Let it Flipping Go

When Malachi first saw Frozen he completely fell in love just like every other child on the face of the planet. He watched it every day for over a week. He learned all the songs. We bought the book. He occupied himself for thirty minutes in the CD section of Barnes and Noble by passionately staring at a cardboard cutout of Anna and Elsa and announcing every 15 seconds, “It’s Fwozen, Mama! See it? Wook, Mama, Fwozen!”

And then all of the sudden he became so terrified of Big Snowman (the ice monster thing) that he wouldn’t even stay in the same room when the movie was on. He’d watch the first twenty minutes, hide when Anna started up the mountain, and not come back until the big snowman died approximately 45 minutes later. He became obsessed. He would flip to the page in his book with a picture of Big Snowman and stare. He had a near panic attack in the car while listening to the sound track. He couldn’t focus on his hot dog in Sam’s because 100 yards away he could see Frozen on approximately 30 flipping TV screens and he knew Big Snowman was coming. I think this trailer accurately sums up his perception of the movie for the last couple months:

So for the past two months we have impatiently and patiently waited, talked logically about how animated objects are just pretend and live in the TV, avoided TV screens where Frozen was playing, and watched other movies. And then, earlier this week, he was ready to try again. It’s possible I bribed him with popcorn, chocolate, Captain Crunch, and a toy from Toys R Us unless you think that’s excessive in which case I’m assuming you probably don’t have kids. He did it, he laughed, he decided Big Snowman is burping when he screams “Don’t come baaaack” and he gives me huge high fives every time he sits through it. He is also no longer afraid of the Wiggles or the Chica Show so hip hip hooooooray. And now we’re back to watching Frozen every day.

I was going to insert some pithy picture to illustrate my feelings about this, but I found this instead and couldn’t stop laughing.

Malachi will only tolerate Pixar movies or other animated films of equal quality. He is not to be bothered by the Jungle Book, Aladdin, Fievel, or even The Little Mermaid. He only wants Cars, Different Cars (Cars 2), Buzz-Woody, Different Buzz-Woody (Toy Story 2), Finding Nemo, or Frozen. He’s also taken to spontaneously quoting lines from these movies and confusing the daylights out of me.

Me: Thanks, buddy.
Malachi: No pwoblem.
Me: No problem, huh? Where’d you learn that?
Malachi: Like Dori says.
Me: Oh, ok.
Malachi: No pwoblem, Mama.
Me: Ok, buddy, go eat your lunch.
Malachi: No pwoblem.

During lunch with a friend, when no one was talking to Malachi he interrupts our conversation to say…
Malachi: You wanna thwow me out the window, Mama?
Me: What? What are you talking about?
Malachi: You wanna thwow me out the window, too?
Me:
Malachi: Like Potato Head say in Buzz-Woody!
Me: Good Lord, Malachi, please don’t say those things in public.

During dinner tonight when conversation lulled.
Malachi: Oh my gosh! Malachi swimmin’ out to sea!

Anytime he is annoyed with anybody.
Malachi: Don’t! Come! Baaaaaaaaaaack!

We’ve actually had to put him in time out for repeatedly screaming “Don’t come back” in my face when I tell him he has to finish his lunch or put his toys away.

Jessie: All you ever talk about is your STUPID Andy!
Malachi: Jessie, say “stupid,” Mama. Dat’s bad.
Me: You’re right, buddy, it is. She should say “silly.”
Malachi: You want to say “silly,” Jessie, ok?

I’m not sure how to wrap up this yawner of a post so…..

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6 Ways to Make Your Early Mornings Easier

I was about to start off with “Last week I wrote about…” and then a little sleuthing reminded me that it’s been three weeks since I wrote anything. So.  If you were ever looking to read a post about good time management you have COME to the right place, people.

Ahem. Three weeks ago I wrote about making time to rest when you’re tired, even if that means getting less sleep.  For me, I need to get up early and spend time praying and reading my Bible every morning or I’m a wreck all day.  Today I got up early to spend time with the Lord, and let me tell you: I am tired. The past two months have seen three family members in the hospital, two out-of-town trips, multiple meetings, and oh yeah – my normal life.  Today my children were in RARE form.  And I say “rare” quite loosely because truthfully, I wish it were rarer.  Anyway my daughter starting things off with a bang by grabbing her nasty poopy diaper out from under her butt while I reached for a wipe and whipping it across the room and herself and her adorable outfit I just found hiding in a drawer and the carpet and my hand.  (Do you want to know how nasty that diaper was?  She had black beans last night.)  My son – not to be outdone – screamed and threw things and yelled and hoarded toys and went batpoo crazy the whole time I was tutoring in my home. Things pretty much went downhill from there and at one point I texted Jeremy and told him I wanted to scream.  And then I realized – I hadn’t screamed.  Or yelled at my kids or anyone else, which to be honest, is a BIG deal for me.  And even though I was going crazy inside, I realized that God had helped me treat my kids with true grace all day, and let me tell you – that does NOT happen on the days I sleep through my time with Him.

But I HATE getting up early. I am a natural night owl.  Even on the days I wake up really early I can still stay up til 1 or 2 in the morning without realizing I’m tired but then when that alarm starts going off at 6:00 –  I realize it real good.  So I have to find ways to make my mornings easier, and maybe some of these will help you, too.

So without further ado….

6 Ways to Make Your Early Mornings Easier

Can you tell I’m an expert at making pinnable pictures with catchy titles?  This is totally my forte.

get up early

  1. Give it a fair shot.  Don’t tell me you just can’t do mornings until you’ve actually, honestly tried. If you want to wake up early you have to go to bed a little earlier, or if nothing else, at a consistent time.  You need to actually get up early consistently for at least a week to really give it a fair shot. So don’t try for a few days and give up, or try for a couple weeks without ever being consistent. It won’t work – trust me.
  2. Set your coffee the night before.  Most of your basic coffee makers have a timer setting.  You can get everything ready and have your coffee brew for you at whatever time so you can literally wake up and smell the coffee.  I even drink decaf and it still helps.  For a while I went through a phase where I put my half and half and sugar in my mug and then stuck it in the fridge the night before, too.  I got over that.  Don’t drink coffee?  Freeze half a bottle of water, fill it and add lemon, then let it thaw overnight so you can drink something cold and refreshing when you first wake up.  Drink fancy coffee like a pour over or a French press?  Well….clapclapclap.  Not sure how to help you.  Sorry.
  3. Adjust your thermostat. I like to sleep with the air pretty cold because I sweat like pig at night (did you need to know that? Sure.) but it’s really, really, really hard to get out of a warm cozy bed and step into some frigid air. So if your air has the fancy sleep setting thing that will go up and down for you – rock it. If not, do what I do and drag yourself out of bed, cut the thermostat back up a few degrees, then go get back in bed for the mandatory 15-20 minutes of snooze-button-beating.  When it’s time to get up, it won’t be so hard.
  4. Pick out your clothes the night before.  Maybe this takes you back to elementary school but so be it.  Let’s have a show of hands from all the ladies who spend way too long staring at their clothes before deciding on one of the same 10 outfits you rotate allthefreakingtime.  Check the weather and lay out your clothes the night before – jewelry, shoes, underwear, all of it.
  5. Consider showering at night.  I know I know I know – your hair looks gross when you do that and showers help you wake up.  Me too.  BUT it really super sucks to have to choose between doing my devotions or getting to shower alone and do something really self-pampering like….I don’t know….shave the forest of my legs so I can wear shorts again. Plus I find a night shower helps me relax. At least give it a go. Maybe you just can’t hack it and if so I understand, but be prepared to wake up a little earlier.
    lamp.                                           Cool lamp, right?  Buy it here.
  6. Turn on a light. Immediately, as soon as your first alarm goes off.  Even if you don’t get up right away, the light will help you wake up a little. Sunlight is the best, but if you can’t drag yourself to the window – turn on your lamp.
  7. Bonus: play on your phone:  This is a slippery slope for me so take it with a grain of salt.  You know how they say staring at a screen before bed will wire your brain and keep you awake longer? I find the opposite is true.  When I’m just having a really hard time waking up after my obligatory first two alarms (I’m not the only one who does this, right?) sometimes I’ll start browsing instagram or playing Words with Friends.  It seems to help me wake up.  The only problem is how addictive it is – sometimes before I know it I’ve been on my phone for 15 minutes and then I’m rushing to get my coffee, get dressed, and do my devotions before Malachi comes traipsing into the room at 6:50 (on the flipping dot, every day, WHY?!) telling me “I got pee-pee my diaper” and “It’s almost breakfast time!”  So maybe set a timer or something so you don’t get sucked into the iPhone void?  I don’t know.

And there you have it.  Some things that I hope will help make your early mornings a little easier.  When I consistently do all of the above every day (which is quite rare, trust me) I get going into a really good routine.  But even just doing a couple is enough to help.

Tick Tock

It seems like the best definition of being a stay-at-home-mom is being busy all day, exhausted at night, but still having no idea what to say when asked, “What did you do today?” I used to be proud of myself when I could accomplish my whole to-do list in a day. Now making a to-do list at all is an accomplishment. It amazes me that any day I have to grocery shop automatically means: exhausting. And heaven forbid they don’t have a car cart because the consequences are the toddler has to either 1. walk (i.e. run a 5k down every aisle and fill the cart with canned corn and fruit snacks) or 2. get covered in groceries that he may not touch, eat, sniff, crush , rearrange, or throw. Also, your legs are numb, offspring? Suck it up or tough it out – I literally have no other options. You may have a free cookie from the bakery, or 4 if the bakers aren’t looking.

Bribery is your friend.

I wouldn’t trade my role as a stay-at-home-mom for the world, but these young years can be tough. Hilarious, sweet, fun, rewarding, but tough. There are days when all the busyness is exhausting not only because it’s a constant rotation of squat, lift, bend over, carry, repeat but because reading children’s books, playing restaurant, and explaining over and over that brown grapes don’t have dirt on them is far from mentally energizing.

My church teaches this principle of the pendulum. In the first century, grapevines were given three years to rest before they were allowed to grow grapes. The vine dressers knew that without enough rest they wouldn’t be strong enough to bear fruit. the same principle applies to us – we need to work from our rest, not rest from our work. Our life is like a pendulum constantly swinging from rest to work, abiding to fruitfulness, tick tock. Neither can exist alone. A clock can’t stop at one hour and keep ticking and you cannot stop on one end of the pendulum and keep living.

I used to take this literally. Without enough sleep I get short-tempered and sad so I need to make sleep a priority. Not a bad idea, in theory – extremely hard to maintain in practice. Babies get sick. Toddlers have nightmares. Laundry piles up and thunderstorms happen and sleep is no longer a constant. It used to be discouraging to think I’d always be operating on 50%, always fighting off frustration and bad moods and apathy. I was trying so hard to get enough rest and it never paid off, so why on earth was God nudging me to start getting up early again to spend time with Him? The baby still wasn’t sleeping through the night. Wasn’t this the grace period? But finally I did, and I realized oh. Physical rest, though important and something to strive for, isn’t a constant. But spiritual rest can be. Resting my mind and heart in Him every morning lets me “go to work” yawning and tired, but renewed and at peace. Does it always “last”? No. Do I still lose focus, roll my eyes, yell at my kids, or pretend I can’t hear them sometimes because I just need a break? Yes. But giving up a little physical rest to invest in spiritual rest every morning makes me feel like a new person.

The days are long, but I want each morning to be a fresh start, not another “Here we go again.” And on the nights when I stay up too late, bending over to pick up the pieces of a day that blew up in my face, those are the nights I KNOW I need to take some time to rest in the Lord, not just to recover but to prepare for a new day investing in my children. If my job description is to parent my children with grace, to teach them about a God who adores them, and to gently shepherd them towards His heart, they need my example more than my words. They need a Mommy with rings under her eyes who showers them with grace and patience, much more than they need a Mommy who got 8 hours of sleep but is tiring under the weight of all the yesterdays that she is dragging into today.

Maybe it feels more like your life pendulum swings from cuddles to tantrums, from Caillou to Dora, or from goldfish to Oreos. Maybe your baby is precariously wedged between your arm, your husband’s back, and somehow your left knee and if you twitch she WILL wake up. Maybe you’ve given it a fair shot and decided that mornings just do. not. work. for you. I’ve been there and I get it. He understands, too. But carve out some time. Find a way to wake up and get some rest. He can restore your heart and prepare your mind for another day of tea parties, crayons, The Hungry Caterpillar, and squat, lift, bend over, carry, repeat. There is no guilt in abiding and no greater productivity than pointing (little) hearts towards Him.

Conversations on the Way Home from Home Depot

Malachi:  **sigh** I miss it store.
Allie:  You’ll be ok.  We just saw the store two minutes ago.
Malachi:  I sad.
Allie:  You’re sad?
Malachi: Yes. I sad. I miss it store.
Allie (who is driving):  Text Eri-
Siri:  Ok. To whom should I send the text?
Allie:  Erin, you idiot.
Malachi: Text Ice!
Siri: Which Erin?
Allie: Croteau.
Malachi: Daddy, I text.
Jeremy: You text, huh?  Should we get you a phone?
Malachi: Yes!
Siri: Sorry, I don’t understand Croteau. Which Erin?
Allie: CRO-TEAU!
Malachi: Mommy, where’s my phone?
Allie: You’re yellow phone’s at home, buddy.
Malachi: Sigh, I miss it.
Siri: Ok, here’s your text to Erin Crah-do. Ready to send it?

Allie: Quickly reads screen, realizes it says “You idiot.”  Laughing hysterically shows screen to Jeremy, “No!”
Malachi: Hahahahahaha!
Siri: Ok. Would you like to cancel, review, or change it?
Allie: Still laughing hysterically, “Change it!”
Malachi: Hahahaha! I funny! Mommy funny!
Siri: Ok, I’ll send it.
Allie:  Nooooo!!!!
Jeremy: I think maybe you should wait until we get home to finish that text.
Allie: quickly rattles off explanatory text to Erin.
Malachi: Mommy funny, Dada.
Jeremy: I wonder what that limo is doing there.
Allie: Probably parked there to eat before prom night.
Malachi: Mommy, my head ouchie.
Allie: I’m sorry, buddy. Did you bonk it?
Malachi: Yes.
Allie: I’m sorry buddy.  It’ll be ok.
Malachi: I put band-aid on it.
Allie: Ok, we’ll get one when we get home.
Jeremy: Do you rent limos by the hour or by the evening?
Allie: I don’t know, hon, I’ve never rented one.
Malachi: Ow.
Allie:
Malachi: 
Ow.
Allie:
Malachi: Ow. Ow. Ow.
Allie: You ok buddy?
Malachi: Oh! I put band-aid on it!
Jeremy: I wonder when the limo became a thing, anyway.  It’s just a really long car.  What’s the point of that?
Allie: I guess so a bunch of people can hang out.
Malachi: Mommy, that’s dark outside.
Allie: I know, buddy.  That’s because it’s night-night time.  It gets dark when it’s night-night time.
Malachi: I watch Caillou!
Allie: No buddy, Caillou’s all done.  When we get home it’s night-night time.
Malachi: sigh, I miss it.
Jeremy: If people want to hang out they should just get a minivan.
Allie: Oh my word. This whole conversation is going on my blog later so I don’t forget it.
Malachi: Oh!  There’s dark!
Allie:
Malachi: There’s dark!
Allie:
Malachi: There’s dark!
Allie: I heard you, buddy.  Can everybody just be quiet for two minutes?  I just need quiet for two minutes.
Jeremy:  turning into our cobblestone-street neighborhood  Malachi, say “Aaaahhhh!”
Allie:  Jeremy!  Why?
Jeremy:  At least it’s consistent.
Naomi:  Blah, blah, bluh, ma, da, blah

Step in to the Confessional

I’m pretty sure if I got Jeremy’s input he could suggest considerably more items to add to this list but in the meantime, enjoy.

  1. Last night I ate salmon cakes and slaw for dinner. Jeremy and I went on a date later and ended up at Waffle House.  I then ate a waffle, an order of hash browns, and two slices of bacon. No, I’m not pregnant.
  2. Sometimes when the kids are eating lunch and strapped into their chairs I go pee just so I can get a (literal) minute alone.
  3. Usually I take my iPod because 30 seconds of sitting alone necessitates some kind of social media.
  4. I’m not embarrassed that I just admitted any of that to you. #noshame
  5. Malachi has been on stellar behavior today and by “stellar” I mean “absolutely horrible.”  In the past four hours I’ve sent these texts to Jeremy.****
    • I might lock our son in the dog crate.
    • Maybe I’ll just leave him at pre-school.
    • I swear I am going to drop him off at the pound.

    .        ****OF COURSE I was kidding! Unbunch those britches. 

  6. As I was typing that Malachi climbed on top of me to cuddle and now I feel guilty.
  7. I throw away old leftovers when Jeremy isn’t home (because) and then I cover them up with something big in the trash can so he won’t see it there later and ask me about it.
  8. Malachi has grape juice all up in his hair and Naomi’s hair is spiked up on the side with banana mush and I’m still 99% sure they won’t be getting a bath until tomorrow, so I just wiped their heads off with a washcloth and called it good enough (it wasn’t).
  9. Yesterday I was so tired that I decided to sit down and read my magazine “just for 20 minutes” but then I was too tired to get up but had too much to do to take a nap without feeling guilty so I just kept laying there….for an hour and a half.
  10. Yesterday I played fetch with Naomi just so she’d stop throwing things in my lap for a couple minutes.
  11. I usually mop my floors on Wednesday so they will be clean for small group but it’s been snowing every Tuesday here (seriously) for a couple months and I don’t mop when it’s wet outside because it’s pointless so it’s been a really, really long time since I mopped.
  12. I still let the kids eat off the floor.

7 Quick Takes – I’m not sure why they don’t give me an award for the quality of my writing on Fridays.

Linking with Jen, because I’m sure she’s missed me, my sarcasm, and my riveting hair-care soliloquies.

  1. One of the benefits of being a stay-at-home-mom is that as soon as your husband comes home you get to regale him with a 45-minute stream of super-detailed stories about your exciting day. Stories about closet organization, nap-time productivity, exactly how many people were in each check-out line at Kroger, how many coupons you used/left at home/got rejected by the checker, and how much better your hair is doing now that you switched conditioner. The other day I was excitedly telling the tale of my hair’s vast improvement since I switched to TreSemme Climate Protection and I was pleasantly surprised when Jeremy responded with, “Oh yeah, I saw that conditioner in the shower” instead of his usual, “Yeah… Wait what? Sorry….”
    Me: You were looking at my conditioner?
    Jeremy: Yeah, I was wondering what this weird global warming soap is all about.
    Me: Global warming soap?  You mean because it’s called climate protection?
    Jeremy: Yeah, I thought that was weird.
    Me: It’s called that because it protects your hair from the climate, not because it protects the climate from…your hair.
    Jeremy: Yeah, I figured that out after I looked at it.
    That was so much funnier when it happened than it seems now…. Ok.
    .
  2. Malachi is improving his pronoun usage slowly but surely, although he still refers to himself as “Mal-chi” most of the time instead of the generic “I.”  Mal-chi do it!  Mal-chi want orange juice!  Mal-chi go paaaaaark!  He’s still a little unclear on the whole personal pronoun thing and frequently says “My” instead of “I.”  My do it!  My eat snack!  MY feed doggie!  Which always reminds me of this:

    …so me-sa maybe start calling him Jar Jar. How wude!
    .
  3. I’ve always had really vivid, realistic dreams, especially when I am pregnant. But over the past couple years I’ve started dreaming in movie.  My dreams actually switch from one scene to the next, switch perspective, and have background music. Once I dreamed I was Amy in an episode of Big Bang Theory. Not only was the entire dream pretty funny but it also had laugh tracks in the background.  I’m a little concerned for my sanity at this point.
    .
  4. Jeremy and I finally watched Frozen last night and of course I loved it, just like the rest of the world.  (Unrelated spoiler alert: Why didn’t the troll just tell them the secret in the first place? Would that not have saved 15 or so years of familial heartbreak and malfunction and potential future therapy costs?  Anyway.)
    .
    Have you seen the guy that sang a cover of “Let it Go” in all these different Disney voices?

    The part with Scuttle absolutely cracked me up because I used to do that. Malachi was pretty freaked out by the whole thing until we got to Winnie the Pooh. Then he looked at the little picture and said, “Hi Innie Poo! Is so cute!”
    .
  5. Have you heard of Listia?  It’s like E-bay, but free. It’s mostly a colossal waste of time, but I am 600 Pampers Rewards Points away from getting Malachi a free Cozy Coupe and I can usually muster up enough Listia credits to win some Pampers points auctions and you don’t care. Anyway, I listed an auction mostly for the bonus points but the woman who won had a problem and so an e-mail conversation ensued. Basically I would write her a thorough, polite, grammatically correct e-mail offering several solutions plus an apology and she would respond with something along the lines of:
    “yeah it didnt work”
    I mean, seriously. Can you not throw in a “Thank you” or at least some gratuitous punctuation? Does this kind of thing bother anyone else? Answer: yes. (Language alert, FYI).
    Also, if you want to join Listia, please use my link – I will be forever grateful.  https://www.listia.com/signup/5477022
    .
  6. It snowed again last week and Malachi’s make-up day was cancelled, so now we are having a make-up make-up day and of course they are calling for snow next Tuesday as well. I was “re-re-re-re ‘cited” about his first-ever school pictures but they aren’t offering a snow date for that so I’m just gonna save myself from the agony of dashed hopes and just operate on the assumption that those will get canceled as well.  But maybe I’ll try and do some cute portraits on my own because, you know, my track record is THE BOMB.
    100_3051 DSCN4903 102_3914.
  7. The other day I went into the farmer’s market by myself and got a little confused and overexcited by the free samples at the cheese shop.  I ended up spending 20 dollars on cheese because it was so tasty when taken out of context and seasoned with “I’m here alone and I need to reign myself in!” Then when my sister and I pulled it out to eat together it honestly smelled like a hot, sizzling cow patty and tasted about the same.  I decided to return it because, seriously.  When I took it back the manager said, “This is how this cheese smells and tastes.  Did you not see on the wrapper?  It’s called ‘Barnyard Smell.’ I’ll refund it but if you don’t like it, don’t ever buy it.”  So I guess she was right and I am grateful she refunded my money even though she treated me like a 2-year-old the whole time and wouldn’t let me finish a sentence. But for real? They made it smell like cow poop on purpose?  WHY?!
    ??????????Bon appetit.

My best friend on my hip

When I was little there was a short span of time when the majority of my life was just my mom and me. I don’t have a lot of specific memories of that time, but I remember feeling happy and content. From the time I was very young until this very day I have considered my mom my best friend – truly my best friend in every sense of the word.

me and mom

I always wanted boys growing up – lots of boys. I think boys are easier, I play better with boys, I relate better to boys, their clothes are cuter, I had a lot of practice with my brothers, and I saw myself in Jo March. But despite all this little-boy-loving, I knew I wanted at least one girl, so we could be best friends.

I knew Naomi was a girl from the moment I found out I was pregnant, and before the ultrasound tech confirmed it I had already seen it on the screen. My pregnancy, like every pregnancy, was both painstakingly slow and surprisingly fast. Her due date was February 22 and on the 20th at 7:00 p.m. I started having very regular, mild, painless contractions and I went to bed early just in case. I woke up 10 hours later feeling immediate disappointment followed by an immediate painless contraction followed by immediate excitement. I sent my husband to work, straightened the house, spent extra time with Malachi, downloaded a contraction-tracking app, put my son down for a nap, mopped the floors, did some yoga, called the nurse to find out if I needed to go to the hospital for painless contractions that were only 2 minutes apart, felt like an idiot when I showed up wondering if I was in labor to find out I was 6 cm. dilated, and 2 hours later there was the most precious, most sweet baby girl you’ve ever seen.

100_3314

I was in shock at both how fast and how easy my labor was – and then I was in shock at how fast and how easy my second child was. Having a second child is so different from the first. Nursing came quickly and naturally. I recognized her different cries the first time I heard them. I watched a movie while still in the hospital with her because I didn’t have any problems and didn’t need the nurses. I laughed – laughed – when we drove away from the hospital with both our children crying buckets.

I also put her in the swing a lot, instead of carrying her around constantly. I had another child to tend to. I let her sleep in her crib instead of my arms so that I could play with her (very distraught) brother. I cuddled her and sang to her but we didn’t read as many stories or take as many pictures. I lived each moment because each was so precious and so fast – but I didn’t document as many of them. I was very content in this. Whereas Malachi’s first year felt like a series of highest highs and lowest lows, Naomi’s first year was steady, happy, and calm. Part of me hadn’t realized how very difficult it would be to get alone time with my new baby. She was happy, observant, cuddly, and sleepy. She was easy. I loved every minute with her, but those minutes flew by.

2013-03-01 21.18.56

Now there are times I’d like to play or read or go somewhere just the two of us, but it’s not always possible. Naomi doesn’t care – she sits on my hip and watches what I do. Follows her brother around from her perch in the Ergo on my chest. Follows me around clapping and bouncing from room to room. She’d rather play with my kitchen tools than toys, nap than go to story-time, and sit on my lap and look at iPod photos than read a book. She loves time with just Mommy but given the choice she almost always follows Malachi anyway. She tends to tag along with me on errands and follow me while I do grown-up things. It would be nice to have more “baby” time with her. But then I remembered that the friendship I developed with my mom was built on grocery-store trips, dinner prep, and me following her everywhere no matter how mundane it was. I would rather have helped her clean the bathroom than watch TV without her. We talk nonstop and have 4 conversations at once. We yell at each other and laugh 15 seconds later. We take one car when it’s inconvenient just so we can ride together.

Naomi loves to go with me to the grocery store. She follows me when I’m cleaning the house. She jabbers all the time and I jabber right back. We get on each others nerves and I think it’s hilarious. And even though I sometimes feel guilty when I throw her on my hip and bring her with me to the kitchen instead of going to her room with her to play, she always settles contentedly and smiles at me and I realize – this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Happy (belated) first birthday to my sweet baby doll. I love how adaptable and content you are. I love your silly giggle. I love how you scrunch up your nose and whine when you aren’t happy. I love the way you bounce up and down when Noddy comes on TV. I love your rolly-polly belly that pops out of your ever-creeping shirts. I love that you are still nursing. I love the way you say “Nigh-nigh” when you are tired. I love your head of hair. I love when you give me hugs. I love how you rush to the door when Daddy comes home. I love how you think it’s funny to suck on my finger. I love how you adore your brother. I love the way you sometimes yell for no reason. I love that you smile so big every time you sneeze. I love how you fake cough to get attention. I love the way you sleep. I love how tough you are. I love that you are a dare-devil. I love how much you eat. I love the way you grin when you put on hats. I just love you. And I always will.

102_4048Happy birthday.