Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

And Then She Was Seven

(Just catching up on some posts I've had sitting in my "drafts" folder. I often find myself starting a post way too late at night, and shortly into it realize that I'm simply too tired to finish it... or to make it clever or funny or remotely interesting for people to read! Suddenly, 3 months have passed and it's still staring at me from "drafts." I'm determined to hit "post" on this one tonight!)

* * * * *

In November, Dora and Boots helped us celebrate Rylee's birthday!

Family members did well choosing gifts --

Rylee's V. Reader (electronic toy by V.Tech), is a favorite now...

and, as you know from this post, you can't go wrong with a baby doll that crawls right to ya!

There were smiles and posing (and secret licks of the frosting on the edge of the cake during photos.)

Candles were blown out...

And then she was seven.
* * * * *

This part alternately titled: "Four Friends.. and a Little Brother"

Turning seven calls for more than just a family celebration, so Rylee invited 4 girlfriends from 1st grade to join her at the Dance Studio (where she takes Adaptive Dance) for a "Friend Party!"

The girls (and little brother) twirled and leapt and spun and hopped and twirled some more... and with the help of Miss Meghan, they learned a little choreographed routine to a cute song from the movie The Princess and the Frog.

Then, the girls dressed up for their "final performance." And though their dresses were all the same, they all showed off their individuality -- socks or no socks, pants or no pants, tiara or no tiara.

And after the final bow, the dresses and butterfly wings were carefully hung back on their hangers... and the girls (and little brother) dashed into the other room where balloons and cake and ice cream and presents waited.

The girls (and little brother) sang "Happy Birthday," off key and with an additional verse that I never knew existed.

Candles were blown out...

And then she was seven.

Wordless Wednesday (Irresistible)


I love it when we're playing Hide-and-Seek, and he counts, "One... two... three... four... five... six... seven... eight... nine... ten... eleventeen... twelveteen... thirteen....."

I love it when we're in the car and I spontaneously hear, "Mom? I love you."

I love when I pull up to school to drop her off, she has several friends who spot our car and run up to the sidewalk, saying "Rylee! Rylee!" and give her hugs when she gets out.

I love when she draws me pictures and gives them to me... and then takes them back and tells me she changed her mind and they're really for Dad.

I love when he and I are at Wal-mart and he asks for a sticker from the nice lady at the door... he always asks if he can have another one to give Rylee when she comes home from school.

I love it when he tries to look mad, but can't keep a smile from sneaking onto his face.

I love it when we play Hide-and-Seek and I say, "Hmmm... I wonder where Rylee is!" as I'm looking... and she shouts, "Mom! I'm here in the closet!"

I love it when we're at the store and she tells all the people in the aisle we're in what we're shopping for.

I love when he watches Go, Diego, Go! and then spends the next few hours making up Spanish words for things.

I love it that some nights he wants me to sleep in his bed with him, and that he makes up cute little reasons why I should, like "the back of my legs hurt, and I think they would feel better if you slept with me."

I love it when she laughs so hard that her eyes tear up.

I love when she lines her baby dolls and stuffed animals up on her bed along the wall and reads to them.

* * * * *

I love to think about Valentine's Day, seven years ago, when Jeremy and I flew home from the Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Rylee had her open-heart surgery.

Rylee, the day before surgery - January 2004

I love thinking about the time Jeremy and I had together during Rylee's hospital stay... and though there were super-tough moments, there were also really great moments of seeing Rylee heal and eating Wendy's frosties at all hours of the night.

Rylee, a few hours after open-heart surgery - January 2004

I love thinking about the time we had together, holding and kissing and hugging and singing as she healed.

Recovering from surgery - February 2004

I love thinking about her increased energy after her heart was repaired... her smiles came more frequently and her giggles weren't as tiring for her.

Home with a healthy heart! - February 2004

I love that today, her body can handle the "moderate heart valve leakage"/heart murmur and that we only do annual check-ups with cardiology.

And I love all the doctors and nurses who cared for Rylee, and who helped make it possible for her to be here with us today!

Lots to love...

Happy Heart Day!

Winter Smiles


They've always been "babies."

Rylee loves them.

It's quite often the first thing she plays with, especially after school.

Coat off. Shoes off. Backpack hung.

Down the hall. Into her room.

Door shuts.

Alone time.

We all need it.

But she's not really alone. Her babies welcome her home.

"Need a bottle, baby?"

"Awwww... it's okay sweetie."

It's so sweet listening to her talk to them. I often wish I could watch her play with her babies without her knowing I'm there. Sometimes, she will leave her door open slightly, which gives me a chance to spy observe.

She usually lines them up along the base of her bed, and they sit up nice and tall as tall as you can when you're made of stuffing. Some of them are dressed. Most of them are not. Quite often a stuffed animal or two wind up in the bunch. You know... the baby that sneezes next to Elmo. The Cat in the Hat next to the baby with the wild hair that we call "Outside Baby." (This is the baby Rylee plays with outside in the summer because we don't care if she gets sand in her eyes... the baby, that is. Not Rylee. Sand in Rylee's eyes would be of concern to me.)

Anyway, Rylee feeds her babies. She makes them "birthday cakes" (and when I ask her how old they are, she usually says, "three one.") She gets out her plastic food for them. (Which reminds me... I need to talk to her about appropriate food for babies. The other day I saw her feeing her baby a steak.)

She changes their clothes. Actually, she mostly takes their clothes off. (Should that be of concern to me?) I often play babies with her, and that's when the babies finally get dressed. We find which clothes go with which babies, and Rylee helps me dress them. Not sure why we do it. Good fine motor activity, I guess. Maybe it gives the babies a chance to warm up. But, it isn't long before the babies are back in their birthday suits.

If you ask her what her babies' names are, she will tell you, "Baby." (It makes sense... with so many babies, it really does lessen your chances of calling one the wrong name.) Of course, there are exceptions... "Outside Baby" and "Megan" (a doll that was mine when I was a little girl) have unique names. Everyone else is just "Baby."

A few days ago she was feeding her baby a bottle.

Rylee wanted to reach for a book, and I saw her hold the bottle in the baby's mouth with her chin as she reached.

A natural, I tell ya.

Do I wonder if she will decide to become a Mom when she grows up? Sometimes.

Is it possible? Yes. There are lots of ways to become a Mom.

Is it probable? Who knows.

But there are also lots of ways she can help take care of babies (or children) without actually having to take on the enormous responsibility of being a "Mom."

I'm confident she will find a way if that's what makes her happy.

For now, I love watching her with her babies. It warms my heart.


After taking these sweet photos of Rylee with her baby, I glanced over at the chair beside her.

Admit it.
None of us are perfect Moms.


It's where we've been lately.

No one really wants to hear any more about the weather.

We've got snow.

It's more-than-freezing cold.

Enough said.

Instead, I'll share with you what we've been doing on our "school-less" days!

* * * * *

Reading to babies in pajamas.

Playing detective in a winter mystery.

"Hiding" under upside-down laundry baskets.

Racing Lightning McQueen on train tracks.

Holding photo shoots for naked baby dolls.

Making fake, goofy smiles while gathering up Toy Story toys.

Stamping names with extra letters at the end.

Building buses,

and cars,

and trains.

Laughing at Mom for singing "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" with the wrong words.

Watching Toy Story 3 (and making more cheesy smiles) with the movie stars themselves.

Pretending to be a sleeping dog.

* * * * *


It's been fun.

(But I sure wouldn't mind if the Groundhog is right.)