Friday, October 2, 2015

this is two.

A couple of moms I know have been gushing about their toddler daughters lately and how much they love this stage of having a two-year-old. For me, it's an adventure, to put it mildly. Turns out that two was a glorious age for Lorelei - I remember once telling someone that Jason and I couldn't help but laugh whenever she threw a tantrum because they were just so funny to witness. My sincerest apologies to that parent, and to any of the rest of you rolling your eyes at that. I deserve it, and more.

Phoebe hasn't had her two-year check-up yet, because we've been waiting on record transfers from home and other red tape, but she's big in all the ways that matter: she towers over other children her age and she has the personality to match. She is the girl of a thousand faces that I haven't even begun to capture on film, try as I might. She talks a mile a minute, runs like lightning, kisses you as if you're going on a long and perilous sea voyage, and works a crowd like she's the funniest stand-up comic you've ever paid good money to see. She asks to wear a dress almost every day and then spins around the room, breathlessly announcing, "this is so, so bootiful." She is fiercely determined to do everything by herself, no matter how long it takes and how many exasperated sighs she gets in response. She goes from zero to a hundred in two seconds flat and her horror movie screaming skills are unparalleled. She has sparkling blue eyes that are usually hidden behind sunglasses, a gap between her two front teeth, and the best dimples you've ever seen. Her favorite letters are W and Q, she could hear you read The Gruffalo at least twenty times more than you think you need to read it, and she likes to hide in the closet whenever you want to leave the house. She could eat her weight in chocolate ice cream, can drink anyone under the table (water, that is), and loves her sister more than I thought anybody could love anybody. She is brave and goofy and smart and affectionate and stubborn and we are so lucky to have her, at this stage and any stage.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

a little night music.

Someone told me, when we first moved here in the dog days of summer and it felt like we would never stop sweating again, that New Orleans in October was worth the wait. Today, a blustery autumn wind blew in from somewhere and suddenly everything felt different, right on schedule.

This week marked two months of livin' in the Big Easy. Everyone keeps asking us if we've gone to the typical New Orleans tourist traps and, to be honest, we haven't. It's been too hot, mostly. We have two small children. We live here and still have 9 more months to soak it all in. But Jazz in the Park - specifically, an all-woman brass band performing right at dinnertime - seemed like the perfect chance to check something off the bucket list because, honestly, it's hard to believe we only have 9 more months here to soak it all in.

I want to tell you all about the hilariously-unpleasant bits, like the diaper change on the side of the road that left all of us covered in, well, you can figure that one out, or the scolding from that rigid security guard about our admittedly large picnic basket, or how we got all the way back to the apartment before we remembered that we had carpooled from campus and Jason's car was still sitting on St. Charles Avenue. But the moment I'm holding onto is a lovely elderly gentleman who pulled me aside while Phoebe and Lorelei were dancing their little hearts out and told me "I just love watching you and your beautiful family. Thank you." It was a perfect New Orleans-in-the-fall evening, and it was absolutely worth the wait.