09 May 2014

SQTF 87: Toddler Happiness, Spring, and #SOTG

We aren't quite to the stage of putting words into sentences yet, but Little Bear is finally starting to move that direction: "Dada, bye-bye," as Matt gets out of the car in the morning; "Dada, work," as we drive around campus; "Dada, chair," as he points out Matt's empty chair while we are eating lunch. It's so fun that he's talking more! I don't think I could begin to list all of the words he's using now, although most people would probably disagree that they count as words; I know most people other than Matt and I can't really understand him, and even we have trouble sometimes. His imaginative play is developing, too: yesterday he was sitting on the counter playing with a measuring cup as he watched me make meatloaf. First it was a hat, then a shoe, and then he held it up to his ear. "He-o? He-o? Bye!"

After my whole frustrated "I never accomplish anything!" morning yesterday, we had such a great afternoon and evening... I felt so badly for having complained! Little Bear was happy and helpful with the meatloaf, peas and potatoes for supper, ran around picking up books with me, helped put away dishes and laundry... We spent a fun half hour outside playing with his ball, and he must have worked up quite an appetite, because the kid who usually spits out meat ate his piece of meatloaf, half of my piece of meatloaf, and half of the second little piece I brought over for us! He got all excited when I offered him a bath, and he played happily in the water until bedtime.

I know not every night will go half as smoothly as yesterday did, but it was still nice to realize that Little Bear is getting to be an age where he and I can have a fun time together on nights when Matt goes out after work to do something with friends. He's able, most of the time, to stop fussing and listen to me explain that "we do not have any grapes but I will buy some at the store tomorrow," or to put down his favorite story even though I haven't read it ten times yet because "Mama really needs to go check the meatloaf, but you can come too, okay?"

Jen's book, Something Other Than God, finally arrived! Sometimes Amazon ships quickly to Alaska, but sometimes...not so much. I'm so excited to read it! This weekend. I have to make it through my crazy list of weekend chores and errands today, so that I can dive into it tonight and tomorrow without feeling guilty for neglecting things... Maybe I can even prep something for tomorrow's lunch for Matt and Little Bear so I can feed them without having to set it down! It's going to be that good, I'm sure of it.

I don't have a photo yet, but if Matt's allergies aren't killing him on Sunday I am hoping that we can go driving up toward the mountains. I'm probably one of the only people with a chance of entering a photo in Jen's "most epic selfie" contest of myself holding Something Other Than God while sitting on an ice floe...

I talked last year about how Alaskans refer to Spring as Breakup, because the ice on all the rivers and lakes is breaking up. There's another Spring-word that's unique to the North Country, though: Greenup. When I was in Ohio for college, I marveled at how the trees slowly took their time unfurling their leaves, how you'd see buds on one tree one day, maybe three trees a few days later. The vibrant Spring green spread gradually. In Alaska, in this part of Alaska, each Spring there is one particular day--referred to as Greenup--on which every single birch, aspen, and poplar (our three main deciduous trees) for miles and miles bursts into brilliant green leaf-ed-ness. All at once. It's insta-purgatory for allergy-sufferers. 

This year Greenup officially occurred last Saturday, coming a week earlier than average thanks to our bout of late-April and early-May 70s. The burst of pollen accompanying Greenup was the second-worst in the last 14 years, according to the certified pollen-counter at the city clinic. Poor Matt has had a rough week!

I'm doing a good job of remembering so far this year, but not having grown up with anyone who suffered from seasonal allergies, it's always so hard for me to remember that I can't throw open all of the windows and air out the house now that it's finally warm outside! I put the screens back in the windows yesterday and turned off the heat for the summer, and will just have to hope that the stronger-than-usual pollen count right here at the beginning will mean a shorter allergy season overall. Also that my recovery speeds up, so that if I can't let the outside in, I can at least start going for walks and enjoying the Spring weather during the days.

So surely my plan to get all of my out-of-the-house craziness finished today so that I can stay home and read tomorrow isn't entirely selfish, since staying home means not opening the door and letting pollen in, right? I may be a little nuts to think I can make it through the whole list this afternoon... There's noon Mass if Little Bear wakes up in time, the used book store to trade in some things for store credit, the crisis pregnancy center to donate the books and goodies my midwife's office gave me but now we won't be using, the thrift store to donate some items and maybe if I'm really a crazy person try to find a white or cream shirt, the grocery store for grapes and shelf pegs, the Catholic Student Association on campus to return some dishes, the Lutheran church across from the library to check out their annual garage sale (again with the "if I'm a crazy person" category), the dump, and my mom's house. Nine places. In a span of... two hours? maybe two and a half? with the toddler. Hmm. 

I just want to say Thank-you, again, to all of the people who have been praying for us since we lost baby Alex. Your thoughts, prayers, and kind words have been so appreciated! We are so blessed to have the support of so many wonderful people.

For more Quick Takes, and more about Something Other Than God, be sure to stop by Conversion Diary!

[Update: Little Bear and I did survive the list of craziness, so it's time to read!]

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