The Princess has always liked using crayons. I say "using" because it took a very long time for her to actually draw anything recognizable. Then one day she showed me an actual picture and I complimented her on the face she'd drawn. "It's not a face, it's Bob!" She rolled her eyes at me for not knowing immediately and then she drew and drew and drew and drew Bob some more.
Usually Bob was a simple creature; round head, eyes, nose, and mouth - cute. But one day she left me a sheet of paper with a portrait on it. Bob, with arms, legs and hair. I was smitten. Of course, I immediately tucked that sheet into a page protector and snapped it into a binder where I would absolutely not lose it.
Then, on Pinterest (ahh, Pinterest!), I ran into a picture of a child's drawing turned into a stuffed animal... Well, I hopped on over to the Child's Own Studio website, emailed the drawing of Bob to Wendy, and got put on the 6 month long waiting list because everyone else had seen that adorable pin on Pinterest as well!
Bob arrived in the mail last week. He's soft, he's cuddly, he's Bob in the "flesh". The Princess took one look at him and started giggling like she's never done before. It was a non-stop giggle as she hugged him and asked where on earth he had come from. And then I showed her her drawing. "He looks just the same!" she exclaimed between more giggles.
Friday morning I flew to Phoenix for work. I don't often travel for work so it's always a disruption, a shock to everyone's system. As I sat on the plane, reading a book and sipping coffee, I, as usual, thought about the family I'd left behind. There were two little girls sitting dazed in the back seat from the early morning wake-up call to get me to the plane on time. And there was the man driving me to the airport without complaint; he took the day off of work, woke up the girls, changed diapers, dressed them and then, after dropping me off, took them out to breakfast - what The Princess deemed "the best place ever!"
I have to balance a lot, like every other woman out there. Work, children, housework, cooking, being a wife and mother. And then there's just being me, sometimes as an after thought, sometimes as an appropriate priority, sometimes as a completely selfish act. But I have a partner who helps me balance, who's willingness to take over and step in wordlessly keeps this teeter-totter calm and steady, even when I'm flailing around on my end.
So, I sat there wondering what they were eating for breakfast, how they were going to fill the day, hoping he'd get a nap in the afternoon...but I didn't worry. He's got it under control, whether it's different from how I do it or not. He's my counterpart, my right hand and left hand, and the one that let's me pursue my life outside of the walls of our home with words of love and encouragement.
Confession Time: I just learned how to make coffee. Like, three weeks ago.
If you've ever had coffee at my house before it's because Steve made it or I called him on the phone to walk me through the process and then promptly forgot again.
I came to coffee drinking late, how this is even possible I don't know. My parents are big coffee drinkers and I've always loved the smell. My school in Kenya sat smack dab in the middle of coffee fields. Also, I had an 8am science class or lab EVERY SINGLE DAY of EVERY SEMESTER OF COLLEGE for FOUR YEARS! And not a drop of caffeine in the mornings (not much soda drinking either, I was on a budget). It's a wonder I graduated, really.
So, why no making of the coffee for me? Two reasons.
1: I really like lattes. I'm willing to pay money for a latte as a special treat but haven't felt the need to have them every day. But I am also cheap...
Fear. Yes, fear of actually making coffee and making it WRONG! You see, we live in coffee country. Home of Starbucks (before they got the automatic grinders for their espresso shots and took the final step into coffee travesty) and the millions of little independent coffee shops that can pull a shot of espresso that will make you weep with thankful joy.
This brings a lot of pressure. What if I made the coffee and it was no good? What if I had a guest over and served bad coffee? What if I made bad coffee and drank it anyway, because I don't want to waste the beans that I paid good money for and just ground and inhaled their delicious fragrance as if it could enter my blood stream just by smell alone, and then got so used to bad coffee that I permanently disabled my taste buds and could no longer distinguish good coffee from bad?
The risks have been great. But, with two small children bouncing out of bed with energy to burn each morning (how do they do that? There's no quiet transition period, it's full sleep to full wakefulness in 0.4 seconds!) I finally caved.
I think I might be a little more jittery lately...that's a sign of a well made pot, right?
We said goodbye to one of the last vestiges of babyhood this weekend. Sweetpea is now facing forward in the car. I asked her what she thought about it as I was strapping her in. "It's nice" she answered. Then her eyes got wide and she reached for a hand to hold (Steve's) as we headed down the freeway - her first glimpse of where we were going versus where we'd been plus the view of cars headed in her direction. Intimidating for sure, especially at that speed!
Another mile-marker for all of us. I think the only one remaining before I really have no excuse for calling her a baby is when we finally move her out of the crib. I haven't even started thinking about it.
Sweetpea had her two year checkup the other day with the doctor. All was well (except for the pending shot which she naively didn't know about. Of course, The Princess was fully prepared and had already made preparations to sit out in the hall while the torture was in progress...) until he noticed two little spots on her back. Two spots that I was clueless about because Steve had dressed her that morning to help me out since I'd stupidly scheduled her appointment for 8:10 in the morning (What? I have to get up before them, shower, dress, make-up myself, and feed them all before 7:30? That was some serious over-confidence when I scheduled that appointment.)
So, we eyed them together, the doctor and I, wondering what they could be... Nothing, I'm sure, was my expert opinion. He foolishly mentioned chicken-pox...though they don't actually look anything like chicken-pox.
So, that kid randomly showed up with new spots every other day for a week! Three new spots one day, five new ones the next. No fever, no acknowledgement that they even reside on her body, but just enough of a grumpy attitude to make us wonder if, in fact, she's feeling a little under the weather...
In the meantime I've washed all the sheets, vacuumed the rug, wiped her mattress, the crib, any other hard surface down with clorox - you know, just in case we're infested with a microscopic bug that I can't see and who only likes to bite Sweetpea and not The Princess who shares a room with her...
Oh, and I'm itching ALL THE TIME. Because, you know, my brain is a very powerful force...for evil, evil psychosomatic symptoms that are driving me crazy!
**For those who may see me in person - we are spot free and still symptomless at the time of this posting so don't freak out when you see us!**
We ended the summer in magnificent fashion - this is out of character for us. Usually, we are too annoyed by just the thought of dealing with crowds and hide out at home instead. But, I woke up inspired, forced everyone into their jeans, and whisked them off on an adventure. (I am the supplier of superlatives and exclamation points in our family.)
On our way home we stopped in Hood River. Columbia River kite boarding, short
sleeves, sun burns (Steve. The rest of us were slathered in spf of
course!), ice cream, and dinner at the Full Sail Pub & Brewery.