Lately I’ve been making an effort to set work aside, even if that means staying up a bit later in the evening to play catch up. I spend whole days (even days in a row) without turning on my computer. The weather has been breathtaking every single day. The leaves are bright and the sky is blue. It’s like the Pacific Northwest fall days are daring me to think about editing photos, or replying to emails. We have many dark, dreary days in the months to come so I’m doing my very best to take advantage of this spectacular weather. The mornings are chilly enough to entice the heat to kick on, but the afternoon sun is direct and warm enough that the kids can still play at the park without even wearing coats. Between the weather and my joyful girls I have no desire to do anything but absorb it all.
Gigi and Lulu are at marvelous ages. With three just around the corner, Gigi is full of fantastic, hilarious things to say. She is bursting with creative energy, playfulness, and the ability to make-believe. I spend a lot of my time either reenacting scenes from Beauty and The Beast (“Okay, Mom. You be Gaston and I be Belle!) or The Wizard of Oz (we take turns being Dorothy/The Wicked Witch. Lulu is almost always Toto). We are also pirates a lot. I specialize in playing a pirate named Eye-Patch and G likes to be Captain Hook. She plays a lot with her dollhouse, she loves to watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, she gets insanely excited to have dinner with the neighbors. She’s getting a bit too big for me to “fly” down the hall and is so, very independent. She regularly uses expressions like, “awesome” and “that’swhatDanielTiger’sNeighboorhoodsays!” and “I’m glad of you.” She drives me nuts when it’s time to get ready for bed, makes me laugh all the time, and makes me unbelievably happy.
Lulu is an absolute doll. I love this five month mark. Ninety percent of the time she has a huge smile on her face that makes her eyes light up and her cheeks tight with joy. She is changing so much and her personality is emerging. She makes silly sounds that sometimes startle her, and makes us laugh at 2am with some of the odd squeals she lets loose. She still smells like a newborn, and has the softest little hands which she uses to grab my nose, or knead me while she’s nursing. She smiles at everything you say or do, she tucks her little knees up to her chest with glee, she rolls over unintentionally and gets herself wedged in funny positions. She’s such a baby. She’ll be starting solid foods in just a few weeks, she will cut her first bright white teeth, she will figure out how to crawl.
I wish I could freeze everything right now. The weather, the stillness before the holidays, the stages that the girls are at. I know I can’t stop time, no matter how much I wish that I could, so I’m just enjoying every minute of it... even when I find G has eaten a kitty treat, gotten into my favorite lip balm, or that Lulu has spit up all over her newly laundered sheets. I don’t care about any of that. I hold G accountable, I change the sheets, and then I get back to enjoying them. Even at the end of the most impossible days, I feel like I'm going to burst with love for these two little ladies.
One of the many ways we have been embracing the days is to pack up a simple little lunch and walk to the nearby park. Lulu wakes up from her morning nap around 11:15 and we jet out the door for an hour. It's never anything very elaborate... a grilled cheese and a sliced up carrot, an apple and a peanut butter sandwich. Most of the time G hardly eats because she’s too busy playing, but I don’t fret about it... she’ll eat a big dinner. I just let her kick off her boots, play in the leaves, nibble her food, get dirty and messy, and I just watch her. I sit on the picnic blanket with Lulu kicking by my side, and I just take deep breaths, count my lucky starts, and memorize them.