Thursday, June 2, 2016

Start of Summer

Forget June 21st. Summer has officially begun with Memorial Weekend in Nevada, MO.

Vaguely related: I'm not buying another item of summer clothing for the girls--at least, not for Zuzu. The number of sundresses in her closet is ridiculous. I haven't officially counted them, but it's certainly more than any one child needs. I'm not sure why I am so compelled to purchase little girl dresses, but we get such lovely hand-me-downs and then I think I'll just pick up one or two or three extra ones off-season or on super sale and then we have a closet bursting. It's a good problem to have, but it's also ridiculous.

I wonder rather frequently how differently I parent (or whether I parent differently) because Eliza died. I'm not sure if the day to day stuff is so different... I still lose my patience and I still get overwhelmed with pride and delight and I still wish I could have more than five seconds of peace and quiet on occasion. But I know there are some moments when I really feel the gift of what it means to have these girls. Tonight, it was our sandals lined up on the floor. I saw them there, my shoes next to Zuzu's toddler sandals and Coco's baby sandals, and I just felt so GRATEFUL. The kind of gratitude that makes your heart itch, because you also recognize what you've lost. (Eliza would be in a size 9 right?) but, man, what you've got is so damn sweet.

We managed to get in some pool time over the weekend, and Coco was quite taken with my parents' baby chicks.

We met up with Ellie Kate to swim at her uncle's big pool. The water was freezing, but it didn't slow down the girls. 

And Coco--that kid. After sobbing through her first two half hour swim lessons (in my arms or David's), we spent the next three Saturday mornings just letting her do her own thing and play in the water. She got more and more comfortable, and last Saturday morning, we fully participated in the (final) class. She was as unstoppable as the other girls in the pool over the weekend--jumping in over and over again and basically loving the water. Just had to get introduced to it on her own terms, I guess.

Funny enough, she didn't love the baby pool because she saw my dad squirting Zuzu with the hose water. Coco is not amused by those antics, and was very hesitant to get in the pool in case she'd end up getting squirted.

David had to head back to St. Louis for work this week, but the rest of us are doing summer vacationy things at Grammy and Bops's--the plan for this week includes more pool time, another trip to the library (I'm such a nerd--this was a staple of my summers growing up!), park playing, berry picking, and pony rides and a carnival at a nearby town's summer festival this coming weekend.

I'm doing pretty well on my reading plans for the summer. I finished Cinderella Ate My Daughter and I'm devouring The House of Mirth, although Lily Bart is KILLING me with her limited options and her self-destructive choices.

I eagerly chose British literature over American as my focus on graduate school (and was sort of baffled by my friends who love Willa Cather like I love George Eliot), but if I'd read Edith Wharton before I read the Brontes, I might have been tempted to this side of the Atlantic.

Of course, as much as I'm enjoying the thought of these summer days stretching out in front of me, I'm also refereeing a lot of fights that begin with, "NO, MINE!"And Coco fights diaper changes to the point that it feels like a wrestling match, even though I try to do the whole "respectful parenting" thing in approach to her diapers. Maybe she will magically potty-learn herself? (You catch that? Potty LEARNING instead of potty training. Respectful! But seriously I'll call it anything if she's easier than Zuzu was.)

My aunt Peggy came to visit for a few days from Arizona, which was super fun. 

We had to drive her back to the airport in Kansas Coty this morning, so on the way home we stopped at Deanna Rose Farm, which is a gem of a place! They had a great time, though Coco was devastated that she was too young for a pony ride.

 (Not pictured: Coco screaming furiously.)

We still have a few days left at my parents' (David is missing is and the feeling is mutual!) and summer feels like it is off to a good start.


  1. Love all these pics and your paragraph reflecting on Eliza and whether you parent differently as a result of losing her and your gratitude. Gives me so much hope for the future. I hope your June travels are safe and fun! xoxo

  2. Coco loves horses? Man. I need Claire to hang with her. :)

  3. My BA is in English and we had to choose a "focus." I chose British after a recent American fiction class where I hated every novel...I think we were reading 1980s books. And because Shakespeare. Then Austen. I enrolled in a British women novelists class so excited and the first novel was Margaret Atwood lol. I was super confused,pretty sure she was Canadian... but my hippie professor in her tunic, burdensome, and bangle bracelets simply said she liked her so she included her.

    1. Well, Kate and Will stopped in Canada on a tour, so maybe it counts as part of the British Empire?? I love that your professor just included whomever she wanted. I'm teaching a class on the Victorian Gothic and am looking forward to it.

  4. Not too late to squeeze in a summer vacay to Savannah. Just saying