Wednesday, March 25, 2015

standstill

I don't know what's gotten into me. I can't seem to bring myself post here! My camera is on the fritz so my photos are unpredictable, but it's got to be more than just that. I have been busy with pretty much nothing new. The spring days are sweet, my babies are delightful and sometimes I go a bit nutso with hormones or with impatience or with just being a lively woman. Maybe none of this is worth reporting. We see our cousins, friends, go on little adventures. What is a blog-able life and why do I care (do I even care?) if I never cared before, just posted whatever we're up to with no further ado. Sometimes I post on a topic I've been thinking about, but that's rare. And I actually I do have a couple of those saved up, sitting in my drafts folder, just sitting. Maybe I'm thinking too hard. Maybe I need to make quick little posts as epistles into the future, just odds and ends of our life. That's how it's always been here really. I don't have to be coherent or present something challenging or unpredictable or predictable or a DIY project. I can just make a little deerpath through clover beds. I can just whirl that little path around our trampoline and blooming trees. The weeds are tall, perfect for egg hunts. We have family coming to town this weekend. I have been working here and there at the bookstore. We just finished rewatching Season three of game of thrones. I have not been eating much dairy because of an ethical epiphany I had when I realized that dairy cows must be separated (almost all of the time) from their calves in order to give their milk to humans instead; it suddenly doesn't sit right and the very nature of dairy (one of my favorite things to eat) has me unsettled. I have been running a couple times a week which is new for me. I enjoy it, which I find most surprising. I went out for drinks with girlfriends, noteworthy in its own right because I have only done that one other time since I had Polly. Polly is teething and she is little (dinky pops says) and I get worried when her appetite seems decreased like the last couple days. She is quick and lithe and energetic and happy and when I swoop her through the air it's like hoisting a feather. Tootie gets the giggles when I act surprised by something, like the net of toys sliding down in the bath and plopping in the water on its own. She has the most addictive giggle and she says the funniest things lately. "That's because I'm just a little girl. I always do things you not like." (with unapologetic glee.) She calls Polly, "Pollywollydoodlealltheday" as the world's longest nickname and leads her sister on wild magical games of pretend with carefree abandon. This time is a treasure that my heart guards.

Cousin jump.

Polly and Scout share miner's lettuce.


Tootie with Utah at a park in Auburn on Friday while Addie gets accupuncture.

They love each other so much. As soon as we get them out they run to each other and throw their arms around each other. (Polly slept through the park visit) and later Lucy leans in close and tells him, "I just love you," and they kiss on the lips.




Our yard is a blossoming place. They beg to go outside from the minute we get up. If Polly sees or hears the door close and she didn't get to go out, like if I ran the trash out, she cries. 


Toward the end of Darin's work day is the witching hour (5:00) and I might call in reinforcements so I can start dinner. Since we usually see Nana earlier in the day, the honor is all Papa's. He helps with odd jobs too, fixing the vacuum, helping me move stuff, carrying out a project I suddenly come up with on the spot. But mostly just being with these girls, taking them on the trampoline, reading to them, throwing them up in the air, exploring with them,


My girl, growing up. Lately she is the snuggliest, and "I just love you" is her new favorite phrase.


Hanging out with friends at Zack and Rebecca's house.

Noni brought over little chef aprons.

Yes we've already been in water quite a bit. Today was the first time they actually wore bathing suits, so I could post some pictures ;)



I shopped my own etsy rack and decided I quite love this dress for springtime.



I'm excited for a lot of fun this weekend: Darin's playing a show with his band, my brother's family is in town, and we are having a big get together Saturday, then Sunday a little local carnival with the girls. Hope your days are bursting with vitality wherever you are, and here's to hoping for more regular posting! 




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Beachy Getaway - Day Three

Our last day started with a cozy bath in our cottage and lots of love. Mornings with toddlers are glorious. (5 pm not so much.)



After a quick breakfast of whatever we had left over, pbj and crackers and apples,  it was still early enough for us to head back down to the beach before we'd have to check out.


With borrowed toys from the Sandpiper's office in hand, it's just a short jaunt on a crystal clear blue March morning past two or three houses and across the picnic area and parking lot to the shore!



As you come up over that sandy path you just breathe this massive sigh of relief and joy and peace: ahhhhhhhhhh.




Darin took lots of beautiful photos that morning.

Lucy walked in the surf...just a little bit. Which was very brave for her.




The California sun shone graciously.




And this might be my new all time favorite portrait of our toots. 

She also found a dinosaur bone. (her personal favorite part of the trip.)
 


Someone had told us the little beach snack bar would open since it was a Thursday, but it didn't. Still it was a sweet place to hang out for a while and had a calm deserted gritty feeling of an early morning dream.





These moments happen too. We had some funny dynamics going on this trip. Polly pulling Lucy's hair or scratching her, Lucy leaning in and yelling "You not do it...ANY MORE!" And then me desperately trying to explain that yelling isn't going to help Polly learn to be gentle...that quickly gave way to the same exact scenario, but ending in both girls laughing hysterically at each other. Sigh. But who knows what was happening here? It could be anything. She's two.


We went back up to say good bye to our little home that was so very nice to us for a couple days.



We wanted to do one last family portrait at the beach, and were still hoping for that snack bar, so we stopped one last time. Polly was too frazzled and needing a nap to put up with it though, so this is the best we could do.


We headed over Mount Tam on a drive that takes your breath away, and goes much more quickly than I'd remembered. In no time at all we were in Mill Valley having lunch at a spot we remembered we had enjoyed in the past, and Joe's Taco Lounge did not disappoint. Even the business men having lunch right at our backs were jovial and kind about the girls and their normal toddler antics. Polly even tickled one dude's back. We had established a close-quarters-lunchtime rapport. Family eating success again!


After that there was no choice but to head home. We made good time and the girls slept for a long while, only cried the last twenty minutes or so. (grueling)  It was kind of cute as we turned up Pacific Street to hear Lucy calm her fussing sister, "We're ALMOST home Polly. Don't WORRY." 

Thank you ocean. We'll dance back your way one day soon.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Beach Getaway - Day Two

We awoke bright and early to enjoy a cozy morning in our little Stinson Beach cottage. Hot cocoa and coffee (took us a few tries to figure out the coffeemaker, Darin finally went to buy us some from the cafe next door). Tootie said, "I really wish they had marshmallows!" 




The most entertaining activity in the whole house was, of course, climbing the bunkbeds...over and over and over again. Tootie even got to sleep on the top bunk! We are so used to sleeping close together that we all slept in the bunkroom and didn't even use the "master" bedroom. There was a full bed bottom bunk and a very comfy twin trundle also pulled out for Polly.


We headed off for a walk around town.


Stinson Beach has the prettiest fences and gardens. Not to mention that morning light sparkling over Mt. Tam.





The girls loved crossing the little creek through town. I love the rustic feel of the town, this whole part of the coast (especially Bolinas) because even though it could be considered "upscale" with obviously high property values,summer houses, artisan cheeses, and fine galleries, there is a feeling of homeyness and comfort. Bright colors and jalopies and small farms. flowerpots on windowsills, neighborly smiles and waves. It doesn't have that stuffy, overpriced snobbiness of parts of Big Sur and Mendocino. It feels very welcoming, windy and a little bit wild. Plenty of nature to keep the heart humble and the eyes wide, plenty of kindness and cheer and enthusiasm to hush the cynicism of the modern age. Or maybe that's just because I'm around two toddlers all day, who has time for cynicism? ;)



Mailing out some cards from the local post office.



Any town that has a good bookstore (or two or three) is okay by me! So glad this place is still up and running and chock full of treasures.


Polly's new favorite word is "doll! doll!" and she screams for them loudly whenever she spots one.

Needless to say it wasn't long before I had to take her outside. 


Hopscotch in the park.


Polly fell asleep in the car as we headed up to Bolinas. So we took turns checking out the community trade-in bookstore but had to skip the beach there. 



She did wake up in time for us to all visit together the Bear Valley Visitor Center and then onward up Sir Francis Drake Blvd along the pastoral grassy knolls of Point Reyes National Seashore. 
We hiked out at Chimney Rock to the elephant seal overlook where almost a thousand elephant seals are spending their breeding period down on the shore. It was fun to hear the girls try to mimic the seals' barks and watch the baby ones flip and roll and scoot far below on the sand.




We attempted to hike out to the headland and try to spot whales (just a one mile hike) but we hit our only real setback of the trip when both girls were too fussy, both wanting ME and only ME, so for a while I had Lucy in the backpack and held Polly in my arms, but even that wasn't working so we turned back. Which was fine. Snacks and a short car ride to the beach seemed to work wonders. I thought Polly needed a nap but she perked up and stayed super happy for our next beach visit.

Drakes Beach was almost deserted and achingly beautiful this clear warm afternoon. The visitor center was closed during the week but the bathrooms were open, spacious and clean. I loved this wood-beamed open air plaza in the middle of the visitor center. We explored and read about Queen Elizabeth's hero in the late 1500s, Sir Francis Drake, who was the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe and arrived in this bay in 1589, calling it Nova Albion and reportedly maintaining friendly relations with the local Miwok Indians.    



Out on the beach it was low tide again, and we drifted along searching through the flotsam and jetsam and examining the exposed cliff bases. The girls loved climbing and jumping off. 










Best of all was this handsome male elephant seal who appeared suddenly and silently and rested in the cliff's shade while we played nearby. We kept our distance but Darin couldn't resist a photo. The seal almost looked dead, except for an occasional swipe of his flipper, and he was completely unperturbed by us or the group of young beachcombers who passed directly in front of him!



 


We rinsed our feet at the outdoor shower and heard an owl hooting. Then it was time to head back down that windy road to Point Reyes Station for dinner at Cafe Reyes. We remembered having really good pizza there a couple years ago when we just had Lucy. In the car Darin and I looked at each other and said, "Can we really pull this off?" We rarely go out to eat anymore especially to "grown up" restaurants. But miraculously the girls were great! Darin held Polly on his lap all through dinner (she was too wriggly for the high chair) and both girls chowed down on wood-fired cheesy bread. I had a salad with bleu cheese from Point Reyes farmstead creamery and it was perfection with a glass of Pinot Noir. 


Both fell asleep on the drive back to Stinson Beach so they went to bed in their clothes with no bath. They slept great almost all through the night and woke up ready for just a little more road trip fun before we would head home.