Sunday, July 24, 2011

Of the Moment

She gets on kicks of wanting certain books read to her, over and over.
Here's our current favorite.
I say our because ... it's the truest replication of life at our house.
Man, I love having a daughter.

Whenever Birdie's mother got ready in the morning, Birdie was there to help.
She would start by picking out the sparkly jewelry.
Next she would find the perfect pair of sunglasses.
Then her dog, Monster, would help her choose just the right perfume.

But more than anything in the whole wide world,
Birdie longed to wear her mother's shoes.

She loved her crocodile pumps and summer peep-toes and all her strappy sandals ...

Birdie couldn't wait a minute longer.

"Mommy, I think I'm ready to wear big-girl shoes."

"Birdie, you'll have years and years to wear high heels,"
her mother said. "I promise."

Birdie imagined how grown up
she'd feel dancing in high heels.
She thought about how much
better she would be at hide-and-seek.
Monster would never find her.

She pictured how fun it would be to cartwheel in beautiful shoes,
her feet glittering in mid-air.

"Mommy?" Birdie asked again later, "could I wear your shoes, just for a little while?"

"Oh Birdie," her mother said.

"I promise to be careful, cross my heart! Pretty please?"

Birdie's mother looked into her daughter's hopeful eyes.
"Well ... okay, sweetheart. But you have to be very careful."

"I will, I will, I will!" she promised, then raced to her mother's shoe closet.

Birdie carefully slipper her little toes into one shoe,
then slid into another.
She looked at herself in the mirror ...
and gasped.

She felt beautiful.
She felt glamorous.
... she felt like a movie star.

"Let's shim-sham, Monster! said Birdie as she started to dance.
But twisting wasn't easy in wobbly peep-toes.
"Let's play hide-and-seek, instead. I'll hide first!" she decided.

But hiding was impossible with pointy Mary Janes sticking out.

"Cartwheel time!" Birdie shouted.
But landing sure was tricking in sky-high stilettos.

Birdie looked down.
Her feet were sore and knees were scraped.
This is no fun, Birdie thought.
She knew just what she needed to do.

First, she kicked off one shoe ...
... then she kicked off the other.

Barefoot, Birdie did the best
cartwheels she'd ever done.
She tangoed and hand-spun
and grand-jeted all across the living room.

At bedtime, she played hide-and-seek.
Her mother couldn't find her.

"Here I am!"

From that day on,
Birdie decided
she wasn't quite ready for
grown-up shoes - yet.

For now, she liked her beautiful barefoot shoes
most of all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Carseat EXPOSÉ

I've been meaning to do a purge of the photos on my phone.
So I purged and noticed a very common theme, too.
It appears the only pictures I manage to snap of my daughter with my phone are those where she is confined.
Please overlook the poor quality of the images.
Instead, enjoy the very many faces of the lil' dude via her carseat.

After cheering the Minnesota Twins to a late, rallying victory on opening day.

In a straight-up coma from Thanksgiving at Grandma G's Sugar Shack.

Complaining about the insulting sun on a particularly sunny spring morning.

Sleeping during snack time. Yeah, can you predict how this ended?
When she startled awake like crazy mad, those Goldfish FLEW all over the car.
It was awesome.

In my favorite carseat shot, here she is in yet another coma from Christmas at Grandma G's Sugar Shack.
Those crashes are the worst!
Trust me.
I've been doing it for 31 years.

Making Mama's heart soar.
Best Fridays ever.

Testing out Mama's new stunnah shades.

Eating an ice cream cone.
Sure, she 's not an ice cream fan.
However, every once in awhile will eat a plain vanilla cone.
But, this photo will always remind me of who she is at this age.
Tattoos, Band-Aids, and sticky happiness.

And double carseat love.
Lil' Tenie and her bestie, B$ ridin' solo in the back of the truck.
Those two.
Will BE trouble in a few more years, trust.
Now they are sweet. Too sweet.
But if you know their Mamas ...

On a snow day.

And a tired kitty cat after a long afternoon of summer fun.

I love these photos.
I love the consistencies.
NaNa, NighNigh, and sleeping.
Just what carseats are made for.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I have a lot to say about a certain blond in my life, and no real subject was consistent.
So this is a really random post, but isn't that life with a three-year-old, anyway?


I used to say, my kid will eat like a rockstar. She'll possess a very diverse, experimental palate.

My kid loves to eat cold turkey dogs, dry wheat bread, and cereal (the sugary, taboo kind) for dinner.
I pick my battles; eating is not one of them.
Trust me when I say, that was a hard thing to die to.
Thursday night, she ate a baked potato (dry) and the Dad and I just stared, silently.
She won't eat jelly, chocolate milk, popsicles, or ice cream ... but add starchy russets to her list.
This week, that is.


Fell in love with this photo when I edited it. Love, love it. Might even make the dining room wall for the big 4th birthday party this winter. Look at me, talking about her 4th birthday like it's no big deal! Why is that? Well, because you see, for the past 232 days, the lil' dude has talked about her next birthday. Not a single day goes by without at least a tiny mention of invitees, menu, or wish lists. I created a monster ... every April, it's all about Mama and her 30 days of birthday wonderfulness. Ask my people!

And what was my sweet daughter doing in this photo?

Earning room and board.

I can't believe I am posting these photos. But if it's honesty we're after, this is as honest as it gets.
It's no secret I clean the bathroom while the lil' dude bathes. It's so time efficient. I can pay attention to her, while paying attention to my grout. But this week, for whatever reason, she lost her shit when I started to scrub the toilet, wailing for me to save it for her.
By all means.

When she is 12, and cleaning bathrooms is on her permanent chore list just as they were on mine at that age, I am going to remind her how much she loved it at three. It will never get old. For me.


Yesterday, she came into our room at 6:53am.
No thank you.
I turned her around, and climbed into her bed with her.
Where we both promptly fell asleep until 10am.
That's more like it.
When I opened my eyes, she was a millimeter from my face.
Mama. Thank you for sharing my bed with me. We were both sleeping in here.


It was 99* at our house yesterday.
The Dad and I were in the back yard talking about our ginormous raspberry bush.
When our daughter came onto the deck in just her t-shirt.
I just got too hot and sweaty in my undies and shorts. I am gonna come outside without 'em.


Her imaginary friend is 7'0" tall.
His name is Kevin.
He wears #5.
In Celtic green.
And, according to the lil' dude, was playing a real-live basketball game in the yard.
With Rondo and crew.
She begged her Dad to sit and watch the game with her.
I don't know which one of them is crazier.
Her, for her imagination.
Or him, for putting it in her head in the first place.


I have an injury on my big toe.
A pair of heels, 6 hours of dancing, and one NKOTBSB concert later, I am missing a portion of my toenail.
I am way too old for that shit.
But will never learn.
This morning, sporting a Scooby AND a Cinderella Band-Aid on my wound, the lil' dude spies me slipping on my sky-high wedges.
Mama, are you sure your owwie is going to be OK in those shoes?
Always a critic.
Where was she Friday night when I made that foolish footwear decision?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Miss ...

... the feel of her back in her tiny footie jams.
... watching the Beagle lick and lick and lick her face.
... finding pacifiers in my handbag.
... bibs.
... buying diapers & wipes at Target every Friday.
... washing crib sheets.
... being in complete control of another human.
... her fuzzy hair before it was blond.
... buckling her into her infant seat.
... watching her fall asleep in her exersaucer.
... reading books without 89 questions.
... the sour smell of baby puke.
... the hours I spent, just looking at her.
... having people stop us in the grocery store to comment on her big eyes.
... those fat, fat thighs.
... keeping her from putting everything in her mouth.
... watching her fascination of NaNa evolve.
... having a baby.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


As a parent, you often wonder what traits and characteristics your children will inherit from you.

Like, will the lil' dude have a fascination with words?
Will smell be her biggest trigger of memories?
Will she be type-A personality?
Will she speed read?

At this point, it's clear she's becoming a little like her Mama.
I hope she takes that as a compliment.
Just as I do, when people compare my Mama and I.

When she was at Camp Grandma in June, she took this picture of her Grandma G. when they were at the playground.
As my Dad said when he forwarded it to me, the lil' dude took this all by herself! And it's probably the best picture anyone has taken of your Mom!

My Mama famously hates having her picture taken.
But look at that genuine smile for her granddaughter!
The lil' dude, snapping portraits at three.
Yep, a little bit of her Mama indeed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Day at the Beach

The girls in our house sure do love them some beach days. My entire summers as a kid revolved around when I could be in the water; lakes, rivers, pools, mud puddles (sure, a little redneck, but true), the rain. Apparently that desire hasn't left me.

Combine that with the Dad's solid career as a lifeguard at the town pool where he spent his days being loved by little girls, and hated by the bigger ones who had to unplug their noses on his watch, and we have ourselves a fish for a daughter.

(Who, yes, failed her first grown-up swimming lessons. Good lesson in humility for all parties.)

We camped last month with our people, and patiently waited for the skies to cooperate with our need for water. When the sun finally broke, and the wind was the last things on our mind, we headed for the sand.

It was freezing, but her screams of delight probably had less to do with that, and more to do with joy.

She even shucked her rash guard, exposing all that skin, wanting to soak up as much love and sun as possible.

She wore her old, too-small water wings, and retrieved from the waves just like a good little puppy would. Not that it elicited any weird looks from other beachgoers or anything ...

While the real puppy pretended his wasn't tethered to his Mama's ankle instead of asleep under the truck.

Sandcastles were built for tiny fairies and mermaids to live in.

Tattoos were appropriately covered with SPF so no fading would occur.

That photo is in the running as my favorite of all summer.
Much like those sunglasses that were brand new that day (mine) and never made it back from that little trip.
So, lil' dude, I hate to keep doing this to you, but you now owe me $4 for those.
Cheap sunglasses?
One of the best perks of summer.
For obvious reasons.

And then, because even sunshine burns if you get too much, all good things came to an end.

There's nothing better than post-swimming pig out sessions because you're ravenously hungry.
Your hair is wet and smells like lake.
Your fingers and toes are wrinkled.
Ears, full.
Smile, huge.
Spirit, restored.
And you sleep the best sleep ever.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Face of the Off-Season

A few weeks ago, the biggest Timberwolves fan I know brought the littlest Timberwolves fan I know to see some team members in a caravan fashion right here in town. Anthony Tolliver, Wayne Ellington, and assistant coach Darrick Martin represented the squad.

The guys were met by a gym filled with tiny humans.
Tiny humans with big questions, like one little girl's:
Why are you guys so bad at basketball?
Oh, yes she did!
But, the players laughed it off and turned it into a lesson about building teams through blood, sweat, and tears.
And 20 year olds from Spain. (We're comin'!)

But do you know who this little face was most excited to see?
Not Anthony.
Not Wayne.
Not Darrick.
Maybe KLove or Beasely if they had been in attendance, but they were not.
So who, then?

The freaking mascot, Crunch.
Hey, at least it wasn't the cheerleaders.

This is her howl face.
Howling right back at her beloved woodland canine creature in the NBA mesh.

And, when life couldn't get much better for the three-year-old Timberwolves fan, in the off-season, on a rainy Tuesday morning, the gym erupted with more of that crazy Crunch and his crowd-pleasing antics.

Which, rocked her face off.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Open Letter to Mother Nature

What do you get when a three year old is faced with 14 days in a row of rain?
Some pint-sized weather angst, that's what.

Look at this face, Mother Nature.
Let's hope July is a lot better.
Less rain.
Less umbrella-wielding Ninja skills.

And, if you're keeping track, lil' dude, I am adding my $11 umbrella to your tab.
Although, it was worth it to watch you kick the shit out of it.
From the dryness of the garage, that is.

Monday, July 4, 2011


While the favorite man in our lives turns 33 today, you are making the world a better place at your grandparents', where you are spending the week reveling in Daddy's hometown, Grandpa's treats, and Grandma's adoration. Your weeks spent at Camp Grandma are some of your favorites of all time, as they should be. We are grateful for them, for you and your will-never-miss-us attitude, and the strange quietness that is our home when you're not in it.

Grandma sent me these photos just this morning. Since I packed you up two evenings ago, I have been missing your perfect little face, giant eyes, sweaty hugs, and ridiculous catchphrases. It was so good to see you having fun in the 4th of July sun!

But what I wasn't ready for is how damn huge you appear at that parade. I mean, in that lawn chair? I died. Who is that girl? Where did those long legs come from? Where is your stroller? I can't get over it! At least you had NaNa by your side, so I was able to recognize my baby girl amongst all the girl and general person in these photos!

Don't ever do that to me again!

And, holding your own sparkler?
I mean ... I remember when you learned how to hold your own bottle.
That was a feat.

I can't wait to see you Friday.
It would be okay if you reacted the way you did when I picked you up from Camp Grandma last month.
When you clung to me for 10 minutes straight, glued to my chest, petting my hair, and saying Mama, Mama over and over.
Because that was awesome.

Have fun ... be good.
Mama loves.