February has been kind of a big deal around here... as every day passes, Pittsburgh becomes more and more our home and sometimes the little things that happen inside the walls of our home get lost. Because I am celebrating things like: first trip to the grocery store with two babes. Those of you who are used to shopping at grocery stores either tucked safe into strip malls or have their own exit off the expressway may not appreciate the props I give myself for surviving an urban grocery store, but others of you are giving me a virtual high five. The first gauntlet is getting in the store at all... the parking lot is populated by crazy yuppies driving either tiny Yaris's or enormous Suburbans. It is every man for himself when a spot opens up and accepted rules such as being closest to the spot or having your turn signal on are a moot point if some yahoo is running low on organic sprouted wheat bread and needs it NOW. Once I am in a spot- most likely 1/2 mile from the entrance of the store because I would prefer to have time to get the babes out of the car without someone honking at me or grazing my backside with their car door, I put Knox in his carseat in the back and begin negotiations to get Pursy into the seat in the front. She of course does not want to sit there because there is a seat belt, and she also remembers that when I talked Grant into coming to the store with us last weekend she sat in a small car attached to the front of the cart. When there are equal parts adult to child, those cars are a great idea. When there is only one adult who is not only trying to procure foodstuffs but also keep an eye on her purse and small child #2, an almost two year old with free will and selective hearing is not the best choice to not have strapped down. Babes in the cart, actually in the store and shopping begun, I have to keep one eye out for well-meaning elderly who are charmed by my big-eyed babies and often talk to Pursy a few inches closer then she would like. I do get a kick out of hearing "you have a shy quiet one, don't you?" when their attempts to talk to her are rebuffed by her mild discomfort with having a stranger reach out and squeeze her hand. Last weekend (aforementioned trip with Grant) a lovely 90+ year old woman with schizophrenia chatted us up about art houses in New York City and then offered to watch the babes at the cafe while Grant and I "had some time alone". I was on the phone with my mother in law while this was going on, so I was listening to her chuckling on the other end of the phone while I tried to gracefully explain that we actually enjoyed grocery shopping as a family but thank you so much for the offer. If I do survive all of this and walk out the door with groceries for the week and both babies, I usually discover some food item that rolled under Knox's car seat and we have now shoplifted. I don't know if I should admit this, but if it is under $2 I usually say of prayer of forgiveness and grace and get in the car. I'm sure it comes out in the karmic wash.
Purslane has spent the previous two months trying to master her sleep/wake cycle with little success. We are still waking up 2-3 times/night with her screaming at the top of her lungs in her room. We have tried sleep training, lights on/off, guard rail on her toddler bed, we are now at 4 stuffed animals plus a blanket that she sleeps with, bringing her in bed with us, rocking her to sleep, sitting outside her room so she can see us... and we have definitely stopped reading blogs and procuring advice because it is depressing. We have just accepted that this is our season with her and we just have to survive. And as Grant reminds me when I am whining in my sleep-deprived stupor that we are ruining her life by not figuring out how to help her sleep- this isn't what will turn her into a crack addict. So it isn't a milestone yet, but we are hopeful.
Knox is still his enormous charming mushroomy self. He has been attempting to roll over, but I don't think he has the muscle strength yet to move his fat little body. :) He gets up on one hip and juuust... caaaann't... get over. But he is just fine to lay on his back and smile at whoever comes close. Pursy was the first one to get a laugh out of him, and it has become Grant and my mission to be the next one. While I was in my week of full-time orientation for my new job at UPMC, my mother finally convinced him it was better to drink breastmilk from a bottle then starve,so another milestone reached. He is also reaching for anything in front of him and finally got his fingers around the frog pull on his bouncy seat and we heard the tinny little song play. I remembered the day Pursy mastered that frog pull and I can't believe Knox is there already.
Grant turned the big 32 this year and we celebrated with Eggs Benedict hot dogs and a donut cake. More on that fantastic birthday dinner later.. He also turned in a completed dissertation to his committee last week and even though there are a few more steps before his defense, every word is on paper and now it's just revise, revise, revise. But the end is in sight- and we haven't decided whether the congratulatory party will be for him or me. I am so proud of him- this has been a long, hard slog but very soon he will be Grant Martsolf, PhD. He is already asking friends and family for the proper verbal acknowledgment and I enjoy watching our new friends try and figure out if he is kidding or not... he seems very serious about it. I told him I will call him Doctor Martsolf, but only in bed.
So life continues to change and evolve and we continue to try and keep up. I do enjoy every stage with these two little humans, but this one might be my favorite- holding Knox while he smiles and laughs at Pursy dancing and doing her "moves" to Scott Joplin records. Not a bad way to spend a day.
Pursy at a Sewickley basketball game...