Thursday, November 18, 2010

missing him still

Sawdust in Grandpa's shop where I loved to play as a little girl.
It has been a month and a half since my grandpa's funeral.  
This is the first time I've been able to get an understanding of what it really means to lose a loved one.
I've been very blessed in my life; up until my grandpa, I had only felt the loss of two: a childhood friend and a dear great-grandma.

But grandparents are different. I feel so close to all of my grandparents (and I still have five grandparents alive! Yes, I'm quite lucky!) 
but the thing about having that level of love and connection--the loss hurts all that much more.

The pain is softened, purified even, by the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  I know where Grandpa is, and I know that he is finally free from pain and sickness, and I know that he is happy and busy.
But I miss him.  
Most of the time it is a mature-feeling "yes, I know he's gone but it's all right." Every once in a while, though,  I'll see a pretty bird that I wish I could tell him about, 
or I'll suddenly be reminded of the way his soft flannel button-up shirt smelled when he would wrap me in his arms,
or I'll see a scribble of his pencil notations on the underside of a wooden chair he made, 
or I'll just remember again that he won't be watching from my mom's rocking chair as we open Christmas presents this year,  and that's when the mature pain gives way to wishing I could collapse in a heap of tears and just cry and cry.

But I can already see that it is good for me.  I have a softer heart for those who have to deal with much bigger losses than mine.  

And I am grateful, oh so grateful, that I know without a doubt that I will see my grandpa again.
He will still (and always) be my grandpa.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

and how grateful I am

that the November-December-January weather here is seriously incredible (40's at night, 70's in the day),
that we planted this tree right outside the kitchen window,
and that I have legs to stand on, hands to wash my dishes, and eyes to see this tree while I work in my kitchen.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

yes, I cut his hair

Thanks to an episode of Backyardigans, the little table and chair my grandpa made for me before he got sick, and a healthy dose of "can't take it any longer,"
my son no longer dons the orphan-boy hair.

Just don't look too closely at the front and sides there...
let's just say I'm glad he's only 1 and doesn't care about his hair yet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

hidden cache

After Nicholas went down for his nap, I did my
three six-times-daily pickup routine.

In the kitchen I reached down to pick up a fridge magnet,
looked to my right and found this:
 The secret stash.
This tells me three things:
  1. I have a very creative little boy who is hiding things from us for a reason I have not yet determined.
  2. I need to sweep under the island ASAP.  
  3. Maybe we should have purchased the kickboard that goes to the island after all. Although it probably wouldn't have fit in the car.

Friday, November 5, 2010

happy face

There are some things that nearly all toddlers love: bubbles, dum dum suckers, Elmo, balloons, etc., and Nicholas is no exception.   

Our kid is a quirky little guy, though.
Unusual things that make Nicholas happy:
  • Eating with a fork.  For a child only 14 months old, he's surprisingly good with a fork. (And he's not left-handed, even though the picture makes it look that way. He had to switch hands with the fork because he was giving himself a round of applause.)
  • Songs. Nicholas loves to sing, and he will "sing along" to any song whether it's in Church, on the radio, on a show, or anytime I play the piano.  He's an excellent dancer, too, with more moves than both Kent and I combined.
  • Pens. After five or six "artist" episodes, I've learned to remove the ink center before letting him play with the empty pen.
  • Watching videos of himself on the video camera.
  • Closing doors.  Although he doesn't like the fact that he can't then open the door again.  So he knocks on the closed door until we open it, just so he can close it again.
  • "Cleaning." If I ever need to keep him busy for a good 20-30 minutes, all I have to do is give him a clean dishrag and tell him to help me clean.  He wipes down everything he can reach.
  • Sitting right between Mom and Dad. He absolutely MUST be smack dab in the middle at all times, and he gets this adorable little smile as he wiggles his bum down between our laps.
  • Cell phone ringtones.  And the theme music to Angry Birds.
  • Socks. Isn't it ironic that a mother who really, really doesn't like socks (they're gross!) has a son who loves them?  He'll pick it up, carry it around the house behind his head like a scarf, and whisper "hock, hock, hock." He climbs into my lap and sticks out his foot so I can put the sock on it, then he stomps around the room showing it off.
  • Going outside.  Our daily walks to the park are seriously the best parts of our day.  Hooray for cooler weather!
  • His boo game. He made this one up:  if we are sitting on the floor he walks behind us, leans on our backs, and peeks around our shoulders until we say "boo!"
  • Hiding under sheets and curtains.  He flaps his arms and breathes really fast. 
  • Spinning in circles.  A recently acquired skill.  He also enjoys spending time walking very slowly backwards.
I sit and watch him during the day and I seriously wonder what we ever did before we had our sweet little Nicholas.  
We'll keep it all : the grumpy and the good.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

grumpy face

My mom wasn't kidding when she told me that trying to get those eye teeth in is the worst.

Other things that make Nicholas grumpy:
  • Anytime Mom leaves.  The house, the room, or sometimes even just the five-foot radius around his person.  He's a mama's boy, that is certain.
  • Anytime a friend leaves our house.  He burst into tears on Sunday when my visiting teachers said goodbye.  He thought they had come to play with him.
  • 5 pm.  We aren't sure what the problem is exactly, but right around 5 pm is what we call the "witching hour" at our house.  Every little thing sets him into uncontrollable tears.  We try to limit his tv viewing at this age, but if you were to stop by at 5 pm on any given day you will most likely find him standing right next to the television watching Backyardigans.  
  • Being told he can't have our knives and forks at dinner. Even when he already has two forks of his own, one in each hand.  He also has a fondness for drinking from our cups instead of his. 
  • Being hungry. We taught him to put his fingers to his mouth when he is hungry, and that has somewhat eased the pre-meal crakiness.  He brings his hand up, points at his mouth, and says "this!" over and over again, like he's telling us "You see this hole in my face?  It needs food!"
  • Not having the exact right blanket at bedtime. Despite all my efforts in preventing him from getting attached to a blanket, he has decided that he needs one of his two thermal blankets in order to sleep.  At least it doesn't matter yet which of the two, right?
  • Diaper changes. He runs away from me, laughing, as soon as he sees me pull out the wipes and changing pad. The sweet laughter ends the moment I catch him.
  • Coming inside. This kid loves to play outside, and his favorite activity is walking down the sidewalk as far as we are willing to follow him.
  • If we don't help him open the candy, fruit snack, camera bag, or anything else that he wants opened. He's quickly perfecting the throw-himself-on-the-floor-and-cry-like-his-heart-is-broken routine.  This also goes for any time we won't let him have something he wants, watch a show on tv, touch throw my glass candlesticks, play the piano, etc.
I am considering making a cute vinyl sign to hang on the big open wall in our living room:
"The toddler rules."