travel, thoughts

cart, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

we've been traveling, a lot. almost as often as not, actually. that's kind of crazy, and it's making me feel kind of crazy (and making the house look very crazy) but it's all been good. there's more coming, too. larry potentially has five trips in a five week period coming up. eva and i will have flown somewhere every month, may through december. now that she's two, she's racking up the frequent flyer miles -- she'll have more before she's 2 1/2 than i had at age 17.

along with all that, i'm having all sorts of disjointed thoughts lately that doing lend themselves to an organized little essay. today, driving home, eva learned that her birthday was july 7th, then asked me when my birthday was. i said, february. she said, "oh, just like the groundhog." wtf? we worked out she knows this from doing "letters" on the computer (they discuss a groundhog coming out in february to check for his shadow) so it makes perfect sense. but that moment of "what the hell, how is it you know that, aren't you supposed to be a baby or at least only know what i remember having told you?" is very disorienting.

we spent a month (in june and july) in alaska. eva has a blast and it was fun to see how many things she could do now versus last year. she fell in love with camping, and we were there long enough that she got into a pretty good rhythm ("now it's time to get grandpa from work", she'd tell you that he works "at the pharmacy, he gives medicine to sick people to help them feel better.") the best part, though, was seeing how much my parents enjoyed eva, how they would just really be present with her and drop everything else whenever being silly and playing seemed more fun. eva, of course, thought that was great. there's something new that i didn't expect in being the link in the chain of those two generations. it changes my relationships both directions and it feels like we're all part of something bigger.

eva's obsessed with babies, which i think is pretty age appropriate. she also enjoys being a "pretend baby", and will say "this pretend baby wants this mama to hold her", or request pretend side of milk or she will pretend cry or ask for a pretend diaper. i think it must be hard, being between being little and big. i guess that's what all of childhood is in different ways. you're always saying goodbye to the stage you're leaving and trying to figure out the one to come. i like that she knows how to express this need to me, and i don't mind playing pretend baby at all.

in august we spent two weeks with julie and lora in north dakota, first in fargo then in wilton. i had so much to say about that trip, it brought up so many thoughts from my past life there, but it got all muddled and they couldn't get down. julie was newly pregnant and not feeling well, but eva did her best to keep her distracted (as if being in the process of buying a new house wasn't already keeping her busy enough). we went camping -- eva's now an old pro -- and saw lots of cousins, and there was even a street dance in wilton! because of that, i saw more people from my high school class than i've seen since graduation, plus i had a good talk at the bar with my favorite teacher which was really nice. but beyond the stuff we did, it was just nice all being together. i don't know how both my sisters got to be such naturals at dealing with toddlers, but that is a big bonus that i can go and relax knowing eva's in good company.

if i haven't mentioned it before, eva's been eating well for several months now. sometime in late june, i think, she started eating more than three bites at any given meal and i found i was no longer counting every single speck of food that went into her mouth (easy to do without trying when she ate so little). we still have days where she doesn't eat much, or where she rejects a dozen different food options before she'll eat something, but that's called being a toddler, and is not concerning to me. now she'll eat two eggs and cheese for breakfast, for example where last spring we'd be lucky to get two bites in her. excellent progress.

last week we went to seattle to my smith friend sarah's wedding. we stayed downtown (at the moore hotel, i highly recommend it for the budget-consious traveler, it was perfect), and eva was great the whole trip -- well, not counting 10:00 p.m. on the flight home, that was not so great. she loved downtown and would just nap in her stroller as we walked around or ate lunch. it's so refreshing to be in a real city where you don't have to drive everywhere. we took the bus for some day trips, and cabs to the wedding activities, but it was fun just walking and exploring. eva made friends with sarah and many of the wedding guests, since eva was being quite charming at the wedding and the party the next day (toddler at a wedding on a boat that doesn't dock until 10 p.m. could be a disaster, but she was great). we're really glad we went, and it was nice to have a little family vacation.

eva's upstairs, i can hear her chattering away to larry, who is trying to get her to sleep. sleep has been a challenge off and on the past few months (particularly naps) but it's been better the past few days. i think she had to adjust a bit from the west coast time zone. really, i complain at times but given we have no schedule to speak of and every week we're sleeping somewhere new she's doing amazingly well. i love love love that she is so adaptable, that she just goes with whatever is going on. i would have real trouble if i felt like we couldn't go to dinner for a special occasion because it's late in the evening, or couldn't travel because it would mess up her rhythm. she's a great traveler, which is what makes this crazy schedule this year possible. and i love that as she grows, she'll just be used to traveling and having new experiences, and think of all the places we'll be able to tell her she's already been...

better go help. i think maybe papa put himself to sleep but eva's still awake.

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