Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Number 44

I've always thought 4s were powerful numbers... somewhat mystical numbers, actually, especially when they're strung together. Yesterday, the number 44 was celebrated throughout the world, as America's 44th President took office: Barack Obama.

Gryffin and I went to the caucus for Obama (of course, Gryffy won't remember... he was in my belly at the time--I remember well, however, the near suffocating conditions as there were too many Obama supporters to fit inside the building). Lorelei and I followed the election with intense curiosity, Lorelei identifying all of the major contenders: McCain and Palin, Clinton, and Obama, her clear favorite. And on election day, Lorelei and Gryffy unwittingly campaigned for Obama--who wouldn't be swayed by the Connelly kids decked out in Obama gear? And they even accompanied me to the polls on November 4th, when together we penciled in the circle next to Obama/Biden.

Watching the world come together for Obama's inauguration yesterday was inspiring. When Obama walked down the steps to take the oath of office, Lorelei and I went wild with applause. I'm so amazed by our country's ability to renew itself, and I've never felt such excitement as an American. There is hope.
The kids waiting at the polls on Election Day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow much fun!

Two days ago, when the temperature outside was dipping below zero, we had our chimney converted to wood-burning. Mark was so eager to try it out that he couldn't wait for me, and attempted our first fire as I rocked Gryffy to sleep. It was the smoke alarm that rent the night several minutes later, forcing us to open the doors and tempt in the frosty air on the COLDEST night of the year. Smoke billowed through the house, creeping along the ceiling, hovering in a foggy haze (the logs needed to be pushed backward, beneath the flue). Fortunately, we quickly diagnosed the problem, and were able to enjoy a snuggle with Lorelei beside the merry flames.

Yesterday, we took advantage of the newly fallen snow, and the kids made their first snowmen (well, Gryffy sort of watched as Lorelei and Mommy worked). We had to make due with what we had--no coals, nor corn-cobbed pipe, not even a carrot. They're not the prettiest of snowmen, to be sure, but I wouldn't doubt they share a touch of Frosty's proverbial magic; afterall, they were made with Love.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"I came on a snowflake, from God." -Lorelei

Tonight, as we gathered around the dinner table, Lorelei looked outside and exclaimed, "Look! It's snowing!" I pulled the curtains to the backyard, which was like a swirling cotton field. Later while we were eating (and Lorelei was doing something silly with her chili drenched potato), I asked her, "Lorelei, where did you come from?" with a hint of mirth. Her reply was precious. "I came on a snowflake from God." The thought stopped me, and touched me very deeply. What a clever little girl, to remember such things.
Another update: Gryffy pulled up several times today (and stayed up)! Skill mastered! He also surprised me when, after sorting laundry, I'd returned to find him sitting several feet away from where I'd left him. Yes, the boy can scoot across the room!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gryffy's new feats

Watching babies grow is an amazing thing. Lately, Gryffy has been amazing us with brand new skills just about every day. Yesterday, he mastered using one object as a tool to manipulate another. In the morning, Mark found him putting Lorelei's plastic pool ring around the head of a doll, in order to pull the doll within reach. Later, he used Lorelei's plush purple flower with a malleable stem to fetch his soccer ball a couple of feet away. Today's feat was equally impressive: pulling partially up (something he's been working on over the past few days).
Being a second child does not come easy, I'm sure, though he doesn't seem to mind. I look back at all the activities and playdates that I was able to do with Lorelei, and sadly Gryffy just doesn't get as much one-on-one. A fact of life, I've been told. But I do try to carve out some time for socializing, and am blessed to have many friends with kids nearly the same age as mine. This week, Lorelei got to play with her friend from church and preschool, Sammy, while Gryffy played with his little brother, Johnny.
Another fact of life: having two kids makes it very difficult to carve out Mommy time--I'm not complaining, just stating facts. So last night's Mom's Night Out with friends old and new (most with two little ones, also) was a welcome treat!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coco Key

Visiting water resorts is a favorite pasttime for the Connelly Clan. We've taken the kids to Tan-Tara (in the Ozarks), the Great Wolf Lodge, and we spend most Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as some Saturdays and Sundays, at the Lifetime Fitness pool. Yesterday, we tried a new water resort, Coco Key, which is our favorite of all. Lorelei had a blast with all the water gadgets, and Gryffy fell asleep on the Lazy River on Daddy's lap. It's fun splashing around with the kids, dancing to beach music, and taking time out for family fun!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Party Animals

It's been a busy weekend. Lorelei's social calendar has been chock-full: birthday parties both Friday (Adam's) and Saturday (Rushil's). Friday's was at a place called Monkey Bizness, full of inflatable bouncers that terrify her. We were told she spent the entire time rolling on the floor. Fortunately, several of her friends took pity on her, and joined in the fire drills.

Saturday morning, Mark and the kids met Mommy at Scooters for a cuppa and a chocolate muffin after Mommy finished writing. That afternoon, the weather was so nice that the kids traded in their usual naps for a family bike ride--not a brilliant idea, that one, we'd come to find out on a wailing car trip home from our second birthday, this one at Paradise Park (it took a trip out of town to get to said Paradise). The party was a blast though, and Gryffy got to even hang out with a couple of his buds, Will and Luke.
Some milestones to report as well: Today Gryffy signed "more" while he was eating (before burping up all his food--perhaps he'd meant to sign "no more"). Gryffy also signed "all done" (imitating Mommy) and has mastered the quintessential, maneuver-each-button-so-the-characters-pop-up toy. Meanwhile, Lorelei is suffering from terrible growing pains in her feet, though she seems to be better after a hot bath and a dose of Tylenol. And now they're both in bed, and Mommy and Daddy are going to snuggle up for a movie, Eagle Eye (Mark's pick).

Friday, January 2, 2009

From the kids

I asked Lorelei if she wants to blog something, and she does. She told me to write: I want a big bucket, like from the big bucket waterpark. (She must remember we're going on Monday, only I don't think we'd be able to fit the big bucket that dumps water on our heads into our bathroom--sorry, Lorelei). She also wanted me to add a smiley face.
Gryffy, the pea-sized pirate, likewise wants to say: Mommy, wipe me booty. Avast, to the poop deck! (Indeed, I'm smelling something funky).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day, 2009!

What's a new year to bring? I'm always thrilled at the prospects; new years offer so much promise for renewal, for refocusing our energies, for reorganizing our priorities. I am resolved as never before this new year to accomplish something BIG... a project that's yearning for completion, something that has been stirring my spirit for many years, and has finally begun to materialize as I have shown myself willing and committed to bring it forth. I've already had a decent go at it over the past several months, and have been so swept away by the momentum and the sheer joy of it that I cannot stop. It occupies my thoughts... it even seeps into my dreams... it is, in a sense, like falling in love all over again. And I'm very blessed that Mark, and my mom, have been offering and continue to offer the help and support that will allow me to bring this work to fruition.
May you find your own passion in this new year of hopes and promises.
In the year 2009, let this be our goal: To focus on the doughnut, instead of on the hole.