The Scrawl Vol. 1, No. 26

  
We have a smug problem solver on our hands. Sometimes it takes her a while to climb a chair, but sometimes she can be on the table quick as a wink. {You notice, when we get back from a trip and are out of laundry quarters and the dirty laundry is overflowing the hamper, Maria’s clothing style tends to get a bit *ahem* bolder?}

  
Like this. So we can’t really leave vitamins or water glasses or what have you on the table anymore.

  
She loves putting up the daily ornament on our Advent calendar. She has to reposition it a few times before she’s satisfied.

  
One morning, Maria indicated readiness for a nap earlier than usual. I took her to bed and nursed her, but after a few minutes, she started giggling, pulled off, and started being goofy. I needed to use the toilet, so I started to get out of bed, and she stood up, pointed, and proclaimed something in an unknown tongue. I helped her down and let her lead me, holding my hand and walking, to wherever she was talking about. We wended our way out to the living room, and she stopped in front of the bookshelf where our stockings are hung. Now, so far I’ve only put out our Advent wreath and calendar and the stockings and a little greenery over a window; she seems contented with the little things she gets to do with the wreath and calendar, but she’s intrigued by the stockings; I’m guessing she wonders what they’re for. She climbed up onto the hassock, sat down, and started talking and squealing to the stockings. I hastened to the bathroom, hoping that she wouldn’t get down, push the hassock closer to the bookshelf, climb up, and pull them down with their heavy hangers. [I since moved them to the higher bookshelf to reduce risk of this]. I heard no sounds but her chatter and the workmen installing something in another apartment. Suddenly, though, she started crying sorrowfully. I sat there, trying my best to hurry, and trying my best to console her from a distance, and trying my best to imagine all the awful things she could be crying about. However, when I came out, she was sitting exactly where I had left her, looking longingly at the stockings. I took hers down and brought her to bed, and she gently snuggled it as she fell asleep, moving her fingers along the different colors and patterns. 

 
This picture reminds me of her Auntie Hailie, but she definitely has her Daddy’s eyelashes.

  
It took me a minute to find the stuck baby, and once I did, she decided it was actually hilarious.

  
Busy bee

  
This was before allllll the pencils were dumped on the floor.

We miscalculated the time it would take us to travel in rush hour one evening, so we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. It was a lot of fun, although Maria wasn’t so sure about it. Sure, the lights were pretty, but it required being buckled in for that much longer!

On Saturday afternoon, I had some fresh bread cooling when the mail came. “Finally,” I huffed, then caught myself. “This is a crazy time of year for mail. I bet our mailman could do with a treat.” So I sliced and buttered a piece of bread and ran downstairs, just as the mail deliverer was heading for the door. “Excuse me, ma’am,” said I, for indeed it was not either the normal blond earbud boy or his grey ponytailed gentleman fill-in, but a middle aged African-American lady. “Excuse me, would you like a slice of fresh bread?”

“You talkin’ to me?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I don’t know, should I trust you?” came the response.

“Oh,” I joked, very awkwardly aware that I was holding her up and that my newest neighbor, who was having a smoke outside with a friend, could probably hear every word through the half-open door, “I don’t know if I can be trusted.”

“I don’t know you,” she said, “so no thank you. It was a sweet idea.” And out she went. And up the stairs I went to eat my slice of bread, cheeks burning. My random acts of kindness meter made a bit of a dip that day. Thankfully it doesn’t take too long to recharge.

  
There was a beautiful tree at the Advent party we attended, but Maria was mostly just mesmerized by the musicians gathered around it.

  
She’s figured out how to put on her bracelets as well as necklaces, so now she trots around with plenty of bling on.

  
Maria oversaw Daddy’s construction of pumpkin smoothies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loved this encouragement that fights the sinking feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I look at bigger families and see how capable the parents are and realize what wimps we are. “If we started at the end goal, what would the point be?”

A friend gave us The Second Greatest Story Ever Told a couple months ago, and when we finally started it last weekend, we tore through it in a few days. My favorite quote: “[God] loves us because we need his love. He loves us because he’s good, not because we are. He loves us because his Heart is full of merciful love, the kind of love that, like water, rushes to the lowest place.”

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