cake) and will stay through Friday. 

It's also Holy Week and that takes precedence over everything else.  I have a First Communion preparation meeting Tuesday, Holy Thursday and then Good Friday Masses.  Saturday is Miss Beanie's fourth (holy smokes, FOURTH) birthday and then Easter.  Whew!  It's going to be whirlwind week.  I'm going to try to pop in daily, but if not, know I'm alive.  I promise.  :o)

**************************
Sparklies:

1.  B sharpened my mower blades and they left my grass looking better than it's looked in years.  

2. Mowing. There's something soothing about leaving those lines behind.  I feel the same about vacuuming.

3.  Visiting with GG and Bill yesterday and getting a taste of gardening from helping Bill with his planters.  I just had to get my hands a smidge dirty today...;o)

4.  Palm Sunday.  Everything was so joyful that Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  And, I finally figured out how to fold my palm branch into a cross.  Yay me! 

5.  Back to routine tomorrow.  I swear, I do SO much better with a routine...

6.  Spring is everywhere now--FINALLY.  Oh, the red buds, the flowering cherry trees, the flowering maples...it's all so gorgeous and there's sunshine to go with it! Now, if the lower to mid 70's temps and low humidity can carry me into May (the end of May would be loverly) I'll be thrilled. :o)

No milestones. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yes, We Are in Fact Alive

Sorry to leave everyone wondering if I'd run off the road in a ditch and died...

Lil had Spring Break last week, and it would seem that took a break with her.  We traveled to the 'burg Saturday morning and came back Wednesday (in part because I just couldn't share a bed with Beanie for one more night...) and then spent Thursday and Friday running errands and cleaning. 

I need to plan for my RE tomorrow and get the girls off to bed, so I'm going to make this mostly a photo post for the evening.  More details tomorrow. 

Friday was crazy hair day at school so we crazied up Lil's hair.  It actually stayed in all day! :o)

We stopped at the Rocking Chair Store Saturday on our way to the 'burg.  Always a happy thing.

Mom's backyard Saturday evening.  Ahhhh.  It's all so beautiful.

Sunday was a walk around Pandapas Pond.  In typical 'burg fashion, the weather was delightful Sunday and then Monday and Tuesday were rainy and windy and cold. 



I smile when I look at this, remembering how terrified she was the first time we put her on the horsey tree.



I love this one.  Sweet girls!

Liss had a beret and put it on Lil. 

Lissie and I might have made just a few cards...

The girls played and played.

We came home Wednesday and stopped by to visit with Dani and the twins.  Ellie made friends with Ritter, who I'm sure can't wait for the twins to be big enough to play with him.  He was so wonderful with Beanie.

Thursday Lil begged me to take her to get new sneakers and I decided it was a good time to go.  She was wearing an 11.5 in Fall and we got 12.5 Thursday.  Methinks it was past time to take her...

She graduated from the "preschool" sized shoes--FINALLY! :oP

We also did the tubs Thursday.

I've mentioned I really hate doing tubs, right? 

I mean, I'm not ungrateful, truly.  It's fun to revisit clothing my older girls have worn, and I do love that we don't have to buy anything for either girl (outside of Easter dresses and Bean needs a pair of sandals).

But, there are always piles...

 ...and piles...

 ...and piles.  And, clothes that have to be removed from drawers and folded neatly and put into tubs to be stacked for others or to find homes for. 

I have four tubs waiting for Sarah, four more for Isaac's soon-to-be-born cousin, and six for Dani.  But, they're not out of the house yet and they're just there


Meanwhile, Beanie discovered Hannah's Groovies. 

They now live in her room (Hannah's old room so it seems so appropriate) and she loves them.  It makes me so happy, and yet, also brings a small twinge to my heart. 

GG signed the girls up for an Easter egg hunt at her community so we were out hopping with Peter Cottontail this morning. :o)


We ended the day with everyone snuggled on GG as they watched "Frozen". We were there very late (from 8:30 this morning until 5:30 this evening) and we were all beat. 

I need to go roust the girls from the shower and get them into 'jams and into bed.

Sorry if I alarmed anyone by not posting.  Who knew I needed a little break?