Category Archives: Newsletter

Newsletter: Year 8

Today Lucy’s turned 8. It blows my mind that this is possible. She asked me approximately 2,700 when she could do her interview but then wouldn’t sit still for it at all. This year she still loves the pool and eating mac and cheese. Apparently we need to start planning a trip to Hawaii. Also, I would like to apologize to Stacy in advance:

Here are the past few years for a little comparison:

Happy Birthday to my amazing girl:

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Newsletter: Year 6

Today Lucy turned 6.I am so proud of what an amazing little girl she is and what an amazing job I’ve done raising her so far. Right now she loves swimming swimming swimming which should seem pretty clear from the video below:

Happy Birthday to my favorite sassy little munchkin:

20160725_153108

Newsletter: Year 5

Today Lucy turned 5. I am shocked that this happened, I feel like 5 is a serious turning point, gone is my baby girl and in her place is a grown up opinionated child- ready to start kindergarten in a few weeks and then, next stop… college? Fortunatly I am still her best friend (or is it Daddy?) Here she is for the past three years:

Happy Birthday to my favorite sassy little munchkin:

20150626_171039

Tis the Season

Greetings  friends, family and random internet readers – welcome to our 2014 open Christmas letter. I’ve struggled for weeks to write this because (as long time readers will remember) my old cat Ruka was always responsible for handling this for me. Sure she was surly and uncooperative but she did it and all I had to do was buy stamps.

In the spirit of the late great Ruka – Feliz Navidad!

This year some really good stuff happened – Lucy let me cut her hair, Jason brewed some really good beer and I finally learned how to spell “definitely”.

Also some not good stuff happened – Ruka died, Lucy once got a splinter stuck so far in her foot that we nearly had to amputate to get it out – this has instilled a deep fear of wood in her.

Highlights include a wonderful grown-up vacation that I got to take with my favorite BFF where we explored and drank our way through New York City and small towns in the Poconos. Lucy, Jason & I got to spend two great weeks together – one in Maine and one in North Carolina with our respective parents.

And we have managed to get our house (that was still very new last Christmas) in order. We bought new furniture and planted a cherry tree. We even bought a new car to make the driveway look fancier.

This has been a great year for Lucy and there is a part of me that wants to keep her forever four years old. Nothing can match her enthusiasm or her despair – whether happy or sad she throws herself 100% in to whatever it is. She is so excited for Christmas she can hardly sit still – she got the same way for every major (and not so major) holiday this year.

Jason is doing well – working on his twelfth year at the major telecommunications corporation that employees him, he continues to manage things I do not fully understand. This year he got really really good at mowing grass and shoveling snow – and will caution anyone who listens never to buy house on a corner lot.

I received good news just recently – I have been offered a finance manager position in a well-respected nonprofit organization which is all I can tell you for now since I don’t start my new job until January 12th (I need to save some good information for next year’s newsletter) but in the meantime I am bidding adieu (for the second time) to the University that has supported my for many many years – it’s both lamentable and exciting. I am ready for change!

Here are some random pictures which if I had my shit together would have made up our Christmas cards and been mailed to all of you (well, not you random internet browser). Enjoy and I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!


lucy for xmas letterlucy and me  lucy and dad
all of us

Newsletter: Year 4

Today Lucy turned 4, and its not just her hair that’s grown in the past year. Welcome to our second annual birthday interview, she still doesn’t have the best attention span and is it just me or is she unnaturally obsessed with candy?

Happy birthday to my wonderful, beautiful, brilliant little girl.

Holy Hair!I love you so much!

Shit happened… Happy new year

Due to circumstances beyond my control the mailing of Christmas cards will be severely postponed. I would suggest keeping an eye out around Seward’s day (it’s a thing – look it up).  I cannot find cards, stamps or my address book (not to mention my slippers, my gloves, wrapping paper, scotch tape, moisturizer, BBQ tongs and so many other things that were shoved last minute in a box that seemingly ceased to exist somewhere between Philadelphia and Delaware county).

After some serious prodding, cajoling and bribing I managed to wake Ruka up long enough for her to dictate the the following letter chocked full of holiday cheer:

“Feliz navidad, this year some shit happened – the little one got bigger, it was warm and then it was cold and then for two terrifying hours of my life I shivered alone in an unfamiliar basement  and now I am in a new place and constantly confused and looking for things. I’m tired  – happy new year”

I thought it would be silly to go purchase more stamps simply to send you a card that said ‘this year some shit happened’ I mean you all probably could have figured that out on your own.

So just in case I never find my address book – or I get really drunk and forget:

We had a great year this year. I managed to get a new job that is hands down better than my old job – which really speaks to something as my current job is certainly not all unicorns and roses.

This year I did not learn how not to complain or how to feel grateful for the little things. I still continue to be a pain in the ass that is annoyed when people talk too slow – can’t do simple math correctly or put too much syrup in my vanilla latte…

My husband had a good year – he works at a place and that is good. He has worked there a long time and he does something. His hair got shaggy at one point and I cut it. he started flossing his teeth more often.

Lucy turned 3. Three – where instant gratification is NOT FAST ENOUGH. Nothing is pink enough or princessy enough. She  hopes that one day her hair is long enough that she can sit on it.

I think that really sums up the year nicely.

Here is a picture of our new house covered in a bunch of snow:

home sweet home
home sweet home

And here is our obligatory family photo:

Family 2013

Newsletter: Year 3

To celebrate and preserve your childhood I have decided to start interviewing you on your birthday. I stole the questions for this interview off some other website (thank you anonymous blogger!) I’m sure this will be much more impressive 15 years from now when you can see the transition from ‘toddler’ to adult. not that there’s anything remotely ‘toddler’ about you anymore.

You have the attention span of a 3 year old.

Happy birthday angel. I love you so much.

Mama

Newsletter: Month 35

Lucy,

It takes you 40 minutes to eat a meal, you are full of unsolicited advise,  you always want  your hair in braids and you have decided that everything I say “isn’t fair!” even when I ask you to smile for a picture you get upset and tell me, “saying cheese isn’t fair Mama!” You are 2 going on 13.

taking pictures isn't fair!

You get excited about all manner of things and when you do get excited you say ‘hooray’ a lot, like ‘hooray grilled cheese hooray!’ or ‘hooray puddles hooray!’ it’s very cute. When you are annoyed you say ‘oh bitters!’ I think you learned that from Strawberry shortcake but I’m unsure.

Hooray new Carpet Hooray!

You like to sleep with your favorite books, you read them by the light if your twilight turtle after I tuck you in to bed at night, and when I remind you that you aren’t supposed to have books in bed you tell me, “they are there for a reason Mama” I have no idea what that reason is, but its very very important.

Lovely Lucy

You go from complete joy to utter tragedy in no time flat and as we learned from our trip to Dutch Wonderland laughing and crying can happen almost in the same breath.

Funny Lucy

You went through a phase this month where you didn’t like me very much and for 3 or 4 days straight kept telling me that you wanted a new mommy – you would remind me that “Mia’s Mom is really nice…” but then one day I picked you up from school and you said “I want you Mom, I just want you – I don’t want any other Mommy’s.”  I don’t know what happened, I am hoping our repeated discussions about ‘other people’s feelings’ finally sunk in.

Nice Lucy

For a lot of this month the weather was really nice and we spent most of our at home  time outside hanging out with our friends on our street. Your sand box is always a favorite hang out spot even though you have some trouble sharing.

Hanging on the 'lawn'

We have had a lot of fun adventures including Wonderland and many day trips, we’ve started watching Disney movies and you like all the princess ones but by far your favorite so far is ‘Cars’.

swimming!

Your favorite things right now are swimming, making sand tea, eating Popsicle in your bare feet in the yard and ‘fixing my hair’.

Popsicle!

You are a frustrating handful, but you make me laugh and I love you move than anything.

Mama

Newsletter: Month 34

Lucy,

This month has been absolutely wonderful you have decided that when you grow up you want to be a doctor and you also want to marry Cinderella…you are always fixing up our imaginary booboo’s and are a most attentive physician. You are also obsessed with painting your nails and wearing ‘big dresses,’ you cry whenever I suggest jeans.

Mani/Pedi

We have had a lot of fun adventures including a trip up to Maine to spend some time with your grandparents. The entire thing was planned last minute and took place in between my switching jobs, because of this your Dad was unable to come with us, but once again you made me proud with your ability to travel so well. It helps now that you have your own computer and were able to watch Sesame Street over and over and over again while in the car. During out trip we got to go to the beach and see your cousins and watch the pigs and in general just had some great bonding time.

World's most beautiful cousins

At  the beach!

Too cute

Here piggy piggy

Once we got back you fell back in to your normal routine while I slowly adjusted to my new one – the good thing is now I’m home consistently early every day to pick you up from school but I do have to go in to the office five days a week so keeping you home on Fridays is no longer an option.

no leg sleeves!
no leg sleeves!

You are very silly right now and you love to make up songs and dance around. We planted to new grass in the front ‘yard’ and everyday you cone home and beg to go roll around in it.

New Grass!

In sad news we had to let Guinness go this past month and you have asked for him many times but have been less upset than I was afraid you would be, you seem to be harnessing all of your efforts on harassing the cat and trying to strangle her to death.

choking the cat
btw – if I ever rename this website is will be called: chokingthecat.com
choking Mommy
Sometimes she chokes me instead, as a side note please enjoy my giant nose zit…

Your Dad and I spent a day with you at the zoo this month where you rode your first pony – you were so big and brave and hoped right on to it without giving a second thought to the fact that we weren’t right next to you. We also got to all spend the day at the Manayunk bike race were your favorite thing was jumping in the bouncy house and getting your face painted.

Pony!

Silly Diva and Mr. DivaYour favorite things right now are: having long hair, big dresses, fixing booboos and ice cubes.

I love you so much, even if you wont let me put the windows down in the car because it “messes up your hair”

Mommy

Newsletter: Month 33

Lucy,

You are a fashion icon, you spend the majority of your time thinking, planning and worrying about your clothes more  than anything else. Maybe it’s genetic, I was the same way when I was younger and largely chronicle my childhood by the outfits I wore. I wonder if someday you’ll think back on this time as the era of that pink dress with the tulle skirt.

pink dress!!!

You love pink, you asked your Dad and I this weekend if you could please paint your room pink and then we went to the library and announced loudly to anyone that would listen that we agreed to paint it – like saying it out loud would make it true.

pink heaven

Everything is an extreme with you right now. You love bubble baths but you hate having bubbles touch you. You want to do everything yourself and be grown up but you insist at times that you are a baby except when you don’t want anything to do with me and scream at me to get away from you.  You want to be carried… but only sometimes and on your terms.

Daddy pick me up...

You are obsessed with flowers and have to pick, or touch, or smell or water every single one you come across… it makes for very long walks around the neighborhood. And we walk a lot right now because its so nice and all of your neighborhood friends are out. We spend A LOT of time with them.

flower girl

You are flawlessly beautiful and attract attention wherever you go. You love this attention – you say ‘hi’ and twirl your hair to every passing stranger, but fortunately you are weary too and no longer stray far from your father or me.

You have a remarkably advanced vocabulary and I do have to remind myself sometimes that you are only two. Tonight in the bathtub you said, “Mom, I’m sick of this place – we need some excitement in our lives… oh and when you pick me up do it gently, don’t scratch me and give me boo boo’s – we’re running out of band aids.” Amazing…

flawlessness

We have cut out all of your evening TV viewing and because of that we read A LOT of book , we finally got through your Curious George obsession and right now are in to Olivia, Ella the Elephant, Lalaloopsy and  Max & Ruby.

We went out for an early Mother’s day this past weekend, rode the train downtown, visited some parks and water fountains, bought some books and and kept you out way past your nap time for lunch in an Irish pub:

Miss Grumpy Pants

Your favorite things right now are: clothes – dresses and anything stripy, pez, flowers and PINK.

I love you, Mommy

Newsletter: 32 months

Lucy,

32 months going on 16 years this month. A few weeks ago you had a bad dream and woke up crying. I went in to your room and as soon as you saw me said “Mommy, get out!

All Grown Up

You got terribly sick with a bad stomach virus this month and it kept you down for an entire week – it was hard on all of us… but you were a trooper and once you were feeling better promised me that you would never get sick ever ever again. You spent most of your time that week lying on the couch watching Peppa Pig.

It will rot your brain

The weather has improved dramatically from this time last month and we have spent a lot of time outside – you love to run and jump and scream. You also have started walking the dog with me, like a big girl. No longer do I have to haul out the stroller but the time I save doing that is eaten up by the need to fill our pockets (All of OUR pockets) with rocks and dirt and of course we need to touch every flower petal along the way.

run Lucy run!

The easter bunny came and visited and brought you a ‘princess’ dress that you have tried to wear every day since then. It was very pretty but every picture I got of you looked like this:

Dirty Easter Dress

because you just wanted to be outside playing in the dirt. we spent the day hiding and re-hiding Easter eggs and painting your fingers nails because the one thing you kept asking for  was ‘pink stuff for your nails.’ You asked for it approximately eleventy thousand times.

You are definitely a princess, we have many ‘discussions’ of how you can’t wear a dress everywhere although you usually do anyway.

My Princess

You are very silly and love to make funny faces. You will cross you eyes and say “Look, two Mommy’s!” or “Look, two Daddy’s!”

Sill Nerd girl

Your favorite things right now are popcorn, bananas, Peppa Pig & Dora under-roos.

I love you with the intensity of a thousand suns.

Mommy

Newsletter: Month 456

A newsletter for me. Good lord, I’ve been alive 456 months, lets pretend there’s 24 months in a year – that makes me only 19 years old…

Dear Becca,

This month your hair grew out just enough to be at that awkward in-between short and long phase where you have to wear a clip so it stays out of your eyes and you stop looking like Carol Brady:

You revived your book club and got everyone together to actually discuss books…and beer – but mostly books.

You finally figured out which circuit breaker at work controls the library so every time your illegal and totally unsafe space heater under your desk trips the breaker you can turn the electricity back on.

You finally found the owners manual for your car (that you bought TEN months ago) and realized what you already suspected – that the ‘maintenance required’ light is Scion’s way of needlessly scaring owners in to getting their oil changed. Ingeniously you borrowed a Hello Kitty sticker from Lucy and fixed the annoying problem.

You joined weight watchers and lost 5 pounds and then realized it was your birthday month and spent the next two weeks putting it all back on. The shear quantity of wine and pancakes that you consume really helped out.

You were bored one day and flossed your teeth. You did approximately 900 loads of laundry. You painted the kitchen and your bedroom. You went to your yearly physical three years late.

You’re favorite things right now: day light savings time, online banking, Lucy, finally moving back in to your bedroom, mint chocolate chip ice cream, your husband (not in that order).

You are totally ah-mazing.

Newsletter: 31 Months

Lucy,

Weekday mornings, after getting dressed, you like to sit on the kitchen counter while I make your breakfast. When I get the milk out for my coffee you hug it and say ‘Oh milky, milky – I love you” and you hold it close until I take it away from you. You never want to drink it. It’s really cute but really weird.

Oh Milky milky

You are in a phase when you can only love one of us at the same time. So, if I do something that makes mad, or say ‘no’ to you, you’ll look at me and say “It’s okay Mommy, I love Daddy.”

You are obsessed with knowing who made everything (probably because your grandmothers are always knitting or quilting you something cute). Every time you put on a piece of clothing you ask “who made this for me Mommy?” and if I say “the people at the store” you’ll need to know who bought it for you.

Sometimes you ask “Who made me Mommy?” and I’ll tell you that Mommy and Daddy made you and you will say to me with complete solemnity “Thank you Mommy.”

Too

You are super cute, but you definitely have a cranky side to you. It’s probably our fault for spoiling you but you do no like to hear the word ‘no’  – you will pout and whine and cry and put yourself in a time out. Your father and I are trying to ignore this behavior in the hopes that it will end on its own, but until then we are calling this the reason there is so much wine in the house.

You are a really good talker and there’s not much that you say that we can’t understand anymore. You can spell your name and recite the alphabet and count to 20. You know many nursery rhymes although you don’t understand why humpty dumpty couldn’t be put back together again or wrap your head around why anyone would live in a shoe. There are things that you say that are adorably cute – you call mud puddles (or any puddle) ‘muddles’  and you say ‘Polka Bots’ instead of polka dots and ‘dictioner’ for conditioner.

muddles are fun

You are very finicky about your socks. You have very particular ideas about what you will and wont wear and if you end up in the wrong ones you completely break down and cannot go on. Your favorite pair has Dora on them, but we only have one pair of Dora socks, so you are often disappointed.

randomly cute photo

This month I lost you in Target and I experienced a fear that I have never known before. At the time you did not seemed much phased by the experience but ever since it happened you have been extra vigilant about staying within eyesight of me whenever we are out and about.

Run Lucy run!You are an amazing little girl and I am in constant awe of you.

Love, Mommy

Newsletter: Month 30

Lucy,

30 months! You have been a ray of sunshine breaking through the gloom of the January cold and dark. This month your biggest accomplishment has been your quick and complete grasp of potty training. Except for nighttime you haven’t had a diaper on since Christmas. I am very proud of how ingenious you are.

Sunshine

You are starting to do more and more by yourself, you can get dressed (if we have enough time) and open the dog food bin and feed Guinness all By yourself. There are other things that you could do but chose not to – like feed yourself, you like your Dad or I to do it for you. We try to encourage you to do it yourself, but we are suckers for your pleas for help and in the morning eating breakfast on my lap is 20 minutes of snuggle time I’m unwilling to give up.

Snuggle Lucy

You had your first dentist appointment this month and you were amazingly grown up – not only did you let the dentist count your teeth and give you a fluoride treatment – you even let her polish them and do a thorough check up. You sat in your Dad’s lap but were so composed.

best dentist visit ever

One rainy Saturday morning we took you to play at the Smith house and to our surprise when we got to the basement riding room you jumped on a tricycle and took off  we had no idea you were such an accomplished bike rider – we came home and immediately took the safety bars off of your smart tryke to make it a ‘big girl bike’.

bike riding genious

You are very sensitive. When ever I get annoyed and raised my voice you look at me and say “Mommy you are so mad! I can’t believe you are so mad” . On more than one occasion you have come home from daycare and announced “Mom, I’ve had a rough day!”

having a rough day

You’re very favorite things right now are:, snow, Cinderella underwear, fruit loops, bubble gum flavored toothpaste and the book Curious George Goes to a Costume Party.

Snow Fun!

I love you – Mommy.

Newsletter: Month 28 & 29

Lucy,

I was so busy last month out gallivanting through southern California that we’ll have to squeeze two months of updates into this newsletter…  So many remarkable changes have happened since November, I am shocked at how quickly you have grown up . Physically you have jumped 2 shoe sizes and shot up at least an inch if not more.

OMG - how cute is that hat?

You are quick and steady on your feet – you love to jump and be swung upside down. You like to be active but tend to be on the cautious side, you look before you leap (usually) and because of this we have stopped using the baby gates and let you navigate the stairs on your own.

all grown up

We also changed your crib to a big girl bed that you are free to climb in and out of although you have never taken advantage of this freedom – you will lay in bed indefinitely until we come to get you and tell you its okay to get up.

Big Girl Bed!

You are communicating really well now, only occasionally do we have to ask you to repeat yourself. You give me directions on how to drive you places, you pick out your clothes and make jokes all the time.

Snowy Day Lucy

Over the Christmas holiday you became potty trained – something that I had dreaded everyday for the past two years ended up being no big deal, you figured it out quickly and have had only a handful of accidents in the past two weeks.

Christmas Princess

You love to go out and see and meet people but you usually decide ahead of time that you will be shy, you will say to me “Mommy, I’m going to be shy.” and then you are for 5 or 10 minutes until hanging on to me becomes boring and you decide to relax and have fun.

The hair only gets better and better

This Christmas Santa was terrifyingly scary and we decided to forego the obligatory Santa picture – we even had to keep assuring you that you wouldn’t have to see or interact with him when he stopped by to leave you presents on Christmas eve. And speaking of Christmas, you made out like a bandit – your father and I and your grandparents bought you a ton of stuff. Your Dad made you your very own rocking chair and I got you the toy I always wished had been invented when I was your age, you had a wonderful time and told us over and over that this was “the best Christmas ever!”

Made with Love

Your very favorite things right now: cheese, Dora the explorer, putting color tabs in your bathtub and reading to your lizard puppet.

Jealous much?

 

You are truly remarkable.

I love you, Mommy

 

Newsletter: Month 27

Lucy,

This month has been amazing and was marked by two big events, the first was Hurricane Sandy which kept you inside for three very long days and allowed you to go puddle jumping when you were finally released from captivity.

Puddle Jumper!

The second was Halloween. You were SO excited about Halloween, you have been wearing your costume for almost a month now but it did not diminish your excitement to put it on on the 31st and run outside and announce to the world that you are a princess! A quick trip to the drug store for a $3 tiara and wand made it even more spectacular. You took to trick or treating like a professional – you thanked everyone diligently and as soon as you were done being polite would turn to me and say “we need to find more candy Mommy!” Of course we do sweetie…

Halloween fairy

Days followed and you still come home everyday, get your hello kitty basket out and take inventory of all of your treats.

You have become very cuddly and empathetic this month – you tell me you love me dozens of times a day and like to give hugs and kisses. When your father or I are upset about something, you will stroke our face and say “It’s okay Mommy, it’s okay Daddy.”

Sweetie Pie

You are even getting better around people you don’t know, it used to take you an hour or more to warm up to someone but now you can do it in a manner on minutes. You even allowed me to get a picture of you with your Pop Pop at his 82nd birthday party. This is a big development since you’ve always been a little scared of him.

Lucy & Pop Pop

You continue to defy us like a normal two year old but you rarely say ‘no’ anymore – you have moved on to “not yet” and “never” I am astonished at the diversity you have.

Your Nana was here visiting for a long weekend and you and she had a good time, playing on the porch and reading books and (of course) apple picking.

I call this: Lucy in the orchard with apple

Your favorite things right now are being a princess, pretending to bite out faces off and then blowing them back on to our face, watching Mickey Mouse and… Halloween candy.

so tired... from getting all the candy...

You are incredible and just keep getting better. I love you – Mommy.

Newsletter: Month 26

Lucy,

You no longer need help to walk down a flight of stairs, you can climb up into my bed without any assistance. When your Dad and I do something you don’t like you wag your finger and say “enough of that”. You want to know what every thing is – and when I tell you, you always like it: “What’s that Mommy?” “That’s a pot holder” “I like pot holders.” or “what’s that Mommy?” “That’s doggy poop” “I like doggy poop.” Once while we were out to dinner you asked Daddy what the check was and he said “This is my credit card, it’s how we pay for stuff” and you said, “I like paying for stuff.”

oh... cuteness!

You are obsessed with cheese – you can eat the ricotta lasagna mix straight from the bowl like most kids would eat cake batter or cookie dough. You love singing the ABC song, you sing it on average about 583 times a day.

This is the reason there is so much hair in the lasagna...

You have a teacher at daycare named Kayla and you are obsessed with her too, you are always telling us that you like Kayla, or wonder what Kayla is doing, or sing happy birthday to Kayla whenever we lite candles. We’ve started lighting a candle during dinner for no other reason because it is fun and you like it and you automatically assume that it must be someones birthday – usually Kayla’s, or Lucy’s.

Cheese

You took a Daddy/Daughter trip to North Carolina this month, you spent a week with your grandparents and when you returned you seemed to have aged by years. You had a wonderful time and are still talking about it.

Shall we discuss my retirement savings?

You can count to 10 now, without making mistakes, and sometimes even make it to 20, but not always. You have become interested in potty training, or more precisely wearing the Hello Kitty underwear your grandmother got you. One morning this month, you got right up and peed in the potty, I put you in a pair of panties, but they only lasted about an hour when you peed in your high chair during breakfast and then tried to climb in my lap and give me hugs.

Where's my panties?

We had our second annual block party and you spent 12 straight hours in the bouncy house, when it left I told you that it went to live on the moon, so you would stop asking me where it was and why we couldn’t go visit it. We went on our first picnic which you thought was great  and in general have had so much fun and so many laughs this month, you are amazing – you make the sunshine brighter and the world seem better.
Bouncy House!!!

I love you, Mommy

Newsletter: Month 25

Lucy,

I know it seems superfluousness to keep marking your birthday in months instead of switching to years like most normal people. But you should know by now that I am miles and miles from normal. And to that end will continue with your monthly newsletter until you’re in college or I get stuck in an iron lung or whatever…

Pretty lady

This month has been amazing. You are still entrenched in your terrible two phase and we often refer to you as our “little dictator” but it’s definitely not all bad. You understand so much and can communicate so well that we are able to have complex conversations about all manner of things – usually lollipops, cats or bubbles.

A vision in blue

You speak in full sentences now and always want to know what people are doing: “What’s Daddy doing?” “What’s Nana doing?” and you retain information that both your father and I cannot. A couple nights ago we were giving you a bath and I asked your Dad what book you had read the night before, he couldn’t remember but you looked up at us and said “It was the blueberry one Daddy”. Awesome.

Cheese!

This month you and I made a sojourn to Maine. Just the two of us in the car for 9 hours at a time. We had a great time. You are such a good traveler and have no trouble entertaining yourself or napping for long stretches.

Fishy fish face

While we were up north we got to visit with Nana and Popo and your Uncle Jason & Aunt Shannon from out west. We got to attend your Aunt Mindy’s wedding and see all of your cousins. This was all a little overwhelming for you but we made it through and we had some great quiet time on the porch and in the lake and I really enjoyed our time together.

Quiet time with Nana

Also, this month the most fantastic thing happened, last Sunday morning you and I were snuggled together on the couch watching the Micky Mouse Clubhouse (your favorite show) and you looked up at me and said (totally unprovoked) “I love you Mommy”. It was amazing.

Flower girl

Your favorite things right now are picking out your own clothes, telling us what to do, repeating everything we say, trains & the muppet theme song. You are also a very good helper, you love to help make dinner, or clean up or fetch things, you like being useful.

I love you so much.
Mommy

Newsletter: 2 YEARS!

Here we are, I can’t believe you are two and yet I can’t believe its only been two years – I only vaguely remember what life was like before you came along. I remember that I slept more but I didn’t have nearly as much fun…

Lucy!

This month has been all about you asserting your opinion and  bossing your Dad and I around. You pick out what you want to wear in the morning, you tell us where we can and cannot sit. Your imagination has blossomed and you like to pretend to make dinner for your ‘babies’ as well as take them on walks and change their diapers.

Accessorizing

You had the chance to spend a week with your Aunt Jessica and a week with your Nonnie & Grand Dad – they all spoiled you rotten and we are now trying to explain that ice cream isn’t an acceptable lunch….

Your favorite things right now are macaroni & cheese, kitty sox and drawing in the bath tub. You like to stick your fingers in your ears, pull them out and yell “TA DA!. You love to go for bike rides and to go swinging – which you call ‘wee!’

Weeeeeeeeeeeee

You know all your colors and can count to 10 – kind of: one, two, three, four, seven… You are very smart and yesterday informed me that the owl we have on our porch is a bird. You like to run, you love to dress up – you are fun and tough and laugh a lot. You have the most amazing hair.

We had a great birthday party for you at a local bowling alley. It was last-minute, not well planned and it really worked out well. Several neighborhood friends, your cousin, your Aunt Beth and even your Pop pop made a brief appearance.

bowling princess

Happy Birthday!

You are so amazing. I love you.
Mama

Newsletter: Month 23

Dear Lucy,

You are almost two! This past month has been unusual and pretty disruptive for you, but you have adjusted and managed to come through it just fine. It’s been over three weeks since I’ve been able to pick you up or comfortably have you sit in my lap, but your Nana has been taking care of you, changing diapers and getting you dressed – picking you up from day care and doing all of the heavy lifting. 

carrot cake!

You have become pretty good friends with her, but only if your Dad and I aren’t around. Or, if she makes you carrot cake…

You have become such a good communicator – you can say so many words that I have lost track. You are still practicing your ‘terrible two’ phase and ‘no’ & ‘mine’ & ‘stop, Mama!’ are still your favorite lines. But regardless of your attitude you are funny and unless you are tired always in a good mood and trying to make us laugh.

Bucket Head
Right now your very favorite things are: parmesan cheese, making farting sounds in the bathtub and reading books. You can spend hours hours every day reading book after book.

Big girl reading all by herself

We’ve spent many Saturdays hanging out with your cousin and playing with all of your friends in the neighborhood. You are slowly learning to share and be a good sport. You look up to your cousin and he has become much more interested in playing with you now that you are more aware of what’s going on.

cousins at play

You are amazing and wonderful and I simply cannot get enough of you.

I love you -Mama.

Newsletter: Month 22

Lucy,

This month you are a wonderful enigma, you are becoming such a good communicator and a fantastic little person to be around and yet you are also stubborn and contradictory and what we generally refer to as ‘cranky baby’. Your favorite phrase right now is “no, mine!’ as in “Lucy would you like some juice?” “No, mine!” You say as you grab it from our hands.

Cranky Baby

But it’s not all bad you are usually a very laid back easy-going kid. You love people and want to be around them as much s possible. With the windows open this month you can hear whenever anyone is out on our street and insist on going out to say “hi” to them. Happy Baby

We have spent a lot of time outside and it has become so warm that we have gotten out your water table which you love. And we have had the chance to go swimming a couple of times which (besides cheese) I think is your favorite thing in the world.

water water water

The fastest way to cool off your head

We went to Maine this past month which has already been documented, but you had a fantastic time and I can’t wait for you to get some more ‘lake time’ later this summer.

Nana's porch

In the past 2 weeks you have begun going to daycare full-time – this is new for you since you’ve always only gone 3 or 4 days a week. You are adjusting well and really enjoy both your teachers and friends that you get to see everyday. You are more tired than usual but I think with time you will adjust to the new schedule.

That's my girl
I love you, Mama

Newsletter: Month 21

Lucy,

Now more than ever you are really becoming independent, you know what you want, you don’t  like being told what to do – you want to do everything yourself. It is wonderful to see you learning how to figure things out for yourself.

Sandbox Lucy

Your biggest loves right now are: swinging, coloring, play doh, feeding the cat & dog treats, ripping the heads off flowers, riding bikes with the boys next door & bubble baths.

Playground Lucy

Your two most used words right now are ‘mine’ and ‘no’. You are a little ahead of the curve on the stubborn ‘terrible two’ phase. But even when you are saying no to everything you are still adorable and can usually be talked into whatever it I want you to do.

terrible twos

We got a chance to spend a weekend with Nana & Popo this month and you talked their ears off while your Dad and I went out for a few hours.

Since I have been home again this month we have spent a lot of time playing outside, getting to know our neighbors better and taking a few day trips with them. You love babies and there are several just on our block – you always get so excited whenever we run into one.

Lucy & friends

I love you – Mama

Newsletter: Month 20

Lucy,

One week ago you turned twenty months. Because of job interviews and ample amounts of gin (not together) I am way behind on this newsletter. This past month has been wonderful, we were able to go away on a family vacation and while we were away learned many valuable lessons, like if given the opportunity you like to do your own hair:

Nice Hair
We learned that you are not a fan of heights:

Too high! too high!
And we learned that your favorite place is (still) at the beach:

Yea for the beach!
Aside from our vacation you have made a lot of progress with communication, you can tell me lots of things that before were simply guesses on my part. Up until last week your favorite word was “more” – whatever you had you always wanted “more” of it. You have recently switched that up and your favorite work has become “Mine!” but that is a development that really belongs in your next newsletter.

You have become more and more a Daddy’s girl and when he’s not around you are always asking for him, when he is around you are all over him. You have learned to give real kisses, not just open mouth slobbery ones now, but pucker up and deliver good smacks.

Daddy's girl

You have gone back and forth between being a good eater and not touching a single thing we give you – but we can still usually count on your eating fish, yogurt, cheese and of course cookies, which is not only one of your favorite foods but also one of your favorite words.

You continue to be a good sleeper and have started sleeping in pretty much consistently until 8:00 on the mornings that you don’t have to get up for daycare, all of us appreciate this very much. You also continue to be enamored of the dog and cat, you will start asking for them before we get home. They are, unfortunately, pretty wary of you – the dog, or ‘pooches’ as you call him would rather sit upstairs by himself than allow himself to be given Lucy hugs and while the cat is more tolerant she still refuses to let you ride her even though she is the perfect height for you to throw a leg over…

The weather has gotten a lot better and we spend nearly every afternoon outside collecting rocks, digging in dirt and playing with the kids in our neighborhood, here you are in your favorite dirt hole:

who loves dirt?
This month you really blossomed into a little girl, it’s amazing to watch you grow up and discover more and more, to see you start to connect the dots on things like how conversations work, how to throw a ball or even how to pay attention during story time.

Lucy!
I love you so much – Mama

Newsletter: Month 19

For a short month there was an awful lot going on in our house and in your life. The beginning of this month you decided that it was time to start talking and you are on a roll. These are just a few of the words that you use daily: Jacket, cookie, blue, boo boo, pooch, moo, shoes, juice, socks, purple, cheese, book, bath, milk, more, please…

Whose a pretty lady?

You have begun using your imagination when you play, your favorite game is to ‘make’ food for your stuffed animals and then feed them (especially Clifford the big red dog, who sits up nicely next to your kitchen). You can spend hours arranging and rearranging the ‘food’ in your kitchen, you like to bring your Dad and I things to eat too.

what's cookin good lookin?

Play Doh is also a new favorite, there hasn’t been a day gone by since we bought it for you that you haven’t asked to sit at the dining room table and smash it into the glass.

Play Doh!

Also this month you and I took a last-minute impromptu trip to see Nana and PoPo down in Florida, it was a great long weekend where we got to relax and hang out with your grandparents. It wasn’t super warm but we managed to make it to the beach and have a good time anyway.

at the beach with Nana & PoPo

swining with Nana

Having fun at Nana's

We’ve spent a lot of the time at the please touch museum and I think it’s probably one of your favorite places to go. We even let your Dad come with us one time.

Fish face
Weeeeeee

on the carousel

I love you so much – even if you think I’m crazy:

Mom's crazy 

Mama

Newsletter: month 18

Lucy,

A year and a half… how did that happen? It seems just yesterday that you were fascinated by black lines on white paper and couldn’t get yourself off of the floor mat. Now you are climbing and running and getting around just like a ‘big’ kid. You can hop up onto the sofa with little effort, you can even climb up on top of the TV stand, although we do try to discourage that. You are a regular little monkey – you have also figured out how to go down the stairs by scooching on your butt.

up on the couch

Your favorite food right now is ketchup. You have started to get picky about what you will eat and what you won’t but it seems if we put ketchup on practically anything you will eat it. When all else fails we just feed you grapes for dinner – you have never turned down grapes.

cutie

You are talking pretty much non stop and have said many many things including – ‘alligator,’ ‘Aunt Beth’, ‘Thomas’ (because you love Thomas the train) ‘sitting on the step’ (your favorite place to put your shoes on) and many many other things only about 7% of which we understand. You get very frustrated with us sometimes.

outside

We have had the chance to go to the please touch museum several times this month – you love it, you even sat through an entire puppet show one time. You learned to play the piano there:

Miastro!

You are amazing and never fail to bring a smile to the face of anyone you see.

Lucy in boots

I love you – Mama.

Newsletter: Month 17

Lucy,

3 days ago you turned 17 months – not yet a year and a half and I am already falling behind.

Sorry your Mom's such a slacker

This past month was really dominated by Christmas but aside from that you learned some pretty amazing things – you learned how to whistle and how to blow your own nose.

Blowing your own nose

You are talking more and more, this month started out with “Uh oh” – everything was “Uh oh!” and now you are saying more and more things, few of which we can recognize. You know what’s hot (the heater in your room, the radiators, your breakfast) and you know to blow on them to make them cool – this works less well with the radiators than with oatmeal.

pigtails

We tried to visit Santa this month, but he was SCARY this year and made you nearly hysterical. You were in your first Christmas pageant at daycare and had a great time being up on stage… actually you had a great time until you spotted Santa…

Christmas pageant

You were a real trooper on the way to and the way home from North Carolina – you hung out in the back of the car and amused yourself and napped for 10 hours at a time.  This even despite your crazy car hair:

Too long in the car

You had a wonderful time at your grandparents house, and not just because they bought you hundreds of presents and fed you chocolate and ice cream anytime you wanted. You loved the dog, and the singing light up decorations and the yard and the fact that it was in the 60’s most of the time we were there. And once your cousins and Aunt Melissa got there you had more attention than even you could handle. A good time was had by all.

Chocolate Breakfast

Who knows?

For New Years we took the train downtown and attended Peg & Max’s annual open house, we didn’t make the parade but we did see the destruction it creates on Broad street.

Oh and this month, you learned how to drive:

who cares if you can't reach the peddles

You are awesome – Love Mama

Newsletter: Month 16

Dear Lucy,

Today you turn 16 months old. It’s that time of year again where you get that permanent crust of snot around your nose. And in the beginning of the month you where sick sick sick and oh how I forgot how much this sucks – because kid you are a HANDFUL when you don’t feel well. You transform from happy easy baby into a constant whining machine who wants to be picked up and put down constantly – you won’t eat, you won’t drink you just mope around the house and refuse to do anything.

On a positive note you have stopped biting – this month it’s all about hitting – your favorite thing is to hit your Dad and I in the face. I think you might think that you are patting us but you’re not – it’s hitting and it hurts, especially when you have things in your hands like board books…

What can I hit?

This month more than any other time you very cognizant of what’s going on, you understand when we are trying to be funny, you listen when I’m talking to you like you’re taking notes. You will see an animal on TV and then run to your hoard of books and find a picture of it in one of them.  You know how to talk to elephants and understand what cows say. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say you are a total genius.

Genius Child

You and I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together this month, you are still going to daycare but more often than not we are together. We have spent a lot of time at the playground because it’s been unseasonably warm. We went to the Elmwood Park zoo on Black Friday and we had the whole place to ourselves because everyone else was at the mall.

Fun with Buckets

Ya for swings

We  spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home with your Dad and you LOVED it – you love turkey and potatoes and green been casserole but mostly you love cranberry sauce and even more pumpkin pie.  We also where able to go for a bike ride before dinner.

Thanksgiving bike ride

We tried to have pictures taken with Santa, but Santa was VERY scary this year and you had two complete and horrible breakdowns due to our efforts. But despite Santa you are in LOVE with Christmas decorations – we have lights on the porch and on the railing, every time you see them your eyes light up and you laugh. Walking around the neighborhood and seeing other people’s lights is also a lot of fun for you.

Ooohhh lights!

Total Christmas Cheer

You helped your Dad celebrate his 30-something birthday and got to eat several cupcakes, which was AWESOME.

mmmmm cupcakes!

You like to store food in your mouth for inordinate amounts of time – it often makes you look like this:

chipmunk cheeksYou are, as always, amazing.

Love, Mama

Newsletter: Month 15

Lucy,

Today you turn 15 months. I don’t even know any more ways of telling you how awesome you are. You are a sweet child, you laugh quickly and often, you love to give hugs and you are trying to learn how to kiss, although your attempts are really more  just open-mouthed drooling on the side of my face than actual kisses.

Laughing with Dad

And speaking of drooling – you are the queen, you drool more than any child I have ever known – I know this must mean there are some new teeth coming in, but since I am too scared to stick my fingers in your mouth anymore, I have managed to lose count. You have enough to chew steak, that much I know. Actually this month we had our first encounter with ‘authority’ when you started biting your friends at daycare and we had to ‘talk about it’ with your teachers. This seems to be a phase that passed quickly since we haven’t had a repeat for many weeks now. I said it last month, I’ll say it this month – please stop biting.

Eating Jam

I think that part of your frustration at daycare is that many of the kids in your class are talking and you have still not decided to start that. I know you understand what we are saying and you follow directions we give you, I also think that if you wanted to talk, you have plenty of words stored up in your head, but why talk when you communicate effectively in so many other ways? I always know what you need, you make it very clear even without words.

Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie...

We have had many fun adventures and visitors this month. Your Nana and PoPo where here for about a week on their way back to Florida, your Uncle Jeff came to see you and despite is aversion to small children I believe you stole his heart a little. We had a block party where you learned that sometimes its okay to run around in the street, we stayed up late playing with our neighbors and we have had many pleasant autumn afternoons enjoying the playground. We went out to an orchard and let you pick out pumpkins for our porch, rode on a hayride and we attended at Halloween party at your daycare where you dressed up like a puppy and ate pizza and trick or treated for small toys.

How about this pum'kin?

chiiln'  at the block party

hangin' at the playground

You were a pumpkin for actual Halloween, and we went trick or treating to all of our friends in the neighborhood – you got TONS of candy and LOVED all the attention that your cuteness attracts.

trick or treat

Your favorite foods right now are peanut butter, chicken & Halloween candy. You love to sit  in my lap and watch sesame street or Yo Gabba Gabba in the morning and you have really started enjoying story time at night, your favorite book of the moment seems to be “The Kissing Hand”.

My little sweetie

I love you so much – Mama.

Newsletter: Month 14

Dear Lucy,

I have started playing music for you while you eat, I started out with the classics – Mozart and Gershwin with a little 1812 overture throw in from time to time.  But soon we were exploring everything my iPod has to offer and it’s become clear that you favorite is Elvis. It’s easy to tell when you like any music because you started to wiggle your butt and do a little dance, it doesn’t matter if you are strapped into your high chair you still do it anyway.

Doll Baby

You are up to 9 teeth and can chew a remarkably wide variety of food – I still think fish is your favorite, but it’s hard to say, you get excited by many different tastes and flavors (this also makes your butt wiggle, by the way).

Drooling Lucy

You had a brief visit with your Nana this month she was here and  for a week at your Aunt Beth’s house – she brought you zucchini bread, which was a big hit and spent some quality time reading books.

no more paparazzi

Your hair has grown like a weed within the last month and if we don’t do something with it, you end up looking like this:

It's like no one cares

So we generally try to pull it up, like this:

Look you have a face

Or this:

trying out a headband

Or this:

The hat stays on .07 seconds

It’s a constant struggle.

You have decided that the best seat in the house is in your toy box – I can’t imagine it’s very comfortable but it is as close to ALL of your toys as possible – we find you in there whenever our backs are turned.

Because its obviuosly so comfortable

YAY for Toys!

You have become such a good walker, we take trips up and down our street, and with or without shoes you keep up with me, well I guess I keep up with you at this point.

walking in the park

Walking with Daddy

You have learned and grown in so many ways it’s hard to list them all – you point now to things you want or items you are interested in – hopefully you are starting to store up the words for things you like and soon you will be able to say them out loud.

Blah!!!

I love you SO much – Mama

Newsletter: Month 13

All sorts of fun & crazy things happened this month – you cut your 5th tooth, which is cute but super sharp and hurts very much when you bite us, please stop biting us.

Happy Lucy!

You have decided that the cat needs to be hugged regularly, the cat is not as much of a fan of this as you are. You have been scratched multiple times but it does not seem to be acting as a deterrent.

Lucy hugging another animal

You learned to drink through a straw, I don’t know how (probably because you are some kind of genius) but one day… presto you figured it out without any prompting from us.

Lucy & Toys

We had a great party for your 1 year birthday, lots of people came including your grandparents and Aunt Jessica from North Carolina, not only did they bring you a car load or new toys and clothes but they stayed at a hotel, with a pool – a freaking POOL, it doesnt get much better than that.

Lucy in the pool

It got so hot this month that you broke out in a bad heat rash that persisted for abpout 4 days and had me terribly worried until it cooled off and you were once again back to your cute adorable self.

Your adorable self

You helped your father and I celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary by going out for Mexican food for the first time, you LOVED it.

Lucy as Pebbles

You survived your first earthquake & hurricane completely unscathed. We had many fun adventures including a trip to the please touch museum… oh and you got this bike which you might just love more than the hotel pool – it’s a toss up.

Lucy & Bike

Please Touch Museum

You have stopped having a bottle (except at bed) and eat like a real person – you love fish and turkey & ham & cream of wheat.

Yay for food!

You are amazing and wonderful and even though you won’t stay still to get a diaper on and you occasionally throw out my wallet I love you SO much.

Mama