Nana, my stepmother, left this morning after two weeks with us. (My mother and stepfather were here when Pickle arrived, this was the second coming of grandparents.) Family staying, hell, anyone staying, in a small apartment is tricky stuff. We have two floors, with our bedrooms separate from the living room/open area/kitchen, but it's still a lot of on top of each other.

I can't say I handled everyday gracefully. (Ask my mother, same with her.) But many of the days were magical. Like Monday, for example, when we all actually left the house and got on the subway. We made it to the American Museum of Natural History and a glacial queue for tickets. Nana treated us to a membership, which not only lets us pop into the museum and stay for as long or short as we like, guilt free, but got us out of the queue and inside lickety-split.

We hit the special butterfly exhibit. I'd love to show you pictures, but we strolled in, Bama screamed, "Get out! No, No, NO!" I have one quick pic of her ducking from the frame, still wailing. Oh, no, we couldn't go out the way we came, we had to go through the exhibit to the end, and then through the double doors where we shook off any hitchhikers.

Nana did the dishes every night, snuggled with Pickle, drew with Bama, went shopping. I was supposed to get more sleep. I'm not good at that part, so this week, I was again falling apart with exhaustion. It's not pretty when the mama has to leave the room to have a breakdown. At least I was able to cry, get out of the house, generally exit stage left and know someone was watching my babes.

Last night, I got a reasonable stretch of sleep. Mister returned from a quick business trip and sat up with Bama who'd dreamt of birds (again) and made her breakfast this morning while I showered. We had a fabulous morning at music and art class, singing and dancing around before making a fish collage. (I successfully nursed Pickle while singing and dancing. Go me.)

Home again, Nana gone for the airport, Mister off to work. Bama is napping. The house is tidy and quiet. I made barley scones (from Good to the Grain) and ate one. Pickle is asleep in my arms.

I am calm. My babies are calm. The house is calm. Does life get better than this?


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