Monday, April 29, 2013


It's almost felt like summer these past few days.

It's been so nice to get outside with the kids and enjoy some fresh air. Gotta love the smell of spring...especially when you now have functioning windows in your kitchen (thanks, Hubs). On Saturday I was tricked into thinking that lots of outdoor fun would mean long afternoon naps for the little one since she rocked a three hour snooze, but I appear to have been sadly mistaken.

For two days in a row now, she has basically not napped at all. Good times. I'm going to choose not to dwell. So anyway, back to the nice weather.

The swings gave Cecie motivation to add a new word to her list..."weeeeee!" It's quite adorable :)

And today Simon and his cousins caught a poor sucker of a frog. It made them quite happy, but I'm sure the frog didn't love being manhandled by four young children. They were, however, pretty respectful of the little guy with the exception of dropping it accidentally a couple of times (but the kids are short so the falls couldn't have been too traumatic, right?).

I look forward to lots of days ahead just like these past few (with the exception of the whole brush with death thing that I'm still trying to force out of my mind). So here's to a warm, SAFE spring and summer!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A different kind of day...

Today could have been different.


Yesterday afternoon my neighbor and I decided to walk to the library with Elliot and our kids (Simon, Cecie, K and A). It was a rocky, chaotic start. The kids were either going to fast or too slow and there was a lot of redirection those first few minutes.

K, age 6, was riding his bike and Simon was running alongside him. At one point they collided and Simon went down into some bushes. I was thankful he didn't fall in the direction of the busy street just a couple feet to our left, but still he had several scratches and was hysterical so I told him he had until the count of three to pull himself together or we were going to turn back. I got to three. He took a deep breath, smiled and we moved forward.

The boys raced to the next cross street and stopped to wait for us, as is the rule. We reached them, gave them the all clear to cross and they went ahead. The busy road on our left continued to have a steady flow.

K was back up on the sidewalk by the time were halfway across the street and suddenly he took a sharp left with his bike. Right over the curb. Straight into traffic.

His mother screamed his name in pure terror, a sound I'm not likely to ever forget. Cars were slamming on their brakes as hard as they could. Then crash....crash.

For far too many seconds we couldn't see K at all, the mangled cars were in the way. Was he hit? Was he alive? Where? Was? HE?! After all the cars finally stopped he came peeking around the first car with his bike and a terrified look on his face.

He walked away. By some kind of God given miracle, he walked out of the middle of the street with a line of totaled cars just inches away from him. Relief poured over me in the form of tears as I sat with the other kids while his mother tried to make sense of what just happened.

It took no time at all for countless police cars to arrive on the scene along with a fire truck, ambulance and plenty of spectators. There were three cars that were severely damaged and one woman was taken away on a stretcher. We're told she will be okay.

K saw all the police and thought for sure either he or his mom were going to get arrested. We assured him they wouldn't be, but it continued to be his chief concern until we left. Bryan came to get the dog and the kids so I could walk back with my neighbor; we tried not to lament over the what-ifs, but that was of course impossible.

It is with zero exaggeration that I say this child was within inches of his life. This scene will play over and over in my mind for who knows how long. Every time I think about what we could have seen instead of his scared little face coming out from in front of that first car, I get a wave of emotion and have to just try to block it out.

Thank God that first car was paying attention. Thank God her feet and her breaks were strong. Thank God she wasn't looking at her phone or her radio or out the window or checking her mirrors.

So as I said, today could have been a very different kind of day. So thankful things turned out the way they did...

Friday, April 26, 2013


My good friends Tiffany and Danielle asked me about a month ago if I would do their baby's newborn pictures. I was quite terrified of screwing this up so I spent some time researching how to both take and edit newborn pictures. My research paid off...if I do say so myself :)

Here are some of my favorites from the ones I've had time to edit so far!

Thanks for the fun day, Charlie! And thanks for not pooping or peeing on any of my blankets :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fifteen Months!

Stupid, useless gate.

Until we get the gate lowered, I'm back to following Cecilia around all damn day so I figured I'd pull out the camera and document how she spends her time as a fifteen month old (almost anyway).

A lot of her time is revolved around Brother. She likes to steal his sippy cups, stand in his way, play with him, bring him books, take them away, etc. Most of the time he plays right back with her. Gotta say, I'm pretty much in love with this picture:

And this one, but for an altogether different reason:

Much of her time these days is spent walking around with giant shoes on. Much to my dismay, she WILL. NOT. keep her own shoes on. Drives me nuts. But the big shoe thing is pretty cute:

When she's not stealing shoes, you might find her looking at books. She doesn't have a big attention span for having them read to her quite yet, but she sure loves to have them in her hands and look at the pictures. I did read the entirety of Brown Bear, Brown Bear to her yesterday. We're getting there!

And the rest of her time is mostly spent wandering. She walks from thing to thing, place to place with no apparent rhyme or reason. Hopefully she will be a champ at playing independently like her big brother; so far she seems to be well on her way!

Cecilia started walking as her primary mode of transportation sometime in her twelfth month, but it wasn't until this week that she started standing up on her own. She would always walk on her knees or crawl to something to help her stand up and then walk wherever she needed to go. So I guess now she is really walking, which is great because this means we can play outside a lot easier. 
Love that little butt:

She still mean mugs people all the time, and as a result people ask if she "just woke up" all the time. Almost every day someone asks me this. It's actually kind of funny. I think they ask this because she is NOT going to smile for you just because you're smiling at her. This has been a personality trait of hers forever and it has not changed. I'd be worried about it, but this looks like a happy enough kid to me:

She also still messes with people all the time by picking and choosing who she wants to hold her. She will bat you away and say "NO!" and then snuggle with whoever has her just to twist the knife. Next thing you know, she is in your arms denying the person who just had her. Funny thing is, when it's your turn to get the love you cannot help but instantly melt. She's a little manipulator.

She's all smiles in these pictures, but she's recently developed a witching hour. As soon as 4:00 hits she seems to lose her mind over everything. Bryan cannot get home soon enough, for either of our sake's. All hell breaks loose if she sees him and he has to walk out of the room without her for any reason. Her tantrums are so ridiculous, and they are getting less cute the older she gets. Her tantrums at bath time are particularly note worthy...washing her hair is a slice of pure hell. Simon yelled at me for yelling at her during our last bath battle. I realize that yelling at a 14 month old doesn't make much sense, but there is something about her trying to jump out of the bath mid-rinse that makes me just want to yell. Anyone want to take this job over for me for a while? :)

She is starting to talk a bit and that squeaky little voice just kills me. She has about 10-15 words that she uses sort of regularly and I get excited every single time a little word sneaks out. The ones we hear most are no, uh oh, dada, si (simon), hi (pictured below), hello (ALWAYS with her hand up to her ear), and thank you. Note "mama" still didn't make the list. Punk.

She is a busy little lady, exactly how she should be. 
We are so lucky.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Run. Grandpa. Haircut. Moms. New. Tree. Chair.

Simon was very excited to go on a "group run" last night. We went to a fundraising run for Boston and Simon went about a mile. He ran some, walked some, played some and did a lot of stopping to stretch...

Cecilia and her Grandpa Jimmy playing. There's nothing like a hat to keep a 1 year old happy...

Our GQ man after a haircut...

Cecilia with her mom, her mom's mom and her mom's mom's mom...

Charlie, a brand new one...

Simon reading The Giving Tree. I've always liked this book, but it's quite sad...

C sitting like a big girl. She is doing so many things like a big girl these days....

That's all I've got for today :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What a week...

I've read one too many tragic stories this week. The two that have gotten to me most are of course Boston and then the local "mother" who, after several run ins with Child Protective Services in recent months, decided to lock her children in a room while she went to work and meanwhile the house burned to the ground. These sickening, gut wrenching stories have settled deeply into the folds of my brain; I'm just so sad for so many people.

In times like this I can't help but feel extra grateful for all of my loved ones, but also inordinately fearful that at any moment they could be taken away. Mission accomplished I suppose. Events like in Boston are meant to create fear, right? I'm pretty sure.

Not much to do but keep moving forward.

It'd be nice if these two could grow up in a world made up of only love and no fear, but they're just going to have to learn to live with both. It's just part of being human I think. In the meantime, they're only going to know the love part (and maybe a little bit of healthy fear to keep them in line).

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Daddy Time

Our neighbors have this thing called "Daddy Time." If you tell the kids to go home by their daddy, they will stall and do what kids do when they'd rather stay put. If you change the way you say it and tell them, "It's Daddy Time," they will haul ass out the door like they're on fire and won't look back. Daddy Time means something extra fun and exciting is about to happen.

While we didn't call it Daddy Time, Simon had just that on Saturday.

Bryan saw an ad for a dinosaur documentary called Flying Monsters 3D at the Milwaukee Public Museum so he and the boy made a date. Simon did a lot to prepare for this father-son day in the week preceding it: he collected snacks for the movie for the two of them and put them in Bryan's car for safe keeping, he tried to get me to buy two juices for the same reason and he even planned out what they were going to eat for breakfast together that morning (cereal).

It's not like they never do anything together, but usually we're just all together or they are doing something that is already their thing so it's not out of the ordinary (ie swimming at the Y). The very idea of it made Simon stick like glue to Bryan every time he saw him for was pretty cute.

So anyways, I was home with Cecilia slightly jealous that they were off having big kid fun while they were doing their thing. Luckily Bryan took some pictures so I could sort of pretend that I didn't miss out :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hair Day Complete

We decided on simple 5 minute pig tails.

I didn't want to mess too much with it for fear of breaking more off, but I'm starting to wonder if she's just getting new hair growth above her forehead so what looks like it was broken off is maybe just coming in for the first time. That answer makes me have much less mommy guilt so I should probably roll with it....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hair Day

Tomorrow is hair day.

And tomorrow is a particularly important hair day to me because we're in a bit of a hair pickle (this is a real thing, trust me). I have to figure some things out. I'm starting to worry that she's going bald by her forehead hairline. And maybe in other spots. I realize that this doesn't exactly look like a balding child....

...but I keep finding chunks of hair around. And the hair right above her forehead is completely (and devastatingly) broken off. Poof. Gone.

So I'm left to wonder. Is she pulling out her hair? Is it just falling out because it's been "free" for a couple of weeks and it's naturally shedding a bit? Is it breaking against her crib sheets? Is it breaking because she loves to rub crap on her head in order to make Simon laugh and Mom cringe (both equally appealing to her)? Is it breaking because I'm handling it too much? Too little? Am I not moisturizing it enough? Have I put too much product in?

And the biggest question of all, what in the hell should I do with her hair tomorrow??

This is what we call a learning experience. Not a crisis like all of my questions might suggest I'm turning this into, but something I need to address nonetheless.

So tomorrow is hair day. One that has me unusually nervous...especially since I just realized we're out of Bunny Crackers. Yikes.