After a few days of behavioral training, Audrey finally answered, “Two!” when asked her age, instead of the “Tirteen!” that so frightened us the first time.


Next up : Get her to stop riding her scooter through the house saying, “Diving a cahhh.”


We scheduled her birthday party during naptime, because why not ramp up the excitement? She had a crazy good time. So did I. I had no idea how much fun it would be to see a bunch of new toys and books I get to play with too. And how excited I would be to surprise her with something awesome. I realized on Halloween this year that we had hit the age where the magic lives. That discovery of the world and all the good stuff in it, and the vicarious thrill we parents get experiencing it with her, like a contact high.

Like the absolute awe when she saw her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cake.




And every amazing new toy we had to drag her away from to open another gift.


From my cold, dead hands, lady.


And so many of the people she loves in one place, all there for her. Aw, it makes me misty. Dang, we’re so lucky.




posted under Audrey | Comments Off on TWO!!!

7 Things about Me


These lists of Things You May Not Know about Me are going around on Facebook now, but I’m putting mine here because, hey! Free blog material.


1. I got called to the principal’s office twice in elementary school. Once for writing on the bus seat (Tim told me to) and once for punching a girl on the bus (couldn’t even remember why by the time she walked up the aisle, but remembered I owed her one, so did it anyway).


Bring it.


2. My mom grew up without her mom and my dad grew up without his dad. I’ve had them both, together, my whole life and I feel really lucky.

3. I’ve written three plays for young people that are absolutely silly and are absolutely my pride and joy. As are the wonderful actors who brought them to life. Those shows were among the most joyful experiences I’ve had.

4. I read a lot about Judaism during my college years and fell totally in love. I really thought I might convert someday. Then I realized everything I loved about it related to family, and without a Jewish family, I’d be missing the point AND creating distance from the family I have. Which really doesn’t fly in Judaism. So, Jewishly, I really shouldn’t be Jewish.

5. I birthed my kid without drugs.


This is how I felt about it.


6. I was in a student movie in Omaha in which I played a mutant-slaying pizza delivery girl.

7. My husband is a big part of the reason Christianity started to make sense to me again, and he has no idea. I didn’t know what the pull was either at the time. The story doesn’t seem logical at all. But years ago I found myself living in a hell of my own creation, from which I was somehow pulled out, and given the hope to expect and accept an amazing life I didn’t deserve. It’s simplistic but, I tell you, it helps to have lived the the formula in microcosm.


So there you go. I feel like I should have written something funnier, but this is what came to me this morning.

posted under Audrey, God, husband | 4 Comments »

Second Birthday Wisdom


Last year, I wrote a post on Facebook saying I had been a mother for a whole year and now knew absolutely everything about parenting, and then proceeded to list it all. Thank you for putting up with that. So.

I’ve been a mother for two whole years now, so I totally know everything about raising kids. Here’s what I’ve learned the last year:


1. You can baby-proof a house, but you cannot toddler-proof it.

2. The only way to get my child to do something she doesn’t want to is to say, “Mommy do it or Audrey do it?” Suddenly she is gung-ho to take on any challenge. “AUDEE DO IT!” I do not look forward to the day this stops working.

3. I’m guessing sweeping will also cease to be fun for her once she’s actually of any use at it.

4. The American Academy of Pediatrics may say children under 2 shouldn’t have any screen time, but Sesame Street is the perfect time to go to the kitchen and sneak all the junk food you don’t really want your kids to have. TV – the healthier choice! Also:

5. Find what they love and use it to bend them to your will. “Sure, we can watch Elmo! We just need to pick up books first.” Watch how fast your living room gets clean.

6. I just found out how to take a shower! Toddler in her mostly child-proofed bedroom, with door anchored open but gate shut, with a Super Why app on Mommy’s Kindle. Mommy in bathroom three feet away with door open, and nothing fancy like shaving. Tried it once so far, and there were no injuries. Breakthrough?!?!?

7. Having a best friend whose kid is your kid’s best friend will SAVE YOUR SOUL.

8. Don’t give that baby your phone unless you want her to create a Twitter account or text your ex-boyfriend. Kids these days are born knowing how to do this stuff.

9. It’s totally okay to ask God for a sign as to how you should deal with your toddler’s stupid sleep, but if that’s immediately followed by your child having a sudden, terrifying, barky cough that freaks you out so much you spend the night in bed with her so she doesn’t die, and then you all end up getting the best sleep of your life and the cough disappears after you get up the next morning, well then, what are you going to do about that, because GOD.

10. And you really don’t regret lying with her until she falls asleep when you get some sloppy, wet kisses out of the deal.

11. When Aud was born, I had an intense bond to her, but not what you would commonly call “love.” I fell in love with her as I started to see tiny bits of her personality emerging. Well, she’s got a lot of personality now. As she becomes ever more herself, my love for her just gets crazy. Crazy big, crazy joyous, crazy I-would-boil-a-bunny-for-her-if-I-needed-to.


12. On the flip side, her more difficult days make me love the husband a lot more, I tell ya.

13. Turning two means this is the last chance to let a lot of stuff slide. This year the kid really won’t have an opinion on her birthday party or, you know, even notice if her lousy parents get her any presents or not.  (I mean, REALLY, the grandparents have that covered pretty damn well already.) She doesn’t know that anyone other than those two friends you picked could have attended. She can’t stop you from ordering another literary-themed cake, as she doesn’t know Elmo cakes can be made. But I don’t feel too bad half-assing her party. Audrey’s second birthday won’t be the impressive affair Suri Cruise’s $100,000 second birthday was 5 years ago, but Audrey’s dad ain’t Tom Cruise, so I think Aud wins.


Pasta and Profundities


So last night was our anniversary, and we celebrated in the most exciting way we could imagine: going to dinner at a restaurant without a toddler. The truth is, I’m not even being funny. It was a great thrill for me. Thanks to gifts from my parents and sister-in-law (and babysitting by Grams) we got crazy at the Olive Garden, ordering enough food to feed six people.

You know, yesterday, how I told you all that good stuff about Andy? Yeah. I have it easy. The hard part for me is to stop and check on what kind of wife he has every so often. See, I’m a decent enough person, but it doesn’t come as naturally to me as to Andy. I need reminders sometime. The good thing is that I was smart enough to put the best lesson into our wedding ceremony. I just need to hear it every day. So here is my favorite prayer. It’s attributed to Saint Francis, though it didn’t appear in history until 1912 in France (a cool surprise at our wedding was that my beautiful friend that read it followed it with the French version). We may not be able to remember exactly how our vows went but we always have this!


Lord, make me a channel of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


posted under God, husband, wisdom | Comments Off on Pasta and Profundities

Third Anniversary


A Joyous Leather Anniversary (Leather? Whaa?) to the man who:


Finds me stunning in jeans and a t-shirt, because thank GOD it’s not pajamas.

Works full time plus overtime every week to keep us alive, but lets me complain about the one day I work without judging me.

Has cleaned up my puke a lot of times.

Really sees other people. He will often offer to help someone with a need I never noticed.

Is full of such a variety and quantity of information it has to hurt his brain.

Is kind, patient, respectful, and hilarious with his little girl, who rightly adores him with a passion.

Has the most entertaining, well-plotted dreams at night.

Can talk rationally and respectfully about touchy topics, which, what? Who does that?

Plays Punchbuggy with me.

Can do a perfect Elmo voice.

Is with me in not quite remembering what we vowed each other, but totally willing to live up to it anyway.

Is seriously gorgeous. Check it.


Is just super, super easy to be married to.


Wanna do three more, baby?

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