today is larry's birthday. eva helped me bake a cake for larry, and unlike my usual version of letting her help but still being a bit too controlling regarding the end product, i actually let her help. she stuck her hands into the sifted flour, sugar ended up on the floor. crumbs got mixed into the whipped cream, and the strawberries were smooshed right in rather than being arranged on top. and guess what? it's just fine. (i'm not saying i'm terrible about this, but i do catch myself at times and wonder... why not just let her do it? just let go...)
we followed the precedent set on my birthday and i took eva to roam target to find her gift for papa. she'd been saying all week she wanted to get him "that big bag she saw" so he can carry lots of stuff in it. i still don't know what bag she was thinking of, but we found a canvas messenger bag for him, and she said that was the one she wanted for him. in the bag went a summer shirt (eva chose the white one over the brown i had in mind, which turns out to have been the better choice) and a wii game where you swim around under the ocean, which i think eva will also enjoy. she then had the idea of buying him flowers -- pink tulips, specifically -- and choose a card with the whole alphabet on it (wow, was she excited to find that).
after cake (sure, why not before dinner?) we all went out for a leisurely dinner that wrapped up at 9. she was so cooperative both at target (roaming free out of the cart, because she insisted she would "cooperate and be patient") and at dinner, where we waited 40 minutes because we were set on the idea of sitting outside. for the last couple weeks of my, um, confinement, she understandably became quite difficult -- contrary about everything, having massive meltdowns whenever we returned home from somewhere -- because she was so fed up with being at home and with my being prone on the couch. i kept hearing how normal that was for her age, which it is, but i knew the suddenness of the onset when i got sick couldn't be entirely explained away as a phase. now that i'm better (mostly; enough so that i have more-or-less resumed my usual sort of activities -- like getting groceries or going to the park), she is much happier and by extension easier to deal with. sure, she still is contrary -- she is two after all -- but she no longer tells me on a daily basis how sad she is because she doesn't have any friends to play with. we'll consider it a practice run for the confinement that naturally occurs after a baby is born... in a weird way, i think it will give me strength knowing that it won't last forever. she went through a lot these past two months, and as hard as it was on all of us, she's amazingly resillient.
this feels totally disjointed, but these days my brain shuts off sometime around 9 p.m., so i think that's the best i can do. man, i'm really pregnant... (when did that happen? i swear, last time i checked i was like 4 months along, and now i'm having a baby in a month and change. wow.)
julie had her baby this morning! welcome, baby lillian! i know she was born at 4 something a.m., weighs 7 lbs 2 oz and is 20 in long, and has lots of dark brown hair. she doesn't yet have a middle name (eva didn't either until she was 3 days old; she seems no worse for it :). i hear julie and lilian are both doing well, and i'll update this post at some point when i get my hands on some photos or more info. so exciting! i heardly slept last night knowing she was in labor...
eva writes thank you notes for fun all the time lately. this started (before i got sick) when she'd ask what i was typing as i wrote an email. i'd explain that i was writing to tell our friends thank you for the food, or thank you for visiting, etc. now it's a full-fledged obsession.
there are two styles: the first is on the computer. she'll either tell me what to type and then type her own name, or she'll insist on typing it all herself, and asks me to spell the words she can't spell (which is, obviously, pretty much all of them beyond "hi", "love", and "eva", i'd guess. though she likes to figure out the first letter herself and type that, like "g j" for grandma janet).
in the second style, she "writes" notes on paper with a marker or pen while narrating aloud what she is writing. i rarely catch those verbatim, but in the first example below to auntie juile, i happened to have my computer open so i caught the whole thing. her writing consists of zig-zag scribbles, but they move from left to right across the page in tidy little rows, and there are even spaces between "words". she doesn't really draw representative pictures, but man, is she itching to write!
in the photo: i gave her the magazine subscription cards to put in the recycling for me, and said she could play with them first if she wanted. she worked diligently, then returned clutching all six cards, with "words" written across the blank lines (where your address info would go). she listed: this one is for jenny's baby luce, this one is for my cousin katherine, this one is for sarah fiona's mama, ... and she kept saying "i wrote notes for all the people who i love." she noted, "for the people who live too far away, we can post it to them." post. you know, at the post office. her new favorite place.
writing and emailing or posting thank-you notes. who knew it would be her favorite pasttime? just goes to show, modeling works!
a few examples from the past two weeks:
prompted by seeing the envelope that julie's valentines gifts came in, she began to write on it. as she "wrote", she narrated the following (exactly her words, she didn't know i was listening and typing):
i'm so happy for you to give me presents for valentines day. thank you, auntie julie. i miss you. i hope you were here to play with me. auntie julie, to eva. i miss you soooo much. dear auntie julie, auntie julie...
wendy and ella and dash,
thank you for welcoming me. thank you for giving me the balloons. i had fun playing with you. i drew a picture of dash.
wvaaaaaaaaaaabsdemvgfvbbvhrea wx ertydbgmc/
("thank you for the food it was delicious.")
auntie lora and grandma,
thanks for showing us the pictures. i saw the light and the
refrigerator. thank you.
happy valentine's day. i love you.
thank you for the play dough. i'm playing with it. i'm making a
strawberry out of it. that was nice of you to give us play dough.
happy valentine's day!
(name typed herself. before she learned about "backspace".)
and off topic, a bonus evaism:
she was just pretending to "read" the back of her probiotic yogurt drink package, and i dont' know what it said, but she kept saying over and over (trailing her finger across like she was pointing out each word), "it says 'necessities of life and of the world.'"
where the heck did she come up with that? sometimes when i can't think how she knows something, i realize it's from one of her books (like harry the dirty dog goes down a "coal chute", or the "plaster cast" comment she made about something wrapped around her calf which came from when curious george breaks his leg.)
all i can think of is that the TV has been on a lot lately where it is otherwise off during her waking hours. maybe it's a commercial or something? she is a sponge and picks up every little thing.
oh, after she was done saying "necessities of life and of the world", she announced, "hey guys, did you know that 'oh holy gosh' starts with 'o'?" thanks eva, yes i did know that. oh holy gosh, indeed. crazy kid.
update: below is a portion of the letter she wrote to gram the next day.