Sunday, February 26, 2012

Insights of the Toddler Mind

We finally got snow this year. It decided to all come at once rather than allow us to enjoy it throughout the winter of 2011-2012, but it was beautiful and worth the wait.
The Nichols family pose in front of our next-door neighbor's matching snowmen. We had no part in either the building of nor the tearing down (a.k.a., melting the next day with temps in the 50s), but it was fun to pose!

A very contemplative Syd wandered around in his new boots that are 3 sizes too big. But we didn't think he'd need them until next year! He will hopefully remember this lovely evening, as this is the first time I think he's old enough to do so. He didn't talk much. Just wandered around the two adjoining yards and ours, watching his footprints and the rest of the world erase.

We went immediately from 20 degree weather with the beautiful snowfall to having 70s and a tornado warning by the end of the week. I have no idea what game Mother Nature is playing, but to keep Syd occupied as he recuperated from a cold, we invested in a child's weed eater. He is obsessed with yard maintenance, and has been asking for Daddy to mow and weed eat! So, we figured we'd just get him his own...

Mommy succumbed to the creeping crud at school. It really knocked me on my tail, too. I don't think I've rested this much since before Syd was born. But, with Daddy taking the lead and letting me conk out on the couch, I am on the mend! In the meantime, Syd was brave enough to cuddle with Mommy, as long as we could cuddle Yi-yi (silkie) and Blue Bear at the same time.

Now, for the fun part...

I decided to use up some homemade cookie dough yesterday evening, after I finally felt like maybe eating sometime in my life again.

Syd was fascinated. He would press his cheek against the oven door and gaze at the lumps of dough rise and spread in the soft glow of the oven light.

When I pulled each pan out and laid the cookies on the paper bag to soak up extra grease and cool, he watched me through very somber eyes and asked, repeatedly, when he could have a cookie. He is 2, after all.

Tonight at dinner, I gave him his cup of yogurt and spoon to keep him busy, then turned back to finishing dinner for all of us.

In the midst of turning from microwave to oven to cabinet and back again, I saw him deliberately scoop yogurt out of his cup. I presumed it was for his mouth.

Instead, he dumped the lot onto the little foil lid from his yogurt cup.

"What are you doing, Syd?

"Making cookies."

Little sponges, aren't they?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Hits Keep Coming

As my previous post explains, I had a renewal of revelation a few weeks ago - family needs to come first. As it stands, it is a solid revelation that has been proved a number of times this year; recently, we had the addition of a heart attack scare.

Aside from family, though, things have been smoothing out. We finally finally FINALLY had a snow day - the first in over a year. My students were delighted to learn that the snow day threw off my plans, so we'll be starting research after the Writing SoL in two weeks, rather than this week. And I, thinking I was catching Syd's cold, am trying to see the silver lining in being laid up with something worse than a cold. But I can only presume I was pushing myself too hard, again, and this is a way to force me to, yet again, take a step back and breathe deeply.

So, rather than leading my first class of the day through a review of their most recent benchmark test and then putting in to practice tips for the writing portion of the Writing SoL, I am laying on my bed, throat swollen so much it is painful to swallow coffee, feverish, headache, and waiting for my doctor appointment this afternoon. I am sorry to miss today - I enjoy my AP seniors a great deal and, though I'm not a fan of Wuthering Heights, I truly enjoy our class discussions on the novel. I can relish the fact that, though they'll probably ignore my sub plans for the majority of the day, I get to tell them on Tuesday that I sat back and watched The Princess Bride while I was laid up. They've been begging me to incorporate that in to the Advanced Placement curriculum - Although I can't justify watching the movie in class, I can certainly enjoy the fact that something I loved when I was a tween/teen is still popular, and it doesn't make me feel quite as old as they usually do!

Cheers, everyone - May you find the effulgent lining in your sick days, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Lot Happening

Much has taken place over the past month. The semester ended and the stress level increased and I had trouble remembering the pledge I made to myself to put family first. The rest would and will all take care of itself. Then, my sister called and asked if we would be interested in helping her celebrate her 40th birthday, and my nephew celebrate his 12th. What a beautiful way to remember that I need to leave school at school, as much as possible, and embrace family.

The weekend before leaving for Columbus, I made chocolate pudding. Syd was helping me whip it up and very surreptitiously snuck a finger-full of the delectable substance. I gasped and made a huge deal out of him sticking his finger in the bowl, which, of course, encouraged him all the more. The joys of childhood come in chocolate smeared faces and giggling over pudding.
My sister has three children, the youngest a few years older than Sydney. But this means I get lots of awesome hand-me-downs! Steve and Syd play in a Bob the Builder collapsible bulldozer that we got to bring home with us! Thanks, Aunt Dawn and Uncle Steve!!

Happy 40th Birthday, Dawn! I am so thankful to have you as a big sis - someone to whom I've looked for guidance whether explicitly or implicitly over the years.

Happy 12th Birthday, Nate! You are growing in to a young man so quickly! What a joy for your Mom to have your birthday so near to celebrate, and what a connection the two of you will always enjoy!

Emily and Syd pose for the camera. Syd is anxiously awaiting the birthday cake!!
(No, she's not that tiny. It is the angle of the photo I snapped, and the fact that she was skidding in to place as the flash went off. Quick little whippersnapper!) Family

And, on a side note, the embracing of family was a dear reminder that we all needed. My brother-in-law made the comment that the only time we seemed to get together as a family in the past 18 months was for a funeral. Life is far too short, and family is far too sweet. Fitting sentiments, too, as Valentine's Day was yesterday. The reminiscing that took place over a glass of wine and birthday cake was as sweet as any Valentine's chocolates I received. Family, to me, is any group of people who are dear to my heart. I have work family, home family, blood family. I just hope anyone who is in my family knows how deeply I care for them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ride or Die, Baby. Ride or Die.

Photo taken from Wikipedia

If you don't know, don't ask.