This Moment – Five

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Happy Birthday to The Princess!
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Dearest Little T

Dearest Little T,

Two days before I went into the hospital to give birth to my little Fraggle, your sweet mama was giving birth to you. It was uncanny how similar our circumstances were – we both had high blood pressure and had to be induced, we each came through our trials with a beautiful baby girl to show for it.

Two baby girls and two mothers who were bedridden with high blood pressure. Two friends unable to help the other. Two lives beginning in more than a few frustrated tears. Your mother and I spent our pregnancy’s together with weekly knitting sessions and lots of dreaming about when our girls would come. It didn’t quite go down the way we thought at first, but here we are one year out, and I couldn’t be happier.

I have so enjoyed our weekly get togethers since you and The Fraggle were born. Watching the two of you grow and change so fast, watching you learn new things and explore the world around you, has been such a joy. Even some of the comparisons give me pleasure (you may be talking up a storm, but The Fraggle will walk first! HA!).

So, this year for your birthday, your first birthday, I wanted to make something special for you.

Go ahead, open it!

Okay, let me tell you about it. The shoes first.

When I showed your Mama the pattern for these shoes, I am almost sure that she swooned, so I knew you had to have a pair. Someday you may understand how much I love you when I say that these were crocheted (huge sacrifice on my part). I used some bits of Knit Picks cotton for the colored sections because I thought it would be sturdy and that you’d like the pink. The soles are made of jute twine so that you can wear them outside. (Ravelry project page here)

The shoes really are the main gift, but not so fun for you, right? I confess that I mostly made those for your mom. The doll is for you.

She is made of wool and muslin and cotton floss. She is stuffed with wool and potpurri that should help you sleep if you cozy up to her and breath in her sweet scent. But the best part is her hair. I know how you love hair, so I gave her a lot. Feel free to pull, tug, and frizz it up because she comes with a lifetime hair replacement guarantee. Whenever her hair gets pulled out or worn to wisps, just bring her by and I will needle felt a new wig for her lickety-split.

Oh, and the bag it was wrapped in should make a perfect purse for your little hands.

I am so excited about the years to come, My Dear. I hope that you and The Fraggle will become the best of friends as your mama and I grow closer as well. I also hope that someday the two of you will sit and knit with us (that would be so cool!).

Happy Birthday, Little T.

S.

Dale & Dolly – His Socks Part 2

Tuesday is Comics Day at Woolandchocolate! 

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

Highlights

The first camping trip of the summer was a fabulous success. I want to remember…

… when we pulled into the campground and The Munchkin said, “Is this Dinky Cweek?”

… The Fraggle aquired a whole new color – dirt.

… we played at the creek in the icy water and the warm sun.

… s’mores! (we also tried a new campfire treat. It was way yummy and definitely a new tradition for this family. Check it out here.)

… glow stick Ninja with the Bigs.

… waking at sunrise to the happy crew and eating breakfast in the cold morning air.

… all the happiness of just being together.

… cramming back into the car to go home.

As good as it was to get home and take a hot bath and sleep in my cozy bed, I can’t wait until our next camping trip! Oh, and I almost knit an entire sock while we were out, too! See?

That’s my boring sock formula with sport weight on size 3. The jury is still out on if I like it or not… The yarn, however, is awesome! It is Family Pendragon Spellbound Limited Edition Sport in the May 2012 Club colorway, Heartwood with teal trim. love(1000)

I Don’t Talk On the Phone and Other Ways Parenthood Changed My Life

Don’t take it personally. It isn’t you. Really. I haven’t returned your phone call, yet, because I just don’t return phone calls. You see, I have children. Lots and lots of children. And so I don’t talk on the phone very often. When one lives in a small house with six children, one finds themselves having phone conversations like this –

“Hello? Hi! How are you? Put your sister down, please. What? I’m sorry, what did you say? No! Don’t bring the hose in the house. Wow! Really? Oh, just a sec. No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast. Okay, sorry. Well that is amazing, and then Oh wait. Really? All the toilet paper? Shoot. I really have to go. Can I call you back later? Stop flushing! Better yet, just message me on Facebook.”

One only has to have a few conversations like that to induce one to avoid the phone at all costs.

I do have an answering machine, though, and I did get your message. Well, most of it. You see, somebody dropped a glass jar onto the kitchen floor when your message was halfway through and I had to run off to get the baby out of the blast area before she ingested broken glass and when I returned to listen again, the baby was squirming in my arms in protest because she wanted to eat all that sparkly glass, and her squirming was knocking my hands out of my control for the most part and when I meant to hit “play” I actually hit “erase”. When the machine asked me “erase all messages?”, I was distracted by the barefoot child running toward the minefield of broken glass and hit “yes” instead of “no” and well, what was it you called for?

Getting a hold of me is easiest if you use Facebook messages. Or better yet, just come by. I am here all the time. I don’t leave the house much, mostly because I am a homebody, but also because when one has six kids, one doesn’t get a lot of invites for visiting. Oh, I love to have people over, and I do it all the time. If I don’t, I would never see anybody! And I am not really complaining, though I know it sounds like I am fishing to be invited somewhere. I understand that it is intimidating to ask us over – we must seem like an invading horde or like the clowns in a circus car (“how many people are in that car, anyway?”) as we spill out of our SUV into your clean, quiet, orderly house. And feeding us must scare the daylights out of any hostess. So I just try to keep my house picked up and my bra on in anticipation of drop in guests, but to be safe, maybe you should just expect to find a mess and me in my jammies… just in case.

As a matter of a fact, my house is rarely clean. I didn’t say that I don’t clean, just that it is rarely clean. But, cleaning the house for me looks like this –

Go in kitchen to wash dishes. Find toys all over kitchen floor. Call kids in to pick up toys. Play peacemaker to the bickering about whose toys they are and who put them there. Say in an exasperated voice, “I don’t care whose they are or who put them there. I just want them put away.” Return to the dishes and find that there are no clean dish towels. Go to laundry room to look for a clean towel in the “to be folded” basket and throw in a load of laundry while I am there. Hear the baby waking up from nap. Get her up, change her diaper, nurse her, cuddle and play with her. Smile when I see The Munchkin approaching with a pile of books. “Mama read to me?” she asks in her so cute way. Read a pile of books. All the kids gather round to hear, regardless of age, and I sigh in content as I cozy on the couch with my brood. Then I look up and see all the dishes in the sink. And the toys on the floor. So I do what any good mother would do – I reach for another book.

So parenthood has turned me into an almost-hermit who dwells in a messy house with a bunch of loud kids who only communicates with the outside world through Facebook messages.

And I am totally okay with that.