Monday, December 24, 2012

10 months.

Dear Mila,

December 24th marked a pretty special day for you-your first Christmas eve AND your tenth month birthday. I think that calls for lots of presents and cookies, don’t you?

Of course you do. 

You’ve been busy getting big and turning into a toddler this month. I’ve been busy trying to put a brick on your head to keep you from growing. It’s not working.

You started pulling yourself up to standing on just about anything. You cruise around furniture like nobody’s business and can push your walking cart like it’s going out of style. Daddy predicts you’ll be walking in the next month or so. I plan on carrying you more often to delay the inevitable as long as possible.

You climb up stairs and onto furniture. It’s trouble.

You’ve got a personality like no other. You smile at every.single.person. that looks at you, but if they attempt to get near you (or god forbid touch you) you scream like they pinched you.  I was convinced you would skip the whole stranger danger phase, but clearly I was mistaken.

You’ve developed an intense love for your bunny blankey. That thing gets a death grip on it every time we pick you up out of your crib. You sleep with it tucked underneath you at night and carry it around during the day.

You’ve started refusing your bottle and eating more. I think you might give up the bottle before you turn just like Tyson did. A fact that might make me start crying myself to sleep.

You make us smile every day little Mimi. We are so lucky to call your ours-all the presents under the tree will never be as good as the ones you and your brother have already given to me.

Happy ten month birthday, little girl!


The One Where I Traumatize My Kid By Making Them See That Big Bearded Man Dressed in Red

For the last two years, I’ve stood in waaay too long of a line and paid waaay too much money to place a screaming child on an old man’s lap.  The pictures of said event were always undeniably cute, but there was always a little part of me that wondered if I was traumatizing Tyson for life.

Luckily for me, Tyson has turned the tide and survived this year’s Santa experience without a single tear. I think he may have even enjoyed it.

The bad news?  Mila has now replaced him as the screaming child on the old man’s lap.

The good news?  The picture is still really cute.

Also, since Tyson gave up crying on Santa's lap, he's apparently picked up dancing in malls for strangers. Turns out that both are equally as endearing and embarrassing.

Here’s to hoping we only have two more years of screaming kids in Santa pictures.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012


We have a new family member that I need to introduce you to. No, despite being 9 months post-partum (hello, baby weight-you can fall off now) I have not produced another babe for you to ogle at. Sorry. We have, however, adopted this cute little fellow from the North Pole.

His name is Chippy.  I am well aware that we stole his name from the movie. My son doesn't like change or anything new or anything remotely different.  We're working on the whole thinking outside the box thing, I swear.

Due to the not liking change/new/different things, I was a little worried about the whole magical Elf who moves around our house at night deal. In an effort to stave off any trepidation, I decided to make his entrance to the house a big party complete with presents, candy canes and breakfast. Did I mention presents? Something about you can't kick a gift horse in the mouth, right?

Clearly Mila agrees.

Chippy's presents included new Christmas PJs and 25 Christmas books to open and read each night before bed. The books have been a HUGE hit, but the PJs haven't been worn once because, hello? Change/New/Different.

He liked the candy canes, though. Until he realized they weren't the kind that he had before. Seriously. I couldn't make this material up if I tried.

Chippy's quite the character. We've found him drinking syrup, hanging upside down from our wine rack (something Mommy does every so often), riding Tyson's giraffe, covering himself in stickers, watching himself on TV, hanging Tyson's underpants from the chandelier and sliding down the banister. I'm beginging to wonder if Chippy will run out of places to land in our house. No, really. I'm begining to wonder.....(help?!)

For the record, Chippy has been busy reporting back to Santa every night if the kids are being naughty or nice. Surprisingly, this knowledge has not encouraged Tyson to sit at the dinner table any longer or stay in bed at night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

9 Months

Dear Mimi,
Last week you celebrated your nine month birthday. I am flabbergasted that you could be that old already and certain that it was just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. Just a week before that when I felt you give me your first little kick from the inside. Just a week before that when we prayed and prayed that you would be our healthy baby.
You are a busy girl at nine months old. You officially started crawling and prefer to move towards anything you’re not supposed to.  You’re trying hard to pull yourself up to standing on anything and everything within your reach. It’s resulted in quite a few bumps and bruises, but you are not deterred. You love to push your walking cart and are seriously upset that you don’t know how to take off running with it. You have a fierce sense of independence that I adore. You are content to play by yourself and determined to be doing everything your big brother does. You’re starting to babble more and more. “OH BOY!” is your favorite expression. You also say “Heeeay” and “Baaye” accompanied with a cute little turn of your wrist that I’m sure is your wave. Your smile (now with one tooth!) melts my heart and your big belly laugh can light up a room.
I recently took this picture of us. It’s not the best. The lighting sucks and it’s focused on your ear. Regardless, it’s the picture I find myself drawn to each time I pick up my phone. Despite your change from baby to toddler, you are still granting me this little piece of heaven each morning at around 5. We rock, you eat your bottle that you don’t really need and I stare at your face. I try to memorize the way you curl your legs around me and tuck your arm behind me. I listen to your heavy breath and study your eyelashes.  I’m well aware it’s a bad habit that I’m creating, but I will fight tooth and nail with anyone who tells me I need to give it up. I’m not ready yet. At some point we’ll wean both of us off of it, but for now, you just cry each morning and I’ll be there with a bottle to rock you back to sleep.
Happy 9 months, little girl!


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today, I am thankful.

I am thankful for my three year old who was described as "funny, polite, and empathetic" at preschool conferences. I am thankful for his new found coloring skills and the way he says please and thank you at restaurants. I am thankful he's shy and quiet like me. I am thankful he still likes to cuddle and asks me to say his prayers with him each night.

I am thankful for my happy and content 9 month old. I am thankful she is discovering something new and learning something exciting every day. I am so thankful for her smile and easy going demeanor. I am thankful she still lets me rock her back to sleep early each morning.

I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for his help. I am thankful he does the dishes and cleans the toilets (the chores I hate). I am thankful he tells me loves me each morning before he leaves. I am thankful he gives me a hug each morning when he gets home.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Someone remind me again why I thought it would be a good idea to encourage her to crawl....


Dear Tyson,

You turned three on Monday and I cried the entire way to work. Typical, huh?

It WAS the first birthday of yours we didn't spend together. Sure, we celebrated the heck out of you and your threeness on Sunday (and the previous Saturday and the Saturday before that...) and, yes, I'm well aware you will never remember I wasn't there with you, but still...there were tears. Lots and lots of tears.

Three was a big year for you. You're quickly becoming quite the little kid before my eyes. It's an amazing transformation and watching you learn all sorts of new things is allowing me to slowly accept the fact that you'll never be my little baby again. Remember, I said SLOWLY.

You became a big brother this year. It's a job you take seriously. You yell at us if we go to wake up Mila without you. You HAVE to give her a kiss goodnight. You help us get diapers, spit rags and bottles. You give her toys. You make her laugh. You are protective, sweet and gentle. You are everything I dreamed you would be as her older brother and more.

You were potty trained. Fully. Like no pull ups to bed/naps and no accidents for at least the last three months. To be honest, it really didn't take much work on our end. You set your mind to it, got new Toy Story underpants, and accomplished your own goal. We made you wear pull ups to bed for the first few months, but you quickly ditched those too. On your own. You are a determined and smart little dude.

You started preschool. You are the youngest in your class and a full head shorter than most of the kids, but your teachers say you are so smart and doing so well. I drop you off on Thursdays and try to sneak back ten minutes early to watch you from the window during circle time. It's quickly become my favorite part of the week. You have new friends now-Ethan and Griffin and Ella. I know nothing about them. You sing songs that I don't know the words to. You speak in Spanish (!) And, while a part of me wants to swaddle you back up in a blanket and rock you to sleep the other part of me is beaming when you sing, "Hola, Hola, Adios" at the top of your lungs in Target.

Three years ago, I had no idea just how much love I could have for one little being. I'm still struggling to wrap my head around how I could have created such an amazing kid. As you'll discover in your teenage years, I'm not cool (at all), so, the fact that I spit out someone as awesome, smart and funny as you are is pretty much a miracle.

Every single day with you there is a moment where I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am to be your Mommy. I am so proud of you and cannot wait to watch you grow bigger and smarter.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tys!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

I had a vision of how I wish our pumpkin carving night would go.  "It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" is playing in the background, Daddy and I have a pumpkin beer cracked,Tyson is loving every minute of creating the best looking jack-o-lantern on the block and Mila is happy to overlook the fun in anticipation of her turn next year. It's worth mentioning that in my vision the toddler is dressed.

In reality, pumpkin carving involved Tyson crying for 20 minutes (yes, he's crying in that picture) because his hands were dirty.  Mommy and Daddy quickly cutting out two of the worst jack-o-lanterns you have ever seen. Mila watching screaming, and eating her toes. No pumpkin beers were consumed (or purchased), "It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" is never on when I want it to be, and Tyson never wears clothes.

Parenting is never the way I picture it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tyson's 3rd Birthday Party

Tyson is turning 3 on Monday. I'm still not entirely sure how that is happening. 3. Seems old, right? Just typing it was hard.

The better part of my weekend will be spent writing his third birthday letter, crying, and trying to drink away my sorrows. Sounds like a party to me, but since most other don't consider it festive, we opted to have Tyson's birthday party last weekend instead.

Superman wanted to have a Halloween party this year and I was up for the challenge. Spider web dip, mummy juice boxes, pumpkin decorating, jack-o-lantern pizzas and tons of little kids in costume. It was a blast!


All Aboard the Choo Choo Train

A few weeks ago (okay, it was over a month ago-it's our busy season at work-I'm busy) we went on a train ride through the St. Croix river valley.

Tyson wore his too short engineer overalls which were ridiculously cute. For the record, I plan on purchasing him a new pair of the same overalls every year until he refuses. Maybe longer. I'm also slowly setting aside a therapy fund for him.

Mila sat patiently on my lap for the better part of the two hour trip. No, really, a 7 month old sat still on a lap for two hours. Christmas miracle! Yes, I'm bragging about how wonderful my 7 month old is.

For every amazing seven month old, there's always an almost three year old who wants to crawl over every seat on the train to negate the wonderful feeling I was having about my well behaved kids.

There was an actual conductor who took our tickets. I'm fairly certain that this is one of Tyson's career aspirations as he frequently asks for our tickets to do just about anything these days.

The entire crew survived (although I'm not sure what's going on with Tyson's face in this picture). Dan and I are praying every night for a ten month old that sits still on a lap for three hours during our plane ride to Florida. I'm also silently saying a prayer that my three year old no longer thinks it's ok to climb over every seat at that point.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

Halloween was waay more fun this year than it was last year. Reasons being:

1) Tyson really got into it. He yelled, "trick or treat" at every house and did a decent job of saying "thank you" for all of his candy. Also, it helped that I wasn't pregnant, so, I didn't want to consume every piece of candy Tyson brought home within ten minutes of getting in the door.

2) It wasn't that cold, so, walking around the block for two hours was do-able. Mila even managed to troop out past her bedtime. Also, I wasn't pregnant, so, walking around the block for two hours was do-able.

3) Did I mention I wasn't pregnant? That meant I got to consume the delicious hot apple cider cocktail my neighbor made for us.

4) Also,I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but I wasn't pregnant. That means this cutie was there with us.

8 Months

Dear Mila,

Today you are eight months, one week and two days old. Told you I would be late with the eight month birthday letter. I've been much too busy chasing around my semi-mobile little lady to sit and type. Priorities, right?

You have had quite the month, baby. You are learning, learning, learning. Each day I'm convinced you have discovered something new. Your thumb, crawling, waving, playing so big, your voice...

A few a highlights from your last month:

You started feeding yourself. It's not clean, but it's your preference. If we try to feed you, it typically becomes a game involving you blowing raspberries (and whatever is in your mouth) all over the place. You feeding yourself is equally as messy, but I'm convinced you get more in your tummy that way. For the record, no teeth yet-we're eagerly waiting in anticipation.

You sort of hold on to your own bottle. You and Daddy work on this trick every night. I'm not a willing participant because I plan on keeping you a baby forever. When Daddy changes that, I'll be pushing even harder to get you a baby brother or sister. I consider this is fair warning.  

You went on your first bike ride. As you can see by your face, you weren't so sure of it at first. Don't worry, it wasn't as tortuous as it appears in this picture. Two minutes in and you were laughing up a storm. I hope this will be a regular event next summer.

You got your first baby doll from your Nanny and Papa and you are madly in love. I think it might have something to do with her hard plastic hands that you can't stop chewing on.

You aren't officially crawling yet, but you are close. Really, really close. You are easily frustrated these days because you are so aware of your surroundings but have to work so hard to get to what you want. I have a sneaking suspicion that when you figure out how to crawl it won't be long before you run. I'm currently saving my energy.

You wave, do "SO BIG" and give high fives like no bodies business. You are saying words that sound like ba-ba (bottle), hi, and da-da (which I think secretly means Mommy). You also still make a high pitched screaming sound--a lot. If this is preparing me for your teenage years, I'm scared.

You're the coolest eight month, one week, two day old little girl I know. I'm enthralled with watching you get older and discover everything but cringing that my little baby is quickly becoming my little girl. Promise me that even if you stop being a baby, you'll never stop being my little girl, ok?

I love you, Mimi.

Happy 8 Months,


Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo Friday


Last week Tyson figured out how to do this:

That's the toddler lock we used to keep him in his room. Off the door. No longer keeping him in his room.

I promptly started digging my own grave.

I'm well aware that locking your toddler in his room is frowned upon by some parents. I'd like to formally invite those parents to come to our house each night and deal with the twenty seven times our toddler now gets out of bed and comes into our room for a glass of water/to go pee/to go poop/to put his PJs on/to take his PJs off/help blow his nose/find him another blanket/help him pee again/tell him a story/take off the blanket/tuck him in/help him pee again/get him more water/and help him pee again.


I understand that we couldn't keep him locked in his room until he turned 17, but there is such a thing as wishful thinking.

Any suggestions as to how to stop the twenty seven times the toddler needs something at night would be greatly appreciated.

PS: While we do did lock our toddler in his room at night, we do not make him wear a leash in public. THAT I would frown upon.

Winter is Coming

Last night we ate what I'm certain will be our last family picnic this year. We also took the kids on an evening walk. I wore capris and a t-shirt.

This morning we woke up to 48 degrees and wind.

Yep, that's pretty much how I feel about it too Mimi.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Friday

Also, a Tyson funny.
T: Mommy, where's Daddy?
M: He's golfing, buddy.
T: Turn on the TV. I want to watch him.
Oh, how I wish kiddo. Oh, how I wish...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

7 Months! (and a day)

Dear Mila,
Yesterday you turned 7 months old. I took your pictures on time and am writing your birthday letter only one day late. I find the need to acknowledge this accomplishment in writing. Next month we probably won’t be so lucky.  
You are on the brink of so many milestones and reaching such a fun age that it’s hard to find time to sit and write about you….I’d much rather be playing with you!
You officially started sleeping through the night around 6 months, one week (two days). Not that I was counting. It was a loooong 6 months that culminated in me letting you cry it out (while I cried in my bed) for two nights. It was probably more torturous for me than it was for you, but if it ends up scaring you for life, I promise to help pay for any needed therapy.
The benefits of teaching you to sleep through the night were short lived as around 6 months 3 weeks your teeth decided to try and make an entrance. We’ve suffered a few painful nights/days and are still waiting for those ugly buggers to poke through. The drool amounts are epic and at this point anything within a two foot radius of you goes in your mouth. I’m guessing you’ll have your first one pop through by the end of month 7.
You are waaay mobile. I put you down at one end of a room and find you one minute later trapped under the bookshelf on the other end of it. You are crawling backwards and rocking forwards.  Actual purposeful crawling is only weeks away. God save us all.
You wave. It’s stinkin cute. You know it.
You eat. And you eat. And you eat. And you eat. Girl likes her food. You’ve started eating puffs . The pincer reflex isn’t quite developed, but you sure know how to grab a handful and stuff it in.  Clearly you learned this behavior from Daddy.
You are babbling now. Not just the high level screeches that were so enjoyable during months 4 and 5 (we still do have the pleasure of hearing those every once and awhile). A lot of bbbahh and other stuff that I have no idea how to type.  
Clearly you are advanced and a genius and the best looking 7 month old baby around. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
I love you, little Mimi.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Toddlers

Apparently Tyson has decided to start his stand-up routine at the ripe age of 2. It should not surprise you that I appear to be the brunt of his jokes.
Tyson: I not like Mommy anymore.
Daddy: That’s not nice, Tyson. You can’t say that.
Tyson: I not like Mommy anymore, please.
At least you used your manners buddy.
Tyson: Mommy! I went poop two times today! What do I want a cookie or something….
“What do you want a cookie or something?”  Happens to be a sarcastic line I use often. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?
Mommy: Tyson, what are you going to be for Halloween?
Tyson: Superman and Daddy be Superman too.
Mommy: And Mila will be Wonder Woman. What should I be?
Tyson: A Mommy.
Mommy: What should I wear?
Tyson: A vacuum.
Sure to impress the ladies with that one.
When he hits the road, I’ll be sure to sell tickets on the blog. Retirement here I come!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Dear Tyson,

In three more sleeps, you will wake up and attend your first day of preschool. You can hardly wait. Mommy, however, is a little more apprehensive. We went to Parent/Child day last week-I struggled to hold onto your hand a little longer and hold back the tears while you happily met your new friends and teacher.

I'm making Daddy take you the first day so I don't make a scene.

I hope you love school. I hope you follow directions and listen to your teachers. I hope you explore and learn things that I never could teach you. I hope you read books that we don't have at home and do art projects that I can hang proudly on the fridge. I hope you are nice to your classmates. I hope you make new friends that you can tell me all about. I hope you say, "please" and "thank you." I hope you sit still during circle time. I hope you sing new songs and learn new prayers. I hope you learn to write your name and do a Christmas program that I can take a million pictures of. I hope you come running to me when I pick you up.

School is an amazing place, buddy. Go, learn, have fun.

I will miss you.