Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hop Like A Mousie

Somewhere along the line, Henry got mice and bunnies mixed up.

I don't know why, I don't know how, but somehow the two are all mushed up in his head.

Yesterday, he started jumping across the room yelling, "Hendy hop like a mousie! Hendy hop like a mousie!"

After I stopped laughing hysterically, I started to correct him. "No, no, Henry's hopping like a bunny."

But David grabbed my arm. "No!" he said. "Don't tell him! Hop like a mousie is SO MUCH FUNNIER. Yeah, Henry! Good hopping! You hop like a mousie!"

Well, at least we all know where our priorities are in THIS family.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Certain Desperation

There is a certain desperation to motherhood.

A feeling that things are slipping away from you too quickly, too quietly.

It's like watching a movie, but you got distracted and missed a really good part, and the rewind button is broken, so you can't go back and watch it again.

Or, like eating a really fantastic dessert, and you look down and realize you just ate the last bite. But you didn't realize it was the last bite! You meant to savor it! And now it's gone.

It's drying your son off after bathtime one evening and realizing that somehow, his tummy is no longer todddler chubby. It's flat and big boy looking. The round, chubby tummy! It's gone! You meant to squeeze it and kiss it and poke it one more time. Come back chubby tummy!

It's getting your daughter dressed one morning and realizing that your favorite pink elephant sleeper outfit is too small. Not like, a little snug, but seriously, too small. It fit just a second ago! You loved her in that outfit! You just need her to wear it one more time!

Something inside me stretches out its arm and grasps, frantically reaching its fingers and closing on air. Because that version of them is already gone. Erased by their next transition, next discovery or growth spurt, next phase. Because they metamorphosis before my very eyes. Climbing into their crib cocoon at night and bursting forth in the morning- the same, but somehow, completely different.

People always say that the time goes by so fast with children. 'Enjoy it!' they say. "It goes by so quickly!" "It's all over so fast!"

But, we know that's not really true. Time doesn't move quickly or slowly, it just moves. Moves, ploddingly forward, at the same inexorable rate it always has. Time is constant. Trustworthy. Insistent. It's only our perception of it that changes.

Our moments now seem so much thicker, weightier. Dense with meaning, heavy and precious. Irreplaceable, unrepeatable.

Moments have become so much more valuable.  Or, what's more likely, is that they have always been this valuable, and I am only now realizing it.

So we begin to do what we could never imagine ourselves doing, before we had children. We sacrifice other responsibilities and relationships, soaking up as much of them as we can while they are still like this, hoping that if we just stare at them long enough, hold them long enough, sing and laugh and play with them long enough it will feel like enough. We fill photo albums and baby books, we make scrapbooks and write blog posts, we whip out our video camera to record moments both brilliant and mundane, so that we'll have something tangible to mark these days and years and moments. We tell stories about our children to friends and families, in the secret hope that they will remember with us, that they will be able to remind us in case we forget.

Because one day, these scraps of memories will be all that's left. Because Henry will leave for college. Because Maggie will one day be a mother herself. And with any luck, I will be left reading these silly posts, remembering the day that the pink elephant sleeper was too small, with a pang of longing and a wave of joy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

She's All Ears

Maggie got this hoodie from her Auntie Susan for Christmas (technically, also from her Uncle Jason & cousins Anna, Patrick, Lily, and Jack, but I'm guessing we mostly have Aunt Susan to thank.)

Although I cannot tell exactly which animal's ears it is attempting to imitate, I've come to the conclusion that I'm just pro-animal ears across the board.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Generations

Maggie, held by her grandmother (Mumsie,) entertained by her great-grandmother (Nanny.)

Clearly, the feeling is mutual.

Friday, February 24, 2012

OHMYGOSHYOUGUYS!

SO MANY EXCITING HAPPENINGS THAT I MUST TELL YOU ABOUT! RESISTING THE URGE TO DO THIS ENTIRE POST IN CAPS LOCK! MUST CALM DOWN! MUST CALM DOWN!

Okay, don't worry, I'm exited, but I'm not THAT excited. I'll stick to one caps word per SENTENCE. Ha.

ONE: Yesterday, Thursday, February 23, 2012, Henry told me he loved me, UNPROMPTED, for the first time ever. It is now, officially, All Worth It.

TWO: A few hours later, also on Thursday, February 23, 2012, my brother Justin & his wife Lauren brought an absolutely beautiful little boy into the world. Baby Whit is, like, THE CUTEST LITTLE BUTTERBALL YOU HAVE EVER LAID EYES ON, AND I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON HIM AND KISS HIS BABY FACE ALL OVER, ALL OVER, ALL OVERRRRRRRRR. (I know, I promised one caps per sentence, but I can't be trusted.) Pictures to come. Just you wait. He is so cute. He is so cute. HE IS SO CUTE.

THREE: Today, Friday, February 24, 2012, is David's & mine FIFTH anniversary. Five years! Holla! We celebrated by taking both kids to the pediatrician this morning for shots & checkups! And then going back to work for half a day! Just kidding. I mean, not kidding that we did that, but kidding that it was our celebration. We're going out for a fancy pants dinner tomorrow night at McCormick & Shmick's (gift card courtesy of my parents) and then maybe out for coffee & dessert (courtesy of a check from David's parents) and leaving the kiddos with some dear friends who offered to babysit for us. Clearly, the universe wants us to be alone together. (And by universe, I do mean, our parents and close friends. Wait, there are other people in the universe?) I am super excited, and I plan to do all sorts of crazy things to celebrate date night, such as shaving my legs and wearing a dress that is not conducive to nursing in. THAT'S RIGHT, I'M WILD.

It's shaping up to be quite the memorable week. I'll let you know if anything else caps-worthy happens to us. STAY TUNED.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Family Birthday Party

One perk of having a large family is this:
If you want to throw a big blowout bash for your kid's birthday, all you have to do is send out one measly Evite a few weeks before.
Because they are your family, they will all show up, bringing the party (fun, food, cake, commotion, & presents included) with them. All you need to do is supply the Cookie Monster balloons.
(It also helps if you can convince your brother, who is turning 18, that he wants to have a joint family party with his 2 year old nephew. Frank= Awesome Nuncle. Don't worry Frank, when you turn 21, we will definitely give you your own party.)















Birthday boys!




OBVIOUSLY, I did not make this. Mumsie did. It was incredible.






Happy Birthday Henry! You are adored.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Lipstick

Sometimes, on days when I don't have time to shower in the morning, or put anything but the most minimal effort into my appearance, I wear red lipstick.
 

Just for kicks.

It's especially fun since no one over the age of 4 is actually going to see me while I'm wearing it.

I like to think that Maggie really appreciates it. 

She probably does.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinecones & Puddles

A few days ago I took Henry out to play in the front yard.

All he wanted to do was throw pine cones into this muddy puddle where the edge of our lawn meets the street.

Seriously. That's it. No swing, no bike, no running around. For 30+ minutes he walked around, found pine cones, and threw them in the puddle. When he got one in he yelled "I got it!" When he missed the puddle he yelled "Oh no! Try 'gain!" and proceeded to look for a new pine cone.

Eventually we ran out of pine cones and I had to take him across the street to collect pine cones from our neighbor's yard.

Seriously guys, he was intense.

At naptime that day, I was talking to David on the phone and I told him about Henry's pine cone/puddle obsession.

"Oh yeah," he said, with a tinge of pride in his voice. "I showed him that. Last weekend when we were playing outside."

What I said was "Ahhh, well that explains it!"

What I thought was "Seriously?? THIS is what you guys think is fun?? Man, it's a good thing we had a girl this time."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Raising Him Right

The pictures really speak for themselves here, but I couldn't resist adding in what he was saying. Because it was awesome. Also, let's just say this up front: you are all welcome for this post. SO WELCOME.

"HEY! Dada! Hey Dada! Dada's beew!"
"Uuuuuh, weally heavy!"
  
"I bing it to Dada. Dad need beews."
"Hey, Dada! I cawwy you beew."
"Here go Dada. Here go."



Sigh. Could he ask for a more devoted son?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bath Baby

There's nothing like a baby fresh out of the bath.
So warm & cuddly.
So clean and good-smelling.
Uh, guys? Hey guys? Why isn't the camera pointed at me? Guys?? This is weird...

Friday, February 17, 2012

No Man's Land

I am in post-partum no man's land.

It is a perilous time, defined by the following criteria:
  • one's maternity jeans are entirely too large to wear anymore, yet pre-pregnancy jeans, while technically fitting, produce an unseemly muffin top (unseemly!)
  • pre-pregnancy weight has been achieved, and yet somehow, through some bizarre suspension of mathematical and physical principals, one is nowhere NEAR one's pre-pregnancy shape
  • dressing one's self in the morning is a treacherous procedure, filled with multiple attempts to wear clothes that one KNOWS are not quite wearable yet, peppered with small bouts of self-loathing, and ending in yet ANOTHER black shirt & jeans combo, as black most effectively conceals the muffin top as well as the inevitable spit-up blotches and leaky milk stains.
Send in a rescue party! I'm stuck in here! There are emotional landmines everywhere! And my Jillian Michael's DVDs don't get here until next week! I'm running out of black tops! And I REFUSE to buy jeans one size up! I fear I would just allow myself to wear them foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


(There is no picture to accompany this post.  OBVIOUSLY.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Anatomy of a Second Birthday

6:45 am- Wake Up. Babble in crib. Recite names of everyone in your family, recite names of animals, talk nonsense to Special Bear and Duckie. It's so cute, it's so cute, it's so freaking cute.
Behold! Duckie!

The morning you were two.


7:00 am- HAPPY BIRTHDAY HENRY!!!!!! Mama rescues you from cribbie! Pancakes and milk and grapes- the Best Breakfast Ever as far as you are concerned.
Birthday Fuel


8:00 am- Pick out birthday clothes, you chose "da dino shiwt wif stipes" (the dinosaur shirt with the stripes) and jeans. Open your first present! From Nana & Papa! A sing-a-long DVD! Watch it immediately, duh.
Ribbons are tricky...


While you are watching movie, the pediatrician calls to CANCEL yours & Maggie's checkups today. Mama is superannoyed by this, seeing as BOTH she & Dada have taken the morning off of work in order to wrangle you guys in the doctor's office, however, you have unwittingly dodged a bullet, and will no longer be receiving shots on your birthday. SCORE!

9:30 am- Playdough with Mama. You love that stuff.

10:30 am- Play outside with Dada. Running, throwing, yelling, etc. "De no sceemin iside, sceemin fo owside!" (There is no screaming inside, screaming is for outside.)

11:30 am- Get another present! Indoor bike/scooter thingie! From Mama & Dada! (Secretly, this is a hand-me-down from your cousins, but you love it so! What do you care if someone else played with it first!)
Look out! I run over toes & tails with reckless abandon!


12:00 pm- Lunch at Chick-fil-a, "Go chhhhhkfiwa, chika nugga, fwench fwi, paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaygwoun!!!" (Go to Chick-fil-a, chicken nuggets, french fries, playground.) Yep. That sums it up. Except you forgot the giant Diet Dr. Pepper, which is basically the reason mama takes you to Chick-fil-a.)
The Thoughtful Eater

Nuggets for Everyone! Power to the People!

Note the giant Diet Dr. Pepper to the right. Congratulations to Mama! She kept you alive for TWO WHOLE years! Drink up!


1:30 pm- Dive into cribbie headfirst for nap. You are so tired from all the fun. Dada heads back to work.

3:30 pm- Wake up. Open another present from Nana & Papa- ANOTHER DVD! ELMO THIS TIME! Watch it immediately, duh. (Clearly, Nana & Papa wanted to give gifts that BOTH Henry & his mama would equally appreciate. Success.)

4:30- Read books, run around, cook in the play kitchen, sing songs to yourself while swinging in Maggie's swing... your usual afternoon repertoire.

5:30- 'Help' mama in the kitchen while making dinner. Washing dishes, sprinkling salt on chicken, putting the broccoli in the pot. You're a culinary genius!

6:00- Mama won't let you turn on the water in the sink anymore. Throw giant fit. Because you're 2 now, and that's how you roll.

6:30- Dinner with Dada, complete with special birthday dessert of M&M's!!! Your aaaaaabsolute favorite thing ever.


7:00- Get ready for bed. Fall asleep dreaming of your party on Saturday. Cake! Mumsie & Papa! Aunties & Uncles! MORE PRESENTSSSSS!!!! CAKE!!!!


Dear Two Year Old Henry,
 I thought about writing you a birthday letter, but then decided I'd rather record the details of your birthday instead. It wasn't much, just a regular day together with a few treats thrown in. But those regular days have become my favorite days of all. And two years of them with you is the best present I have ever received.
Love you,
Mama

P.S. Also, thought I should tell you, you started the 'Terrible Two's" about 3 months ago, so I'm expecting you end them 3 months early. It's only fair.
Deal?
Deal.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nice Form, Dude






OH MY GOSH! I SWEAR IT WAS JUST AN INNOCENT KISS ON THE CHEEK!!!!!

Am I a bad mother if I enlarge and frame this?

... how bad? 'Cause I think I'm gonna.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Maggie's Valentine

Dear Maggie,

On your first Valentine's Day, I have a confession for you.

Before you were born I was really worried that I would not be able to love you as much as I loved your brother.

Becoming a mother the first time had been such an intense experience, the emotions so new and powerful and overwhelming. It was impossible to imagine that having a second child could be an equal experience. It would seem that, like almost all experiences in life, the magnitude of sensation would reduce each time.

It does not. Becoming a mother again, to you, was just as powerful, just as ovewhelming, just as intense. I'm like The Grinch- my heart grew three sizes that day!

And, for the record, I love you just as much. Except differently. Why different, I do not know. Because you are my daughter, perhaps? Because of your birth? Or maybe just because you are a different person. And I am too.

Regardless, on your very first Valentine's Day, I wanted to tell you that I love you with every iota of my being. More than I even thought possible. More than is rational, or reasonable, or probably even healthy. This will most likely drive you nuts one day. My apologies, in advance.

Happy Valentine's Day, Baby Girl! You are one of the great loves of my life. Better start coming to terms with it now.

Love,
Mama

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Elusive Smiler

Maggie has started to smile at us.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?! It's amazing.  It's beautiful. It's elusive
The problem is, that in order to make her smile, we have to get our face very close to hers and talk in screechybabylovevoice until she gives it up and grins.
That's not usually a problem, since I'm extremely talented (one might even say gifted) in screechybabylovevoice. However, once I pull the camera out, she is completely distracted by it's mammoth size and generally flashyclickyness, and puts on her Most Serious Baby Face again.
 Sometimes she alternates with Alarmed Baby Face.
 So, in order to capture the smile on camera, you must position the camera to one side, and position your face several inches to the other side. You must be patient! You must be focused! You must be able to sustain screechybabylovevoice without faltering!
 Got it! YES! VICTORY!
Aaaaand, we're back to Serious Baby Face.

Oh well. It's pretty cute too.