It's February!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Picture taken by Landon from the Sellwood Bridge looking north, walking to session in Sellwood Sunday at dusk.

Both February and December will forever remain in my mind, because they are the months I gave birth to Samuel and Juniper. These early days in February, I recall awaiting the arrival of my first baby, day after day, wondering if my baby would be a boy or a girl and what delivering a baby and motherhood would be like. Words could never describe the moment Sam was born. It was truly a moment of catharsis for me.

February is one of my favorite months. For the past few years, it has been quite sunny during this month, and the first signs of spring have already appeared. My tulips and crocuses have started working their way up, and within a couple of weeks, I expect I'll see a few crocus blooms. I really miss not having a forsythia. I've gone through two, both planted in the same spot on a slope, since moving to this house, so I'm determined to try again (on even terrain this time) as it's the first blooming shrub which hearkens to me the arrival of spring. Those yellow blossoms are so beautiful for two short weeks every year!

Sam and I worked on a Valentine's Day project today (idea found here). We cut out heart shapes from red and white construction paper, Sam told me different things that he loved, which I wrote on the hearts, then he hung them from a branch on his nature table. It should come as no surprise that he loves "his dino puzzle, T-rexes, his friends, and play-dough." I asked him if he didn't also love his Mommy and Daddy and Juniper, and he said "yes, but . . ." so I wrote our names down, too, more to make myself feel better than anything. It's okay--I know it must be perfectly natural for a four-year old to favor dinosaurs (particularly T-rexes) over their moms. They are just a LITTLE more exciting.

Tonight I told Landon that I spent most of the afternoon trying to do things with Sam in between taking care of Juniper. Sam overheard our conversation and said, "Um, you read me ONE BOOK and I did the dino puzzle BY MYSELF." I've gone ahead and welcomed myself to the world of sass. I knew it must be right around the corner.

Tonight I whipped up a 3-loaf batch of 100% whole wheat bread, and will bake loaves over the next five days, freezing what we cannot use right away. I still have so much to learn about bread making. The recipes, techniques, and tips from the experts are endless, but I've started down this road, and am determined to continue. Thank-goodness I have friends and family members on Landon's side of the family who are experts at this. I can use all the tips I can get!

Juniper helped me with laundry today. She really loves to follow me around, and I have seen her pick up a kitchen towel and pretend like she's cleaning (actually, I threw in the pretend part, but I know she thinks she's helping, which I think is adorable of her). The way she helped me this evening was to put the dirty clothes laying in our hallway by the basement door into a laundry basket. It took a super long time, because she put them in one by one and sometimes got confused and started pulling them back out, but she seemed pleased with her efforts.

The poor girl came down sick last night, throwing up twice during the night, and didn't feel well today. Her illness has now transpired into a cold, and I know she isn't feeling like herself. I feel bad looking back, because she was SO FUSSY on Saturday night that I wanted to tear my hair out, but it was all for a reason. I must remind myself over and over again to not assume that Juniper is crying just because she likes to cry. Part of my parenting philosophy embraces the thought that babies do cry for a reason, and most of the time I believe this to be true, but every once in awhile there is a day or night where I just can't figure out the reason, and now I know the reason--she didn't feel well on Saturday night as she was coming down with a virus. Don't we all feel miserable given those same circumstances, but choose to express it in different ways? Now that Sam is 4, I can teach him how to express his displeasure in a better way, but Juniper is a baby. I really need to remember this for the next time when I can't figure out why she is crying. I always figure it out sooner or later.

Ahhh, taxes are done and we are getting a refund, thank-goodness! Laundry is getting there on being caught up, and Landon has at least a week's worth of ironed shirts hanging in the closet. Bread dough is in the refrigerator for the next week, and dinner tonight was a big success! Baked salmon w/ Greek pilaf and cauliflower (I would have chosen broccoli, but the cauliflower needed to be used up, so cauliflower it was). I discovered both of the kids love salmon. Juniper ate a lot of it, as did Sam. I think it was her first taste of fish, too. Sam was pretty happy about squeezing his wedge of lemon on it. I baked it in white wine with a little butter and dill. Simple, but super good. The Greek pilaf recipe came from a Mollie Katzen's The New Moosewood Cookbook. It was delicious, and I'll definitely make it again (I used sunflower seeds over expensive pine nuts, which I like to save for making homemade pesto).

I go to bed tonight feeling accomplished with the work of today, but looking forward to tomorrow morning's coffee. I'm tired tonight, so am off to bed for a little reading, then sleep. Goodnight!


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