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.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Big Boy Bed


For the past 5 nights, you have been falling asleep in your own bed. Last week we had taken you to Toys R Us which we do sometimes because - let's face it - toy stores are FUN!

You had noticed a Thomas the Tank Engine bed and were enthralled with it yelling out "MYYY!" (mine...) when other children crawled on it.

A light bulb went off in my head. When we got home, Daddy lowered your crib down to a toddler bed and we started that evening putting you to bed in your "Big Boy" bed.
We start out reading stories which you LOVE. You always raise both fists in the air in a sign of victory and excitement and exclaim "REEEEEEEEE!" (meaning - READ!). I LOVE that you love reading so much. I'd say you get it from me because I LOVE and always have loved reading, but so does your Daddy, so you come by it on both ends.

After reading around 10 stories, you lie down with a cup of milk, a minimum of two binkies and I rest my head on the mattress beside you and listen as your breathing slows and I can hear the rhythm of sleep win out. Then I put up the side rail that I bought last summer at a garage sale so you don't fall out of bed and you stay there for at least half the night. Halfway through the night, you miss us and call out and then I bring you to our bed, but we are on a good track here and I'm so proud of you.

After the first night, you got a stamp on your hand which you were very proud of and would look at frequently.

I can't believe you are sleeping in a big boy bed. And talking so much! And doing so much for yourself. I'm so proud of you, honey!

I love you!



Speaking of sleeping....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jack-talk translated


You are gaining SO much confidence in your speaking ability which is so much fun to see and to HEAR! I love it! Here is a list of some of the things we hear you saying now:

boo = Blue
wed = Red
eyyow = Yellow
geeen - Green (almost every color is "geeen" because this is your favorite to say, but I think you're understanding the difference in the colors more each day)
pee-pee = not sure you understand what this means so much as it's funny
poo-poo = even funnier
e-i-e-i = means you want to watch Curious Buddies: Down on the Farm
meeemo = Nemo and you want to watch it. Right Now. Stop what you are doing and put it on.
MEEEEEEMMMMOOOOOO!! = any repeat requests for Nemo if the first one is immediately responded to to show the urgency with which it must be addressed.
buuuh = Buzz Lightyear. Either said when holding him up to show him to us or to indicate that you want to watch Toy Story 2. Now. Drop what you are doing and start it immediately.
Rrrnnghhh = Elephant. This is your impression of an elephant trumpeting through his trunk
eeee eee ahhh ahh = Monkey. Your impression of a monkey sound
baaaa = sheep sound
hooooo = owl. again with the impression
nack = snack. Now. Hungry. Now. (usually you want pretzels)
eees peeez = Cheese, please! Taught to you by Aunt Kelly. Absolutely adorable in it's delivery
mow = cat impression
a-poh = April
a-poh = Hercules (you call Hercules "April". We have taken your lead on this and started calling Hercules "April II". He doesn't seem to notice.... )
UUPPPPEEEEE! = Up or down, to get out of your high chair, to get out of bed, to be picked up for dancing, to get in a swing, to get up from a diaper change. Basically, this means that you want to be somewhere other than you are right at that moment and you want assistance in the process.
Ba-ba = Uncle Bobby
Yeih! or Yeih-yeih!! = Aunt Kelly
Bra = Uncle Brett
Baybee = Erin
Baybee = Calum
BAY-BEEEEE! = Means you want to watch HBO: Classical Baby. The difference between this and Erin and Calum's name? The desperation in your voice when requesting it.
YEEE-Haaa! = means you are having a blast being pushed in your car around the house at top speed
Weeee! = means you want to be pushed on a swing or means you are having fun on your slide
booo-booo = means that you have bumped something and it hurts a little and you want to know if you are okay
aah-beee = Abbey, Audrey and Kyra (?) = all girls in your class that you call by this name
ty = Ty. A boy in your class that you play with regularly
fie = means you want to give "five" to someone
bye-bye! = means you want to leave. Now.
Momma = obviously me, but also - you assign these roles to people and animals that you see in videos. Currently Momma is also the goat in the Down on the Farm Curious Buddies video and also the Lion in the book Quick as a Cricket.
Dadda = obviously this is Daddy, but also - you have assigned this role to the Horse in the Curious Buddies Down on the Farm video and to the shrimp in the Quick as a Cricket book.
action of shaking head vigorously back and forth = means no, but also is your answer to every inquiry that is placed to you. You know from the inflection in our voices when asking a question and auto respond with this head shake. Unless it is something you REALLY DO WANT and then your eyes get big and panicky and you follow us to wherever it is the item we are getting is to be found.
beeee-baaah = your pacifier, binky, pluggy. Again, first request for this is a statement but any repetition of this request is screamed at the top of your lungs and with intensifying panic in your voice. Not a big delayed-gratification little boy.... Just like your mommy! :)
beeeee = milk
eh = egg
ah-poh = apple
ana = banana
naah-gheee = nasty! (you got this from me - it's SO cute when you do it!)

I am loving to watch you grow and I love to talk to you. I hope we are able to talk all through your life and you feel that you can say anything to me. Not just now when it's adorable, but later too when it's controversial and maybe not always what I want to hear. I love you!



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idon'tbelievewestayeduptill11:30watchingthis


Last night your father and I sat down to watch TV when you fell asleep. We usually choose a short program so that we can watch it without falling asleep before heading to bed. Last night, we chose the TIVO'd selection of American Idol.

I usually don't watch this show too much, but the beginnings of the season are the most entertaining because you get to see more of the bad auditions that I find so entertaining. I usually watch with my fingers in front of my face to shield me from the embarrassment and humiliation that I am observing.

Well, you realized at about 9:30 that we weren't upstairs with you as we normally are. You weren't having this. US? Having fun WITHOUT YOU? When you pointed this out, your father and I were in immediate agreement.

We got you up to watch Idol with us. You watched for about 30 minutes (alternately, playing too) then you snuggled up on a blanket at the bottom of the slide and fell asleep.

Your Daddy and I were so entertained by the show that we actually stayed up until 11:30. Towards the end we were saying things to each other like "oh, my god. We are going to be so miserable tomorrow. We should go up right now. Wait a minute - did they say that rocker dude was going to be crying coming up?! I HAVE to see that. THEN we'll go up...."

Needless to say, I'm hurting a little this morning - but I wouldn't have traded last night for anything. It was FUN! And I'm so glad that you decided to join us for it!



Monday, January 15, 2007

Forever Together


One of the sweetest issues that you are dealing with right now is the struggle with saying goodbye.

Many adults continue to have trouble with this throughout life, so it's not uncommon. Saying "goodbye" is hard to do. I'm a perfect example this morning. I felt awful leaving you at school today. You didn't cry - but you did look down at your toys and you wouldn't look at me. It's as if watching me leave was something you knew was unavoidable and you just couldn't look while it happened, so you stared at your toys and the floor. I feel horrible about this because I want you to be happy all the time - which I realize just isn't possible. I wish I could be a stay at home Mommy for you, honey, but I also know that the variety you get at school is good for you. I couldn't keep things fresh for you all the time which you get more stimulation by the different environments you are exposed to.

This weekend we went down to the Lake of the Ozarks with Kelly and Bobby. We arrived just in time for a tremendous ice storm and were pretty much vacation-house-bound, which I was very content with.

This weekend you had some difficulty with Bye-bye which extended to going to sleep when you were afraid that by doing so, Kelly and Bobby would be gone in the morning and you wouldn't get to play with them again. Or, one time when Kelly was leaving to bring some bags down to the car. She put on her coat and you immediately started to panic. You started to cry and point at the door and Kelly as though telling on her to me - like "She's LEAVING! Stop her! She can't LEAVE!!! What if she doesn't come back?!? You are all being WAY TOO CALM about this!", but it came out more like this: "YAIY!!!!! YAIYYY - BYE-BYE!!!!! BYE BYE!!!! YAIYYYYY!!!!"

I tried to calm you, but you were so upset that I had to change tactics and take you into another room to distract you and play in the closet and it still took about 10 minutes before you stopped yelling her name.
Obviously, you do this because you love her and you don't want her to go, but I wish it wasn't so stressful for you when someone leaves a room with a coat on.

Last night you woke up in the night crying and saying "Bye-bye! BYE-BYE!!" I couldn't calm you no matter what I tried. I eventually had to set you down for a couple of minutes in your crib to give you some time to cry and come around. Then I went back to you and you grabbed onto me tightly with your arms around me and gasping to catch your breath and I wanted to cry, too.

God, I wish I didn't have to be without you, sweetie pie. You are such a sensitive and wonderful little man. If there is ever anyone that isn't nice to you - and there will be - crazies do exist - just know that you are a valuable person and if people make you feel as though you aren't, you can't please everyone, sweetie. Just do what you know is right and please yourself. :)

Can you tell that I've been worrying about that lately?

The truth is - the crying and struggles you were working through were a small part of the weekend. Just the part that I was stressing about. The weekend was a blast with lots of laughter (as you can see here) and playing with your Aunt and Uncle.

I mean, who wouldn't be upset to see THIS end?!?

Hey - it's my job to worry. I'm a mom!
I miss you, lovie. I can't wait to see you again.



By the way - check out this setup. Guys can watch the game, while girls watch Old School on the laptop - side by side! NICE, HUH?

Postnote: your latest artwork is this paint drip picture:

Also, I had entered this picture in a Snausages online contest showing dogs doing things that are people-like. This entry won us a dog house! Check it out!:

Friday, January 12, 2007



You poor thing - you have had a horrible cold lately with lots of phlegm and hacking cough. The other night, you woke up and vomited from choking on your own phlegm when I was getting ready to give you some medicine.

It seems to get worse at night and your Daddy and are used to hearing this in our sleep now:


I suspect that you are using this to convey that you wish to get up, but also to let us know that you want some milk. Basically, anything to keep from sleeping and being uncomfortable. You want a distraction from this croupy thing.



Poor baby! I hope you get better soon!

We are headed to the lake tonight so maybe a fun weekend will help distract you!



Here are your latest works of art:

A sticker collage of happy faces....

Small Birds Sponge Painting:

Grocery bag with food sticker collage:

A painting you made:

A food collage:

Finger painting:

and Big Animals sponge painting:

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rozarks in the Dough-zarks


Here I am back at work but daydreaming about the weekend we just had.

It was a slice of heaven. I feel so relaxed.

There is magic in that place.

The enjoyment of the weekend wasn't confined just to the humans in the family either.

April loved the loft balcony and would make trips up there frequently.

She did so in order to keep her eyes on her favorite TV show.


Then there is the actual outdoor balcony which is spectacular. We are right over the pool, a large open are of green grass for any number of perfect vacation activities - kicking or tossing balls/frisbees around, laying out for a tan, reading a book.

You have started to play a new game on the balcony which we have termed "Strong Man".

You grab onto the bars and try to pull them apart to demonstrate your scary strength.

It's really cute and the display is accompanied by grunts of "UNNNNGGGGHHHH! UHHHH-UHHHHHHHH! UH!"

Your Daddy showed you how to do it.

Sometimes you up the cuteness factor by doing it with just one arm which is not as persuasive. I even saw you attempt it once without even touching the bars. Who are you trying to fool?

Then there is the upstairs closet on the loft that is basically just a storage area with a light in it.

Any normal person needs to get on their knees to fit into the space and Daddy has to get on his knees and bend to fit.

You have decided this is YOUR ROOM. We spent a good part of the weekend playing in this tiny space. You go into the closet and close the door.

We play our part by knocking on the door and asking if we can come in. You will either hold the door open and point into the space to indicate our permission to enter or you will laugh and slam the door in our faces.

The dogs were included in this game much to their delight. April especially would wait at the crack of the door with ears perked up and tail wagging for you to peer at her through the crack in the door, squeal and slam it shut again.
The only one of us that was permitted entry every time was your best pal, Rufus.

But before anyone goes getting too jealous of Rufus, let me show you the next best game that we enjoyed playing this weekend.

Actually, this is a game that I remember enjoying as a child having grown up in a house with a balcony at the top of the stairs.

You would drop your Rufus from the balcony down to us and I would grab him and toss him high into the air back over the balcony to you.

You thought this game was wonderful.

We played it for quite some time as you can no doubt tell.

Then there was the playground.

The playground was just perfect in size and play items and everything for a small child. We played out there for a long time with you calling out "WHEEEEEE" while going down the slide and being pushed on the swing.

It was a lot of fun to play with you out there.

After that we dug in the sand of the volleyball court. (I plan on bringing down your beach toys next time. What a great sandbox!) We build some castles and drew pictures in the sand with our fingers.

Then the evenings were relaxing and beautiful.

We ate well, had a fire in the fire place and were treated to these beautiful sights.

I'm still on cloud 9 and not planning on coming down anytime soon. Can't wait to take you back there this coming weekend with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Bobby.

Hope you are having a great day today, Sweetie! I'm thinking of you right now!