What she said

You’re going to have a stinky suspicion that I’m making this up, I think. Unless you also have a three year old who says things like this to you, and then you know.

So we’re sitting at dinner last night [second dinner for her, first dinner for us, which is just how it works out some nights], and she says to me:

Mommy, I wished I could go inside my hawt [that’s heart, to you].

Why do you wish you could go inside your heart?

So I could see the spirit of God.

She says these things sometimes, these out-of-the-mouth-of-babes-type-things, and I see exactly why Jesus loved the little children.  But she also says these things, and I have to stop myself from feeling just a little bit smug about it.

See, she also told me I was a bad bad Mommy around a dozen times yesterday for not letting her watch a show after she’d pitched a hissy fit.

This little tidbit I take no credit for, of course. I’ve never told her she was a bad bad daughter, so it’s not like she picked up this insult from me. It’s just a part of being three, I think. So I think it’s only fair, if I’m not taking credit for her criticisms, that I should also not take credit for the sweet things that come out of her mouth.

She just is what she is: sweet, sour, precious, demanding, angelic, sneaky, soft-hearted, stubborn as a damn mule.

But then, I have to stop myself from being smug all over again. Because the truth is, I kind of like her this way.


Big Girl

On this cold wet morning, MB wanted to wear her brown ballet flats to school.

No, sweetheart, I said. It’s rain coats and rain boots today. We can pack your flats in your backpack.

When I came back from brushing my teeth, she had packed her shoes in her backback, gone in the hall closet, put her rain boots and rain coat on, and was standing by the front door.

Wow, Mary Bullock! You’re such a big girl!

YEP! she said.

Do you want to make your own lunch, too?

Nope, she said.

Oh well. A mama can dream, right?

Stay this way

We were at the park last week for my friend Joni’s going away gathering, and at some point between gabbing and running after Bo, who does not yet understand his own physical limitations, I lost MB.

This actually happens pretty often in crowded parks, because my attention is divided and MB is quick.

I left the baby with Meg and tried not to panic. This is a playground with gates, and on this day, it was full of people we know. But glances in every direction found no MB.

And then, near the bushes, I found her with a cluster of big kids who were getting ready to play hide and seek, indifferent to the shrieking three year old behind them.  I called out to her, but she didn’t hear me, so I watched as the big kid who was it started counting.

MB hid behind a bush. The round ended and reset, and another round ended and reset, and she was still behind the bush waiting patiently to be found by big kids who did not realize or care that she was playing with them.

Oh, my sweet girl.

At first, I felt the sting of her rejection as though it were me, excited and anxious in pink leggings and my favorite gold shoes, crouching behind a bush and finally realizing no one was looking for me.

It’s the kind of hurt that makes me question whether or not I can manage the next 15 years of her life without heavy medication.

But then, she didn’t even realize she’d been overlooked, nor did she really care, once I’d coaxed her out from behind the bush and pointed her in the direction of more appropriate playmates.

And then I realized: I wish I were more like that.

And: I wish she could stay this way.

Library Field Trip

Yesterday we took one of my favorite field trips ever, to the Main Library via the Jacksonville Skyway.

We did this with an adult to child ratio of 3:8.
Unless you count Maggie as an adult, which as of yesterday, I do.

It took all of our organizational efforts, Maggie acting as a human kid leash, and some major outside voices just to get the kids to the library in one piece, but it was fun to see them so excited.














The library was decked out for Christmas with several thematically decorated trees, but once we were there the main attractions were the books, any structures that could be inappropriately climbed upon, and the huge fountain on the terrace outside.














I didn’t get any outside pictures because I was too busy changing poopy diapers and convincing MB that it is NOT ok to strip naked in public.
This argument took much longer than it should have because she already had her shirt off.
I mean, really.

It was a great day, but we all earned a long nap for this one!

Potty in the USA

 In case of Potty Miracle, Pixie Hollow will be unmanned.


We have a POTTY POOPER*! I even waited a while to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

She also got a princess wand, a Snow White crown, and a new train set. Someone went a little overboard.  Actually I’ll go ahead and out him– it was Lee. I think he was extra psyched because he’s the one who actually cracked the code. We were too excited to consider whether we’d be spoiling her, anyway.

I often wondered what it would feel like to wake up in the morning and not have a giant mess to clean up. Answer: AMAZING.

We now have a mess of fairies everywhere, but that’s ok with me. I did superglue all their shoes on, though, which was as close as I’ll ever come to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

This is our shoe shelf in the kitchen. As I was gathering up the last of the tiny fairy shoes to glue onto the appropriate feet, I realized I had lost track of Marina’s shoes. I sort of panic about these things, especially since I routinely have to rescue small parts from the back of Bo’s throat.

I asked Mary Bullock where Marina’s shoes were, and she said on the shelf! And there they were.

Had to laugh!
Have a great weekend, everyone! MB had the stomach bug yesterday, so I’m hoping if I have to get it, I’ll get it before our family pictures on Sunday. Wish me luck. 🙂

*I have considered that perhaps MB will one day be very embarrassed by my public coverage of her potty milestones, but I’ve already let you in on the frustration, so I might as well share the good news, right? On the upside, hopefully ALL potty talk can now cease for at least another couple of years. That’s reason to celebrate!

Halloween’s in the Bag!

I’ll be honest: this morning when the streets were wet and it looked rainy and dark, I was sort of hoping for all day thunderstorms. Something– anything, really– to make Halloween go away. I’m a total Halloween Scrooge, as we have previously discussed.  But of course, the day ended up beautiful and warm, perfect for trick-or-treating [or, in MB’s new slang, tricker].

MB ended up with several costumes, but their real costumes were Max & Ruby [Ruby! And her Little Brother Max!] My mom contributed significantly to their costumes. I made Bo’s shirt and whined through most of it. Did you not believe me when I said I was a Halloween Scrooge? Because I was not really exaggerating.

This was the last time Bo wore his ears. I think he thought they were his dinner. Why my dinna on my head? he must have thought to himself.

Mary Bullock was serious about tricker this year. She didn’t really understand what the deal was with the candy at first, but she figured it out very quickly while swindling four candies out of the nice mommy at the first house we visited.

As it got dark, MB just had to take a little bweak. A bweak from walking, that is. Not from candy. Oh no. That would have been ridiculous.

And then Ruby & Superman walked home.  I bet Superman’s parents even pilfered his candy. [Not that Ruby’s parents would ever ever ever ever do that.**]

And that was that. We didn’t even carve pumpkins this year. Oh well.

On a side note, though: I took Bo to a playdate for MOPs this morning dressed like this:

It was a costume party, so I claimed that he was dressed as his Daddy. But really these were just the first clothes that I grabbed out of the drawer and wrangled him into on our way out the door.

Then Daddy showed up to our pre-tricker festivities at Meg’s house dressed like…drumroll please?

And though I may be the biggest Halloween Scrooge ever, that was definitely a Birthday Thing.


Birthday Recap

This post is mostly for our family flung far and wide, so bear with me through the gazillion pictures I’m about to lay on you.

We celebrated Mary Bullock’s birthday early this year with Pretty & Dadu [Lee’s parents]. Pretty made a delicious dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs a la Molly Wizenberg— SO GOOD. Easily the best I’ve ever had. [And if you haven’t read A Homemade Life yet, and you enjoy cooking or reading about the cooking you will probably never do, you should read it!]

My contribution to the meal was MB’s birthday cake a la Betty Crocker. And by that, I mean the box. Not the cookbook. I didn’t even decorate it myself– I had help with that too.

MB sprinkled the top with confetti between shoving handfuls in her mouth. Quality control specialist in the making.

Of course, the Molly Wizenberg meatballs were entirely lost on the birthday girl. She saved herself for dessert, then took a big old fake nap on her new sleeping bag from Uncle Derbs. I think she likes it. 🙂

On Thursday she celebrated her birthday again with her class at playschool. I sent owl cupcakes [thanks Pinterest!] and was thoroughly amazed when I picked her up and she had not one speck of cupcake on her hands, face, or clothing. Her teachers amaze me daily.

On Saturday she woke up [very, very early] to gifts and a special breakfast from Daddy. 

I thought Bo would be satisfied playing with the balloons, but actually he digs the dollhouse, too. [Which isn’t such great news to Mary Bullock.]

After breakfast we loaded up and drove out to Connor’s Amaizing Acres. MB and I went last year, but Daddy missed out, so we re-visited.

It was fun, if a little crowded. I asked Mary Bullock on the way out what her favorite part had been, and she said Mommy. But she was also exhausted and probably delirious. Both babies fell asleep in the backseat within 10 minutes of leaving.

After marathon car naps, we came home and put Bo to bed while Lee prepared a tent under the stars, a fire in the fire pit, and a special dinner [burgers on the grill for us, cheetohs and apple slices for her– this only passes as dinner on special occasions]. Then we all lounged on blankets and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 

And there was also an outdoor tea party. 

It was such a great, relaxed birthday. Just what we needed. We’re so proud of our big girl, and she continues to amaze us every day. Some days we’re just amazed we don’t pull our own hair out, but mostly we’re amazed at what a sweet, smart, and capable little person she’s becoming.

Now we’re just going to sit back and see what the year has in store. Dear Lord, let it involve a certain something in the potty. Amen.