another month later: april in review (not for the faint of heart)

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In spite of the recent, occasional desires to wanderlust off the edge of the earth, I’m still here — at times in my pjs until dinner or sitting among heaps of folded and unfolded clothes or beguiled by a trance-like stupor trying to remember exactly why I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee so many years ago or simply lost in our rat-race-paced life right now. Who knows? Nonetheless, I am here, and completely baffled that yet another month has passed. It occurred to me that while the first month in newborn-dom mainly entails that you survive, the second month always seems a little more daunting with the reintroduction of everyday life. You know, the kind of everyday-ness that must resume without regard to you having the time or energy but somehow has the power to make you feel “normal” again: grocery shopping, meeting with friends (in any capacity), cleaning or straightening the house (which lately feels like a lost cause), and so on. So naturally, what better way to simplify our new life than by packing everyone up and heading to the circus. (Thanks to the library giving the kids free tickets in exchange for reading books.) Admittedly, it was a little crazy and EXPENSIVE — $10 for cotton candy! Yikes. I suppose they justify the absurdity by packaging the delicious anomaly in a “cool” hat, which Liam promptly lost. Burke, on the other hand, disappeared the entire intermission into his own, lifting it enough only for his hand to deposit another fistful of billowy sugar. Delightful.  Blythe danced like a wild-child the entire first half and hated the cotton candy. She crashed at intermission. Five-week-old Olive handled our night on the town like a champ either sleeping, eating, or glaring at me wide-eyed. Really, we had a great time, from the dachshunds’ tricks to the caged-motorcycles to the crazy rope lady, and especially getting to enjoy all of this with our good friends, the King and Norvell families.   

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Of course, we squeezed in a few Easter egg hunts at the beginning of this month too, which means we’ve spent the rest of the month dealing with the kids’ candy obsession. “Did I eat enough for a piece of candy?” “Why can’t I have candy for a snack?” “But I ate all of my breakfast!” You get the idea. Here’s some pics from the “hunt” at Mark’s aunt and uncle’s. As you notice Blythe made sure to bring one of her cell phones for the outing. This girl can talk. And she’s not even talking to anyone who can respond yet. A few weeks ago I had all the kids with me at Target, where Blythe found a princess Blackberry on an end-cap. She picked it up and proceeded to talk to ____ as we walked through the store. At one point the boys found the art supply isle and started to wander. Blythe, without skipping a beat, keeps the phone at her ear, simply sliding the mouthpiece away from her cheek, and lunges one leg toward the boys with her free arm pointing toward the cart, and yells “boys! get back over here.” She then proceeded with her conversation. Oh dear. 

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Mark passed his 3 grueling exit exams last month, which means he’s FINISHED his M.A. in European History (with a 3.95, I might add — we’re so proud of you, mark/dad.). And not a moment too soon, seeing as he then had an enormous playground to erect in our backyard (courtesy the kids’ generous Popo and Jojo) before the entire Douglass family came in town to visit Scott & Diana, who were in town from Morocco: 11 large, heavy boxes of wood needing to be drilled and assembled and 25 building hours later, it too was finished, mostly anyway. At some point during this operation Burke ran by me exclaiming to Liam, who was riding his bike closely beside Burke: “Liam (sounding more like “We-um”), I already told you, I just don’t have racing legs!” Sorry kiddo, you must have gotten that from me.

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We had a great visit with the Douglass family. It was so good to see everyone, Scott & Diana in particular. The young cousins and pint-sized aunts played hard together, as if they had seen each other just yesterday rather than 9 months ago. I love that about children. Here’s some pics of all the kids, including wading/swimming in the local sand volleyball court turned pool due to all of the rain. Yes, it was fresh, but still stagnant water.

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