Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Solstice Stanzas

It is bloomingly clear 
that spring is here;
for the buttercups and lilies
have begun to appear

And we have a new rule,
be it ever so cruel.
We must hike before dinner,
some time after school

This man is a fan
of making big plans.
A summer backpacking trip
on Western Washington lands

The packs are all filled
with as much weight as we dare
In hopes that by summer
we will all be prepared 

Even though it's not raining,
Savanna's complaining.
Nothing is fun,
when we are physically straining

The drill is to trek up the hill 
at least twice.
We want to get stronger, 
therefore once won't suffice. 

If friends come a calling
they are in for a treat.
The hike can't be cancelled,
and we welcome new feet.


Our cat follows closely
just like a pet dog
It is really quite funny
when she jump on the logs

And now I must close
cause my prose has come loose
I think Ansel and I 
have read too much D. Suess

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Corey is selling our baby backpack on Craigslist.  We recently handed over our biking trailer to a sister.  Ansel now needs to use both hands when he tells people how old he is and only one hand to push away my incoming kisses.   The stepping stool to the bathroom sink is pushed aside, dejected.  Ansel's mid-day slumbers are now verging on the point of extinction. A few weeks ago he woke from his possibly last ever nap, found me busy in the laundry room, and at the exact moment that  I was thinking to myself that he seemed so big, he exclaimed, "I think I grew in my sleep because now I can see what is on the counter!"  

It must have been so.  The next day when he pulled on his pants, his bony ankles were in full view and at this moment, there is an ever-growing  pile of clothing in our garage that cannot be handed down in-house.  I have been mourning.  Mourning and savoring the final 52 mornings that I have Ansel all to myself.  And suddenly, everything naive and silly, misconstrued or mispronounced,  is a gift and a phrase to be mourned because I know that tomorrow he will be older and wiser.  Darn. 

He hasn't said "I am Your Threeth Child" in a few weeks.  I cringed when Emmy corrected him.  "No, you are the 3rd child," she instructed.  
'Please, let's let him be the threeth child for as long as we can,' I silently pleaded.  

Corey reads to Ansel every night before bed and their latest biblio-conquest was "The Trumpet of the Swan" by E.B. White.  I knew that Ansel was ingesting the content when he asked me one morning if we could go find a cygnet.  As it has been 5 or so years since I read the book to the girls and the conversation was a bit out of context, I had to ask him what a cygnet was.  
"Duh, Mom.  It is a baby swan."  

I knew that he LOVED the book when he would count down the minutes until Corey got home.  One day he lamented,  "Oh, I wish I could go back to the day when we started reading the The Trumpet of the Swans.  That was the best day."  

"I know, Ansel.  It is so much fun to start a book and know right away that you are going to love it.  It is like finding a new friend.  There are so many books that you are going to love."  

Oh, I wish I  I could go back in time as well.  Or at least freeze it for a while.   Reality nudges me into the future and I woefully acknowledge that a chapter of my life is closing.  I knew from the moment that I had my first cygnet that I was going to love this book of Motherhood. And I can't wait to see what is coming next.   

One of our last mornings when we can wear pajamas until noon and build forts in big boxes 

One of the last times that Ansel will draw his numbers backwards

One of the last times that Ansel will tell me to put the cat in time out because she is terrorizing the fort 
and taking chunks out of Ansel's fingers

One of the last cardboard-o-glyphs expressing  displeasure with the cat

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

an upward slope

Last Saturday, the entire family went downhill skiing at the Montana/Idaho border. This has been the mildest winter in Spokane and our weekend have been fairly booked.  Unfortunately, we haven't made skiing the priority that it should be.   Ansel and Emmy have loved skiing from the very beginning (or I should say that Ansel LOVES skiing, but HATES riding the chairlift....still traumatized from last year).  To say that Savanna has hated skiing the previous 4 times that we have forced her to go would be an understatement.  She would shed instant tears just at the mention of the word "ski".  She has mentioned that she would rather be in school, eat worms, clean the house and then go to church for 3 hours.  But even after all of the protests, we weren't ready to give up on her. We have so many family trips planned that revolve around skiing and we really want her to enjoy them with us rather than reading a book in the lodge with the foul-mouthed teen-agers. (O.k.  I was ready acquiesce to the possibility that she would not be a skier and we needed to accept and embrace her differences.  But Corey has so much faith in the sport that he wouldn't give up.) 

I was dreading the day as we were driving the 90 miles to Lookout Pass.  I imagined a day of crying, taking boots on and off, and possibly a little yelling intermingled with stomping of feet.

But  didn't take into account that when you ski in a place where you can choose whether you eat your lunch in Idaho at noon or walk a few feet and eat in Montana at 1pm.  And when  the lift operator, wearing her overalls and galoshes, is personally cheering you on each time you come down the hill....miracles are bound to happen.
Miracles happened 

Emmy was happy from the start. She felt a little unsure at first, as one always does on their first run of the season.  But she was back doing blue runs in no time and repeatedly expressing how much fun skiing was.
This is Savanna'a face before we started.  I actually didn't put the one containing tears...I can't risk being on her bad list right now.  

Ansel needed a little time to get readjusted to his skis.  He moved to a bigger size and we removed the tip connecters.  His first few runs looked a little like this.

And there is still the trouble of trying to keep Ansel's tongue out of the snow

I had never seen a tow rope before and I didn't expect it to be so strong.  I was a little worried that my kids arms would make it to the top, while their bodies were bleeding out at the bottom.  Ansel needed a little assistance at first and Savanna fell almost every time she got on.  But she got back up.  And back up. And back up.   

I took Emmy for a few runs and came back to see Ansel and Emmy skiing down side by side, happy as could be.

Savanna even got bored of the bunny hell and was ready for some real was HER idea.  She and Corey are the people on the last lift.  Emmy was ready to ride the lift by herself.  Miracles all over the place. 
Ansel is ready to race

By the end of the day, Ansel and Savanna had the hill to themselves and were going up and down without any assistance.  Yeah, they fell a few times.  But they got up and kept on skiing down.