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A lot has been going on around here these days…

Eliza went to see her first movie, Frozen. I was worried that she wasn’t going to be able to sit through the whole thing. My worries were justified – 1) she’s a little afraid of the dark; 2) she’s kind of afraid of loud, sudden noises, 3) she didn’t know anything about the plot of the movie, and 4) she’s a three year old.

Boy was I wrong on all counts.

She loved the movie. She loved going to the movies. It helped that we were out of town visiting relatives and went with one of her cousins who had already seen the movie. It helped that we bought her a kid combo – popcorn, chewy fruit snacks and a lemonade. It helped that she sat in my lap and had a great viewpoint of the screen. It helped that the movie was fantastic and revolved around the powerful love between sisters , something that is dear to my heart.

When the movie was over, Eliza sighed, stretched and said “I love going to the movies!”


Me too, girly. I can’t wait until you are old enough to go see romantic comedies with me.

In other developments, it turns out that Lily really likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV. She’s only seen it a handful of times, but likes the character “Oh Toodles!” She walks around the house saying “toooo-dells”. It’s very cute.

Everyone thinks Lily is super funny. She is obsessed with shoes. She has very definite opinions about whether her shoes should be off or on. She is also obsessed with her bellybutton and walks around all day touching it with her finger. She likes to touch other people’s belly buttons too. She loves to try on Eliza’s shoes, or our shoes. She loves the dog and will follow her around trying to put on her collar. She loves to FaceTime family members and sometimes gets very hyper and starts performing tricks like touching her toes while lifting one foot in the air, or jumping.

She has tons of words and is talking more and more. She now says: “Dat” for “that”, “Dis” for “This”, “Yah!!!!” for “yes”, “Dau” for “Dog”, “Liza” or “Zaza” for “Eliza”, “Mama”, “Dada”, “Mah” for “more”, “Momo” for “Elmo” (and sometimes for Cookie Monster), “Baba” for “Belly Button”, “Aye” for “Hi” and others.

My favorite time with Lily is bedtime. I read her a few stories (and she has VERY definite opinions about which books she has read to her – smacking the book and saying “No! if it isn’t the one she wants. After books, I turn out the lights and face her towards me, rocking her and singing a few songs. During my songs, Lily puts her head down on my shoulders and relaxes. Every so often, she lifts up her head and gives me a gentle kiss right on the lips. It’s amazing.


Pole dancers

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The girls are becoming sisters.

I mean, they’ve obviously always been sisters. They met when Eliza was two and a half years old and Lily was a few hours old.


They share the same parents and ride together in the back seat of the car. But, until recently, they weren’t old enough to enjoy spending time together.

Now, Lily is 17 months old; Eliza is a few weeks shy of turning 4. With every month, Lily is becoming more communicative and Eliza seems to understand most of what Lily is saying. They are starting to have a lot of common interests.

I noticed one commonality the other day. Both kids love to climb, jump, run, somersault and generally are pretty coordinated. We were playing in the basement playroom. In the middle of the room are two heavy support beams that stretch from floor to ceiling. Despite the flood of toys, the beams have the featured entertainment for the girls. Eliza can use her hands and bare feet and climb all the way to the top and touch the ceiling. Lily can actually get a few feet off the ground. (Terrifying!). They both love to hold on to the beam with one hand and spin around as fast as possible. They look like pole dancers.

Watching my two beautiful girls giggling together as they each practiced new tricks holding onto those poles, I was filled with a sense of happiness and pride. I know that they will always love each other because they are sisters. On this day, I started to feel excited for them that they will always have each other to spend time with.

Girls, I hope you always can find joy in the simple things, and challenge yourselves and your sister to be the best person you can be. And, I hope neither of you grow up to be pole dancers.


She walks. She talks.

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Lily took her first steps on August 26, about a week shy of her 13 month birthday.  Now, about a month later, she’s a professional.  She walks outside, inside and on top of furniture.  She can carry objects while walking and climb up ladders.  She’s a little dare devil and just wants to keep up with her big sister. 

She can sign “more” by tapping her fingers to her mouth, and she can nod “yes” or “no” – and does so frequently to communicate what she wants.  She can say “mama”, “eliza” (Ee-la,ya), ba-buh (which, depending on the context, can mean baby, or belly button), Papa, dog (“duh”), hi, and ball.  

She can point to her hair, her nose, her eyes and her toes. She can splash on command. 

She kisses every stuffed animal and real live child that comes near her.  Her kisses are adorable (“mmm-MA”). 

She gets pushed down a lot by her big sister, and rarely complains, although she gets mad when toys are taken away from her. 

She can get off a couch by herself and loves to climb up the slide.

13 months has been a fun time; looking forward to see how she develops next month. 

(And, at the same time, a little sad she’s not a baby any more….)





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We are currently struggling with E holding in her poops. She will have a few good days, where she goes to the bathroom when she needs to go, without any struggles. We reward her with stickers and celebrate her achievements in the bathroom. All the while knowing that she is almost certainly going to stop pooping sooner or later.

She has a phobia.

It’s taken me a long time to understand just how big this issue is for her. She is literally afraid to poop because she thinks it will hurt. She has held it in for as long as six days, and she tolerates the stomach pains she gets as a result. I’ve never had any fears of going to the bathroom and I have a hard time sympathizing with her. When you have to go, just go, right?

But that’s not how her mind works, and she is training her body to comply. She refuses to release her poop when nature tells her to do so, and, in doing that, she is able to hold it for several days without discomfort.

We do what we can. We give her a cap full of Miralax hidden in milk or OJ every day. We give her a tab of chocolate Ex-Lax as needed, and we sit with her while she “tries” to go. We’ve given her a few enemas to clear out her system. We provide encouragement, support and rewards. But she has a real fear, and it overshadows all of our efforts.

I’m told this is a common issue, and I know there are many other things that parents struggle with that make this seem like small potatoes. But seeing my daughter struggle so much is hard for me. I truly hope someday I can read this post and think about how far we’ve come in this area. Because now, as I am writing this, it seems like a situation that will never end, and I feel hopeless. Which is not a good feeling to have.

Cape Cod 2013

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We spent last week on vacation in Sandwich on Cape Cod in our first true vacation as a family of four. We’ve been away a few other times since Lily was born, but never just with the four of us for more than a night or two.

Evan and I have been going to Sandwich together since we first started dating and we have lots of fond memories of our time there. We used to spend our days bike riding around the neighborhood, going to the beach and watching the sunset and drinking wine from the deck of the small house we rented. This year we rented a new house with a bit more space and a washing machine, and we changed our agenda to accommodate nap and meal schedules of the kids. But, honestly? It still felt like a relaxing vacation even with the kids (no small feat). Living near the beach in a small house was perfect. We didn’t bring many toys and there was very little clutter to clean. The house had a television but there was no Disney Channel or Nickelodean to watch, and we tried to avoid looking at our phones during the day. It was a little hard for Eliza to adjust to no television in the morning and at night and the house had a Dora Christmas DVD, which she watched over and over (and loved), leading me to have to explain one night why our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas (a little heavy of a topic for vacation, but I digress).

A few favorite trip memories:

One night we got a pizza and drove down to the Cape Cod canal and had a picnic. We watched the sunset and let the kids play on the playground nearby. During the picnic, Eliza and Lily both got the wiggles, and Eliza knocked over the double stroller and Lily sat on a piece of pizza and had a grease stain on her bum the rest of the night. Eliza spontaneously told us that watching the sunset was her favorite thing to do, which melted our hearts.

We went to a beach in Dennis called Chapin Beach during low tide. It was a fiftee to twenty minute walk from the car to the water, most of it across dunes and low tide sandbars. The sand was white and soft and the view was amazing. Evan and I felt like we were on a tropical island. The kids loved playing in the tidepools. Lily crawled all over the beach and right into the water over and over. Eliza was at first nervous around the tiny little fish in the tidepools but gained confidence once I explained to her that the fish moved out of the way once she started walking towards them. We played a game for about 10 minutes where we walked through the tidepool yelling “Watch out fish! Here come Eliza and Mama!” The fish moved aside for us every time. I noticed that for the rest of the day whenever Eliza walked through the tidepool on the way to/from the water back to our beach blanket, she would say “Watch out fish” Here comes Eliza!”

The master bedroom of the condo we rented had a window in the ceiling directly above our bed. We both like sleeping in a dark room and couldn’t fathom why they would have designed the house like that. The first night we were there, we were laying in bed and looked up…and we saw bright shiny stars twinkling at us from above. Amazing.

Until next year, Town Neck Beach, Sandwich…











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Lily is one!  

I can hardly believe it.  This year has flown by, and I fear that the years to come will go even faster.  

Lily, you are truly a ray of sunshine.  Everyone – and I mean everyone – tells me that you look just like me.  I think you look like my mom, which makes me smile.  You have huge brown eyes, straight brown hair, and a single dimple on your right cheek.  

You first smiled at about seven weeks old, and you have been smiling ever since.  (You started sleeping through the night at about 7.5 months old, and I have been smiling ever  since).  You learned to sit up on your own on your half birthday, and you learned to clap when you were 8 months old.  You learned to wave (backwards) when you were 9 months old.  Your top teeth were famous for awhile because your fangs came in a few months before your middle teeth, so you were known as vampire baby. At 11 months old you started playing peek-a-boo, which is adorable because you only cover part of your face with one hand, and then dramatically remove it to reveal a giant smile. 

You adore your big sister, and love to watch her play.  You love the dog, and have spent the better part of the past few weeks chasing after her and trying to pull up on her fur.  

You are a great eater.  You eat an entire pouch of baby food, plus a baby yogurt, plus finger food, at every meal.  You especially love any kind of cheese (just like mama!) and macaroni, and you also love to eat scrambled eggs.  You were exclusively breastfed until you were about 9 months old, and then you had formula bottles during the day, and you are still nursing first thing in the morning and before bed at night.  I plan to wean you at some point, but cuddling with you while you are nursing is one of my most favorite moments of the day, and I am not sure I’m ready to give up that special time with you just yet.

When you were 10 months old, you coined your famous “pig face” – you scrunch up your nose and breathe in and out very quickly.  You do pig face on command now.

When you were 11 months old, you started biting me.  All of the time.  When I pull away, and say “no biting!” you shake your head “noooo” with a giant smile.  It’s hard to be mad at that face.

You learned how to nod “yes” (a crude move involving your entire body”) shortly after your first birthday and can communicate your wants and desires very easily. You love to give kisses. You purse your little lips and say “Mmmm-MA” and it is adorable to watch. You love pictures of babies and point to any picture you see and say “Buh-Ba.” One of your first words was “papa,” referring to my dad. You made him smile wider than I’ve ever seen him smile before with just that one simple word. Other words you say are “Bup” (for “up”), “Ee-La-la” for Eliza, “Mama”, “dada” and “Ba” (ball). You are cruising everywhere and have stood on your own for up to 30 seconds but are not walking yet. Lily-bug. Always smiling. The best baby I could ever imagine.  I have loved having a cuddly baby, and I savored every month watching you grow and change and learn new things. 

The days are long but the years are short.  This was the shortest year.  Bring on toddlerhood. 


Lily’s Birthday eve eve

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A year ago tonight was the last regular night I would have as a mama of one.

I came home from a long day at work, ate dinner, put Eliza to sleep and watched the Olympics.  

The next day, July 31, I spent with Eliza.  We went out to lunch, and went shopping for a toy for Eliza to give to the new baby.  She picked out two toys – a circle chew toy made up of wooden colorful balls and a lovey bunny – and chowed down on Mac n Cheese.  She fell asleep in her stroller as we walked back to the car.  Later that afternoon, we went to the park, just the two of us.  She was very interested in dandelions and we picked a bunch of them and I watched her laugh and giggle and roll down a grassy hill.  I was so acutely aware of the fact that it was one of the last times I would be able to spend time with Eliza without worrying about taking care of a newborn, and it was a very bittersweet realization. I remember thinking I should focus on the moment, and  enjoy every second with my beautiful girl, and I did.  I really believe I had a premonition about what was about to happen.

Later that night around 10:00 p.m., my water broke.  I was sitting on the couch, watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics team competing for a gold metal (I later found out they won) and shifted my body to one side, and felt a little bit of water trickle down my thigh.  It was a familiar feeling – in fact, it’s exactly the same thing that happened to me when I had Eliza – but I was still in disbelief and went to the bathroom to check.  I was shaking when I came back downstairs and told Evan what was happening.  About 13 hours later, I met Lily for the first time.

Delivering a second child is such a different experience from the first.  In many ways, it is so much better.  It’s easier knowing what to expect, and it tends to happen much more quickly.  But what was so much harder for me was the fact that I was worrying about how Eliza would react to being a sister, and mourning the end of our relationship as only-child mother and daughter.  

Of course, Eliza reacted fine.  She adored Lily from the start, and is a very involved, protective, loving and hands-on big sister.  Her current favorite activity is holding Lily’s hands as she walks around the room.  Evan and I have loved watching the sisters’ relationship blossom, and we especially love hearing Eliza say Lily’s name (“Wiwy”) and hearing Lily say Eliza’s name as one of her first words (“Ee-la-la”).

I have also loved being a mom of two.  Lily has brought such joy to our lives.  

But, on this birthday eve, eve, I am reflecting on our family of three and how different life was a year ago.  

I would never want to go back. But it was a very sweet time in my life that I will always treasure.