A couple of days off, friends, family, sister relationship, kids’ choices

On Friday I left for a couple days away, meeting a friend to hang out at a resort/spa where we went for a hike, wrote (we met in a writing class a few years ago), had some really wonderful meals, talked, and relaxed. I came back Saturday night. I’d lined up babysitting for Friday during the day so Ted could work, and for Saturday for 4 hours so he could have some time off. It worked out pretty well. The kids love the new babysitter, H, and when I came home there was a very beautiful page from an animal coloring book we have, which was the result of a collaboration between H and Hazel.

While I was off on my little retreat we were treated to beautiful weather, and a persistent rainbow on Saturday morning that came in and out with the changing light, and landed somewhere close to the pier and the lovely sailboat owned by the resort. There were also a couple of resort cats to pet, a beautiful wedding party to see, and a welcoming, inviting and helpful staff.

Friday night Hazel spent the night with our friends A and P. They did a ton of fun stuff, including making a salad from ingredients from their garden, playing at the park, and feeding their neighbor’s chickens. They started the night out with H in the bed, but after she went perpendicular (kids are worse than cats in that way sometimes) they transferred her to her own mattress on their floor, and that worked out. They spent a good part of Saturday together, too. I talked to them tonight, and we all mentioned how wonderful the relationship is, and that we wish we’d had something like it when we were growing up. I really treasure that set of connections.

Today we spent time with my niece and my sister, her boyfriend and his kids. Breakfast was peanut butter on toast, boiled eggs, and yogurt. Then we went to the park and were treated to some more nice weather.

Tonight at dinner we had a good, effective (I think, though the proof will be in the pudding) and friendly conversation with Hazel about food, how she isn’t supposed to sneak food from the snack drawer, but how we’re all going to have our own snack packs as soon as they arrive, and she’ll be able to control how quickly she eats her share of the snacks. I’m glad we waited to talk to her about it, because I was able to say, honestly, that I wasn’t mad at her, but that it was important that she not take food from other people, or without permission.

I am starting to lean towards taking the same approach with clothing, but Ted and I have to talk about that some more. I.e., have limited choices in the house that we all are fine with, but then let her choose her outfits every day. It’s a process, and what works at point A might need to change for point B. We evolve, as individuals and as the family unit.

I cooked tonight: I roasted 3 heads of cauliflower, and sautéed some onions, carrots, potatoes, and chard. Joanna absolutely devoured the cauliflower. When I finally put what was left away, I think half of it had been eaten. I am glad they like it!

I also met with the director of one of the orchestras of which I am a member, to go over bowings for the repertoire for our next concert. That was fun. We’re going to be playing Mozart, Bach, and Elgar. I’m looking forward to getting the runs into my fingers, hearing the group and how clean and musical we can get everything.

The runs in the piece I’m playing with the modern group are much funkier, faster, and harder. Rehearsal Tuesday! I am fortunate to live in an area in which so much exciting and creative music is being made, and to be able to participate in that.

Joanna has started saying, very clearly, “Yes!” complete with the s on the end. She grins whenever she says it, clearly pleased at her new elocution. This afternoon Emily gave Joanna a sticker she’d found, and then said, “Give Joanna! Share! Ticker! Ticky!” smiling all the while. When we were at the park Joanna was trying to get Emily off the spinny thing she was sitting on, and kept saying, “No!” and poking her. Emily’s strategy was to ignore her sister. She won, this time. Their relationship is evolving, too.

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