09 February 2019

a tale of two januarys.

I knew that once all of the holidays were over and just the cold was left I'd be thinking about "winters" in Arizona.  While that ended up being true, I was surprised to find that we have all weathered the colder temperatures here much better than I expected (minus that one day our heater broke, but whatever).  And so, I can't say that my pining for Arizona during this time of year has been that strong, save for one aspect I was really missing last month.

I was remembering what I call The Great YA Binge of 2017, which began in January of that year.  I read so many books in those two weeks outside on a blanket in our yard that was always at its best during Arizona winters.  The sad realization that I'd never be able to comfortably read outside in January again hit me, and I was really missing our old home and yard.

Theo and I in our yard, January 2017.

And then, what do you know: the snow on the south side of our house melted and the sun made mid-30 degree temperatures feel closer to the 50s.  It was like a visit from The Ghost of Arizona Winters Past (hiya Dickens reference #2!!) and a peek into Spring.  Theo broke out the sidewalk chalk and I took up a lawn chair and began what has turned into The Great YA Binge of 2019 (more about that later).

Theo and Vivi in the driveway, January 2019.

It has since snowed again, the chalk has disappeared, we have a snowman in our front yard, and Spring seems a long ways away again.  But we had that one beautiful, sun-warmed week where I didn't really miss Arizona all that much anymore.  I'm nothing if not a cherisher of the little things brought on by favorable weather.

(Like these little footprints! 😍)

27 December 2018

my favorite things: christmas 2018.

A few of my favorite things from our 2018 Christmas season:

  • Theo saying the exact same word for both "Christmas" and "Kristin"
  • Discovering that the quickest way to get Vivi to come out from under/behind the Christmas tree is to play her favorite dance song.  She will come right out and start dancing!
  • Every night before bed when Theo says "Night night, Merry Christmas!"
  • Theo thinking that the Grinch is "cleaning up" because he is too pure and innocent to comprehend what stealing is (😭)
  • Theo's preschool Christmas program, in which he did such a great job!  He didn't sing all of the words, but he knew them and we were so proud of him.

We had a wonderful Christmas!  Theo being excited for every little thing made everything so much more special.  He kept saying "thank you!" over and over for the smallest things: getting out the Christmas decorations, decorating the tree, and just having presents under the tree.  He loved all of it, especially rearranging the ornaments on our main tree.  I tried fixing them in the beginning, but he would fix my fixing.  So all month long we've had odd clusters of ornaments from the middle to the top of our tree, but a very pleased Theo.

And that's all that matters, of course.  Happy kids and a happy season and happy memories!

23 December 2018

watching listening.


Salt Fat Acid Heat
This is a special on Netflix, and boy, do I love it.  It's based on the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, and each episode features Samin explaining and exploring what each of these four elements bring to food and cooking.  My first exposure to Samin was in the Water episode of the Netflix series Cooked (which I also highly recommend).  It was true in that one episode, and it is true in this new series: Samin is so incredibly fun to watch.  She is joyful, she is smart and knowledgeable, she is not a white man (which maybe isn't the most important thing, but it's more than a breath of fresh air to see a traveling food person be a woman of color), and somehow I also derive pleasure from watching her eyes roll into the back of her head when she tastes something delicious.  In the very first episode she sips olive oil from a wine glass in Italy, and at that moment I was like, "okay, what do I have to do in my life to be able to drink olive oil from a wine glass while in Italy?"  Her book is amazing, this special is amazing, and I recommend both to everyone.
Other places I've found and loved Samin: This video and this video where she talks about using salt properly in cooking (fistfuls of salt!!!!).  Also the December 11th episode of Julia Turshen's podcast Keep Calm and Cook On.  Samin talks about her life since becoming food famous, and I loved hearing about how she navigates newfound fame while also managing her anxiety and introvertedness.  I always love finding other examples of people who are deeply introverted but are able to "turn it on" in special situations.  Kindred spirits!

Crazy Rich Asians
I'm not a big RomCom fan, but I couldn't NOT watch this.  Here's the thing about this movie: I've seen a lot of, if not all of, these scenes before: the friends eating a meal while as laughter fades and music plays, the heroine playing dress up with her friends to find that perfect outfit, and of course the ones with the disapproving family member that has the heroine dramatically leaving in tears.  None of this is new.  What was new to me was the fact that I kept finding myself saying "Oh, THAT'S familiar" and "I've heard that one before."  This was relatable to me not because I am Crazy Rich, but because I am Asian and have Asian family members.  Our mothers and grandmothers say the same things to us, and they are interactions and conversations you don't have or see in quite the same way with white people or white people's media.  More movies like this, please!

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Every once in a while Jon and I have to rewatch this series.  It is too good to not revisit again and again.  I remember watching this show as it aired with my family growing up, and Jon remembers the weekend he binged the entire series with a roommate several years ago.  I hope our kids remember when they first watch the show (and truly understand what it's about) and love it, too.  Every time I finish the series finale there's this emptiness inside of me that I can't deal with and my first instinct is to immediately start the show over.  I wish it could go on forever.  And I wish there was a prequel based entirely on Uncle Iroh.
Our favorite character is Zuko, arguably the best and most fleshed out character in the series.  Rewatching his character journey this time around has been made even more fun for me after see this tweet, in which someone states that the literal opposite of Manic Pixie Dream Girl is Depressive Demon Nightmare Boy.  As it turns out, this is a character type that actually (accidentally?) does exist, and our favorite redemption-seeking fire prince is indeed a prime example.  I think this is my official favorite character archetype now.  So thank you, Twitter Stranger, for enlightening me, giving me a concrete phrase for this kind of character, and making my life better (because every time I think of another example of a Depressive Demon Nightmare Boy, it instantly makes me happy and giddy).

The Good Place
This is the best show on television right now.  You can't convince me otherwise, and it doesn't matter that there are a million shows out there and I've seen the tiniest handful of them.  I don't even know what to say to justify my claim, but I will say that the first two seasons are on Netflix, so if you've never seen it before stop reading this and go watch it right now.  It is beyond funny, the story is so intricate and amazing, and the cast is wonderful.  It also produces some excellent gifs, which I love texting to Jon all the time (our favorite is one of Ted Danson's character trying to pump his fists).  My all-time favorite episode just aired a couple weeks ago, and all of my crossable body parts are crossed that one of the actresses in the show gets all of the recognitions she deserves for how well she acted in that episode.  Only one bad thing has come into our lives because of this show and it is this:
Replacement swear words are used in the show: fork, shirt, ash-hole.  I've adopted "fork" and use it semi-regularly around the house. (I have never said the F word out loud in front of my family).  Theo has started to say "fork" too, when he perceives that something has gone wrong for him.  The problem is, Theo's pronunciation of the work "fork" sounds very much like the actual F word, so we have a little four-year old uttering "f*ck!" various times throughout the day.  Any attempts to get him to stop saying the word or to say "dang it!" instead only increase his desire to say his version of "fork!"  Theo's off school for two weeks, and hopefully it is enough time to strike the word from his vocabulary so we don't have to make any awkward explanations to his teacher.


The Good Place The Podcast
If you do watch The Good Place and you love it, please listen to the podcast!  It is wonderful and the actors of all your favorite characters make appearances.  Each podcast episode centers on an episode of the show, and it delves into what the actors did, what the writing and filming process is like, and other behind-the-scenes goodies.  My favorite episodes are the ones where Mike Schur, the show creator, is a guest, but really each and every episode is good, and also so so funny.

Earlier this year after showing Jon the OG Teen Titans show, with morbid curiosity we waded into the world of Teen Titans Go.  It is strange and funny and sometimes gross and funny and not as good as the original show but it makes us laugh.  Our favorite episode is the best one: 40% 40% 20%.  It gives us The Night Begins to Shine, an 80s-style song by B.E.R. that we've played and danced to and sung along with countless times at our house.  A four-part special from the show gives two more songs from B.E.R., and with just these three songs we laugh and sing and dance and think of all the funny parts of the show we love.  Possibly the best thing to come out this is that Theo now yells at our Echo Dot: "Alexa!  B.E.R.!!"

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I've been listening to music from this video game that I am 10000% obsessed with for the past couple of months.  At first it was a way to try to stop myself from playing the game for the millionth hour of my life since I got it nearly two years ago (only worked for so long before I caved and started over again), but then I couldn't stop listening.  This game's soundtrack is unlike any other Zelda game I've ever played, and at first I was a little disappointed.  No Hyrule Field song as I explore on horseback?  Where's the musical instrument / baton / wolf mode where you play little magical tunes?  Truly though, BOTW's soundtrack is underrated.  It is really lovely and beautiful, just like the game itself.  My favorite is the music for Tarrey Town and how the song grows and expands as the town itself does.
Anyway, this is truly the nerdiest thing I have ever admitted to doing, but I am beyond shame and embarrassment for it.  I've decided I'm completely done with the phrase "guilty pleasure" and I'm going to stop feeling bad or embarrassed for liking the things I like.  Let's ban that phrase forever, please!

18 December 2018

twelve months!

My baby is now a year old!

Vivi is a spitfire who keeps us all on our toes!  She's a walking, screeching, staticky-haired tornado, and we have to keep constant vigilance whenever she is awake because she is loves getting into all of the places she shouldn't be in.  Specifically, the garbage bin.  She loves getting into the trash, which has earned her the nickname Garbage Baby.  It's not as popular as her other nickname, though: Cutest Baby Ever.

Her biggest fan and cheerleader is Theo.  He always says "Good job, Baby!" whenever she does something he thinks is good, like walking, eating, and basically just being alive.  She loves being chased, and luckily enough, Theo enjoys chasing!  Her giggly shrieks and maniacal laughter are the funniest and best things to hear during the day, and I could listen to them all day.

She is sassy and funny, but can also turn on a dime and become the grumpiest, most scary baby to ever scream at you for more snacks.  Lin-Manuel Miranda didn't know it, but he described Vivi best: Young, Scrappy, and Hungry.

Happy Birthday little Vivienne!  You make our family so much better.

04 December 2018

four years!

Why does 4 seem so much bigger than 3?  I die a little inside every time my kids go up a clothing size, but going from 3 to 4 is a new kind of Babies-Keep-Growing Tragedy.

Theo is a wonderful little boy who is kind and sweet and so full of love for his family.  Jon, Vivi, and I are incredibly lucky to be loved so much by Theo each and every day.  Every night before bed we say "I love..." and he fills in the blank with each person in our family.  Sometimes he says "dad" five million times before he says "mom" once (and giggles the entire time), but he always says everyone's name at least once before the night ends.

His favorite thing is his school bus, which he gleefully waits for each morning.  Sometimes he has his backpack on as soon as he wakes up and we have to come up with things to do for two hours while we wait, but I'm just glad he loves school.  He has the best time and his teachers and aides are so great.  He comes home having learned new things every week, and he is devastated every day he doesn't get to ride the bus.

He loves our new house and our new neighborhood.  I've seen his quality of life improve so much in the short time that we've been here.  Which is not to say he was an unhappy in Arizona, but he really is enjoying his life and everything Ephraim has to give him.

Happy Birthday, my little 4-year-old.  Let's see what growth this new year brings.  πŸ’™

halloween 2018.

Well, our halls are decked and I've switched the fall candles out for the Christmas ones, so I figure now is the perfect time to post about our Halloween!

I've known since July of last year what Theo would be for Halloween.  Unfortunately, it took nearly a year to get him comfortable wearing the hat required for his costume, so my vision for him didn't come true until this year.  Theo was a very happy and excited Mickey Mouse, Γ  la The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  We only watch Fantasia (the sequel) a million times and listen to the soundtrack every single time we are in the car, so this was a perfect costume for him.

Vivi was a grumpy Minnie Mouse, but we managed to get a semi-decent photo of her and Theo together.

A very strange thing about our town is that the kids start trick-or-treating right after school at like, 4:00 pm.  It was very weird handing out candy in broad daylight, but it was still fun and Theo had the best time.  He finally got into it this year, and learning the phrase "trick or treat!" just in time for the day.  As for any candy binges, Theo ripped into his treat bag from a class Halloween party one afternoon and had probably six pieces of candy all in a row.  But besides that, he's been pretty good about forgetting about the candy and not eating it all at once.  (We still have a fair amount of his candy haul left.)

I'm so glad Theo had such fun this year and finally gets the anticipation of upcoming holidays, especially now that he knows what happens with each one.  It just means that his excitement next year will be even bigger!

03 November 2018

i come alive in the fall time.

It's possible that autumn isn't as great as I make it out to be.  Maybe the leaves aren't that beautiful and they are truly just dying and that's that.  Maybe getting excited about making baked goods is silly because you really could make those treats any time of year.  Maybe I don't look as good in sweaters and tights and jeans as I think I do.  Maybe October isn't more special than other months.

But the thing is, I've just emerged from ten years in a place where autumn does not exist.  When the calendar says it's time for a change but the weather does not, you feel frozen in time while everyone else you know is moving forward.

The truth about our move from Arizona to Utah is this: my driving factor in wanting to do this was Theo.  I knew it would be good for him, and already this has proven to be true.  But I also wanted to do this for me.  I wanted to get out of Phoenix, to stop feeling like I was dying in a place I found so unremarkable and miserable.  I knew it would be good for me, too.

It looks and feels like October outside!  Opening the door of a preheated oven is no longer something to dread!  I can read Theo picture books about autumn and the colorful leaves and point outside our windows to show him that his stories are based in reality, not fantasy!

Autumn is better than I make it out to be.  It's even better elsewhere than it is where we live!  But where we live right now is perfect.  It's everything I've been missing.

(Now, here are some dramatic pictures to go along with a dramatic post!)

27 October 2018

rereading and reading and tips for binge-reading.

In September I revisited what I call the ACO series, by Sarah J Maas.  Though it's not my favorite of the series, it is still a delight to reread A Court of Thorns and Roses because you get to see how airtight it is. (That's vague, but whatever, I try to keep things spoiler-free here.)  Since I last talked about this series here, a novella came out in May that continued this series and, as I understand it, serves as a bridge between the first trilogy and the next.  As the briefest of reviews, I will say that A Court of Frost and Starlight was just okay, but that teaser for the next book has me dying for the next installment.  ANYWAY, the ACO series is my favorite, go read them.

After I finished that series, I figured that I should probably go through the Throne of Glass series again, seeing how the final book was to be released on October 23rd, and it would be a good idea to refresh.  Truthfully, I didn't want to.  I've reread some of the books in the series before, but none of the books that came before Heir of Fire.  To me, the main character personality is a bit insufferable in the beginning, and I didn't really begin to like her a whole lot until the middle of the series.

So I thought it would be enough to just reread Tower of Dawn, which I did.  And then I thought, man I just have to read all of them.  So I went backwards and started The Assassin's Blade and it took me a whole month to read it because I just dragged my feet the entire time.  By the time I finished it last week I was like, carp, I have to read five books in six days to catch up before the last book comes out.

All of this to say: I reread the Throne of Glass series and took copious notes for each book (because hell if I know how to keep everyone's connections and backstories and histories straight without them), and then on Thursday I started reading Kingdom of Ash.

I finished it last night and feel satisfied and sad and happy and and and...  I simultaneously wish I could read them for the first time again and also feel a little bit relieved that it's over.  There were so many moments that gave me goosebumps and a few that made me tear up, and one particularly devastating scene that I am FURIOUS about but still semi-accepting of (BUT COULDN'T THERE HAVE BEEN ANOTHER WAYYY?!?!? 😭😭😭).  Jon is still making his way through the book and it's fun to talk about the parts we liked or got chills from as he progresses through.

(I am DYING for him to get to page 800 though, because that part had me freaking out more than anything else in the book.  "Jaw-dropping" is not an adequate adjective, it was more like I felt like my heart was going to come up and out of my throat.)

My final recommendation for the completed series:
Go for it!  It's an adventure and there are so many characters to fall in love with.
My advice for reading the series:
- Read The Assassin's Blade first, even though it wasn't the first book written in the series.  If you read Throne of Glass first then read The Assassin's Blade before you go on to Crown of Midnight.
- Make a character sheet with some notes for every person you read about.  The list will be long, but it will help you keep things straight.
- If you're not feeling the series after a couple of books in, don't give up until you read Heir of Fire. (It's my favorite of the series!)
- Tower of Dawn is unexpectedly necessary, don't skip it! (It's tied with Queen of Shadows as my second-favorite of the series.)

And lastly, my advice for binge-reading:
- Dudes, read as much as you can/want to BEFORE you have children and/or have any responsibilities at all.  In the last week and a half my overwhelming thought has been man, I should have read more before kids/when I WAS a kid.  And, I read plenty!  But once you've got little ones who need looking after and interrupt those high-stakes, tension-heavy moments, you start thinking about all the time you wasted in your life NOT reading.
- This recipe is a great one to make at the beginning of the series you're bingeing because it's basically the only thing you have to cook for a week, and you never have to interrupt your reading to make dinner.  Somehow the most annoying reading interruptions are the ones you make to keep on living as a human being.  Sleeping, showering, eating... I'd give it all up during a binge-read week if I could.
- Get a Kindle Paperwhite!  It's super lightweight, and your wrists will thank you after a week of reading that you weren't holding giant tomes or heavy tablets.  It's easy to hold in one hand (even laying down), which means book in one hand and snacks in the other.  And!  It has a search function, which is a total game-changer.  I can't count how many times in my life I wished that a book I was reading had a CTRL+F function.
- Make sure you've got your whole series in one place.  There's not much worse than finishing one book and having to wait to get the next book. (Made that mistake when I read the Throne of Glass series the first time!)
- When you get home and tell your husband I have to find out what's going to happen to my babies! make sure he knows you mean your Book Babies and not your Real Babies.

Maas it up friends, Book Babies are waiting for your adoration!

01 October 2018

i didn't know at the time.

This post references sex and specific, depraved sexual acts.  I do not apologize if this makes you uncomfortable.  The time to be prudish and delicate about these things has long passed.  Maybe the world and our children would be better served if we stopped ignoring what makes us uncomfortable.

In addition, I understand that with this post I am assuming that both my son and daughter are heterosexual, cisgendered beings.  I have no idea if this is true.  I'm also making an assumption in designating assaulted/assaulters as female/male.  I know this is not always true.  If one day my assumptions for my children prove false, then I will have an additional and different post to write.

In the last two weeks of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's bravery and really the last year of the taking off of the #MeToo movement, I've read countless stories that women have courageously put forward of their own experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault.  After a while I noticed a thought kept emerging over and over again in blog posts and tweets and threads:

"I didn't know at the time that it was assault."

Nine-ish years ago I was walking in downtown Tempe with a guy who I wasn't officially dating at the time, but we began a formal relationship not long after.  We were on our way to get some frozen yogurt when we were stopped by a man on the street.  A vagrant of some sort, we half listened to what he said, gave short responses, and waited until he was done talking to us so we could leave.  At a certain point he started complimenting my appearance, and compliments turned into a couple of wet, alcohol-laced kisses on my cheek and a squeeze of my backside.  Eventually we left him and got our frozen yogurt.

When we returned to the dorms, I recounted the experience to my friends with laughter and bewilderment in a "you'll never guess what happened when we were out!" kind of way.  It seemed like a funny story, and the only reason why it felt that way was because, though I was deeply uncomfortable, I was completely naΓ―ve to the fact of how unsafe the situation could have been, especially if I had been alone when it happened.

I didn't know at the time that it was assault.

This week, when I've been able to rise out of the fog of rage spurred by the hearings, I've been thinking about my little Vivienne.  I've been thinking about what I'll need to talk to her about when she's still young.  So very young.  I'm going to have to tell her that she WILL be discriminated against as a woman.  She WILL be harassed.  She may very well be assaulted.  I've been preparing what I will say to her ever since I found out I was pregnant with a girl.

What has become clear to me this week, however, is that I will need to be so incredibly specific with her.  I need to teach her well enough to be able to recognize she has been harassed or assaulted as soon as it happens.  I'll teach her that any sexual encounter she does not consent to is an assault.  That any consensual sexual encounter which changed partway through to another form of sex or position that she did not consent to is an assault.  Any kiss, any squeeze, any grab, any rub that she receives without her permission is an assault.

I will insist that when she realizes that she has been harassed or assaulted, she must come to me immediately to tell me what happened.  I truly sincerely hope with all my heart that she does.  The first thing she will need is justice, for the wrong to be righted.  Unless things change drastically over the next decade or so, that justice will likely never come.  The very next thing she will need is an advocate, an ally.  I need her to know that I am always going to be that person for her.

I'll have to teach Vivi all of these things, because our society will not teach them to her.  Our society will instead teach her that where she was, what she was doing, and what she was wearing before she was degraded and violated was her choice, and therefore the incident that followed was her fault.  That she is not credible if she doesn't remember every detail or took time to process what she endured instead of immediately reporting the incident.  That her accusations must be calculated and false if they risk the destruction of a man's success or job prospects.  That her reputation is worth nothing if it endangers a man's reputation.  That she should be afraid to voice the mistreatment that she endured.

When I think back to that evening in Tempe, I feel anger.  Certainly at the man who assaulted me, but just as much at the one who stood by me the whole time, watched it unfold, and did nothing.  I look back now and see that whatever discomfort or fear or ignorance he held was stronger than his concern for me and my safety.

I feel anger when I think of another man, with whom I engaged in consensual activities with, but did not know, as he did, that he had no intention of pursuing anything beyond those activities.  I look back now feeling like my consent was stolen, as I would not have given it if I'd known what he did not tell me.

I feel anger when I think of men who have ignored and dismissed me because I am a woman.  I wonder how long they have waited for a solution to a problem or had a task remain incomplete for too long simply because a woman came to them first and they refused her help.  How much time and money and resources have been wasted because of a man's biases?

I feel anger when I think that our society that prioritizes a man's sexual pleasure and health above women's.  Just as it is not a priority to teach men about consent and respect, it is also not a priority to teach them about women's sexual wants and needs.  In contrast, I was taught how to and what about me pleases a man starting at age twelve (at least).

And so, I think of my little Theodore.  I think of what I will need to teach him about women and consent and sex.

I'll have to teach him to stand up for women in danger, even if it means personal risk.  I'll have to teach him to believe women, not simply because he has a mother and a sister and therefore "gets it," but because women risk too damn much to lie to an entire nation about something that happened to them, and the infuriating truth is the support of a white man in this country is too valuable a currency not to have.  I'll have to teach him that lip service and empty gestures are not meaningful support in any way.

I'll have to teach him about consent, that if he does not ask a woman's permission to engage in any physical contact, sexual or not, then he cannot initiate contact without sexually assaulting her.  I'll have to teach him that "it's not cool if you have to ask" is the dumbest belief movies ever instilled in us.  I'll have to teach him to be honest with women and his intentions moving forward.

I'll have to teach him about sex.  I'll have to teach him that, after asking for consent, the most responsible thing he can do is wear a condom every single time unless he and his partner are trying to conceive.  I'll have to teach him that women are sexual beings too, and that learning to satisfy a partner is is of equal importance to his own sexual satisfaction.  And damn it all, I'll have to do my best to convince him that the sex he has certainly seen through pornography is not even close to being real or an appropriate foundation on which to form his own expectations for his sexual encounters.  I'll have to specifically tell him that it is not normal or standard to tie a woman up, to call her degrading names, ejaculate onto her face, or to expect her body to look a certain way or to expect her to be able to perform every sex act or position because those things look like they would give him the most pleasure.

I'll have to teach Theo all these things, because our society will not teach them to him.  Our society will instead teach him that he can do the opposite of everything I will teach him and not just get away with it, but be fully supported and praised by men of power and influence.  Our society proves to him again and again, that if he is rightfully accused of harassment or assault, he still has a life of success ahead of him.  Our society tells him that a woman with sexual needs is a whore and slut and deserves to be treated and used in a degrading manner.

My two children are just two people, though.  I grow frustrated at the thought that all of my teachings to protect and prepare these two people are up against the "not-teachings" and "counter-teachings" of the people they will find themselves amongst as teenagers and young adults and adults.  That frustration turns into fear; fear that what I'll do will never be enough or even matter.

Then I remember that fear has plagued survivors for too long.  And that fear is exactly what the perpetrators and the men of power and influence are counting on to stop survivors and women everywhere from doing what they can to change society and church and people who will not teach.

The fear will never ever leave me, whether it's fear for my life, safety, or personal well-being or fear for my children and their ability to grow and flourish as human beings without physical, emotional, or mental harm.  But I'm fighting through those fears, and I'm fighting to instill what I believe are important truths within my children.

I know now that it was assault.
I need my children to know when it is assault, too.

09 September 2018

nine months of vivi.

Vivienne is nine months!

Our Little Bunny is rapidly becoming not so little anymore.  Bits of her personality are starting to come through and... I think we are in for quite a ride with this one.

Recently, with complete and utter glee, I realized that our family has a representative of each of the Hogwarts houses.  Vivienne is a Slytherin through and through.  She's tricky, she's resourceful, and she's formidable in her persistence for troublemaking.

Those cunning folk use any means / To achieve their ends.

She's still the queen but also a slippery one in the bath.  She's always grabbing for things around the kitchen sink, and delights in spilling water everywhere.  I probably should be bathing her in a regular tub by now but can't give up the infant tub - one of the only vestiges of her tiny-babyhood that I have left.

Though it took half her life, she has finally come around to baby food.  What didn't take long, however, was for her to learn to become mobile and extremely fast.  She essentially learned how to sit up on her own and crawl at the same time.  And none of that army-crawling, worming around business that her brother messed around with for some time.  Just straight to crawling on hands and knees, much to my horror.  Pulling herself up to standing position followed not long after, and I am terrified that we have a walking-before-age-one child on our hands.  Theo didn't walk until 14 months, and he could have walked even later than that as far as I'm concerned.  With each day I become less and less doubtful that Vivi will do the same.  Fingers-crossed I'm wrong.

She and her brother love each other very much.  I try to record every moment I can of them playing happily together, as I'm sure one day I'll need to show them proof that they used to get along.  For now their camaraderie is the norm, and I'm glad for it every day.

Happy nine months to this sassy, sneaky, hairy baby of mine.