Eight is great

Friday, January 30, 2015

Earlier this week, we celebrated The Big Sis’s eighth birthday. Say what — eight?! As with each birthday she’s had, it feels like she just joined our family, but yet it also feels like she’s been around forever.

Things have been a little rough behavior-wise lately, as they generally seem to be around her birthday, but hopefully she’ll come out of it soon.


Stage kids

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Big Sis had her holiday dance show on the first Saturday of December, with each of the dance classes performing one song. For some reason, most of the classes did holiday/winter-related songs, but her teacher ended up choosing non-holiday songs for her classes. The Big Sis’s class did “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz.

Beforehand, she was so incredibly nervous that I had to promise her either ice skating downtown (at an outdoor rink) or pottery-painting (if bad weather) to give her something to look forward to afterward. Despite the nerves, she did a great job and was definitely proud of herself. The weather was rainy, so we spent the afternoon painting pottery and had fun together.

Unfortunately, The Big Sis’s school axed its music program, so there was no winter music performance this year.

The Little Sis’s daycare had its winter showcase last week, and her class was doing “Frosty the Snowman.” I thought that was an ambitious choice for three-year-olds, but they really were impressive, I thought. The Little Sis didn’t sing the words the whole time (though I know she knew them all), but she did keep up with the hand motions and such throughout. She had been slightly nervous beforehand — but mostly because she was afraid we’d leave the venue without her! We gave her our assurances that she wouldn’t be abandoned, and all was well.

Next up will be The Big Sis’s main dance recital in May.

Seeing double

Sunday, November 30, 2014

As a parent, I can now understand why my own parents very often got my sister and I some of the exact same things for Christmas — less fighting over stuff. We hated it at the time, as we were always interested in the other person’s presents, but that’s the approach Mom and Dad took.

The Big Sis and The Little Sis are hyperaware of each other’s belongings these days, so my MO for Christmas shopping this year is to buy them the same thing (where possible). Frozen t-shirt? Grab one in each size. Plush doll? One of the same for each of them. Pajamas? Two penguin sets, please! Sheets? Each will get a set to match their rooms. The big Santa gifts won’t be the same, but wherever possible I plan to double up.


And thus ends NaBloPoMo. I did pretty well, missing just one day, I believe. And, I know I’ve said this every year lately, but hopefully doing this will inspire me to continue posting on a more frequent basis. Gone are the days of new posts 6 days a week, but hopefully I can manage better than a new post every couple of weeks as I’d done lately.

Another type of thanks

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I am thankful for the two little rugrats who drove me up a wall for half the day today on Thanksgiving.

Without them, I might be a little saner and a little richer, yes, but I’d also be missing out on so much.

Happy Halloween from Dorothy and Ariel

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Birthday excitement

Friday, August 8, 2014
To say The Little Sis was excited about her third birthday would be an understatement. For weeks leading up to the big day, she eagerly talked about how much she was looking forward to it, including one endless stream of thoughts wherein she declared everyone who came to celebrate her birthday would wear “handbands” (headbands), and spinny dresses, and sparkly shoes, and that she wanted pink cupcakes. (I managed to get this speech on video, thankfully. It doesn’t sound funny at the moment, but it cracks me up how overenthusiastic she gets about it.)

We decorated the house with balloons and streamers, which she was thrilled to wake up to find on her birthday. Instead of taking cupcakes to daycare for her class, we sent freezer pops, which are one of her most favorite treats, and perfect to celebrate a summer birthday. That evening, we did dinner, opened presents (which were definitely dominated by Frozen merchandise), and enjoyed the hot-pink cupcakes I made. Every few minutes during the evening, she’d say, “I’m so excited it’s my birthday!” All in all, I think she had a really nice day. I was a little afraid she would wake up today disappointed that it wasn’t her birthday any longer, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. It’s funny, but I really didn’t expect her to get SO into her birthday this year; she even said she wanted to have all of her friends come and celebrate with us (though we didn’t do a real party with classmates this year…The Big Sis had her first party like that at age 4, so we’ll likely do the same with The Little Sis).

As for me, I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s hard to believe it’s already been three years, but at the same time, it’s hard to remember what life was like without her.

Happy 3rd birthday, Little Sis!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Your firstborn always holds a very special place in your heart. She’s the one who initiates you into parenthood, giving you a nonstop ticket to an unforgettable journey.

The late-night feedings and endless diapers soon give way to toddler tantrums and preschool sassiness, but through it all, she reminds you to STOP. To have fun. To experience the world with all your senses and without any sort of self-imposed time limit. To be hopeful.

The Big Sis is exuberant and extremely social and a natural-born leader and constantly searches for logical fallacies, and while those qualities present many challenges as a parent, they are also the qualities that will take her far in life.

Happy 7th to my one and only “Big Sis.”

Continuing tradition

Monday, December 30, 2013

This was my first Christmas without my mom — always a difficult milestone. We have our Christmas traditions with my parents (in addition to our own family traditions with The Husband and The Girls, of course), but I was curious how much would change this year, as my mom was typically the one to lead such traditions.

My dad decided not to put up a tree this year, and I can’t blame him, really. That does seem like a lot of work when you’re the only one who will see it. He did, however, use his sense of humor and taped a gift bag that had a picture of a Christmas tree on it — and called that his Christmas tree. πŸ™‚ On the bricks below, he set out the “stockings,” which really ended up being plastic grocery bags for everyone.

Actually, it was the stockings that I was most curious about. My mom loved shopping to fill the stockings, and she always found the neatest things, so I was going to be a little sad if my dad didn’t continue that tradition, but I also understood if he just wasn’t up to taking over the task. I considered asking him if he was going to do it, but then I didn’t want him to feel pressured to do it if he hadn’t planned on it. I considered asking if he wanted suggestions on stocking stuffers for all of us, but I didn’t want him to feel offended and think I didn’t think he could do it on his own. So I mentioned in passing that I’d be buying stuff to fill his stocking, and I prepared myself beforehand for either outcome.

I was very pleased when I walked in the house and saw the grocery bag “stockings” sitting in front of the fireplace. While certainly not the same without my mom, it was so nice to sit together and open these little goodies with each other. For me, it helped me feel like a part of her remains with us.

Without further adieu, my dad’s Christmas tree and stockings:


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Little Sis very quickly got the hang of pulling items out of her stocking on Christmas morning, opening the wrapped gifts from Santa, and proclaiming to the rest of us what she’d received.

The best reaction all day was when she opened a package of ponytail holders. Excitedly, she declared: “YAY! I got circles!”

Santa time

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last weekend we took the girls for their annual visit to Santa. Not surprisingly, The Little Sis did NOT want anything to do with the jolly ol’ elf, so no picture of them together. The Big Sis, however, was very happy to have a chance to share her wish list with him, and we were able to pick a picture of her that shows her recently missing top front tooth!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

I am thankful to live a life that leads me to be so exhausted after cooking food all day, visiting with family all day, and breaking up quarrels between young children. In the moment, it can be stressful, but in the aftermath, it is all so humbling.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Clowning around

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dear Adult Little Sis:

You might be wondering why you have a seemingly irrational fear of clowns even though you don’t know why.

Well, I can tell you why. It was because of that one kid during trick or treating in 2013 who walked right in front of you wearing a scary clown mask. I had hoped not to pass along my own personal dislike of clowns, however it turns out the universe had a different plan in mind.

At least you’re not the only one with this fear??



Halloween 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Glinda the Good Witch (from “Oz the Great and Powerful,” not from “The Wizard of Oz”):

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Our red princess witch:

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Wordless Wednesday: Happy 2nd!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I am not a perfect mom.

Right now I feed my oldest daughter chicken nuggets or fish sticks nearly every night because she’ll actually eat it.

I let the kids jump on the bed from time to time.

Sometimes I yell when I know I should just walk away for a moment to compose myself.

I don’t do arts and crafts with my kids. (That’s what daycare/school is for.)
The house might be tidy, but it is almost never spotless.
So while I might not be a perfect mom, I think I’m a good mom. And yes, I realize it’s not the cool or trendy thing to say that. Moms really seem to be all about playing martyr and talking about themselves in a harsh, self-deprecating way. But no way. I refuse to do that to myself. If I don’t pat myself on the back, then who will?

I hug my children and tell them that I love them. Often.

I do my best to pick my battles.

I try to do what’s best for them in the long term.

I make sure we have fun as a family. (Board game night, anyone? Time for a frozen yogurt outing? Or a mini-hike?)

I make reading to them a priority.

We eat dinner together.

We explore a variety of active things to do — but also know when the moment is right to curl up on the couch with a movie.

I do my best to learn from my mistakes.

And I have two wonderful daughters, both of whom are thriving in their respective environments, so surely that indicates I’m doing something right, no? The true test will come when they are adults, of course, but for now, I think the progress report is positive.

I will make mistakes.

I won’t always know the right thing to do.

But I will always love them. Always advocate for them. Always cherish them. Always protect them.

And I hope that one day, they too will get to make their own mistakes as moms and finally understand that while moms aren’t perfect, they are always doing their best.

SIX (years old)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Fa-la-la-la busy

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wow — what a busy month of December! There was the normal Christmas craziness, as well as a busy few weeks at work (that still haven’t let up — I’m working on a big project that takes a lot of time and will keep me quite occupied well into January). But I’m happy to report that we all had a wonderful Christmas. The Big Sis visited Santa on the 15th and asked for a huge play castle and a plush Ariel doll (that she’s wanted for a long time), and whaddya know — the jolly ol’ elf delivered on Christmas morning! The Big Sis excitedly came into our bedroom that morning and told us all about the play castle that was set up in the living room, and we feigned surprise and then expressed great wonder when she took us out into the living room to show us. The Little Sis received several baby dolls (her favorite!), a play tunnel, and a sheep pillow (among many other goodies), though she was just as happy playing with The Big Sis’ presents as well as the wrapping paper and boxes (what a cliche!).

But the big news is that a couple days before Christmas, The Big Sis learned how to ride her bike without training wheels! I didn’t realize how big this milestone would feel before it happened, but it’s quite huge. I should note that she hadn’t shown much interest in her bike, even over the summer, and we never really did push it. About a week before Christmas, she wanted to get out the bike and asked to take the training wheels off, and we figured why not give it a try. Breaking my back, I tried teaching her about balance, steering, and pedaling on the bike as we made out way up and down the sidewalk, and she was making progress each time, but she was scared of the cracks and bumps on the sidewalk.

A couple days before Christmas, I decided to take her down a couple blocks to the walking track near our house. There’s a good flat stretch there, as well as a nice wide space for her to use…and wouldn’t you know she pretty much took right off. I ran right along with her in case she had balance issues (wrecking my plantar fasciitis foot again), but it turned out not to be necessary, and the next time out she was able to ride without me alongside her. The first couple of successful outs, she still needed help with getting started, but as of tonight, she’s mastered that and now just needs to get a better feel for using the brakes (and then more advanced skills like biking uphill). We tried biking on the sidewalk on the way home, but she was having too much trouble keeping a straight course on the narrow sidewalk, so we’ll stick to the trail for now, but I’m confident she’s going to master that soon as well. I am so unbelievably proud of her. I’ve made the process seem pretty easy, but it really wasn’t — she really, really wanted to do this and was super hard on herself when she’d falter, often collapsing on the ground in frustration. I kept up the encouragement, even when she was in tears, and ultimately her intense determination is what allowed her to succeed. What a wonderful little girl we have.

Wordless Wednesday: Seeing Santa

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thankful and full of love — year-round

Monday, November 5, 2012

Confession: I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I know it’s the popular thing to bash it, but I think it’s one of those things that becomes what you make it. People always rip it as a “Hallmark holiday” and complain that “I don’t want flowers and teddy bears” and “you should show the people in your life that you love them all through the year, so I don’t need a special day to prove it to the world.” But who says it has to be a “Hallmark holiday” that’s all about flowers and candy and teddy bears? Who says it even has to be about romantic love only? If that’s what you expect of it, then yes, that’s what it will be. Love encompasses many things in life, so why not celebrate brotherly/sisterly love? Love for your parents. Love for your friends. So yes, I do agree that you should show the people in your life that you love them all the time, but I don’t see anything wrong for dedicating a special day to it.

I find a small inconsistency, then, with everyone’s attitude about Thanksgiving. The trendy thing right now is to do “30 Days of Thankful” on Facebook, posting something each day for which you are thankful. I get the sentiment behind it, and it’s overall a great one, but it bothers me for some reason (partly, I think, because I tend to resist jumping on the bandwagon of such online trends myself). But I think it comes down to the fact that if you’re following Valentine’s Day logic, you should be thankful EVERY day, not just on Thanksgiving or in November, just as we should appreciate the love in our lives every day as well. So if we’re going to broadcast that sentiment for Valentine’s Day, then shouldn’t we broadcast the same one for Thanksgiving as well?

But do you know anyone who gets annoyed about Thanksgiving in the same way many people get annoyed about Valentine’s Day? I don’t. They don’t bash the intention or meaning of Thanksgiving Why? Because they’ve made it into what they want it to be.

That’s what I think all holidays should be, really. Make it into what you want. We don’t celebrate the religious meaning of Christmas, but (to me) that doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate Christmas and focus on the spirit of giving, being kind to others, and helping those less fortunate than us. We don’t celebrate any “evil” of Halloween but instead use it as a fun time with friends and family — sometimes it really can be that simple.

The fact is, holidays DO make us stop and reflect and think about things in a more focused manner. Yes, you should show your spouse you love him every day. Yes, we should be thankful every day. But sometimes we need that reminder amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Taking a moment to reflect on the important things isn’t such a bad idea.

Happy Halloween from She-Ra and Swift Wind

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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Mother’s Day 2012: Full arms

Sunday, May 13, 2012

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My Easter bunnies

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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Wordless Wednesday: The birthday girl

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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Celebrate good times (come on!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a five-year-old. That’s like, a real kid ‘n stuff. An amazing, wonderful, fun, smart, clever, be-dimpled little kid.

We had a wonderful time celebrating The Big Sis’ birthday over the weekend. We took her out to dinner on Friday night, her actual birthday, for crab legs. Yes, the girl is picky about so many things, including most typical kid foods, yet she inhales crab legs faster than I can crack them open — and I’m pretty good at it!

On Saturday morning we hung out around the house until it was time to go pick up her cake (Beauty and the Beast theme) and head to the party. It was held at a local indoor playground, one of her favorite places to go. We had a pretty good turnout of 15 kids who gobbled up pizza and cake, watched patiently as The Big Sis opened her presents, and then played like energetic four- and five-year-olds tend to do on play equipment. The party was exhausting for me trying to make sure everything ran smoothly, and it would have been difficult to pull off without some good help with The Little Sis (who I didn’t see much of for about two hours), but we managed just fine and The Big Sis had a blast.

That afternoon we came home and recharged a bit. Or rather: The Husband, The Little Sis, and I recharged a bit while The Big Sis played with some of her toys, including her sparkling new dollhouse. I took her out for dinner to Jimmy John’s (her favorite and mine too!) and then we met one of her preschool friends and his mom to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. (Did I mention this is her favorite movie? And not really mine, but I was still nice and took her because I knew she’d love it. Which she did.) Five years old and her first date already? They grow up so fast these days. πŸ˜‰

On Sunday, she would normally have gone to the grocery store with me, but we had her stay home so she could have more time to play with her new stuff.

Sometimes when there’s too much going on, The Big Sis can become a bit overwhelmed and really act out — but she was great the whole weekend. She was a perfect delight the entire time, truly getting age 5 started on a good note. (It caught up with her a bit when she returned to school on Monday, but hey, at least the weekend was good.)

But where, oh, where has the time gone? We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, and she’ll start that in mid-August. Wasn’t she just my itty-bitty? Not that long ago she was the size of The Little Sis. And now she’s a little girl with opinions and a sense of humor and an incredible love of life. It doesn’t really make me sad — more just stunned that time can pass so quickly.

But as I tell her often, she might not be a baby, but she’ll always be my baby.


Friday, January 27, 2012

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Having her cake and sharing it too

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Big Sis turns 5 on Friday, and her birthday party will be on Saturday. When we were talking about her cake for the party (which we will get from a bakery), she said she wanted written on it: “Big Sister [Name] and Little Sister [Name].”

“But, sweetie, it’s your birthday! Shouldn’t it have just YOUR name on it?” I asked. But she kept insisting, so we came up with a compromise. In addition to the party cake, we’d bake a cake at home — and I’d let her make the whole thing all by herself — and then I would write on there whatever she wanted. She was happy with that solution.

So she made the cake last night, and today was decorating day. We’d gotten some glitter gel for writing, but I wasn’t sure how well it would write on the cake and how legible it would turn out, so I warned her that I might not be able to write all of her requested cake message. I suggested that maybe instead of words, she could use the gel to draw some pictures and decorations.

She said, “Well, maybe I could just put ‘Big Sister [Name]’ on there.” I told her that would work.

But then she hesitated. She said very thoughtfully, “Well, since my sister is so new and she hasn’t had her own birthday yet, maybe we could write just ‘Little Sister’ on there.”

“On your cake?” I asked. “That’s all you want?”

She declared that’s all she wanted on there.

Turns out we were able to get both of them on the cake, but I’m still just floored that she had the chance to have her own name on her cake — her once-a-year chance to make it all about her, and for the first birthday after her life became not-nearly-all-about-her — and yet she was choosing to have her sister’s name on there instead.

What a sweet girl.

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas smiles

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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Christmas Eve reflection

Saturday, December 24, 2011

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

The children.

Children — plural.

This is such an unbelievable dream come true. I love these two children with every atom in my body. Even when I want to pull out my hair from frustration when I’m not effectively dealing with a situation. Even when I think about how wrecked my body is because of pregnancy and childbirth times two. Even when I realize my life isn’t nearly as simple as it used to be.

But I know all too well that not everyone’s deepest desires come to fruition. Some people I know are still trying to start their family, while others are aiming to expand it. No matter the situation, I know firsthand how difficult an occasion like Christmas can be when you’re unsuccessful in trying for a child. What seems like not that long ago, you were saying, “Maybe next Christmas we’ll have that baby…” Which then turns into, “Well, maybe by next Christmas I’ll at least be pregnant.”

But that Christmas comes and goes and you’re no further along in the process, so you set your sights on the next Christmas. “Maybe by then we’ll have that baby here. Or at least be pregnant.”

Christmas is one of those time markers that especially stings because so much of it is family/child-centered. Piling the kids in the car to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Letting the little ones decorate cookies for Santa. Going to the mall to get that picture with Santa. Attending Christmas Eve services with other families. Plopping on the floor by the Christmas tree to open presents together while Christmas music plays in the background. Enjoying a plentiful Christmas meal with multiple generations assembled at the dinner table.

This Christmas is a different one for me — for my family. We are celebrating as a family of four for the first time, and it just feels right. It took us a long time to get here, and now that we’re here, I am so happy to say that the view is just as grand as I’d hoped.

But also on my mind this Christmas are those I left behind when I found success. Those whose family makeup doesn’t quite match the picture they had in mind. Those who get their hopes up each month only to have them dashed again and again. Those who have put so much into the reproduction process only to come up empty. Those who have come to be content with their current family picture but still long so much for something more.

I think of those of you often, but I’m especially thinking of you all on this Christmas Eve.

May the best gift of all find its way to you soon.

E-mail to Santa

Friday, December 23, 2011

Following is The Big Sis’ letter e-mail to Santa Claus, as dictated to me this week:

Dear Santa,

I have been good and don’t forget what I want for Christmas. Have you had a good evening? How’s Mrs. Claus? And don’t forget I want that kitchen castle and also that Belle costume and my princess play tent and princess dolls. And my purses. How’s your wife? I have been a good sister to my baby sister. Maybe she could have something for Christmas. Maybe it could be a new clothes or maybe she could have some more baby shoes. How are you doing, Santa? What if my baby sister would like a few more shoes? I hope both of you are okay. Maybe I could have the things I asked for. I will keep being a good girl. You better be good. Maybe we play a lot, me and [The Little Sis] and Mom and Dad sometimes.

Good evening, Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the Sunday before Christmas, I saw a woman on the side of the road at an intersection with the following sign:

Single mom of 3
needs Christmas presents.
Anything is good.

No one stopped when I was at the intersection, but she had a few games/toys at her feet from others in a giving mood.

I admit, the first thought I have when I see panhandlers isn’t generally very nice, and this was no exception. But this one kept eating at me long after I had driven through that intersection. Okay, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt with her story. If that’s indeed true, I can’t imagine how desperate she must have been that she felt the need to stand on the side of the road and ask for gifts for her children. I can’t imagine that was the proudest day in her life, yet probably a move she doesn’t regret when it comes to doing what she can to make her kids happy, especially at Christmas.

We are not rolling in money — not even close — and things are tighter now financially with daycare times two and with hospital bills piling up. But we are so fortunate to have jobs that allow us to provide the necessities and some extras for our children. We cut back on spending for Christmas gifts for the girls this year, which I hated to do, but seeing a mom beg for presents on the side of the road really put things into perspective for me. We really are so very fortunate.

The magic (“magic”) of the season

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One of the most important lessons that parents try to teach their children is to always tell the truth. “Don’t lie,” we instruct. We drill it into them. “I need you to tell me the truth right now,” we plead. We try to help them understand the difference between just joking and outright lying. “I’m not going to be angry at what you did, as long as you tell me the truth,” we promise.

In many things parenting-related, we strive to lead by example in the hopes that our behavior will rub off onto our kids. We try to be polite to others. We demonstrate our good manners. We attempt to treat other people with the respect they deserve. We try to generally be good people, living by the “golden rule.”

We try to lead by example — except, apparently, when it comes to lying.

Why, hello there, Santa Claus. So glad that you’re coming to visit us this year! Wait — what’s that you say? You’re not real? You’re just a story we make up for children? You don’t really have elves that make toys at your workshop at the North Pole? You don’t really pack up your jolly ol’ sleigh and deliver Holiday Cheer and Awesome Presents to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve? You don’t really consume those cookies and that glass of milk that we leave out for you?

Yes, folks, it’s almost time for that annual lie-fest we parents call Christmas.

And I’ll say right now: The Big Sis DOES believe that Santa Claus is real. We don’t go over the top to convince her, but we are keeping up the notion of Santa Claus in our house, telling her the tales that have been told to children for generations and dutifully answering her skeptical questions in a manner that leaves her convinced that it’s real. There’s a pressure from society that makes it hard to veer from this setup.

But I will admit that it eats at me every year when I think about it — all we’re doing is lying to her. Setting her up for possible disappointment when she finds out it’s not the truth (and I’ve known plenty of people who are still traumatized as adults after finding out the truth when they were younger). Possibly making her see us as hypocrites who preach telling the truth but fail to follow through ourselves in this arena. Maybe breaking the trust she has in us as her parents. A bit overdramatic? Perhaps. But it also might be pretty spot on.

And I know the arguments parents cling to: It’s all part of the “magic of Christmas” But is it really? If you really and truly think about it…is it actually magic if you’re blatantly lying to your kids? What’s the real point of setting up this whole Santa scenario? Because we love them? Doesn’t loving them involve leading by example when it comes to telling them the truth? To me, loving my child means not taking advantage of their gullibility and innocence, which is what this feels like at times. What’s wrong with gifts coming from Mom and Dad? There are plenty of ways to make Christmas “magical” and fun and special — I really want to celebrate the spirit of Christmas — without resorting to lies.

Still, I try not to think about it too much and just play along at this point, basically because that’s the socially accepted norm at this age. It’s sort of like how I am about eating meat…I just can’t think about it too much. So I just don’t think about it and enjoy eating my yummy goodness. Thus I shall do the same with the whole Santa deal.

I just know not to look under the tree for a package to me from Santa, for I have not been a good girl this year. I have lied to my daughter about the existence of Santa Claus yet again. And I will likely do it until she figures out it’s all a big sham. And I will hope that she doesn’t feel duped by her parents when she does find out the truth.

Let’s not forget our little reindeer

Friday, October 28, 2011

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Closing the chapter

Friday, December 31, 2010

Just four hours left in 2010, and for the most part it’s a year I’m very willing to leave behind. We hit the one-year mark of trying for a second child early in the year, secured the services of a reproductive endocrinologist, then spent the entire year trying to get and stay pregnant. We thought we might have caught a break when I found out I was pregnant in May after many months of treatments, but that did not come to fruition, and to say that loss threw me into a tailspin is fairly accurate. More visits to The RE and even more treatments followed, and thankfully the year ended on a positive note with a positive pregnancy test. The ending to that chapter has not been written yet, but thankfully I’ve got strong symptoms that are working to keep me as reassured as I can be at this point.

If you cast aside all the reproductive issues, the year wasn’t that bad. We took our first weeklong family vacation and enjoyed our first family trip to the beach (overlooking the fact that I was waiting to miscarry that whole time). We sent Baby B to Connecticut to spend a week with her grandfather and great-grandmother (overlooking the fact that I indeed did miscarry about 5 minutes before leaving on the road trip to pick her up). We’ve (very nearly, knock on wood) survived the year of the threenager. We made a trip to St. Louis to meet some special people, Baby B and I ran our first race together, we went to Kings Island and Cedar Point, and I enjoyed trips to visit good friends in Milwaukee and New York City. We had many highlights in between, so thankfully we had a lot of good things to balance the crappy reproductive challenges.

I’m going to try to go into 2011 on a hopeful note, trying to envision us bringing home a baby this summer and finally becoming a family of four. I’m sure many other adventures await us, as well. So while I’m closing a chapter of my life story that has some moments I’d like to forget, I’m eager to begin writing this new chapter. Follow along and see how this chapter ranks against the others.

Wordless Wednesday: A very princess Christmas

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Wordless Wednesday: The angel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Halloween round-up

Monday, November 1, 2010

Silvermist from Tinkerbell:

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The red princess:

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Devil and angel (how perfect is this for a three-year-old?):
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Mother, may I have a jam-packed weekend?

Monday, May 10, 2010

(Answer: Is there any other kind?)

On Friday, Baby B’s daycare had a Mother’s Day ice cream party, so I slept in that morning, mowed the grass in 80+-degree heat (and exclaimed on IM to The Husband that I wanted to replace our push reel mower with a real lawn mower for Mother’s Day), then got ready and went to Baby B’s party. There’s nothing quite like being greeted with, “MOMMY!” every afternoon, but it seemed more enthusiastic this time. The party had a pretty decent turnout of moms (certainly more than the two that showed up last year), and we had a nice time enjoying some snacks and ice cream with the kids. Then they presented us with our presents, which were wooden painted frames with their pictures inside. One of the teachers, who does photography on the side, took the pictures, and Baby B’s is just precious.

After leaving daycare, I took Baby B with me to run a couple of errands, including getting a present for The Husband as we were celebrating our tenth dating anniversary on Saturday. Back when we first started dating, I got him a single Hershey bar to represent our first year together. The second anniversary, I got him two chocolate bars, but pretty soon we were celebrating high enough numbers that getting the appropriate number of Hershey bars was too much, so we sort of tabled the tradition. But for tenΒ  years I wanted to do it again, so I figured I’d get ten fun-size (instead of full-size) Hershey bars.

It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon, so after our errands, Baby B and I went to the park for an hour or so, where we got to swing together for most of the time, but then enjoyed some sweet moments together on the grass. There were some big, puffy, white clouds floating through, the kind that are great for seeing animals and other objects. So I started pointing out a few that I saw, then Baby B quickly picked up on the game and came up with a ton of her own creations (some of which I could see, some of which I could not). She’s noticed before that clouds look like other things, but this is really the first time we’ve specifically sat down to look at them (as opposed to just her noticing while in the car). Baby B is not what I would consider a snuggle bug, at least not with me, but she came over on her own and sat down on my lap while we looked at the clouds, and I couldn’t help but think just how awesome I have it with her. She’s an amazing young lady, and I’m so fortunate to be her mom.

She and I got home and I found my Mother’s Day present in the garage: a new electric lawn mower that The Husband had run out and bought on his lunch break and put together while he knew I was out. Now before you think we’re crazy, just hear me out. With me off on Fridays, I had started doing the bulk of the lawn mowing recently since it frees us up to do other fun (ie, not chore) things on Saturdays. So this new lawn mower will help me get the job done easier, or if The Husband does it on the weekends, it will take him less time, which means less time away from me and Baby B, so we all still benefit. I would like to note that of course he never would have bought such a present for Mother’s Day if I hadn’t suggested it first. It’s non-traditional, but it’s going to make my life easier in several ways, so I’m all for it. Just kind of weird to say you got a lawn mower for Mother’s Day. πŸ™‚

On Saturday morning, we got up early and drove to the state capital for the Activate America 5-mile and 2-mile runs. I convinced The Husband to run the five-miler (his longest run ever), and I decided that Baby B and I would do the two-mile race together since she’s been asking to run in races “like Mommy and Daddy.” We were greeted with a picture-perfect day, with blue skies and race-time temps just above 50. (Sounds cool for us for May, but you don’t want it too warm when running.) We saw off The Husband at the start of his race, then we began our two-mile journey. Baby B started out very strong, running at a pretty good pace. Everyone we passed, both in the race and those cheering us along from the streets, was so encouraging to us. “Look at her go!” “She’s so fast!” “She’s going to beat us all!” Just shy of our one-mile mark, the five-mile runners were backtracking on our route, and the timing was perfect so we were able to see The Husband coming by before we veered off onto a new road. Soon after that, Baby B sat down on the curb and started playing with a stick. Someone walked by us and said, “I guess sticks are way more interesting!” I laughed and said, “Well, I’m a little surprised we made it this far before a distraction like this.” πŸ™‚ We started up again and hit the one-mile mark at :19.43.

The second mile was much the same, though there were a couple small stretches where Baby B asked me to carry her, but for the most part she ran her heart out. The race route is cruel and has a big hill at the end, so it was a little tough for her to get up that, but she did it, and we crossed the finish line in :39. Not too bad for a three-year-old (she was the youngest person in the race). Baby B was pretty wiped out after the race, and I had several people comment on that fact, and I said, “Hey, I finally found a way to wear her out! Make her run two miles.” We had enough time to get some water and let her use the bathroom, then we cheered on The Husband, who finished his five miles in just under :52, not too bad considering he really didn’t put much training into it. We enjoyed the post-race Panera bagels (yum!) and some water before walking around the grounds of the Capitol building so Baby B could look around.

We headed home after the race and took showers before heading out shortly after. We decided to go to a neighboring town to what we call The Orchard (they have a huge play area there), making a stop first at a local pizza place that we decided to try for lunch. Baby B ate a great lunch, and we went to The Orchard, which she was so excited about. (We’d kept it a secret until we got there.) It had gotten cooler during the day and the wind was blowing, so I guess that kept most of the other kids away (plus The Orchard just opened for the season), so we basically had the place to ourselves. We played with balls and hula hoops. We did the swings. We did the tricycles. We did the climbing hill. We did the rolling tube. We did the big slide. We did it all! We enjoyed some snacks after a little while there, then headed home, where we all proceeded to get our nap on (even Baby B). In fact, we did so well at napping that I was the first to wake up — at 6:30 p.m. Oops…we usually eat dinner at 6:30! I started making dinner and we ate shortly after 7:30, not too bad, I suppose, though clearly Baby B wasn’t going to bed on time that night. (Not a big deal since she did nap.)

After she was in bed, The Husband and I exchanged our dating anniversary gifts, and it turns out he also got me ten mini Hershey bars to symbolize our ten years together. I love that we’re on the same wavelength so much of the time, and that’s just another example in a long list of ways we often do that. We watched The Time Traveler’s Wife on DVD, which I actually liked more than the book. (I’d found the book quite confusing and didn’t really get the hype of everyone loving it so much.) The Husband even enjoyed it too, though it’s hard to find a movie that he absolutely does not like.

Even though we celebrated Mother’s Day earlier in the weekend, I still got to wake up to a wonderful bacon, onion, and cheese omelet made by The Husband before I had to get ready for work on Sunday. His omelets are the BEST, and I’d been hoping he would make one for me. After breakfast, I got ready, then opened the cards from The Husband, Baby B, and The Dog, then headed to work for the day, though we had a light day so I got to come home for a couple hours in the afternoon before returning to finish up. The Husband and I got Baby B to bed, then we settled in to watch the finale of The Amazing Race before time to hit the sack myself.

It was a fun, packed weekend, but that’s just how we do things ’round here.

I love The Husband and Baby B so much, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Wordless Wednesday: One…two…

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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Free to be three

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter

That funny little girl.

Slipping Through My Fingers, ABBA

From a tiny, helpless baby to a curious, blossoming young girl.

From indecipherable cries and seemingly endless diapers to hearty laughs and emerging independence.

From being the new member of the family to one that fits perfectly in every way.

She is my daughter.

And today she is three.