Last week we went to the beach to watch the sun come up one morning. When Brian is gone all week our time goes much better if I come up with little diversions. I rolled the girls out of bed and into the car and we drove over to the beach. We are so lucky to live only about 5 minutes from Lake Michigan. It wasn't the best sunrise because there were lots of clouds, but it's still a thrill for all of us. It feels so fresh down there with the waves coming in and the seagulls swirling around. Then after we'd gotten an eye full of the sun peaking out from behind the clouds we went to get doughnuts. I nice way to start our day.
Ah what a relief to know we've made it through the winter. All the snow has melted in our yard and the kids have been playing outside so much! I can hear them out there now with Bea's friend Mabel - just doing what kids are meant to do. I am thinking about my garden. I have some bulbs just poking out of the ground a teensy bit. I ordered some seeds and potato starters too. I made a new bigger pea trellis and I think Claire and I will plant the pea seeds tomorrow.
On Sunday we got to go out for hike. The photos look like it could still be Fall, but the temperature and the soggy trails felt completely like Spring.
She had a birthday party here:
I made a cake:
She invited the girls from her class:
Here's the invitation:
I made pom pom hats for each girl:
We sang happy birthday (apparently it's a thing to say cha cha cha after every line of the happy birthday song… if you're a second grader):
And she blew out her candles:
Now she's EIGHT:
I love the moment when everyone is singing happy birthday and I feel a flush of emotion as I look at my daughter. So big, so smart so clever so beautiful - it all comes rushing at me for that small moment. And then she blows out her candles and I clap and smile. Inside I'm doing the biggest cheer and applause ever, jumping up and down, bravo my love, bravo!
There's a used furniture store west of Chicago called Jubilee Furniture. I heard about it on a blog and I've been meaning to go there for years. So Claire and I, suffering from cabin fever, decided to drive there last week. And look what I found - a sweet cabinet to replace the green one we have. I had been meaning to upgrade to a nicer and slightly bigger cabinet. I had the best time arranging my trinkets inside - it's one of my favorite things to do.
Here's the old one that served us well - I donated it to the store:
And here's the upgrade - I'm smitten with it:
• Claire got a cold. She stayed home from preschool on Wednesday. I feel like we haven't had a regular week without a holiday or someone home sick in a long time. I guess I like a normal, regular schedule.
• Claire is a trooper when she is sick. She's here sleeping beside me in my bed. Stuffed up and breathing noisily. I let her sit around and play on the iPad all day. Our park district has a no screen week coming up and I think we should do it. I've let the screen time creep up and up during these cold winter days. Bad mommy.
• Bea also has a bit of a cold but she never wants to acknowledge it. I tell her it's my job to find out how she's feeling, but she just clams up. She's afraid of being sick. Luckily she's not too sick.
• Claire sleeps with me when Brian is gone - it's a regular thing now. She doesn't really like sleeping in her bedroom. Even on nights when Brian is here and she is relegated to her own bed she usually comes into our room around 3:00 and wakes me up. She has to go potty or she's had a bad dream. Then I go sleep the rest of the night with her in her room. It's comfy in there and I am too much of a weakling in the wee hours of the night to try to get her to go to sleep on her own. Oh well, she's only going to be little for a little bit longer. And besides - I know how she feels - I like to sleep next to someone too.
• I was giddy with our finished bathroom last weekend. We installed the ceiling light. It was so great, it worked perfectly. But just one problem... it won't turn off. Flip, flip, flip that switch and it stays on. So the light has stayed on until Brian is home later this week and we can hopefully figure it out. Never ending projects!
• Someone said they were "trying to make friends with the winter". I liked that expression. It's hard to make friends with the winter at the end of February. We got a few inches of snow last night and today and I didn't relish the shoveling nearly as much as I do in December.
• When Brian is traveling I can't go to sleep. I usually don't do anything useful - I watch TV or read blogs. Or I look at Etsy and obsess over objects that I really don't need. Things like Crewelwork - I have a couple that were done by Brian's grandmas and handed down to me. And I have my eye on one at my mom-in-law's house (signed Donna).
More obsessions - I have a collection of these:
But now I am loving these too:
• Things, things, things. At the same time I'm feeling like sorting through things and getting rid of stuff. Throwing the windows open and cleaning stuff out sounds divine.
• And I'm dreaming of my garden. Just going out on a cold day to trim the old stems of hydrangeas and coneflower sounds so nice right now. We are going to take out the old overgrown junipers that run along the front of our house this spring. I can't wait to get out there and start hacking away. Of course in the back of my mind I know that it is going to be a really hard job.
• Alright - enough rambling. I'm going to try to go to sleep next to my little snuffleupagus here.
We went down to Chicago to check out the new skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park on Sunday. Instead of a typical ice skating rink they built a ribbon of ice with gentle hills. It was very cool. Bea just ate it up and zoomed around like a streak.
Claire is getting better and better at skating but she still likes to hang on to hands.
Skating seems to legitimize hand holding in even the most anti-hand holding characters doesn't it. Not that we have any of those characters in our family:
The park also has a big new playground too. It was pretty chilly out and it made me imagine how busy the playground will be when the weather turns warm.
For Bea's birthday we filled her room with balloons like we usually do. We sneak them into her room while she sleeps.
She requested a red velvet cake - but I may have to switch back to Grandma Dice's chocolate cake recipe for her party with friends. I was not happy with the red velvet - what's the deal with red velvet anyway???
We ate diner out and Bea got a little bowl of chocolate mouse from the restaurant so we ended up eating her red velvet cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast - it's a good thing.
I've been a mother to this girl for eight years. I feel that as much as I've watched her change - she has changed me too. I love her.
Next weekend she'll have a skating party with 13 girlfriends.