Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Giraffes and Toddlers

The weekend already feels like so very long ago, but let's start there anyway. On Friday night Landon went to watch a friend's brother's baseball game and then joined Claire who had gone with other friends to watch all our adult friends play in a softball game together. We did not go because (1) I'm not on the team because I'm afraid of sports where things can hit my face; and (2) we couldn't spectate because I had a headache that was trying to KILL ME. I lay prone on the couch from 6:30 until 10 p.m. having taken two of the only pills that sometime work and out of other ideas. It went away sometime around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, or so my dreams that transitioned from me getting thrown onto a rock to us at Disney World lead me to believe.

There are no headaches at Disney World.

A non-headachey night

On Saturday we woke to cold temps, wind, and threats of rain. We did not wake to a cancellation notice for Claire's soccer game. The big kids, who had played hard at the softball game the night before were still dead asleep at 8 a.m. when I went to rouse them. Landon in particular was exhausted- apparently he played intense games of tag for about 3 hours and had not consumed NEAR enough calories to be able to handle that. But after we stuffed him with a few granola bars he was ready to face a new day.

Claire's soccer game was frigid and drizzly and terrible. For me. Claire had a great time. Landon and Cora camped out inside my car, joined by two other sibling friends, and never emerged, so I'm pretty sure they had a good time too. We got home and I changed into everything I own made of fleece and fired up the TV for a Zac Efron movie marathon. We started with Greatest Showman (ALWAYS) and moved to High School Musical. I'd never seen the latter and found it adorable. The day remained gross, so we pressed on with Wonder Woman (Cora's choice) and the kids LOVED it. They've been playing Wonder Woman nearly nonstop since.

Fleecy movie snuggles are the best snuggles

The rain stopped and the sun finally broke through in the evening while I made our veggie chili mac. Inspired by the adult softball game from the night before the kids asked to play baseball (or basketball, as Claire insisted on calling it), which is really just catch and some monkey-in-the-middle with a baseball and gloves.

I love a beautiful evening full of family and games and fresh air.

It's like everything I hoped having kids would be. As long as I'm not the one having balls thrown at me.

Sunday was finally a beautiful weekend day. There was more baseball, some yoga, a family walk, prepping of the crockpot pea soup, and then more baseball. We decided to drop in our fabulous neighborhood zoo to see the new African Savannah exhibit that had opened Friday. We knew it would be crowded, so we waited until the last hour before close, zipped right in and grabbed someone's recently vacated front-row parking spot and hopped right over to the new area.

And it's AMAZING! I couldn't even get Cora to turn around for a picture!

All the Savannah animals roaming together right in front of you. You can walk all the way around the entire enclosure- an enclosure that puts the animals SO much closer to you from all angles, and even feed the giraffes! At least when they aren't already stuffed full.

It got 2 thumbs up from all members present. It was so great to see the animals mingled together- zebras, giraffes, ostriches (Claire's nemesis), birds... this giraffe and pelican got into a fight while we were there. It appeared to be over a certain spot of dirt. The giraffe, failing to understand his vast size advantage, lost and moseyed away. I'm sure there will be a rematch.

The meerkats have also been relocated and Landon requested "a copy of the picture of me and my meerkat, so I can put it in a frame in my room." It is also now his iPhone background.

The hippos have a new home and the rhinos and there are plans for many more new habitats and exhibits. The last phase is scheduled to be completed in 2025- "I'll be 18!" exclaimed Landon. "Holy crap" muttered James and I. At least I have no doubt we'll still be going to the zoo.

We ate our pea soup and the kids still seemed to have energy (probably stored up from our rainy day movie marathon the day before), so we went out on one final walk. I think we finally got them tired because James had to tow them up the last hill on the way home.

I simply love this image.

The week began with me skipping lunchtime yoga on Monday because I needed nachos and so dragging myself to 8:15 p.m. yoga that night. It's a gauntlet: first I have to watch my family eat delicious food I have prepared but now can't eat because I'd throw it up on my yoga mat, then I have to walk by my FAVORITE bakery that is located next door to the studio, and I have to smell the delicious smells of one of my very favorite restaurants that is located directly behind the studio. It's a feat of mental and emotional strength just to get yourself on your mat at 8:15 p.m. after a full day of work and knowing your kids are tucked in their beds at 8:01 p.m. and you could be sitting on the couch luxuriating in that fact. But it was such a great class. I wanted the yoga so very much and getting home to a scalding hot bath, glass of wine, and reserved plate of dinner felt *amazing.* So amazing I might even one day do nighttime yoga again.

That sweaty post-class glow

I have since made a reservation at that restaurant for James and I Friday night, with plans to stop at the bakery afterward. I'm playing the long game.

Speaking of Wonder Woman (because I did, a few hundreds words ago), Cora is completely obsessed. This is how she presented herself before school yesterday, before I told her she needed to leave the headband at home.

This morning I left for work super early so I didn't see her chosen ensemble until I got this picture from her teacher today. It was captioned, "Wonder Woman kept us all safe on the playground!".

She is my first child to find four hard (sometimes so very, very hard), but she remains SUCH a delight to us all. She's really turning into her own person and it is such a joy to watch. There is never a morning when she sees me getting ready for work that she doesn't tell me I'm "so beautiful." She always wants a hug or a little cuddle and she still loves sleep more than anyone else in our house. She's tall and athletic and crazy strong. She loves her siblings fiercely but is by far our most independent child. She loves her "hard work" at school and her playtime at home.

Earlier this week when a friend took Claire to soccer with his daughter #2, daughter #3, who happens to be one of Cora's besties, stayed over with us. The girls had the BEST TIME. Landon was at a different friend's house (our house is just a way station from 3 - 5 p.m.), so it was the two third babies all on their own with all the toys and they tried to play EVERYTHING. Eventually they settled in the bathroom to play with friend's new makeup kit she got for her birthday.

I couldn't help sneaking in for a few pictures.

When we first moved here, a neighbor across the street told us that she was best friends with one of the girls who grew up in our house and that they got ready for prom in what is now my girls' bathroom. I was thinking of that story as I watched these two little ones giggling over their makeup together and thinking, I bet that will be them in another 13 years or so. And it made my heart so happy I almost started crying crouched in the corner of the bathroom snapping pictures with my iPhone of two almost-big-girls playing with a Trolls makeup kit.

I struggled a bit last week with the idea that I don't have any babies in toddler sizes anymore. Cora is so tall she's a solid Girls size Small (as is Claire, actually), so those adorable Toddler sections of all my favorite kids' clothing websites are just done for me now and that's so hard to believe. I have LOVED having toddlers in my house. Chubby, round, excited-about-life, bursting-with-love little toddlers. But I look at these increasingly bigger kids and think of the increasingly bigger adventures we get to have and the increasingly big world we get to help them navigate through (along with wine and good grown-up friends) and I'm just so full of love and excitement for the years we have ahead. Cora is now older than Landon was when we moved from Fort Worth to Austin. How is that possible? We didn't even know we'd have a Cora yet back then! (And how is it possible we ever doubted that we would?)

I had no idea the Trolls makeover and a change in Old Navy clothing sections would bring about such introspection, but I think it's good to linger in the bittersweet, to feel those feelings while still looking to what's ahead with a smile. It's been nearly 11 years of babies and toddlers and now we have kids and tweens. What an adventure it's been and what an adventure it's going to be!


  1. Save those make up pictures forever! My best friend and I got into her sister's makeup one day after Kindergarten and it was quite the sight. Her mom did a "photo shoot" with us when she saw us coming down the stairs and 20 years later those are still our favorite pictures to look back on.

  2. I love the makeup photos too! And the magical lighting of the Landon playing catch with Dad.

    Oh, and the Wonder woman getup is very well done I'm!