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.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Up at 3 AM and so, for no other reason, I bring you: Twilight: So the Lion Fell In Love with the Lamb


Us parents get a little wacky sometimes when the littles get us up at 3AM.

Case in point:

I have no words.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Too long

Jack and Audrey,

It's been too long since I signed on. With so much going on every minute of every day, it's horrible when I stop to consider how many "moments" that I've loved will be lost because I couldn't find a minute to stop and write about them.

Audrey - yesterday you turned four months old and you haven't stopped impressing me from the minute you were born. You are such a smiley little chatterbox. So content with having anyone talk to you - just thrilled to be receiving their attention and watching their face as they respond to you.

You are reaching and grabbing for toys now. You are still pretty clumsy at it, but you are getting better and better. You are so focused as your hand shakily reaches towards the objects. It all happens so painstakingly slowly that your brother Jack is now onto this and seems to have half an eye on you at all time, judging your proximity to whatever toy he is playing with to see if he needs to rescue it from your grasp.

I'm constantly trying to lobby for you, but then you'll go and cram a car in your mouth and, when Jack retrieves the car, bathed in saliva - I can tell that you are going to have trouble the next time you want to look at something again.

Jack - where to even begin? I think the place to start is to talk about your recent venture into drawing. You are becoming quite an artist! I would say that you started out shyly enough. I tihnk you were afraid to try to draw because you were terrified that a drawing would come out less than perfect and you got plenty frustrated with early tries, but now you draw complex pictures with ease and even illustrated a book that the two of us wrote together. I have yet to bind it and give it to you so we can read it together, but I am very impressed with it and with you.

We've taken to watching America's Funniest Home Videos with you and it's a blast to watch you react to these videos much less the videos themselves. You actually got very angry watching a video where a child threw up on a birthday cake. You said "That's STUPID! That's STUPID! I DON'T LIKE THAT! He should have MOVED away from the cake!"

Apparently the unfairness of the destruction of the delicious cake was more than you could tolerate.

You also are less than impressed with videos where an animal knocks a child over. I can almost see you glaring at Hercules.

Michael Jackson recently passed away and, in that occurrence, the sudden exposure to all the music that I always loved by him has been reawakened in me. I listen to his music a lot and I'm seeing you start to like it also. Sometimes, I show you the videos on Utube. Only yesterday you told me that the kids at school were throwing grass at you and thinking they could beat you up, so you Beat It - like Michael Jackson says to just walk away from a fight.

Yes - I've been using Michael Jackson songs to teach you lessons about life.

I need to get better with the balance of things because I want you to remember these things and I know I never want to forget a single moment.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School


Today you went for your first day at your new preschool, the ECEC. I have fretted and stewed about the decision to switch you. The center you were at was good, but I had some issues with some of the teachers and felt that this new center had a lot more structure and would be good for you before moving onto Kindergarten. Plus, it's a little more challenging. I think you are up for that as I think sometimes you got bored at your old center.

When I dropped you off, the breakfast table was already full and you were seated at a table by yourself for breakfast so I joined you and kept you company while you ate. Afterwards, you were shy as the children headed to their centers and you held back picking out solitary toys to play with and watching the other kids. I wanted so badly to help you and couldn't resist asking a few kids their names before I headed towards the door so you would know a few names and wouldn't feel like everything was too strange. There was a Henry and a Brian and a girl name Charlotte. She was less than kind when you asked her name twice she said "I'm not telling you!"

Your feelings were hurt and you looked at me and I couldn't help myself. I said "ooooooooh - so you don't have a name, huh?" She looked at me incredulously and said "YEEEEES! I DOOOOO have a name! I just not telling you!" So I pushed it a little further: "No, you must not have a name or you would" "IT'S CHARLOTTE!" "Charlotte? Oh! That's a really pretty name! We love the movie Charlotte's Web, don't we Jack? See, Jack? Her name is Charlotte."

I was going to be gosh darned if she was going to start your first day off like that....!


I met your teacher last night at the WCCC. I was nervous because Jack just left the center and I want to be sure you are getting the best we can give you. In the interview with the teacher, I was quick to share that, too. I told her that safety is definitely first importance, but I'm really concerned that I be happy about our choice to have you at the center. Turns out your teacher, who is also named Audrey, has been with the center for five years and started out volunteering at the center so she could spend time with the babies and they insisted on hiring her. She pulled in several parents whose children she has taught since they were your age and they insisted that I've drawn a lucky straw in getting Audrey as your teacher - that she is the best.

I'm, therefore, very optimistic about both of your school futures. It's more positive than I'm used to being because I'm the eternal worrier!

Jack, I think your friends will get to know you and LOVE you and the structure and challenge at the new center will be great for you.

Audrey, I think that your teacher will be nurturing and caring and I'll be sure to talk to her regularly to make sure I feel good about everything you get - stimulation, being talked to, etc.

I promise to be both of your best advocates!



Monday, August 17, 2009

Is this an Abbott and Costello routine?


Tonight was very interesting. Daddy is travelling and we spent a whole day together at the Magic House and then meeting Audrey's teacher.

I was going to put Audrey down for the night which is usually when you need me - when I'm trying to get her to sleep.

"Mommmeeee! Can I have a snack?"
"In a minute!"
(return to what I'm doing)
(minutes later I hear grunting)
"Mommy - this Pineapple is SOOOOOO heavy!"
"OH! Don't bring the Pinapple, Jack! Bring the banana and I'll open it for you!"
"Do you have the banana?"
"Yes. I have one for me and two for you."
Sound of dropping and grunting.
I head to the top of the stairs and my jaw is hanging open as I watch you climbing the stairs carrying six bananas in your hands and dropping them on each step. Every time you bent over to pick up another one that fell, another slipped out.
(exasperated)"Jack! Just pick one banana and bring it to me. I don't want one."
"You don't want one? Do you want one in five minutes?"
"No. I'll get those, just pick one and bring it to me."
(Audrey is screaming in my arms by now)
"Okay, Mommy. This one looks good!"
As you proudly hold out the chosen banana and step forward towards me, you step directly on another banana and I am so amazed and frustrated by it all that it suddenly becomes funny. I give you the banana and go back to finish resettling Audrey for bed. When I come back down, you have picked the bananas off the floor, but there are still pineapple leaves everywhere and I can only imagine the parts of the story that I missed.

You are so great!



Monday, August 10, 2009


There hasn't been much this summer that we have missed out on experience-wise.

In addition to road trips to Chicago and Wisconsin, we have been to the Lake, the Zoo, the Magic House, Purina Farms, Grants Farm, The Science Center, the City Museum and just about any place fun for children.

Last Thursday, we even took both of you kids to Six Flags for the first time for both of you.

Jack had such a blast - a full day at the park! He went on the log flume twice - once with each of us - the pictures cracked me up! I was screaming and laughing and Jack - your face was filled with the dread and horror of the inevitable end of your life. I wanted to buy it so bad, but the $10 price tag for the one small photo scared me off and now I'm haunted by the fact that I didn't get it. I still remember the number of the picture: 24353 and I NEVER remember that stuff. Damn! I should have gotten it! It was priceless!

Oh, well. Woulda, shoulda, coulda - I guess.

This Saturday, due to the temperature, I got creative with ideas for what we could do with you and decided we would go to the Art Museum. I told you about the Mummies that they had on display where you could see X-rays of the bones of them inside of their sarcophoguses (sp?).

We took you both to the museum and walked through many displays and saw the mummies. We made our way out at the end and home for lunch. When we walked into the house, you turned to both of us and said "That was SO BOOOOOOOORING!" "Wasn't that boring?!?!" "That was SOOOOOOOO boring!"

That made me laugh. It reminds me of my own feelings about the Art Museum when I was younger, but it also made me think how it's absolutely inevitable that you would feel that way.

Look how high we've set the bar!



Thursday, August 06, 2009

Formal pics

Jack and Audrey,

I got your pictures taken and love them so much!
Here is Audrey at 2 months:
Here is Jack at 4 1/2 years:
I love you guys!



Wednesday, July 29, 2009



You have discovered Webkins.... AND HOW!

Good lord! You have greatly increased your abilities to play around on the computer and till now it was confined to educational games, but you have received your first Webkins Stuffed animals from Daddy and myself and have fallen deeply in love.

Your animals, a guinae pig which you named Jack Rose and a puppy that you named Bridget (Awwww - thank you!), are your most prized possessions now and you take them everywhere you go and gush about Webkins to your friends and whenever you see them in the store or on the computer.

I remember those feelings for my Cabbage Patch Dolls when I was young. They were as strong as the feelings I had for actual people and I can see this is the same for you.

You watch the scales of health and happiness of your Webkin online and are good about feeding him, taking him to the vet and even signing him up for classes and, of course, playing games with him.

It's really cute! Looks like you are getting the ideas on pet ownership virtually before we even encounter them in the flesh.



Monday, July 27, 2009

Down on the Farm

Jack and Audrey,

Once a year, there is a family reunion down on the farms in Wisconsin. Good Ole Dodgeville, WI.

Your great Grandmother Jane is from Wisconsin and the family farm is still there - changed, but still there as well as the farms around that contain the extended family. A warmer and more inviting group of people you will never meet. I love our family in Dodgeville, Wisconsin!
We headed up to Wisconsin last Wednesday in the evening. Clay had a work meeting up there and we stayed in a very nice hotel. I had no idea that the pool they had would be so nice.

When we walked into the pool area - I was blown away - it was so full of fun things - pool, etc - that we were thrilled. It was like a swim park in the hotel and there was no one there but us while Clay was working.
Jack and I were so excited that we were going to get to play there all day. It was like stumbling on a winning lottery ticket.It even had these KABOOM machines where you press them down and it makes explosions in specific parts of the pool! REALLY?!?! That's so cool!And we were the only ones there.I didn't think it could get any cooler and then, we saw this:
When we pushed it....And saw this:UNREAL! Who gets this lucky? Stumbles on a hotel with a water park inside of it and there's no one else there but you and your kids?FANTASTIC!This is a cute little crab that spit water that you enjoyed.You called her "Girlie".
I brought Audrey into the pool with us once.It was the first time that I thought I saw uncertainty in your eyes.This is the best I could do with taking pictures because it was just me and you guys since Daddy was working and I couldn't get better shots,but you can definitely tell you aren't sure about what is happening here.I did get a cute smile - as you always seem to have one ready for me!
Ultimately, though, you have this possum reflex. I don't know if it's based in self preservation, but when you aren't comfortable or overwhelmed or overstimulated, you sleep. So you, Audrey, fell asleep anytime we were in or around the pool and would wake up the minute we left. Therefore, these are the only pool pictures I have with you in them.
We spent the rest of the morning at the pool together playing and it was fantastic.Daddy joined us later that afternoon for a dip and you unwittingly put him in time out in the hot tub which he went along with. You felt the "burning water" would be punishment. I wonder why he look so happy about it?
That afternoon we headed to downtown Madison's Children's Museum and had a blast there.Here you are planting vegetables in the garden.BOTH of you.
You wanted to know what vegetable this was. Hmmmmm.... ???? Daddy said Green Onion?You guys put on a puppet show for Audrey and me.They also had a great block version of downtown Madison that you had a blast playing with.
We all had such a wonderful time!Audrey - you are getting used to the camera by now and quickly get very serious when you see it focused on you. You see the flash of the red eye feature before the camera takes a picture and your animated face gets very serious so it's getting harder to capture those smiles and expressions that you are constantly showing us at this age. Here are some of those fabulous expressions that we captured while at the Museum:
Okay - we went a little click happy here, but you find yourself doing stuff like that when there's a baby involved....Our next stop was the state capital in Madison. What a beautiful place! I had no idea!

Afterwards, we ate lunch at a nice little outdoor cafe in downtown Madison..

This picture is pretty self expanatory....

Daddy took some pictures of us at lunch: