Thursday, March 25, 2010


The other night Harper came into our room and started asking me about the books on my nightstand. There was one in particular, The Lightning Thief, which intrigued her. She was asking what it was about and I explained as well as I could, given that I hadn't read it yet. After some consideration Harper nodded her head approvingly and said, "Well. that sounds promising!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Has Arrived

So, just in case the message that Michael has turned two hasn't gotten through to everyone yet, I present some evidence from this past Saturday...

About 90% of two-year-old fun involves creating a mess. Like reaching your tissue box and emptying it during nap time (somewhere I have a picture of Harper in very similar circumstances):

(What? I don't see anything wrong here, Mom.)

And then there's the oldie-but-goody called, "Take EVERYTHING off of your shelves!"

Harper claims innocence, but if she tried to stop him her attempts were clearly futile.

Along with an amazing capacity to mess-make, two-year-olds also come with an incredible tenacity. This tenacity can be inconvenient (any time we're late) but it can also be so enduring.

For extra two-year-old fun, go back and count how many times Michael said, "no," in that video!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Two Years

Dear Michael,

Last Tuesday you turned two-years-old. I'm lucky that your actual birth date doesn't mean much to you yet, as I spent the day in bed with the stomach flu. I barely saw you on your birthday this year. However, in what can only be described as a birthday miracle, you are the lone family member in the house who did not succumb to a horrid stomach bug. You get every cold that comes within twenty miles, but this is the second stomach bug you've avoided this winter - you must have some kind of intestinal immunity. And now that I've typed that you'll probably wake up vomiting before morning...

This weekend our family came together to celebrate another milestone in your life. You woke from your nap to find a house full of visitors, a pile of presents, and a car cake waiting for you. You were not happy that you weren't allowed to take the cars off your cake. Sorry buddy.

You are a man of few words, something we are getting around to addressing, but you use the words you have effectively. When opening gifts for example, you'd tear the paper like a pro, blow a kiss (your interpretation of the sign for thank you) to the gift giver when prompted, and then look up and say, "Mow?" (More?). It wasn't a greedy more, I don't think you cared a whole lot about the gifts when you opened them, you just loved tearing the paper. I was very impressed at the skills you'd retained since Christmas.

"Mow" is one of your clearest words, and most often used. You also say mama, dada, nana, papaw (Harper), wawa (water), and babow (ball). Aside from "mow," you are a fan of two-syllable words.

When you started to say "mow" you mostly used it to request more food. You ate and ate and ate until your stomach pressed against the tray on your booster seat. Your appetite has waned some lately, but you still to request more of things. Usually more books or more water running into your bath (playing with the running water is your favorite part). And tonight, as I was leaving for an appointment, you employed the best yet use of the word more. I came over to kiss your chubby cheeks goodbye and as I pulled away you looked up and said, "Mow!" and made a kissing noise with your lips. More kisses? Of course I obliged.

Back in January I started a long term subbing job and I'm working full time. Which means you are in full time daycare. I will admit that it does bother me in some ways, that you spend so much of your day away from me, and I away from you. It really isn't how I thought things would go and yet this opportunity seemed like a good thing for all of us. You like being at daycare, you like other kids to play with, and you like the different toys and songs and stories. You are happy there and you are happy to be picked up at the end of the day. You're cranky at dinner time, but that was your cranky time of day, even before daycare.

The best part of my day is the look that crosses your face when you realize I've arrived to pick you up - you drop whatever you are doing (literally) and run to me, often knocking other children out of the way in the process. You like to pick up the yellow paper, the paper with your daily activities recorded on it, and point to it, babbling away as though you know it is some sort of road map of your day and is very important to me.

You've always been the snugglier of the children in this home. That's still true, despite the fact that you do more running than snuggling these days, which is exactly as it should be, but I still love the moments when you collapse into my lap and lay your head back on my shoulder.

I'm trying to give you a snapshot of yourself at two years old and it suddenly feels like some kind of report, which is not exactly what I intended...

You're a miracle Michael. You are a delight. My heart gets bigger every day I know you. I just don't have the words yet, to express what being your mother means to me, how it has changed me. I am so thankful.

I love you.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Boy

Oh, the boy, I don't mean to alarm any of you but someone with the initials MJM will be TWO YEARS OLD on Tuesday. I don't think I can explain what just happened to my heart and stomach as I typed that.

With my darling second-born I feel like I have taken better care to attend to the baby-ness as it flew by, but I still can't believe we got here so quickly.

I have learned the trick to bypassing the two-year-old "smile" (see below) is to just wait a few extra moments to snap the photo. This:

becomes this:

As we get ready to celebrate Michael's second birthday. I wanted to take a moment and remind all of you that he had a less than smooth entry into this world. It would take too many links to point you in the right direction, but you can go to the blog archives for February/March/April of the last two years if you need to learn/remember what we went through with our littlest.

Today Michael is happy and mostly healthy and quite a lot of that is due to the good work of the people at March of Dimes. To celebrate Michael's success I am once again walking in this year's March for Babies and I'd be honored if you'd consider supporting our team (Donation button to the right, no pressure!). Even if you can't support us financially - I know things are so difficult so many places right now - please keep us in mind for the next seven weeks as we fund-raise and prepare to walk.

If you're interested in helping raise money on Michael's behalf, please feel free to contact me and join our team. I haven't yet decided whether I'll be walking with the children this year (Last year that was nice in theory and a little sketchy in reality!) so I may be in the market for a walking partner as well...

Happy Oscar night everyone!

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Girl

So the days are clearly getting away from me lately. But Harper, in all the frustration that is raising a five-year-old, has been pretty amusing recently and I wanted to share.

She spent one snow day/Saturday/some other kind of day off writing furiously on sticky notes and taping them up beside the fireplace. Why? To make a princess growth chart, of course!

Each note featured a drawing of a princess and her name, or at least letters to indicate each part of her name. Below is "TB" for Tinker Bell and "PaTF" for Princess and the Frog (Harper couldn't remember that her name was Tiana).

Here is Harper explaining her system. When you are really tall you get to be Cinderella, the ultimate princess? Harper has been checking daily, but so far she's only reached Jasmine.

I have approximately 379,000,000 shortcomings as a parent, but look I'm willing to stare at taped sticky notes in the living room. I practically itch with wanting them off the wall, but I let them stay (for now) and I'm proud of myself for leaving them there.

I should note that Harper felt like the boys should have their own system. She supplemented the princess chart with a prince chart, made of tape and napkins. And that one is also still on the wall.

One other note, Harper told me recently that she is heartsick from missing Jonah C. and that she feels all happy when she thinks about seeing him again and smiles so hard she almost cries. So, we'll be locking her up from ages 13-21, no?