I have a few favorite stories for this week and if there's anything working on the kids' photobooks has taught me it's that I will remember NOTHING that isn't on facebook or captured in this blog (and the blog is easier to search later). And sometimes pictures just aren't enough to capture the moment.
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Being a third baby, Cora frequently has to fend for herself (or thinks she does; she has a lot of initiative). On Sunday when we were working on the girls' rooms I came out to the kitchen to find Cora sitting nicely in her booster chair politely snacking on animal crackers she'd retrieved from the pantry and poured into a little bowl she'd gotten out herself. She'd even put the container back with its top on the shelf where it belongs.
I felt like I should say something- the kids have to ask us before getting snacks- but the big kids weren't around and I had a lot to do, so I just quietly snapped a picture and exited the kitchen to return to my projects. Third babies are the best.
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On Wednesday, Cora woke up super early and James was at swim practice, so I let the girls get in bed with me while I clung to the 20 minutes I had to go before my 7:00 alarm. Claire brought books and they I read some by magic with my eyes closed.
A little while later, Landon came in, fully dressed for school and exclaimed, betrayed and aghast, "How long has THIS been going on?!!"
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Claire's teacher sent a note home last Friday informing us of a new assignment- each kid was to pick an animal and learn something about it and then present it to the class on Friday in whatever way they wanted. Landon was SUPER excited for Claire to have this glorious opportunity and immediately pulled out his animal encyclopedias, tempting her with creatures like the red tailed hawk and various jungle cats, but Claire, immune to his excitement, announced her intention to "do either an elephant or a cat. A REGULAR cat."
We had a few busy evenings, so Thursday night rolled around and I asked Claire about her research project. "Oh, it's done!" she said brightly. I was skeptical, but our after school nanny is awesome and supervises homework, so it was possible that she'd overseen the project's creation. I asked Claire to bring it out and she proudly unfolded an 11x17 piece of paper on which Landon has obviously drawn a sea turtle, fish, birds, and even titled it "Loggerhead Sea Turtle" in beautiful letters.
Me: Claire, what is this?
Claire: A turtle!
Me: What kind of turtle?
Claire: ... a turtle that swims??
Me: Did Landon draw the turtle for you?
And so we discussed with both of them the importance of doing our own work, particularly with school work, and got out a new piece of paper to restart the project. James and I are both super opposed to parents doing projects for their kids (one of the kids in Claire's class had a 3-D diorama that there is no way his little Kindergartner-hands had anything to do with assembling), so it was hilarious to me that we have a cheater threat embedded in the affable and easily manipulated older brother. She drew her own turtle and James helped her look up and write three facts (it's a reptile; can weight 1,000 lbs.; and lives in oceans) to share with the class after I had to run off to teach barre. I found the end result adorable.
In the morning I asked Claire about her project and facts, "It's a LOGGERHEAD SEA turtle!" she exclaimed in my bathroom while I was getting ready. "And it can weigh ONE MILLION POUNDS!" she added with the confidence of a newly minted sea turtle expert.
Her teacher texted me the above picture of Claire giving her presentation, and though Ms. C said Claire remembered all her facts, I can totally see her confidently stating in this moment, "And it weighs one MILLION pounds!"
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Yesterday was Cora's Halloween carnival at school. We were so excited for her to carry on the proud dragon tradition of her older siblings, but that didn't work out.
I switched her into a back-up Anna dress from Target that is a completely normal dress, plus a cape.
Like Edna Mode, Cora says, "NO CAPE!".
Cora also failed to recognize the daycare she's been at for 21 months and refused to let go of my leg, play any games, or make eye contact with any of her now unrecognizable teachers and friends running around in their animal and superhero costumes like that was fun and normal.
And so cake has a new partner at the top of Cora's personal shit list. Halloween, you are the worst.
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Not really related, but the highlight of my week- I bought rain boots! I've never owned any and our driveway makes a lake every time it rains and we have to park in the middle of the lake so every rainy day for 3.5 years I have worn flip flops to my car, carrying a towel and my real shoes and getting my poor feet soaking wet and cold, and then dried them off and changed shoes once I'm in the car. And then I have to do the same when going back into the house. 3.5 years! But now, thanks to my last barre paycheck, I have rain boots and they are warm and comfortable and GORGEOUS and yesterday I pretended like they were appropriate work shoes and wore them all day, finally pulling them off at 10 p.m. after standing in the kitchen for hours making our Halloween snacks for our party tonight.
And right then, after a rainy yucky day and 15 hours of wear, I think I loved them even more than my rainbow heels.
Your Afternoon Man: Terry Crews
2 hours ago