May 29, 2009

making lemonade of lemons

The toughness of jade is remarkable. It has a strength greater than steel...          [product description, Sundance Catalog]
I find this ring so simply beautiful. I hope to welcome the summer with it. A sort of job-well-done present, and a marker of this season. And the rebuilding for the season ahead. And my love for yellow. My passion for supporting the artisan made. The symbol of strength, both physically and spiritually.


Here we are at post 199, and as promised...a new look. 

And ironic is the timing of numbers. I have been up to my ears in conversations about dollars and cents this week. And I generally hate money. So little of it gets a chance to do any good. And I am finding myself this afternoon, sheerly exhausted of all the talk of dollars and cents.

I am stir crazy, and restless. And itching for some big changes. I hope to walk them out here over the summer months. And I am already swimming through some creative solutions, and thoughts about some new features for the blog.

I love the summer. 

Not for the heat, or any natural reason of the season's attributes. But for the time of refocus it always demands of me. I work on the academic calendar, almost entirely, with a few exceptions. And summer, leaves me only with myself, my art, my husband and my children. The things that battle to define me. And I have more quiet hours in the day to listen to my thoughts. And to both remember and defend who I am.

May 27, 2009

one a day

3.45 in the afternoon.

Here I am thinking about the new blog color scheme, to change very soon. And liking the contrast of the big yellow hobo bag on the chair, with the oddly teal/blue long sleeve I picked out, in a moderately stir crazy mood.

May 26, 2009

1000 miles

Hands down, or feet maybe, these are the most comfortable things I have ever known. 

They are snugly form-fitting to the foot, as opposed to the clunkier clog styles...and made only in lovely drab colors*, which is right up my alley. Best yet, they are designed by a company that specializes in walking shoes, and are actually guaranteed for 1,000 miles. 
Of course, that latter fact makes me want to get a strap-on-the-ankle mile counter. I'll try to restrain myself. The shoes are lovely nerdy enough without another piece of gear to compliment them.

* they also match my new blog color scheme, to be unveiled at post #199, in a few short days.


hubby: nothing like starting a new and very difficult project when we already have too many other things we need to be doing.

wife: [muttered under her breath, but just loud enough for the hubby to hear] ...but don't want to

Well, so...he was right. Breaking flagstone into perfectly step-stone-sized pieces is really hard to do. And I realized that the short little garden path is a bit longer than I thought whilst hand chiseling some of the edges for a better fit. But all-in-all, I am loving the way it anchors the garden we put in last year, and transitions the bed to the grass nicely. The path also saves us and the postman the walk around the front yard, like chutes and ladders, to get right to the driveway.

And you know what? It was exhilaratingly great to heave huge sheets of old sidewalk, and intentionally bust it into bits. And all those other projects...well, I needed a break from those too. Perhaps distance will make my heart grow fonder. I hope so, because there is no avoiding them today; the deadlines insist.

May 24, 2009

He and She

An afternoon of planting in the fairy garden, and the Craunlet personalities abound. 

May 19, 2009

Altogether Amazing

Bella was [re]casted again this morning, in her second-choice color: PINK. [Thank God that gray, her first color selection--is not available!] Today marks her one-year anniversary. And I am astounded at her growth and progress. Her passion and zeal for life has only increased. The way she processes all of this experience as normal, continues to stop me in my tracks. She handles her circumstances far better than I would as an adult. She is a fiery little four year old. And unstoppably determined in all she does.

Her compassionate personality and tender heart is infectious, and her nurses and primary physicians/surgeons at UH Rainbow Babies repeatedly surprise me with their love for her and their commitment to not only her body, but her heart as well. It moves me to tears.

Bella is fortunate to see the head pediatric orthopedic surgeon at UH. And she is blessed to have been befriended by his personal nurse. This woman knows Bella. Knows intimately who she is, and she endlessly surprises Bella with the delights of her heart. This morning, while Bella was sleeping under anesthesia, this nurse had a nearly-identical-to-Bella's cast made + formed on Francie [Bella's doll baby, and much like her mini-me]. Francie was wrapped and cared for as tenderly as Bella herself. In the same shocking pink fiberglass, and cotton padding.

I called the nurse less than a week ago, noting that Bella seemed uncomfortable in her previous cast. Her first response was to rearrange the surgeon's schedule and recast the very next day. To provide Bella with comfort. Immediately. We are blessed beyond measure to have access to this care, though costly, because Bella is loved by this team--like a princess. And the progress we are all making together has been astonishing and life-changing. For that, I thank our God, and everyone in our circle of friends + family who lift us up in prayer. A year ago, Bella's curve registered in the upper 50 degrees. [Insert gasp]. Today, fitted in her cast, we are righting the curve to around 20 degrees, and she is spinning around the kitchen floor like the ballerina she dreams of becoming.

This little old man

Nate + I went to a Donut Place this morning. It was just the two of us, at 8.30 am, headed to a local Donut dive. The place was chock full of old men eating donuts and sipping their morning coffee in community, taking in their daily news by reading the actual printed pages. 

And I had to hold back tears, as I watched this little guy, and future old man, take down his donut at the counter. Comfortably, like he already had a stool there.

May 18, 2009

Things that make me go YUM

Nothing like a party paired with a delicious baked good. 

Heavenly shortcake. [my mother's recipe] Beautifully sweet red strawberries--infused with mint--and cut into hearts. Piled up with a delicious vanilla cheesecake custard. Served very chilled, by the scoopful.

Hello, new trifle bowl. we are going to become best friends this summer.

May 16, 2009

I want to Ride it where I like


See more of our bike +tricycle shenanigans, here.

May 15, 2009

"P" Words

By nine am this morning, I knew that I was lacking enough patience for the day. And moments later, I could add privacy to the list of what we were running low on as well. 

After abating a conversation with Bella about red pee, and being a teenager some day, we soon move onto an abbreviated English lesson on verb/noun agreement with the little guy. I find myself clearly annunciating the following:

No, Nate. You don't go a load, however you can:

go poop / take a dump / drop a load

then we all repeat, like a new family mantra:

go poop / take a dump / drop a load

We are spending far too much time in the potty these days. I suppose this is the origin of potty mouth?

May 14, 2009

The Grand Dubs Bed

Part of our Mother's Day festivities involved packing up the crib + assembling Nathaniel's big boy bed in its spot. I was unusually optimistic that this transition would somehow have a magical blessing from the heavens, that the stars had aligned, should Nathaniel actually be ready for this switch precisely on Mother's Day. I asked him if he was ready. He said yes. And I know, you are all thinking, YOU TOOK A TWO YEAR OLD AT HIS WORD??!! Well...yeah. I guess I got to the point with that crib. And I was ready. Even if he wasn't. 

And you know what. HE WAS. He is so in love with his bed, we are almost concerned. He is sleeping better, making less bear noises [which I almost miss], and most surprisingly; he is talking about his bed all day long. About how he loves his Grand Dubs bed, discussed and seen at length here, here and here

Last night, I gave him a hug while we were playing, and told him that I loved him. And he snuggled into my arms and lap, and shouted I LIKE MY BED!! 

This morning, when we asked him if he slept well and if his bed was snuggly and comfortable, he began to cuddle his bed, and hug it as best as such a little arm span could wrap itself around a humongous twin bed. Then he insisted on getting dressed whilst sitting on his bed. He was so excited, he even demanded to make his own bed. BY HIMSELF. Nothing like a little toddler determination and stubbornness used for good.

Nathaniel has hit the lottery. This bed is his biggest win. He has a Grand Dubs that made him this giant and just-for-him huge cuddle landscape. And he couldn't be happier.

May 12, 2009

Season of Mom

I suppose we all feel like our birthday's -- that one selfish day of the year we each get to celebrate and be celebrated -- gets swallowed up and overshadowed by some other nationally recognized holiday. [or a child's birthday, as both Dave + I experience] That's the exact plight of my Mother-in-law, today is her birthday, always at an arm's length away from Mother's Day. Happy Birthday, Barb!! We love you + appreciate you...beyond measure.

To honor her birthday, which we are celebrating at a several day delay, I am making a Strawberry shortcake. Barb LOVES strawberries, and I LOVE over-doing a great dessert. So, I hope to make something glorious like this: 

I have been meaning to acquire a trifle dish, and this one even comes with a lid, which I seems like I am always traveling with my gorgeous sweet goods. I will use my mom's fabulous shortcake recipe, add some mint to the sugared berries, and then alternate layers with a rich vanilla custard. I can't wait to celebrate! Happy Birthday, Mom Craun!!

May 9, 2009

Essence of Mom

So far we are more than enjoying our Mother's Day weekend. Here we are on a walk through the lagoon park in University Circle, on our way to the Art museum. We ventured out on the "new city bus" and had a blast playing our morning away, exploring the city. See more of our grand adventure, here.

Happy Mother's Day.

May 8, 2009

Gathering the goodness

This teeny tiny package arrived via post this afternoon. 
And I am so delighted. All of my terrarium supplies have at last arrived.

Tomorrow is the big assemble. And I can barely stand the building anticipation!

Bella's Echo

This morning, on the monitor, we hear Bella teaching Nate to count. If only that thing had a record function.

B: 1
N: 1

B: 2
N: 2

B: 3
N: 3

[insert call and repeat of numbers 4-26]

B: 27
N: pause

B: now quite impatient, 28, 29, 30!
N: 30! [even louder]

Hearing Nate echo Bella, rambling off these complicated number-like sounds first thing in the morning was the sweetest song. Two siblings, starting the day off as friends, and counting in the morning with the birds. Today shall be quite lovely.

May 7, 2009

hobby collecting

I have started my succulent collection, at long last. 

If all goes well--should I continue to both acquire more, and keep them all alive--I hope to start my succulent orb  by summer 2010. Here's hoping I still have my green thumb. 

May 5, 2009

a little self-shopping

So, with Mother's Day quickly approaching, I helped out hubby + the Craunlets by doing some shopping myself. I decided to entertain a long desired green-thumb project, keeping in the spirit of our usual Mother's Day garden investments, and am eagerly awaiting my build-it-yourself moss terrarium kit. nerdy, yes, I know...but a nice contained, fairly simple green space in the kitchen seems absolutely dreamy. 

Ours will reside in the soon-to-be-former candy/cookie jar, and will hopefully look a bit like this whence assembled, with a few additional little lichens and mosses, like these specifically, of course. 
To go with the assortment of ephemera that I have been collecting for my little installation I have been scheming for the wall above the kitchen sink, I also decided a few little red toadstools would be in order to adorn the container garden. I have always loved the red/green contrast by extension. yummy, really. 

More for the mommy role, I also snagged this yellow hobo bag. And I happened to decide to buy this lovely piece with Bella the other day, just after it had been marked down, at half off. hooray! What a lovely roomy + slouchy bag for summer excursions with the Craunlets -- without the diaper bag [insert wild jumping for joy] in practicality as well as style. 

Next, I am scheming for my "job well done" presents to celebrate the close of an at times far-too-busy semester. Hello, June 01...I am already making my lists.

May 4, 2009

weekend[ed], and now for the week

We updated our pictures pages; take a looky-loo if you like.

May 3, 2009

weekends are so lovely

The comforts of the weekend are so welcome. The above photos are a glimpse into our yesterday -- a most gorgeous Team Craun day. Fresh lilacs, brought indoors, paired with the Craunlet's arrangement of dandelions. And an afternoon espresso macchiato enjoyed with the husband.


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