Archive for May, 2011

You can tell it’s spring…the calendar is full with baby showers and new babies, weddings and showers, end of year picnics, evening get-togethers on porches and decks, longer hours of daylight to fill to maximum capacity. It was exam week, which equals additional reading and grading and then the summer session started, which required me to rework my syllabus and grade new papers. I’ve officially stepped into my role as the Assistant Editor of the Junior League of Charlotte’s quarterly publication. And I’ve stepped up my workouts to start training for another marathon. Finally, Sweet Birdie’s Nest keeps having successful month after successful month, which is beyond exciting! When I look at the calendar and realize that May is almost over, and June and July are already full, I realize that Molly will be two in the blink of an eye. TWO.

She already acts like she’s 22 sometimes. But that’s a post for another day.

For now, a quick recap of our past seven days:

We went to the zoo last Friday and Molly had a blast. She loved seeing the animals {“aminals,” she calls them}. I think the seal was her favorite, but she has been talking non-stop about the black bears and white bears, the zebras and their stripes, and the giraffes.

We went to the pool for the first time this season on Sunday evening. My nephew told Jim on the golf course that we should come hang out and how can you tell an 8-year-old no? So we packed up and drove to Beverly’s neighborhood pool so Molly could practice blowing bubbles and kicking her legs.

While buying a baby shower gift last week, I bought Molly a toy grill on impulse. She’s had a blast making hamburgers and hot dogs for me, our neighbor Davis and her buddy Graham. Sarah and I hosted a baby shower for Lauren, who’s expecting a sweet baby boy on July 4!

Have you hard of Pure Barre? I started taking these ballet inspired classes and I am most definitely not in dancing shape any more…it’s hard! I am usually shaking in the first 10 minutes, but the instructor always says, “Breathe through the shaking. You are transforming your body.” I sure hope so. My goal is to make it through an entire class without stopping by the time my one-month package is over.

We {and by “we,” I mean Jim and my dad} tore down our deck and Jim has been working diligently on a new design. My mom is going to help me with some landscaping in the backyard, and I’m waiting on a new media stand for our tv and roman shades for the family room.

Andrea and Tate stopped by yesterday morning to return the maternity clothes that Andrea borrowed from me. Molly is *obsessed* with babies and constantly asks about Baby Tate and Baby Pelps {Phelps is Molly’s friend Jane’s little brother}. Andrea asked Molly if she wanted to hold Tate and Molly was beyond thrilled. MJ asked me where Tate was all afternoon and again this morning.

In my spare time {you know, that time between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.}, I’ve been reading a lot of good books on my Nook. I forget that we actually *pay* for those books…they just appear with the touch of a the screen!

So there you have it. I am sure I’ve left out some very exciting events and I know I need to take more pictures. I hope to be better about pictures this summer. {Remember my Photo of the Day challenge? I made it about three weeks.}


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{Want to win a J.Crew giftcard? Find out how!}

I remember my days of teaching preschool and elementary school, laughing out loud when a student would reenact a scene from home or quote her mother on the playground. And more than once, parents would tell me in a conference or after a PTA meeting that their child played school at home and would mimic me. {I always prayed it was the good, fun teacher they were mimicking and not the frustrated, ketchup-on-my-dress-no-recess-for-three-days-in-a-row teacher.}

I remember one particular Writer’s Workshop when Susan {names have been changed to protect the innocent} wrote about her parents’ annual New Year’s Eve parties. Let’s just say I would have died if my child wanted to share that paper at the end of unit celebration. I also particularly enjoyed the morning when Mark came in to tell me, “My mom said you give too much homework. How in the world are we supposed to read for 30 minutes when we have baseball practice, dinner with the team, and then we have to stop at Target?”

Children are very transparent, aren’t they? They reveal things about us – and to us – that otherwise we might not realize. I mean, how else was I going to know that my required 30 minutes of reading really put a damper on the lives of my students’ parents?

So you can imagine the chuckle – and horror – I had the other day when Molly’s teachers sent a note home about what Molly did at school that day:

“Molly is such a funny girl! Jeana and I love the way she makes us laugh! Lately, Molly has spent time taking care of “Paula,” our blonde baby. She was so sweet and gentle with Paula…right up until she stuffed her in the oven and closed the oven door with her knee. Molly turned to us with a big smile on her face. Molly is just such a special little girl. We love her.” -Molly and Jeana

The secret’s out…I guess I will have to find Molly a new time out spot.

{JUST kidding! She sits in the hallway.}

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{I started this letter on Friday, May 6, Molly’s 21st month day. Only three more monthly letters left.}

Dearest Molly,

It’s amazing how 21 months has gone by in the blink of an eye, but I feel like I’ve always loved you. You continue to amaze me each and every day with your ability to charm me with your smiles and hugs; your memory and observation skills are pretty impressive too. Just this week, you’ve really started to talk in phrases and short sentences and I canNOT believe all of those words are coming out of your mouth. You will put the remote to your head and walk around the house blabbering away. {I can’t even imagine where you learned that.}

Your sense of humor is so quirky and you’ve got the best belly laugh. You are reserved and quiet around unfamiliar people, but once you’re comfortable with someone, there are no holds barred. You are such a picky eater – still no meat or veggies – but I was super impressed and surprised the other night when you ate an entire stuffed shell. Guess what?  There was spinach AND prosciutto in that shell!

You hate to have your diaper changed, but evidently you only put on a show for your dad and me. Renee and your teachers at school say you’re an angel all the time. Such a cunning girl, you are. You love to go on stroller rides, especially to get coffee with mommy. Reading is still one of your favorite activities and it makes my heart smile every time you say “read.” This week, you’ve started saying “Hi!” to people walking in the neighborhood or from your perch in the cart at Harris Teeter or Target. If they don’t respond to you, you say “Hi!” until they do. However, if someone says “Hi” to you first, you refuse to acknowledge them.

You give hugs and kisses without abandon to your dad and me and you’re interest in baby dolls has increased. You love to push them in the strollers and pat them on the back. You also love to chase Allie with the stroller, which the dog hates. I continue to wonder where this kid came from and where my baby is; it’s so much fun to watch you grow and change every day and I try not to miss the baby-ness of you too much. As long as you’ll still cuddle with me every once in a while, then I’m ok to let you continue to grow up.

I love you dearly.

All my love,


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The other evening, Jim and I collapsed on the couch after putting Peaches down for the night. We both let out a huge sigh and Jim says, “She’s going to really drive us crazy sometimes, isn’t she?” The screaming, throwing of objects, and whining will eventually turn into backtalking, eye rolling, and slamming doors, so I answer with an emphatic YES.

But it’s not the obnoxious behavior that’s going to drive us up the wall – she’s just asserting her independence, testing her limits and becoming a strong women, which I applaud {when I’m not throwing up my hands in exasperation}. It’s her innate ability to be so freakin’ cute after she’s made us incredibly mad that’s going to send me over the edge.

After a particularly difficult afternoon, Molly walks up to us in her apron, gardening bag in hand…

And I ask you this: Seriously, how can you be even the slightest bit irritated at that image?! Just looking at these pictures, a week later, makes me laugh out loud. I just got a “look” from the woman working at the table beside me in Caribou Coffee.

I think I’ll print and frame one of these classics so that next month, next year, and in the next decade, whenever Molly does something that makes me wonder how I’ll ever survive, I can just look at the wall and remember how funny and sweet and adorable and lovable and ALL MINE she is.

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Jim was out of town this past weekend on a golf trip with my brother-in-law and my dad, and Molly missed him so. She kept saying, “Daddy working” or “Daddy at work?” Try as I might, I couldn’t get that girl to say “golf” or “beach.” She’ll repeat any other words I say, you know, but she was convinced that Daddy was at work. A woman in the cleaning aisle at Target on Friday got a good chuckle out of mine and Molly’s conversation.

Molly:  “Mommy here. Molly {which sounds like Ma-ee} here. Daddy at work.”

Me:  “No, baby…Daddy is playing GOLF. He’s at the BEACH.”

MJ:  “Daddy work.”

Me:  “Golf.  Beach.”


Me:  “Daddy playing golf.”

MJ:  “Daddy working. Play? Play!? Read? Down. Cart. Down. Ma-ee play.”

I heard laughter at this point and the woman was trying so hard to keep a straight face.


Molly and I had our own fun weekend plans. On Thursday night, Mom, Bev and the kids came over with take-out and we spent the evening outside playing kickball and planting flowers.

I’m so clever: I bought my annuals and conveniently invited my sister over to help me pot them. {Thanks a ton, Beverly! I *really* appreciate it!}

Before the kickball game got too exciting, I had to pick up the dog poop in the backyard so Jackson and Benjamin {and Nana and Beverly – oh, yes, I wish I had had the video camera out!} wouldn’t step in it. I was bending over, getting what I thought was the last of it, when Molly walks up to me with a piece of Allie’s poop in her hand. She was just holding it out to me, as if to say, “Here Mom, you missed some.” My mom and I about died and my mom swooped Molly up and got her in the house to wash her hands.


The rest of our weekend was spent with dear friends. My college friends came to town and we had a quiet, relaxing, fun-filled weekend. Wait. There were three toddlers in my house. It was not quiet, but we had a blast anyway. Julia and I have been trying to get together for months now, so I pretty much told her she needed to come and bring the girls this weekend. So then we invited Emily and Marylu {and Jules was kind enough to pick them up on the way here} and Chrissy came over and it was a Hinton James/University Commons/Carolina girls reunion complete with trading clothes, eating chips and salsa, and drinking wine.

This weekend together was a little different than weekends in the past, but it wasn’t any less fun or special. I love that we have been friends for over ten years now and how easily we fall into a comfortable place with each other. The weather was gorgeous, so we spent most of the weekend outside. I almost burnt the house down making bacon, the toddlers ran around in their diapers after getting soaked at the water table, and we just talked.

Thanks, girls, for coming to town!  Molly and I enjoyed our visit and hope to see you again SOON!

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