Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jaunt to Gulf Shores

We recently realized that in her 20 months on this planet, Avery has never set foot on the beach.  Neither has her daddy, for that matter, and so without further ado, we decided to make a last-minute last-ditch quick trip to the coast for one final summer fling.  

Mike was only off for four days, and we literally wrung every last drop of fun out of those four days as was possible.  He worked Wednesday night, so he came home Thursday morning and slept for a few hours, then I threw everybody in the car and drove straight to Fish River Grill #2 in Foley to have supper.    Since I'd been to Orange Beach with the girls a couple of years ago, I was designated tour guide.  Avery was a doll on the way down and behaved remarkably well during dinner.  Mike had fried oysters, and I had the fried alligator - it might have been our favorite meal that weekend.
 Then we drove on down to #609 in Crystal Towers, our lovely home away from home.  Mike had booked it last minute, and we were lucky enough to have an entire side of the complex all to ourselves.  When we first walked in, Avery and I genuinely said "WOW!" back and forth to each other.  It was awfully cute, and the condo really was that nice.  Avery's room even had its own balcony with views of the Little Lagoon behind us.  The kitchen and living room had huge picture windows of the beach, and the living room and master bedrooms had sliding glass doors that opened to a lovely, wide balcony.  It was perfect.
 The next morning we had breakfast, slathered up with sunscreen, and headed to the beach.  Our first unfortunate surprise: Avery.  HATES.  Sand.  Despises it.  Has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Cannot tolerate the stuff and is quite frankly shocked and horrified that we would even consider walking on it.  The photo below is the ONLY time she took a few steps on the beach, and even that was under duress.
 So the morning was spent with either Mike or me carting the baby around on our hips or sitting in the water with her on our laps.  We headed up to the condo for sandwiches for lunch and a nap for the baby, then headed back down for another try on the beach.  Once again, sand was a no-go for the little monster.  I found myself enormously grateful to Mike for having the foresight to book a place with such a fabulous pool.
 We decided Friday would be our best bet to eat out, so we loaded up in the car and drove a little while Avery took a nap in the backseat.  We decided on the Original Oyster House for dinner but had to take home to-go boxes after an hour and a half wait and complete meltdown from the kiddo.  She had too big of a day and was done.
 Then Saturday we once again went through the sunscreen ritual and headed for the beach.  On the way home, we noticed that though we had a little bit of sun, none of us burned at all.  Mike and I contributed it to our being so careful with Avery.  Friday afternoon I had picked up some little booties for her to wear on the beach in the hopes that would calm her distaste for sand, but no luck.  We were able to distract her fairly well with snacks on our beach mats, so she wasn't literally on top of us the whole time, and she really enjoyed pointing at the seagulls.

For lunch we went to Papa Rocco's for burgers, and Saturday afternoon was spent with the baby taking a nap back at the condo while Mike and I watched Georgia Tech beat Virginia.  It was a really great game.  Then we took a quick walk on the beach, where we took some family photos, and decided on takeout from S&S Seafood Market for dinner.  Wow.  That was right up there with our top favorite places to eat.  I had the creole snapper, and Mike had Greek trigger fish.  The boxes were also piled high with onion rings, hush puppies, and fries.

After Avery went to sleep Saturday night, Mike and I stayed up to watch The Woman in Black, a chillingly terrifying movie with Daniel Radcliffe.  It was the perfect beachside ghost story, and after it was over I just had to go check on the baby.  But I was too spooked to go alone, so armed with a flashlight, Mike and I crept through the condo like two bad little kids ourselves.  She opened her eyes and looked at us as if to say, "What are you crazy people doing?" and we scampered away.

 Sunday morning was spent poolside, which Avery quite adored.  She had a thing about the darker squares on the pavement and wanted to stop and step on each and every one.  Once again, lunch and a nap at the condo, and then we headed to Tanger, where Mike and I bought each other's birthday gifts.  I'm entirely too excited about mine but will have to wait 'till November.

 On our way back from Tanger, we stopped by Bella Luna Pizza for a Mona Lisa with green bell peppers.  Delicious.  We headed back to the condo to pack everything up and settle in for the night, watching the Simpsons just like we do at home.  Then Monday morning we took another quick walk on the beach, and on our way home, we dropped in to Cafe Beignets for breakfast.
It was the perfect quick little getaway, just the three of us, with several life lessons learned along the way.  All in all, it was a happy time, and we can't wait to go back.  Mark Twain said, "I have found that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them," and after this weekend, I'm most certain that I desperately love these two.

An Evening with Sir Elton John

At 8 PM on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, Mike and I joined several thousand close friends at the Coliseum for a sold-out show by none other than Sir Elton John.  The concert was awesome.  At 65 years old, the man still knows how to rock it out, sitting down to that piano and playing it within an inch of its life for over 2 1/2 hours without even breaking a sweat.  I swear, Elton John finds performance just as natural as breathing.  

 Our seats in Section AG were really neat - it was even better than having a backstage pass because there were no seats in front of us, and we had a birds' eye view of everything going on behind the scenes.  We even caught the two cellists taking photos of each other with Elton in the background.  It was the first concert of this tour in the US, so perhaps they were just as startstruck as we were.
I was thrilled to see these two guys perform live, as I discovered them via Pandora months ago and have considered downloading several of their songs.  It was a happy surprise to see them come onstage. After a prelude by the Two Cellists of Smooth Criminal, With or Without You, and Highway to Hell, we watched Elton enter the Coliseum behind the stage, sit at his piano, and start his setlist.
 The photo just doesn't do our seats justice.  We could see Elton's facial expressions as he sang - he tends to raise his eyebrows whenever he opens his mouth really big.  We could even see the backup dancers' shoes.

 It was an awful lot of fun, and I'm so glad Mike and I were able to go.  I saw him and his piano - no band - in 1999 and scored his autograph, so this time I was more than happy to watch the crowd from a little more of a distance.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Talking the Talk

Well, Baby Girl has started talking.  I mean, really talking.  So far, like a character in a children's show, she does the kind of communication that only her daddy and I can understand, but she's currently able to give us a fairly clear understanding of what she's trying to convey.  We smell what she's stepping in.

About a week ago Mike kept her while I had my hair cut.  Upon returning, I asked her what she & Daddy did.  She responded with her version of "moo," which never makes it to the "ooooo" part - it's just a big, long, loud, "MMMMMMM!"  Somewhat shocked, Mike said they had just been reading a book with a cow in it.

This afternoon she insisted on taking one of her books to bed with her as she took a nap.  I watched on the video monitor as she read to herself.  Though I couldn't see the book, I knew which page she was "reading" from the sequence of moos, quacks, snorts (that she literally makes through her nose), barks (oof oof! She has a little stuffed dog that she named Oof Oof.), meows, squeaks, etc.  Our current favorite books are Little Blue Truck, Goodnight Gorilla, and I am a Bunny.
So we know the kiddo CAN communicate.  And perhaps more importantly, she can understand.  Her pediatrician asked if she would retrieve a book from her room if we asked her to do so.  I said yes, but the rest of the story is that her action depended completely upon whether or not that activity agreed with her current agenda.  Like an old dog, she tends to have selective hearing.  At 20 pounds, 10 ounces and 32 inches long, she's still in the 25th percentile for weight and 75th for height, so I suppose she's taller & skinnier than 75% of her peers.
Oh, the teeth.  Her canines have given us worlds more troubles than the 1 year molars ever did.  Her pediatrician took one look at her and prescribed Tylenol with Codeine.  Yikes.  But I have to admit to resorting to its use once in a while, and only at night, when there are no distractions from the pain.

You know, like helping Mama work out....
The kiddo is into everything.
And really enjoying her new wardrobe from her Auntie Asher.  Apparently she inherited the dancing-on-the-table gene from her mama.

Though she has no set bedtime, our nightly ritual is to brush teeth, wash face, put on a clean diaper & onesie, and read a few books.  Then I turn out the lights, and we rock, cuddle, and nurse while I sing our lullaby, Till There Was You, say the Lord's Prayer and Now I Lay You and put her to bed.  But is that when she goes to sleep?  Oh no.  After that Mike and I turn on the video monitor and sit back to watch the Avery Show, in which she rolls around, flails around the bed, makes her nest, and snuggles and settles in, a process that often takes up to an hour.  For instance, I put her to bed at 8:30 tonight after she rubbed her eyes for the second time.  It's 10:13 as I type, and she just settled in for a late summer's nap.

Maybe I should put her to bed with books more often.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

18 Months

Dear Sweet, Baby Girl,

18 months ago today we were cuddled up in a twin-sized bed with Daddy.  You were in my arms, snoozing away, and Daddy and I were watching an episode of The X-Files on my cell phone.  Full from my Wendy's fried chicken sandwich combo with a real Coke, I fell asleep and snoozed on Daddy's shoulder.  It was a lovely rainy afternoon, just the three of us.  

Since then, you have grown into such an independent, intelligent, CURIOUS, sensitive, charming, impish, sweet, whirlwind of activity punctuated by naps.  You have figured out how to open the back door, but fortunately you can't do it if the deadbolt is locked.  This is very frustrating for you.  Though you don't actually speak much, you have your own language that only I can understand.  "Da!" is either Daddy or goodbye, and you blow kisses like an American Indian gives a war cry.  You wave goodbye to everybody, but your favorite time of day is when Daddy comes home.  You grab my index finger and lead me, running, to the front door.  I have to hold you and Dante back until he has the vehicle parked.  Then you run out to greet him, and he gives you his coffee thermos to carry inside for him, which you do with glee.
 We have bought an annual membership to the MS Children's Museum, and right now your favorite exhibit is the Storytime one, in which you can explore some of your favorite books like Peter Rabbit and Clifford.  We still go to the pool, but lately you like playing around the concrete apron more than jumping in.  That might be because it's so hot lately the pool feels more like bathwater.  We took you on your first boat outing up the Pearl River a couple of months ago, and though you adored the wind in your hair, you weren't so fond of the life jacket or the sand.  You have never met a shoe you didn't like, and now you're actually walking around in Mommy's high heels.
 You have become a big helper, putting toys away, organizing and straightening, and generally trying to keep things tidy.  Yesterday we opened the mail in the living room floor.  You dumped your blocks out and put the empty envelopes & junk mail into the block box, which was lovely - I just dumped that into the recycle bin.  You like to lead and be led places, and it charms my heart when you grab my index finger to take me where you want to go.  The other day you wanted me to play with you on my cell phone, so you took my finger and touched it to the screen.  Several times a day you come to me with a book in hand, and we usually stop whatever we're doing to take time for a story.
 You still adore electronics, and you regularly find yourself in hot water for messing with things you know you shouldn't, like cell phones, remote controls, cable boxes, and most recently the noise machine in your bedroom.  I've tried to fulfill that urge of yours with electronic toys that you can't mess up, and you generally seem to enjoy that.  Your favorite foods are still corn on the cob, raisins, English peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and anything cheese - cheese nips, cheezy poofs, macaroni & cheese, string cheese.  If you see the cheezy poofs bag, you simply MUST have some, reaching out endearingly toward it and saying "ees?"
Dante delights in playing tug-o-war with you with his favorite toy Foxer.  He'll bring Foxer to you, and you'll pull and pull, and sometimes he'll let you go, resulting in your falling on your well-diaper-padded booty.  This makes you howl with glee and giggles.  You are most ticklish behind your thighs (which aren't so chunky at all anymore and have lost their rolls, only to gain a tan), and sometimes you tickle Mommy back. You make every day bright and happy, and though it's hard to believe, we love you more and more.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Red Curried Chicken Noodles

My, oh my.  Is this delicious.  I was sitting with Mike eeeeeearly one morning, reading the paper, while he ate his breakfast and came across this article.  Something about it really caught my eye, and I'm so glad I tried it.  Warmer temperatures are here and with them come the urge to try something new.

For an extra pop of color, I added some frozen, shelled edamame to the coconut milk and let it thaw while the milk simmered away.  And while I was at Mr. Chen's Chinese Emporium, I picked up several different types of curry paste.  I can't wait to stretch my Thai/Asian cooking muscles this summer.

Red Curry Chicken Noodles
Not in the mood for noodles? The curried chicken mixture also makes a killer sandwich, both warm and cold.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1½ to 2½ tablespoons red curry paste (more or less to taste)
Meat from a 1½-pound rotisserie chicken
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, quartered
1 12-ounce package fresh fettuccine pasta

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper, then sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and red curry paste. Stir until the curry paste and coconut milk are smooth, then bring to a simmer.
  3. Chop or pull the chicken meat into bite-size chunks, then add to the coconut milk mixture. Toss well to coat evenly. If the meat is cold, return to a simmer. Stir in the cilantro.
  4. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken. Alternatively, add the drained pasta to the pan with the chicken and toss to mix. Just before serving, squeeze a bit of lime juice over each plate.

Image and recipe courtesy of The Clarion Ledger and The Food Network.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breastfeeding Gift Basket

The Holy Family, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1634
183 x 123 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Thanks Leigh!
What to do in the South when somebody has a baby? BRING FOOD!
When Avery came along, we had so much food in the house that I didn't have to cook for months. It was very much appreciated - who knows how many meals I would have had to skip without them. But..... what about Avery's meals?
It is an unfortunate reality that breastfeeding takes a backseat to labor & delivery in our society. BUT nursing this baby girl was SO much more difficult, overwhelming, physically exhausting, and ultimately rewarding to me than giving birth to her. Breastfeeding is really more of an art than the science of so-many-ounces-per-so-many-hours. There are no straight lines on the human body, just as there are no straight, definitive rights or wrongs in the art of breastfeeding. It's sleep-depriving, doubt-riddled, mysterious (& too-often misunderstood by society at large) WORK.
So I thought it might be nice to help new moms out in a slightly different way with a few of my favorite breastfeeding things:
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - This book actually should be read before delivery - if you just THINK you MIGHT be interested in breastfeeding, READ THIS BOOK. Even in the hospital, we received about 1,000 different opinions on how, what, when, and in what position to feed Avery. It was so calming to have one resource for reference amongst the maelstrom of conflicting advice. The Nursing Mother's Companion is a good one too.
- Mother's Milk Tea - to increase supply
- Oatmeal - ditto.
- This chart for easy visualization of how teeny tiny baby's tummy is at certain stages and remember how often it needs to be filled!
- Lanolin - to hydrate sore, perhaps cracked nipples
- Therashells - for the first two weeks of breastfeeding, my nipples were so sore that I didn't want anything touching them. Even a T-shirt was enough to knock my head off. Until that went away (it started to abate after about 7 days), these hard shells were the perfect solution to keep fabric off and let nipples air dry while being able to put clothes on. We later found out that the hospital charged the insurance company $120.00 (!!!) for these. Don't confuse therashells with nipple shields, which are flexible and have little holes in them. Though often recommended by hospitals (I have no idea why!) nipple shields are terrible for breastfeeding babies. They want mom's nipple - not a piece of plastic - in their mouths.
- Soothies Gel Pads - When just letting nipples air-dry (breastmilk is the BEST salve for tender nipples) isn't enough, it's nice to have two packs of these: one to wear and one to keep in the fridge. Lanolin, however, is not good for them, so advise not to use in conjunction.
- Nursing pads - once my supply regulated, I didn't need these very much, but oh my, it was nice to have them in my bra for extra insurance that I wouldn't have a wet T-shirt contest in the middle of Target.
- Bananas and other favorite fruits - easy, one-handed access to good nutrition. I was never so hungry when pregnant with the monster as I was when breastfeeding her, and it never seemed like I had enough hands when she was nursing.
- Granola bars - ditto.
- Water bottles - oh my gosh, at the thirst! I loved the kind that you can close securely because I was always knocking them over in the middle of the night.
- Burp cloth and/or sling from Kate at Mississippi Hippie Baby
- Boon Flo Water Deflector - not only is it an awesomely fun bath toy after baby grows up a little, this deflector was wonderful for my boobs in the bathtub. I would sit in absolute bliss with warm water flowing over my engorged breasts when my milk first came in. Warm compresses also help for plugged ducts and to relieve discomfort.
- Epsom salts - for the mom with a tear or an episiotomy, there's nothing better than a warm, soaking bath. It's relaxing too, and Heaven knows she needs some relaxation.
Most of all, giving a breastfeeding mom your love and support, encouraging and cheering, sharing with her your awe at the fact that she is feeding that baby all by herself and reveling in the miracle of our bodies, would be appreciated from any new mama in the throes of Baby Boot Camp.
At the end of the day, think about Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon: if you and baby were on a desert island and had no idea what to do, you would figure it out. Beautifully. Skip the Hollywood-dramatized (and traumatized) birthing scene and skip over to 2:10.
Many thanks to my friend Kate for helping me with this list, including The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, The Nursing Mother's Companion, Mother's Milk tea, and the easy breastfeeding reference chart!
What am I forgetting, ladies? What was your saving grace in the early weeks?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Musings

Our Dear, Sweet, Baby Girl,

I cannot believe that this weekend we will be celebrating our second Easter with you. Three Easters ago I still didn't know that you had just burrowed into me, starting the biggest adventure of Mike's and my life. You.
Oh my goodness, you were so TINY last year!
In a chocolate daze from your Easter bunny from your CA. You now have one sweet little curl at the nape of your neck, eight teeth (4 top and 4 bottom), and more teefies on the way.

Spring is my favorite time of year, and you seem to really enjoy being outside. Dirt and dead bugs delight you, as does sunshine and playing out in the rain and splashing in puddles. Your daddy taught you how to run - RUN! - last week, and since then you take off and bolt every now and then. It reminds me of how the cilantro always seems to bolt and take seed way before I'm even remotely ready.
The post-partum depression is a faint, vague memory now. At the time I was desperately worried that it would cloud my happy memories with you, but I'm joyful to report that my happy, cuddly, cozy, sweet, fond memories vastly outweigh those of concern, frustration, and uncertainty.

You actually helped me with the uncertainty most of all: when you were brand-new, your daddy and I were bombarded with conflicting advice from every possible source. We had no idea what to do, and everyone was telling us something different. You, my dear.... You gave us no choice and taught me by hook or by crook how to be a mom. Thank you. I learned - slowly but surely - to ignore outside voices and to my gut instincts (after all, that's where you started) and listen to you and you alone.... And you know what? I think we've fared fairly well.

That's not to say you've been a perfect angel. Far from it. But you do listen to us when we tell you the "N" word in our house (No!), even if we sometimes have to repeat it with varying degrees of volume and persistence. Your booty is too small to spank, so like my grandmother, I have to resort to firmly pinching you on the sensitive part behind your arm. But so far your worst offense has been throwing food off the high chair to Dante. Once, after you'd been warned three times, I reached out and pinched your arm. You replied with a hurt expression, a "na-ah," and a tiny gentle pinch right back. Clearly I'd hurt your feelings. But we're figuring it out together.

(And a side note to any who are gearing up to type any sort of reply that includes any phrase similar to "just you wait....." SHOVE IT. It is NOT supportive, encouraging, or productive in the least. I heard it when Avery started pulling up, crawling, walking, running, and on, and I am SICK OF IT. Stop sullying happy wonderful milestones with feelings of dread. You were probably one of the voices I had to drown out earlier and a contributor to dangerous depression.)

But back to you, our little monster. You have discovered crayons, and you currently have a process that is very similar to stippling: you cram as many colors as your little hand can possibly hold, then you throw them against the paper, creating a somewhat crazed, dotted effect. This fascinates you, and you do it for literally minutes at a time.

Plastic Easter eggs are another favorite of yours, and you love to play Easter egg hunt in the living room, toddling around with my old white basket and picking up anything that will fit and putting it in the basket. Then you'll grow a wild hair and shake the heck out of the basket, throwing everything out. .... and repeat putting things in the basket.

The highlight of your day is when Daddy comes home. He scoops you up in his arms, and quick as a wink you steal his pen out of his pocket. Next to your dad, Dante and Kearney are still your favorite buddies, and sometimes you help me prepare to leave the house by closing Dante up in his kennel. You also like to help me put ice cubes into a bottle of water or a martini shaker (see the martini dance). You have an awesome fascination with shoes, and you want to put on everybody's; you even know which shoe goes on the correct foot, which really amazes me.

Even though you were given no fewer than twenty-seven lovies upon your birth (true story: I counted.), you have nothing to do with them. A true engineer's daughter like your great-great-grandmother, you are no-nonsense, and you love anything with buttons, electricity, or a power cord. You can usually be found toddling around with my phone charger in one hand and have been known to go to sleep with the pool key tightly clutched in your tiny grasp.

Few things on this planet delight you more than feeding us something from your plate; you giggle and crow with glee when Daddy or I eats something out of your hand. And we now must carefully watch the trash. Just last night Daddy found a wash cloth in the recycle bin.

We are so proud of you. Thankful for you. Happy to be with you. You have given your daddy and me a pure joy and have fulfilled our lives in so many ways, more than you will ever know.

An Ode to the Double-Yolked

A good friend of ours has a local connection for double-yolked eggs. Mike was intrigued: "How do they know they're double-yolked before they make it to the grocery shelves?" Shining a light behind the egg itself will allow you (or whatever machine in the factory) to see the status of what's going on in there. "Why would you care if your eggs have one yolk or more?" See below...

Though perhaps a little higher than cholesterol than the everyday Kroger egg, they. Are. Fabulous. Generally brown and larger than a large egg, these babies pack a HUGE wallop in your baking; chocolate chip cookies are especially tender and delicate, and you just haven't lived until you've had a double-yolked brownie. I'm honestly not sure why one cannot purchase them at the grocery store.

Actually, I do know: lots of folklore and superstition swirl around the ordinary double-yolked egg. Daisy believed that it meant good fortune or that a wedding was around the corner, C.J. associated them with the devil on your doorstep. I suppose it has to do with your family and where you were brought up. Having grown up on a farm, I have to steel myself just a little every time I crack one open, lest there be a beak or feathers or even a little blood (eek) in there. Now THAT definitely makes you feel like the devil's right behind you. Especially when they also sell chicken feet at the Pig for voodoo rituals.

But they are are fun to hunt.

Double-yolk photo courtesy of maryobrienart.

Martini Dance

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Year with Joy Young McClellan

Well, I suppose I should say a year and nine months with Joy, as she's been with us since before we ever met this little powerhouse that we call the Monster. Joy has been so good to us, and she's provided us with treasured photographs and a treasured friendship that we will keep forever. Coming to wherever we are, always patient and understanding how crazy life is with a 5-day-old, standing outside in 90 degree heat at 8 AM so we can get the perfect shot, this lady has done it all to make the most precious photographs.

Avery's first birthday has been bittersweet - no more long cuddles, no more sweet baby smell, no more little grunts and stretches - it's all go, all the time now. And we won't get to see our friend Joy as much. Her sweet smile and the fun times we have with her have been the perfect counterbalance to the tears endured at the doctor's office at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Avery adores her Joy - she will even without hesitation let Joy hold her - and we sincerely hope to stay in touch.

32 weeks pregnant
3 Months
6 Months
9 Months
My goodness, we can't pick out our favorite year shot!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy happy birthday Baby

Dear Sweet, Baby Girl,

Oh my, how his year had flown by. Words just can't express how glad and thankful we are that you have come into our lives. We are utterly besotted with you. This year has been magical. The sleepless nights, the warm, wet toothy kisses. The food splattered all over the kitchen, the sudsy splashes of the bathtub toys. The cuddles and kicks and thrilled, happy expression on your face when you figured out the bouncy. Your determination in accomplishing your goals and love of the backyard. The first time you sat up in our bathroom while I brushed my teeth, both of your arms stretched out for balance and your face in a radiant grin. The first time you surprised yourself and us on August 11th when you pulled up to stand on the couch. The way you cruise in circles around anything that will sit still, including me. The way you rub your nose back and forth and flop your head on my chest when you're sleepy. The "Mamamama," "Dadadadada," "Bababababa-ba" and "Dateeee" and the splat splat splat of your hands as you crawl like a bruiser wherever you like. The way you clap without your hands touching and sometimes spaz out like a crack monkey before you go to bed for the night.

These are just a few of the gazillion ways we love you.

With love and fulfillment,


Made by Lena