September 28, 2012

favorite color

He requested an "orange" birthday party.

So that's what he got.

September 27, 2012

onward and upward

As we walked around outside before his party on Saturday, I couldn't get over how lanky (and, well, big) he looked.

Such a far cry from last year!

I think it has something to do with the "layered" look ...  It does it every time.

But for as old as he looks sometimes, there are still little reminders that he is just a baby.

A three-year-old baby, but a baby nonetheless.

Long-sleeved tee-shirt: Circo (gift)
Jeans: Circo (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Kidgets (thrifted for $1.00)

And I'm so glad he's mine!

September 24, 2012

another year, another letter

My dear, sweet Malcolm,

Yesterday (at 11:54 pm), you turned three.

Three years old!

Yet, when I kissed you on the forehead and left you in your darkened bedroom after saying "good night," I couldn't help but recall the very first time I kissed that same forehead ...

Your head was much smaller then ...  Squishy, and pink. 

Your eyes were a dark blue-gray, bewildered, but alert, trying to adjust to the bright hospital lights and take in your brand new surroundings.  Trying to make sense of the craziness that had just occurred.

Just this evening, your Dad recalled how you "just stared at him" when you were examined under the warming lights that hung above the newborn bassinet. 

When he locked eyes with you, I'm sure he felt the same way that I did ...  Completely and utterly in love.

And that feeling hasn't wavered.

Not once in these past three years.

Not even a tiny bit.

If it's possible, I think I grow to love you more with each year that passes.

You are such a personality now.  Full of life, and humor, and curiosity.  You are goofy like your Dad, and full of the same kinetic (and boundless) energy ... But you are also reflective like I am, quietly learning and scheming while the world moves around you. Comfortable with silence and just listening, thumb happily in your mouth ... 

At least until you feel like talking ...

Your voice (the voice that, it seemed, took so long in coming) is the soundtrack to my days.  Questions, comments, observations, exclamations, and even songs ...  All flying through the air with such speed and enthusiasm.  Almost all of your signs are gone (unless you want some extra emphasis), now replaced by words ...  And more words ...  And more words! 

The things you say astound me.

You are smart (and that's not the mother in me talking).  You seriously amaze me with your ability to take things in (like during your very first moments) and remember them ...  Events that happened long ago, exchanges and conversations that you heard, dialogue from your favorite DVDs, details that I'm positive you didn't notice.  Somehow you piece it all together, like the many puzzles that you have deemed "easy."

You are caring and sweet ...  You love everyone.  Your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, adults you see at church or the grocery store, and Pearl.  You love your sister.  Your complete dismissal of her presence during her early days has been replaced by a growing interest.  You like when Pearl touches, looks, or "growls" at you, and you are quick to share Spot (if only for a second or two) when you notice her being fussy.  You always want to snuggle with her on her ocean activity mat and make her laugh when he's hanging in her doorway bouncer.

"Pearl like Malcolm!"  You exclaim, a grin crossing your face.

Of course she does. 

How could she not?

You are truly everything I could have asked for in a first child and so much more ...  You have set the bar so, so high and have made me so proud to be your mom. 

So proud that you are my little boy.

It's been three years since you came into my world ...  Three years since you made me a mother and changed everything.

I can't wait to see what the next three (and beyond!) will hold.

Love Always,


September 20, 2012

it's that time again

Malcolm is jumping for joy that fall seems here to stay ...

And I'm excited that I get to bust out lots of little boy sweaters (and maybe a sweater vest or two ...  Or three!) again!

Sweater: TKS (thrifted for $1.50)
Jeans: Circo (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Tek Gear (hand-me-down)
Shoes: Smart Fit (hand-me-down)

It's a win-win situation!

September 19, 2012

pearl: six months

Have we reached the half year mark already?

Wasn't she just turning five months old only yesterday?

It may be cliche (okay, it definitely is cliche), but time certainly flies when you're having fun ...  And my days are much more fun with this sweet, little girl in them!

Height: 26.25 inches
Weight: 13 pounds 13 ounces

Not only that, but it is all too easy to lose myself in those blue eyes of hers ...

September 17, 2012


As much as I like to dangle shiny little incentives (literally or figuratively) in front of my son to get the best out of him, I've learned many times over that Malcolm can't be bought.

He is too smart for that ...  And here's a little story to prove it ...

While spending the night at my parents' house, my Mom told Malcolm that if he peed on the big boy potty (Ah, yes!  Potty training is in full, if not slightly leisurely, effect over here!) she'd give him a new truck, but if he pooped on the big boy potty, she'd give him a big new truck.

Apparently, he thought on this for a moment as he played, then suddenly asked my Dad: "Grampa (although he says it more like "Ka-pa")? I poop on potty, I get big truck?"

When my Dad agreed that that was, indeed, the deal, Malcolm removed himself from the room, went to his potty (with some help from my mother), and proceeded to poop the tiniest of barely-there poops on it ...  And then he waited for his big truck!

You'd think my entire family (and anyone else that spends a moderate of time with Malcolm) would know by now, that you really do have to watch what you say to him. 

He doesn't forget.


And he holds you to your promises.

But, luckily (for us!), he is also easy-going ...

So, he accepted the new, little truck without protest.

(Photo courtesy of my Dad's iPhone)

Maybe, next time, my parents will be more specific in describing their expectations.

September 14, 2012

better with age

Rumor has it, I celebrated by thirtieth birthday last week.

The big 3-0.

(Luckily, my special day was a bit less eventful than last year!)

I have been told by many people that this upcoming decade of my life will be the best ...  But, if I think back on them, my twenties were pretty darn good.

I graduated from college.

I (jointly) bought a house.

I got married to the love of my life.

I took some pretty awesome trips (to Colorado, and Mexico, and Florida, most recently, Jamaica).

I birthed my first child ...

And then my second.

I earned my Master's degree.

There are lots of wonderful memories all wrapped up into ten years!

Of course, there were the not-so-great moments, too ...  But, overall, I certainly can't complain about my twenties!

My thirties have some big shoes to fill!

September 13, 2012


It's hard to tell in these photos, but Pearl was rocking her superhero gear the other day ...  Which is totally appropriate because "super" has been a good way to describe her.

Onesie: Old Navy (thrifted for $1.00)
Pants: Carter's (thrifted for $0.50)

She's super observant ...  Watching our every move, and soaking up everything around her. 

She's super active ...  Rolling from one end of the room to the other, tucking her knees up beneath her and pushing up on them, preparing to fly away during tummy time ...

She's super sweet ...  Really, the best little personality around.  She's got tons of spunk and spice, but she's completely laid back and ready to just go-with-the-flow.

She's the perfect fourth member of our family, and I can't imagine my life without her.

Our little Supergirl.

September 12, 2012

that kid

Malcolm will turn three in a couple of weeks, so I thought it was time to get him out of the house and involved in some "pre-school" activities. 

I by no means expect him to sit down and pay attention for long spans of time, but I figured the interaction with other (non-family) kids his own age and (non-family) adults in charge could be beneficial ...  So, when I saw a $20 Groupon a couple months ago for a local Performing Arts Studio touting a month's worth of little kid gymnastics classes, I jumped on it.

Fast forward to this past Monday and Malcolm's first class.

Let's just say it went pretty much as expected ...

Not well.

For starters, Malcolm and I arrived fashionably early.  While I tried to fill out the emergency contact (and other) forms, he ran around the main area of the center like a wild man.  He jumped down stairs, chased little girls (decked out in their leotards), and rolled around the floor.  He was ready. 

And we still had about fifteen minutes to wait.

Then, when we got to the gym room, his little eyes quickly darted to the colorful wedges and mats ...  And balance beam.  He wanted to explore!  And climb!  RIGHT NOW!

But, alas, we still had to wait.

Finally, the big moment ...  The teachers called all of the children to the center of the room and asked them to form a circle.  Malcolm ventured to the edge of the huge, blue mat, then ran right back to me, tears streaming down his face.

He didn't want to join the kids.

He didn't want to sit.

I let him crab over by me (in the parents' holding area) for a while, and ever so slowly, he started to inch back out toward the group.  They were all acting like fish now ...  "Swimming" around the room and doing a bunch of silly movements ...  Yet it still wasn't meant to be.

Again, he came, crying, to my side and watched from a safe distance.

About twenty minutes into the fifty minute class, when the colorful parachute made it out on to the floor, his interest was piqued again ...  And, this time, he ran out with the group and jumped around on the periphery.

And that's pretty much how he spent the rest of his time ...  Bouncing (rolling, jumping, kicking, spinning, climbing) around on the periphery. 

Even when the other kids were broken off into small groups to try the different pieces of gymnastics equipment, he did his own thing, moving from group to group (as they had specifically been told not to do) and basically causing all kinds of mischief.

He was that kid.

The one that is all over the place.

The one that is having an absolute blast (but that isn't listening).

The one that needs someone to bring him back to earth.

The one that the other parents are probably talking about.

And, you know what?

That's okay.

He is still only two, after all ... 

And while he may be taller than most of the other kids, he is probably younger than them, too.

He isn't quite ready for this whole "pre-school" thing.

I definitely see that now.

So, we'll finish out our month of classes (I wonder what next Monday will bring?!) and then we'll take a break.

And maybe try again in a few months ...

September 10, 2012

getting a lift

Hikes in the Cleveland Metroparks are easy when Dad is around ...

(At least for the five minutes he agrees to carry you!)

September 6, 2012

photo bombing brother

This "photo shoot" was supposed to be about Pearl.

Onesie: Old Navy ($4.00)
Skirt: Small Wonders ($3.00)

But someone (who shall remain nameless) came downstairs and discovered me with my camera ...

"Mom!  Look at me!"  he shouted as I tried to engage my youngest child.

"Me too!  Look at me!  Me do it, too!"  he yelled as he strategically placed himself between Pearl and my lens ...

And proceeded to do "tricks" on the couch ...

Tee-shirt: Sesame Street (gift)
Shorts: Carter's (gift)

It's a good thing he's so darn cute!