Yesterday was Dad's birthday. Here is what I posted on my facebook page:
Lately, watching the birds gather outside at our feeders has become a favorite way to enjoy my day. It was also one of my dads favorite activities. Today I saw: american and lesser finches, fox, song and white crowned sparrows, Oregon juncos, a varied thrush, several specked starlings, Townsend warblers, a spotted towhee, and two birds I couldn't identify. Happy birthday, dad. I love you.
and on his:
Happy Birthday, Dad. I actually wrote something yesterday - but I don't see it here! I thought of you in so many of the activities of yesterday - playing in the snow, the start of the Olympics - and lots of bird watching. You would be so proud of Gabriel - he is so much like you it stuns me sometimes. A little engineer in the making, that one. He also starts baseball in a few month - sign up and uniform fitting are next weekend. I know you are with us. I blink- and can see you in the house doing whatever you would usually be doing - whether smiling or fixing something. I love you.
More snow! Started on Thursday (I should have cancelled classes - went in with a cold and flurries). Glad I stopped by the kiva before I picked up Gabriel, because it is now Saturday night and we are still snowed/iced in. The ice is the worst right now - I am hoping that the trees make it. I love my trees - especially the one in the front that the birds play in and the odler cherry in the back (the only tall tree we have back there.) Gabriel and I went out twice thursday afternoon - once to go sledding and once to play in the back yard. H3 got a kick out of putting snow balls and small branches in the snow path and running over them with the sled (I had fun with this too - especially when he was on my lap.) He gets so excited! We came home and warmed up - then went back out for another 2 hours. The snow was so deep by then we invented a fun game of 'throw the 'spear' and try to run in the snow and grab it first.' Some favorite moments that I don't have pictures of: sitting in a 'nest' we made under the rhodies watching huge snowflakes fall.
Our guy did great the past two days - but it was definitely not easy for him. He was sick last week for quite a few days. Then Ty caught his cold a few days ago (turning into an ear infection). And then yesterday, halfway through watching him in his dance class - it hit me. Fever, chills..body aches. I had to force myself to concentrate to make it home.
Last night Ty managed to heat up some chicien soup for us all (luckily she made it a few days ago) - and gave Gabriel the last of the mac and cheese, so he had a treat for dinner. But Ty was too sick to read bedtime storeis to him. And I was too sick to make up a 'fairy story.' I asked him to brush his own teeth, get his pj's on and get ready all by himself. I then gave him a hug in his bed, put his music on and just crashed in the living room. Usually I spend a little bit of time with him in bed and I peek back in to say goodnight. In the morning I just couldn't get out of bed easily. He got up by himself and let the chickens out (which is his regular chore) and then got a banana for himself. Ty got up and gave him some cashews to eat with the banana (but no homemade oatmeal or porridge.) I finally pulled myself out of bed, curled up on the living room chair and willed myself to get going. I told Gabriel he was going to have to get ready for school on his own - and didn't even care how long it was taking him. Just sat there half zoned out. he did a great job and got ready without much fuss at all. At the very end, I did manage to get a brush through his hair before we went out the door (yes, I did eventually get half out of my sleepy clothes - I put jeans on for the ride to school.) When he got in the car I could see he was tearing up a bit. He said it was because I had brushed his hair and it had 'hurt' today and that his clothes don't fit right today. I got back there with him and said 'you know what I think might be going on? I think it's been really hard to see mama and baba so sick and not help you with things." Bingo! Bring on the tears. Actually, they were very short tears. Mostly - you got it, mom! tears. Then he was fine. The power of being 'seen' and 'heard.' I will always try to see you, Gabriel. I always want to hear you. And I'm glad you know you can share yourself with me - even if you are scared or a little embarrased for crying. It's all good.
Mom's great passion has always been horses. Unfortunately, none of her kids were all that into them (sorry mom!), my Dad was never a great support for this passion and financially it was never really doable.
Enter 2014. The year of the horse. Mom has a support fiance, available finances and - a very interested grandson! I am so proud of her for following her dream and giving a treat to herself for a change. Here is a picture of her and "Ansia"
And of Gabriel's first pony/mini
His saddle came yesterday. It's like watching mom in a candy store. :-)
I have not been blogging as much because instead I have been:
tending to a sick kiddo
being sick myself
writing a gazillion recommendations
interviewing applicants to the doctoral program
facilitating the curriculum committee at work
facilitating the 'vision' committee for our community porject focused on getting a natural food store moved in down the blck.
participating as a member of the Talmud Torah committee
answering hundreds of emails (seriously - I took a look one day and I receive about 10 an hour)
trying to figure out how to run an new online class system
trying to keep the house in some sort of decent order (we never had this much laundery before Gabriel! How does one little boy add up so much?)
volunteering in Gabriel's classroom
making time to play with my wee boy
making time to talk and connect with my partner (in bits and pieces - a 5 minute backrub, a 10 minute conversation after dinner, etc - we have decided taht a date is in order - soon!)
This evenings interesting exchange in the hallway by the bathroom (and next to Gabriel's room.) Scene: Gabriel standing by his door and Ty about to go into the bathroom, but noticing boy just standing there staring at her:
Ty: "What are you doing, Gabriel?"
Gabriel : "Aren't you going to go into the bathroom, baba?"
pause. stares continue.
Ty:" Why are you being creepy?"
Ty: "And what's in your hand?"
Wee boy grins and holds up a pitch of salt he had sneaked from the kitchen. :-)
Poor wee boy didn't get to sleep until late mon, tues and wednesay this week due to all of my meetings and committees falling on the same week - and poor Bab having to work late and getting sick. Monday was a river road board meeting (good stuff happening - including slowing our road down and turning the old goodwill building into a natural food store), a school PTA meeting (I only went to the kindergarden part, but will still didn't get home unil 7:00), and a meeting at Aura's house to talk about our Rabbi search (no need to search - we *have* the best Rabbi available - but all will turn out well I am sure.) He was tickled to stay at nana's for my wednesday meeting (lets see - icecream, chocolate milk and a movie...nana house rocks.) Thursday we had ballet from 5:30-6:30. Friday was a fun day - I was in his classroom all day, then we had a mini golf playdate with friends (Sophie and Declan) follwed by two hours of tap class.
I can't remember being so happy to light shabbat candles. I SLEPT IN - yay for Gabriel for letting the chickens out and then playing on the ipad until we woke up. We then stayed home ALL day. No playdates. No running around (even 'fun', non chore running around takes energy - and we were all on empty). Ty got her guitar out. I sat by the fire and read the remnants of this weeks funny pages and other part of the paper I didn't have time for - and half read/half watched my two favorite people play around on the guitars together. At one point gabriel got the drums out and the metronome and they made up their own rhythms together. Later Gabriel and I played 'horse' outside (lots of jumping over things - with a large break for make-believe about the horses receving hanukkah gifts.) Ty came out of her cave for coffee break and we all looked at the seed catalog for a while. Gabriel circled all the goodies. :-) The more horse play! Around 4:30 I told Gabriel is was time to treat myself to a shabbos treat - curling up by the fire to read my book for a while. He played legos quietly while I enjoyed the peace. Then we played legos together until bab told us her delicous chicken soup was ready. (Interestingly he got out his bigger duplo legos instead of the smaller ones he has been into. I think we all needed a brain break. I like the 'eyes' that come with the duplos set - and made a car with 10 eyes. Lots of giggling involved in todays play!)
At dinner I told Ty about the math pattern trivia question that the coffee house had today. Gabriel was so intriqued that Ty made up a math pattern for him to solve. It was hard work but he eventually figured it out - and then made one for us.
After dinner Gabriel and I curled up to watch the movie "Shr*k." It is probably only the 6-7th movie he has seen, but he enjoyed it (even though many of the jokes went over his head.) MUCH better than "Froz*en", which we went to go see last week with Justine.
And now - I am working on FHs applications. Well - now I am writing this, so I guess I am procrastinating on writing FHS applications. :-)
Some pics of the past few weeks:
First he asks me to pretend to be a 'goat on a boat' as he sings his favorite song (with the same name). Then he says "Okay, mama - now pretend you push me into the tunnel of darkness and my head gets stuck."
Between Finals Week, Christmas at mom's house and enjoying the break I haven't been on here. I'll post Christmas pics soon. It's been very nice to be home with Gabriel and not have to be anywhere else. The last two weeks I've cleaned and organized much of the house - including Gabriels' room, my home office and my closet. It's amazing how nice that feels! I still need to work on my work office a bit. Probably not going to get done before winter term, though. An example of how our winter break days have gone...
Slept in until 8:30am (when I could no longer put the wee boy off any longer.) I get a bit more sleep-in time by telling him I'm not getting up until all his chores are done (letting the chickens out, feeding the cats and brushing his teeth.)
Wake up. Make porridge and yogurt for Gabriel and peanutbutter toast for myself. Sit by the fire with coffee and read the newspaper. Gabriel sits at the window seat, watches the birds and chats. We are trying to get him to read one of his books - that works about half the time. This morning he spent most of the time looking at his 'map' placemat and the globe, following all the oceans.
Play on the chalkboard wall. We made mazes on the wall for each other. Its fun to see him really 'get' the concept of a false trail to trick someone into going the wrong way. His trail led to icecream. He made me a maze that led to flowers and then a book (with an elephant at the end of the trick trail.)
Get dressed and pick up a bit. Gabriel is currently picking out his own clothes, which is fine, but dressing takes forever! I am going to have to get him up extra early for school just to plan time to get dressed. He gets distracted eery 5 minutes (unless I 'race' him.)
Go to the park to play with three friend from school. He does sooo much better with a small group than a whole crowd (like at school.) He and Brenden played 'zombies' for a while, and then he and Sophie got caught up in a fun game of obstacle course. I enjoy the other mom's I have connected with at Family school. It will be one of the biggest aspects I miss if we decide to homeschool (a whole other post!)
Leave the park to go to Elijah's birthday party. Stop by burrito boy for a quick 'in the car' lunch (very rare, I promise!) and by the house to pick up the chickpea soup Ty made for the whole Dolin family (newborn dinner rescue). We played out new number game all the way to the party (pick a number..then the other person does a 'less than or 'greater than' questsions to guess the number.)
Had a fabulous time at the party. Gabriel loved making his robot face and spent a good amount of time decorating and then eating his birthday cookie. He was a year older than the other 4 kiddos there and didn't know the other kids all that well, but still had a good time and played/danced with everyone.
On the way home we stopped at the Kiva (and of course played more number games. As soon as we get in the car he always says 'let's play something!) and then headed home.
At home I called my mom and she noted that my message was full, so I laid on the bed and started to erase messages. It was easiest to put it on speaker phone so I could just listen to the first few seconds and decide to erase or not. Gabriel came in - and then on eof Dad's messages came up. He was mesmerized and asked to listen to all of the saved messages. Soon after he made up a game where he called grandpa on the phone - who then came over and picked him up to go for a walk on the river (to look at turtle hotels) and to play 'real' golf. He wanted to wear Grandpa's hat and coat. This then led to him noticing the cribbage board that Grandpas made above the fireplace and asking me to teach him. So I did (taught just the hand scoring for now.) It was a surreal experience. And I felt my Dad right there with us. Tickled that Gabriel was getting such great hands! He won the game by a landslide.
Sat down to eat the delicous dinenr that Ty made - salmon patties, roasted kale - and a surprise of mac and cheese on the side. Mr. bouncy eventually ate most of it. Then I kicked Ty out to her studio to play her new videogames.
Gabriel wanted to look at Grandpa pictures before bed - so we did. Then we 'raced' to get pjs on, brushed teeth and curled up on his top bunk for a story. I had promised him if he got dressed before I did he would get a 'fairy' story. I've been making up stories lately about this little fairy who lives in the house. When I was younger I used to tell my brothers a story very similar (back then it was a who family of little poeple. I was sooo mad when the small tv show 'the littles' came out - I felt like they had stole my idea!).
Put lots of 'love' into Gabriel's blacket and pillow, said the Shema, and then put on Rabbi Yitz CD for sleeptime.
Now I am about to go get some decaf, turn on the coffee and either read on work on my syllabus. Haven't decided yet. :-)
I've seen Gabriel cry with happiness twice in his life. The first - when we got him his pink fairy wings for his birthday. The seond was tonight. In his ballet class Miss Angela surprised the class and taught thema small piece of the sugar plum fairy dance. Then she brought all the parents in to watch, announcing "tickets please. The nutcracker show is about to begin." And introduced "the sugar plum fairies" as she turned on the music. His whole body radiated joy, with tears slowly forming on his smiling face. It took me by surprise and reminded me once again what a very special boy we are blessed with.