Viva Sayulita!!

Fabulous trip, but stumbled into Puerto Vallarta with:

1 ear infection
1 case of heat exhaustion
1 potential case of strep or staff requiring cipro
A fever
Several infected custs and scrapes requiring antibiotics
...and a bee sting on the tongue (mine)

Fortunately the kiddos came through without any notable tummy troubles, as did the adults.

Things I'll never forget:
o Miriam riding a horse for the first time (in front of me, of course) and getting her first henna tattoo, of sea turtles on her ankle
o Leisurely time spend with my husband, daughter, parents, sisters and their boyfriends, usually involving cocktails (week 1)
o Poolside Parental Beer Hour(s) during naptime (week 2)
o Our pack of Bernal families descending on the best taco place in town, and singing along with the addled street performer who was channeling Bruce Springsteen
o Six toddlers playing with baby sea turtles at a pizza place in San Pancho, just before they were released into the ocean at sunset

Another fantastic trip. Viva Sayulita!


Thirty-three Months: Super-cala-fragi-lipstick-expiali-docious!

Here you are just shy of three years old and you have a song for everything. You're singing songs all the time -- frequently songs we've actually heard before, in order rather than a montage -- especially as you ride on our shoulders which is quite helpful. I love your take on lyrics, too...


Happy Fall

While it's pouring outside now, we enjoyed the lovely weather last weekend on our foray to the Pumpkin Patch. Farmer John's is old school, no jumpy houses nor giant slides, just a lot o' pumpkins in every shape and color, and the requisite teepee, tractor, scarecrow and pumpkin fields for marvelous photos.

No matter, turns out almost-three-year-olds have little desire to be posed. All the best shots are candids, requests for smiles were greeted with near-derision from our little ghouls.

Yet MZ clearly enjoyed the field trip with her friends, this is the 3rd annual with Pugawug and her second year with most of her other playmates. A fabulous tradition...


Yarzheit IV

Avi and Ximena, you'd be four today. You're now older than I can imagine. You'd be preschoolers like your sister, but you'd have crossed the magic 36 month developmental threshold. Would you play soccer? Love martial arts? Dinosaurs or diggers or dress up? I can only imagine the conversations we'd have if you were here now.

We miss you with a more cutting ache these days, we're not far from where we were last year, still unendingly grateful to parent Miriam, and wondering if and how we will bring another sibling into our world. If anything the loss in not being able to raise you is amplified. Some days I want to scream "We had three!" to those who ask if we want another, if we've considered the range of options they assume is open to us.

But even without that irony, we miss you so. It amazes me how easily I can shift myself to that hospital room, to the hours before and after your birth and the minutes we had with you.

And so we take this moment each year to honor you and to grieve you. To light two candles with one match, to recite the Mourner's Kaddish, whose rhythm provides comfort in a place beyond reason. As long as those candles burn, you are with us.

This year Miriam will join us at the service in which your names are spoken. She's just started to ask questions about those missing from our circle, her second grandfather, her Papa's papa. By next year I'm sure she'll know that she had two beautiful brothers. We'll tell her how loved you are, and how much missed.

Your Mommy


Verbal Gymnastics

At the playground, as a pack of rabid 8-year-old girls descend on the toddlers playing on the slide:

Round 1
MZ: Hey guys, you have to watch out for the little kids
R8YOGs: [Whoosh!]

Round 2
MZ: Hey guys! You have to watch out for the little kids!
8YOG1: Who are the little kids?
MZ: Well, her (pointing to friend I. at the bottom), and me!

At dinner:
Well the problem is, Henry wants me to go over there and play with him, but I can't go over there because I'm coloring...