Oh man, hi blogger, hi. Thinks keep happening! And every time I have a birthday or go to the tulip festival or go to the lake for a readathon, I'm like, I should blog about this! But like who has the time, the blogger app on my phone no longer works, the replacement app isn't as user-friendly, and instagram exists! (Come find me there! That's where all my good shit is.)
But there are things that happen that don't lend themselves to even the longest of instagram stories, so here's some stuff: We put Lionel in the jolly jumper for the first time on my birthday, and he was in there for like 45 minutes! I was like, What an anomaly, it's a birthday miracle, but it TURNS OUT he will just be in the jolly jumper until you take him out, it's amazing. The day after the readathon, my sister and I were sitting in my house, having tea, waiting for our kids to arrive, and after about an hour I was like, Lionel should probably sleep. And I went to get him and noticed that he had jumped the skin ENTIRELY OFF of the one little toe that curls under, and was MERRILY jumping in a pool of his own blood and omg omg. Now he wears a single sock to jump.
Anyway. At least it happened on my dark wood floors and not on the beautiful white shag rug at Jane's cabin.
Another thing that is happening is that the girls are playing 'Butler and Queen' and here's Geneva, eating a platter of things Eleanor found in the garden for her (and it's early, so like it's chives, chard, and broccoli) while Eleanor does her hair.
The sun is out, our legs are bare, we cut down that massive old dying cedar behind our house and planted some fruit trees in the bizarro no-man's land beside the garage, I've planted asparagus this year, holy golly do I ever have a garden post in me somewhere apparently.
Oh hey! Things are doing stuff! For starters, I moved this little nougat out of my room last week.
It was sweet, having my last baby sleeping by my bedside, and convenient when he was eating every three hours. And he’d wake up in the wee hours and I’d just drag him into bed with me and nurse him there.
Or it’d be the less-wee hours and I’d feed him and then we’d hang out until it was time to rouse the girls.
Maybe we’d read a book together.
Now he’s in his own room, so big and brave. His room is typically third-kid ready. There’s a basinnet in the back corner, if you squint.
I love eating spicy chips in my bed at night, it feels salacious. I love waking up at 6 and having my coffee with my lamp ON, before everyone else comes pouring out of their rooms. Often the li’l man is still asleep at 7, and we all go wake him up together.
Joel is putting together his crib today, though, because look at this monstrous sir.
Joel was home for a few days after Lionel was born, and then my mom moved in with us to help get the girls to school and dance and soccer, and then it was Christmas, and then Joel was home again, and then school started and I was on my OWN. Gotta get these big girls to all their activities! And Lionel just...comes along. Comes to school drop-off!
Comes to field trips!
Comes to the theater to see Beauty and the Beast!
Comes to dinner afterward!
Comes to read our chapter book before bed!
Comes grocery shopping!
Comes to soccer!
Comes downstairs to watch football!
Comes to get the mail!
Such an agreeable and well-traveled little babeling.
The night before, I had told her I wasn't sure I'd be able to flood her room with balloons because Geneva sleeps on the bottom bunk, which is basically on the floor, and would be overrun with them in her sleep, but mostly because I didn't think I'd be able to stay awake until she fell asleep. 'That's ok. You can just put a bunch of balloons downstairs!'
We had leftover whipped cream from our hot chocolating, so we topped our cereal with it.
I set up the birthday tree, and this is maybe the only positive side to Lionel's December birthday, that I'll only have to drag the tree unseasonally out of storage once a year.
Joel and I got her a microscope and a chemistry set, because she's becoming a huge nerd. She spent the morning learning facts
and doin' science.
Geneva kept herself busy.
Is she playing Zingo with a stuffed dog, and playing both cards?
Eleanor asked months ago for a red velvet cake, baked in my fancy bundt pan, with rainbow cream cheese icing and also she wanted to pick the sprinkles out herself.
So like a MONTH ago, we were all at the grocery store together and got a box of red velvet cake mix because you guys! I DON'T LIKE BAKING CAKES AND IT TURNS OUT I'M NOT GOOD AT IT AND CAKE FROM A BOX IS DELICIOUS. She picked some gold sprinkles, and we iced and sprinkled the cake together, and it was SO EXACTLY what she wanted and I told her that's what comes of being very specific in your instructions.
And it was beautiful and sunny so we went to the park and went sledding.
Ice chunks kept falling from the playground and lamp posts and stuff, you had to keep an eye out. 'This is a TROUGH.'
This is a sleep-monster in a too-big bearsuit.
And then, as is now tradition, we tore the gingerbread house to bits.
Ugh, so sugary.
And then the grands and the cousins came over! I continue to get away with not throwing a real party for one more year.
Last summer, Eleanor kept DRAWING on herself during her quiet time, and I was like, Can u don’t. Finally I was like, If you can keep from drawing on yourself for the REST OF THE SUMMER, we can have a party where we draw on ourselves and it's fine. And then I forgot about that but you know who did not forget.
So we did that.
And then we had nachos, and cake, and presents, and then the girls vanished to the dress-up bin until it was time to go home. Every time we do a thing like this, it just reaffirms our decision to move back here.
And the next weekend, we had Birthday Brunch at my parents' house!
Eleanor ate her weight in potato patties, and cinnamon pull-apart.
Whatever Geneva you loved it.
My aunt got Eleanor these thought-bubble headbands you can write on, and they were a HIT.
Those are dark thoughts, Geneva.
YES YOU ARE A DINOSAUR never change.
My mom got her an enormous thing of beads, and between those two things, the kids were taken care of for the afternoon.
Later that day, at home: This is because I'm thinking about my BIRTHDAY.
Things have been happening. Did I tell you that ALL OF US had babies this year? Both of Joel’s sisters, and then both of mine, and then we squeezed Lionel in just under the wire. Christmas was laden with babies, I tell you.
YOU get a baby, and YOU get a baby, and YOU ALSO get a baby!
We introduced some new traditions this year, like the Jólabókaflóð
(this was my first solo day with three children, so it coincided nicely with when I had already planned to dump a bunch of new reading material on my kids)
and held with some old traditions, like the hot-chocolate-Grinching
(also on this, my first solo day. I basically saved all my best tricks for this first day).
And then in and among and around all the Christmas festivities we took Lionel to the dr (all of us)
and painted some nutcrackers
and tattooed ourselfs
And also Eleanor turned six, more about which anon.
And that was the last thing! That I had to plan for. You guys I have been making LISTS and pre-buying shit and dragging things out of storage and putting them somewhere accessible because I knew that once I had a baby, my time was no longer my own. I have been So Organized, because I still wanted to have a Christmas! And do all the things! But now the things are done and I can just sit here, trapped under this baby who won’t sleep in his swing today, and eat leftover cheese and the muffins my mom made for me when she was here, and wait for school to start again.