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, September 28, 2007

Meer Dogs


Tonight I was watching an episode of Meerkat Manor. What's that you ask? Well - it's a show on Animal Planet about a family of Meerkat's in the Calahari and their daily fight for survival. The dominant female, Flower, has been the head of the family they follow in the series for the past four years and she's been fantastic to watch.

In the last episode, she adopted the baby of a rival family of meerkats although they usually destroy litters of competing families babies. She let this one live and was distracted looking out for it when they ran across a cape cobra that escaped into the burrow where her own litter of offspring were hidden.

Flower followed to battle the snake and was fatally bitten and died.

Okay - I was very swept up in the emotion of this and started crying.

You looked at me and then at the TV and declared "Mommy crying."

I said "Yes, honey, Mommy's crying. Mommy loves Meerkats."

and, just like that, you showed your current state of having to disagree with me about everything:

"Not Meerkats, Mommy! Meer - DOGS!"

Really? Did you really just say that?

Yes, you did.



Sunday, September 23, 2007



There is a cute little girl in your class that you seem to butt heads with. Her name is Riley and she is a formidable toddler opponent because she is not averse to fighting dirty.

Basically, Riley bites.

I've received a couple of accident reports from the teachers in the room and you are very quick to identify the perpetrator. "RILEY BITE!" you will exclaim while holding out your arm for boo-boo inspection.

Well, the other day we were outside playing when some mosquitos were bothering you. You told me "ouch, Mommy!" and I said "yes, a mosquito bit you. Mosquitos are bugs that bite people."

You thought about this and concluded "RILEY BUGS!"

Oh, crap.

"Yes, they are bugs that bite like Riley."

Hey - she started it!

I just can't look her parents in the eye anymore.



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mommy Bloggers Unite!


Today I invited myself along on a playdate with my sister, Erin and her friend Kelsey in from out of town. Both Erin and Kelsey write blogs of their own staring their little ones - your cousins Calum, 1.5, and Emmett, the teeny tiny baby - and Kelsey's 3.5 year old daughter, Harper.
We all went to Grant's Farm to check out the animals and watch you socialize and entertain each other with your toddler interactions. You have been kind of frustrated with me as of late. I'm not sure if it's because, as a parent, I've run out of fresh ideas for showing understanding for and creative solutions for moments of frustration, but there have been a lot of tantrums.A LOT.Here you are with Harper and Calum trying to get the best vantage point to check out the big turtles. You would have happily flipped right over the rails to see them face to face. I guess from the inadequate fencing that they put up, these guys aren't exactly dangerous.... After viewing the animals, we headed to the beer garden where we had a few free sample drinks and you guys went for a walk with me in the stroller to see the buggies and the horses.You were very happy with this setup as long as you were in constant motion.Apparently, stopping?.... UNACCEPTABLE! So, after a nice morning at Grant's Farm, we separated ways for nap times and planned to meet back up afterwards. You were pretty tired but only slept a little over an hour so you woke up cranky and the mood stayed with you pretty much the rest of the day.

But, at about 6:45PM last night, we had just finished dinner and Daddy walked in and you were so excited, you were wriggling like a puppy and exclaiming over and over again "DADDY HOME! DADDY NOT WOOKING! DADDY HOME!" while I tried to get you out of the highchair as fast as humanly possible. You ran to Clay and put your arms around his neck and said "I miss you, Daddy!" and tears came to my eyes and all the frustration was gone because I know what you had been saying all day.

I missed him, too!

It's good to have Daddy home!



Tuesday, September 18, 2007



Monday afternoon I got a call from your school that you were vomiting and I needed to come and pick you up. I bee-lined to your school and there you were looking pitifully pale and hot and I scooped you up and we left.I had already lined up with my work to take off the next day so you could have a recovery day.When we got home, I gave you some Motrin and your fever came down and we had a very nice evening.You fell asleep early and slept till 4 AM - so this morning, I was certain that we could have a quieter, but still pleasant day off together.We headed to the zoo first thing when it opened at 9 and you were animated and looked like you were feeling good!

We explored the Children's Zoo, the Insectarium, checked out the sea lions and the gorillas, road on the Merry-Go-Round TWICE AND walked by the bears. After that we got in line for the train and you started burrowing your forehead into the curve of my neck and I could feel you getting warm. I asked you if you wanted to go home, but you said "no". I figured we would be good to ride around the park once before leaving.On the way home, you fell fast asleep. I was thinking what a great job I did. We'd had a great day together, you got to mend and all would be great. Well, you slept from 11:30 till about 2:30 which I rationalized that you probably needed since you weren't feeling so good.Only, when you woke up from your nap you were burning up! It felt like I was touching the sun when I put my skin against yours. I took your temperature and it was 103.5. I absolutely freaked out. I called the doctor's office and reported the temperature and they said to bring you in and get some Tylenol into you. I flew by the pharmacy, picked up the Tylenol and only got 2 ml in your mouth when you started vomiting. A LOT. The car STILL smells like puke and I've cleaned it like three times since then.

Anyway, by the time we got to the Doctor's office, you were feeling a little better from vomiting, but your fever was still 103.3. Because you weren't lethargic, we had you checked out and found the beginnings of an ear infection so now you are on antibiotics and Tylenol for the fever and I'm feeling run through the wringer with worry and silliness for blowing this out of proportion, but what a relief to think that you'll be better this time next week.

So - here's my latest bitch. In this day and age, wouldn't you think it would be possible to come up with an antibiotic that you don't have to forcefeed 1.5 teaspoons of TWICE A DAY through flailing arms, kicking legs and gritted teeth until a whole bottle is gone? It just seems like someone could come up with a more concentrated formula - a better solution. Something you could mask like a crushed up powder mixed into some applesauce. Just about anything would be better, in my opinion....

So, the fever scare is over and I'm staying home with you till you are better, but you really got my heart racing today with that high fever!



Sunday, September 16, 2007

Charlie's Baptism


Today was Charlie's baptism. We didn't actually go to the baptism itself since the timing was RIGHT at your naptime and I figured my brother, Lisa and the rest of the family might actually want to hear the blessed event and maybe even themselves think which simply wouldn't have been possible if we had gone.

We DID make it over to Matt, Lisa and Charlie's house for the party afterwards.

You ran about with your cousin Calum and Uncle Brett kicking balls around outside with a cookie in your hand for almost the entire visit.

Then, Grandma Mary announced it was time for a group photo with all the boys and babies.

The ensueing drama was worth it's weight in gold to be honest with you. Here's the results of the picture taking fiasco:Well, HELLO SOMEONE'S BUTT! :)And now, if we just stick this child here....and balance this one against this one like so.....And then bring them all together just like this....Taaaa-Daaaaa!Now maddly snap pictures for the 30 seconds that it takes the children to be blinded by the flashes and people all yelling for their attention at once aaaaaand VOILA!Memories to treasure forever!but it's not going to last. You are leaning to the side to enable your coming dismount from the couch....crying infants.... Concerned toddlers exchanging glances of "what do we do now?"Calum stepping up as "Big Brother" to comfort his baby brother Emmett....You scooting to the edge of the couch to initiate dismount...Baby Charlie falling behind your butt....End Scene!
After the party, I brought you to the Turtle park which is a concrete turtle exhibit that children can climb and play on situated across the street from the Zoo.It's really very interesting.At first you were frightened of the big turtles, so we stayed around the small ones initially.Eventually I dragged you to the top of one and you were thrilled once there to be on top of the world!The park is RIGHT next to the highway so you could watch the traffic and comment on the BIIIIG TRUCKS!After that, you were comfortable and we enjoyed this unique park for what it was.Full of concrete turtles.Love,


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Work Picnic


Today we went to a picnic for my work. I usually blow these things off, but that was last year when you were younger and wouldn't have been able to participate and before that - I didn't have kids and that's really what these events are for.Now - I'm always on the lookout for events that you will be stimulated by and that cost very little. Like a picnic put on by my company that costs NOTHING and that I win brownie points for attending while showing off my family.Can you say "WIN-WIN?" :)They really DID spring for good entertainment! They had clowns doing face paintings and balloon animals, a bouncy house and a huge blow up slide.In addition, there was a characature artist who was drawing free pictures of the children, a DJ playing dance songs, a buffet of unlimited free food and drinks, an ice cream machine stocked full of various ice creams, crafts tables, a duck pond where you could win unlimited prizes - play all you want and win more crap than you can carry home!, a ball area, and on and on! I was very impressed!You spent most of your time throwing the balls and bouncing in the jumping house. You were very excited and squealed and made me feel proud to work for my company!Not pictured here, but later that afternoon, we visited a school picnic for your cousin Hannah's school and they had a bounce house, too.You are now convinced that they are the single most entertaining venture there is and I believe you would log on and purchase one over the web with a swiped credit card if given half the chance!Love,