Monday, December 15, 2014

Stage Fright

About twice a week, I am treated to a loud and joyful concert by our two year old. She sings proudly with genuine excitement and often, surprisingly, on key. It's beautiful noise that stops me in my tracks and puts a smile on my face.

Cute, no?

Unfortunately for me, most of these loud and joyful concerts usually take place when said two year old is supposed to be napping.

So, smile on my face, but fear in my heart because, oh God, are we are approaching no naps?

Somebody hold me. Or, better yet,  hold HER-rock her to sleep-sing her a lullaby! Anything! We CANNOT give up naps yet.


As I was saying, for the last month and a half during "nap time" she has been perfecting her preschool's Christmas pageant song, "Away In a Manger." For an hour or so a day, she would sing about the little Lord Jesus laying down his sweet head. She knew every single word of the song and she sang it LOUD. It was adorable and the reason why I could hardly contain my excitement for her first ever Christmas pageant.

On the day of her performance, we dressed her in her red holiday velvet and headed off to church with our cameras  ready to capture all of the adorableness.

Well maybe not all of it......

Shortly before her class was to take the stage, while sitting in the middle of a quiet church, Mila loudly declared she needed to poop.

Of course she did.

Five minutes later, business taken care of, Mila joined her class on stage already midway through "Away in a Manger." I ducked down in the front row and pulled my phone out hoping to proudly catch her loud and adorable voice belting out the second half of the song.

But she did nothing. NOTHING. Despite months of private dress rehearsals, she did not speak a word on stage. She also didn't smile on stage. Or move.

That's her-front left-adorable red velvet dress, no smile on her face and no songs coming from her mouth and frozen in place.

Still cute, but.....

Perhaps she was aware of how ridiculously cute she looked just standing there and didn't want to risk making it any more adorable by singing too.

Or, maybe she was tired from her lack of napping.

She did manage to give us a private performance later that day at, yep, you guessed it-nap time.

PS: Mila also had her first ever dance recital this week where she was able to sing and dance on stage.  Her curtsy at the end was with her back to the audience and slightly resembled an attempt to moon us. I guess she's worked through her stage fright.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Like Father, Like Son

In 1998, when Daddy graduated from high school, he was named best athlete of his graduating class. It's an accolade he won't let us (or anyone he meets on the street) forget. Its clear to us that Tyson, at the ripe age of 5, is already following in Daddy's footsteps.

Already a multi sport athlete, he excels at hockey, basketball and football. Not one to limit his talents, he also dabbles in golf, baseball, wrestling, soccer and tennis. We're happy he's keeping all of his doors open and hoping for a contract (any contract!)that will help pay for our retirement.

Just a few weeks ago, Coach Pitino of the Minnesota Gopher basketball team asked for his assistance on the court.


At 41 inches tall, his layup percentage was poor, but he never missed a dunk.

Thankful for his help, the team invited him back to watch their first home game. He was a bit confused as to why the players didn't recognize him, but we explained it was good to keep a low profile.

His quick feet on the court have also proven useful in his backyard football games against Daddy where he consistently wins by at least 145 points. Yes, you read that right-145 points against North St. Paul's 1998 Athlete of the Year. Pretty impressive stats if you ask me.

He has also inherited the art of armchair quarterbacking from his Daddy.  Every Sunday you can find him on the couch yelling at the Vikings to "Get the Packers!" We've tried to explain that the Vikings don't always play the Packers, but are hesitant to squash his staunch disdain of Cheeseheads.

His hockey talents have also continued to amaze all (2) of his fans. Despite actually being smaller than his hockey bag, Daddy says he is one of the fastest skaters on the ice. Apparently this stems from his ability to stay low to the ground when he skates which, despite how it might appear from the stands, is not the same thing as staying on the ground. Just yesterday he told me he was looking forward to his first "real" hockey game so he could "crush up the other team." Obviously.

All this to say, Stillwater class of 2028, you better start working out if you expect to beat  Tyson for best athlete-he's got good genes working in his favor.

PS: Daddy was also the runner up for best hair in his graduating class. Looks like Tyson is going to one-up him on this one. Touche, Daddy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Santa and Sass

My mom warned me that dealing with sass was an integral part of having a daughter. She cautioned me about the defiance, reminded me of my own back talk and advised me to prepare for the eye rolls.

I guess I just didn't realize it would start so early. Like today. At the ripe age of 2.

This morning, because I believe in cruel and unusual forms of parental torture, I took the kids to the Mall of America to see Santa. By myself.

It's ok, you can laugh.

Our day started off swimmingly. We took in the free performance of Rudolph in the rotunda, colored at the Disney store and took this adorable pictures in front of their giant Christmas trees.

Don't let that sweet smile fool you.

As we waited in line to see Santa,  I wasn't even anticipating the sass that Mila was about to throw down to the innocent bystander behind us.

Sweet Lady in Line: "Oh I bet you two are excited to go see Santa!"
Tyson: "We are!"
Mila: "I'm not..." (please read in the most annoying whiny sing-song voice you can imagine)
Sweet Lady in Line: "What are you going to tell Santa you want for Christmas?"
Tyson : "I'm going to ask for more Legos"
Mila: "I want a GETTHAT!"

************We interrupt this story to bring you the story of "GetThat." "GetThat" is a (usually dirty) lovie that Mila has slept with since birth. It was also one of her first word(s?). Since just over a year old she has referred to her lovie as "GetThat" and we have lovingly complied. Looking back, this probably was a strong indicator of the amount of sass she possesses.********************

Sweet Lady in Line: "Oh! You want a cabbage patch?"
Sweet Lady in Line: "A what, honey?"
Mila: "A GETTHAT!"

Sweet Lady in Line looks to me for an explanation. I mumbled the above story as my cheeks turn red.

Sweet Lady in Line: "Ohhh. Well, wow. You certainly have a lot of sass in that one, don't you?"

You have no idea, sweet lady. No idea.

And just think, Sweet  Lady in Line didn't even get to witness Mila rolling her eyes at Santa a few minutes later.

I'm saving this picture so I know there is someone who can commiserate with me in a few short years.

On a bright note, sass still looks cute on a 2 year old.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chippy 2014

Prior to getting married, I was told I needed to register for China. It was, apparently, a requirement of marriage. A necessity. As a 27 year old who frequented such fine establishments such as Chili's and Applebee's, I was faintly aware that China referred to fancy plates of which we were to eat off of. I was even more faintly aware of the price of said China.

We searched high and low for China. Oh, who am I kidding, I searched high and low for China. Dan didn't give two shits. I scoured the Internet and visited multiple stores searching for the perfect China.

Afterwards,  I would meet Dan at Chili's to discuss my findings.

We (read I) finally decided on the perfect place settings. They were simple, yet classic. Timeless and elegant. Everything China is supposed to be, I'm sure.

To date, we've been married 6 years and 4 months. We've used our China three times total. It's sat on our table for less time than I spent searching for it.

Even more pathetic? Each of the three times I've hauled out (and dusted off) our China has been for our Elf on a Shelf, Chippy.

Not exactly the special occasions I imagined I would need the required China for.

Elf on a Shelf season is quite possibly my least favorite time of the year. It's stressful and exhausting and it stretches my highly uncreative mind to all of it's limits-I mean I dusted off China for this foot tall visitor. I also spent over four hours (ahem) hand painting a sleigh for him to arrive on.

Yes, I've questioned my sanity.

Thankfully, the looks on their faces when they saw Chippy in his pint sized sleigh and their tiny donut snowman on our beautiful China made it (mostly)all worth it.

Happy Elf on a Shelf season. If you need me I'll be busy stringing lights around our toilet, hanging underpants on the tree and attempting other elf feats.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful (the 2014 edition)

The Thanksgiving tree made it's second appearance in the Pavel house this year. True to form, Tyson out-performed everyone and Mila, well, Mila let's just say she's happy there's food on our table.

The things we are thankful for in 2014:

1) I am thankful we forgive our family members-Tyson
2) I am thankful that this year, instead of driving to work in the first snowfall, I was able to go outside and play in it-Mommy
3) I am thankful for water-Mila
4) I am thankful we are all healthy-Daddy
5) I am thankful that we spend time with our family and do fun things-Tyson
6) I am thankful for our friends, family and neighbors-Mommy
7) I am thankful for milk-Mila
8) I am thankful we have such a wonderful and caring Mommy-Daddy
9) I am thankful our family loves holidays-Tyson
10) I am thankful for the 2 great schools that Tyson and Mila go to-Mommy
11) I am thankful for french fries-Mila
12) I am thankful we have such smart kids-Daddy
13) I am thankful it's sunny in the summer and a little sunny in the winter-Tyson
14) I am thankful my kids have a Daddy who loves playing with them-Mommy
15) I am thankful for family dinners-Mila
16)  I am thankful for the roof over our head-Daddy
17)I am thankful we all like candy except Daddy-Tyson
18) I am thankful for a good conference with Tyson's teacher-Mommy

Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Years

Dear Tyson,

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a Mommy. I would wrap my dolls up in blankets and sling them on my hip while I cooked dinner in my Little Tykes Kitchen. My babies had a pretend Daddy that I would talk to on the phone-I'd tell him to bring home more milk and chocolate chip cookies. I fed my babies bottle after bottle and perfected the art of singing a lullaby while rocking them to sleep.

When I was a little girl, my babies were always babies. They never got older. I never played Mommy to a two year old boy who was awesome at puzzles. I never read a precocious three year old boy bed time stories. I never watched a determined four year old boy play hockey.

What a shame.

Today, as of 6:02 PM, I am the Mommy to a talented, sensitive, kind, ridiculously smart and hilarious 5 year old boy--you! And, while feeding you a bottle in my arms so many years ago was pretty awesome, so, is feeding you macaroni and cheese while discussing Gopher football and the newest Jake and the Neverland Pirate episode.

I'm kicking myself for not knowing then what I know now. Little girl me would have loved being the Mommy to 5 year old you-its pretty awesome.

As your Momma, I get to know true unconditional love. I hear, "I love you, Momma" through bleary eyes at 5 AM-it's the first thing out of your mouth most days. And I hear it from around the corner at 1:20 PM as I'm struggling to quiet your crabby sister. And always, always it's the last thing you whisper to me each night before bed. "You look beautiful today" and "Your the best Mommy ever" also escape our mouth often and usually when I need to hear it the most. You offer endless hugs, still want to give me a kiss before I leave, and give the best butterfly kisses around.

And I get to have SO MUCH FUN as your Mommy.  I get to build forts and roads and cities. Because of you,  I am well versed in Superheroes and was even protected by Batman himself this Halloween. I get to  play UNO and Yahtzee and Monopoly with Disney characters on the game pieces. I get to color and play with Legos and find the best hiding spaces for hide and go seek. I get to watch you "crush" Daddy in backyard football and race you to bed each night.

There's also an element of adventure in being your Mommy. My heart never pounded when I swaddled you as a newborn but it sure does when I see you twenty feet in the air at Spiderman park. Or climbing the jungle gym with a broken (and casted) arm. Or reaching out to touch a shark on the beach in Florida. Or attempting to ride your bike without training wheels for the first time. You sure like to keep me on my toes!

I also feel overwhelming pride. My heart swells just watching you walk into preschool each morning. Last week you told your teacher that your favorite toys were "all the learning ones" and I had to wipe away the tears.  I also cried at preschool graduation last year, your 5 year well check yesterday and from the sidelines at hockey last summer as I watched you finally get the hang of pushing off with both feet. I cry-a lot, but it's a good cry, baby. I also smile- when you share happily with your sister, when a stranger compliments your behavior, when you use your manners, when I look at your sweet face.

If I had even an inkling of just how awesome it was to be a 5 year old's Momma, I'm certain my pretend babies would have grown up. I would still call Daddy to bring home more cookies, but I'd also ask him to pick up some Gatorade and meet us at your next hockey game. And, instead of rocking you to sleep, I'd tuck you in to bed and steal one more butterfly kiss and wait patiently for that last, "I love you Momma."

I love you, buddy.

Happy Birthday to the smartest, funniest, and most determined 5 year old I know.

I am lucky to be your Mommy.



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

This weekend we celebrated Halloween on Friday night and Daylight Savings on Saturday night. Which, for a parent, is the equivalent of cruel and unusual punishment-an extra hour to spend with your over sugared AND over tired kids.

I had big plans to blog about all of our Halloween festivities today, but most of my energy was exhausted by 6:00 AM. A 5:18 wake up "tap" from Tyson and a 45 minute "disagreement" with Mila over why she couldn't have a sucker for breakfast will do that to you.

So, no blogging today--just pictures of a kitty and a batman who are both busy attempting to make this the longest day of my life.  They're lucky they're cute.

And with that, I'm off to break up a fight over who gets to use the blue crayon. Despite the fact that we have at least 5 other perfect blue crayons ready and available for the other one to use.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why We Painted Our Pumpkin Teal

If memory serves me correctly, we started feeding Mila finger foods at ten months old. As recommended by our pediatrician, we were slow to introduce each food and would wait 2 to 3 days before trying something new.

Tyson had a slight egg allergy when he was younger, so, we were cognizant of the need to monitor for food allergies. We watched for the standard signs-diarrhea, rash or vomiting and saw no immediate reactions as we continued to introduce food after food after food.

Around her first birthday, Mila had her first eczema flare up. Tyson had eczema when he was younger, but his would quickly go away with an oatmeal bath and repeated applications of Eucerin. Mila's, however, didn't go away as easily.

At her one year check up, Mila's doctor prescribed a steroid cream which provided some relief. The eczema cleared, but flared up again a week later. A return trip to the doctor resulted in yet another steroid cream which, again, provided only short term relief. Rinse and repeat for the next six months.

At it's best Mila's eczema would be gone for three to four weeks at a time.

At it's worst, it progressed to impetigo and resulted in a painful and feverish little babe.

For a little over a year of Mila's life, we watched helplessly as our baby screamed when bath water hit her face, cringed when friends would ask what was wrong with her and struggled to find the answers to help her.

She had no other symptoms. We never noticed swelling inside her mouth, she never had diarrhea and never vomited.

We invested way more than I care to admit in lotions and potions and creams and bath salts. We visited her pediatrician 8 times between her first birthday and her second. We cut out gluten and then milk and then soy, but still no relief. We even (shudder) tried bathing her in a doctor recommended bleach bath.

During this time, we did visit an allergist. Through a blood test, we had her tested for dairy, soy, wheat, peanut, eggs and pet dander. Her results showed a "slight"peanut allergy, however, her allergist indicated that based on his opinion the allergy was so minimal that it wouldn't be necessary for us to eliminate them from her diet.

So, following the advice of our allergist, we allowed her to continue to eat peanuts and peanut butter.

And the eczema continued to flare on and off until last Christmas.

On Christmas Day, during a family celebration, Mila ate a homemade Chex Mix with almonds and peanuts. She also ate cashews and possibly even a few pecans.

Within ten minutes of dinner, I noticed a rash around her mouth and dismissed it as yet ANOTHER eczema flare. As I changed her diaper a few minutes later, I saw the rash was also on her stomach. And arms. And back. Panicked, we attempted to give her a dose of Benadryl only to see that her lips had also started to swell.

We rushed her to the emergency room of the nearest hospital and watched horrified and in tears as she suffered an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts and peanuts.

I cannot describe the fear and panic I felt that day as I watched the nurses yell for another steroid injection. And the blame that floated around in my head as I heard them discuss calling an ambulance to transfer her to Children's. I could have prevented this. I should have prevented this. Unknowingly, I allowed my daughter to eat foods that could have killed her.

We now know that Mila is allergic to tree nuts. Eating hazelnuts or pistachios or cashews or pecans or walnuts can kill her. She still has a slight allergy to peanuts and we have now been advised to avoid them as well. Since cutting out all tree nuts and peanuts from her diet, we no longer have eczema flare ups. Mila will be blood tested and skin tested after she turns 4 to determine if any of her allergies have changed. Until then, I will carry my EpiPen and panic with me everywhere I go.

This will be our first Halloween since her reaction. I have sweaty palms thinking about. Mila is going as a kitty - a pink, fluffy and adorable kitty who cannot eat peanuts or tree nuts. We are hoping to keep her trick or treating experience as normal as possible and planning to go through her candy after we tuck her safely into bed that night.

As she gets older, it will become more difficult to monitor what she eats, but hopefully she will become more knowledgeable about her food allergies. In an attempt to help her and other kids with food allergies, we spent the morning painting a pumpkin teal.

This Halloween, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is encouraging families to place a teal pumpkin on your porch as a sign to other families that you have non-food treats available at your home. We plan on handing out Sixlets (nut free and processed in a nut free facility) and stickers. Additional information about the Teal Pumpkin Project can be found on FARE's blog

Here's wishing EVERYONE a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


He's almost five. He can buckle his own seat belt but still waits for my hand to walk across a parking lot. He mixes his own macaroni and cheese and writes own name,  but he looks so small when I drop him off at school. He can read some words on his own, but his head still fits snugly on my chest during story time.  He brushes his own teeth and washes his own face, but still waits for me to tuck him in each night. He still talks quietly and cries loudly. He still likes me to sing him a lullaby. I can still rub his forehead lightly to ease him to sleep.

Most days he's almost 5, but some days, if I glance at him just right I can still picture the way his eyelashes used to flutter before he drifted of to sleep in my arms.

She's two and a half. She can count to fifty and sing her ABCs, but my favorite word out of her mouth is still, "Mama." Her hair fits with ease into a pony tail, but she still has the wispy curls I used to run my fingers through as I rocked her to sleep. She's still content and happy and independent. She can pull on her own PJ pants, but her little legs still fit perfectly around my body when I carry her off to bed. She no longer cries out for me in the middle of the night, but she still babbles my name as she drifts off to sleep.

Most days she's two and a half, but some days, if I hold her just right, I can still feel the way she fit in my arms as I nursed her to sleep.

He's almost five, she's two and a half. Neither of them are still babies, but they'll always be mine.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How To Potty Train Your Stubborn Two Year Old

This blogging hiatus brought to you in part by the strong willed, determined and feisty two year old shown below.


She looks cute, no?

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to stare at that adorable face for approximately 10 hours per day. Which would be entirely enjoyable if those 10 hours staring weren't spent on the cold and uncomfortable bathroom floor begging her to put her pee-pee in the potty.

Because someday (a long, LONG time from now) little Mimi will undoubtedly have her own cute, strong willed little offspring that will require potty training I have decided to document the steps that worked for her. Mimi- you can call me to thank me thirty years from now from your own bathroom floor.

STEP 1: Gather the supplies.

I scrounged up at least 20 pairs of underpants, a variety of juices, milk and water to offer constantly, a doll that would be "potty trained" at the same time, skittles for a reward, and a plethora of cleaning wipes.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Wine, though not pictured, is perhaps the most essential supply.

STEP 2: Strip the pants and be prepared to spend all the hours in your bathroom.

For two days straight, we went no where and I let you run the house in underpants only. Using the doll, we taught you the difference between wet underpants and dry underpants and periodically would ask you if you were wet or dry. Drinks were offered constantly and I brought you to the bathroom every hour even when you insisted (read: screamed and cried) you didn't have to go.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Accidents were frequent, time spent in the bathroom was exponential and wine, though not pictured, may have been was consumed on the cold and uncomfortable floor.

STEP 3: Don't give up. Day 3 brought an hour clocked in the bathroom and two accidents before 9 AM. Coincidentally it also brought tears from me and you. As much as I love hanging out in the bathroom, I was DONE. And you were too. Rather than throwing in the towel, I decided to put the training in your hands on Day 3. After your second accident, I explained it was now up to you to let me know when you had to use the potty.

Crazy, right?

BUT this harebrained idea actually worked. After 9 AM, you had NO more accidents on Day 3. NONE. And leaving the training up to you resulted in way less hours on the bathroom floor. I was able to drink my wine on the couch like the civilized mother I am.

STEP 4: Drink a bottle of wine with your husband to celebrate. Make it an expensive bottle of wine-you no longer have to buy diapers, right ?

Mila- I am so, so proud of you Peanut! You did it! Someday ( a long LONG time from now) I'll look back on the two days I spent locked in a bathroom with you and miss it so much.

...........................................I now return you to your regular blogging schedule already in progress.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tyson's Last First Day of Preschool

Dear Tyson,

Today is your third first day of preschool. It's hard to believe it's been two years since we first said watched you walk into the doors of Little Angels.  My, how you've changed!

Two years when we dropped you off, you were so, so tiny-standing a full three chain links below the preschool sign. You were timid, shy and nervous. On the first day, you cried and held tight to my leg, so, I cried and held tight to my heart.


Your first year of preschool taught you to listen to a teacher.  It taught you to share with your friends and follow the rules. You learned about circle time and walking in a line and a life without Mommy or Daddy there.

Last year, you had grown-your tiny head stood just below the sign. You wore a brave smile and confidently led me to your classroom. I proudly left you there with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

Last year in preschool you learned how to be a leader. You met new friends that you invited over for playdates. You brought home art projects and new songs and stories about Jesus. You learned how to cut and perfected writing you name.

Today you stood tall-your head slightly above the sign. You practically ditched me at the door and ran into your classroom. I smiled and waved goodbye. No tears were shed until I sat down to write this note and had time to reflect on the confident, happy and smart little boy I had left behind.

School will be a little different this year-new teachers, new classroom, more friends to play with-but you're ready. You're ready for routine and learning and change and growth. You've got this, buddy.

And, coincidentally,  I've got approximately 365 days to deal with accepting the fact that you will head off to Kindergarten next year.

Best of luck to both of us.

Love you and so, so proud of you,


Friday, September 5, 2014

Off To The Races

I decided to run my first 5K nine days before the actual race. When I arrived at the starting line, I had only ran 3.1 miles consecutively on three other occasions. I was intimidated and nervous. My running shoes were at least 5 years old, I had no idea where to pin on my racing bib (is it called a bib?), and I planned on running with my iPhone in my hand.

26 minutes and 49 seconds later, I crossed the finish line while simultaneously crossing an item off my bucket list.

Tyson decided to run his first tot trot less than 24 hours before the actual race. He didn't train at all, ran with a shark painted on his cheek, a smile plastered across his face and blue hair spray in his hair.

35 seconds later, he crossed the finish line.

26 minutes and 49 seconds was fast enough to claim 5th place in my age group, 21st place for women, and 66th place overall. While I found these stats brag-worthy, Tyson just wanted to know why I was fast enough to get a medal or a ribbon.

35 seconds was fast enough to claim 1st place in the tot trot. And a ribbon.


We are currently considering signing up for our second race at the end of October where I have lofty ambitions to win a ribbon or a medal. Game on, Buddy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mimi's First Day of Preschool

My Little Mimi,

Tomorrow morning you start preschool. You are hesitant and scared and I know you will shed body convulsing tears when I leave you behind.


Want to know a little secret, Peanut? I'm scared too. And even though you'll only see the reassuring smile I have plastered to my face, I'll be crying as I pull out of the parking lot and leave you behind. Maybe not body convulsing tears, but crying nonetheless.

We need to be brave tomorrow, Mimi. Drop off will be difficult and scary, but it will be worth it, I promise. School will be worth it.

At school you will meet new friends and learn from a new teacher. You will paint and color and play with playdough-all things you love doing at home, but now you'll do them at school. You'll sing songs-some that you already know and others that you will learn. You'll play "Ring Around the Rosie" and dance to new music. You'll play at a new playground-the slides look awesome! You'll gain self confidence. You'll learn how to share. You'll play with new toys, read new books and play new games.

You'll be good, Mimi. School will be good.

Your teachers will love your manners and your humor and your incredibly large for your age vocabulary. Your friends will love the songs that you can make up on the spot, your hugs and your  undying love for babies.

So, tomorrow, lets be scared AND brave. Let's cry body convulsing tears because we'll miss each other, but smile room brightening smiles for all the new things you'll get to see and do and learn

I'm excited for you, baby. Go, learn, be brave, and have fun.

I'll be there waiting to hear all about it when school is done.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mila 2.5

Little Mimi,

Today you are two and a half.

I know! I KNOW! I'd bore you with the details about how it feels like we just brought you home yesterday, but you only sit still for so long these days.

Two and a half is hard, Mimi. For both of us. You are sassy, spunky, strong-willed, determined and every other adjective one can think of to politely say you are deep in the throws of the terrible twos.

A spitfire, I tell ya. And a cute one to boot-the worst combination.

It's hard and some days I feel like pulling my hair out, but just when I think I can't muster up the energy to calmly handle another tantrum I hear you quietly singing in the living room-a made up song with a chorus that repeats, " I love Mommy! I love Mommy! I LOVE YOU MOMMA!"

And my heart melts.

You are, unfailingly, a Mommy's girl at two and a half-it's the redeeming quality that accompanies your terrible twos. It's my name you yell out each morning when you wake. If anyone were to ask you what you dreamt about the night before you will always reply, "Momma." You beg me to "cawwy you" wherever we go, you seek me out in a crowd for reassurance and it's my name you chant as you drift off to sleep.

I hope you are a Mommy's girl at age five, too. And at age fifteen and at age thirty. And so on and so on.

Separation anxiety is currently kicking both of our butts. You are terrified of being left some place without Mommy by your side. We both (barely) survived your first go at summer school.  You're not a fan of strangers talking to you. Or smiling at you. Or, heck, even looking at you. You'll start a pre-preschool program at a local church in a few weeks and I'm sure there will be tears from both of us on drop off day. I'm hoping and praying mine won't fall until I'm safely out of your sight.

You are officially a "girly" girl -you love high heels and dresses and skirts and babies. You adore your brother and have taken to calling Daddy, "DAN!" You are smart-you can count to twenty two, sing the ABCs and spell your name with ease. You like to dance and sing. You have the vocabulary of a six year old. You love to play doctor and school. You are terrified of tubing behind the boat and hand dryers in public restrooms. You beg me to rub your back every night before bed. You love cuddling and Maisy books. You could live on cherry tomatoes and cheese sticks.


You are charming and energetic, fun and a little crazy. You make our lives happier, wilder and fuller. Each morning when you call my name, I am so happy to come in and see your sweet face again.

Happy 2.5, peanut!

Love you,