Every since Cora's hair grew a half-inch long and she could stick a bow in it, we've been negotiated bow numbers. Her hair is still baby fine, fairly short, and very curly, so we're working with limited real estate. To her credit, she has never lost a bow- she keeps very careful track of each of them any time she's out and about, but still, the physical limitations are real. "There's no more room, Mom." she tells me seriously, mid-negotiation, as if I haven't been the one using that exact line over and over for months. We've settled on four. One in front of and behind each pony ("two ponies" was agreed on long ago) and one headband. Ever the paragon of reasonableness, when Cora brings me her selected pile of hair festoonery, she is always quick to assure me that that it's not "TOO MANY bows, Mom. Just one and two and three and four. Not TOO MANY."
Just one and two and three and four. Said with a nodding head and as earnest a toddler voice as you can imagine. She is such a joy.
On Friday, Landon got to attend his first-ever sleepover party. His packing took a while. Initially consisting of what must have been nothing but a handful of Pokemon cards, he kept presenting himself at the door with his bag like we could go and I'd say things like, "do you have pj's?" "a toothbrush?" "clothes for tomorrow?" and each time he'd run back to his room to grab the forgotten item. Finally, once he was properly packed for the whole 15 hours he'd be away, I was calling for Cora and wondering what was taking her so long to get her shoes.
She finally presented herself (because Cora always presents herself- shoulders back, grin forward, usually a little hop once you make eye contact) also packed for the sleepover because OF COURSE she was invited too.
When I gently explained that no, it was just Landon, she cocked her head and said in a chiding tone, "I just going to stay here. Okay, Mom??" like once again, she's the reasonable one and she's not sure why I was trying to make her go to the sleepover in the first place.
After dropping off a Landon who didn't even wave goodbye once he saw the four-square court, we girls piled on the couch to download Tangled and introduce Cora to a new princess. For the record, 'Punzel is now her favorite. Our dinner plans got messed up because James was running 45 minutes late and forgot he has a phone to tell me things like that, but luckily for him, friends texted asking if the girls wanted to go get cookies at our favorite bakery. OBVIOUSLY they did, and Cora was SO EXCITED about her first ever big girl non-parental outing. Though she did look a little overwhelmed in the pic my friend sent of her with 5 other girls in the backseat of their car. But soon she was describing the purple zebra on her shirt and singing along with the crew.
James and I drove our own car because we also needed cookies but didn't want to deny the girls the ride with their posse. Cora is clearly over her fear of cake as she politely devoured her whole cupcake and then stood to clear away her mess. Montessori speaks to her soul.
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Earlier this week I realized that my policy of not buying anything I already own (I know, so novel, but when applied to shoes, it kind of was) had finally hit a wall. I have not bought a single pair of work shoes since I moved here in 2012. I have bought plenty of booties (they weren't really a thing before), casual shoes, and introduced flats to my work life, but I have kept my stable of work heels constant, forcing myself to look away at every new patent black pump or patterned heel that's come my way. Until this week when the inner lining of THREE pairs of my work heels completely disintegrated, one right after the other. They were all bought circa 2009 and they are all DONE. So on the downside, this was going to involve some dollars. But on the upside, SHOES!!!
Full of shoe shopping vigor, I skipped lunchtime yoga on Thursday to run to Ross and Marshall's, just to survey the landscape. And, even without my mom present, the Ross gods chose to smile on me - nearly every pair of shoes I needed was right there, just waiting for me to find them, sitting in matched sets under the right size section of the shoe aisle (never guaranteed at Ross). All my favorite brands (Bandolino, Franco Sarto), all under $30. So I bought 5 pairs. Plus gold lace up flats for Claire and a single pair of non-athletic shoes for Landon because we have family pictures coming up and neon green and orange aren't what I'm going for.
I got black patent heels, nude patent heels, black non-patent leather heels, and these gorgeous burgundy heels because not everything can be practical and boring.
Also trendy chunky heeled cognac leather sandals for the same reason AND a floral shirt James thinks maybe looks too old-fashioned but I think is maybe the point with fall florals? It was SUCH a successful outing.
Towards the end, I kept glancing at my watch, pleasantly surprised that I always had "20 more minutes" to shop, and never stopping to wonder at how that was possible. Four bags of shoes later, I finally got in the car and the radio clock told me it was FORTY-FIVE minutes later than I thought. My watch had stopped mid-Ross visit and I now had 15 minutes to get to my office that was 13 minutes away to jump onto a conference call I was leading with two other staff attorneys (none of whom had the dial-in) and three partners from two law firms in two different cities. And I hadn't eaten and I'd ALMOST stopped in a sandwich shop next door to Ross and omg I could be eating a terrible sandwich and obsessively perusing fivethirtyeight.com while my call was supposed to begin.
I drove like the wind, ran up to my office where my two colleagues were sitting in my guest chairs wondering where on earth I was, and dialed-in to the call PRECISELY on time. I didn't get to prepare like I'd wanted, but it's a case I have spent a lot of time on and it went great. I'd also managed to use the red stop lights to switch out the old shoes I'd been wearing to a new pair, so everything worked out, but man, that was the one time it bites me in the ass to be the rare person who still exclusively checks time on a watch instead of a cell phone. (And my watch is fine, I just accidentally pulled out the stopper thing while trying on clothes; the Ross gods are wily bitches).
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This morning we woke up without a Landon, which was weird. He usually runs the house for us and James and I have gotten very spoiled with the sleeping in/playing parcheesi on weekend mornings. I told Claire she could wake us up at 8 to turn on Tangled, but fully expected to hear from her before since I didn't think she could get Cora out of her crib and Cora waits for no time stamp. But at 8:01 Claire marched in our room with a fully dressed Cora ("I helped her take off her pull-up and go pee pee and then gave her panties and pick out her outfit") and politely requested Tangled. The student has become the master.
Later, after fetching a sweaty happy Landon who played 1 million hours of four-square between drop-off and pick-up at the party, we finally decided to do something about the fact that Landon hasn't had brakes on his bike for the last month ("just use your feet," James helpfully suggested on our family walk last weekend; FOTY). So James took all the kids to Academy while I stayed home to plan my barre class and our weekly menu. I had a great class (576 calories burned in an hour! If you're local, my studio is doing a 5 barre classes for $50 special and you should come barre with me!!) and came home to Landon on a giant new bike because he is a giant proto-adult and now he can even STOP! Very exciting.
I pulled off my sweaty clothes and pulled on new non-sweaty ones so we could walk over to a tailgate hosted by friends a few streets over. Landon rode his new bike, frequently flaunting his stopping skills, as did Claire, and Cora rode in the stroller with her helmet on for safety. Nothing could convince her she didn't need it, so off we went.
Our friends have a Pogo Swing, which I didn't know existed until today, but now understand that we need one in our yard immediately. All the kids loved it - you swing while standing and you can make it bounce up and down on the rope, but Cora LOVED it allcaps.
Girl is a daredevil in a tutu, and while we've found she's extremely physically capable (we predict she will be our most athletic child) and try to roll with it, James is generally better at indulging that side of her than I.
We ended our beautiful Saturday with a walk along my very favorite street in Fort Worth- Magnolia Avenue. Giant nachos and delicious margaritas for dinner at Yucatan, strolling along the sidewalks with the kiddos. Stopping at a micro park/art installation.
Stopping again at Melt for the MOST delicious salted caramel ice cream in a fresh cinnamon waffle cone. It was even better than it sounds. Cora was totally annoyed I made her pause stealing bites to look at the camera.
We've lived here more than 4 1/2 years- the longest we've lived anywhere- and every day I am truly so thankful we got to discover that Fort Worth is a real city and not just part of the name of an airport. I love this big town/small city and I love the life we've built here. And not just because we topped off ice cream with another stop at our favorite bakery (Stir Crazy!) for cookies.
Hope you're all having wonderful weekends as well! And if not, I hope you have cookies.