April 30, 2009

Stella Gets Her Groove



Sweet baby girl is a sleeper, I tell you.


As if I could be any more smitten with her... now, she sleeps all night?


I love having a daughter. I feel that we are on a secret team together, and it makes me giggle.


La la la la, Stella Girl.

Bless You






James is plagued with a runny nose and the sneezes.


Today, after he sneezed, he promptly said, "Bless you."




Aw, bless YOU, my dear sweet baby boy.

April 29, 2009

Motherhood is Gross


And the grossest things in the world pertaining to motherhood only happen to working mothers, simply because there is just not enough time in the world. Just to name a few first-hand experiences:


1) The horror of seeing my child eat a solitary Cheerio from the dark crevice of the highchair, and thinking to myself: "Okay, today is Wednesday...think, Meredith, think - the last time he had Cheerios...was what, Saturday?" And then coming to the conclusion, "Huh... That's not too bad."


2) Realizing that I haven't had a proper meal all day, and deciding that I will "go fish" myself in said highchair for a snack.


3) Acknowledging that the diaper has reached 150% capacity, but I don't want to break for a change, because I only have 10 precious minutes of the day left to spend with my son (and he's getting a tubby in 5 minutes anyway).


4) Continuing to smell poop from a diaper I changed three hours earlier... only to later discover that the poop is on my nose/under my nails/in my hair.


5) Forgetting to stop by the store the night before, and actually considering (if only for a split second) adding breastmilk to my coffee before hitting the road.


6) Being spit/peed/puked upon in the middle of the night, and crawling right back into bed without changing my clothes... knowing I'll be up in two hours anyway for work (at which time, I may or may not get a shower then).


7) Using a dirty burp cloth to dry my face after taking off my makeup, because I have not found a spare six minutes to wash a towel for my own use.


8) Nabbing a bite of only a "slightly" chewed piece of hamburger from my son's plate. And then, going in for seconds.


9) Checking the temperature of baby food and then licking it off my finger before I even realize I just ate "Hearty Country Breakfast" by Beechnut, and then pausing for a minute to decide if it's really that bad tasting.


10) Holding my baby girl up over my head, while exclaiming "Oh my sweet baby girl!" ...at which precise time she vomits, and it all lands right in my mouth.


Motherhood... sometimes, well... it's just gross.

BlogVice: Spoon Me!

James - 11 months

These Baby Bjorn brand spoons are the very best for your learning-to-eat toddler. You can also purchase a plate and duo spoon combo which is perfect for a kid learning to navigate a spoon and a plate. The plate is also perfectly bottom heavy, which helps. James learned to eat with a spoon by the time he was eleven months old. Thank you, Baby Bjorn. Now, he's still slinging spaghetti against our walls, but that's mostly intentional...an entirely different topic for another time... discipline...


James - 16 months

April 27, 2009

Maternity Clothes. Now What?


I have an ungodly amount of maternity clothes from two pregnancies in two years. I hate those blasted clothes.
Stretchy. Lycra. Polyester. Black. Stretchy. Tie Back. Stretchy.

What am I saying? I love those clothes. Stretchy!

Now I have to wear buttons. I am selling my maternity clothes on Ebay, and hoping that I will get enough money to buy some more clothes with buttons. As James says, "Bud-dons." Yes.



In other news, tonight James ate the fake chicken nuggets again, and heartily smacked down, exclaiming "Chick...N..." Ah ha! I have fooled an 18 month old again! I rule.



And in even BIGGER news, baby girl Stella rolled over for the first time. She's not quite four months old, and she apparently rolled over and decided that wasn't where she wanted to be... and began to wail. That's my girl.


BlogVice: These Socks Rock

Whoever thinks it's ridiculous to pay almost $25 for baby socks, has never had a kicking baby. These socks by Trumpette (for girls) and (for boys) are the best in show. The good news is: you get six pairs for the almost $25, AND even when your tot outgrows them, you can still manage to squeeze them on his feet, because the elastic is made by magical elves somewhere in the land of genius baby product makers.

The socks manage to stay on slippery feet, and do not cut off the circulation on dear fat baby legs. And everyone knows that nothing says suicidal like replacing sock after sock, on foot after kicking 3 month old foot. Put these on...and ten hours later... they're still ON. God bless you, Mr. Trumpette. God bless you.

My son is eighteen months old, and I still sleep him in the Trumpette Johnny's. Nevermind that the "shoe" part is only about mid-foot. He still fancies them. And I fancy a pair of socks that stays on an eighteen month old.

Now, keeping socks on a sixteen week old is an even bigger challenge. And Trumpette still wins. Ding! Ding! Ding!! Stella loves her Mary Jane Brights, and they stay on.

Feet down, folks. These socks rock.

April 26, 2009

Weekend Away


Jason and I just returned earlier today from our first overnight trip away from the babies... ever. It was a great time, went to Athens for the 2009 Twlight Criterium. We ran the 5k early in the morning, and spent the afternoon drinking beer at Trapeze Pub, then took a great nap at the hotel, headed out to the beer gardens and watched the race. It was a fantastic time. We did, however, miss the little monkeys. Back to the grind, tomorrow. Sigh.

April 23, 2009

BlogVice: Breastfeeding 101

I will qualify my little rant about breastfeeding with the following:
I am not a lactation consultant, nor would I want to be. But I know a thing or two about breastfeeding and pumping, and therefore, you should listen to me. I fed two babies for a span of over 11 months, while working full-time. I'm no dummy.

Additional qualification:
I am sorry for you folks out there who don't want to talk about breastfeeding because it paints a weird picture of the ever-beautiful life of boobs. Tough luck, ya'll. Boobs are for two things: 1) feeding babies, and 2) hiking up to your neck with a nice support bra when you are done feeding babies. Go read another blog, if you are nervous. I'll qualify the same when I talk about birth, at a later date.

Breastfeeding 101:
1) When you are pregnant, make sure that you read, absorb and get your own head on straight about what you will do and how you want to handle breastfeeding your child. You need to have your opinion about it, waaaay before that little meatloaf is born; that way, you can nod politely at the lactation consultant, and use her pamplets for makeshift coasters when you return home.

2) Do not listen to your lactation consultant. Listen to your head, and most importantly, listen to your boobs and listen to your baby. If you are completely lost, then give her a chance. But only if you are lost. Feeding a baby is a whole lot easier in the comfort of your own home, when you get there.

3) If you ever hear the words "nipple sandwich" run for the hills. Boobs are not made to look like sandwiches, and if your lactation consultant mentions this... she's a dingleberry, and should be stripped of her boobly-duties. Plus, babies cannot eat sandwiches. Hello.

4) Buy a breastpump. Dual, electric, top of the line, $350 a pop. Buy this one: Medela. End of story - there is no other. If you think you can handle a manual pump, you are a blazing moron and should not have children in the first place. Pump from the second that baby is born. Pump when she is sleeping, pump when she is done eating, pump when you cannot fathom pumping anymore. Freeze every spare drop. If you have to return to work, buy the pump with a backpack or a zipper. The "Metro Bag" stinks to high heaven - it has no closure. You'll be riding in the elevator, and men will be eyeing your bag, trying to figure out what in the hell that cone-shaped torture device actually is. Humiliating. Remember: dual, electric, Medela, zipper.

5) Buy a medical grade deep-freeze to store said extra drops. This one is fantastic, and your done for $200 at CompactAppliances.com Not only for future use for your bags of milk, but also for creepy cocktail party tricks.
"Hey, wanna see something funny?"
(Open freezer full of breastmillk)
"I made 100 bags of this stuff!"
Makes everyone uncomfortable, and can clear a room instantaneously. Great party ender.

6) Who cares if pumping makes your supply too great? Store it! The sooner you store it, the sooner you'll be done with breastfeeding.

7) Nipple confusion is a load of bunk. Kids are not confused. They want to eat. You want to feed them. Feed them on the breast, or on the bottle, or both. They will figure it out. Give them some credit. Just get them the milk. The milk is the good stuff.

8) Bonding with your baby is a good thing, obviously. But if you cannot hold your head up for the neck pain associated with skin-to-skin breastfeeding, pump your baby some milk and give up the ghost. You'll survive, and she'll still get the goodness. It's okay to loathe breastfeeding, I give you permission.

Read these books:
The American Academy of Pediatrics New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding (this is a clincal and boring book, but you'll get the holds, the scoop and the true facts on it)
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (written by the La Leche League, it will guilt you into breastfeeding the child until he's twelve, but still, good stuff, sans the nipple confusion and propensity against the pump - I lived and died by my pump.)

This will get you started. Good luck, girls! (And good luck to you Girls, too.)

Crap.


Tonight while James was eating, I pointed out to him all of the food splatters and marks on the wall, from his dining experiences. I was being silly, and talked to him like an adult.


"James, do you see the marks on the wall, all the food splatters and spaghetti sauce crap?"


And what does he say?


"Cwaaapp."


Ah yes. Ooops.

April 19, 2009

Comb! Comb! Comb!


I took James out to the garage to throw out a diaper, and he kept saying, "comb, comb, comb." I couldn't figure out what he was talking about until I finally set my eyes on the giant rake standing up in the corner of the garage. Comb. A big one.


Today has been interesting to say the least. I couldn't find the remote control. James had stashed it cleverly in Stella's bassinet. He knows he gets in trouble for touching the remote, so he figured he would hide it with Stella... make her take the blame. Smart cookie.

L O V E


I grabbed a handful (4) of alphabet tater tots out of the freezer, only to discover that they spelled the word L-O-V-E. Well, technically, it may be "L-O-U-E," but who's keeping track?

I also think that James said his first complete sentence a few minutes ago. I put him down to nap, forgetting to turn on the sound machine. I tip-toed back into his room, but he saw me. And he said, "Mommy, sit down."
Well, alrighty.

Sunday Morning


Aiming not to be a negative nelly first thing in the morning, but when both kids start wailing over the dual monitors at 5:45am, and it's not a workday, when I normally would be up anyway...



So far, it has not stopped, except for routine diaper "check" (mind you, I usually check by look and smell, not by feel) ....but this was a special diaper check for James, whereby I checked my left thumb and thumbnail sufficiently deep into poop. Affirmative, diaper is dirty. To which James exclaimed, "Gross." Darn right, gross.

Of course, I am being dramatic. I said dramatic, not untruthful. The poop incident totally happened. Now, James is eating Cheerios, and Stella has dozed back to sleep, so I think we are calming again. I sit next to James at the table with my coffee, silently hoping that he never throws his bowl of Cheerios at my laptop. I often have a premonition of that... chills me to the bone.
You came in with the breeze
On Sunday morning
You sure have changed since yesterday
Without any warning
-No Doubt, "Sunday Morning"

April 18, 2009

Flashback Saturday

I made it through today alive! Hooray!
I am going to bed and getting recharged for another day...
Flashback Saturday: James, last February 2008... the age that Stella is now.

Alone!


In our single days (e.g., before kids), Jason would wheel his laptop bag and carry-on to the car, headed out of town for a trip, and I would be sad (because I would miss him), but I had this sense of adventure simultaneously. What would I do that day? That week? Maybe I'd go shopping, or get a pedicure...oooh, maybe go to Starbucks and take my new book, and read it cover to cover, latte after latte (and it didn't matter that I had tons of caffeine, because that caffeine jolt could easily be brought down around 11pm with a nice hot bath, and a few glasses of wine, followed by the hundredth time I'd watched "The Devil Wears Prada"). Maybe I could even take a day trip to the mountains to see our Ellijay lot, (not that I ever really did that).

Today, it's 7:30am, and I have approximately fourteen more minutes before the day becomes a total zoo. James will wake up, and Stella will wake up, all within minutes of each other, because that's what borderline Irish twins do. But I am ready. I have my teeth brushed. I've had two cups of Chock Full of Nuts (somewhat fitting, don't you think?). I have a plate of yogurt, cheerios and applesauce ready and waiting in the fridge, delicately covered with Glad Press N Seal.I have formula made, breastmilk thawed, and three bottles ready. I have a cup of milk, and Barney on "pause" on the tellie. The bouncy seat is strategically placed for the best view of the living room, the backyard, and the highchair. I feel as I am preparing for a major situation. I've worked less hard in law school.
In our single days, I would have crawled back under the covers this morning, without a care in the world. Children make everything so different. Not worse, in any way, but different. I hate to quote Oprah, because well... the obvious reasons... but a guest on a recent show said something like: "The only way to really survive motherhood is to accept the fact that your life is never going back to the way it was. Never." And that may seem like an obvious assertion for some of you. But I'm just not that bright.
When James was born, I think Jason and I both tried to hang on to our previous single ways, from the single days. We tried to watch an entire movie after James, three months old, would go to "sleep", only to find out that he was not sleeping, but really getting geared up for an all-night eat and poop fest. And that was frustrating. It was our problem, not James'. He was just a little baby, and we were trying to watch a movie. What stupidity!
Something happened this time, with the birth of Stella. Silently, but simultaneously, Jason and I have released all preconceived notions of how it should be, and have just accepted how it IS. Suddenly, this life makes sense. We would not even consider an entire movie. There is joy in the midnight feeding, the giant (and now, hilarious) poopy diaper that has ruined a perfectly good Ralph Lauren shirt, the toots that Stella makes when she coughs. The secret to parenthood is lowering your expectations to absolutely zero. Expect that everything will be a zoo, and then you will not be surprised or disappointed either way. And more than likely, you will be overjoyed to put the kids to bed, recognizing that the day was a good one.
Parenthood is hilarious, not serious. And that makes all the sense in the world.
As Jason wheeled his fancy luggage, his laptop, in his fancy outfit to the car this morning, I laughed. Today is bound to be hilarious, me taking care of both babies alone...and for the next five days. The difference is, now, I am capable of laughing. My previous life is long gone. And I am glad for it. This life is way more entertaining, ridiculous and rewarding.
James just peeped upstairs, talking in his new language. Here we go!

I am ready... I am ready.


 

April 17, 2009

Kiss


James loves Stella. I hope that he always loves her and protects her, just as he does now. Tonight, we asked him to give his sissy a kiss. He said, "kiss" and showered her with kisses for five minutes. We can barely wrench kisses out of that boy, but he's the first to kiss sweet Stella. What a good brother he is.




Jason leaves for New Orleans tomorrow for a conference. It's just me and the munckins for the next four days (well, Staci will be back on Monday when I go to work). I'm trying to be creative and figure out things I can I do with two kids under 18 months. Stay tuned.



April 16, 2009

Honk

Tonight, James was fussing in his crib. I went in to see what he was fussing about. He put up his arms, and said "Mommy."

I picked him up and gave him a big hug. When he was done hugging me, he looked at me, with a little devil in his eyes...grabbed my nose and said, "honk."
I love that boy.

April 15, 2009

Happy Hormones


So my happy hormones have officially left me.

I have been wondering why I felt so stinky over the past few days... it's because this is the first time since January of 2007 (yes, seriously) since I have not been pregnant or breastfeeding. So I had well over two years of happy pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones. Happy hormones. Well, I gave up the breastfeeding this week. Hence, out with the bathwater went the happy hormones, and I feel like the pits. Booooo.
I thought I would rejoice to pack up the pump, and quit hanging my little "do not enter or you will be scarred for life" door sign on my office around noon everyday. But this is a little bittersweet. I have about 100 bags of frozen stuff for Stella to have 8 ounces a day for the next month and a half with her formula. That'll get her to almost 6 months. I feel confident that she's healthy and good to go. Plus, I think it's a little bittersweet because tonight, as I was holding her, I really believed that she might be my last baby. And that, along with the recent pain of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and returning to work (coupled with the bye-bye happy hormones and recently listing James' baby shoes for sale on Ebay)... makes me blue.

In other news, Jason was giving James a bath tonight and he said, "Let's wash your bootie, James."

And James screamed "BOOOOTIE!!!"
Now, that's more like it. 

April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

We had an incredible weekend. We went to a new church (12 Stone), and I felt so blessed to be back in church. It has been a very, very long time, and Jason and I really enjoyed our time. The babes did well in the children's church, and James was rewarded with a fabulous Easter lunch at "Donald's."



Baby girl was an absolutely princess in her yellow gingham dress and bloomers (which I tend to call "britches" and which my co-worker Kent says is a "no no" for girls). So, with her BLOOMERS, she was the most beautiful girl in the world today.

James is going through a refusal-to-eat-vegetables stage. But I have found out how to pull one over on him. He loves spaghetti, so I made a ton and emptied about six jars of baby food (carrots, squash, beans and peas) into it. Sounds gross, but truly, I could not even taste the difference. And he ate it. I felt like the smartest mother in the world. He guzzled a whole squash or so. Now, I have about 10 frozen bags of it, and I think we now have "balanced meals" for the next week.

My two best men. I love this husband of mine to the depths of my soul. He is amazing with Stella, with James. I catch little moments when he is with the kids (or when he is folding a load of laundry, or washing bottles), and I am moved to tears. Some women would trade their husbands for a housekeeper... but I wouldn't trade mine for a million bucks.


These pictures remind me that our little baby boy is growing up so fast. Look at him! He's a boy. Not just a baby. I cannot believe it.
Poor Stella was so tired tonight by the time she went to bed. (Yes, it's 8:00 - and BOTH children are asleep...again... I dare not speak the words for fear that I am dreaming). Stella cannot get a moment's rest so long as her brother is awake. We took the kids to the park and walked the 2 mile loop, and Stella caught a nap because it was the first time in eight hours where he wasn't bopping her on the head or "honking" her nose.

Today, I am thankful for my family, my children and all the millions of blessings that the good Lord has showered upon us.
As I rocked Stella to sleep tonight, I took breath after breath of her hair, her skin... This time is so fleeting, my heart is breaking with each second that passes, and I realize that my children are growing up. I feel that I often missed the little moments with James because we were the typical "new" parents, and were just so clueless and tired. But I do not let a single day pass without getting twenty kisses from James (I often have to grab them while he is running by), and about five-hundred from Stella (because she's too little to escape).
I don't care if these kids cannot stand me when they are teenagers... I will still pin them down and kiss them a thousand times over. I love them to the core of my being, and I am a mother, inside and out now... And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. If you have trouble getting your children (or your husbands) to eat veggies --- try my spaghetti trick. I cannot wait to try something new... I'm thinking bread with green beans next.

April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

This was a few days ago...but right before bath time, James picked up his Bible that Mia and Papa gave him. He said, "Bible" and "Babe-Je-sus." And he wanted to take his bible to his tubby.

Our little minister.

Happy Easter, everyone. We miss our family so very much.

The Mother Bear.

Flashback Saturday: October 25, 2007 - Our Sweet Baby James
So we took the kids to the mall today (because that's just what one DOES when one has children), and there's a fantastic play area at Mall of Georgia that James just loves.

Before heading to the playground, we stopped into Stride Rite for shoes for James. He's now a size six (!) and we managed to get a pair of very "pimping" white summer sneakers for "only" $40. And of course, Stella just needed some pink flowered Robeez ($20). Good grief.

Anyway, we headed to the play area after the shoe purchase - we let James walk the way there - and he was very proud of his shoes. He looked very spiffy, and managed to pick up a "chick" (e.g., a 15-month old girl with curls, who was "all" about him) at the Crocs booth near Old Navy. He was so smooth, putting the moves on this little girl, and Jason was very proud of him. People sitting outside of Starbucks drinking coffee were all laughing at James, and it was quite a show. People walking by were stopping and watching and snickering, as James put on the show for his new little honey. She was like, "ok" and proceeded to walk along with him. Her father came and rescued her, and we went on our merry way.

I usually sit on the outskirts of the playarea, with a Starbucks, while Jason braves the kids, the other parents and takes James into the lion's den. (Have I mentioned that my husband is a saint? Well, he is.) With my latte, I sit quietly on the outskirts and silently stew while I watch seven+ year olds jumping over the toy cars and running over the sweet toddlers, even though internally, I am cursing their existence. That goes to my theory that I still hate all children that aren't my own (well, with the exception of Sarah, Will, Abbi and now, little Carol Elizabeth).

Well, today - it was not very crowded, unlike most Saturdays - James was at the foot of the mini-slide and was beginning to scoot up it (no one was around), when this big-bad-8 year old with a cro-magnon forehead went to the top of the slide and proceeded to go down it, while screaming at James to "move". This giant child was about to plant his giant stupid foot into the head of my dear boy, at which time, I screamed "HEY! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!" This kid looked at me, in shock (his mother, across the way, was another story), and he backed up and went away. Then I finished it off with "YOU'RE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER!"

As Jason always says, I'm making friends.

I tell you, though...if you have a seven year old - do NOT let them play with the toddlers. On what planet do you think that is acceptable? I understand that it's not the kid's fault - rather it's his trashy, slovenly mother who is across the way with her Dairy Queen, reading her 1980's romance novel, and allowing her stupid giant child to play with BABIES. Ridiculous.

I am a mother bear, and I cannot take this crap.

April 10, 2009

If My Blog Could Whisper...

...It would quietly say:

Today is Friday, April 10, 2009.
It is storming outside, but the really scary storms are passing over us.
We had a fantastic dinner of turkey subs from Publix. (Seriously).
James ate his dinner without freaking out.
Stella had a bottle without an issue.
Both children were bathed without tragedy.
He is upstairs asleep at 7:30.
She is upstairs asleep at 7:50.
Jason is laying on the couch, watching the weather report.
I am sitting on the couch with my Dell.
We are both in PJs, chatting about nothing.
There is a small bottle of pink, trash-tactular wine in the fridge.
I just ate a perfect string cheese stick, and gave the other half to Jason, who accepted it gleefully.
The temperature in the house is perfect.
The kitchen is clean.
I have a new book, the cover which has not been cracked yet.

I dare not take a breath, for fear it will all fall apart.
Shhhhh...

April 9, 2009

I Should Never Be a Stay-at-Home-Mom...

...Even though sometimes I want to. I look at my babies, and sometimes I want nothing more than to be home with them, all the time. Then I must remind myself WHY I should not stay at home.
1) Pajamas. I enjoy pjs too much, so I am very likely to remain in them. The same ones. Day after day. I've been on two maternity "leaves" in two years... and I have rotated pink-and-black flower pants with flannel-bubbles-britches, off and on, for days and days. And I'm okay with that. My love of pjs could mean one of two things: that if I was a "homemaker," I would be unlikely to leave the house, and thus, my children would become hermits. Or, I am likely to leave the house... in said pjs. Thus, my children could be perfectly well-rounded people, only with a terribly embarassing mother.

2) Oprah. Enough said. Oprah is the root of all things evil, even though she is good at her core. She finds "favorite things" that you simply "must have" (hence, you spend too much money), and then finds faults in your spouse that you never knew he had (and the list goes on).

3) Peanut Butter and Oatmeal. I would eat nothing but peanut butter and oatmeal. And probably coerce my children to do the same. I'm not really sure if there are adequate vitamins in peanut butter and oatmeal. Not to mention, I think that James might have a peanut allergy - so that would only leave him with oatmeal to eat.

4) Pollen. I would remain in the house in my pajamas for fear of the pollen. Again, the children might become hermits.

5) Bathing Suits. I would try my hardest to take my dear children to the pool in the summer time. But then I would be foreced to pay another mother to actually take them INTO the pool... so I didn't have to show myself in a swimsuit.

6) Laundry. I obsess about un-done laundry. If I was home all day, and was forced to look at piles of laundry (folded, unfolded, dirty or clean), I would have to get out of the house - and fast. And if you don't think this is a problem, see #1, above.

I have so much more to give my dear babies when I am off in the world for a few hours each day. For one, having a job makes me get dressed. And while I would prefer to work each day from 7:30 to 12:30, and spend the rest of the day with the children, I just do not have that luxury. Yet. Considering the fact that I work in a very demanding career, and manage to spend about 3-4 hours of good time each day with them...I think this is pretty fantastic. I know some moms who arrive home in time only to kiss the baby goodnight. I get lots of kisses before night-night. And for that, I am thankful. Also, I think my lack of time with the children subconsciously makes me overcompensate... I cook more healthy food to freeze for James so he has perfectly portioned food, I pump milk (still) for Stella (even though I am so OVER it), and I give them more attention in a short span of time at night than I probably could during the day, if I had to do it day in and day out.

Life is good. Even for a working woman with two children under two. It can be done. And it appears, that it can even be done fairly well (or at least I tell myself).


April 8, 2009

Letters...



Dear James,

There are so many things I hope for you, my dear boy. You are my first born, my boy, and I am so very proud of you already. I hope that you are happy in this life, most of all. I pray that you always know who you are, and you have the confidence necessary to be all you dream.

My sweet baby James, I pray that you:

...grow up to be a strong, kind, and confident man... just like your father;

...continue to be the perfect combination of silly and serious;

...find exactly what you want out of life, at a very young age, in order that you will never waste a day doubting that you made the right choice of career, city, clothing or companion;

...have all you ever need, and have all that you dream, right within your reach;

...find happiness in books and sports, and laughter and love;

...are kind with your friends, and smart with your money;

...always know we are proud of you;

...tell us the truth, even when it's difficult;

...know your secrets are safe with us, that we will never judge you, but rather, we will be here for you, come hell or highwater;

...feel that you can be who you are, all the time;

...never feel unnecessary pressure from us to be someone you are not;

...are generous to the ends of your means;
...know it's wonderful to be both tough and sensitive, as long as you are not one or the other, all of the time;
...love to travel, and have the means to go wherever your heart desires;
...always know we love you, more than words can express.

Love,
Mom



Dear Stella -

My daughter, my baby girl. I did not know that I longed so deeply for a daughter until I had you. Now, I cannot imagine my life without you.
Stella Rae, I pray for you to:
...believe in yourself, even when others try and put you down;
...have a best girlfriend, at all times;
...learn how to play golf (you never want to miss a "meeting" with the "boys" because you didn't know how to play);
...know, in your heart and not just on the surface, that you can be whatever you want to be;
...never depend on a man for your future, your money or your self-worth;
...find love and friendship like I have found in your father;
...talk to us about anything and everything, and never feel ashamed;
...trust us to always be honest and fair to you;
...be able to hold your own in basketball, poker, and politics;
...find a love of science, a joy of reading, and an appreciation of the arts;
...know the importance of a good pair of high heels, and fresh pedicure;
...have a black Chanel suit by the time you are thirty-years old - one that you have been able to purchase yourself (and not on credit);

...hang your own curtains, and paint your own walls (or at least know how to);
...always know how beautiful you are, inside and out;
...find love in unexpected places;
...always know that we love you, more than words can express.

Love,Mom

April 5, 2009

Buried in Children

We now spend our nights and weekends buried in children. Sometimes, it's the most fun ever. Sometimes...not so much. But 99.9% of the time, I feel nothing but gratitude for our dear baby boy and sweet baby girl.



James has been sick, so he's been in a major funk, poor little monkey. Despite his feeling icky, he manages to still be hilarious, and talk up a storm: BABY! SISSY! JUICE! COFFEE! MOMMY!!!


Stella spent the first night in her "big girl bed", the crib upstairs. She did great. And she's sitting up like a pro in her bumbo seat.

Another weekend is almost over, and we are sad. However, Jason got the grill all ready with new racks and fresh propane, and we intend to grill tonight. And despite the film of pollen covering our porch and the extreme tiredness we feel, Jason and I can see the silver lining.... the time in the very near future where we will sit on our back porch with a beer as the sun is setting, with two sleeping babies in the house, and have that quiet "ahhhhhhh" moment, when we think we will survive all of this chaos.