Dudes.

D, every day this week we’ve watched rocket videos. You are super into the SpaceX YouTube channel, especially the “just dreaming” ones, the models of future space travel.

C, you are still a super napper. Thank you. I’ve been resting, too. You can climb the ladder on the playhouse in the backyard and put yourself backwards down the slide. Your words are coming – you have always been good at watching or listening and copying.

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Dudes.

Snot.

Everywhere. Pants, sleeves, shirt, shoes. Socks, towels, pillows, blankets.

C, you are happier walking. You talk and talk. You finally learned “Mama” and I’m no longer “Daddy.” You are happiest climbing or “up Mama.” The stepstool, the couch, the table on which the aquarium rests, the toilet. You laugh and make jokes and have the funniest high-pitched cackle when you’re wound up. You help a lot in your sweet toddling way. You pass Christmas cookies and water bottles to your big brother. You’d pass him those toys, too, if he’d kist wait another moment. You love giving Lola Dog and Cally Cat treats and kibble. You point at the canister and say “Tee! Dee!” You don’t really like getting in your car seat or anything else with a seatbelt, which sometimes makes getting Dougie to school on time a challenge. But you’re down to check out new places. You recently started protesting shirts going over your head, but you are interested in learning to operate socks and shoes. You like the slide and swings are kinda meh, so different from D. You ask for waffles, bananas, and snacks by name. Fox is by your side at every nap and bedtime; its name is “Wah.” Drinks are “doo” and belly button is “deedee.” Daddy had to let go of “bunky;” that was D’s word. You are obsessed with – and so good at – giving us kisses. Mmmmmmm-ah!

D, you are blossoming again. You are precocious and sometimes super snuggly. It is such a joy to watch you grow after an adventure. You napped in Michigan when your body needed it and you were an awesome travel buddy. Wish we had figured out sooner that there was an enormous touchscreen game right next to us at IAH, duh! You still have your jokes, my love. You make them up all the time – and songs, too. Your imagination is wild and fast and your feet can barely keep up with the stories you tell when you play. You are getting better at sharing and your brand new sticker chart will show it soon. You are also getting better at arguing and I bought the relaxing essential oil blend to prove it. You are teaching me not to take it personally. To look for the message behind the words. You take forever to get your shoes. You pedal your bike all by youraelf. You do your best to take care of your little brother, even when your attention isn’t welcome. You are so good with babies, like O and O. Do you miss Will? I know you love school and your tracher and you even like most of your classmates.

You both have these ridiculous colds that won’t stop. Neither of you wants to blow or wipe your nose even though I have gotten so good at helping gently. Both of you remain in good spirits…mostly. Both of you sleep through the night…occasionally. Both of you climb all over me all day, from the couch to the floor to the kitchen to D’s bed while we read bedtime stories. I am covered in kisses and bumps and hugs and tugs. So much closeness. So much smashing.

More cookie decorating tomorrow. And I hope the rain stops. Playing in the wet was fun today but the novelty may wear off. And Lola Dog wants a real walk.

Love you always, everywhere, no matter what.

Snot.

Harvey, from cat 4 to cat 1 moving away.

What a wild ride.

First the waiting. And then long, loud night. The children slept, were unimpressed by it all. The adults were wary but managed to close our eyes, too.

Husband is getting ready to walk the neighborhood, help pin up the neighbor’s fence. I am preparing breakfast for the children. There is a water boil advisory, of course, but we are well stocked with water and the office will supply us with more.

We are safe right now. We see limbs down and fences that need mending and neighbors moving about already. We have support. We can support the people around us. We are fortunate.

Harvey, from cat 4 to cat 1 moving away.

Nighttime in Texas

We are back from Oregon where we buried my Grandma Honey. We saw more family than we ever see at a time and Mommy ate more than her share of ice cream. When in Oregon.

Today we went to our friend’s third birthday party where we pigged out on sweets and overwhelmed you boys with people and toys. We brought him presents that he already has, but I don’t think he’ll mind. We played in a plastic swimming pool and with squirt guns and water balloons, enjoyed a bounce house (not you yet, C) and cracked a piñata (you were so gentle with it, D).

C, you cried and cried after you had to put your toy away for bath. Baby, batteries can’t go in the tub. You felt better after mommy hugs and clean pajamas. You listened to a story cover to cover (unusual for you – it was Mommy Hugs by Karen Katz) and then played peek with the second book. We turned out the lights and you nursed to sleep in my arms. 

D, you told me over and over that you love me. In the morning, afternoon, evening, underneath the moon. On cars, buses, planes, and boats. Even when we fight. You have been doing this lately, starting while we were in Oregon. Your eyes are closed and you are only half awake, but you say things like, “You’re a good lady, Mommy” and “You’re a nice girl, but you can be bad if you want to be bad.” In Oregon, you told me I’m a big rig, you’re a big rig, and C’s a big and that you really missed the really big big rig (Daddy). The third night escapes me now, but it included your chicken coop/coupe joke.

C, you are going to walk all day soon. You are brave. You can go hang out with all sorts of people for awhile…until you spot me again and then it’s Mommy time and I am so proud to scoop you up, you adventurous brute! Your heart is sweet and you lay down or cuddle up for snuggles even though you’ve just awoken from your nap. Your touches are softer and your smiles are bigger and your pats are so comforting. You are such a light.

D, you are such a good helper. You feed your little brother and keep him safe, read to U and mostly show her patience when she whacks. You let baby J wrestle you, make baby D smile by smiling and talking at him, and tried to stir up JR. You are kind to Piper and Susie and your animals at home. You like doing chores and forget about the sticker chart, even when you earn a chore sticker. You are such a good helper.

Boys, I am so thankful we are our family. I love you.

Nighttime in Texas