Monday, July 28, 2008


I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be off line for a while, (I'm writing this from my mother in law's). They told us not for TWO WEEKS!!! Don't they know I have blogs to read?! I will miss reading and commenting to all of you, but I'll try and catch up when I can. Until then, I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The family I'm a nanny for has been on vacation this week, so I've been off. We are moving, (GLORY, HALLELUJAH!), on Saturday, so I've been trying to pack as much as possible. As a person who has moved my crap from place to place a ridiculous total of 18 times, you would think I would be an old pro by now. Nope, it still stresses me out. I think it is because of the inevitable realization, "I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!!!" Why, Why, Why, do people need so much stuff?! I swear that about 1/2 of it we don't even use. Certainly not on a regular basis, anyway. Then there is the stuff you keep "for sentimental value". It sits in a box probably 364 days a year, taking up valuable space and collecting dust waiting for the one day a year you actually pull it out.

Of course, this time is worse, because I am not just moving my junk. This time around I am moving my stuff, Jim's stuff, and Dylan's stuff. The fact that I, a neat freak, organizational queen, lover of getting rid of stuff, has married a does not see dirt, surely this thing will have a use SOMEDAY pack rat of a man might seem amusing to some, but I fail to see the humor. Getting rid of stuff is freeing to me, I feel lighter, more alive, content and at peace. I'm not quite ready to sell all my earthly belongings and go live in a tree, but at times I can see the appeal.

Do you know how hard it is to pack when your kid keeps doing cute stuff?

Like figuring out how to get into his car seat by himself, albeit a bit clumsily. (The voice is my MIL, not mine)

Or like at the lake, when he fell face first into the water, and came up laughing!

Or like when Jim was telling me how he read him a story with a picture of a woman in a babushka, and Jim said, "Look! A Babushka Mama!", and Dylan ran to get the book, saying "Bush Mama, Bush Mama".

Or like when I tried to put 18 month shorts on my 20 month old, saying "I hope these aren't too tight", and he sucked in his belly, screaming "TOO TIGHT!! TOO TIGHT!!"

Or like today, when he shunned the 2-5 year old playground area, to follow a much bigger boy into the 5-12 year old area, where he totally shocked me by climbing the huge stairs, then sliding down the biggest, steepest slide I've ever seen. Sorry I don't have a picture of him actually going down the slide. I was at the bottom praying for a safe return to earth. Here are the steep stairs, though, and him at the top with the much bigger boy behind him. A part of me - totally scared about what my fearless kid has in store for me in the future. Another part of me - totally proud.

Don't get me wrong. This week hasn't been all peaches and cream. There was the little incident about him hitting Jim and I with his plastic bat. Then there was the day that his only goal was to step on my sandal clad toes as hard as he possibly could.
Today, when I tried to block off the kitchen so he wouldn't touch the hot oven, he somehow found a crayon and defiantly colored around the entire area on the hardwood floors. But then, he would do something like this...

and I'm thinking I really need to have next week off, too. I don't want to miss this stuff. THIS is good stuff.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Forever Changed

Ten years ago on this day, my life was changed forever. Doug, the man I was to marry in four days, was killed when a car crashed into his motorcycle. But, today I don't want to be sad. Today, I just want to remember the amazing man he was, the love that we shared, and all the happy memories we made. I started writing a book about my experience, but never finished it because it was too painful, but I am including the part about our first date.

...There are so many reasons we could have never met, so many “coincidences” that worked out in our favor. The day we first met was no exception. Doug lived in Grove City, about one hour north of Pittsburgh, and I lived in California, about one hour south of Pittsburgh so with a distance of 2 hours between us, we decided to just meet at the building the dating service was in, since it was about half way. When the day came, I was nervous, but excited to meet him. I think I arrived at the building about 10 minutes early and I figured I better stand at the entrance so we wouldn’t miss each other. I had seen his pictures, but I figured he could look totally different than he did in the pictures. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was anxious to find out what he looked like.

Ten minutes passed and he hadn’t arrived. No big deal - I usually don’t mind if people are late if it’s 15 minutes or less. But, after 15 minutes had passed I started to get annoyed. What kind of guy would be late for a first date? I had been standing there for 25 minutes and I’m not a very patient person. The more time went on, the more annoyed I got! I told myself, “I’m going to give him 15 more minutes - then I’m leaving!” I thought maybe he stood me up which really pissed me off! I started going over the conversation we had on the phone, trying to think of what I could have possibly said that turned him off. While I was doing that, he suddenly came through the doors! From inside the building! He looked as annoyed as I’m sure I did.

These were our first words to each other in person:
“Hey!” (me)
“Hi!...Did you know there is another entrance to this building on the other side?” (him)
“No Way! No! I thought you stood me up! I was giving you 10 more minutes and then I was leaving!” (me)
“I was thinking the same exact thing!” (him)

Luckily, a woman had been walking into the building, and it had suddenly occurred to Doug that there might be another entrance, so he asked her! That woman made our love story possible! I wish I could thank her.

I was very pleasantly surprised as I looked him over, (subtly of course!) He was dressed casually, not stuffy, like in his pictures, and his hair was longer and looked much nicer than in the pictures. He had a nice, athletic, build and was 6 foot tall (one inch taller than me). The two things that struck me the most were his amazing, light green eyes, and his smile. We left my car in the parking lot and got into his - he opened the door for me, which was already a point in his favor! He asked if I minded if he stopped and got something to drink because he was thirsty so we stopped at a convenience store. I was going to wait in the car, and he asked “Did you want anything?” I replied , “Oh, yeah, thanks. Could you get me some Bit O Honey?” “That’s some kind of candy, right?” he asked, before going into the store.

I have to confess that I did that as a test. I knew that it is hard to find Bit O Honey and that not many stores carry it. I figured it would tell a lot about him to see how he handled the situation. I was laughing to myself as I saw him go up one aisle and down the next, searching the place for the Bit O Honey. He eventually found some and I was definitely impressed that 1. He took the time to search the whole store, and 2. He didn’t complain about it when he got in the car. He passed the test with flying colors! I can still picture the huge grin on his face when I told him months later about “the test” and how well he had done! It seems he had a “test” for me, also. When we got in his car, he had the windows down since it was a warm, sunny day, (May 18, 1997). He left them down, waiting to see if I asked him to put them up, or if I complained that my hair was getting messed up, etc. He didn’t want a “princess” or high maintenance, prissy girl who would be afraid to mess up her hair or break a nail, etc. I passed his test. He later told me he liked that not only did I not mind the windows being down, but I noisily chewed away on my sticky candy and licked my fingers afterwards! How ladylike, right?

We had a nice conversation on the way to his house, and I was surprised to find that I was really enjoying myself! First dates are usually awkward, but I felt really comfortable with Doug right away. When we got to his house, I was impressed by the neighborhood. It had a nice feel to it, with the houses close together, but far enough apart to have nice yards. The houses and yards were well maintained. You could tell it was a neighborhood where people waved hello, knew their neighbors by name, and stopped to talk when they saw them in their yards. When I saw Doug's house, I was pleasantly suprised by two things. One, how clean the house was, and two, how nicely decorated it was. I figured with him being a bachelor that the house would be messy and would have unmatching, ratty, hand-me-down furniture, and maybe a picture of a girl in a bikini on the wall?! Instead, the house was spotless and he had nice furniture and even matching accessories! I figured maybe he told his mom he had a date and she came and cleaned for him and put a few things out!

After he gave me the tour, he asked if I would like to go for a ride to McConnells Mills on his motorcycle. I had never been on a motorcycle before, but it was always something that I wanted to do, so I jumped at the chance. I was a little nervous, so he told me, “I’ll squeeze your leg if we’re going to go over a bump, so it won’t surprise you.”. It took a while to get there, and I noticed that each time he would squeeze my leg, he would leave his hand on my leg a little bit longer than the previous time. At one point, we came to a stop sign and he turned around and asked “Do you mind my hand on your leg?”, and I replied, “I didn’t tell you to move it, did I?” Let me interject here and remind you that I have never been good at flirting. I have no idea how to flirt. I answered the question that way because it was the truth, but I later found out that my answer was a huge turn on for Doug!

We arrived at McConnells Mills, which is a wooded area, with streams and small waterfalls. We walked down by the water, sat on a huge rock, and talked. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember that the conversation was flowing nicely, with no awkward moments. We suddenly realized, though, that the sky had darkened, huge clouds had rolled in, and the wind had picked up. We quickly walked back to the bike, and left, but not soon enough, as we got caught in a downpour! We were both soaked by the time we got to his house. Doug gave me a t-shirt, and sweatpants of his to wear while he put my clothes in the dryer. Later, when I told one of my friends about this date, she teased me, saying, “Wow! He got you to take your clothes off on the first date!” He changed out of his wet clothes, then we talked until mine were dry. Then he drove us somewhere for dinner.

I’m not sure if he had even been there before, but when the waitress put an appetizer tray on our table that apparently came with our meal, neither one of us could figure out what it was! There was some kind of cracker or wafer with a big scoop of something pink in a dish.
I asked Doug, “What is the pink stuff?”
“I dunno. What do you think it is?”
“Maybe yogurt or sherbert? Why don’t you try it, Doug?”
“Me? Why don’t you try it?”
“Chicken! Fine, I’ll try it!” With that, I took a big spoonful and put it all in my mouth. He couldn’t stop laughing after I made a face and spit it out, (ever so daintily), into my napkin, exclaiming, “Eww! It’s cheese and it’s gross!”

After we ate we went back to his house and he asked if I wanted to watch one of the movies he had taped. It had been a long date already, starting around 2:00, but I was having such a great time, I didn’t want him to take me back yet, so I agreed. I looked through his movies and picked “Outbreak”, since I had never seen it. It was an exciting movie, and I was totally engrossed in it, when suddenly, it stopped and a motocross race appeared on the tape! Doug had taped a race over the end of the movie! He was so apologetic, but I just laughed and said, “Well, I guess we’ll have to rent it sometime!” He had already asked me out for a second date halfway through the first, so I knew we would be seeing each other again.

He said , “Well, I guess I better take you back”, and I replied, “Yea, it’s late”. You could tell by our tone, that we were enjoying the date so much we didn’t want it to end. As we drove back, Doug started talking really fast, and suddenly seemed nervous, which I didn’t understand until he reached over and took my hand! He held my hand the whole way, and I thought “How brave! I love that he had the guts to do that!” All the other guys I ever went out with had been too afraid to make any kind of move on the first date, and to be honest, I’m not sure I even wanted any of them to. But with Doug it was different. I felt so comfortable with him right away - it was if I had known him a long time - and he was so sincere, warm, and down to earth that I felt like I could trust him. That was also rare for me. After the Bozo, I found it hard to trust anyone.

When we got back to my car, I said, “I had a great time today! Thanks!” and leaned over to give him a hug. He replied, “Thank you, Jen”, and as we pulled away we locked eyes and kissed. A wonderful, perfect first kiss - soft and sensuous. That was the first, and only time in my life I ever kissed a guy on a first date. I was on cloud nine the whole way home! I was staying at a friend's apartment for awhile, so I was headed there. She knew I was going on a first date and that I would probably want to talk about it when I got home, so she tried to wait up for me. However, it was so late, (2a.m.), that I found her asleep on the couch. I sat down and stared at her, willing her to wake up, which she finally did. I excitedly told her all the details, and she asked, “Do you think you’ll see him again?” I replied, “Definitely! He asked me out for next weekend!”

My dad called the next day to ask me how the date went. I told him, “Dad, I really like this guy!” He later told me that he was shocked for me to say that because I’m usually pretty aloof at first, but I was hooked from the start...

Today, I would like to thank everyone who sent me a letter about their friendship with Doug. I enjoyed reading them so much, and I know that Doug was very lucky to have all of you as friends. I would also like to thank Doug's family, for treating me with so much compassion, respect, and love at a time that I so desperately needed it. I want to thank Nan for the way she has always treated me, since the first day I met her - like family. I want to thank Marsha, for taking my hand at the perfect moment, and for being a wonderful friend for the past 10 years. I want to thank Sharon, for being an example of strength and warmth - I admire you. I love you all.

Most of all, I want to thank Doug for choosing me. I miss you, Babydoll!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Surprise Someone Week - Mission Completed

Jim and I love all things tropical. I mean, we were married in Jamaica in a gazebo overlooking the ocean! Our reception/party that we had when we returned didn't involve tuxes and fancy dresses. Instead we all wore shorts and Hawaiian shirts!

Unfortunately, since we are looowww on finances this year, and the nearest ocean is about 6 1/2 hrs away, sand, surf, and tropical breezes are probably not in the forecast anytime soon.

So, for the surprise this week, I decided tropical themed dining was the next best thing. There is a restaurant not too far from us, called Bahama Breeze, which is decorated like a tropical resort, and has food to match - think Jamaican jerk chicken and coconut shrimp, YUM!

I decided to really go all out, and I dressed Dylan and myself in our Hawaiian shirts. Dylan just happens to have a shirt that matches Jim's, so of course, I took the shirt and some shorts for Jim to change into. The plan was to be standing there at Jim's job, in our tropical attire, as the elevator door opened.

Somehow, I ended up being late, (does this sound familiar?), so I had to call Jim and tell him not to leave work yet. So, he wasn't 100% surprised, but still, it was really fun. The food was good and Dylan was in an awesome mood, eating an adult sized portion of food and charming nearby patrons.

When we got in the car, my not usually demonstrative husband grabbed (yes, GRABBED!!) my face, and pulled me in for a kiss to say thanks! YESSSSSS!!! I'm telling you, all you party poopers, "I'm going to ignore this post" people, you are missing out.

("Hey, wait! I thought I saw fruity drinks....with umbrellas in them! Let's go back in!")

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Parrot

At 19 months, something seems to have clicked in Dylan's brain, and he is saying new words at a rapid pace. And to think, that I was worried that he would never talk! Now, I have something else to worry about...The Parrot.

Yesterday, I took Dylan to that horrible store that I only go to when I am desperate - Walmart. He was being such a good little shopper! I would hand him something I wanted to buy, and he would turn and drop it into the cart with much flourish and fanfare. Sometimes, if I picked something up just to look at it, he would grab it out of my hands, and fling it into the cart. Ta-Da! Anyway, one of the families that I used to work for had these cool ice packs that they would put in the girls lunches, in fun shapes, like a star, or an apple, or a crown. The mom told me she bought them at Walmart. I searched everywhere but couldn't find them, so I stopped to ask a guy who was stocking the shelves.

"Excuse me, do you have ice packs that are in kid shapes?"
He looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili. "Huh?"
"Do you have ice packs, that are in fun shapes for children?"
"You want something shaped like children?"
I was desperately trying to remain patient. "An ice pack in shapes a kid would like, for their lunch box?"
"What's an H-Pack?" (This was beginning to feel like a drug deal gone wrong, with someone too wacked out to talk to).
My patience finally flew out the window. "ICE! AN ICE PACK!"

Dylan, who had been quietly taking this exchange in, suddenly perked up.
"ICE! ICE! ICE!", he shouted. Up and down the aisles, after that, you could hear him, shouting "ICE!". He didn't just imitate the word I used, he imitated the way I had said it. "ICE!", he said, in that you friekin' moron tone of voice. Oh, boy, I'm in trouble.

Later that evening, Jim came home and started rounding up the garbage to take it down to the street. Dylan and I were outside. Suddenly Jim said "Oh man, Jen, look at this". One of the garbage bags had been put in upside down, and something liquid leaked out into the can. The whole bottom of the can, along with the bag, was covered with maggots. "GROSS!!!" I screamed. Cue the parrot. "GWOSS! GWOSS! GWOSS!"

I really am going to have to watch what I say from now on. Then again, maybe this could work to my advantage. Maybe I can train the parrot to say, "My mommy's a genius. She deserves a book deal. My daddy works really hard, too. He should get a raise".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Surprise Someone Week

I love surprises. More than that, I love surprising others. It is not easy for me, though. Somehow, the surprise often gets screwed up somehow, or I slip and give it away with my can't keep a secret blabber mouth.

For one of my dearest friend's 25th birthday, her parents were throwing her a surprise party. They were taking care of everything. All I was responsible for was the balloons. What could be simpler than balloons, right? Well, I managed to screw it up.

All of the party goers were to arrive 30 minutes before the birthday girl and her friend who told her she was simply "taking her out to dinner for her birthday". I was to arrive 30 minutes early and set up the balloons. Again, this was a long time ago (groan), so my memory is a bit hazy, but I'm thinking I bought about 10 balloons. No problem. One problem - I somehow ended up being late. How late? Well, as I was driving down the highway, cursing myself for being late, I saw it...A flash of red hair! Oh No! It couldn't be! This person's mouth was moving and her hands were going. Crap! They were about 3 cars in front of me to my right!

What was I gonna do?! Get there AFTER them, and walk in like a big dork, carrying 10 balloons, screaming "Surprise!"? No, I couldn't do that! So, I did what had to be done. I sped up, wrestled the 10 balloons down to the floor, crouched down in my seat so I could just barely see over the dashboard, and whooshed past them like a blast of lightning. I screeched into the parking lot, grabbed those balloons, and ran ninja style through the parked cars, keeping an eye out for their car, which pulled in just as I reached the door. Luckily, my friend is one of those people who have to fix their hair, put on lipstick, and search her purse for who knows what before getting out of a car. Those darn balloons were in place when she walked in, never mind that I was a sweaty mess and the party hadn't even begun!

Another time, I decided to cook Doug lasagna, (his favorite food), and take it to surprise him at work for his birthday. He worked from 2-10pm, so he got a break for dinner around 6:00. After driving 2 hours to get there, and thinking about how happy he would be, I could hardly contain my excitement. I pulled in, and asked a guy in the parking lot how to find him. He noticed what I was carrying, and said, "What's that?" I explained the surprise lasagna and he groaned. Groaned! "Rude Man!", I thought. Then, he said, "Our bosses treated us to dinner at X restaurant today. They only do that about twice a year. He's probably over there now". "WHAT?!?", I screamed in the poor man's face. "Where is the restaurant?" I could at least salvage the surprise part of this.

I followed his directions and pulled into the parking lot, parked, looked up, and gasped. My mouth hit the floor, and I just sat and stared for probably 5 minutes. Suddenly, the shock wore off, and I saw RED! This man, the man that I was in love with, planning to marry - this man, the man that I believed was honest and trustworthy - this man, the man who for the past 8 months had NEVER smoked a cigarette in front of me, or told me that he ever did - was standing there puffing away like a chimney with a big old grin on his face with some guy. SURPRISE! I screamed out my window "DOUG!!!", then watched his face go from complete joy at seeing me, to complete horror at being caught. Not exactly the surprise I had envisioned.

For Father's Day a month ago, I decided on a whim to surprise Jim. I bought a "World's Greatest Dad" balloon, and took Dylan to his office. I called the secretary so she could arrange for us to park in the garage, and when we walked into his room, he was visibly surprised and see Dylan, but I think he eventually noticed I was there too. Then the 3 of us walked around the Arts Festival and had dinner. It was so much fun that I decided to try and surprise him more often. When we were dating, we surprised each other often. What happened? Life happened, but you know what? I've decided I'm going to make more of an effort to surprise my loved ones. It's fun, it lets them know they are appreciated, and it keeps things interesting.

Since then, I surprised him with nuts he likes, that I bought at the Twin Lakes Festival on a day that he was working on the house, a Hershey's chocolate bar, and tonight I made cookies. Cookies! And, they aren't even burnt!

So, here is the point to all this rambling. I am declaring this coming week "Surprise Someone Week". That's right. When I make up holidays they last a whole week. This is your mission if you choose to accept it. I challenge all of you reading this to surprise someone you love in the coming week. It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't even have to cost anything. Be creative, or don't. Use one of mine. Whatever. Just do it, and then leave me a comment about it, or better yet, write a post about it, and let me know. If enough of you write posts, I'll put all the links together in one post so we can all share the love. I'm going to do it, and I'll write a post about it at the end of the week. Good luck. This message will destroy itself in 10 seconds.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Husband Is Evil

I think those of you who have been reading this blog lately know that my stress level has been on Code Red - Mayday! Mayday! Now, Dylan has tonsillitis, which he came down with , shockingly enough, 3 days after we took him to the Science Center. He has had a high fever, hasn't wanted to eat much, and has been waking several times through the night. Last night he woke me up 4 times. He would just cry/whine about 5 minutes, then fall immediately back to sleep, but that was just long enough to wake me up and send me into concerned mommy mode, lying there worrying and unable to go back to sleep.

Also, this week at work, I played a marathon game of Two Square with Big Bro, chased Little Sis around the yard playing "Tickle Monster", and perched myself on top of a precarious wagon to trim cherries off of their cherry tree so the kids could help their grandma make a pie. At some point, I hurt my back, and after I write this, I'm off to find the heating pad. It's that darn refusal to accept one's age thing again.

When I got home tonight, Jim and I played with Dylan until it was time for bed. Jim always does the night time routine with Dylan, while I clean up the kitchen, check my emails, and of course, blog.

I have to interject here to tell you that several months ago I spilled a glass of water on my laptop keyboard. At that time, the computer was still working, but I couldn't type anything. We took it to the Mac store, and got a new keyboard - problem solved....or so we thought. About a month ago, the computer...just...died. I've never seen anything like it. This strange shape appeared on the screen, like an alien life form sucking all the contents out of it to take back to its planet for research. Jim, (the computer savvy one in this family) did everything he could think of, but he deemed it...well, the technical term he used was F@#$#!

Since then, I have been forced to use Jim's computer. I do not allow myself to eat or drink anything anywhere near his computer, due to crippling fear that I will somehow destroy his computer too.

Tonight, when I turned on his computer...

My heart immediately jumped out into my throat! I couldn't breathe! "No, no, no, no, no, no, no!", I muttered. I clicked on "Okay" - nothing. "". I leapt, (yes, leapt, with a sore back, mind you) from the couch, ran up the stairs two steps at a time, and jumped into Dylan's room.

"Jim?! Did you use the computer today?!"
"Yea, why?", he replied.
"Jim! There is something wrong with the computer!" (Me, about ready to pass out)
"What?! What do you mean?" (He follows me down the stairs, looks at the computer, and I finally notice that he is smiling)
"Jim!!!! What did you do?! Are you trying to Kiiiillll me?"

If you can't read that, it says, "Uh Oh! This computer has experienced a complete system meltdown. If the problem is not addressed immediately, serious issues may arise. Is it possible that you spilled liquid on this computer? You have 10 seconds to shut down to avoid possible hard drive explosion. Praying is recommended."

Okay, now I admit that I am a total sucker for falling for such an obvious scam. What kind of computer message says, "Did you spill water on your computer recently? Praying is recommended?!" I just figured Mac guys are cool and snarky. You've seen the commercials! Oh, okay, I feel like a dweeb. A really big one.

Oh, but don't worry. He's going DOWN! I don't know what I'll do, but it will be good. Really good. I'll think of something awesome, but right now, I just have to remember where that darn heating pad is.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Captain Of The Ship

"MOM?!", I used to yell from every room in our house. "Where is my other shoe / my Depeche Mode tape / the toilet paper / my science book / my coat / all the pens?"

Sometimes, she pretended not to know the answer, (like in the case of the Depeche Mode tapes which she hid because she didn't like the words to a particular song). Sometimes, she would reply, "I don't know. Where did you put it?" My answer was always, "I dunno", so I'm not sure why she bothered asking.

The majority of the time, though, she knew the exact location of what I was looking for. "It's by the sliding glass door / it's under the sink, in the cabinet / it's on the dining room table / it's on the green chair in the living room". She always seemed to know!

How did she know? I never really wondered how my mom kept track of all my belongings, along with her own, and my dad's. That's just the way it was, and the way I felt that it should be.

There were a few other things I just felt she should know. "MOM?! When is my piano lesson / the birthday party / the recital / Dad going to be home?" She almost always knew those answers, too.

I don't recall my mom having a daily planner tucked into her purse, and Blackberry's weren't even invented, so how did she keep track of it all? It's simple...well, actually it's not's just a fact. She is a Mom. She was the daily planner, the clock, the activities director, the finder of all lost things. She was the captain of the ship. You see, without a Mom, the crew is lost at sea.

Lately, I find myself answering a lot of questions from my husband. "JEN?! Where is that receipt / my shoes / my keys / my cellphone / that phone number?" Then there's, "JEN?! What time is the cookout / the movie / the game / Dylan's appointment?"

Lucky for me, Dylan isn't talking much yet. For now his questions seem to be limited to, "Shoes?", "Unn?", "Meow?", "Dada?", and "Bubba?", or "Can we put my shoes on and go outside or somewhere in the car?", "Where's the cat?", "When is Daddy or Grandpa coming?"

But, I know the day is coming when I'll scream down the stairs, "I don't know, Dylan. Where did you put it?", to which I know that he will answer, "I dunno". I'm also pretty sure that I will then tell him the exact location of whatever he is looking for. Why? Because I am the Mom, and I am the captain of the ship. Ahoy, mates, it's smooth sailing from here on out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nineteen Months is a Great Age

Dear Dylan,

How did you get to be 19 months already? When did that happen? Sometimes I wish you would stop growing up so fast, but I must say, I am loving you at 19 months! You are so much fun!

Here are some of the things you are doing this month...

You are saying more words. You seem to add one every day. You say some of your colors, "Bwoo"(Blue), "Geen"(Green), "Yewo"(Yellow), "Pur-ple", and "Back" (Black). Daddy is convinced you are color blind, because you won't say or acknowledge red, but I think daddy is loony. Your favorite color is definitely blue! (Mommy's too!) One day I took you to Home Depot to look at paint swatches and you carried that blue chip around the whole store and even carried it around at home.

I think three of your favorite words are "Unn"(Car), "Meow"(Cat), and "Ball". You love that cat! You follow the cat around when we are outside, and you are always talking about her. You love the car, because you don't like to be in the house. You want to go somewhere all the time!

You love balls - baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls. Basically if it is round, you love it. We are amazed at the arm on you, kid! You can throw the ball really far, and really hard. Sometimes we are cowering on the couch, afraid we will get one of your fast pitches to the gut! Is there a baseball camp for two year olds because we might have to enroll you next summer. A famous pitcher - yea, that would work. I'm don't really enjoy watching baseball games, but they make good money, and don't usually get injured. For future reference, your daddy and I have always wanted a beach house, Dylan. I'm just saying.

Another thing you like to do lately is put on our shoes and try to walk around in them. Maybe you are trying to understand us better, with the whole, "walk a mile in another man's shoes" thing. The expression "Big shoes to fill" takes on new meaning when talking about Mommy's shoes! (Yes, I can juggle, Dylan, but no, I'm not a clown).

You still love books, much to my delight. Now, you can climb up into the rocking chair in your room, and I often find you there, sitting perusing your books with a very serious expression on your face.

One thing you really love now, is taking a bath! You get very excited when we say "Bath", and you run over to the stairs with a big grin on your face. You love to play with your bath toys and you like the bubble machine.

Today I took you to Babies R Us, and you actually walked around with me, and I didn't have to chase you! That is a first!
Pretty soon we will all experience a first together, Dylan - the first night in our new house! I can't wait! I really hope you like it. Basically "home" for me is anywhere you and daddy are. The two of you make me so happy.

I Love You,