Wednesday, December 30, 2009

guess who's no longer 32?


Happy Birthday Nate. Because the boy decided to be sick on your birthday, I plan to share mine with you in a few weeks. Can't wait. I love you, Nate. Everyday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

let the indoctrination begin.

One of the best things about having kids is that you get to share all of the goofy things you love with tiny people who will probably love what you love because they love you.

"Mommy, are they mermaids?"

"They're princesses!"

"Get up, they're dancing again!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the weary world rejoices.

Tonight we braved the elements to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve with our church family. These are the people that we choose raise our children with. My closest friends. The people that I call when I'm at the end of my rope.

I watched little girls in velvet dresses sing. I cracked up while Caleb sat up on his daddy's shoulders, plugging his ears while pipers played. I watched my Clairegirl eye a long table full of treats.

We were all up past our bedtimes. The kids ran wild. One child in the ergo, and one in my arms. Still we sang. "A thrill of hope. A weary world rejoices." Perfect words for exhausted mommies and daddies. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Me: Clairegirl, smile for the camera and I'll give you a candycane.
Claire: Okay! *giant smile*

Claire: Mom, what's a candycane?

Today we're making these to take to our church's Christmas Eve Eve celebration tomorrow night. Wish me luck, candymaking is hard with a little person who wants to do "all the sings (things)."

Monday, December 21, 2009

santa: not a fan.

Apparently, Mister Baby feels about Santa the way the girlie feels about tulips.

Seriously, Mom?

Um, is there an infant sign for get me off of this bearded stranger right now, lady?

I like how even Santa looks annoyed in the last shot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

merry & bright: a holiday savings guide.

1. Purchase festive Christmas leaderhead at 75% off at the end of the holiday season, 2008. Store for safe keeping.

2. Write Christmas letter.

3. Tear up contents of one 2400 square foot house (basement included) searching for festive Christmas letterhead.

4. Purchase new festive Christmas letterhead at full price because you can't find the discount package.

5. Print Christmas letter on full price letterhead.

6. This, of course, is the ideal point for your husband to point out an obvious type-o.

7. Purchase second package of festive Christmas letterhead.

8. Eat a few (thousand) Christmas cookies (bless you Jenn K and your crack cookies).

9. Repeat step 5.

Friday, December 11, 2009

v-bac to this again.

"Mommy, did I come out of your private area?" She asked, casually.

For me this will never be a casual question. And I have resolved to never lie to her. This is what I said:

No, Clairegirl. You came out of my tummy.

"But Everett came out of your private area..." She wondered aloud.

And you, sweetgirl, came out of my tummy. I told her about how we'd hoped she'd come on Easter. How I had a sweet little pink dress just in case. I told her about walking at the park with The Dada, and all of the things we tried to get her to come out. I told her about how she just wouldn't budge. Then I told her about the meconium. She wanted to hear that part again and again.

"Were my toenails brown when I came out too?" She asked.

Nope. Just your fingernails.

"Tell me the part about the poop again, Mommy."

So I did. And I told her about how long it took to get her out and that the midwife was starting to worry about her because of the poop. I told her that we decided together that the most important thing was that she would be born safe. I told her that we only cared about meeting her. I told her that they gave me good medicine so that it wouldn't hurt when they cut into my stomach. She seemed concerned for a moment then. She asked questions about how they got her out. I explained the cutting. I told her she could see the scar.

"You mean in a picture, Mommy?"

No honey, on my tummy. There's a line where you were cut out of me.


And Clairegirl, you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. We only cared about seeing you born safe. Three years later, I can say that and mean it. As frustrating as that day was, I have no regrets. That is the magic of this girl.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

never a dull moment.

Recently, I went to a friend's house to decorate Christmas cookies. Claire threw a gigantic fit. She threw herself on the floor and sobbed, "I need ladytime. I am a lady!" I wiped her tears and told her, "You need to help dad make cookies tonight, he doesn't know how to do them."

She was off and running, "Alright, Dad. I'll show you how to do all the things."

I came home to some suspicious looking cookies and photos of the girlie.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

advent at our house.

I like to do these easy advent envelopes with the kids every year. Last year, Claire called them endebopes.

Before you get too impressed, know that inside each envelope includes really simple things that we were going to do anyway. Things like Let's go cut down our Christmas Tree or Today we'll make gingerbread people.

Some even say really complicated things like, Let's sing Jingle Bells! or Let's watch a movie in our cozies.

It will be tougher to pull these off when she's able to read the contents of each envelope herself. I'm hoping I have at least one more year of creative license when it comes to the contents.

what the what?

N: Kar, who's my favorite character on Sesame Street?
K: Murray.
N: Yeah, Murray. He's a badass.
K: Thanks for writing my blog post for tomorrow, Nate.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

and then we got a tree.

I love all of the traditions around Christmas. I love that we go to the same spot every year to cut down our tree. I love that he is old enough this year to play in the mud.

We were planning on getting a small tree this year, for fear that the Mister would destroy it, but we let Claire choose and she found a perfect tall tree for our living room.

This is the face she made after saying, "I was thinking we could get another little tree for my bedroom."

Monday, November 30, 2009

they do have a more delicate flavor.

"I don't like onions, Mommy. I like shallots."
Claire Elisabeth, age 3 1/2

papa bear.

One of my girlie's less attractive features is nightime wailing. She is a great sleeper, but if she wakes in the night she wakes up deeply offended. She will pad her little feet through the house to make sure that everyone knows that she is awake. Last night, it happened at 3 AM, and then 3:30 and then 4.

Nate has been sick basically since fall, yet still moved himself to the couch last night to stand guard over my bedroom door. Sick and coughing, he slept there on the off chance that the girlie would make a repeat appearance. Imagine her shock when she reached for the bedroom door at 5 AM only to hear her Dada's voice from behind her?

And I? Completely oblivious to what was going on, I slept until 8:30. You can keep your roses, that my friends,is love.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

progress report.

Seven items from my 33 things before I'm 33 list have been completed. Several others are in the works. Here's what I've done so far:

3. Can tomatoes from our garden.
4. Construct a tutu.
14. Freeze a big batch of pesto.
15. Pick & dehydrate fruit
19. Spend an afternoon cuddling with Everett as if he were the only baby here.
27. Print and bind this big huge blog
30. Learn to make Kombucha

Which item should I do next?
Also, I'm curious, what's on your list?

a lazy girl's guide to becoming a runner

It's summertime. The weather is beautiful. You're sitting at a quiet campsite and you make a list. It seems like a good idea.Number 7: Run in an actual race.
So you start to run. And you hate it.
Only you keep running.
It helps to be friends with girls who ask you to run with them.
And also: Mister Baby's Birth Mix makes great running music.
Eventually, you find yourself wanting to run. No one is more surprised than you.

Actual race date: January 1. I'll be the one with my own cheering section.

Friday, November 27, 2009

everyone does.

Claire has this book memorized. In our family, this is not a surprise at all.

After reading this page, she says Probably super-huge every time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

gratitude in bits.

For his new favorite word: MomMom
For her hilarity: "Mom, my toe hurts. I need a Tums."

For Roasted Brussels Sprouts*, for pie that I didn't have to make, for a $3 toaster purchased at 5 AM the next day.

*I add garlic

Saturday, November 21, 2009

#30 learn to make kombucha


One step further in the direction of hippie*.
Thanks, Des for taking me under your voodoo wing.

*I still shave my armpits.

somebody's on the hot tamale train.

If your husband surprises you with tickets to watch your favorite guilty pleasure live at the Rose Garden, you should be impressed.

If your husband was raised by non-dancing Baptists, you should be very impressed.

If he does all of this while nursing bronchitis and still manages to set up childcare and a room at Kennedy School, you should probably scream Mary Murphy-style whenever he walks into a room for at least a week.

I love you, Nate. You still manage to surprise me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#27 print and bind this big huge blog.

From the inside cover:
This is our story. I have always been writing. Four years ago, I sat down and started writing to you. I didn't know what you looked like yet. I didn't know if you were a boy or a girl. I only knew that I was scared. The first day after I found out that you were there, I couldn't eat. I was so afraid that I would feed you the wrong things. I knew how to do lots of things, I had no idea how I was going to pull off being your mother.

It got easier. It is not a new story. We sleep less than we used to. We smile a lot more. I write these things because I want you to know that you are loved. That you were chosen when you were formed inside me, even before I was ready for you, you were chosen for me. God gives good gifts, girlie. And you and your brother are the best gifts of all.

I hope that this book doesn't embarrass you too much. I hope that you look at it and see a girl who was changed by knowing you. I hope that whatever you do when you're grown brings you the kind of joy that you have brought to me.

#27 Done.
Thanks to blurb and my sweet husband.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The girl likes to load the washing manasheen "all by myself." Also? Loading laundry is way more fun when wearing a tutu.

I decided against daily November posting. I enjoy my blog in moderation. Also, Everett is still not 100%, and I'm certain I would end up posting way too much about poop. I'll stick to my usual goal of 11 posts per month. Go read Becca's blog if you need daily does of cute.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Should I do this again?

I did it a few years and then I decided to go ahead and have a newborn in 2008 instead of the intense naval gazing involved in daily blogging.

Help me decide.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

great pumpkins.

First outing with a group of moms I barely knew. I remember being self conscious about her lack of adequate layers.
She ran around. She ate donuts. She had a ball.

First big outing with both of them. I flashed a group of 6th graders while trying to nurse. She threw a fit in the parking lot. I was in tears by the time we got home.

I love fall. I'm not exactly into Halloween, but I do love a good costume. And all forms of squash. And I love visiting our little local patch. This year, because our family has been hit with plagues, we managed to squeak into the patch 15 minutes before closing time on Halloween. Claire refused to smile for pictures in our usual spot. I have a handful of photos of her with her tongue out, in tears or glaring at me. I sort of love those pictures.

I'll share some of those tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

a day without vomit.

Our evening routine looks something like this:
Dinner, baths, stories, milk, brush teeth, a little singing and bed

Sunday night, Everett decides that we need a change:
Dinner, baths, stories, milk, empty stomach contents onto mama, second bath, water, bed

For three nights we did this. Then, yesterday, he stopped.

Our morning routine looks something like this:
Mama gets up for a little quiet time, then breakfast, bible reading, brush teeth, get dressed and Sesame Street.

This morning, Nate calls me to Everett's room at 5 AM so we can strip sheets, clean the baby and wash more clothes. At least he didn't aim it at me this time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

just kidding

Two hours after I posted an update with the news that Everett seemed to be better, he went ahead and threw up again. I can't imagine where a little person like him could have been storing all of that food. Also of note: both of my babies find my lap to be the most comfortable place to upchuck.

So far, the resident ballerina has not been infected.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This is my boy. Tonight he is sick. He puked twice this afternoon and I'm trying to remain calm, but when you're told that your baby may just be a kid who gets seizures when he has fevers, it's hard to remain calm.

Please pray that we are able to rest. Please pray that he doesn't have anything seriously wrong. Pray he doesn't have another high fever. And that the One who made him and loves him and gave him to us would cover us all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

(unfried) green tomatoes.

Maybe your tomatoes came up a bit late.
Maybe you like to pretend that you're on the prairie.
Maybe you want your house to smell like delicious vinegar and dill and garlic.
A most recent canning endeavor. Pickled Green Tomatoes. I'm pretty sure this officially enters me into a unique segment of society. Just not sure what that segment is.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

that claire, she's so hot right now.

What happens when I tell her she needs to wear something besides just a swim suit if we're going to go outside.

*That is a dress, a pair of striped yoga pants and a striped skirt underneath her (backward) swimsuit. The girl has style.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

training wheels.

He is fearless. He climbs. Everything. He has given me a fat lip with the exuberance of his hugs. His love is a force. He is always in motion. He rarely speaks, unless he doesn't know we are listening. And I? I am still a girlmama trying to keep up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

welcome, 2LO

Postpartum brownies are on the horizon for the tiniest babe in our circle of friends.

Don't worry, I won't let these two help make them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

you turned me into somebody loved.

I make brownies that use black beans instead of flour. He tells me he's proud of me. He says, "A lot of people wouldn't do that." They taste like crap.

We visit a friend after her normal birth of a normal sized baby. I lament my hard births with my huge babies. He says, "Why would you want to be average?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Teddy has recently taken ill and has been spending his days in a cage made of laundry baskets. His Teddymama is keeping his fever at bay with cool cloths and frequent doses of pain reliever. His temperature is being checked regularly and he's taking lots of extra liquids.

He's not up for visitors yet, but his very efficient nurse will gladly pass any well wishes on to him.

Friday, October 09, 2009

i am the luckiest.

Last night Everett had a seizure.

I held his hands as doctors tried to figure out why he was sick. I stroked his cheek and whispered what comfort I could.

It was midnight, beside me was a very small girl in pink princess jammies holding my hand, all the while whispering, "It's ok. It's ok. It's ok."

And it was. But she's still three. So she still requested juice for herself. Still wanted to be held when he needed to be held. Still wanted stickers and to go home and a teddy and blankie and to play games on our phones. And I whispered back to us all, "It's ok. It's ok. It's ok."

And then it was.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

hold me closer, tony danza.

Somebody's going to be a ballerina for Halloween.

Number four on the list: Sew a skirt (modified to read) Construct a ridiculously awesome hotpink tutu. Done.

nobody's princess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

second baby eating a shoe, because we don't give him toys.

I pull him out of the car and say, "Hey, brown eyes."

I walk around to her side and start unstrapping the buckles.

She says, "Will you say, hey blue eyes to me, Mommy?"

"Of course I will, baby."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

make mine a double.

Claire had a friend over for several hours. The friend's mother and I frequently swap childcare, which has been awesome. Except that today is the day after Claire stayed up 3 hours past her regular bedtime. Except that we have no milk in the house and I am working on weaning. Except.

I had planned to let the girls play until the friend's mama came to get her, but the friend requested a nap. I nestled her into the pack-n-play. Claire went ballistic. Crying, I wanna nap in dere! She attempted to climb in on top of her playmate. It was not pretty.

Then I remembered that we were out of milk.

Claire requested a sippy of milk, as part of her usual naptime routine. I told her that we were out. Tears. Then I told her that if she were quiet and calm we could go to Starbucks together after for a special treat after rest time.

With tears streaming down her face, still sobbing, she says, "Black Rock."

What did you say? I ask.

"I like Black Rock." Says my three year old coffee snob.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

let it shine! let it shine! let it shine!

She used to walk around this place like a geriatric Baptist minister, fumbling the words, constantly singing. Now she knows the words. I miss it so much. Some of her highlights:

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will be Joyce and be Gladys Day.

The B-I-LEE that's the book for me!

And my favorite: This little lice is mine. I'm gonna let it shine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

another first for my first.

Dear Claire,
Today you packed treasures into your rainbow backpack: teddy, blankie and your Valentine card from the Dada. We held hands while I walked you into your classroom. I signed you in. I handed over your rainbow backpack. And then I handed over you.
After, we went to lunch, just the two of us. You chose a spot, "We can sit here, Mommy. Because we're two girls." I peppered you with questions. I asked what you learned. You played it cool. Later at the park, I overheard you whispering to a little girl that we don't know, "I go to preschool." Yeah you do, big girl.
I couldn't love you more.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

guess who?

Guess who decided to take a couple of unassisted steps today?

A hint: It's the same person who thinks biting his mama on the shoulder is endearing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

trying not to laugh

She spends days pretending she's a tiger. She's a bear. She's a crocodile.

She tells me she wants to get rid of the C in her name. She wants me to call her "Laire."

She comes out of her room from a time-out in full princess garb, including tiara and tutu.

Monday, September 14, 2009

33 things before i'm 33: item #14

Make and freeze a big batch of pesto. Done.

While we were camping this summer, I made a list of things I'd like to do before next year's camping trip in August. Many of the things turned out to be about food. We are officially set for pesto around here.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

for everett, who is one today.

Dear Everett,
A year ago today, I sat stunned in a hospital bed holding a 9 pound 10 ounce, miniature Nate. Face up, huge, no drugs. It was the craziest thing I've ever done. I would do it again in a heartbeat. That's all you really need to know. It's been a wonderful year.

Happy Birthday, Ev. Mister Baby. Everett Peep. I'm so glad you're mine.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

she's never even seen cinderella.

Nate (complimenting Claire's latest glittery picture): You're going to be an artist someday.
Claire: No, I'm going to be a princess.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

33 things before i'm 33: item #22.

22. Spend an entire day with Everett as if he were the only baby here. Done.

Bliss, folks. The boy is serious bliss.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

for his therapist

Yesterday I forgot to feed him dinner. Just totally forgot. And then wondered why he was crying.

Today I forgot to sunscreen his little white self at the park. Then thankfully, I borrowed some from a more-prepared friend.

And still he smiles. With her, I worried because she was slow to warm. With him, I worry because he smiles all the time.

At no other point of my life would I have been worried because someone in my family was extremely happy, but as a mother, somehow it makes perfect sense.

Parenting two kids: double the mommy-guilt. I am ridiculous.