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Entries in Michaela (29)



Last night I got to read to Michaela.  This hasn't happened for a long time.  She is such a proficient and avid reader that my reading to her became seemingly unnecessary.  But the truth is, she still loves for me to spend that time with her just before she goes to sleep.  I often think of her as so very old, when the fact is she is just 10.  Next to Eliana, yes, that is a very big girl.  But in reality, she is still my baby girl.  And she still needs so much from me, even though she is quite independent. 

I read to her from The Secret Garden, which we started ages ago.  She was happy to pick up where we left off, which is close to the end.  I finished the chapter, and tucked her in, turned off the light and pushed her bangs back.  I could see that she was thinking about something in a serious manner, and I asked her if there was something she wanted to talk about.  She immediately began crying and said,"It's the other house.  I wish we were still there."

Our decision to move was so sudden, the kids didn't really have time to take it in before we were Pop! living in a new house.  I knew that they weren't very happy about the move, as they made their opinions quite known before we left for our Christmas trip to Florida.  It's hard to miss the meaning of,"I DON'T WANT TO MOVE!", even when you are a ding-dong like me.  So, it didn't surprise me that she was still upset, and still emotional about it.  I sat on her bed and patted her leg and told her it was okay to cry and miss the other house.  I think that's true.  It's not going to help her for me to say,"Well, get over it honey!  We're here now and this house is the one you need to think of as home!"  I can't even do that, yet.  It's also hard to imagine it as our home because we knew the people who lived here.  We can still picture their things around the house (in fact, we bought one of their sofas, and it's in the same place that it was when they lived here, in the living room) (I need to buy a new throw for it to make it more ours), and I think the house still smells like it did when they lived here.  Just like when I walk into our old house (the kids call it the new old house, since we have two "old houses" here) it smells like that warm, old wood smell that reminds me of my Grandma's...that smell had become the smell of home for me. 

I stayed with her for a bit, and asked her questions, listening to her quiet voice share about what she was trying to process.  We talked about memories that we have from that home.  The more I thought about it the more it came to me why leaving was so significant and sad for her.  When we moved into that house she was eight.  Eight is old enough to remember things vividly.  It was the first time she was getting her own room.  My mom and dad came to town to help us move and Mom and I went around shopping, getting new things for the house and Michaela's room one day (literally, one entire was so much fun) (Mike was worried after we didn't come home at dinnertime) (not necessarily about us, but about the state of our credit cards).  We also took Michaela out with us and let her in on the fun of picking out things for her new space, like a shower curtain and some curtains for her windows.  Later in the year Michaela and I found a print to hang up, a pretty flower picture which went beautifully with her orange and pink themed room.  She had all the furniture that she wanted in there, furniture that she loved and had become sentimentally attached was hers after all.  This was her room.  It became a place she could escape to when Anyone Annoying got to be too much.  She played, read, crafted, messed and cleaned it up (sometimes).  Her very own space.

Not too long ago (January 27th) I was in the house trying to pack up some more stuff and clean up some of the major dustballs and gross things that accumulate under and behind your furniture over the years.  I walked through the rooms, letting the tears flow myself.  It sounds ridiculous, I know, considering the fairly huge amount of complaining I have done about that place.  And for sure, it has its problems, from faulty wiring to plumbing issues.  But we made a lot of memories there. 

When we first moved in, Eliana was 18 months old.  The fire station is just a couple of blocks up the street from where we were, and every time a fire engine or ambulance went racing by, sirens screaming, she would run to one of the front windows and call out,"Fire engine!"  Every.  Single.  Time.  It was precious.

The summer after we moved in some of our friends came to stay with us for a few days.  Two of my mom friends and their six kids (three in each family) was so much fun.  We lived and breathed good friends and food and pool time.  We squeezed in baseball games and movies and some special performances.  Also eating brownies, breaking glasses, and killing roaches. 

Let's not think about the roaches, eh?

My parents visited several times, from when we moved in, to my mom's solo trip to help unpack some more, to the Christmas after their Very Bad Accident.  Those visits are full of eating cake, opening presents (whether for someone's birthday or for Christmas...or both, back to back!), ringing in the new year, unpacking, fixing things up, putting furniture together with the kids, and so much more.

We were crazy enough to have Christian's first grade class over for his birthday.  On a Friday.  And I made a silly cake.  (Not as silly as this one.)

The kids have their own that Michaela mentioned to me is a time when Mike came into her bedroom to make sure she was tucked in and sleeping.  She was asleep, but her light was still on.  He turned out the light and as he did she held up her hand in the "I love you" sign, but she didn't remember doing it, because she was sleeping.  I chuckled and said,"So, one of your best memories of the house is something that you don't even remember."  She smiled at that and nodded her head affirming this assessment.

So, back to walking around the house...I went all through the downstairs, from one side to the other, and then back across following the long hallway that goes from the TV room all the way to the kitchen.  I looped around through the dining room and then went upstairs.  I walked around Christian's room, in his closet, and then to the front of the house to the room that was originally going to be Eliana's room.  We ended up using it as a school room/office for the last few months that we lived there. 

I finally made it to Michaela's room.  I opened her closet door, looked at the clothes still hanging there and at the shelves that lined each side.  I shut that door and then peeked in her bathroom.  The shower curtain valance was still there, that my mom made, as well as old bottles of shampoo and conditioner.  They never got used because we learned shortly after we moved in that her shower leaked into the downstairs playroom.  Her shower was pretty much abandoned after that...we never got around to replacing the shower head to see if that changed anything.  I turned from her bathroom and went over to one of her windows. 

I kind of lost it.  She had staked her claim.  With Wikki Stix.  I had never noticed it before, but I'm glad I did.  This was her room.  Micky's room.  And I think that it will be forever.



Her Toothy Smile

Michaela had her teeth removed.

Not all of them!  Just two.  It was supposed to be three, but while we were away this summer, nature gave us (and our wallet) a helping hand and one of the three teeth came out at the beach (this cost a lot less and required no sedation or numbing of the gums).

Does that give you the shivers?

A friend came over bright and early in the morning...much earlier than I have been getting up.  She stayed with my two youngest offspring, while Michaela and I went merrily on our way. 

The truth is, she was not merry.  She was very nervous.  She kept asking me about when I had my teeth pulled, what it was like, if it hurt, if there was a shot...  I couldn't remember anything about it, though.  Well, I have a vague memory of singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and calling the doctor Hot Lips or something along those lines.  I don't think it was to his face.  But those memories weren't very helpful as far as easing her troubled mind. 

We had to be there an hour early so they could give her a sedative.  Following this she got to pick a movie and just chill for 45 minutes.  She picked The Little Mermaid.  Can I just interrupt here a second and say that Ursula is one scary woman?  Octopus.  Whatever.  She is pretty evil.  Thank you for letting me share that.   All right...they called Michaela back to the room where she would say goodbye to two of her baby teeth in one quick fell swoop.  (The ones behind the ones beside her two front teeth...clear enough description?)

Michaela is a trooper.  She is brave and calm and I don't know where she came from.  I might think that she wasn't mine except I clearly remember pushing her out.  The doctor, as he was administering the shot which would numb her for the pulling, kept saying things like,"You're the best; what a great patient!"  I assume he says this kind of thing to each child that he has to perform tooth extraction on, but I wonder if he didn't mean it a little more sincerely with her.  She was so still, so trusting.  She did have a "nose" on...that probably had something to do with it. 

I was pretty proud of her.  She faces adversity much better than I do.  Maybe I need a daily sedative and gas mask...


Keys to My Heart

It is time.

I now know how to add videos onto our blog.  You guys are in trouble.

Actually, today you are in for a treat, especially if you are a grandparent, and especially especially if you are a grandparent of Christian and Michaela.  Here is a video of the two of them playing the piano (separately) at their Spring Recital, which happened to be on Mother's Day this year.  What a delightful gift for me!  I hope you enjoy it, too.


Spring Piano Recital 2010 from Christina Walker on Vimeo.


I am so proud of Christian for playing his piece.  He chose not to participate in the winter recital; his nerves got the better of him.  It was a big deal for him to walk up there, sit on that bench, and play.  He did it without music in front of him, as well!

And Michaela.  I don't have words.  My heart feels so full when I listen to her on the piano.  She loves to play, and I love to hear her, so our arrangement works really well.  I think she did such a beautiful job.  When she plays Amazing Grace, I think,"It is, isn't it?"

I'm glad to share this moment with you all.  There will be more to Eliana in her musical debut.  I know you can't wait!


I'm Just a Fool

Eliana brought a small cup home a couple of weeks ago from her co-op class; they had planted a seed in some soil in honor of spring.  We set it up in front of one of our dining room windows and have been watering it, letting the sun in faithfully, and even talking to it (maybe that was just me).  Up until today, nothing had happened.  I have never really planted anything before, but I know that it takes a while for something to grow.

This morning Michaela came running into the kitchen shouting,"Eliana's plant has sprouted!" 

I was so excited!  I said,"Really?  Let me see!"  I was happy to see something green in her cup!

As I got closer I thought it looked kind of odd for a new sprout.  I suppose that would be because it was actually a full grown clover thingy she had brought inside.

I got fooled!  That was a pretty good one. 

We had talked earlier about what tricks we could play on people...but never came up with anything.  Seems like she's the trickiest one of us, at least this year.

Did you get fooled today?  Or did you get someone else with a great April Fools' joke?  Or what is the best April Fools' joke that you've seen or heard?


There's Always a Place for Drama

At I Heart Faces this week, they are looking for dramatic black and whites, pictures that are sensational or moody.  That is interesting.  Most of the pictures I take are of my kids, and while those three are plenty dramatic and moody, I am not sure that it's the kind of drama and moodiness that is being called for in this challenge.  That being said, I did take a picture last week that I thought captured a certain something and I figured it was worth a shot.  So, here goes...

When I do take my camera along with me, I take a lot of pictures.  Michaela is quite used to me clicking away, whether it's in Target or on the soccer field, in our dining room or in our yard.  She is always ready to smile.  It's hard to get a picture of her not smiling.  Of course, there are always the silly faces.  (I don't know where she gets that!  Ha!)  But most of the time, she sees the other side of my lens and immediately grins. 

At Christian's soccer game the other day I caught her with the zoom, so she didn't know that I was taking her picture.  I remember snapping this shot quickly and then going back to the game, so I didn't really know if it would turn out or not.  I also didn't know exactly what she looked like.  Once I saw it on the computer I was so happy.  I love it...I love her hair (the girl has such pretty hair), the tilt of her head, the way she has her lower lip caught under her top teeth.  I wonder what she's thinking.  Or what has captured her attention.   I like the negative space; to me it shows that there is something in the distance that she has her thoughtful eye on.

The color version of this picture is pretty, too.  I'll show it to you someday. 

There are an insane amount of photos entered into this challenge already...I am very curious to see what photo the guest judge, Tara Whitney, chooses as her favorite, as well as the runners-up.  Black and whites are so lovely, and there are so many different ways to convert (I'm assuming most of the pictures are digital).  Have fun perusing over at I Heart Faces, or get dramatic yourself and add a photo to the challenge!