Turn the Light On

Julia has apparently learned a new trick!  I was lying on my bed, reading while she napped, and I heard these scritchy scratches on the wall.  I looked up and saw her light flickering through the crack under her door.  I was all THIS HOUSE IS HAUNTED for a minute before realizing it was probably her.

Looking

I have been thinking lately about the act of looking, and specifically all the things we do that interfere with that gaze.  TV, the phone, even books – all the things we do that disrupt that looking and focus our attention elsewhere.  I confess, I have been reading and loving Woolf, and I can tell the impact her writing has had on me.

At any rate, today I took Julia out in the yard to enjoy the beautiful weather, and I took my camera, and I just watched her watching the cars, investigating the grass, following the sounds of birds and rustling leaves.  It was a lovely time; very little babies are refreshingly unaware of being watched, especially with a camera.

And then Hazel and Amos came home from preschool and work, respectively…

And that changed things quite a bit!

 

That little girl is 10 months old today, y’all!  With Hazel’s foray into preschool, I have a little more time to focus on Julia.  Amos and I were thinking that we had Hazel using a spoon a little younger than this, so I got started with Julia last week.  She caught on pretty fast – my girls love to eat, and I guess she figured the more ways she knows how to get food in her face the better.

First Snow

In Kansas City, we promised Hazel every day that there would be snow in New Jersey.  We checked out books about snow from the library.  We read books about Christmas and Hannakuh Hanukkah (thanks Jenn!  😛 ) and pointed out the snow.  “See?  There’s snow on the ground at Christmas, just like there will be in New Jersey,” we exclaimed to her.  Soon she was in on it too, talking about the snow and how at Christmas we would see the snow falling and make a snowman after we opened presents.  Then, when Christmas actually came in on its 40 degree heels, she told us that it wasn’t really Christmas at all because it didn’t snow.  Sad face.  Nope, it didn’t snow at all here, even as Kansas City has seen snow several times since we’ve moved.  Yesterday, though, it snowed a little bit here, just a teaser snow that barely stuck to our clothes, but holy moly was that enough to fire old Hazel up!

“Run out here and catch the snowflakes with your mouth LIKE ME!!!”  My baby girl could not have been more excited.  Julia played it cooler, just pointing at a couple of flakes and proclaiming them, “bat!”  We all ran around, looking like fools from the South who are freaking out over 5 snowflakes falling from the sky – which, you know, we pretty much are.

Rainy Day

It’s gray and rainy outside, so we had a sleepy day indoors.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself, since honestly we don’t always make it outside these days; I’ve been too busy making baby food, doing 80 loads of laundry, unpacking, organizing, and then reorganizing all our stuff.  Oh, plus Christmas.  Today, though, we were all kind of blah, very clingy and trying to wrap ourselves around Mama’s legs to just pretend we are her pants, until some magic rainbow smiled on our house in the early afternoon.  After cleaning up clothes & floor & baby for two, yes two, diarrhea incidents and both stepping on Hazel’s foot and elbowing her in the face because she was so close to me during this process, the girls just stopped.  I let them get every toy they own out onto their floor, and I guess that’s the trick, because they just started…playing.  Together.  Without me.  MIRACULOUS.  I did sneak in for a moment, though, to take a photo of Julia.  I feel like I have 50 thousand photos of Hazel alone and like two of Julia, so I told Hazel she could velcro herself to my back for two minutes while I photographed Julia.

It’s like crack to me.

The girls and I arrived home today after a long stay with my mama in Alabama.  I’m exhausted and thrilled to be home, full of ideas and plans and things that must be done, one of which is editing the hundreds – seriously – of photos that have accumulated since last August.  I did a little weeding through my pile, tossing out some of the really bad, blurry jobs, and I just had to go ahead and edit this one.  I mean, LOOK AT HER BOOTY ROLLS, Y’ALL.  They were calling to me.

First Christmas

So This is New Jersey

It’s been so long since I updated, so much has happened, that I am just not going to spend all that time recalling, in minute detail, all the stuff we’ve been doing.  I mean, most of it is common to anyone who’s been moving, anyway!  So here’s one of my preferred numbered lists:

  1. We packed, we lived in a hotel for a week (kind of fun, having a staff of sweet maids who tucked in Hazel’s Corduroy every time they made her bed), and then we moved into our apartment and started unpacking.
  2. I unpacked a bunch of stuff we didn’t have out in KC (picture frames, decor stuff, too-small clothes from pre-pregnancy), sorted it, and repacked some things into a smaller number of boxes that are currently lining our garage.
  3. I sorted Christmas, put up our tree, and wrapped stuff.
  4. I’m applying to approximately 100 of the 1500 schools in this densely populated area that offer a MA in English, so I’ve been doing a lot of transcript uploading and statement of purpose writing.
  5. I’m studying for the GRE subject test in literature, so I unpacked a lot of dusty books from my undergrad years and I’m currently sneezing my way through An Introduction to Literary Theory.
  6. We are researching preschools and daycares, which is only slightly less logistically difficult (with one car) than teaching yourself to hang glide with a broken arm.
  7. Amos goes to work, does secret Samsung stuff we can’t talk about, and comes home, shell-shocked from the intense traffic.
  8. Hazel and Julia run and army crawl through their super huge room.  We gave them the bigger bedroom because the smaller one has a bigger closet.

And so there you go.  I haven’t been doing a whole lot of photo-taking, but I do plan on taking some of our place/this cute little town so all you interested family can see.  It’s a curious mix; we live on a rather busy road, but if we walk east about two blocks on some dirty, small, cracked-up sidewalks, we go across a gorgeous river on an old wrought iron bridge and can walk through a couple of blocks of cute shops housed in historic buildings.  AND there is a yarn shop there, with a sort of cutely curmudgeonly proprietor who took away my coffee because “we’ve had spills before.”  One day I’m going to be like that surly old bird.

Overall, though, I think we all like it here.  Now that we’re getting settled, too, I plan to be back blogging like before.  To send you off here’s a hilarious video of Julia discovering one of the snaps on her diaper.  In the background you can hear the wonderful sounds of Hazel whining because she pitched a slapping fit and got sent to her room, by herself, until bath time (she was sitting on her bed, amidst all her toys and books, but was totally miserable because she was segregated from the rest of the fam…ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT).

Me & the Girls

I’ve been feeling nostalgic about the girls’ babyhood lately.  It slips by so quickly.

Where Do We Play?

I know our time is limited in Kansas City, and I like to look at it like we’ll never be here again.  I’m totally taking advantage of our relatively cheap living expenses, nice location, and obligation-free lifestyle to act like we’re on this massive vacation.  Otherwise I might go insane, if I started thinking about preschools and grad schools and houses and…vacation.  We’re on vacation, baby!  SPRING BREAK!

So, as part of that, today I took the girls to their first play!  At Union Station, which is a real working train station, there are also lots of other attractions for families, including Science City, art exhibits, a theater, and a kids’ theater.  We joined a crowd full of other kids to see “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a play based on the popular children’s book.  We got in just barely in time, thanks to my rather poor downtown navigation skills, and managed to score the absolute LAST two tickets, right down on the front row.  As we sat in the theater, practically onstage, Hazel kept asking things like, “Why is it dark in here?  Why are all these kids being so crazy?  Where do WE play?  Can I go touch that stuff?”  I found it tricky to explain what a play was, since my “it’s like a real-life movie!  With really real people!” didn’t seem to make sense to her, so I just told her to be patient.  When the lights completely dimmed, then a spotlight hit on first the boy, then the mouse, and then a cookie, Hazel was completely enthralled.  Julia even popped off from nursing to watch the action (and she didn’t look away for the rest of the show, either!).  Both girls were entranced with the play, which was so exciting and even had some music.  We had just the BEST time, and I was so proud and happy, watching them watch it.

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