"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Friday, April 19, 2013

April 12--- 2012!

I have a journal into which I jot comments and ideas sporadically-- so sporadically, in fact, that I tend to forget what's written in there. I cracked it open yesterday and was surprised and pleased to find that about a year ago I actually sat down and wrote every single thing I did during the day. It sounds boring, I know, but I was fascinated! So much was different then-- I wasn't watching Maya and Eoin at the time, as Allison was on maternity leave, and of course the girls were much littler. But a lot of what I struggled with a year ago is what I struggle with today: dishes, laundry, sleep-- and bigger stuff, like trying to be a graceful and compassionate parent, but not run myself into the ground. 

This journal entry is long. It's very, very long. Still, I can't help but think that through the tedious details of an unremarkable day shines a picture of something lovely: a family in its natural habitat. It's not always an easy picture to see as you're living it. Stepping back and looking at this day with fresh eyes a year later, I am grateful to myself for preserving it in print, with all of its ups and downs. I wouldn't change a thing.

I thought I'd record just an ordinary day-- all of our big and small doings, with no interest in making events and encounters seem more or less wonderful than they are. Staying home with my girls is challenging in some ways, but in others it's very easy and natural. Providing for every physical and emotional need of two little people is tiring, but on the other hand we have our routines and are happy with simple activities and time spent together.being a solid, consistent, endlessly patient parent is WORK, but nothing I can't handle. And in terms of logistics, I have two kids and two hands. Even when they both need to be held and attended to, it's not rocket science. So, without further ado, here's what today has looked like so far.

Actually, let's start with last night.

8pm: girls are in bed. After some milk and some cuddles in her crib, Lavender drops off to sleep. Geneva, complaining of "spicy pee," is up eight times between 8:00 and 11:00, when Avery and I call it a night. We've managed to take turns in the shower, watch The Twilight Zone and eat a snack of french fries, so it's been a pretty good evening.

At about 12:30 Geneva wakes up just howling, which awakens Lavender. I nurse Lavender and Avery attends to Geneva, who needs a new pull-up. Both girls are back in bed and quiet by 1:00.

Around 2:30 they're both awake again. This time Lavender will not go back to sleep; if I even think about laying her down she arches and screams. I take her into bed with me, where she continues to squirm and cry despite nursing, clean diaper, etc. After an hour of gradually calming down she is asleep on my chest and sweating profusely.

At 3:45 Geneva is inconsolable. Avery, who has been helping her periodically for the last hour, is at a loss, so I ease Lavender off my chest and try to calm Geneva down. After two or three visits, drinks of water, etc. she is settled back in bed.

I don't recall when, but at some point in the early morning Geneva gets into bed with us. Avery gets her a sippy cup of milk and flees to his chair. We all doze in semi-comfort until 7:15, when Avery has to get up for work. Geneva follows him around while I rest with Lavender in bed. When he leaves for work I haul myself out of bed, ashamed that it's almost 8:00. Once again Geneva mentions "spicy pee" and I'm worried about a urinary tract infection, so I call the pediatrician to make an appointment.  They can get her in at 9:15, which gives me about an hour to get myself and the girls ready to go.

First order of business is breakfast, which is complicated by the fact that, due to a glitch in the direct deposit system at Avery's work, I have not purchased groceries for the week and we are woefully low on food. Breakfast will be toast with jam, yogurt, and dry Cheerios. While I pull out plates and silverware, Geneva draws an anatomically correct picture of Avery-- for him to take to work, she says. Geneva is ravenous, and quite happy to eat alone for a little bit while I get dressed. While I'm at it, I pick out some clothes for Geneva and Lavender, too. I return to the table and the three of us finish breakfast together. I could really use something with caffeine but I don't see that happening between now and our appointment. Geneva helps me bring the dishes into the kitchen, where I rinse them and leave them in the sink. I change and dress Lavender, noting that she can barely squeeze into the shirt I picked for her. At this point Geneva and I hit our first obstacle: she does NOT want to wear the shorts I picked out for her, and I don't have time to play 20 Outfits. I cram the shorts on her, cheerfully complimenting her on her lovely, fluffy shorts. Miraculously, after five minutes she decides to stop whining about the shorts and is happy to choose her own shoes. This morning is a breeze! Time for personal grooming: lipstick. Hair in a clip. Earrings. Ta-da!

We're ready to get in the car. Geneva objects to her sweater until I remark that it is so fuzzy that it makes her look like Queen of the Sheep, which pleases her. I fill a sippy cup with very watery juice, still concerned about that possible UTI, and send her out the door. I buckle Lavender into her carseat and check the time: 9:10. I will be exactly on time, which is amazing. Geneva gets into her seat without much fuss. I remember to put the garbage can on the curb, but do not have time to feed the chicken. We're off! During our five-minute drive I talk to Geneva about what her doctor visit might entail, including an examination of her bottom. I don't want her to be frightened. She seems most interested in the fact that both her doctor and her gymnastics teacher are named Julie. She does really want to know what Dr. Julie is going to do with her pee. When I mention that she will test it, she says "taste it???"

At the doctor's office we get an awesome parking space and are the only ones in the waiting room. Within minutes we're ushered back to the exam room, causing Geneva to squeal "the examination room!" which impresses the staff-- and me. The nurse asks me to get a urine sample from Geneva. I knew this would happen but somehow I had still decided not to take the wrap when we left. Now I get to hold Lavender in one hand like a football while positioning Geneva over the cup with the other hand. The only real challenge is screwing the lid on the cup one-handed. Back in the exam room I help Geneva wash her hands, and she doesn't want to rinse off the soap. Lavender repeatedly scootches over to the uncovered electrical outlet. Fortunately Julie can see us right away. The examination goes just fine; Julie finds a little scratch on Geneva's bottom, which would account for the burning sensation. I feel like a doofus but am relieved. Julie would like to do a urine culture to make sure there's no infection, so after a quick stop at the lab in the next building we're back in the car. It's 10:15-- much earlier than I'd anticipated. I decide to go straight from the lab to the grocery store.

In the parking lot I finish my grocery list, then unload the girls. I realize I have neither my grocery bags nor the wrap. Darn. I guess this will be Lavender's first time in the big double racecar cart, if they have one available. Luckily, they do, and Lavender seems fine sitting facing away from me. Geneva keeps patting her and giving her hugs. Geneva and I maintain an easy dialogue about the food and the people we see. It's a very pleasant trip, punctuated by only one bathroom run. The challenging part there is hoisting two kids to the sink for handwashing afterward. Lots of little old ladies exclaim over the girls' extreme cuteness. I get two dirty looks from other shoppers when Geneva leans out and takes items from off of the shelves: once a jar of sprinkles, the other time a can of mushrooms. Whatever.

In the checkout line Geneva's patience suddenly unravels. She starts shrieking "I want out! NOW!" Oh jeez, this is really loud. And embarrassing. I'm not brave enough to look around me, so I assume the entire store is staring. Cupping Geneva's face in my hands, I address her firmly: "You may not speak to me that way. When you're ready to use kinder words to tell me how you feel, I will listen." After a few repetitions of this she pulls it together. Lavender plays with the pen on a chain while I pay. Geneva asks to push a button and I say "maybe," which in this case means "no," as she would have to flatten Lavender to reach the keypad. As I steer the cart out of the store both girls begin to whine, but as the rattling of the cart drowns it out I basically ignore it, tossing out the odd comment like "hey, we're almost done!" and "hmm, do you know where our car is?"

I always feel like we're hanging out in traffic when I unload the cart, and today is no exception, but I'm able to get both Geneva and Lavender into the cart in one massive armload, eliminating the "whom do I abandon in the cart while I buckle her sister in?" conundrum. As we drive home Geneva asks about the music we're listening to. She wants to know if it's "kuitar" music. I confirm that it is, performed by an artist named Ali Farka Toure, and enjoy listening to her pronounce that for a few minutes. As I'm driving we pass an espresso stand advertising a 20 ounce latte for $3.75. After last night I'm dead on my feet so I impulsively turn left. The barista chats with me about the weather: cloudy, but warm. Lavender has gone silent, and sure enough is fast asleep when we get home. I release Geneva into the yard while I unload the back of the car. I miss my canvas grocery bags; these plastic ones hold about three items apiece and have flopped uselessly around the back. Remembering that I haven't fed our hen yet, I ask Geneva to give some feed to Honey Chicken. She dashes back to the coop. Lavender snoozes on in the car, and I unload everything into the kitchen. Geneva comes back and dumps some chicken feed on the porch, then orders "sweep." Nice. I tell her that messes happen, but that she needs to be responsible for cleaning them up-- and that ordering me around is out of the question. We sweep off the porch together and then go back to the coop. I help Geneva refill Honey's trough with food-- "not too much!" cautions Geneva-- and we refill her water, too. Then I close up the car and bring the slumbering Lavender inside. As Geneva bounds toward the house she stumbles and shouts "dammat!" Looks like Avery and I need to have a conversation. Lavender continues her nap in my room while Geneva and I attend to the matter of lunch. She requests sandwiches and strawberries, which sounds good to me. I add hard-boiled eggs to the menu, to which Geneva responds "not that" until I tell her she doesn't have to eat the yolk. "I don't like that part either," I tell her. "Oh, okay."

I'm staring at the grocery-laden counter, wondering where I'm going to fix lunch, when Lavender awakens. She is fussy and in need of a snuggle. I hold her in one arm and try to spread peanut butter on a slice of bread with the other hand. It's hard, and I end up using my hip a lot. Soon I've got lunch ready and most of the groceries put away, and Geneva helps me carry her plate out to the table. I look around for Lavender's strawberry and realize Geneva has eaten it, so I duck back into the kitchen. This whole time I've been sipping on my coffee drink and I'm no longer sleepy. In fact, I'm practically vibrating. I need some real food, so I slap together a sandwich for myself and rejoin the girls. I help Lavender with her strawberry and egg while Geneva tells me a story involving Simpkin, the cat from Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester. I ask if, after lunch, she would rather go outside or read The Tailor of Gloucester and she says "read!" So, we clear our plates to the sink, which by now is very full. I'll need to unload the clean dishes out of the dishwasher soon to keep the dirty ones from overflowing. But for now, we head to the nursery.

I change and nurse Lavender as I read The Tailor of Gloucester aloud. Geneva listens with shining eyes, answering questions about the plot and patting the book with her hands. I've never seen her quite as engaged with this particular story before! Lavender nurses contentedly, without any urgency, then sits up and watches her sister. It's just wonderful. After the story Geneva examines Lavender with her doctor tools while I get out my journal and begin writing (this!). I suggest to Geneva that she write in her journal, too, but she only gets out her colored pencils, which she and Lavender squabble over. Determined to write, I ignore the tussling until Geneva yanks a pencil out of Lavender's mouth and pushes her. I realize I've been paying too little attention to them both, but I'm upset at how rough Geneva is being. I remove the colored pencils to a shelf, which results immediately in a piercing scream. Quite pissed off now, I address Geneva sternly but she won't look at me, so I take hold of her face in one hand and turn it toward me rather sharply. Oh, crap. I was mad, and I grabbed her harder than I meant to. She yelps in surprise and bursts into real tears, which of course sets Lavender off again. Time for a change of scenery-- for all of us. I abandon the writing project for now and move us back into the kitchen, clearing off one side of the counter. Lavender goes into the bouncer with a handful of Cheerios, where she has a good view of the action. I start getting out cookie ingredients until Geneva's chirps of "can I see?" reach a crescendo. Her face lights up as I pull out the stepladder.

The cookie dough is looking great and it's time to add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in the mixing bowl. I pour half of the flour in, at which point Geneva's apron comes untied. I step behind her to re-tie it, and in that instant she lunges for the mixer and turns it on high. Flour poofs wildly into the air, and for a moment I can't even see. Geneva, though surprised, is unfazed, and actually so am I. The mess is big but easy to clean, and the flour explosion was kind of funny. With a smile I order Geneva to watch from the nursery doorway while I sweep and wipe up the worst of it. She wants to help, but complies. The flour really is everywhere. I find myself wondering if bakers get White Lung. I also remember that there's a load of laundry souring in the washing machine, and add it to my mental list of Things to Do. When most of the flour is cleaned up I summon Geneva back into the kitchen. She has changed into a leotard and tutu and has lost most of her interest in baking. She watches, glassy-eyed, from the stepladder and asks if she can watch television. Despite my best efforts to move the baking project along it is already 3:30-- half an hour past the "sweet spot" at which point I may possibly get her to nap. Considering how little she slept last night I know she could use the rest, so I make her a deal: if she can lie down quietly and close her eyes for a little while without complaint, I will have a cookie and a little bit of television waiting for her when she gets up. Even as I'm doing it, I don't like that I'm using bribery, but then I reflect (as I always do in these situations) that you could also say I'm positively reinforcing good behavior. Shaking off the guilt, I usher her into the nursery. She whines a little bit, but her heart isn't in it. As I close the door she's making a blanket nest on the floor.

Now that it's just Lavender and me in the kitchen, I take her out of the bouncer and put her down on the floor to play. While she scoots around and plays with an ice cream scoop and a jar of sprinkles, I put away the last of the groceries and attempt to clean up the flour completely. Then I finally unload the clean dishes, chatting quietly with Lavender as I do. I know she is getting shortchanged in the conversation department, but I don't want to make too much noise with Geneva in the next room. I can hear her in there chattering away to herself. It's very sweet, but I wish she would get some sleep. Although not exactly appropriate to the situation, I think of a line from Futurama, delivered by the frightening, grizzled matriarch, Mom: "jam a bastard in it!" This makes me laugh. The dishwasher now empty, I turn to the sink brimming with dirty dishes. They had all been rinsed and ready to load, but the flour explosion covered them with a layer of dust that formed into a crusty dough and they must now be re-rinsed. Lavender is still rattling and rolling the sprinkle jar. Every nine minutes I lift her away from the oven so I can pull out another pan of cookies. Dishes done, I pick up Lavender and head downstairs to attend to the laundry. First I have to bring up the dry clothes, which I do with one arm. Lavender seems to be enjoying it but I drop several articles. I remember doing this all the time with Geneva but apparently I've lost the knack. I leave Lavender upstairs with a toy firetruck while I run down to switch the wet clothes over and start a new load. As I finish up I hear Lavender cry; she doesn't like to be all alone.

Back upstairs, Lavender and I play with the firetruck. Then we check the mail, and I let her destroy the Papa John's pizza coupons we won't use. I leave the front door open to let in some light and air. Lavender and I share a warm cookie-- almost 50-50!-- and I let her feed herself. Pretty soon there is cookie goop all over the living room floor, not to mention Lavender's hands, face, and feet. I grab a washcloth-- our last clean one!-- and tackle the mess. As I'm cleaning Lavender starts to gag. I'm horrified that I've poisoned her with cookie until she coughs up a piece of onion skin that has been drifting like a tumbleweed around the kitchen for the last day. For the second time today I feel sheepish but relieved.

Lavender is enjoying my undivided attention but starts to fuss after a little while. I realize her diaper is wet and needs to be changed, but by now the nursery is silent and I suspect Geneva has fallen asleep in there. Rather than inadvertently awaken her while getting Lavender a clean cloth diaper, I take a disposable one out of the hall closet. Once dry, Lavender is cheerful again. We snuggle and play for a few minutes more, then I sigh and reach for the pile of clean laundry. Just then, though, I notice the clock: 4:15. When did that happen? The focaccia bread I was going to make for dinner is now out of the question, so I scoop up Lavender and consult my grocery list, which is also my menu for the week. I choose a quicker meal-- roasted vegetable quesadillas-- and begin pulling veggies out of the refrigerator. I throw away some old leftovers while I'm at it. Lavender holds the refrigerator door open for me. It's an accident, probably, but I thank her anyway. I can be more chatty now that Geneva is fast asleep. I even crack the door open and peek in at her, then immediately wish I hadn't: the floor is obscured by the mixed-up puzzle pieces of three different puzzles. But, Geneva is resting peacefully, so I count my blessings and close the door.

Before I really get dinner underway I move Lavender to her high chair and place the high chair in the corner of the kitchen, where she can see what I'm doing without being dangerously near to the stove. The cat scratches at the door and after letting him in I leave the back door open, too. I don't even bother to turn the thermostat off, as the temperature indoors and outdoors is the same: sixty five. Sixty five. Did I mention I love Spring?

Dinner prep is basically a lot of chopping. Once I have the vegetables roasting in the oven I grate the cheese, giving some to Lavender. I pick up the phone, intending to call Kristen, but then realize I desperately need to sweep the floors and now might be the only good chance I get, with Lavender snacking in her high chair and Geneva napping. So I set the phone back down and pick up the broom. Just then Avery calls, saying he's on his way home. I'm glad he'll be back soon, but bummed that dinner won't be ready when he arrives. But back to the broom. After sweeping I wipe off the table. It occurs to me suddenly that I'm very physically uncomfortable. Oh, I have to pee, and I have crazy heartburn, for both of which I blame the coffee. Well, at least half of that problem is easily solved. On my way back to the kitchen I poke my head into the nursery and gently awaken the napping Geneva. She isn't in a completely foul mood, but isn't ready to get up yet, either. I'm back in the kitchen with Lavender putting the assembled quesadillas in the oven when Avery arrives home. Whew.

So there it is: my day with the girls. It was not the easiest or the most challenging day I've ever had. It was just a day. High points were watching those sisters love on each other in the shopping cart, reading together, eating the first strawberries of the season (from California, and they were a bit underripe, but still), driving with the windows open, snuggling Lavender, and watching Geneva converse with doctor Julie without needing any help from me. Low points? Well, I don't want to pick those out especially. I try not to lose my patience, to react to each situation with a fresh outlook rather than with the stress of a hundred previous aggravations, but I know I often fall short. I wrote when I started this journal entry that I didn't want to make things seem better or worse than they really were, and I think I've done a decent job of that at least. I'm not a saint, I'm not Martha Stewart, I'm not Mary Poppins. But if anyone (including myself many years from now) wonders what I do all day as a stay-at-home mom, I have an answer. See, all day I do something. It's not always, or even usually, the most difficult something ever, but the fact is that the work is constant, and therein lies the challenge: maintaining your patience and seeing the bigger picture when you never, not even for five minutes, can truly step outside of your task as a mom to gain some distance and perspective. I wrote somewhere once before that in my opinion the most challenging part of parenting isn't doing it, but never not doing it.

Mmmmm, Lava

From her booster seat behind me, Geneva made an announcement on the way to preschool:

"I call the Earth Sriracha."

"Really? That's different. Why do call it that?"

"Because of the lava. The Earth is full of lava and it's red and hot like Sriracha sauce."

Plate snacktonics, yo.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break!

Spring is here, and this time it brought-- among other things-- a week with just my girls, warm weather, Easter with the neighbors, my first taste of ham in a really long time, a new guitar or two, some unexpected outings, a Ferris Wheel, a birthday party, and Nana. For the last week I have been on Spring Break, and here is a look at how we spent that wonderful time together...

First of all, we had some serious egg-dyeing to do. Geneva was extremely excited about choosing the colors.

Ali and Maya came to lend us some creative genius.

Lavender was initially pretty jazzed up about coloring the eggs, but figured out quickly that the eggs could then be peeled and eaten. Oh well!

Geneva and I chose our least-favorite tablecloth for this project. As anticipated, it got pretty stained during the dyeing process, so after coloring the eggs we took the tablecloth outside and dumped the rest of the egg dye onto it, in an artsy fashion.

On this particular afternoon Lavender decided to show off her newly-blossoming daredevil streak. She demonstrated her backwards slide, her nontraditional swinging style...

...and her new leaping skills.

The girls had fun with their friend, and I had fun with mine. Win win!

Later, Geneva and Lavender asked if they could wash the dishes. Like a crazy person, I was hesitant at first, thinking that it might just make a bigger mess than before. Then of course I came to my senses and realized that a) in the best-case scenario I would no longer have to do the dishes, and b) even if they made a catastrophic mess, that's not what this was about. They wanted to be near me, to learn by doing, and to be helpful. How could I say no?

Yes, this is an uncensored look into my kitchen. Geneva is wearing Lavender's 12-month sized bloomers as undies. Lavender is wearing nothing but an apron. The door to the garbage won't close all the way, and the counter is mostly taken up by a crock pot wrapped in a blanket because I was in the process of making goat milk yogurt. Honestly, I love this picture.

On Sunday we celebrated Easter, and the return of Spring! Geneva and Lavender awoke to find that Nana had arrived, that the Bunny had left them new skirts and stickers, and that the colored eggs had mysteriously vanished in the night.

My mom helped Geneva and Goya to investigate the case of the missing eggs...

...Found 'em!

Between our yard and the neighbors' yard, there was a lot of loot to be had, and a good deal of it contained jelly beans.

In the celebratory spirit, we let the chickens have the run of both yards. I think it was a fine day for everyone.

Lavender and Paloma were able to snatch up a few eggs before the bigger girls got to them, and spent the rest of the morning eating jelly beans and climbing on lawn furniture.

The sun, for the first time this year, showed signs of creeping past warm into hot. We all lost a layer of clothing or two as the day wore on. The semi-formal indoor feast we had originally planned for the afternoon went right out the window, so our Easter dinner was a large, splendid picnic on Roman and Cristina's patio. It was way better than anything I could have planned, anyway. We quietly closed out our celebration of Spring by painting ourselves with henna, riding bikes with Nana, and eating frozen yogurt for supper. If all days could be like this... well, I'd be completely covered with henna stains and massively fat, but I'd be happy.

With the weekend behind us, the girls and I spent our week together having small adventures. We visited several parks in town, and at Tara's invitation took a trip out to Fort Simcoe and spent the day playing with her kids and a large group of homeschooling families. Geneva and Tara's four-year-old son Kian were almost inseparable, and shared a fascination with the old jail building, the water spigot, and the humongous piles of leaves.

Tara's middle child, Shealyn, kept up with the big kids for the most part, and was probably the cutest thing we could have found in that pile of leaves.

I managed to talk Avery into taking Lavender and Geneva to the parking lot carnival near our house one rainy evening. The ride tickets were overpriced, as one might anticipate, but we mostly went to look at the lights and the people. Geneva was wild with excitement, and spent a full ten minutes just running in a circle around Lavender, who was in Full Observation Mode.

We lingered at the Fun House, which was playing Disney songs that the kids only know from my goofy a capella renditions at home. I think Geneva was amazed that The Bear Necessities is, like, a real song and not just something her mother made up.

Geneva got to choose one ride, and she selected the Ferris Wheel. I wish I had a picture that could do justice to the look on her face as she went whooshing around.

After the ride it was time for some hugs and hot cocoa. I asked Geneva if she was scared by being so high up. She replied "no, but I looked down and saw that Lavender was," and gave her little sister a comforting snuggle.

Not a bad way to blow ten bucks on a Thursday night!

On Saturday we had the privilege of attending Jack's fifth birthday party, which came with the added bonuses of catching up with the cousins and visiting the farmhouse-- home to most of Avery's Christmas memories, and the place we were lucky enough to live during our first few months in the Yakima valley.

I wish I had more pictures of this event. This is the one decent one I have, and even it is blurry. I really wanted to share this moment, though, because it was proof of what I already know: these kids-- and their parents-- are fantastic people. For his fifth birthday Jack received (among a few other things) a toothbrush, a bottle of mouthwash, and a dust-buster, and he loved them all. I was actually getting choked up thinking about what a cool kid he is to want a dust-buster, and how that is undoubtedly due in part to the fact that the adults in his life encourage his natural curiosity and don't buy into the boys need a ton of pseudo-masculine plastic crap fallacy. Yes, these kids play with Legos and have toy trucks, but I'll tell you one thing: by the end of the party the dust-buster had been confiscated for being used too liberally (that is, outside in puddles) and the lid to the mouthwash was already lost. I am absolutely stealing these ideas for the next birthday party we attend.

Other Spring Break highlights include a visit to the museum, our weekly jaunt out to Cowiche Canyon to milk goats, and the completion of Geneva's very own guitar. Avery is to be credited entirely with this accomplishment; it was his idea, his research, and his labor that created Geneva's new Favorite Thing. She loves it.

I was surprised to find that, not only does she adore her new instrument, she also seems eager to share it with others. When Lavender came up to investigate, Geneva immediately put the guitar into Lavender's lap and showed her how to strum. After a little while she got out her daddy's big guitar and they "jammed."

 All I could do was watch, listen, and try not to cry. That probably would have freaked them out.

Geneva thought we should end our Spring Break with a tea party, and set out to make it happen. She knocked on Goya's door and told her to arrive at 4:40. Then she picked a bouquet of dandelions, put on "fancy clothes," set her little white table with a tablecloth (blanket) and dishes, and helped me bake a cake.

It was a charming soiree, with only one big hissy fit (I won't mention names) and two potty accidents (both Lavender's). After all, it's hard to be dignified all the time.

Now it's Sunday-- and late Sunday night at that. Spring Break is over, and we will resume our normally scheduled programming in just six hours. Geneva will be back at preschool in the mornings, and Eoin and Maya will join us once again. It's reality, and it's awesome, but I've been really grateful for this last week. I had the rare chance to be selfish with my time: no school, no other children, just me and my babies. It's the biggest duh statement I could make, but I love them somethin' fierce.

P.S. I told Geneva she was a big enough girl to help me with the laundry, and asked her to put her folded clothes into her drawers. This is what I found a few minutes later. Sigh.