Abort mission

Today we drove up to Milwaukee from my inlaws house to go to the children’s museum. We stopped for lunch and custard on the way. About two minutes away Darwin tells us, after a sneeze, that she has peed and I realize that I didn’t take her to the bathroom at the restaurant. Parent fail. No biggy though. We get to a parking garage and I get her into fresh pants. I literally pull up the dry pants and she projectile vomits custard all over. 

Mission aborted y’all. Mission aborted. 

(For those concerned, the puke was likely the result of exhaustion, custard, and stress. We got home and mostly are just suffering through a standard cold.)


Darwin loves airplanes. She loves to fly. If someone asked me what my kid would be based on her current interests it would either be a pilot or a swimmer. On the 25th we will head to the Midwest to see my inlaws. Darwin is so excited to get on the plane. She goes back and forth about seeing family, but, in her words she’s ‘a little bit shy.’

I hate flying. I hate going up. I really hate going down. I’ve flown in towering thunderheads where our plane got struck by lightening. I’ve flown in snowstorms where clearly the electronic guidance equipment in which we nearly landed perpendicular to the runway. Twice. I also know that flying is generally safe. Flying with my kids helps me not panic when the flight attendant says they have to buckle up early because the landing is going to be rough. 

Colors and numbers

Milestones are few and far between in the third year, especially when I think about all the things that Linnea has learned just in the last week. The cool thing about a lot of the things a 2 year old is learning though, is that they’re more aware of the process. They’re proud in ways that infants can’t be: verbally. 

Since her birthday, Darwin has been working hard on her colors and numbers. It’s all either a fun game, like counting fingers at bedtime,  or because she wants to communicate the correct object she’s requesting (“the red shirt mama”). Either way, she now knows red, yellow, pink, purple, blue, green, black, and (sometimes) orange. Apparently my worry that she might be colorblind was unfounded. She can count to five popping one finger up at a time. It’s no longer merely a sequence of words, but one of her first real mathematical concepts!

The first year is so incredible. Watching a tiny, completely helpless potato gain reasonable control over their body and even rudimentary language skills. It’s wild. The second year is so much about the kid mastering the basics of things that allow self-care at the most basic level: walking/running, eating, talking enough to communicate needs and wants. Year three though. Wow. This is the explosion year I guess. Going from simple to complex language. Taking and  giving directions. Reciting whole books. Singing entire songs somewhat in key. Discovering and communicating ‘favorites’ and ‘I don’t likes’ and ‘I love yous’ and ‘I’m so lucky to have two mamas’. Be still my heart. 

Darwin remembers her friends, even when they’ve been apart for a month or more. She anticipates things. She will wake up in the morning ready for the events we discussed the night before. 

I guess basically what I’m saying is this: my baby is becoming a complex, thinking, individual person. And it’s deeply humbling. 


Ever since November 9th, I feel like I have been moving through the world in a kind of fog. For a week, I barely got any work done. Then I had to work triple time to get presentations ready for a work conference while trying (and mostly failing) to help Leah juggle childcare so she could complete her schoolwork too. I have started and deleted a dozen blog posts, because really, most of the things I’ve been feeling about the state of the country and the world have been written about (better) by someone else already. But nothing changes and nothing comes of anything if we don’t engage in our communities, so I’ll try to actually complete and post this one.

First, a brief update on our lives. Darwin is huge. She talks about complex ideas and feelings. She hugs and kisses her sister and is concerned about her whereabouts and activities. If Linnea can’t reach a toy, Darwin will bring her one. If she grabs one of Darwin’s toys, however, we’re starting to get an idea of what the next 18 years will look like… Linnea is also huge – bigger than Darwin was at the same age by a significant weight, and Darwin was no slouch. She is a delightful, smiley baby. Her whole face lights up when she sees me (or moreso when she sees big sister). Everyone tried to warn me that this sibling thing was addictive, and wow, you all are for real.

I made it through my big meeting in November down in Tucson. Fire science is amazing y’all. I presented on two projects and got my first “oh hey, you’re you! I know your work! I’d love to talk!” which was flattering and incredibly helpful because it happened right before my second talk. A talk which I blew out of the water, if I do say so myself. Darwin and my mother came with me and we had a (mostly) good time. Sleep was rough, as Darwin often wouldn’t until 10 or 11 pm after bouncing off the walls and flailing for a good hour or two. But we had a great time seeing the desert, and drove over to Silver City to see friends of my parents who knew me when I was Darwin’s age. The cacti were incredible, and the sunsets breathtaking. Time to plan a road trip (ha!).

Now I just have to kick start my brain into functioning at some level of competency. Anyone else struggling to focus these days??