Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My February Ten

I was going to complain about what a dreary, miserable February-stuck-in-the-doldrums kind of day it was. It could have been that kind of day, and I would have been content to leave it at that.



But, inspired as I was by Montessori Mama, I decided to take her advice. Rather than moan about how dreary this winter month has been, I'm going to talk about the ten things that made this month awesome.

1. The extra hour I have at night alone with Jordan after we put Miss Mina to bed. I keep repeating myself here, but it's true. He's such a different kid when it's just the two of us. Sometimes we talk at the table.



Sometimes we make music on pretend instruments.



Jordan does his best Satchmo.

2. Continuing on the musical theme, I'm enjoying a guilty pleasure by way of American Idol. How can you not love the cheesefest of this show? Tonight, Jordan took a spin at the mike.



3. Which makes me all the more appreciative of my recent discovery ... a quiet place. I'm considering establishing squatter rights here.



4. Indulgence.

Now, I basically hate the snow. I grew up in upstate NY, I've lived on the East coast my whole life..I'm used to the white stuff. It doesn't mean I have to like it. Maybe if I was enjoying it in an apres-ski sort of way, before a crackling fire..it would be one thing. But, I'm not. I'm out there, along with Monkey Sr., shovelling, scraping, snow-blowing, and sprinkling salt. Oh..and alternately freezing my ass off..or sweating like a pig from the manual labor.



But, the plus side of the snow cleanup is this - I have an excuse to take a long, hot shower. Added bonus - I used some brand new freebie sample body wash, shampoo and conditioner from Whole Foods. Did I mention I got a bunch of free stuff one day while shopping for Monkey Sr's Valentines' day dinner? John Masters organics - so delish, so yummy smelling, so incredibly indulgent...and so free. The blood orange and vanilla bodywash is swoon-worthy.

5. Miss Mina's ever growing vocabulary.

She's been repeating words for awhile now, but these days she's identifying objects in pictures, correctly pointing to things we ask her about, counting out series of things she sees (she doesn't get the number sequence right yet..but she's trying) and making herself more clearly understood. I love that she loves to be read to..and also that she loves to pick up a book herself and flip through the pictures on her own.



6. Books!!

Miss Mina is not the only bookworm in the house. I've loved February for the chance to read some great books, and re-read some others. This month's hits were Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl, the former food critic for the New York Times. It was a funny, breezy read on all thing metro-food related. Add a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the working of the Times, and some tasty sounding recipes, and you have my perfect book.

My other favorite was an Oprah recommendation (ok, ok, shoot me, go ahead. I know it completely undermines my credibility as a reader to admit that I notice her recommendations. Whatevs. I've never been an elitist book snob. High-brow, low-brow, literary, or just plain trashy...I'm always up for a book recommendation.) Anyway, she recommended Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. At nine hundred something pages...it better come recommended.

It's worth it. It was fantastic. Well developed characters, lots of action, a believe able embrace of historical fiction details... I loved it. I also lost a lot of sleep at night.

7. Food! We had some enjoyable culinary moments this month. Among them - sugary treats among the preschool set, Southern cooking shared with the gals, and of course, fine dining with my Monkey Sr.

8. Flowers!

Pretty bursts of color to break up the gray days. Thank you Costco for stocking my favorite reminders of one of my favorite places in the world.



9. Photographs!

I'm really digging this photo-a-day challenge I've been doing. Toting my camera around with me constantly has me ever more aware of the details of daily life. I find myself looking at things from a different perspective. Look at that color, I think..look at the way the light hits that...or such. I try to be more aware of the details and imagine how they might look through the lens of my little point and shoot.

10. And finally...

I'm still one month away from this. Thank God.

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