When Your Best Friend is Three

When the person you spend the most time with is three, it also tends to happen that they become your best friend.

You are with them every second of every day.

When you spend all of your time with someone you begin to notice the nuance of a sigh, the preamble to a smile, and the lingering of a disappointment.

They see you at your best, your worst, your strongest, and your most vulnerable.

And since the age of three does not come with a filter, they call you out. On everything.

When your best friend is three, they don’t hesitate to tell you that the green dress you put on makes you “look like a T-rex.” Obviously, you are not leaving the house in that condition.

When your best friend is three, they will help you limit your calorie intake by telling you that you don’t need to eat any more “so your tummy won’t get squishy.”

They can boost your ego with a “you look beautiful” and tell you like it is when you need to freshen up so you “won’t be scary” with a “maybe you need a little make up.”

When your best friend is three you find that your most animated conversations tend to involve the life cycle of bugs or the origins of poo.

They will also help you make decisions with impressive negotiating skills, like when you can’t decide if the afternoon’s activity should involve cleaning or playing. “How about this, Mommy? You can clean and I can play.” Problem solved.

When your best friend is three, you find yourself in power struggles. You want to value their opinion just as much as they want to be heard, but sometimes you still have to the be grown up.

When your best friend is three you might share your day with them even if it involved grown up things like bill paying and phone calls, because even though you don’t want to burden them with grown up stuff it’s ok to let them know it exists.

When your best friend is three you will truly be excited to hear about what the teachers said at camp today and who they played with that morning because you are just as curious about their child life as they are of your grown up one.

When your best friend is three you will sometimes not understand why they are so upset because you thought you were having a great day until the flip switched and you have no idea how to fix it.

When your best friend is three you may find yourself hovering between a desire to let go and a desire to hang on because three doesn’t last forever and fearlessness sometimes presides over logic.

When your best friend is three sometimes you just need a break because you can’t talk to them about all of the crazy that runs around in your mind all day. They are, after all, only three.

When your best friend is three you will find yourself on a roller coaster. I have spent days laughing, crying, being frustrated, being confused and being content.

When your best friend is three you will be surprised when you see bits of yourself in them. Maybe it’s looks or mannerisms or emotions but this little mini me has somehow become both your shadow and your reflection.

When your best friend is three you may find your world is small and large all at once. Because only in the confinements of a three year old world can you be completely isolated from the complexity of adult life and completely in awe of the world’s vastness in unison.

When your best friend is three you know there will be a limit to it. It’s not like when you were in school and you got those BFF bracelets with your girlfriends. (You did this, too, yes?) It’s not like your relationship with your husband that will grow and change and come together and fall apart.

It’s different.

When your best friend is three, you are completely aware that it is fleeting and that one day he may not be so interested in hanging out with you at the coffee shop or telling you all of the details about his day. Even the yucky ones.

When your best friend is three, you know that this part may end. But you hope, so very much, that the parts where he’s honest with you, and loves you, and laughs with you and shares with you will stick around.

Because you know that somehow what you are establishing with your little best friend now will be the foundation for what you will sustain with him later.

And even though you know he will not always think so, you will always think of him as the very best part of yourself.

That is what happens when your best friend is three.

My Best Friend, Age 3

Noah age 3

 

Memories Captured Spring 2013

Twice a year, we set a date with our favorite photographer.

I try to coordinate outfits and spend a lot longer than I normally do on hair and make up. We leave behind stained shirts and toddler snack crumbs and capture our family as we are in that moment in time.

I thought about skipping the spring session this year, but my husband insisted.

I’m oh-so-glad he did.

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I love seeing ourselves through someone else’s eyes and capturing these fleeting moments when my son is little and we are young. I love that these pictures capture my son’s defiance and cuteness, because it’s a perfect reflection of who he is at this age; charming and infuriating and adorable all at once. And I realize, with bittersweet certainty, that my sweet little boy is all of a sudden not so little.

Linking up with my absolutely positively very favorite blog link up that only happens twice a year, Memories Captured with Galit Breen of These Little Waves and Alison of Writing Wishing. What beautiful memories have you captured lately?

 

Pictures courtesy of Amy Robinson at Amy Robinson Photography in Richmond, VA.

 

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I have been reluctant to tell you this story, because I like to think this is a sweet blog. Sure, there are times when I tell you about my son’s love of his boy parts and talk about the tough stuff in my life, but mostly this blog is about how sweet my son is. Because he is. Except when he isn’t.

Two Fridays ago (I know that was a lifetime ago, but I was in an opera, had family in town, am dealing with Parent Council stuff, and basically trying not to drown in laundry, so bare with me) my son and I had a terrible, no good, very bad day. The kind of day that resulted in my husband coming home from work to find me face down on our bed crying while the toddler was screaming and throwing the entire contents of his bedroom into the upstairs hallway. Why? I will start from the beginning.

I am in the middle of an agonizing (to me) pre-school decision and have been touring schools. On this particular day, my son and I had a pre-school tour. That actually went really well, though I was the only mother there who had not pre-arranged a babysitter, and instead dragged a 3 year old through the halls. Oops. I was then also the mom who stayed to talk to the other moms to see what they thought. Another oops with a restless toddler in tow.

After our pretty successful tour, my son and I went to a newly opened coffee shop across the street. We checked out the new place, ordered some drinks, and were getting ready to leave. At this point the toddler had apparently reached his limit, so he was being restless and bumping the small trash can by the check out with his legs. Not knocking it over, just scooting it. He wasn’t being an angel, but I didn’t think he was being terrible. I was waiting while the cashier tried to ring me up in the new computer system, and it was taking just a minute. The woman in line behind me picked up the trashcan. Kinda weird, but if that’s your thing, go for it. Finally we were making progress with the new computer to ring up my order and another one of the workers went over to the lady to assist with her weird trash can accessory. She pointedly looked at me and said, “Well her son was knocking it over and since SHE wasn’t doing anything about it I thought I’d hold it until they leave so you won’t have a mess on your hands.”

Um, what? And then, just to emphasize her point, my son did actually start knocking over some of the bagged coffee display. I promptly put them back and we left the store as quickly as possible. I am not a confrontational person, and I was mortified to tears on the way home. Was he really being that bad? Am I a terrible mother? I know he wasn’t being perfect but I really don’t think he was being so awful that it was cause for that woman to be rude and call me out in front of the entire coffee shop. When he actually knocked something over I picked it up, but you know what lady? Three year olds are wiggly. And sometimes they do stuff like scoot trash cans. And sometimes you should not do stuff like blatantly embarrass a young mom just trying to get some freakin coffee.

I didn’t know if I should be mad at myself, the lady, or my son, so I was just mad at everyone. I fixed my son lunch which he then refused to eat and at some point in our brief moment at home he spilled his milk all over the dining room floor and used my dry clean only blue pea coat to hide it. Not even clean it, just cover it. No lunch, a quickly disintegrating day and one time out later, and unfortunately we had to rush back out the door because we had a speech appointment. It was the day that never ended, he was tired, and my mood was already shot. And that night was the opening night of my opera.

We made it to speech somewhat unscathed, and I sat in the hallway while my son worked on articulating sounds. The speech teacher came out to talk to me and then my son lost his marbles. First, you must know about the squishy bugs. At the speech place there are these squishy bugs. Just some pretend bugs made of of plastic that can stretch and are squishy. My son discovered them at his first speech session and liked them, but we convinced him to put them away. This day when he re-discovered them, he wanted to take them home. After as many patient “Please put them backs” as I could muster and a few from his speech teacher, I calmly told my son, “It is time to leave now. I will ask you nicely one more time to put them away or Mommy will have to take them from you.” I was met with a screaming “NO” and my son ran across the hall to the other classroom and got under the table. There was another child waiting for speech and we really did have to go. Ten minutes of arguing over squishy bugs was about nine minutes too long. I frustratingly dragged my child out from under the table, had to forcefully remove the squishy bugs from his hand, and haul him out of the speech place under my arm while also lugging his jacket, bag, my purse, and his speech homework. To further express his frustration, my son decided to yell “DAMN IT” repeatedly at the top of his lungs while flailing his arms and legs about.

Man handling a flailing, red faced, screaming toddler who has the words “DAMN IT” coming out of his mouth like a broken record while you navigate yourself out of a populated office building is just as fun as you would imagine it would be. Except worse.

After both of us fuming on the way home and ignoring each other, we finally reached the driveway. Where my son promptly fell asleep. Not one to mess with a good thing, I sat in the car and played on my phone until he woke up. Maybe this would be the starting over point.

When he did wake up, he immediately starting yelling and fussing. Start over we did not.

I tried to be sweet and patient again so we could get out of the car and go inside. He did not want me to carry him. He did not want to walk. He did not want to get out of the car. He did not want to stay in the car. He did not want to be mistaken in any way, shape, or form as a sane person.

I was at the very end of my rope and after a few attempts at nice I just lost my patience. I was not going to argue with a toddler about getting out of the car and walking the 10 steps it takes to get into our house. I put that in the ridiculous category, and after he yelled at the top his lungs “NO” at my last request for him to come out of the car, I said “fine” and shut the door and left him there. I walked inside, put down all of our bags and recomposed myself to go outside where my son was pounding on the windows as though he had been locked in prison. We finally managed to come inside and went straight upstairs where I told my out of control toddler that he needed to go to his room until he could adjust his attitude.

That was met with much more yelling, screaming, and now the added bonus of throwing toys. I just couldn’t handle any more. I was so tired of being yelled at and exhausted and embarrassed. I went into my room and closed the door, laid face down on the bed and starting crying. The toddler decided that in order to get my attention he would throw all of his toys out into the hallway, and then started on his furniture. I knew what was happening, but I was torn between addressing the situation and encountering more fighting, or ignoring his behavior because I did not want to reward his ridiculousness with my attention. I choose the later and by the time my husband got home from work my son had pulled all of his toys, including toy containers, his ottoman, and his oscillating fan into the hallway and was still screaming at the top of his lungs.

Thank goodness my husband came home to diffuse the situation. He dealt with the toddler first and then came to me, where I explosively explained every detail of our entire day to him. What a thing to come home to, huh? Apparently my opening line was, “Your son is an asshole” and though I’m not really a cuss-er (aside from the occasional use of the word damn it which my son has obviously picked up) and don’t remember saying that, this was a memorable moment for my husband.

The husband saved the day, made the toddler clean up the hallway, apologize to me, and stop screaming. He let me rest for an hour before I had to leave for my opera and even straightened up the living room a little. This is our new romance.

That night my husband and son came and watched my opera and my three year old sat through an entire performance and even came backstage with me after it was over. We’ve even had some pretty amazing days together in the past two weeks.

But that terrible, no good, very bad day? Was just that. I’m telling you, if living with a teenager is as hard as living with a three year old, I’m not sure I will survive it.

 

Unexpected Parenting

I had a Hembree boy.

You may not understand the significance of this statement unless you know that Hembree is my married name and know my husband’s family, but I will try to fill you in.

My husband is the oldest of three boys. Three very rough and tumble boys. Boys who were raised in day care, spent weekends at grandparent houses, had toy guns and swords, rough played and wrestled, and got spankings. Three boys who all had braces and speech and did boy scouts and love football. Three boyish boys.

I am the oldest of three children, but I have one sister and one brother. We were raised as stay at home kids with a mom who worked the night shift in labor and delivery and a dad who worked the day shift at his own company. We weren’t raised around extended family but we were very close as an immediate family. We were not allowed to have guns or swords or be rough and if you talked to us we listened but if we were really in trouble we went to time out. We never had braces or speech and the big activities at our house were soccer and musicals.

And then I married a Hembree boy. And I guess I knew these things about his childhood but I didn’t really THINK about them, because I had such set ideas about the type of parent I was going to be. I was going to be a stay at home mom, so really my son would be mostly influenced by me and his childhood would be gentle and sweet and comparable to mine, right? Right?

And then I had a Hembree boy. And I am a stay at home mom and he is sweet (most of the time) but he also likes to pretend that his fingers are guns and that forks are swords and “get the mean guys.” He goes to time outs or his room if he’s in trouble but it is starting to take more sternness. He had to have teeth removed at 20 months due to enamel deficiency so braces are a guarantee and it has been confirmed through a speech screening that we need to start speech now, at age 3.

As a parent you always want to do what’s best for your child and that takes a lot of reflecting on your own childhood. I think my parents were amazing and had fully intended to parent like them. The thing is? My husband thinks his childhood was amazing, too.

And so I keep trying to parent my son the way I was parented, the way I want to gently raise him. But I think it’s time to add the variable of “Hembree boy” into my calculations and continue to be prepared for the unexpected.

My sweet, silly, and unpredictable Hembree boy on Wacky Wednesday at preschool this week.

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Choose Your Battles

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It was an early morning and the often dreaded get-ready- for-school routine was upon us. Neither of us excel in the “morning person” area, so my son and I both struggle with the unreasonable demands of waking up and getting dressed at a certain time.

This morning was different, though. We had both gone to bed very early the night before, were well rested, and had spent the first part of the morning talking, laughing, and reading stories. It was going to be a good day. Obviously, having that thought was my first mistake.

As soon as we reached the bottom of the stairs, my son began the first battle with an outcry of “I want to be naked!”

“I know, you really like to be naked,” I replied, “but right now we have to get dressed and go to school.”

Reluctantly, my naked toddler sauntered over to me and offered his foot for the putting on of underwear. First battle: Mommy.

“I want this shirt!” he said, presenting a gray and black striped shirt. “And these pants!” he declared, choosing a slightly wrinkled pair of khakis from the laundry pile on the couch.

I am not a huge stickler for fashion, since I have been known to show up at preschool drop off and pick up with no bra, sweat pants, and a ponytail, but when I actually get dressed I do like fashion. And I definitely like for my son’s clothes to match.

“I’m not sure that those pants match that shirt. What about jeans with that shirt? Or you could wear this blue shirt with those pants? Oh look I even have the blue socks to match this blue shirt!” (Yes, he has socks that match certain shirts. I like a well dressed toddler.)

He met my attempts with a defiant “NO!” complete with a dismissive swipe of the jeans and blue shirt, and instead opting for the mismatched attire of khaki pants and gray and black striped shirt. He did like the blue socks, so now he looked like a complete mismatch of items. Battle goes to: the toddler.

Pick your battles, I told myself. And although I sometimes like to tell me inner voice where she can go, this time I listened.

“Alright! Now let’s brush our hair!” The brushing of the teeth earlier had gone flawlessly. He was dressed. We had even put on shoes without a fight. But the brushing of the hair was deemed an unreasonable request.

“No, I like my hair to look crazy.”

It’s hard to reason the importance of looking presentable with a person who is 1) three years old and 2) ok with looking crazy.

“Mommy will do it very quickly and then we can eat breakfast! Would you like Trix or Lucky Charms?” We serve a gourmet breakfast around here.

“Trix!” That did the trick (pun intended), and my son was soon blissfully eating breakfast with combed hair.

Until he decided that he would like to watch a TV show.

“We don’t watch TV in the mornings. You can watch a show this afternoon.”

“But I want to watch a show right now! I am not going to eat my breakfast if there’s not a kid show on.”

“Then you will be very hungry. We never watch TV in the mornings because the mornings are time for getting ready for school. You have a few more minutes to eat breakfast and then we need to leave.”

This caused an eruption of behavior. He stomped around, yelled “no” repeatedly, and began to throw his toys. He repeated his ultimatum about not eating breakfast unless he could watch TV and ended it with, “That’s the deal!” After politely asking him not to throw toys and telling him that Mommy said no, we are not watching TV right now, I then had to give him a warning that if he didn’t stop, he would be going to time out.

Finally realizing that his tantrum was not working, he gave in and soon starting quietly eating cereal in the dining room while I worked on folding laundry. Battle winner: Mommy. He even carried his bowl to the sink without my asking.

And then, right as we were on our way out the door, he looked at me and asked, “Mommy, what are you doing in the grand scheme of things?”

What a vocabulary! What a question! Oh the shock, the puzzlement, the philosophical pondering!

You win this round, toddler. You win.

 

When Parenting Deflates You

Have you ever reached a moment of deflation as a parent?

The preschool my son goes to is academic based; it really is school for little people that operates on a curriculum,   lesson plans, and is nationally accredited, so is held to strict standards.

Last year, he thrived in this environment. Even though he was the youngest in his class, he was also one of the brightest. His language was early, his vocabulary is quite advanced, he was fully potty trained (even at night) at 29 months, and his teachers always talked about how impressed they were with him.

I guess we were so impressed and pleased with him that we just stopped trying. We never stopped loving or taking care of him but we stopped trying to challenge him. He seemed so far ahead and we were so proud that we forgot to do a very basic part of parenting; teaching.

Earlier this school year, my mommy heart was broken when his new-to-him teachers said he was having a bit of an attitude problem. This was in direct contradiction to the rave reviews his first teachers had given him. I felt bad, because as he transitioned into three I transitioned into trying to find a balance between motherhood and womanhood again. I have finally regained parts of myself and feel balanced, but I am afraid that my new-found balance has thrown off my son’s.

I am also afraid that this set of teachers is quite a different fit. Last year he adored his teachers and talked about them frequently at home. This year he often says he doesn’t want to go to school and I don’t hear about his teachers unless I ask him directly.

Parent teacher conferences were held Monday. Unlike last year when I went in to pick him up each day and was very aware of his progress, this year he does car pool, so I very rarely see his teachers  I had a very narrow understanding on how he was doing in school.

Based on his teachers, he can recognize half of the alphabet, has no number recognition, and only a few shapes. The only skills he has mastered are colors and social skills with peers and he has a good start on writing his name. He still needs help wiping his bottom and pulling up his pants after going to the bathroom, when his teachers would like him to be self-sufficient at this already. He also is not able to dress himself yet, though the teachers would like them all to be able to put on their own coats to go outside. And the main concern they have with him is his attitude. He is frequently stubborn, says no, and once threw a tantrum in the middle of class because he did not agree with the way another student dressed the weather bear during calendar time. Also? They recommend he get a speech screening.

That is a lot of information to take in about your child in 15 minutes.

A lot of it I don’t feel bad about. I used to teach Kindergarten and it was the goal at the end of Kindergarten for children to have mastered all letter and number recognition, write their name and a few basic words, and recognize more advanced shapes. This will all come, but I also know that he is intelligent. He knew half of the alphabet last year. It is our fault that we have not pushed him farther this year.

And I guess we have just been babying him with self-care. I don’t mind still helping him wipe his bottom or helping him get dressed. I guess I just didn’t realize that these were self-help skills he should have mastered already. When I said this to my husband he said the same thing I’ve been thinking, “But he’s our baby.”

This attitude is something we are struggling at home with, too. I am finding three to be the most challenging age (so far) because he is full of attitude and pushing limits. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have said that three is harder than two, and I assumed his earlier attitude problem had to do with his lack of sleep and consistency due to the fact that in the fall I was involved in a lot of late night rehearsals for a musical production.

The speech I was expecting at some point, because when he was 20 months old my poor little guy had to under go general anesthesia and have extensive dental work done because his teeth actually came in yellow. (Weird, right?) Part of the dental work done was actually the removal of 3 of his four top front teeth. I anticipated that speech would be a part of his life once his permanent teeth come in, because touching his tongue to his teeth will be a new skill. I just didn’t realize it was something we would need to start already, but of course we will do that.

The hardest thing for me to take away from the conference was that all of these things are direct reflections on our parenting. We’ve babied him too much with self-care, we’ve not challenged him enough academically, and we’ve chalked attitude problems up to his age rather than addressing it as an issue. We are also very laid back and joke around type of parents, which has blurred the lines between authority figure and friend, and not set clear expectations for him.

The moment you realize that your child is not thriving and that it is entirely your fault is a very deflating moment.

I summarized the conference to his teachers with this, “I think he is intelligent, I think he has an attitude, but I also think he is very young in comparison to the rest of the class.”

He teachers said they agreed completely with that assessment.

And so we will try harder, baby less, and challenge more.

And I will be welcoming any and all words of (constructive) advice.

 

 

That Mom

I am not that mom.
The mom who makes homemade outfits and always has cookies in the cake plate.
The mom that has organic healthy meals prepared for dinner every night.
The mom that has crafts and busy bags and art projects in mind for each day.
I’m not a Pinterest worthy mom or a working out of the home mom or even a really put together mom.

I am his mom.
I am the mom who worries too much but tries not to show it.
That mom who is sometimes so overwhelmed by the love I feel for my son that it moves me to tears.
That mom that sometimes loses my temper.
That mom that keeps a clean looking house,  but you probably shouldn’t touch anything because toddlers are sticky.
That mom that will read a million bedtime stories and spends hours cuddling because there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
That mom who is aware, every day, that these moments, the good and the bad, will not last forever.

I am not a perfect mom.
But I am his mom.
And for getting to be that mom, I am thankful.

My little guy very proudly showing me a train.

My little guy very proudly showing me a train, and me very proudly capturing a picture.

 

I am linking up with my very favorite link up today, Memories Captured with Galit Breen of These Little Waves and Alison of Writing Wishing. Head over to see the other wonderful writers who have captured memories lately, and think about linking up with one of your own!

Suddenly Overnight

It happened subtly and suddenly all the same.

Just as you notice leaves slowly coating the ground in the fall it is still a bit of a shock to notice bare branches out of the blue in the winter, as though it happened overnight.

I see him everyday. I am with him more than I am with anyone. I have an up front seat to his growth and development and changes and yet overnight, he grew up.

I was the mystery reader in my son’s three-year old class Tuesday, which meant I came into the classroom while the students were on the playground so that when they came in I was there as a surprise with a book to read.

I loved seeing my son’s face as he realized I was the mystery reader, and I loved getting to sit in the teacher’s chair with him as we read one of his favorite books, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.”

On Tuesdays, his school offers an after school art class  The art teachers were setting up as I read the story. When it was over, I was expecting to take my son home, but instead, he said he wanted to stay for art class.

“Please Mommy! I want to take art! Will you sign me up for art class? Please?”

We had already missed the first few sessions in December since the holidays were so busy. The art teacher jumped in to say, “We can pro-rate the classes if you would still like to sign up.”

I felt torn and put on the spot, but how could I deny him an art class?

“Please Mommy? I will see you later ok?”

“Are you sure? You don’t want to come home with Mommy?”

“Nope,” he said casually as he took a seat at the art table. “I will see you later Mommy bye-bye.”

“Ok,”, I somewhat reluctantly agreed, “I love you!”

He smiled and blew me a kiss as I walked, dejectedly,  towards the door. His teacher said, “This is so good! This is really what you want! I know that’s not how you expected your afternoon to go.”

“I think I need him now more than he needs me,” I responded, realizing that this now, is the truth.

And so I left a very content and happy little boy at school while I made up something to do to fill another hour with out him.

Just like the leaves on the trees, I have noticed his growth every day. But now I feel bare like the winter branches, and it all happened suddenly overnight.

 

I Love You Forever

I Love You Forever.

You know this book, right?

(source: amazon.com)

It’s one of my all time favorite children’s books. I remember my parents reading it to me when I was a little girl and I remember them tearing up. I even used an excerpt of this book for part of my graduation speech from high school.  (I was an overachiever and got to make a speech.)

For the longest time, I could not read this book to my son without sobbing. It has been safely hiding in my son’s closet for a while now, awaiting a time when someone could read it without crying.

Recently, my son rediscovered it stacked on the shelf in his closet.

“I want to read this one, Mommy!”

I smiled and was apprehensive; the tears were inevitable.

Except this time, I had the gift of reading to a three year old.

We could not get through a  page without a question.

“Mommy, why is he making such a mess?”

“Mommy, why is he hanging upside down on the couch?”

“Mommy why is that mommy crawling on the floor?”

“Mommy why did he grow up?”

“But why did he move to another house Mommy?”

“Mommy I will live with you when I am a grown up man and when I am a little boy.”

“But Mommy, if I get a grown up house do you want to come to my grown up man house?”

“Yeah! You can come there, Mommy!”

The key to getting through this book, is to read it with a three year old. Talk about the messy house. Talk about the Mommy crawling on the floor. Interrupt the flow of the sentimental book by talking to your child about grown up man houses. Be a little sentimental and honored that you were invited to come over. Avoid getting emotional because there is one part of the story where the mommy drives across town and breaks into her son’s house to cuddle him…when he is an adult. It’s not really as sweet as it is creepy. Focus on the creepy part to avoid the tears.

And then of course, redirect your attention to the most important part of the book,

“Look at the kitty Mommy!”

“Why did that kitty get big?”

“Look another kitty!”

“What’s that kitty doing?”

It’s a very sweet book. And it’s message will always make me cry. But reading it with a 3 year old and realizing that having someone break into your house to cuddle you in the middle of the night is weird, will help you get through it.

You are dying to read it now aren’t you? I would love to hear your take on it.

 

Pumpkin Patch

I don’t have a lot of words to go with this post, but in the spirit of Halloween I wanted to share one of my very favorite October traditions with you; the Pumpkin Patch.

I love going every year, and it is so much more fun now that my son is old enough to get excited about it, too.

Please enjoy some pictures of our day as we selected pumpkins, went through a straw maze, and enjoyed playing together.

PS – This top picture? Is my favorite. :)

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