Tag Archives: kids


Last night, I had the wind knocked out of me with one little word.


Summer was missing her daddy as he is out of town this week so I set up facetime for them. And as soon as the call connected, Scott and his girlfriend’s faces appeared on the screen of my phone. All three of their faces lit up at the same time seeing each other and they asked all the usual “how was your day?” questions and the “are you having so much fun with mommy?” questions that usually start out a facetime talk. I walked away and started cleaning the kitchen, leaving them alone to chat because while I have no ill feelings towards his girlfriend, let’s be honest – I don’t need to see her face in my living room chatting away with my child. It was their conversation to have, not mine.

A few minutes later I walked back into the living room to see Summer twirling the phone in circles and being goofy, so I sat down with her and held the phone so they could actually see Summer and not the rotating ceiling.

And that’s when it happened.

Summer grabbed the phone, and yelled, “daddy!” and kissed him on the screen.

Then she yelled, “mommy!” and kissed the other face on the screen.



The two of them quickly responded with, “Summer, we talked about this…” And they changed the subject.

Cough, um, so it’s happened before. My child referred to this 27-year-old woman dating my 41-year-old ex-husband who Summer has known all of 6 months as “mommy”.

Tingly prickles washed up the front of my neck and into my cheeks. And they all carried on chatting away about nothing and everything while I sat frozen in my little “did that just really fucking happen?” bubble.

I didn’t say a word about it while they were on the phone.

I’m not mad at anyone for it – Summer is too little to understand the hurt that it caused, and the 2 faces on the screen didn’t encourage it, though I could have maybe, just maybe been given a heads up about it when it first started happening so I wouldn’t have been blindsided by the knife yesterday.

Obviously them just telling her not to call the girlfriend mommy wasn’t enough. That would never be enough. Not for Summer, not for me. So at bedtime we snuggled up close and had a little chat – I told her that it made momma sad to hear my baby call someone else mommy. I told her that I was the one who made her, who grew her, who had her in my tummy, whose heart is half hers, and who has taken care of her and loved her with my whole self since the very first day she was alive. And that is what makes me her mommy and no one else.

In her sweet little 4-year-old voice she said, “mommy, I’m sorry. I feel really bad and I promise I won’t ever call anyone else mommy again but you.” She got it. And my heart filled right back up as I listened to her breathing get heavy while she drifted off to dreamland.

Once I knew she was asleep, I went out to the living room and I cried. Oh, I cried good. A puffy-eyed in the morning type cry. Because, although I kept trying to remind myself that it actually tells me that this girl is doing something right with Summer if Summer equates her with things that “mommy” means to her – love, fun, safety, security – it still broke my heart for a moment.

A moment I never thought I would have to live.



Filed under divorce, Family, Kids, life, Love, Parenting, sadness

Easter in photos

It’s official, Easter trumps Christmas as favorite holiday in my book. As much as I love Christmas decorations, putting them up and taking them down is a lot of work. As much as I love the act of giving Christmas gifts, it usually requires boatloads of money and I have unfortunately forgotten the combination to my vault full of gold and riches. And as much as I love Santa….


There’s nothing bad I can say about Santa.

But really, Easter? All a good Easter requires is a dress that twirls really really well…


 Bunny ears for dogs…


And kiddos….


And Dabba Doo (my dad’s grandpa name)…


Maybe some bobby pins to hold them in place…


A couple dozen eggs…


Bunny-eared selfies…


Maybe some donuts…


Mini pretty colored chairs…


Pretty babies in pretty bows….


Pretty babies in pretty bows…ok, I may have already mentioned that but, come on, these babies are too cute to not mention again…


And again…


And again…


Cousin lovin’…


An auntie who will let you tackle her and gouge her eyes out…


And a backyard squirt bottle chase (or is that just my family?)…


‘Twas a very fun Easter this year.


Happy Friday… if you need me, I’ll be over here in my best twirly dress spinning happy Friday spins.

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Filed under Easter, Family, Kids, life, Love, Parenting

if my baby was the mayor

If my baby was the mayor, it would be a pretty cool place to live.

Easter 8

The best paying jobs would be the star-gazer, the dreamers, treasure hunters and nursery rhyme singers.

Easter 7

Everyone would own a puppy, an endless supply of crayons, and the finest pair of glittery shoes money could buy.

Easter 6

There would be stores that sold nothing but string cheese,

Easter 19

and on every street corner there would be a designated bubble blower.

Easter 17

People would greet each other with Eskimo kisses and a good toss over the head.

Easter 2

There would be goldfish cracker stands on every block.

Easter 10

Every hill covered in wildflowers would sit next to a hill covered in pinwheels.

Easter 3

The Wiggles would have their own tv station,

Easter 15

everyday would be your birthday,

Easter 14

and family would never be further than a skip away.

Easter 18

The anthem would be Old MacDonald had a Farm, and on that farm he’d only ever have cows.

Easter 1

There would be no need for radios because the Pandora Toddler Station would play over the town hall speakers.

Easter 13

And the rules would be made up of five laws…

Easter 9

1. Giggle a lot.

Easter 20

2. Eat cheese at every meal.

Easter 16

3. Collect stickers.

Easter 4

4. Put your arms behind you and pretend you’re flying when you run.

Easter 5

5. Kiss your momma. Ok, now go kiss her again.


Yes, I’d live there.


Filed under Easter, Family, home, Kids, life, Love, Parenting, Summer

the terrible two’s

The almost nightly tantrums that start with a few tears from my sweet little angel baby and then turn into ugly fits of toddler rage with crying and screaming and throwing oneself onto the floor and purposely hitting one’s head and wriggling around on the floor like someone’s puppy just got hit by a truck are making me think that either a) she’s had a rough week at daycare full of playing, eating, singing and napping, or b) we have officially entered the land of the terrible two’s. Scott keeps saying things like “this can’t become an every night thing…” and “she needs to use her words…” I keep saying to hunker down buddy, we have 21-month-old and we’re in it for the long haul.


30 Reasons My (almost) 2-Year-Old Has Had Raging Hysterical Meltdowns:

diaper changes

I make her eat something other than parmesan cheese for dinner

it takes me more than 2 seconds to pour milk in a sippy cup

I tell her not to hit the dog

I tell her not to hit me

she wants to be naked

she finishes her apple

the play doh is dried up and I can no longer make her a “big ball”

the wipes are too cold

I won’t let her drink water out of my cup after she spills it down her front for the 3rd time


the dog sits on my lap

I won’t give her my necklace, bracelet or belt

I wipe her face with a wet paper towel

she has crumbs on her hands

she’s out of goldfish

I walk into another room

I cut her nails


I comb her hair

her blankie can’t go in the bathtub

I can’t figure out what imaginary object she wants while she incessantly points to an empty shelf going “um, um, um, UM, UM…”

I try putting her shoes on the right feet

I sing the wrong song

she wants a different app/video/song on my phone

she can’t see her belly button while wearing footie pajamas

she wants mommy to do it

she wants to do it herself

she wants mommy to do it


Filed under Kids, life, Parenting

footprints and snow angels


Every winter, I think there’s something so pretty about a brand new layer of snow covering the ground. There’s peace in those first few hours where from the blanket of white outside, you can actually see the moonlight bouncing off the ground through the curtains at night. When, if you catch the light just right, you can see little sparkles of snowflakes on the ground as you walk. And as time goes by, the perfect sheet of snow tends to become mottled by the plows dredging up gray slush from the street onto the end of the yard, the drips of wet snow falling off the tree branches when it starts to melt, divots and pocks and footprints of critters and neighbors and the mailman’s daily path through the yard. It’s that point in time when you can usually have a conversation with any Chicagoan and they will tell you they can’t wait for Spring to arrive because winter is just ugly.


Now that my little one is finally healthy and no longer battling infections, this weekend I had the opportunity to do something with her that I’ve been waiting to do for a long time – I took her out to play in the snow for the first time. I pulled everything out of the front closet, eyeballing the mismatched hand-me-downs and looking for the best pieces that might fit. I knew this whole shebang could go one of two ways – either a total success where we’d be doing it all again the next day and the next, or an utter failure where her tears of toddler terror would freeze on her face faster than they could land on her boots.


Before it even began, things started out rocky with fits and “no!”s and a wriggling toddler trying to claw her way across the floor with tears streaming down her cheeks as I pulled the puffy pants up to her armpits. I pushed her arms through the coat sleeves, a feat that took a little fenagling and a lot of patience as my eardrum was being pierced by high-pitched screams, all the while the neighbors probably thinking I was torturing this poor little innocent child. And the boots. Dear God the boots. It’s a wonder I still have all my teeth.


I wrestled her baby hands into the gigantic mittens, her little thumbs inside somewhere but nowhere near the actual thumb hole, and with “Find the Thumbs” not a game I had any desire to play, I let it be. Girl could survive without working thumbs. I fastened the strap on her bear hat under her chin, whispered, “meh,” when I noticed it was a little cockeyed but not completely covering her eyes, and I squeezed my own long underwear-covered thighs into a pair of old jeans, put on my coat and scarf, and I asked her sweetly, “do you want to go outside?”

<sob sob> “yeah…”

It was a start. So I sucked in my breath like all mommas do when they’re trying to get their little one excited about something and I said with way more enthusiasm than was probably necessary and eyes about to pop out of my head, “BABY….Do you want to go PLAY IN THE SNOW?!?!?!?”

<pitiful sniffle> “yeah.”

Ok, so my girl had no idea what playing in the snow actually meant but ‘yeah’ was better than tears I suppose. So I picked up my over-stuffed bub and we hit the backyard running. And even though it had been a week since it actually snowed fresh fluffy flakes, and even though the snow was so hard that we could walk on top of it instead of pushing through it, and even though the poor thing couldn’t actually, you know, use her hands or bend her knees in the 2″ thick snow pants, or walk well in the boots that were a size too small, turns out my baby, she’s a snow bunny.


She laughed and played and giggled when I made a snow angel and she walked around listening to the snow under her boots. And when mommy’s toes were about to turn black and fall off and I said it was time to go in, she cried harder than she had when I shoved her 2-year-old head into that 1-year-old’s hat before we went out. And when I went outside the next morning, I realized that after 35 years of finding beauty in the perfection of a fresh untouched snowfall, 1 hour the afternoon before changed my perception for good. This beaten up snow is no longer ugly, to me a trampled yard of snow means my baby is healthy enough to play outside in the cold winter air. She is happy. There were smiles. There were snow angels and a little pink nose while my girly nibbled on the neck of her winter coat while she stumbled around in her cute little boots. And in years to come, there will be forts made out of buckets filled with snow, and snowball fights with the neighbors, and snow slides at the end of the driveway after daddy shovels. There is joy here in our yard, and a cute little snowman to prove it.
Over a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow, I’ll take the trampled please.


Filed under Love, Parenting

thanksgiving 2012

Remember how demanding the cousins were in Michigan? This Thanksgiving weekend was no exception. In fact, I think the cousin alliance might be growing in power because the list of orders that came from the babies was relentless. Our Thanksgiving started off at Grammy’s and it was tame, carefree and we even had a living room parade going at one point with my child as the ring leader.

But after turkey #1, we headed next door to Nanna and Dabadoo’s for turkey #2 and after initial hellos,

the cousins were drawn to each other like moths to a flame.

I kept walking into rooms and finding little faces trying to pretend they weren’t up to anything. I was suspicious to say the least. See that one in the middle?

They call him shifty eyes for good reason.

After a little while, sure enough the demands started.

“Kiss me like you’ve missed me!”

Read me a book!”

“Throw me in the air!”

Build me a tower!”


“Kiss me like you MEAN it!”

Read me a BETTER book!”

“I want a TALLER tower!”





“Can you not hear me? I said BOOK!”




It went on like this for days. It was exhausting. Oy, these babies. Finally on Sunday, the little one said, “hush, that’s enough, I think our work here is done.”

And good old shifty eyes said “peace out, it’s been cool, yo. I’m taking my bro back to Michigan.”

And just like that, Thanksgiving weekend was over. I’m a little nervous for Christmas.


Filed under craziness, Family, Holiday, Thanksgiving

sobs and smiles and sweet Miss P

Yesterday was rough for both of us. I had called the daycare center at 12:45 to see how Summer was doing and it was not the news I wanted to hear. Apparently my normally sweet, happy baby had a tough morning and cried for hours until she basically wore herself out and fell asleep. 😦 Let me tell you, no parent wants to hear that their baby was upset to the point of exhausting herself and then crying herself to sleep on a strange cot in a strange room with a strange person patting her back. And here’s the kicker – I put her there. That’s the hard pill to swallow and it falls into the same category for me as having to kiss her forehead and pin her down while a nurse pokes needles into her thighs. Killer mommy mindfuck.

They said she took a quick 30 minute nap and was much better after that. She ate lunch like a champ – tuna noodle casserole with buttered bread and cooked carrots (it’s no Thai spaghetti-style noodles with ground chicken but it’s definitely something I would make), she explored every toy in the joint, and she even mastered the stairs and the slide which made me swell with momma pride considering until now she’s only ever tried to go down slides face first. And though hearing about the morning completely shattered my heart into a million little pieces, hearing what I heard next let me know that we had picked the right place – Miss P, the owner of the daycare, personally stayed with Summer all day after she noticed that Summer wasn’t comfortable with Miss R just yet. She was the one to pat her back as she fell asleep for her first nap ever not in someone’s arms. She was the one in the room with her when I got there and she spoke to her so sweetly like she was her own child. I was happy. Summer was exhausted.

Look at that – 4:30 on the nose! Where on most days I normally stay late at work and help people with last-minute issues and end up leaving 15, 20, 30 minutes late off the clock to help, I’m telling ya, yesterday I practically pushed people out of my way left and right to get out the door on time and if you listened hard enough you could hear me over the screeching of my tires peeling down the street yelling, “GOT. TO. GET. TO. MY. BABY!!!!” And when I made it there and she saw me from the other end of the room, my baby was happy. And when we pulled into our driveway, and I opened the car door, I got this.

I had the same exact smile on the other end of that picture.


Filed under Parenting