Wednesday, December 31, 2014

3 Years, 3 Weeks, and 3 Days...

I'm gonna say the thing that all parents say: How did this happen?! My little boy is not little at all really. He's big, in so many ways.

He's tall, lanky, and moppy haired. 

When I cuddle him, I can't contain all of him in my arms. His long limbs spill out all over the place. He sits in my lap and rests his head on my shoulder.

He's physically capable of it all now. Running, jumping, climbing - there is no awkward or unsure movement anymore.

He is smart. Too smart, maybe, as he seems to know how to break all the rules and charm his way back into favor. Case in point: I was sternly scolding him the other day, and he simply leaned in and rubbed his nose against mine, "Ugga Mugga, Mommy!" How am I supposed to be mad at that?!

He says he's sorry when I have no idea what he's done.

He still likes to cuddle.

He sneaks his binky out of his bed (it's only supposed to be for bedtime these days) and walks around the house with his hand over his mouth, like I can't tell what he's doing. When I tell him to put it back in his bed, he giggles and says, "Alwight, alwight, alwight!"

He can count to 14. He can say his ABC's. He's 3 feet 2 1/2 inches tall and weighs 32.4 pounds. 

He still refuses to eat meat, and most vegetables, so that's frustrating, but at least he says, "No, danks," when turning down food. And anything else, for that matter. It seems he considers most of what I say merely a suggestion. 

"Come on bud. Let's go brush your teeth."

"No danks!" The manners are nice, but the obedience would be nicer...

He's not potty trained yet, but we're working on that.

He loves to read, and has several of his books memorized.

He loves his Lovey and his Pooh Bear and a rainbow colored unicorn.

He's already embarrassed by his parents when they dance like psychos in the car. "Stop! STOP! No dancin!"

This year, he asked for a costume party for his birthday. Well, not so much specifically for his birthday as much as just every single day after Halloween. I guess he liked Halloween this year. He asked for it over and over again, for weeks. "Oh, have a costume party??" When asked what he wanted to wear to his own costume party, he consistently answered, "A punkin!" On the day of his party, he refused to wear any costume.

Stubborn, opinionated, handsome, funny, frustrating, and immensely lovable. This is my son: aged three years, three weeks, and three days.

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated his birthday with us. For those of our friends and family that weren't able to make it because of distance or time or just life, I've included a few (er.. a lot of) pictures. You can see we had a little bit of fun with the photo booth... 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting for Santa...

We made our shopping lists for Drake based on our own ideas - the things we anticipated him enjoying and the developmental stages he's coming up on. Educational toys. Books. Christmas jammies, because he grew out of last year's set. At the very last minute, it occurred to me that I should ask him. I wasn't sure if he was old enough yet to actually want something - to know that there was something out there that he didn't have, and to wish he had it - but I wanted to know what he would say.

"Hey buddy, is there anything you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?" I asked.

With wide eyes he answered, "Cwismas!!"

Perfect. Done and done.

In the two weeks since, I've repeated the question, just to see if his answer would change. It didn't. Not until last Sunday, when we went to visit Santa.

"What are you going to ask Santa for?"


Laughing, "Oh yeah? What kind of presents?"

"Pink ones! An' purple ones! An' candy!"

We'll see if Santa got the message.

Friday, December 12, 2014


"Weeett's DO it!" 

Usually accompanied by a hooked arm/hoe down/fist pump sort of gesture. That's "Let's do it!" with all sorts of two year old emphasis, for those of you who couldn't tell. Similar phrases currently in frequent use: "Wet's go fine it!" and "Go fo it!" So far, I've had zero luck capturing any of them in video, so you'll just have to trust me that it's pretty stinking cute.

Friday, November 14, 2014


When I woke up this morning, I was excited to find it was snowing heavily. I've never minded the snow - and have even been known to gush over the romance of chopping wood on a snowy day for a crackling fire - but now I see the enchantment of those fluffy flakes all the more because of my son. I hurried to his room to get him out of bed, anxious to see his reaction. "Drake!" I said, "It's snowing! Do you wanna come see it?" 

"Uhgay!" he squeeled, jumping up.

I swooped him up and we went to the couch. He stood on the cushions with his elbows propped on the back of the couch and his nose to the window. His eyes were wide with delight at the white world outside. "Is Kissmass snow?!" he asked.

The question surprised me. He'd never shown any understanding of the coming Holidays before. We haven't even been talking about Christmas in the house yet. When I finished giggling over the adorable toddler incorrectness of his question - the simple connection he had made in his brain between snow and Christmas - I explained to him, "Yes, Christmas comes in the winter. But not yet. First we have Thanksgiving, then your Birthday, then Christmas."

To which he responded, "My burfday?!"

My son is anticipating. What a fun thing to watch happen. Last year, he had a good time at his birthday party and at Christmas. He liked the games and the toys and the people and the lights. But he never knew any of it was coming, and not because we hadn't told him. But this year, he is old enough to understand that something fun will be happening soon, but not yet. 

Patience and anticipation. I think that may be at the heart of what I love most about the holiday season. The build up. The excitement. The planning and preparing. And this year, it's even more exciting, because Drake is excited. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fixed Up For Halloween

Well, it threatened to go badly a couple of times - like when he fell asleep in the car on the way to Trick or Treating - but in the end we had a pretty great little Halloween. The promise of candy roused him and we even made the busy, crowded Downtown loop without any meltdowns. He handled the phrases "Trick or Treat" and "Happy Halloween!" much more easily than last year and it was incredibly cute to watch. He even started giving people a thumbs up after he saw an adult do it. I was definitely that gushing, proud parent. After our afternoon of Trick-or-Treating, Mommy had to go to work, and Daddy and Drake headed home to pass out candy to the other kids. I understand that Drake called them all his friends, and even passed out candy without Dad once when Justin was in the kitchen. Justin heard Drake's tiny voice say, "Happy Halloween!" and came to the sunporch to see two little girls walking away down the sidewalk. Sweet child of mine.

Our first family costume came together pretty darn great, though not very many people understood it. In case you don't know, it's from the movie Wreck-It Ralph, a super cute kids' movie about video game characters with a life outside of their games. If you've never seen it - you should. If you need an excuse to rent it, borrow a friend's child under the age of 10. But I've never been above a good animated movie myself. Sometimes feeling like a kid is a good thing. But I'm getting off point.
Halloween costumes. Justin was the "bad" guy, Wreck-It-Ralph - a character who destroys buildings with his fists. Drake was the good guy, Fix-It-Felix, who has a magic golden hammer to fix what Ralph wrecks. I was Vanelope Von Schweetz, a character from a candy go-cart game called Sugar Rush.

Putting the costumes together was a fun challenge. I have always preferred the homemade and creative costumes where you find a way to re-create the major elements of a character or idea without simply putting on a replica or mask.

For Drake, he definitely needed a blue ball cap, a golden hammer, and tool belt. The tool belt we had from a Christmas gift from his Papa Rick last year, along with the hammer, which I just lightly sanded and spray painted gold. The blue ball cap we found at a pawn shop, though admittedly, it was a little small. I drew a blue FF on white felt, then colored in a yellow square around it and glued it to the hat. The shirt, jeans, and carpenter boots were all Good-Will finds and are items he can wear over and over, so that's a plus. He was so very handsome in his little contractor outfit. Most people thought he was Tim the Toolman. Oh well. For the ones who "got it," Drake would hold up his hammer and say, "I can fits it!" (Spelling intentional.)

For Justin, big hands were a must, along with overalls and a shiny medal. We found Hulk hands at the same pawn shop, and I spray painted them with a red primer to cancel out the green, and then an off-white. The overalls Justin already owned (and was a very good sport for wearing them! They were insulated Carharts - incredibly hot on a 65 degree day). We bought a red thermal at Good Will and cut the sleeves. For the medal, I taped two yogurt container lids together with electrical tape, wrote the word HERO on one side with hot glue, and the spray painted the whole thing gold. I glued it to nylon strapping I bought at the hardware store. Voila! A "bad" guy who wants to be a good guy.

For myself, I needed a simple green pullover hoodie (so much harder to find than I expected!), a black ruffle skirt, green striped leggings, and candy in my hair. I finally settled on a green hoodie from Good-Will, though it was short sleeve and not quite the right color. I dug through my enormous yarn stash to add some hot pink strings to the hood and the pink XX's on the pocket. The black ruffle skirt I had from the years when I used to dance/perform Latin ballroom. For the green striped leggings,  the closest I could come was tall green and pink striped socks over black leggings. The candy in my hair was the fun part. I hot-glued (thank goodness for my hot glue gun! It got a lot of use this year) Runtz and pinwheel mints to bobby pins that I stuck randomly all over my head. The licorice that she had tied around her ponytail was hard to recreate, because no licorice I found was long enough to do that. In the end, I just stuck a couple of sticks into my bun.

And that was it! Halloween 2014, all wrapped up. What did you do this year? Any fun family costumes? Whatever you did, I hope you had a Happy Halloween, from my family to yours.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Some days start better than others...

Some days, my husband has his first flight at 9 a.m. instead of 7, and he has time enough to sit in bed and read to me as we have our first cup of coffee.

Some days, my son asks to read a book first thing in the morning, rather than watch a movie or cartoon.

Some days, that same little boy takes that same book and impresses the heck out of me. He looks at the cover of his favorite book, Green Eggs and Ham, points to the word "Eggs" and says, "E right dere!" Smiling, I point out the G, and he says "gapes," remembering the picture of grapes behind the letter G in his alphabet puzzle. Same with the H: "heeppo!" I fall further in love with the way his little brain works.

Then, to top it off, he opens the book to a random page and says, shaking his head, "Not a box. Not a house. Not a fox. Not a mouse. Nope! Sam. No. No geen eggs and ham."

Some days, my heart gets filled up right from the start. Filled with gratitude and pride.

I think it's going to be a good day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Sunday Well Spent

Coffee and a book.
Small home improvement projects complete with instant gratification.
Sunshine and a run with my husband.
Playing in the grass with our son.
Beers and burgers on the deck with Nana and Baba.
A good shift at work.
Today I am remembering to be grateful for the little things.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How Drake Sleeps

He was complaining that the seatbelt in his carseat hurt his neck, so I handed him this soft beach towel to put between his neck and shoulder. He must have succeeded in making himself comfortable, because he fell straight to sleep after cocooning himself in the thing. I couldn't resist a picture.

Monday, September 1, 2014

This $#!+ is Bananas

When it comes to food, my son is insane. Full on coo coo.
Yesterday, he asked me for a banana. "Bynanat," to be accurate. So, naturally, I snagged a banana, peeled it, and handed it to him. At this point in my relationship with my son, I should not have been surprised by what happened next. He lost it. "Not dis bynanat! DIS bynanat!" he cried, pointing at the unpeeled banana still on the counter.
"Son, they are exactly the same," I tried calmly reasoning with him, to which he responded by throwing himself on the ground.
"Not dis bynanat!" tears pouring down his face.
"Son, they are the same. I'm not going to peel the other banana for you. That's wasteful."
"Drake, this is crazy behavior. You asked for the banana. Here it is." I lay the banana on the edge of the counter within his reach.
"NOT DIS BYNANAT! NOT DIS BYNANAT!" he wailed even louder.
"Drake!" I said, my voice growing stern, "This is crazy. You asked for the banana and they are all the same!"
"Drake! You are driving me nuts!"
"NO NUTS! NO NUTS!" he cried, and I don't know if he was insulted or worried I might force feed him nuts. Just when I thought I might actually lose my mind, Drake stood up, sniffled once, saw the peeled banana on the edge of the counter and said, smiling, "Oh! My bynanat!" as he grabbed it and walked off happily. I was left standing in the kitchen, my eye twitching ever so slightly.

He never ate it. He just sat there holding it as he watched his cartoons. For an hour. I repeatedly reminded him to eat it, asked him to eat it, suggested that he should take a bite, begged him to eat it. He just smiled and did nothing until his cartoons were over, at which point he cried that his hands were messy and rejected the banana all over again.

Twitch... twitch

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Must Share

I'm breaking the months of radio silence today because this little man of mine has been so incredibly cute, I find it physically impossible not to write about it. I considered a longer-than-average status update on Facebook with the attached adorable photo, and though that would bring the attention that is due to the cuteness that is my son, it would eventually be lost to the mysterious streams of the Facebook Timeline. I wanted something more permanent than that. A record for later reference. Funny. That's kind of why I started this blog in the first place... Anyway! The cuteness:
I'm on vacation this week. It's our 5th Anniversary this Friday, and my husband and I both took most of the week off work in order to spend some good family time together before the insanity that is the school year. Tonight, however, was one of the two nights that my husband had to work, so it was just Drake and I at home. I had intended on making this creamy avocado pasta, but when I started to prep for dinner, I realized my avocados were not yet ripe. Instead of trying to figure out what else to do, I easily convinced myself that ordering takeout from the pub style bar and restaurant where I work and renting a movie was the best, most "vacation worthy" idea. I had been wanting a pulled pork sandwich anyway. I phoned in our order, loaded Drake into the car, and headed to the movie store with visions of some good Mommy/Drake cuddles and a kid appropriate movie that would not drive me insane for having seen it a million times. My plans were almost foiled, as Drake tried to pick out one of the millions of editions of Tom and Jerry, which already plays in some form, on repeat, 24/7 around this house. Nothing against the classics, but Dear God. No more! Thankfully, I was able to convince him to choose from one of the three titles I had selected, and we left the store with Epic.
Have you seen it? It's pretty dang cute. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times. A hit with Mom and Drake alike. *Tiny Spoiler Alert: towards the end, a new Queen is crowned. One at a time, all of her new subjects quietly and reverently bow to her. And this is the part of my story that matters: my son, aged two and a half, turned on his knees to face me on the couch, placed his hand on his chest, closed his eyes, and slowly bowed his head. And then - clincher - he slowly lifted his eyes back to mine, and then wrapped me in a big hug.
That is a TRUE. STORY.
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it myself. It sounds way too scripted and perfectly adorable but It. Happened. I died a little inside. All I could say was, "That's right, buddy!" giggle, and hug him as tight as he would allow. It was one of the sweetest little windows into his mind and heart. I think I'll treasure that one for a long time.

The picture is from bath time right after the movie tonight, during which he was pretty hilarious, but I think I'll save that story for another time. Who knows? Maybe I'll start writing again...