Ain't no hood like Motherhood...

...I've finally hit that stage. That stage where as a mama, I want to freeze time and SLOW IT DOWN. The stage where you have a really fun little human and you just want to skip working, cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes...basically, I want to stop all adulting and just hang out doing fun stuff with Ruby.

I never felt this way before. Taking 10 minutes to do the dishes and clean the kitchen meant a little break from motherhood. Taking a shower was spa-like. Going to the grocery store alone is freedom (ok wait, that one still holds true). But for the first two years or so, I always savored those little breaks, because the first two years were HARD. Sleep training, breast feeding, crawling, walking, talking, eating solid foods, learning how to drink water from something other than a bottle... and the big one: potty training. That stuff is HARD. But you know what? We made it.

And now, that all the hard stuff is over, I want to savor EVERY MOMENT. I want to remember her tiny hand holding mine. I want to make memories for her that include me (instead of cleaning or cooking). I don't miss those first two years, and each time we hit a new milestone, I always rejoiced and felt like it was getting better and better, and now, I can't imagine how much better it could be. I'm torn between wanting her to learn and grow and feeling pride in all she is, and wanting her to stay small and innocent and free and being sad because it is going too damn fast. Like Mimi said to me tonight: "You'll blink and she'll be 15." STOP BREAKING MY HEART, TIME.

Anyway, because it is going so fast, and I can't pause time, I can at least record some of the "normal" everyday here, to remember it. And to remind myself (and readers) to slow down and live life, because it is beautiful.

One-two days a week I don't work (usually Friday and Saturday) and because we've been kind of trapped due to life (illness, potty training, family engagements) for the past month, and because last Friday was supposed to be beautiful, perfect weather, I decided to take Ruby to the National Zoo.

Traffic going there was terrible, but we made it, and it turned out to be the most fun day we've had in a long time.

She's so interested and curious, and we saw all the animals she wanted, except flamingos (fling-go-gos) because the bird house is closed for renovation.

Her favorite was the Komodo Dragon. Yep, my toddler knows about Komodo Dragons, from a book we read together.

She also loved the bison, again, because it was like "Igor" from the book (about a buffalo who is grumpy and won't wear underwear).

Panda Bears have been a favorite ever since cousins Kenzie and Cam gave her one when she was just a baby (couldn't crawl yet).

The elephants are Mimi's favorite, so we stopped and watched them, but they were pretty far away for a decent photo, so we made due with the fake one.

And the sea lions are mesmerizing: I could watch them all day. Ruby kept asking questions about them "Where he going? What he doing?" which prompted lots of talk about swimming, and waving flippers and turning around.

She loved seeing the primates: the orangutans were out climbing above the zoo-goers, and the gorilla was sleeping inside.

The small mammal house was a fun favorite too... everything was "so cute! adorable!"

Then Saturday we included her Papa in on the fun. More perfect weather. A playground visit:

A hike:

Connecting with the world around her (by sprinkling dirt on things... including herself):

Tree hugging:

Biking:

Shopping for her new big girl underwear (she chose Elmo...) and getting her new shades in the mail:

We are truly fortunate. A beautiful daughter, to laugh with, teach, and love. I can't imagine life without her, and I'd really love things to slow down...just for a second. Here is a thought... Time could take a break from going so fast, and clean my bathrooms. That'd be super.


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