Google Photos has some strange pairing algorithms (droopy cheeks and dappled shade?), but I do love this pouting-Paul combo.
We took our anniversary photo, of course. Paul is not wearing pants because he just soiled his previous pair, and who has the energy. Annie may be majority-Klingner, but there’s definitely a pinch of Bill Hall in there. (Or did he just smile like a 4-year-old?) Anyway, she’s my favorite thing about this one.
We realized we had a full complement of bridesmaids for the first time at Pig Roast this year, so snapped a few reunion shots. Thank goodness we haven’t aged a day.
Neither have the guys.
Annie to me: When I grow up I’m going to move away from my family just like you moved away from yours.
But I’ll still visit you, and take pictures of you so I can remember what you looked like when you were alive.
To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 2 years and 9 months old.
It’s Mother’s Day. I am still in bed when you get up, so you and Annie climb in for a snuggle. You’ve brought your turtle shell (blanket), and Dad gets you a “fresh turtle butt,” which is how we’ve convinced our pretend baby-turtle to embrace a diaper change. You even have a song you sing, to the tune(ish) of Baby Shark: “FRESH, turtle-butt. Do doo de do.”
We head downstairs for a quick breakfast of fruit, and then you’re off walking with Dad to the Croissant House for the next course. You take the long way, snacking and enjoying the beautiful sunny morning. Back home, you deliver me my own pastry and commence fort-building on the living room couch. You and Annie have your own rooms and serve burgers and fries through the window.
Dad packs you off to brunch at Sour Duck with some friends, where you play in the kid corner and eat giant pancakes, your third meal before 11am. It’s a holiday…
Back at home, you have a little trouble settling down for nap. You hear Dad mowing the lawn in the backyard and throw up your shade to watch, then summon me from downstairs to declare you’re done napping. Not so fast, buddy. Dad and I talk you back into bed, tell a last story, and you finally fall alseep. We see you again at 3.
We pile into the car and head out to see our cousins for tea and a show: Lyla’s rock band, the Falling Bryans (no relation), playing their original song. It is marvelous. You are into it.
After the performance, you build a house for your dog and poop in your diaper. Dad changes you on the picnic table—keepin it classy. Miles kicks a soccer ball with you for a long time, and we stay for every minute we can. We head home, eat a stand-up dinner of cold beans, and do our bedtime routine with minimal fuss. You conk out immediately. Goodnight, kiddo. It’s good to be your mom.
To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 4 years and 1 month old.
At 7:05 as usual, Paul pops out of bed to turn off the green light, and you follow, having permanently ceded that battleground. Dad helps you work through your list at a good clip although you are disappointed when Paul finishes first and heads downstairs with me to start making breakfast smoothies. We save you the very important yogurt-scooping job, which you execute with good grace, and we are at the table by 7:30.
It’s Friday, so Dad takes you to school and drops you off with Ms. Jolene, who gives you snuggles and feeds you more breakfast. You spin elaborate fantasies all day with your chief collaborators: Harper, June, Addie, Ramona, and Winnie. At lunch, you practice classifying foods into green, yellow, and red categories to signal how much and how often they should be eaten. Ms. Jolene does your hair.
You bustle off the playground hand-in-hand with Ramona, carrying a Mothers Day present for me that you are very proud of. Dad brings you home, where I’ve got dinner on the table: roasted salmon (you eat none), barley (you eat one bite, declare you like it, and have no more), and kale (you finish your portion, ask for seconds, and eat it all—what???).
We have lots of time to play, and the consensus choice is fort-building. We convert our couch once again, and you and Paul play turtle-and-mermaid games and occasionally yell at your repair crew (parents) to fix their shoddy construction work.
At 6:55, we move the party upstairs and transition to bed routines. You brush your teeth thoroughly, still glowing from yesterday’s praise at the dentist for your hygiene. You have your typical 7pm energy surge, but we keep a lid on it. Mercy Pig settles you down, and you end the night with, per your request, a BRAND NEW story you’ve never heard before from Dad. Goodnight, young lady. You’re getting pretty fun.