Category Archives: 2014

You’re 16 Months Old

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Dear Ian,

It’s been a couple months since I’ve written you! It’s not because I have nothing to say. It’s mostly because every day I tell you what I want to say to you! But someone reminded me that I might forget the little things when you are older. I forget everything as it is so I’m going to try to keep my favorite little memories locked up tight for years to come. Someday I want to tell you about all the stuff that made you, you!

So much has changed from the time you turned 1 to now! It’s amazing how you went from a chubby little baby trying to stand on your own, to an adept little baby (I refuse to call you toddler yet!) zooming past us like a spry little old man. Your all over chubbiness has melted away overnight and left you with a toned little baby body. It reminds me of the baby dolls I used to play with when I was little. Your arms curve inward and curve out and your thighs and calves are rounded with newly formed muscles. The only reminder of the rolls you once had is the globular belly you keep full at all times. You really do amaze us with your appetite! I’m always gloatingly pleased when grownups are shocked and awed with the foods you eat.  I’m so happy you aren’t keeping Cheerios in business!

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Ok I can’t resist. Most surprising food you like:

  1. Olives
  2. Shrimp and Salmon
  3. Green beans
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Tahini (Unfortunately sesame seed bit the dust thanks to allergies)
  6. Spicy food
  7. Lemons
  8. Black beans
  9. Earth’s best food purees: Carrots n Broccoli (Kind of taste like vegetable stew)/ Carrot Split Pea n Kamut (This one actually makes me gag a little)

Most surprising food you dislike:

  1. Ice cream
  2. Sugar cookies
  3. Avocados
  4. Pineapple

At 16 months you have accomplished quite a bit! You can climb stairs by yourself and you like to do it several times a day! You are very active which is awesome! You also like to climb mom and dad. Last weekend we had lunch with a friend and you bounced on my shoulder looking over the booth wall while simultaneously eating half my salmon. You are learning how sequences in activities go together so you are a very good helper around the house. You feed Chance, (“Ch” or “D” in your words)your dog, his supper, help load the washing and dishwashing machine, sweep and give us a heart attack each time you try to help clean the pool. You love the outdoors and dirt. You would stay outside all day if we let you.

Things I never want to forget about you right now!

  1. You are so outgoing and friendly! You wave to most people and animals and say hi! You melt me with your tender heart.
  2. You are obsessed with going in the shower and making noises to hear echoes. You have to touch the shower head several times too just in case I might turn the water on for you.
  3. You show Chance affection by patting his back and laying you head against it. Then you bow your head to Chance so he will lick it.
  4. When you want someone to come to you, you hover your hand above where you are standing and make an “Ah” sound with a questioning inflection on the end of it. If we don’t come immediately you squat lower and lower to the ground and add more of a questioning lilt to your voice to show more emphasis. It’s absolutely irresistible and always ends with me squeezing you while smothering your wiggly self with kisses.
  5. You love water. I don’t even know how to explain how much you love water. It intrigues you. The sound, the feel, the way it looks. Everything about it pulls you in and captivates you.
  6. So your kind of going through a screaming phase. I’m much better with screaming than crying but your dad has a hard time when you are screaming at him. Sometimes you scream to talk or play with us. Sometimes you scream at night just to hear yourself. Oh but the times when you don’t get your way… those are the screams to remember. We can actually see you inhale to fill your lungs with air while you form a perfect oh shape with your mouth. I imagine the sound you make is similar to that of the Screaming Banshee of Ireland. It leave the ears ringing in protest.
  7. You have happy feet. You stomp them and laugh and I think you’re going to be a great dancer one day!
  8. You learned to emphatically shake your head no while saying no. It’s helpful sometimes and cute all the time.
  9. Ok so I’m super crazy proud of this one. So I hum and sing all the time. Your dad does too actually. Just a few weeks ago you pressed your little lips tight together and with a thoughtful face turned away from me you started humming your own tune. I could not contain myself! When I gushed that it was beautiful you looked so pleased! Now you hum in the car or when you are in a quiet introspective mood. We make sure to tell you how pretty it is. I hope you always hum your own tune in life.

These are busy days where weekends melt into weekdays and weekdays melt into months. The To Do list gets longer and longer and the laundry piles up. While I don’t always know where the time goes I do know that my silver lining likes to put his pudgy feet on my face and giggles when I munch his thighs. I know there is nothing brighter than the big toothy grin you readily give to us and the world you embrace. I know that you are a crazy baby monster who jumps on our back and squeals and laughs and loves. You’re a blessing and I only hope to bring as much joy to your life as you bring to ours.

Until next time little munchkin-butt.

Love you always,

Mama & DAAaaaaa

All I Want For Christmas

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The first Christmas I remember was while our family was still living near Chicago. I think I was 4 or 5. I was so excited I kept running downstairs only to be swatted back upstairs by mom and dad with the reminder that Santa would not come until I was in my bed. I remember looking down the hall as mom and dad closed their bedroom door just before I made a mad dash up the stairs to where my sister’s slept. I looked out the window just in time to see my very first shooting star! I don’t remember what I wished for or what gifts I got for Christmas that year but I remember the moment I saw that shooting star I thought….Christmas just landed?! I remember the butterflies in my stomach and how magical my mom and dad made the night before Christmas. Of course I was excited about opening  my gifts but it was more than that and it still is!

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It was the crackle of the fire in our big wood burning stove. It was the conspiratorial whispering and sneaking around my parents did in the weeks leading up to the big day. It was the sweet hum of my mother’s alto voice singing Silent Night while baking us cookies and Dad reading the Christmas Story from the Bible on Christmas morning. It was Christmas hayrides at the church and caroling to the shut-ins at the retirement homes. It was carefully hiking across the interstate to go sledding and squealing with excitement as my brother shoved me down a steep hill covered in soft thick snow! It was skating on our frozen pool and dripping honey all over bowls of snow. It was making Christmas presents and cards for each other and mom and dad.

Now we live in South Carolina and there isn’t much use for a wood burning stove or sleds. We have our own families and while we are occasionally sidetracked by what my dad would refer to as an overactive “Wanter”, I still remember that Christmas in Chicago when all the best gifts were free and the warmth of our love for each other put the wood burning stove to shame. A lot has changed in the thirty years since that Christmas but Christmas in my heart will always be that of a little girl watching a shooting star skid across a big blue night sky on a magical Christmas Eve. If I’m near I’ll be with my people. If I am far, I’ll be on the phone with mom and dad while my family is shouting MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE LOVE YOU, WE MISS YOU, and probably some wisecracks.

My “Wanter” came up with a lot of  fun gift ideas this year, but if I don’t get anything I’m pretty sure I’ll still have everything I could ever wish for.

Friends! Thank you for a great year! During this season I wish you the gift of  belonging wrapped in the warmth of love.

Merry Christmas!
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4th of July in Summerville

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We live in a pretty awesome little town! The people are friendly. The shops are local. Summervillians are a special breed! We have horses and chickens but we aren’t full-time farmers.

We drink good local coffee not because it’s cool but because it’s good! We pull together when we need to but respect each other’s privacy.

I can’t imagine spending Independence Day anywhere but here! Happy 4th from our little town, Summerville, USA!

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Downtown Summerville

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Downtown Summerville

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Pick your poison!

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Ian starting off the holiday weekend!

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Supporting our local coffee shop… and Bill Murray.

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Feeding those egg makers

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Still the best way to dry your laundry