Snoopy Cake

Lo and her Snoopy Cake.


“What kind of Birthday party do you want this year, Lo?” I asked…totally not expecting an answer from my 1 year old.

“Snoopy Cake.”  She said, matter of factually.

“Are you sure you don’t want a Tinkerbell birthday?”thinking she had a temporary lapse in forgetting her favorite little fairy companion.

“Snoopy Cake.”  She repeated.

“What do you want for your birthday, Lo?”

“Snoopy Cake.”

So that was settled.  And I, in my overboard way of planning for my kid’s birthday parties, made sure it was a Snoopy Birthday we would all remember.  The day our little Lo turned 2.  Tear.  This one crept up on me the most so far.

My first reaction to Lauren when they handed her to me in the hospital was, “Her eyes are literally sparkling.”  My little Lo Lo.  My little baby is now the resident 2-year old in the house.  Look out.

Snoopy Cake. YUM!!!

There isn’t a child lock in the universe that could keep Lo Lo from getting into everything she’s not supposed to.  Pots and pans, kitty’s food, remote controls, toilet paper, big sister’s toys….there’s no stopping her.  And there’s no disciplining her for it either.  I do, but it eventually ends in laughter…every time.

Now, before you call me a softy…you need to realize that this kid can make me crack a smile on my worst day, in my worst mood, before I’ve had my morning coffee.  If I want to discipline her, I have to sternly look her in the eye, say what I need to say, and then run.  Because, the look on her face as she’s getting the ‘Lo-down’ is hilarious.  Bottom lip out, batting her eyelashes over those sparkly blue eyes, fighting a smile…it’s impossible.

Giving out advice at her bday party…lol

Little Lo has been making me laugh every since the day she was born.  Even though she was a scheduled Cesarean, she decided she was going to be born a week early…on Father’s Day.  We nicknamed her #2… because of her order of birth in the family, sure, but more so because she refused to sleep those first three months like her older sister had.  #2.

Finally, at 3 months old, she found a way to soothe herself…by sticking her first two fingers in her mouth upside down and backwards.  We laughed, thinking, ‘no wonder it took her so long to figure out how to pacify herself.  She picked THE most complicated way!’

There’s been so many funny moments along the way, a lot of them I’ve written about here.  Like the morning my husband heard Lauren take something from her sister…then take off running.  Following close behind were big sisters footsteps.  They stopped.  Lauren screamed.  Brianne exclaimed, “Lo! That’s mine!”  Lauren, in her teary-eyed, toddler babble, came barreling down the hall to tattle on Brianne.  Instigator.

Snoopy’s House I made for the party

Or the time when, in Lauren’s unique way, she let us know she was ready for a big girl bed.  Not just a simple ‘climb out’ attempt.  But she climbed up on Brianne’s every chance she got, sending her sister into a meltdown as she made a hurricane out of the neatly lined up stuffed animals that ‘live’ on her bed.  And, she kicked the wall.  The wall that buts up against our family room…where the TV is.  Kicked the wall.  Jammed her crib up against the wall.   As parents, we learned to tune it out, much like the girls constant screaming at each other.  (well, I can tune it out…)  But when our relator came over one night after bedtime to have us sign some paperwork, the wall kicking, followed by terrified screaming, totally flipped him out.

Out of all the mischief she gets into, our cat seems to take the most abuse. Lauren chases her around with her high pitched screams, pulls fist fulls of hair out of her tail, tries to feed her soggy Apple Jacks, covers her with blankets, and smothers her with hugs while she’s trying to bake in the sun, kitty just rolls with it.  In fact, when Lo hugs her she starts to pur.  It’s as if they are two of the same kind of soul.  Easygoing, loveable, and just plain happy to be here.

Lo makes us laugh. She has a gift.  I feel when I look into her sparkling blue eyes, I get a glimpse of heaven’s sky.  I have to thank her in advance, for all the times she’s made me crack a smile when I sorely needed to.  She reminds me to ask myself, “is this really worth getting annoyed with in the grand scheme of things…or can I just laugh this one off.’

“She can’t grow up anymore,”  her Daddy says.

It’s a good age, 2.

I wish it could last forever, too.

Happy Birthday, Lo Lo 🙂


Here’s some more Birthday Highlights…

The Big Girl Bed.

Well, that’s it.  No more baby crib.  It has been disassembled, loaded in the shed of disheveled furniture we don’t have room for in our tiny house, and replaced with a ‘big girl bed.’  I got misty eyed, saying goodbye to what has been a part of our household now for the last 4 years.  Not just the crib, but babies.  Little babies, which in my case were both so small when they were born that the newborn sized clothing was too big on them.

I remember helping my husband assemble the crib for the first time in preparation for Brianne.  It was an absolute menace…as was taking it down for the last time.  It’s as if the crib itself needed to get one last word in.  Before Brianne was born, I would sit in the room we had fixed up for her and stare at that empty crib and all it’s pink frilly glory.  After sleeping by my side for a month after my C-section, she spent her first night in that crib.  I checked on her no less than 10 times to make sure she was breathing.

In preparation for her little sister being born right after she turned two, Brianne got moved to a big girl bed early.  At 18 months, she slept right through the night in her big girl bed and never turned back.  She was so happy!  I never expected Little Lauren, now 18 months old, to be ready for a big girl bed herself.  Yet, in Lauren’s vocally persistent way, she made it clear that she could no longer sleep comfortably through the night in her crib.  It was time.

Freshly adorned with Tinkerbell bedding, Lauren climbed up there and had a little ‘big girl bed’ party for herself.  Slept through the first night, and never turned back.  That first morning the loud thud of her falling out of her big girl bed ensued a sprinting panic, and there she laid on her back looking up at us with an ‘Oops, I forgot I had to climb down’ expression on her face. “I’m al-wight!”

Now, all I have are memories of the crib days.  St. Pat’s Day morning finding Lauren sitting up for the first time in it.  Brianne jumping up and down with the giggles each morning.  Lauren kicking the wall trying to express her unhappiness with her 7pm bedtime.  Lauren throwing dolls, socks, books, and anything she could reach to throw over the edge of her crib to express her unhappiness with her bedtime.

So small.  They start out SO SMALL!  So small that every little thump at night made me jump up and check on them…or make my husband get up and check on them.  Now, it’s whomever they call that has to get up.  Which was real funny to Jim (my husband) because they call out for mom a lot.  I’ve gone from being so worried about them and all their tinyness to “1-2-3-not-it!” when they call for ‘Dada’ at night.

No more baby coes…now it ‘s terrible two tantrums and four year old sass…

With every new stage that my kids enter, I’m tempted to look back and cry over the time that’s already passed by so quickly.  But then, I look at these two beautiful living reminders that life is great… that I get the privilege of hanging out with all day…and it’s hard to feel sorry for myself.  Brianne is now starting to read books to Lauren, and Lauren is now starting to boss Brianne around.  With the passing of every stage, comes a new one full of new reasons to laugh.

Happy Memories…



With toddlers, is always a new trick, right?

Lots of little kids walk on their tippy toes when they are toddlers, especially when they first learn to walk.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told…and that’s what my first daughter did.  It was one of those extremely cute ‘baby’ things that she did…and then it quickly passed and she was running down the street full speed.

My younger daughter, almost 2…is still tippy toe-ing around the house…down the street…at the store…everywhere.  She walks on her tippy toes, runs on her tippy toes, stands on her tippy toes.  It’s quickly becoming as much of a character trait as her shoulder shrugging and eye-lash batting are.  It’s probably just an extended phase…but I’m loving every sweet second of it.

I wouldn’t put it past little Lo to be on to something already.  Some kids seem to come out of the womb with a mission to do something.  For Lo, she’s been dancing…and tippy toe-ing…to her own beat since day one.  Influenced by her older sister who’s started dance class, and our nightly dance parties in the kitchen…she knows a few steps.  But, she takes it to a level that makes me wonder if she’s got a natural gift to move.

The funniest, being, when I catch her grooving down the hallway, or out of the room, without any music necessary.  Or in her car-seat, just jamming to the beat in her own little head.  She watches TV one of two ways:  sprawled out in her bean bag chair, or with one leg up on the coffee table as if she at the ballet bar.  When music IS on..look out.  Older sister Brianne will never have the spotlight all to herself again, because Lo is literally right on her heels when she’s dancing around.  Brianne spins, Lo spins.  Brianne does a shuffle step, Lo does a shuffle step.  Brianne leaps across the room, Lo leaps across the room.  You get the picture.

I thought tippy-toes would be replaced by Lo’s recent discovery of the somersault.  My 3, almost 4 year old still doesn’t somersault.  The last thing I expected Lo to do is tuck her little head…almost…under and roll onto the floor.  “How do I get her to stop doing THAT?!” I asked my Dad, who witnessed Lo’s latest feat right along with me.  Afraid she’s not going to tuck her head enough and break her little neck…rightly so as every other somersault shifts sideways…I limited her to the carpet, at least.

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, seeing that Lo looks at me upside down from between her legs all the time.  Constantly bent down analyzing her toes…I think she must have just fallen all the way over one day and liked the dizzy feeling.  Who really knows.  All I know, is this flexible little groove-monster has ‘Future Dance Star’ written all over her.  The tippy-toes still trump all other tricks.  Upon entering the house…the shoes come off, followed shortly by the socks…and away she tippy-toes…scampering out of the room like a little prima ballerina.  I can’t wait to put my little tippy toe-er in dance class.  My little performer…here we go.

Happy tippy-toe-ing…