Tag Archives: toddler

2 Years Old: A Parenting Retrospective

Well, we made it to two years. As with every milestone so far, and I’m sure every milestone yet to come, Drew and I are baffled at where the last two years have gone. What happened to that bitty newborn? To the baby we used to have to prop up against things? To the toddler who had to trick or treat holding on to Drew’s hands because he couldn’t quite walk all by himself?

Instead of a baby, we now have this little roommate. He may be only three feet tall, but he’s powerful. He’s incessantly curious, constantly demanding, smiley, stubborn, energetic, pushy, inquisitive. In the course of minutes I can go from being out of my mind frustrated to out of my mind in love. Parenting is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and also the weirdest thing. If any of my friends treated me the way he sometimes treats me, I would definitely tell them off or get rid of them. But with him it usually just makes me laugh.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last couple years. Some things are just the things that probably any parent of a toddler learns: a reserve of patience, strength of will previously uncovered, a tolerance for someone else’s bodily fluids. Other things are interesting and more specific: Like, although I love my own, I don’t think I’m a “kid person” in general. I’ve also realized what a beautiful word “normal” is – who needs extraordinary? And this whole experience has made me love Drew more than ever every single day.

I know I will look back at this some day and shake my head. Silly me, I’ll think, two years was just the tip of the iceberg. Back then I could barely fathom the fact that B could climb into his own car seat, and now he’s driving (or off to college, or getting married, or having his own babies). But come on, future me, cut me a break. The last two years have been the longest and shortest years of my life. I know you understand.

One more thing: when we found out I was pregnant, almost 3 years ago, Drew started reading the Harry Potter books to me (and eventually to B). As B got older, the going got slower…because while I would definitely sit still for a chapter a night, a toddler doesn’t always have the same interests. We’ve been chipping away at the seventh book for over a year now, and three months ago we made the pledge to ourselves that we would finish by his birthday. Drew has been a total trouper about reading at night no matter how tired he is, and this weekend he really ramped it up. Yesterday he started reading over dinner, and then for the rest of the evening we sort of followed B around from bedroom to living room to bath, reading to him. YOU GUYS. WE FINISHED THE ENTIRE HARRY POTTER SERIES LAST NIGHT, Sunday, September 28, 2014. (And that epilogue is still just as bad as I remember it.)

So today we celebrate B’s second birthday, with balloons and a family dinner and a homemade ice cream cake (a la Frozen, of course). Since every day brings a new lesson, a new joke, a new challenge, I can’t wait to see what this one has in store! Happy second birthday, my love! May you have many, many more!

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Filed under Awesome, Children, Dreams, Drew, Holidays, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment

Disney Project 2014: The Lion King

Movie: The Lion King

Release year: 1994

My reaction: Man, this is a good time in Disney movie history. Each of these movies holds favorite songs and moments, and while Drew and I have watched many of them together before, it’s always fun to rediscover old faves.

Did you know The Lion King was Disney’s B-movie? They put all their A-list people on Pocahontas, and expected it to be the runaway hit. And it’s great, but it’s no Lion King.

When I was 10 years old, I was helping my mom in her classroom during summer school. And one of the end-of-the-year summer things we did was take all the kids downtown to the movie theater to see The Lion King. I just google mapped it. It’s 1.7 miles. And we walked a huge group of elementary school kids all the way through town. That was brave of us.

Our DVD includes The Morning Report scene, which is totally unnecessary. I’m fine just skipping that song.

This was one of those days that we just could not take a good picture of the three of us. So you get this!

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Disney Project 2014: Aladdin

Movie: Aladdin

Release year: 1992

In a week when everyone is talking about Robin Williams, it’s a strange coincidence that we watched Aladdin this weekend. We talked about how this was the first Disney movie (that we could think of) where they cast current celebrities to do the voices. And we both realized how amazing this movie is, although it seems to get lost in the shuffle of the second Disney Renaissance. In a way, I’m glad we had the chance to watch Aladdin this weekend, so it was just an enjoyable experience rather than a bittersweet one.

Anything I can say has been said already. I remember being 8 years old and seeing this movie, and having a talent-crush on Robin Williams. He was an inspiration to watch, and I am sorry for the loss of such a brilliant actor.

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Disney Project 2014: Beauty and the Beast

Movie: Beauty and the Beast

Release year: 1991

My reaction: This rounds out my top 4 favorite Disney movies: Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast. Drew and I started in on the plot holes and inconsistencies…and then I cut him off and was like, “But for reals, this is one of the best ones, RIGHT.” I could watch this movie over and over again. And should. Because I missed huge chunks of this one. Like most of the end.

I did drag B back into the living room to watch the Beast transform. Because you gotta watch that part.

I remember watching this movie with my mom when I was…I must have been like 8 years old. And he turns into the prince, and I remember my mom and I were both like, “…Ew. Can he turn back into a beast please?” Which is funny. It’s also funny that now I totally think he’s cute. If I was Belle, I would be like, Score.

Also, what with all the fan theories going around right now about Frozen/Tangled/Little Mermaid/Tarzan (which I think is dumb, btw), Drew and I have a new theory to propose. You know how at the very very beginning (before the stained glass), you see Bambi’s mom drinking from the stream in the forest outside the castle? That’s because she didn’t die when the hunter shot her. She got away and moved to France.

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Disney Project 2014: The Rescuers Down Under

Movie: The Rescuers Down Under

Release year: 1990

My reaction: This is, I believe, the only sequel on the list. And I think it deserves to be there. I would say Down Under is better than the original Rescuers. Even though the perspective is all over the place, and it’s hard to keep track of how big these mice actually are. One second they’re riding fireflies, the next second they’re like opening cage doors. And when Cody gets free of McLeach, the first place he goes is to check on the eagle eggs…even though HIS MOM THINKS HE’S DEAD. I’m like GO HOME IMMEDIATELY. His poor mom. =(

Drew says: “I don’t think Bianca likes Bernard the way he likes her.” I agree.

Also, this is the first Disney movie we’ve gotten to that we don’t already own. Luckily…streaming on Netflix!

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Disney Project 2014: The Little Mermaid


Movie: The Little Mermaid

Release year: 1989

My reaction: I probably don’t need to explain myself to any girls born from 1980-1985. This is one of the best. Movies. Ever. I love every frame, every weird facial expression, every little quirk in this movie. It’s so good.

We were in Tahoe last weekend with two of my best girlfriends – fun fact, the three of us went to see a sing-along version of The Little Mermaid for a bachelorette party a couple years ago. So this was actually a pretty special coincidence, that it was the next movie in our line-up.

We ended up watching it twice last weekend: once on Saturday night, and then again on Sunday morning. I loved it each time. I would love it every time. I’m just saying.

To everyone who has little “But why don’t they just? But why doesn’t she? But she should just?” I say HUSH. This is the epitome of princess movies, to me. Ariel’s voice is THE Disney princess voice. It’s all wonderful. I’ve been waiting a long time to get to this one. =D

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Baptized B

B’s second birthday is coming up, so this baptism thing has been a long time in coming. We procrastinated for various reasons, but finally this spring we made the decision to go for it. This last weekend, my family and Drew’s family gathered at my childhood church and saved B from purgatory. (Just kidding.)

I will tell you, I had A LOT of anxiety leading up to this weekend. I worried about getting the three of us plus the godparents all the way up to Lake County in our car with all our stuff. I worried that B would freak at getting water on his head. I worried that it would be awkward. I worried that no one really wanted to be doing this. I worried that no one would have a good time.

But it turns out, everyone was into it, and we had a great time. We went up to my parents’ house on Saturday night, and Drew’s parents and my aunt and uncle (who was performing the baptism) were there already. We hung out that night, keeping B up 2 hours past his bedtime. Then everyone dispersed, and we took godparents Erin and Allen to the hotel casino where they were staying.

There, we ran into Drew’s parents, and found out that his dad had just hit it big on video keno. So that was a nice bonus.

The next morning, we picked up Erin and Allen, and headed to the church, about 20 minutes away. The service was outdoors (#summertime!) and so B spent most of the service running all around, up some stairs and around the church building, up some other stairs and around the community center, basically just going everywhere possible. But luckily we were keeping an eye on the time, so we could get him back down in the vicinity of the service by the time the baptism began.

I held him during the ceremony, and he was mostly good. He complained a little bit, but mostly drank milk and pointed at things. I remembered the Creed. He didn’t love the water on his head, but he didn’t freak out. My uncle gave him a candle (unlit), and a medallion. We recessed and sang songs. We did it!

There was cake afterwards, and Erin and I tried to wrangle all the family members into place to take pictures. We managed to take some really cute pictures, including one of my new favorite pictures:

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Charming, buddy. Charming.

After pictures, we packed everyone up and we all went to go eat. Well, most of them went to brunch – our car, followed by Drew’s family’s cars, went in the wrong direction. I just was mistaken about where I was going. Oops!

We found the correct place, and settled in for complimentary mimosas and brunch. Although they didn’t really seem able to handle our party of 15 – it took like an hour between ordering and getting our food – the food was good, the company was lovely, and B was awesome. He even ate the food we ordered him! Crazy!

By the time we were done, it was already after 1:30, so we just stopped by my parents’ house to get all our stuff, and then we headed out of Lake County. (Well, we stopped for milkshakes at Renee’s first.) We got home that night in time for dinner and bedtime, and then Drew and I basically crashed, ignoring the pile of stuff we’d brought home.

A long weekend and we’re both ever more tired, but I’m still so happy with how everything went. It honestly went better than I could have hoped, and far better than I expected. A total win. B is so lucky to have this loving family, and two brand-new godparents! (Not pictured: my bff Kirsten, who came out from Davis, and her mom – I was so honored to have them come support us!)

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