Monday, February 23, 2015



After the fourth month of my pregnancy with you, I started sleeping in our guest room- and I use the term sleeping loosely. Very loosely. For hours on end, I laid awake in our old, lumpy, and uncomfortable bed. As I tossed and turned, random contractions caused by tiny elbow jabs and what I can only imagine were little dance steps kept me wide awake. It always amazed me that someone so small could make their presence so known.

When I held you for the first time, I couldn't speak. I was shaking-from labor, from excitement, from love. I studied your hands (long and dainty) and your hair (brown and curly).  I double checked to confirm that you were really a girl, then I triple checked. My first words finally fell out of my mouth long after you were placed in my arms-" You're beautiful," I whispered in your ear. I was in awe that someone so tiny could be so captivating.

When you were a baby, I spent hours quietly nursing you in the dark while Daddy snored next to us and Tyson slept soundly down the hall. I had so much time to think as we sat there-it wasn't often quiet with a newborn and toddler running around. I thought about the way you already had Daddy wrapped around your little finger and the way Tyson loved to make you laugh as you bounced in your excersaucer and how I just couldn't believe that someone so small could make our family feel so complete.

When you were just shy of a year old, we took you out to eat with your Auntie Katie and Uncle Ryan. You wore a jean skirt and striped leggings with a matching headband that was way too big for your tiny head and some bedazzled tennis shoes that totally made the outfit. You stood on your highchair, tight grip on my hands, and made some sort of dinosaur noise while smiling and waving to the other diners. I watched as people waved back, as waitresses stopped to "talk" with you, as strangers turned and smiled. I didn't realize someone so small was capable of lighting up an entire room.

When you first learned to talk, you named your lovie "GetThat", which couldn't have been more appropriate. "GETTHAT!" you yelled constantly, and, of course, we happily obliged. When you were eighteen months old, you discovered you could delay running errands with me if you needed a diaper change. "I'm STILL pooping!" you would yell when you didn't want to leave the house. When you moved into a big girl bed, you repeatedly asked me for "another tisss and hug" as I tucked you in knowing full well it was a request I just couldn't refuse. I'm still shaking my head and trying to figure out how someone so young is outsmarting me nearly every day. As an aside. I'm also trying to figure out how to curb this behavior by the time you reach your teens.

When you wake up tomorrow morning you will be 3. You will no longer be small or tiny or even young in the eyes of the world, but I can guarantee you'll still make your presence known. When you tiptoe into our room, bright and early with a huge smile on your face, I will still think you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. At your birthday lunch, waitresses will still stop to talk with you-other diners will wish you a happy birthday-you'll still light up the room. I was planning on treating you to cupcakes OR ice cream for dessert, but you'll probably outsmart me and wind up getting both. And when I tuck you into bed tomorrow night, I will still marvel at how perfectly you complete our family.

Happy Birthday, my sweet, crazy, little Mimi.

I love you more than words.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Yesterday Mila and I dropped Tyson off at a local art studio for a day camp. The studio had two tiny birds chirping away in a cage near the back of the room that both kids were quickly drawn to. So quickly, in fact, that I'm beginning to wonder if they're actually mine. I mean, what part of dangerous, dirty and pecking your eyes out do they not understand?

But. I digress..

One of the teachers came over to my kids and told them the "cute little birdies" (her words, not mine) were named Arty and Crafty. Clever. She then asked my kids if they have any pets. Tyson smiled and told her about Lola.

Then I left and Tyson made an odd looking dog out of tissue paper.

When I returned to pick Tyson up the first words out of his mouth in the car were, "MOM! We forgot to tell her about Dory. I told her about Lola, but I forgot about DORY!"

Turns out we all kinda forget about Dory.  Myself included. I forgot to document that, on a whim, I let the kids bring home a beta fish one random Tuesday morning. I blame all my stupid ideas on the lack of things to do in MN during the winter-random beta fish included.

Meet Dory:

She's (he?) been a quiet addition to our house. So quiet that we usually forget she's here. She currently resides in the kid's bathroom which, I'm sure, is wonderful existence. We haven't forgotten to feed her (at least not yet) and have managed to keep her bowl mostly clean (thanks to Daddy).

I'm fairly certain that if I find her belly up one morning it will take the kids at least a week before they'd notice she's gone. It should also be documented this is a once in a lifetime experience.

Welcome to the family, Dory.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Skipping Nap Time is NEVER a Good Idea

Last week I had the brilliant idea to surprise the kids, skip nap time and visit the Eden Prairie ice castle. This week I understand that any brilliant idea that involves skipping nap time will not end well.


In hindsight, the 45 minute drive to the ice castle accompanied by constant bickering, intermittent crying and random screams from the backseat should have been my fair warning that this might not be my best laid plan. Still, I trucked on.

Again, touché.

We arrived, shelled out $24 to get "inside", and spent exactly 8 minutes there before this:

Because running to keep up with your big brother in an ice castle, on ICE, is not safe.

Items the above picture does not accurately capture:

1) ALL THE BLOOD. Afterwards I was able to determine she cut her lip and suffered a few minor scratches on her face, but in the midst of it, I was fairly certain she was going to bleed out. There was blood EVERYWHERE-coats, scarves, pants, mittens-EVERYWHERE.
2) The crying. Oh, man-the crying.... by the end of the episode all three of us had shed tears in public. I have no shame.
3) The 5 year old meltdown over having to leave. Almost messier than the ample amounts of blood.

On a bright note (because, after shelling out $24 for 8 minutes in an ice castle, I NEED to see a bright spot), the ice castle was really beautiful and the weather on the day we went was amazing. Also, the "before" pictures I managed to snap turned out pretty great, too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kindergarten Orientation

A little over a month ago, I covered up my adult acne and hid my (curling iron) hickey to attend our local kindergarten tour. For thirty minutes, the school Principal graciously showed us his school, answered our many questions and tried his hardest not to stare at the growing craters on my chin. I now know the school's average class size and their teaching philosophy. I saw their cafeteria and their gym and their skating rink and their music room.  I met two seemingly wonderful and caring Kindergarten teachers (who also tried really hard not to stare at my acne). I saw art projects the current year Kindergartners had painstakingly painted and talked to 6th grade students about why they adored their science teacher. I left the tour excited, nervous, apprehensive and happy.

And then I went about my business trying to pretend that day never happened.

I mean, surely if I'm still covering up acne and investing in scarves to hide hickeys I'm too young to have a Kindergartner, right? RIGHT?

Apparently not. Yesterday this came in the mail:


In two short weeks, I will escort Tyson into the halls of his elementary school for the very first time. Just typing that sentence makes me want to eat all the chocolate while crying my eyes out. It's a wonder I have acne, huh?

It's just that I'm not ready.

I'm not ready to have him gone 5 whole days each week. I'm not ready to rush him out the door each morning and beg him for information about his day each afternoon. I'm not ready to put him on a school bus with kids 7 years older than him. I'm not ready to not know who he ate lunch with or who he sat next to or who he played with at recess. I'm not ready for homework and field trips.  I'm not ready to pack school lunches. I'm not ready to deal with the tough issues that come with bigger schools-like bullying and fights and inclusion.  I'm not ready to not see his smiling face all day long I'm not ready to say goodbye to my baby. 

I'm not ready, but he is.

He is ready. When he enters Kindergarten he will be almost 6 years old. He'll have completed three years of preschool where he learned not only how to write and read and count, but also the more important lessons like how to listen and be a good friend and be respectful. He's ready for testing and learning to read and new friends. He's ready to play in a gym and have a school library. He's ready to have music class and art class.  He's ready for new adventures, new lessons and new teachers.

He's ready, and he'll do great.

I plan on repeating that mantra when we walk into his Kindergarten orientation in a few weeks. In the mean time, I'm busy praying that some of his readiness rubs off on me by September. Oh, and clear skin-I'm hoping some of that rubs off on me too.