Oh, summer. You go too quickly! There is so much I want and need to do, my head is kind of spinning. I have a patio full of decking materials for the deck I need to build, stair stringers and boards for the stairs I need to rebuild, wood and brackets for the shelves I need to build (J’s room and the playroom), polyurethane for the tables (three at last count) I need to refinish, or finish refinishing, ha. Today I got two messages about rush order ketubahs, and we’re leaving for a week up north on Saturday! *White knuckles gripping table*

And balancing all that… total slowness. Mornings where I rush things and, say, try to help June get her pants on, and then pay for it with tears, her pulling the pants off, and 15 minutes of her putting the (now inside-out) pants back on by herself. Or slowness in nicer ways – evenings in the hammock, afternoons crawling around the house with my Quince while Junip naps, vacations with entire days of doing nothing but laying around in various locations (couch, beach, floor). The ebb and flow of summer.

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We had this thing inflated so long it nearly killed the grass, but it was so hilarious watching the girls interact with it. Love that butt.

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The maple lost more branches, damaged the house a bit more, and was finally cut down by the city. It was a relief but still, really sad. The yard is just so… exposed and barren feeling now. Also, I had totally forgotten about the little collection of rocks Junip had been hiding in the bark crevices, until they broke the guy’s chainsaw blade and he had to spend the next 20 minutes going around the trunk, hunting them down and picking them out! Whoops.

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My Aunt Susie and Uncle Charley came to town in their new camper trailer, so we had the rare pleasure of a couple nights with them. We picnicked out at their campsite, where June made some buddies and Quinn discovered watermelon, and then had them over for a grill out the next night. I’ve had a pretty successful run convincing people to move to Madison, but I still don’t see my extended family nearly as often as I’d like. I appreciate it when I do.

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We seem to have made it over some hump, where suddenly I can do things like see that the bus is coming in 10 minutes and actually get myself and the girls on it, or throw them in the trailer and bike us downtown to the market, and it doesn’t drain me for the whole day. I’m thinking it’s mostly a change in the girls, not me. I don’t want to wish away their babyness but I’m really appreciating this new dynamic.

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Speaking of new dynamics, suddenly Juniper is such a big girl, it’s really blowing my mind. Please see the tea party, below. How is this a thing all kids do? We don’t even drink tea really. I can’t think of any books where they’ve done this. And yet, Junip pushes a stool to the sink, fills up a cup with water, and when I follow her back to the playroom, there are all the toys and dolls sipping “chamomile tea” (like Peter Rabbit’s mom gives him?)

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And also, willpower. Wow. The guy at the BP gave her two dum dums, and when I asked if she wanted me to open one, she said no, she wanted to show her dad first. She carried them home untouched, wouldn’t take a lick until Drew had appreciated them. And then she unwrapped one for Quinn before opening her own. I hadn’t even asked her to give Quinn one, actually I felt a little weird about a baby having candy, but it was such sweet, natural generosity, I had to roll with it.

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The solemn bond between child and lollipop. Beautiful.