Friday, January 25, 2013


Dearest Elise,

If I could somehow bottle up your infectious laughter, your melt-my-heart smiles, your sweet spirit, your easygoing nature, and your arms-flung-around-my-neck hugs, I feel certain the world would be overpopulated. Especially if I managed to filter out your penchant for not-quite-sleeping-through-the-night. Oh, baby of mine, how can you possibly be ONE? This year has absolutely flown by-- and what an incredible 365 days it has been watching you grow and seeing your personality develop.

You continue to be pretty laid back and content, although this not infrequently requires me holding you. I'm happy to oblige, as I know all too soon you'll be too big for me to hold. You're a thinker. You love books and music. Whether it's jazz during dinner, Beastie Boys blaring in the garage, or I'm-a-little-teapot emanating from your toy, whenever you hear music you stop what you're doing and start bouncing up and down or swaying back and forth (depending on the beat, of course). You always smile and look up at me to make sure I'm watching your moves.

At one year, you are a bit smaller than your sister, weighing in at 20lbs 6oz and 28 inches. You're tough, handling your one-year shots with a short-lived yelp and a scrunched up face. Then back to your happy self, working the crowds with your Miss America wave and million dollar smile.

You continue to have quite the gourmet palate. You loved mussels, clams, and shrimp, noshed on smoked salmon and goat cheese, and routinely eat most veggies. You're not a huge fan of tomatoes, but I haven't found much else that you will turn down. You loved your first taste of sugar in the form of your birthday cupcake, but honestly I've seen you get just as excited over butternut squash.

Birthday cupcakes

Snowman party favors

In the rare moments of quiet between your sister's incessant narrative, you say "Dada", "Mama", "Dat" (referring to the object of your affection, accompanied by a pointing index finger), and "Oh-oh" (uh-oh). You love peek-a-boo, and will hold your jacket or blanket over your face until I join in the game.

Not sure if this is elation or terror. It's a fine line anyway...
You pull up to standing, cruise along furniture, and walk with assistance, but no independent steps yet. You are quite the daredevil, and I often find you perched atop objects without any clear indication of how you made it up there. You are a pro at climbing up the stairs, and mischievously check to see if I'm looking before you make a run crawl for it. You are amazingly dexterous, and can pick up microscopic things and put them into precise locations. Including, of course, your mouth.

You usually take two naps a day (at home, more like zero at daycare), and go down with minimal protest. At bedtime, I am so thankful that most of the time you smile up at me when I lay you down and kiss you goodnight. Bedtime is around 7pm and you still are fond of waking up between 4:30 and 5:30. It is becoming increasingly hard to get you back to sleep. This is a work in progress. Weaning is going slowly-- you have done great with cow's milk during the day but are hanging on to your pre-bedtime and early morning nursing session. You've seemed less interested in the last several days so I suspect these won't last much longer.

I have mixed emotions about you turning one. I am so excited to watch you grow and explore the world with you as a toddler. But, always one for nostalgia, I will miss your baby-hood. Before you were born, I had this irrational fear that I wouldn't be able to love another human being as much as I love your sister. But my heart apparently doubled (or tripled or quadrupled) in size with a giant atrioventricular annex just for you. You bring more joy to our lives than I could have possibly imagined. I have so many memories of your first year, but I hope that if you remember one thing, it is how very much you are loved. And you are so, so loved my little one. We are so blessed to be your family. Happy birthday, my sweet Elise.

Mommy, Daddy, and Elle

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Providing vocals for one of the wisemen while playing with the nativity over Christmas: "Mary! Mary! Your Baby Jesus keeps eating my myrhh!"

Me: Goodnight sweetheart.
Elle: But Mommy, you can't go! There's something wrong with my bed!
Me: What's wrong with your bed?
E: It doesn't feel as good without you in it. 

Also at Christmas, out to eat while admiring the restaurant's decorations: "I just love Brixx this time of year!"
Always traveling in the opposite direction of life's giant arrow

Teaching Elise how to walk: No, no. Like this (demonstrating). Up on your two paws. 

Me: Elle, can you please go put on your socks and shoes.
E: Consider it done.

Grocery shopping with me in the pouring rain. I left the cart under the awning and took Elle to the car so I could load the groceries without getting totally soaked. While getting in her car seat and pulling out of the parking space, "I'm keeping an eye on our groceries so no one takes them. There's villains in this world, y'know."

Nearing Christmas, E approaches me with a guilty expression: "Mommy, is there a list for kids who have been mostly nice but just a little bit naughty?"

E: Mommy, can I spend the night with Grace for five hundred days?
Me: Five hundred days? I would miss you so much!
E: No, no, not 500 days in a row. Like a pattern. Our house, Gracie's house. Our house, Gracie's house....

In church, Elle quietly playing with pipe cleaners from the Activity Bag. Jay whispers (with accompanying gestures): Make me a ring?
E, obviously misunderstanding, replies in a shocked and completely non-whispering tone: No, Dad! I will NOT pull your finger in church!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hair Salon

Welcome to my hair salon, little one. 

How about this lovely bow?

You're going to look fabulous.

Now, just hold still. 

I said, Hold still.



With a little poetic license...

If I hide under this table, perhaps Mommy won't see me tearing out and then eating these notebook pages.

Put me in, coach! I've got this goalie thing covered!

Now I see why Mom said no sticking fingers in outlets...

Don't make me turn this minivan around!

Buy a super-fancy-way-overpriced-cooler-get-an-adorable-baby-free sale...

Best part of this picture is the warning sticker on the lid clearly instructing patrons not to put their children inside the product. Because seriously, what idiot would do that?
You may think I can't flip over and fall asleep in the 1.6 seconds it takes you to buckle me in this car seat. You'd be wrong. 

Stop hogging the red crayon, sis. 

Culminating with yet another one of my olive-garden-never-ending-pasta-bowl of smiles...

Sneak preview of birthday post to follow...

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twere the days before Christmas
and up on the shelf
Not a creature was stirring
Not even an elf

Grinches were made for the school party with care
In hopes that Elle's friends would be able to share


The children were nestled all snug in their pjs 

All ready to dance with their toys as if they were DJs

With Elle in her Santa kercheif, and Elise in her snowman cap

They squealed with Christmas joy and greeted gifts with a clap

When on Christmas morning they shared a little treat

Then sprang from the house to see Nanny and Papa Pete

Away to the window Elise flew like a flash
In her rocket from Nana-- careful not to crash

When what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and a sporty GTR-deer

 Santa spoke not a word but went straight to his work
Filled all the stockings then turned with a jerk

From his sleigh came ponies, princesses, books, and dollies that wave

And for our girliest of girly girls... her very own Bat Cave

Then I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.