Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Leaps and bounds

Last Friday, both kids hit major milestones.

Rex learned how to clap, which is delightful and ridiculous, because we all cheer and clap when he does. I had forgotten how funny this stuff was; we'll be sitting at the table, Rex will clap, and then we all clap and cheer. 

Other milestones that abruptly followed: "up" arms, pulling his belly up to crawl, and - most terrifyingly - he's figured out how to pull himself up to standing.

I mentioned that BOTH kids hit milestones at the same time, so brace yourselves.

Genevieve wrote her first word. Without help.


There we were, taking our shower, and Genevieve was drawing in the steam (like we always do), and I looked, and there is was, as clear as day.


And then again, and again, and again. I may have flipped out and cheered. And squeezed her. Because YOU GUYS, MY BABY CAN WRITE!

Reproduced for you here, since the charm of writing in steam is its ephemeral nature:


I feel like I've totally hamstrung her with a name like "Genevieve". I may as well have named her "Chrysanthemum", which - let's be honest- I never spell correctly on the first pass (and even now, I used autofill and totally cheated). 

And she's definitely not a "Gen", so there goes that potential solution. She also shot down going by "Eve".

Thankfully, after a frustrating (and abruptly aborted initial attempt, after some struggles with the letter "N") she tried again the next night, and got as far as "GENEV" without help, and then asked me for the letters, which I cheerfully provided.

After that, I grabbed one of our window markers and wrote her name clearly for her, as well as "VALENTINA" (her imaginary friend with an impressive origin story, more on her another day), and "REX". She traces the letters with her finger, then writes them above (or below) in the steam.

When I told her that her name is really tricky, and that most grownups (ahem, Starbucks baristas) can't spell her name without help, she said, "Maybe I should have it on a piece of paper to help them."

My baby is a genius. And I couldn't be prouder.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


 Dear Andrew;

Happy Father's Day! The day Genevieve was born was the day we became parents, and the day Rex was born, our family was complete. But really, without us (and let's be honest, mostly me), where would they be? So, it all starts with us.

2 kids: achievement unlocked!

Thank you for being an awesome partner. We've been together for a long time. So long, that when you "solved the puzzle ball while you guys [Genevieve, Rex and I] were sleeping", and I answered, "Suuuuuuuure you did. While we were sleeping. Right."

... You produced a photo. Because you knew I wouldn't believe you.

And when I FINALLY beat the puzzle ball, and I sent you this:

Victory... Is... MINE!

This is - allegedly - rated for 4 year-olds. It took us [Me and Andrew] MONTHS to beat it.

You sent me this:

(And on a related note, take a moment to observe this:)

No resemblance, whatsoever. Or drool.

But enough about our bizarre unique marriage. On to the kids.

You go to work, drive in traffic both ways, and then we slide straight into the nighttime routine. Dinner, shower, books, bed.


I understand (at the very least, the basics) of biology, but moments like these make me marvel at how wonderful and strange having children can be:

Again, with the resemblances!
(If you look closely, you'll notice the SAME SLEEPING FACE.)

I love how you look at our kids.

How was Rex ever this small?


You're also the dad:

... who went on a closing hour run to the store for
- last minute glitter for cascarones
- a replacement Sophie
- Lemon Oreos, because I NEEDED them, like I needed air to breathe.
... who played the part of Elsa, exclusively, FOR A YEAR. (I was cast as Hans, remember?)
... who goes to the store with Genevieve and recognizes her for the evil genius that she is.1

... who kept filling water balloons, even when that meant that Genevieve IMMEDIATELY threw it at you WHILE YOU WERE FILLING THE NEXT ONE, which you knew she was going to throw at you the instant you handed it to her.
... who helps Genevieve with her - sometimes complex - costumes and jewelry


... who helps Genevieve find solutions to her problems.
... who takes Rex after he's bitten me, and reminds me that Genevieve went through a biting phase, too, and we persevered and were able to preserve our nursing relationship.
... who WD40'd the squeaky swings because it was giving me panic attacks. (Just because they squeak doesn't meant they'll fall, just because they squeak doesn't meant they'll fall, just because they squeak doesn't meant they'll fall...)
... who went and got the torn window decal out of the trash so that Genevieve could have closure, because she told you that she "...would never be happy again." (Quelle dramatique!2)
... who laughs when Genevieve sighs and says, "Dad-deeeee!" in that exasperated, teenage voice. (Funny now, we'll see how funny it is in ten or fifteen years.)
... who is brave in the face of terrifying monsters, and also giant spiders.
... who still appreciates our inside jokes from YEARS and YEARS ago.
... and who still seeks my counsel, personally and professionally.

So, what I'm saying is that even when I'm tired, and short-tempered, I see you. I see all the things you're doing. I'm noticing.

Someday, I'll get over the fact that Genevieve told me she loves you first, and Rex did, too, "I la dadadadada!"

IMG_4366 2
... and someday you'll get over the fact that "dada" means both "Daddy" and "I have a wet diaper".

I love you, and the kids love you.


Happy Father's Day, Andrew. I wouldn't and couldn't have done it without you. 


Also, since he definitely bears mentioning...

DSC_0207 copy
They ended up in matching outfits, UNPLANNED.

To my own dad...
... who taught me that sometimes, we are the source of our own problems.
... who taught me the importance of being polite, firm, and persistent when solving problems.
... and who told Genevieve she could have cookies for breakfast EVERY DAY, and then told me that - as a grandfather- it's not his job to say "no" to the kids. (Perks of the job, I suppose.)

1. [Apples and trees, amiright?]
2. [See "1", "Apples and trees"]