my sister the mama
one of lucy's favorite people on earth is her cousin utah. she calls him "ta-ta" and she talks about him all the time. they don't even get to hang out that much, but when they do it sticks, she brings him up all the time, wanting to swing with him, read certain books with him, or eat a meal with him. i feel like this time together is the stuff of memories. so we decided to get them together at this crazy playplace in auburn (a midway point between our towns.) my mom and i packed up my babies and drove through the canyon to meet up with addie and utah there: funfinity it's called.
it's funny, there was a time not very long ago that if you described this place to me i would have said, that is a total nightmare. i don't even want to think about it. even when we'd go visit matt and amy and their three kids, we went to places the adults could enjoy too, including the rollerskating rink. i guess matt and amy were too kind to subject us to places like this. one year they rented a bounce house for jarom's birthday. i knew it was fun for the kids but beyond that i didn't even pay it any mind. the world of regulated kids' activities was decidedly NOT my world.
now we get all excited talking on the phone, planning to take our toddlers to this giant indoor playground of soft padded structures to jump and climb and slide upon. "it's totally safe," addie tells me. "there are benches for the moms to sit around the edges. you don't even have to do anything. you could sit and nurse polly while lucy plays." and this sounds immensely appealing to me. obviously we both have toddlers at the stage that you really can't leave them alone for a minute.
and once we're there we don't even just sit around the edges and gab with each other, nope. we are too busy thinking our kids are cute and running around after them encouraging them to do stuff or taking photos. sigh. what big dorks moms are ;)
but the best part of the trip was going back to addie's house afterwards. she has really come into her own at this house. there is just the most refreshing sense of blossoming. sunlight everywhere (which was her dream) and everything alive and vibrant; places to play, spots to sneak away and daydream, fields to ramble, cats to rub against your leg, cassettes to play on the hi-fi.
see, told you she has a green thumb.
old plants in pots that have been hanging around since our early 20s, come back to life for her.
whispering the ways to utah. he'll make a fine botanist one day, or perhaps an ornithologist.
sometimes i seriously just trip out on the fact that my sister adrienne is now a mother. more than myself by far, this fact astonishes me. it has been a harder journey for her, a fact she is not shy to share with the world. (you could read about it at her blog.) but she loves her boy with a great welling ocean of love, and i appreciate her mama-hood with all my heart, that we are mamas together and our kids will grow up best of friends if we have anything to do with it. and if we keep building memories from our hours and days together.
the kids wanted to go in the playpen together. we are believers in the playpen in this family. there are countless family photos of us kids as babies and toddlers in our big square yellow 70's pen with toys, books, snacks, one kid climbing in to entertain the baby, at my dad's company picnic, at church events, in the backyard. we grew up thinking of them as fun and cozy places to play, not some kind of cage like the word suggests. anyway, lucy climbs out now so it's not as useful as a small contained space. she used to love having some quiet time in there. this time, though, it was more of a bounce party.
addie has a newfound love for buying and selling rare vintage sheet music. she inherited a large collection of it years ago from our great grandma when she died, which piqued her interest and got her started. plus of course she plays piano herself! her etsy shop is called BeatSpring Music. Check it out if you like that sort of thing; some of the artwork on these pieces is fantastic, often quirky and nostalgic and mesmerizing. she told us stories about some of the special rare ones. she mostly specializes in music from the 1920s and 30s.
a collector of old things, of tiny things, of endearments.
ended the day with a stop at the Curly Wolf. best coffeeshop ever, totally kid friendly while still being beautiful and hip and having fast wifi and delicious dark hot chocolate. the babes ran around a bit and no one seemed to mind. in fact, a pleasant customer brought us a bin of kids' toys and books from the other room, saying you guys could probably use these more than me!
we love ade and utah.
it was hard to say good-bye.