This New Years Eve is planned to consist of the lovely Caitlin, a German Apple Cake (which is in the oven now and smells delicious) and potentially, at midnight I might be with Gramma. At least then I know I'll get kisses at midnight.
I hope 2011 is nice to me - and to you, too.
Happy New Year.
1. Kai & his train set, 2. Aly & Asher, 3. Aly putting clothes away.
The latter two were taken by Kai.
I spent the last two nights and three days with Kai and Asher while their mama & papa redeemed the gift I gave them for last Christmas (a weekend away for free). Hats off to all of you single mothers out there; I don't know how you do it. The days were mostly alright, although at some point over the past few weeks, Kai has reached the terrible twos, which we thought he might skip. Wishful thinking.
"Kai, baby Asher is trying to sleep. We need to whisper. Can you show me how good you are at whispering?"
"Uh - no! I want to be loud!!!"
This leads to rounds of Asher crying, then Kai crying, and Asher crying again. So, nap time is hard. In addition, Kai has some difficulties with sleeping in his own bed at night (meaning, he can't, won't, will not do it) which means I was up a few times trying to coax him into his own bed. And, Asher needs feeding at ungodly hours of the night. Needless to say, periods of rest and sleep were nil.
There were some very sweet moments too, though. Kai found my new Christmas camera (as he calls it) in my purse and because it made him happy and kept him preoccupied, I allowed him to play with it whilst constantly stressing how we need to be very, very careful with it because of how special and important it is. After taking quite a few photos - mostly of me - he dropped the camera on the floor. I swiftly picked it up and announced that we were done playing with Aly's camera. He began to make a fuss and what I thought was protest, so I got down on his level to "Now Kai" him, when he burst into tears and sobbed, "I'm sorry Ah-yee! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I then cried, too. He felt so bad - and it was so precious and I was so sleep deprived! Also, I've been singing him to sleep with various Carpenters and Beatles songs. During yesterday's nap time, at the first sounds of, "Oh yeah, I'll tell you something, I think you'll understand..." - Kai interrupted me and said, "Wait - Ah-yee. I wanna hold your hand." He then grasped my hand and smiled. Sigh.
So, although it was incredibly tiring, and my patience was tried to its thinnest point - I was happy to be with them - and, oddly enough, I have found myself going through withdrawals. All afternoon I've felt like I'm missing something (i.e., a toddler and an infant).
Anyway. I am happy to be sleeping alone and in my own bed tonight!
A close to my Christmas weekend; spending Sunday evening with the sweetest girls. We ate steak, we mirror danced, we drank wine, we pieced together a puzzle (I admit, I became a little obsessed). It was really quite perfect.
This is one of those things I'm going to regret that I never bought. It's so simple and exactly the right size. My pink chair would look perfect with it.
I have completely fallen in love with this dog. Her name is Echo and she is the snuggliest, sweetest thing. My parents are babysitting her for a couple of weeks. She made Christmas all the merrier.
I went a little crazy taking pictures this weekend, so I will have to narrow them down to a select few. My Christmas weekend was lovely and I was happy.
These turned out a little funny (low lighting & photo booth don't mix well) but Kai is just so cute. When he asked me if he could put some "yip-shtick" on me, I knew I had to capture the moment. He did okay at first, but pretty soon he was rubbing it all over my chin, which - as you can see - he thought was hilarious.
I had a really lovely evening with my family. We went out to dinner and then did some Christmas shopping. We have not been able to enjoy a nice meal out together in years (the downturn of the economy hit us rather hard), but due to the spirit of giving that Christmas tends to bring and the generosity of others, we will actually get to have a Christmas this year. That's not to say that the past couple of years have not been special. On the contrary, I still must say that one of my favorite adult Christmases was a couple of years ago when there were no tree or gifts - not even our usual special treats. Even still, it is very fun to go out and be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the people downtown as they practice their own Christmas traditions. It's kind of exciting in a way, and it was nice to be a part of it again - even if just for a little while.
Once I returned home I popped over to the grocery store to buy what I need in order to fix up Christmas Eve dessert. I'm making this with (my favorite) vanilla bean custard sauce. I made Martha's cranberry upside-down cake last year for the fun of it, and I was not happy with how it turned out. Hopefully this one will be much better. I plan to rise a bit early to get my baking done, and then I will be bussing over to Gramma's house to help her with all of the Christmas Eve dinner preparations. I am looking forward to spending the day in the kitchen with my favorite lady.
I can't believe Christmas starts tomorrow! 2011 is just around the corner. How weird.
Kai's parents gave me a camera for Christmas. They are so thoughtful and generous! I am over the moon. Kai and I played with it all day.
I took the babies downtown today to enjoy the Christmas festivities, which provided the perfect first photo opportunities for my camera. Kai may look terrified to be riding the Christmas Carousel, but you can be sure that he was begging me ("Ride it again!") as soon as we got off.
What a lovely way to start the Christmas week!
I am sipping homemade spiced apple cider from a (giant) pink mug and listening to The Carpenters Christmas Album. It is my favorite of all Christmas music collections. Karen Carpenter was and still is my parent's favorite female vocalist - so naturally, our home was full of her voice during all Christmases growing up. Sitting here in the middle of my bed, being transported by Karen to Christmases past is making me feel a little sad, because deep down I am lonely.
Or maybe the loneliness I am feeling now is actually a yearning for the warmth and love of my family, which I have probably taken for granted in the past. I've grown so accustomed to their readiness to be by my side when I need them. Yet this winter I've managed to find a lot of strength on my own and in my self. I have rarely called on them for help or comfort this time, unlike times of heartache in the past. It has been very hard for me, and still is a struggle at times - but I have truly embraced aloneness for the first time in my life. I think that because loneliness, and learning how to be alone has been such a huge theme and learned ability in my life recently, that the togetherness of family seems special in an entirely different way than it has before.
The winters of my mid-twenties have consistently brought deep aches and pains with them, and so I have not had a Christmas where my heart has been particularly light and happy in several years. Despite what may be hurting me now, I am determined to be happy this year. I won't let any one or any thing or any memory take my Christmas away from me!
I hope (to whom it applies) you all are choosing a happy Christmas, too.
Ps. Has anyone seen the moon? She is hiding behind the clouds and I cannot see her!
Kai wants to do everything that his little brother Asher does. On this particular day, he kept begging to be swaddled. I laugh every time I look at this picture. You can see the smile and satisfaction in his eyes.
I'm so glad they're home.
This will be temporary. Soon (I hope) I will figure out how and where to have prints made and then I will set up a shop at that address. For now, I am kind of using it as a "portfolio" of sorts.
A small step in the right direction!
A small step in the right direction!
Ps. Thank you, Holly for your help and patience!
David Malin, The Witch's Head Nebula, IC 2118
I saw this print today while flipping through books at the Phaidon book store in SoHo. I instantly wanted it and would have purchased it were they not selling it for around $1300. I also went into A.P.C. and tried on the coat I posted about the other day. It was perfect and I would have bought it if it weren't $575. Manhattan makes me feel poor, short and chubby. In Brooklyn, I feel normal or even better than normal.
Tomorrow, Ashley and I are going to pay our friend a visit at Princeton. I am excited to see the campus and be someplace I have never been before. Then it's time to go back home, and I'm okay with that this time. I think that means I'm (slowly) getting better.
Today, for the first time ever (I think), I purchased an album because of it's cover. I'm so out of touch with the music scene. I'm sure I sound like a big out-of-touch-dumb-dumb right now for admitting this. Although, in my defense, I felt I was too involved with it for so long that I chose to hide away (in my case, mostly to protect myself) and never really got back into it. I've heard of Grand Hallway before, and usually - for a smaller city like Seattle, if you hear people talking about a band, then it's probably safe to assume that they're good. The cover is so nice and instantly reminded me of Henry Darger's work, which I love. I figured if I didn't end up liking the music, it was worth the $13.00 for something pretty to hang on my wall!
"...and Katya sleeps alone with her broken heart."
I cannot remember where I read this - but it struck me, for it is often how I feel.
I found this adorable fuzzy onesie with bear ears on it buried in Asher's dresser the other day. I couldn't resist. I took some adorable photos of him - while awake - with a different camera that I have yet to transfer onto my computer. As soon as I do, I will share them. They are unbearably (ha!) cute.
The beginnings of my Christmas Wish List.