and I was proud

It's dangerous to write a post after midnight.  In the morning when my more reasonable, less vulnerable self returns I might be embarrassed.  Oh well.

I can't sleep, too many thoughts... and I'm a little afraid of what I'm going to dream about. 

I was thinking though, about how these tragedies can bring out the best in us.  We are more kind, we are more gentle, we are more loving.  We give virtual hugs and we are quick to forget the things we were arguing about yesterday.  My heart aches, and yet it is so full of love, I feel like I could hug anyone that would let me, or anyone who needed it. 

But then I thought, it's too bad that it takes a tragedy to make us feel that way. 

Then, a few minutes ago while trying to distract myself in cyberspace, I came across this video.  I don't know whether I laughed or cried more.  (A happy, emotionally exhausted cry.)

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Anyway, I realized that the world is full of good, and although tragedies give us opportunity for unity, there is kindness all around.  I thought, there is so much love in communities, so much love in our country, and so much love in humanity. 

And I was proud.

The kitchen table

Back in January I posted about our kitchen table.  That post caused me to be filled with so much nostalgia and sentimentality that I couldn't bear to part with it.  The pictures don't quite do justice to the wear and use the table exhibited, and Richard was excited about the new table.  With promises to restore the old, abused table to a new glory, I insisted we keep it.  We gave away our new table to a good home. 

Months... later...

Our old abused table has been restored.  It was a project of massive undertaking, and I spent countless hours on it.  Let 2012 be remembered as "The Year of the Table."

We ate at a card table (or out on the picnic table when weather permitted) for months.  For the better part of a year to be truthful.  But alas! She is finished, and we love her.  We look forward to more debates, laughter, games, budgets, homework, crafts and meals on her newly stained surface. 

Our last meal at the card table.  

Okay, so these pictures make the perfectionist in me squirm a little bit.  I used paint and a water based polycrylic on the chairs and table legs, and then I stained the table top and used an oil based polyurethane.  I also used a paint sprayer on the chairs and a foam brush on the table top, so there is an obvious difference in "shine."  This bothers me.  But Richard is rolling his eyes as he reads this because he is so happy that it's done.  He'll never let me touch it again. 

She isn't without her flaws- no amount of sanding could remove these knarly marks where the Hall family's first bassett hound made use of her puppy teeth.  But such imperfections arouse pleasant memories.  (Please ignore the cherry tomato from last night's dinner.)

So you'll just have to come see it yourself, or take my word for it that it looks better in person.  Just like the "Before" pictures don't do justice to the wear and tear, these "After" pictures don't do justice to the new glory. 

Mim is THREE

Miriam is such a complex combination of tough and tender.  Sweet and sassy.  Wild and mild.  She has taken my parenting paradigm and knocked it upside down with giggles and glee. 
With manipulative delight she tries to smile her way out of every naughty thing she does.
"You happy Mom?" She asks as she coy-ishly cocks her head to one side.
She is currently testing limits in a new, nerve frazzling way that has both Richard and I mourning the loss of our baby girl that was once more sweet and less sassy.  But one thing that hasn't changed since she first started to walk is that when I sit cross-legged on the floor, she'll be in my lap in five seconds flat.
Her mischievous antics drive me mad, but I can see right through them to a little soul who has to compete constantly with her siblings for attention. 
Miriam loves to be social, she loves nursery and music class at the library. She always asks to see her friends and cousins.  She would wear flip-flops year 'round if I let her and she finally "yikes yeggings" under her skirts.  She sucks her thumb more than ever and especially while watching her favorite shows "Yiddle Eindines" and "Micky Mouse Cubhouse."  

I love Mim. I love painting her fingernails and braiding her hair.  I love the way she looks just like me when she cries her sensitive tears when her feelings have been hurt.  I love her bubbly, active, attention demanding personality and I love having her in our family.