Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We love Fall!

Jane and Lucy,

So much has happened! You're two years old. Holy cow. I have two-year-olds. It seems like you get smarter and funnier and more amazing every day. Sometimes every hour. You've both been announcing, "I have a burfday comin' up" to anyone who will listen.

We went to San Diego. You visited the Ocean. Every morning Jane, you got up and said, "I needuh go-to-duh OCEAN!" Seagulls stole your snacks. You saw Shamu, and Lucy, you fell in love with a shark.

You love to jump in bouncy houses.

You went to the pumpkin patch. Twice. We have about 700 pumpkins now on our front porch. And under the bed. And in the backyard. And the drawer in the kitchen...

You are enamored with your ballerina outfits. "I wear my TUTU now!"

You love to brush your teeth. Especially with Daddy's toothbrush.

You run around the block. Sometimes multiple times. It still terrifies me.

You are pretty sure you're faster than Maximus the horse and like to race around the house to show me. Sometimes, well, most times, you two have a head-on collision.

You both love to sing. I adore hearing you belting out the ABCs - "next time won't you sing wiff MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE", the eensy weensy spider, twinkle, twinkle, let's go fly a kite...

You like your new responsibilities of feeding the fish and the cats. So do the fish and the cats since you're pretty liberal with portion sizes.

Luce, you phrase what you want as suggestions. "Maybe I go to Nana's", "Maybe I have some raisins"...

You both are sweet, sweet sisters. When your sis is crying, you always quickly head over to crouch down, give her a hug, and ask, "Are you okay?"

You love taking trips to Costco. I'm really not sure what this is about since you've only had samples there once. "I go to Costco, now!"

Having Daddy working closer to home is great - you ladies now get to enjoy mornings with him. I love watching you run to the door to wave goodbye as he drives away.

You love your gymnastics class. I don't know how we're going to break it to you when this month-long intro class that we bought for a steal is over. You have amazed us with the change from your first class to your third class (fourth and final class is still coming up). You listen to instructions and are willing to try everything. Your body control has improved and you especially love to bounce down the bounce track (aka long trampoline). You practice all your moves at home and make me laugh all the time.

You are both so amazing. You're beautiful and funny and so very smart. I'm having the time of my life watching you grow.

All my love,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lucy Stroessner! You are hilarious. Recently I got a wild hare and decided you two should try some beets. Well, being the less-than-adventurous-eater you are, I wasn't sure how well that would go over. So I put your dinner plate in front of you and watched. You stabbed a beet with your fork, popped it in your mouth and chewed for about half a second before spitting it out and getting a disgusted look on your face. You said, "LUCY! Don't taste that!"

Your vocabularies are exploding and I am amazed, amused, and always impressed by your words and even sentences. You both know your last name, so when we ask, what's your name, you each reply: Jane Sesser. Lucy Sesser. You like to call your daddy by his first name, but you know that something isn't quite right about that, so you get a mischevious look on your face when you say, Jeff... Jane, you've been running around the house half saying, half singing, "Mother knows best" because you girls LOVE the movie Tangled, and maybe also because I love to sing to you that mother knows best... Luce, a few of your favorite sentences right now are: "I can do it!" and "That's a hard one" whenever something you're trying to do is difficult.

You love to play hide and seek, love being outside (even when it's 100 + degrees), and love eating pizza. Especially if said pizza is covered in black olives.

We took a long weekend to go to Chicago and you got to meet some new friends. We stayed with Grace, and we had told you in advance that Grace has a dog named Starly. When we got in late Thursday night and went into the bedroom, Lucy, you clasped your hands together and got a great big grin on your face when you saw a stuffed animal puppy. "STARLY!", you giggled, and then hugged her for a good two minutes. You loved Katy's cat, Zorak, crawling all over Katy's bed and loving Zorak a little too much. You both still refer to him as tiny Zorak, even though, well, he's definitely not tiny. You got to meet and play with Madelyn, Abigail, and Amelia, my college roommate Deb's four-year-old triplets. And we went to Navy Pier, Garfield Observatory, and Shedd Aquarium. Oh, and you had your first oatmeal shakes from Irazu. Yum!

You girls are the best. Even when you insist on drinking your cereal.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No way, Jose!

I love summer. Heat, long days, fresh produce, and chlorine-soaked toddlers. I think you girls love it, too. The other night we went to the Fairway pool. It was your first visit to the public pool and my first visit in about a hundred years. And it was great fun. You were both in your swim diapers and little rashguard swimsuits. We started out in the toddler pool and you were both a little nervous. Didn't even want to walk around on your own at first. You were more comfortable when we moved to the big pool and you swam with us. It's fun to watch you kick those little legs. And Luce, you insisted that you wanted to go down the slide the entire time. Or, at least until we distracted you with drinking out of the water fountain. Don't worry - we did not let you go down the slide. Janey, you put your face in the water several times, and although you'd always look surprised when you came back up, you didn't fuss at all.

We've been having people over for dinner occasionally the past couple of weeks. It has been nice to be sociable and normal, but I've also been inviting people because I want it to be normal for you ladies for us to have company. After warming up, you've enjoyed playing with everyone so far. You like to run around in the backyard and take flowers to our guests, and if they're lucky, you show them the broccoli. Ah, you love that broccoli. You've been watching it grow for weeks, and now, when we're playing outside and you decide you need a little snack, you go over and pick off a piece and pop it in your mouth. I'm not even making this up. You girls love to eat fresh, raw broccoli grown in our very own backyard. What more could a mama ask?

Luce, apparently I've taught you to say "No way, Jose!" And now you say it ALL THE TIME. In response to everything. Before it was just a simple No. Now it's NO WAY, JOSE! Your other favorite thing to say right now is "Move it!". To me, to your sister, to the cat... You also like to request very specific foods that you'd like to eat. Pizza! Roll-up! Mac 'n cheese! Ganola! When I tell you that you already had a fruit roll up today, would you like something else, you say, Something else!

Jane, your favorite thing to talk about right now is TALL PUPPET MAN. That's right. We took you ladies to a kid's film Friday or something like that (we only made it through the concert and puppet time - the movie didn't start until after 9:00, and if I know anything about my ladies, it's that you like to be in bed well before 9). Anywho, there were lots of puppet-like things on long sticks that kids were playing with, and at first you were both absolutely terrified of TALL PUPPET MAN. In hindsight, it was probably a bit much for me to think we could just walk up to something over 6 feet tall with a billowing dress, all these kids dancing around it while it bobbed around. But after burying your face in my neck and recovering, you were curious, and eventually we made it over to TALL PUPPET MAN, and you started waving at him and even touched his tall puppet man hand. Now it's all you want to talk about. TALL PUPPET MAN this and TALL PUPPET MAN that.

I can hardly believe how grown you two seem at only 20 months. I love you two meatballs so much.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Melting my heart

Ladies. Last night after I put you in bed, a helicopter flew over the house and since your window was open, you both came undone (neither of you are loving loud noises right now and you both startle pretty easily). By the time I made it back up the stairs, you were both standing in your cribs sobbing. So I picked you up (yes, that's right - both of you) and sat down with you in the rocker. You each had a shoulder and nestled your sweet little sweaty bodies into me, facing each other. We rocked and sang for a bit, and then you both reached out and started holding hands and then began to softly giggle. I had to quit singing because of the lump in my throat. I love you little meatballs. I love watching you enjoy each other and become friends. And I love your sweaty little sleepy toddler bodies. I am so fortunate to be your mama.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


You girls crack me up. The phrases and words you say, and even more, the way you say them. Lucy, you say "come on" with an emphasis on the "on", and you always say it very forcefully. Like, get a move on, already! Also, you pretend to be a southerner and give it about two and a half syllables. "Come aowwwn". You call grasshoppers "hoppers", love saying "honeybee", and instead of hamburger, you say, "hangabur".

Janey, you are a climbing machine. Your favorite thing to climb right now is your highchair, which is pulled directly up to the kitchen table. No more trays, no more booster seats. I think you both feel like big kids when you sit at the table. Now, if only I could convince you that it's not fun to dump your milk, orange juice, and water all over the tablecloth... You love to sing and carry your baby around everywhere you go. Sometimes she sits on your lap while you sit on the toilet.

You girls had your first camping trip. Loved sleeping in our big tent. The rest of the weekend required me to drink a bottle of ready made margaritas. You ladies love to explore, which I adore and totally understand - I mean, you're one and a half. You want to check out the world. This meant that your daddy and I spent the weekend chasing you around trying to keep you out of the poison ivy, road, firepit, stream, and fish feeding pond things. I'll tell you right now that I would have had a full-blown nervous breakdown if not for your Uncle Todd and Aunt Emily who took over Saturday afternoon for ice cream, walks to feed the fish, and a nice long nap. I wouldn't change having the two of you for a bazillion dollars, but sometimes I'm envious of the relaxing that takes place with people who just have one kiddo.

You girls have moved into a different classroom at daycare, and you have taken the change must better than I anticipated. Your new room has cubbies for each of the kids with an 8 x 11 photo of you taped to the inside of it. Well, Lucy, Ms. Hattie noticed that you had your head inside your sister's cubbie and went over to investigate. You were kissing Jane's picture. You scream and yell and forcefully tell Jane to "move it" when she's touching you, on top of you, or even generally in your space. But apparently you do love your sister...

Jane, you love to jump all over the house. Both feet come off the ground now :) Last night, you also spent a good deal of time spinning in circles until you'd get dizzy, then you'd fall hard on your bum and laugh and laugh. Repeat. And both of you have a special monster walk that's pretty funny. You bend way over or squat down and lumber around while making faces.

You love to chase squirrels at the park. I never thought I'd get such a kick out of something that seems so... you know, hillbilly. Luce, you see one off in the distance, scream "get it", then both you and Jane take off running. You squeal the whole way, and neither of you give up until you're actually under the tree, looking up, squinting with your whole faces, as you watch that squirrel scramble for his life.

It's such a joy to get to watch the two of you love life. Thanks for making me smile, cry, laugh, and want to get up early in the morning to use our juicer so you can have fresh oj.

All my love,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day #2

Girls! Happy Mother's Day to you, the little ladies who have made me a mama. It was a gorgeous Sunday. We went for coffee and bagels (Jane, you like cinnamon raisin but are not interested in blueberry; Lucy, you like them both) and a trip to the park. We got there early enough that the playground was empty and that suited the two of you just fine. Jane, you were so giddy that you ran laps screaming, while you Luce, ran straight for the slide. You rode in your wagon, picked some flowers, saw some geese, and met a poodle. Jeff, thank you for the lovely Mother's Day. And thank you for your role in making me a mama :) Can you even believe we have daughters? We went to Nana and Pops' house for lunch and you guys got to run and play some more. AND, you almost sat still long enough for some pictures with me, your Nana and your Mimi. Four generations, Ladies.

So, Mother's Day is past, but while I'm writing there are a few things that I want to mention. Lucy, you woke up the other morning when I was already in your room. Truth be told, I had gone in there wanting to wake you both up as gently as possible, which means I open the curtains and make a little noise. It's less that I make noise and more that I don't try to be quiet. Anyway, you suddenly sat straight up in your bed, wild-eyed, wild-haired, and shouted, "Hippos!". I think you must have been dreaming about them. They were the most memorable part of your trip to the zoo with your dad the week before. When I asked if you dreamt of hippos, you announced, "Hippos. Drinking".

Jane, you are a reminder to me that I must say "Oh my" a lot around you girls. Because you say it a lot. And it's so contextually appropriate that it makes me laugh. The other day you got into a cabinet that I don't normally let you in, and you had a little time to explore and discover before I realized what you were doing. But I could hear you saying, "Oh. Oh my. Oh". It was the funniest thing. Also, you hum yourself to sleep in the car. You'll be jabbering and singing and then as soon as you start to hum, I know you're about to fall asleep, annnnnnnd, you're out.

You ladies love trains, airplanes, and helicopters - both the kind that fly in the sky, and the ones that come off of trees. Jane, when we walk, you like to collect things - most recently sticks. Lucy, you like to collect flowers. And you like the flowers so much that you often have a pollen mustache. It makes me want to gobble you up.

All my love,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hand, foot, who?

You know what is really NOT cool? Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Your first clue should be that this virus is actually called DISEASE. Which is awesome in it's ability to completely freak a parent out. Your second clue should be that one of the symptoms is blister-like eruptions, that's right, ERUPTIONS, in the mouth.

Girls. I am so sorry. I'm sorry for your dad and me because aye caramba, batman, you ladies are not feeling well. And in case you need reminding, there are TWO of you not feeling well. And really, I'm pretty sure that the ideal ratio is 3.5 well adults per 1 18 month old with HFMD. This means that I also feel sorry for your Nana, who watched you both yesterday All By Herself. But mostly, I feel sorry for you Jane and Lucy, because you have been miserable. Your fevers have been dreadful and have come with the chills. In the bath the other night, Jane, you started to turn purple. Your teeth were chattering, and I took you out and you sobbed until I got your warmest jammies on. I cuddled you with your favorite blanket and you just shivered and cried. Lucy, when you woke up the first night with your fever, you couldn't be consoled, so your dad brought you into our room with an armload of books and we read to you until you were more concerned about hungry Mr. Bear than your throat eruptions. The next day, all you wanted was to be read to. If there's anything to be happy about in this, it's that you love books. I just hope you don't associate them with being sick.

By now (posting time), you're both feeling better, but I'm posting this anyway just so you ladies don't get the idea someday when you go through and read these that life is always rosy. Sometimes it's full of disease and throat eruptions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A year and a half!

Still getting cuter. Girls, although you both speak pretty clearly, every now and then you'll have a word I don't understand. And so I start guessing. So maybe the word Jane says is "munchkin" but it sounds like muusomethingorother and I start in on the guessing. Monkey? Lucy, even though Jane was the one that said it, you're the one to let me know I'm wrong. NO. Money? NO. Music? NO. You're very patient with me, but by this point you're shaking your head fairly violently, and after the third guess, both of you are finished with me. Lucky for me, we have a big bottle of bubbles handy, so you generally still have faith that I'm a decent mama.

Luce, one of my favorite things you're doing these days is asking about being quiet. If Jane is sleeping, you touch your little index finger to your nose and say, "quiet?" I know that you've seen me put my index finger to my mouth and say, "shhh", and I love that your version of that is the nose touch. Also, you're walking all over the place now! I'm so proud of you, Meatball. We spent Easter with the Stroessners and I can't tell you how much I loved watching you and Jane run and play. Your ability to walk seems to have really increased your confidence and your willingness and excitement to explore.

Janey, your dad mentioned last night that you're the most free-spirited little kid he's ever seen. He's right. You're fearless and loving and sweet and always discovering and living to the fullest. On the not so great side, this seems to mean that we are completely unable to get you from throwing your food, your plate, your milk all over the place. It is completely mind-boggling to me that I can be supervising dinner time (or breakfast or lunch) the best that I can, but it only takes you a millisecond to hurl everything on the floor. Short of you being spoonfed for the rest of your life (which currently makes you scream), I don't know how to keep this from happening. I am hoping that this is a short-lived phase because frankly, I can't keep up with the ants that find your mess. On the great side, this means that you are one of the most delightful little people ever. I love that you race around, that you share with your sister, that you stand on your tiptoes to see the world that is just out of your flatfooted reach. I also love that you refer to yourself as Janey.

Girls, today you are 18 months old. You are still my babies, but you are so much more. You are my sweet, precious, funny, smart, loveable, sticky little meatballs. Happy year and a half.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Special thanks to Andrew Lloyd Weber

I am not a crazy musical loving person; I'm just a standard musical loving person. Meaning, I haven't seen a lot of them and frankly, I have no interest in some of them, but I do enjoy Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A lot. So, I occasionally break out into the theme song. Go, go, go Joseph...

And here's how that goes in our house:

Go, go, go Lucy, you know what they - and this is where I pause and Lucy screams "SAY!"
Go, go, go Janey, you'll make it some - another pause from me and Lucy screams "DAY!"
Sha, la, la Lucy, you're doing - and this is where Jane gets into it - "FINE!"
You and your dreams are ahead of their - both ladies now - "TIME!"

Donnie Osmond, I believe you have met your match. I mean matches.

Other things going on in your worlds:

Luce goose, you love to help wash your sister's hair. I get her lathered up, and you get a determined look on your face and start scrubbing her head earnestly. I haven't decided who I think is sweeter - you for wanting to wash Jane's hair, or Jane for putting up with it.

Janey bear, I couldn't have been more pleased and proud than today at lunch when all you wanted was roasted broccoli. Thank you sweetheart.

The two of you LOVE the park. As soon as you realize where we are, one or both of you start chattering about the slide, slide, SLIDE or the SWINGS! or the duck, duck, goose. It's adorable to put you at the top of one of the slides and watch that huge grin as you whoosh down. It's fun to watch you walk around the playground. It must be such an overload. Neither of you can decide if you want to try to play with another kid or climb something, or go straight for the sand pit. And, speaking of the sand pit, I do believe you ladies have achieved some kind of status in the kid world, because you were both recently asked by a little boy if you'd like to help dig a hole. You weren't interested. Turns out you were more interested in filling in said hole...

Couldn't love you more,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Janey and the bees

First, I'll go ahead and admit that bees have absolutely nothing to do with this post. But I like the sound of Janey and the bees. It's like a band waiting to happen.

It's finally warm enough to spend a little time outside, and wow, does that make you ladies happy. Jane, you run around in such a manner that I am starting to understand parents who have their kids on leashes. Yesterday after I got you guys home, we were out front playing and running and touching puppies and runnning and I think you get the running theme. It was funny to hear you panting. I made you hold my hand while you ran, both because I'm still a little concerned about the possibility of you knocking a couple of teeth out with a sidewalk faceplant and because I'd prefer you not run into the street. You did not want to hold my hand. At all. Not even a little bit. Ah, my sweet little independent Janey.

Getting to the main story. The crocuses are finally up! And open! And beautiful in all their purple glory! And you and Lucy were both pretty worked up about the FLOWERS! Flower! Flower! You like to squat down and touch them, and when I told you to smell them, you did. You shoved your little face down into that patch of flowers and maybe because they didn't actually smell, you kept shoving your face down closer and closer, until finally you lost your balance and ended up with your face in the dirt. But you didn't mind! You just jumped up, took off (with me chasing you), and started hollaring about the next thing...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lucy goosey

Luce, Here's one that cracks me up. One evening over the weekend, the four of us were upstairs playing in your bedroom. I left you and Janey with your daddy so I could get something on plates for you two to eat. Well, apparently you did NOT appreciate me leaving. I was already down the stairs when I heard you say, "Mom". I didn't reply. "Mama." Still didn't reply. "MOM". Finally, I incredulously listened to you shout "Shelly. SHELLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE". That is some funny stuff, Kid.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Oh Girls.

Where do I even begin? How about with our car ride the other morning when you were both singing with me?! Jane, you started to get fussy (as you are wont to do anytime you're in your carseat for longer than .75 seconds)so I quickly turned off NPR and turned it to one of your fun kid cds (your daddy thinks it's less fun, but that's a different story altogether). And you two got down to business. The business of singing along. You're pretty funny and particular when it comes to music. You certainly have preferences and we have to skip some songs because they make you hollar. Like the Muffin Man song. You guys are NOT fans of the Muffin Man. But the rest of the time, Lucy, you just sit back there sweetly and croon along, getting especially into it when there are any "la-las". And I'm pretty sure that sometimes you're both less than impressed with my singing along, so that's when you start to really belt it out. Who knew that my 15 month old kids would already be drowning me out? When we're in the house listening to music, you girls like to dance. Luce, you get this big smile on your whole face - eyes light up, eyebrows lift, and you start to wiggle. Janey, you've been known to shake your cute little bum or do your fake jump (this is when you're convinced you're jumping - squat down, push up fast, but the feet don't leave floor - well, occasionally the heels come up...).

We've recently had mountains of snow, and our neighbors built a giant snowman, complete with lei, crazy leaf hair, and button nose. The two of you have been SO intrigued by Mr. Snowman. We went over to take a close-up look the day he was built, and since then, the front door is one of your favorite stops as you pull back the curtain and yell, "snowman! snowman!". When he started to melt the other day (hurray for non-freezing temps!), you two seemed confused, sad, and then decided you needed a snack. Thank goodness for short attention spans.

Jane, you're such a sweet girl. And, I'm just going to say it. That surprises me. Because it seems contrary to your nature. You're a speed-demon, an adrenalin junky, a bulldozer. And you're a sweetheart. You plow right through, over, into your sister, and the next second, you bring her a cracker. Or her favorite frog. You race around the house, bare feet slapping the floor at a frantic pace, and you swing by me for a quick kiss.

Lucy, you have oodles of words, but you still won't say your name. Or at least not "Lucy". You have apparently decided to call yourself "Lulu". I hesitate to write that here because I'm definitely not committed to the idea of Lulu being your nickname so I don't want to encourage anyone else to call you that. Let's give it 6 months or so and see if that's what you're still calling yourself. In the meantime, it sure is sweet when I tell you to say Lucy, and you smile at me and announce Lulu.

Ladies, you love your body parts and naming them. Luce, you're most fascinated with your knees and your "baila". I always think you're wanting to dance when you first say that, which must mean that Sra. Schultz really did a good job of frightening the Spanish into me way back in high school, but then I quickly remember that you don't speak Spanish (that I know of), and you're actually talking about your belly. Jane, you recently called it your baby button, but the absolute funniest thing you've done to date was the other morning when you pressed that outie all the way in, smiled at me, and proudly announced "OFF!". You can turn lights on and off, why wouldn't you be able to do the same with your baby button? Good thinking, kiddo.

If it's possible (I write "if" because I'm honestly not certain), you two are becoming more fun, more yourselves, more lovely by the day. And each evening, when I check in on you before I go to bed, my heart does a double beat, and I think, no, there's no way you can get any better. And then you do!

All my love,

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 2011

Things Jeff and I are learning:

*Lucy, you really like to be naked from the waist down. You have been known to strip off your socks, pants, and diaper in record time when you're supposed to be napping. So far, no dirties...

*Outie belly buttons should be gently finagled inside out more often than once every 14 months to clean out debris. Jane, I don't know what you were storing in there, but seriously. Seriously.

*Our girls have minds of their own. This is a good thing, sure, but I'm surprised by how quickly it has happened. Por ejemplo, if I had a say in it, they would both be delighted to see (and eat) the next homemade (and delicious and relatively healthy) thing we put on their plates. As it turns out, that is actually not at all what happens. Generally, there is a decent amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth (or gums in Lucy's case), and more often than not, the kitchen ends up looking like a small junior high food fight took place. My other example is about books. We have some really lovely little kid books. Funny ones even. With great pictures. What does Jane want to read? What does Jane pitch a fit about if you try to take it from her? What does Jane cart around with her while she's wandering from room to room upstairs? Tony Robbins. Don't tell me it's a coincidence that this kid's book of choice is "Awaken the Giant Within".

*Sometimes, a little distance between cribs is necessary to prevent one sister from trying to bite off another sister's finger.

*It's hard not to cheer a little when there are stair races going on.

*It doesn't matter how many times we vacuum, sweep, or pick up. We will forever be cruching cheerios under our feet.

AND, my most recent life lesson: I'm going to try really hard to stop judging parents from Johnson County whose kids wear Uggs. Perhaps their grandparents gave them to the kids for Christmas. Perhaps it makes the kids really happy to wear them when they fight their mom about putting on any other pair of shoes. Perhaps they're deliciously warm and cozy and look crazy cute.