Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Tents

Dear Cora,

It was in a tent that I hoped for you.

In a tent that I was amazed by your presence in my expanding belly.

In a tent I was snuggled with you but wished you would stop kicking me in the head and go back to sleep.

 Enjoying a morning campfire.
 We all felt a little zombie like.

Last weekend we took you camping with us.  Between the hours of midnight and two a.m. when you were playing instead of sleeping (hey, at least you weren't screaming), groggy memories of other times in tents floated in and out of my semi consciousness.

In October of 2008 your papa and I snuck away for a little outdoor weekend.  We had been hoping for you for a few months but you were still just a dream.  Our last morning of the trip we awoke to sheets of rain pummeling our tent.  We weren't in a hurry to pack our wet stuff so we lounged in the tent and read.  I was reading The Red Tent, a book your Grammy passed on many, many months earlier (years maybe) that I was just getting around too. 

With each page I was drawn deeper into the book as it related so deeply to my current feelings.  Wanting a child myself I was fascinated by the joys, pains, losses, struggles and blessings recounted in the story.  As I reclined in the tent to the melody of rain and thunder, I completely slipped into each of the characters in awe and terrified of my own uncertain future.  On the ride home,  I don't think I uttered one word to your papa because I couldn't tear away from the story.

Two weeks later, your story began. 

Five months later, I found myself in a tent again with your papa.  In the middle of the desert.

You were my constant companion in body and spirit.  There wasn't one step on the trail when you didn't occupy most of the space in my mind.  My hands frequently rested on the spot I thought you might be sleeping or wiggling.  Someday I want to take you to retrace every place we visited on that trip, so you too can be inspired by the beauty.

At night we would settle in together on the ground and I would wait to feel your wiggles as they were still slight at that stage of the pregnancy.  I'm certain when I slept that my lips smiled with dreams of you.  I frequently thought of The Red Tent and of lying in our tent in the rain hoping for you. 

Nineteen months later I was in a tent again.  This time, you were with me; now a toddler.  You love being outside and are always up for adventure.  You walked some of the steps on the trail with me and rode the other steps on my back while peacefully sleeping. 

At night when we settled in to sleep, you were too excited.  You could see the flames of the fire outside flickering against the tent walls and were enamored.  Eventually, I rocked you to sleep.  You were one tired, sweet girl.  You were splayed out on your back with your arms up by your ears in fists; this is how you slept when you were about six months old.  Again, I thought of The Red Tent and marveled at what a miracle you are. 

At midnight, the rain pinged on the fly and woke you up and you decided to have a party until around two a.m.  At one point you flung a book at my head your small voice pleading me to read it to you.

I hope we go camping again soon, and I hope you decide to cancel your midnight party. 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hey! You ain't gettin' any younger!

If you aren't too busy today with one of your many extracurricular activities, hopefully you'll check my blog and see that I'm celebrating you.  Even though sometimes I want to pinch you (smile) I know that I love you very much and have been fortunate to have you share in my life.  I probably haven't told you enough, but the memories we've made will always be with me and among my most beloved.  Thanks for making it a priority to be an awesome Popo.  Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

15 Months

Rob and I were playing at the park with Cora last weekend and Rob just kind of sighed to himself and said, "She is turning into a little girl."  And he is right.  We are slipping farther away from the baby stage with each passing day speeding towards the uncertainties of toddlerhood.  Here are some things she is up to these days:

- Walking backwards.  She will walk backwards all the way down our long hallway (need to get some video).  I don't know, but it totally cracks me up.  It's like a lightbulb went on in her head and she's realized that forward isn't the only direction. 
- Imitating everything.  If you ask her to say almost any word, she usually repeats it.  My current favorite is pumpkin which sounds like "PAH-kin". 
-Clinging to the paci.  This is only used a nap and night, but she LOVES it.  I wanted to get rid of it before she could ask for it by name, but that time has come and gone.  When Rob and I refer to it we do so by spelling P-A-C-I but I think she is catching on.
- Playing guitar.  I'll fret the chords and she'll strum the strings with my pick, which usually gets dropped inside.
- Singing songs.  We've been hearing little bits of ABC's, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy and Twinkle Twinkle.
- "Jumping".  She says jump and bends her legs but isn't quite getting her feet off the ground. 
- "Running" - We almost have a bonafide run.  It is certainly a quick walk.
- Saying uh-oh anytime anything is dropped. 
- Is currently infatuated with car keys.  I always thought that was for tiny babies; we are going to have to make her a set of her own because once she finds yours, there is no getting them back.  She tries to unlock things with them. 

This highspeed highway of development is amazing.  Everyday she is learning something new and everyday I love her more!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Little Miss Cora had a Farm

And on that farm she had lions, horses, sheep, chimps, elephants, goats, and sleepy polar bears (that imitate frogs).  I know, eclectic right?  Cora's been practicing her animal sounds for a while and I was finally able to document some of it.  She can see herself on the camera screen so she appears a little spaced out, but I suppose this was what captured her attention long enough to be still.

Animal Sounds from Courtney Green on Vimeo.

Now for the outtakes.

Animals take one from Courtney Green on Vimeo.

iPod exploration from Courtney Green on Vimeo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lovey Dovey

Cora is growing up way too fast.  I thought the hugging and kissing thing didn't start until at least kindergarten.  Check out my friend Lindsay's blog for a sweet post about our two little love birds.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Uniform

It is no secret that I'm not that in to fashion.  I'm not completely oblivious to what's hip and I don't want to walk around looking like an idiot, but mostly, I like to be comfortable.  Of course there are days when I would love to rip out a page in J. Crew and modge podge it to my body before heading out the door, but ultimately, it isn't what I choose to spend my time or money on.  Given the choice between a trip to the mall or a walk to the park, I'm going to the park!

When it comes to clothing, I usually like to find what's comfortable and stick with it.  I've joked around with people before that I wish had four different uniforms.  One each for the four seasons. 

In addition to my general lack of interest in clothing and the seeking of, I'm chronically cheap (no shame here), and I try not to over consume.  In fact, any act of commerce I engage in is fraught with questions of conscience.  "Should I really be spending money on this?  Who made it and what kind of social/environmental consequences are attached to it?  Do I need it or just want it?  Will it last?  What if I get it home and then don't like it?  Does it match enough stuff in my closet to be justified?" on and on ad nauseum.  Quick tip, do not go shopping with won't have any fun. 

Rob and I have frequent conversations about simplifying our life.  I'm always amazed by how much "stuff" we have even though we don't go out and seek a lot of "stuff".  Where does all this "stuff" come from?

Our Netflix queue certainly isn't helping take our mind off matters of the environment/consumption/social issues either.  I'm pretty sure the last eight movies our sweet mail lady has delivered (while consuming gas!) have all been members of the documentary club: five of the six discs in the Ken Burns National Parks series (missed them when they aired on PBS), The Cove, Paper Clips, 180 South, Babies and yet to come are Tapped, War Dance and some other about the Alaskan Wild.  It isn't enough to just think about it, you have to change your behavior.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed when thinking about all the things I should do to change my behavior. 

I was thinking about some things that I use frequently.  Below are some mainstay items outside of my work attire.  The purse was a Backwoods purchase from about five years ago, the fleece a Christmas present from Rob seven years ago, and my Chaco sandals another Backwoods purchase from around six years ago.  All three items are barley showing any wear and could be around for several more years.  The fleece has accompanied me on every outdoor trip Rob and I've ever been on and it has always kept me warm.  Sure, it would be nice to have something new and shiny, but this would be giving in to the perceived obsolescence of the items.  Something the marketing pros want me to do frequently.

If I could have a uniform, these would definitely make the cut.  They are comfortable, utilitarian and sturdy.  Sure, I won't be scoring many cool points or be photographed on the red carpet, but I can feel good about getting the most out of something before adding it to the landfill.  Need some inspiration?  Watch the "Story of Stuff".