Monthly Archives: January 2011

to remember

6 January 2011
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As Miranda and Henry grow, I don’t think I should tell all of their stories. Even if they are funny. Darn ethics, I thought I had squashed you. But Bella – in preserving the big kids’ privacy, I am not recording the moments I’ll forget in her life. And I want to remember.

This is the year with the kookoo tree. Kookoo claus is pretty scary. Unless you circle him a few times in the mall and then maybe you can sit on his lap. Or at least that worked for Bella. She also will sing boo-boo bells, but not if you put the video recorder near her. She will laugh at us and say, Christmas and Santa next year. But this year, the kookoo tree is the most beautiful thing in the house, or maybe the world.

She cries to get her own way, but in an adorably manipulative way. We’re so screwed when she is 13.  Or 7. She doesn’t cry when she runs into the island countertop, or spins the bar stools and the arm rest whack her in the forehead. She has a plasmacar and can whirl around the house. (That’s the nifty little hot wheel type car that doesn’t have pedals, instead you turn the steering wheel and it goes! whee!) She talks all the time – and on New Year’s Eve, she even said a full sentence: No, I hold that baby!   Baby Natalie visited us. 6 month olds are too precious. Bella seemed like a giant next to her.

Grandpa just converted her crib into a toddler bed. She likes it, even if she isn’t quite ready to fall asleep in it. She is toying with toilet training. And preschool registration is at the end of the month! Only 6 months to succeed.

She loves baby dolls. Her kitchen set. Diego, Dora, Max and Ruby. Books. Henry’s light sabers and swords and guns. She likes puzzles and coloring and putting “pope” on her skin. (lotion in this case) She likes the water – swimming or bath or just the kitchen sink. She decides to wash her hair when she plays in the water for too long.  She also loves her big brother and sister. She thinks her uncle is the best and his dog is all that.

Being a 2 year old is pretty challenging. And Bella is pretty good at it. Click on any photo to start the slideshow.

morning light

4 January 2011
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Wow, I missed December entirely. Let’s see. We shopped. We wrapped gifts.We played in the snow. We adored Uncle Nate’s dog Mac. Wash, rinse, repeat. We also played dreidl with Bubbe Fran. Had a delightful visit from Santa and a nice gathering with my mom’s family. We had friend’s over for New Year’s. 6 month olds are so precious – I’d believe they are a plot to make you think your 2 year old is a giant and you wish you could have another baby. WE ARE NOT HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

Since the shortest day of the year, I have been enjoying the morning light. It seems ridiculous to notice the (extra, brighter) light. How can it be different? – it didn’t feel that different as the days grew shorter and shorter. But the light feels like a Hopper painting. The morning ones, not the indoor nighttime ones.

I’ve always been glad that the Mill Rd. (Milwaukee) Public Library had a nice book of Hopper prints when I was assigned to find an artist to copy in art class in high school. I fell in love with the ways America looks in Hopper paintings. I nearly always choose a Hopper image for my desktop wallpaper and usually have a Hopper calendar on the wall. My attempts at imitation were only flattering in the sense of the saying. But seeing how hard it is to capture light – to understand how revolutionary those seventeenth Dutch masters really were.

This year, I feel like I am seeing something new. The important part is that I am seeing it, not that it is new. The winter morning light.  I’ve always though summer was the season of light. The lush greens, the bright blues – made for Kodachrome and Paul Simon. Our wedding day is a happy memory, not just because I was ecstatically happy to marry Rob, but because the summer light was gorgeous. But this winter is challenging me to think beyond the grayness of December, and the heavy darkness of the fading light in November. January has had wide skies, cool light, pastel colors that don’t seem muted. And February will be gray again, I’m sure, as the snow gets old and dirty and winter gets (even more) tiring. Until then, I am enjoying the long light in the mornings. And wondering if heading to the western deserts in winter isn’t just smart for the temperature, but for the mirage.