Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birthday post for Mom

It's Mom's birthday today!

She's lovely.

She deserves all your well wishes and more.

At first, I didn't know if I should write "Mom" in the title of this post, or "Gil," because Evelyn is here now.  That makes Mom "Gil" and me "Mommy", and ohbytheway, did you know it sounds weird for your parents to call you "Mommy"?  Because it does.

I decided to type "Mom" rather than "Gil", though, because this is my blog and Evelyn can't read.  And because Mom is my mom.

This is fairly obvious, but Mom has taught me a lot about being a mom this past year.

Stuff like: having a baby is no reason to stay home and miss out on everything, but sometimes it's a very handy excuse if you need it to be.  

She also showed me how to bathe a baby without getting its awful little umbilical cord wet, or letting it slip away from you like a wet bar of soap. 

She reminds me that I didn't cut a single tooth until some time around 10 months, and that Evelyn's little gums are so pretty. 

Also, she comments on my blog, and I love that.

She tries to teach Evelyn nursery rhymes, and how to clap her hands--two things I'd honestly forgotten that I was supposed to care about as a parent until I saw Mom and Evelyn having a blast doing them together. 

Evelyn starts laughing whenever she first sees Mom, because this girl loves her grandparents and knows when she's about to have lots of fun.  Mom and Evelyn always have lots of fun.  I made a whole photo book about it and gave it to Mom for her birthday.

It's been fun and strange and reassuring to watch Mom be a grandma this past year.  I know I've talked about it before, but I love seeing how well-loved Evelyn is.  Cody and I rely on a lot of help and encouragement from our families, and Mom is Evelyn's main baby-watcher when we're not around.   They both seem to love seeing each other so often, and I love it too.

Happy birthday, Mom!  We hope you love your day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

O Christmas tree

I put up our Christmas tree!  It's pretty small this year.  And flat. 

December was approaching, and people were ramping up the same "Your baby will pull a tree down on herself and get hurt and ruin Christmas" speech they've been giving since I was pregnant last Christmas, and I was just not feeling like finding a place for our tree this year.

Cody and I talked about putting a little 4 ft. tree on our table, but then we wouldn't have a table to use.  I thought about putting our tree on top of the coffee table, but then Evelyn started pulling up and I realized she'd be able to reach the branches.....and then pull the tree down on herself and get hurt and ruin Christmas and maybe even--gasp!--mess up some of my ornaments.

Neither idea seemed appealing and I didn't want to spend a month pulling my nine-month-old away from something so pretty when she didn't understand why she couldn't eat it.  But I didn't want to skip having a Christmas tree altogether, even though a small part of me is still burnt out from when I had a tree up for the entirety of 2010 just because I felt like it.

(Looking back, that was a bit much.  I'm not sure why I did that. I don't think I'll do it again.)

So last week, I was nursing Evelyn and thinking, because I have a lot of time to think while I do that.  I was considering some cute papercraft version of a tree on the wall when I realized that I have a lot of granny squares.

As in, two decades' worth.

Any time I have spare yarn, I usually make a few granny squares just to stockpile them.  And then there were the squares I made for Evelyn's afghan before I changed my mind and did something different.  And then there was my stash of green yarn and.....well, you can see where it took me.

Evelyn fell asleep, and I pulled out my existing granny squares and started making designs in the floor.  I realized pretty quickly that rows of 1 square, 3 squares, 5 squares and so on would make the tree pretty big and I wanted to keep things small and simple and relatively free of fuss.  So I picked my spot on the wall and took some measurements, and set to work on crocheting a few more green granny squares for rows that increased by one.

I finished up at work the next day and laid out my design:

Then I sewed the squares together with the weave stitch, and sewed the rows together.  I even added a little brown square at the bottom for the trunk because I think I'm so clever.

On Saturday, I pinned the tree to the wall with push pins in each outside corner of the tree because we're totally not getting that security deposit back after everything else we've pinned to the walls.

I realized (too late) that the wall would have the outline of a weird triangle after I took down our tree (because I said I wouldn't leave a tree up year-round ever again, remember?), and I started to feel like this was silly.  

Then I took pictures of the tree anyway:

Then I pulled out our ornaments and decided which ones would actually make it to the wall.

I thought I'd feel some regret at keeping some things put away.  Then I remembered that Cody is one of the least-sentimental people I know, I'm tired of these ornaments from last year, and Evelyn is a baby.

Then I felt fine.

Evelyn, meanwhile, played with a Christmas bracelet made of bells.  It was festive.  Then she ate dry cereal.

Then Cody came home and we chatted for a little while before he glanced over, smiled, and asked "Is that our tree?"  Yup, dear.  That's our tree.