Due partly to the fact that my car doesn't have snow tires and it was semi-stranded out near the road, and that I needed a weekend "in," the past two days were spent hunkered down in my apartment. I did do a little baking -- scones and a birthday cake -- but nothing substantial. Christmas cookies are on the horizon, as well as my daughter Meghan's birthday cake.
Posted here is a recent photo of Henry, now 19 and a half months, and his best friend Oden. I was able to spend a lot of Grandma-time with Henry while his parents worked on finishing their part of the house. They've installed beautiful cherry countertops. The kitchen appliances are set to be installed. Their laundry room/bathroom floor is now in, and their Christmas tree is up. When Henry was napping yesterday I helped Katie hang many of her ornaments. They have quite a collection for being such a young family. There, in the otherwise-empty living room, their Christmas tree now stands, proud in the corner displaying ornaments that are now meaningful but will later be irreplaceable.
My sister Anne and her family have moved a number of times, and two Christmases ago she lost her family's ornaments. Many were made by her four boys when they were little guys. She was very sad at this loss and to try to make her feel better, her son Will and I got together one night and took a bunch of her family photos and made a trees-worth of new ornaments with all kinds of pretty papers and glitter. They were OK but could never replace the genuine articles. Anne was thrilled last Christmas when her husband discovered the lost ornaments. Many were hand-made by the boys with their photos on any given year, and it's lovely, again, to see them hanging on her tree, especially knowing how much they mean to her.
Back to Grandma-time with Henry: We watched "Merry Madagascar" a trillion times (he laughs out loud at the same point in the DVD, each time, when the poor little girl tumbles down the stairs!). Between "Babe," "Merry Madagascar," and "Stuart Little" we've been watching more than the recommended amount of TV. We do more than that. He loves his bath, and I enjoy getting soaked every time I give him one. That little guy now thinks that the back seat of my bathtub (my bathtub has a seat - my kids must think I'm 55 going on 85) is a slide. He climbs up all wet and slippery and slides down to a big splash with twisting and turning, his little legs going in all directions, his face submerged. He comes up all breathless and almost panicked, and then goes back for more. Of course, I'm holding both his hands and watching him like a hawk. It's a game that I think we don't need to play anymore. "Grandma's tub is not a slide." Then I grab his wriggling, slippery self and wrap him up in a towel while he protests the whole while. Then I bribe him with "Let's go jump on Grandma's bed!" which he loves almost as much as taking a bath. This scenario repeats itself often.
Did you know that the stars in Chicken and Stars soup can travel all the way across a room when the bowl is flung off a high-chair tray?
Thank God for Henry. He's so cute, and he smells so good!