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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Girlie Thursdays

As is often the case with two-year-olds, we've had a bit of an issue with Julia picking her nose. We've obviously been attempting to discourage this behavior. Recently Julia came up with a mantra about this (on her own) that really encapsulates how I feel about the situation:

"No eat boogers. Eat breakfast!"

That, my friends, is some sage advice. You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms: Jackson Bo

Who is this, you ask? Why, this is Jackson Bo! Jackson Bo is Will's alter rockstar ego. Anytime he "plays rockstar" his name is Jackson Bo. And no, we don't know where that came from. In order to further his career as Jackson Bo, he's requested a stand-up microphone for Christmas, so he can sing AND play the guitar. He also wants either me or Zach to get a guitar for Christmas, so we can "rock out".

Luckily, Jackson Bo already has something that every rockstar needs: a groupie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


For some reason, Julia consistently refers to her forehead as her "two-head". As in, "I bump my two-head!" I'm not sure how this came about...maybe she thinks it's called that because she's two. After all, two IS her favorite number.

Being the big brother that he is, Will set about to correct Julia about foreheads:
"Julia, it's not called a two-head. It's a FOREHEAD. Do you know why it's called a forehead? I think because it is FOUR inches high. Or wait...maybe it's because it's four inches from your nose. But, it's FOREhead, not two-head."

Gotta love four-year-old logic. Good thing he's around to impart this wisdom to his sister.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Girlie Thursdays

As Julia's vocabulary increases, it turns out that Will's not the only one who says cute things.

Lately, if I ask Julia, "Are you a little monkey?"
She replies with, "No, I a cutie!"
Or sometimes, "No, I Mama's baby. I Mama's baby girl."

The other day, I told Julia it was almost time for supper.
"I want pizza."
"No, we're not having pizza for supper. You had pizza for lunch at school."
"Oh...(pause)...I want lunch."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

I was recently explaining the concept of "morning breath" to Will...why, I'm not exactly sure, but it came up somehow. So, I told him how it meant that after you were sleeping all night long, your breath didn't smell very good in the morning.

The other night, I was doing some work in the office after I put Julia to bed. Zach was getting Will to bed, and I went in to say goodnight. As I leaned over him to give him a kiss, Will declared, "Mama, you have working breath!" I guess some teeth-brushing was in order.

Almost every morning, Will comes into our room when he wakes up. And, from the moment he wakes up, he is talking (or singing--sometimes we start the morning with him serenading us with his guitar and a song). So, one day he comes in blabbering away, then momentarily takes a breath and says, "I am a TALKER. I love to talk. That's just the way God made me!"

I couldn't argue with him.

On a related note, I asked him if he ever gets in trouble at school, and he said yes, for talking. He told me he likes to talk all of the time, and this gets him in trouble during story time. Again, not surprising.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Those Beach Pictures

I finally got some pictures onto my computer, so here are some of my favorites from the beach.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In the two weeks since I posted this post, things have gone from bad to worse. Julia continued to climb out of her crib, often multiple times a night. One night we went to check on her and found her sound asleep on the floor...bare butt up in the air and pee all over the floor. She had taken off her pajama pants and her diaper, but the kicker is that she put the diaper in the diaper pail and her pants back in her drawer. Very deliberate! Another night she was in her bathroom screaming at the top of her lungs (at 2 A.M.) that she wanted to brush her teeth. One morning when I heard her screaming for us, I went in and found her sitting by her nightlight, surrounded by books and all of the wipes from her container, some of which she had shredded. When I came in, she simply handed them to me and said, "Deese all gone." She learned how to push her stool over to the light switch to turn on the lights. She figured out not only how to climb out of the crib, but also how to climb back in...a process that frightened me when I saw how she did it. She determined that her changing pad would be a nice place to sleep, so she pulled it off of the dresser and set up camp--dragging her blanket and baby along with her. She's destroyed multiple books by ripping all of the "lift the flaps" out of them. And of course, she figured out how to get out of her room.

All of this meant that Mama and Daddy had to figure out how to fight back. So, we decided to remove her crib. I was worried about her climbing back in, and also felt that having the crib and "grown-up bed" (as she calls it) might be confusing for her. Well, she was (and probably still is) pissed about that decision. So, I read anything I could about getting a child to sleep in a big bed, and the only method I found that was noted as reliable was to spend several nights in "boot camp"--anytime they get out of bed, you silently and with no fanfare put them back in bed. We gave it a shot one night, but cried uncle after 65 times of putting her back in bed. She was very upset about the whole process, but never once laid down in the bed. As soon as we put her there, she got right back up. Clearly we had to come up with a different plan. (Though a couple Zach met at the park said they put their two-year-old back in bed 164 times the first night when they did the process, so maybe we need to try harder.)

I hated the idea of locking her in her room, but that's basically what we resorted to. We got the doorknob covers that make it so little ones can't turn the doorknob, and put them on her bathroom door and her room door. We switched the light switch so that it won't turn on from the switch; it's now just controlled by pull cords on the fan. We moved all of her toys out of her room and put the basket from her changing table in the bathroom each night. Now she points at the doorknob covers and says "Those keep me safe," which is what I've told her, with only small pangs of guilt. And, she tells me, "Light no work anymore."

So now she's "locked" in her room, but refuses to sleep in a bed. She has slept on the floor every night, but of course does not sleep through the night, instead waking up and screaming for hours at a time. Her newest trick is to sleep with her face pressed up against the door, her mouth right up to the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor. This affords her two advantages: first, it makes her screams and cries louder and harder to ignore, and second, once she falls asleep in this position, it makes it so we can't come in and check on her and move her to her bed. This weekend, I put her crib mattress back in the room in the hopes that she would at least sleep there if she wouldn't sleep in the bed, but so far no luck with that. She'll often get in one of the beds, hunker down, appear to be nice and cozy...only to jump right up and scream as soon as you leave the room.

While this makes great blog fodder and my friends find the stories quite amusing, it's actually supremely frustrating. She's overtired, as are we. We're all getting less sleep than we did when she was a newborn. And worse, nothing we're doing seems to make a difference. I'm second-guessing every move I make: "Should I do some attachment parenting and just go in and comfort her until she falls asleep? Should I sleep with her? Let her sleep with us? Or will that make it worse? Do we need to take a harder line and help her learn to comfort herself? Why does she not know how to comfort herself? Should we cut out any sugar or treats after supper? Should we put the crib back in? Will she be scarred by being unable to get out of her room? WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?"

And, I guess that's the worst part about it: I know we've done nothing wrong. From a textbook standpoint, we've done everything "right" all her life--she's had a consistent bedtime and nap time and a consistent, wind-down bedtime routine. She's always slept in her crib. She has "lovies" that she's attached to. And yet, we're still dealing with this nonsense. I do remember that Will went through a phase of wakefulness around this age; at the time, we attributed it to the stress of a new baby in the house. And of course, his wasn't nearly as bad because he never climbed out of the crib. Like all phases, that one eventually passed, but probably not quick enough for our liking. So, for now, I guess we'll just keep on keepin' on. That seems to be about all we can do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Julia is TWO

**Baby girl, this is over a month late, but that's just how our life is these days. And, if it makes you feel any better, I haven't written Will's four-year-old letter yet, and I think I might have missed one for his third birthday, too. So, consider yourself ahead of the game.**

Dear Julia,
As always, I'm amazed at how quickly time passes and how you are growing up right before my eyes. I can't believe you're already two! But even more, I can't believe that you're the age Will was when you were born. In so many ways you are so "grown up," but in so many ways you are still a baby.

You are such a big personality. Often, when we hear words like "spirited" or "strong-willed" they're not meant in the best way, particularly for girls. Yet, I love that you are independent; I love that you know what you want and are not afraid to go after it. I hope those qualities will last because I believe they will serve you well later in life. Of course, the qualities I love the most are also the ones that can drive me the most crazy. It's easy to say that I admire your independence, but it's another thing altogether when you are constantly asserting that independence--constantly wanting to "do it myself," constantly getting into things you shouldn't, constantly testing limits to see exactly where the line is...and then choosing to step right over it. We're going through some bedtime battles with you right now, and while I'm somewhat sympathetic because you get genuinely upset, I'm also beyond frustrated that you make life (yours and ours) so difficult. You are just a child who has to do things the hard way.

Yet, you're also a very affectionate child. You've recently learned to say "I wuv you" and it melts my heart every time. You often like to go through a list..."I wuv Daddy! I wuv Mommy! Mommy wuv me!" You love to give kisses and hugs, you love to hold hands, you're always checking on people if you think they're sad, and you often request "I want hold you". But, despite being independent and wanting things your way, you also seem to want to be with us all the time and get upset when we're separated. This makes leaving you at daycare or with a babysitter REALLY fun, I tell ya. I finally had to teach you that "Mama always comes back" because you seem to think that might not be the case. And many times, when I see you after a day at school or a night when we've gone out, you exclaim with glee, "Mama come back!"

Physically, you can do almost anything you set your mind on. With an older brother to keep up with, you never want to be left behind. So, you're always running--you've gotten very fast--or dancing, playing, climbing, hopping, or jumping (well, you think you can jump, but you really just crouch down and then stand up really fast). For your birthdays, you and Will got a playset in the backyard. Based on your reaction, you would have thought we built you your own DisneyWorld. You LOVE to swing and get this blissed out look while you're flying through the air. You will swing as long as someone will push you. You call the playset "my own playground" and each morning when you get up, you ask, "I go my own playground?"

In addition to playing outside, you adore playing with baby dolls. It's so funny to see your nurturing are so sweet and gentle to those babies. You love to rock them, give them a bottle, or wrap them up in a blanket. You also love animals--both toys and live animals. You want to pet almost any animal, and again are very gentle, and you had a blast riding a horse recently (twice!). Another favorite toy is your tea set that you got for your birthday. You set it up and will play quietly by yourself...putting the cups in place, stirring the tea, pouring the tea. It's rare to find something that will truly keep you occupied like that! You also love to read books, do stickers, and draw, but when we draw, you always want us to "draw your hand". I guess this is something you do at school, because you always request it. Of course, being the second child, you have access to lots of things that Will never had at your age. You know what the Wii is, you build with Legos, play with cars, and you've even started doing games on the iPad. But without a doubt, the toy that is always the most fun in your eyes is any toy your brother currently has.

Eating is not your strong suit, and lately, neither is sleeping. Like everything else, it's always on your terms. So, you may eat nothing for breakfast, but then go through an entire chicken breast for supper. Of course, they claim you eat fine at school, so maybe you just know that Mama and Daddy are pushovers and will eventually cave. For the most part, you eat pretty healthy foods--at home you're almost a vegetarian (by your own choice)--but you won't eat many things that I consider "toddler staples". You hate pasta, so that rules out mac and cheese or ravioli. You're fickle about chicken nuggets, won't touch a hamburger, and you're not fond of PB&J. However, you love almost all fruit (except you declare pineapple to be "too sour"), black beans, CHEESE, pizza, quesadillas, grilled chicken, hummus, bagels with cream cheese, cereal or granola bars, crackers...and that's about it. Well, except for treats, of course! This is another way that you benefit in being the second child...there is no shortage of popsicles in the house, especially after the hot summer we just had.

As for the sleeping, you just don't seem to need as much sleep as the average toddler. You've just about given up your nap (the recent move to a big-girl bed has really sealed nap's fate), and you often seem just fine without it. I sometimes call you the energizer bunny because I really can't figure out a way to wear you out. You're not bad, you're just beyond energetic. Even when we were at the beach playing, swimming, and running all day long, you still seemed to have energy to spare. By evening you might be dragging a little bit, but you never let on because you never want to miss anything.

And really, most of the time, we don't want you to miss anything either because we don't want to miss time with you. You add such a wonderful (albeit loud) dimension to our family and we love having you around--love hearing your sweet singing and watching your crazy dancing; love getting your perspective on things, since like your brother, you never stop talking; love watching your face light up when you smile; love watching your eyes sparkle while you admire your older brother; love the way you do your own thing, but know when to say "I need help!"; love how you run into my arms after a long day away.

Julia, I am SO proud of you and the person you are becoming. I am thankful for each day I have with you and couldn't love you any more. Thank you for being you and being such a light in our family.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Night, Night, Sleep Tight

She looked so peaceful sound asleep, except for the fact that...

Well, let me back up a bit here. Last week, I was out of town almost all week for work. Zach said the kids were fabulous for him (of course) and he got major props from everyone for being such an amazing dad and taking care of HIS OWN kids while I was gone (of course). Then I returned home on Friday, but Zach had to leave for his work trip on Sunday. Apparently Julia had had enough of this "being good" business and all hell broke loose when I tried to put her to bed on Sunday night. She's always been good about going to bed, but on Sunday she decided to scream like I was cutting off her arm. Luckily, my parents were here and helped deal with Will while I was trying to calm Julia down. Eventually, after over an hour and a half of rocking, comforting, etc. from both me and my mom, Julia finally gave up the fight.

Same scene on Monday night. Except this time, she's added a new trick: climbing out of her crib. She did that once while we were at the beach, but hadn't done it since, so we thought things were fine in that department. Will NEVER climbed out of his crib, so this is new territory for us. So, Monday wonderful parents are here again helping out. I put Julia down, she's screaming, and then we hear a big thud. She had climbed out of the crib and fallen on the ground, luckily unhurt. I comfort her, try to get her to calm down, and then put her back in the crib. Where she climbs out again, this time more skillfully--no thud. I put her back, she climbs out. (Are you seeing a pattern?) Finally, mom rocks her until she is so exhausted she can't fight it anymore, and she stays in bed. (Only to wake up at 12:30, at which point I gave in and brought her to bed with me until she woke up for the day at 5:30. But that's a whole 'nother story.)

Fast forward to tonight. Mom can't come help, so I'm on my own, praying that Julia will shape up. Things are going pretty well, until I try to put her in bed. I put her in her crib, leave the room, and she immediately starts screaming and climbs right out of her crib. Luckily, she can't open the door to her room yet, but I can hear the cries getting closer to the door, so I know she's out of the crib. I decide to take the hard more rocking. I firmly tell her that it's "night night" and put her back in her crib. She climbs out. And repeat. The third time I put her in the bed, I hear her crying, but it doesn't seem to be getting any closer to the door. I figure she must have been tired and stayed in bed, and her crying subsides pretty quickly. Yes! Victory! Now onto getting Will to bed...

Around 8:30, which was about an hour after I put Julia to bed, I go in her room to check on her. Now here's where we pick up from the beginning of this post. She looked so peaceful sound asleep, except for the fact that SHE WAS IN THE CHAIR! Yes, that's right, the last time when I thought she was in bed, thought the cries weren't getting any closer, thought I had won the battle...she had instead snuggled herself in the rocking chair and rocked herself to sleep. This is what we're dealing with around here.

A little while later, I successfully moved her from the chair to her crib without her waking up. We'll see how long that lasts...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I Learned on Vacation

In no particular order, here are 15 (yes, 15, that's all I could come up with) things I learned on our vacation. We had a wonderful time. I can't wait to post some pictures once I figure out how to get them off of my new camera (translation: don't hold your breath for those pictures).

1. It is quite possible, in fact, probable, to return home from vacation with more stuff than when you left (especially if grandparents are involved).
2. It's pretty easy to parent when the only items on your agenda for the whole day are 1) run around on the beach and 2) swim at the pool.
3. Will is no longer a boy. He is actually a fish.
4. "Treat" is actually a food group while on vacation.
5. Running around after/with your kids is pretty good exercise. Not good enough to counteract the cocktails and vacation food you ate all week, but pretty good nonetheless.
6. One of the hardest parts of motherhood is conquering your fears so that your children don't inherit your neuroses. So, let's say that you're hypothetically afraid of close contact with sea creatures. Even if you would REALLY rather not, you must still pick up starfish and throw them back in the ocean so that your children can see you do it and want to try it themselves. (Although, Julia really needed no encouragement.)
7. Doing laundry on vacation is not such a bad thing if it means you do not have to do 18 loads of dirty laundry when you get home.
8. Children CAN actually subsist on air and milk for days at a time. I've witnessed this first-hand.
9. Julia does not like bike riding. She much prefers horse riding, but ONLY IF it is the "white pony". Don't you dare try to put her on the brown pony. No, no, NOOOO brown pony. Don't even try it.
10. Two and four are the best ages. I'm looking into ways to keep them this way.
11. I am jealous of Julia's tanning ability. And yes, we put sunscreen on her all the time.
12. Will makes up a lot of games. They all have complex rules that you will never get right. And, all rules favor him.
13. "Vacation" does not mean the same thing to children as it does to adults. For example, "Sit by the pool and read your book" was not on the kids' list of fun vacation things to do.
14. As an addendum to #13, my children don't understand the concept of "sleeping in" on vacation. In fact, they seem to think that you should get up even earlier so that you can fully enjoy all of activites that the day holds.
15. I really like hanging out with my kids. I almost decided that we should all stay at the beach and never come home. The long car rides, the multiple grocery store visits, the packing and unpacking--it was all worth it. This was the perfect vacation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: Be Happy

Carol gave Julia a pink t-shirt that has a picture of a bee and then the word "happy": Be Happy. Julia loves it and constantly asks for her 'be happy' shirt. If one of us says, "Don't Worry," we've taught her to respond with "Be Happy!" And, if she sees anyone who is sad (or pretending to be sad to get her attention...not that I've ever done that), she'll go up to them, pat them on the hand, and say, "Be happy, Bubs (or whoever it is)!"

Don't worry, little girl. It's hard not to be happy with you around.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

I've been saving up a couple of Wednesday Will-isms during my blogging break, so here they are:

One day, Will was playing with something that I didn't want him to mess with...I don't even remember exactly what it was, but it was something small, like paperclips, and I just didn't want him to play with it. I told him, "Will, don't mess with those things."
"Why, Mama? Are they expensive?"
Well, whatever it was was certainly not expensive, and I told him so. "Will, do you know what expensive means?"
"Yes, I do. It means something that is only for grown-ups."

Strangely enough, he's not too far off!

When we went to Ohio, Will immediately took to his older cousin, Henry, who is about eight. Henry was so sweet to Will and very patient with him, and they had a great time playing together. The first night we were there, Margaret (Henry's mom) and I were discussing where everyone would sleep. Will overheard us and piped up with, "I need to sleep in the room with Henry because he's my best friend."

I love how, when you're a child, a best friendship can be formed in four hours and over a mutual love of swing sets and trains.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bad Blogger

I know, I know. I've been a very bad blogger. Time keeps getting away from me, and then I realize that I haven't posted in almost a month. Even though we don't have kids going "back to school" (because they never left), this time of year is just busy. We're trying to squeeze everything we can out the last few days of summer--even though it will be hot until November--and with two end-of-summer birthdays, things get hectic. With Zach traveling for work, the whole family traveling for fun, planning two birthday parties, making two sets of birthday doctor appointments, finishing up swimming lessons, signing up for soccer, trying to convince Will he likes his new school, listening to Julia talk non-stop, hosting our favorite aunt, buying a new camera etc., etc....there just hasn't been time for blogging! But, I have to remind myself, AT LEAST WE'RE NOT MOVING!

Since I have been delinquent, here's a snippet of things that I haven't been blogging about over the past few weeks:
  • A fabulous trip to Columbus, Ohio to visit some of Zach's cousins. Will loved playing with the big kids, Julia had fun taking us on wild-goose chases through their house, we all enjoyed the zoo and the pool, and most importantly, we had a great time catching up with family that we never get to see otherwise. Don't get me wrong, the actual travel to and fro was not my idea of a good time, but it was worth it for the time we were there. (Of course, I took no pictures.)
  • A visit from five-months-pregnant Aunt Melanie who came to visit us for 1) our love and affection and 2) all of Will's baby clothes and gear for her baby boy who is due in November. (Or, was it the other way around? Was the gear really the #1 draw to B'ham?) Hooraaay! We loved seeing her, even for a short visit, and can't wait to meet the Willfull nephew/cousin.
  • Julia's new found vocabulary. Just like her brother, she does not stop talking. I find myself asking her to "please be quiet, just for a minute". Which, I might as well be talking to a wall for all the good that does. But, I love hearing her chatter (usually), and I love hearing her version of new words, like "bob-boo" for bottom or bottle, "appie juice," "neh-nin" (naked), and "took-ie" (cookie). I also love the way she thinks about things; for example, she really only knows Elmo from Sesame Street, so any other characters are just "Pink Elmo" or "Cookie Elmo".  And, she's really starting to communicate well with lots of new phrases, like, "I come?" which she asks anytime I tell her I have to leave the room, to say, go to the bathroom or take a shower or something crazy like that. Or, "I kiss Mama right der." Because, despite her reputation, she is a super-sweet, super-affectionate little girl these days.
  • Will's new school. Will moved to Canterbury in the middle of July for a variety of reasons, and we thought it was working out well. When we pick him up each day, he seems to have enjoyed it, and he's making new friends. But, when we drop him off each morning, he acts like we are sending him to the firing squad. The past few days have been really terrible, with lots of sobbing involved (just him, although it almost sends me over the edge, too.) He constantly tells us he doesn't want to go to school, and he's started "acting up" more in general--whining, tantruming, having trouble going to sleep. So, this is a really fun phase! I don't know where it's all stemming from, but I'm hopeful we can see some improvement soon.
And...I think that's about it. Of course, I haven't been taking any pictures, either (I mean, really--what HAVE I been doing?), so this wrap up is all you'll get. Here's hoping for better blogging, cooler weather, and a happier Will very soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: Smarty Pants

I haven't written much about Julia lately, which is a shame because she's at that age where she's learning and doing new things each day. But, for some reason, it's also difficult for me to write about her. With my limited writing skills, I just don't feel that I can really capture her personality, emotion, expression...just her little SELF. She is so funny, bossy, expressive, smart, creative, independent, and loving. Compared to a few months ago, her temperament has really improved, and she's not hitting as much. In fact, she is super sweet and affectionate, always offering up kisses and hugs. She particularly loves to kiss boo-boos--on herself or other people. But, I digress. What I wanted to write about today is how much she's been learning recently. It's been sneaking up on me that she knows so much these days. With Will, I was aware of his every movement and accomplishment. But with Julia, I just don't have as much time as I did with Will to sit and patiently do puzzles, or shape sorters, or letters. Yet, she seems to be doing just fine:

She knows a lot of her letters. She doesn't know many by name, but she knows who each letter is for. So, she points at an 'H' and says "HeeHee" (Hulie). Or "Tracy" when she sees a 'T' (her teacher at school). Or, "Mama! Kate!" when she sees a 'K'. Sometimes she gets so excited to tell you about the letters she sees that she just can't contain herself. However, there are quite a few letters that she doesn't know because she doesn't have anyone to associate them with. So, if your name starts with an E, I, or R, and you'd like to become an integral part of Julia's life, just let me know.

She knows almost all of her colors. Yet, unlike Will who wanted everything to be 'Lello' (which is STILL the way he says 'yellow' by the way), Julia's default answer is (of course) PINK!

She can do simple puzzles. She likes to pick up a piece, point to the spot where it will go, and say, "Dat one right DER, Mama." It's really cute (and repetitive).

She can two. Two is her favorite number. If you ask her anything to do with a number, her answer is always two. So, she sounds really smart if you ask the right questions, like, "How old will you be on your birthday?" or "How many eyes do you have?" She uses this in conjunction with her letters and likes to point out anytime there are "Two Tracys! Mama, two Tracys!" (She will say this even if there are four 'T's. Two just means there are than one.)

She's starting to learn a few little songs and will sing along with you or do the motions for the ones she knows. My favorite thing is how she just seems to know the end of a line and chimes in a that point. Like, for "Twinkle, twinkle little star" she just yells 'STAR!"

She's very bossy and puts together full sentences to convey what she wants: "Come ON, Mama right now!" or "Sit right DER, Wah-wah (Will)!"

Now, don't waste your time telling me that these are all very normal almost-two-year old behaviors. I think it's clear that these point to brilliance and greatness in the making.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

Lately Will has been very interested in marriage. The only problem is that he wants to marry me. Now, I know this is completely common, and I'm not worried about it, I'm just having a hard time convincing Will that he won't want to marry me when he gets older! The other morning, after discussing it for a while, he pleaded, "Please can I marry you, Mommy? It's okay to marry someone who's already married." While I explained polygamy to him (not really), I realized that what he wanted was to just be reassured that he would still be able to come see us and visit sweet. Good thing I'm writing this down so I'll have written proof that, at one point in his life, he considered Mommy and Daddy the finest people on earth.

Later in the day, Will came up with a new plan: "I'll marry Julia!"

Clearly he doesn't have a grasp on this whole concept yet.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


A word of advice: Never, under any circumstances, go to the Georgia Aquarium on the Friday of July 4th weekend. Or any day of any holiday weekend. Or any time other than a random Tuesday afternoon in October.

So, we went to Atlanta over the Fourth of July weekend, and suffice it to say, the Aquarium was packed. Mom and Dad came with us, and the plan was to leave early Friday morning and get to the Aquarium a little after lunch. After a GPS-induced ride through the Atlanta ghetto, we made it to the Aquarium in one piece. The plan was to just to let Julia skip her nap--she would be tired, but would probably be okay, since she is genetically similar to the Energizer Bunny. Nothing about this plan worked out very well. Like I said, the place was mobbed, and it was hard for Will to see the exhibits. Julia didn't care much about seeing the exhibits because she was busy screaming her head off. Finally, I found the Aquarium's Ballroom, which is where they have events, and I was able to wheel Julia around in her stroller. She was still screaming, but at least there weren't as many people around to think I was kidnapping her. And, the Ballroom had two huge windows that showcased some of the place's best exhibits--the rest of our group joined us in the Ballroom and we were able to get close-up views of the Beluga whales and various kinds of sharks. Julia finally calmed down a bit, and we were able to go to the interactive section of the Aquarium, which the kids really enjoyed.

Trying to touch sting rays and sharks. We had to physically stop Julia from diving in.

On the fishing boat replica

Please, no more photos. I just can't handle the paparazzi.

After the Aquarium, we met some college friends for dinner and got to meet their sweet little girl. We had dinner outside on a rooftop at a brewery, and it was lovely. Surprisingly, the weather was fabulous--the humidity disappeared for a few days, so it was nice all weekend. Back at the hotel, Will stayed in the room with Mom and Dad, and Julia bunked in a suite with us. Aside from Will's twenty million questions and comments, it all worked out well.

The next morning, we went over to Atlanta's children's museum, Imagine It. It was perfect for the children, and definitely more their speed. It was similar to the McWane center (although not quite as focused on science), and the kids had a ball trying out every exhibit there. They sat on a tractor, built with sand, tap-danced, played in the water table, and generally had a fabulous time. At this point, we were right across the street from Centennial Park, so we headed over there to check out the scene. We had a bit of ice cream, and Will played in the fountain, and then it was time for the girls to go home. Julia did pretty well in the car, but once again, skipped her nap and chatted the entire time. While the girls went back to B'ham, the guys went to Will's first baseball game and saw the Braves play the Marlins. From what I hear, they had a good time. When they arrived home late that night, Zach reported, "I didn't put any more sunscreen on him, I didn't take any pictures, and all he ate the whole time was ice cream." Yep....sounds like a Daddy trip! They all had a blast.

On the actual Fourth, we just played around the house and had lunch with friends. The kids didn't even know that it was a holiday, and we didn't let on that there was anything exciting going on that night. We had thought about trying to take at least Will to see the fireworks, but after two days of crazy schedules and not enough sleep, it was better that we all went to sleep early. The next day, we went to some friends' lake for the day and all had a wonderful, relaxing time. There were several children right around Will and Julia's age, and they had fun playing together.

Whew. By the time we went back to work on Tuesday, I felt like I needed a vacation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

More to come on how we celebrated (hint: the kids didn't even know it was the Fourth of July), but for now, a picture:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: So Sweet

Julia calls her baby dolls "Dee-dees". She loves to rock them, hold them, feed them her milk and her food, and only occasionally tell them, "No, no, NO Dee-dee!" She usually holds them sweetly and says "My Dee-dee."

So, imagine my delight the other day when Julia, sitting in my lap, looked up at me and said, "Ju-ju Mama's Dee-dee."

Why yes, sweet girl. You will always be my baby.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

Apparently I need to step it up in terms of my wardrobe. Admittedly, I often wear work-out clothes because A) I work from home and B) I actually work out at lunch at least a couple of days a week. The other day, I happened to be wearing "real" clothes--nothing fancy, just capris and a sleeveless shirt--but it wasn't work out gear. When Will saw me, he immediately looked concerned and surprised.

"Mama, why are you wearing those clothes?"
"What's wrong with these clothes, Will?"
"Nothing, but are you going somewhere? You look like you're going to a meeting." (A "meeting" is what we call any sort of going out--we learned early on that if we told Will we were going to a party or out to dinner, then he would want to come.)

So it seems that me in anything other than work-out clothes confuses Will. I guess I'm not setting very high standards!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Girlie Thursdays

Excuse me, but did Julia turn into a teenager when I wasn't looking? This is what she wore to the pool this weekend. Please note the boots and the attitude.

Where did she get this move?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

The other night I took Will to Yogurt Mountain as a special after dinner treat. As usual, he came up with the most disgusting combo you could think of: watermelon sorbet, raspberry yogurt, birthday cake yogurt, and  peanut butter yogurt all topped with Lucky Charms, gummy bears, sprinkles, and chocolate sauce. Dis-gust-ing. (I am not making this up. This is the exact combo that he ate.) Of course, he LOVED it. At one point, I looked into his bowl, and my face must have said it all:
"Oh Will, that looks..." (I trailed off, at a loss for words)
"Looks kind of yucky?"
"Well, yes. It does look kind of yucky."
"No it doesn't, looks like a birthday party!"

I just had to laugh, because it did look like a birthday party. Or rather, the aftermath of a birthday party where fifteen toddlers had run through a house, leaving decorations, food, and wrapping paper in their wake. It did look exactly like that kind of birthday party.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tales from a Plane

We're all antsy to get off of the plane, but apparently Julia was more antsy than most.
"Julia, as soon as these people walk up the aisle, it will be our turn to go."
Julia decides to take matters in her own hands...literally. She put both hands up on the man's butt that was right in front of her, pushed, and yelled "GOOOOOO!" He never even turned around.

Will and Zach are sitting together, and Will does not stop talking the entire time. He's asking question after question. Making up story after story. Sharing his ideas, plans, schemes, and every little thought that comes in his head. As they get off the plane, the woman behind him notes (hopefully nicely), "Your son has quite the imagination!" Why yes he does.

Julia and I are sitting together in the first row of the plane. She is all over the place. She doesn't fuss too much, but just won't sit still, doesn't want to be buckled in her seat, doesn't want me to hold her. What she apparently wants is to walk around the plane and make new friends. It seems that the flight crew frowns on this. At one point, the flight attendant even offers me her iPhone that has some Sesame Street videos downloaded on it, in the hopes that this will keep Julia occupied. It doesn't. I try books, snacks, play-doh, coloring, more snacks, suckers...nothing matter. She just doesn't want to sit still. I spend the whole flight picking her up and putting her back in her seat.

Once we land, we're waiting in our row for Zach and Will to come up from the back of the plane. I'm still trying to corral Julia, trying to keep her in her seat (or near it) while I gather up all of our stuff. Trying to avoid her leaving the plane with a different family, which seems to be her new plan.

As a woman exits the plane, she pats me on the shoulder and says (very nicely and with a gleam in her eye), "I'll pray for you honey!" I thank her because I need every prayer I can get. (Side note: Only in the deep South do people say this, especially to people they don't know!)

Sharing snacks in the airport

Looking out the window as we land
(No, Julia is not bigger than Will--it's just the angle)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


As I mentioned, we just returned from a trip to Charlottesville where we attended our ten-year college reunion. I love that Zach and I both went to UVA because we both love it and love to visit, we have lots of common friends from college, and our memories of that time include each other. So, we were both excited about reuniting with lots of old friends, although, particularly in Zach's case, some of the people he really wanted to see weren't able to make it. He joked that the only one who came from his pledge class was Peter...who he sits next to every day at work.

Since Carol and Bill live in Charlottesville, we had the perfect place to stay and the perfect babysitters. However, all weekend I still felt like I was pulled in so many directions. While many of our college friends have kids, very few brought them to the reunion. And, since our kids are still young, they weren't really able to participate in many reunion activities, which mean they stayed home with the grandparents a lot of the time. Which is great, except that it made me feel guilty--that's a lot for Carol to handle, and I felt bad not spending more time with the kids. (Bill can't help for reasons that are too long to get into here.) We had lots of fun catching up with our friends, but then had to get up at the crack of dawn each morning to deal with the kids. As my mom says, you can't hoot with the owls if you're going to soar with the eagles. Or some such thing. Basically, it sucks to get up really damn early when you've been out the night before pretending like you're still in college. (To give credit where credit is due, Zach got up most mornings with our early bird, Julia. Several days he took her out to Bodo's, my favorite bagel place, and then brought stuff back for everyone. Wonderful husband!)

So while the visit was good, it just wasn't the carefree time that I was hoping for. Traveling was difficult. The cat peed in my suitcase on our second night there. A heat wave made it hotter in Virginia than it was in Alabama. Julia screamed bloody murder any time I had to leave even got to the point that she would lose it if I tried to leave the room to go to the bathroom. I'm glad we went--not only for the reunion, but also just because we need to get to Charlottesville more often. While it's challenging to do so, I want Will and Julia to visit their grandparents.

Enough complaining. Here are some pictures from when we took the kids to play on the Lawn. They seemed to enjoy that except for when they got in a screaming match (like nothing I've ever heard them do) right in front of a huge tour group. Zach and I just started laughing hysterically because we didn't know what else to do. I guess that kind of sums up our trip...sometimes you just have to laugh and be thankful that you're all together.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms: Charlottesville

We were in Charlottesville this past weekend for our ten-year college reunion (a whole other post is needed for that), and apparently all of the traveling wore Will out. We left on Wednesday and came back on Monday, so it was a pretty long time for us to be gone...especially in the mind of a three-year-old. Around Sunday, Will looked at me and told me, "Whew, I just can't hold my breath in Charlottesville." I was a bit confused by this and said, "You mean catch your breath?" Will replied, "Yeah, I just can't catch my breath!" I can see where playing all day and being spoiled by grandparents would do that to a boy.

Later, Will asked me when we were going home. I told him, and asked why he wanted to know.
"Because I don't even remember what our house looks like, Mama!"

Oh, the trials of being on a vacation when you are three!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

This weekend, Julia was trying to get in the chair that Will was already sitting in. He looked at her, held up one finger, and in his most serious voice, says, "Don't start, Julia. Just don't start."

At least I know he hears me some of the time!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lake, Part 2

As I noted in my last lake post, the weather over Memorial Day wasn't stellar. So, we had to find other activities to occupy our time. Maybe it's because the kids are more relaxed at the lake (or the parents are!), or maybe everything is easier when you're sitting on a screened porch overlooking the water, but they seem to be a bit more laid back when we're at the lake; every little thing doesn't turn into an argument, time out is employed less frequently, and there are more shrieks of joy and fewer temper tantrums. So, here are a few more pictures of our "indoor" activities:

Julia in her "muscles" aka the best toddler water product ever made (by Puddle Jumpers, in case you care)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lake, Part 1

We've been to the lake a couple of times this summer: once about mid-May and once over Memorial Day weekend. It's already Will's favorite place in the world. Each time we leave the lake, he immediately asks when we're coming back. He loves being in the water, swimming with his "muscles" on, throwing rocks in the lake, or just general lazing about. The water was a bit chilly the first time we went, but that didn't bother Will in the least. He kept telling everyone else, "You'll get used to it! You'll get used to it!"

Julia is developing a love for the lake as well. She wasn't too keen on swimming the first time we went (i.e., she was attached to me like a barnacle), but by the second time, she was much more interested in "swimming" around while shouting "kick, kick, kick!" She's also fascinated with throwing things in the lake, but of course, what child isn't?

At the lake, messes are somehow easier to deal with, so we do a lot of non-water activities, too, like painting, bubbles, play-doh, and eating watermelon on the dock. We also love to pull out the baby pool, which we could of course do at home, but like everything else--it's just more fun at the lake! Here are some pics of our recent visits:

Blowing Bubbles

Throwing Rocks

Safety first!

Summertime Treat

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: Phrase-ology

Julia has started talking so much more in the last few weeks, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy this stage. I love to watch her figuring things out, putting concepts together, and really starting to communicate--in her own ways. I love how her speech at this point is a mixed bag of words I understand and "words" that are just babble...but it all makes perfect sense to her.

Recently Julia has been making more phrases, and it's so funny what she's picked up on. When she sees me get out of the shower or notices that my hair is wet (or when we run through the rain), she always notes "All wet, Mama! All wet!" Zach has been traveling a good bit lately, so now anytime I ask Julia where Daddy is, she replies with "Dada trip" (except she misses her 'r' so it comes out as 'tip'). She loves to tell anyone, anywhere 'no'--she's always looking for someone to boss around. Will is a favorite target; I often hear her saying "No-NO Wah-wah!" She's also figured out that the boy across the street is younger than her (by a mere six months), and is on him like white on rice anytime we see him: "No, no, no, Whit!"

She's also beginning to figure out the possessive and loves to point out what belongs to whom: "Wah-wah cup," "Ju-ju milk," or "Mama shoe." Of course, like any toddler, she frequently just resorts to "MY snack!" or a screeched "MIIIIIIIIIIINE!" She has learned to be somewhat polite, though, and if I ask the kids to share, she'll tell Will, "My turn!" or "Ju-ju's turn!" Of course, if he doesn't respond quickly enough, she just tries to snatch whatever it is she was waiting on.

One of my favorite phrases that I hear A LOT from Julia is "Mama, POP!" Which means, 'stop'. If I attempt to dance or sing, she quickly chimes in with that refrain, "Mama, POP! Pop, Mama!" I love it that she's not even two, and already, I'm embarrassing her! I imagine this will continue for many more years.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

This weekend, a storm blew over this little set of cactus plants that Will was working on. He seemed a bit disappointed, so I tried to make it up to him by letting him know that we could get some new pots and plant something new. I told him, "Maybe we'll even get some seeds and grow our own vegetables!"

Will thought about this for a minute and concluded, "I don't want to grow vegetables...I want to grow hamburgers!"

I like the way he thinks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Girlie Thursdays

Julia's learned a new trick: "Excuse Me". Except, the way that she says it, it sounds more like, "Muse Me!" And she says it in this tiny little voice. And it's the cutest thing ever. One part that's not so cute is the fact that she's taken to fake burping, just so she will have the opportunity to say "Muse Me!" She also loves to correct everyone else...if she hears a burp, she's quick to say "Muse Me Wah-wah" (Excuse me, Will) as a gentle reminder of manners. She's so helpful!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

While getting ready for school one day:
Will saw Zach without his shirt on and just had to comment: "Daddy! You are so furry! You are like a bear you are so furry. You even have hair in your armpits!" Will found this whole thing to be absolutely hilarious. I don't know why he hasn't commented on this before, because he's seen Zach without a shirt plenty of times. The funny thing is, Zach isn't even very hairy!

While driving home from school one day:
"Mama, your car doesn't go as fast as Daddy's."
"Yes, Will, it can go as fast as Daddy's, I'm just not driving it as fast."
"That's cuz YOU know the rules, Mama."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: She Did It!

Remember this post? Well, I certainly haven't been pushing the potty training thing, but rather just trying to be aware if Julia's interested. Many nights before or after bath she wants to sit on the potty, but then she gets up, having done nothing. Tonight was different...

She wanted to sit on the potty before bath, but then quickly got up and got into the bath. When her bath was almost over, though, she started insistently saying "Tee-tee! Tee-tee!" So, I got her out and put her back on the potty...a couple of minutes later, she gets up nonchalantly, like she always does...except this time, she had actually peed in the potty! I couldn't believe it--I got so excited trying to praise her that I scared her instead. But, after she got over being scared, she seemed proud of what she had done. Will was very cute, too, encouraging her and saying "Good job, Julia!"

Again, I have no real expectations that this will lead to anything in the near future--she probably won't do it again for months. And since "they're not allowed to potty train" in the class that Julia's currently in (don't ask--I don't know what that's about), I'm not really going to push it. But, it certainly would be nice if potty training happened sooner rather than later. I wouldn't know what to do with myself with no one in diapers. Guess we'd have to have a third baby, huh, Zach?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms: Infinity

We have this crazy kids CD by They Might Be Giants. The songs are really creative, but a little on the weird side, and they're all about numbers. Will's new favorite is a song about infinity. Now, whoever thought it was a good idea to put a song about infinity on a kids CD needs to come to my house where they will be promptly buried in questions:

Will: "Are there more sidewalk squares than infinity?"
Me: "No, Will...infinity is the biggest number ever. Nothing is bigger than infinity."
Will: "Is that branch bigger than infinity? What about that tree? (Continues for a really long time asking whether different items are bigger than infinity. I attempt to be patient and continue to tell him that no, our house is not bigger than infinity.)
Will: "All the way up to heaven is bigger than infinity."
Me: "Well, okay. 'All the way up to heaven' might be the definition of infinity."
Will: "So, how can I get to infinity? Can you use a ladder? A rope?"

I guess I can't really blame him that he hasn't mastered this philosophical concept yet. After all, he's only three. But when he turns four, I'm not cutting him any more slack.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eight Years

Happy Anniversary to me and Zach today! When we were awakened at 5:30 this morning by cries of "MaaaaMA! Dada! Dada!" from Julia's crib, I turned to Zach and asked, "Eight years ago, is this what you thought you were getting into?" He laughed, but now that I think about it, he didn't answer the question.

I kid, of course. We are so blessed to have the life we have and the kids we have. I love those baby picture frames that have a place for a picture of your baby, then the quote, "All because two people fell in love." It's so true...everything we have, these beautiful kids, the life we lead today is all because we fell in love over a decade ago. I can't believe it's been that long. I can't believe how far we've come. I can't wait to see what's coming next.

(Here's where I would put a picture of me and Zach if I actually had a recent one of the two of us.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

One of my friends lost her mom to breast cancer this week, the Tuesday before Mother's Day. While she has handled this sad event with extreme grace, faith, and strength, it makes me hyperventilate a little each time I think about it. I can't bear the thought of not having my mom around to call for advice or to come over for a little visit, just when things are getting crazy. I am so sad for my friend, but her mother's passing has made me realize that I should never take my mom (or anyone, really) for granted. So, today, I want my mom to know how much we appreciate her. How much we all love the time she wants to spend with us, even when the children are maniacs. How special it is that she chooses to spend her limited free time with us and the children. I love that she knows the kids' routine just as well as Zach and I do. I love that she knows what books the children like, what their favorite foods are, and what Will is learning about in school. Of course, much of this is proximity--we are lucky to have my parents only five minutes away. But, much of it is dedication and love on her part. We are so thankful for that.

I am also thankful for a wonderful mother-in-law who did a fabulous job raising her son. Although she's farther away, we always know that she loves us and wishes she could see us more. From the packages she sends to the gruelling ten hour car trips to come visit, it is clear that Carol loves these children more than life itself. So, on Mother's Day, I am thankful for two wonderful mothers in my life who are teaching me how to be a good mother and who are showing me that the most important ingredient is love. If you have love, everything else falls into place.

We had a wonderful day celebrating. Zach and the children gave me an iPhone (!) and some beautiful flowers. We went to my parents' house to have lunch together. Julia took a nap with no fussing. We played in the yard in the afternoon. It was a great day. The only thing that could have been improved was the Mother's Day picture. I was determined to get a picture with both of the kids, but as usual, that wasn't their idea of a good time. Here's the best one that we got. I think it will do just fine.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Twenty Months!

Julia is twenty months today. I can't believe she'll be two in just a few short months. I also can't believe that when Will was this age, I was six months pregnant. What was I thinking? Luckily, it was all worth it since we got Julia out of that deal. To mark twenty months, here's a couple of pictures taken recently by Catherine Mayo. Ju-ju has been difficult to photograph lately (understatement), so I'm glad we had these taken last week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: Vocabulary

It seems that Julia's vocabulary is increasing every day. She's learning new words all the time...Will is constantly saying, "She said 'app-pull'! I didn't know she could say 'apple'!" Even he seems proud, amazed, and aware at how much more she's talking lately. She's also started to put more words together, like "Daddy bye-bye" or "Ju-ju milk" (she calls herself Ju-ju and it is adorable). Some of my favorites are "Ahdonknow" ('I don't know'...said as one word and with a little shrug) and "All gone!". Of course, we're still having to do a lot of translating and a lot of guessing on many of the words, but I love to hear her babble and try to express herself. Things are getting much easier as she can ask for the things she wants, although she does get frustrated when we can't understand her requests. Luckily, many are very straightforward, like tonight at dinner, when we asked her if she wanted anything else. She happily replied with "Cheese!"

Some of the new words I've noticed in the past few weeks include car, airplane, truck, tree, watch, cookie, cheese, teeth, bath, juice. The one phrase I can't wait to hear..."Love you". I hope it's coming soon!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms: Loey

"Mama, Mama! Guess what? I found a ladybug on our porch. I've been playing with him. I named him Loey." (Rhymes with Joey...not sure on the spelling. I also love that the ladybug is a 'him', per Will.)

A few hours later...
"Mama! Loey is still there. I'm going to hold him. See? See? Come look, Mama! See the way he crawls on my hand?"
"Will, I don't know that ladybugs really like to be held too much. It might scare him. Don't hurt him."
"Loey likes to be held, Mama. I'm not hurting him. I love him."

Later that night, Will checks on Loey and then gently leaves him on the table on the porch.

The next day, on the way to school...
"Will, this week you're talking about pets at school. Do many of your friends have pets, like dogs and cats?"
"Yes, some people have dogs and cats. Luke A. has a dog named Bosco."
"Oh really? Do you think you would ever want a pet?"
"Mama! I have a pet!"
"You do?"

That night, Will discovers that Loey no longer resides on our porch.
"Mama, Loey is gone. Why do you think he left?" (said VERY sadly)
"Well, baby, I think he just went on a different adventure. Maybe he went to find some other ladybugs."
"Do you think Loey left because I held him too much? Do you think he didn't want to be held and he got scared?"
"Oh no, baby! You didn't do anything wrong. Ladybugs just like to fly, so I think Loey just flew away somewhere else."
"I miss Loey. I want him to come back."

The next day...
"Mama, I prayed to God that Loey would come back. I prayed to God about him, Mama."

That was several days ago, and we haven't heard anything about Loey since. It was an intense, but short-lived love affair. Poor kid needs a real pet. (Not that I'm offering.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Word of the Weekend

W is for weekend. And W is for whiny. Coincidence? I think not.

The word of the weekend was whiny, for everyone at our house. The days were overcast, and we kept thinking it was going to rain. This meant lots of inside play and not enough energy being expended. And, I don't know about your children, but my children are only occupied by an activity for about 17 seconds, so we run out of fun, creative options pretty quickly. I truly don't know how stay-at-home moms keep their kids entertained (or at least pacified) all day long.

In addition, Will has basically given up his weekend naps, although he will still take a nap at school. Julia is on a kick where it takes her two hours of talking, whining, screaming, crying, etc before she falls asleep for her naps (I am not exaggerating, and nothing we do seems to help this process along). So, this means we spend at least 4 hours a day in the house trying to get her to nap, and then waiting while she takes a is for her to skip her nap.

We did have a family from Will's class over Friday night, which was a lot of fun. And Saturday night was our standard "order food and catch up on TiVo night," which I always need and enjoy. But otherwise, it was just a 'blah' weekend...both inside and outside the house. Since we have so little time to spend with the kiddos, I hate when it's not enjoyable. I really tried to focus on the little things that were fun or sweet, but for much of the time, the whining took over my brain. It has that effect on people.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Girlie Thursdays

I've got a new nickname for Julia: the Naked Bandit. Well, more accurately, the Bottomless Bandit (and that's even alliterative...bonus!). Yes, the other morning when I went into her room, Julia had taken off her pajama pants, taken off her diaper, and peed--deliberately--all over her crib. Apparently, we had ignored her for too long and she wasn't going to take it anymore! Now, before anyone suggests that she was just tired of her soaking wet overnight diaper, that is not the case. In fact, Zach had been in her room about 30 minutes prior to this event, had changed her diaper, given her some milk, and tried to get her to go back to sleep. You see, Julia has been waking up at the ungodly hour of around 5AM this week, so Zach had been (futilely) trying to get her to go back to sleep until a reasonable hour. She was quiet for a few minutes, so we thought the plan had been somewhat successful. But, actually, that's when she was stripping.

I love this baby to death, but I don't know what to do with her. She is a mess! If anyone has any advice on how to put an end to the 5AM wake-up calls or, more importantly, the crib strip routine, please leave a comment and enlighten me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

Will had lots of comments this week. Then again, he always has lots of comments because he does not stop talking. Ever. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites:

Will on...nicknames:
Me, to Julia: "Come here bud, let's put on your shoes."
Will: "Mama! I am bud. She is sweetie."

Me, to Julia another time: "Julia, you look cool with your sunglasses on!"
Will: "Mama, she does not look 'cool'. She looks pretty."

Will on...religion:
"Mama, does God have a body?"
"Does Jesus have a body?"
"When I go to heaven, will I have a body? Will I ever get hurt in heaven?"
(All of the above accompanied by my feeble attempts at answers.)

Prayers by Will:
"Dear God, when I grow up, please make me a red Power Ranger so that I can fight the bad guys. Please, God. Amen."

"Dear God, please don't let Daddy pass us because I want to be first and it's not safe to pass. Amen." (Said in the car when we were leaving for school one day and Zach was in his car.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Girlie Thursdays: First Haircut

Since Julia is getting older and more interactive, I thought she should get some weekly press time on the blog. So, I'm instituting "Girlie Thursdays," where I will do a post on our little Ju-ju. I'm sure I'll be just as good about posting as I am for Wednesday Will-isms, which is to say, not good at all. But, we'll see how it goes.

To start off, this week's post is about Julia's first haircut! Her hair had been getting a little mullet-esque and was kind of stringy and wild. So, even though I eventually want it to grow, I thought it was time for a trim. On Sunday, we took both of the kids to one of those walk-in haircut places, since I have no idea where one should go to get a little girl's hair cut. But, it turned out fine! It actually turned out great! Will went first and did a great job being very still and patient. Each time he gets his hair cut, I feel like he looks more and more like a big boy (combined with the fact that he gets taller and skinnier every day!) Then it was Julia's turn, and I prepared myself for disaster. The (male) stylist cutting their hair didn't seem too warm and fuzzy or very good with kids, so I had visions of tantrums and chunks of hair on the floor, but we persevered. Apparently, I neglected to factor in the power of the sucker. The sucker was key--she ate it happily and didn't pay too much attention to the strange man with scissors near her head. And just like that, it was over, and she had an adorable new bob! I knew that she shape was much better, but I couldn't believe the difference it made to her "look," and I couldn't believe how many of the teachers at school commented it on it (positively). So sweet! Here are some pics of the big event. I don't have a good "after" shot yet because Julia doesn't cooperate with the picture taking these days. Hopefully, I'll get one soon so you can see the adorableness in action.

As a side note to this post, Julia has become very interested in her hair, in general. She often requests a "air-bow" and if she sees her barrettes, she wants to wear those, too. She is not dissuaded if she already has a barrette or bow in her hair, she's fine with wearing multiple at once. It's part the look she's developing. I'm sure it will be all the rage soon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

Will on...poop.

Zach: "Will, you have to poop again? Does your tummy hurt?"

Will (exasperated, as usual): "Daddy, that's how it works. You eat food and it goes down your throat and into your body and then it comes out as poop. I just ate a cookie, so now I have to poop. See? That's how it works."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Quite Yet

Julia has been showing signs that she is getting interested in being potty trained: She tells us (with relatively good accuracy) when she needs her diaper changed. And, she's very interested in the actual potty, so I thought I would try to encourage that. Of course, she was scared when I tried to let her sit on the big potty...probably because she felt like she was going to fall in. I'd be scared too! As an alternative, we got the little potty out of the attic tonight.

The little potty went over really well...Julia thought it was a perfect spot to store her ducks from the bathtub. She liked opening and closing the lid. And then she stood up and peed on the floor...right next to the potty.

Nope, not ready yet.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Will-isms

"What are you doing, Will?"
"I was just coming in to say good night to Julia. But right now, I'm not saying good night. I'm being wild."

"Mama, I like your shoes! Are those Sketchers?"

Um...what? How in the world does he know what Sketchers are?!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Last weekend, I was trying to get Will to take a nap while we were at Hulie and Bubs' house for Easter. Often I think that if I could just get him to lie still and close his eyes, he would probably fall asleep. So, I was telling him to close his eyes and think of some of his favorite things, like Christmas.

"No, Mama, I'm not going to think about Christmas. I'm going to think about monsters! And, well, Christmas too. And when I come to Hulie and Bubs' house to spend the night. And when Coco and Pop Pop come to our house. Those are the things I'm going to think about."

I love the window into his thoughts on his favorite things!

On a similar note, I've been meaning to post about Will's bedfellows. He went through a phase where he slept with random toys, like a matchbox firetruck and a hard plastic turtle. Somehow we have gotten past that, but there are now seven (at last count) specific animals that sleep with him each night, and they must be lined up in their correct positions, and the covers must "cover their necks." We've got some pretty strict guidelines around here. It seems that I never get the animals in their right spots, but the other night, I did for once, and Will was so excited. "MAMA! You did it! You got the animals right! Yay, Mama!" So, in case you're ever at our house and need an animal guide, this is the way I believe they are supposed to be laid out (from left to right if you're looking at the bed): Mousey, Tucker (aka black dog), Giraffe, Will on random Rudolph pillow and snuggling with Super Monkey, Super Giraffe, Dinosaur, and Gorilla. Take notes. There will be a test on this later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

So Pitiful

As I was putting Will to bed tonight, I told him that we were going to friend's third birthday party tomorrow.
"Mama, when am I going to be four?"
"On August 30th, Will. That's not too far."
"It's taking TOO LONG to get here." (sniff, sniff)
"What's wrong with being three?"
"Being three is too little. I don't want to be three anymore. I want to be four. When am I going to be four?? I really want to be four, Mama."

My only guess is that, since most of his friends in his class are already four, he's getting teased for still being three. I hadn't realized this was an issue (and who knows--it may never come up again). Poor thing. I guess this speaks to why it's best to not be the youngest in the class.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Easter!

First of all, let me say how impressed I am with everyone on blogs, Facebook, etc. who already have all of their Easter pictures up. I didn't even GET any good Easter pictures, much less would I have had them off the camera and onto the Interwebs within a day of the holiday. (My dad may have some reasonably cute ones that I can share at some point.) The children are at a point where getting good pictures of them is futile--and I'm not talking about achieving a perfect family photo; even pictures of each of them alone are difficult. Julia is too busy and doesn't stop long enough for you to snap a picture; she also seems wary of the camera most of the time. Will can take good pictures--if it suits his mood. On Sunday, he was just more interested in being silly.

Oh well. Despite the lack of photos, we had a nice Easter weekend, with the exception of the sickness that felled Mama on Saturday and Daddy on Sunday. Melanie and Bob were in town all last week (until Friday morning), which was such a nice treat. I took the day off on Thursday so that Mel and I could have some sister time. Friday, the kids were off of school and Zach was mostly off of work. Will had swimming lessons, we met some friends for a somewhat disasterous playdate (Will threw up when we got there--hopefully just from too much pool water--Julia was in full force, was not good at sharing, and got reealllly jealous when I held my friend's new baby), then the kids got Wendy's for dinner as a special treat before Mama and Daddy went out with friends. Will's comment about Wendy's: "Wendy's isn't healthy food, Mama....but I LIKE it!!"

Saturday was a bit of a bummer with the rain and the sickness, but it was partially redeemed by a marathon snuggle session with Will while we watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. Yes, I will watch Alvin and the Chipmunks if it involves snuggling with my favorite boy.

And then came Sunday! For once, we had glorious weather for was almost hot. And, bonus was that the kids didn't have to freeze in their (completely adorable) Easter outfits. In case I never get any pictures up (highly likely), Julia wore a pink bishop with ecru smocking and ecru lace. Will wore white pincord shorts and button-in-the-back shirt, with his monogram in ecru. And, he even wanted to wear the knee socks--I wasn't going to press it, but he CHOSE to wear them like that. The children were thrilled with their Easter baskets and the one Easter present that we had gotten each of them (what can I say...I was tired of the Easter bunny getting all the credit, especially for something as cool as a Batman motorcycle with a sidecar.) When Will saw a bunny Pez dispenser in his Easter basket, he exclaimed, "How did the Easter bunny know that this was the only thing I wanted?!" They also hunted eggs--both inside and out--but only plastic ones filled with candy and money. We never got around to dying eggs, which is probably for the best for everyone involved. We discovered that Julia really likes--no, I mean REALLY likes--candy in general, but specifically jelly beans. She caught on very quickly about opening the plastic eggs to see what was inside. If she found jelly beans, she would try to shove as many as she could into her mouth before we noticed and stopped her.

Despite the massive candy intake and a few "issues" about getting dressed, we actually made it to church on time. Julia, as usual, screamed her head off when Zach left her in the nursery. I made Zach take her because I knew there was a good chance I would chicken out if I had to leave her there. And Will...I am so proud of Will. He didn't want to go to the nursery, but instead wanted to come to church with us. I was skeptical, but he made it almost all the way through the service and was SO GOOD. He made it through the sermon, and then he and Zach headed out when the last anthem began. I felt we were pushing our luck to ask him to be quiet through the prayers of the people. But, I was amazed. He's even starting to get the idea of the meaning of Easter...well, sort of. In order to try to put it in language he could understand, I told him that bad guys killed Jesus and then a few days later, God brought him back to life. I explained that this is called resurrection and it's why we celebrate Easter. Later, I hear him telling Hulie, "...and then Jesus came back to life and it was magic!"

Well, close enough. Easter is magic in a way, and we had a great day celebrating. We enjoyed lunch at my parents' house after church, naps for some, and then a nice trip to the Botanical Gardens. Of course, I feel like I've been behind on life ever since the weekend, but I think it was worth it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This weekend, Will's friend, Charlie, came over to play for a little while. I was in the kitchen, but I could hear them playing in the other room, and I could hear Will trying to tell Charlie how to do everything. So, I called to Will and told him not to be so bossy. He basically ignored me, and they kept playing, with Will still directing the play. Here's what I overheard:

Charlie: Your mama said not to be so bossy.
Will: I'm not being bossy!
Charlie: Yes you are.
Will: What does bossy mean?
Charlie: I don't know.
Will: I don't know either.
Charlie: OK!

And then they continue playing without a care in the world. I guess Mama needs to mind her own business. Clearly they've got this all taken care of.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eighteen Months!

Julia turned eighteen months a couple of weeks ago. That's right...eighteen months! How did we get here? If anyone tries to call Julia a baby these days, Will quickly corrects them and says, "No, she's a toddler!" And, he's right! She is in full-force toddler mode. She knows what she wants, but can't express it. Or, she doesn't know what she wants, and this makes her mad. And, her teeth are STILL working to come in. All of these combine to create a force of nature; I think she must be very advanced, as she seems to be hitting the "terrible twos" a bit early! For example, on Sunday afternoon when she was supposed to be napping, Julia was screaming her head off instead. And when no one came to her rescue quickly enough, she took off her pants and her (dirty) diaper, and threw them both on the floor. Luckily, it was easily cleaned up, she went to sleep after that incident, and Will thought it was the best story ever.

In general, she just has this look about her that lets you know she's trouble. She still throws her food and is very particular about what she will and won't eat. She's learned how to say "no" to accompany the vigorous head shaking--as if that wasn't clear enough. On certain occasions, if she doesn't like what you've picked out for her to wear, she will actually try to take it off (all while screaming "no, no, no!"), while you're trying to force it over her head. I thought we had a bit more time before she had an opinion on what to wear! She's also still in a bit of a hitting phase, although it seems that she often hits in order to be able to offer a hug afterwards. We've tried to explain that the hitting isn't a prerequisite, but she insists. When we put her in time out, she just gets up. If we speak sharply to her, she burst into tears, as if we have just slapped her across the face. In short, she's got us wrapped around her finger--and SHE KNOWS IT.

But, just as she offers some of our greatest frustrations right now, she also offers some of our greatest joys. Like when I pick her up to give her a hug, and she rubs or pats my back. Like the way she blows kisses, or wants to give each person in the family a kiss--on the arm, of all places. Or how she knows which books she likes, and requests "Moon" each night. And the way she's starting learning some of her friends' names from school--and will "tell" us about them when she gets home. The little smile that lights up a room. The big personality in an eighteen-month body. She is so precious--frustrations and all. As much as I lament this stage, I will be sad when it is over. When she's too busy for me to hold her. When she no longer requests to "rock" each night. Many days it's hard to savor each moment, but I'm doing my best. I know they'll be gone too fast.

Super hero of all things pink