Friday, September 28, 2012


How to start off your Saturday morning:

That's our recommendation at least. Happy weekend, friends, however you choose to enjoy it!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Baby's first escape attempt!

I don't think she means it, though. If she ran away, who would chop up her food into ittybitty pieces for her? Change her diapiees? Sing Itsy Bitsy Spider a million times? Find the pacis that she artfully hides around the house? Girlfriend's not going anywhere.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Elbow Patches

It's a corduroy blazer. With elbow patches. Basically, the best hand-me-down of my life.

Expect to see him in it all fall. And probably next fall too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dates Are Approximate

I found this photograph at my Nanny's house a few weeks ago, and had to stare at it for about 30 seconds to be sure who it was a picture of.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Working Man

"I goin to work wif Daddy. I yuv you, I see you at dinner. You have good day! Bye!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Worlds Collide

This hutch is supposed to be our fancy-pants fully stocked bar. And it is! Fancy! Fully Stocked!

But, um, sometimes it's also a craft station.

And although liquor and craft supplies may SEEM disparate, doing crafts with toddlers often really makes me want a drink, so it actually makes a lot of sense to store it all together.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Goes Up...

What goes up,
 must come down.
 Maggie, icing her first bloody lip.

At the rate she is going, it will not be her last. But never fear! She rises to the challenge!
 Up, up, up!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Added Variety and Fiber

This morning Maggie was crawling around the floor, per usual, when I scooped her up so that I could nurse her before we headed outside to play.

She nursed for about 5 minutes on one side, then popped off and dove over to the other side. About 2 minutes later, she popped off again making some funny faces, like she had something in her mouth. I stuck my pinkie in her mouth, swished it around, and out came a small square of purple construction paper.

I can think of two options:

1. Maggie found & put the construction paper in her mouth while she was crawling around and somehow kept in her mouth while nursing, escaping my detection, until she decided she was done with it.

2. I am so steeped in children and hormones that my body is capable of not only carrying and producing a child, not only producing enough milk to sustain said child for a year of life, but is now also producing craft items, for added variety and fiber.

I'm undecided, but leaning towards #2. I will let you know if glitter & foam shapes show up in the milk tomorrow. STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Henry Update, 2.5 years

So, if Maggie is 9 months old, then that means that Henry is two and a half years old. TWO AND A HALF YEARS OLD. YEARS, I SAID, YEARS. Two and a HALF of them.

I'll just let that sink in for a minute.

Do you need a tissue? A hug? Oh, just me? Fine.

Dear Henry,

I love you SO FREAKING MUCH. I have a list that I've been jotting down over the past few weeks of things that I want to be sure to include in this letter, things that I want to be sure I tell you, things I want to be sure to remember.

But, there's just no way I can capture who you are right now in words. You're like, a REAL PERSON now, and it's unbelievable to watch you unfold more and more each day.

But, I'm your mom, and I've got this blog, and it's the closest thing to a baby book you're gonna get, so I've got to at least give it a try. Ready?

On the morning of this picture, you got into your Dad's hair gel. You looked so hilarious when I found you, sitting on the bathroom floor with a giant green gob on your head, that I didn't have the heart to fuss at you, so we just made it into a mowhawk and went with it.

You are potty trained, and I could NOT be happier about it. You still need reminders to go every few hours, but it's been awhile since you had an accident. You also have been dry at night & naps for a couple weeks, so I let you try taking a nap in your underwear and that was IT. You are totally insulted if I suggest a diaper at night or nap now, and so far, so dry! I'm convinced that the key to your easy potty-training has been your underwear.

You picked out a pack of Thomas the Train underwear when we first started, and last week I bought you another pack of Toy Story underwear. YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH THEM. Each morning it is a painstaking decision as to WHICH pair of underwear you will wear. Thomas? Buzz Lightyear? Circles and Trains? Green Trains? Rex? Three Trains on The Booty? Yesterday when K arrived in the morning, you greeted her by pulling down your pants and announcing, "Look K, I have Woody on my booty, on my underwear!" It was totally awesome and I sort of hope that you do it again.

You remind me all the time that you are a big boy. AND YOU ARE. You carry dishes to the sink, you put on your own shoes, you go potty by yourself, you bring Maggie things, and, Henry, you talk. You talk so much, and so bizarrely adult-like.  I guess your Dad and I are pretty wordy people, so maybe this shoudn't be a surprise, but still, I am suprised DAILY by the things you say.

You started to stutter a couple months ago, and although I wasn't too worried about it, we paid a visit to Dr. Google just on principle, where the FIRST WebMD link I clicked on informed me of this:

Transient dysfluency (temporary stuttering) is typically seen in 2- to 4-year-olds. Children who develop it are usually extremely verbal and often advanced for their years. The dysfluency results from their talking abilities going faster than the language centers of their brain. It’s as if their brain can’t catch up to their motor mouth, so it slows things down by repeating sounds over and over (i.e. by stuttering).

Yup. Motor mouth. That's you, kiddo.

You've also graduated to the point where you mostly understand jokes and you sort of understand sarcasm, WHICH I LOVE. When we're getting ready to go somewhere, you'll often ask "Henry come too?" To which I respond, "Nah. I'm just gonna leave you here. Sweet Potato will take care of you." "Nooooo," you will say, and laugh. "Henry goes with Mama." Then you like to wait a beat... "We just leave Maggie here?" you ask with a glint in your eye.

You love to talk about 'the plan' and will often ask me, "Mommy, what da plan? Let's talk about the plan." And then I will list for you all of the things that we're going to do that day, or what's going on over the next few days. You love to the repeat the plan back to me. "I get dressed, eat bekfast, den K come over, den we play, den Maggie have milk, den we get in da new van and go to da liberry!"

I also tried to teach you the phrase 'excuse me' recently, in order to get you to stop saying "Mamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamama" until my eardrums bled. It has sort of backfired, because it has given you a real sense of entitlement and now you will just YELL at the TOP of your lungs, "EXCOOSE ME, MAMA, SORRY, MAMA, EXCOOSE ME, MAMA, SORRY MAMA, EXCOOSE ME MAMA, I NEED YOU MAMA, EEEEEXXXXCCCCOOOOOOSSSSSEEEE MEEEEEEE." Real cute, Hen, real cute.

A few weeks ago, your Dad was reading you stories before bed and you said, "Hey, Dad, how 'bout, we put dis book down, go to my woom, and I show you sumpin cool?" It was your brontosaurus. It was very cool. Another favorite recently was when you interrupted your Dad and said "EXCOOSE ME, Dad, I have to ask you a 'portant question! Where my bronto?" (That's short for brontosaurus, DUH.)

This leads perfectly into the announcement that YOU LOVE DINOSAURS. You have four plastic ones that you got at the dollar store, and you love them deeply. You look for dino books whenever we are at the library, and your favorite one by far has been "Patrick's Dinosaurs."

As much as you love dinosaurs, you love Toy Story more. It was the first movie you ever saw, and you've never looked back. You've now seen Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, at least 8-10 times each. Honestly, you've probably seen the original Toy Story 20 times by now. (Look! See my awesome parenting!) You've also seen Monsters Inc, Tarzan, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille. You love them all, but continue to insist that we just order you Toy Story AGAIN on Netflix. "Mom, get on compooter, tell Netfix I need Toy Story, den mailman bring it to me." Then, multiple times a day for the next three days: "Mom, I check da mail. Maybe Toy Story here! Prolly not. Takes a coupla days. I check, dough. Maybe it be here."

You also like to pretend that you are Buzz Lightyear, and will make me refer to you as Buzz while you do things like zoom around the room and go "to infinity and beyond!"

You still love books. A quality which I share, love, and shamelessly encourage with frequent trips to the library and having reading time together every day. Your dad and I both think it is HILARIOUS when you read to yourself. It's amazing how much you remember and repeat back when you are 'reading' to yourself. We also think it's really funny that you insist on having us read the full title, AND the author's name, AND the illustrator. I think I did it once or twice, out of sheer boredom, and it just got stuck in your head and it's now a necessary piece of information for you to have before you can enjoy a book.

You are SO happy that K is back for you to play with this fall. You guys are two peas in a pod, and it is so cute. Your favorite thing to do together is play in the play kitchen "makin dinner" or be outside. You are both so good at playing with Maggie too, and I continue to be shocked at how much you like your baby sister.

You are Maggie's biggest cheerleader, and you love to yell things like "This is how you drink water, Maggie!" "This is how you eat a sammich Maggie!" "You can do it Maggie!" "Cwawl to Henry!"
My favorite is how you announce things about her, like "Maggie standin' up!" "Maggie wavin to me!" or "Maggie eatin' sumpin yucky!" You also love to tattle on her, which is actually sort of helpful at this point. I'm sure it'll get annoying soon enough, though.

A friend was over a couple of days ago with her newborn baby. You LOVE checking out babies, and as you were peering at hers, she asked you if you wanted to have a new baby in your family. Without missing a beat you responded, "No, I just got a Maggie." So, so, so, funny, and for the record, your father agrees with you. At least for a little bit longer. :)

I just said this about your sister, and now I have to say it about you, too: you LOVE your Dad! Every morning when he leaves you say "I sad! I miss Dada!" You get SO excited when he comes home at night, and the first thing you say on Saturday morning is "It Saturday? Dada no go to work today?" You want to eat what he eats for breakfast, you want to be where he is, you even cross your arms and try to stand the way he does. It's a pretty smart move on your part, kiddo. Your Dad is an awesome guy; be as much like him as you possibly can.

You have a full-fledged personality now, and it is enough like mine that we butt heads frequently. Your mother is a bit of a control freak and a know-it-all and she's impatient and you miiiiiight be some of those things too, and I'm sorry. We'll work on it together.

Henry, I said it in the first sentence of this letter, but I have no better way to say it, so I'll just repeat myself: I love you SO FREAKING MUCH. I'm tempted to tell you that there's no possible way that I could EVER love you more than I do, right now, in this moment, on this day. But, I won't tell you that.

You see, Henry, I am two and half years and two children into this parenting thing.  I know the secret that I never could have understood the first time I held you in my arms.

I know that even though, today, I love you immensely, otherworldy, unimaginably much, tomorrow I will love you a little bit more. And the next day a bit more, and the next, and the next, and the next. Every day a little bit more, because everyday, you are a little bit more.

And even on the days when you drive me absolutely crazy and I do not like you one little bit, I will still love you imeasurably and infinitely.

And I know that it's not because of me. It's not because I am a great mom, or you a perfect son, or anything else that I could possibly take one iota of credit for. The way I love you could not possibly be of myself. I am too selfish, too arrogant, too short-tempered, and too self-indulgent to have anything this pure and lovely and focused happen within me on my own.

I love you because of Christ. Because He loves you. Because He loves me. Because I am His child, and you are His child, and you are my child. Because of mystery and common grace and the secrets of biology and of earth and of eternity.

Because I just can't help it,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Going to Norfolk

They filled buckets with toys and doll clothes and play food and told me they were going to Norfolk.
Then they got in the dog's bed.

Sometimes, I really miss being a kid.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Maggie Update, 9 months

Yesterday, Maggie turned nine months old.

This is significant for three reasons:
2) Maggie has now been alive outside of my body for longer than she was alive INSIDE my body. This always feels like a significant marker to me.
3) If Maggie is 9 months old, then I am waaaay overdue for an update. Commence update.

Dear Little Peach,

OMGeezers, MaggieGirl, you are amazing! This is my favorite picture of you right now:

It is my favorite because it shows off your teeth (four!), your new found ability to accessorize with hairbows (okay, I guess that's really MY new found ability, but still), your love for making an UNHOLY MESS, your voracious love of food, and your near-constant sunny disposition.

Your food preferences are a great source of amusement to your Dada and I becuase you are So. Completely. Offended. by being fed from a spoon. It's all finger food, all the time round these parts. Your favorites so far, other than the obvious crackers & cheerios, have been lasagna, spinach ravioli, broccoli soup (which you like SO MUCH that you will allow a contraband spoon in your mouth in order to eat it), black beans, and CHEESE. OMG, CHEESE! You do this hilarious thing when you have a food you like on your tray- you scoop up a handful, jam it in your mouth, and then press your hand over your mouth while you chew to keep it all in there. Choking be damned! There's cheese in your mouth, and YOU NEED IT ALL.

You do not, however, care for fruit. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, MAGGIE. Fruit is amazing, what is wrong with you?!? You will eat a couple bites of bananas, grapes, blueberries, even APPLESAUCE does not tempt you, and then you are done, moving on to the savory foods on your tray. Preferably cheese. MORE CHEESE, PLEASE.

You also crawl. It is unspeakably cute. You do need to be motivated though. You only crawl to get to a forbidden object or a beloved family member. Usually Henry. He LOVES to lay on the floor with you and shout "Cwawl to me Maggie! Cwawl to your bwuver Henry!" I think that you love your brother the best because he can ALWAYS make you laugh, and you say his name the most, too. I'd be jealous if I weren't so smitten with the two of you.

If you do love Henry the most, your daddy is a veryveryVERY close second. You flirt with him shamelessly and he FALLS FOR IT. As soon as he walks in the door from work you bust out your biggest, loveliest grin and just wait for him to come scoop you up. Whenever he's in the room, he's the one you pay attention too. If I'm holding you on the sofa and he sits down, you dive into his lap. I guess that means that I'm in third place as far as your affections go, but that's okay. I'll take what I can get.

You say 'buubu' for brother and 'buubu' for byebye when you wave. You other favorite noises are 'mama' (thankyouverymuch) and this screechy pterodactylish 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHKLAA' noise. You love to jabber these days, so there's a lot of indiscriminate noise, but we do think that your first words are brother & byebye. Buubu!

Sometimes, when Henry takes a toy from you (gasp!) or when you want our attention or are just feeling a little put out you scrunch up your face and do this fake cry thing. We call it your 'cranky face' and it's adorable, which is really not doing you any favors because we kind of like to see you do it.

When I tell you 'no', which is usually because you're trying to eat a power cord, or insisting on flipping over during a diaper change, or biting me while nursing (#$%^&*$%^), you immediately look at me, with the MOST confused expression, and smile. Because, oh my gosh, why would Mama ever use that tone of voice with such a sweet peachypeach as myself?!?!  SHE MUST BE KIDDING ME. If I do not immediately smile back at you, you cry. Unless you're in a mood already, then you scream at me. Either way, it's such a funny reaction, and, as always, so cute.

A few of your favorite things lately are staring at and crawling towards the pets, any toy that is your brother's, when we sing 'ItsyBitsy Spider' or 'I'm a Little Teapot' to you, and being outside. You're not hard to please. Thanks for that.

We had to lower your crib and pack & play a few weeks ago, because you tried to kamakaze out of them. Don't worry, we figured out your shenanigans before you actually fell on your head (more than we can say for your brother... oops.)

Speaking of crib shenanigans, I am happy to report that you no longer need to be swaddled to sleep. Hooray! Big girl! You still require your beloved paci, but you can now crawl to it in your crib, stick it in your own mouth, and put yourself to sleep without being wrapped up in a baby straitjacket. It's lovely. Thank you again.

However, Maggie, I've got to throw you under the bus a little bit now. You still, at nine months, are not sleeping through the night yet. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT, GIRLFRIEND? It is time, Maggie, it is soooo time. I do think I have to take most of the responsibility though- it's probably my fault. See, the problem is that you are SO SWEET when you wake up at night! You are so cuddly and warm and Maggie-smelling and you snuggle up and nurse and then you wave at me and pat my face when I put you back in your crib and there's never any crying and it's just kind of lovely. There. I said it. Waking up in the middle of the night with you is kind of lovely, and I fully expect someone to try to institutionalize me now that I've said it out loud.

Despite all this, I should warn you, that your father and I have decided to lay the smack down. There's no way you need to wake up for a snack at night when you ate an adult-sized serving of lasagna at 6:30pm. You can't fool me. YOU DON'T NEED IT NO MATTER HOW CUTE AND SNUGGLY YOU ARE.

But, I still don't want to break the habit. I think there will be crying. I dread it. You cry so rarely that I feel like I'm especially sensitive to it, and I have never been good at the whole cry-it-out thing anyway. But we'll figure it out. It's time, my girl. It's soooo time.

Aside from the still waking up at night to nurse business, you are a little gem of joy in our lives. I know I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating: one of my favorite parts of the day with you is when you wake up in the morning or from your naps. You wake up SO HAPPY! Babbling, giggling, peering out of your crib, it's AMAZING. We have NO IDEA where you get this from, as your father and I are terrible, terrible human beings in the morning, and Henry is following in our footsteps. You, however, are a bright spot of light each morning. I have a suspicion that this will be a trait that characterizes you your entire life; that you trail a little bit of extra brightness wherever you go in this world.

And speaking of being a little spot of light, your Daddy was reading me a part of an article last night, and in it the author was talking about our connection to heaven and he said this:
"The Kingdom of God is breaking in all around us, as Jesus says repeatedly throughout the Gospels. For Christians, the line between heaven and earth, while still present, is very thin and in some places... it is traversed entirely."

I thought about it all night; what it means that the Kingdom of God is breaking in, that heaven itself is breaking in all around us, and what that might look like, other places where I could see the truth of that.

And I thought of a few things: verses that have been so meaningful to me recently about the Lord making all things new, about seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; some small miracles, quiet blessings that the Lord has brought into my life over the past few years, bits of heaven pushing through into the bleakness of these pilgrim days. But, Maggie, I thought most of all about you and your brother.

I thought of what a blessing it is to have you, to know you, to raise you, to spend our lives pouring into your lives; what a miracle it is that you are both here, both healthy, both ours. I take so much for granted every day, so much passes by me without a moment of gratitude or appreciation, but my heart knows that the world is a broken and harsh place, and that every bit of beauty, every moment of joy, every scrap of light and drop of grace is not of this earth, but from heaven.

It's true sweet girl. Heaven is close. It is breaking in all around us. And you are proof of it, my little spot of light.

I love you so much (but please stop waking me up at night,)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Movie Night

Snuggly blankets and late bedtimes.

The joy of movie night begins.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wardrobe Staple

Since my last two posts have featured my children naked, I thought I should reassure everyone that I do clothe them sometimes.

Here's Maggie in her pink seersucker overalls.

Pink seersucker overalls: a wardrobe staple if there ever was one.

You do have a pair, DON'T YOU?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Drooly, Crawly, Nakie.

In the following series of pictures Maggie will crawl towards you, while drooling profusely and making an array of adorable baby faces.

She's been known to cause strong procreative urges, so guard your uteruses ladies!

It's the cutest, drooliest, nakedest army crawl I've even seen, that's for sure.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nudity & Table Manners

I believe in table manners and in teaching them to my children.

But, when red sauce is involved, it's best to just get naked and go for it.

Happy 3-day weekend, friends!