Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

Last night, on Christmas Eve, the very night of Santa's arrival, we witnessed a true miracle.

Amelia was running around naked, chasing her soccer ball. Justin and I were playing keep-away with A in the middle, squealing hysterically. Then she squatted. I asked her if she had to peepee and she ran into the bathroom, sat on her potty-- and promptly ran back to the game. Close, I thought!! Then, she squatted again and Justin took her to the potty again. Since the game was over, she sat . . . And peed!!!

She peed on the potty! PEED ON THE POTTY!!!

There were hugs and kisses all around. She took some TP, wiped, and stood to look at her victory.
It's a Christmas miracle!
AND she's still in bed. I believe, I believe!

So the next chapter has begun--and quite frankly, I have NO idea where to go from here.

Merry, merry Christmas everyone!!

And thank you Santa.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dear Santa


Hello again, friend. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote you last! So many things have changed, Santa. Thank you for for helping me feel better, get off my medicines, and finally eat some cheese. I know it was you, Santa, who made these wishes come true from last year. I must have been a very good girl for you to be so generous!
I promise that I have been good this year too. I let my parents sleep a lot more and even give hugs and kisses when I want something.  I always stop when my parents catch me riding the dogs and only spit my food out when it’s really bad. I ‘use my words’ whenever I can and only stomp my feet when nobody’s listening.

It’s hard Santa, to be a toddler, but I think I am doing well. In exchange for all of my goodness, I only ask for a few things.

I would really like to get something with doors, friend. I like to open and close them often and hide things behind them. I can spend hours organizing cupboards and drawers, so it just makes sense to take my talents to the next level.

I think I need more friends too, St. Nick.  I spend way too much time with my puppies and sometimes forget that we are different. It’s been okay so far, but mommy is sure that I will go to school someday and throw socks at my friends. I already run to the kitchen and sit when my parents get ice or treats and run to the window barking when someone comes to the door.  I just love them so, Santa.


I also wish my mommy would go back to work soon so I can sleep. Since she’s been home on break, I feel the need to wake up at night and get up before the sun. I’m just so excited to see her, you know, but it makes me tired and cranky. You’d think she’d be excited in the morning because she doesn’t have to work, but she seems more confused and annoyed, Santa. Since I’ve gotten up before dawn every day since mom’s been off, it might just better for all of use if she goes back to school soon. 

And while we’re talking about mommy, she seems to want me to pee on the potty. I don’t know why because diapers work just fine, Santa. She keeps putting me on the potty and waiting but she doesn’t know that I wait too, until I have my diaper back on. Maybe you can help me figure out going on the potty, friend? It seems so easy and exciting and fun to play on the potty, but a little bit hard to, you know, go. Wink, wink.

That should just about do it this time. It was really great to meet you this month, Santa and I looooove saying your name! Sometimes I even chant it, “Santa, Santa, Santaaaaaaaaa” just so you know how much I love you.

Hope to see you soon!

Love, Amelia


Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas card outtakes

To be filed in the “this was much easier last year” folder.

As if trying to a get a one-and-a-half year old to sit still, smile, and um, focus for one stinking minute isn’t hard enough, we added in two labs just for the challenge of it all. It’s called extreme parenting.

There was sweat. Muttered cursing. Bribery. Threats.

And a little giggling too. On my part I mean. I got to sit on the floor with the camera while Justin played shoot producer to a few unwilling participants. Amelia on the other hand, refuses to smile in front of the camera.








Really, you’d think the dogs would be the least cooperative. But no. They are like perfect statues. It’s the kid. The star of the show, without whom there is no shot, who insists on high maintenance.

There is a reason we don’t have a tree yet . . . and why our cards haven’t been sent also.


Winner? possible

Friday, December 11, 2009

From the Mama

Dear Santa,

I'm good.

Thanks anyway,


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


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Monday, December 7, 2009

Please connect me with Houston

because, well . . .




Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Life and Times of an 18-month-old

I’ve been a bad blogger and I think a decade into the 21st century that somehow also means a bad mommy. In any case, Amelia is 18 months old . . . and still alive! Since there was indeed a day when we didn’t know if we’d make it, I still remark at the miracle that is keeping another human alive.

The stats:

She is a tall girl, 33 inches and in the 90th percentile for height. I’m not much into the comparison chart thing, but 90th is significantly taller than most her age. She is, on the flip side, tiny, at only 24 lbs and in the 50th percentile for weight. Please don’t ask me how her father and I created a long, thin baby. Only some kind of genetic genius could tell you, I’m sure. That chub-rolled baby of last year has disappeared either way.

She is true to her genetics as a talker though. She talks as well as most two year-olds and has an expansive vocabulary that takes me off guard each day. She learns much faster than I teach apparently and I find myself having conversations with her that surprise me daily. The world is a much easier place to navigate with a talking baby. Not to mention that she tends to crack me up too. She’s reserved and shy, but thoughtful and sweet. She loves to read and sing and “help.” She’s the best friend a mom could ask for.

She’s also very sophisticated at the dinner table . . .

Even if a little sarcastic, no?

She truly is just getting more and more fun. Babies are sweet and chubby and drooly, but I’ll take my little girl any day. We are having the best time together . . . it seems that time is just slipping away as a result too. I guess that’s how cliches are born. . .


Apple Hill





Hmmm. Nobody sees me with Mama’s phone



HELLO? One of her funniest bits is picking up the phone and saying, “Allo? Goooood. . . hahahahah” I have no idea where she gets that.


What? I don’t have a phone




Another party?


I still can’t believe she’s a year and a half! Practically grown.

The adventure continues.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Under construction

More soon!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

These are the moments, part 2

Trick-or-treating was a total riot. I stood in the street, laughing until my belly hurt at that entire scene. A shot of the group.


Yeah, it took us a while.

I worried how Amelia would do with this, the strangest of rituals. I imagined us carrying her and her bucket, tears flowing, and us embarrassingly standing at stranger’s doors while she hid in the bushes.

Turns out that this little Punkin has a knack for standing at the homes of others and begging for food. Not only did she march up to front doors and knock, but she also let herself in when the doors opened! I chased her into the first few houses before she got the whole I-just-stand-here-and-look-cute-on-the-porch-routine. She’d set her little bucket down for safe candy deposit, say thank you (signed and grunted, I mean), and then promptly took a piece of candy from her bucket and put it in the giver’s bucket.

And I about melted into my shoes.

While Daddy carried her across the streets, she walked the whole rest of the way—all the way around an entire block! The best part? She carried that bucket the whole time too, even as it got heavier and heavier. The only hitch was her tendency to sit down on the sidewalk and begin organizing her goodies. (Everyone knows that if you give Amelia a container and multiple items to put in said container, she’ll be occupied for hours.)

Some of my favorite shots . . .


If you can believe it, she kept that hat on the WHOLE night! Even when it damn near covered her eyes.


Doesn’t she look like a pro?


Thanks for the candy! Would you like a Milky Way?


Everyone needs a lift now and then. (Hey Charlie! Where’s your hat, Bud?)






By the end of the night, we were down to two lone trick-or-treaters.


They were a solid team though, and got the job done. Even when tricky neighbors threw spooky ‘smoke’ in the way, they stayed together. DSCN1449

And by the end of the night, everyone was ready for bedtime.


Though not before a quick perusal of the loot.


It was a great Halloween, a great night with friends, and a great new tradition. I can’t help but think how much more fun it was to be with a group of other kids and how it wouldn’t have been the same with just us.

It also proved one of those moments in my life. The kind where you stop, take a breath, and realize that this is it. This is what life is about. Watching little ones trip their way through the neighborhood, while daddies hold hands, mommies take pictures, and the world sits still ever so briefly. I stood back across the street at the last house and watched our group make their way to the door while the homeowners gushed . . . and I caught my breath and choked up a bit.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

These are the moments (part one)

I’ve never much enjoyed Halloween. I stopped dressing up and perusing the neighborhood at the earliest age acceptable, and I’ve always thought adults who dress up are suspect in some way. Overall, there’s been a general bad vibe between the day and myself for no real reason as far as I can tell other than I don’t like spooky things.

Halloween is the perfect example of how Amelia fills in the lines of my life with color.  Brings spirit to the things that were lifeless and breathes newness into the routine that was my life before her. Last night stands as one of my all-time (well okay, in 17 months anyway) favorite Amelia memories.

We decided that we’d host a shindig at our place instead of going to and fro to celebrate in other neighborhoods. Time to round up a few of the seemingly endless supply of babies/toddlers close to home and celebrate together. We went pot-luck style and planned to eat, play, dress, and trick-or-treat all before bed time.

The Line-Up . . .

Coming in at the youngest position, Beck. He’s 3 months old, a lover of milk, and keen on kickin it late into the wee hours. He’s also the only player whose picture was nabbed before costume change. (Turns out playing hostess, Mommy, and photog are more complicated than it sounds)


Second, Parker. Beck’s cousin and 11 months old. He arrived at the party in his costume, (classic rookie move) and managed to include impressions of Drunk Old Man and Frankenstein over the course of the evening with his newly-acquired walking chops.

Little Diego, 7 months was also in attendance, though briefly. A military baby, he doesn’t stick around long enough to cause trouble and disappeared with more swiftness and stealth than he entered.

Amelia. Lone female in the group, standing proud at 32” and second oldest. Intent on kindness, she offered all the other kids her toys while quietly waiting for one of them to refer to her as ‘chick’ or ‘babe’ for which she was prepared to issue a firm “correction.”

Charlie. Long napper who prefers sleep in the daylight hours to partying in bulky get-ups after dark. At 2 1/2 he considers himself grown compared to the ‘babies’ in his company. Sweet and quiet, Charlie entered the party with a ping-pong paddle and left with a pair of pink sunglasses.

Speculation has it that he was issued one of Amelia’s “corrections.”

The Party

Though the standard party hosting stresses prevailed, I found myself giddy at the escalating noise level in the house and the constant flurry of chaos that occurs when parents are chasing their kids and kids are chasing each other. Running around the kitchen beading with sweat, I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole scene and breathe it in from time to time.

After dinner, it was costume time. As I was getting Amelia dressed, the house filled with cries of one meltdown after another as their parents stuffed them into a variety of humiliating outfits and then laughed out loud at the results. They fell like dominoes, those kids, to the desires of their parents to point, laugh, and play papparazzo.

We tried to get them lined up on the couch for one group shot a la Usual Suspects, but this is the closest we got to that.


Dude, you should see yourself.


Like dominoes (yup, that’s Parker wackin poor, harmless Beck in the face—and Amelia fleeing the scene of the crime.)


Poor Beck. He will have his day, this little pepper.


Charlie. Er, I mean MICKEY. Isn’t he convincing?


Ready to hit the road. Kinda. Doesn’t Parker give off a tiny hint of a Christmas Story?


Our little Punkin


Let’s DO THIS!



to be continued . . .