giddy with (late) spring

M. has the good fortune (or misfortune, if you hate working latenight) of going to work at 1 in the afternoon. This means that we sometimes (depending on his study load for school, and/or his level of exhaustion) have time to do something fun as a family during the first half of the day.
As spring makes its timid forays into this late and stormy winter, we took advantage of a balmy morning to make another dash to the playground.
I love the open joy on QQ's face when she's flying high.

And also when she's on the loose.
Allowed, after some discussion, to climb the stair on her own this time (with one of us hovering nervously on each side, might I add!)
She did great! And showed not a glimmer of fear when she got to the top of the slide.
Nooooooooooo problem!
Look, mumum...no hands!
QQ's main problem at the playground is that her sun hat is constantly slipping down over her eyes. Blame that strong, unfiltered Colorado sun!
Just look at the eagerness on her face! This is the Q at the top of the big-kids' swirly slide for the very first time. No fear, pure thrill. This is both our joy and the bane of our emotional lives, her utter lack of trepidation.
Daddy went down with her the first time, just to make sure. She thought this was a bit too much precaution, but she went easy on us.
Honking Daddy's nose. "Honk! Hoooooooonk!"
Tulips, finally in full bloom in our neighborhood gardens. Can you feel my sigh of relief?



Psssssst......another one of my illustrations is on the homepage of the Pioneer Woman's wonderful website. Go look! (hint, it isn't one you've seen before, nor will you see it anywhere else)



I know - that's a funny header. Toe-biting?
Well, it started with "toes to nose".
When we first took Q to our pediatrician, shortly after she came home, he told us that she was extremely hyper-flexible. All of her joints swiveled easily in every direction, even directions that joints are not normally meant to swivel. He told us that kids with this kind of hyper-flexibility often learned to walk later than other kids, even without institutional delays. They needed time to build up a great deal of muscle tone to make up for their rubbery joints. And, in fact, she did walk late.
Her hyper-flexibility is now a source of hilarity for all of us. During diaper changes, she would raise her feet and touch her toes to her nose. Then she'd touch them to the top of her head. Then, she'd take the back of her foot and, casually as you please, rub her eyes with it.
Once, she actually put her toes in her mouth and chewed on them, which made me crack up laughing. Since she got such a good response, she's built on that skill. Nowadays, she likes to do it in her stroller, just to get a laugh out of me.
This is how it goes: as soon as she starts playing with her feet, I say: "You're not going to bite your toes, are you? Are you going to bite your toes? Who bites their toes? No-one does. That's who."
At this point, she knows I want her to bite her toes for me. So she fakes it a little...opens her mouth, pulls her toes up close...
...and then puts her feet down again. "Nope! Not gonna do it, Mommy."
As soon as she's successfully faked me out, she dissolves into a fit of hysterical laughter. Hah! I pulled one over on Mommy. Not gonna do it. You can't make me!
Ah-hahahahahah!!!!! (Evil laughter)
OK, well...maybe I'll think about it. I just MIGHT bite my toes...
Nope! Changed my mind again.
(Hysterical giggling escalates in pitch)
"Oh-hoh! Oooh-hooh. Oh, man, that's a good joke! You really thought I was gonna do it, didn't you?"
And then, because she just can't resist, she bites her toes.
Much laughter and clapping and hilarity on Mommy's part.
Then she gets bored of the game, and thinks about Daddy. I love how her signs have become a part of her thought process. She can't think about Daddy without automatically signing "daddy". so I always know when she's thinking about him.
I told her Daddy was at work, but he might be home for dinner by the time we got there.
"Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy DADDY!!!!"

Unending batallions of snow

The other morning, we woke up to snow once again. It's beginning to feel surreal, because it is so unlike Denver, and it has gone on for so long. Wave after wave...weekend after weekend of snow, long after our summer should have been well on its way.
My Sweet Williams have lived through it, as have my pansies, btw.
Faced with another crushing blow to our flower gardens, and another day to spend indoors by necessity, I decided I needed a project.
I've had a thing about birds lately...little songbirds. And in a spring snow, the songbirds seem - defiantly - to come out louder and in greater numbers of a morning. So I strapped on my big zoom lens, the one I haven't used in months, and started shooting. In my bare feet. In my pajamas. From the cold cement of the front stoop.

It was worth it though, don't you think?
The light, the bright breasts of the birds, the snow on the already-leafing branches of our apple tree...
This is the forlorn look on QQ's face when Mommy is outside and she's in.

Robin Redbreast.

An afternoon stroll

On a recent warm afternoon, before the latest return of winter, QQ and I went for a stroll around the neighborhood.
It was a beautiful day, and hot enough even this close to sunset that, when we came across a little girl in cowboy boots with a lemonade stand, we were thrilled.
I think I have waited for years for an excuse to stop at a lemonade stand on a street corner of a lazy afternoon. QQ was the perfect excuse!
I love this red house. Someday, maybe, a red house would be nice!


Spring, or winter?

We have been teased with little bouts of spring, followed by repeated, heavy, punishing reprieves of winter for what feels like months now.
And yes.
It snowed again.
Last night.
Five or six inches.
On all my pretty flower boxes.
This time, the weather channels didn't even have it on the radar.
So it's been a little tricky to juggle QQ's wardrobe so as to keep her comfortable through the climate's mood changes. QQ gets chilled easily, fast and without warning.
As you can see, a few trees did manage to put forth a few lovely blossoms. But these are closeups, and the bloom is very sparse.
If you could have seen this very same tree last year, you would have been amazed at the difference, the full, blousy luxuriance of bloom that covered it like icing on a wedding cake.
Still, when the sun shines and warms the ground, the neighborhood still manages to look almost springlike.
A sleepy QQ (I took her out a little to close to naptime) contemplating her first dandelion.

A neighbor's tulips poking through the snow. This is what my poor red tulips look like this morning.