Out of the Mouth of Babes

Truth be told, the Big Kid is pretty much always happy. She's an even-tempered person who tends to find the shiny side of every situation. Even when she's grumpy, it's not terribly hard to figure out a way to shake those grumpies out of her.

Some might describe her as "perky." They wouldn't be completely wrong.

That said, there's another level of happy that she can hit. It strikes out of nowhere. It comes with all of the energy, all of the enthusiasm, all of the joy, and ... all of the words. When Alexis hits that Good Day, she bounces, trounces, laughs, and talks.

So much talking.

All of the talking.

She forgets to breathe in those moments because she has an entire world she needs to tell me about. When that mood hits, I buckle up and get ready for a ride. It's going to be hilarious and enchanting, but it's also going to be exhausting.

Alexis was in that mood today when I picked her up from camp.

I recognized it before we had backed out of the parking lot. On a normal day, I have to ask how the day went. On a Good Day, the words start falling out of Alexis' mouth before she buckles her seat belt. The words fell so fast and so fiercely that even Mila took notice. She stopped trying to convince me that we should teleport to gymnastics and switched her focus to her big sister.

It lasted a mile. Maybe a bit less. For about a mile, Alexis talkedandshetalkedandshetalkedandshetalked while Mila looked at her, mouth agape. Mila was taking in every word, probably trying to figure out what language has no spaces between its words.

And then it happened.

A silent Mila stopped staring at her sister and loudly said, "SHUUUUUUSSSSSSSH!" Her finger was in front of her lips as she imitated the cranky old librarian fussing at kids giggling behind a pile of books. "QUIET!"

2-year old Mila shushed 10-year old Alexis. It. was. glorious.



Birds of a Feather

If you wander around Instagram, perhaps you have noticed that a certain tiny person has a habit of sleeping with random items. It's part of her bedtime routine. First there is pajamas and then there is a book. The argument over the pacifier comes before the cozy time together in her chair, but after Mila has hunted for just the right thing.

Sometimes it's a toy.


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Sometimes it's a stuffed animal. Or ten.


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Sometimes it's a baseball bat. ( ... don't ask)

With experience comes the wisdom to know which battles to fight. #BedtimeThings

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Lately it has been a doll.

#BedtimeThings #IMightHateThatDoll

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THAT doll.

That particular doll is the one that Mila received for Christmas from one of her great-grandparents. It was love at first sight, but then love faded. It faded the way the love affair between a child and a toy often fades -- the doll went from being pushed around in a stroller one day to being naked and face-down in a pile of broken dreams the next.

Which, whatever. Some day Mila will watch Toy Story 3 and some day she will regret every horrible thing she has done to her toys. There will be tears and I will send her to Alexis so that they can go to therapy together. When they're done with therapy, I'll hand them a pile of naked Barbie dolls and they can comb Barbie's hair while they hand her back her dignity.

THAT doll, though. It somehow managed to rise from the ashes and find its way back to Mila's arms.

And that is exactly where it has stayed every possible minute of the day for the past few days.

On the surface, this seems adorable. Because it is. But, if you look deeper, ZOMG MAKE IT STOP KILL THE DOLL STAB STAB STAB.

It's nearly as big as Mila. Her trying to walk with her arms wrapped around it is like me trying to walk around while embracing a Saint Bernard. That means that Mila has gone from moving at the pace of OMGToddlersAreSoSlow to whaaaaat? Were we going somewhere? Naaaaaaah.

Further stalling the child who is already barely moving is the desperate need to stop and play pretend. Mila likes to play the part of the baby and the parent, which means there is a whole lot of "That's not nice" coming out of her mouth as she corrects the giant doll for whatever it is that dolls do to cause their keepers to be angry. I think the doll hit Mila once, which go ahead and picture how that works when you're playing pretend. You hit yourself and then correct yourself for hitting yourself and wuuuut?

Mila and her doll are special snowflakes. That's for sure.


Let's Get It Done

I've been quiet about our progress with making magic with Center for Victims' patio lately. It's not because we've reached our goal by any means; it's because when the internet starts with the ugly and mean, I tend to dump cute and happy into this space. That's often been my pattern, and probably always will be.

That said, I got all sorts of crazy and radical over the past few days and muted and unfollowed and hid all sorts of people. While I firmly believe you have to listen to both sides of an issue to figure out where you should stand, I CAN'T EVEN RIGHT NOW. So much ugly. Sooooo much. Except not! Because I cleaned it all up!

So now that my Twitter feed and my Facebook feed are sunshine and rainbows, let's talk status!

First things first, the doors are getting painted ... Admirality. With some bright pops of color from the plants and such, I think it's going to be fantastic. Even better, I think we may just have some volunteers who will take care of doing the actual painting (No worries, volunteers, we are waiting until the weather is conducive to paint drying, humans moving, and such).

Second things next, we've got the benches under control. Which, YESSSSSS.

That leaves the patio.

I still need some help there. Anybody want to own their own square foot of patio space? Toss $3 bucks over here. That will take care of the things we need to install it and the actual patio square.

Want to own more than one square foot? That's fantastic! Click the little button and claim your stake. Some day that little spot will be the place where a kid draws with sidewalk chalk, jumps rope, rides a scooter, or just stands quietly as they work through the mental gymnastics required to find a better path in life.

As for all of you who have already helped, Mila has something to say.

Thank you so much.

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Let's do this, y'all. Let's get it all set up before we turn the page to August.