Thursday, September 30, 2010


Daddy took you to our favorite landscaping and nursery last weekend for a little fall fun with your pal, JW.
There was pumpkin painting which you took VERY seriously:

Your Daddy is a graphic designer, so art and creativity already run through your veins!

Before I was a mother, one of the biggest things I looked forward to was my children's art projects adorning my house and making it a home. If I could, I would hang your pumpkin right on our fridge! I am so proud of you, and everything you do and make.

Create, design, color outside the lines ... the world is your canvas, lil' dude!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cold Storage

I spent the weekend visiting your Auntie M. in Ohio, and, as traveling (and tad-guilty) parents are prone to do, I picked you up a gift.

I talked to you on the phone a little and told you I had a present for you if you were good for Daddy all weekend. That excited you and you promised to be good.

So yesterday, as I neared home, Daddy kept telling you how close I was getting to you, and you told him how excited you were for your new present.

A big refrigerator for your closet.

A big refrigerator for your closet?
I'm not sure where that inspiration came from- or why you thought I'd be bringing you one.

I'm sorry I let you down and instead gifted you this awesome pink pig.

You seemed to like it as best you could.

Even though it won't keep anything cold.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday School

We reached another milestone Sunday morning when you attended your first day of Sunday School ... I was pretty excited for us! You're in the 3-year-old class (they let you join early, big girl!) and it's child-parent so we're together. I think that's an awfully smart way to begin your new adventure.

I anxiously picked out your outfit the night before- remembering when I was a girl having to wear itchy, confining tights I loathed and shoes that pinched to church. I also remember cold, Lutheran basements and Kool-Aid, always red, in waxy little Dixie cups and Hydrox cookies. Those are memories I have of my Sunday School days! I also remember my collection money in the white envelopes, glue sticks, glitter on popsicle sticks, name-tags on yarn lanyards, and singing. It's fair to say I loved it!

Your first class involved coloring Mary and shepherds, playing with an old-school dollhouse, and a traveling, singing ministry troupe who performed a puppet show. They led all the little kids in guitar and animated dancing and shocked your Mom with their updated, poppy versions of classics like "This Little Light of Mine" and "Jesus Loves Me".

I also have not felt more like a Mom ever than I did Sunday, for some reason. I know I birthed you and wipe your butt, but taking my daughter to Sunday School ... just made me feel like Mama.

Monday, September 20, 2010

View From There

Last week you got a hold of the point-and-shoot camera, and you were given free reign. You're more and more grown up, so enjoying such luxury was totally deserved by you. You are always careful and deliberate; besides, we wanted to see what and how you see. Life ... is art everyday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Girls in Trucks

Photo Credit: Brain Bunnies; Grandpa had this same truck, named Hi-Ho-Silver

My Grandpa R. worked over-the-road construction (read: gone Monday through Fridays) for over 40 years, until he retired. When I was little, before I started school, Grandpa would swing through our neighborhood at quittin' time Friday, load me up, and whisk me home with him to Grandma S. and the farm for a weekend all to ourselves. Monday mornings, with a chill in the air and complete darkness around us, he'd tuck me in my pajamas, still asleep, into the bench-seat front of his silver pickup and we'd hit the road again- his coffee steaming, my dreams still reeling, until we were back in my neighborhood.

I loved those trips. Mostly, because I was one of 14 grandkids, it meant I had Grandpa to myself for those few quiet hours. I was a hardcore Grandpa's girl ... I would spend designated Fridays all a twitter with excitement for my ride to turn into our driveway.

Last weekend, the lil' dude experienced her first weekend trip with her own Papa- a feat that made me so happy for her, knowing all these years later what they still meant to me. My Dad started a new job in July, just 25 miles from our home. He leaves my parents' house in the dawn of Monday mornings, and returns Thursdays. It was a big change for my family. And, it provided a way for my daughter to get in her time with her beloved road warrior.

As we l loaded her up Thursday in the cool drizzle, she kept saying to me, Just lil' dude goes with to Papa's house. No Mama. No Beagle. Not Daddy? Just lil' dude?! in more of a telling-way versus a questioning way.

That's right. Just you, I assured her as I kissed her face and said goodbye. I, more than anyone, understood what she meant.

This trip is just you, OK? Mama loves.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Lesson Learned"

Your Grandma G. whisked you away last evening to spend a few fall days with her and Papa And All The Animals. This email I received from her this morning:

Lesson 1- Do not present a new Fisher Price play set to a 2 AND A HALF year old in the late evening.
Lesson 2- Remove above mentioned play set from packaging unless prepared to shop for other sets shown on back of box.
Lesson 3- Do not think letting above mentioned 2 AND A HALF year old take set to bed will lead to sleep.

We made it home safe and sound after a delicious dinner at McDonalds. Lil' dude ate very well and was so polite, asking if I would like to share her food and never forgetting to say thanks. She also used the bathroom, big job at her own request. She fell asleep right before we hit the freeway and slept the rest of the way. I let her open the Little People camping set when we got home, loves it but had already slept too late and too long to be interested in a reasonable bedtime. She went happily at 10:10 PM with the pieces but was still playing at 11:10 PM, good thing the characters had sleeping bags so was then able to tuck all 3 girls in and had success in arriving at some sleep for all. She was so good but just wanted to play. I suppose the promise of tomorrow just doesn't mean anything to her yet. Today she plans to go shopping for a dog (featured on back of box) to take camping and Barbie could really use a friend her own size. She talked or sang the whole trip until she fell asleep.

This is not your first rodeo, little girl ... not your first rodeo!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Sharing

You suck at sharing.

There, I said it. And, so bluntly, I might add. But, it's the general attitude I have toward your new inability to share.

In social settings, I always wanted you to be fair- toward others and toward yourself. I've written before the way you gave in or expressed fear and trepidation in groups broke my heart. I knew it was a lesson you'd have to endure, and eventually you'd learn to handle groups of your peers. Up until mid-summer, you were the shariest-sharer there ever was, and it made me proud. You consoled your littles with packs of fruit snacks, trucks, blankets, and baby dolls.

Not anymore. You cry and throw real-live fits if your friends take what's yours- even when you're supposed to be sharing. Daddy and I have given you free reign on two items that can be off-limits for anyone but you, and that's your NaNa and your stuffed Beagle. Those are your lovies, and it doesn't make sense for you to have to share. You have clearance.

But you DO have to share everything else. Every last thing. This battle we fight with you is just so hard, plain and simple. It makes you so mad- and sad. Perhaps you don't understand. In the midst of the biggest, most vocal battles, you look at me with fury in your eyes, and total sadness. You ask me why? and it makes me swallow a big lump every time. I try explaining to you it's because that's the way humans are. We share with each other. We give what we can, and we delight in this. It's hard. You're two. I'm torn. But, we're navigating this season of your life together.

At the State Fair two weeks ago, you were gifted a yellow, stuffed monkey from some teenaged boy who handed it to you near the midway. It was a simple, sweet gesture and you were delighted.

Well, someone else we know was delighted too.

The monkey is a chintzy, cheap one, and one of 25 stuffed pals you own. You didn't need it in your life, but it was yours nonetheless. You cried and threw a fit when we asked if the Beagle could have the monkey forever. He already sleeps with two blankets AND a stuffed moose, so we knew how much he already loved this one.

You ran to your bed and grabbed Curious George for offering instead. You understood the concept, but that wasn't fair. You would have missed George by bedtime. We kept gently pushing the topic, and finally, you relented.

That's not Lil' Dude's new monkey. That's Beagle's. For his bed

That's right! We encouraged. You're such a big girl to share.
It appears we're making baby steps in this endeavor ... puppy steps, but still.

I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Letter from Mama, v33

Fall makes me so nostalgic. It truly reminds me of high school, and it makes me ache for the simplicity of that season of my life. I love to listen to country music and remember bonfires, football games, dressing up for school activities, and being home. I know the same goes for your aunties, too, the girls I grew up with. We love to swap remembers with each other, and quiz each other on our 15-year-old selves. I perceive September as the real New Year's with its promise of everything new as summer leads itself to fall. There's such promise and wide open space for beginning again. You and I went to Target on Sunday morning, and quiet and spacious, I took you through the aisles of school supplies- showing you the things I would buy today. I love it. In three months, you'll be three years old. That went so fast. In three years from today, you'll be my big kindergartner, with brand new Nikes on and a backpack full of Mama's Target love. I'll lose sleep in August because I know how much you'll love it and how proud you'll make me. I'll have to face you experiencing things and handling life all on your own. How weird to think I won't be there to see you raise your hand, or help a classmate. My nostalgia will be in hyper-drive.

Speaking of country music, there are two particular songs on the radio currently that make me think of you. Anything Like Me by Brad Paisley is one. He sings about having a son, and wondering and reveling in how he'll be like him as he grows into a person. If you're anything like me, you'll have a crazy-scary memory and longing for your Grandma's. You'll love your handwriting and won't eat the crust of any pie, sandwich, or pizza. You'll have more casts, stitches, and surgeries than most boys. You'll like your water with lemon, and your beer out of a bottle. You'll love the music in your car way too loud, and carrying 11 lipglosses in your bag. You'll love Christmas your whole life, and wear hoodies until the cuffs fray away. If you're anything like me, you'll love buying old junk, and you'll make friends pretty quick. You'll read over 50 books a year, and write lists out like mad. You'll love your Mama's cooking and your Daddy's stories. You'll wear your heart on your sleeve, and cry when other people do. You'll grow into the very best woman who will always, always make her Mama proud. If you're anything like me.

The other song is by Taylor Swift, called Mine. The premise of the song is about finding the courage to rewrite history and give into love. It resonates with me because of one line, and one line only; You are the best thing that’s ever been mine. It's true. I've put my name on a lot of things in this world, but none compare to being your mother. I constantly thank my lucky stars for this opportunity trusted upon me.

Mama loves.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maybe Later

Your current catch-phrase is, maybe later, next time?

Obviously, instead of telling you 'no', I soften the blow with a 'maybe later', or 'next time'. This is usually a response to, can I watch Tinkerbell again? Can I have another juice box? Can the Beagle sleep in my bed? I thought I was making a good choice as a parent.

Last night before bed, you and Daddy wrestled over a large booger in your nose- you abhor his efforts to keep your nasal passages clean. The battle ended with you going to sleep with everything intact in your nose.

This morning, when you were woken up, you gingerly felt around your nose, and mentioned the incident.

Daddy asked if you were ready to get that boogie out, and you sleepily replied, maybe later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010