Month: September 2013 (page 1 of 2)

“Boys can’t be beautiful,” she said.

My Superman

Says who?

Bee’s Birthday Denouement

The saga of Bee’s birthday concluded last night with cake and the blowing out of candles candle.

When you do birthday candles, if you have a number candle like you see in the picture below, do you also add other candles to total the number of the birthday kid’s year of celebration or does the number candle suffice? We usually do a singular number candle, but I’ve been to some other parties and I think maybe we’re doing it wrong.

Anyhoo, here’s Bee and her sisters…

Bee, her sisters and her cake...

...with Bee masks...

…with bee masks…

(You cannot see this picture…


…because they’re in ninja mode!)

...that glow in the dark.

…that glow in the dark.

And then the balloons…mmm…dropped? (Imagine me saying that in The New Style of The Beastie Boys.)

Now Bee is three, which is cool. We haven’t had a three-year-old around in a few years. I think we’ll enjoy it.

Bee is Three!

It’s hard to remember what life was like before Phoebe. She came into our world and filled it up. Larger than life! Fearless! Phoebe! I’ve often said that Bee doesn’t know she’s little, but the more I think on that, the more I believe it’s simply that she doesn’t feel small. She’s sure of herself. My mom says she’s an old soul.

Bee on her third birthday!

I decided to start a new tradition with Phoebe: a birthday interview. Here’s the first one, on her third birthday.

How old are you? Three!

What is your favorite thing to do? Play [ABC]

Who do you like to spend time with? Julia, Mommy, Lucy, Jack, Peepaw, Grandma, Phoebe

What is your favorite food? Eggs

What are you good at? Playing with my baby

What is your favorite thing to play with? My baby, Berp (pictured above)

What makes you laugh? *Blows raspberry*

What makes you cry? Jack cry

What is your favorite song? Where is Finger One? (Our piano version of Where is Thumbkin?)

What is your favorite book? Pinkalicious

What is one hard thing you have done? Go to bed

What is something new you’d like to do? Go to the beach

What is the best thing about being three? Four!

She asked for “a Phoebe cake” for today. I’d already done bee cupcakes for her first birthday, but we revisited the theme.

Phoebe's Third Birthday Cake

She’s taking a dozen or so cupcakes to share with her dance class tonight.

Bee cake!

The queen bee is ours.

You can put a kid to bed, but you can’t make her sleep, so I’m a little tired today.

If you leave your paddling pool out and it gets all gross, you just might attract a visitor.

Visitor in our gross pool

She (Or he? How can you tell!?) had just been hanging around the pool. Then the girls put a rock in there and SHE JUMPED UP ON IT and that’s pretty much the most exciting thing that happened on Sunday or ever.

Up close visitor in our gross pool

Bee will turn three tomorrow. Three has traditionally been the first birthday for which I throw an invite-your-friends party, but we’ve decided to save that experience for next year. We will be celebrating BEE IS THREE not-so-quietly at home.

There will be a balloon drop in our dining room. It will go like this:

And now, I’ve got a cake to make.

Have Your Cat and Eat Cake, Too

“It’s grandma’s birthday today,” I said. “Let’s make her a cake. What kind should it be?”

“A cat cake. Grandma loooooves cats.”

We googled for some ideas.

“Wow, Mom. Look at this one. It looks like a real cat!”

“You realize this is something we’re going to hack up and eat later, right?”

We settled on a design that said, “I like cats for friends and cake for eating” rather than, “Yum, cats.” And also, “This can be made from three round cakes” rather than “This requires a fancy pan.”

This is how it turned out.

Grandma's Cat Cake

Lucy has dibs on the tail.

How to Be the Best Wife Ever in Two Easy Steps

1. Listen to your husband reminisce about a long-loved and much-desired dessert from his childhood.

2. Find the recipe and make him the dessert.

He just might silently shut off your alarm before it goes off the next morning, sneak out of the bedroom, get the kids ready for school and take them there, then return with a french vanilla cappuccino just for you. And then, he might rub your feet for a bit, then take the baby and entice the toddler downstairs so you can take a bath all by yourself. All because of a simple no-bake cafeteria treat (i.e. Peanut Butter Confections). Or maybe I just have the best husband ever. If that’s the case, my title is actually pretty misleading. Perhaps you should disregard it. Instead, look at an overwhelming number of painfully similar photos of my cute baby.










The Sort of Things That Make Your House a Home

A few years ago, my grandmother made a personalized quilt for each of my girls.

Julia's Quilt

I treasure them. They’re perfect.

Lucy's Quilt

They’re just the right thickness. They stay on their beds year-round.

Phoebe's Quilt

They also make great forts and have been on their fair share of picnics.

Jackson's Quilt

Now, Jack has one, too.

Jackson and his Quilt

They’re some of my favorite things. What are yours?

I should have hugged her.

Jackson gets a lot of attention when we’re out because he’s a baby and people really like that about him. He’s too young to act like friendly people are weird or stupid. If you talk to him, he’ll smile at you. There’s no eye-rolling or snotty who-are-you or I-haven’t-got-the-time faces. Just a simple exchange – a smile for a smile. So, when I was bagging some groceries at Aldi today, I didn’t think much of it when a white-haired woman came to get a closer look in the car seat perched on top of my cart.

“Oh, what a sweet boy,” she said.

I glanced over my shoulder at her and smiled, “He is.” Jackson was smiling at her, too.

“Oh,” she sighed, leaning in.

I turned toward her to lift my bags into the cart as she reached out her hand and Jack grabbed her finger.

“Oh,” she clapped her free hand to her mouth. My boy held tight to her and she bounced her hand gently. He giggled at the game. Tears slipped from her eyes and filled the wrinkles around them. “Why do we have to get so old before we really appreciate them?”

She seemed to be talking more to herself than to me. I felt heavy as she lingered there. I should have hugged her. Instead, I waited and watched her as she walked away – all the way to her car – and then I went to mine. I tucked my groceries and my baby into the car, took my seat behind the wheel and paused to replay what had just happened in my mind. I wondered about the baby she saw when she looked at my boy.

I just should have hugged her.

The Kids

Big and Little:

Big and Little

Double Stuff Middle:

Double Stuff Middle

It’s a moth, man. Mothman. It’s Friday the 13th. (I just creeped myself out.)

“It happened! Everybody! Come on! IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!!”

The tomato horn worm the girls found in the garden this summer had finally become a moth.

Five-spotted hawkmoth

We’d been harboring its chrysalis for ages.

Though we’ve witnessed the miracle of metamorphosis before, there was something about this experience that was extraordinary to the girls. Maybe it was the fact that they found the caterpillar themselves in our garden. Or maybe it was doing the research – which turned up this unforgettable life cycle video – to figure out what exactly they’d found. Maybe it was the return to school that had their minds ripe. Whatever it was, the atmosphere around the breakfast table was electric.

“Can I take it to school and show my class?!” Julia asked, bouncing on her toes.

“Hrm. I think it’s best to ask before you take a live animal to school.”


“But, you could take the empty chrysalis!”

“Hey, I want to take the chrysalis to show my teacher!” Lucy chimed in.

“Okay, Lucy you take the chrysalis,” Julia said, “I’m going to use the scientific method to outline all this and show my teacher! First, you ask a question…Mom! Do we have a picture from when he was a worm? Can I use your camera?”

There was a flurry of picture snapping, uploading, searching, printing, and a whole lot of furious jotting.

“Mom! MOM! Remember how he had spots on his belly when he was a worm? Look at his underside now! THERE ARE STILL SPOTS!”

I kept reminding them about breakfast, but their tummies had taken a backseat to their brains.


The drive to school was swift as Lucy held tight to the plastic container holding the chrysalis and Julia practically vibrated in her seat with excitement over showing her science teacher how she’d applied what she’d learned in class to our real life experience.

It was suggested that we should celebrate the life of the moth tonight with the consumption of cupcakes, and then, with great fanfare, release him into the wild. So, I’m throwing an impromptu moth party. What does your Friday night look like?

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