Wednesday, December 17, 2014


In the morning, I am usually woken up by the sound of quiet knocking and an even quieter voice, calling "Elle? Elle!" It is Brynn and she is up for the day and as a result everyone else must be up for the day. Elle opens her door, they share a giggle.

They run down the hallway to my room where I am pretending to still be asleep. They poke me. I roll over to see their big eyes and fuzzy hair filled with morning sun from the windows. They scamper off to the living room. I stare at the ceiling, mentally preparing myself for the day. When you have two girls who are 3 and 4, once your feet hit floor your day moves forward and does not stop until bedtime stories are read, heads are kissed and doors are closed. I plan it out.

I lay there thinking and listening to them giggle, whine and fight until the one with the littlest belly comes in and tugs my arm for me to start breakfast. I pull on my sweatshirt and follow her, hand in hand to the kitchen. I pass books on the floor, couch cushions already becoming a castle and hazardous, wheeled toys.

I sometimes wonder how my mornings will change in 20 years, when they are both gone. I will still wake up slowly, as that is my way. I will roll over and stare at the ceiling and I will think of them. What are they up to today? How did they sleep? Are they happy? I will pull on my sweatshirt and walk down the hall. It is clean and neat, the couch is put together. There is a heavy silence that clings to all parts of the house. I will pass the kitchen reach the first bedroom, a room that was once filled with a thousand stuffed animals, a spindle bed and magical blonde baby girl, who was my first.

I will walk on to the next bedroom, the walls, maybe still painted a cool mint color are covered in photos of the past. A vintage baby doll bed sits in the corner. I will lean my head against the door and close my eyes, remembering the sounds that once lived here. The high pitched laugh of a 2 year old. The hum of the nighttime sound machine. They will never live here again. And I know each morning, my heart will break, just a little.

So for now, I will face my days with gratitude as I know time, that has become nothing more than a speeding train since I became a mother, will take us all too quickly to the days of heavy quiet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Brave girls.

When I was growing up, I was always outside. Shortly after my 8th birthday, my mom bought me a dog and he and I would spend our days in the woods behind my house. I had a special fort in a nook of a tree where I pretended to live among a fairy family. I would defend us all against the evil nettle plant by wacking them all down. I would run through the trails, my makeshift cape flowing behind me, my legs covered in scrapes, my hair wild and flop down in the middle of a small meadow and watch the tops of the trees sway.

That is what I knew about being a kid. I was a tomboy. When I found out I was pregnant, I assumed I would have boys since I was unsure on how to give a girl a "girly" childhood. Two girls later, you both are my best adventure partners. You bring me back to the wonders of childhood discovery. You are unlike me in that you both must always be wearing dresses, but that doesn't stop you from picking up bugs, climbing trees, getting dirty and running fast with scraped up shins (and snagging dresses).

I have dreamed of your childhood being the greatest adventure and since your dad and I just built our house on acreage, all the pieces to achieve that childhood are in place. With great luck, I have two very well dressed but willing explorers to see that dream come true. My favorite view is watching both of you emerge from the woods wet, muddy and happy.

Here you are on recent adventures at the beach.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Snuggler.

Today, on the 5th day of a cold you have had, I have spent 70% of the day holding you. You are two and half. I held you today more than I held you any day you were a newborn. You have a snuggling method. First, you wrap yourself in a burrito in your dad's old baby blanket and then you waddle to find me. I am of course always trying to desperately get something household related done and half the time I bump into you walking slowly down the hall, your legs bound by the blanket. You look up. "Snuggle me, mama." Never has there been a request harder to turn down than this. Even though I should fold laundry. Even though I should start dinner. Even though I should say no, I say yes.

This evening, your sister paraded around the backyard in the fading sun, carrying slugs to and from the trees in her fearless way and I held you on your back in my arms like a baby. You reached up and put your hand on my cheek and I saw the scene reflected in your blue & gold eye. I could see the sky, a breathless pink. I saw the treetops, swaying. I saw your tiny hand on my cheek and my own smile. These tiny moments. This is motherhood.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Potty Training Realities

I need to write this post for both of you so I do not become my own mother. When I started potty training Elle, I asked my mom how long it took to potty training us. She said that one day, Claire (my sister) just decided she wanted to pee and in the potty and I quote "that was that!" Um, ok. With Elle, we did the 3 day method where we stayed in the house for 3 days. Elle did great! By the end of that week, we were accident free.

So then I asked my mom how it was to potty train me and she said the most amazing thing. It turns out, my own sister potty trained me in one day! Amazing! Well, it would be if it were true, but this is an example of mommy memory- where you tend to forget the bad details of parenting and completely over emphasize the good.

With Brynn, I new the possibility of Elle potty training her was out of the question because: reality. So we started on the 3 day method 4 days ago. Here were our rules:

1. Underwear on in the morning
2. I set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes and when that timer goes off we run to the potty in a silly way (keeping it light) and she sits on the potty while I read a book.
3. If there is pee in the potty, she and Elle both got a jelly bean (this turned Elle into Brynn's potty cheerleader).
4. After the first successful potty trip, the timer is moved up by 5 minutes until we eventually reach 30 minutes.

Here is how it has been: First day we had accidents all morning and a pee in the late morning- followed by more successes (all pee). Finished the day with no accidents from noon until bedtime.

The second day, we had successes (all pee) all morning. Then I left for the gym and dad let you run upstairs to play and we had a pee and poop accident.

The third day, no accidents all morning until we went out to a kiddie museum where Brynn played for 3 hours. She had two accidents in a row right when we got there
because she was scared of the toilet at the museum then got over that and went successful the rest of the day.

The fourth day, we had another accident while Brynn was playing outside. It it harder when she is distracted. 

She is now holding her poop.... so we shall see. But this is my honest account so my brain is not taken over by selective parenting memory when you ask me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our yard.

When we were building our house, the backyard was of huge importance to me. I spent so much of my time in my childhood yard. We had 5 acres of trails, woods, and grass. My sister was always inside. She liked sewing and re-organizing her room and I lived to be outside. Mostly, I was alone. I had my springer spaniel Taylor.  I had big dreams of running and ball kicking and chasing done by two little sisters I know.

When we first saw the lot, the area that was going to be the yard was huge and flat and I was beyond excited. However, as the septic was put in and dirt was found to be extremely hard, a mound grew and grew and my "flat" when to hilly. It bothered me way more than it should.

Now though, with the warm air and the sound of the wind in the morning when I sneak out there after breakfast for a breath, it is paradise. And in the evening, when the sun streams through trees and the sound of both of you laughing fills the air, it is perfection.

Monday, April 7, 2014

She is....


She is up, padding down the hallway in her footie pajamas, sneaky.

She is fuzzy, her hair is matted and sticking up in a million directions from a night of good dreams.

She is asking for snuggles and her small body still fits in the curve of mine.

She is biting, ever so gently, her tiny thumb for comfort.

She is eating her breakfast very messily with her left hand.

She is laughing and smiling.

She is silly and hilarious, telling stories with her hands way up in the air and her face scrunched.

She is tired and wrapped up in dad's baby blanket.

She is sitting as close to me as possible at all times.

She is following Elle.

She is two and half.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


{A letter to Elle}

Your dad works 48 hour shifts and by the end of them, I am ready for a break being a mom. My arms are tired from lifting you both in and out of the car. My ears are tired from listening to whiny demands. My body is touched out from being on the receiving end of many hugs, tugs and pulls. My mind is tired from answering endless questions. My back is tired from picking up toys. As the that last day of the 48 drags through dinner and I can almost feel the freedom that lies beyond your bedtimes, I get cranky. It happens every time. I just want peace.

Tonight, after finally arriving home after being stuck in traffic and not having enough snacks and a smooshed finger injury, that need for peace was taking over and I got snippy and snappy and rushed. I quickly brushed your teeth and read one book and kissed you both, I shut the last door and felt my shoulders relax. Then not 3 minutes later, you poked your head out of your bedroom door and said you needed to pee and I slammed around like a teenager and told you "hurry then". And you did, and while you were sitting there perched on the toilet with your tiny legs, you said, "you are a beauty, mama" and you smiled. You had already forgiven me. Within seconds. I admire that so much in you. And of course I let the anger sail out of me like ship, hopefully going to a place where it will stay for at least a few days, so we can all get respite from me, the tired (but oh so lucky) mother.

(pictures from the last month)