Monday, December 7, 2009


Today we hit Moraine Hills for our Monday Morning Hike. This was our first snowy outing...and watching Matias try to walk in snowpants and boots made my day. Violet was in 2 snowsuits, in her bunting, in her carseat with the awning all the way over her. Matias rode on my back for most of the mile and a half, but did do a bit of walking. We sang many rounds of "Jingle Bells"...I sang the words, he sang the "HEY!" part.

I think we saw a muskrat. Something brown and furry was swimming in the water, and it seemed too small to be a beaver. I don't believe we have otter around here, but I could be wrong. There were a few muskrat lodges around, so I am going to go with muskrat!

We came home, lit a fire in the fireplace and ate our lunch. And then the kiddos napped and napped and napped! Always a nice way to start the week!


There is something exciting about making something by hand for Christmas. I am trying to make some handmade gifts for the kids this year. I made Violet a little polar fleece ball made out of a purple vest that had lost its zipper. I think she'll like grabbing onto the little tags and knots. I am going to put her initials on it. For Matias, Matt and I are working together to make him a beanbag set. I am making the bags out of a pair of old jeans, and embroidering on the names of the shapes. Matt is making a cardboard target to go with it.

Lots of crafty fun going on at the Handley house right now!

I'll add some pictures when I get them done!

Monday, November 23, 2009


There is just something special about holding a baby. A warm, squishy, floppy, soft, kissable baby, with that new baby smell is just made to be cuddled.

Even Matias senses it...more and more often I am hearing "Hoowd Baby Violet? Hoowd her? Sit in big chair. Hoowd Baby Violet." His holding sessions don't last long, but he seems to crave a little snuggle time with his warm, squishy little sister now and then.

I'm not sure Baby Violet has fully embraced the snuggle time with big brother yet (pun intended)- he is gentle, for a two year old...which is to say, not that gentle! But she has been smiling at him and watching him like a hawk lately. He is the best entertainment a baby could have! I am thankful for my 3 fantastic siblings, and it makes me so happy that my kids have a sibling as well. Watching them grow more aware of each other is a joy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pooh Sticks

Today we hiked at Heron Creek...Violet in her stroller (snoozing away under layers of polar fleece), Matias alternating between walking and riding in the Ergo carrier on my back. We are getting into a nice routine...I walk, he sings "Happy and You Know It". Favorite verses include "jump jump, kiss your mom, and shout HOOOO-RAY!

We made it to the wooden bridge over Heron Creek, and stopped for a game of Pooh Sticks (a game they play in a Winnie the Pooh story where they drop sticks on one side of a bridge, and watch them float under the bridge and out the other side).
My little Christopher Robin is getting the hang of Pooh Sticks...fewer sticks land on the banks, and he has figured out that the current only runs in one direction (after waiting with great anticipation on the upstream side for sticks that would never appear).

I was thrilled that on this, our second trip to the bridge, he was so excited to get there that he happily passed by the park with no tears!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blue Elephants

It would only be right to begin with proper introductions. First, we have Blue Elephant #1- my first child's first love.
Blue Elephant #1 was the proud recipient of Matias' first smiles, first gazes, first grasps and coos. My partner in those early days of motherhood, when my child's challenges were tracking with his eyes and getting his hands to go where he wanted. I will never forget the day that he pulled Blue Elephant off his velcro tag, quite by accident. There was wonder and triumph in his eyes when he realized that his beloved Blue Elephant could go...IN HIS MOUTH!

Second, we have Blue Elephant #2- our new inspiration.
Blue Elephant #2 is a handmade, wooden toy; a bit more natural than Blue Elephant #1. He is a bit softer, a bit simpler. And yet, he is complex and capable and captivating. Matias regards Blue Elephant #2 with all the wonder he originally had for Blue Elephant #1.

Yesterday, Matias rediscovered Blue Elephant #2 sitting on Violet's shelf. At first, he was afraid of the way that it click-clacked and "walked" down the little wooden ramp. I showed him over and over how to make the elephant walk down the ramp, each trip ending with "Mooooore? Mama do." He was curious, yet cautious- hiding with most of his body in Violet's closet, just in case the elephant was real. As time wore on, he moved from his post in the closet, to a new station, peeking out from behind my body. After ten minutes or so, his curiosity got the best of his caution and he reached out to touch the elephant. This set the elephant to click-clacking down the track, and sent Matias back into the closet. So I sat and placed and replaced Blue Elephant #2 at the top of the track. We had nowhere to be, nothing more pressing to do. I thought about taking the elephant over to him, forcing him to touch it and in doing so, realize it was harmless. But I took the patient route- he'd come over when he was ready. And he did.

Fast forward half an hour...Matias is sprawled on the floor, carefully scrutinizing the tiny pieces of wood. Questions come to his mind faster and faster. What would happen if...I sent it down backwards? Set it too close to the edge? Pushed it down? Laid the track flat? Held it by the little leather tail? Sent it down too hard? Too gently? Set it down on the flat floor? Tipped the track sideways with the little piece of wood? Shook the elephant? Tasted it?

In half an hour, he had given a demonstration more profound than most. He had let his curiosity guide him through his fear. He had looked from every angle. He had explored questions that led to more questions that led to more questions. He had chosen something that appeared simple, even boring, and uncovered all its complexities and potential. He had truly been present in the moment, not considering what he would be doing next. He had enjoyed himself immensely.

And really, isn't that what it is all about? So here's to having more Blue Elephant Moments in my life.

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