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well, K and I finally made it for a weekend trip to visit the fabulous Clare and her hubs at Big Table Farm. AND we went without kids.
as in: sleeping all night, without interruption. sleeping in past 6:30 in the morning. lounging about, reading. having long conversations. staring into the fire. basically, sitting on my ass for extended periods of time doing nothing, and other similar activities which are impossible with children in the house.
it was lovely. cold. actually, freezing-ass cold, but wonderfully restorative to body and soul.
one huge bonus feature was that there were FOUR puppies in residence. 7-week-old puppies. the level of cuteness was truly breathtaking.
here are some shots:
One set of Elsa’s godparents are the excellent Q and G.
They are Jewish, and to my great delight they are taking their godparent role quite seriously and exposing Elsa to the Jewish religion and culture. (J and S (Kris’s kiddos) are actually half Jewish, so we’ll have plenty of reason to continue this wonderful tradition.)
So, this week we went to their house after dinner one night for a lighting of the Hanukah candles and a (very brief) story about the oil lasting for 8 days… pretty sure little of it sunk in (except the part of the evening when there were cookies shaped like dreidels). But it was the first of – I hope – many opportunities.
In just a few hours I’ll be taking off for a romantic weekend away in Mendocino, a tiny little village on the Northern Coast of California with very little activity.
No kids. No computers. No work. 48 hours with no plans.
I’m excited about our fabulous cozy accommodations in a B&B with an attached spa. And sleeping for hours without interruption by children. I’m excited about checking out the renowned Cafe Beaujolais, walking distance from our B&B. And then sleeping in the next day. And wine, probably lots of it (including one top-secret bottle that K keeps gloating about having procured for this weekend… she swears it’s going to knock my socks off, which is kind of hard to do with wine, so I’m really curious what she has up her sleeve).
I’m excited about the chance to sit and read in front of a fire. And a picnic and a walk on the beach.
I’m excited about, have I mentioned?, sleeping in…
It all just sounds like pure heaven.
Owen (or as Elsa would pronounce it, “Ohwie”) and his parents are some of our favorite folks. Nell and Earl are old friends of mine, and graciously agreed to be one set of Elsa’s godparents.
I shared a nanny with them for a year or so, and as a result Elsa and Owen became practically siblings – they were together 5 days a week for the whole day. While the new(ish) preschool situation is better for her social development (and my budget), Elsa misses Owen terribly. She asks for him all the time. And I miss seeing Nell and Earl as regularly as I used to. But at least they are – or have been – close by enough for spontaneous get-togethers. This morning we dropped by to play and I was so touched by the display of outright joy that Elsa and Owen show when they get to see each other.
I’m extraordinarily proud that Earl has been appointed by President Obama to a high-level role in the administration. But I am also so very sad that they are moving to DC as a result.
Elsa is not going to understand why we can’t just go over and see Ohwie on the weekend anymore. I’ll understand it, but I won’t like it.
I’ve leaving for vaca tomorrow morning.
It’s a bit after nine, and I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. So I think I’ll write a long boring post about my day, m’kay?
Today was my last full day with Elsa before I leave, and boy did we have fun. Up at the regular butt-crack of dawn (6:01 to be precise), we had a mini-breakfast (whole grain cheerios and milk eaten with a regular spoon – a new skill for her, and she still gets more milk on the table than into her mouth) then headed off to the farmer’s market, where we grazed our way though – basically extending the breakfast experience for at least another hour. Elsa ate a plum, half a blueberry muffin, and what had to be a half a pound of samples of peaches, nectarines, and pluots. The girl likes her stone fruit. I had some stone fruit samples too, but held out for my favorite – the dim sum booth. Got myself some crab crispy thingies, some chicken potstickers, and some scallion cakes. (I know that’s weird for breakfast but it is so freaking good.) Also got some yummy sesame balls for later in the day. We scored a big bag of cherries, some oatmeal-peanut butter-choc chip cookies, and a gorgeous focaccia covered in garlic, chard, tomatoes and cheese.
We stopped off at home to throw some stuff in the fridge and grab some supplies, then back in the car (along with the cherries and the focaccia) and we were off to the beach to visit Helga and her family. It was great to see her – I love her dearly and it’s been too long – and her kiddos, along with her brother’s family and her mom. And – ta da! – her new FIANCE! She’s been with him for a while, and they are so great together. I’m thrilled they are getting hitched, and so happy to see her so happy.
Elsa, as usual, was upset at the idea of the ocean, but eventually we coaxed her down onto the sand and she forgot to be scared. We had a great time. She built her first sand castle. Back up to the beach house for a quick shower then lunch for everyone then we headed home. Elsa conked out in the car but (thank goodness) didn’t protest at all when I transferred her into her bed, where she slept for another 2 hours! Woot!
After nap we went to hang out in my friend Erin’s backyard. Very lovely Sunday afternoon-ish time of doing nothing, really, but watching Elsa cruise around and chase the dog (and vice versa), nibble on cheese and olives and guacamole and chips, and grilled corn on the cob (yum!) and chat. Erin and her sig other John are great with Elsa and she really likes them. Of course, I do too.
Then we came home and Elsa “fixed” my hair – this is comprised of her pretending to braid it, and mostly just yanking on it, and occasionally congratulating me on not crying, and then at the end, pronouncing me “so beautiful”. We folded laundry (she chants “corner to corner” whenever folding – so cute) and I let her put away her own things (God knows where I will find them). Then a very tired and yet happy little kiddo went down without a fight and is now sleeping soundly.
I need to do laundry, and pack, and check in for my flight online (which is the whole reason why I picked up my laptop and somehow got distracted by my blog), and organize the schedule for the babysitter and write checks for the cleaning lady and the gardener, and download books to my iPad and God knows what else before I go to sleep.
Tomorrow we will have the regular morning routine, then I’ll have about an hour after Elsa goes to school before I take off for the airport. And by this time tomorrow, I’ll be (I hope) sitting outside enjoying the balmy evening and looking forward to sleeping in for the first time in months…
We had a FANTASTIC Easter. And it made me so grateful.
My mom, Elsa and I went out to spend the morning with our Ohana (and Elsa’s godparents) Mark and Kate – parents of Jack and Will. In addition to us, they had just a handful of other friends and family.
It really was the perfect group and the right bunch of kids pretty close in age. Everyone was so well-behaved… no bratty behavior and no helicopter parenting.
I am so blessed to have these people in my life. And I’m really looking forward to Easters to come…
It was so nice. Elsa had her first jellybeans and is now a big BIG fan.
Just got this photo (courtesy of my fab sister Kate) of Elsa and Q looking at each other with what is pretty much the expression they have on their faces whenever they are together. I love it.
So grateful for awesome godparents – or godlies, as they are sometimes called in my family.
This post is a bit belated – the photo is from late December. But I just had to put it up because HOW CUTE IS THIS OUTFIT!?!?!
The entire thing – head to toe – with the sole exception of the bow in her hair, is thanks to a certain Susie M who is Ohana, and a frequent commenter on this blog. (I would link to her here except that she has no blog. I know.)
What you can’t see is that the shirt with the Eiffel Tower on it. And sparkles. The striped tights, too, have sparkles just at the ankles. This makes Elsa lose her mind with excitement (“SPARKERS!!!”) and she wants to wear them every day.
We love you Susie! Thank you!!
A little (charmingly-wrapped) package arrived in the mail yesterday. I looked at the return address and saw it was from one of my favorite people, the ever-lovely and marvelous Paige, currently residing Too Far Away (AKA outside of Chicago).
Assuming it was something for Elsa and hoping to divert her from an escalating snit-fit, I told her she could open it.
Well, well, well. It was for ME. And it was kind of amazing.
Keep in mind that Paige is a vegetarian when you feast your eyes on THIS book:
Oh, and happy Christmas Eve!!!