Okay, so although the calendar says it's Spring, it hasn't felt very Spring-ish around here lately. I tried to take some pictures of the sleet/snow we had last week, but they didn't turn out, so sorry you don't get to see it. We've also been having cold wind, gloomy gray days, and even a driving hail storm. Yep, it was pretty sad. That is, until the last three days. It's still a little cool outside (about 60 degrees), but the sun is shining. The tulips are up, the trees have blossoms, and we can listen to the birds singing in the tree outside Anna's bedroom window. Yesterday afternoon we took a walk, and even in the bright sunlight it was a little nippy--that's the reason for the pictures: sunhats and warm jackets.
It's so funny to see the bushes blooming but still feel your ears stinging with the cold wind. Every year I forget what a strange middle ground early spring can be. And yes, I did take a picture of the two of them sitting next to each other, but after several shots where only one is smiling, I opted for the single, smiling shots.
Oh, and picture this, for your own entertainment. There's a street next to our complex that leads into a nice little neighborhood with a perfect walking circuit, so almost all our walks take us there. Only problem? There's a forty-foot hill between us and them. At the end of our walk yesterday, coming back up the big hill, I wanted to step outside my body and take a picture of myself. I was pushing Anna in the big stroller and carrying Mariah in the front-pack. I was practically bent double trying to reach around Mariah to push the stroller, steering the stroller with one hand and clasping Mariah against me with the other to prevent her from swinging back and forth beneath me like a pendulum. It was one of those depressing "I look as ridiculous as I feared" moments. Lesson learned? Buy a double stroller.
Here's some cute-isms from the last few days:
1) Yesterday Anna and I had this conversation.
Mommy: "Anna, are you silly?"
Mommy: "You're sure?"
Anna: "Yep, I'm is."
She has used the "I'm is" construction multiple times again today, and I tried to explain the whole "I am" concept during lunch, but when I asked her if she was done eating (as she was climbing down from the table), she said, with a big smile, "I'm is, Mommy." *sigh*
2) Mariah seems to have taken a break from her crawling efforts in order to learn to sit. She's finally decided it's at least semi-important, and she's sitting by herself now for about 20 seconds at a time, which is staggering when you consider that about four days ago, she refused to sit for any length of time at all. However, it seems to mean that she never wants to be on her tummy, so all my crawling predictions may be going out the window.
3) Today at the grocery store, while I was choosing some produce, Anna was playing with some things I'd put in cart. She started singing "Jingle Bells" to herself and was growing louder with each line. A woman came around behind the basket to get some apples, and she smiled at Anna and asked, "Are you singing? What a lovely song!" And what did Anna do? She frowned, but then with a single reassuring glance at Mommy, she gave the lady a smile and sang the last line of the song. Why was that so impressive? Because normally she would have shut her mouth, turned away, and practically crawled into a corner if a stranger even talked to her. This was a big step for our darling, shy little Anna.
And a final thought for everyone today. Many times in your life, you will see a young mother in a public place with multiple young children. If she is struggling, either ignore her (if there's nothing you can do) or try to help (if you really think you can). Whatever you do, don't smile sympathetically and reassure her that things will get better in a few years or say that you know how she feels. That doesn't make her feel better. It will just irritate, and even worse, embarrass her. And if you see a young mother who ISN'T struggling, either smile cheerfully at her children, or compliment them on their good behavior. For goodness sake, whatever you do, don't smile jauntily and say, "Well, don't YOU have your hands full!" She is pleased her children are behaving well, and she doesn't need to be reminded that she has a lot on her plate and that her fragile peace could be shattered at any moment. Everyone just keep that in mind. :)