Monday, June 29, 2009

... Vacation Far Away

The Little Dude's Mama family is going on vacation! We're keeping it simple. Friends, woods, water, bonfire food, and long, lazy days.

Not unlike the days of my childhood. Where I spent afternoons sleeping in my pool.

Or going on adventures to the zoo.

And meeting fuzzy new friends.

Have a great week- go enjoy summer!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad Music

I had a purple Beat It t-shirt when I was three. I love, love, loved Michael Jackson. I also had a Michael Jackson doll my Grandma made me; he had on white pants, a sequined red jacket, and signature one glove. Back in those days, in one of our first apartments as a family, we had cable TV somehow. We had MTV as a channel and I remember sitting on the coffee table, directly in front of the TV, watching the Thriller video over and over again. Probably not appropriate for a little kid, but I loved his music.

One of the lil' dude's aunties, Auntie B., lists Billie Jean as one of her favorite songs. That goes back to high school, and probably before. To this day, if I hear that song while driving, or playing in a bar somewhere, at or someones wedding reception, I'll call Auntie B., or send her a text. Music connects people. Music makes memories.

Driving in today, with the lil' dude strapped in the back seat, we listened to the radio. Every station was filled with Michael Jackson. Music montages of all his hits. Teary fans calling in, likening the loss to our parents' generation and Elvis. DJ's talking about their favorite songs, and "I remember when" moments relating to the King of Pop's decades in the industry.

In lyrics, let's all remember:
You Have to Show Them That You're Really Not Scared
You're Playin' With Your Life, This Ain't No Truth Or Dare
They'll Kick You, Then They Beat You,
Then They'll Tell You It's Fair
So Beat It, But You Wanna Be Bad ...
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Question: What are you naming your next baby and when will that cutie patootie be here? :)

Answer: Wee Dude. Or, Mini-Dude, or Dude2. Or, something completely un-Dude-ish.
We'll use the same name we picked out for a boy when the lil' dude was born. If we have a girl, well, The Dad won't even go there with me, but I have a name picked out, naturally. I'm a planner!

When? That part isn't necessarily up to us, but we've always said we'd wait until the lil' dude turns 2, then we'll start thinking on it. My brother, my only sibling, is 5 years younger than I, and the Dad's brother, his only sibling, is 4 years younger than he is. So, we both grew up with some decent spacing between offspring. I've always maintained I wanted the lil' dude to enjoy her baby years for as long as possible, before she is forced to relinquish her role. This whole time thing, though? With how fast it goes? She'll be 2 in less than 6 months already.

This is my 300th post on Little Dude's Mama! To that event, I'm opening myself up to my fantastic blog friends. Have questions for me? Just ask! Anything! I'll tell you what you want to know.

And, here's to the next 300 posts!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

After a week spent hollerin' for the garage cats ... here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty ...

And begging Grandpa to take her on rides ... ride, ride! Brrrrm, brrrrm! Please? More!

The lil' dude kissed her grandparents goodbye, packed up her Monkey, Elmo, and Nana, and headed for home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Going Back, V

With one of her besties, AJ, just as the clock struck 12:37pm, on her first birthday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Going Back, IV

With Mama and the mini-faux hawk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going Back, III

Visiting with Great-Grandma D.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Going Back, II

Look at those delicious cheeks!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going Back, I

Last summer, on the 4th of July, her Daddy's birthday. Receiving the biggest good morning hug ever from Big T. Look at those happy, pluggie-faced cuties!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where There Once Was Chatter, There is Silence

Shhh ...

The lil' dude left tonight for a week of vacation at her grandparents. I won't tell you how when we loaded up their car in our driveway, the lil' dude banged on the car door and cried to leave. I won't tell you that part.

The house is going to feel the loss of the vibrant, blond-haired little lady. It's only now been 27 minutes and I keep pausing over the keyboard to listen for her footsteps upstairs. She's probably talking her grandparents' faces off, or tricking Grandpa into Dairy Queen by now. This summer, more so than last, we'll miss her. She's everywhere and in everything we do.

I didn't whisper to my mom to limit the treats or enforce the bedtime. Those were the two best things about summers at my grandparents', after all. Summer at the lake meant all the Shasta and Little Debbie treats I could eat; summer on the river meant the 10pm news with hot cocoa and microwave popcorn dipped in Cheez Whiz.

But I did whisper to her, don't you dare trim her bangs. I like them that way.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kissing Mud Puddles & the Like

It was doomed from the beginning.

I dressed you Tuesday morning in your apple outfit from your Grandma G. Now, that woman doesn't pay full price for anything, even if the outfit is from Gymboree. So, don't feel bad about that.

As you ran into the living room, your apple leggings and smart apple onesie, the Dad said, "what are you wearing?" then made a joke about your preppy little school girl outfit. He threw out, "how do you like them APPLES?" even. Of course he did. You've worn the outfit before, but he must not have been paying attention.

When I picked you up that afternoon, you were waiting in the entryway at daycare, face smooshed against the glass of the door. And you were wearing a lime green skirt and a shirt with hearts on it.

Because there was this.

Your daycare lady apologized a hundred times. She said you just laid yourself right down in that mud puddle and tried to lap up the brown water. Nothing she tells me surprises me anymore. That woman has a great sense of humor and the patience of a Saint. And you? Well, you're three kinds of crazy; the good, the bad, and the filthy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Dear Man in the Avalanche Truck on the Freeway Yesterday:

Thank you. Thank you for having three dogs in your truck with you. You were in the lane right beside me when we were standing still in traffic during an irregular time of day. Thank you for letting your three dogs' heads hang out of the window, in the rain, allowing my daughter to be entertained the entire 28 minutes we inched four miles on that stretch of freeway. Thank you for offering her endless joy at shouting "puppy" every time our vehicles moved past one another. Because, after I had exhausted all of our treat supply, Elmo book supply, and peek-a-boo playing supply, you and your (wet) dogs saved the day for my daughter. I just wanted to thank you.

Lil' Dude's Mama

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Letter from Mama, v18

Happy year-and-a-half birthday, lil' dude.

I heard your father call you "almost two," tonight. Then, we talked about toddler beds and potty training and other big kid stuff. You just keep doing it, this growing and aging thing. You're like mold! except much prettier and sweeter-smelling.

It was fun today, reminiscing about what we were doing a year ago. You were on the cusp of infanthood at six months of age. It was a hot, hot day and we went shopping. I put those tiny Nikes on your feet, the silver and white ones, and they left those violent red marks on the tops of your squishy feet. I felt so bad when I saw the welts; I didn't know they hurt you. You couldn't tell us then, you couldn't say anything. You just sat like a round little Buddha, drooling on your brightly-colored rompers. We counted our lucky stars we had such a good baby. We're still counting those stars, lil' dude. We're so lucky to have such a good daughter.

You know where your laundry goes if I hand you clean clothes to put away. You liked the goat cheese I spread on crackers for you this weekend. You still crave routine, in fact, yesterday, at the grocery store when you were cold, hungry, and tired, the whole entire store knew. You have never done that to me in public. I felt ashamed- that I had let you down. Not ashamed that you were wailing, because that's what kids do. I knew you needed to be at home. So, I hustled you there, got hot food in your belly, tucked you into your warm bed and you slept for four hours. You woke up happy as a clam. Thanks for reminding me how you like things. Don't let me forget.

You are still over the line on being a daddy's girl. In percentages, he gets the majority share of your outward affection. You two conspirators! You're always up to something and you're always laughing. It makes me so happy to see you two together. But this morning, from your crib as you began waking up, you asked where Mama go? and where Daddy go? and you really like it when you get both of us. You also like carrying around our wedding photo, the framed black and white one. You repeat Mama, Daddy. It's like you're finally realizing what family means, that we're a package deal and we're best when we're all together. This, little ladybug, is the summer of us. The summer of you. Let's get this party started!

Mama loves.

Friday, June 5, 2009

And They Keep Comin' (or Going)

It's a summer of change, lil' dude. We have to roll with the punches.
You said goodbye to your Manny* last night; flashed him your 1000watt smile, waved, and you were off. You're getting good at goodbyes.

*When Daddy and Mama were conducting their exhaustive daycare search prior to your emergence, we joked that he could be your Manny. He said he would teach you wrestling moves when you got old enough, and he planned on regaling you with stories of his very colorful past. He joked with Daddy about how he could turn you into a fan of HIS football team, and not Daddy's.

Your Manny? He's good people. He came to see you when you were brand new; he brought Mama a bottle of wine and held your tiny self for an hour. You'll learn that guys get bad raps for being insensitive, or thoughtless. Your Manny is not one of them. He asked me how I was feeling while prego, he felt bad for me when I couldn't drink vodka martinis with our dinners anymore. He actively participates in your life.

He bought you that ridiculous lawnmower for your birthday, and 89 batteries to go with it. He'll play hide and seek with you for 30 minutes at a time. He's patient with you, talks to you like a real person, and shells peanuts for you. He has always called you Lil' Tenie. You smile shyly when you greet him, and within minutes you are climbing into his lap.

He's not going far, and we'll still see him plenty. Life is always changing.

So catch you later, Manny.
But never goodbye.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And So Goes the Princess

I cried in the bathroom this morning.

The lil' dude woke up dry this morning, so I plunked her little tushie down on her princess potty chair.
For real, it's a pink and purple throne with gemstones. And it sings.

She's been enthralled with her throne since I positioned it next to her daddy's throne a few weeks ago. She'll sit on it, giggle, ask for milk, and put her rubber ducks into it.

Well, this morning, after a rousing game of, where's lil' dude's nose? Where's lil' dude's eyes? she just went potty. Just like that. Just like a big girl. Just like someone who always has.

And I cried in the bathroom. I never understood those lunatic moms who cried over such ridiculous things until I became a mom. I now know the joy in crying and celebrating all life's ridiculous, beautiful things.

We got our big girl dressed for the day, and she asked for her milk. Milk! I would have given her a Mercedes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Stuck! you wailed. Mama! Stuck!
Then you started to cry.

I rushed to where you were, on the deck, the Beagle by your side.

You were stuck up to your armpit in the green watering can, your shoulder-blade tucked tight against the rim of the can.

The watering can was full of water. And so was your arm.

I dislodged your arm, wrung out your shirt, and kissed your tears.

A half-minute later, Stuck! you wailed. Mama! Stuck!

Your other arm was now fully immersed in the green watering can.

Now, I am not sure which one of us is the fool; you, sweetheart, for doing the exact same thing twice, or me, for not moving the watering can.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Country Air

You spent the weekend in God's Country, lil' dude.

You chased all the kitties until you stood in the middle of the yard, asking us where kitty go?

You made new friends with sweet, scary-looking creatures.

You manhandled big adventures.

And with your lungs full of country air, you passed out on the wagon ride.