Thursday, September 17, 2015

It Happened

I feel a bit relieved that fall rhythms are on the way here, I think I had some underlying anxiety at the thought of the changes around here - I mean, school!

But first.

Because we could this year, we did. Usually Trev & Karis go (read: the other two nap/get a break). Glad we did, and maybe I'll go again in another 8 years. The first hour was beautifully quiet and donut laden, the next two were an increasing volume of music and smells and sights and vendors. We knocked it out in under four hours: donuts, huge slide (loved by all), pretzel, birthing barn (pig in labor: "pig-a-let!"), DNR fish pond, K-Fan, ferris wheel, caffeine, carousel (had to PRY Judah off with all of my strength), corn dog, kids karaoke viewing, hot sticky walk back to the car. Good memories, major nostalgia and missing the ND State Fair with my parents/grandparents.

Summer winding down weekends included some cousin time at the lake & a get together here with Uncle Jordan/Aunt Cassie in town (more on that later), a daddy-kid date to a birthday party for cousin Micah. We rounded out the last week of summer with a much-planned-make-up party (impetus was a long ago play date, the girls begged to put on make up and we said how about we do a make up party sometime. They didn't let us forget). The girls had a blast upstairs alone for over an hour, they came down with quite tasteful work to join the boys for pizza and outside play and pink rice krispy hearts. So sweet to watch them all make those memories together.

We threw in some play dates, a refreshing night out at Copper Hen, school orientation and a wonderful weekend distraction from visiting grandparents and a 1st birthday party for cousin Asher.

And then it happened. School: 

Day before Kindergarten . . . 
"I don't want to go to school"
"I'm so excited for school, I can't wait!"
"I'm going to miss you guys too much"
"I can't wait to get a break from little man!"

Morning of Kindergarten . . . 
"I don't want to ever move away. I want to stay here forever and never get my ears pierced. . . unless Judah moves somewhere else, I'll go live with him"

She was up and dressed before 6am. The morning flew, we squeezed in some time together on my bed opening up her gift and cuddling - blew me away how important this time turned out, more for me than anyone I'm sure. She was all dressed in her best and cradled in my arm, I read a letter I had written a couple days earlier and it was amazing how the words that at the time just seemed normal made me choke up, and then sob just a bit. Karis is used to me being "happy sad" at different milestone-ish moments and usually just smirks at me and waits for it to quickly pass. This time was different. This time she choked up and sobbed right back, melted in further and said, "I'm gonna miss you" (I can't even stand it just writing this a week later, good grief). I will always remember that time of connection, a slice of time that will always taste sweet. And then we were okay, finished opening the book and pencil bag and gummies and went to get Judah and the morning flew in a normal-but-hyperspeed morning way - breakfast,  pack snack, buckle in, go!

A not random reading at breakfast:

She walked in with her dear friend Julia (what a grace!), we found her room, her cubby. Judah had to have his little brother moment of wanting to stay in the classroom and quite flailing/screaming in my arms out the door: "Karis-EYYYYYYY! Karis-EYYYYYYY!" I so wanted to stay for the morning assembly but thought there was no way - until oh merciful pootsie was retrieved from the car and we were able to sit in the chapel and have another round of weeping trying to sing this hymn. 

Judah and I met friends for park play, the hours felt slow and long at the same time . . . pick up was smooth-ish and it was so good to be together again.

In the hours after . . . 
"I'm just spelt out. Do you know what that means? I'm tired from four hours of school"
"I missed you at recess, I didn't know the games they were playing. So I went and sat by Mrs. Dykstra" (said with her head in my lap - oh sweet little girl)
"I made you a Karis to have in the car while I'm not there"

At the end of the week . . .
"I wish I could just stay here with you. It's a lot of sitting"
"Do I have to go to chapel? I'm shy of sitting with someone older"
"Momma, I know some Spanish, wanna hear?"
"Music was really fun today"

Things continue to spill out about her week in excited tones, I think overall she enjoyed it and will soon settle in to this new routine. She's been refreshingly vulnerable and tender, I've soaked in these times of closeness.

And, then. Judah: 

I can't even stand it. I'm writing this sentence before 5am on Thursday, Sept. 10 - Judah's first day of preschool, Karis's second day of Kindergarten. I just can't stand it. I feel like the au naturale mother from Away We Go (have you seen it?) is chiding me: "Why would you want to PUSH your child away from you?!". Judah and I have had a great week together, and I'm feeling like I simply cannot walk him into Oak Knoll with his Elmo backpack and polo shirt. I was tired of hearing myself say I need a break so decided to give myself a couple hours/week in this way and now I'm wondering WHY. Bless Trevor, he took the day off to do drop offs and pick ups (and breakfast date in between, wanted to do that forever). My little man will love playing and I can't wait to hear what he chats about.

The day ended up being salty and sweet. We all dropped off Karis and stayed for the short daily assembly. We had time to grab little man a bagel on the way to preschool. Drop off was smooth (same place Karis went, he was chomping at the bit when she went there to stay and play). But still, he looked so small when we dropped him off! He got busy with play-do and there was no looking back - "bye mommy!". The couple hours with Trev were quick, but we made the most: Tiny Diner breakfast outside, Sunstreet Breads for treats, zoned out and got sun soaked at the sculpture garden. Savored.

Wonderfully last week I happened upon a chapter in a ridiculous book I picked up at the library called Naptime is the New Happy Hour (good for a laugh). Her thoughts on preschool: "Having children changes your circumstances. Even the most self-reliant of us become vulnerable . . . don't fool yourself into thinking you can do it alone . . . I fully believe mothers, with all we give, deserve a guilt-free break as often as possible." Good words for the moment.

Because it's really for the mom: 

Seriously, it is, so much for the mom. A few friends who have older kids even told me this and I was relieved to hear it's not just me. The week has been bigger than I thought - but then again, I'm gifted at making a big deal of anything. So yeah, big deals here, my little school children. I didn't have expectations for these days, and I want to capture it here for Karis and Judah to read someday.

It hit me this week why it's such a huge deal for the mom when their kids go to school. It's SCHOOL. She will be IN SCHOOL for the rest of her time in our home. Duh, right? I loved denial until now.

And then, do read this if you get a chance. Yes, yes, yes. I read this Friday night, literally after thinking about how BRAVE the kids were last week. Captured exactly my sentiments. Especially that in the grand scheme this might seem like "just school", but I so value capturing the moments, processing change, entering new chapters with a freeze frame of thoughtfulness and filtering through emotions. That's what writing is right now.

There were many moments in this week that I could've never planned or expected, I felt very taken care of. Because yes, it's the kids going off, so brave. But also, it's the moms too, so vulnerable and hopeful and happy sad.

There was the morning of and just having her melt in to me for that moment of mutual "I'm gonna miss you so much".

(She has the letter propped on her desk, and that just melts me. I recently finished reading about the 5 Love Languages of Children, so I'm in the pay attention mindset to what makes her feel loved - I think she's all of them: words of affirmation, service, gifts, touch, quality time)

Another unexpected gift was at a play group the day after K's first day - and the day before dear friend L's first day (our godson, the precious babe I watched a few times a week the first couple years of his life, who quickly became more like a sibling to Karis). His mom is the most faithful woman and a friend so dear, we had a chance to catch up and swap hearts and tears and thoughts and emotions about this new stage - wow, haven't cried with a friend that much in forever. What a unique slice in time, watching our firsts go to school, these wee big ones who have grown up together. I'm grateful beyond expression, that time of connection and mutual understanding helped put the week in its right place of processing. Some sad. Celebrating.

New season, ready or not, we are in it. It happened. I'm grateful.

And before I wrap up this post on the "new stage" here, I gotta share the joy of some other new stages - we're going to add to our niece/nephew blessings by 3 newborns next year! Two of our sisters are having babies. Wait, you think the math is off? One of them is having twins! We're over the moon excited for our sibs and their growing families, the gift of life is around us. It's been the sweetest to watch them all share the news with our kids, they (and we of course) love their cousin Courtney so adoringly and they (and we of course) look forward to knowing & loving these precious cousins .

- "I just can't wait for 4 weeks to pass!" (anticipating trip to Bis for Hope's baby shower)
- "We should play a hide the honey pot game!" (for Hope's baby shower. My little party planner!)
- "I wish the weekend would never end. I wish it could go on forever and ever. And me and Judah are going to grow up someday and I'm going to be so sad. I'll be 9, then 10 . . . "
- "Oh mommy, you just go take a rest" (read: please leave the room so I can be alone and do whatever I want. Lately said while we were watching some friends here)
- "To make matters worse, daddy was there so Judah didn't get into my little house"
- "Mom, is God IN the Bible?"
- "I wonder how Melanie is going to hold two babies?"
- "Mom, I made a carol singing map for when we go back to Bismarck for Christmas"
- "I'm ready for a moosh, momma" (what we call hugs now)
- "Where's the rest of the stuff?" (when I served only one thing at dinner without a side)
- "Momma, can I help you?" (after dinner on a night when Trev was working late. Love her)
- "Oh nooooooooooo! Judah got into my treasure spot!" (her room is a constant evolution of collections, which she tries to partition off so Judah can't reach)
- "Daddy, is it 6 yet?" (as in 6am. 6 is the new 7 these days)
- "I feel like I'm gonna have a baby, but I just have to cough!" (what?!)
- "Mom! Judah's spitting inside" (he loves to spit, such a guy)
- "Look at my pet worm! I'm naming him William Shakespeare. Can I keep him in my room?" (latest fave book Will's Quill)

Judah Jibes:
- "No mommy dance! No mommy sing!"
- "Miriam's feet in the water!" (Hug a Bible)
- "Baby has a pootsie!" (in a book)
- "Judah have ice cream cake, daddy" (they shared cake at a birthday party)
- "Read Napping House again!" (latest fave)
- "Judah have hairspray!" (indeed, he likes a squirt)
- "Judah touch fish!" (touched a lobster at Stella's)
- "Find doodle doo, get a sucker! After shopping . . . " (said while sweetly nodding his head - the tradition at Trader Joes)
- "Bye, mommy! Judah going shopping! See you later! Get blueberries!" (I think I've mentioned this one before, but his imagination just gets deeper and it's so fun to see)
- "Judah wet hair! Judah YELLOW hair!"
- "Lady Gaga!" (what he wants to chat about before bed, because it makes us both laugh. This guy loves to laugh)
- "Little man eat huge Brueggers!" (his name for the bagels)
- "Judah paint ladybug with Miss Angela. Judah play with friends" (school)
- "Mommy drops things in the house!" (all the time, I made it funny one day and he loves it)
- At bedtime when I go to cuddle in Karis's room Judah commands Trevor, "Go to sleep! Go to sleep!" and they lay on the floor together on their bellies, facing each other, and chat. It's beyond precious. What's more, when I try to do this with Judah he says in distress, "Wake up Mommy!". So unfair.
- "Treasure!" (see above, getting into Karis's space)
-  "Baby eat fries!" (likes to say this before bed, I have no idea why)
- "Congratulations, baby belly!" (see above - not me, aunt Melanie & Cassie!)
- "Wear camo coat! Wear tractor coat!"

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Birthday Girl

I don't know how a birthday could spread out any further. Why not? For the record, Karis is already talking about her 7th birthday. 

But, just so she remembers 6 in journal form, here is the tell is as it is (hoping that someday Karis will enjoy reading this). 

The party started with a Perkins breakfast with the Pope/DeKrey clan in Duluth where we were gathered for a wedding weekend -  sprinkle pancakes & a candle-lit cookie and a shy, tired girl just getting into party mode.

(a week early) Friend party! Little Mermaid. Pink cupcakes with green frosting/pearls. Capri Sun and candy and chips and grapes and cheese sticks. Simple. Laid back (no, not laid back - just, not scheduled with games or anything) time of play and treats and outside running around. Lovely time of connecting for all ages, it was special to see what amazing friends Karis has and how they fully entered into the joy of the day - not to mention the awesome moms who appreciate her for who she is. So much love. And also generous gifts, I was really amazed and grateful for all the expressions of gracious hearts. Oh, and the forecast was for seriously almost guaranteed rain - it cleared off in time to load up the plates and have all 17 kids and their mommas outside. Amazing. Special to the occasion was that cousin Courtney was there.

That week ended with a gma/gpa visit - a morning arrival with sweet & generous gifts, received a yum and gorgeous cake from Bis, then a trip to Millenium Gardens, Big Bowl/Lunds, rest in front of Anastasia . . . breakfast the next day at D & M's, dinner all together at The Old Spaghetti factory (cotton candy drink! Ariel balloon! Tummy ache!). Countless memories made, savoring every one.

Next was the pre-birthday party at Uncle S & Aunt D's to celebrate all August Pope birthdays (there are 3!). Super fun, Karis felt very celebrated and I hope Steve & Kate did, too.

THE day was a gorgeous (hot) one, and all went according to plan with some sweet surprises thrown in.

- Breakfast in bed (lucky charms, flowers and a pack of gum on the side)
- Face-timed with grandparents, so fun
- Harvested her first yellow tomato (on the plant that she considers "hers")
- Received a recorder, little tambourine, Pippi Longstocking
- My parents found a crazy deal on coffee(and are going to share the bounty here - oh, thank you), because moms needs birthday treats too
- While playing at French Park with some pals, ran into the wife of a former coworker of Trev's. Fun to catch up
-  Karis wanted to read Runny Babbit, and we stumbled on an apt story (picture below)
- Lots of watermelon and cake
- Cousin Courtney dropped off a card and stayed for some coffee and chats
- THE EXPO! Met dear friends for an epic event in Plymouth for National Night out. They kids went in a: helicopter, firetruck, school bus, SWAT vehicle, held a firehouse, filled a bag with goodies, and gathered material for lively conversation for years to come. So special.
- Bummer, Trev home sick/working in bed. Upside, he was home . . . and able to join us to have Q Doba at home
- A random read of Becky's Birthday by Tasha Tudor, a super story set in August. One of my fave parts is when Becky picks flowers for her parents (I do think birthdays are also for parents, after all)
- The week continued in celebratory spirit with a Parker's Lake playdate, extravagant birthday picnic provided by our dear neighbor friends at Weaver Lake (swimming included), and a little adventure to Westwood nature center
- And the post-party was when more Gma Gpa love arrived for partying and gifts and even a special talent show led by our very own Special K (with a "REAL microphone!" at Steve/Deb's home. It was very impromptu, well done, confidently delivered, engaging and invigorating)

Karis - you are a joy bringer! I love who you are. Your name means "Grace" or "Gift", you live those words every day. Your expressions of love are pure - you run up to me with hugs, you treat your brother with the fruits of the spirit, you are thoughtful and vibrant and kind to everyone you meet. Your imagination is deep, and you welcome others into your creations. You often talk and sing to yourself and seem so comfortable with your own company. You engage others with insightful and relevant questions, you make others feel loved and special. You love to have people over any time of day, you greet the neighbors any chance you can, your zest for life is contagious. You're eager always to hear our plans for each week - especially when they involve friends. You're quite the party planner and your ideas evolve and happen and make memories for many. 

I wish I could go back and see you at every age and stage . . .  I LOVE that you are growing, learning, thriving. And yet what I would give to hold you again for the first time. It's one of life's most humble gifts to your mother, to get to spend the days with you, to watch who you are becoming. You are special, beautiful, loved. The rare times that I put you to bed (lately this is your special time with daddy), I whisper into your ear gifts you've been given, ways that you are special - I will never run out of things to say. I pray you'll always know you are the one and only ever you - and that YOU are dearly loved and deeply beautiful just as you are. Always and forever. No matter what.

Recent images of Karis & a day in her life:

Watching her set out her clothes for the Duluth wedding . . . carefully behind the rocker in her room: polka dot dress, zebra tights, toms shoes. A little bowl with water and a washcloth ready to wash her face when she woke up.

At her six year well check, chatting with her doctor with enthusiasm and receiving shots with hardly a flinch.

She sets up little stations in her room that are ever changing. A recent delight is two "beanie balls" from Grandma Carole that she takes good care of - they have telephones through which she can reach them at all times (empty toilet paper tubes with Lisa Frank stickers on them). Ozzie & Owlie have play dates and food, take naps and talk. I'm grateful she's let me enter this world and consults me on their care - ha! 

Crying for about a half hour when Trevor left for a weekend bachelor party. I love seeing her feel deeply, she has a lot of love in her heart.

Her passion for party planning - recently an end of summer make up party she and some dear friends have been dreaming about for many months. 

She talks about Christmas almost every day, and has been crafting gifts for all the grandparents. 

She is beyond sweet and patient with Judah. Recently we woke him up from a nap and he went to give her a hug - the look on her face, she just melted. 

Karis, a day in your life is pretty sweet. You wake up around 6:15 and you love to have time in your room until seven-zero-zero (usually we're together by 6:45, getting ready in the bathroom). Sometimes I bring up a little cup of Lucky Charms for you to enjoy, you love that. We cuddle in your rocker and read from Jesus Storybook Bible and pray for the fruits of the Spirit before getting Judah up a little after 7 (we need them). You either pull a stool into his room or play in your room while he slowly adjusts to the day in his rocker/my lap. You and Judah go down the stairs on your bellies for breakfast (you love hot buttered honey toast) and "morning work" (helping unload the dishwasher). You lead Judah in playing many games . . . "slip slide in your socks", jump in the trampoline with legos (it's loud), play in cozy corners behind chairs, go in the backyard. We usually have an outing/play date from about 9 - 11:30, when we get home you zip up to your room to organize whatever treasures you gathered on our outing (such as random cardboard from Costco, stickers or little trinkets friends pass along to you). We get lunch ready and eat outside on the deck steps while I sit between you and Judah and read books (you love cheesy rice, nachos, quesadillas, melon of any kind, milk, green beans - you eat most anything). While Judah naps, you: have "work time" where you usually paint or draw or create crafts. Then we read together for about 45 minutes in the wing chair - you want me to put my arm around you. We read from "the reading book", which is sometimes fun and sometimes not but you always want to do it (you're learning so much, it's amazing to watch it all click). Then we "read Laura" (whatever Little House book we're on, you love this) and random picture books like Milly Molly Mandy, Babar, Frances.  You next enjoy movie & treat time - usually licorice or some other sweet treat while watching Mr. Rogers or Creative Galaxy or Winnie the Pooh. We often squeeze in a game of bingo before getting Judah up. Lots of outside time (your recent fave is the kiddie pool) or another play date, bath, dinner (you love meat and potatoes, noodles, corn on the cob and dessert of any kind), "first vitamin", time upstairs with daddy and Judah, bedtime routine (you and me in the rocker for our little routine, then daddy lays and reads with you and lays there for a few minutes). You seem to love the rhythm of the day and knowing what's coming next. We still cuddle at bedtime and I trust you will be in my lap for many years to come, you love to snuggle (you're increasingly cuddly). 

Some non birthday inner stuff: 

In one day I read 2 such similar things in different places that I guess I need to pay attention . . . 

"Don't be a victim of the urgent. In the long run, much of what seems so pressing right now won't even matter. What you do with your children will matter forever . . . " (from The Five Love Languages of Children)

"Said the Robin to the Sparrow, 
'I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and hurry so.'

"Said the Sparrow to the Robin, 
'Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.'"
- Elizabeth Cheney, 1859 (quoted in Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing)

There must be a metaphor here somewhere . . . 

In May a friend brought over a plant with beautiful pink flowers - so I potted it in the backyard, and it keeps looking like it's totally done and then I water it anyway indefinitely and sure enough flowers appear at random times. It's gone through a few cycles of this, and it's just beautiful to me and has been a small delight this summer.

Moms need assistants, or something  . . .

It's been a bit of a self-care summer here. Small things, such as I hadn't been to the dentist in a really really long time and finally did. We crossed of physicals, dentist, dermatologist, hair cuts. Satisfying. I've been reminded recently (in some reading, yes) that parents ideally should set the example of "my kids aren't the center of the universe" . . . and "our kids need to see that we respect ourselves and have boundaries too - to take care of ourselves". I doubt I'm the only one who finds this harder than it seems it should be. I read in two different places this week the reminder of balance and self care being for parents setting an example for children to follow/respect. I hadn't considered that view in a while - to set the example of self-care/self-respect for the sake of my children. That they might learn the same for themselves someday. Hmmm. Makes me feel good about this season of going to bed early/getting up early (for the quiet, the caffeine, the endorphins) and then doing some mommy lay down time in the afternoon. The idea of self care always feel so - selfie - but is increasingly necessary. 

A random quote from a big summer read, The Count of Monte Cristo . . .

"Ah, maternal love is a great virtue, a powerful motive - so powerful that it excuses a multitude of things . . . "

A couple little reminders this week: 

"If you catch yourself becoming frustrated because your toddlers are being naughty and won't allow you to check them off and move on to other important tasts, it's time to pull out the most lethal punishments. This could mean tackling them and kissing them all over their bodies, pausing long enough to particularly persecute them on their tummies. Or it could mean tormenting them with a good dose of Tickle Torture. Or you may just have to grab them and hug them until they beg and squeal for mercy. Above all, thank God for the prividlege of being a parent . . ."

"God can use our weaknesses, whether or not we feel we're being effective parents. But that still doesn't make the process easy . . . " (Creative Correction)

I love when friends tell me back things I've told them. That happened this week, and I am re-instituting my mantra that we are all the ones we need in each other's lives: I am the mom my kids need, the wife Trevor needs. He is the husband I need, my kids are the ones I need. To live in a safe place together where we make mistakes and learn, where we laugh and cry and repair and rejoice. We are not perfect, we are iron sharpening iron, and we are all on this journey together. I am truly grateful and humbled-every-day to be experiencing life in this way. 


- "I can't wait to watch the cul-de-sac fill up with cars!" (for her friend b-day party)
- "I hope I feel special and loved" (when I asked her what she hoped for on her b-day)
- "Well . . . I won't really turn six until this afternoon"
- "Am I six yet?" (asked at the exact moment of her birth time)
- "Mommy I think I like the cards the best . . . because I can see if there's money in them!"
- "My favorite part was watching everyone eat their huge blow pop suckers. And the presents"
- "Oh, that wind must be from the north!"
- "I bet there are pink cats in Disney World"
- "Look! I'm strong like Pippi Longstocking!" (while carrying her bike)
- "Oh don't worry, mommy, we DID plant something I like to eat. I just LOVE basil" (that sweet girl)
- "Yeah, she said she even takes a little bit of your pee and tests it - I do NOT want to be one of those, that sounds like a disgusting job" (talking about my cousin who is a phlebotomist)
- "I'm drawing a duck and those bubbles above her head are her thinking about her babies" (so sweet, pic below)
- "Daddy Andy says he uses the yankers to pull teeth out!" (i.e. pliers)
- "What's all the cryin' about?"
- "Sorry Ozzie, I can't bring you sweet corn right now" (reference above telephone activity with beanie balls)
- "Can I take a toothpick upstairs so I can give Ozzie a shot?"
- "Momma, I like brothers, but sometimes they're just so crazy around me"
- "I heard you telling Judah that I'm a good big sister"
- "Mom! Last night I dreamed about Laura and Mary, that we went to McDonalds with them and had french fries and burgers!" 
- "How exactly do people die?"
- "Why exactly can we not put plastic bags over our head?"
- "Mommy, what's your favorite part of Winnie the Pooh?"
- "Look mom, I made my sweater into a leash for my lion!" (so inventive)
- "Yeah mom, pirates eat cardboard!" (playing with cardboard in the kiddie pool. Whatever makes you happy, kids . . . )
- "I love winning, momma. It's my favorite thing"
- "I don't know why they call them cowboys, they ride horses so they should call them horse boys"
- "I wish I was in a land where I could sew all I wanted and didn't have to thread my needles"
- "Mommy, what do you think Ozzie should have for dinner?" I answered "tomatoes". She replied, "I don't have tomatoes I only have chicken and corn on the cob" (the only play food she had relocated to her room)

Judah jibes:
- "Two HUGE fingers! Mommy, Judah both have FINGERS!"
- "Other one crabapples! Put in the car!" (new game, finding crabapples and putting them in the trunk of his little coupe)
- "Probably throw it!" (a new addition to bedtime routine, he throws his blanket when I turn out the light and then says "Mommy get it!")
- "Hold mommy's make up!"
- "Little man make Judah HUGE puppy balloon!" (Old Spaghetti Factory)
- "Little man jump in the POOL!"
- "Tiger ride!" (nightly tradition with Trevor)
- "Dinnerrrrrrrrrrr!" (as he literally skips to the table for dinner. He and Karis sit on stools beside each other, love it)
- "Other one Corduroy music! Other one Caps for Sale!" (books on tape we continually listen to in the car. Continually)
- "Judah like a baby!" (wants me to carry him like a baby)
- "Read Thank you God! Read Rhymes!" (latest fave books)
- "There's no bee, mommy"
- "Pretend bee on the box"
- "It's a boat potato! It's a boat graham cracker! It's a boat cheese!" (pretends his bitten food is a boat)
- "No eat cookie in bed!" (and he didn't - the cookie I gave him on the way to nap stayed half eaten on his night stand)
- "Close it far as it goes!" (when zipping up my sweatshirt)
- "Friends came Judah house make up party. Pink krispy bar!" (he quite enjoyed a movie and outside time - and did want to put on a dress at the end of it all)
- "Hi Mommy" (said so sweetly when I went in one night when he was banging on the door with his feet . . . his way of saying "please come in here and change my dirty diaper before I go to sleep")

Weaver Lake
Fire hose

Westwood Nature Center

Zoolander face at well checks