Mama Says RAWR

I took my vehicle to the dealership yesterday because of a recall notice. A recall notice on a part that is defective enough to apparently cause my airbag to deploy for no reason.

Me: I’m here because of a recall notice *holding recall notice in my hand and showing it to him* and needing to get a part replaced for it.

Service Guy: Did you READ the recall notice?

Me: Um, not carefully…Jeep sent it out to me because I called them for something unrelated and they talked to me extensively about the recall and what to do. And I also talked extensively to someone here in your service department so I knew to bring it here and that you guys would take a look at it for me.

Service Guy: Well, this is a fairly new recall. The parts don’t even exist yet. They’re manufacturing them right now and we probably won’t even have that part for another month. So come back then.

Me: Oh. Well….should I be worried about driving for another month without getting that part replaced? (look of sincere concern)….

Service Guy: Well (condescending tone)….let me ask you a question. What year is the Jeep?

Me: 2003

Service Guy: And how long have you owned the vehicle?

Me: A little over a year.

Service Guy: Has the airbag accidentally deployed in that time? (now seriously, I am not exaggerating, he had SUCH a smarmy smart-ass tone in his voice, where I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least if he had added, “Lookee here, little lady!” to his speech.)

Me: LOOK…I drive around a ONE YEAR OLD BABY in that car. The recall is for a reason and that reason is that the airbag can spontaneously deploy for NO REASON. I don’t think there’s any reason to poo poo my concern!

Service Guy: (I forget what he said after that, but he definitely back tracked and started making all nicey nicey, and the waiting room of customers sitting right there definitely had at least 5-6 people listening to my discussion.)

Result? I will be driving around a potential airbag bomb of a Jeep for at least another month. Now, I am sure there will be no problem, but the moral of the story is this: If anything happens to me, I want you all to sue Jeep for millions.

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20 Months

Jack,

This past month has been a whirlwind, really, but a delightful one. You are full of energy and hugs and kisses.

You have learned to say “mine” “light” and “nose.” You are reluctantly saying “Mama” occasionally, but only when I prompt you to do so.

 

Love, Mommy

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Opposite of Super Mom

When I was about five months pregnant, we started getting Jack’s room ready. Everyone kept asking me what theme we were using for the nursery.

“Um…we painted it blue.”

So, yeah, no theme. That takes so much planning, you know. And effort. And coordination. So, we painted it blue, put down an area rug and set up a crib. Voila! Nursery!

I never progressed too far past that time period, and that room is currently a state of chaos. Jack isn’t allowed to be in there unsupervised, because it’s just so…messy. Empty diaper boxes stacked two or three high, waiting to be filled with outgrown clothing, or at least broken down and put out in the recycling. Stacks of too-big clothing in the corner, waiting to be worn. A couch that is a catch all for all sorts of things and the top of the dresser is crammed full of a humidifier, video monitor, gift bags full of sentimental items I need to transfer to the “KEEP THIS FOREVER BECAUSE IT GIVES ME MUSHY FEELINGS” box. In other words, that room is a complete wreck. I finally hung up a baby blanket that was given to us, but the other artwork I purchased is still laying on the catch-all couch.

In October, leading up to Halloween, several people asked me if I was taking Jack trick-or-treating. Ummm…no. It never even occurred to me to take a 15-month-old to do something he wouldn’t understand to get a bunch of candy he couldn’t have and oh, yeah, that doesn’t sound like any fun AT ALL. I did buy an overpriced costume and took him into the office to basically show off how cute he was, and predictably he couldn’t care less about the candy that was offered to him by people, instead preferring to just run around like a maniac. So, that’s what we did for Halloween.

For Christmas, we didn’t visit a mall Santa or have any official Christmas pictures taken. We didn’t do Christmas cards and mail them off, showing off our family (and our adorable 18 month old.) I noticed a stack of them that had been given to the daycare provider when I was there and guiltily admitted that “We don’t do Christmas cards.” For no reason other than I am immensely lazy.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. No biggie, that’s kind of a throw-away holiday anyway, right? Even Jason and I barely celebrate that one, usually begging off the whole present-buying part because HELLO! Christmas was just a few days ago, right?

Anyway.

When I got to daycare, I realized all the rest of the kids were wearing red or pink or hearts and whatnot. I looked down at Jack in his blue and white dinosaur shirt. Oh well, he doesn’t know the difference anyway, I thought. When I returned at the end of the day to retrieve him, there was a Valentine’s bag with his name on it ready to go home with him. The daycare lady helped Jack pull out a new Hot Wheels toy from his bag from them, which was so nice you guys. She helped him get it out of the package and I let him play with it all the way home in the car. I set the bag on the counter and didn’t look at the contents because play/dinner/bath/clean kitchen/pack lunch/play/bedtime/zzzzz.

 

Today, while cleaning up the kitchen, I looked in the bag and discovered a few treats she’d put in there, but ALSO there were Valentine’s cards to Jack from all the other kids. Some with treats attached.

*OMG*

I feel like such a jackass.

I solemnly swear to do better from now on. And maybe get the nursery big kid room cleaned up and decorated one of these days.

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Rock & Roll

Jason and I are homebodies. Even before we had Jack, we tended to spend most of our free time at home, by ourselves. I know other parents who seem to constantly be at the bouncy houses, the zoo, the aquarium, playgrounds, Chuck E Cheese, etc etc and oh my god I’m exhausted just writing that list. Not that we don’t play with Jack…we do. We’re just not “organized outing” sort of people. I haven’t travelled any considerable distance with Jack, not really beyond the 100 mile drive to my parents house. It makes the hair on my arms stand on end to think about flying with him. I know other parents do it and that it’s probably not impossible…it just sounds, well, terrible.

So then.

We’d gotten an invite to attend a 2-year-old’s birthday by attending a kids’ concert at the Vera Project. Predictably, I fretted during the days leading up to the event like the worrier I am. Would I get parking close by? What if it rained and I had to walk in the rain? Should I bring the stroller? No? Yes? No? No, yes, I should definitely bring the stroller…no, too much to deal with, I’ll leave it at home…but WHAT IF I NEEEED IT?

In the end, I was able to park at Jason’s workplace next to the Space Needle, it didn’t rain, I brought the stroller (OH MY GOD, I AM SO GLAD,) the concert was adorable and Jack loved running all over outside in the nice weather.

I did learn, however, that when presented with a pond, Jack will without hesitation run full on into it without pausing for even a moment. I just don’t think he realized what it was. He looked as shocked as I did. I was standing right there, ready to show him the water line and to not go in, but he just…was so fast. Luckily, he just went in up to his knees and stopped, looking back at me with his mouth hanging open. And especially luckily, he wasn’t so far in that I had to go in after him, getting my own shoes wet.

Regardless, it was a delightful day. And I’m so glad we did it.

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All Alone

Jason got a call from work about 2 minutes before kickoff yesterday.

“Ugh! Why is work calling during the SUPERBOWL???”

Turns out, he had to leave the next morning for L.A. For the week. THE WHOLE WEEK.

I hate when Jason has to travel. I always did, even before we had Jack. Now that we have Jack, I can’t distract myself to the fullest to keep from being lonely. So it’s even worse. I react as if he was shipping out on his 3rd tour in Afghanistan. Which he’s NOT THANK GOD. It’s just…I’m kind of dramatic.

It made the rest of Superbowl Sunday kind of sad. And that night was sad. And this morning was sad leading up to the time to drive him to the airport.

Last night, I didn’t get to picking up Jack from his aunt’s house until about 8:30pm, later than intended (stupid Superbowl power outage for half an hour! Curses!) Which means I didn’t get back to the house until a little after 9:00. Just enough time to get jammies on, a night-night diaper and a bottle.

Jason asked if he could do the nighttime bottle, which is typically something that I do. Selfishly, I never offer for Jason to do it. I really like my nighttime cuddle and bottle with Jack. We’re on the older end of giving him a bottle, and we’re just down to the one a day. And I feel like I do it mostly for myself. Because I like that time so much. But of course, I told Jason to give him the bottle.

He made the observation that the bottle is my special time with Jack. And that his special time is roughhousing, wrestling, playing hard. Which is true. It may be gender-specific, or old-fashioned, but that’s just how it is. It doesn’t mean the two of us don’t switch up roles now and then. But I tend to be the worry-wart Mommy that thinks everything needs to be cut in at least HALF the size Jason thinks. And Jason is the easygoing Daddy that will do wagon rides for half an hour before he gets tired of it.

Jack and I dropped him off at the airport late this morning. I got a kiss and hug and he opened up the back door to give Jack a kiss and hug as well. I know he’s going to miss us. Jack was fairly disinterested, as he’s still too little yet to comprehend that Daddy is going to be gone for several days. He doesn’t know he’s going to be missing out on as many wagon rides and smoke-detector BEEPS and wrestling and…all the fun stuff Daddy is all about.

And I’m glad. I’m glad he doesn’t know and isn’t sad. Because I’m sad enough for both of us.

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Say It!

Last night in the car on the way home:

Me: Jack, can you say Mama?

Jack: No, Dada!

Me: Maaaaaaaaama!

Jack: Daddy!

Me: Can you say Elizabeth?

Jack: Ellabeff!

Me: Are you freaking kidding me?

Also, fun time in the Jeep, for your viewing pleasure. On our way to Christmas:

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2012

I’m a little behind on this, but would like to keep going with the tradition.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Celebrated the first birthday of my child, watched all nine Academy Award nominated movies, went to the horse racetrack…all in all, a pretty low-key year.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?



Well, let’s see!?

My resolutions for 2012:

  • Stop biting my nails. Again. – Nope, still biting and getting smacked by Jason for doing it.
  • Be a nicer person. – Ummm, probably not.
  • Make more friends that have kids. – I finally realized that having more friends with kids won’t make me be more social. Friends with kids are even that much harder to make plans with, actually. I did start spending maybe a little more time with them, but didn’t strive to go out and make new friends. I really like the friends I already have.
  • Figure out banking/mortgage/finances. This all stems from having way too many bank accounts with automatic payments coming from multiple of them. Our paychecks go to separate accounts and it’s all chaotic. Also, I want to close our accounts with Chase. Blerg. – Uh, again, didn’t really get this all cleaned up. Maybe in 2013?
  • Lose weight. Duh. I don’t have to get “skinny” or anything, but I currently fit into one pair of jeans (pre-pregnancy jeans, yay!) that look good on me, but fit a little strangely since Jack came. I refuse to buy bigger pants. – Well, I bought bigger pants. Shut up.
  • Watch less TV. This is happening naturally anyway because of the baby, but I want to continue eliminating TV that I just don’t enjoy that much. I don’t HAVE to watch shows until they are cancelled just because I started watching it at one point in time. - I think I have done well at ditching the shows I wasn’t super crazy about, but I don’t think I spend less time overall watching less TV.
  • Actually start some of the craft projects I bought ALL the supplies for and then never even tried. Seriously. – Nope. Maybe when Jack is 18?

I actually do like making resolutions. Sometimes they really do stick with me. Sometimes not. But it doesn’t hurt anything to aim high and hopefully get at least halfway there.

Resolutions for 2013:

Stop smoking. Again.

Use my Paid-Time-Off more consistently. I lost PTO at the end of 2012 because I hadn’t taken it all. AND THAT IS JUST RIDICULOUS. I get a crazy amount of PTO at my awesome company and I just have to realize that I need to take some of those days mid-week, alone. Jason can’t be there for all of it, because I just have too many days. And that’s not a bad thing, I just need to take advantage of it.

Spend more time with our parents/Jack’s grandparents.

Host more social events at our house. We’ve done a pretty good job of being social lately, I’d like to keep that going with making sure Jason and I both get time out of the house, away from being a “parent” solo, but also making sure we’re inviting friends/family over more often to visit.

Spending more time alone with Jason. I feel like we do terribly in this area. We’ve gotten to do a couple things in the last couple of months and it always reminds me that we need to do it more consistently.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?



A couple of co-workers did. But I’m really waiting for someone close enough to me that I can go to the hospital like THE NEXT DAY at least, and snuggle on their fresh newborn.

4. Did anyone close to you die?



No, I’m happy to have had a death free year. 2011 was rough.

5. What countries did you visit?



Ummm….none.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?



More Sonja time. And more Sonja and Jason time.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 24th, when Jack had a seizure and is the single scariest moment of my entire life. December 24th and 25th – the first Xmas for Jack that he truly participated, opened his own presents and saw Santa Clause. It was awesome.



8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?



Man, I feel like I didn’t really do much this year. Just work, home, dinner, diaper changing, bed, rinse repeat. I guess if I’m going to get all mushy about it, I do feel like last year was much easier than the year before. Once Jack was 6-7 months old, we kind of starting getting into the swing of things, established routines, started feeling more comfortable as parents. We got out of the house by ourselves a couple of times, Jack had his first overnight stay somewhere other than our house. I came to the realization that my stress levels are MY fault. Being able to let go of things that don’t matter and making sure that I take some time for myself is crucial. I felt like I started getting the hang of it late in autumn and it’s something I want to continue doing.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Again, I don’t think I particularly failed at anything, but I guess I’d say not getting things more organized/under control so that I can relax about those things. We have finances to straighten out, a house to clean, a basement to organize, papers to file…and that stuff just seems to keep piling up and never goes away. The lingering thought of taking care of business is enough to keep me at a fairly medium stress level, so I really need to just get off my butt and start crossing things off a list. Or something.



10. Did you suffer illness or injury?



Mostly just kennel cough, picked up from daycare. The last couple of months have been the worst, with both Jack and myself being on again/off again (mostly on again) sick with a cough and runny nose. Jason has been blissfully healthy, thank goodness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?



My first reaction is to talk about my boots, which I love. And were expensive (for me) and I love them. I love them. But also, around Xmas time, we finally bought two new couches to replace the hideous ones that I hated ever so much. They aren’t the world’s fanciest couches, but are light years better than the ones I had. So I’m super grateful.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?



My sister-in-law, Jessica, has taken Jack for us lots of times and always does so with an air of “Yes! I’m so excited!” for which I think she is super crazy, but I am eternally grateful. Jason and I have been able to take a little time for ourselves, which is crucial to our mental health. Thanks, Jessica!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?



Both of the extreme sides of politics. I have no patience for either end, extreme left or extreme right. Why can’t we just get along? Or at least take two seconds to hear the other side and try to understand where they’re coming from. God, I’m glad the election year is over.

14. Where did most of your money go?



Mortgage, daycare, blerg.

15. What did you get really excited about?


The time off we were able to take by ourselves. Raft Club, Girls Weekend, New Year’s weekend…ahh, blissful.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

I don’t listen to a ton of music these days, but I guess I’d say Call Me, Maybe because it’s freaking everywhere.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? Much happier. Looking back, I think I was a little depressed at this time last year. I’ve gotten better at parenting, more USED to it, and that helps a lot. Plus, I get WAY more sleep these days than I did the year before.

– thinner or fatter? About the same? I think?

– richer or poorer? Probably a little richer. We didn’t make any major purchases this year and we both worked a full year, as compared to the year before when I was on maternity leave for 5 months.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?



Spend time with Jason. I’m becoming a broken record about this.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?



Worrying.

20. How did you spend Christmas?



Christmas Eve at my house with my in-laws. Christmas Day at my parents house with my side of the family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?



I continued to love those I already was in love with.

22. What was your favorite TV program?



Breaking Bad was by far my favorite, but some others include: American Horror Story, Downton Abbey, Modern Family, Catfish, Walking Dead.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?



I’m definitely disappointed in some of the people in my life these days…but I’m trying to be a nicer person lately, or at the very least, trying to let go of some things that have been bothering me, at least for the sake of being more peaceful with myself. (Word for word what I wrote last year…let’s continue this. I’ve let go of people that I needed to let go of. I have less patience for people than I used to.)

24. What was the best book you read?

I spent a lot of the year reading the Game of Thrones series, which I both loved and came to grow a little weary of toward the end, because each book is SO freaking long. Other awesome reads included Secretariat, No Easy Day, Flight Behavior, Bossypants and The Book Thief.


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


I pretty much don’t know anything about new music since approximately 2006.

26. What did you want and get?

I got to have the privilege of going back to work and having that for myself. It doesn’t work for everyone, I know some great stay-at-home Mom’s, but it just wasn’t for me. I love my job and company and feel really lucky to be able to have both.
27. What did you want and not get?
Man, I can’t think of anything that I wanted and didn’t get. Except maybe a winning lottery ticket?
28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t go to the theatre often, but I did recently see Zero Dark Thirty and was blown away.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?


I turned 36 this year. For the life of me, I can’t remember what I did.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?



Maybe if all my friends lived on my street. (This was my answer last year, and it still stands true today :)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?



Stretchy?

32. What kept you sane?



Having a great husband that lets me get out of the house when I need to. Which culminated in a four-day Girls Weekend I took in December. It was heavenly.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I wouldn’t say I “fancy” them – but the political figures of 2012 were the most intriguing. From the calm, cool and collected to the downright idiots who probably drive their PR people nuts.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?



I would say I’m most stirred by the gun control debate, although I haven’t addressed it specifically in my Facebook feed or here. I mostly am just really really sad about December’s tragedy at Sandy Hook and I try to put myself in their place, which I can’t. I turned to Jason the other night and told him if something like that happened to Jack, well…I’d be…done. I’d probably have to just be locked up in the insane asylum. I don’t know how those parents do it, go on, live their life. I’m incredibly proud of them for what they have to deal with. I’m not sure I’d be strong enough.

35. Who did you miss?



I miss Sara every day. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. I didn’t realize that this would go on for so long…that I’d forget, see someone that looks like her and actually think it’s her, for one split second. Or that I’d think of something I needed to tell her about. It’s just…unrelenting, this missing of her.

36. Who was the best new person you met?



Oh man, I’m not sure I met anyone new this year? That’s just…sad.


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.



I own my own feelings, my own frustrations, my own resentments. I am in charge of how much time I get to have to myself, whether I get to go out for a drink, a movie or take a weekend away. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I have control over my own feelings.

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18 Months/Merry Xmas!/Resolutions/19 Months

One of my resolutions was to blog more. Clearly, this isn’t going well since I have not posted in TWO WHOLE MONTHS. Sorry, Jack. It’s not that you haven’t been doing cute things, taking adorable pictures, passing month-days that I’m supposed to be documenting. You are as cute, adorable and genius as always, Mama is just very lazy.

Speaking of which, when are you going to start saying “mama?” Hmm? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that you are purposely not saying it.

Me: “Jack, can you say blankie?”

Jack: “Bankie?”

Me: “Jack, do you want to eat?”

Jack: “Eeeeeeet?”

Me: “Can you say Mama?”

Jack: “………DADA! Daddddddy! Dada, dada, dada!”

Me: “No, Mama! Maaaaaaaaama!”

Jack: “No, Daaaaada, Daddy!”

See? You’re evil.

 

 

 

 

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Seventeen Months

Well…I don’t think I’ve ever not posted anything in between the monthly letters, but this month marks the first time it’s happened. I’m just surprised it took this long.

Jack,

This month your Dada or I remark almost daily about how BIG you are. How TALL you are. What a REAL KID you’re being. You seem to have suddenly sprouted up and also consider yourself a Big Kid, too. Nothing makes you more proud than when you climb up into one of the dining room chairs, or your own chair, or the desk chair, or the recliner…all by yourself. You then sit there looking smug and all, “Look at me! I’m a big kid!” and I’m all :WAAA! What happened to my baby???!!!” Just kidding, you’re pretty darn cute and I feel a swell of pride all the darn time about the little things like lookatmykidthatjustclimbedintoachairisn’theaGENIUS????

 You’ve also recently gotten really attached to your blankies. Thank god, not one blankie in particular, but all your blankies. The first thing I do when I open your bedroom door in the morning and you blink your eyes awake is to sit up and gather your two blankies up, clinging to them so you can take them with you when I lift you out of bed. One of your favorite games is to put one over your head like a ghost and walk around blind, giggling the whole time. You walk into walls or fall into your toybox and still you think it’s hysterical. It’s not as funny when you cry because you can’t hold your blankies while you’re eating in your highchair.

 And, oh, you are getting a little clingy in the mornings when I drop you off at daycare. There are at least 3 or 4 different times I try to put you down and encourage you to go play with your friends and you reach back up for me and I’m a sucker and pick you back up for snuggles every single time. Until you are ready, I will always pick you up. And then finally you are ready and you happy munch your breakfast or run over to a friend and begin your day. And you seem to be more interested in when I come to pick you up at the end of the day instead of kicking and thrashing because NOW YOU LOVE DAYCARE LADY more than me. Secretly, I’m happy when you smile and reach up to me because Mommy’s here to pick you up! Yay!

 You continue to ask the question, “This?” a LOT. “This?” “That’s the phone…phone…PHONE…that’s the PHONE,” I repeat over and over for you. “This?” you ask again, pointing at something completely different. “Toy! That’s a TOY! Say TOY Jack!” “This?” Again…pointing at the phone. And it starts all over again.

I just…love you so darn much. Even when you’re being naughty, looking me straight in the eye as you (yet again) drop a piece of food over the edge of your highchair tray.

Love,

Mommy

 

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Sixteen Months

Let’s see, five days late with this post this time. Apparently this is a trend. So I’m going to focus this post on our “routine” or what most closely approximates a routine in our house. Just recently I said to Jason (and I hope I’m not jinxing myself here) that I felt like lately, in the last couple of months, we’re getting good at settling into a routine and that it almost feels like finally, we have a handle on this whole parenting business. Not that we know what we’re doing, or that we know what we’re doing as parents…but that we finally have a bit of a pattern going that works for us. So here’s a glimpse into a typical weekday with you, Jack.

7:00am – Daddy is done with his shower, and as he’s dressing, I jump in to take my own shower before you wake up.

7:30-8:00am – More often than not, I have to wake you up to get you going in the morning. That’s right, you’re a good sleeper. If you do wake up on your own, this is typically the time window you start making noise.

8:00am-8:15am Diaper change, get dressed. This is typically the easiest time of the day to change your diaper or get you dressed. Luckily you are still sleepy and cartoons are an easy distraction for you while you (generally) lie there quietly letting me do my thing. The rest of the day’s diaper changing involves wrestling you like an alligator and having you run away from me as I am trying to get you into your jacket.

8:30-9:00 We usually arrive at daycare around this time. Lately you’ve been wanting me to hold you for a little bit after we get there and you aren’t quite yet ready to get down and go play with the others. This is a bit of a recent change, whereas before, you were gone in a flash and happily left me in the dust. Your first order of business is breakfast, because I am too lazy to feed you at home and pack your breakfast to eat there. You finally decided you like eggs, so you generally get a selection of something between eggs, sausage, waffles and toast.

9:00pm – By this time, you are done with your bottle and I carry you to your room and put you in bed. You never fall asleep on me anymore, but are always wide awake when I put you down. And you always (geez, knock on wood) contentedly roll over and snuggle with your blankie, close your eyes and go to sleep.

Jack, every day with you is a treasure. I know that sounds incredibly sappy, but you are so independent yet still  loving, you are developing a real sense of humor, your vocabulary is ever expanding and you and your Dad are the best parts of my life.

I love you millions,

Mommy

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