quick, let's play in it!

Harvey pushing the runner sled on the street, viewed from behind

on Harvey

It ended up snowing about 6 or 7 inches; entirely satisfactory. And we did go sledding, or at least Harvey and I did: we took a couple of runner sleds out on the street and slid around on the ice and packed snow (the advantage of living on an oft-ignored side street is that they never salt or sand!).

Aside from the Flexible Flyer pictured above, we also used a baby-portaging sled that we picked up at a yard sale a few summers ago. Harvey is in love with it: every time he's seen it in the basement over the past year and a half he's talked about how much he wants to go out on it, preferably with Rascal pulling him. Well this morning the moment arrived, and while Rascal was otherwise engaged Harvey was quite delighted to have me pull him around and sling him crack-the-whip style up and down the street. The conditions were perfect for the metal runners—well, if you ignore the lack of any sort of a slope. Ah, for the days before salted roadways (and, I suppose, motor vehicles) when any well-trodden hilly road would be prime sledding territory for carefully-waxed runners of countless sleds...

Zion looking nonplussed in his snow jacket hood

what is this white stuff?

I tried to get Zion interested but he couldn't get over the fact that it was pretty cold out. Also he refused mittens and then got upset when he put his hand in the snow. Oh well—in his defense, this is his first real experience as a sentient being of proper snow. Harvey and me'll teach him up right before too long.


I guess I should blog the Christmas crafts some time

I made my family several from-the-heart gifts this year. To Harvey I gave these three wise-men dolls to go with the nativity set I made two years ago.

the three felt kings held in front of the Christmas tree

bearing red, orange and green

Also to go with that nativity, I made a (cashmere) donkey for Mary to ride on. But mostly for Zion to cuddle.

stuffed donkey in a sunbeam

soft and cuddly beast of burden

Of course, the boys promptly threw these gifts over their shoulders in search of the Thomas trains. Indeed, I was going to title this post "Shit I made that my children didn't want," but then Thursday morning I came downstairs to see Zion hugging the donkey and I exclaimed: "Oh Zion! You just saved Christmas."

I also knit my children sweaters, and forced them to pose for a picture. Because I want my love to be associated in their minds with torture.

Harvey in his sweater on Grandma's porch--motion blur on his arms

One more second out here and then I'm running back to play with my trains

Harvey liked the sweater well enough but didn't want to be photographed. Zion didn't want ANY part of any of it, but Dan somehow got him to smile for one second. Probably because he feared I would cancel Christmas next year if I didn't get a sweater picture.

Dada holding Zion on Grandma's porch

Dan refused a new sweater this year, so I made him a hat he didn't ask for

Those are new hats too. Dan's was actually a Christmas gift, while Zion's was taken from the open-to-gift drawer at the last minute when I couldn't find his normal hat. (Note for the future: it was in the sleeve of his coat.)

The boys wore their sweaters for over 24 hours each, so I guess this round of gifting was a success. Truth be told, amidst baby sickness and big-boy greediness I mostly just wanted to get Christmas over with this year. It can be hurtful to me when my kids don't like the things I make out of love for them. At the same time, I realize this puts way too much pressure on them, emotionally speaking. I am now an expert on the emotional development of children since my mother-in-law gave me not one, but TWO parenting books for Christmas. So now when I say, "Do you like your gifts?" and my kids shout, "I only like Thomas trains!" I know that what they're really saying is "Do you love me unconditionally?"

"Do you love me unconditionally?" their little subconsciouses cry, "Or do I have to be all getting high on your hippy up-cycled Martha Stewart BS to receive your love?"

And when you put it like that, well no, none of this is important. Maybe I should love you some other was that isn't so time consuming. Maybe Christmas just makes me crazy. Good thing they love ME unconditionally.

outa here!