Friday, November 20, 2009

The Little Moments

Five years ago tomorrow, on November 21, 2004, Temecula experienced its only snow fall in recent memory. Of all the many little actions of love that Bill has brought to our relationship and marriage, there are some that stand out above the rest---some that I will long remember and press to my heart even after he is gone. I'll never forget that he woke me up that morning, knowing that I wouldn't want to miss a single moment of the snow and all its magic. He knew me well enough to know that I would want to capture such a moment forever. We took pictures and made snowballs, and then he drove me around wherever I wanted to go that morning---so that I could see it all, breathe it all in, explore the whole valley and see it in snow. I will never forget that little action which meant so much, because he wanted to see my delight and that delight made him happy.
It is hard to believe that our one snow happened five years ago. We are reminded of what magic passes us in the blink of an eye. And should we neglect to make it immortal---whether through written words, or a sign on the heart---that magic might forever leave us. So tonight I dedicate my words to a few small moments these past few days, moments that I hope will live forever with me.
Here are some beauties of today:
* Katie waving to the gigantic Christmas tree on Fallbrook's Main Street. We ran over to it after Music Together class, and she wanted to stand underneath it. She called, "Hello to Christmas tree/So glad to see you!"
* Playing hide-n-seek before bathtime. Katie was pretending to be a mouse, actually, and as I searched for her, I made up lyrics about my search to the melody of one of the songs from Phantom of the Opera. When I would find her, she would giggle and squeal with happiness. We played for awhile: hide-n-seek is one of our favorite games.
* When I came downstairs from my nighttime routine, Katie and Daddy were watching Meet Me in St. Louis, one of Katie's favorites. Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien were in the middle of their cakewalk duet "Under the Bamboo Tree" and all of a sudden, Katie started singing with them and even doing some of their dance motions, most notably making her arms into a tree! Very adorable! I think it would be very fun if Katie and I could learn the whole dance together...
* Going upstairs tonight, Katie said to me, "You're my best friend."
Music class was such a joy today. It usually is, and I really look forward to it every week, but I really thought Kara organized her lessons and transitions exceptionally well today---and she is a great teacher as it is (she would be amazing to have on staff anywhere). The flow of music and skill sets, however, seemed exceptional today. Katie was also delighted and as usual, she was such a helper in picking up instruments. She loved playing the bells today, and she danced with the gossamer scarves and even sang a little of one of the songs in class. (She sings them ALL the time at home, but in class her style is to listen and observe more often than not). So Katie was feeling the comfortable vibe, too.
When we got home, Boppa helped us repair part of our fence. Katie loves to help Boppa, and Boppa is so good at explaining what he is doing and sharing his tools.
Boppa and Katie ponder the fence project.
And here is a piece of lumber for you!

Katie uses Boppa's carpenter pencil to mark some wood.

We made a balance beam out of some scraps...


We really have had a fun week, all around.

Here, Katie is ready for lunch after our Monday toddler class.

Katie is excited for class! We are all ready to go!

A purposeful walk toward the car...

We made a turkey from Katie's hand tracings, and we traced her shoe to make the turkey's body. I let her hang it wherever she wanted at home, and she chose the downstairs bathroom door.

On Wednesday, Katie is excited for some errands! We went to the bank and to visit our old park in the old neighborhood. We went on a whim, actually, but I was curious to see if the visit would activate her memory. She hadn't seen our old park since the day before the move, when she was 19 months old.
Sure enough, she remembered it! She ran from the car saying, "I missed you, park!" She played on the slide and in the sand and wanted to go over to her swings. She chose the same swing she always used to choose and asked, "Sing our swing song, Mommy"---the song we had made up last November on those swings. She looked out at the grass and described a memory of dogs playing there and people throwing a football. She said she remembered looking for ladybugs there. Katie has her Daddy's memory, I think. He remembers events from an extremely early age. I tend to have a pretty good memory for many pieces of information, but theirs is better. I think her memory will be an asset to her...
I get nostalgic for our old park. At one point, we were walking there everyday. I definitely associate much of her babyhood with the layout of our old house, yet all of our material objects are here: our cozy chair, our books, our blankies, etc. But we spent so much time outside and especially at that park---if ever I miss aspects of our Azalea house, it is the park and the yards. We have so many memories there together... Time just goes too fast, that's all...
After the park, we went to Joann's, since they are having a sale on Christmas trims. We add one new Christmas decoration a year (and try to limit ourselves to one). Last year it was Katie's pink tree and ornaments for her room. This year, since we now have stairs, it had to be the garland for the banisters. (And a mistletoe ball---but since it was in the same section as the garland, in my mind, I am counting it still as one decoration :-) . So I had Katie help me pick out everything, from the ribbon to tie the garland, to the embellishments in the garland, to the garland itself. I can't say I even steered her decision-making too much. I offered some input, but really, she chose everything I would have chosen when given the choice between two similar items---like two different berries, for example. We had so much fun, and I cannot wait to decorate our stairs with her. Already she has asked four times to look at her bag of decorations...she takes out all of the embellishments and sticks them in chairs and so on. She helped me peel all the tags off already. She is excited. I am telling myself to hold out until at least the day after Thanksgiving (I used to wait until December 1st). But I see decorations in our near is too much fun to wait too long. And Katie is really into it this year...
Well, bedtime for me! The great news in our house today is that Bill, Amie, Boppa, Uncle David (and his girlfriend Ashley), and I all have appointments at 10:00 AM tomorrow to receive our H1N1 vaccine. Katie has had one dose and has to wait a few more weeks for her second one. I am so excited and so relieved. Yes, I want us to protect ourselves, but more importantly, with all of us vaccinated, we will produce the "bubble effect" around Katie. Those closest to her now will not get sick and we will therefore not be conduits of passing it to her (she has been vaccinated partially, but the bubble will help until she is eligible for her last dose). So we have to be on the ball tomorrow morning, rested and ready. The vaccination situation is turning out much better than I ever thought it could... Even Bill is vaccinating himself, which should tell us all something. He doesn't usually find the normal flu vaccine anything to worry about. Although he is not against vaccination, he doesn't usually see much point in the regular seasonal flu shot. And with his healthy constitution (he rarely gets sick), he is probably right that he doesn't need to stress over that. But the fact that he is willing and even initiated the decision to get the H1N1 vaccine indicates to me that yes, vaccination here is a very smart idea.
The funny thing, to me, is that I used to dread shots...I would get knots in my stomach for days beforehand. After all of the prenatal care with Katie (and after birthing her without drugs), I must say a shot is absolutely nothing. It actually makes me laugh, because tonight I am actually feeling excitement about tomorrow---the same as if I were going some place really fun. That's a pretty twisted, and amusing, view from someone who used to get major anxiety about needles.
For those in Temecula, you might still be able to get an appointment: It is a one day flu clinic at TVHS. Walk-ins are welcome, but they will only be dosed after those who have appointments, or so I understand. Each shot is $20 but so worth it. You can make appointments and pre-pay online. Good luck!