Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

Morgan is home sick today.  Nothing catastrophic, just a runny nose and a stuffy head.  Whenever she gets sick, David and I have to figure out who is going to stay home with her.  Depending on how much either of us wants a day off, there may or may not be actual arguing over who "gets" to stay home (okay, that may also depend on whether Morgan's throwing up...then neither of us volunteer). 

Today was not one of those days.  I have been out of the office a lot lately and am feeling some urgency to actually be at work (Wow, I am like a totally responsible adult. Weird.).  David is also busy, transitioning kids back to the reality of the school year.  But when the time came to figure out our plan for the day, he didn't even hesitate.  He just called in. He said he knows I'm busy and wanted to help.  It's like I married my own personal super hero. 

Thank you, honey.  You make our lives better.  Every day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Mama Trauma

I was at the grocery store tonight and watched a little boy have a total meltdown when his dad took away a bag of cookies so he could pay for them.  I thought to myself how fortunate I was that we had never had a grocery store meltdown.  And then I remembered.  The night.  Morgan was about a year old.  She wanted milk.  She saw the gallons, all lined up behind the glass, just asking to be poured into a sippy cup.  But I was not a good mom (yet), and I had no cup.  

I calmly explained that we would just have to wait.  No, you don't need to read that again.  I actually thought that my little pep talk would do the trick.  It didn't. She wailed. She sobbed.  I wailed. I sobbed. Things got so bad one of my neighbors stopped me in the dog food isle and told me to stick a bagel in Morgan's mouth to shut her up. I'm wiser now.  I keep bagels in my purse...just in case any more neighbors get out of line again and need me to shut them up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Night Watch

I recently talked about a major milestone at our house. You remember, the one that thanked Huggies and apologized to the environment? That little event pales in comparison to what's been happening lately.  For those of you who don't know (which is only possible if you live too far away to hear me complain about it all the time), Morgan has not consistently slept through the night...ever.  She generally goes to bed like a charm but then decides one of two things in the middle of the night - 
  1. The rotation of the earth around the sun is meaningless.  Who cares if it's 4:47?  Let's watch some Blues Clues!
  2. The world is a dark and scary place.  This situation (which actually occurs about 90% of the time) can only be remedied with a cup of milk, rearranging of the herd of stuffed animals that live in the bed, and assurances that there are no monsters hiding in the closet. Please note the flashlight below...a very effective tool in monster hunting.
And then it just stopped.  Morgan goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning.  Unfortunately, now I'm the one not sleeping through the night.  After three years of nightly treks down the hall, I wake up every night in an absolute panic that I haven't heard her cry or yell out for me.  On more than one occasion, I have gone in to check on her and have accidentally woken her up.  Oh yeah, I'm sticking it to myself.  Maybe David should get me a flashlight.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thank You Very Much For That

I talk a lot about our West Coast Crew (which is really just our family and not affiliated with the Bloods or the Crips), but Morgan has some special people in her life who are keeping it real New Jersey style. Uncle Pete, Aunt Jen, and Cousin Ryan sent Morgan the funnest gift this year.  So fun, in fact, that I haven't even let her play with it.  It's a super cool umbrella that came with its own markers so you can color it yourself. 

Problem is, I really like to color...and I actually know how to stay in the lines (no offense Morgan, we know you're working on it).  David has repeatedly reminded me that my name was NOT on the birthday card and that it might be some sort of crappy parenting to commandeer your daughter's gift for the sake of your own love of Crayola. Details, details. 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - Morgan took a few minutes to read the thoughtful words from her Aunt and Uncle.  Or was it her Uncle and Uncle?  Read the card, listen to the video and you decide.  I mean, we're all about equality at this house...I am just not sure Uncle Jen and Aunt Ryan got the memo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Broken Promises

The day I found out I was having a girl, I made a promise to myself. I swore I wouldn't be the mom who forced her daughter into "girly" activities. She would play soccer and get dirty.  We wouldn't watch princess movies and my daughter would never think she had to wait to be rescued by some fluffy-haired cartoon guy on a horse. 

And then one day, I suddenly had a daughter who loved to twirl.  She has potential, and even a little bit of coordination. And so I broke my promises and enrolled my daughter in dance.

And it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Girl's Got Skills

Okay, who am I kidding?  She's barely three, and they're mostly still scribbles.  HOWEVER, after my Reading Rainbow disappointment, Morgan seems to have taken my concerns to heart and is trying redeem herself as an artist. 

You see, being handy with a paint brush runs in the family.  My great grandfather (who Morgan is named after), could paint you a mountain and some trees like nobody's business.  I am pretty sure he was Bob Ross' mentor. My brother isn't too shabby, either.  He could rally for a nice still life and even painted me a little portrait of some fruit when he was 14 (it still hangs in our laundry room).  And then there's my father-in-law.  He's got some bizarre ability to paint just about anything.  I mean anything.  You give him a photo and he will recreate it on canvas.  The man has no formal training (well, except for watching Bob Ross) but does beautiful work.  It's almost scary. 

But I am not going to show you any of that.  Instead, behold the magic of my toddler.  Her work is sure to be showcased in galleries across the globe...just as soon as I take it off the fridge.

1.  Sunshine and Flower. Not only does her flower have true green leaves, she's got that bad boy totally stretching to meet the sun.  Oh yeah, we are rockin' some photosynthesis at our house.

2. Bug Business.  What we've got here is the standard "scary spider" and the newly-developed legless lady bug.  Now, I know what you're thinking, and yes, the sun and the spider do look very similar.  However, what you're missing is the shrieking and screaming when Morgan describes the spider and the fact IT WILL EAT YOU.
3. Family Portrait. Here's where things get hard core.  We've got three bobble heads, complete with facial features (This is a major accomplishment at our house.  Morgan drew a picture of my mother-in-law last week and only gave her one eye. on purpose. and refused to fix it.) I am pleased to see she captured David's full head of hair, but will admit that I was slightly alarmed to see that I am still sportin' a nice side pony tail, circa 1987. That, as well as the fact I only have one REALLY long arm. Could be worse, looks like she actually noticed how short David's legs are.     

At this point, the jury is still out on whether this kiddo is going to be any sort of artistic prodigy.  However, I am relatively confident she'll make a great sketch artist one day.  CSI, we're waiting for your call.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Times They Are A Changin'

Morgan's favorite people in the whole world are her cousins. Although this revelation may come as a shock to her grandparents (sorry guys), it's something the rest of us have known for a long time.

But during this summer's vacation, I noticed a shift in the cousin of them grew up. It was no longer the four of them off playing. Instead, it was like we had three little monkeys and one, well, not-so-little monkey. All of a sudden, Dylan was off with the men, doing manly things. Like fishing...and farting. You know, manly.

But then I decided to break out the face paint - First, there was Olivia -- she was feeling a little under the weather so I thought a snazzy butterfly would cheer her up. It clearly worked. You can't even tell she had a fever of 102 and a double ear infection. Such a trooper.

Then I moved on to the little ones -- they got matching spider webs because, frankly, that was the end of my artistic skill set.

Right about that time, Dylan returned from his trip with the guys and decided I had done it ALL wrong. Being the son of an artist, he got right to work. Morgan was all too happy to oblige.

Collin, not wanting to feel left out, insisted Dylan give him a few enhancements as well.

They quickly evolved into two stunning beauties, complete with uni brows and moustaches. So far beyond what I could have given them.

And then Dylan took a good long look in the mirror and decided he needed his own little bit of flare.When it was all said and done, it looks like Dylan might not be growing up too fast after all. Thank goodness -- those little guys sure like having him around.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where We're Goin'

We don't NEED roads!
At this point, I could ask you about your flux capacitor or tell you to "Get your damn hands off her" but that would make this post more about one of my favorite movies and less about my favorite kid.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Birthday Trilogy

Who knew that your only child turning three would involve four parties (yeah, you read that right), over 200 photos, and more than three dozen cupcakes?!?!? The events unfolded over seven days and, while exhausting, were such a great reminder of just how much I love our friends and family...and cake, I love cake.

Part One - The Kick Off

We kicked off this birthday ridiculousness a day early with my family:

Proud to say I'm THAT mom...we read the cards before we open gifts!

These two photos represent a rare moment when Morgan liked both of the same time. I'm sure the cupcake bribe had nothing to do with it.

And here we have the ONLY time anyone sang to Morgan and she then blew out candles. Subsequent attempts ended in both panic and fear. More on that later-

Let's just hope your birthday wish didn't include anything with the phrase "some assembly required" -- I still haven't recovered from the kitchen set you got for Christmas.

Part Two - Worst.Birthday.Ever

On the morning of Morgan's birthday, we set the table, lit some candles, and gently woke our precious daughter from her restful slumber. And then all hell broke loose.
She immediately walked into the kitchen and began sobbing "No mommy, put it back, I'm not ready!" Once I convinced her that her birthday bagel was not going to attack her, she approached the table with the level of enthusiasm most people have for the dentist.

Not convinced, she brought her trusty unicorn along for protection, which I'm glad she didn't need...those things are totally flammable.

I will spare you the photos of her screaming hysterically for me to "Put them out, mommy, put them out!" As David and I tried to sing to her. Instead, I will show you the only bright spot of Morgan's morning, which was her violently ripping the candles out of their cream cheese home and throwing them in the garbage. Happy birthday, indeed.

Part Three -- Home Run

Last Sunday, we closed out birthday week with a backyard BBQ and bug hunt. I briefly debated using the bugs that have been eating our plants all summer but then decided that would be less than endearing. Instead, I made some really high end decorations out of paper plates and an even higher end cake, complete with gummy worms and chocolate rocks. We spare no expense at this house- The girls made "bug bags" and hunted for the large plastic critters that were strategically placed in every visible spot of the yard. Once they counted their loot, every girl was declared a winner (they can learn that life lesson later) and we moved on with the celebrations- Ultimately, the night was a hit. Morgan is already on her way to becoming the Hostess with the Mostest. I might just let her plan her own party next year...P.S. A special thanks to our family and friends for making our daughter feel so loved. You rock.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And So It Ends

One last trip to the splash park, the pavement so hot it burned our toes between puddles. One last run through the fountains, where little girls became fearless adventurers.

One last hurrah for summer.