Letters to Elle: February 2013

Dear Elle,

I’m getting this one in by the hair of my chinny chin chin. It’s the last day of February, 2013 and I haven’t yet written to you, though I’ve composed this letter about a hundred times in my mind, watching you fall asleep each night, watching you play hide and seek, watching you develop and grow. But part of me wants so bad to be PRESENT in the moment, that I’ve gone on hiatus from social media’ing documenting the daily. I may regret it eventually, but I’m pleased with myself for living in the moment, for living the moments rather than capturing them…for all the sense that makes.

I look at the way you play — with me, with your Dad, with your Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and all your friends and it makes me so proud. You’re so smart and fun and funny…you get a kick out of things that make me laugh too — I’m glad we find the same sorts of things funny!!

You’ve entered a phase, at 16+ months old where you want to be independent and yet don’t at all. You’re interested in exploring, but want to stay connected. You have a daredevil streak in you. This has been the most trying time to be your Mom. You were a phenomenal baby and early toddler. But now — you’re a whole new ball game. You take our ‘chaos’ nickname one level further. Whether it’s knowingly, in the 10.3 seconds your diaper is off, when you walk to the edge of the rug and hardwood floor and proceed to pee down your leg and stare at the pee as it pools on the floor at your feet…or when you begin splashing and dancing in it in the 20.2 seconds before I whisk you away to a quick hose down…you are chaos.

Our morning routine is fun, most days, but some days you have a distinct mind of your own about how the morning is going to go. Those are most often the days I’m late for work.

You love books, of course. You also love the iPad and can figure out how to unlock it and do just about anything you want, including nearly buying in-app stuff the other day. The restrictions on that have been tightened a little bit.

You are so cool, really. I know all parents think that of their kids. But I really think it of you. You crack me up and make me laugh. I look forward to seeing who and what you’ll wake up as — happy and excited and fun or a little bit cranky. Will you have slept funny so your hair goes wild all over the place, or will it have gone pin-straight in the night? Will you have six binkies in your hands, or just one in your mouth? Will you wake up in the middle of the night or not? Will you want a bubba/bottle or will you just need a quick cuddle? Will your teeth have popped through and your smile be wider and brighter? Will you insist on brushing with the motorized or regular toothbrush? Will you use my toothbrush or yours? Will today be the day the bathroom mirror gets messed up with tiny handprints…or tomorrow? You are a puzzle, but one I look forward to the challenge of every minute.

You have taken to ‘cheers’ ing others with your sippy cup. Which means you can get those of us drinking ‘adult bevs’ quite drunk with your penchant for ‘cheers’ ing!!! You also very much enjoy hanging out with your grandparents. You built your playhouse the other day with your Grandpa Scott and you are quite enthralled with the playhouse now.

You are able to converse, in small ways. You know what you want and what you don’t and can shake your head accordingly. You weigh probably around 22+ pounds and you’re quite tall.

In the last month, you’ve helped to celebrate the birthdays of both Emmerson and Holden, which was a lot of fun.

As your Dad and I keep planning our wedding in two months, we ordered your dress (so freaking cute!) and your little slippers to go with it (again, too much).

I don’t know, girlie. You are just a ton of fun right now. I often feel like I’m not doing enough, like I could do more or better by you. I think the world of your Dad — he’s such a good Dad and you just find him to be the best guy in the world. As you should – for for always. Saturday I’ve planned a girls day just you and I. I haven’t had enough just you and me time lately — where I get to enjoy you and not battle you as I try to get ready for work. I’m looking forward to that in the next few days here.

I feel like I may regret that I haven’t taken as many pictures lately, that I haven’t blogged as much. But I kind of like what I said earlier even in this blog post. I’m making memories, not capturing them. I try so hard to imprint in my mind the things you say and do and try…and I know I’m missing some things, but I’m present for them in the moment and I guess that’s all I want for now. It’s a phase I’m going through — just like you’re going through a phase!! 🙂

I look into your eyes and I feel like most of the time I’m trying to look into the future, to see who you’re going to be and what you’re going to think or say or do. I am so thrilled to continue to discover the girl and woman that you’re destined to be.

Even tonight, as I rocked you to sleep and intermittently your eyes were either rolling back in your head fighting off sleep or focusing on my eyes, I felt that emotion you feel when you watch Free Willy when Willy looks into the boy (why can I not remember his name!?) and there’s this connection and it’s like they both just KNOW what the other needs/wants/feels. That’s dramatic, yes, but that’s how it feels with you, what it was like tonight and so many other nights. Sometimes, I feel like you can see through my facade better than anyone and it’s humbling and enlightening, all at once.

I’m so enamored with you — more so than at any other time in your life — and I just find it remarkable that together, your Dad and I created you…I feel like now that you’re YOU I have so much more respect for that process. This is the coolest time so far of being your Mom, even if it means cleaning up a lot of pee on the floor.

You’re phenomenal already. You fulfill me and my love for you overflows out my eyes.

As ever, girlie —


Mom Crawls

So, this just happened…

Elle is napping (like a champ since we got her on the mend now…). And while she naps, I’m cleaning the house, showering and getting ready to attend Holden’s first birthday party later this afternoon (Elle’s going too).

I go to dry my hair and have decided that the last time I got compliments on my hair, I dried it with the round brush (which makes my arms hurt and I’m no good at it and it takes For.Ev.Er. BUT – I want my hair to look its finest. For whatever reason.

So, I go to the bathroom drawer and pull out…four hairbrushes that I put back into the drawer about five times per day (Elle’s on a hair brush kick and an emptying-everything-from-a-drawer kick too). But, no round brush.

Think, brain. Where is the round brush?

Ah, yes.

In my mind, I see it.

Laying in the middle of the floor of Elle’s bedroom.

(Told you she’s on a hair brush kick).

The bedroom where that girlie girl is napping.


I do what any mother would do…

Put on my softest slippers (damning our hard wood floors the entire time) and head toward her barely-open-a-crack door.

It sticks, and knowing this I try to do a shimmy/jimmy lift thing.

It fails.

The door makes a loud creak.

I stop, fearful.

Will she wake up and pop her head over the edge of the crib?

No! I need more time.

So, I quickly close the door back again and drop onto all fours outside the door, waiting anxiously.

I hear the sound of her sucking on her pacifier, hope that she doesn’t wake further.

But I NEED beautiful, lustrous hair. And the only way to get it is with the brush that is JUST beyond my grasp inside that room.

So, I decide to try once more. Evidently the risk being worth it…

I open the door, and I gingerly continue on all fours (less of a chance I’m spotted that way). I reach for the brush. I’m not close enough. I will my arm to grow a half inch – and somehow, it does (or I pulled a muscle in my side while I stretched for it).

I’ve got it!

So, I won that mild battle and headed for the hair dryer…only to realize that it really does hurt my arms to use that stupid round brush and it’s taking forever and I don’t have that kind of time, dammit, so I give up and go to the hairdryer-roundbrush all-in-one that was safely in the cupboard the whole time.

And, in the end, I’m having a moderately good hair day.

But I had to pull a muscle to get there…


Ahh, motherhood!


I Can Relate

I laughed out loud at this blog post from Type B Mom Stays Home just now.

I laughed – sort of scared – because about the time Elle turned one – in October – she moved into 12 month clothes. The second pair of 12-month PJs she wore were some two piece blue with monkeys Carters pjs. Cute.

And after the first time wearing them, I find her in the office, a pair of small scissors from my ‘locked’ bathroom drawer on the floor next to her.

“Whew” I think, believing I’d found her just before she’d done anything to herself. Like poke her eye out.

Until after the clothes go through the wash, I’m folding them and realize that there’s a large L-shaped cut in the top.

I pondered if something had gone amiss with the washing machine.

Until I recalled the near-miss on the poking out of the eye.

And it turns out that I wasn’t there in the nick of time. Not at all.


Snow Day, 1

It’s my Friday today — and a snow day for the rest of the area.

Sitting in my office trying to find the itinerary for my parents to figure out if they have a chance of making it home through the storm tonight (they might).

I hear, in the other room, my girlie girl playing and all of a sudden some clanking that sounds like…well…no good.

And instead of getting up to investigate, I took a moment and played ‘what is she banging together’ to see how good I am at guessing.

Admittedly not the safest game to play with a toddler, but it worked in my favor this time.

I was half right: a hair brush and a small pan (that she’s swiped from the cupboard).

Now…she’s trying (unsuccessfully) to rip the princess crown cover off the nite light in her room.

So, that’s one minute of my morning…


Mother of the Year, Over Here

Stop competing.

I’ve won it.

Mother of the Year.

Elle woke up with a cough Saturday morning. She was going to a birthday party with my Mom while I worked at a women’s expo (that’s a WHOLE other post). I put the cough medicine in Elle’s go-bag and it didn’t get used that day.

Sunday the cough was still around.

And sleep was not the greatest during this time frame.

Monday morning, she woke up with the cough even worse. I called Jon’s parents (remember, mine are sipping pina coladas on a beach somewhere on an island) and they watched Elle. I didn’t want to send her to school with no chance to feel better, a bunch of other sick kids running around.

They kept her well-medicated, put the humidifier in her room at their house and paid good attention to the cough.

It didn’t seem like it was getting better.

Same thing happens Tuesday morning.

And finally, this morning, I take her to their house again and on the way to work call the pediatrician’s office. I tell them that she has a cough, has had it for a few days but didn’t know if maybe the doctor could tell us over the phone a good medicine or if we should come in.

Oh, come in – they say.

So, I go to work, do the morning routine, and head back to get Elle and go to the doctor’s office.

(Sidenote: two molars popped through in the last five days as well. Medical professionals can swear this has nothing to do with anything…but…I don’t believe them).

We don’t wait at ALL in the waiting room and we’re in the room waiting for the doctor. The nurse-girl takes Elle’s temperature (99.5, slight temp still) and weighs her (22 pounds!). He arrives and listens to her (he always calls her Ellie — and calls me by what will be my married name…and I just let him) chest and breathing. He calls for the RSV test. Swab of the nose, nebulizer treatment and five minutes later aaaaannnndddd…it’s RSV.


Annnnnndddddd…it’s an ear infection!



How’d I miss an EAR infection?

And then, just for good measure (to really shore up MOTY) I ask about a sore on Elle’s…lady bits…and he indicates it’s from not changing her diaper frequently enough (I’m blaming daycare, but I’m sure it’s not just them). He also points out that her lady bits are quite red and hands me the name of an OTC cream to use to make it less red and uncomfortable for Elle.


How’d I miss ALL of that?

While all the cutesy-ness of Elle using signs to communicate is nice, learning words is entertaining and the ways we forge communicating daily are improving, it’ll be nice when she can TELL me her throat/chest/ladybits/ears hurt.

Felt SO bad that I called in and took the rest of the day to spend with her. Can you take a Mom-Guilt day? They should give you some of those at work, to use just for days like this. I’m glad I did. She slept nearly four hours this afternoon, two of them after waking up crabby-patty and letting me just cuddle her (while I watched the movie The Debt with Helen Mirren – I wouldn’t NOT recommend it, but unless you’re looking for a movie you can watch with the sound low (subtitles, yay!) and aren’t looking for anything entirely stimulating, then go ahead and watch this one. It felt good to watch a movie, even if it was out of Mom-Guilt.)

She’s in bed early tonight, considering she slept so long this afternoon.

And I’m still up, contemplating how all of those things got past me.

Either way, she’s on the mend now. The goal is to be healthy enough to contemplate attending a birthday party this weekend, but I’d hate to pass on this Mom-Guilt to anyone else.

I hear it’s contagious.


Dear Mom: Come Home Soon

Alright, this is pathetic, frankly.

My mother has been out of the country at my cousin’s wedding in the Dominican Republic since Sunday morning. And today, about 3 p.m., was when I reached my ‘ok, you can come home now’ limit.

Don’t think that my Dad’s not with her – he totally is. But I don’t talk to my Dad EVERY day. I talk to my Mom EVERY day. At least once. If not eight times — because some days call for that many phone calls.

Some days, I regress and call her eight times until she picks up the phone because I frankly can’t believe there’s anything ELSE she would rather be doing than talking to me.

Spoiled, I know.

But – and I’ve been thinking about this for some time now – I sincerely hope that I am the kind of Mom my Mom is — that Elle and I grow into the same kind of relationship that she and I have. It would be a shame not to, really.

So, there’s my big woe-is-me today.

Come on – at least I’ve got my Mom to call still, to talk to. At least I know I’ll see her again on Saturday morning. Lots of people don’t have that. So I know that I’m lucky.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I want my Mom to come home soon.

I’ve come to know this as a mother myself — but sometimes a girl just needs her Mom.