Hello, how are you, I'm sorry it's been so long. This time, however, I actually have a semi-legitimate excuse: Daddy and I were on VAY. CAY. SHON. Our first!! vacation in more than 4 years. And there were nooooooooooooo children in attendance. So, as you can imagine, we could have vacationed in our local Starbucks and I probably would have been just as ecstatic at the prospect.
But instead of Starbucks, Daddy delivered something much, MUCH better-- he whisked me away to what *must* be one of the most visually spectacular locations on earth: the Maldives islands (where, come to think of it, there actually was no Starbucks at our resort, proving that even heaven could stand some improvements). He and I did just about *nothing* for THREE WHOLE DAYS and it was the most glorious boredom ever. Long live the overpriced cocktail and the perfectly-temperatured infinity pool!
I owe a tremendous portion of the thanks for the vacation to PopPop, who, with his self-annotated, seven-page, single-spaced handbook of Mommy-drafted instructions, held down the fort with magnificent ease (surely, the substantial pile of presents also helped; what toddler in her right mind can resist a good bribe when it's wrapped in shiny princess paper?). PopPop navigated sports classes, swimming lessons, and even the unheard-of event of a kid having to stay home sick from school... all without breaking a (visible) sweat. The daily reports he would send us over email were full of not only laugh-out-loud highlights from the children's day, but also, incredibly, assurances of order and tranquility that were believable enough to put my mind at ease. Thus, to the extent that my sanity has been restored (or, more realistically, returned to a temporarily functional state), it's all the work of Daddy with his masterful planning, unparalleled companionship, and boundless generosity; and PopPop with his even-keeled grandfathering style and selfless commitment to ensuring that his daughter and son enjoyed a few days of uninterrupted blissful rejuvenation. THANKS TO YOU BOTH FOR MY BEST VACATION EVER!!!
And now back to your regularly scheduled program: what else is new? Well, Baby has suddenly taken to her infant sign language DVD like a duck to water, and is delighting us all with her increasingly effective communication skills. Sushi's artwork has similarly been a source of great pride: even though she's only just turned 4, she can already sketch an entire scene complete with fully accessorized characters (the exaggerated eyelashes and the vertical hairdos get me every time) and surprisingly well-thought-out floor plans (ah, she might follow in Daddy's professional footsteps after all). Screamer has been making terrific progress with identifying all the letters of the alphabet (curiously, she is often stumped by the letter "C," what's up with that?) and has developed a melt-your-heart manner of telling you a story that has no discernible plot or ending (but one HECK of a lot of animation and enthusiasm!).
Alice and Julia's unlikely friendship is continuing to progress, which pleases me to no end... though I am embarrassed to admit that I am still, 6 weeks after poor Julia's arrival, having to openly discipline both Sushi and Screamer for giving her the cold shoulder-- or worse. Sometimes even Baby starts belligerently flapping her arms when she sees Julia on the approach, which is beyond mortifying for me. I only hope that my endless stream of positive reinforcement is doing *something* to mitigate the inevitable damage that the children's resistance must be having on her self-esteem.... yikes. (Which reminds me, if anyone has any advice as to how I can speed up the toddler-acclamation-to-a-new-nanny process, I'm all ears.)
Finally, The German is pretty much out of my life entirely-- I avoid her whenever possible and I respond to her ongoing text advances as politely but succinctly as I can-- and I become more enamored with The Australian at every playdate (my infatuation is tempered only by the recent news that her husband's job may require them to relocate to Abu Dhabi, which is an hour away... Curses!!)
Overall, we have few complaints, other than (1) the heat, which is spiking so dramatically that it's almost comical; (2) the American Idol finale (DON'T GET ME STARTED, unless your intent is to get me crying onto my computer keyboard); and (3) the fact that all good things-- or in this case, all good vacations-- must come to an end. Hey Daddy, let's not wait another 4 years before we plan our next escape. ;) xo