Saturday, October 31, 2009

Little Dude's Mama Says ...

We want YOU to have a very Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Favorite Season

Daddy kicked it old-school last night ... and came to bed at 12:45 in the AM.
I had been sleeping, literally, for HOURS.
It's that time of year- it's his favorite season.
And he was watching west coast NBA games and cheering on 'Melo as he dropped 41 points ... (Carmelo Anthony hails from 'Cuse, just so you know)!

Anyways, we took you to your first NBA Wednesday night.
You learned how to cheer on Jonny Flynn, our new rookie, #10. (Jonny Flynn hails from 'Cuse, just so you know)
You said, JONNY JONNY JONNY about 73 times before tip off. I asked the Dad if he'd ever had a prouder parenting moment, and he thought about it, and said he didn't think so.

Game time came. The crowd was dismal. The team sparse, full of newbies.
But Daddy didn't care. He never does. He's a Fan. Lifelong.
You weren't the best of girls, but there will be other games.
So, we left early, at the end of the 3rd quarter when the TWolves were down by 19. As in, 19 points, or 10 possessions.
That's a lot, you know.

And then, we listened to the staticy game on AM radio, driving home in the rain.
Daddy lamenting how he NEVER EVER, as in, never ONE TIME IN HIS LIFE, has left a basketball game early.
He's always there, to the bitter end. Bitter or not.
It's sacrilege to leave early!
And, our squad rallied to come back, going on a 19-4 run in the 4th quarter ... and winning at the buzzer.

Lil' dude: Never Leave a Game Early.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Mama

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?
Yogurt or string cheese.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
My blanket. I've said I can finally say goodbye when I turn 30 in a few months, but I'm not sure I can.
{why would I want to?}

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
I'd love an old farmhouse- with a big wraparound porch. Lots more space for just us. A couple of cute outbuildings, like a greenhouse and potting shed. But I'd want trees nearby, and a pond!

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
I'd say cleaning the floors- sweeping is futile. But if you'd ask the Dad, he'd say putting my laundry away- it's constantly 4 piles deep at the end of our bed on the cedar chest.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
My mom- the way I sound on the phone, the way I overplan things, or get excited about silly things like clearance sales or giving gifts.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
I love planning parties and being a hostess! That kills both birds with one stone!

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
Love, Actually It's almost the holidays ... which means it's time to watch it six times in one month!

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
I have the best secret- Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea baby wipes are what I use to wash my face at night ... there's no other product like them. They're thick, soft, and smell delicious. And, CHEAP. I became a forever fan when I swiped one of them from the lil' dude out of desperation when my product was gone.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I'm a little good at a lot of things- not necessarily very good at a few things. What I think I'm going to want to learn (as a form of my New year's Resolution) is the art of jewelry making. That and continue with Photoshop- ask the Dad, I need WAY more time and lesson.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Remembering. My memory is a steel-trap.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
His shoe collection- my curiosity was so piqued by all these shoes this GUY owned. I had to talk to him!

12. What is something you love to smell?
Things that trigger my memory- the baby lotion the lil' dude used when she was brand-new, the perfume from my wedding day, the lotions of my best friends, and the scents that catch me by surprise- like the cabin we rented this summer. The bathroom reminded me exactly of my grandparents' lake home bathroom. How's that for odd- it's something I can't explain.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I don't like confrontation, so I just avoid it. It's not a good characteristic- this I know!

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Starbucks for Mama, books for lil' dude.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
Loud- and my people make me laugh the hardest. The lil' dude and her idiosyncrasies, the Dad and his, and my friends and their delightful randomness. I swear, I laugh the most in front of my computer- reading my girls' thoughts and daily goings-on.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Target for life.
Gap for wearing.
Coach for splurging or celebrating.
Barnes & Noble for inspiration.
TJ Maxx for deals.
Antique stores for love.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
Take and edit photos.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
My thrift-worthiness rivals my Mom's. Love bargains, sales, and coupons. I didn't used to be like this!

19. Who is your favorite character of all time?
Vivi Walker, from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She is "part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah."

20. Would you want to be famous?
For my writing or photography- yes. I'm not exactly the actress type.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009


{Gritty & Girly}

{Sugar & Spice}

{Naughty & Nice}

{Tomboy & Tailored}

All wrapped up in one little package!

Go your own way, forge your own path, make your own rules.
Be bold.
Be brave.
Be brilliant.

Be the best little girl you can!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Health Prayer

We are hunkered down here at Casa de Lil' Dude; with a prognosis of probable H1N1.

Just wanted to remind everyone to say a prayer for health for children everywhere.

The clinic today quite the scene, a lot of watery-eyed babies, weary-eyed parents, and a general sick and tired effect.

Take care of the ones you love, take care of yourselves, and be well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Hey little buddy, it's Mom.
Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you.
And loving your little face right about off.
You've gotten so big and so ... smart/advanced/mature lately.
We have regular conversations now.
It's like talking to a grown-up.
Except, you're down there, by dog hair and dust bunnies and abandoned toys.
Looking up at me, waiting.

Snack time:
In the mornings and afternoons at home.
We have three big jars of lil' dude approved snacks in the house.
And a fridge full.
Before, you'd say snack and we'd hand you the item.
You'd munch happily.
But now, you have opinions and favorites.
And did I mention opinions?
So now you say snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack in that long, drawn-out baby voice I still love. And the game begins.

Do you want fishes?
Pretzel fish?
Cheese stick?
Blue yogurt.
No yooooget.
Macaroni crackers?
{silent NO head shake}- I don't blame you, those are kinda YUCKY.
Strawberry Fig Newtons?
I don't like it, which is NEW.

You kill me.
You're so funny.
Like a little old lady at Bonanza.
I don't like it.

So I hoist you up to the pantry or fridge, and you root around, digging for your prize.
{last night you and Daddy were doing the Snack Dance and you landed on the [generic] Rice Krispies and insisted on eating those dry. YUCKY]

You finally say thank you with consistency.
So that makes the snack rundown almost worth the while.
{okay, worth the while always forever and ever amen}
You're a funny, particular little kid.
With a blonde ponytail.
And a long list of snack options.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick as a Dog

Yesterday the lil' dude and I were the first ones home, and we were excited to revel in the sunshine and romp with the Beagle in the yard.

But, we soon learned the Beagle didn't feel good and our plans were foiled.

As I explained to the lil' dude the doggie was sick, she appeared to understand.
She spent 30 minutes observing his behavior in the yard ... eating grass, getting sick.
Eating grass.
Getting sick.
She found his green chewie bone, and offered it to him several times.
Don't like it, she said, pointing to him, to the bone.
She even offered him her snack, a miniature Oreo. The Beagle couldn't muster the energy to even sniff the cookie.
That's when I knew he was sick.


Later that evening, in house, feet away from the lil' dude, the Beagle threw up on the carpet.
The dog bowed his head, ashamed.
The little girl burst into tears, frightened.
And I comforted them both.


After dinner, the Dad made a rare exception and made a spot by him on the couch for the Beagle to burrow into.
The lil' dude was fascinated by the rule breaking. She ran into her room, as if inspired.
She returned, a girl with a plan.

{And a heart of gold}

And covered her beloved puppy dog with a blanket, one of her own soft, sweet blankets.

And the puppy was grateful; and comforted.
And the little girl was gracious; and satisfied.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Forever Friends

Forever: [fawr-ev-er, fer-]
1. without ever ending; eternally: to last forever.
2. continually; incessantly; always: He's forever complaining.
3. an endless or seemingly endless period of time: It took them forever to make up their minds.
4. forever and a day, eternally; always: They pledged to love each other forever and a day.
1660–70; orig. phrase for ever

Friend: [frend]
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5. (initial capital letter) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
–verb (used with object)
6. Rare. to befriend.
7. make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.
bef. 900; ME friend, frend, OE frēond friend, lover, relative (c. OS friund, OHG friunt (G Freund), Goth frijōnds), orig. prp. of frēogan, c. Goth frijōn to love

Not that long ago, one of my besties, who has literally been my friend, forever summed up the relationship her daughter and my daughter have.
"They'll be forever friends," she said. "Not necessarily 100% best friends, but life will have a way of keeping these girls together and they'll be forever friends."
And since she shorthanded it so well, I've begun to realize how true that statement is. Take for example, these three chickadees:
Fate brought them together over 26 years ago, when their daddies became forever friends.

And even though last week's trip to the west coast was only the second time the lil' dude met her little lady friends L. and M., their lives are entwined and will be forever.
And ever.

Friendship is beautiful like that; I have an internal audio track of memories from our trip listening to three separate, yet very cohesive peals of laughter mixing together. How three little girls, only eight months apart, and 3,000 miles apart, fit so well together. How they shared toys and rituals and mischief and cereal bowls and daddies without sadness, drama, jealousy, or coercion. How my heart swelled up with Mama-love and pride for my tiny daughter and her bigger, tiny gal-pals.

And as L. and M.'s mama talked about the future of these friends, when they are to the age where spending Saturday nights in their pj's with their parents sounds awful, and how they'll want to go out together, I could picture it easy. Longer legs, teethier smiles, bigger conversations sure, but the same tiny girls they once were.

Because they are forever friends.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nap Time

Here is a video of the lil' dude from our vacation last week.
I'll remind you of two things before you preview it:
This girls LOVES to sleep.
She prefers the pitch black to do so {much like her Daddy}.
What a little vampire!

SO yes, that is where she napped for three straight days ... nothing made her happier. She was content in the bed during the night- when the room was pitch black, of course.
I love the part when her blankets get stuck, and she has to move them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Letter from Mama, v22

You are 22 months old today, lil' dude. I bet you're wondering for how much longer I am going to continue referring to your age in months. The answer is ... about two more months. That's so soon. People ask me now how old you are, and I just say, she'll be two in December.

And, people ask me that all the time. Like, last Sunday morning, you and I woke up very early. We headed uptown for mochas and banana-blackberry muffins at the coffee shop. You ran to our spot in the back by the fireplace and worn leather sofa. We sat for an hour, until I had drank the last of my coffee and you had put back the animal memory game you were playing with. Several patrons commented on how sweet and polite and calm you were. They naturally asked how old you were and were shocked when I said, she'll be two in December. You're an old soul. I say that all the time.

You're about to embark on the biggest adventures of your little life tomorrow afternoon. You're boarding an airplane with Daddy and Mama and we're headed to the west coast for a long weekend. Lucky! I was 17 the first time I flew on an airplane! There's this page in your baby book that says, "baby's first vacation" and when I began filling in your story when you finally arrived, I wondered about that page. Where we would go, how old you would be. I am so excited to be sharing this with you, little girl. We're going to have a blast! You, Daddy, and I? We're the best team ever!

This month, you've continued to hone your skills as a real-live person. This morning, you and I went out to the garage to leave for the day, with you saying, see yah, Daddy. Bye-bye Beagle. Daddy smiled and said, "such a little person she is." You continue to love books and reading, going to sleep at night, eating fruit, drinking milk, playing with your farm and babies, and being thrown around in the air by Daddy and his big muscles. You're the reason and the answer to everything, lil' dude, and we're so delighted to have you in our lives.

Mama loves.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Being a good person is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all of the yucky stuff -- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a bright new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

{Thanks to the lil' dude's auntie S. for the sweet little seed of pumpkintasticness!}

Monday, October 5, 2009

In Your Blood

Major league baseball is in your blood, lil' dude.
Especially when it comes to our hometown team.

Mama is named after a major league baseball player- did you know that? It's a fun piece of trivia which stumps people. My grandma S, your grandma-great, has loved our hometown baseball team for years. For decades. I am named after her favorite player, who was a member of the team from 1958-1970. Even though I was born in 1980, Grandma's favorite still resonated with my own Mama, your grandma G., and my name was chosen in honor.

To this day when I call my grandma I can count on three things being the topic of any of our conversations. The garden, the weather, and the Minnesota Twins.

And then, there's your grandpa T. Oh, he puts the FANATIC in fan all right.

Once this summer when your grandma S. and I were going through some of her old memories, we came across a note from her bridal shower, from grandpa T.'s mama, your grandma-great D. She wrote down advice for the new bride to be; who would become her daughter-in-law in 1974. The note said something along the lines of;

To keep T. happy, the rules are simple.
Do not make anything with onions in it.
And don't touch his stuff.
Especially his baseball cards.

Oh, the laugh I got out of that one, all these years later.

Yesterday's game was an important one. The season finale to be played at the Metrodome, the home of the Minnesota Twins for the last 28 seasons. The place people love to hate, and hate to love, it's been part of the Minneapolis skyline for nearly three decades. And we just had to be there with your grandpa T. for the last game.

You see, he took Daddy to the final Twins game at The Met, The Metropolitan Stadium, on September 30th, 1981. Daddy was three years old, not much older than you are now. Grandpa bought us all tickets when they went on sale in the spring, sure to not miss the tradition so rich and steeped with meaning to this family.

The game yesterday did not disappoint.
And you, my little fan, didn't either.

You cheered when we cheered.
You booed when we booed.
You sang when we sang.
You stretched in the 7th inning.
You got your face painted.
You loved seeing the mascot.
You ate stadium food like a champ; hotdogs, popcorn, nachos, licorice, sips of soda.
And you were there, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed until the very last pitch.

I could not have been more proud of you for the way you behaved. Four hours in an insane atmosphere of 51,000+ fans. Without a nap. Without proper room to romp for a busy toddler.

Like most things in my life, I have a bit of nostalgia when it comes to the Dome. It was where I went to my first major league game. It was where you went to yours. It was where I met your grandpa T. and grandma S. for the very first time. It was where Daddy and I celebrated our engagement and proudly showed off my sparkly diamond ring to my in-laws for the very first time.

Next summer, when we take you to a game, we'll be wearing sunglasses and SPF, sipping on slushies.
Or, winter jackets, boots, and drinking cocoa.
Whatever it may be, one thing is certain.
We'll continue to build more and more memories in our lifetime of baseball love.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It's Saturday morning, 3:22am.
I hear you cry and then scream.

I bolt upright, my heart in my throat as I dash to you in the dark.

It's unusual, to say the least, you being awake at night.

I fumble in the dark, looking for you in your bed.

Stuck, you wail, from the tangled confines of your star bedding.

I find the center of your heat, feel the little girl lump and see that yes, you are very stuck and tangled up indeed.

I right you against your pillow, NaNa tucked under your chin, and shh-shh-soothe you until your chest stops heaving with fear and you fall sleep again.

{Reminds me of another member of this household who needs help getting untangled from bed sometimes, too.}

Thursday, October 1, 2009

On Being a Girl-Person

Some days, I swear I can still feel you kicking from within.
And sometimes, I swear you're spending your afternoon nap curled up in a tiny ball in your swing.
Then, you grab me by the cheeks, focus your eyes on mine and say, "Mama. Mama!"
And I snap out of it and look at you, my girl-person that you are.


On Monday, I wore a preppy navy blue headband. It has this neat little bow on the side. For some reason, I love this headband. It's smart. That evening, you were on my lap, facing me and telling me about your day. You pointed to my headband, touching it. You said, nice. All-sarcastic like. I asked you to repeat yourself. Nice, you intoned. The Dad laughed. When you asked nicely to hold it, I handed you my preppy navy blue headband and you promptly snapped it in half.
OK. I get it.


Last night you were coloring with chubby crayons at your easel. You grabbed up all your colors, and placed them in the tray, saying, " ... eight, nine, TEN."
I looked at you.
" ... Eight, nine, TEN," you repeated, without breaking stride.
I asked you what you were doing, and you pointed to your crayons and said, "count."
And then my head exploded.
I texted the lovely and talented Daycare lady and she confirmed.
"Yeah, LOL. We count here."

You are such a bright ray of sunshine, lil' dude. You are so good and make your parents so proud.
You accept discipline.
You apologize for any wrongdoings.
You listen very well.
You are generous, kindhearted, clever, and spirited.

And, you know. You make your Mama's head explode.