Tuesday, October 25, 2011
i'd like icing on my cupcake, iffen you know what I mean
We had a fantastic and fun long weekend with David, Caroline, and their one-year-old Edie, who came to see us from DC. I know I can't do our trip justice in a blog post, but here goes anyway. If I could sum up our time together in two words, I choose laughter and food. Combine our loves of adventure and sitting around eating and talking, and you've got the basic gist for what we did for the last 5 days.
We started with trips to local parks to wear out our little monkeys.
You can't get grown-ups around a playground without us getting a turn or two. Who knew the seesaw could provide so much glee?
Edie is a very bright little girl, both intellectually and in her personality. She wakes for the day with gusto and hits the ground running with a purpose. Comparing Edie's joie de vivre to Charlotte's snail-like deliberateness and calm makes for an amusing contrast. She is hilarious and adorable, and she reminds us a lot of Vivi at that age. In fact, she and Vivi became fast friends and began chasing each other around the couch from the start. When Caroline and I were pregnant at the same time, I imagined our two little girls being best buds. I was intrigued to discover Vivi and Edie bonding over their collective nutty zeal and Charlotte chilling in the corner taking it all in, as usual. My kids continually surprise me with their innate differences.
Edie celebrates her first birthday this week, and Vivi was quite the enthusiastic hostess when it came to party preparation. On her orders, we had plenty of balloons, presents, and cupcakes. Behold Edie's no-hands approach to eating her first cupcake:
Having been on the University of Georgia rowing team together a decade ago, the four of us were super excited about our first ever attendance at the Head of the Charles, the biggest and most famous fall regatta. There was much walking, eating, and spectating to be had.
Caroline has been teaching Edie sign language far beyond just the few mostly food-related signs I've taught Charlotte, meaning that Edie has signs for many animals and household objects and uses them regularly. Watching them communicate with her in this way has inspired to take up baby signing again, so I dusted off our Baby Signs book. Our first word is "lights" (open and close fists), which Charlotte points at no less than 25 times a day.
Getting back to the laughter and the food, it goes without saying we had plenty on both counts. Of course there was the obligatory dinner at Flatbread Co., during which Nate said, in between sips of beer and bites of pizza, "I have never been happier in my life." I couldn't have said it better myself! Friends + beer + pizza + ambiance = pure happiness. And when you have a few days of vacation combined with some sleep deprivation and lots of sugary treats, it probably goes without saying that hilarity will ensue. Whether we were discussing the icing of Edie's cupcakes, funny southern expressions, or the pinking of America (pink ribbon beer pong table, anyone?), somehow we always found a way to belly cry-laugh yet again.
After dropping them at the airport, Nate pointed out that spending a whole five days together was definitely the most time we'd ever gathered en masse since college, despite living in the same city for 5+ years. The notion that this simple fact did not occur to me over the course of the trip speaks to both how easy it is for us to spend lots of time with them and also how utterly impossible it is to have a coherent, intelligent thought when there are three kids under four years old running around. We were proud just to get the hoard and our collective belongings loaded in the clown car by 11am, let alone providing each other with thoughtful analysis of our compatibility as friends.
Although it was a chaotic visit at times, there is something to be cherished about experiencing the bedlam together. It is a foregone conclusion for me to pine to live in the same city again. But for now, we must appease the desire with our yearly visits and monthly Skyping, and so Nate and I are already plotting our drive to DC in the spring.