Take note.

If you ever watch my son please take note of these warnings:


1. If it looks like it’ll fit, he’ll try to shove it in his ears. You’d be surprised what he can get in there.

2. He likes to be naked. Really really really naked. Duct tape is handy.

3. He’ll probably pee in your bathtub … and shoot for “the star!” (the drain)

4. When he does decided to wear underwear, he’ll change it every half hour.

5. Bears are everywhere and you should always be on the look out for when the attack is coming. (hint: it’s always coming.)

6. He is very afraid of bugs. You might think that someone just bit him or he broke his arm when really – he saw a fly.

7. His token phrase is “Sop” (pause) “Sop it”.

8. If a bear is no where to found, jump a few million years behind and wait for the dinosaurs to appear.

9. He talks about sports like people, not things. What does he want to be when he grows up? A basketball!

10. You are going to laugh. A lot.


Like Father Like Son

Someone in this house wants to shave his face just like daddy.

Oliver tried to shave with Daddy's razor

Oddly enough when this was going on, unbeknownst to me, I was talking with Jessica about how hard it is to have a younger brother (like I would know, I’m the youngest too … but I was trying to sympathize with her lack of enthusiasm at his involvement in her life) and we were touching on all the strong points:

He’s kind of a pain sometimes.
He makes her frustrated.
He doesn’t listen to her when she asks him to do things or to stop doing things.
He’s annoying.
Has she mentioned yet that he’s frustrating?

So, in conclusion she’s having a hard time sharing life with a younger (and obviously obnoxious) sibling who happens to be a boy. GASP.

Who forgot to warn me about this?

Turns out he’s all kinds of serious yet funny, dashing yet naughty and really, really prone to dangerous things.

Oliver tried to shave with Daddy's razor

He wants to share life with each and every one of us, much like his big sister did when she was 2 1/2. Everything we did was interesting – so I can imagine that him being the younger one and having a bigger version of a kid in the house is like watching Christmas unfold every day.

What is she going to do next? Can I do it too? I wonder if I’ll jump as high as she did. Can I make more noise?

She gets to GO places. Like school. She gets to ride a bike without training wheels!! On the sidewalk!! She gets to use the umbrella and set the table and she can wipe her own derriere.

In his mind, she is everything he’s striving to be and more. She’s big.

Oliver tried to shave with Daddy's razor

And so is Daddy.

Since this little guy was old enough to be captivated he’s been “shaving” with daddy almost every morning. Every morning they’re awake at the same time, that is. Every single morning that shaving happens and his eyes are open … you can find him standing on the toilet using a toe-nail clipper as his “shaver” and shaving with Dad.

Complete with shaving cream and all. It’s adorable.

Then this morning Aaron left his shaver on the sink – which is something he NEVER does. Has never done, I should say … until this morning.

So when I was talking to his big sister about how to better get along with him he was exploring the world of a razor blade all over his fingers and lips. Only, isn’t the cream usually white? What’s all this red stuff?

Oliver tried to shave with Daddy's razor

Oh man. Oh boy. Oh brother.

Oliver tried to shave with Daddy's razor

Keep your arms and limbs inside the carrier until the flight has made a complete stop. Fasten your belts at all times. We’re on the ride of our life.


Here I am 36 weeks pregnant with our first born.

This is me at 36 weeks pregnant with Jessica

Since then we’ve documented all of her firsts.

First time in an official outfit:


First night in a big girl bed:

Jessica's first night in the big bed

First official sleep-over:

Jessica and Anna's first sleep over!

First pony-tail:

Jessica's first pony tail

First haircut:

Getting first hair cut

And countless other firsts. Steps, running, first seasons, days of school, traditions and holidays. First time meeting out of town Grandparents, Mother’s Day programs and parades. Firsts!

It’s my job to be there for them. To be there for her.

Aaron works crazy long hours, he’s not available to eat hot lunch with her or help in her classroom. That’s my job, one I’m proud of. One I take very seriously. One of the things I absolutely love about being a mom. Her mom.

GAH!!!!! I’ve been meaning to put this certain date on the calendar. I’ve circled it three times on the take home newsletters and the mountain of paper that comes home with her from school. I’ve ear-tagged certain “reminders” so I won’t forget that coming at the end of this month? There’s a Pumpkin Carnival at her school where she’ll get to show us what she’s learning and we’ll carve pumpkins together.

Turns out? It’s the end of the month.


I forgot that today was the day of her Pumpkin Carnival and now so many things about her day make so much more sense:

Me: Did you learn a letter today?

Her: No.

Me: Did you do numbers instead?

Her: No, Mom.

Me: Music? Art? What did you do today? I want to hear all about it šŸ™‚

Her: **Hemming, hawing.** Nothing, really. My day was good. I had a good day.

I don’t generally get farther than this unless there’s a snack involved and all the other fairies flying around in her head have been calmed so I dropped it and we went to see the waves at the beach.

Then she took out this special bag she had gotten that day – it was full of trinkets and candy, some popcorn. I deduced that it was her teachers Halloween Treat to the class. She didn’t correct me.

Then we sat down to eat dinner and she finally started telling me about her day … how there was this carnival and everyone’s mom was there and I missed it and she was sad because she was expecting me and I didn’t come.

Oh. My. Word. Today? Today was that day? I started crying and she immdiately took care of my emotional needs when I was trying to take care of her’s.

Her: Mom, it’s ok. I was disappointed but it’s ok. It didn’t really matter. I don’t really care.

Me: ::Crying:: I’m sorry, Jessica. I’m so sorry. I wanted to be there. I forgot. Was I the only mom who wasn’t there today?

Her: Yes. I was all alone.

Aaron came home about then and the first thing she did was retell the tale and the first thing I did was fall completely apart over Hamburger Helper and a glass of red wine.

Turns out I wasn’t the only Mom who wasn’t there today. There were other kids without a parent helping them carve their pumpkins. So she says.

Aaron was surprised by my reaction – that I would feel so terrible and cry so much about this. But he works all the time. He’s used to missing these things. He feels awful, yes, but it is his life. This is my job. Being there, is my job.

There were countless times as a child when one or both of my parents couldn’t be there, weren’t there, forgot or just didn’t show up. Didn’t stand up for me, didn’t defend me and I spent hours crying over this, journaling about it and trying to rebel against my insane need for them to pay attention to me. To see me. To stop with all their other things. The things that seemed so much more important to them, more important than me. Other siblings, work, cleaning, houses, jobs, spouses.

I had no idea it was so important for me to be there for my own kids until I wasn’t.

It was a Pumpkin Carnival. There will be more, it wasn’t her school play where she was the lead role. I didn’t miss her 13th birthday or forget to pick her up from school.

But she’s five and I had nothing going on today. I could have been there. I should have been there.

I bet this will be one of those stories we tell over and over again at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Hopefully not this year though, I’ll still cry. It’ll become part of the fabric of our family. Things we all remember a little bit differently.

Bla bla bla. It’s fine. It’ll be fine. I know it was an over reaction but it really wasn’t. A couple years ago … about the time I was seeing Jill Tanis I was digging through A LOT of junk. I remember one night I was just having a hard time shaking these feelings so I took a hot shower and it hit me:

I will stand up for my child. For my daughter … because no one stood up for me.

That Aha! moment was met with more crying and this feeling that I was finally allowing myself to change my family history. That I was finally letting go and deciding to be different in a better kind of way for my own kids.

So forgetting? Not being there?

Not an option. Not today.

oh boy


Six months ago I knew I was raising a boy and now I’m sure of it.

Bodily functions have become ammo. No, literally. He has almost no idea what a real weapon is but he will aim his tush at your and toot all day long. Then fall over laughing.

OH! Cheeks :)

Dirt? That’s an appetizer in this house. Smell? Is really just ambiance. Hitting and punching? The preferred emotional trigger for happiness, frustration, anger and love … believe it or not.

Tonight he even named his penis “Baby” and walked around announcing to everyone that his “baby was ok” after an apparently traumatic trial run to the bathroom.

He takes this very seriously.

So happy

Oh the poop jokes! Just saying the word results in a fit of giggles and then some awkward hand gestures that are his way of “joking” with us … that he totally understood the joke. POOP!

Naked baby

I have older brothers so I get some of this. I may even know a thing or two of what’s coming and I understand when wrestling is really the answer but raising one of these? This foreign creature.

Mama, help me.

Kids, April outdoors