It’s Always A Shock

Before - note the bracelet-worn-as-necklace, a very good look for him I think

During - a mixture of reluctant patience, fascination, and wariness

After - who are you again?

Small And Perfect

When I was a kid I used to see these little daisies in the park in Seattle when we went to visit my cousins. I always loved them — they were a perfect, miniature version of the big daises that grew wild near our home. I was constantly picking them for Mom’s hair. Really, she was remarkably patient about my obsession with sticking flowers in her hair.

Yesterday during our walk we ended up next to the railroad tracks, in the lush edge of grass and clover and weeds, the whole thing scattered with perfect, miniature daisies. I had a vivid premonition of my kids picking flowers to stick into my hair. Nathan already hands me dandelions (the only flowers that he knows he is allowed to pick) fairly often. He appears to have noticed how much it makes me smile, the sweet boy.

Linked to Friday’s Flowers.

There’s Something About Overalls…

…especially on a baby.

I am not one to worry much about clothes, either for myself or for my kids. My idea of clothes shopping is to notice that I’m running out of decent looking turtlenecks, head to the thrift store, and pick up four or five “new” ones. If that’s the only thing I’m looking for, I should be in and out within fifteen minutes. And that’s with kids.

I love it when family members generously gift us with clothes, not just because it saves me a trip to Goodwill, but because then I know that somebody with taste selected them. When it comes to clothes I am severely taste-deficient, so I keep clothes shopping very, very simple for myself. Is it warm enough? Not too stained? About the right size? Not a completely obnoxious color or pattern? Perfect, good to go.

Way back in the pre-baby days I dreamed of making all of our baby clothes. Unfortunately I neglected to take into account several things: 1) I am not a very fast seamstress, 2) there are other things I’d rather do with sewing time, and 3) now that I have two kids I’ve had to give up sewing anyway, making it a moot point. I still have a half-finished long-sleeved onesie somewhere. That’s from when Nathan was a baby.

But there are a few things that break through my general clothes apathy when it comes to babies. One, for some bizarre reason, is red socks. (Seriously. I don’t know why.) Another is overalls. When I found this pair at the thrift store I couldn’t resist, and seeing Ryan in them just makes me want to eat him up.

Of course, that’s only partly from the overalls. Look at this kid and tell me that he isn’t cute enough to munch on. I dare you.

Strawberries In The Rain

deliberately
one finger touches the leaf
raindrops meld and slide

I’m reading Haiku Mind right now, so I suppose it isn’t too surprising that I ended up with a haiku last night. I’d gone outside in the evening light to walk Ryan around — it was late and I’m still sick, but I’d already drummed up the energy to go outside with Nathan and run up and down the road barefoot with him, so it seemed fair to give Ryan his turn. Besides, seeing how that brief outdoor play time soothed Nathan’s restlessness reminded me of how house-bound we’ve been the last few days.

We walked through light drizzle, with Ryan pulling me up the garden path to the strawberries. There he paused, considered the wet leaves a moment, and reached out one finger to stroke a leaf gently.

He’s eight months old. I don’t usually attribute much subtlety of action or intent to him. I think of him instead as kind of a “grab-and-gum” guy. But the quiet intensity with which he performed this particular exploration really struck me.

And when I thought about it, I do see careful motions from him fairly often — they just tend to get lost in his overall exuberance. For example, his next move last night was to grab the leaf and try to eat it.

Grandma

Dave’s mother has been here since Tuesday, visiting her grandchildren (and us, of course). She is as always a delight to have in the house and an absolute angel for me personally — she seems to spend all her time either playing with the kids or doing dishes. Ryan had been in the grip of a major MBU (Mysterious Baby Unhappiness) since Monday, and was needing a lot of holding and nursing and attention from the mother, thank you very much. So Nathan has gotten the lion’s share of the grandma attention this time around.

And he loves it. There has been bubble-blowing, and playing with fun toys like a hair dryer, and reading, and of course all kinds of new toys appearing out of his grandma’s suitcase. For the first time he calls her by name, and will go seek her out if she disappears from view too long. He has snuggled up into bed with her while she was resting, given spontaneous hugs and kisses, and even fallen asleep on her shoulder while she read to him. It’s enough to melt a mother’s (and apparently a grandma’s) heart.

Man oh man, we are going to be sorry to see her go. Maybe I should schedule her next visit for a little sooner than usual…

By the way, Ryan’s MBU turns out to have been due to the appearance of his first teeth.

Et Finis

Here they are, in all their glory.

Sometime in the next few years we’ll put in the path that is so obviously called for. But for now, just having the wires strung…

…and the strawberries planted is enough to make me very, very happy. (The strawberries are bouncing back remarkably quickly considering that they spent a month in the fridge while we prepared their home.)

I know it’s only my imagination, but the little trees seem happier to me now that they’re planted. They’re not crammed into a pot or heeled in with a bunch of other trees, roots fighting for space. Each one has a home, and lots of good, compost-y encouragement to grow.

Of course, nothing is ever “finis.” My next step is to start the espalier process, and there will be plenty of ongoing maintenance of the beds and the plants. But for now, we’re spending a lot of time just admiring Dave’s work and dreaming of sweet, sun-ripened fruit.

Standing

The little one can pull himself up on things now — the dishwasher, the edge of the bathtub, the wheelbarrow, you name it and he tries it. He is so, so proud of himself and so, so happy when he’s standing.

Sometimes he forgets that he needs support to stand, and lets go of the parent or inanimate object that is currently holding him up. Sometimes he even tries to take a step that way. And then, when he topples over, he looks around in surprise. “But everyone else is doing it!” his expression seems to say. “What went wrong?”