Archive for the ‘Sweet’ Category

Dear S,

It’s hard for me to write a letter to you because most of my thoughts and feelings about you aren’t really expressible as words, only as sickeningly saccharine pet names, squeezes and snuggles. I can’t figure out how to describe the sentiment behind nuzzling your belly, play-eating your haunches, and tickling your toes. How do I express your giggles as I toss you into the air, flip you upside down and spin you around? Or what it’s like just walking with your tiny hand in mine? It’s impossible. You are not a thing of words; you are a thing of visceral, devastating, hopeless love and attachment. It’s all I can do on a daily basis not to eat you. (I know that sounds weird. When you have a baby of your own, you’ll get it.)

S sitting in a chair 2 days old. I had so much fun in the hospital with her. Best 4 days of my life.

You’ve become such a big girl in so many ways and I’ve been lucky enough to witness you grow. You are easily the most affectionate person I’ve ever known in my life. And for the most part, you are unflappably happy. Unless you’re not. And when you’re not you let us know. For a person so small in stature, your volume is alarming.

Mmmmm, puzzle....

Your vocabulary grows by the day, but it’s still quite limited. You have some of the important words, and several words I wouldn’t have pegged as obvious first words:

Your best words are the 2-year-old trifecta: no, mine and me.

You can’t say L’s name, so you just call him “Unna,” which is the same word you use for “other.” As in, he’s the other one. (Trust me, you’re not saying brother. You can say that too, but it sounds more like “budda.”)

Many of your words are only meaningful to me, like “boo” for “shoe” and “boop” for “milk,” but some other words are said with perfect clarity. These are a surprising bunch like “money,” “elbow,” “hot cocoa,” and “goggles.”

Except when you use that tone of voice which is the exact perfect pitch to reverberate in my head and drive me clinically insane, you are seriously the most adorable thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. (Except L when he was your age, who was also impossibly cute, but harder to see because he was always a blur of motion.) It takes all of my restraint to stop myself from constantly picking you up, squeezing you, and smothering you in kisses, tickles and nuzzles.

I love that you are happy to play by yourself. I love that you are happy to play with me. I love that you are laid back about transitions from one activity to another. I love that you smile and say hello to everyone you see. I love the way you giggle. I love the way you run. I love the way you jump.

I do not love that you still hate the car and spend most of your time in it screaming.

I love that you go to bed so easily. I love that you wake up happy. I love that you eat just about anything I put in front of you. I love how much you love your big brother. You find him hilarious and you try to copy everything he does. Most of the time, I wish you wouldn’t.


S, my sweet 2-year-old, I’ve said a thousand times over the last two years that I want to stop time to freeze you where you are because you are at the height of your cuteness and sweetness. But you just keep getting better. (I am aware that the age of 3 looms ahead of me, but I prefer to live in denial.)

I love love love love love you impossibly much.



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Despite my apparently abysmal parenting (see Diana’s comment), L is growing into a good human. As you may have read, he recently decided to donate a large portion of his life’s savings to help hungry children in Somalia. His donation rounds up to $5. Some people expressed an interest in matching this. Together, we could make a big difference in the lives of people who are really suffering.

So, I tried to set up a place where people could donate but couldn’t figure out how to get the Paypal account for donations separate from my personal Paypal account, and time has just been ticking on. So, instead, I’ll just share my links with you all and you can take it from there.

I found a helpful article on ways to help here: http://saveone.net/#1745413/It-Takes-an-Army-to-Solve-a-Crisis-3-Ways-to-to-help-fight-the

I decided to donate his money, and my additional contribution, to World Food Programme.

Nearly all of the food handed out in Dadaab comes from the World Food Programme (WFP). Each year, 90 million people are fed by WFP, 58 million of whom are children. A donation to WFP goes a long way – every $1 you give provides a meal for 4 children.

One dollar feeds 4 children? L helped give a meal to 20 children?? Amazing. If you’re interested in matching his donation, making your own, or passing the word around, their donation page is here: https://www.wfp.org/donate/hoa_banners

I know this post is way off topic from my usual, but I wanted to follow-up on L’s emerging philanthropic spirit. By the way, he has not forgotten about it. He keeps asking me if his money is helping people and if people are still hungry. I would love to tell him that his generosity inspired others to do the same!

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L saw the news this morning and was struck by a piece on the famine in Somalia. He immediately asked for his piggy bank. He then extracted his one and only dollar bill – the only one he’s EVER had – and more than half of the change that was in there.

How cute is this piggy bank? That's L's foot print from when he was 9 weeks old. Awww.

This pile of money adds up to $4.56. He asked that I send it to Somalia to help the hungry children. I die.

Not to be left out, S came running up to me saying “More! More!” and she too contributed to the cause:

In case you can't tell, this money is not real.

So now I have to figure out how to donate this money, (just the real stuff). It occurs to me that I can capitalize on L’s charitable inclination and spearhead a kids-to-kids type of campaign through L’s friends and school to raise money for children suffering in the famine. This sounds like such an amazing idea and opportunity, but I’m not sure where to begin. Any ideas?

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As I type this my kids are nearly 100 miles away from me. I’m not talking in the figurative sense – as in I’ve reached some awesome meditative state and/or plugged them into Sprout and I’m looking at the bottom of my second glass of wine – but in the literal sense. As in they are an hour and a half away from me. Sounds pretty good, right? Wait. It gets better. Very, very early tomorrow morning, T and I will get up (happily) and hop on a flight for a 5 day trip to Puerto Rico. No kids. Just us.

The point of this post isn’t to gloat over my amazing luck, but to give a massive shout out to my spectacularly awesome parents. Not only are they looking after the kids while we’re away, but as a gift to T for his last birthday, my mom gave him enough airline miles to get us our tickets to PR.

So, if you want to know what the best mother on Earth looks like, that’s it. She’s the mom who takes her kid’s kids, and sends her kid and husband away for a vacation together. Don’t bother trying to be the best mom in the world, that spot is already occupied by my mom.

Thank you, Mom!!!

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Another day where L boggles my mind with his goodness. Today we headed back to the hospital for L to get his new leg braces.

8AM: We pile into the car.

8:20: Too early to drop S off at daycare, so we first go to a coffee shop where I said no to 578 things and yes to a slice of banana bread that L has to wait to eat.

8:30: Drop S off at daycare and allow L to eat his banana bread.

9:15: Arrive at hospital after long drive in AM traffic with Raffi playing in the car (shoot me).

9:40: We’re seen for the first time. L tries on the braces.

9:50: Back to the waiting room while the braces are fine tuned.

10:15: L notices a boy with one leg. “You are the best hopper I’ve ever seen!” L and the boy quickly become friends and the boy happily explains all of his congenital anomalies to L, who thinks they’re cool. L tries and tries but just can’t hop as well as the boy. “I’ll just stick with running. I’m good at that. You should stick to hopping since you have one leg and you’re so good at it.” The boy’s mother and I look on, beaming with pride at our respective little awesome fellows.

10:45: L is finally fitted with the braces. He needs to walk around and play in them for 15-20 minutes to make sure they are comfortable.

11:25: We’re given the go ahead to leave. L’s shoes don’t fit over the braces so I decide to go to a nearby mall to buy shoes at Target (best place on Earth) and have some lunch.

11:45: Loud POP sound from L’s right brace in the back of the car as I pull into mall parking lot. Uh-oh.

The guy had told me “don’t be shy” when he supervised me strapping them on L for the first time. He wanted me to crank those straps tight. Apparently, he was not aware that I have superhuman mommy strength, and I busted a rivet. Dammit! Since we’re at the mall, we buy big shoes, hope they fit, and grab some lunch before heading back to the hospital.

At this point I feel bad for L. He has already spent all morning mostly waiting. I also have the heartbroken feeling I get after a day in the children’s hospital and I’d buy the kid a freaking pony if he asked for it. Instead, I take him to a candy store on our way out of the mall. To the best of my knowledge, L has been in a candy store one other time in his life, so this is a very special treat. Upon entering his eyes bug out and he exclaims, “I love this place!” While he occupies himself with a display of sparkly m&m purses (?), I get him a few assorted pieces of bulk candy. Not a lot.

The small bag of candy completely blows L’s mind and he cannot believe his luck. He keeps telling me, “I love what you got for me!” and “You’re the best mommy I ever had!” and “This is the best day. I just love this day!”

1:25: Arrive back at the hospital, deliver the busted braces back to the guy and head to the waiting room.

This is where the magic happens. L approaches each person in the waiting room, shows them his bag of candy, explains that his mommy got it for him, and offers them some. Remember, there was not a lot of candy to begin with; despite that, he offers candy to the nurses and doctors, to the parents and children, the receptionists, aides and a janitor. Most decline, some take a piece. The child gives away almost all of his candy! And he’s happy as anything to do it.

At one point I heard him trying to convince a waiting mom to take a piece: “Are you sure you don’t want one? I’ve got some gummy worms and here’s a frog. And a couple of these things which look really good – I’m sure you’ll like them. You can take it home and eat it later.”

Now I really want to get him a pony. After spending all day waiting around in a hospital L cheerfully gives away his reward for good behavior. Absolutely overwhelmed with happiness at having a bag of candy, he simply wants to share the joy.

We finally leave the hospital around 2:30 with no more candy in his bag. “Mommy, do you think you can buy me a bag of candy another time? I just loved it.” Yes, L, I will buy you a bag of candy another time. (Grateful he hasn’t asked for that pony.)

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I pictured my little girl walking around with a doll in her arms. Not chicken stock. Certainly not anchovies. Show S a doll and she’ll smile, sweetly reach for it, and then toss it as far from herself as she can. However, show her a carton of chicken stock, and you’ve got yourself a happy little girl!

S has had a thing for emptying my pantry ever since she could pull her little self up to reach the bottom shelf. Consequently, all jars, easily opened containers, and crushable dry goods are kept on higher shelves while the lower regions are full of canned goods, cartons, and other toddler-proof items.

“Hello? Oh, hi, Anchovy! How are you?” I have had this conversation with a tin of anchovies many times. The anchovies are S’s favorite phone. Better than her toy phones. Better than my old cell phone. Nothing beats the anchovy phone.

Instead of clutching a dolly as she toddles around the house, S hugs a carton of chicken stock. She takes it with her everywhere. She carries it to the couch, puts it down, climbs up and then puts it in her lap. Only to climb down moments later, retrieve the chicken stock and carry it to the other side of the room where she’ll sit with it, carefully lifting and reclosing the plastic flap thingy. Soon she’ll be off again, chicken stock lovingly cradled as she walks into the other room to get her stroller. She brings that back to the pantry to get another carton of chicken stock to sit in the seat. She now has one tucked under her arm as she pushes the other one around in the stroller. Chicken stock, folks.

(By the way, this is the BEST broth ever.)

So there you have it. My little girl forgoes dolls, stuffed toys, even cans of soup. Every day it’s all about the chicken stock and anchovies.

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Xmas Tree

Today we got our tree. A fun morning at the tree farm with cookies and hot cider, we picked a beauty, brought it home and decorated it.

My a anal-retentive side just about died watching L hang all his ornaments on the same branch.

But when he turned his back I fixed it. (We all do that, right?) The tree has about a 1 mm clearance from the ceiling.

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