Bright orange, soft yellow

When we were planning the move here to Virginia, we made floor plans, chose which furniture to buy and which to sell, and picked paint colors from the alarming array of choices in the THREE (!) Benjamin Moore paint fan decks. (I'd do much better with a palette of, say, 50 colors to chose from.) All of this was based on CG's trips here, my feverish study of the many photos he took and our combined sense of what colors match our stuff and are pleasing to live in.

Zoe, of course, insisted on having her room done in her two favorite colors- orange and "lello"- and we managed to get her to concede to 3 white walls, 1 bright orange wall and a bright yellow closet (CG's stroke of brilliance). It looks crisp and bright and fabulous, just right for our big girl, and she's so at home in it already. (Plus, if and when she decides she hates orange, we have only one wall to repaint.)

Unfortunately, Eliza's much smaller room was mistakenly painted exactly like Zoe's, despite our instructions to the painters to leave it its original off-white color. When CG found this out, we were still in Vermont. We could have insisted that they repaint it but I couldn't picture the room, couldn't decide on another color, couldn't DEAL. So we just told the painters that it's fine, leave it as it is.

When we arrived here last week, I felt a little ill every time I walked into Eliza's room. It's a small room and the bright orange wall was just too much. I tried to like it, telling myself that it was perfectly painted, in pristine condition really, and I would get used to it. Most of all, we had signed off on it. It made no sense to pay to have it repainted or add one more major project to our three page to-do list.

Until it made even less sense to leave it as it was because it was making me so sad.

You see, Zoe is bright orange. Her voice is clear and loud. She often walks right up to strangers and asks them their name and if they have a penis or a vagina. She makes her presence known and has since the day that she was born.

But Eliza is soft yellow. She is such a grub of a baby still, so much about who she will be is unknown, still forming. But the differences between her and her big sister have been blatantly obvious since day one. Zoe hated baths, loud noises, her nightly massage and was very opinionated about when and how she would sleep, eat, and be held. Eliza loves the bath and her weekly massage (ah yes weekly, she is the second baby), doesn't mind loud noises or being held/put down/carried in whatever way we feel like. She is easy-going, sunshine-y, placid.

I lay awake at night wondering if this is who they are genetically, determined from the moment CG's seed met my egg (which, by the way, is our answer to Zoe's question about how babies are made. Our answer to her follow-up "but HOW??!!": "Hey, wanna cookie!?!?"). It also seems possible, though frightening in the inevitable self-recriminations, that Zoe gained some of her hard-charging, bright orange ways because of our parenting, specifically my mothering. She is, after all, the first born child of a mother who often feels really, truly clueless and struggles to chose hope over fear. Did she absorb all my anxiety as a new mother? Is her psyche forever shaped by the maternal inexperience and naivete that she struggles against every. single. day? Does Zoe never shut up because of who she innately is or because I was so lonely that I talked to her ALL DAY, EVERY DAY as an infant? Am I really seeing who these children are, their essential and true selves, or do I only see what I want to see, what I expect of them, what I project onto them because of my own baggage?

Do your kids have a color, one that they chose or one that you see in them?

(Where was I? Oh, right, Eliza.)

At this moment in time, in my eyes, Eliza is soft yellow. The bright orange not only didn't fit her room, it didn't fit her. That's what did it for me.

Luckily CG agreed, even though he had every right to say "but you said it was fine!" and "that's another expense that we just can't justify".

Now it has been repainted a warm, soft yellow.

And all is right with this little corner of the world.


Move Moving Moved

I will never move again. This is it. I'm too old for this crap. We will live here, in this town, in this house for the rest of our lives. We're recycling the moving boxes and buying address stamps.

OMG. I don't know if I can live here, in this town, in this house, for the rest of our lives. Will we really be here forever? Should I bother setting down roots? Work at trying to meet people? Or will we move again in a few years and I should just bide my time?

This house is HUGE. It's lovely, amazing, full of potential. There is space enough for all of us to grow.

This house is HUGE. Zoe can be out of earshot so easily. The laundry is in the basement and the bedrooms are on the second floor. How will I ever do laundry? Should I just buy disposable clothes and wear them till they biodegrade?

I miss California. I miss dry air, no bugs and giant pyramids of perfectly ripe avocados in the supermarket, 3 for a dollar. I miss our friends. I miss our neighbors. I miss knowing where to shop and who to call for a playdate and feeling at home and WHERE IS ALL MY STUFF?

It's quiet here. Our quiet cul-de-sac is full of families who love and keep up their homes. One family brought us homemade chocolate chip cookies and when Zoe asked questions about all the siblings, the whole family of teenagers came over to meet her. There are no routine police helicopter hoverings. There is no graffiti on any of the buildings I've seen. There are no boom-boom-BOOOMing cars pumping the bass past our house every night. We have walked to dinner, to breakfast, to the park.

We have physically moved.

We are mentally moving.


The next chapter

We are here.

Our mailbox has a roof.

Zoe's bedroom has a bright orange wall, just like she wanted it.

Her closet is yellow, just like she wanted it.

My favorite spot already: our kitchen's blogging eating area, complete with skylights and a view of Zoe's "play structure" in the backyard.

Zoe seemed to figure out our crazy new fridge before I did. She will lose interest in making ice at some point, right?

This is the one corner of our bedroom I can show you without moving a metric ton of CRAP.

The one thing missing?

Our first girl. Who arrived Thursday after her flight on the brand new pet airline.

The family is all here.

Our stuff is all here (somewhere).

Now the real fun begins.


Three months post-partum........ grrr?

"We give our bodies to our children," a friend said to me, relating something another friend told her.

We do? I thought to myself. This statement seems true and yet I don't want it to be true. I don't want to give my body to my children, to anyone. It's mine. And I won't sacrifice its health and well being in the name of motherhood or anything else.

I've been pondering that statement since she said it. Did I give my body to my daughters when I was pregnant? Do I give it them by breastfeeding? When I spend hours a day carrying and comforting them with my arms and my back and my lap? Or am I simply making choices that are just like any other choice I make about my body on a daily basis? Exercise or not? Slouch or not? Sunscreen or not? Eat loads of cheese and chocolate and bread (OMG YES YES and YES) or green veggies (trying to)?

What I know from years of studying and molding other people's bodies as a massage therapist and Pilates instructor: our current bodies are the sum of our genetics and our lifetime of choices put together. We start out with tendencies and basic structures. Then, there are diary entries and scrapbook pages written in our flesh and our posture, legible if you look close enough and ask the right questions. Do you have ways of calming yourself and releasing tension from your body or does tension build within your muscles until they form rock hard walls? Have you loved the sun? Were you embarrassed by large boobs as a teenager? Do you sit too long curled into a pretzel knot on the couch while you type?

*moving laptop to table and sitting up straight*

I am constantly working on being proud of the road map of my life that is written on this body of mine while minimizing the negative choices I make for it. I was a dancer, with the grace and the scars to prove it and will always have to manage some of the injuries I incurred in the studio and on the stage. I love the sun, though I try to always slather sunscreen on this pale, freckled skin of mine. I have, at times, let tension build inside my muscles until it seemed my shoulders and neck might cleave off and form their own continent so I work hard on releasing stress through breath, yoga, walking, and massage.

I am a mother, one who has carried and birthed and nursed and held and rocked two babes. This too is written on my body.


When I saw that Mrs. Chicken had tagged me for a post about finding my roar, I was thrilled. Mrs. Chicken tagged me!

Then, I was more than a little worried about finding anything worth roaring about.

There is very little roaring going on around these here parts. People, I am exactly three months post- partum tomorrow.

Need I say more?

For me, roaring has always been about my physical body, you know, the one with all the diary entries about pregnancy and childbirth and nursing freshly inked all over it. I must redefine and broaden what is roar-worthy for me as it can no longer be about taut skin and narrow ideals of beauty.

I feel two steps behind accepting this body in its current state. I just finally accepted some wrinkles! with the well established acne! And now there is all this new stuff to accept: the dimpled thighs and droopy boobs and pucker-y stomach and cavernous belly button and.....

Where was I? Oh right. ROARING.

I just looked through my iPhoto library and came up with very few photos of myself from our time here in Vermont. Most of them look like this:

SO. Let's go take a picture of JUST ME right now, shall we? And then I'm going to attempt to ROAR (without busting something):

For the second (and last) time of my life, I have honest to goodness cleavage. There is something vaguely resembling a muscle in my arm. There is a waist that is narrower than my hips for the first time in a long time and a stomach that, while not quite flat, is at least not bulging like I'm still pregnant either.

The marks of serious study and hysterical laughter are etched on my face.

I have written stories about movement and motherhood and love on my body's every tissue.

Most importantly, there is the growing sense that my body is mine, all mine. I am in charge of it.

And its roar can build and grow and evolve.

Roar with me, won't you? And you? And how about both of you? (Stop me before I go CRAZY tagging people!)


Postcard from Vermont: Seeing is believing.

When discussing the details of our birth plan, our doula told us that a newborn, placed on her mother's chest immediately after birth and not forced to latch on, will wriggle and squirm and latch on themselves. This seemed like some impossible natural childbirth baloney, like "orgasmic birth". (As much as I felt empowered by Eliza's birth, I would have to say that the physical sensations I experienced were pretty much the POLAR OPPOSITE of orgasm.)

A newborn, who has little control over her movements and can barely see, can latch on by herself?? I would believe it when I saw it.

When Eliza was born, after the initial bottle they had to give her because she was so big, the nurses placed her on my belly and left her there. I resisted the urge to move her to my breast, or at least a little closer to it, and just waited. My minutes-old babe, eyes barely open, started to wriggle and elbow-drag herself across my belly toward my chest. My mouth hung open in disbelief as she found her own way onto my breast. All by herself.


Friends had told me that one day, Zoe and Eliza would start to interact without me. That Zoe would be helpful in ways I couldn't imagine.

All I could picture was baby Eliza crying that crazed newborn squawk and my sensitive Zoe covering her ears and adding her voice to the din. "I'll believe it when I see it," I said, ever the optimist.

At the beginning of our time here in Vermont before CG got here, I was fragile, brittle even. One day, I was trying to get Zoe and Eliza in the car and off to Zoe's swim lesson. Eliza was overtired, crying in her carseat. Zoe was dawdling and whining and helpfully informing me repeatedly: "Mama! Eliza's crying!".

I forgot my wallet and ran crazily toward the house, Ellie's crying seeming louder the further away I got. By the time I grabbed the wallet and got back to the car, I was a sweaty, twitchy mess. I opened the car door and jumped in the driver's seat, braced for a chorus of cries and screams.

What I heard instead? Zoe singing a made up song to a silent Eliza. There was only one verse: "Don't cry Eliza, don't cry. It's okay Eliza, it's okay."

I'll give you one guess who was the only one crying at that point.


This Wednesday, we finally leave the lakehouse here in Vermont. After two short flights, we'll arrive in Virginia where I'll drive our new car to our new house.

Everyone says it will soon feel like home. That I'll make new friends and find my way around. That all will be well.

I'll believe it when I see it. (I'm SO READY to see it.)


Postcard from Vermont: Inside my head

It's been a day of wrestling over Zoe's persistent need to possess and dismantle all precious items belonging to other people. She's constantly finding that line and then crossing it to see what happens.

She now wants to see Daddy on the sailboat but can't and Gramma offers to spot her as she stands on a dining chair, a Forbidden Activity.

Zoe glances at me, puffs out her chest and says with emphasis, "Gramma lets me stand on chairs."

I am stone faced, serious, NO KIDDING AROUND.

Inside my head, I am laughing.


It is 10 minutes past bedtime.

Zoe flops off of the potty like her legs are gelatinous and starts futzing with the bathmat, ignoring my calm, clear instructions to wipe and flush. I bite my lip and tell her she can do it herself or I'll help her and when she ignores me again I wipe her and flush the potty as she struggles with me and bays I CAN DO IT MYSELF!

SO DO IT WHEN I ASK, I say, struggling to keep my voice even and my hands gentle.

(Slow down. She's only three. Be patient. Deep breaths. More bees with honey.)

We haggle our way through tooth-brushing and flossing. I apply the bug bite cream to her welts, trying hard to find every. single. one., knowing full well that when she is in her bed and I'm turning out the lights and walking away, she will inevitably find another one that needs tending to.

I chose a book when she refuses to settle on one and ask her to PLEASE SIT STILL because I can't read to her if I've got a foot in my face.

She starts to whine that she's not tiRED and she needs her BAby, where's her BAby and she forgot to say goodnight to EVERYone and -

Inside my head, I am screaming.


I pop my iPod headphones into my ears and start walking out of the driveway, feeling the house with my children in it fall away behind me.

I scroll down through my fastest, kick-butt-est music and settle on "Disturbia" by Rhianna. Nothing like a little of last year's Top 40 to get me moving.

My legs start pumping like they actually remember how, like it hasn't been weeks since they had the chance to do anything other than prop Zoe up to wash her hands at a too tall sink, and I match my stride to the throbbing "dum dum DE DUM dum dum dadumdum" of the music.

As I gaze at the road and the trees and the lake at the left, I imagine dancers dressed as zombies, advancing Thriller-style with jerky limbs. I mentally choreograph their movements and when I can start to see it all clearly, I hit a button and start the song over again to refine it.

The music pulses in my ears and I strut for just a moment.

Then I am simply walking: advancing, arms pumping, with one foot in front of the other.

Inside my head, I am dancing.


Z is for Zambia/Z is for Zoe.

Existential Waitress tagged me for a picture post which is perfect because Zoe is currently throwing a tantrum about Daddy putting her down for a nap instead of me so I need to look VERY BUSY.

Simple Rules:
-Open your first photo folder (I took this to mean oldest digital pictures folder).
-Scroll down to the 10th photo. (Okay, I did that but then I HAD to include just a few others.)
-Post that photo and story on your blog.
-Tag five others (or more) friends to do the same.

August 5, 2004. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

We were thrilled to finally be in Zambia after 34 hours of air travel. It was the first day of a three week safari. On our way to our first camp, we stopped along the river bank for afternoon tea, complete with homemade cookies, a regular part of the schedule at the British influenced safari camps.

My mother and I had been to Zambia twice before and grown to love the country and the safari camps that are run by my mother's step-sister's step-daughter. (If you can follow that, you're one ahead of me. All I know is that everyone in the camps was told we were "family" and we were treated like royalty, though I'm pretty sure they treat everyone like that.)

It was CG's first time in Africa. He took the photo, thrilled about tea time and eager to try out his new digital camera (I was still in the stone ages with a film SLR). We had been married for two years.

The open jeeps we rode in every day made us feel at one with the bush, able to see and smell and hear every little thing around us. Some times we were thrilled by this as we were able to creep up to a mother and baby giraffe

or watch lions following the call of the wild (every 10 minutes for HOURS).

Other times it was a little too close for comfort as elephants charged our jeep, huge snakes attacked the tires and lions circled us slowly, all of us knowing just who would win a brawl. Some days I felt every inch the disgustingly pampered foreigner as we rolled through rural villages and were greeted by children with protruding bellies waving and laughing at us in our silly hats, up high on our perches, hands clasped in our laps.

Sitting here listening to Zoe's one person No Nap Protest Rally, that trip seems impossibly long ago, like it happened in another life, to another person.

But I know that it happened to me, because it was on one of those long jeep drives, just before sunset, that I realized I wanted to become a mother. That I was as ready as I was going to get. And, if it was a girl, I wanted to name her Zoe.


So have at it, ladies. (Only if you feel like it. Feel free to ignore the tag. OMG I don't like tagging people. It feels like a chain letter that you might hate me for.)

1. Twin Mom Musings
2. Life in a Tiny Town
3. Eleanor Q.
4. All Dressed Up
5. ...... (Okay that's it. I now feel sick.)


Postcard from Vermont: Under Control

4 am. Eliza is grousing in the crib, two feet from my head. I get up, take one step, put the pacifier in her mouth and drop back to the pillow. Mama says it's too early.

5:42 am. I wake to insistent sucking sounds and Eliza's legs thumping the crib mattress over and over like a drum. I glance at the clock and rise to bring her to my bed.

6 am. My lips are gently pressed against Eliza's face, just above her closed eyes, and my hand cups one of her perfect feet. She probably needs a diaper change and she definitely needs a burp but I stay right where I am because I can.


6 :34 am. Zoe wanders away from the breakfast table where she's made a mess, cereal dripping from her upturned bowl, and I am helpless to stop her since I'm marooned on the couch with Eliza attached to me. My calls to her are in vain until I detach myself and run after her, hissing low under my breath. I clench and unclench my teeth, breathing deeply to control the all too familiar rush of frustration.

9:12 am. Zoe refuses to go potty, even though she insisted she HAD TO GO RIGHT NOW when we were in the car just a few minutes ago. She throws a fit and stomps her feet. I pretend to ignore the people watching us and imagine trying to forcibly hold her on the potty, knowing that's just ridiculous, wishing for her to OBEY just this once.

11:57 am. We are debating the possibilities for lunch, with Zoe lobbying heavily for lemonade and ice cream as a balanced meal. Every nutritious suggestion is met with resistance and whining. Since when did every meal include so much explanation and negotiation and OKAY FINE I ADMIT IT occasional bribery? Who's in charge here?


These past few weeks without CG here have often felt like a high wire act. Where each day I gamely put on a smile and wobble my way across a precarious expanse, praying that I don't fall. My sense of balance with two kids is uncertain at best and being without my co-parent for so much of this literally unsettling transition has been, at times, lonely and difficult.

Some days I wished for a big audience, one that would witness and applaud my derring-do. Other days I wished we had gone to a hotel for three weeks, to watch too much TV and eat convenience foods and take out, while CG set up the house in VA so that no one would see the mess of a mother I am at the moment. That I would fantasize, even for a moment, about leaving the comfort of our lakehouse and the support of my loving parents and friends is testament to my deep ambivalence about receiving attention and help when I am struggling.

I recognize this feeling, this wanting to be seen and yet NOT SEEN. It feels like the story of my life. How I adored dancing more than anything in the world and yet felt best dancing alone in a studio, often feeling too exposed and vulnerable when dancing on stage. How I fell in love with CG and wanted so badly to be seen and known in all my imperfection and yet was terrified when we moved in together that when he finally saw the whole me, he'd run for the hills. How much I've always wanted to control how much other people see of the real me.

(Is this the story of everyone's life? Or just mine?)


Postcard from Vermont: Comings and Goings

We've had wonderful friends here this past week: women I've known since before any of us had gray hairs or real jobs, and the men I've come to love through them. They've all come to know Zoe over the years and have all been adopted by her.

You're stuck, guys. Zoe is like the Mafia. Once you're in with her, it's for LIFE.

(Zoe with Auntie K, August 2007.)

Zoe with Uncle P and Auntie K, August 2009. (Wearing stripes is a house rule around here.)

Zoe with Auntie B, June 2007.

Zoe with the afianced A and B, August 2009.


CG comes to Vermont tomorrow for a week of vacation before we all fly to Virginia to get in my new car (Did I mention that CG sold my old Civic in CA? And bought me a new, bigger car in VA? That I haven't seen?) and drive to our new house (Have I mentioned that I've never seen our new house? That I agreed to buy a house that I HAVE NOT SEEN?) for my new life.


Oh wait. I don't need a Valium. I have a husband coming which means at least a little time to myself and someone to take every other poopy diaper. Not to mention his hugs and kisses that are soul sustaining to me. (YAY!)

I have no idea how single mothers raise small children without going insane. Or mothers of more than two children ever get food on the table and hairs plucked off their chin. I feel like I've come through a trial by fire these past few weeks and I only had two healthy children to keep alive with the help of two grandparents and several childless but child-loving friends (see above) who cooked, cleaned, and made sock puppets with my older daughter.

I am so ready to see my husband. I am so ready for some time with him. I am so ready for some time OFF.

For once in my life: Hurray for Monday!


Postcard from Vermont: County Fair

(or: The first "postcard" that's actually like a postcard instead of an emotional, hand-wringy diary entry.)

Today we ventured to the local county fair "and field days" (still don't know what that means but it apparently includes a LOT of tractors, which Zoe thought were "TOO LOUD".)

Here I am, protecting her from the tractors.

Watching the draft horse pulling competition while nursing Eliza and simultaneously protecting Zoe from the tractors and the draft horses and anything else too large or too loud. I am Super Mom! All I need to do is turn my cape around....

She's very interested in horses but also TOTALLY SCARED. So we started small (and mechanized).

Then we moved on to larger but still mechanized.
("Wave at Gramma Zoe! No? Okay, I'll wave like a loon for the both of us!"

Then she was ready for the Big Time (though "Cinnamon" there was not that much taller than Zoe.)

What's a county fair without John Deere paraphernalia? (Really, Spellcheck? There's an "r" in there?!?!)

Zoe was giddy watching all the death-defying rides.

And terrified about what might happen to her on them.

Because those tiny fire-trucks could be seriously DANGEROUS.


Postcard from Vermont: Birth order

When we started thinking about having a second child, we thought long and hard about the spacing between them. Three years sounded good to us because by then, we reasoned, Zoe would be old enough to be helpful, she'd be potty trained, she'd be, you know, a BIG GIRL. With my fairly miserable pregnancy, I subconsciously assumed that Zoe would be the easy kid in the first few months and Eliza would be the challenging one. I imagined that Zoe would be so old and grown up and compliant while Eliza would be screaming and crying and sleepless.

Just goes to show you, I am still totally clueless.

There is a strong feedback loop happening here. Zoe is struggling with normal three year old control issues and we all are struggling to grasp the magnitude of this completely abnormal cross country move. I often find myself approaching Zoe with trepidation and preemptive annoyance, braced for the inevitable meltdown, mentally armored for protection. I'm sure she feels my distance and shorter fuse and it makes her more on edge.

At the same time, I invariably approach Eliza with relish. I smile just thinking about her. Is she a happy baby because I am happy to see her? Or is it the other way around? Which came first? (All I know is that I am the chicken and she is the egg.)

I know it's not fair to Zoe but I'm a different mother to her than I am to Eliza right now. Mothering Zoe at this time in her life feels like it's all about restraining and reigning her in and defining every boundary of every thing we do every minute of every day. She is three. This is developmentally appropriate. And yet it feels unfair that when she whines and cries I sometimes ignore her or get frustrated but then go running to Eliza the moment she starts crying, eager to fix whatever I can, immediately.

It feels sometimes like I'm cheating on Zoe with a younger woman. I know it's not fair to compare my girls (and I'm not really, it's more like I'm comparing how I am with them). Just as it's always struck me as deeply unfair (not to mention immoral and just a wee bit creepy) for a (hypothetical) 50 year old man to cheat on his 50 year old wife with a 25 year old. His 50 year old wife, with whom that thrilling initial spark has necessarily faded, cannot compete with a 25 year old who by definition does not have the wife's less-than-taut skin and saggy boobs and years of arguing over who does the dishes and how. Just like Zoe cannot compete with Eliza in terms of simplicity and ease and drool-y happiness.

Eliza gets what she wants when she wants it, most of the time. Eliza is not testing me or hurting my feelings. My mothering of her is simple now, and I love almost all of it. She needs nursing, burps, diaper changing, cradling, smiles, sleep. The feedback loop is clear and simple and so - relatively - easy. We spend most of our time interacting by grinning with goofy smiles. I have the sense that I am a good mother, that she is a good baby, that we work together in a way that is simple and pure and lovely.

I keep reminding myself that Zoe was this little smiley baby once, a baby who made my heart leap whenever she grinned. In fact, she is the one who taught me to love this so much. She is the one who introduced me to the unbelievably addictive joy of a baby's smiling gaze.

I keep reminding myself that Eliza will one day be a big girl who needs to test me. To run away when I call for her. To openly defy me. To throw fits in public that make me wish for the earth to swallow me whole.

I am so sorry for Zoe that she has to go first. To be the one that I learn it all through. I cannot compare the thrill of my new little mistress to the long time relationship with my first love. But everything is first with Zoe. With Eliza, I am not, can not be, the crazed first time Mom who is nearly immobilized by fears ("This knife will jump out of my hand and poke out her eyeball!" "That car will veer off the road and flatten us like pancakes!" etc. etc. PARANOID etc.). I am free to enjoy every smile and coo from Eliza because Zoe came first, forging the path, showing me the way, beating back some of the demons.

I allow Eliza to remind of me of my early days with Zoe, gazing at her perfect face, grinning and goo-goo-gooing my days away. Sometimes I mourn the loss of Zoe's babyhood, because I cannot find the same simple pleasures of grinning endlessly with Zoe anymore and I cannot fix her problems just by sticking my boob in her mouth. Her complexity, our relationship's complexity, confound me most of the time.

So I'm working on revelling in Zoe's complexity. I shake my head in amazement at her running commentary of everything she sees, her need to share every thought that runs through her head, how she uses her whole face and both hands to express what she's feeling.

I giggle at how she correctly uses the words "familiar" and "tempting" and "similar" for weeks and then, one day, asks me what they mean. I marvel at how she runs and talks and plays in new ways every day. She brings me to new territory, riotously fun and horribly challenging and everything in between, every minute of every day.

I struggle with her first.

I am sorry she has to go first.

I am grateful she goes first.


Postcard from Vermont: Weekend, update.

CG was here this weekend.

I thought I knew how much I missed him but I was wrong. I was missing him WAY WAY more than I thought. So was Zoe.

A few months ago, when we were planning how this move across the country would go down, CG said he thought a month was way too long to go without seeing "his girls". I agreed but said it was a silly extravagant expense to have him fly here for the weekend in between when the movers packed our things in CA and when they deliver them to our new home in VA. "We'll be fine," I insisted.

Thank goodness he ignored me.

Because, of course, he wasn't just trying to take care of each of his girls or wanting to see us for his own pleasure. He was taking care of us as a family, which is one of the things he does best. And I love him even more after this weekend.


In other news: I believe I am detoxing from my placenta pills and it ain't pretty. I realize my Sudden Onset Weepiness could be related to the fact that my husband was here for a weekend and now I miss him even more. Or the fact that it is finally hitting me that we are moving across the country to a town where I know NO ONE. Or the fact that I'm in a house with my three year old and two month old that tends to amplify acoustically, if you know what I mean. Nice for your music. NOT NICE FOR THREE YEAR OLD AND INFANT NOISE.

No, I am sure that it is because I am all out of placenta pills now. Anyone know a black market placenta pill purveyor? (I'm totally kidding. [MAYBE NOT.])


Also, Zoe's swimming class today? Went fine. Not great, just fine. I said a little something to the teacher, not much. Zoe went a little more in the pool, not much. She got a little more attention from the teachers, NOT MUCH.

It's just fine. As with many things right now, happiness sometimes comes from having lower expectations.

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