Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Little Mani/Pedis

Dear Em,
The first time I went to a salon to get a real manicure or pedicure, I was in my mid-twenties. You, on the other hand, had your first salon pedicure at age 3. While I may not have gone out for mani/pedis, I did get the full pampering experience from my Mom at home.

I think this TBT photo comes from when I was in first grade.

You've also loved having spa nights at home with Mommy (& sometimes Nonnie). Then your Aunt Jennie & Uncle Nick gifted you a spa set for littles. We have the professional the foam flip flops, the things to put between your toes, special soaps & a tub to soak your little feet in, & even a hand drier. You loved the pampering.

It makes my heart happy to know that I'm passing down the home spa tradition to my little girl, & maybe someday you'll have a little girl to pass the tradition down to as well.

I love you so,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life Changing Eggs

Dear Em,
I've always liked eggs. Sunny side up has been my favorite for as long as I can remember, but I am a horrible egg frier. I hardly ever seem to be able to flip the egg without breaking the yolk. Scrambled eggs have long been my go-to when I'm cooking (Daddy is much better at mastering drippy yolks). I can make a complete mess of things, & the food still tastes good. For years I would add a quarter cup of milk to two eggs, sprinkle in some cheese, mix, cook, & enjoy light & fluffy scrambled eggs.

Then one of my best friends taught me about clear-out-your-leftovers scrambled eggs. It is so easy & ingenious, it's kinda crazy I never thought of it myself. It's pretty much the same scrambled egg recipe, except you also add leftover food from the refrigerator. Do you have veggies that will soon go bad? Chop them up & make a healthy, vegetable scrambled egg. Do you have black beans & tomatoes & salsa? Make spicy, Mexican inspired scrambled eggs. Sometimes I use spinach & mushrooms from a leftover salad. There are endless ingredients that work quite nicely.

While Daddy will sometimes make my first love- sunny side up eggs (& cheesy egg sandwiches), clear-out-your-left-over scrambled eggs had become my new favorite to make. UNTIL this past weekend- when my life was changed by eggs.

I was looking through the long list of online recipes that I have bookmarked but never gave a second though to. I've felt like we've been in a little bit of the same food rut & wanted to try something new. It was breakfast time. So, I scrolled to a baked eggs recipe from Minimalist Baker I had bookmarked.

Except for a few things...
1) I'm not opposed to using things that are ready made, & since I hadn't planned to make this recipe I didn't have all of the ingredients anyways. So, instead of making my own sauce using crushed tomatoes, I used pre-made pasta sauce while still adding the other ingredients.
2) In the spirit of clearing out the leftovers in our refrigerator, I added ingredients that I thought would work like fresh basil, chopped peppers, & goat cheese (because everything tastes better with goat cheese).
3) True to from, I didn't thoroughly read the directions & started mixing ingredients together without really paying attention to how & when the recipe called for it. Whoops. So, instead of having baked eggs with drippy yolks on top of all the other ingredients, I had more of a scrambled mess. I actually tried the drippy yolk version the next day, but I think I liked how the the scrambled mess came together a little better. It was just a little more difficult to be able to tell when the eggs were cooked through.

So, with that I give you a slightly modified, mind-blowing recipe...

Messy but Life Changing
Baked Eggs Recipe

- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1 large clove of garlic, diced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup pre-made pasta sauce
- 1-2 eggs
- OPTIONAL: several fresh basil leaves, diced green & red peppers, goat cheese, & other left-over-in-the-refrigerator ingredients that might work.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees & lightly grease an oven safe baking dish.
2. In separate bowl add onion, garlic, sea salt, red pepper flakes, paprika, pasta sauce, & any optional ingredients (If you want more of a scrambled dish, add the eggs as well). Stir together.
3. Place mixture in a shallow oven safe baking dish. For drippy yolks, crack egg on top of mixture.
4. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until desired doneness. For drippy yolks, egg whites should be cooked through but yolks still soft.
5. Add toast if you like for dipping.

Seriously, my mind was blown. This was fancy restaurant quality yumminess. It was so savory & hearty, a perfectly comfy breakfast to warm you up on a blustery winter day. Unfortunately, I don't really see you sharing in my egg happiness. You don't really like eggs or pasta sauce or onion or garlic...really any of it. Lucky for me, that means I won't have to share.

I love you so,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Good bye, D_____"

Dear Em,
I would like to thank our love of reading, & Fancy Nancy in particular, for your growing vocabulary. It makes Daddy & I smirk to hear some of the big words you insert into conversation- perhaps because some of the time you are using the big words in a totally inappropriate context. It's sometimes comical, but it also makes my heart happy to see how you're learning & growing.

Except that sometimes instead of using big words (appropriately or inappropriately), you make up your own words. It wouldn't be that big of a deal except sometimes the words you are making up sound very close to real words that shouldn't be said by sweet, little four year olds. There are times when your made up words are quite small & sound very similar to words like "sh_t" & "f_ck"- words that we don't say in our house.

Daddy & I talked about it a long time ago, & we decided not to make a big deal when you say words that could sound somewhat like swears. We figured that the bigger the deal we made about it, the more you would continue to repeat the sounds. We hoped that by acting like you had just said gibberish, you would move on from the gibberish to real words, & I think that has mostly held true.

But then we were saying goodbye to my parents. Papi had scooped you up in his arms to give you a hug. He said his goodbyes & you looked at him & said "Goodbye...doosh." It was one of those things that was so horrifying it felt like it was happening in slow motion. You could not have just called my Dad a douche! Daddy & I exchanged horrifying glances as we tried to exit ourselves from the extremely uncomfortable situation.

You, we could tell, had no idea what you had just said. It's true that "douche" is a word that Daddy & I have used often. This is probably going to sound really bad, but douche is kind of our go-to pet name for people who do unkind or aggravating things. But I swear we would never say it in your presence. You were just making up your own words again, & you love to make up nicknames. You clearly didn't understand that "doosh" is really not a great nickname for your grandfather.

It was then that Daddy & I started to rethink our previous policy of not reacting. This time it had gone too far. So, we've started to talk to you about only using real words. We remind you that there are so many real words to choose from & ask you to use the words you know instead of making up your own. We explained that sometimes when you make up words they sound like words that hurt people's feelings, & we don't want to hurt people.

Is it the correct way to handle the situation? I don't know. I haven't exactly read a manual on this. I'm hoping that we're not somehow stunting your growth & creativity by trying to limit your vocabulary to real words, but I really don't want you to call my dad (or anyone else really) a douche ever again.

I love you so,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Weak stomachs make for poor nurses

Dear Em,
I don't have much to report from last week- except that we spent most of it sick. Last weekend I started to feel signs of a head cold. I wasn't all that surprised about it. You had had a head cold the week before, & since we pretty much share everything, it seemed only fitting that we would share this cold as well.

Unfortunately, the head cold seemed to hit me a little harder than it hit you. Maybe it was the lack of sleep from the few nights prior. Maybe it's because you have been faithfully taking your vitamins & I have not. Everything in my body hurt, & I couldn't wait for your quiet time on that Sunday so that I could nap too. I napped through most of the AFC Championship Game (which it's probably better that I did...poor Patriots). For the rest of the day I filled myself up with cough drops & cold remedies, and when you went to bed at 8pm, I went to bed too.

I woke up on Monday (which was luckily a holiday for me), & everything hurt. I asked Daddy if it would be OK if I just stayed in bed, & I wished my Mommy was there to take care of me. Your Daddy does his best, but there really is nothing like my Mommy when I'm sick.

But then you came to the rescue. You checked on me throughout the day & rubbed Vicks on my chest, opened my mouth to stick in cough drops, gave me tissues, & made sure I was all tucked in. It was crazy cute- even when you woke me up from napping. You are not a quiet caretaker. You announce your visits starting from the bottom of the stairs.

"MOOOOO-OOOOOM! I'M COMING TO CHECK ON YOU! I"M GOING TO SEE IF YOU NEED ANYTHING! <Walks up to the side of the bed.> Oh, hey, Mommy. Were you sleeping? Did I wake you up? Oh no! I just had to check on you & see if you needed some Vicks or some cough drops or a tissue. No? Ok, well, I love you Mommy (giving me hugs). I'll come to check on you again later. If you need Vicks or a cough drop or a tissue, you can just call me. <Goes down the hall & down the stairs.> DAD! SHE WAS SLEEPING! AUGH! YOU LET ME WAKE HER UP!"

You are such a sweet little bug. It's amazing to me, at such a young age, the kindness & compassion you show. Unfortunately, I had the chance to repay the favor a few days later. "Mom!" You called out to me just as I was starting to fall asleep for the night. I walked into your bedroom to find you covered in vomit, & it became one of those up all night sick nights.

For the next two days I tried to be just like my Mommy was for me- caring & strong & always knowing exactly what to do in times of sickness. Unfortunately, unlike my Mommy, there were times that I could barely hold back my own tears & my own vomit while holding a bowl that you were throwing up into. I was trying to rub your back & ask you if you were OK, like I remember my Mommy doing, but I just couldn't get the words out without throwing up myself. Weak stomachs make for poor nurses.

I didn't feel like my Mommy at all. I felt like a Mommy failure. It seemed like all I could do was fight not to throw up myself, find the strength to do seven loads of laundry (it's incredible how much laundry there is after a stomach bug comes into your house), withhold food from you (when your stomach is upset, you assume it is because you're hungry & not because you are sick, & there is no rationalizing with you that you need to reintroduce food & drink slowly), & demanding that you rest (how do you still have so much energy for bouncing & twirling even when you're sick?). Kids are supposed to want their moms when their sick, but what if their mom is terrible at taking care of sick kids?

But then we also watched a lot movies, did a lot of snuggling, & kicked Daddy into the guest room- which means you had a rare night of getting to sleep in Mommy & Daddy's bed (you never want to sleep in your own bed again). After two days of quarantining ourselves into my room, you looked at me with the kindest eyes. "Thanks for taking such good care of me, Mom. I love you."

Well, I guess maybe I'm not a total Mommy failure after least not in your eyes.

I love you so,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Broadway

Dear Em,
When I was 13 or 14, I went to my very first Broadway musical as part of an 8th grade field trip. We went to see Les Miserables in NYC, & the show gave me goosebumps. It gave me more than goosebumps. I full on sobbed at the ending (I'm pretty sure my friends pointed & laughed). As if that wasn't annoying enough to all the people around me, I was also one of those obnoxious people who sang along with every song (I had memorized them all when we had performed the songs in 7th grade choir & I had watched the PBS special more times than I can count). I didn't care.

I fell in love with Broadway that day. I fell for the costumes & detailed scenery, lights & bustle of people, singing & dramatic flair. I loved it all. I caught the Broadway Bug that day.

I've never quite lost the (on & off) Broadway Bug. Since then I've been fortunate to enjoy shows like Phantom of the Opera, Rent, a sweet rendition of Little Women (Daddy surprised me with tickets because he knew I reread the book every summer), The Producers, Wicked, & Million Dollar Quartet. I may have gone to see Les Miserables again too (It's still my very favorite).

A couple weekends ago, your Daddy took me to see Once in Boston. While it didn't have some of the dramatic scene & costumes changes some of the others have had, the music gave me chills. It was touching & passionate & fun (I mean, the set had a working bar, & you could actually go onstage during intermission to buy drinks). It was so amazing, I sat on the edge of my seat the entire show. I don't think I stopped smiling for hours after as I hummed the tunes, reliving some of my favorite melodies.

It made me think of you & taking you to your first musical. You love music. After watching Disney's latest movie, Frozen, you were obsessed. We listened to the music on YouTube so much, I finally downloaded the soundtrack (this was after poor Daddy had to listen to Let It Go on repeat all the way to school). You know every word of every song, & sing along with infinite cuteness.

As I watch you, I can't help but hope & pray it's a sign that you will someday catch the Broadway Bug too- that you will be my little Broadway buddy. I know, I KNOW you're too young to take to Broadway right now (although I may have been insane enough to consider it for a second or two). But, a girl can dream, right? It would be a win-win for Daddy & I both. I would have a buddy to share my love of musicals, he would no longer have to be the buddy I drag with me to musicals (although, he's enjoyed a bunch too).

I'm thinking about checking out the high school musicals scheduled in our area this spring & maybe getting the two of us tickets to one of them. I have dreams of smiles & excitement & a perfect Mommy-Daughter afternoon. Although, I will likely be kicking myself for dreaming a little too early, just like I did with The Nutcracker on Ice.

Sigh, won't you be my Broadway Buddy? And soon?

I love you so,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time & Four Year Olds

Dear Em,
We have talked to you about time for years. We've reminded you that you have five more minutes of TV time. We've told you that it's going to be bedtime in fifteen minutes. I have asked you to give me five minutes of privacy. We've told you all that, fully knowing that you had no idea what we were talking about.

You're just now starting contemplate time- trying to piece together how long it will take until you get to do what you really want to do. As your curiosity of time grows, so does our explanations of how it works.

Em: Mom, how many more minutes until we are there?
Me: About five minutes.
Em: OK. One...two...three...four...five. That's five minutes! Are we there now?
Me: No, sweety, that's five seconds. A minute is sixty seconds. So, you have to count to sixty.
Em: OK. One, two, three...sixteen. Ok, are we there?
Me: No, sweety, you counted to sixteen. You need to count to SIX-TY.
Em: But I can't count that high.
Me: Sure you can. I'll help you.
<You begin counting & need help knowing that after 29 comes 30 & after 39 comes 40, after 49 comes 50 & after 59 comes...>
Em: SIXTY! Ok, are we're there now?!
Me: Nope, sixty seconds is one minute. It takes five minutes to get there. You'll have to count to sixty five times.
Em: <Gives me a look like I'm crazy..> No! I'm NOT doing that.
Me: OK, maybe you can just play for a little while & I'll tell you when we're there.
Em: Sigh.

Perhaps a better understanding of time will bring a better understanding of patience? I know, probably not.

I love you so,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ballet & Best Friends

Dear Em,
A couple weeks ago, you started ballet/tap classes. You couldn't be more thrilled to be a real life ballerina. You've wanted to be a ballerina- a princess ballerina to be exact- for as long as you can remember, & probably for as long as I can remember. You were bubbling with excitement as I helped you get dressed. Your eyes were wide & a huge smile spread across your face as we put on your ballerina tights, leotard, tutu, & ballet shoes.

You were so excited, you dressed your American Girl dolls in their own ballerina outfits.

The best part of ballet/tap? Your best friend takes a hip hop class at the same studio at the same time- which means after dance-hugs every week.

It also means ice cream at McDonalds after dance. Ice cream & little cuties, what could be more perfect?

I love you so,

Monday, January 20, 2014

ketchup falling from the sky

Dear Em,
One of my favorite things these days are the silly, little things that come out of your mouth. You have such a wonderful, vivid imagination. I love how you see the world. For instance...

Me: Em, what's on the bottom of your shirt? It looks like ketchup or paint. Did you paint with red today?
Em: <thinking> No. I think it was probably ketchup.
Me: <thinking back to what you ate that day> Ketchup? Did you even eat ketchup today?
Em: No, I think I was just walking along one day & the ketchup just fell on me. 

I love seeing the world through your beautiful eyes- a world where ketchup just falls from the sky. Thank you for giving me so much to smile about every day.

I love you so,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Sledding 2005

Dear Em,
Lately, there have been so many Throwback Thursday photos on Facebook, & I can't believe how freaking fun it is to see some of the old photos. Every Thursday is literally a blast from the past. It makes me smile to look back at what was, & it's fun to see how people are using modern technology to highlight the days before we even had computers (or digital photos).

I decided I was going to bring the throwback fun to this blog in 2014. It's great to talk about where we are or where we're going, but sometimes I don't realize how much we've accomplished until I look at where we came from. But then the first (& the second) Thursday of 2014 came, & I totally forgot about Throwback Thursday. Sigh. So here I am starting Throwback Thursday on the third Thursday of 2014. Ha!

These throwback Thursday photos are brought to you circa 2005. It was a cold day, & snow covered the ground. Your Daddy & I were dating. I was in grad school & your Daddy was in college at URI.

Earlier this week I posted your first real sledding adventure. The massive hill that we sledded down together, giving you squeals of joy, is located in the town I grew up in Connecticut. While I remember sledding there a couple times as a kid, mostly we just went down the hill that my house stood on top of. There was probably something about having 3-5 kids, with at least one child being between the ages of 0 & 4 that didn't make bundling up the kids & packing up the car all that appealing for my parents (especially since my mom was on her own with us much of the time while my dad was away for work).

But that one day in 2005, I really wanted to go sledding. I didn't want the kind of sledding that involved dining hall trays (it's a college thing) & the small hills on the URI campus. I wanted to go for real sledding, & the only hill I could think of was in the town I grew up in. So Daddy & I bundled up, packed up the car, & headed to my hometown (well, the hometown I lived in the longest as a NAVY Brat who lived all over the country).

I think we were the only adult-aged people there without children, but we had a blast. Afterwards, Daddy & I drove through my old town, & I showed him the places I grew up- my old house, my old schools, the playgrounds I played on, the fairgrounds I enjoyed. It was such a rush of fond memories.

At the time, I don't think I thought about the possibility that Daddy & I would get married & someday take our little love with us to squeal down the very same sledding hill. But I'm so glad that that's how our story went.

I love you so,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Purple Minion Mornings

Dear Em,
I've figured it out. After years of you screaming & crying & fighting & stomping your feet, I figured it out. Sometime between the time when I tuck in my sweet little girl at night, covering your angelic face with kisses, & when it's time to get dressed the next morning, something happens. Somehow you turn into...gasp...a purple minion. It's bad, really bad.
From here.

The other day I woke you up with snuggles & soothing words. You smiled & told me you loved me. Then you looked at the clothes I had laid out for you for the day. "Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," you cried. It was mass chaos. 

"What?! What's wrong?!" I frantically asked. I looked at the clothes quizzically. The shirt was pink, your favorite color. The sleeves were puffy, & a pink flower was printed on the front of the shirt. You love all of those things. What could be the problem? Then I figured it out. I had chosen jeans for your bottoms, but you've decided you hate jeans. 

"But Fancy Nancy wears jeans. Remember? Jeans can be fancy too." Like an idiot, I tried to use logic & reason with a four year old before dawn. You looked at me with fierce defiance. "Fancy Nancy is NOT a princess. I'm a princess, & princesses don't wear jeans!"

So, it was going to be another morning of wrestling you into your clothes.

Sigh, I love you so but the purple minion is really tough to take. 

I love you so,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter Weather

Dear Em,
I try not to complain about the weather. I figure that I chose to live in Rhode Island. I know that means the months of January-March (November & December aren't so bad with the Christmas lights & spirit) will be bitterly cold & grey. I try not to complain, & I try to accept it.

But when it's so cold that our front door is frozen shut, it is hard not to miss the beautiful & bright winter days we had in North Carolina.

But I guess there aren't many perfect, snowy, sledding days like this in North Carolina.

You asked if you could go down the hill on your own. I swear my heart stopped the whole time you sledded down the sleep hill. Daddy laughed at me, & you squealed with delight.

So, for as long as we live in Rhode Island, I guess I can take the frozen-shut-door days because they also bring us wicked fun sledding days. Any weather that brings such a smiles & squeals of delight from you, is the best weather ever.

I love you so,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sweet Little Mommy

Dear Em,
And because your dolls were good, little girls who ate all their pickles (they only like to eat pickles), their sweet, little mommy gave them ice cream for dessert.

You are pure cuteness.

I love you so,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Love Letters

Dear Em,
"Thank heaven for little girls
For little girls get bigger every day!
Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in the most delightful way!"
- Perry Como's Thank Heaven for Little Girls

During our two week break, we celebrated another big milestone. You turned four! You're four, & I can't quite believe how quickly that happened. On the morning of your birthday, Daddy & I were laying in bed thinking about you & the past four years. "Right about now, four years ago, we were heading to the hospital," Daddy pointed out. It was kind of surreal to think about it that way- to think about how at that moment four years earlier we only had dreams & anticipation of who you were going to be.

Now you're a bouncy, giggly, smart, twirling, headstrong, creative, energized, bubbly, dancing, glittery, bounding, loving, imaginative, sweet, amazing little four year old. I say the word little loosely. We recently went to your pediatrician. You're in the 94th percentile for height. I swear soon enough you're going to be off the charts. It blows my mind that at the beginning of this school year, your new jeans were so long we had to roll them up, but, already, they fit perfectly. 

Your pediatrician said something at your visit that really hit me hard. He said that the sometimes unfortunate thing for tall kids at your age, is that you look older than you are. Because of that, people will expect more from you. I thought about it. It was true. I've seen it from some of your teachers, from some of our friends & family, & I know I'm guilty of it too. It broke my heart for you a little bit.

I'm going to try to be better about reminding myself that you're just four. I'm going to try to be better about reminding myself that every behavioral challenge is not a sign that I'm a failure as a mother. It's just you being four. I'm going to try to be better about telling myself that almost never sitting still, occasional tantrums, yelling "No," some attitude, & struggling through dinner is typical four year old behavior. I'm going to try to remind myself to be better about enjoying this stage without looking back with longing or looking ahead with hope (although, we really do hope that you lose the 13-year old attitude you've already started to develop). Right now you're just four. You'll never be just four ever again.

So, here's a little bit about you in this very four year old moment...

Favorite food: Olives
Favorite thing to do: Make Crafts
Favorite thing to play: American Girl Dolls
Outside or inside: Outside
Favorite thing to do outside: Play in the Snow
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Ballerina Princess
Favorite book: Anything Fancy Nancy
Favorite song: Cups Song
Favorite color: Pink & Purple
Favorite TV show: Charlie & Lola
Favorite movies: Sofia the First

You've really started to read & write these past six months. Sometimes you get frustrated when you can't do things perfectly the first time, but you're amazing even yourself at the bigger & bigger words you're sounding out. You have such a love for learning right now, & that makes my heart so happy. You teach us something new every day & amaze us with some of the things that you say.

You love your friends & family with your whole heart, & nothing makes me you happier than time spent with them. To you, sitting down to play a game or read a book or taking a trip to the park is the greatest gift. It breaks your heart when the people you love are sad, & you'll do anything to help put a smile back on someone's face (gasp, even if sometimes that means sharing your favorite things).

You tried organized activities for the first time over these past few months. While soccer wasn't your very favorite, you learned a lot & had so much fun. You bounced your way through gymnastics, & we watched your body grow stronger & surer as you learned new things.

We had so much fun celebrating four year old you this year. First we celebrated with my family & a Hello Kitty cake (which you requested) in North Carolina.

We came home in time for your actual birthday. Daddy & I (well mostly I) couldn't wait to surprise you with a visit to the American Girl store in Boston. We planned to let you pick out one item from the store before sitting down for lunch with your doll at their cafe. Unfortunately I didn't make a reservation, & the place was PACKED. There was an hour & a half wait for lunch, & you were already starving. Whoops.

You were still thrilled to pick out one thing from the store. You walked us through every aisle of the huge, double floor store twice, intently scanning each item before making your choice. You picked out a dog for your doll (which you wanted to name Hello Kitty, but then decided that was a funny name for a dog & named her Dora, after Dora the Explorer) & a dog carrier. Would it have been my choice? Nope, for sure not. You have a million stuffed animals, & I didn't real feel like we needed another. But I think part of the appeal of being four is being able to make some of your own choices, & you were thrilled with your choice.

Then we headed across the street for lunch at Panera Bread & dessert at Orange Leaf. I have to say, you were just as happy as you would have been eating at the American Girl Cafe (probably happier, because I wasn't sure there was something on the American Girl menu that you would eat).

A couple days after your birthday, we got to celebrate again with Grandma & Papa. They gifted you real ballerina leotards & skirts for the ballet/tap class that you've started. You couldn't wait to put them on & perform for us. You are so thrilled to be a "real ballerina."

You went back to school the next day & were excited to celebrate being four with your teachers & classmates. We brought an owl donut cake for you to share with all your little friends. On the way to school that day you had told me, "well, you know mom, I'm not just a princess, & I'm not just a ballerina. I'm a princess-ballerina." When we got to school you were beyond surprised & thrilled to find a sign on the door with pictures of you as a princess & a ballerina. "How did they know?!" you bubbled with excitement, the biggest smile spread wide across your face.

I love you so, my four year old princess-ballerina. Thank you for the very best (& most challenging) four years of my life. I truly think that you make me a better person. I love you at four years old so much I feel as though my heart might burst. Can we just take our time & be four for a little while.?I know all too soon you'll be telling me you're four & a half, & then we'll be celebrating five. I would love to just slow down & enjoy four for a good, long while. What do you think?

I love you so,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas PJs 2013

Dear Em,
There was a funny family YouTube video that came out this holiday season. My family watched it & then hoped I hadn't seen it & wouldn't know anything about it. "Don't give Julie any ideas," may have been said.

I saw it, laughed, & thought it was fabulous, but no ideas were put in my head. I love my family, & I'm so very thankful that they've come to love accept the family Christmas Jammies that they will be gifted & wear from me every year (2012, 2012 gone wrong2011, & all the years before). I also know that there is no chance of getting them to perform a choreographed song in their Christmas Jammies. I would be locked outside by myself in my Christmas Jammies.

We may not have had a song or dance, but I thought our Christmas Jammies were so freaking fun this year. For the three of us, you picked out owl PJs from a catalogue. You were excited because you had studied owls in school, & it was fun how they went along with our owl ornaments.

We went with t-shirts & sweatpants for our family Christmas in North Carolina this year. Long sleeved PJs are just too warm down there (last year my parents had to turn the air conditioning on). I was super excited to share our Boston pride down in NC. I purchased the RedSox World Series Champion edition Boston Strong tshirts. Proceeds went to the Stay Strong Boston Foundation. I loved the idea of supporting a cause so near & dear to our hearts while also celebrating the RedSox World Series victory. I loved how comfy I was as we celebrated Christmas with my family, & I'm looking forward to wearing the shirt for years to come.

I may have thought I rocked it in the Christmas Jammie department this year, but it turns out neither of my choices were your Christmas Jammie favorite. You were gifted a pair of Hello Kitty PJs to match your very best friend. I think they are your favorite PJs in the whole world, the Hello Kitty print being made only sweeter by the fact that you get to share them with your best friend.

I'm hoping that Hello Kitty PJs don't come in adult sizes, otherwise my family may be seeing some Hello Kitty Christmas Jammies in their futures...just kidding...kinda.

I love you so,

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