I want a pancake in my hand.

Ivy. She’s almost three now. She’s amazing. And ridiculous. Hilarious, and smart. Super mean, and super sweet. We’re all in love with her.

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Although there was a brief blip last spring where I was sure she was going to quit, she still naps every day, usually for at least a couple hours. I often wake her up from her nap so that she’ll still go to sleep ok at night. Most days she asks to go for her nap as soon as she’s done lunch, and sometimes she puts herself for her nap without any suggestion from me. Sometimes this is because she’s tired, and sometimes this is because she’s dramatic. Last week I told her we were going to make pancakes for lunch. She immediately said to me “I want a pancake in my hand!” and held her little hand out to me, palm up, so sweetly. When I explained I didn’t have any pancakes, that I still needed to make them, and THEN she could have a pancake in her hand (why did she want a pancake in her hand anyway?? I have no idea), she freaked out at me. Full blown temper tantrum, wailing and yelling. She ran to her bedroom and threw herself dramatically on her bed (I’m not kidding. She’s two, but she can do things with flair if she wants). Then she fell asleep. It was 10:40. She slept for over two hours. That kind of thing happens semi-regularly around here.

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She steals, too. Lately she discovered the stash of coins for the boys’ allowance in our junk drawer. I keep finding her reaching in there and grabbing coins then running to her room, after which I hear the clink of coins hitting the bottom of her piggy bank. She will flat out deny that she did this too. This morning she stole four quarters off of Neil’s bedside table, then she came creeping (I literally mean creeping, walking slowly on her tiptoes) out of our bedroom, WITH HER EYES CLOSED (because then I can’t see her?), until she was close to her bedroom door, where she promptly made a run for it.

Besides the tantrums and thieving, she’s really so darn sweet. If she’s sitting beside someone on the couch, she’ll often reach up and put her arm around their neck. If she’s sitting between two people, she has her arms around both of them.

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She tells me she loves me often. She never says “I love you.” Always, “I love you too.” Even if she’s the first to say it. And then she says to me, “that makes you happy when I say that Mom!” and she’s right, of course. Sometimes she comes up to me and puts her arms around me and says “You’re a good mom, Mom. I love you too.” She usually says that when I feel the worst about my mothering skills, and she says it in that pure genuine way of a toddler, and she makes me believe it. I’m so thankful for her encouraging words; I’m sure she has no idea how much they mean to me.

She’s funny too. She loves using references to time. But she’s a toddler, of course, so her references are always totally wrong. “‘Member when we had pancakes last year?” “Member, member when you mean to me on Tuesday?” “Member, member we went Mexico last week?” It cracks us up every time.

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She’s literally had a cold since September, and so she’s had a very raw nose off and on, and particularly the area under her nose. One day she was crying to me, “my elbow hurts! Mom! It hurts bay bay bad!” (Bay is how she says “very”.) Then she pointed to the red area right under her nose. She’s been calling that spot her elbow for a month or two now and I don’t really want to correct her.

She has three imaginary friends, Max, Pokemon, and Dad.

She’s fast. I came downstairs yesterday to find her coloring on our iPod speakers. As soon as she saw me, she threw that crayon so fast and so far. No evidence that way. The other day she was clearly chewing on something. I asked her what she was eating. She looked at me, slowly swallowed, then said, “Nothing.” She had raided my purse for gum. Oh that girl loves gum.

It’s so different, having a daughter. I feel like every day I’m just still getting to know her. Everything is so new, whereas if she was a boy, even though they’re all different, they’re all so similar, and I kind of know what to expect. Ivy surprises me almost every day. Like when I was getting ready for a Christmas party, and was wearing a pretty dress with sequins on it, and she looked at me, so in love with that dress, and told me “You look so so booful Mom.” And then half a beat later, “I have that dress when I’m bigger?”

She makes me smile every day, my Ivy.

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Oliver draws. And draws. And draws. And says funny things.

It’s 9:45 and I’ve folded two loads of laundry, the third is almost dry, and I’ve cleaned my bedroom AND bathroom, including floors. Not gonna lie, I’m feeling like a champ. So since I’ve been so efficient with my time today, I thought I should squeeze in a blog post before I retire to my sewing studio where a pile more work is waiting for me.

I’ve been wanting to blog about my boyfriend Oliver for awhile. Yeah, I said boyfriend. We’re in love. He tells me all the time. Like I mean probably 100 times a day that kid tells me he loves me. He tells me things like, “I have a crush on you, Mom. I love you the most.” All. the. time. So naturally, he’s my current favorite. (Just kidding other kids I have.)

He had his Christmas concert on Sunday. Although he knew the words and the actions, he flat out refused to do them at the dress rehearsal or on the actual concert morning. “Mom, I’m not doing them. The only action I will do is to smile.” We tried bribes. No go. He knows his own mind, and there is no changing it. He did crack a very teeny smile on stage, and he looked darling despite his resolute non-participation, so it was still a win in my books.

He continues to draw, tirelessly and continuously, every day. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that he probably spends around eight hours a day at the kitchen table churning out drawing after drawing after drawing. Yesterday morning we actually ran right out of paper. Oliver was totally at a loss, wandering around the house in a cloud of confusion, begging me for more paper. He literally goes straight to the table to draw as soon as he wakes up. And we drag him away from the table at bedtime, leaving drawings scattered over the entire table.

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His brothers have Pokemon cards, and he doesn’t. So he made his own Pokemon cards.

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His drawings are so full of detail and expression, I just love them. He’s only four remember! I just read somewhere that kids don’t have control over a pencil until they’re six. Disagree.

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Lately he’s learned to write his name, too, and has started writing books- taping pages together and asking me how to spell things. He’s decided he might be an author when he grows up, because, after all, he’s written two books already.

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This was a picture he drew of “a guy thinking about falling in love”:

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The other day Oliver told me that he wants more kids in our family. Just one more. I told him that we don’t have room in our car for more kids. He said we could just take the truck AND the car if we go places. I said that would cost too much money for gas, and what would we name the new kid, anyway? He said Joe if it’s a boy. And what if it’s a girl, Oliver? If it’s a girl, we’ll name her Sweetheart, he said.

Oliver, you and your drawings and the sweet, funny things you say, you really do have my heart.

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Santa fail.

So today we went to see Santa. At noon. On a Saturday. What. Was. I. Thinking.

Okay so actually what I was thinking it’s already December 6th, we’re in the city already for Seth’s soccer game, and we’ll go to the small mall where we’ve never really had to wait before. And I needed to know what the kids were going to ask for so I, I mean Santa, could go shopping.

But apparently everyone else was thinking the same thing. The line up was long. I was ready to bail after 20 minutes when we weren’t even halfway through, but Neil said I was being dramatic, so we stayed. THEN when we were about 2/3’s of the way through the slowest line ever, I overheard the parents directly in front of us talking about how the assistant (elf?) had just told them Santa was leaving at 12:30 and wouldn’t be back till 1. It was now 12:16. Not gonna lie, I kind of wanted to kill myself at that moment. But I took a deep breathe, and crossed my fingers, said a prayer, and put on a brave face.

And we made it. JUST. The poor toddler behind us didn’t.
But I’m not sure if it was worth it. Santa was clearly needing his lunch break by this point. He didn’t smile and he sure didn’t give us a ho ho ho. When Ivy went up to tell Santa what she wanted, the assistant (elf?) immediately started feeding Ivy suggestions- “Do you want a Barbie? Or a baby doll? Do you want a My Little Pony?” LADY. She’s almost three. She’s known what she’s going to ask Santa for for weeks now. (A lion. A toy one. That growls and leaps around. It’s in my closet already. And she was m.a.d. When she realized Santa wasn’t giving it to her right then and that she had to wait till Christmas morning.)

Anyway, grumpy, tired Santa; everyone rushing to get done before Santa’s appointed lunch break time. Here’s our picture, that I got gouged for because I was under time pressure, and they’re no longer free…

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Still, a perfect classic, and I love it. Santa’s all like “I hate myself.” And Ivy’s like “This guy’s not ho ho ho’ing like you said he would. And where’s my freaking lion?” And Oliver can’t smile on cue anymore without looking ridiculous. And Seth’s like, “I’m not sure I buy this whole Santa thing anymore. But my mom’s making me do it anyway.” And Ben’s perfect.
And that’s our Santa pic 2014. Boom.

It’s been six months.

Next week it will have been six months since Neil’s emergency surgery. It’s hard to believe it was that long ago, because sometimes it feels like just yesterday, but then on the other hand it feels like a lifetime ago.

I realize I haven’t been that diligent at keeping everyone posted on how Neil’s doing, and basically that’s because he’s doing amazing. He’s felt so good, like 100% good, since he recovered from that complicated surgery. No crohns-y symptoms. At all. It’s that good. His life, our lives, are dramatically different, for the better, compared to this time a year ago.

Today we’re at the hospital for a follow-up/check-up thing, and pulling up to the old familiar parking lot it was so refreshing to say “well it’s been awhile since we were here.” What was an all too frequent and familiar place, no longer is. And that’s seriously amazing. Really.

So to all those people who ask me, and there are a lot of you, how Neil’s doing, he’s doing well. Very, very well. Thanks for thinking about him and us; we appreciate it! Life is good, and we’re loving it.

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Seam Allowance.

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If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already know, but if you don’t, here’s my big news!

I opened up an online fabric shop! After spending the last few years being continually disappointed by the local fabric selection, and often ordering fabrics from online shops, 99.9% of which were in the States, and then being hit with high shipping costs, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Okay, I’d been thinking/plotting/dreaming about it for a long time, but it’s so scary, starting a business, investing big chunks of money, not really knowing much about anything business-y, etc. But I do know that I am passionate about amazing fabrics and I know that sewing with fabulous textiles can seriously up the joy ante when sewing. So I went for it.

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My new shop is called Seam Allowance and can be found on Etsy for now. I’d love it so much if you stopped by to check it out. You can also find me on Facebook (Seam Allowance Fabrics) and on Instagram (@seamallowancefabrics) too. I’m still expecting a big shipment of new fabrics hopefully later this week or early next week, but for now there’s still LOTS of great ones. I’m having the best time sewing whatever I want with fabric that’s just right there in my sewing room! It’s amazing! You can also find some passport wallets for sale, and at some point there will be more bibs and maybe some diaper clutches and who knows what else.

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As always, thanks for reading, and thanks for your support in my new endeavor! I’m still so scared but I’m trying very hard to be brave and confident in this!

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Oliver says.

Last night Oliver said to me,

“I fell in love with you when I was a baby. That’s why I’m a ladies’ man. I fell in love with your kisses.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried you guys. He’s four! Ladies’ man is right. Yeesh.

Melt my heart, I just love that kid and his sweet sweet words.

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Farewell good Crib.

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The day is finally here. It’s the day that the crib comes down. Forever. After constant use for the last eight and a half years, it’s done. Naturally photographs needed to be taken.

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It’s a bit sad. Well, more weird than sad, really. What’s sad is just tossing that crib that I love so much, even though to probably anyone else it’s a beat up old crib with chew marks and booger stains.

I’m happy too, though. This crib has served us well. Four babies slept, rarely through the night, in there. One baby climbed out of there faster than I could ever understand. Another baby would lay in there “reading” books to himself. Other babies have screamed to get out of that crib before their eyes were barely open. My girl baby would tuck her own little baby dolls into that crib.

I’ve leaned over that crib to pick up a sad baby so many hundreds of times, holding them over my shoulder and rubbing their soft little backs, or carrying them with me to my bed instead, so we could both get a little more sleep.

I’ve picked up the blankets they’ve thrown out, pushed tiny limbs back through the rails, and taken countless pictures of little bums sticking up in the air.

Farewell good Crib. I’ll miss you. Or I won’t. Not sure yet.

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