It's been a long week. The death of our friend overshadowed it all and brought with it not only grief, but also the kinds of things you think about when someone born the same year as you passes away. That old anxiety of mortality. Cora has been a fabulous distraction from these thoughts, but also a potent reminder of joy. As I've been dragging myself through this week, she's kept me from sinking, both because I just can't, and also because she can make me laugh in unexpected ways.
Like today, when we were leaving DQ, after an ice cream cone treat, and she was telling me a very long and involved story about herself and me and my mommy and when she's a mommy and grandmas. When she finished, I said, "Wow, that sounds pretty complex, Cora." She answered, "No, that's not complex, Mommy, you silly lady!" I had to pull back into my parking space, I was laughing so hard. Which made her laugh, of course.
Another thing that makes me feel better is making things. So, last weekend it was mozzarella cheese, which was then used in this eggplant parm:
And then I worked like crazy to finish this little poncho for Cora. Now I can't decide if I should save it for Christmas (my original plan) or give it to her this fall (because I can't wait to see it on her). I just used yarn I had on hand and adapted a pattern I found - estimated size stuff, added another point, made up a ruffle, etc. I really like the way it turned out!
It also makes me happy to get packages from my own Momma! This week brought photos, a fancy candy bar, a bottle of orange-chili sauce, collected comic strips from the weekly paper, assorted other things to read, and a doll blanket and pillow for Cora. I cut down a diaper box for a bed.
Tidoo went to bed and stayed there for the next three days! Cora would pick up the whole bed to rock her. Tonight she took her out of the bed to hold her and rock her and sing her songs. She sang this awesome medley of "Amazing Grace," "Row, row, row your boat," and the alphabet song. Sweet.
Lately Cora has really increased her verbal expressions, which I wouldn't have thought was possible. If she was a chatterbox before, I don't know what you call her now. She is so into pretending and acting out WonderPets episodes with her finger puppets, and she sings all these songs that she learns at school. My favorite is the "great white shark" song - hand motions! - where the shark eats the fishies and the octopus and who knows what else. And then there is one about Mr Alligator eating the monkeys in the trees. (A lot of eating in Cora's favorite songs and books these days.). But here is something I think is a real milestone. Last weekend at a bookstore we bought Cora this little dog:
She named it Chuchiya. It's the first thing she's named all on her own. I love that.