Thursday, January 24, 2013

11 months

Dear Mila,

Today you are 11 months old. Deep breath, writing that sentence was just as hard as I imagined it would be.  

Every night for the last week, I’ve sat down after your brother and you were in bed and tried to order your first birthday invites. I’ve changed the pictures no less than 20 times.  The color combo has been adjusted every which way. I’ve changed the theme, the font, and the time of the party. I’ve poured over Pinterest recipes to serve,  browsed Etsy decorations to hang, and searched for the perfect cake to order on line. But, oh yeah, I still haven’t ordered the invites.   

Denial, it ain’t just a river in Egypt, baby.

I’m clearly having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that in one short month we will be celebrating your very first birthday. One year ago today I was uncomfortable and tired and really, really big. And you were in my tummy-uncomfortable and sleepy and really, really tiny. I’ve done this whole baby to toddler in a year thing before, so, one would think I would have known it was coming, but nope. Snuck up on me again.

How is it even remotely possible that this:

Has turned into this:


Mimi, I promise that I will order your invites this week. And I will throw you the best first birthday party on the block. There will be cake for you to eat with your Auntie Valerie and music for you to shake your booty to with Tyson. There will be presents and balloons and crackers and bananas. I promise it will be great. And, even though I can’t possibly think of it, I will throw a damn good second birthday too. And third and fourth.  And on and on. I promise.

In return, can you promise me something? Just one little thing-promise to be my little girl forever. Oh sure, I know you will grow. You’ll get big. You’ll stop drinking out of a bottle. You won’t want me to rock you back to sleep. You’ll walk and feed yourself.  You’ll run. You’ll run away from me. You’ll be able to tell me what you want and what you don’t want. You stop wanting to be carried. You’ll start going to the bathroom in the potty. You’ll go to Kindergarten. You’ll meet a new best friend.  You’ll have play dates. You’ll swim or dance or do gymnastics. You’ll fight with your brother. You’ll fight with your Daddy and me. You’ll have a new best friend. You’ll get grounded. You’ll drive. You’ll get a boyfriend and another boyfriend and another boyfriend. You’ll go to school dances in pretty dresses. You’ll go away to college. You’ll get married. You’ll have your own baby.

But through it all? Please, please promise you’ll be my little girl. My little girl who I can hug and whisper I love you to. My little girl who will look for her Mommy when she is sad. My little girl who will hug and kiss without abandon. My little girl who’s smile can light up my room. My little girl who is independent and determined and funny and cute and smart.  

Because that promise? It will help me through this whole getting older thing. I need it.

I love you Mimi.

Happy 11 months,


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Merry Christmas!

What? Cut the eye rolls, I’m well aware Christmas was over two weeks ago. We actually took the liberty of celebrating it the entire month of December, so, I figured extending my Christmas post two weeks into January was nothing to bat an eye at.

How was your Christmas? Merry and Bright? Jolly? Did you see Mommy kissing Santa Clause?  Did you rock around the Christmas tree? Drink FIVE GOLDEN BEERS? Wait. (Stellar parenting moment: this is how Tyson actually sings that song. Pride: it flows over, I tell ya.)

As mentioned, the 2012 Pavel Christmas will live to go down as the MOST DRAWN OUT CHRISTMAS EVER. My kids now fully believe that Christmas is actually a month long event where they can consume all the candy they want and open presents nearly every day. Next year they will be in for quite the shock.

Our first Christmas celebration included all of these kids. Look! Mine is the only one crying!

Santa came and brought presents. Again, mine cried.

We ate lasagna and both kids stayed in their seats for the entire dinner. Mainly because we told Tyson that if he didn’t he wouldn’t get to open his presents later. You can call that bad parenting, I call it the main reason why he wasn’t crawling under the table with his cousin Brody as per usual at family celebrations. Potato, potahto.

The second Christmas celebration was at home.  Just us four.  Dan gave me workout clothes and a workout video. I gave him a golf bag and home brewing kit.  Tyson, if you are reading this in the future and have a wife or girlfriend, take note that this was not even a remotely fair gift exchange.   

Tyson was really into Christmas this year. And I don’t just mean the part where he got to tear into all his new presents. He also LOVED buying things for everyone else too. Including a God Awful Ugly hat for Mila. I cringed when he brought it over to me, but practically ran to the register when he said, “Please Mommy? I buy Mila another present? I think she would look beautiful in it.” Sorry, Mila-he won. I couldn't shell out the $12 fast enough. 

We left for Florida the morning after our family Christmas at home. Tyson was thrilled that he was allowed to go out of the house in his PJs. In hindsight, we could have just chalked that up as his Christmas present(s) and he probably would have been equally as happy.

The plane ride to Florida-Mila’s first plane ride ever- was a success.  We took Tyson to Florida at 13 months old and the plane ride almost resulted in the demise of our marriage. At 10 months, Mila slept for a little over an hour and then proceeded to eat her way through the next two and half. Tyson watched Dora and Monsters, Inc. on repeat. To say I was pleasantly surprised is a vast understatement.

When asked after the trip, Tyson’s favorite part of the plane ride was the part where we were on the ground, the part where we took off, the part where we were in the air and the part where we landed. So….

Florida was filled with beaches and pools and parks and urgent care rooms (don’t ask) and train rides and golf and a date night  and presents and playing outside. Which clearly means my kids (and I) were in some sort of heaven on Earth. Except for the part where we had to watch our ten month old trying to walk on  the ceramic floor all week long by pulling herself up onto the glass tables. That part wasn’t heaven for me.


We celebrated Christmas Eve (the real one, not the twenty other ones we’ve already had) at the beach playing in the water, eating shrimp and building sand castles.

Tyson wrote this note to Santa. It CLEARLY says:  “Dear Santa, I want a dart board and a helicopter that flies.” (Daddy’s ideas because that’s what we bought him.)  We set out cookies and milk for Santa and Wheat Thins for Rudolph (Tyson’s ideas because that’s what he likes).

The Papa read, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the kids before bed. We tucked them in, visions of sugar plums danced in their heads as we ate some of Santa’s cookies with wine and hung up their stockings in anticipation of Christmas morning.  It was magical. Every part of our Christmas Eve was just as wonderful as I had always dreamed Christmas with my kids would be. If I could relive one day for the rest of my life, I would pick that day. Again and again.

Christmas morning didn’t let us down either. The kids were thrilled with their stocking stuffers and letter from Santa complete with a picture of him bringing even MORE presents to our house. (For those of you playing along at home, we’re at 4 days of presents with one more yet to come. You can start praying that they don’t turn into spoiled brats right about now.)

The rest of our Florida trip was spent with Grandpa Tom & Grandma LaNea and later with Autie Katie and Uncle Ryan. It was busy and fun but we were all missing our naps and regular bedtimes by the end of the trip. Perhaps that’s why the plane ride home wasn’t as blissful as the one there. I am happy to report, however, that we are still married.

We arrived home to open yet one more set of presents from Santa.  Actually, we weren’t even in the door yet and I could hear Tyson  yelling, “Mommy, Mila got a rocking horse and there’s a desk for me and a whhhooollleee bunch of other presents here! Mommy! We open, now? Mommy! Mommy!”

Lo and behold, Tyson got a dart board and a helicopter that flies. He was thrilled.

Mila got a rocking horse which she likes to ride and wave to us on. I guess that’s what Cowgirls do.

Luckily for my sanity, Christmas is FINALLY over. FINALLY. We're left with loads of garbage, two happy kids and plenty of fun memories. I'll have to start planning for Christmas next year in about two weeks. Until then, we're busy flying helicopters and riding horsies. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Peat and Repeat

Sister has figured out she has a voice! She can say words! And phrases! Prior to our trip to Florida, there were lots of mumbles and sounds, but no distinct words other than Daddy, Momma and Mum Mums (food, of course.) These three words were used an immense amount (especially mum-mum, she likes her food) , but we had little to no progress on anything else. Except her dinosaur scream. She’s really got that one perfected, much to my dismay.

Sometime during our trip, she realized she could make other noises. Her ability to copy our sounds started with “Uh-oh!” Did I mention she figured out how to throw her toys on the ground and have us pick them back up?  Yay!  Fetch for Mommy and Daddy-always my favorite part about this age.  This cute game is now accompanied by “Uh-oh!” every time she drops (throws) her toy on the ground. It makes it a slightly cuter game. Slightly.

She’s also added “yeah” to her vocabulary. Typically said repeatedly as in;

Mommy: “Mimi, do you want to take a bath?”
Mimi: ”Yeah, yeah yeah. Yeah. YEAH.”

Mommy: “Mimi, do you want mum-mums?”
Mimi: “Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!”

And then there’s, “I got it!”   Used in her new (improved!) fetch game-she throws an object-says, “uh-oh!” and then retrieves it HERSELF while yelling, “I got it!” Side note: if you have a ten month old starting the awesome fetch game mentioned above, either get yourself a Golden Retriever or invite my daughter over to teach them her new (improved!) version. Your sanity will thank you.

She also says, “Uhn ou,” which for those of you who don’t speak baby obviously means, “thank you!” How do I know this? Because she says it when I give her more food.  Duh.

Clearly she’s some sort of baby genius. What are the odds that we would have two in the same family? Small, I know. We’re lucky.

She does still make the dinosaur noises though, so, apparently we’re not SUPER SUPER lucky or anything.

PS: She’s also learned this new trick. It’s awesome and doesn’t making shopping hard at all. So proud.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Take A Bow

A few weeks ago, I experienced one of the most fulfilling moments of mommyhood thus far. I watched my little boy, decked out in his Christmas sweater and pressed khakis, perform in his first ever Christmas pageant.

I had been pressing Tyson for details on the performance for weeks. He revealed two songs they would sing-“Go Tell it on the Mountain” (complete with lots of yelling-to the point where I had no idea what he was saying- and sign language) and “Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star” (tamer song, more sign language) prior to the show. He also advised me that he had to “be quiet and keep his hands together” when he was on stage.

Add the above to the fact that Mila’s naptime happened to conveniently coincide with the start time of the play and one could say that my expectations were marginal at best.

The day of the performance we were busy trying to get our Christmas presents wrapped and bags packed for Florida. It snowed. And Daddy slid off the road. And we were frantically ten minutes late to the show. And Mila was crabby and hot and tired. And I was crabby and hot and tired…..  

UNTIL Tyson marched out holding onto Miss Mary Lou’s hand. Shy smile plastered across his face when he saw us. And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say-that my heart grew three sizes that day.

Placed front and center, my little boy (literally and figuratively-he was the shortest one there) sang every single song like his life depended on it. He told us the story of baby Jesus and his manger.  He sang, “Happy Birthday” to Jesus in Spanish (!SPANISH!). He sang about being a little angel and a Christmas star.  He stamped, clapped and yelled along with all the other little three and four year olds. Some days I can’t manage to coordinate bath time with my two kids-Tyson’s teachers managed to put on an amazing show with fifty three and four year olds as the actors. That, in and of itself, is a Christmas miracle.  

And at the end, Tyson bowed. Front and center, smallest kid in the school and the ONLY one that bowed. Dude knew he did good. I mean he kept his hands together and was quiet, right?