Saturday, December 31, 2011

hopefully there will be some kind of sum-up post.

with pictures and all that. someone should get on that!

but in the mean time...

in 2011, K. and I worked really friggin' hard.


We did NOT

-have a baby
- buy a house/building
- start a business
-any combination there of

which makes it completely unique in our marriage.

Instead, we worked.

And worked.

And worked.

But! The store had its best week ever last week. K's got two new tenants who have signed leases and written checks, which brings our total rent-paying legitimate tenants to 4 (not including the store), which means there is only one space left, and he JUST finished that one. Which in turn means the building is "cash-positive."

AND we took the kids out for dinner on an impromptu family adventure to Greenwood last night. And no one cried. No one got hauled out and spanked on a sidewalk. No one pooped in their pants.

I'm counting 2011 as a win.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the great advantage

of a five pm cup of coffee can be seen in my house tonight: website rough draft action plan, check. three loads of laundry, sorted and all, check. dishes, counters, bottom of the refrigerator, check. sit-ups and leg-lifts, check. christmas cards written and sealed, check.

I'll be paying for it in another hour but by then maybe I'll have the kitchen floor mopped.

Friday, December 16, 2011

don't know how it happens

I get to the end of my rope and then i wake up and i'm all like "bring it! BRING IT!"

hence the plot to feed rich southern people everywhere with a new online ordering/shipping business. i mean, we're cooking. so why not? We have the best pimento cheese ever made.

family picnic in the randomly 70 degree day, Wednesday:

Kids good. Husband better. Store only moderately in the hole. 2 new renters for K's building, leases signed and all. Strawberry plants grown new leaves.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday, it rained. We had no shoppers. I had a few that managed to lacerate me to the bone. Struggled home with the kids and walked into a house full of garbage spread across the floor. Went to my bed to cry and found the bed also filled with garbage-- Dido the damn dog had lain in it and chewed stuff.

In short, it was a pretty shitty day.

And it made me realize something: no matter what happens with the store, no matter what happens with the dogs or the weather or whatever, I need my family-- K and the kids-- to be at the center of my life.

Sounds odd but that's how it happened.

So that attitude has informed the week since and thigns have happened. Annaliese is not going to daycare, for one thing; she used to love it, but she's bored now, almost 3 years later, and wants to be with me. So she has been, all week. And we're both happier.

Caspian-- who was the one I was worried about-- ALSO seems happier. He has been getting solo Daddy-time in the morning after Annaliese and I trundle off to work at 7:30am and he is chipper as a little bumblebee when we pick him up in the afternoons. He likes his teacher. Likes his friends. Likes school. And that's a good thing, because he is too toddler-y to accompany me to the store for an hour, let alone day after day.

Of course, we were all home today for Mommy-day, and that was at times awesome and at times wretched like most days in this house.

But overall, our lives are felling more integrated, which is a good thing. And K has TWO new renters slotted to move in in January, which means the finished part (one last unit pending) will be fully occupied. So damn proud of him.

Imagine how much extra time we'll have if the building gets done! WHOA! He's been working Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, and Saturdays on this project since before Annaliese was born.

Almost 5 years, one house, 2 kids, and a store later....

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If I had to guess, I'd say 2012 will be a year of change for my family.

But as it is, we're all okay. Store's the store. Up and down and all-around. K's job is K's job. The kids are sick or whiny or happy or charming or precocious, depending on the minute.

We love them. They love us. It's a nice thing.

This weekend, they're in our small town's Christmas parade, riding on a float with the nursery school friends. Caspian is going to be a dwarf with a bear and a toboggan hat. Annaliese is going to be Tinkerbell or Snow White, I'm not quite sure. We're going to put our tree up this week and do our best to fill our children with the magic of Christmas: I foresee cookie-making, letters to Santa, lights around the porch, the whole shebang.

We want so much to give them a great childhood.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's been Kind of a Big Few Weeks.

Probably won't get back to blogging until Nonni and Auntie Eliza, aka Mom and Eliza, go home.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rabbits, etc.

I had an unexpected day off Saturday and that-- coupled with Caspian full-fledged sick and K sickish-- meant we stayed close to home and had a mini-vacay weekend.

We took naps. Walks. Runs. We spent $20 on four rabbits- three girls and a boy-- on a long-contemplated foray into backyard protein. K. built the hutch with Annaliese Saturday afternoon while sick Caspian napped and I cleaned the house.

It was very peaceful and very nice and there's not much more that can be said about it.

Check here for pics.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Saturday night. Babies kissed and played with and in their beds. (I think.) Sitcoms lined up, husband home, wood fire roaring. Nowhere we have to be in the morning.

Things be alright.

Friday, November 04, 2011


my face hurts, my sister's mad at me, my staff is mad at me (no dishwasher, lots of sickness, everyone working too hard), i am working a 14-hour day today which means i can't see my babies until tomorrow afternoon, and i don't feel well.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

To Whet Your Halloween Appetite

sweeter than candy...

the ghost of salvador dali

(who was supposed to be a green tiger, but who threw a fit 3.2 seconds before we needed to be out of the house.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

pics from the weekend

Friday night: we're at the Lyric waiting for Snoop Dog, and excited about it!

Picture 2: Still at the Lyric. Still waiting. A little excited. A little... queasy.

Picture 3: Are there two cameras in front of my face? Time to go home....

Saturday night, we went to a friend's family-friendly Halloween party and drank absolutely nothing.

Had fun anyway.
Caspian, hours after his bedtime, chilling with the grownups, wearing monkey pjs.

Annaliese: not pictured, since we didn't see her the whole night (they had a teenager keeping an eye on the kidlets, and she was glued to her BFF's side the whole night anyhow).

Tomorrow? Halloween.2 blocks, trick'or'treating, with pretty much everybody we know, ranging in age from a 16-month-old to a 5 year-old. Those 2 blocks will probably take 4 hours.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

happy, happy, happy.

Typing this from the couch at home where I'm drinking tea and eating a banana to combat the queasy stomach last night left me.

k and I went OUT last night in a big way. Dinner, drinks, puking, snoop dog concert... not at all our style but it was kinda fun to do something so... different? stupid? juvenile?

I think I get seasonal depression over the summers here, because over since October hit, I've gone from feeling WE.MUST.MOVE.NOW to kinda loving Mississippi again. My house is looking great-- new energy came with the cool air and it's never looked better. I took today off from the store (a full weekend!!!) and went and got breakfast by myself this morning. Forgot my credit card and ended up borrowing money from a friend who happened to be selling at the season's last farmers' market. There was good coffee and live music and people I know to talk to.

And now I'm home, in my pretty house, and K made brownies with the kids, and life seems sweet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Church today

Annaliese and Caspian walked down the aisle to the children's time at the alter for the first time. They walked slowly, with Annaliese's hand on Caspian's back.

They plunked down and listened like good kids.

The preacher said something about marriage and Caspian announced that when he grew up, he was going to get married.

That got a laugh.

Later there was a pause and Caspian said so clearly that the whole church heard "I've got a ball in my pocket." (He did.)

We got lots of compliments on our children after the service :)


The stupid camera thing was in K's computer bag all month! Click here to view some pics.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

in case you're not on facebook

friday morning, the farmer? milkman? awesome guy who started mississippi's first micro-dairy? stopped by to give us more milk for the weekend. and he brought his buddy, who was riding shotgun, named jimmy dean.

said the little guy had doubled his birthweight in a week drinking his jersey-cow milk.

he then told me about a pig who used to follow his like a dog, the goat who lived in his porch and went hunting with them, and the night he'd recently spent perched on top of his dairy, waiting for the dogs who'd gotten into his hogs.

i bet you can guess his daddy was larry brown, the writer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

at long last

well, I turned 29. Which was awesome. As birthdays generally are. Presents, cake, breakfast in bed-- who could ask for more?

Weather's great. Store's kicked up a notch these last 2 weeks (keep your fingers seriously crossed). K's cute. I lost 9 pounds. Kids are growing up and smart and funny and Annaliese currently has three jars of mustard in her fort on the porch, I found out this afternoon. She dips her fingers into it and eats it "for her breath."

We went canoeing yesterday. Going on a Mommy-trip to the zoo on Wednesday. I'd like my house to stay clean longer (top-to-bottom twice a week! gah!) and to have a movie-night out with K and to lose another 5 pounds without thinking about it and for our lame-ass internet to get its act in gear, but mostly, everything's great.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


The store looked really good last night. Big event here in town, another success, and K bought me a luminous painting done by the girl who lives in the white house across the street, the house where Annaliese came into being.

I was so proud of K. last night. And the store. But mostly of K.

See, in August, our first renters moved into the apartment. The apartment WE thought was beautiful, the apartment that K did his way, not fancy, but gorgeous. And with the interior design genius of the girl who moved in there... the apartment was the talk of the town last night, as she was on the art crawl and so everyone saw how beautiful it is. K. was feted wherever he went and I was so... glad for him. He has been working for so long, on his own, without any recognition.

You can go here for pics of that...

Shots of the cafe in the rear of the store last night.... typing this at the counter this morning, as a handful of people eat breakfast back there. Three grocery shoppers so far this morning. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Feeling Better.

The word is spreading in our small town that we're going to need... you know, CUSTOMERS, to survive. It's freeing to have that out there.

New produce supplier. In addition, not instead. For the first time, we have shallots, leeks, other good things. We have a big opportunity this weekend to wow people, as our town is putting on its third art crawl, a super-neat thing that will have scores of disposable-income folks traipsing by my store. They won't be hungry, but hopefully, we can impress them with some holiday ordering-- cooking class-general neat destination stuff.

It never stops.

Other than the customer-money, I completely love it. This is the first non-family/k/babies/home project I have ever had that engrosses me.


Awesome party at our house last night. I threw a "Because It's Fall" get-together. 11 kids under the age of 5. 13 or so adults. Clean house. Good food. Kids playing into the night in the garden, playing tag and Dead and wearing butterfly wings. Bonfire. Tipsy dads throwing hot coals (not my sweetie, though). Good times and I'm glad I did it.

Had a nice talk with my Dad today.


Kids are great. K's a little grumpy with me at the moment but he's got to get over it... Sunday's my birthday!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I am FREAKING out.

In the last four months at the store, I've dealt with a lot of things. Personnel, of course. Equipment, naturally. Starting a delivery program that's gone pretty well (last Friday, we delivered more food to 14 people than we sold in 11 hours to 70 people.) We've begun serving a hot cooked breakfast, 6 days a week. An article about us on the front page of the Sunday Metro section of Memphis's Commercial Appeal just came out.

I have done all these things and yet, I feel like I'm failing.

I said it.


Ever Monday, I hand out checks to my four part-time, two full-time employees and the baker. Every week, I juggle which supplier has to be paid right now, who can wait until later. I just found out yesterday we owe our most relaxed supplier, gourmet cheeses and meats, $1500. Every week, I can't afford to both pay my overhead AND replace the inventory that I've sold.

It's fucking depressing.

Why is this happening? Despite produce prices and deli prices being the same as Wal-Marts (who incidentally, is not down the street, but a solid 25 minute drive away), despite Water Vallians swearing up and down that all they wanted was another grocery store, despite me adding everything that's made sense: sandwiches, deli items, casseroles, soups, ice cream, yeast rolls, and now, breakfast.... people just won't buy at my store.

They'll buy a few tomatoes. Or a cookie. Or a two-dollar sandwich. Or a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread, two packages of meat and cheese. But they won't wheel a cart around the store and buy groceries. Because, somehow, we don't sell groceries in people's minds. We're not big enough, with numbered aisles, and plastic bags, and a mammoth parking lot.

Here's what it would take: 100 people spending about $50+ per week on groceries with me. The lunch and breakfast and random drop-ins would take care of the rest.

100 people.

I can count 100 people who all live within a mile of my store.

But they drive to Wal-Mart or Kroger, 25 minutes away, instead.

It's maddening. It's heartbreaking. It haunts my dreams and makes me cry and diminishes my time with my family because I have a huge albatross on my shoulder all the fucking time.

Why don't I just quit?

Because I'm an optimist at heart. Because I have employees who use the money I give them to put food on their tables (sometimes, even bought at my store). Because it would gut the optimism on my town's Main Street-- we're not the only new business.

Because some weeks, we're so close.

But it's been 16 months now, and we're going into fall and winter-- a food-retail desert, I've discovered-- with no reserves.

I wonder if we'll still be open come spring.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Sunday, This Fall

I managed to sleep in until 9 this morning. This was accopmplished by steadfastly ignoring K's elbow in my ribs and sleeping through his vaulting out of bed every 24 minutes to start another Caillou and Diego for the kids, who are, perpetually, little larks, no matter if they go to bed at 8 or midnight.

Felt great :)

Weather is wondrous after the long summer.... cool at night, comfortable during the day, and yesterday we moved our kitchen table to the porch to better enjoy it.

Right now, I'm on my third cup of coffee, K's mowing, kids are napping, and a long lazy afternoon stretches ahead. I have to clean the house. That's about it.

Yesterday sucked. Work-wise, family-wise, everything-wise, and so today is especially nice.

Brief portraits of the kids:

Annaliese, turning 4 in January, bright and contrary and so so so much like K. Contrary. Bossy. Pickle-loving. Very bright. Interested in how things work. "Tell me about this," she'll say, and then we are talking about the solar system, the mechanics of cranes. She is also my sunshine girl and my bablinga and she still can't sleep without her soft pink blanket. She is a bit tured of daycare, I think. She wants to be in the real world, with us, all the time. She tells me very night how she doesn't like to sleep, and I say I know, honey, you never have. This girl doesn't want to miss a thing.

I've started keeping the kids with me on Wednesdays, my day off from the store. Sometimes this means we putter and hang out. Last Wednesday it meant we drove a trailer-load full of used equipment to Memphis, sold it, and bought stuff for the store's newly opened Red Apron Cafe. This Wednesday I hope we'll hit the library and the park. I think it's helping with her daycare-fatigue.

And Caspian.

Caspian turned 2 in June, which makes him not even 2.5, and he's awesome. If you can get his paccy out of his mouth, he talks. He's extraordinarily kind for a toddler, sweet to people and animals alike. He starts conversations by asking "Did you have a dream?" On Friday, my longest day work-wise, I came home after dinner to him hugging me around my knees and saying in his serious lisping little voice, "I love you so much." He has a spot in our closet where he likes to hide. He loves his sister and wants to be with her most of the time. He bear-wrestles her, shows me how big he is, just learned to say "Caspian" instead of "Apian." He knows he's two. He is very, very funny, and when we go on walks, he'll stop, cock his head to the side, and say, "I'm gettin' TIRED," then run forward with his funny steadfast straight-backed serious run. He has kissable cheeks and big brown eyes and wherever we go, people smile at the sight of him. He told me he loved the UPS van upon first sight.

Of course, they also fight every five minutes, and find crayons and color on their walls during nap-time, and pee on the carpets, and whine and cry and get on my ever-last nerve. Yesterday, that very crap-day, I told my mom that I just wanted to hide in the closet where no one could talk to me and drink. (I didn't. DON'T WORRY EVERYBODY I'M NOT AN ALCOHOLIC. GOSH.)

I just went to check on them and they are in nothing but pull-ups, lying side-by-side in Annaliese's bed, sleepy-eyed, tattooed all over their stomachs and necks and cheeks with ballpoint pen (WHERE do they find these things???).

I wonder what they'll be like next fall.

Monday, September 19, 2011


one photo....

Our new friend James, special forces, very bad-ass, also a photographer, took this pic fri night and I LIKE IT. which is amazing, since it was at the tail-end of a 13-hour work day and i was pretty darn grumpy and yelling at him for taking my photo at all.

as for pics of the kids, i have none. i am not sure where many things-- bills, wallet, etc-- are, and the camera card is no exception.


fun story: yesterday, sunday, nap-time. kids playing in their room which they do for HOURS on the weekend even though you'd swear they were tired and grumpy before naptime. Suddenly: silence. K and i thought they'd gone to sleep, finally.

He happened to go into the kitchen and there, happy as little horrible clams, he saw our children. OUTSIDE. IN THE CAR.

Caspian was literally on top of the car, in fact, sliding through the sun roof.

I'd left a window open in their room that had a ripped screen, thanks to the other escape artist in the family, Dido the wretched dog.


Kids are mostly great. Annaliese and I took our first-ever Mama/daughter trip to the Outer Banks, to see Nonni and Eliza, and it was great. She had fun. I had fun. Hopefully my mom and sis did too. And more interestingly, the boys back home had a GREAT TIME. Apparently when Annaliese and I are gone, Caspian doesn't whine, cry, or get over-tired. he talked and ran around with his daddy and they are in mutual love now.

It was awesome not being missed, let me tell you.

Six-year anniversary yesterday. Conclusion? Yep, good idea.


Saturday, September 17, 2011


a bad sign when you FORGET you have a blog.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fall, at least today...

It's RAINING, and I can't overstate how lovely that is. The right kind of rain, too-- slow, soaking, steady. I'm cheering it on for a week... that's how much we need it.

The a/c is off, the windows are open, and K and I lay in bed this morning while the kids played happily and quite alone on the porch. We heard snippets. They were happy. We were happy. Everybody in this house loves Sunday.

I have to say, these last few weeks I have been patting myself on the back for having kids 17 months apart. Sure, the first year was.. not fun.... and people looked at me like I was nuts, but hey! I've only had children for 3 years and 8 months and already I'm not the primary playmate-- they're entertaining each other!

Plus they're adorable together. Double trouble.

They are going to be a year apart in school, I think, because of how their birthdays fall. And Caspian's a big kid so already, people have begun to think they're twins. I kind of think of them as twins. I am grateful that they're different genders... it seems to remove some of the competition and comparison, for some reason.


K's started running and doing push-ups with his buddy, a former Army Ranger. It's been a month of him doing this 1-4 times per week, and I am so PROUD of him. They go at night, after full days of work and kids and everything, and I'm often asleep when he gets home. Just awesome.

Even a little inspiring.

We're ready for fall. We're happy as a family-- no plans for a 3rd, though accidents sure do happen-- and we're making some more time for each other because we've been a little overly busy in the last few years.

K's got the building's apartment finished and rented. The offices overlooking Main Street are ready to be rented. The store is my demanding third child and needs several things, but continues to go as well as can be expected. It's raining. I'm going to take Annaliese on our first-ever girl's trip and go see my Mom and Auntie Eliza at the beach next weekend.

Everything, at this very present moment in time, is great!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

it felt like we took a million pictures, but apparently they are mostly o the children.

Enjoy anyhow.

A big thanks to K's aunt and uncle for hosting us, feeding us, and entertaining our children.

And we're so very glad K's parents, sisters, sister's fiance, and my cousin came to enjoy in the Maine coast! Pretty sweet spot to be in August.... sure did make enduring the Mississippi summer easier!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Monday, August 08, 2011

we're going on vacation!

have i mentioned we'er going on vacation? thrice-daily conversation at my house. for the last three months.

vacation! no store, no blackberry, no laptop. no nursery school, no chores, and cross-your-fingers, no 110+ degree days. maine, so the odds are good.

we'll be outside. running around. having fun. together. can't wait.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

silly things!

egg pie (quiche) for dinner. children covered in pastry flour. caspian cupping my face and telling me i'm "so cute" and "can come to my party." canoeing on sunday. annaliese WANTING to "sleep on the sand and eat salamander for dinner" (parental threat gone wrong.)

counting down the days til we go north to escape the heat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A grumpy-making week

Staff. Friends. Renters. The weather. The building. Money. But not, thankfully, my family.

We worked hard all week and then yesterday, after an am foray to polyurethane (K) and gym (me and kidlets), we did nothing.

At the end of the day, I said something about how lazy we'd been, and K said, really? Lazy? You think we're lazy?

I think I have problems with downtime. But it was fun and much needed anyhow.

This morning, I woke up at 6 and made myself a cup of peaceful strong coffee and was reading in the couch when in walked Annaliese. We ended up reading Miss Rumphius together, whispering so we wouldn't take up the sleeping boys, and then we went outside to pick tomatoes before it was 108 degrees, and we found a nest in my biggest plum tree, with just-born teeny tiny mockingbirds in there.

Annaliese said "they're so CUTE! I have to tell ----" and then she raced inside and whispered the tale to her sleeping Papa, who cracked an eye and then went back to sleep.

She poured the Cheerios into the bowls herself. Carried them to the table. And when Caspian, wearing his t-shirt and diaper and a sunny yellow Pacifier in his mouth, came toddling in, Annaliese gave him a hug and said, "Go jump on the couch while I get your breakfast! Go on, sweetie!"

And he did, and she did, and they are so darn cute.


I did an interview with Annaliese during our lazy Sunday afternoon. My favorite?

Me: what kind of job do you want to do when you grow up?
Annaliese: Walk in the street by myself. Please.


So I am going to hang on tight to the things that make me happy this week, in the face of whatever rolls down the pike. It's been a hot slow Monday morning, but already I've had to deal with someone who quit unexpectedly, look at a cooler leaking mysterious fluids, and listen to a customer describe the terrible feng shui of my store.

At least we had enough money to make payroll and pay a few bills this morning.

And there's a white bowl brimming with freshly picked cherry tomatoes and basil on my kitchen counter at home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Girl

Today Annaliese asked me if I liked working at the store. I said I did. Then she asked me what I did there, and so I told her.

Wehn Caspian fell out of his chair (definitely my child), she ran over to pat his back, call him sweetie, give him hugs and sweet cheek kisses, and tell him he could come to her party (no parties planned, but ultimate sign of favor).

When I told her I was sorry for being late to pick her up yesterday, she listened until I was done speaking, then shrugged and said, "that's okay, Mommy."

She is up for swim classes, dance lessons, parties of all kinds, anywhere, at any time. Trips, adventures, walks, church, working at the store. Lately she has taken to appearing at my side when I am working in the garden or making dinner and asking (I swear) "How can I help?"

She is three, four in January, the baby I learned on, the toddler for about five minutes, and now she is hitting her stride, being the kid she's wanted to be since Day One, and she is just so awesome.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nonni's en route to our town

The kids are off killing chickens with K, which led to this overheard conversation this morning "Do you WANT to go kill chickens?" "Yes Daddy." "Then put your shoes on."

I'm at work, where I have been too much this week. Manager's on vacation and I had to fire someone yesterday. Fun for me!

But Nonni is coming, and it's rained, and my sweetheart made 24 beautiful quarts of dill pickles yesterday. My kids are beautiful and funny and my zinnias have started blooming.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the way I want things to be.

Last night, it rained. We've had very hot and dry weather-- 100 degrees, blazing sun, no rain whatsoever-- for 3 weeks, so it was a big deal. The kids and I rushed inside and watched the storm beating against the windows and drank hot chocolate and talked about the trees and the grass gobbling up the water like we were gobbling up hot chocolate.

then i, hitting a wall after 10 hours of continuous motion, told them i needed to lie down for a little bit, and could they play together please?

they came in my room two minutes later. annaliese chattered next to the bed about random things while caspian fed me grapes. it was actually pretty relaxing.

we all slept like logs, windows open and the first cool night air in forever floating through the house. i woke up early on my own, about 6, and it was incredibly refreshing to lie dreamily, listening to the chickens and the birds and the general sounds of morning. it made me realize how much i miss the houses i grew up in, my mom's of course, also my grandmother's in pennsylvania, houses that didn't even have air-conditioning and relied heavily on screen doors and windows and fans to bring the invariably cool night air into the house.

i felt like a lid had been taken off the top of my head. like a box compressing my shoulders had fallen away.

i don't like how much we're inside here.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Caspian, Age Two

Caspian's two now. He's still in diapers. Yesterday I asked him if he was going to start going in the potty soon like a big boy, and he said, No. I pee in pants. And yep, he does.

Maybe because he is the youngest, or a boy, or Annaliese is such a diva, but even as his mother, it's easy to underestimate Caspian. He's the baby. He still likes his Sassy, as he calls his pacifier. He still pees in pants.

But he's a smart little fellah.

I've noticed in the last month that he's talking more, sentences, questions, with dubious enunciation, but if you can translate through the baby voice, he's really damn funny. He likes to tell Annaliese that he's in Nana's class. He's not. Annaliese is, but he's in the class below, and he knows this. He tells her over and over that he is in Nana's class until she starts screaming that he's not, he's not, and appeals to me. Then he smiles.

Two days ago we were talking to Nonni in the phone and she asked how old he is now. He knows he's two. But he said with a big grin, "I'm thwee!" and giggled.

He likes to skip the number 4, when counting. He likes the Wheels on the Bus sing, and makes all the motions. He likes to sing along to the alphabet, and he sings out the for letters he knows ("PEEEE") clearly and with pride. He likes to give kisses, and hugs, and pat the side of my face when I play at being sad and say "it's awight, Mama."

He loves to be outside and is super-independent, walking up to the house from the garden just because he wants to. He likes feeding the chickens and wandering around outside. We need to get this boy a farm.

He also, gratifyingly, is like me in small and strange ways: he loves soup (says YUMMY when he eats it and nods approvingly.) He loves hot tea. He likes having his back rubbed, is a big cuddler, prefers to go to bed earlier than his sister does, though she keeps him up playing until I lay down the law.

When K comes home, Caspian is the one yelling DADDY! and running for a hug.

Just like I knew he was even before he got here, he is is a big brawny good-looking kid with a good heart. I think he's going to be stunningly handsome.

But for right now, he's my sweetheart boy, little brother extraordinare, the apple of his daddy's eye.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

2 years, 5 years, where do you start?

We are not old by any means, but after you know someone for a decade and have babies with them, it's kinda striking how old you're becoming.

We have Financial Documents and a station wagon and plan beach vacations and take our daughter to dance lessons and set up birthday parties and Annaliese has her first dentist appointment next Wednesday and when, exactly, did our life, which used to consist of decadent weekends amidst the long slog of term papers and finals, become so... here?

We always planned this. Kids, dogs, garden, chickens.

But it's pretty fun to step back sometimes and go, Wow. Just because we wanted it all, here it is.

Caspian turns two tomorrow morning, sometimes around 8:30am. Which means two years ago right now, I was making tea and about to write in my journal, not really knowing that I would labor all night alone with only an Ian Rankin novel for company, into the dawn on the porch, and finally call the midwives after taking a bath and washing my hair at six am.

I am going to save Caspian Pierce's birthday post for tomorrow. This one's for me and sweetie McSweetie. The one I always thought was really cute.

Go us.

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