When Mom Joins Facebook

Have you ever had the privilege of watching someone else scroll through Facebook out loud? Lucky for me (since my mom is also my roommate) I have. And because I could not stop laughing as she did so, I started to take notes on the computer. Hopefully you will appreciate the humor as much as I did. Keep in mind, my mom is quite possibly the sweetest person in the world, and if she's your friend on Facebook, she's commented on something you've posted. So keep all those pictures of babies comin! Crazy Jan learned how to type hearts and now she has a whole cheat sheet of emoticons in her laptop bag, and she's prepared to use them.

Things my mom said while scrolling through Facebook:

"I'm not sure that is a good idea, you guys. You're going to be at the emergency room."

(Turns computer sideways) "Is that so and so? Huh? Bunch of hippies."

"Who's that? "God dangit!" (scroll bar got away) "Dammit!"

"If somebody gave me that for mother's day I'd say 'What the hell is this?'"

"Oh, they look so happy!"

"Isn't that a pretty butterfly? And kid too."

"$40 for that thing? What a waste of money."

(Laughs) "That's cute. I like that."

"He got to see the winner? My cousin? Huh. That's interesting."

"Let's see what we got here."

"That looks like alcohol was involved." (Comments: Love it!)

(I swear that last one wasn't on one of my pictures!)

Maybe I could make this a series. It could take off and be made into a TV sitcom

Oh, the possibilities...

Faith is FOUR!

Dear Faith,
I just said goodnight to you for the last time as a 3-year-old. You think it's funny when I fake cry after you say "I'm going to be four tomorrow." If you only knew that I really do feel like crying about you turning four tomorrow. Make no mistake, I am so happy you're happy to grow up. You think for some reason you're going to magically be able to do so many things when you're four: brush your teeth without help, eat more vegetables. draw like dad. Your standard response these days is "maybe when I'm four." It's cute, and so innocent it melts my heart. But four is so grown up. And it was just yesterday that you were Gabby's size. Yesterday I tell you! It's crazy to think that your dad and I were anxiously awaiting your arrival as we watched the World Cup four years ago. Now, you're cheering on the USA right beside us!

This past year, once again, zoomed by at lightning speed. You have grown so much, literally. Dresses that were long on you last summer barely cover your bum now. Last year at this time your hair didn't even require a comb. Now it gets pulled back into a curly ponytail, making you look so mature.

While you are always up for an adventure, you struggle daily with not being the boss of your own life. While we loathe the battles because of this (no, you can't eat turkey sandwiches for every meal), I am proud that you want to take charge. You love being the "line leader" and a leader in general. I hope that never changes. I watched you go from a causal observer during story time at the library last year to shouting out responses to the questions from the front row this year. When the librarian asked the group what the flavor of the pretend juice should be, you shouted out: "Chocolate!" and made everyone laugh.

I should be wrapping your presents and baking your cake right now, but instead I just want to stay here forever and write about how much I love being your mom. I love your sister just as much as I love you, but because you're my firstborn, you're the one I'm always comparing her with. When you were little, I thought all kids would sit still for a half hour while their mom read them books. I thought all babies would be passed from stranger to stranger without batting an eye. I thought all children were cautious creatures. But these are just some of the features that make you you.

You love running through the sprinklers (after much coersion) going on picnics, hide and seek (your crazy good hiding spots give me mild heart attacks), watching cartoonies whenever we let you, being read to (for HOURS) pamato (Playdough), messing with Gabby and going on "mystery walks" in which you take the magnifying glass and pretend that bird poop on the sidewalk is a clue. (Have I mentioned I love this age?) You seriously say something hilarious daily.

Sure, some of who you are is due to our influence as parents. But so much more of it is just your personality unveiling itself and shining through as you get older. I love that. Words to describe you include: outgoing, the opposite of laid back, whip-smart, silly, sensitive, show-offy, happy, talkative, truthful, inquisitive (why? what does "except" mean? what does exhausted mean? why?), girly and affectionate. You are such a life force.

The truth is I feel honored and privileged to have guided you these past four years. It seems like just yesterday that you showed up four days late, screaming about your new living conditions and then refusing to eat from anything but a bottle. I should've seen your personality coming ;) But even though it seems like time has gone by faster than it should have, all moms get the same amount of time with their children. So I'm not going to be sad about what I can't control, but just beyond grateful and happy that I get the pleasure of raising a great little girl.

I love every single thing about you. Never change who you are! But I guess it's OK if you want to keep growing up. And tomorrow when you wake up, you'll be four, and I promise not to cry....too much.


23 Things about Gabrielle Grace: 1 year edition

To Gabrielle Grace on your 1st birthday,

1) You are so close to walking. In fact, you've taken 1 or 2 steps without falling (Grandma claims three but grandmas tend to exaggerate). You also enjoy taking one step and then dive-bombing into my arms, so it may be awhile.

2) Breastfeeding came to a close between 10-11 months. I'm so proud we made it that far on our journey together. It's nice to have my body back to being mine, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it from time to time.

3) On the flip side, you love actual milk! In fact, you love everything, including the recent additions of tortilla chips, cucumber and birthday cake!

4) Since my last update you've developed a major case of stranger danger. When a person outside of immediate family attempts to hold you, you scowl and put your head down. It's hilarious to me, but your first days of school after summer vacation might be rough.

5) You're very much still in the "stick everything in my mouth phase." I'm very much ready for this to end, especially after you took a bite of a crayon on dad's watch.

6) Being chased is your favorite pastime. If we get close, you just melt into a big pile of mush and prepare to be tickled.

7) I can't not mention the funny face you've been making for over a week now. Not sure how or why it happened, but now everytime there's a camera around, you are guaranteed to open your mouth and do this:

8) Instead of onesies, you're wearing a lot more shorts and t-shirts now. It really makes you seem like a certifiable one-year-old. I also have been styling your little mop. It's straight as an arrow, so no curly Qs for you, but it's a beautiful shade of strawberry blonde that I like to put in a side pony.

9) Binkies are a girl's best friend. Now that you're one, I'm going to try to get them down to naptime and bedtime, but who are we kidding, that is going to suck (no pun intended). Hopefully we can wean by age 2. There, I said it. Now I just have to do it.

10) Currently your schedule is as follows:
6 a.m. - wakeup, diaper change, bottle and play
7 a.m. - real deal breakfast (you hate eggs just like mommy)
8:30 a.m. - walk in the stroller
9 a.m. - 1st nap of the day
10 a.m. ish - wake up happy and play play play
11:15 a.m. - lunch
noon - play some more (this includes pushing walkable furniture, pointing at EVERYTHING, at crying if Faith takes a toy from you)
1 p.m. ish - another nap
hopefully 3 p.m. wake up from nap, happy girl again
3:15 p.m. - play some more, torture Howie, crawl toward mirrors and find anything that's not a toy
4:30 p.m. fussy time
5:15/5:30 p.m. dinner is served
6  p.m. bathtime, lotion, cute pj time
6:30 p.m. - dad takes you downstairs to practice piano and guitar :)
7 p.m. bottle and play/practice walking
7:30 p.m. books and rock and bye baby

11) You are Howie are entering the "get-along" stage. He loves licking your little fingers full of food and you love letting him and giggling.

12) You and Faith are friends. She's good to you but still learning how to treat a baby and you laugh at her jokes but then get mad when she takes a toy away.

13) Unlike your sister, one thing you're not into at this age is cartoons. Faith loved a little Mickey Mouse or Little Einsteins while I would get something accomplished like cooking dinner. She's always had an amazing attention span, but I didn't know it until you wouldn't sit through one book with me or watch a cartoon she was watching for more than one minute. This is a good thing.

14) When we put you to bed at night, it's so nice knowing we are going to get a full night's sleep nowadays. We might have to binkify once a night but that's a rarity. #praisebetheLord

15) You have quite the stink eye if you don't like the taste of something, the look of something or just disapprove in general of what's happening. I'm not sure whether to be concerned or proud.

16) Sometimes you don't notice what makes your child different until you have another one. Faith is Captain Cautious. You are Admiral Adventure! Watching you two play in the sprinklers is like night and day.

17) We've entered the pointing phase. You look at everything from boys to fans to lights to toys and say "baa?" as if you need confirmation. I know you understand so much more than you can say and am excited for more words to come.

18) Favorite toys include babies, lift the flap/touch and feel books, remotes and kitchen utensils.

19) It bears mentioning that you have been crawling since about a week after I published your 9 month post. Go figure. You have a bit of an unorthodox style, with one knee up, but you've gotten good at getting around. You can even stand for a time by yourself, too.

20) If I'm in the room, I better be holding you. I did go through the whole labor and delivery ordeal, so I best be your favorite for at least the first few years. :)

21) When Faith was a baby, I would rock her to sleep and semi-hope it went fast. With you, I know there is only more care-taking to do for her once I put you to bed (denying another bowl of ice cream, fighting to brush teeth, convincing her not to wear a dress to bed). That said, I take my time rocking you to sleep and I try to force my arms to use muscle memory so I can always think back to what it's like to hold a one-year-old as they drift off to dreamland.
22) We found you a new preschool. It was funny because we have super high standards for you and Faith, but we took a last minute tour, came totally unprepared with no questions and had no idea how much it would cost, but it all worked out perfectly. I'm excited for you to start there in the fall!

23)  I had the pleasure of having your birthday off work. We had a blast and I hope to make it an annual tradition.


In conclusion, raising you is so much fun. I hope I'm around to see you raise your own babies someday.

Love you!