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, December 28, 2007
For some reason lately, it’s impossible to convince you that April is a girl and Hercie is a boy. You just KNOW that we are trying to put one over on you.You will say he when referring to April or call her the Daddy and Herc is she or the Mommy.We’ll tell you that April is actually the girl dog and Herc is the boy dog and you’ll say “NOOOOOOOOOO. Apoh Daddy dog, Hercie Mommy dog!”I’ve tried to figure out where this comes from and I think it’s a combination of things. First simply due to the physical characteristics that you can see and compare to your own Mommy and Daddy and other Mommy’s and Daddy’s. April is simply bigger and Herc is smaller. In our families, the women tend to be smaller than the men and that is the case with your Daddy and Mommy.Then, there are the personalities. April is easy going and loving and Herc is excitable and jumpy and playful. I think those kind of match your Daddy and me but in the opposite way. (April is like Daddy and Herc is like Mommy. I know - you followed it, but I clarified JUST IN CASE.) So, I think this is another reason for your absolute unshakable belief that April is a boy and Herc is the girl.And since they really don’t know the difference……So say you and so shall it be done!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
This morning you came down the stairs and were absolutely blown away.
You couldn't believe your own eyes. It was almost hard to detect a reaction at first as though you initially thought this must be some kind of mistake because what was this doing here?
You are such a fantastic kid, Jack. It feels so good to be able to give you a Christmas like this that blows your mind.
You were adorable, exclaiming "I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!" with each gift that you opened.
About 100 times today you would run to find me in the kitchen or at the dining room table exclaiming in amazement "LOOK WHAT SANTA BROUGHT!" and I would squeal in excitement each time as we looked at the train table today and marveled at your good fortune.I hope you remember this lesson as IT PAYS TO BE GOOD!
Merry Christmas, Jack!Love,
Monday, December 24, 2007
Christmas Eve was wonderful. It may have been a little on the tiring side, but so wonderful that it far exceeded all my expectations!We had a nice morning playing together and making sure everything was ready for presents for family and for you later that evening.I turned over furniture and made forts for you to ward off boredom waiting for evening to be upon us and that was especially hard, being creative, knowing that all kinds of entertainment was at my fingertips but inaccessible because it wasn't officially CHRISTMAS yet.But, you were very happy with the upside down furniture and forts and play ideas.I even caught you singing in the kitchen this song:
The evening brought with it occassion to play with your younger cousins as we celebrated Christmas Eve with my side of the family.
You were all so adorable! You loved your gifts and had a lot of fun checking out what everyone else got.You also mastered the art of tearing into a present and were a ready volunteer whenever someone had a present to open - available to offer your services!
Then there was the picture in the matching pajamas that Grandma is threatening to repeat traditionally year after year.Don't look at me! It wasn't my idea, but I fully endorse it because.... well, look at you all! :)Little Christmas dolls - every last one of you!So, now we wait for Santa to come and I can hardly wait!Love,
Saturday, December 22, 2007
We celebrated your cousin Calum's second birthday tonight and it made me think of.... well.... how close you are in age and how soon you will be turning three! It also made me think about the 2nd year and what that brings with it - the challenges and progress over the course of the year and all that.It also reminded me how being that close in age is a thrill as you grow up. I was only 10 months older than my brother, Matt, so there was always an overlap of a couple of months when we would be the same age. It was also a beacon of a reminder for me that I could start getting excited about the approach of my own birthday. My brother would open a present on his birthday and I'd be thinking. Mine will be next! Mine will be next!Not to mention being that close in age and everything is an almost immediate point of bonding. You can't help but be that close with a family member that you have so much in common with. Shared timelines mean very similar milestones, likes and dislikes, friends and experiences which are all bonding points.Yes, the age difference will seem to grow smaller and smaller over the years, but right now, the difference that one year can make is quite a lot. I liken the last year to that of the "end of the honeymoon" part of a marriage where the personality develops and the people in the family must make adjustments in themselves and the home to accomodate the new personality that is now in the family.But it's also a time of developing communication and make believe play and desiring to do things for oneself. Dancing and singing and chasing and taking turns. When we read bedtime stories now, I read the book first and then it's your turn and I get to hear your version of the story, some recited from memory and other parts inspirations from the illustrations or some take on how the story SHOULD go that are always entertaining.Tonight we discussed setting out cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer and you added a plate of alligators and snakes which you decided NEEDED to be included, inspiring your Daddy to ask you just what you were trying to do to Santa anyways?So, on his second birthday, we wish Calum lots of love and an exciting next year. We wish you smiles and thrills and hope that the growing pains and nosebleeds stay to a minimum!
And now, just because, I present to you.....*drumroll, please!*.......JACK IN THE BOX!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Soooooo, we have a new game!You noticed me rinsing out the dishes the other day and I guess just took notice of the sink sprayer for the first time.So began the insistant game of "trying it".I try it, Mom. I try it. Mom! I try it!I must have lost my mind because I lifted you into the other half of the sink and gave you the sprayer with instructions to aim the spray into the bowls in the sink so you could help me rinse them out while I loaded the dishwasher.Aside from getting yourself and the countertop nice and wet, it was a really easy game, but the one concern is the fact that you are high up off the ground and can't really be left to sit there on your own, spraying water haphazardly in the kitchen.But you love this game so much so that I have sealed my own doom.Play dishwasher, Mom! I play dishwasher! MOM! I PLAY DISHWASHER!
Never lose that enthusiasm, Buddy!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Picky eaters are hard to plan for but I've noticed a measure of food that tells me whether or not you will probably like it. The degree to which you like or dislike a food can be determined by it's KDS factor. If the KDS factor is higher, there is a greater chance that you will like the food and if the KDS factor is low, there is a greater chance you will reject it.What is a KDS factor, you ask?
Well, let me enlighten you! :)KDS stands for Ketchup Delivery System. If a food is condusive to being a delivery system for ketchup - i.e. chicken mcnuggets, fish sticks, french fries, chips and even scrambled eggs (you get this from your Daddy)... then the KDS factor is high and you will likely want the food, if only to use it to spoon feed ketchup into your little mouth.Today I had an unusual experience that I would never have predicted would happen relative to the KDS factor, and yet it did.This morning you accompanied me to Saint Louis Bread Company to buy a gift card as a Christmas present for my boss. When we arrived, you were drawn to the bakery window with all the goodies on display behind it. You were excited about the cherry pastry and kept pointing it out to me. I thought awwww! How cool would it be to get that for him and let him have it as a special breakfast with me before we head into school! So, I bought the pastry and we grabbed a booth and sat down to enjoy a treat together. When I started to cut into it, you realized that the cherry middle of the pastry was not in fact KETCHUP as you had thought it was and were very upset at this realization. The world crumbled around you and you emitted banshee like cries of woe.I had no idea that you thought the pastry was a ketchup doughnut and that you would be SO disappointed that it wasn't.
Anyway, our little outing was such a grand disappointment to you because of the low KDS factor, that I was reminded not to attempt this again for awhile.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Your school did something that I was fascinated and amazed by.They brought in a real reindeer for you to meet and the lady that brought the deer was dressed up like Mrs. Clause so you were doubly excited.You got to meet a real live reindeer which would never have happened if it wasn't for Kindercare.Sometimes the ideas they come up with are so fantastic that there was never even the inkling of a threat that the beginnings of those ideas would have formed in my own mind.Like the Christmas concert.Or this gingerbread house that you got to make and now are getting the thrill of eating piece by piece here at home.It's already lasted about 4 days and counting.You don't seem to understand that it's perfectly okay to break the walls or the roof of the house so you can eat it, so you scrape the icing which served as glue off of the house with the candy decorations and grin happily because - who wouldn't be happy when eating a house made of candy?!?I guess what I'm saying is - I feel lucky to have you but also incredibly lucky that you have this when I'm not there.Love,