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, March 16, 2007



How can a number seem so small and so BIG at the same time?

You aren't a baby anymore.

Not quite a toddler and not quite a child. Somewhere in the middle between being old enough to do things for yourself and still needing lots of assistance from Mommy and Daddy.
The celebration of your birthday has been so wonderful.
We started on Wednesday. I left work early and your Daddy and Aunt Kelly met me up at your daycare to celebrate your birthday with your friends and a cookie cake.
You were both surprised and happy to see all of us there at once, and didn't know what to make of it.
We got to meet BOTH of your girlfriends - Abby (on the left) and "DD" or Deanna (on the right):

Here you are giving five to a younger child in the room. It looks like you're hitting him, but you're not. At least - not in this picture.Here's another picture of DD with Braeydon - one of the newer babies to the room:

A picture here of you and Abby with her stuffed animal.Here is your Daddy reading to them. DD thought he was pretty funny. Daddy reads with you and DD

Daddy's got a small crowd now...You were thrilled with your Cookie cake. ALL THIS? FOR ME?

Your friends "sang" Happy Birthday to you (it seems like a couple of them chimed in on a word or two....I think...).
Then we had to take it away to cut it, and you thought we had just shown it to you. You were NOT happy. Poor guy! You must have thought we were SO MEAN!:
It seemed to take forever for the teachers to cut the cake up. Even to me.
It's okay, honey - see, there's the cake. It'll be ready soon.
Hurry up, teachers!I'm losing control! Mutiny! Mutiny!
Here's a flattering picture of BOTH of us!:
Finally, everyone got a piece of cookie cake:
You were content to pick the sprinkles off of your icing and were satisfied with that.

Daddy got this picture of Aunt Kelly (who came to your class party!) and Mommy watching the fiesta.

The lady in red in the background is Ms. Marilyn - one of the teachers in the room and the other is Ms. Melissa.

Check out these cute little munchkins!:

Ah - glorious, glorious sugar!

You're feeling good now, aren't you, Jack?

I feel a sugar high coming on!Some sugar from Aunt Kelly:

Once you had eaten your sprinkles, though, the excitement of it all combined with the presence of family struck up a chord in you of Cheezbawl, and you started whining for CHEEEZBAAAWL! I had to explain to your teachers your latest obsession with Cheeseballs and just what they were, exactly. Then I told you that we didn't have any cheeseballs and you would have to wait to get home.

Here's Daddy talking you down from the ledge.AFTER the ensuing tantrum that resulted from this awful truth of no cheezbawls, we moved onto your new "2" room so that Kelly and Daddy could see your new room and your new friends. (By the way - I LOVE that you are pushing a pig down the ramp while the other children play with the cars...) We met your teacher, Sue, and Lindsay was helping out in your old room. You LOVE the 2 room.You love it SO much that you didn't want to leave. We played for some time and then had to carry you screaming out of the classroom so we could go home and get ready for your family party.
Kelly and I bought this Buzz Lightyear at the outlet mall the last time we were at the lake for the bargain price of $2. $2!!!!! Can you believe that? It makes me want to keep him out year round so I can brag about this for the whole year. Armed with a movie in the car, Kelly and I picked up your cake and went home. Decorating for your little fiesta was fun.

You even made a poster picture for one of the decorations!We hung balloons and streamers and displayed a blow-up Buzz Lightyear holding a "Jack IS 2!" sign.

The balloons were enough to keep you entertained all the way up to presents time: and the food! Snacks galore! What more could anyone want?The party that followed with Gammaw, Poppa, GG, Suzy, Ryan, Erin, Calum, Kelly, Bobby and Me and Daddy was so much fun.
WOW! What a haul!
You received a large number of the cars from the movie Cars from Kelly, Bobby, Matt, Lisa and Gammaw and Poppa. It blew your mind. You started out not wanting to open your presents, but by the time you realized that there might be CARS inside of them, you ripped them open with a very serious and intense expression on your face as though you had to get them opened before the potential CARS dissappeared or something. Once opened, you clung to the new cars as though they were vital organs. Actually, I think you would have traded your vital organs for more of them if given the choice.If someone wanted to inspect the cars at close range, they had to sneak them away when you weren't looking because if you saw someone take one of them, you became panicked and hurried to grab the car back from their hands - very concerned that one of us might have sticky fingers and you'd never see it again.
You also recieved a big wheel from Gammaw and Poppa Dougherty,

I think Grandma was a LITTLE excited about the big wheel....What do you think?An Incredibles Book from Kelly and Bobby in addition to the Cars gifts. Watching babies opening presents sllllllooooooooolllleeeeee is fascinating stuff. Just look at the expressions of the party guests!You received the movie Cars from Erin, Brett and Calum (which we have already watched 3 times!), a PADDED (Thank GOD!) Cardinal's baseball and batt from Aunt Suzy and Ryan which I know you will LOVE playing with in the warm weather outside, and finally a Cars racetrack from Gammaw and Poppa Dough that you are so enthralled with, you will literally not play with any other toys in the house now. It's been two days and the ONLY toys you acknowledge at this point are the track and the cars. Poor Calum would have traded his sippy cup - HIS SIPPY CUP - for just a chance to play with one of your new Car Toys...

but nooooooo such luck.
You WERE nice enough to let him play with an old McDonald's Cars toy - the hippy bus, Fillmore: After the presents were open, we played for a little while...but then it was time for cake. You were VERY upset at having to leave your new toys for cake and therefore were crying when we brought the cake to you.
It appears we have a theme here from the past two birthdays of you crying in front of the cake. I cry about cake, too, but usually not until the NEXT day when I see that cake again on my tummy and ass.

Make a wish!Hey - it's not a REAL party until SOMEONE is on their back in the middle of the table, am I right?!? Here you are mastering the art of licking the bottom of the birthday candle.
Dip, Lick, Repeat. Mmmmmmmmm.
That night, we put you to bed and you couldn't sleep. You were crying for no less than three hours during which I had tried everything, switching beds, changing diapers, rocked you, snuggled you, became stressed out and tried to yell for you to settle down so you could hear me above your own loud cries. It was a regular disaster. At about 12:30 in the morning, you started vomiting. The sheets were covered as were you and me. I took you into the bathroom and Daddy changed the bedspread. It was then that I noticed you had a fever and felt like a total jerk for not realizing you were sick before that.
It's a good thing you don't penalize me for stupidity.
I tried to give you a little medicine afterwards because I wanted to address the fever, but the minute I put the tiniest drop in your mouth, you started vomiting again and THIS time, it projected through the air and hit me right in the face. I had vomit in my eyes and in my hair and running into my ear. I can't tell you how incredible gross it is, but you were so scared and wanted to be held so I stayed that way for about 30 minutes. Once you had settled back down, Daddy snuggled you and you fell into an exhausted sleep and I showered.
I was worried your actual birthday would be uneventful because I was sure you would be too sick to do anything.

The next day, you woke up looking a little pale and more quiet than usual, but you went to your car toys and started whispering the names of everyone that had been there the night before:

"That's right, honey. We had a party last night and Grandma and Poppa Dough were here, and GG and Suzy and Ryan and Kelly and Bobby and Erin and Cal and Me and Daddy. Because it's your Birthday today and you're two years old"
"Can you say "2"?"



Ahhhh, yes. You would be fine.

Your Daddy and I had both planned ahead and had taken the day off of work like we did last year and like we plan to do every year from here on out until you are off to college.

So, we took it easy and ended up starting the birthday off by watching the Birthday Show on Sprout. I had made you a homemade card which had been very elaborately decorated with PBS show characters that are shown on the Sprout station and included two photos of you looking adorable and announcing your second birthday to the world. It took me several days to finish the project and your father mailed it out for me. I was SURE it was going to be on the program, but it wasn't. They DID show your name along the bottom of the screen, though, so I took pictures and pointed it out to you. Unfortunately, I was SO sure it was going to be on TV, that I didn't take any pictures of the card before submitted it, so you'll have to ask your Daddy if you want to get a second opinion on how wonderful it was.
After that, we took you to the toy store. You were excited when we told you where we were going and raised your little hand squeezed into a fist in the air like you've seen me do when I'm excited and let out a little "woooooohooooo!" At the toy store, we played with the trains and poked through the Cars on the shelves to find ones that we didn't have. Your Daddy and I have discovered that we can treat the toy store as we would an amusement park. They have enough toys on display - like the train tracks and assembled bikes, balls, etc, that you can visit the toy store and spend a morning playing without having to cash in your college fund to being everything home with us.Not to mention, you get your expensive train fix and we don't have to find a place to set this table up without having to change the dining room into the "train station" room. Not that your Daddy would be TOO opposed to that action.... :) Next it was snack time at a display table. Actually, I think you got a huge kick out of the fact that you got to eat your snack right in the middle of the toy store. Daddy went on a scavenger hunt at nearby stores looking for Mack while we continued to play. We finally landed at one last Toys R Us where we found Mack - the present that is actually from GG because we used her gift to buy it for you.
You LOVE your Mack addition as well as the other Cars toys that Daddy and I got for you. We couldn't resist seeing as they were SO exciting to you. At the store, your eyes would bulge when we would show you a new Cars toy and you would hand the package to us, exclaiming "Mommeee, Heeeeeewp!" asking me to help you get it out of the box. So Cute!

We arrived home and you took a nice long nap and then we had a late lunch and headed to the zoo around 3:30. It was cold yesterday on your actual birthday, so we tried to focus on indoor displays. We landed in the Children's Zoo for some time where you enjoyed petting a guinae pig and watching a small wild cat walk it's territory behind glass.
We made a little game of pretending each time the cat made it's rounds that it was going to get us.

The result of this game? Instant appeal. The Cat was the highlight of the Zoo visit! Then we checked out the box turtles....

and briefly examined a tent setup display that they had in the Children's Zoo only to decide it looked too questionable and abandoned it without exploration.

And then, of course, we checked out the Naked Mole Rats. Why do I say of course? Because



I mean - don't they amaze you? How can Saber Tooth Tigers and Dinosaurs go extinct, but these completely blind and defenseless creatures manage to survive?

From there, we went to the Insectarium which you found redeemed ONLY by it's butterfly house where we walked through and you proclaimed the colors of the butterflies as they flew by. Then, outside we visited the sea otters...and played in the sandbox for awhile before heading home.

Because of the season, we had this GREAT view of the elephant pen that is usually blocked by the leaves of the trees in the summer time. That was pretty neat!
We got home and watched the Movie Cars together while eating a pizza and then called it an early night and hit the sack.

This morning, the reminder of you being "2" is hitting me in the face every time I turn around.

I dropped you off at your daycare and you are now in the main area with the older school age children. I sat you at a table to color and you were sitting there, with your pacifier in your mouth and concern on your face because I was leaving right next to a school age child who was busy doing her homework and it hit me.

Oh, my god. You're 2.

I am so lucky to have you and the memories of the past years that you have brought us. Your Daddy and I have never been so happy! Thank you for that - honey!

I miss you, sweetie!



Here's a birthday card you received from your Aunt Kelly and Uncle Bobby:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jack! It sounds like you had a great time even though you were a little under the weather. We can not wait to play with you again soon. Love, Lily and Vivy