Category Archives: Nothing but love

My current plan is not to tell her when it’s her birthday, thus keeping her two forever

It’s not like she can look at a calendar, right? Except she SORT of can, and her big sister definitely can, and she’s a blabbermouth, but maybe it could work. Two is the absolute sweetest age. I don’t know that it’s the BEST age or even my FAVORITE age, but it is the sweetest. She still wants snuggles in my lap and she walks around the house dragging one of my old tank tops behind her. (She calls it her MMCH, formerly “lunch”, and bites on the strap while she falls asleep. It’s her last holdover from weaning over a year ago. She also sometimes calls me “Yum” or “Yummy” instead of Mom, and I pretend I don’t love it but I really really love it.)

It is impossible for me to talk about this child without sounding like I’m bragging. And FINE, maybe I AM bragging, but not in any sort of “don’t you wish this were your kid?” or “don’t you wish your kid did this?” way. I am just in awe of this child. The things she knows and says blow my mind on an hourly basis, and I can’t wait to see what her little brain becomes capable of in the next couple of years.

See? the sweetest age

She knows most of the states by shape, and she insists on checking out a book on a different state each time we visit the library. She draws like a big kid and writes her name and her sister’s name and she’s memorized the words to every book she loves. She wants to be a Kindergartener more than anything and pulls up her little chair and a piece of paper to do her sister’s homework with her. Mostly I’m sharing that because I am going to forget all those things she learned when she was just two. I can’t remember what Vio could do at two, because it blended in to what she learned at three and four and now she’s in school and it all happens so quickly. Surely the first six months of their lives lasted longer than all the years that have gone by since.

Her love for her baby brother is ENORMOUS. I was so nervous she would be jealous, and I’m sure that will eventually hit (I know it often waits for age three, which, as I’ve mentioned, WE ARE JUST NOT DOING), but for now she chases me around the house while I carry him, shrieking, “Baby, come back! PWEASE, baby!” She thinks he is HER baby and refers to him thusly. As soon as she sees him, she tells him, “Oh, you are such a cute baby. I never knew a baby could be so cute. I MAY kiss you!” And then she kisses the top of his head and his whole face lights up. Then there are the times she lovingly pats him and tells him, “I didn’t know you would be a boy baby. I really wanted a girl baby.” So, you know. It evens out.

She calls Vio her “Sweetie”, and she can’t stand when she’s out of the house. Of course, as soon as Vio gets home from school, they are fighting like cats and dogs. Or whatever is worse than cats and dogs. Sisters, pretty much.

The very best part of my day right now is the hour or two we have in the morning while Leo takes his nap. We sit on my bed and play board games and ipod games and giggle. She routinely beats me at all versions of Memory (“Membery”) and excitedly chants “Come on, Donalds and cwubhouses!” while she shakes the dice for Yahtzee Jr.

She loves the color yellow and elephants, they’ve been her favorite for over a year, but now she’s suddenly telling me pink and giraffes. I just jam my fingers in my ears because that sounds like growing up.

She is fierce and fearless and everything I am not in so many ways and I love that so much I cannot even get out more than a measly run-on sentence about it.

I’ve never cut her hair. I call her my baby Rapunzel, and I’ll probably WEEP the first time it needs a trim. Well, the first time I admit it needs a trim. She’s asked for a haircut, like her big sister gets, and I’ve been telling her “when you’re three! when you’re three!”

So, really. It’s for the best I don’t tell her, right? I think one day she’ll understand.


Filed under My girls, Nothing but love, Photo essay

One thing I can promise is that this won’t always be entertaining

Oh, hello Spring! So nice to see you and your humidity all up in my face again. Especially with the pregnancy and all making the 80-degree weather feel like … a lot more degrees than that. Things got hectic up in here and the weather turned hot and then our AC broke again, and I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’m a pretty cranky person, just on principle.

We started the process of getting Vio into a good Kindergarten program for next year. Which. Well. When I first heard there were magnet programs for elementary school in our county now, I did a big old snort. Like, seriously? Who is SO CONCERNED at this point that they feel the need to put their child in some sort of precious snowflake program? HAAA.

It turns out, when your child’s pre-K teacher describes the zoned school as *RASPBERRY SOUND* + *THUMBS DOWN* (literally, that is what she did. There are no words for the suck, you guys) you want to find a better option. SO! We picked our favorite choices, put her in the lottery and! And!

Got waitlisted! The process from there was, well, daunting. And fraught with chances for me to practice my patience. I had plan A and plan B and plan twelve all woven together in my brain in a Möbius strip of doom and tears. Wait lists at multiple schools meant possibly having to give up a place at a less awesome school to wait around hoping the higher choice school would call and UGH. I know in however many years I will just chuckle at the stress this brought me, and thank goodness for Matt, who handled just about all of it (not, like, emotionally. That’s the baggage I strap on. But I didn’t make a SINGLE phone call, so ha! It could have been worse!) but for now there is no chuckling because WOE.

Last week we found out she got a spot in our second choice school. It seems pretty awesome — a technology-oriented program that is heavier on the science and nerdery — and they have, like, a butterfly garden on the campus. She’ll get to wear uniforms! This brings me great relief and joy, mainly because I just ordered a bunch of pieces from Target for like $3 each. None of them will fit, I’m sure, but savings!


I mean, aside from the gestating, but that’s not so much WE as MY BELLY. And my torso is virtually non-existent. I am a head, some boobs, and then basically my legs start. There’s just not much room for anything in between, let alone another whole person. I’m learning that boy persons are meaner to the insides than girl persons. (To MY insides. I’m sure YOUR boy pregnancies were petunia factories of joy.)

We managed to schedule a weekend trip to Disney on the same weekend as a cousin’s wedding reception, so had to change our plans at the last minute while our out-of-town guest hung out at our house watching our children so we could drink cocktails (Diet Coke) under the stars. HA. SUCKERS.

(As an aside, I do wish I looked more PREGNANT in this picture and less like a lady wearing a tent. Which isn’t an invitation for you to tell me how AWESOME I look, because obviously you think so, but from this angle, Tent Lady, so there.)

Disney was fun. So so much fun. Except the second day when the monsoon came and we spent the day grumbling in the biggest crowds I’ve ever SEEN. It started out fairly promising, with multiple go-throughs of the Buzz Lightyear ride, but it started going downhill after waiting in line for Dumbo, getting up to the front and handed our little plastic ear tickets of joy, and then being told they were shutting down the ride because of incoming weather. With a two-year-old who loves nothing in the world more than she loves elephants. (YOU GUYS. The elephants! Dumbo! Gerald and Piggie! WE WATCHED POOH’S HEFFALUMP MOVIE, FOR FWOOING OUT LOUD.)

Obligatory tourist shot!

I feel so bad for our aforementioned guest (who is a Disney animation employee, and came all the way from California to see us and got us into Disney for free!) who had to witness the implosion of a family trapped in the rain, coated in plastic, overtired, and out of patience. He is a saint. Or is submitting a story about us to one of those awesome complainy blogs we all love to read but would never like to be featured on. I WOULD NOT BLAME HIM, is all I’m saying.

Sing it with me now: IMAAAAAGINAAAATION!

But I have proof he had SOME fun, so ha! (These girls LOVE him. Best pretend uncle ever. He is basically a 10-foot-tall child, so it works out well for them. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Tall people are great.)

That brings us about up to now, which is a week of illness, incredibly painful side pain of the OMG PAIN variety that I seem to get with every pregnancy, and OMG YOU GUYS, we haven’t figured out what causes it in all of these years, but it’s the one thing that makes me shake my head and say NEVER AGAIN will I allow another person to take up residence in my body. I mean, I guess maybe a robot, in the future, if that meant I could live forever as a cyborg. That might be okay. As long as it didn’t come with side pain.

Anyway. What have you been up to?


Filed under Gestation, My girls, Nothing but love

I blathered, and lo, it was awesome

You guys.


The Blathering was super fun and a half. I have been wanting to write a little recap post since I got back, but I don’t think my words can do it justice. Which isn’t to say it was some spiritual amazing life-changing summitous experience — it was just that regular sort of awesome I don’t allow myself enough of in life. I was afraid I would be the one lamer who didn’t want to go out and have fun late at night, but there were plenty of people who just wanted to chill in the condo and talk about girl-type things. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE, YO.

My biggest fear going into the weekend (aside from having nothing to wear and being terrible at talking to people one-on-one) was that I would meet all these people in real life and it would be WEIRD. But it was not weird at all! I felt like I’d talked to them all one hundred thousand times before. Probably because, uh, I had.

Also, I was really sick. I expected to have vomitous anxiety, but I did NOT expect to have a rabid badger stretching its legs in my sinuses. You guys, I took so much ibuprofen and tylenol and benadryl JUST TO STAY AFLOAT. By Sunday I had no voice. None voice. Not even a glimmer of a hum could be heard.

Did I mention I flew into Detroit so Arwen wouldn’t have to make the 4-hour trip to Chicago alone? And then she ended up having to try to keep the both of us entertained with only one side of a conversation for the whole entire trip back? Thankfully she is AMAZING and has an endless supply of hilarious and incredible stories, or we might have died of the silence in my throat.

Have you ever flown with a sinus infection? In case you’re ever tempted, let me save you the trouble and describe for you what it felt like. With a lot of detail, because that’s important.

It felt like someone was sharpening a pencil in my ear.

The poor chick sitting beside me! She was in the row in front of me, when Sympathy-Inducing-Mother-and-Daughter showed up. Daughter was just seven! Daughter and Mother were in separate rows! Would she please give up her aisle seat to take Mother’s middle seat in the row behind? Because she was nice and really couldn’t say no without looking like a horrible person, she agreed. And got sat between me and another woman with a hacking cold.

I’m so sorry, lady stuck between us on the plane. I hope no one is sharpening pencils in your ears.

Anyway, aside from my newly school supply capable ears, the weekend was really amazing, and I can’t wait to get to see everyone again. In addition to all the people I already knew would be awesome, I met new awesome people I didn’t know about. Hi new people! I will now begin internet stalking you, as is my fashion.

Or, you know, reading your blogs. An appropriate amount.


Filed under Nothing but love

A little of this, a little of that

Things have been a bit crazy ’round here the last couple of months. Vio started school (Pre-K). Roo is out-talking all of us. To a seriously painful degree. Where our weekends and evenings before were spent staring at walls and repeating the age old, “Well, what do YOU want to do?”, it now seems like we’re hardly ever home.

I keep THINKING about writing here, but I never get around to it. I keep falling asleep with Roo at naptime, exhausted after the 3-mile roundtrip noontime in the HAYELL of Florida heat walk to pick Vio up from school and a morning spent with a 22-month-old who must get her talking gene from my father’s mother, who adopted him.

Hey, neat. That part of me that can whip out a run-on sentence is still fully functional! And here I thought my skill set was getting watered down.

Then, in the evening, mostly all I want to do is stare at mind-numbing television. Or super AWESOME television. I’m head over heels for Lie to Me, and now Tim Roth is the narrator in my brain. It’s ruined all other television for me. I watch CSI, and all I can think is, “Get Cal Lightman in here! He’ll tell you if this dude is lying!!”

I think that’s healthy.

Hmm. What else.

Vio. Vio and I have started reading chapter books at bedtime. The first was Charlotte’s Web, and she absolutely loved it. She got sick twice last month. (So did I.) Thank you, school! She’s loving school; this is a relief, because the first week was a huge adjustment. She has homework, which boggles my mind. She is four years old! She’s got the next twenty years to do homework. It makes me all get-off-my-lawny. See this, heavens? It is my tiny fist, and I shake it somewhat angrily in your general direction.

Roo. Roo is a spitfire. I can’t come up with a better way to describe her. She never stops talking, and she speaks in full paragraphs. She goes “AH!” whenever she gets something she wants or just because she knows we think it’s cute. She narrates every passing moment of our lives. This is how a typical drive in the car goes:


Then she’ll complain she can’t hear the radio, and she has no idea that the noise blaring over it is coming out of her own face.

I’ve started weaning her. It’s been pretty slow and steady, with my goal being mostly done by the time I leave for The Blathering (which is in just one month! I can’t wait! More on my panic over that later!) (Exclamationz!!) We’re down to nursing before bed and first thing in the morning. The bedtime one will be easy enough to drop (she’s already stopped requesting it some nights) but the morning will be difficult. I’m pretty weepy about the whole thing, but also ready to be done and so so grateful I was able to nurse her these 22 months.

Really, most time has been spent tending to Grandma Val’s things. I’ve cataloged a ton of her stuff and put it up on Flickr for out-of-town family to look through. We had a garage sale to clear out some of the day-to-day, less sentimental clutter. It was really, really hard. At the end of the day, I sat down on the floor and just cried. It still doesn’t make sense that she’s gone. The girls have handled it really well, aside from a few crying fits from Vio when she wanted to see her in that first couple of weeks. She’s doing better now.

Tonight, in the car, on the way to her house, the girls had this conversation as I clenched Matt’s hand and forced all but a handful of tears to stay in my eyeballs:

Vio: We’re going to Grandma Val’s house, Roo!

Roo: Yay! I YOVE Grandma Val!

Vio: She’s not there anymore, Roo.

Roo: Oh. I see her other time then.

Vio: She’s in heaven now.

Her little voice trailed off, and that was that.

I don’t think I really ever thanked everyone for all the kind words in the days following her passing. It meant a lot to me and Matt. Your prayers and love lifted us up, and I continue to feel that love every day as I dilly-dally along with so many of you on this splendid internet. Thanks, pretties. And thanks for bearing with me while I dust off this here blog.

(They’re … still called BLOGS, right?)


Filed under My girls, Nothing but love, Probably too serious