Thursday, May 14, 2009
Okay, I've been itching to show some updated pictures of the kittens, but have held back in order to avoid boring everyone into fur ball oblivion. I backtracked and realized I've been sufficiently patient...at least according to my standards :-) I can also justify that two of the four babies will have a new home in 2 weeks. We are keeping Gray and Grunt (my daughter couldn't remember the name for the "runt" of the litter, so she called him/ her Grunt. He/she is no longer the little one in the family, but the name has taken hold). I was fortunate enough to have a good friend tell me that she's been wanted TWO black kittens for a long time, so the siblings will all have some familiar faces to grow up with! We escaped near catastrophe two nights ago when we couldn't find Gray anywhere. We turned the house upside down for two hours. I searched outside, in the dark, fearing that he/she had slipped out somehow. My concern mounted to astronomical heights when I heard hawks screeching nearby. With all the pet trauma my kids (my daughter especially) have endured lately, I thought I would sacrifice myself to the winged carnivores before I would try to explain that one of our kittens got carried away by a hawk! Still trying to maintain optimistic for my now hysterical daughter, I pulled the kittens' blanket out from under my bed...which I had checked no less than 25 times...and there was Gray, wrapped up all comfy cozy. PHEW! Catastrophe averted!
I'd love to blame this gigantic faux-pas on the Blogger poltergeist, but this time I have to fess up and own my mortifying blunder. A few weeks ago, I was THRILLED when LuLu (Coastal Sisters) contacted me about winning her Pomander Ball give-away. I am a HUGE admirer of LuLu's creations, so this was an extra special treat. When the pomander arrived, it far surpassed my wildest expectations (the pictures didn't begin to do it justice) and it matches the colors, in my bedroom, perfectly. I meant to (and seriously thought I had) post about it immediately. As I was just "window shopping" on LuLu's website, I came across a lovely magenta pomander she is selling and had that sinking "Ohhhhh Nooooo" feeling, in the pit of my stomach. I poured through my older postings and realized that I had, in fact, written a post about LuLu's beautiful gift....in my own head! I had to make a public confession and am now off to chomp on a massive slice of humble pie, in a private email to sweet LuLu.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
My "baby" girl forgot to give me the Mother's Day gift she made in school. Like many moms, these handmade gifts are my absolute favorite and I cherish every treasure my children has created for me! To back up...last year, my daughter was very reluctant to hand over the gift she'd made in school. When I had sufficiently assured her that I would love whatever she'd made, she gave me the wrapped present. As soon as I opened it, I understood the reason for her hesitancy. There, in a carefully painted terra cotta pot, was....a bunch of dirt. Evidently, Caroline's were the only seeds that failed to grow. The teacher tried to convince my stubborn offspring to swap plants for one that was showing signs of life. Caroline, apparently, refused and stood her ground. The teacher (who was a beastly woman on a good day) told my daughter that it was "stupid" to give someone a container of dirt for a gift and she should be "embarrassed" to do so. That was all my will-of-steel girl needed to dig her heels in harder and deeper. Those were the seeds she had planted for me and those were the seeds I was going to get...end of discussion! It took a few weeks, but the seeds did start to grow and, by the end of the summer, we had mutant sunflowers and marigolds the size of cauliflower heads taking over my side garden! I, of course, took several pictures, mounted them on poster board and marched them in (myself) to my daughter's classroom. I had stencilled, in huge black letters, "HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!". I insisted that the teacher hang the poster in the front of the class and my baby was vindicated.
No such drama surrounding this year's gift. Caroline used beautiful, vibrant fabric scraps to decoupage the container of pretty yellow marigolds. She made me a precious "My Mom..." book and all is right in our world!
Still in my Pooh jammies as I write this...at NOON! Today has just been full of wonderful surprises, which is not always the case on holidays. I'll say it "outloud" with hopes that 1.) it doesn't make me sound like a selfish shrew and 2.) there may be other ladies who have similar experiences. As a mom (and when I was a wife), I have always believed in making a big deal out of holidays. Perhaps it is because I am a "let's celebrate" kind of girl, but I scarcely need an excuse to make a fuss over the people I love. When I married my daughter's father, I instantly inherited 5 step-children, a step-daughter-in-law, a step-grandson & his two ex-wives. Yes, the ex-wives were part of the package :-). With such a large family, I shopped (Ohhhh, the hardship of it all) year-round for birthday and Christmas gifts. Whenever I came across something that would suit one of the kids, I'd pick it up and toss it in my gift closet. The result: I was overly prepared when the special occasion came around. It actually wasn't as haphazard as that sounds. I put a great deal of thought into each gift, while trying to stick within the parameters of our budget. Took time and creativity, but I thoroughly enjoyed the outcome when gift giving time arrived!
'Tis better to give than to receive...absolutely...and that's what I tried to keep in mind when I was the gift recipient. Because I was never the sort to make a wish list, that left the decision making up to my kids and ex-husband. I probably should have done some steering in the right direction, but I love surprises. At the risk of seeming ungrateful, suffice it to say: there are good surprises and there are not-so-good surprises. This Mother's Day, my ex-husband outdid himself beyond measure. He took the kids shopping for cards and a lovely rose scented candle (my favorite) and brought fresh out of the oven bagels & bream cheese over for breakfast. That would have been sufficient to put a lasting smile on this Mom's face. Inside the gift bag was a dvd/ cd (I wasn't sure which, at first) that he insisted we pop in the dvd player right away (that answered the dvd/ cd question). He had compiled a 10 minute slideshow of pictures that chronicled the lives of both of my children...many taken with me. The slideshow was set to music that he composed and recorded digitally. From the first picture, I was reduced to a quivering puddle of tears. My daughter quickly followed suit and my teenage son swiftly exited the room, but not before I caught a glimpse of a bit of suspicious moisture in his handsome brown eyes. My ex-husband kept his sunglasses on, throughout the viewing, but I'm fairly certain he wasn't immune to the reaction of my daughter and myself. This was, far and away, the best Mother's Day gift I have ever received. I so wish I could share it with all of you! I did ask him to make copies that I will send to my siblings and parents. I'm blessed and incredibly grateful...more tears, so I'll end with that. The picture, for this post, was taken several years ago. My daughter and I were on a ride, at an amusement park. I just love the expression on her face.
I feel a little guilty that this post isn't going to focus on the joys of motherhood...or be chock full of amusing anecdotes...or sage advice from a Mom whose been round the block a few times. Sorry folks...perhaps at the end of the day. I woke up early this morning, per usual, and saw telltale signs of a sunshiny day. After, what feels like, months of off and on rain, this was truly a sight for sore eyes. I grabbed my camera and (literally) ran outside to see what I could photograph. In spite of the rain, my garden hasn't produced any new subject matter, so I trotted down the driveway...in my jammies...to take a look at the azaleas. They are in full bloom...perfect! As I was snapping pictures of my smiling bushes, I noticed that my lilacs are starting to come out. I love lilacs, which is a bit odd because purple/ lavender is not at the top of my favorite color(s) list. The fragrance of lilacs is quite another matter. That is at the top of my list of favorite scents!
After taking, what I deemed to be, a sufficient number of pictures (and realizing how silly I looked running around my driveway in Winnie-the-Pooh pj's), I found my clippers to make a Mother's Day bouquet to share with all of you. "What?", those of you who are familiar with my cut flowers issue, may be asking. There is a caveat to that: cut flowers, from trees or bushes, are just fine.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you...moms who have birthed children, moms who have adopted children, "moms" who have no children of their own...but have, nonetheless touched the life of a young person in some way!