...we found out a few days ago that my childhood home is for sale.
My parents built the house in 1984 when we moved from Connecticut.
My brother and I nearly broke our necks climbing the trees and swinging from the vines in the woods.
I can still remember the feel of the wood paneling as I ran my hand across it running down the stairs. I remember scrubbing the front hall tiles as my chore and the heavy front door. I remember figuring out the rhythm of the front steps so they could be skipped just right. I remember getting a running start and sliding halfway across the hardwood floors in my slippered feet. And of course, there was the pink prom dress on the hill.
What makes it all weird for me is that, according to the pictures posted online, nothing (except for some landscaping and an added deck) has changed in the 12 years since my parents sold it. Not the 1980s peach carpet or the kitchen cabinets. Not the paint color or that tile I used to scrub. My basketball hoop is still in the driveway. It literally looks like my family just packed up its belongings and left. I feel like there's probably a pink sequin laying on a floor somewhere with my name on it.
And I can't trip down memory lane without a few awkward photos (because the pink prom dress photo isn't awkward at all).
And what's better than one awkward-clarinet-playing-photo?
(And yes, the plant behind me is threatening to eat me).
Today you are two. I just got home from the grocery store
with donuts, broccoli and a Dora coloring book. Your three favorite things.
You rise in the morning asking for (in no certain order):
Chawlie, Daddy, Maddie, and pictures. Some days you still take two naps (this
is payback for the first 12 months of your life when you considered sleep
optional). You finally tolerate the car as long as you have your lovey and titi
(how “binky” became "titi" we do not know). You will eat just about anything,
especially if it is covered in BBQ sauce, A1, Ranch, ketchup, or marinara
sauce. You point to your bottom and say, “Poopy” when you’ve done just that.
You say, “Ow, ow, ow,” the entire time your hair is getting brushed. And your
hair. You have ringlet curls. When wet, it is halfway down your back, but
it springs right back up. It’s the thing strangers compliment us most on about
you (and your bright blue eyes). Most days you cry if we have to leave you with
a sitter. Or if we leave the room. You are still pretty attached to momma and
start most of your requests with just that. “MOMMA!” By far, “No,” is your
favorite word. “Clara, can I give you a million dollars?” I ask. “NO!” you say.
My favorite thing you say is “Daddy’s truuuuuck,” which you love to
ride in. You still have an umbilical hernia and suffer from frequent ear
infections, both things that will most likely require surgery this year. You
are learning and constantly testing boundaries and sharing with your sensitive
brother Charlie. Hearing the two of you laugh together is easily my favorite
sound in the entire world. You can be exhausting. But to know you, to be around you, is to love you. Your whole face smiles. You want to do everything
independently, including the things you shouldn’t like walking in the parking
lot without holding a hand. You do not have a lot of fear. I just hope I am
always there to catch you. You adore dogs and music, the pool and the beach, your family.
You run and don’t walk. You gallop and wiggle. You like writing lists,
preferably on lists that I’ve already written. “Touch it?” you ask when it’s
something you know you can’t have. "Come here," you say when grabbing my pinky, my thumb, my shirt, to get me to come with you. “I do it,” we hear a lot. You are kind to
your friends and teachers at school. You go to bed happy, talking yourself to
sleep after requesting a little back scratch. “I nov you,” you say as we close
the door behind us and let out a sigh. We nov you too, Clara Louise.
...I had a few really terrible, awful, no good boxes from Stitch Fix. I was getting really disheartened and I sent them a heart-to-heart I might break up with you e-mail. We agreed to try and make up and I got a new box earlier this week.
My first reaction? I loved the patterns. I had no idea what each piece was but I was excited. My pictures are awful. Sorry. I do everything late at night when the idea of natural sunlight is long gone.
The first thing I tried on was what turned out to be a chevron dress.
I loved it. I can wear it to work and on the weekends. Keeping it.
Second thing was what turned out to be a polka dot dress.
Cute. But I have no use for it. And I think it would involve ironing. Since the only ironing board I have is a portable-size one that's appropriate for a college dorm, this is going back.
Next, I tried on the black shirt that had a little butterfly pattern on it. It was cute, but not cute enough to keep. And I apparently didn't think it was cute enough to take a picture of. Or, actually, more truthfully, I think I was in between laundry loads and didn't have any pants to put on with it. Figured you would appreciate me not taking a picture of that.
Moving on. Next was this green cardigan, I paired it with exactly what they showed in the example (something I probably wouldn't have picked) and I liked it!
There was also a necklace that was kinda "meh" so it's going back as well.
All in all, we're back on speaking terms, me and Stitch Fix.
...we are back from almost a week and a half at my parent's house at the beach. I'd call it a vacation, but anyone with small kids, or who has had small kids, or spent any time around small kids, knows there needs to be a different term for, "vacation" when describing leaving your house for an extended period with an almost-two and and four year old.
And the two year old decided halfway through the trip that 4 a.m. was an appropriate wake up time.
Good thing she's cute. Really cute.
We went to the pool, the fountains, the park, the boardwalk, the bookstore. We carried 30 pounds of supplies for two hours at the beach. We ate french fries and quesadillas in an old train converted into a restaurant (random) and lots of blue "ice cream."
We picked peaches.
The blonde is not my third child, but, "Big Clara" as Charlie called her. My friend's daughter, Claire, joined us for a week. There were several looks of confusion on the beach as people thought I had two daughters named Clara. What can I say? It's a good name.
We rode bikes and watched movies. Alottamovies. Charlie made a move on Claire in the theater, holding her hand for a solid 45 minutes.
We played trains and practiced our scowl. I think she looks like Sam the Eagle from the Muppets when she makes this face.
We visited with family (that's Clara, just with a ponytail). Holding the kids is my cousin Patrick, who was petrified of the children as infants, but fortunately they are now at a stage where he can't break them.
We had a family yard sale. Sorry if you are a yard saler, but man, they are crazy. People started showing up at 6:30 and I did the majority of my sales before 8 a.m. (when the whole thing was supposed to start). My favorite part besides the interesting clientele? Charlie saying, "I need to get sumpin" and shopping out of his own toys.
We had several early-morning trips to Dunkin Donuts and a few late-night trips to Starbucks. You know your kids are up too early when you are googling how early DD opens.
On the way home, Charlie and I went to see Disney Junior Live (Pirates! Princesses! I wore my gold doubloon earrings!)
He was petrified at first. My Charlie. He was SO excited at the idea of this but that dark, loud theater? There might be monsters in there. You know, as he was clinging to me for dear life, I thought, this is actually logical. It is scary. And I rolled with it. We stepped in cautiously, his hands firmly placed over his ears and sat in the very back, working our way up to our seats close to the stage. And in the end? Mesmerized.
...these pictures are far from pretty. And my toes are definitely in a few of them. But after "getting it done" a few weeks ago, I got everything loaded into the kid's albums and wanted to share Clara's. I shared Charlie's last year here.
This is the first page of her second album, one I did about her labels from last summer:
Every month I order a lot of enlargements and sometimes I scrapbook them, sometimes I don't. So when I don't, they are great to use as "filler" between spreads.