Saturday, August 26, 2017

(Stuff Alex Made) - New Front Door

Let there be light! In our tiny entryway! A neighbor told us the new door refreshed our house, like lipstick. All I could think was, 'like lipstick on a pig?!?' But seriously, aside from our house needing a new paint job, and freshly stained wood all around, I totally dig the new door. Alex and his dad worked days and days installing the new "craftsman," a birthday present to us from my in-laws, and even threw in a fancy sliding screen door that we have bets on how long until someone (Beebee) walks right through it. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

(65 Months) - 5; 5

5;5 as of August 19th, and I have a new iPhone 7 Plus to boot - the tragic thing is just now, literally just now, I made the mistake of "restoring" my new iPhone from the backup of my old iPhone without first backing up the new iPhone photos/video/data that I'd acquired in the 3+ weeks since I got the new phone. Needless to say, I'm having something of an existential millennial crisis. So yeah, the only photos I have are ones I cobbled together from texts I had sent Alex and the BFFs. Fortunately I kept note of at least a few anecdotes in Google Docs, which apparently is immune to my vulnerability for Apple data disasters.

This month included finishing up swim class at Wilson Pool, and she continues to love being in the water. Alex and Francie camped for a total of 2 weeks in July - one week at Cow Camp with the Franzke Clan, and another week with me in tow up at Timothy Lake for Family Camping. Alex built a swingset in the backyard. Temperatures reached 100+ degrees in Portland. We learned Baby Dos is a GIRL, who maintains the nickname "Bob" regardless of sex, and who Francie wants to name Rose, Rosie, or Rosita. Francie upgraded from the small pinb Big Kid Bike to the larger purple one, giving her much more independence to go up bigger hills and further distances, and now we can take family bike rides to Hideaway Park and Garden Home Rec Center; next stop: Faraway Park. "Ghostie" is to blame for many things, including farts, moved objects, or even just to keep someone company in the front seat. In addition to biking on the regular, we pirated the Hubbard's boat for a paddle down part of the Willamette and shot arrows with Beebee at the archery range in Washington Park. And we also enjoyed a nice visit from Mimi and Papa, including being spoiled with a beautiful new front door that a neighbor said "really dresses the house up, like lipstick." We play Uno what feels like 24/7, and we've come to think of Francie as a bit of an Uno Savant.

Me: Are you coming in to take a shower and get ready for bed?
F: Yeah, I'm gonna take a bath though. Because I gotta get real clean, and my carriage is itchy.

F: Maybe every night you remember me you could read “the magic string.”
Me: I could never forget you.
F: Yeah, because you're nothing without me.

“How's Bob doing?”

A car driving too fast through the campground: “They drive like they think they own the place.”

Throwing a fit one night before bed: “It's not hard to be tired, it's hard to be FIVE!”

"Ghostie did it … he likes to get into mischief.”

I have a shell that my mom brought me from Bali in 1998. I have it in a shelf in my meditation corner, and Francie likes to listen in it. One night before bed she says:
“I'm listening to Grandma Nancy. ‘I wish I could be your grandma’ she says.”
Then she holds the shell up to my ear and says,
“She says she wishes she could live until you're a grownup. Until you're an old lady.”

Started saying “I don't see no xxx.” “I don't want no xxx.”

“Your boobies are so big! They hang off your body!! They're like a trampoline!!!”

Backwash = “overlap”

“That guy in the light blue shirt has the EXACT same bow as Merida. Except without the puffs.”

Francie dreamed I had the baby and it was a (black) bird that didn't know how to fly.

Monday, August 7, 2017

(64 Months) - 5;4

Sixty four months here - that's 5 years 4 months as of July 19 - and yes, somebody is excited to be a BIG SISTER! That sonogram picture she's holding is of Baby Close Dos, due Feb. 6, 2018. We had a few iterations of Francie's monthly photo, tiger suit and all, so sorry for the over-post. Five years old continues to be a lot like Portland in the springtime - unexpected weather leaving you soaking wet and worn out, or in awe of the beauty that is the PNW. She's 98% sweet as pie, with a mean streak that seems correlated with sugar, bedtime, genetics, or general FOMO. In fact, she's a bit like a gremlin in so many ways. Posted below are photos from June 20-July19, as well as some of the things I wrote down from the month ...

Francie to Mama: "You're belly is gonna get so big. You're gonna turn into a fat lady. But it's not your fault. It's the baby's fault."

She refers to the baby as "The Lentil" … and later, "The Kidney Bean" ... and then just "Bob"

I was sad (about what I can't recall now), crying in bed. Francie she gets up to get me a tissue and asks why I'm sad? If it's because of her, and if there's anything she can do different or to help?

Tahoe for the 4th was the trip that wasn't. We made it as far as Eugene, where my meltdown maxed out, and made the family decision to turn around and head back to PDX to take care of Mama. Anytime we saw a neighbor, Francie told them: “We WERE driving to Tahoe but now we’re not because my mom doesn't feel good.”

After a rough day (Understatement of the Year) when Alex was so good and supportive and loving to me, he tucked Francie and me into our master bed together and kissed us goodnight. After he kissed me I said, “wait, I want a focused kiss,” and proceeded to give him a longer mindful kiss on the lips. Then he went to go downstairs, but not before F said, “I want a focused kiss too!” Alex laughed and said "I don't kiss you the same way I kiss mama." I laughed as I tried to explain what I meant by “focused kiss," just one where I was paying attention and being mindful.

“I've been on staycation my whole life.”

“Toncats” = contacts
“Fighterfighter” = firefighter
“Aminal” = animal

Behavior issues - maybe reflection of anxiety in the house? Hitting, slapping, bedtime tantrums … bedtime behavior chart to the rescue

During QT needed help fastening her new ruffled and triangle top bikini:
Alex: you going to a pool party?
F: no, I'm going to the bpark ach with my friend. And my husband. And me other boyfriend. And then we're going to a bar to get beer.
… dad, do t worry, I'm not getting drunk.

“I'm gonna give you some choices. Would it be better to get eaten, or fall in lava?”

Francie and Alex visited me at work at Waterhouse, where she was adorable and sweet and kind and outgoing and charmed the pants off all the residents. Lorraine was in rare form, yelling and screaming and generally being disruptive. One of my graduate students, sitting and playing play-dough with Francie and a couple female residents, tells me that Francie told her, “I think Lorraine needs to go to bed early tonight.”

“Once you get used to the baby it will be your favorite person also.”

"Does Bob Lynn Close sound good for a name for the baby?"

There's a dog at the park, maybe part long-haired Dachsund and part terrier. Very small. First, Francie says: "is that a golden retriever?"
Alex and me, in unison: "No, it is most definitely not."
Then a bit later: "it looks like two mice together. No, three mice attached to each other."

Besties at Cook Park

Mila and Francie, so much purple, pink, sugar and spice

The lentil!

Alex away at GWAC camping, Mama and Francie cuddle on the couch and watch a grown-up movie until almost 11 p.m.

Tigard balloon festival at Cook Park with the Hubbards

First carnival ride!

Haunted house with Francie and Lincoln

She's tall enough for this one!

Brave girl! She might be a sensation seeker ...

First and only evening I felt good in all of June

George Rogers Park

Stairway to Heaven??

Donut look so crabby, Bean.

Summer family QT.

I had this shirt - one just like mine and Alex's from when she was born - made three years ago, the summer of 2014 when we first started trying for Baby #2. "And my wolf pack, it grew by one."

And this onesie for Baby #2 (with an embarrassing spelling error) - "Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, looking for strippers and cocaine." This was going to be my way that I told Alex about being pregnant. Fast forward 3+ years and I finally squeezed Francie into her 2T shirt.

Loves making books, and then "reading" the stories

It was hot. I was pregnant. And craving red meat. Brewpub burgers to the rescue!

Our Big Girl finished her time at VHFLC, where she has been in daycare since she was 2.5 years old.

After the 4th of July that wasn't, we set up camp in the living room.

Family fro-yo date to beat the heat ( ice cream from across the street, for Mama).

SOMEbody need more parental guidance for emotional regulation. Then again, I think she chose the wrong family for modeling a slow boil anger.

Francie inherited my old point and shoot digital camera, and we set out for a neighborhood "Nature  Photo Scavenger Hunt."

Maplewood sure rocked the first annual 4th of July kid parade. I had no idea so many people stayed in town over the holiday!

Wilson open swim with my best girl.

Aunt Mary Ann visited from Vegas.

And brought this bikini that F essentially refuses to take off.

Alberta Street Fair meant SHAVED ICE!

So yeah, I'm naturally inclined for anything that wreaks of behaviorism. But the thing is about these kinds of charts, they work for the parents, too. When the "large" task of bedtime is broken down into smaller, bite-size pieces, both Alex and I are more patient parents, and we find our Bean to be much more agreeable to each individual task.

Summer reading.

Typewriter love.

Kissing the Lentil. Or just the pudge.

I finally got my *birthday* rings (after exchanging the old ones) from Lisa Leonard and I LOVE them!

The most delightful work visitors.

Summer berry picking - raspberries and blueberries.

Alberta Street Fair.

Big girls ride motorcycles.

Trying to embody the African mamas from the "Babies" movie.

We have been card kings and queens. Mostly Uno, which she wins 85% of the time, and now Skip-Bo. I kinda thought games would be a winter thing, but it seems to be a hit with this girl.

Wilson Pool "otter" swim class.

Reading with Patti at Baker & Spice.

Cheesin' with Shannon at Baker & Spice.

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