Two words.

So, Paul came home from work yesterday, and Charlotte starts toddling over to him and says, "Hi, Dad!"  (Well, she actually said "Da", but we knew what she meant.)  And he looks at me with these big wide eyes, and then looks back at Charlotte and says, "Hi, Char!"  And then she does it again.  "Hi, Dad!"  It was crazy.

She said "Hi, Ma!" to me this morning.  So we're even.  Not that I'm keeping score :)

Pictured above is Charlotte's favorite place in the whole world.  It is the stool Ella stands on to help me cook.  And if I even leave it out for one minute after it's been in use, she hurries over to it and stands there, surveying the world at such a great height.  Until we hurry over and take her down and put the stool away.


Writer's Block.

I think I am just out of practice.  But it is rare that I sit in front of this computer screen and can think of nothing to write.

I am still waiting for inspiration.  It's hard to see the time lapse when you're just reading the post.  But trust me, it is bad.

Part of the problem is that we have been taking life a little slow this week.  So there's not much news.  It is a nice change, and it's good to get back to the basics, and establish my balance again.  I'm not there yet.  Is balance this hard for everyone?  Or am I just untalented?

One day.

I am considering scrapping this entire post.  This is kind of ridiculous.

Or maybe I'll just keep the post and call it a night.  Maybe everyone will be distracted by the very sweet  baby at the top, and fail to notice my miserable attempt at prose.


Questionable Parenting Alert.

Well, Monday brought with it some random ailment.  I still don't know what it was, but I was not feeling good.  So I did what any good mother would do, I put on Blue's Clues and tried to take a nap.  For those of you who have had the opportunity to waste away your child's life on this delightful show, you are already familiar with the host (and only human character) of the show, Steve.  For those of you who are not, just imagine the nicest, most sincere and slightly nerdy guy you will ever meet, and that is Steve.  Kind of the Fred Child of children's television.  And Ella loves him.  Well, a little while after laying down I heard a hauntingly familiar song drifting in from the other room.  The tune was "Follow the Prophet"... but Ella changed the words to "Follow the Steve, follow the Steve..."


Or Scary?


We are enjoying a glorious afternoon at the park today....  There's something about water and wind and sunshine that makes life feel so complete.


If there were an audio track...

You would hear me screaming in the background.  "TOO FAST!  Paul!!  That's too fast!  Paul!  Paul!!"

At the Zoo today.

Sweet Char actually took a nap in public.  When does that ever happen?  It was a nice day, bringing up many fond memories of our Zoo trip with Clark and Linds last year.  There is just something about Spring that makes me want to go to the Zoo.  I've had my fix now, and I think I'll be okay until next Spring.


At the market today...

If you ever need culinary bark, I know where to find it.


Last year...

I was looking through old pictures, and found this from last Spring. So sweet. Life is just wonderful here. The weather is warming up, we even attempted swimming when Richard and Jess visited last week. (Ella was the only one with the nerve to stay in very long.) We are all just happy and healthy. Busy, too. We have made friends and enjoy socializing, but honestly, I really enjoy just being at home with the girls and doing our own thing. We work together and read and cook and nap (well, Charlotte naps, Ella and I have 'quiet time') and enjoy our little park. It is a nice life.

I was talking to Susan (Paul's mom) the other day and she was asking what Charlotte's new 'tricks' are. And off the top of my head, I had a hard time coming up with them. It's different with your second, since you've 'seen it all', it doesn't consume you quite as much when they learn something new. So, here's a list. For me, and for Susan, and the rest of you that are enamored with that sweet baby. She says "hi" all the time, and sometimes, for effect, "hello!" (exclamation point always included). She unloads the silverware, handing me utensils one at a time. This used to be Ella's job, but I have graduated her to plates and cups. She woofs at most anything that moves, with the exception of birds (tweet) and ducks (quack) which she usually imitates effectively enough. She walks pretty much everywhere, except when she trips, and then she continues her journey on hands and knees. She knows where I keep the little tomatoes on the counter and will climb up the stool to eat them if I accidentally leave the stool out in the kitchen. (Ella knew where we kept the crackers and helped herself there at this age. My girls take matters into their own hands when it comes to food.) She calls me "Ma" more and more. And continues to call Ella all the time. She gives kisses on the lips when we ask, and sometimes when we don't ask, she'll grab my face and say "mmmmmwah". She throws the ball to Ella several times in a row. And she and Ella have lots of other little games that they play together. They spend a fair amount of time laughing together which I find delightful. She will play independently, if Ella and I are not in sight. But, if one of us is around, she wants to be part of the action. She sings along to a couple of songs (songs with repeating syllables "lalala" etc.) and does hand motions to a couple of songs (Wheels on the bus, roll your hands, if you're happy and you know it (the last one she's been doing for months)). Today I read a book to the girls that has songs in it, and after I was finished, she grabbed the book and started 'singing' with the book open in her lap. It was pretty cute. Ella recognizes sheet music and 'sings' while pretending to read the music when she finds music around. And also, Charlotted does sing along to her lullabies when we put her to sleep. She's basically the cutest girl ever.

My children are going to have a warped concept of what 'cutest' and favorite mean, because we use them so liberally. I don't know how both of my girls can be 'cutest', but they are. And every day Ella brings me a different book and says, "Mom, this is my favorite book! Let's read it!" And if it's one that I have expressed a disinterest in (because I straight up tell Ella when I don't like a book and don't want to read it), she'll say something like, "I think you might like it. Let's see." She can be awfully persuasive. Enough for now. Enjoy conference!