Adventures on Sharpness Lane

Yesterday marks the one year anniversary of our residence of Sharpness Lane. While I watched the snow pour out of the sky, looking out my kitchen window, I was thankful we were here. So far, we’ve had a family of bunnies who were just lovely to have around, but met with their demise when Mrs. Fox entered the picture. My neighbor Bonnie and I have both seen Mrs. Fox. I’ve seen her once, she has seen her every morning. Today I met Barry the Wolf. He just felt like a Barry when he walked within two feet of our carport. He stood there, gave me a “non-committed” howl and ran on down the hill. We’ve always had Tommy the Cat who lives in the ditch right next to the circle in our cul-de-sac. He’s only spotted about three times a month, but I always hear him eat dinner in the woods. The girls are especially excited when they get to peep at the occasional deer family that wanders in the yard from to time to time. We’ve haven’t seen much of them since December. 

Since January, we have been to the doctor as a family, more than a dozen times. But so far, everyone is pulling through and we are just happy to be able to keep our selves up. As far as the girls – well, let your mind wonder off to what it “could” be like as sisters, one almost four and one two-and-a-half. There is happiness and love and fun and imagination for about five minutes and there is a crisis. Someone scratches someone’s face, someone gets mad over the imaginary cake they are baking, and so forth. It’s endless. It’s memories. I say that because in the moment of a crisis, you have to remember that this is the process of raising children. Everything counts. Every word. Every method of discipline. Every hug and kiss. Every boo boo. 

We have done a lot of visiting since January. We’ve gotten to see a lot of family and friends in the past month, which is always rewarding. Sometimes, in the midst of the adventures on Sharpness Lane, we get a little lonely and miss our loved ones as neighbors. We all do. Thankfully, we are only several hours away and have all the luxuries of modern technology at our fingertips. 

But, as for now, on Sharpness Lane I am content in appreciating all the lovely birds that are beginning to explore our little cove to prepare for Spring. We’ve see a lot of snow this year and I am almost certain we will see more – probably in a few days. Snowy cedars and cardinals are nothing to complain about.

Ashley

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Happy 2010

The holiday season is dwindling down around the Edwards’ house with a nice snow for the end and beginning of a new year. Friends and family have been visited, black-eyed peas with hog jowl, cabbage, macaroni and cornbread have been eaten, and the gifts have been incorporated into our lives. Some things we are doing now that we are back home –

Cora has been revolutionized by “Princess and the Frog”. She went to see it with her cousin Emily and Grandmother Jane. I was a bit sad and skeptical of the movie, but really sad because I wanted to share her first movie with her. But, we have a date for Shrek 3 (we’ll see). Oberlee is turning her iron into a pet dog and counting things. We are about to get serious about potty training, silky rabbit and the thumb. She loves structure and order. I will be devising a plan on how to be structure and orderly about all of these. Suggestions are welcome! I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. My favorite part of children is their ability to absorb and adapt so easily. I think we lose that with age!

Cora has been building castles, shopping centers and hospitals with her building blocks and tents and we read Richard Scarry’s “The Things People Do All Day” every night. She wants a “Cat Family” birthday this year. We’re back!

Some goals for the New Year – 

1. Pray more, worry less

2. Get back in touch with our health

3. Have less habits

4. Get organized

5. Be happy with current blessings and plan for future ones

I’ve attached some pictures of Christmas. Unfortunately, we were not the best photographers this year. We got wrapped up in spending time, cooking, wading through floods, driving, giving gifts, and enjoying the people we love. It does remind me that I have a large photo project to do this winter.

A.E.

Gifted

NOTICE: PICS ARE INCLUDED AT END OF POST – THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR HOLIDAY DECORATING EXTRAVAGANZA!!

Being away from the girls, for even two nights does wonders for renewing the parenthood spirit and gumption. I use the word gumption because well, it just fits. Initiative may also work. I watch the girls explore the holiday decorations, ask questions and see answers that we may not know. The begin dressing up, making stories, Cora directing as usual, and creating a world that is amazing. I look at the way that they are beginning to use their imaginations and think, wow! They must be truly gifted. Then I begin sharing these stories with other moms and find out that other children are doing the same thing. Then I have to think, well maybe my children are not not necessarily gifted and unique but just going through the developmental process that is supposed to happen in children. Then I begin thinking of more stuff that they do. Oberlee can already count perfectly to twenty-five, especially when she is counting money. She loves math already. Cora has memorized the birthday months of every single one of her family members and close friends that we have and is writing her own television show about the “Sparkle Family”, as she says. I do not know of any children that do this, but maybe so. In the middle of this whole digressing thought journey that I’ve taken about my kids, surely over-analyzing it as our family tends to do – Cora walks up to me and says “so if Christmas is Jesus’ birthday party, do we need to invite Santa Claus?”. At this point, I could not speak. All I could do was hug her in that moment and realize that children, whatever package of personality and uniqueness that comes with them from the day that they are born are what is “gifted to us”. Anything after that, whether its a stroke of genius or just a developmental milestone, is all icing on the cake. 

Thanksgiving was wonderful this year. We spent it in Benton at Ben’s parents house. We had Aunt Alecia, Uncle Richard, Anna, Andrew, Grandma Mildred and Pappaw Joe. We were able to visit friends, decorate for Christmas, and get some things done around the house during all of the holiday traveling and visiting. Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Ashley

A Day in The Life

(PICTURES INCLUDED AT END OF POST)

7 am: Oberlee comes into our room, hungry. That’s every morning. She asks for Apple Jacks. Then she asks for oatmeal. We try to hold off a few moments because Cora will be up soon and will have more breakfast ideas.

7:30 am: No go on the waiting. Oberlee wants food instantly! Mama begins making her breakfast and Cora arises. Daddy can barely get out the door for work because he has two little girls in his arms wanting to go with him.

7:45 am: Breakfast is served and Oberlee asks for “rat cheese”. I’ve been told that comes from Grandma Thelma (GiGi). We think Papa may have taught her that one. Wow, a great memory for a two-year-old.

8 am: Breakfast is over first project begins. Cora is constructing a cafe out of empty boxes that are used to store Christmas decorations. Yes, we have begun decorating. It is an art installation here at the Edwards’ home. Good thing the walls are already painted green! Oberlee is counting money for her piggy bank. She really needs a new one! (Christmas idea alert!!!)

8:30 am: We have to break for a television show. Usually “Max and Ruby”. Singing and dancing happens around this time.

9 am: We have to get down our art box. We have to keep our art box organized while coloring – according to both girls. They have it set exactly how they want it. Truly it is Oberlee’s art box as a birthday gift, but we are learning the value of sharing. Several drawings are done for various people and then hung on the refrigerator by –

9:30 am: Is there not some chore that mama needs to be doing? Free time! By this time Cora has begun changing into several dress-up outfits. Today it is a pink leotard, a gown that hangs around her waist so that it is a skirt, several pieces of costume jewelry and a sun hat. Oberlee is cooking lunch in her kitchen and Cora runs to set the table.

10 am: We get out two books to read. They read to me now. Today it is Richard Scarry and Dr. Seuss. In my book, it’s a good day when we can read those two authors.

10:30 am: Mama begins deciding what we will have for lunch. Several requests have been made. Usually, they want some sort of sandwich in the shape of a heart or flower. Today, they are asking for a sandwich in the shape of a hand. Personally, I do not think that would be appetizing. Oops, no hand cookie -cutter. Fresh out! I think we’ll do a heart today.

11 pm: Lunch is served. We pop in a little “Mary Hoppins” (Mary Poppins). A spoon full of sugar makes the lunchtime go down…quickly, quickly, it’s a race to naptime at noon.

12 pm: Naptime routine begins. Water, wash hands, hugs and kisses, request for more story time, water, hugs – Cora can usually, as she does on this day, buy some time with a potty break – and Oberlee likes to use this as an excuse as well. Since we are beginning potty training with Oberlee, this could take another thirty minutes. And, it does.

12:30 pm: Naptime is achieved…I thought. 

12:45 pm: A noise comes from the girls side of the house. Is it Oberlee? No, she is sleeping sweetly in her bed. Another noise. It’s Cora’s room. I open the door slowly and glance at the floor. The whole collection of Little People houses and props have been set up to look like a village. All of the little people are snug in their beds, but no Cora. I look further in her room. She is lying on the floor beside them with her baby blanket over her. She is asleep. 

12:47 pm: Mama has a tear run down her face because her children are growing way to fast before her eyes. If I wanted to be upset at her for playing a little while longer before naptime, I couldn’t. How can you be upset when your child has created such a picturesque setting with her toys. Such a resourceful child.

12:48 pm: The noise I heard was a bark. Molley has been trapped in Cora’s closet. She’s probably thinking how much her life has changed over the last three years. It is as if she has been also covered with baby blankets, but has escaped. This is what resourcefulness gets you.   

1:00 pm: Mama sneaks some time to write and do work. A couple hours before we start the whole cycle over again. Except go backwards ending with dinner. 

Add another book and a song at the end, and lots more hugs and kisses and you have a full day at the Edwards’ house!

Ashley


 

November Update

I noticed the date of the last post and realized that I haven’t posted anything in quite some time. Life has been busy. Making heart-shaped toast and Tinker Toy energy machines with the girls takes a lot of extra time. We have had several family events over the past two weeks and it has been a wonderful close to this lovely fall season. As I look out my window, I realize that winter is coming. We bought our house last winter. It reminds me to be thankful.

For Halloween, Cora was Glinda the Good Witch and Oberlee was a munchkin from Wizard of Oz. Our cousins Anna and Andrew were Dorothy and the Scarecrow. We went trick-or-treating at our cousin Emily and Natalie’s house and went to Fall Fest on the Bentonville Square hosted by our church. The next weekend, our friends Angie and Jeff Ellison and their daughter, Claire came to visit. Angie has known both of us the longest of most of our friends. It was really nice to have them in our home, enjoying our children and this new phase of life that we are all encountering: parenthood. We attended the opening of the exhibition of “Inspired By Place: The Illustrations of Cara Armstrong and Art Hoyt” at Crystal Bridges at the Massey. Molley, our poodle, had her 9th birthday and had the Ellison’s dog, Marley to celebrate it. 

For Ben and I, work is always busy and everchanging. We both have very unique jobs that we love and hate at times. Working for the arts is frustrating, inspiring, head-spinning and just plain crazy. We love it and feel blessed to be immersed in what we love. I am directing my first play at the college right now with performances in December. I expect that Ben will be coming to me soon with plans of Christmas decorations. This is something we have always done with the utmost intensity. For the past three years (exactly the age of our first child), we have not done very much for decorations. We have been leaving most of the boxes in storage and saying that “we’ll do it more next year”. My goals for this year is that we will put every ornament on the tree, every light, every candle, every sparkly candy cane up and celebrate. There is no greater time than this when we can thank the Lord for the blessing of Christmas, family and for life. It’s fleeting. These moments go by so fast and we have to remember that these moments, even when stressful, are the moments that make up our lives. These are the memories. Make them and make them well. Because when tomorrow comes, they have to live within ourselves to keep themselves alive. 

Hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday Worries

The garbage disposals broke,

diapers make me choke,

the dryer squeaks,

why do the girls have dirty feet?

The bathroom needs more paint,

one more layer – I think I’ll faint,

the lawnman’s at the door,

Wednesday worries nevermore.

My daughters hold up their hands

“mama, come play in our band”,

Down the streets our cymbals roar,

ah, motherhood is not a chore –

Wednesday worries nevermore.

 

Ashley

Oberlee’s Birthday Party

Here are some pics of Oberlee’s birthday party!

Socks

A mother of eight once told me that she knew that she needed a better system of organization when she had a dryer full of socks, a family that consisted of ten people and no way of knowing what socks belonged to whom. She then spent the next week making a very detailed system for washing and distributing socks. She told me that she sacrificed a lot of time with her children that week so that she could organize a system for socks. I laughed at this story and thought to myself, this lady needs a life outside of socks! Nearly eight years later, I find myself wishing that I would have listened to this system and could put it into practice. Although I have only a family of four, it seems that the socks are always the last to get put up, the last to get organized, and often the last to be found when we are dressing in a hurry. This morning as we hurried out the door, I looked at my youngest daughter’s feet and realized that she had mismatched socks. I spent the whole morning asking myself why I was such a terrible mother and how I could better organize our family socks? I ran back through my head all of the different times this week I could have spent organizing and sorting socks. Could I have done it during lunch time? No, then the girls would be left alone to eat and would probably misbehave. Could I have done it during nap time? No, then our family would have not had a good dinner because that is when I reserve time for preparing dinner. Could I have done it during our art time? No, because then the girls would not get precious time learning how to be creative. Could I have done it during bedtime? No, because instead of spending time with my husband, I would be organizing socks. That doesn’t seem like a desirable night! Maybe I should have rushed bedtime, skipped the bedtime story and song, skipped the prayers, the comforting and all that comes with the bedtime ritual. That’s it! I’ll just send them to bed tonight, do none of the ritual and that would give me a whole extra hour to organize socks! As I was thinking this, my two daughters begins to sing a song. They sing this song from start to finish. I barely noticed, being in my own head while driving. But, when they ended the song, I was so proud. Wow, they just learned that song last night. They are only age three and two. My heart broke and a tear ran down my face. I was then thankful that socks had not taken the place of our bedtime ritual. There must be some in between here, properly doing laundry, and properly spending time with kids. But, for now, I was happy for my youngest daughter to be wearing mismatched socks because my children have a new song to sing. As we pulled up to the preschool, I still prayed that no one would notice my youngest daughter’s mismatched socks. Just as I was about to get her out of the car, stuck in the seat pocket was a pair of fresh and clean pair of socks for her to wear. I smiled to myself and hugged them both. I never put those socks there. We sang the song the whole way to the preschool door. ! My heart broke and a tear ran down my face. I was then thankful that socks had not taken the place of our bedtime ritual. There must be some in between here, properly doing laundry, and properly spending time with kids. But, for now, I was happy for my youngest daughter to be wearing mismatched socks because my children have a new song to sing. As we pulled up to the preschool, I still prayed that no one would notice my youngest daughter’s mismatched socks. Just as I was about to get her out of the car, stuck in the seat pocket was a pair of fresh and clean pair of socks for her to wear. I smiled to myself and hugged them both. I never put those socks there. We sang the song the whole way to the preschool door.

Ashley Edwards