Usually I spend an inordinate amount of time making my pictures tell a story, but it's 10 p.m. and I'm eating skittles in a pile on my lap while drinking wine out of a large plastic cup as dust and insulation swirl in the air around me after a crazy couple days at work and a very tiny amount of sleep and a barre class that kicked my ARSE last night (and Wendy Davis's, who was right next to me, we bonded over our mutual loud exhales anytime we were able to spare enough air to do it), SO, bring it blogger, let's discuss the following:
I snuck this picture of Claire reading to her animals on Saturday. I found it adorable as I zoomed in and clicked from the side of the playroom,
and then I found it even MORE adorable when I moved behind her and saw all the animals lined up and the baby doll in the bumpo. The doll in the bumpo kind of killed me. She has a freakish elephantine memory and was reciting Corduroy word for word even though we hadn't read it in months.
We don't have a kitchen. I'm not sure I've mentioned that 100x yet, but it is kind of terrible. It will be wonderful 3 weeks from now, but at the moment, and for all the moments we are in our house with three small children and no kitchen, it is kind of totally completely terrible. Kitchens are important.
Because we don't have a kitchen and the baby tried to eat insulation (twice) and a nail (once), we left the house on Sunday morning in search of something free, time-consuming, and tiring. The zoo seemed an obvious choice since we're members, but when we pulled into the COMPLETELY EMPTY parking lot 30 minutes after open we realized that most people do not see 10:30 a.m. on a 30-degree rainy, sleety Sunday as a great time to take their 1-year-old baby to the zoo. Can't imagine why not.
Not gonna lie, it was really cold, and kind of wet and miserable, but there wasn't any insulation for Cora to eat and we didn't spend any money and the judgmental looks we got from the monkeys (and confused/pitying looks we got from the few zoo staff members required to be there) made it all kind of awesome.
And the reptiles in the MOLA were so active! It was like the after-hours rave I've always been sure they have every night when people go home except they didn't realize the zoo was technically open. A crocodile monitor we've never before seen out of his little house came out and played with Cora.
There wasn't any competition for the learning center.
And we got to test drive all the petting-snakes-in-training! Perfect rainy-day activity for your 4-year-old, petting a trainee snake who gets "fussy." How do you know if she's fussy?, asked JP. Oh, she'll bite me, said the trainer. Does it hurt? Yes.
Luckily, she found my kids very soothing. Cora wasn't protesting the existence of cake right at that moment.
After we'd spent all the time we could in all the indoor exhibits at our zoo, Cora finally decided to express her frustration at her life, parents, weather, cake, turning 1, lack of bottles, AND lack of properly diced toddler meals.
It was sudden and fierce, and a rare enough sighting that I snapped pictures rather than soothe. It's not like I've been hiding pictures of sad Cora, she's really just never sad.
We decided the way to fix the situation was to leave the wet, freezing zoo with our tired, hungry baby and go to a nearby restaurant that always has a wait. Not having a kitchen has muddled our minds.
Thankfully the wait was only 20 minutes and we were able to get biscuits and gravy on the table immediately upon seating. Cora passed on the biscuit (I'd express shock at this, but the baby doesn't like cake), but enthusiastically ate the sausage gravy from a spoon, something I found horrifying and hilarious.
Poor girl's world is all kinds of messed up right now, but she's rolling with it. We went to a Vietnamese Pho restaurant on Saturday night and she waved chop sticks around and ate a pork and lemongrass spring roll. We ate dinner at a friend's house on Sunday night (thank you friend!) and she diced up all these healthy, wholesome foods on a plate for Cora and when we sat down Cora gazed at her in adoration, like, yes, finally, THANK YOU! And proceeded to eat every single bite and then sleep for 13 hours.
I love this next picture- totally captures the three kids: big kids helping Cora; Cora sitting still and letting them because they're her rock stars. Claire holding her hand and stabilizing the leg, Landon doing the technical work, Cora watching intently with her "you're so awesome; this is so awesome; we're all doing this awesome thing together" look on her face.
When I put on her shoes her legs are all over the place because god mom, this is such a drag.
Claire has started building kitchens with her duplos. Gone are princess castles, she's in the contractor business now. This was her latest kitchen; very high end.
My skittle are gone, as is the wine, and I'm going to 6 a.m. barre tomorrow, AND I know I'm going to stay up late reading this fabulous new book my sister recommended (The Name of the Wind; 300 pages in and not even a hint of a sex scene and I STILL love it; this is a special book), so I must go, which is good, because I was about to turn it back to how much you need a kitchen to function as a household, in winter, with a baby. There's also a giant hole in our ceiling and no floor so we're heating much of the outside of our lot, which is nice for all the lizards that are surely snuggling up in the flower beds outside our kitchen walls.
Maybe a nice crocodile monitor will move in; Cora apparently already speaks its language.