Friday, October 29, 2010

Going Gray

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We are very excited about this weekend. And it is right about now my own childhood memories of costumes and school parades and holding out pillowcases for heaps of candy come trailing back and, oh, they are good.

Today was a big day. Monumental, in fact. Because here I was, having a rare moment of calm and quiet sitting in the salon chair of my beloved hair stylist, and right before she clips, she goes, "What's this?" Coiled there aside my middle part was this wirey gray havin' a party all by its gray lonesome. My first gray hair.

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And I'm not sure how you're supposed to celebrate the arrival of gray and wirey, but we decided a trip to the park would do just fine.

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Can I swoon for a moment?

Because this one goes to take a picture with me, and she gets distracted by love. You can't get a serious shot because she's all up in my biz just wantin' love, and that kills me.

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And, announcement, please. She said her first word. Says it all the time now, and she knows damn well what it means too.

Mama.

There are these magic moments when she's tummy timin' it, scootin' along the carpet reaching for toys, flipping over to keep herself occupied but really just wondering when someone's going to come hold her. And right when she's just to that point of boredom where she's gonna holler for something more exciting than the trial shampoo bottle Brett filled with beebees to entertain her, I'll walk by. And she sees me. And she lights up like she just won a new car, and we'll stop and stare at each other, her with her legs all a kickin' and me with my heart all a racin' and then it starts...this mamamamamamma. And it's like crack. Not in the she's-promoting-an-illegal-drug-on-her-blog kind of way, but in the seriously-can-I-bottle-this-feeling? kind of way.

And I'll never forget that my firstborn said that word for the first time on my birthday some years ago. It was the best birthday present I've ever received.

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So here we were enjoying turkey subs and Sun chips on our blanket under the big trees.

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...and while I forgot an extra diaper, I am thrilled I remembered to pack swimsuits.

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...and we were happy.

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I wish I had a great many things to say tonight. Or something thought-provoking or inspiring. But, all I am is a little swooney and sugary and feeling that the most important thing in the world right now is Lainey's dimples or Nella's Winston Churchill grin. So, I will close the sugar bowl and take the sweetness to the cheeks of the babes who wait for me, all sleepin' and snuggly in our new sheets. Besides, I'm tired and I have some business to attend to.

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Giveaway Winner!

The lillebaby Oslo diaper bag goes to Commenter #160, Crystal: Your pictures always inspire me! And I have a new grandchild coming in April - that bag would be a lovely gift for our daughter as she waits for #3 to arrive. Thanks for sharing!

Crystal, please send your mailing info to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net so your daughter can receive her bag. Mama's gotta brand new bag.

And, a new sponsor for my Christmas-lovin' heart. Don't even get me started on ornaments. And this place has one for every occasion. Like if you're obsessed with throwing darts, they probably have a dart-throwing ornament.

Welcome, PersonalizedFree Ornaments.
(Lainey's new ballet endeavors and my infatuation with red front doors representin' on our tree this year). Use code "kelle" for 10% off your order, and free shipping on orders of $60 or more. Stock up, man. If Uncle Ted is a scuba diver, you're golden. Grandma a kick-boxer? Say no more. Check it.

(Editing this post) Forgot to mention that two commenters will be randomly selected to win an ornament of their choice. Winners announced at the next post!

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Lainey carried these two ornaments in a little purse for three days this week...even took them to Ballet to show her teacher.

The heart of life is good, Baby.

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Go dress up and get crazy. It's Halloween.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Enjoying the Small Things...and a giveaway!

Enjoying...

Evening Writing Sessions.
I have my beloved $10 Craigslist desk out in the open where I can work during the day and still be with the girls. Where a bookshelf stacked with puzzles and paper dolls replaces cubicle walls and I can, at any given moment, slide off my red chair to lie on the floor for a game of Memory. I love that space. But, I am finding that sometimes I need to be alone. I need a cubicle maybe just once a week. So, Brett rigged up this jankety card table with some crappy polyester table cloth in our bedroom. And though I sit on a rusted folding chair and am surrounded by a pile of bills and sippy cups that have managed to accumulate on the home's newest catch-all, it's perfect for me. It's quiet. And right about 6:00, the sun gives a recital every night...just dances there in that vast space of glass door stretched before me and curtsies behind that mess of trees.


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Bravo.

Halloween Candy.
I'm going to quit eating it pretty soon, I am.

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We hid it in Austyn's room, in the third drawer down in his dresser, to keep Lainey from seing it. But, then I find myself sneaking into his room in the dark while he's sleeping and pulling out the drawer to stuff a stash of mini Twizzlers and jolly ranchers into my nightgown. Our neighbor came over last night and, ten minutes into conversation, he goes, "You okay? You seem really hyper."

It's called trial-sized Almond Joys, Dude.

Playing Pretend.
Three-and-a-half is magic with Imagination peaking at this blessed Peter-Pan-ish place where everything is just so...childhood. Little voices and tiny plays performed with bath toys and trinkets and lots of asking for "let's play pretend." We run for cover in the afternoon, under blankets and pillows, hiding from pretend storms that shake the house and we tightrope across cracks in the sidewalk lest we fall in the shark-infested waters of the deep cement.

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I used to want to be a child forever. Now, in loving this place, I want to have a child forever. And, believe me, it is in moments like this that I find comfort in the fact that the magic of the extra chromosome just might let Peter stay in Neverland a little longer for our family. And that's perfectly alright.

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Gingham Things.
Happy little checks, they are.

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Fallish Things.
Like wheat-colored stars in the back yard.

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Or pretty little embellishments that take all the color of crisp, fallen leaves and up the ante on a plain tank.

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Flower Clip, Lilian Eve.


Sock Feet.

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Mary Jane Feet.


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And Bare Feet in October.

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Having a lot on my plate, but dropping it all for moments like these...

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Free Things.
So, I've already expressed my love for the lillebaby EveryWear Organic carrier which I use with Nella all the time and without, could not have trekked across four states and three layovers with two kids last month. So, when Scandinavian Child offered to send me a diaper bag by the same brand, I was thrilled. I'm constantly swapping bags between the few cheap pocket-less ones I've managed to collect, but they all end up lying somewhere with a wad of gum, a few tubes of capless lipstick and a mess of crumpled receipts.

No longer, my friends.

Totally loving my lillebaby Oslo bag which is chocked full of cool pockets and zippers making life so much easier. It attaches perfectly to my stroller with these great snap straps. And, hello...it comes in red.

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You too can rock out an organized diaper bag! One random commenter on this post will win a lillebaby Oslo diaper bag courtesy of Scandinavian Child.

So, yay.

Winner will be announced Friday evening.

Happy Mid-week!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

And We're Off

The garden race has begun with the green beans giving the humble radishes a two-day head start but making a grand entrance once they sprouted and towering well above the other vegetation now. But then again, green beans tend to show off.

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I'm realizing that this analogy lover's favorite reason to have a garden lies more in the fact that any life lesson can be applied to the principals of what happens in that little plot of land than in the food itself. Any preachers stumped on sermon-writing Saturday night? Go sit in front of a garden and you'll find a gammet of morals and messages. Plus, it's really fun to drop in conversations that you have a garden. Like, when the waiter places your salad plate in front of you, try following it with a "Hey, these tomatoes are beautiful. Sure hope the tomatoes in my garden look this good" or maybe when your friend is talking about her daughter's kindergarten class you could offer a strategic "Did you say kindergarten? ...because that reminds me of my garden. Wow, are my cukes growing." And everyone will be all we-get-it-you-have-a-garden. And I'm completely exposing my non-gardening-ishness here, but dudes...I have a garden. So, I suppose I look like an ass if I go out just to water my little dirt square dressed like this? It's just I'm so excited to be a gardener that if I'm gonna do this, it's gonna be balls-to-the-walls, man. Like if a real gardener wears Carhartts and wellies, then I'm gonna need to get them. And while I warn you that any discussions of my gardening on this here blog may sound a bit forced and lean on the she-doesn't-know-what-the-hell-she's-talking-about side, let me assure you, I'll figure it out. This is all just one of the many exercises in being a life enthusiast and dabbling in all sorts of life's glories, gardening just one of many. Be glad it's not playing the cello because I checked and cellos are like $9,000 and then I'd have to get some black orthopedic shoes to wear during concerts because I think you have to have soft shoes at those things.


Much ado about nothing? Indeed.

Moving on.

(Disclaimer: I apologize for the use of the word ass in the above paragraph, but I tried butt and other variations of the word and none had quite the punch as ass. Try it. I dare you. It's like Mad Libs but with swear words.)

So, yes we are a little under the weather but not so much in the woe-is-me fevers and Theraflu kind but more in the cough-and-stuffy excuse to cancel plans kind of way. So we did. We canceled plans this weekend and perfected the art of home.

Of tree-climbing (because it's art, it is, and my girl is gettin' into it)

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Of afternoon vacationing just a block up the street to the lake.

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Of recreating our garden in the realm of cupcakes and doing one of those panoramic scans of the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon to drink in good, productive, purposeful chaos. Frosting-coated counters, flour-spattered aprons, stools pulled up the edge of the cupboards where little feet tip-toe to reach the batter bowl.

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Garden cupcakes made from Oreos, formed Starburst, Skittles and frosted cornflakes. From Hello, Cupcake...Heidi got me obsessed with that stinkin' book.

Of pruning our skin in long mid-morning bubble baths and letting the phone go to voicemail, watching TNT movies and brewing a second pot of coffee, and grabbing a front-row seat to the footage that plays out in our home every day.

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And now here's the part where I have nothing left to say but a butt-load of pictures still left to share (and see there...butt was more appropriate in this tense, although the afore-mentioned ass would have worked splendidly as well).

So, please enjoy.

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And, it would be really nice if I had some sort of closing garden analogy here, but I can't think of any. So, with that said, a happy Monday to you, and you, and you.

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...the text size is wackadoo on this post, and I can't figure out html code for text size. So, I apologize if you needed your reading specs half-way into this.