Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sweet Dreams...

'til Sunbeams Find You...

I'm a big, BIG fan of the warm, sunny, summery day. Today is grey. Cloudy. Sprinkle-y. And I am a BIG BIG fan of today, too. Chad is learning how to cook beer today, so with a house filled with girls, we did what girls do best... girled it all up!

We began by powdering our noses with twice-sifted flour. The flour sifter was a big hit. We added some (lots of) butter, baking powder, a great portion of heavy cream, a half cup of dried fruit rehydrated in fresh squeezed orange juice. Add in two pre-school handfuls of white chocolate chips, some egg, an eggwash and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar and we made the most DELICIOUS scones.

We then had some fun in the drizzle in the backyard harvesting 'young' dandelion leaves... which we have in plentiful supply. Our salad. Bring down Chad and Suzy's childhood kiddie table. Set kiddie table with teapot filled with pink lemonade. Add a vase of silk flowers. The vase is a Duluth Creamery half & half jar we found digging up the front yard. Use the fancy paper napkins (they have balloons on them in place of the plain white ones). Chop up carrots, edam cheese, mangos, wash some blueberries, toss the backyard salad and you have the makings of a princess-tea party luncheon.

Oh...not without the proper vestments, we don't. Raid the dress-up chest. Add tiaras, beads, boas, gloves, remove gloves, plastic high heels, three layers of lipgloss. Almost ready. We need fancy music. The perfect soundtrack is our 'Carla Bruni' station I've created on Pandora*. We sit down to our meal. Use the timer on the camera to snap a picture. Eat and drink with pinkies up. Take turns pouring the tea. Obsessively. Call one another 'dear'. And 'darling'. Dab at our mouths with the corner of our napkins. Discuss juiciness of blueberries. Ella Fitzgerald croons in the background..Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me.
Okay, brain. Try to absorb every nuance. To remember. To cherish. To dream a little dream of this. And to repeat it on the next girly grey day.

*Note* Holy moly, I've hit a gold mine for days like today with the Carla Bruni station on Pandora. I highly recommend it... it's been a montage of awesomeness for a rainy day... Carla Bruni, Regina Spektor, Marissa Monte, Louis Armstrong, Etta Jones, Norah Jones, Feist, Ella Fitzgerald, Zee Avi, Ingrid Michaelson, Meiko...and on. And on. PERFECT!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama Monster Mania

Honoring the Mother Within
The Ballerinas at Mother's Day Tea
Mother's Day Loves from Zoe
Mother's Day Loves from Mauren

Today is Mother's Day and really, what day isn't? Without our mothers, none of us would be here. Today I work on honoring and respecting the mother in me. This is my fifth Mother's Day. My first as a mother of three magical children, each an enigma, wonder and delight. Today I revel in the mundane, in the small joys, the repetitive tasks, the hugs, the homemade cards (pictured above). I relish that my five year olds cannot correctly pronounce the 'th' sound and so they say with sincerity and love 'Happy Mudders Day, Mama'. Today I let my cup runneth over with love and joy. Today I put my 'to-do' list on the back burner and enjoy simply being with those that have made a mother out of me. And at this very moment, I delight in that they are all napping, allowing me this time to extoll their virtues.

Mother's Day at our house began on Friday afternoon with the preschool 'Mother's Day Tea' performance. The girls were both front and center, with their bff between them for a ballet dance and several songs. Their teacher, Ms. Jodi, introduced the festivities with a poem that I will include below that had every parent in the audience weeping before we laid eyes on our adorable children. I am so proud of how far my girls have come since their first Christmas program.

The air of celebration continued last night with what I hope becomes a Mother's Day tradition . Chad and the big girls surprised me with an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen. I convinced the crew that dinner should consist of the icecream cake and a huge pot of stove top cooked pop corn smothered in real butter--surprise, surprise, no dissenters(this is also a long-time Tillman family practice, so nice to reinvent that!). We all cuddled together on the couch, ate our completely unhealthy dinner and watched 'Mary Poppins'. The girls were enthralled and Chad and I both realized we'd forgotten most of the movie but the songs. What a delightful night.

This morning I slept in until 7:30am, took a bubble bath and blow dried my hair in the breezes off of our superior lake. As we walked to the nearby baseball fields to try out the new kites Mauren and Zoe received as Easter presents from Grandma Reenie, the girls skipping ahead of us, Addy tugging Chad here and there to smell the smells--I patted the popo of the bundle strapped to my chest and took deep breaths of pure content. With two kites out, and intermittent breezes alternately sending our kites soaring and allowing them to float down and be caught by the girls the world seemed so right. So perfect. The girls and I spent another hour in the ball field as Chad walked Addy around the 'hood. My girls need no fancy toys to have fun. They have one another and boundless imaginations--the perfect recipe for magical merriment. Charlotte drifted off to sleep and for an entire hour I watched as the girls used sticks to dig up mounds of baseball base-run dirt and 'planted' gardens of dried tansy flowers. They picked bouquets for eachothers' birthdays. They invited new alter-egos 'Canda' and 'Salis' to join in their fun. The dugouts became their houses and they curled up in their benchwarmer beds giving no heed to the sunflower seed shells that got stuck in their hair. They ran the bases, but not in your typical baseball style. They made up a new game called 'Run. Freeze. Walk. Freeze. Dance. Freeze. Skip. Freeze. Ballet. Freeze. Jump. Freeze. Gallop. Freeze' and took turns being the 'caller' and the base rounding participant. And their garb today? New sundresses from Auntie Bekki atop non-matching pants and long-sleeved tees.

Amid the play Charlotte awoke and enjoyed pulling at the grass and the tails of the kites. She got up on her hands and knees and took four forward crawling 'steps' and had a look of pride and joy on her face. She has since repeated that several times...soon there'll be no stopping her.

Today I am content with who I am. I am content with the Mother within me. It is a work in progress and I grow and learn along with these beings I've helped to create and nurture. I'll leave you with the poem Ms. Jodi read:

If I Had My Child To Raise All Over Again

"If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I’d run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I’d build self esteem first, and the house later.
I’d teach less about the love of power, and more about the power of love."
Diane Loomans

Happy Mother's Day to the mother inside of you, the mother at your side and the mothers next door!