I started Claire's photobook on Friday, and 100 bloodshot eye hours later, I'm 90% done. I will now obsess and fiddle over the remaining 10% for a few weeks, but it means I have the bones done to start on Landon's. And then Cora's. I have such a love/hate relationship with these damn books. I mostly hate making them, but I kind of secretly love making them too. I definitely love having them completed. Both big kids read their books all the time and lately have loved reading their first year books and seeing pictures of themselves at Cora's age. And I love having one repository for all their pictures, the funny stories and quotes, and the letters I write to them on the blog- all of that goes in the book and I love flipping through them when I'm in the play room. So 100 hours in, 1 book almost down, 2 more books to go. Three kids has been easy as pie until it came time to make their photo books.
But we have been doing other things!
Landon had a school performance with the whole first grade class last week. They performed 7 fall-themed songs and poems and it was earnest and adorable. He is loving first grade just as much as he loved Kindergarten and every subject remains his favorite. JP and I went to have lunch with him on Friday (JP goes every couple of weeks to sit with him and his friends at the tiny lunch table and that image is so adorable I finally had to go see it for myself) and after seeing his whole face light up when he saw us in the hallway, we got a tour of his classroom and the honor of walking in a line with his class to the lunch room. When it was time to leave, his teacher pulled us aside and said what a joy it was to have Landon in her class and that she wanted us to know that he is "truly gifted." JP, who hated school and never really found his academic groove until college, is filled with immense relief that his mini-me did not seem to inherit his elementary school baggage. I didn't realize how much he had worried about that until we heard something similar from his Kindergarten teacher last year and JP looked like he was going to cry with joy and relief. I was all, of course he loves school, it's school.
We also went to a play! Snow White and the Prince at Casa Manana, an awesome historic theatre a few miles up the road from us. They have grown-up plays, but also do a children's series each year and this year we got season tickets. And it was amazing! A talented cast, spirited audience, and amazing seats, it was so much fun. Three of the actors were pros, but Snow White and the Prince were both local students of the theatre school and several neighborhood kids were the dwarves. Claire loved it all until a thunder sound effect sent her leaping straight up and over in some gravity-defying jump into my lap. Landon also loved it, though he claimed it was only because of the sword fight (false.). Cora was largely unimpressed, though did seem concerned about fate of the apple. We'll be getting a sitter for her for the remaining four plays of the season.
The holiday toy magazines have begun arriving. The kids adore these, and because they have no understanding that you can actually order/receive all of the items in the pretty pictures, it's a completely fun and painless form of entertainment for everyone. Today on the ride home from daycare Claire told me that she was so excited to get home and "read the last part of my new toy book!" She was referring to the American Girl catalog. Adorable.
Unlike the kids, I know you can buy things that come in picture form in catalogs and I bought my new fall/winter purse. I'd never spent more than $40 on a purse until I bought my bright blue Michael Kors one for my birthday in February and I loved it so much and got so many compliments on it that I more than recouped the investment. Particularly since it still looks brand new and I was able to pack it away in its little storage bag to bring out again next March. For the cooler months, I've decided to go Dooney & Bourke houndstooth. I love it just as much as my birthday purse. Maybe more. The bright red lining inside makes me smile.
Yesterday Cora fell asleep on the ride home from school. I picked her up and brought her in the house and for the first time in months she snuggled in for more. Now Cora is a joy and delight and she is our official Lag Liv family mascot, but she is not cuddly. She is WAY too busy for that nonsense. We get no-hand hugs that are adorable (she tucks her little hands in between your body and her and leans in), but she bounces right back so she can look you in the eyes and smile and then probably hit you in the face with her flappy hands.
So yesterday, when she burrowed into my chest, I carried us to the living room couch- purse, reusable tea cup, sunglasses and all, sat myself down, kicked my high heels up on the coffee table, and didn't move for nearly two hours. The sun went down, the porch lights weren't on, and our dinner of creamy chicken noodle soup was not simmering, but Claire quietly played tea party on the coffee table while I alternatively read my book and stared at my baby's sweet face. JP and Landon got home at 7:15 to a dark house and no dinner and we didn't end up eating until 7:50, but I regret nothing. It was a wonderful evening.
Back to photo booking!