Seasonal updates. That's the ticket.

Hi! So in the last two and a half months, it seems I've had a child, gone on vacations, had the in-laws over for a week and change, delivered Norah unto preschool, knocked out a wall in the kitchen, and made bread that ended up larger than Kristen (y'all ever play with yeast? Seriously, play with yeast. That stuff is MAGIC.) Here is said bread, with a chicken egg for size comparison. When I braided it, it was reasonable - then we had to let it rise some more, and it crawled across the counter and ate the toaster oven.

So the rest of the summer, geez. First and foremost, this whole baby issue - what a trip this two-kid thing is! After some rough weeks in the beginning, we've all gotten used to each other, and it's fun. It really is. Watching Norah turn all cutesy and gentle when she's around Kristen has been hysterical. Her jaw juts out like a barracuda, she clenches her teeth, and grits out, "Aww, baby shissher, you're sho KEWT you baby shissher, you gonna shpit up? You gonna shpit your milk on Mama? Mama thinksh you're shilly, you baby shissherrrr..." I guess she thinks this is how one talks to babies, and I want to tease her about it, but I'm terrified that she'll stop doing it and I won't have anything to make me shpit diet coke out my nose.

Kristen herself, now that she's worked out her original notion that sleeping is for wussies, is a pretty cute little bugger. She's long and lean - even taller than Norah was at this age - and it's becoming a challenge to find clothes that are long enough but not wide enough to fit in the entire contents of the diaper bag. (Although that would lead to one-handed maneuvering... Hmm...) She looks very much like Rob, especially when she's annoyed - their lips get all tight and lemon-sucked in exactly the same shape. And of course, like her sister and father, Kristen sleeps with her mouth wiiiiide open. The snoring in this house, my lord, it's enough to set off the car alarms in the driveway.

We bashed out the wall in the kitchen, and now instead of looking like this (and please ignore the majority of the furniture in this photo, as it is no longer there and/or part of our fabulous collection):

It looks like this (and yes, we just spray-painted that godawful chandlier and put shades on it, but hey, it was a $12 fix):

SO MUCH BETTER! We're putting a small column at the end of the shelf and a pot rack dangling from the ceiling right above it, but that's going to have to wait until either of us is more inspired. At this point, I don't think there's much else we can do to the downstairs, aside from gutting and redoing that nasty little bathroom... Yeah, okay, that's kind of major. One of these days, maybe.

Norah leaped into preschool today at the snooty-booty, awesomely fabulous Montessori school. It started out brilliantly: she marched up there, took her new light-up shoes off, put on her ballet slippers (they can't wear outside shoes in the classroom), hugged the teacher, and went off to see the fish while I melted with glee. Glee for her, because she was clearly having a good time and bypassing that whole freakout issue, and - let's be honest here - glee for me, because I only had one small, non-mobile, morning-napping kid to shuttle around with me. I love me some Norah, but Mama needs her working time. And time to watch CSI reruns on Spike. Oh yes I did.

Then I went to pick her up, and all thoughts of the mad zexy Nick Stokes went zip! out my head, because there was my poor, defenseless, abandoned baby, crying her eyes out and holding her teacher's hand. "It's been on and off tears for about two hours," the teacher said, "but in between, she seemed to have a really good time. I really think she's fine." Then Norah cranked up the waterworks, and I killed myself with a tiny wooden Montessori-approved play knife. "What happened, pal? Are you okay? How was it?" I asked her.

"Oh, Ma-ha-ha-ma," she wailed, "it was GUH-REA-HAY-HAAAAT." What? Great? Then why--? "There's a fish, and he's a blue fish, and we have beads on a string and I put them on the string myself, and Jenna is there and Anne-Sophie, and also Mellya [or Amelia, as her parents call her] and some more kids and there is a mat and I played on that mat and we have to play our things on the mats and then put them away and we have tables and on the tables we can read books and can we do books at home and where can I go potty at home that it will be like going potty at school?"

"Then what's up with the crying? Why were you crying when I came to get you?"

"Because, Mama," she said in a tone that might as well have said because, dumbass, "I MISSDED YOU and I wanted you to see the fish. I fed that fish. Can I go see him tomorrow too?"
And believe me when I tell you that nothing in the last two months prepared me for that. We've been through childbirth, sleeplessness, houseguests, demolition, drywall dust in every orifice, screaming fits, gassiness, and endless wardrobe changes for spit-up and other charming bodily fluids. I thought I was tough, but I still felt a little wobbly inside when my baby a) declared that she missed me and then b) got over it and moved on. To a fish. We're some big girls now, boy.