Ahh... the winds grow chillier and the sun dips sooner. Smiley and Smartypants ooh and ahh as we drive past houses decorated with colored lights and inflatable snowmen. Being the eldest and wisest of my little monkeys, Smartypants eagerly watches every commercial on television and adds every toy she sees to her list for Santa. Smiley, ever the mimic, pretends to do the same, though even the jolly old bearded man himself will find it difficult to decipher the swirling lines and random dots of her unpracticed penmanship. They imagine sledding and snow angels, lighted trees and ribboned presents. For children, these are days of dreams and merriment, when anything is possible and the onset of winter is a pleasant thing.

If only we remained children forever.

Lots of things happening. I do plan to start writing more often. This new situation of ours is stabilizing to a degree, and with slightly more day to day certainty the prospects of a routine increase. We'll see. For now I spend too much time scrounging for hats and gloves that somehow always manage to get misplaced between car rides.

I thank everyone who continues to visit (and to those who visit every day, i promise to start making regular posts again).

A quick update:

Smartypants participated in her first school program a week ago. It was a Thanksgiving song fest. Dozens of little Indians and Pilgrims celebrated by blurting out random words to well-rehearsed but poorly performed songs, and everyone loved it. Smartypants seemed to suffer from a bit of stage fright. She mumbled her words and her dance movements were imperceptible. Of course, when i asked her why she sang so softly, she said, "I didn't! I sang loud! But you couldn't hear me because so many other kids were singing!" I humored her.

Smiley strings new sentences together daily. She's 20 months old now and an expert at drawing attention away from her older sister. She gets into everything she shouldn't. She thinks it's hilarious to dump cheerios on the floor and watch the cats lick 'em up. If I forget to put the gate up to block the stairs, she screams "Uh OH!" and tries to do it herself. Occasionally, she walks up to me and says, "I poopy," then waits until i take off her pants and her diaper and says, "No I not," then laughs uncontrollably. If she's a prankster at 20 months, I imagine i'm going to be in loads of trouble later.

We're getting by well enough, with help from family and friends. I could use a little more sleep, but four years of having children has gotten me accustomed to exhaustion and caffeine induced dementia. Such is life.


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