Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ridding the world of stereotypes, one big pink daddy dog at a time!

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Tonight, Megan was playing with the new (stuffed) puppy she got for her birthday.  I asked, “Does your baby puppy have a name yet?”

Megan:  “It’s not a baby puppy.  It’s a daddy puppy.”

Me:  “It’s a daddy puppy?  But it’s little!  And it’s pink!  Are you sure it’s not a baby puppy?”

Megan:  “It’s a big, daddy dog.”

Me:  But daddy dogs aren’t pink!  Just mommy dogs.”

She glanced over at me, and said sarcastically, “Are YOU pink?!”

I about died laughing!

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Birthday Letter

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                                                                March 25th, 2012

Dear Megan,

Happy Birthday!  Are you really 3 years old?  It snuck up on me this year, your birthday.  You’re my baby girl!  It doesn’t seem like you should have birthdays.

When Kirstyn was born, I always knew I’d have another daughter.  Maybe lots of them!  I treasured the moments with my firstborn girl, always, but I wasn’t as sad as now… thinking about you growing up.  I might not have any more baby girls!  I want you to know that I have loved every single minute of your baby and toddler years.  You were a delightful, sweet, beautiful child.

You still are, and I’m still treasuring every single minute!  I’m soaking them up with all the Mommy sponges I can find.

I love the way you yell, “WAHOO!!!” when you’re excited.  Which is pretty much all the time.

I love the way you beg to go with me. Everywhere.  I used to carry you with me everywhere when you were a baby.  Daddy probably got tired of a third person on date nights, but I just loved holding you so much!  I barely let you out of my sight.

I remember in particular carrying you around the D.C. Zoo when you were maybe 6 months old.  You were in the Beco carrier, and I kept telling Daddy and Grammy, “I just LOVE carrying her around!”  I think they just smiled and ignored me after a while.

I love how you ride up to bed on my back, and we do “Where’s Megan?”  It cracks you up every single time, when we finally find you in the bathroom mirror!

I love the way you pile up a million things in bed with you.  Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, purses, books, flip-flops… all your treasures!

I love how you make up a bed for Auntie Anna on the floor next to you.

I love the way you dance to “Cowboy Song” (Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”) and “Funky Jesus.”

I love the way you run around the kitchen table.

I love the way you crawl up in my lap, and your body still melts into mine.

I love how you plop your head down and ask me to scratch it.

I love that you still fall asleep on me.

I love watching you jump on the trampoline, your hair flying and your still-chubby (but not much) baby girl legs tucking up underneath you.

I LOVE your giggle!

I love the way you eat peas, broccoli, tomato sauce, and granola bars.  And plain cereal, without milk.  Just like me.

I love when you sometimes call me your “Mommy Anna,”  because then I’m two of your favorite people!

I love how you tilt your head back and grin.  Totally cheesy, but it works!  You melt my heart every time.

I love that you adore shoes.  All of them.  Shoes aren’t my thing, but hey — I’m up for learning new tricks!  I can’t wait to go shoe shopping with you.

I love that you share my love of coffee, and I love our morning coffee parties.

I love how you ask for the last sip!

I love watching you and Kirstyn have tea parties and play dress-up.  You’ve got the perfect big sister!

I love your brave spirit.  Like when you took off roller skating into the crowd spinning around you at Starland.  I’m the one who got dizzy, not you… watching my tiny little girl join that huge mess of people.

I love that you love.  Freely.  Openly.  Shy and flirtatious when the situation warrants!  You are beautiful, dear heart.  I love you so much it hurts.  You’ll understand someday, when you look at your own daughter and realize, “She’s me, but not me.”

You’ll realize that one day, too soon, she’ll stop bringing you dandelions.  She’ll go plant roots of her own.  So you’ll hug and squeeze her to smothers, and beg her to choose a book for you to read aloud.  So you can have one more time of soft baby girl on your lap, her hair under your chin, her heart inches from yours.

You’ll be head-over-heels in love, just like me.  So you don’t mind, do you, if I sneak into your room and steal a kiss?

Pink baby elephants and coffee… it matches, right?

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You may not want to ask my youngest daughter for (practical) organizing and decorating help.  She’s got some wild ideas.

Like, for example, what to keep in your newly remodeled bathroom.  (I’m going with a coffee theme.  Surprise!)

(It all started with me being tired of the blue paint… so Dee painted the walls brown, and then we got a new toilet since the old one was out anyway… a 29 golf ball flusher… for all those matchbox cars that could theoretically be flushed down… and then Dee didn’t like the old pedestal sink… and now the mirror, wall cupboard, and shiny chrome hardware don’t match…)

Dee plumbed the sink last night, for which I was very grateful!  Using the toilet in one room and then going to another room to wash hands was creeping me out with the germs.

Now we can fill up the cabinet!  The empty space under the old pedestal sink meant that toilet paper and soap refills, extra toothpaste and whatever else you might want in a bathroom had to be kept somewhere else.  Today I asked Megan, “What do you think we should keep under here?”  She’s a smart girl, I expected her to at least say, “Toilet paper!”  But nope.

Megan:  “Um… how about an elephant?”

Me: “An elephant?”

Megan:  “Yeah, a baby one.  There’s a pink one in the back yard.”

Me:  “A pink baby elephant?”

Megan:  “No… it’s blue.”

Somehow, I don’t think the local pet store will do for this girl!

Speaking of pets, the kids and I scarfed up some frog eggs today, from a stream near our house.  We’ve never hatched tadpoles before!  I’m excited, and hoping that we don’t kill them by accident.

Good grief, girls!

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I’m not ready for teenage girls!  Good thing I have a few years before that happens.

My daughters are already driving me bonkers!  I can’t imagine the hormones in another 10 years.  Today was meltdown city, when my boys went with Daddy to help some friends move.

Kirstyn:  “Well, since Cory gets to play with friends, can I invite some friends over today?”

I reminded her that she had school, and besides, she was going (without brothers) to play with friends on Friday.

“BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!”

Um, I missed something, I think…

“…Because I don’t really know those girls, so I want to invite somebody like Rachel or Brianna over today!”

Okay, now it’s a tad more logical.

And of course always, the complaint: “Why do we have to do so much school!  It’s NOT FAIR!”

(We’ve been reading about Abraham Lincoln, and Kirstyn decided that if she’s ever president, she’ll change the rules about school.  I asked her if she thought children should be allowed to just quit school if they want, and she said, “No, I’ll make a law that says we skip days.  Like, we always skip Monday!”  I’m right there with you on that one, girl!)

Megan was even worse, with the tears.  About not finding the right shoes, about dirt on her hands, about falling down (because she insisted on wearing her cork heels), about not being able to tell Daddy, about Kirstyn not giving her more chicken, about not riding her bike, and the paints, and the Rita’s ice spilling, and…

Like I said, I am NOT ready for 13-year-old Megan!

I could not keep Kirstyn concentrated on schoolwork, and I was getting really frustrated with Megan’s tears.  (And the fact that the dishes and the laundry, and the weeding, and the taxes are just not getting done!)  What to do?  It was the first day of SPRING, ya’ll!  Kirstyn has been tracking this day on the calendar for weeks now!  So we ditched the math book and headed out.

I’ve always wanted to see a Hobby Lobby, so we went there.  Wow!  That’s a lot of neat-o stuff.  I’m totally not a crafty person, and I don’t like hanging a lot of cutesy stuff on my walls, but I was still impressed.  I bought some birthday treasures for Megan, (which she picked out and I’m hoping she forgets about!) and some simple cross-stitch samplers for Kirstyn.  I was a cross-stitch fanatic when I was young!  I’m kinda hoping Kirstyn will love it too.  I also bought her a paint-by-number, and some sun catchers to decorate.

(Sometimes I feel guilty about not doing crafts with my kids!)

On the way to Hobby Lobby, we passed a Rita’s that was PACKED OUT!  I pulled in, wondering if the mention of Rita’s on Facebook this morning, and this horde of people had any connection?  Like, was there free ice???  Yes, indeed!  And so, my girls got their first taste of Rita’s.  Kirstyn chose “swedish fish,” Megan chose vanilla (and settled for “lemonade” since it was white), and I chose “iced coffee.”  What else? =)

Subway was handing out free sandwiches and cookies there at Rita’s, and we got rained on, and Zach flirted with the ladies.  He already knows that ladies are best to flirt with!

What did Zach do before his afternoon flirting?  During the hormone battles?  Why, he was good as gold, like always.  No tantrums to report!  Of course he prefered that I HOLD him (which is why the dishes and laundry and weeding and taxes are not done…), but I just love snuggling with my lover-boy!  He puts his hands on my face, and tucks his entire body into mine, and I. Just. Melt.

We ended on a good note, my girls and I.  We always do!  Every night I make sure that Kirstyn gets to talk if she needs to.  I sit on her bed and “have a chat,” like when she was 2 years old.  She used to pat the ground next to her, on the grass, and say, “Have a chat!”  An invitation to tie some forever-strings.

So really, it won’t change much maybe?  My girls then, and my girls now, and my future teenage girls…  all they want is for someone to listen.  To “Have a chat!” and swap some heart stories.

6 months old!

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The rose bush is uncurling its leaves again… that rose bush we rocked by last September.  I can’t believe my baby is 6 months old!  I can’t believe we’ve had him for half a year already!  It’s too quick.

It means my other babies are growing up too.

(I’m in no hurry for another baby yet, though, in case anybody was wondering!  I’ll just keep borrowing babies for now.)

Zach had a pediatrician’s visit this week, where they told me his head was big.  Totally knew that already!  He gets that from my side of the family.  We tend to have shirt-over-the-head issues.  More room for smarts, right?

I passed on the vaccinations again, signed a waiver.  Usually I don’t mind the vaccination push, but it ticked me off this week because I TOLD them Zach had a cold, and they STILL recommended giving him a whole slew of shots including a flu shot.  Um, why is okay to give a sick baby with an over-taxed immune system a bunch of viruses?  And why is it okay to give a 6 month old baby a flu shot but not a 5 month old baby the same shot?  Seems they should take into account weight and health, not age.  Some 6 month old babies are tiny, much tinier that my brute of a 6 month old boy.

Anyway…

My “brute,” he clocked in at 19 lbs, 10 oz.  He likes his milk!

We’re still nursing strong.  I love it!  When Zach was just a few weeks old, I was propped up in bed one night, nursing Zach.  I reached over and rested my hand on Dee’s sleepy head and said, “I just love nursing babies, and having babies, and staying home with my babies!  Thank you for going to work every day and letting me do this.”

SOOOO un-liberated, right?!

I love my profession.

After not being able to nurse my first three babies past 6 months, I was thrilled when Megan nursed until almost 2 years old.  (I probably should throw out all the breast milk I pumped and stored trying to keep my milk supply up.  It’s still in the freezer, three years old…)  I hope Zach nurses that long too!

I wish I had a picture of my 6-month-old cutie pie.  He is the smiley-est baby ever!  So sweet and laid back.  (He puts up with a lot of rough and tumble and in-your-face from his big brothers and sisters!)  But he is the 5th born child, after all, so I haven’t yet scheduled our traditional photo shoot with “Pinkie,” the Baby Gund elephant that was once upon a time a soft, fluffy animal.  Maybe I’ll wash it today, and find a clean outfit for Zach to wear…

Now that my washer is working!  Dee spent a good portion of this morning dismantling the machine, and finally found a sock stuffed up the water hose, blocking the drainage.  THEY REALLY DO EAT SOCKS!!!  It’s fixed just in time.  I have a huge pile of sheets and jammies and underoos sitting outside on the back porch waiting to get washed.  It’s been a long couple days of pee, diarrhea, and puke.

March red necks

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It’s 85 degrees!  My thermometer is sitting in the sun, so it might be a tad off, but still.  It’s a scorcher!

It’s also March 14th.

I’m making iced coffee before the Shamrock Shakes are done at McDonald’s!  What IS this warm winter sunshine?  I remember bundling up in heavy coats to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade when I was little.  This year we’ll sitting in our back yard on St. Paddy’s Day, sipping green smoothies while we soak up the sun on our bare arms.

We didn’t drink enough hot chocolate yet!  Maybe iced would be yummy?  Can you ice a HOT chocolate?

The cherry trees downtown are bloomed.  The robins have been hopping around for weeks now, and the daffodils are on the way out!  Cameron found me a dandelion already.  We’re wearing flip-flops to church and going barefoot at home.  Bare feet are encouraged at school too, which is outside on my newly refurbished swing.  (Thanks, Grammy!)

Am I complaining about this early warm weather?   Um, NO!

Yesterday we did all things summer.  We played in water.  (I vote for pools to open before Memorial Day this year!)  We got ice cream at McDonald’s and ate it at the park.  I pushed the kids on the swings, and let the boys push me high too.  I rocked on one of those bouncy animals.  (We all had one to ride… it was very Mary Poppinish…)  We bought hot dogs and grilled them over an outdoor fire at home, and I even ate one!  It was SO yummy, dripping with mustard.

I took the Christmas lights off of my outside bushes, since it felt like July was wrapping up!

Cameron’s neck is already red. ( Note to self: put sunscreen on my redneck kids.)

My man is already working on his red neck, and showing off his big strong muscles in cut-off T-shirts.

I do need to keep reminding Cameron that the toilet outside is NOT the outhouse!  (It’s waiting for me to decide whether or not to use it as a planter…)  Even warm weather is not an excuse to take care of business outside.  At least pick a tree, kid, so we don’t have to dump the toilet upside down to shake out all the pee.

No soft women here!

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International Women’s Day was this week — March 8th.  I just want to take a moment and tell my sister Esther and my sister-in-law Erin “WELCOME” to the world of motherhood, and “YOU ROCK!”

Jena Rose Martin was born on February 18th.  I LOVE having a niece that lives just 5 minutes away!  We are going to spoil her rotten.  (With Erin’s permission, of course.)

Keziah Grace Snyder was born on February 29th.  (The cutest “leapling” in leap year history, I’m sure!)

My sister Esther went into labor on Saturday, February 25th, and didn’t give birth to Keziah until the following Wednesday.  I was so excited to be nearby for her birth!  When I heard that Esther was in labor, I decided to drive up to Massachusetts with my 5 kids to meet the new baby and hug my sister.  Well.  On Tuesday, the scheduled travel day, still no baby.  Esther hadn’t slept all weekend, so she was exhausted.  Her midwife gave her some sleeping pills and told her to crash for the afternoon.  When she woke up, she wanted company, so my sisters Liz and Anna and I hung out with her and Ben for the evening.  In between contractions, we watched “Last Man Standing,” complained about Courtney still being on “The Bachelor,” swapped storied, and “oohed” and “awwed” over all the little girl cuteness around the apartment.  (Like, the gorgeous toy box that Liz made for Keziah!!!)

After one of her contractions, Esther told me, “I can’t believe you did this five times.”  I said, “I never labored for four days!”  She already had me in awe at that point.  I am SO PROUD of my little sister!

Esther never got a chance to take the 8-hour sleeping pill.  Her water broke at midnight, and she and Ben and my mom spent the next almost-17 hours at the hospital, laboring and waiting for Keziah.  Keziah was backwards, so Esther had back labor for those five days.  (Can I just say again how in awe of my sister I am?)  When it came time to push, baby’s head just wouldn’t budge.  After a couple of hours of pushing, the midwife told Esther that they’d have to do a C-section if nothing happened within the hour.  Keziah’s heart rate was accelerating, and Esther was completely worn out.  Ben spoke to his daughter, and said, “Keziah Grace, put your head down.”  She did it!  They did it!  Esther pushed her baby girl out, and I know that if I’d been there I would have cried.

It’s a beautiful, messy thing, the birth of a baby.  Love in all it’s reality.

Keziah’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and chest, and she was blue when she came out.  Didn’t cry.  She was whisked away to be worked on while the midwife and nurses worked on Esther.  Esther hemmorhaged heavily, and ended up needing 6 units of blood before she left the hospital.  All the medical staff told her they’d never seen anyone get 6 units of blood, or have a hemoglobin level of 4.6!  The pediatrician told Esther that her body was functioning at 30% at Keziah’s birth.

Keziah swallowed meconium, and possible caught an infection Esther had, so she stayed at the hospital for a full week of antibiotics.  We bothered the adorable little Snyder family plenty while they were stuck in the hospital!  I don’t think Keziah was put down very much that week.  She had tons of people loving on her, and I have to admit that Esther and Ben might even make cuter kids than me and Dee!

I just wish they didn’t live 8 hours away.  (Or 7 hours 15 minutes, if you’re driving by yourself with 5 kids, and your foot just keeps pressing down that gas pedal…)