There was 5 inches. And then there was almost 3/4” of ice. Then there was at least another 3-4 inches of snow.
And you know, in this part of the world it rains and rains and rains often there is ice and sometimes there is a dusting of snow. But unless you’re up in the hills somewhere or heading up one of the local mountains that’s it.
There hasn’t been this much snow in 40 years. And 40 years ago we got less than this (can't remember off the top of my head). This was record-breaking.
I didn’t leave the house by car in 13 days. By day 14 no house would have been big enough, if you understand me (I kept seeing this in my mind and giggling...) Our city isn’t prepared for this much snow (since it never happens, duh) and of course no one knows how to drive in it so even though I could have dug my car out I didn’t want to put me and the girls at the mercy of the local idiots in SUV's who apparently thought that Big Car equals No Skills Needed.
It was so beautiful. Quiet, deep, still. The dark evenings turned to a late glow and in the mornings the anciently tall fir trees stood around us, holding great handfuls of white. Snow makes everything underneath beautiful.
We walked. We played. Pea built her first snowman.
And her first snow angel.
I walked her down to the school so she could see what the playground looked like buried. Can you believe that she walked the 10 (or so) snowy blocks and then THIS?
This is her face after she’d walked all the way back out. I carried her half the way home,, which was rather exciting on ice-crust with slick-bottomed rain boots and 35 pounds of dead-weight toddler.
Pea loved finding snow chairs everywhere. Perhaps next year, when she’s no longer wearing a diaper, this won’t have the same appeal.
We had groceries delivered, just for the thrill. I baked so many cookies it was almost easy to think about a wheat/sugar/dairy-free January (almost). We had one set of neighbors over for snacks and drinks and more neighbor friends over for dinner.
I checked on still another household to make sure they were warm and had food and medicine (they did, though I brought them cookies anyway) and in the process made new friends and heard some great stories about the land we’re on.
Then it was Christmas Eve and Christmas and then, finally, it started to rain. And it rained and rained and Sunday morning I woke up and felt like I had time-traveled—the snow was almost completely gone.
It won’t happen again this way for years and years and I love that I now have one of those old-timer stories to tell Pea and Birdie. “I remember when you were only this high and we got all that snow…”
It’s taken me most of the last 5 months to understand that the impressions I had of you, in utero, were and are only half the picture. I was right: you are sensitive. But in a very different way than I had imagined, I confess. You are not shy, you are not so much a thinker, and you are rarely quiet.
What are you, then? Since you are just 5 months completely in this world, I still have only part of the picture. Every day I have the distinct feeling that what I know only gets smaller and smaller as you grow bigger and bigger.
You are quick and fast-moving. You are incredibly strong. Several times your Daddoo and I have nearly dropped you as you have suddenly thrown your little body at something you wanted. You have the highest, shrillest crowing sounds I have ever heard, and every day you wake up by crowing, just like a large tropical bird— eyes still closed, body still on the bed, but mouth open wiiiide as you test your vocal range and volume. You can be heard from anywhere in the house.
You are quick to catch a joke, an upturned eye or voice or laugh. You love to catch strangers by the eye and win them to you with your huge, gummy grins and your spit-up smiles. Your eyebrows are often more expressive than your actual eyes.
You were not born with the deeply-ingrained sense of routine and order that your sister has enjoyed. Though it makes you easy to cart around according to Pea’s schedule, I often worry that I should be working with you more on regular sleep patterns. You’ve had some stellar weeks of sleep and some that I want to haul out to the curb, douse with gasoline and burn.
Lack of sleep is probably the hardest part of Mamahood for me. I feel pretty good about how I’m coming along as a person and Mama until a bad sleep week hits. Then I can barely deal. With anything. I’m sorry that you’ve already experienced so much of this. I’m working hard to get you into a sleep routine that works for your little body but doesn’t leave me glassy-eyed and emotionally irrational. Here’s hoping, kid.
You started crawling on your 5 month birthday, you over-achiever, you. I thought your older sister was going to be my overly-motivated one, but she didn’t crawl till 6.5 months. And when I hold your hands in mine you already pull yourself up to stand on my legs. What, please tell me, do you want with walking?
Your emotions are still really intense. Hot and cold. You are either completely happy or decidedly not. You are either yelling and wailing or asleep. You are either clawing and scratching at me to get out of your carrier or you are making lovey-eyes at the grocery clerk. You are either having blow-outs or nothing.
You have been working hard the past couple months to make your Daddoo’s life a living hell. After initially seeming completely bonded and happy with him, much more so than Sister in the beginning, you have spent the last few weeks thumbing your nose at him if he dares to come anywhere near you, especially if he tries to take you from me. You are beginning to come back around. Slowly. Sometimes it has nearly made me cry—I mean, I HAD a terrible father and here I got you such a nice one, so kind, and you act like the rest of us are crazy. You are a tough nut to crack, sometimes. When your mind is made up it is MADE UP THEN END.
I love you Birdie. I know I’m not always the emotionally calm, centered parent you and Sister deserve, and I know that when I’m too effing tired I raise my voice too much. I’m figuring this out as I go, you know. But never has anything so intense and loud and tiny and funny, all at the same time, won my heart so completely.
It’s a funny thing, you know. I made you. Yet I will spend my whole life in amazement and thrill as I discover, day by week by month by year, who you really are. And I can’t think of a better use of my time.
Posted by Annagrace at 11:03 PM
I'm still here. It's been a busy last few weeks and I have a lot of catching up to do, but what's new? If you're following me on Twitter you know the best and worst of it, probably. Best? The girls and as funny and feisty as ever and I turned 30. The worst? I'm tired. TIRED. This baby doesn't have the inner routine clock her sister did and so any sleep she gets requires me working HARD for it, especially if I want her to sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time. I'm exhausted. I have lots to show you--we got tons of snow, Christmas happened, we got snowed in for a while, my mom and sis came and stayed with us for a few days, Birdie turned 5 months and she's started crawling. So much. So tired...
Posted by Annagrace at 11:40 PM
A list of some of Pea's favorite books these days. They are getting longer and longer, and even though I have always loved reading to her (I wish we could do it for as long each day as she spends jumping off of things) I am particularly enjoying these new days of books that don't end in 6 or even 12 rhyming pages.
We love the Little Bear books. We read them over and over and somehow they never get old to either her or me (thank goodness).
We also love Arnold Lobel. Pea is sort of meh about Frog and Toad, but she loves Owl at Home and Mouse Soup/Mouse Tales.
And we love, love, love Toot and Puddle. The illustrations are magical, the stories aren't overwritten, and there is wonder on every page. I've heard that there is a Toot and Puddle show and I've also heard that it's nothing nearly as cute and sweet as the books (of course).
Penelope is also a big fan of anything by Robert McCloskey. We read One Morning in Maine over and over and over... I've always thought, from the first ultrasound we had with her, that Pea looks a lot like Sal and I've always called her my Little Sal. And Sal has a little sister, Jane, so Pea like to say that Adeleine is her Little Jane.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:54 PM
Our annual trip to my uncle's Christmas tree farm to get our tree. This year my mom and sister and our friends Sharla and her children Xander and Quinn came too. And my sister's dog. It was a perfect winter day--crisp but not too cold, and later the sun...
Posted by Annagrace at 11:53 AM