Magnum Paints

Posted March 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Leena wanted a warm, cozy cowl big enough to stretch up over her face. Destiny led me to Cascade Magnum Paints in Dark Berry (hand dyed no. 9738)— which happens to be Twilight Sparkle colors! Leena’s favorite My Little Pony! Destiny, I tell you! At times, it felt like knitting with cartoon yarn. Super bulky 100% Peruvian Highland Wool on 10 mm circular needles. Holy smokes. I was blazing! Finished the whole thing in a couple hours while nursing The Jub.

Then I whip stitched a custom woven fabric label with our Ruthsteam Adventure Buddies badge as a finishing touch. I even had enough leftover Magnum Paints for a second cowl! Possibly even a third.

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Snow Cave

Posted February 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

The four of us spend a great deal of time outside— shoveling, building, stomping, rolling, crunching, walking, sledding, and climbing the snow, the snow, the glorious snow. Everywhere, everywhere, SNOW! Jubjub in my coat and the girls running around, we’re all tired at the end of the day. Early to bed, early to rise, like the winter sun.

We are the music makers / And we are the dreamers of dreams.

— Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode

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With Both Hands

Posted February 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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More Winterrr

Posted February 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Sonya handcrafted an iPhone 6. Temperatures in the minus double digits have inspired many creative indoor winter hours. I’m grateful that my little humans are self-directed. I can leave them in the living room and make myself busy elsewhere in the house. At least for a few minutes. Sometimes as long as an hour! Leena is an amazing and trustworthy caretaker.

A few times a week, Alice or Megan or Molly Ann babysits the three of them so I can slip away to the gym for some ME time. Whew! The girls eagerly await this opportunity to curl up around an iPad to watch Phineas and Ferb. Getting ideas for summer vacation. Sonya built Agent W and Agent P out of Legos (a whale and a platypus).

In honor of the Lunar New Year, we’ve been eating longan, which are in the lychee family. “They look like eyeballs,” Sonya said. In China, they’re called Dragon Eyes. Unpeeled, they’re white and squishy with a hard round black seed in the middle.

Sonya has a new smile without her two bottom front teeth, and Leena captured this wonderful image, an ordinary moment I’d never photograph myself. Here I am, on my knees at the end of the day, tired, counting down the minutes until I can fall asleep, knowing I’ll have to get up at least once, probably twice, in the middle of the night, and then start the next day before the sun comes up without Derek here with me. We all miss him very much.

I put some longan in the freezer to chill. When the house finally got quiet, I sat with my glass of Dragon Eye Brandy to knit and watch Oscar highlights. I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies, so it mostly reminded me that I’m sadly behind on pop culture.

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Pretty Snow Ladies & Joy Bear

Posted February 21st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

— Roald Dahl

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

— C.S. Lewis

February has been a gift. I’ve surrendered myself to the mundane— stopped making lists, stopped holding myself to daily word counts, and stopped even remotely trying to be efficient. I intentionally unschedule each day. I allow time for meandering walks through the snow. Long meals eaten slowly. Reading books. This month, I’m a consumer, not a creator. No pressure to produce.

The Bear still wakes up twice at night, but in the morning, I get about a half-hour face-down pillow-time while the sisters play with him. Leena is especially reliable, nurturing, and attentive. I get far more done when the girls are at home. We’ve been skipping Fridays at school (oh, it’s terrible, I know) to get started on the weekends early. A nasty habit we’ll have to break in the spring. But right now, I consider these “skip days” highly necessary winter mental health days, both for the girls and for me. Treats for the psyche.

These three fill the house with so much energy, purpose, and joy. I get swept along in playtime until I remember “oh! I should prepare a meal for us to eat!” or “oh! I should start the laundry before we go out, and then the load will be ready for the dryer when we get back!” I feel so lucky to live in Quebec, where I’m afforded a year’s paid maternity leave. Being American, it seems like some kind of suspicious and miraculous trick. Any minute, the auto-deposits into the bank account might stop. I’m astonished but finally accepting the fact that I inhabit a society that acknowledges the importance of work-life balance. The importance of women’s work in the home. The importance of nurturing young children. Happy homes build happy societies. This is such a special, privileged time that I get to be here at home, pulling people places in a sled, taking it easy, making sure that each day, I am the mother I want them to remember.

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Precious Time

Posted February 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Yesterday we baked oatmeal chocolate chip mini muffins for Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa’s birthday party. Jujubear suddenly seems so sophisticated in his Bumbo seat, right in the middle of all the action. He’s been alive for 109 days. Leena has been alive for 1,431 days, Sonya has been alive for 2,036 days, and I have been alive for 12,011 days! Over one billion seconds! If I live to be a 100, I’ll live around 3 billion 155 million 760 thousand seconds! Which means I’ve lived almost a third of all my seconds! Whoa! I need to make every second count! But first I need a few nights of uninterrupted sleep!

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Weekend with D!

Posted February 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Do not follow me! Let’s just be fabulously where we are and who we are. You be you and I’ll be me, today and today and today, and let’s trust the future to tommorrow. Let the stars keep track of us. Let us ride our own orbits and trust that they will meet. May our reunion be not a finding but a sweet collision of destinies!

— Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl

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Posted February 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

On a cold winter day with lacy frost on the windows, our favorite playlist on infinite loop— building dragons, making bracelets, creating art. Ordering a pizza, getting it delivered, watching a movie as it snows outside in big tufty flakes. Sitting around candlelight, talking about fun things we did today, fun things we’re going to do tomorrow. Falling asleep in woollen socks under two thick blankets, all four of us in the same bed. I recently learned there’s a Danish word for this feeling of warmth and closeness in the heart of winter: hygge.

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Sgt. Sparrow’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (midweek report)

Posted February 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

As we live a life of ease, everyone of us has all we need. Sky of blue and sea of green in our yellow submarine! It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log. Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody.

Yes — we’ve been listening to The Beatles on repeat. Cheerful and nonsensical, perfect for kids and adults. I’m finding all kinds of deep meanings in the lyrics this week. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(Are you sad because you’re on your own?)
No I get by with a little help from my friends

— John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Ain’t got nothing but love babe — eight days a week!

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Posted February 1st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Among his growing repertoire of skills, Jujubear can now suck his thumb to soothe and amuse himself.

Drex has many travels this February. We will miss him and all his contributions around here. Alas.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

— Edgar Allan Poe

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