Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in the South

Sunny and 80 degrees?  I'll take it.

I had a moment when we were on the playground that I realized the kids needed sunscreen!

And did I mention we now own a kiddie sized ATV?

More thoughts to follow on how traveling with kids is basically the worst thing ever.

Love them. 

But worst thing ever.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Everything I Need to Know in Life v.2: I Learned from Charlie Brown ...

I thought I knew it all from Dr. Suess after visiting with his thoughts at Brookgreen Gardens this fall, and then again here on the Palmetto Baby blog

Then this evening, I spent some time with Charlie Brown's Christmas.  We do it every year.  You do it every year, I know you do.

Every one of us thinks "Snoopy" when we hear "Red Baron".

We think Lucy's advice only comes at 5 cents... is that covered by Obamacare??

We have real life PigPens and Linuses and Peppermint Patties that we have seen all grown up in our lives.

That Charlie Brown, we can learn a lot from him.  

We see him at Christmas time and Halloween without fail.

 We in our 21st century lives press record on our DVRs, because we need to pass this on. 

Is it the show, or the messages we need to communicate?  The simpler lives and messages and learning? Not about Christmas, or Halloween but life in general.

It's so interesting to watch these shows with the adult mind.  The personalities that were so extreme becomed nuanced as we understand who they are in the frame of reference of our adult minds.

 "I think I'm losing control of the whole world."  Me too, Charlie.  Me too.  Here's the secret, we didn't have the control in the beginning, we were just operating in our own orbit.  When things like kids and job changes and money and life get in the way, sometimes we lose all control of the world.  Oftentimes terrifying, just like in the comics, it usually turns out ok. 

 "It’s too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January."  I get you, Lucy.  I do. The prospect of that bigger storm and bigger opportunity often leave us paralyzed in place.  This has nothing to do with snow and months, and everything to do with life.

“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.” Yes, Charlie.  I'm there.

I'm not in it to win it this season.  It's just so much WORK.  The packing, the wrapping, the preparing, the cookies, the cards, the tree, the decorating, the opening Christmas cards and feeling like a schmoe once again because DAMN, when do people have time for these things.  My kids were bathed three times this week instead of two.  THAT.  That is a win.

And then you, Peppermint Patty: "There's enough problems in the world already, Chuck, without these stupid misunderstandings. "  This one has struck a core in recent months as I've tried to reconcile who Susann is.  I'm in a middling place right now, and have floated in the world of misunderstanding with others when I'm clearly frustrated with myself and needing to tap back into me beyond being "Mom" a little.

I've spent too much time in the recent past explaining away others' behavior without taking some ownership to either confront or accept it.  Life changes when you have kids.  People change.   My timing changes, and my flexibility changes.  And in my insecurity about my evolving self, I've lost track of where my roots are.  Who my roots are.   We are grown and can grown with them, or we can choose to go other directions.  But we can't let misunderstandings destroy who we know and our history with them.

Charlie, you got it right, "Goodbyes always make my throat hurt, I need more hellos"

But then Linus, you always bring us back, "Learning to ignore things is one of great paths to inner peace"

Linus.  Odd.  Becomes passion.

Charlie.  Worried.  Becomes devotion.

Lucy.  Bossy.  Of course-- she's leaning in!

Sally.  Deadpan.  Faithful.  Angry faithfulness sometimes.  But she's all in.

Snoopy.  Man's best and worst and best friend, like any pup, no matter how you look at it.

But then if you parse their words, and amplify Mr. Schulz's messages, you think "Now this is a 21st century philosopher.!"

It's no secret we have had a hard year.  Maybe a harder one that I will care to admit some days.  Most days are spent in a fog, and a cycle of need-to-dos, and not want-to-dos.   I know that's just where we are right now in life, and this too will pass. 

The joys are so joyous.  But they are worked for.  Trust me.

We are all a little Charlie Brown.  Cynical.  Devoted.  Motivated and frustrated.

May all our problems be resolved in a 30 minute holiday special, and may we rest easy this holiday season safe in the hearts of those we love.

And make sure you have your own awesome interpretation of the "Charlie Brown Dance" mastered for those joyous moments.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

School Holiday Program

Because we don't have video that I've figured out how to upload, the highlights? 

The class Annie just graduated from "singing" from their bumbos... and the teachers dancing it out on the babies' behalf.  We love them.

AH with her favorite teacher, Mrs. Helen and the other 24 one year olds dancing out to "Hip Hop Jingle Bells."

Robbie stealing the show by remembering all the hand motions to the not-at-all-Christmasy-"Your Face" (his class, at the FBC daycare is MAYBE 50% Christmas celebrators?).  I love raising our kids in  Washington.

Abject fear of Santa.  That didn't make the photos.

Thinking the fake presents were real?  That did.

And did I mention the parental scrum of videotapers?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In the short rows . . .

The Family Edwards enjoyed a great evening on the steps of our church this evening for our annual Candlelight service.

I would be somewhat less than honest if I did not tell you that young Robert was . . . "spirited".  It was all we could do to keep up.  We managed. 

Susann had Anne Helen all bundled up in her bear suit - she is going to hate the pictures one day but what are parents far if not embarrass their children?

5 more days left at work this year.  I would be lying if I said I was not well and truly ready to head to SC to see the family.  This trip will entail the addition of another member to this exclusive club . . . welcome Joel.  Hold on tight.  It can be a very bumpy ride at times but it is well worth it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

In Case Annie Asks..

In case Annie asks in a few years, we did have  a "party" for her at school for her 1st, complete with pears, cantaloupe and cupcake. Big brother even came over from his class for the celebration.

 When she finished hers, she went for her neighbor's!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This kid isn't messing around.

His name, apparently, is Robert.

Not Robbie.


PS.  Robert likes trains, playgrounds, letters, numbers, and playing with his sister and cousins.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning Words

Have I said it before?

(And I'm cursing myself by saying it)

But I.  Love.  Two.

It is witty and surprising and all around fun. 

But the words?  The words are the best.

Robster is in the piecing words and thoughts together, and starting to REALLY pick up on what others say.  Chose words carefully, or you may regret it.

Some of my favorites:

"S'ok Annie.  Don't cry." while waving his hand in the ok symbol.

"Bye alligator!" (I'm assuming this comes from combining Goodbye and See you later alligator)

"AWW MAN!" whenever things don't go his way.

When asked where we are going after Thanksgiving, the answer is often "Uncle Matt's house."

Even little insertion of humor.  He LOVES to say things fall down.  Usually starts with "Uhoh, pumpkin fall down.", followed by "Uhoh, pizza fall down!" and "Uhoh, Ms. Theresa (his teacher), fall down!"

If we go to Costco, he chants "bananas, apples, diapers, and cake for Donna" (we once bought a cake there for our Pastor.  Once.)

He sings along to music in the car, knows most of the words to Carolina In My Mind, and the CD of 50s and 60s hits that Aunt Robin gave us... his favorite "Oooh baby, that's what I like" from Chantilly Lace.  I don't love it as much when he tries to sing along to the Three Tenors.  It is very... yelly.

And when those songs he likes ends?  He YELLS "ANOTHER SONG!".  Cute in the car.  Cringeworthy after the organ solo in church.

He "prays" before dinner, and wants to do it alone.

And the favorite from the doomed stomach flu road trip where Dad was a yeoman.  "Dada fix it."

Something's going wrong?  Feeling sad?  "Dada fix it."

Warms my heart, and I know Shawn loves it too.

You come from a long history of talkers, buddy.  Get with the program!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

She's One

She's rowdy and fearless and a daredevil.

Curious and chatty and feisty.

Independent and brave and smart.

And of course, beautiful.

Even when smashing a cupcake to oblivion.