Let's face it. Athena continues to be amazing and adorable. She has started referring to herself as "Nena" because she can't quite say "Athena" yet. This is super cute when she's talking about her hat or her boots or whatnot.
Many mornings were spent lounging in bed with the girl or hot tubbing with her. We're not doing Dickens, so last weekend we really soaked up the lounging. Both days, Athena slept late and we enjoyed the time. When she did get up, she crawled in bed with us and her morning milk and snuggled while coming to life. Then it was time for family hugs, then playing, and then going to get books for Mommy to read. After the fourth book, we looked like this:
|Rough life, eh?|
The next day started the same way. It looked like this:
|Yeah… life is good.|
Our day consisted of wild and crazy activities like folding laundry, which is actually more fun with a toddler, if more time consuming. For 20 minutes or more, Athena hid under a blanket behind Erik and wandered all over the house as a sort of blanket dragon.
We walked to the grocery store for some milk on Sunday night and stopped to split a burrito. That's when Athena tried Daddy's hat.
|We may die of the cute. |
Also of note here is Athena's necklace. A couple of months ago she decided mommy's necklaces were fascinating. At Disneyland I got this necklace for her (complete with stretchy elastic string) and have since gotten her another at Target. It's a rare day we make it out of the house without her asking for a necklace. She is a girly girl this one.
She also loves pockets. Lately she's told us all about our pockets and her pockets, and jackets that have pockets win over other jackets she can choose.
|Love my pockets! Love them!|
When we get ready in the morning, she often helps me in the bathroom. She insists on getting to put makeup on herself as well, so I've got a carefully orchestrated set of distractions - an empty eyeliner I let her use, a spare lip gloss she gets to put on - and I do the really messy things like mascara while she's focused on those. Then I let her use my blush brush and translucent powder herself. All the while, she perches on the back of the toilet.
|Using Mommy's toothbrush.|
There's an app on my phone for her that shows pictures of different animals. One morning she noticed the dolphin, so we watched a couple of dolphin videos on YouTube. Then there's elephants. I scored bringing home that stuffed elephant from Educause. There was an elephant playing piano on Boing Boing, so we let her watch that.
At school, she loves to tag the poles on her way in, or run from utility cover to cover as if they are bases.
At home, she's a bundle of energy in the evenings. One night, we spent about 30 minutes playing Backwards and Forwards. This largely consisted of her walking backward, then running headlong at me.
One night while I was out at dinner with the girls in Alameda, Athena started asking about Meme and Grandpa again. Since their last visit, she's always asking about them. They definitely have to come more often in their post-innkeeper life. She wants them around all the time. So one night, Erik takes this video and sends it to his mom:
Then Karen responded:
Then Erik and Athena send back:
So yeah, they had a nice night.
What was nice this month was that I feel like we got a bit of time to be a couple as well.
There was Parent's Night Out at Action Day on the second Friday of the month. We'd initially not planned on going because it had been a long week and we weren't up for FNW. But, then the Foxes and Lendvay's started talking about Ender's Game. So we checked in Athena and went out to Islands and then off to Ender's Game with a herd of adults. We said all the words on our minds and enjoyed a good sci-fi flick. Not oooh ahhh great, but a solid treatment of a good story.
Later in the month Erik and I took advantage of Early Horizon's Parent's Day Out and went to see About Time. This was the kind of movie that has all the feels. We saw the preview and they had us at "from the makers of Love Actually" and really, if that's your kind of movie, go see About Time. It totally makes you love your family more and treat every day as precious. After the movie, we grabbed some slices at Pizza My Heart (because Camera 7 is awesome) and then I dropped Erik at home so that I could get a massage. It was a Good Day.
We also got to see Radiolab Apocalyptica live. It was almost as awesome as the one two years ago (though the darkened theater with everyone with LED lights representing space was one of those peak experiences you can only have in a crowded theater with everyone participating together). This time I had the distinct advantage of not being absurdly pregnant. That was super nice. Two years ago, my ankles were swollen and it was a very long drive to Berkeley and back. This time the story of the dinosaurs end was just breathtaking. I could recount the full story here, but give it a couple of months and please please listen to the broadcast. Radiolab remains my very favorite NPR show ever. The latest research they dug up told the story of the dinosaurs destruction on a single day, one summer day (mid-June - mid-July) when an asteroid the size of Mt. Everest hit the earth. The telling is amazing.
|Yeah, that's a dinosaur sniffing the audience.|
|Actually, a super awesome dinosaur puppet.|
Then I got a Goldstar ad for Tim Lee, a UC Davis PhD turned comedian. I pinged the South Bay crew again, asking who wanted to go and was surprised to find that the answer was 10 friends. So we did and it was delightful. He managed to make some very funny jokes using Powerpoint. This is a mad skill.
So suffice to say, we got more than an average helping of Ammy and Erik time this month. This was a very good thing.
I also slogged back and forth to work a lot and came to an unfortunate conclusion: I spend an average of 3 waking hours with Athena a day, half of which is spent getting her ready for school or getting her ready for bed. So it goes. Barring winning the lottery (which I don't play), that's not going to change ever, so I guess I just got a tad melancholy about that. Her teachers at daycare see her awake for more hours in a week than I do. At least I'm confident in their capacity to raise her well. She usually says "Please" when she wants something and almost always says "thank you" when you get something she's asked for. She also says, "bless you" when you sneeze and says "I'm sorry" when she gets too rambunctious and accidentally hurts you. If she knows you're hurt, she says "I'm sorry." a lot. I wish I had a better grasp of that skill. In a highly emotionally charged situation, my gut reaction is not to just say I'm sorry. I say it later, but that's not when most people need it. It's a shortcoming I wish I could easily change, but in pressured situations, I just don't react as well as I would in a low pressure situation.
In other news, I don't have skin cancer, yet. I had a red scaly spot on my nose that didn't go away for over a month, so I asked the doctor and the doctor said "biopsy" so I got a slice of my nose taken off and have been sporting a band-aid ever since. I'm trying to let it heal gently, keeping it antiseptic and soft with some antibiotic ointment. Right now it's an ugly red scab, but hopefully it will be better soon. It's getting smaller at least. The diagnosis came back "actinic keratosis," which is to say, "pre-cancer" that should be cut off, which we did, so nothing more to do now but wait for it to come back. It will come back, on my nose or somewhere else. You don't get to be my kind of white with a rough and tumble childhood and a mis-spent youth at Ren Faire without having this as an expected outcome.
For Thanksgiving, our original plan was to have my mom and grandparents down to see our new house, but unfortunately, my grandpa had a blood clot in his leg, so he couldn't travel. Instead, we drove up to Sac in the usual Thanksgiving traffic. I was fully prepared for it, so took the opportunity to try some alternate routes - Mission Blvd. through Fremont past the old Mission San Jose and Vallecitos Road from 680 to 580. Athena steadfastly refused to nap for the first hour and half. We stopped in Tracy for a gas fill up and diaper change and a fresh bottle of milk. That finally did it and she slept the rest of the way. We arrived around 3:30, helped finish up dinner, and let Athena run around like a happy almost 2-year-old. She tried her first pumpkin pie and apple pie. The pumpkin pie was deemed quite tasty, with many more bites consumed. The apple pie sat in her mouth for a moment while she had a pained look on her face. Finally Erik asked if she wanted to spit it out, and she opened up and let it roll into his hand. Oh well. At least we got her to eat one new food!
She is integrating some new foods, but they're um, well, um, not exactly the healthiest of choices. Her latest new favorite is fried chicken. She ran up and grabbed my chicken leg and took a big hunk out of it and relished eating it up. So, yay, she's eaten chicken now. Luckily, earlier in the month, we went to Crystal's birthday party and Athena ate some of her smoked chicken pate and deemed it "mmmmm!" We couldn't agree more. That was another one of those classic dinner parties at CKP house where the conversation roils and brews and you come away feeling like you've just had a seriously high quality evening with the best of friends. I'm always grateful for their invitations, and also incredibly grateful for their tolerance of the wee miss at what are terribly adult meals.
Today was spent at Dickens Fair, thanks to comps from Christyn. Athena and I were dressed in adorable matching green plaid dresses courtesy of Athena Lendvay. We were quite the picture of mother/daughter cuteness. We spent an hour or so at Fezzis, feeling ever so at home, then out to find a meat pie, then back for a diaper change and milk, then a buggy ride that became a good nap while we got to walk around. I got to hang out backstage with Becky while she pumped, totally understanding the total isolation of that experience. It was great catching up with her. Then a dance with my husband while Elizabeth rolled Athena back and forth, then shucking down to street clothes and heading home. It was a lovely visit. We headed home, swinging through Trader Joe's for groceries and Torrid for my single Black Friday purchase - a shirt I'd admired previously was now available for 40% off. Woohoo! We came home and made dinner of fish and chips and Skipper's clam chowder and Athena ate her first french fry. Sigh. At least it's another new food! We watched Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
as her very first holiday special. Then we gave her a bath and off to bed. It was a perfectly lovely day, and just how a holiday should be spent - with chosen family and enjoying traditions. My sole regret for the day was not busting out my camera and getting photos, but participant conditioning dies hard. Some may exist somewhere, but no one stopped us to pose us, so maybe not.
We're a day late here already, so I'll button this one up for this month. Thanks to my 13 intrepid readers! I hope you enjoy.