Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow, Sand and Stone

Corey's parents moved from Thousand Oaks, CA to Boise, ID about six years ago.  I have many fond memories of visiting their home in sunny California .... picking grapefruit and avocados from their fragrant backyard,  jaunting down to Disneyland, day trips to the beach, and lounging on their outdoor swing in the middle of the winter.  I particularly remember a trip about 6 weeks after Savanna was born.  Savanna had colic to the nth degree and we were living in St. Louis, where the winters are savagely cold and the dagger snow blows sideways just to avoid landing in the pit of gloom (I joke about how much I hated St. Louis, but a few fond recollections and lifelong friendships do exist from our four years in the midwest).  

I spent countless hours pacing the hall of our little apartment, trying to succeed in soothing my crying baby, only to give in and join her in audible lamentations.  My personal hue of the Baby Blues was approaching the shade of blue that is almost indiscernible from black (please don't tell me I am the only one who has accidentally worn blue tights with a black dress and didn't notice the atrocity until fully exposed to the public).  Anyway, enough of the tangents.  I needed a change of scenery and the trip to California was a  restorative disimmurement.  The sunny weather and friendly faces didn't cure the colic...Savanna cried on the west coast as much she did at home.... but I could take her for walks and inhale the fumes from the spring poppies and sweet peas, gorging my senses after their postpartum winter fast.  And just knowing that other people acknowledged the inconsolable wails of my new baby helped me feel so much less alone.  

So, although we were thrilled to have Corey's parents and sister (now including a brother- in- law and niece) closer to us..... a seven hour, 3.5 movie drive, I had to mourn the loss of our California visits.  And thus, I didn't give poor Boise much of a chance to impress me.  I thought it was flat and dry and BORING.  And it didn't help that Mom and Dad-in-Law kept going to China to teach for months and months.  And now, they may be off the Africa or Timbuktu or something.  Little by little, I have let myself be vulnerable to Boise's enticements and have eagerly enjoyed finding the many treasures that this part of the world has to offer.  Last week, we picked out seven movies for the drive, and stretched our weekend beyond its limits to continue our courtship with the Idaho Spud Candy Bar capital of the world

Of course, I could just sit and stare at my beautiful niece all weekend, watch the thousands of birds that squabble over the birdseed in the backyard, or eat my mother-in-law's lemon meringue pie and seven layer bars as fast as she can make them.  But, it was fun to fit in some time to inhale as much of Boise as we could while we were there.  So I guess this is my way of saying...."Boise, I think I could learn to love you."

Our first day was spent snowshoeing at Bogus Basin.  There was 3 inches of fresh powder and I think the kids ate about 2 of the inches.  

 The next day and about 45 miles south, we found the Bruneau Sand Dunes, where we had a blast rolling, jumping, and falling down the massive piles of sand.  The tallest single-structured sand dune in North America is found here, standing at 470 feet.  Judging from the amount of sand that we took home with us in our shoes and pockets, it is now rises only 468 feet.  (Sharon and Duane, we apologize for the sand that you are undoubtedly still sweeping).
Day #3 took us downtown to the Boise State Capital building which recently underwent massive rehabilitation.  It is an impressive building and all my kids wanted to do was put their faces in the heating vents.  Hmmm.  My sister-in-law took our 2nd ever family photo.  In spite of the freezing temperature and the abnormally awkward group to work with, she did a fantastic job.  You can see her photography here

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

21st Century Kindergarten Conversation

This is the conversation I overheard today while driving Ansel and his friend to school..

Friend:  "Do you eat a lot of carbs for dinner?"

Ansel:  "No!  I never eat cards.  That would be disgusting!"

Friend: "I like carbs, but my mom says that they make you fat and slow.  So we eat a lot of salad.  I hate salad, but I like asparagus"

Ansel:  "You like cards?  I never tasted one, but my sister got some huge ones for Christmas.  We just play war with them."

Friend:  "No, not carDDDs.  CARBBBBS."

Ansel:  "I don't know what you are talking about."

Friend: (rolling his eyes)  "I can't believe you don't know what carbs are."

Monday, February 15, 2010

graceless under pressure

Indications that you just may have spread yourself too thin

  •  say yes to absolutely everything anyone asks you to do even if it is physically impossible
  •  commit to being in two places at once
  •  do this more than one time during the week
  •  find yourself having to call a few lists of  people to help you catch the items falling off your plate
  • freeze when an individual answers the phone because you have no idea who it was you were calling at the moment. 
  •  tell your  kids that you are going to be a terrible mother for just one more day and that tomorrow you will make up for it by being the best mother in the world
  • tell your kids this 3 days in a row
  • pretend you don't notice how much wii your kids are playing
  • choose quick naps over exercising on sunny warm days in February
  • realize at the end of the day that you have eaten nothing but handfuls of candy as you were running in and out the door
  • lose your car keys and look for them for far too long before realizing that they are in your pocket
  • skip watching your favorite shows
  • can't see the floor of the home office because of your piles of projects
  • resign your weekly blog post to an easy short list 
  • forget to bring your camera to your daughter's birthday party.  

  • nod off during a basketball game with this caliber of cheering

  • leave early from a date with your husband in which he is part of the half-time program (no he didn't get an opportunity to throw a half-court shot winning us free hot dogs for life...he just accepted an award for his company who is a sponsor for the team). 
  • have to take a quick cell phone shot 
  • accidentally erase the photos you took of your son enjoying an enlightening tour of the local newspaper building
  • hide the phone so that you won't be tempted to say yes to some other project that may cause you to drop the plate altogether.  
Signing off before my kids start addressing the Wii as their mother. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

12 years and 9 months

Savanna turned 12 on Saturday at 10:59am.  She calculated that she is now 378,683,112 seconds old.  It seems implausible that  I have a daughter who is old enough to calculate her age in seconds because I still periodically experience mild to severe shock when the word "mom" is uttered in my general direction.   One of my gifts to Savanna was to compile and publish"Volume 1" of  her artwork, poems and stories.  I scoured through her notebooks, scrapbooks, folded pieces of papers in her drawers, and an entire suitcase of kindergarten stories when she was first beginning to grasp the concept of making words, mostly with strings of consonants (barbie was BRBE and sister was SSTR).  I found rainbows and skeletons, letters to fairies I had uncovered in flowers and under bushes in our yard,  clay sculptures,  elaborate sketches of ships, letters to Santa, etc. etc.  Before I knew it, her life was flashing before my eyes in the form of things that her hands have created.    It is difficult to imagine a time when Savanna wasn't a part of our life and I was compelled to review my journal from the months prior to her birth.  In thus doing, I was reminded that she was incalculably loved even before she took her first breath.  I thought I would share a few passages.  
Today I recognized your kick for the first time.  I have previously felt abdominal flutters, but hadn't been  confident that these movements were not merely indigestion, but an absolute confirmation that a human is bouncing around in my uterus.   Tonight, I knew it was you.  I was sitting on our futon, watching television, when your thrashing startled me.  It was similar to the feeling I would get when a fish was nibbling my bait just moments just moments before it was hooked... or not hooked.  I froze.   About 30 seconds later, I felt you again.  I screamed for your Dad to come and experience your being "alive".  Unfortunately, you wouldn't perform under the weight of his palm.  Until now, your existence has only been manifested in my ubiquitous vomiting, my unexplained weeping at parade floats or fabric softener commercials, and my spontaneous napping under the desk at work.  Today, I knew that you were really there.  Hello back to you.

Dad has been able to feel your kicks.  They are coming so frequently now that I am beginning to freak out when an hour goes by and I don't feel anything.  In the evenings, when I am home from work and Dad is home from school, he will rest his hand on the general vicinity of your whereabouts, and take frequent breaks to ask how you are doing.  He kisses close as he is able.  I am not limber enough to  kiss my own stomach....I would if I could.

Dear Savannah Paige Judd

Obviously, today was the day that we gave you a name...undoubtedly one of the best days of our life.  You are not just our baby.  You are our girl.  We saw you today.  Granted, you look a lot like the genetic freaks from one of Dad's textbooks, which I need to avoid because they convince me that everything that could go wrong, will go wrong.  But you are beautiful, even if you come out with one eye and three noses.  We had picked out the name Alexander Quincey if you were a boy, but even after hours of late night name tossing, we could not agree on a female name.  Just before the nurse called us into the ultrasound room, the name 'Hannah' came to mind.  I asked Dad if he like it and, without hesitation, he was pleased.  Minutes later we were told that you were very likely a girl and it just seemed right.  We also agreed, almost in sync, that we liked Savannah Paige and could call you Hannah for short. [We never did ever call you Hannah]. I think today was the day that you became real to Dad.  He hasn't been as fortunate as I have to feel your every move.  Your legs were crossed and you were being thrown around by the force of your hiccups (maybe this explains your metronomic kick-ups).  When  your little hands and feet, spine, legs, brain, and beating heart,  came into view, Dad grabbed my hand and squeezed.  I gulped down a sob and squeezed back.  Dad said on the way home that he wanted to see you every day.   We were sent home with three pictures which we tacked on the refridgerator as soon as we got home.  I had to return to work, but stopped at Old Navy to buy you your first outfit.  It is darted denim overalls and a scalloped collared floral onesie.  As soon as Dad saw it, he flattened it out on his lap, caressing it as if you were inside.  He fell asleep with it on his chest.  He will be a good father.

We had your second ultrasound today and you have grown exponentially in the past month and a half.  We learned that you are 99 percent for sure a girl...but we knew that already.  We were told that you weigh about 2 and half pounds....about as much as a block of cheese.  We could see all of your fingers and toes and were no less affected today by your being than we were 7 weeks ago.  We also decided to drop the h off the end of your name because we would rather you be associated with the African Savanna and not the twangy Georgian Savannah.  I know the H would be silent, but somehow it screams 'fried chicken'.  I never been to Georgia and I would probably like no offense, Georgia.    We are just assuming that your hair will be golden, comparable to the rolling Savanna grasslands.   Yes, I think we are as goofy as most first parents should be.

(one of many paragraphs)
You are perfect.  you weighed 8lbs and 13 ounces and measured 22 inches.  Just as we suspected, you have a full head of wavy, blonde hear, with a slight curl on top.  It appears that you have Dad's eyes, lips, and chin, you lucky girl. You have long fingers and you keep curling them in and out, as if you stroking the air and getting acquainted with life on the outside.  The nurses have taken you away a few times, and when they do, it feels as if they are taking my air.  I am tired, but have never been happier.

Those long fingers were just gearing up for all of their future creations.
I love you and can't wait for Volume 2.