Kids Say…

Sometimes I forget Lulu is not even three yet:
“Lucia, take your fingers out of your mouth. There are germs under your fingernails…blah de blah, long scientific explanation of microbiology…”
“But germs are yummy! HA HA HA!”

Kids Say-4“Lucia, I’m pretty sure you’re big enough to do this,” Me, trying to get her to do something menial.
Devilish look, “Maybe not.”

But then she’ll be so literal…
M0 finishing up a strange joke, “…and then the baby was in the oven! HA HA HA!”
Lu, “NO Mo! No say baby in oven! Oven is hot!”

Lu calls her sister “Monka” which I love, and I know won’t last forever, but it’s so perfect to hear them talking (yelling) back and forth, “BABY LU?!”  “MONKA?! Where you are MONKA!?”

Kids SayMo, “Jessie said our flowergirl dresses have to be orange and poofy.”
Lu, “I don’t want one. I want dinosaur one.”

It is one of the greatest pleasures of parenthood to watch a child’s world expand. In little ways (like learning where worms live) and in big ways, like last night:
We were talking about all the people we love (Mama! Daddy! Auntie Corey!), and I saw Lulu’s eyes go wide as she contributed, “I love…the whole people…The whole people in the whole world!”

Monica is as delightful as ever. Her almost-five-year-old brain just blows me away, and often cracks me up:
Dominic recently face-planted off the one step in our house, between the kitchen and the playroom.
As I was hurrying towards him from the living room, I saw Mo run towards him from the opposite direction. She threw up her hands and exclaimed, “How did we not see this coming?!”

Kids Say-3“Baby Lu, hold still. We have to see if you can do jumping jacks while I hold your feet…”

Kids Say-2“Monica, do you want to be a firefighter women when you grow up?”
With a horrified look, “No! No I do not! I just want to be myself!”

And this one’s for you Jess: as Mo looks down at her belly button, “Mommy, why did Jessie take her ladder out?”

Kids Say-5Dom, you’re saying words! Kind of.

Well, you hiss at the cats. So that counts as a word. You love the ceiling fan and make a “ffff” sound when you point to it.
You sign “more” by clapping. Express joy by clapping, and sometimes clap your hands in frustration.
Kids Say-6You also clasp your hands together in prayer during grace (oh! my heart!), reach out for hi-fives, and stand at the screen door to wave at people who leave.
Currently, your love language is biting, which no one really appreciates (much to your frustration). But we’re working on better ways of communication.

You’ll be laughing and joking and talking about serious stuff with your sisters in no time.Kids Say-7

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Wordless (Bachelorette) Weekend

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Good thing they’re cute.Bachelorette

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All The Creepy

A good example of why I am both dreading Andy’s increased travel this summer and ridiculously grateful that my sister Corey lives with us:

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A couple side notes:

Readers- Sorry for the cursing. This happened before coffee. Also, contrary to how it may seem (here and here), I promise we do not live in a den of vermin and infestation.IMG_1634

Ok…maybe we do. Any suggestions? Besides KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Corey- I love you. Thank you for helping me. Before you had coffee.

Mo- You haven’t wet the bed in years. I should have known something was wrong when you had all those wake ups and just taken you to the bathroom. For this, and all the other times I (wrongly) choose/chose quickly getting back to sleep over figuring out what’s really the problem, I’m sorry. And, I love you. PS are emoji still a thing? Or will this just be one of those embarrassing memories from the 20-teens?

Dom and Lu- Thanks for sleeping through the night. I love you too. PS are autocorrect errors still a thing? Or do computers just read your mind now?

Andy- I promise we’re ok, but please come home soon? I think Corey’s a little tired of catching all the creepy crawlies. Also, I’m hoping Mo will sneak to your side of the bed next time. Love you!

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Wordless Weekend: Road Trip!

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Field Trip!

This was our first visit to the Portland Children’s MuseumDSC_9857 DSC_9859 DSC_9864 DSC_9871 DSC_9874 DSC_9883 DSC_9890 DSC_9903 DSC_9894 DSC_9914 DSC_9923 DSC_9926 DSC_9930 DSC_9934

Definitely won’t be our last.

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Mama Salve

“Don’t you have any lotion, my Love?” she takes my hands in hers and rubs a thumb over the cracked and bleeding knuckles.

“Put lotion on your hands, Cait. Every day! Every time you wash them.”

I brush her off, mumbling something about the HVAC and being busy and sleep deprived and getting headaches from smelly things.

“OK. But you have to take care of yourself, OK?”

Yeah, sure, OKwhatever you say Mom.

At bed time, I notice a dry spot on Lulu’s hand, worn and red from all the potty-training hand-washing. I quickly grab some lotion; she helps me rub it in, carefully soothing the angry away.

And, as it is with epiphanies, I suddenly understand everything.

Holding her little hand in mine, this becomes my prayer: that somehow all the love and care I show her today stores itself as a balm in her, in her heart. A mama-salve that she can use to sooth any sort of hurt away.

Because when she hurts, I hurt.

And I always will.

She walks into the kitchen, with lotion on her fingertips, taking my cracked and angry hands between her own. Rubbing away the red. Soothing my hurt for me. Loving me in a way I had forgotten to love myself.

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m smothering my hands in lotion. Covering my hands in a love letter. And I’m giving thanks for my Mama, who raised me and healed me and let me grow up.

But not before giving me love in abundance. Love enough to be a healer of my own daughters, and Mama-salve enough to heal myself.


DSC 0582

21mom valentine0030Happy Valentines Day Mom.

My hands are much better.



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9(ish) Months, Love in the Dark

sleep and DomWhat?

You’ve been on the outside as long as you were on the inside. How in the world did that happen, Dom? I tell you, blinking is a dangerous business for a mom. It seems like entire lifetimes can pass in that fraction of a second.

Dear Little Man,

I’m sorry I’ve haven’t written you very much. I promise it’s not for lack of material. It’s exactly the opposite. You fill our lives with so much material, with so many stories, that I just don’t even know where to begin.

Here’s a start: sleep has been a little bit of a trial in the last several months. See, you have a lot of teeth. And you got those teeth at a pretty early age… as in still-solely-breast-feeding early.

Lots of new teeth + lots of nursing = lots of pain for mama

(Corey and I decided Nipples of Steel would be a good name for a rock band. Bah, ha ha ha! We crack each other up… mostly because it’s either laugh about it or cry real, ugly tears.)

So, unintentionally, I started feeding you less. Which means you needed to eat more often, OUCH! Which translated into feeding you less. Which means you ate more DOUBLE OUCH! Which means…you get the picture. Enter: the end of sleeping through the nights.

It’s just because you were so, dang hungry. And, I’m sorry about that. I really, really am. During that time, especially at night, I would feel so tired, so angry, so inadequate. You’d be latched and I’d be crying. Then I’d un-latch you and you’d be screaming and I’d be crying. And then we’d both cry.

You were just hungry, and I just felt like there was this insatiable, toothed mouth in the bassinet next to me.

Then Daddy would turn on the light, and we’d both blink. I’d see you and remember you’re a baby. Not a many-tooth-ed creature. My baby.

sleep and Dom-3And such a cute one. 

Somewhere between trying to nurse my baby again, and some lamaze breathing, we’d fall back asleep. And Daddy would turn off the light once more…

You’d repeat this every 2 hours or so. And I admit, not every 10PM, Midnight, 2AM, 4AM wake up ended so blissfully. 

But sometimes it did. 

Those are the wake ups that are worth remembering. Not the angry ones that ended in futile tears, but the ones where I turned on the light and recognized you for who you are: my baby. My son. The One who needs me, in a special, specific way. Right now.

My prayer is this: as you grow older, if (when?) we cause each other more frustration and tears, may there always be a light that I can turn on. A light that reminds me that you are my son, worthy of patience, and worthy of love.

sleep and Dom-2Love you, in the Light and in the Dark,


P.S. Now that you’re nursing fine and eating ALL THE FOODS, you can start sleeping through the night again… you know, whenever you want. But soon, please? K.

I’m gonna go take a nap.

Dom’s stats at his 9 month visit:
Head-  19.5 ” (100%)
Weight- 25 lbs 9 oz (99%)
Length- 2′ 6″ (92%)

Interpretation: GIANT

For comparison, here’s Lulu at 9 months. She only had 3 teeth! Including that adorable snaggle tooth! When I visit old posts, I’m often stuck there for an hour, just reliving some of those moments, and I’m so thankful to past-Caitlin for writing them down.

She must have know a thing or two about the mal effects of sleep deprivation on cute story retention…

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Hold my Hand, Sister

“Mama! It’s like the floor of Elsa’s palace!”Frozen

Mo explored the ice. Poking, and prodding. Touching and testing her powers to be a part of the ice without breaking it.Frozen-6

But unlike that troubled older sister of story, who preferred the the isolation of the cold, Monica invited her sister to join her.

“Take my hand, Baby Lu.”Frozen-2-2 Frozen-2 Frozen-3 Frozen-5

Life is so much easier, so much better, with a hand to hold.Frozen-4

These pics are a little blurry because I definitely took them through a screened window. Too cold out there for this Mama.

Good thing I’ve got brave daughters.

Also, I’m not sure how long Lucia will be “Baby Lu” to her older sister, but it still makes me smile.

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Our Mantra

When your sister bonks your head? Let it go.

When we’re running late? Let it go.

When one more whining child might just push me over the edge? Let it go.


Just watch this video.

They’re pretty dang cute, and it’s hard to stay mad at someone who so earnestly plays the drums or tambourine.

You know who else is cute?Cute Dom

This guy. Cute Dom-2 Cute Dom-3 Cute Dom-4

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What does every baby need?

A good blankie.

Sewing-7Lulu knows this is true. She’s a blankie baby for sure.

The girls and I bought some remnants a couple weeks ago with the intention of making them into baby blankets. Insert one potty-training Saturday, and in the minutes between the timer beeping (about 12 at a time), we set to our task (also, that’s why no one is wearing clothes. Makes sewing a little more dangerous, but potty training a whole lot easier).

Sewing-2 Sewing The girls each drew a design and we did our best to replicate it using fabric.Sewing-3 Sewing-4


Mo quickly realized the house-making potential of her triangle/square design, and capitalized on it before we stitched it all together.

Sewing-5 Sewing-6Yes, there was a potty training two year old sitting on my lap. And I let her play with a machine that has a sharp, pointy end moving very quickly. I’m either crazy or a veteran.

I’ll let you decide.


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