Haircut

For the last several months Darwin has talked about getting her hair cut short. For so long she had been effusive and proud of having long hair, and even when she would talk about a hair cut she seemed uncertain, so we were hesitant to have her get it cut really short until she was sure.

The day came a couple weeks ago, and this kid is just ecstatic with her new hair. She gets a huge grin every time she catches sight of herself in the mirror and generally seems suddenly more self confident. I think she knew what she wanted and spoke up for herself, and that was really empowering for her. I’m so proud!

Climbing to the top of a play structure like she’s been doing it forever.

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Summer all grown up

I love summertime. The long days, kids out of school, our college town emptied of its near 30k students. Our bean and tomato plants are grown food in exchange for a daily water. Apples and grapes are promising to give us a banner year for apple sauce and grape juice, and the hops are, as always, promising to fruit far more than Leah can keep up with for her herbal needs (anyone want to come get some fresh hops in a month?).

All that said, the good things about summer are feeling bittersweet right now, because I have to crush them ask into a few hours before bed and the weekend. It’s led me to saying ‘yes’ to more evening activities with the kids than is prudent (see: stupid hour-long bedtime meltdowns from easy overtired kids), and generally has me bumming a bit. I want to go home, drag the hose out with the sprinkler and let the kids run away from the water for a couple hours while I garden.

It’s not that I dislike my job. I love most of what I do, even with the high stress moments when my boss I’d getting pressure from his boss and we get the same pressure as a result. But my work is really great, I just wish I could have a two month vacation to be home and play with the kids and parent and get house projects done.

And to be honest, I sometimes miss being bored! I spend so much of my time running from one thing to another, I’m starting to look forward to the day when all the kids are of at friend’s houses and Leah and I sit on the couch and do nothing for once. Haha. Kidding, that will not happen until the….ever.

Thinking about three

Timing with a first child feels huge and weighty. Like a decision that is both scary and unknown and full of possibilities. We spent years planning and waiting for the right time to expand our family.

A second child is a little different, but for our family it was still a matter of when, not if, we would try for another. Once Darwin was born, Leah was ready to start trying for a second when Darwin was around 8 or 9 months old. At that point, I was still nursing every two hours around the clock, working 24 hours a week, and generally just trying to get through each day without having a breakdown. But. Leah waa going back to grad school, which changed our schedules dramatically (she had been working a high stress 8 to 5 job that was very inflexible), and we had always said we wanted our kids to be close together in age. So we went for it, got very lucky, and after three months were shocked to see a positive test that resulted in our silly little Bee.

We’re now in a completely different space. We have two incredible kids who are equal parts fun, frustrating, and exhausting. At this point, its territory again that is unexplored. We had only every really considered growing and birthing two children (with that understanding that twins happen). Here we are facing the choice to either try again for a third child or not, and are currently leaning towards trying.

Why try for another? We’ll be outnumbered. We would have to pull out the diapers again. The joy of labouring for over 24 hours? Round the clock nursing? As much fun as all of these things sound, it’s the long view that gets me. A third set of footsteps running down the hall in the morning. Three kids growing up together. Something about our family just seems open right now. I’m still working on putting that feeling in to words though.

We’ve passed a couple of ‘we’ll try this months’ now because of timing with Leah’s program. So it feels kind of like we’re off the fence and considering when more than if we’ll try again. It’s a strange feeling and, curiously, not something I often see blogged about. I know when we were trying for Linnea it felt like some kind of very secretive thing that I didn’t want to share until we knew for sure. This time I’m feeling less of that. Maybe there’s less riding on having a third since we already have two awesome kids? Who knows.

I’ll sign off now. Happy weekend everyone.

2 years (poof)

Linnea is two! This cutie pie turned two on the fourth of July and gave us a good reason this year to celebrate. We had watermelon cake, play time, gifts, and snuggles.

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I’m an excavator!

Two with two is, of course, very different from the last experience with “two”. Linnea is far more excited about being two than Darwin was, I think in part because Darwin is excited for her. So what does two look like this time?

  1. Well, two is BIG. 30 lbs, just half an inch shy of three feet tall, the girls are at the point where they share about 50% of their clothes, and the other 50% I’m never quite sure about.
  2. Two is ACTIVE. Constant jumping, running, eating, digging, into everything active. We have a hard time keeping her stimulated, and she certainly needs far more exercise than our aging lab. She jumps off of two feet with ease, climbs everything, and runs/dances everywhere she can.
  3. Snuggles continue to abound. Taking the kids to California without Leah was the most brilliant thing I possibly could have done, because it cemented a whole lot of bonding that has been slow to go since I work full time and Leah is home with the girls this summer. I get all the snuggles. I get all the bedtime huggles. It’s wonderfully delightful.
  4. Two is SCREAMING. We definitely hit the Jeckyll and Hyde with this kid. She can go from zero to glass-shattering screaming-on-the-floor, face squinched and red in 2.5 seconds. It usually involves being told no. Or when the dog eats her snack out of her hand. Or Darwin takes a toy without asking. Or…yeah. There’s a lot of screaming going on at our house right now.
  5. Being silly ALL THE TIME. And owning it. “I silly mama” is regularly heard around the house.¬†Facial overlays are definitely a favorite right now.36839552_10156536085884282_6116933869397606400_n.jpg
  6. Kindness is also a common occurrence. Sharing toys, food, hugs, checking in, apologizing when she hurts someone, it’s pretty cool to see her earnest concern when Darwin is crying or hurt. Growing up fast.
  7. Two is being completely and utterly worn out by the end of the day. This is a foreign concept. Sleep is to be fought at all costs by toddlers, right? Nope, not this one. She sleeps hard. When she misses a nap, she’ll just fall asleep. Didn’t get enough sleep overnight? No problem:¬†20180710_LinneaAsleep
  8. All the words. I hate to imagine how much screaming there would be if she weren’t so verbal.

Two this time around is pretty awesome. I think it was pretty awesome the last time too. As with Darwin, I’m dropping the monthly posts (as late/sporadic as they sometimes were), but I’ll be checking in regularly with general updates about the kids, and hopefully some day we’ll be able to go through all this again!

California

Last week I drove down to California with both kids and my dad (who is recovering from a badly broken leg/knee). We went by way of Reno to see friends from Maine then over the Sierras and up to our family cabin near Big Trees State Park. The kids were amazing, especially given that Linnea hasn’t spent a full 24 hours away from Leah ever and our trip was 8 days long.

Highlights included playing in the pool, splashing in Lake Alpine, and playing with the cousin’s kids. Darwin found a friend in my cousin’s youngest daughter (almost 7) and Linnea was a hit with the older kids. I think because she would basically mimic them doing anything and they thought she was adorable (which is true).

The house we stayed in most of the time had a big porch the kids loved sitting and playing on. The rails weren’t to code which meant I was a stress ball while they were out there.

Every day was an exhausting one. Darwin took more naps on good trip than she did last year. Linnea slept well for naps and had a few all nighters with no wake ups. She also finished potty training on this trip. So proud!

Family pictures are the best. Just missing MamaLee!

The first last day

Darwin finished her first year of preschool last week. It was a mixed bag this year, with lots of rushed mornings and tears, concurrent with happy pickups and insistence that “I LOVE my school!” Since she definitely gets her dislike of change/transitions and her not morning-personness from me, I am sympathetic. I am also relieved for a break from having to drag her through her morning routine!

Things she worked on this year include: several of her letters, sorting things by size and categories (like living and non-living), following rules, dancing, singing, painting, doing buttons and zippers, and being in a space with 23 other kids. It was a big year.

One of the questions we had for her at the end of the year was how she would feel about Linnea going to her school either next year (if a mid year spot opens up) or the following year. Darwin was enthusiastic about the idea and very insistent that she would not be happy of Linnea went to a different school because “this is the best school and Linnea should go here.” Alright kiddo, deal.

Leah was awesome and took the time to repeat our first day of school questions. Things have changed in just 9 months!