Caution: Baby - wait, no, Toddler on Board

Jane is WALKING, y'all. Running, almost! She just picked herself up and decided it was time to keep up with her sisters. After teetering here and there for about two weeks, she took off in earnest. She moved up to a new daycare room last month with a bunch of walkers, and has blossomed like you would not believe. I think she realized pretty quick that survival of the fittest was the order of the day. She refuses to be left behind.

First spontaneous word: "bubble." I got Helen and Alice some bubble wands this weekend, and they were playing with them in the front yard. Jane was following them around and grabbing at the bubbles and chattering. After a few minutes, it clicked with me that she was saying "bubble."She's been mugging for the camera at school - check this picture out! Reminds me of her sisters, for sure.
What a wild year it has been. These girls are really growing up too fast. They will drive me to the edge of insanity one day, and drop me off and drive away at top speed with the windows rolled down and the radio cranked up, but to have those darling little babies in my arms for those precious few months will surely be worth it all.

Someone remind me of that later this weekend when I'm ready to sell them to the highest bidder.


Helen Turns 6

Helen turned 6 on Saturday.

Since the last day of school was on Wednesday and her birthday was on Saturday, I thought long and hard about it, and decided not to invite a bunch of kids over for a party when it was going to be 97 degrees outside. Instead, on Saturday morning I took her to her favorite store (Michael's) to let her pick out something crafty (friendship bracelet kit). Then while she napped, I made her a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
Sidebar: guys, if you have not checked out the recipe for Chocolate Frosting on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa canister, you are seriously missing out. Frosting from a can? Not on your life. I've permanently converted to homemade, y'all. (For further Chocolatey Awesomeness, pair it with the recipe for the Chocolate Cake on the same label.)

Anyways, I digress.

You might have noticed a quick mention in that last paragraph. Yes, my 6-year old naps. Two, sometimes three-hour naps on the weekends. Both days. DEAR BABY JESUS, PLEASE LET IT NEVER END. AMEN.

We also made a pizza from scratch for dinner. Publix has a really great lump of unbaked dough in their bakery that you need to buy, stat. Couldn't be easier, and they come out way better than the frozen ones. Helen helped me spread the sauce and the cheese and the toppings. Alice kept pinching fingerfuls of cheese off the pizza when I wasn't looking. It turned out delicious.

After dinner and blowing out the 6 hot pink candles on her delicious cake, we gave her a little pink Razor Scooter. As if her knees and elbows weren't bruised and scraped up enough from running around outside, we added the element of speed to all future injuries. Yay, good parenting!And then she went to the pool with her dad for an evening swim. So she was in a bit of kid heaven.

The next morning, she woke up and asked me when her party was. Um, gulp.

So I replied as casually as possible, without a single shred of fear and trepidation, "Hey Helen, you remember the craft thing and the pizza and the scooter and the part where you blew out candles on your cake? Yeah, that was your birthday party!"

Oh, it was a frosty morning.

I am going to fry in a remote corner of hell reserved strictly for kids' birthday parties, where they're perpetually turning two years old. Dear Reader, I swear there will be a real party with a bunch of kids invited next year. I don't care if only two kids show up because school's out and it's too hot. She is going to have a party. Your job is to remind me next May when my resolve is weak and the sun is strong. And just to make it interesting, you can come, too.

For some perspective, here's her Birth Story, and her first birthday.


7th Inning Stretch Etiquette

Brian took Helen and Alice to see a minor league baseball game in May. Highlights of the evening included Alice's first taste of cotton candy (the entire cone was inhaled in under a minute flat) and a giant fireworks show after the game. Both girls stayed awake for the entire thing on a hot summer night, and slept incredibly late the next morning.

On the way home from school last week, Helen starting singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" but couldn't make it past the first line. She sang it about 3 times in a row. So on the 4th try, I jumped in with the rest of the song. The people who have heard me sing can imagine the off-key, pitchy nightmare that it was. Fortunately my kids appreciate my singing and even encourage it. I swear. It's true!

Jennie: ... Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don't care if I ever go back! Oh, it's root, root, root for the home team, if they don't win it's a shame ... Cuz it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball gaaaaame!

Helen: That guy is being rude, isn't he, Mommy?

Jennie: Huh? (looking around at traffic, drivers, passing joggers for any possible source of rude guys) Who's rude, Helen?

Helen: The guy in the song. He didn't say "please" buy me something.

Jennie: Good point. No Cracker Jacks for him!