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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dreaded question


Our nighttime routine continues to expand as you get older to include, sitting on the potty, brushing your teeth and, now, cutting your nails.

When you were younger, I would cut your nails when you were asleep, but it's getting too hard to do it now because you struggle even when sleeping - especially when it comes to clipping your toenails.

Now I cut your nails when you are awake. You usually whimper while I assure you that "Mommy be careful, Jack. It's okay!"
and you'll protest "huuuuuurt. Clip nails! Huuuuuurt."
and I tell you - "No, it won't hurt. I'll be careful, okay?"
"That's right"

with this new tradition, we get ready for bed in the evenings and, after brushing your teeth and heading for the bathroom door, you will ask with your voice quavering in dread "Cut nails?"

To your tremendous relief, only one in 14 times that you ask that will the answer be "yes" because we only cut nails once every two weeks.

But you live in dread of that fraction. :)


AND finally...
WHAT THE?!?!?:

I have to say - I didn't think you could TAKE a bad picture, then THIS happened and you proved me wrong!

FYI - that scratch by your eye came from your teacher. I would have killed her if she hadn't felt so incredibly bad about it. She is a young 18-20 year old who's nails are still very important to her and she didn't realize she had scratched you until after it happened. Not to worry - if it happens again, she's dead.

Monday, April 23, 2007

April Shower

This weekend we had a baby shower for your Aunt Lisa and Uncle Matt. It was a couple's shower and it was a blast. It really brings back memories for me of your early months looking at the toys and infant paraphenalia. It gets the hormones pumping, or at least it did for me.
You had a blast playing with your cousins, Layla, and her brother Mike.
The next day at lunch, I was feeding you and talking to you and thought I'd bring up the topic.
"Jack, would you like it if Mommy and Daddy had another baby?"
No response. You continued eating.
"You know.... like Cal? What if we got another baby to live here with us?"
Now you are looking at me and chewing like you are thinking about it.
"The baby would be here all the time. Even when it's crying ....."
"NO!" and you are now shaking your head adamantly. You now understand and are telling me that this is NOT okay by you.
I had to laugh at your conviction. You were SURE!
That's okay - we don't have any news of a new baby coming or anything like that, so there's time to get used to the idea of something of the sort, but the baby shower did get me thinking and I can't seem to turn it off.


P.S. I thought about just not mentioning the current event of the shooting at Virginia Tech, but every time I consider something like this, I have to remind myself that this blog is for you so you know what growing up was like for you in your early years and for me as your mom and so I feel I owe it to you to bring this up since it has been a backdrop behind the scenes of our everyday lives and who knows how this event will effect your future. Stay safe, honey - you are everything to us.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Membership has it's privileges


I have found in the short period that I have had the pleasure of being a Mommy, that one of the smartest things I've done is to make sure I have memberships to places that I can take you.

Our home is a great source of stimulation, but you are forced to play there every night and on the weekends and it gets, well, stale - no matter how many things there are to do.

Enter - the Membership!
Your father and I made the decision when you were very small to become members of the Magic House and we have USED IT! If the day is rainy and it's not letting up - you still need to run. You need the opportunity to release your wild toddler self and explore! This is when a membership is solid GOLD. I can take you to the Magic House right after school, on days when it's too hot or too cold to be playing outdoors, wet, windy - almost any reason. We have someplace we can go.
This weekend, we added a membership to the City Museum to our list.

It was a rainy, gross weekend and we needed to get out. All of us did.

We decided to check out the City Museum and were SO impressed with it, we signed up for a membership.
Now we have two places we can go to when all else fails or just because we CAN and I think of these memberships as investments in your childhood. I can see from the experiences they allow you to have, that they are totally worth it!



Here you are sliding down ramps that are in one section of the museum. There are skating ramps and you were using them for slides. And having a blast if I might add! There were also tunnels UNDER the ramps to make it even MORE fun to explore! How cool is this setup? A cement poured skateboarding area that can be used as a SLIDE!You weren't at all intimidated by the bigger kids and we were there, too, JUST IN CASE we needed to strong arm anyone! (Just kidding!..... kind of......) WHEEEEEEE!Again! Again!

Going to get Daddyand heading to the next adventureThese wood ramps were even slicker and so you could shoot down them fast, but they were crowded and, with kids coming down both sides, your Daddy and I had to poise ourselves at the tops and bottoms to play referree in order to prevent some collisions. Can you believe it? All this AND no broken limbs?!?

They also had a toddler area with a rolling conveyor style slide which you loved, an art area where you painted pictures and glued collages and a block area that is a raised platform COVERED in blocks where kids can climb aboard and build to their hearts content.Plus there is a circus area where juggling is performed by young aspiring jugglers and gymnasts that perform minorly impressive acrobatic feats for the young audience. And this is RIGHT next to the block area, so you can watch the performance WHILE you build!

Then, they sweetened the deal with a toddler train that goes through a LIT TUNNEL! It's no exaggeration when I tell you you must have gone around on that ride about 15 times. The engineer of the little train knew you by name and you understood all the rules to travel by (staying on your BUTT) and stuck to them so you could ride again and again!

There were even more activities and areas to be explored, some you were a little too scared to try this time, but with the membership?There will be plenty of opportunites to try it all!
I look forward to it! Oh, oh, OH! You pooped in the potty, too, for the first time this weekend. This time, I did us all a favor, though. No pictures!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The truth dawns

Lately you have been coming to realizations at the most strange of times.
Let me illustrate what I mean by that by sharing an example with you. You will be either in a bubble bath or on the potty when you will realize that you can't have a cookie at that exact moment and you will get the saddest look on your face and start emphatically telling me about it as though I'm disagreeing or don't understand how important it is:
"NOOOOOOOOO cookeee, Mommeee. No. Cookie, No. No cookie. Nooooooooo coookieeeee."
and I'll shake my head in agreement with a serious look on my face, too, and confirm your worst suspicions:
"That's right, Jack. No cookies right now. It's almost bedtime. We can have a cookie another time, but not now."
"No. No cookie."
"That's right."
"Noooooooo coookie. Noooooooo."
"That's right."
"Ammmal cookie."
"Yes, we DO have animal cookies, but you can't have one now."
"That's right"
Then you look thoughtful and a little sad and I'll try to cheer you up by saying: "But we CAN read the Mouse Cookie book!"
"That's right, but we can read a BOOK about cookies"
"Here, see? Here's the book and there's the boy and there's a cookie!"
"Yes! That's your cookie and there YOU are!!! See - the little boy is YOU and you are getting the cookie!"
"Okay - should we stop reading?"
"NOOOOOOO" Okay, then....


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


We started off this morning with a bit of a struggle. You see, the Easter Bunny put a cheeseball inside of every one of your plastic easter eggs and you had a great time popping them open and eating the Cheeseball inside. We had a tough time this morning because you discovered that all of your Easter egg cheeseballs were gone. GONE! Oh, dear sweet jesus, PLEASE - don't let it be so! Nooooooooooo moooooooooo' Cheeeeeeeeezbaaaawwwwllllll!
There is one thing you like for breakfast (ASIDE from Cheeseballs!) and that is Quaker breakfast bites. You call them BREP and you want them in the mornings and sometimes for dinner and occassionally for snack, too. They are GOOOOOD! "Mo' BREP, Mommeee! MOOOO' BREP!" Brep = Breakfast.
You are also hooked on Crackers which you very clearly call "CRACK". God forbid if we run out of crackers in a public place, you start howling and screaming and I swear the volume in my head sounds as loud as the atom bomb going off - "Mo' Crack, Mommy! MO' CRACK! MOOOOOOOOOOO' CRACK!!! AHHHHHHHHH! MOOOOOOO' CRACK!!!! CRACK! MO CRACK! MO CRACK! NO MO CRACK!!!! NOOOOOOO MOOOOOOO CRACK!!!" and just in case the words themselves weren't dramatic enough, you throw yourself backwards into my arms and then slump forward to the floor with your hands over your eyes sobbing like you are in terrible gut-wrenching drug withdrawal.
I find myself looking guiltily at the public around us feeling that I need to explain that I really don't have a crack baby that I indulge with more crack when he gets to jones-ing for it. You see, Crack means "Crackers" - you see? So it's okay - no one has to call Social Services. Put the phone down!
Oh, who am I kidding. It cracks (Crack? Mo' Crack? NOOOO MOOOO' CRACK!) me up!


Oh AND - GUESS WHAT?!? Daddy got the job and we get to STAY IN SAINT LOUIS!
YEAAAAH! It turns out that Daddy has been working so hard that they didn't want to lose him, so they STILL gave him his promotion and gave him the only exception granted to any of the employees to work his new higher-up-job from Saint Louis! Not only do we get to stay here, but his new job will set him up for prime advancement opportunities! I definitely didn't expect the final decision to be so fantastic when it did come through.... We are very very lucky!