Regular

Sometimes when I work the late shift Elena and I will go for bagels. (That should probably say “usually” instead of “sometimes.”) We don’t have a set time, date, or location so we are not regulars for bagel consumption. At the bagel place today I was watching the people who are clearly regulars. It’s an interesting thing to do. Like observing a club you could join but for timing and circumstance.

When not on late shift I am a regular at the Starbucks in our building. This makes me feel shame at times. We have coffee at home. We have (gross) coffee at work that’s free! Why do I need to go to Starbucks every day?

The answer (in addition to coffee addiction I think) is that I think there’s some comfort in being a regular, in being recognized at a place and for a small, insignificant sort of thing like your drink. The clever geniuses who wrote the theme to Cheers certainly recognized that.

When I was in London studying abroad I worked at a pub and there was an older gentleman named Dennis who came in every shift and got a Brakespears in a jug (as opposed to a pint glass) every shift (one afternoon, one evening) every day. Occasionally he would have two. I only worked two shifts a week but I knew Dennis and knew what to get him. He was a sweet guy. The definition of a regular. And not a bad gig, drinking beer at your local pub to pass through your retirement.

Binky Wars

Pacifier

Elena’s used a binky to sleep most of her life. At first I was reluctant to adopt this but then I heard it helps prevent SIDS and I am 100% on board with preventing SIDS so I jumped on board. When Elena was less than a year old, I can’t remember exactly (9 months? 10?) we stopped giving her the binky for everything but naps and bedtime, and that transition was no problem for her.

Sleepy Girl

Sleepy Girl

However. Whenever she woke up in the middle of the night because the binky had fallen out, all we had to do was give her the binky again and she fell asleep, which meant WE fell asleep, and after several months of no-sleep, you sort of don’t care what it takes to get the kid to fall back asleep. And so it went on.

Finally, on Wednesday, Elena got a big girl bed. With the new kid on the way, and the fact that she’s THREE AND 1/4 YEARS OLD, we figured this was as good a time as any. We started talking about how when she got her big girl bed, we’d be saying bye bye binky. She was on board until the bed got here and she realized…she’d be saying bye bye binky. TEARS. HEARTACHE. DISASTER! On Thursday night she literally cried, practically screaming, “I’m little, I’m little” for about a half an hour.

Wednesday was bad. Thursday was worse. But Friday was more or less OK! She told me she was sad because she missed the binky but she went to bed without too much fuss.

When I say “without too much fuss” I should clarify that Elena’s nighttime routine, which is usually two stories and snuggling for about 5 minutes, has now morphed into two stories, cuddling, bathroom, water, more water, can you watch me mommy, etc. etc. etc. We’re being slightly more accommodating than we might otherwise, but I hope that we can start weaning off the hourlong pre-bed ritual pretty soon.

Oh, and she’s completely regressed too. She spent most of the evening crawling around the house with an old sippy that she found, pretending to be a baby.

But whatever. She seems to be on the road to a binky-free existence. Hooray for straight teeth!

So

We’re having another one. Baby girl due in September.

Sisters

Sisters

Elena’s excited. She got her big girl bed today AND she found out she’s going to be a big sister AND she got to go to “Toys and Us.”

Highly Sensitive Child

I was a highly sensitive child, and I think I’m starting to see that personality trait in Elena. However, because I was sensitive, I think (think?) I may be projecting my own anxieties on to her, so basically I’m a complete wreck any time we go to the playground.

What do I mean by this. This weekend, I observed the following:
(1) Whenever Elena has spent time with someone and then has to leave them, she tells me she is “sad because I miss x.” I heard this about Daddy, Mama, Grandma Patty, and Rachel this weekend. Like last night she woke up overnight and told me she missed Grandma Patty (who she spent the morning with).

(2) If a little kid is nice to her, they become her “best friend.” If they then ignore her – intentionally or otherwise – in the course of their play, she walks around like George Michael in Arrested Development.

Sad Elena

Sad Elena

This was a particular issue at the playground yesterday. Elena was the youngest child there. The other kids were older boys who were basically hanging upside down and hitting each other with light sabres the whole time. There was one girl who was not exclusive but who certainly had her own ideas about what everyone else was supposed to be doing (she was actually bossing older kids around). The other little girl who was Elena’s age seemed somewhat interested in Elena but was too taken with the other kids, who she all knew really well, to pay attention to her. Elena ended up being kind of sad basically the whole time we were there. I tried to get her to just jump in and play with the other kids but she didn’t really seem to get their game and didn’t want to join it.

I don’t think being sensitive is necessarily a bad thing, or that Elena MUST play whatever the other kids are playing or she will be a social pariah. In fact I think it will serve Elena well overall, but she will need to learn how to manage the potential for heartache (which I didn’t learn until something like sophomore year in college). There’s a book that I think I might read, a friend of mine read it years ago and found it to be helpful with respect to herself.

Stacey’s shower and bachelorette parties

Two Saturdays ago I drove to Follansbee WV for Stacey’s bridal shower.

Taste the happy

Look at Banner!

It was at a place called Vito’s 2. It was (more or less) all set up for us, but we did some decorating when we got there. “Decorating” was not one of my tasks so I just sort of helped at this part.

Tables all set up

Tables all set up

The "head table"

The “head table”

I think Stacey had a good time!

Totally

Stacey’s having a good time, right?

Although there were obviously a lot of people and presents and all that sort of thing that happens at showers, I was Helping with the present opening so I didn’t do any picture taking during that time.

My primary task was “Desserts.” I ordered some things from my friend Kaitlyn, who runs Zia’s Custom Desserts, and I got a few other things here and there, and I’m really happy with how the dessert portion of the shower turned out.

looks like there's plenty!

Dessert Table

Stacey loves it!

Stacey loves it!

After the shower, we had a Paint N Sip at our friend Jessie’s house. Jessie has recently quit her Real Job and is running Paint N Sip full-time at Moon River Studios in Wheeling. There are about five sessions a week. If you are anywhere near Wheeling you should go to these Paint N Sips because Jessie is awesome, and the McClure House is awesome, and it’s a good time.

We enjoyed the warm weather before we started painting.

Moon River Studios porchsitting

Moon River Studios porchsitting

The space is so pretty.

Getting ready to paint

Getting ready to paint

Here’s my finished painting. It’s not really what I had in my head but I still like it.

it's in the dining room now

My picture

So this was a good day overall. Although it was a BIT long and tiring! I think I have recovered now.

Boston

As I’m writing this they have just caught the second of two Boston marathon bombers. I don’t feel like I have much to contribute to the conversation that hasn’t already been said:

1. Miserable bastards etc.
2. Go Boston etc.
3. Why would they etc.
4. USA USA
5. Gonna keep running.

Now we are watching Psych and being happy and grateful that we weren’t on lockdown all day and also that we have all our limbs.