Monday, September 21, 2009

fall fun

On Saturday, we all went to the Sustainable Living Festival. It was loads of fun but also exhausting. We went with our friends Adam, Elisa & Ethan (and Adam's mom Chris). I caught (at least parts of) some interesting talks on backyard chickens, coldframing, and medicinal herbs (no not that medicinal herb!). It was a long day, with an hour each way to Fort Collins, a beautiful but very sunny day, and Roan didn't take a nap even though we'd gone to the trouble of hauling the little guy up there. By the day's end I was filthy, cranky, sun baked, and my back hurt. But Adam and Elisa were so sweet to have us to their house for a lovely impromptu "picnic" dinner. I wish I'd taken more pictures on Saturday.

Sunday Roan and I stayed closer to home. We hung out just the two of us while Arwen finished up day 2 of the Sustainable Living Festival. And we just had a really relaxed day together. She was in a good mood and so was I. She slept in late and gave me a chance to drink a cup of coffee and catch up on email. She got up and played contentedly around the house while I made a ridiculously long to-do list. I vowed not to get stressed by the list, and just be happy to get done whatever I could, but not at the expense of our happiness or sanity.

So we ran a few errands, then picked up lunch and took it to the park. She had a blast at the playground and got good and tired for naptime. While she was down I got a few things done, but also treated myself to a ridiculously sappy movie on tv. She woke up right as it ended. I had hoped to go on a "leaf hunt" together (homework for this week's school project) but it started to get overcast and rainy. So instead we broke out the paints, and when she got bored with that we both put on our aprons and made sugar cookies. "I measure, you pour," I kept explaining. She was great! It was our first time baking cookies together, and it was really fun. We rolled out the dough (of course she had to have a turn at that too), cut them into shapes, and decorated them with colored sugar sprinkles. "It's very [ex]citing!" she kept saying. We enjoyed a few cookies, and then when I said, "We have to put these away for tomorrow," she grinned and enthusiastically replied, "OK!!" Wow. That was easy!

This morning she got up and it was even cooler, greyer and wetter than yesterday. It kind of fizzled my plans for a bike ride or trip to the park. Plus the library is closed on Monday. I tried at the last minute to get into a music class, but was told it was already full. So I was scratching my head over something fun to do together.

In an act of desperation, I ended up getting out a muffin tin and putting a numbered paper circle in the bottom of each muffin cup. Then I poured some corn kernels into a bowl and had her count the specified number of kernels into each muffin cup. We are working on "reading" letters and numbers. She can recognize the numbers 1,2 and 3 reliably but beyond that it's hit or miss (mostly miss).

That was fun for a little while but she started to get bored. So I suggested we pop the popcorn in the microwave. With a little melted butter and salt on top we both enjoyed that snack! Afterwards we took some of the leftover corn kernels, put them into an old grey poupon jar and presto! made ourselves a handly little shaker. We turned on some music and danced around for a while. Then we went back to the table, took more leftover corn kernels and popcorn and used them to decorate some large leaf shapes I cut out of paper plates. She painted, glued and glittered to her heart's content.

Then we had lunch with Daddy. I harvested some cherry tomatoes and broccoli from the backyard, combined it with some leftover chicken and pasta, and had a nice little hot lunch we all could enjoy.

After that we all (Sasha included) went on a walk outside and had our leaf hunt after all. Even though the leaves are just barely starting to turn, we found a lot of good ones, in all different shades of green, yellow, brown and red.

We brought home our leafy treasures, laid them out to dry on a paper towel, and admired them while enjoying a couple more leaf shaped sugar cookies from yesterday.

Wow, what a perfect day. The nice thing is, I've truly been enjoying it. I've been in the moment. So often the type-A aspect of my personality induces me to set ridiculously high expectations for myself, and even when I meet them I'm just ticking off checkboxes. I'm not really in it. I might get a lot done, but I'm a tense ball of stress and nerves by the end of the day. Today and yesterday I've been in it. Taking things as they come, transforming conflict into opportunity (oh you want to drop corn kernels on the ground? How about we make a shaker with them?), and just digging hanging out with my awesome little girl. I could tell it even surprised Arwen yesterday when he got home, found us in the kitchen up to our ears in flour and sprinkles, and couldn't detect the least bit of frustration or tension in me.

This is good. More of this.

1 comment:

Elisa & Adam said...

OMG, that was adorable! Love her little apron. Making & baking cookies together - how fun.