Friday, November 25, 2011


Dear Ella B,

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and while I meant to write this then, I was so full of turkey and love that I couldn't lift a finger to the keyboard. So today I will tell you a little story about what I am so thankful for today.

Of course I am thankful for your very existence, and I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have gotten pregnant so easily and to have had such a healthy (albeit grumpy-to-the-max) baby. You have a father who adores you, a million people who dote on you, a home, a backyard, two strong legs, and all of that. These things will be easy to remember, but I started thinking about all the little things I am thankful for that will become fuzzy in years to come and I started to write them down.

So here are a few little things I am thankful for this holiday season that are all thanks to you Miss Ella B:

1. Your dinosaur "rawr"
2. Your Happy Birthday song "Happy day daddy"
3. The way you love to talk about boys, especially Arlo and Nate
4. Weekend morning snuggles in between mommy and daddy in our bed
5. Your post-bath naked craziness on our bed when I am trying to lotion you
6. The way you always say bye to people after they've already left, but never before
7. The way you hold out each body part so I can rinse you off after your bath
8. Your belly- dear God your belly
9. How you always want me to draw cats for you
10. And once again, that dinosaur "rawr" cause it just kills me until I'm dead

Thanks for giving me so much to be thankful for Ella B. I can't believe I get to be your mom.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Cuteness

What can I even say? This little girl is really starting to murder me with her cuteness. Today she became a tiny fashionista. First, when we went outside to play, she put on the above hoodie and upon realizing (apparently for the first time), that it had pockets, she stuck her hands inside and kept them there for a solid fifteen minutes. Also, she has pretty much been wearing that hat since I came home from Target with it on Saturday.

Later, she put my socks over her leggings and came running to show me how amazing she looked. I have to say, I almost dropped my sponge and Kaboom foaming spray (yes, I was actually cleaning the bathroom), and ran out to buy her some legwarmers; she looked that good.

When my mother arrived (because it is inevitable every couple of days), she had brought with her a bag of clothes from my sister. As soon as Ella saw these clothes and heard that they use to be Izzy's, she had to try them on. Before I knew it, she was decked out in a winter coat, boots, no wait, sparkly dress shoes, no wait, Christmas dress, no wait, another pair of boots, no wait, nothing, until finally there was nothing left and she stripped down naked and got in the bath.

Looks like I've created the Punky Brewster kid I always wanted to be. Move over Soleil Moonfrye!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Hero

Today is Veteran's Day and for those of you who don't know, my husband is a veteran. It sounds like a funny thing to call someone who is 31 (almost 32). Growing up, veterans were old men like my grandfather who wore military hats and talked about a war that happened a million years ago and didn't matter all that much anymore. Being a hippy pacifist myself, I never expected to be married to someone who was in the military or who had actually fought in war. And I never expected to have to explain to my daughter what it means to have a dad who is a war hero. Of course, she is too little to understand today, but one day, maybe on a day like today, I will ask her why she has the day off from school and if she knows what it means to be a veteran.

When you think about raising children, you think about how honest you want to be with them. You want them to trust you and to make them feel connected to you, but you also don't want to tell them every last detail about high school, either. You want them to hold on to their innocence for as long as possible, but to also educate them about the reality of life outside of their safe little bubbles. So, the discussion of war is a tricky one then. What does it means to be a veteran? It means that you have fought in a war. And what does that mean, to fight? There is the Hollywood version of war we're all use to, of course, but what does it really look like? It means things like- sleeping in the dirt, carrying an enormous pack for hours on end, writing letters to loved ones, sitting around doing nothing sometimes, being afraid, being tired, and it also means a lot of other ugly things that we don't like to think about.

So what do I want Ella to know about her daddy, the veteran? I want her to know that he did something harder than I could ever imagine. I want her to know that he is brave and strong (though she already knows this). I want her to know that the experience of war changed him, as it changes ever single person who experiences it, and that it isn't something to be taken lightly as I took my own grandfather's service for so many years. I want her to know that being a veteran will always be a part of who he is, but that it is only one part of the man who is her father. And I want her to know that I'm proud of him.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


As in, full of power, meaning- I finally got my power back! This marks the end of four long days of cold, darkness, and a lot of takeout. In the thick of it, we were pretty miserable, but looking back on it now, I can see some of the romance in having no power. Michael and I had a lovely candlelit dinner of cold Chinese food and went to bed early every night. Ella B, little Miss particular, didn't even seem to notice. She loved walking around the house carrying a little lantern and now thinks that candles are just about the coolest thing ever.

We were nervous about how this whole thing would affect her, especially the cold, but we just bundled her up in two layers of pajamas and figured that if she woke up, we'd let her sleep with us. We read her some books by candlelight and sent her off to bed and then she (wait for it) WAS TOTALLY FINE! Not only did she not seem to notice the cold or the lack of lights, I think she actually liked it. She spent her mornings at the diner with either mommy or daddy and her evenings eating pizza at Ernie's or lentil loaf at Amy's. Wednesday and Thursday she spent the day at Miss Amanda's house with two kitty cats, a great Dane named Scooby, and a baby, and then we went to Tommy and Kristy's where she chased Jacob and Nathan and jumped on the couch while we played Just Dance on the Wii. All in all, it has been a pretty awesome blackout for Ella B.

When we got home tonight and discovered we had power, Michael and I jumped up and down and Ella looked at us like we were crazy. Then we put her to bed and she cried for the first time in weeks. Call me crazy, but I think my baby wishes we were Amish.

I think what she really enjoyed was our technology-free undivided attention, which reminded me of why I've always sympathized with the Ludites. Right now I am sitting on the couch watching T.V. and blogging and Michael is in the other room playing some weird building game on the other computer. During the power outage, we went to bed early and actually even talked a little. We were well-rested and more connected. And then the power came back on and we locked on to our devices again and that was that.

So maybe we can all learn a lesson from Ella B that there is something to be said for less technology and more humanity. Touche Ella B, touche.

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Halloween?