Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Magical Doors to Hidden Unicorns

A few days ago, I was watching Claire as she walked Zoey around the backyard. I saw Zoey suspiciously sniff a spot and then Claire bent over and got a closer look.

She backed up quickly, then found a long stick to inspect things further. She pushed the leaves and vines aside and uncovered the area.

I watched as she stood there, looking at that spot, her wheels clearly turning. She turned around and quickly ran inside.

"Mom!! I think I found something."

"Oh yeah? What did you find?"

"It's either a stone or a door to somewhere."

In her mind, both equally plausible.

We went back out together and she showed me the spot. I asked her how we would open it if it was a magical door and if she knew any passcodes. We tried touching the rock while saying phrases like "open please." We tried saying our address and even the passcode to Scott's phone. Nothing worked, but we left determined to keep thinking on it.

The next day, we showed Grace the discovery and while at first she was skeptical "Claire, that's always been there," she quickly started brainstorming what could be under the door.

"Mom, what if there are unicorns in there?!?! Can I have one??"

And even though I have no authority to do so, I totally agreed to let her have one. Because magic, y'all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Hunter's Creed

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will stay these children from hunting eggs.

It rained all morning and we knew there was a chance they would cancel the annual city egg hunt, but we decided to try anyway.

The girls only have two more years of hunting before they age out, so I didn't want to skip this year unless absolutely necessary.

When we drove up, there was only a slight drizzle and the volunteers were nearly done "hiding" the eggs. So, we jumped out and shivered until it was go-time. Normally there are kids packed along the sidewalk. This year, it was our family, my brother's and two other kids in our age range. Needless to say, the girls hit the Easter egg jackpot. 

Afterward, to warm our hands and satisfy our growling bellies, we headed to our favorite donut shop. Mmmmmmm.

Success all around.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dear Henry: Month Nine

Dear Unhappiest Henry -
This past month was a doozy. You can read all about the misery over here, but suffice to say you had a very, very rough month. Which, suffice to say, I had a very, very rough month. But enough about the misery! 

There is more to this month than your multiple ear infections, slow and painful teething of four teeth and bouts of constipation!

I wrote in my last letter that you were really hitting the gas pedal on your growth. You didn’t slow down at all this month. You are now crawling on all fours most of the time (sometimes army crawling just feels faster to you), cruising around furniture and pulling yourself up on anything you can reach. 

You continue to find ways to communicate. When I take something you want badly but aren’t supposed to have (like the dog food), you let me know in no uncertain terms that you are displeased with me. And when you are excited to see someone, you start waving your arms and kicking your legs — the joy just exploding out of you. 

You love going outside. Any time you hear the front door open, you make a beeline for it, just hoping someone will take you out. And you’ll sit at the back door just watching the world go by for minutes (which is like hours in baby time.) I’d take you out more often if you’d just stop trying to eat acorns. 

Your love for your sisters hasn’t slowed down either. You have started waving goodbye to them in the mornings and are SO excited when they get home each day. The feeling is very mutual. Although they have expressed a frustration or two when you want to mess with their stuff. I imagine that dynamic will only grow as you do. 

It’s also been fun to watch you start playing independently. Well sorta independently. Your Grandma called you Captain Destructo once and the name is fitting! I will set up up toys around the room and you make your way from toy to toy, taking it apart or dumping it out or generally just making a mess of things. When I really need to distract you, I’ll ask someone to play the marker game with you. This is how you play: They hand you a bucket of markers, you dump it out. They put them back in. You dump it out. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. If only it would always be so easy to entertain you! 

Although this month hasn’t been what I’d call “fun,” I’m glad to have spent it with you. I’m glad that if nothing else, you felt how much I love you. In every gentle shush, pat and bounce, my love was jumping from my heart to yours. In every middle-of-the-night rocking session, in every back rub and kiss on the head, my love was enveloping your miserable little body. No matter what, and I mean no matter what — no mistake, no illness, no bad choice will ever stop me loving you. My love for you grows every single second and it will continue from now to the end of our days. 

Love you so much, dear son of mine. 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Dear Henry: Months Seven and Eight

Dearest Henry,

Sloooooow down, dear one!! Ever since you mastered the roll, you pushed it into overdrive. You have started army crawling, you grew a tooth (nearly two of them), you agreed to your first bowl of baby food, you pulled yourself up and took a few steps along the couch. 

I couldn’t be more proud of you, son, but c’mon! That’s too much in one month for one Mom. 

I kid, of course. Mostly. 

These days and weeks are passing at lightning speed and I’m trying my very best to soak up every moment. Every smile, every giggle, every cry, every crawl, every tear. Of course, I don’t always soak them up. Some days seem too much to bear and I yearn for the end of the day and the comfort of sleep. But most of the time, I’m acutely aware of how fast time is flying and how quickly these sweet days will be over. 

I mentioned all of the milestones that you have hit these past couple of months, but what’s really been fascinating to watch is your growing interest in everything around you. From the big empty boxes (that are inexplicably in our living room) to the teeniest tiniest piece of sock fuzz, you will zoom as fast as your arms will drag you to inspect it. You couldn’t care less about most of your toys (sigh), but LOVE anything that looks like trash. 

Empty pop bottle? Awesome. 

Colorful stacking blocks? Boring. 

Crumpled up receipt? Score. 

Musical ball? Lame. 

Which, let’s be honest, is fine because we have a ton of trash to keep you interested. 

We celebrated Christmas this month, and although you had no idea what we were doing, you were still a happy little guy. 

We also took our first big road trip to visit my cousin in Iowa. It’s about a three or four hour drive for normal people. For us? It took us eight. And other than a couple of bouts of crying, you did remarkably well. 

By far my favorite part of this month happened the other day. You were army crawling around and started to get a little fussy. I was folding laundry on the couch when I looked down and noticed you were tapping me on my foot. You looked up at me and were clearly saying “Hey lady, pick me up!” But it was the first time I felt like I knew what you wanted. No guessing. No speculating. Just plain communicating. It was wonderful. 

And even though I can wait to see what you do next month, I will be right here with you soaking up every minute (nearly). 

Love you,