These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Friday, July 07, 2006

BOOL, balls, dadadada and Ed



Sorry I haven't written in a while! My head is just SWIMMING with everything that has been going on! :)

My job situation has panned out and I have gotten a job with my company, but I'll be moving to an hourly position rather than salaried like I was. This may end up for the best, though, because the company won't want to pay me overtime, so it means less time dedicated to work and more time for family! And since you and Daddy are #1 in my book - I feel like everything is working out for the best!

We just got back last week from our trip to Florida with you and the very first experience that you had with the ocean. MAN, did you LOVE it! There was a pool at Tropical Breeze where we stayed and then there was the ocean. You couldn't say "ocean", but you called it a "BOOL" which I determined came from "Big Pool". So there was the pool and the BOOL. I put BOOL in all caps because you would always say it with such enthusiasm and expressiveness to show how very much you NEEDED to go there at that moment. :)

I HAVE to mention that the first day we were there, you and I got up first and I was making breakfast (about the only meal that I CAN make well) and you walked into the bedroom. I figured you would wake up Daddy by smacking his head with your enthusiastic hello, but Daddy said he woke up with your bottle in his mouth and you making lip smacking sounds and smiling as you "fed" him. Hilarious! You laughed at it, too, as though you knew how ridiculous it was!

We would wake up in the morning at about 5:30AM - you let us sleep in a little. Yes - this IS sleeping in to all you non-parents! We would eat breakfast together and watch a little TV as we went through the rituals of sunscreen and diaper changes and finally getting dressed for the pool. It's a long process of getting ready when you are trying to change, dress and grease up a squirming little monkey that wants nothing more than to run, run, run! By the time you were ready, Daddy and I would have to scurry to finish getting ourselves ready because you were ready to jump out of your skin to get down to the BOOL. You would start out with an impatient whine that would slowly increase in pitch and volume until we got the message of urgency and dashed out the door with everything but the kitchen sink piled in Daddy's arms.

On the elevator, you pushed the buttons and we taught you how to point accusingly at the camera in the corner of the elevator - just to freak out the watchman that was monitoring the screen. Once the elevator opened at the bottom, you would take off at top speed to the BOOL saying "BOOL, BOOL, BOOL" announcing to the ocean that YOU were on your way!

You would run so fast down the pathway to the ocean that I had visions of you slipping and going flying on your face on the hot, scratchy wood path so I would dash alongside of your with my arms out until we reached the edge of the sand. Even though the edge of the sand was still on the pathway to the beach, you would flop down as soon as you reached the sand and smile. You had MADE it and you didn't feel the immediate need to go any further or worry about anyone that was waiting behind you. You were at the beach. The BOOL! There was nothing else you needed! (Except for momma and dadda, right?) Watch out people! We've got RAKES and we aren't afraid to use them!

While we were in Florida, we had a cooking contest and you determined our theme of "Balls". Daddy made rice balls, meatballs, Matzah ball soup, and we had cheese balls for appetizers and ice cream balls for dessert. It was all so delicious! Kelly and Bobby took home the prize with their theme of Meet Me In St. Louis and cooking things that were made popular or introduced at the St. Louis Fair. Very interesting and yummy! Grandma and Poppa Dough cooked homemade applesauce and pork which everyone enjoyed! They came in second!

Speaking of Kelly and Bobby - I don't know which of them started it, but you have always been very curious about belly buttons. You know you have one and that Daddy and I do, too. Well, in Florida as you can imagine, there are belly buttons galore! You were very interested in Kelly and Bobby's belly buttons and they were very accomodating letting you touch their belly buttons and then letting out a little beeping noise as though belly buttons make sounds when you press them. You were delighted with this fun game and it was a regular occurence. We would be playing in the BOOL and it would suddenly occur to you that you needed to press some belly buttons and would point to Bobby and Kelly so that you could hear the noises they made. Well, there was one close call where you almost pressed a belly button of an unsuspecting sunbather who had his eyes closed at the time and had NO idea how close he came to a belly button goosing by a curious toddler. Imagine the story we would have had THEN. :) So, in the future if you are obsessed with belly buttons, you know who you have to thank for it!

Kelly and Bobby also went parasailing while we were down there. You saw them leave and come by on the parasail and then come back. After witnessing this, you were very aware of parasailers and would point to them and wave. I couldn't tell if you thought you were waving at Kelly and Bobby each time or if you simply found them fascinating. Remind me if I haven't done it when you grow up that I need to take you parasailing sometime, okay?

We went sand crabbing on our second to last night there and you enjoyed seeing the crabs. We were all surprised to see Poppa Dough duking it out with a true ocean crab in the surf. It was wild. The crab was leaping up at him with his claws out and Poppa Dough was smacking it away with his open palm. Once he had it calmed down with a flashlight in it's eyes, we put it in your little yellow bucket. It was huge and had it's claws folded in front of it in order to fit in the bucket. It was clicking and really ticked off, but you loved it! When we released it and it went back in the ocean, you were waving and waving at him. We have a Curious Buddies video that you love and it has a sandcrab on it and when that part comes on, you smile and stare and wave when he runs off at the end of it. Very cute! So glad that we did that with you - thanks to Poppa Dough and Grandma for that suggestion!

The airplane rides with you were a little crazy, but fun, too. The seating space was very crowded so we would pile you on our laps and you managed to make use of the smallest wiggle room by getting down on the floor to check under the seats and climbing on our laps and pulling over the tops of the seats to wave at all the passengers behind us. Sometimes there was a TV on the headrest in front of us - you LOVED that! You would point out anytime there was a picture of a dog or a ball on the screen (you'd be surprised how often that was). You also won over the airline stewardess staff and one of them took you into there little room and let you push all the buttons back there. You were in toddler heaven!

Now we are home and settling back into our routine. Both myself and Daddy had such a great time getting to have so much one-on-one time with you. I must admit that this was the highlight of the trip for both of us! You and Daddy are getting closer and closer. Every night when you drift off to sleep now, you whisper "dadadadadadada". It has become your satisfied contented baby mantra as you fall asleep and you always have a little smile on your face as you drift off saying it. It brings tears to my eyes with how sweet it is.

The other night Daddy fell asleep first and started snoring. You just KNEW he was playing around and started cracking up. You would stand up to stand directly over him with a huge smile on your face while he continued to snore and then you would fall on his head.

I can only imagine what he thought when you did this, but I have to commend him for his "Daddy skills" because he only opened his eyes and said tiredly "hey, buddy!" and then fell back asleep so that you could repeat the process when the snoring resumed.

One last thing before I cut myself off. You got your first pet on Sunday! It was a feeder goldfish named Ed. (only known photo of Ed pictured here):Yes - I said "was". Ed only made it till yesterday and he is with us no longer, but you sure did love that fish while we had him. You would press your little nose up to the glass and watch him swim back and forth. April would do this too. Sometimes April would become so excited by his movement (I kept the tank on the floor - securely covered, though - so you could observe all you wanted) that April would start digging furiously at the glass and making excited little groaning sounds. I would have to shoo her away from Ed every once in a while. I think this may have in part contributed to Ed's early demise, but he was also a feeder goldfish, so it could have been anything. It could have been he had 800 goldfish diseases and therefore died. I haven't broken to you that Ed has gone to the big BOOL in the sky yet. Your Daddy and I are going to replace the fish this weekend with a hardier variety that will hopefully last more than a week. Maybe we'll let you help pick out Ed 2 like you did with Ed 1. :)

Life with you is better than I ever could have thought that life could be, honey! Thanks for the daily adventure that life has become holding your little hand and seeing everything again for the first time!



And now for some pictures!:

Obligatory photos of buring a child in a hole in the sand:

Of course I love you sweetie! Now, hold still while I stick you in the ground for no reason!

I've got to hand it to you.....

You didn't seem phased and went right on playing! IMPRESSIVE!

Oh, my god - a TOE! Someone lost a TOE!!!

What do you mean I can't stay here all day?Check out my boys. Note the matching mischevious expressions:

I know - I'm in for some trouble!


A sandcastle?!?!?


Bye, Bye Florida and BOOL! See you next year! :)

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