Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dear Kate,

New Year's Eve - a day to reflect on the past year, a day to make resolutions for the coming year.

Reflection:  2015. It started in cold NJ with C's diagnosis of pneumonia. Then, I astounded New Jersey-ians everywhere with my rapid natural-birthing skills when R was born in February in just over 3 hours from first contraction to "push slow this time--- nevermind." When the sun finally came out in the spring, I was astounded to find that NJ is actually filled with people! (And some pretty nice ones too! ...I'm sorry for calling you all New Jerkins... the winter was hard). Summer was mostly spent at the park down the street or, more often, in the backyard if C was refusing to wear clothes that day. Then we suddenly moved back to NC in the fall - arriving just in time for 3 months of seemingly endless rain. On the bright side, our rental home might be considered lake-front property now.

Resolutions:  I don't make resolutions. Well, sometimes I do, but I quit them before I even really started them, so I usually just pretend I'm too cool to make resolutions.  I mean, I would love to say that tomorrow I'll start eating better, but let's be honest, even if I made that resolution (and we all know I didn't), I'd have to make it through the holiday leftovers first.  (I don't like waste!) Then I'd have to use up the "bad food" in my pantry and fridge. Then I'd have to refrain from buying the clearanced holiday foods. And then I'd have to actually give up all the yummy things that are bad for me - which coincidentally will be about the time that everyone else is giving up on their resolutions anyway.

Happy New Year!
Bora
Dear Bora,
I broke my right arm. Updating this blog, along with a billion other things, is now much harder to do. Cut me some slack if I don't update much for the next 3 weeks. I'm still trying to figure out how to brush my teeth left handed, so you know, priorities. 
Love,
Kate

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dear Kate,

Every time my son sees this picture:
He says, "There's a monkey hiding!" because he thinks he can see the monkey's curly tail sticking up.

My son is a genius!  

Well, I guess he could also just be a regular toddler that hasn't yet had his free-thinking squashed by a decrepit and overbearing educational system designed to create docile subjects and assembly-line workers.

I'm gonna go with genius,
Bora.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dear Kate,

You haven't written in ages!  Is it because we were together in person until yesterday morning and you didn't need to write letters? Or because you can't type easily with your arm in a sling? Perhaps it's because you are busy visiting family? Or maybe because there is no internet at the cabin? Those all seem like perfectly reasonable explanations.

But maybe you're avoiding me... Maybe you remembered how uncool I am once you saw me. Was our time together a disappointing reminder that you don't actually enjoy being around me? Did your sisterly love for me die with your arm??

Signed,
An insecure middle child
Bora

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dear Kate,
In the bustle of leaving Mom and Dad's this morning, I almost forgot to return those socks you accidentally left with me. You know, the socks that you mistakingly pinned between the layers of a dress that you loaned me? The ones that I have returned to their rightful owner a dozen times over the last 10 years or so? The ones that I hide in your house so that you can't accidentally leave them with me again?
I tried to figure out a way to wrap them into the splint for your dead arm one of the 3 dozen times I re-wrapped it over the last few days, but the details never panned out.
Better hold onto your favorite pair of socks this time!
Bora

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dear Kate,

Since you have a dead arm and wanted me to type your posts anyway, I took the liberty of not only typing one but also writing it. Don't worry, it sounded just like something you would say.

Love you,
Bora

Dear Bora,

You are the most amazing sister ever. You are so cool. I look up to you. You are way funnier than me.

Your less-awesome-than-you sister,
Kate

Friday, December 25, 2015

Dear Kate,

Despite everything, I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. At first, I thought you might be faking your broken arm, but now that your hand is swollen, shiny, and dead-looking, I'm certain that you were just willing to go to extremes to avoid helping with any cooking, cleaning, and caring for children (including your own) during your vacation.

I mean, have you even held your niece since you got here? And no, that time you stroked her head with your "dead hand" to see if it felt different doesn't count!

Love,
Bora

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dear Bora,
I broke my arm. I'm going to need you to type blog posts for me. Did I mention I broke my arm?
Your invalid sister,
Kate 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dear Kate,

Really?? I can't have anything?? Not even the "accident prone" title in our family? I mean, I knew you would vie for attention at mom and dad's but breaking your elbow seems extreme.

I hope you don't think that I'm going to help you unwrap your Christmas presents.

Love,
Bora

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dear Kate,

My 10-month old daughter just crawled out the back door onto our deck and into the rain.  I just know it means I'm a good mom when my first thought upon seeing her on the other side of the glass door was, "Oh come on, I just got you dressed and now you're muddy!"

Bora
^---- Awesome parent


Dear Bora, 
What bothers me most is not the thought of your child destroying books but of you trying to fix them. I kind-of fix books for a living. I'm sure you are doing it wrong. You lack the proper tools like a bone folder and hinge tape. Also I doubt you've watched as many YouTube videos on book repair as I have. Bring them all to Mom and Dad's tomorrow and I'll see if I can repair the damage (not R's damage, yours).  
Your Patronizing Sister, Kate
Dear Bora,
Sandwiches. 
Love,
Kate

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Kate,

Did you see Saturday Night Live?  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted.  It was awesome.  It made me all the more excited to see you in a few days.

Can't wait to be around you so we can finish each other's ________,
Bora

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dear Kate,

I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but... my child is a book-ripper.  As a librarian, you seem the appropriate person to whom to confess.

Yes, it's true.  We were lucky with C and he somehow managed to make it past 2.5  years old with only 2 accidental pages torn in all that time. R, however, apparently finds great joy in tearing pages from books. And unfortunately, because C is so short, I can't keep the books away from R without also keeping them out of C's reach.  I have had to repair at least a dozen books thus far.  She even manages to mangle board books!

I will say that I am pretty proud of my book repair skills, but I do wonder at what point our home library will be more tape than book.

#confessionSunday - yeah, I'm making that a thing,
Bora



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dear Kate,

We had our family Christmas last night and C got a junior-size djembe (a type of African hand drum).  Now, I know that some parents will balk at the idea of getting a 2.5-year old a drum but I was willing to take the risk of a headache in order to avoid having a child with my sense of rhythm (i.e. no sense at all - our brothers must have gotten all of my musical ability).

I truly believed that I had thought this through! I had considered how loud the drum could potentially be and how I would handle irritating non-rhythmic drumming situations. I had considered that drumsticks could be used as weapons (hence the hand drum). I had considered where it would be stored so that it wouldn't be broken between drum sessions. I had thought of all of these things.  I had planned for these things.

I had not, however, considered that my dogs would view the goat skin drum head as a raw hide treat.  While the drum is safe for now, I see a ruined drum and a guilty dog in our future.

Love,
Bora

P.S.  I was glowing with pride yesterday after you conceded my win.  Even my husband was tempted to say, "Oh shut up" for no reason at all.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dear Bora,
Congratulations, you've made me spit out the water I was drinking.  We both know the REAL goal of this blog is to make the other person laugh until they pee their pants or squirt water out their nose.  (That and to get Tina Fey or Amy Poehler notice our comic genius).  You also made my coworkers look at me like I was crazy.  And then even crazier when I had to explain why I was laughing.  You win, this time.
Love,
Kate
Dear Kate,
I already have that one.
Thanks for noticing,
Bora
Dear Bora,
If I told you I loved it, you'd probably think I was being sarcastic or patronizing.  Remember when we used to play board games?  If I was winning, you'd flip the board.  If you were winning, you'd accuse me of letting you win and flip over the board.  Or when we both got new trashcans for our room?  I wanted the white one, so then you wanted the white one.  I let you have the white one, so of course you assumed I was trying to trick you.  It must be in the Little Sister Handbook to make sure I can't win.  Congratulations, you've earned your Damned If You Do badge.  Sew it onto your Little Sister sash after your kids go to sleep tonight.
Love,
Kate
Dear Kate,

You're such a great big sister!

And I mean that in the meanest way possible.  (You know I was never good at name-calling).  What I mean is that you are really on top of your "big sister" game. As is required in the Big Sister Rulebook (p. 394), you have overlooked my hard work yet again.  Or did you not notice that I designed a new header for our blog?

Well, I'm not going to let your lack of attention work this time!  I'm proud of my work on the new header.  I think it looks awesome!

I mean, it's pretty nice.
Okay, it's all right.
Well, it doesn't suck anyway...

I'm changing the header.

Oh forget it!  It would suck just as much next time if I make it!

Your (be)little(d) sister,
Bora.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dear Kate,

Only one more week before I see you for Christmas!  I can't wait!  It has been too long.  Last time I saw you, R was still nicknamed "Paperweight" because she was mostly a cute lump that could smile and giggle.  I think you'll be happily surprised to find that she has graduated to at least "Disobedient Puppy" - she's cute and into everything.  She puts everything in her mouth, frequently bites people, and will look at you briefly when you say 'no' while completely ignoring you with a knowing (and adorable) look.

She's doing great in the trick department though.  She can sit, crawl, and stand.  And she's almost got "walk on hind legs" down too!  All the rain this fall has really put a damper on our house-training efforts, though; she doesn't like peeing outside in the rain.

Just kidding.

Metaphors only go so far,
Bora.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Kate,

Way to capture that entrepreneurial spirit!  I could sell milk 4 different ways!  Being a stay-at-home-mom could not only be sustainable but profitable!

I doubt the hubby will allow me to use it as an ingredient though.  Not to mention that I think my friends will stop coming over for our Sunday lunches... I just have a feeling they wouldn't be put at ease with the refrain, "Breast is best!"

Love,
Bora.

Dear Bora,
Knowing your milk production (village wet nurse, anyone?), you'll have enough to give Santa a big glass of milk and still have plenty left over.  Here are some suggestions on what to do with all that extra breast milk (thanks, Google!):

Your loving and resourceful sister,
Kate

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dear Bora,
I just got back from my Zumba class. Zumba, in case you didn't know, is the modern equivalent of Jazzercise. I recently came to this cross-roads where I either had to choose mom exercise classes or mom jeans. I feel like I chose the better path.  
Your sweaty sister,
Kate 
Dear Kate,

Christmas cookie season is upon us!  I stole the chance during nap time to make a batch of my all-time favorites - Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies, and they are delicious!

The only problem is that apparently even the small amount of oatmeal in these cookies is enough to make my body gear up milk production.  I don't know when my body and I worked out the secret signal that oatmeal indicated a need for milk to feed quadruplets, but it must have been when I was crazy from pregnancy hormones.

I'm not letting it stop me from eating my favorite cookies though!  I just have to figure out something to do with all this extra milk...  Wait, Santa likes milk and cookies, right?

What?! I'd put it in a glass!
Bora



Dear Kate,

You know the old adage "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched"?  Well, I updated it for parents:

"Don't count your child-free evening hours before the kids are in bed."
"Don't count your child-free evening hours before the kids are sound asleep."

yeah... maybe it should just be "Don't count your child-free evening hours."

Why was my baby bouncing off the walls at 10:30 PM?
Bora.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Dear Kate,

Since neither of my children is quite old enough to force me to deal with the "Santa issue," I feel I am extremely qualified to offer you advice.  (In fact, the only person more qualified than myself would be someone who has never had children).  Why don't you just go with this whole "Santa is dead" thing?  But I mean, treat it very somberly.  I mean, cry when you talk about it.  "He's dead, but those poor children don't know yet.  Their parents are lying to them so that they aren't sad.  We shouldn't tell them that he's dead because of how sad they would be."  I feel this not only teaches empathy but is also a good lesson on death.  Heck, you'll be ahead of the game when one of your cats die!

You're welcome,
Bora


Dear Bora,
One thing I didn't realize before becoming a parent was that I would have to make black-and-white choice about Santa.  I figured I could just not do Santa- just omit that part of Christmas.  No.  Every single adult we see asks her if she's excited about Santa coming.   I'm forced to either play along with the milk and cookies, Elf on the Shelf, letters to the North Pole, etc OR I have to tell my 3 year old that Santa is a big, fat lie.   I thought I could get around it by telling K that it's a costume and people like to dress up and pretend to be Santa.  That lead to her running up to a Santa and yelling, "Happy Halloween!" (because he was wearing a costume and you wear costumes on Halloween, obviously).  It also lead to her shouting to the check-out clerk at Kroger, "Santa's not real!  He's just pretend!" when she asked K what Santa's going to bring her for Christmas.  It's not even that I hate the tradition of Santa or that I'm a scrooge, I just didn't want to lie to my kid.  I wanted to be able to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  Plus, I didn't want to get sucked into sprinkling "reindeer food" in the lawn or watching Santa-tracker on the local news.  At least I didn't take the route a friend of mine tried with her 2 small boys.  She taught them about the history of the man Saint Nicholas, which lead to their announcement at daycare that, "Santa is dead!"  Happy holidays, indeed.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas,
Kate
Dear Kate,

Monday is grocery day. Normally, it's the only thing we accomplish for the day.  By the time I get the kids changed, fed, dressed, and changed again, we barely get our grocery shopping in before lunch and then we're in "putting down for naps" mode.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful today, though, so I thought we'd rush to get grocery shopping in so that we can fit in a walk to the park before lunch.  I hurried to get the kids changed and dressed before we even left the bedroom this morning.  I was so proud of myself: All 3 of us dressed for the day by 8 AM!

Only to realize at breakfast why I don't do that every day...

Whatever, saliva-soaked cheerios are totally a fashion accessory and oatmeal-pants are going to be a thing.  You just wait and see.  We're trend setters!

Still waiting for baby-vomit-shirts to come in style,
Bora

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dear Kate,

Every morning when C wakes up before the sun does, Chris goes into his room and sleeps in his bed while C plays (i.e. tears apart the room).  When it's time for me to get up and take a shower, I take R into the bedroom and let her play too (i.e. rip up books and climb on dad while screeching).  ...Sometimes, after I shower, I make coffee and check FB instead of getting the kids right away.

#ConfessionSunday,
(Is that a thing?)
Bora

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dear Kate,

My day started at 4:58 AM.  It's never really nice to wake up at that time of day, but it's especially not nice on a Saturday morning.  And it's even more not nice to be woken very suddenly by the loud THUD of your toddler's head on the wood floor in the kitchen.  (He needed his grilled cheese).  Fortunately, said toddler was fine.  Unfortunately, toddler AND (now very awake) baby thrashed around in my bed for the next 2 hours.  Nothing like being simultaneously kicked in the stomach by a 2-year old and surprised by a baby finger in your nose.

Running on fumes at 6:50 PM,
Bora

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dear Kate,

While I can tell from Pinterest that most SAH moms create elaborate engagement experiences for their children, I spend the majority of my time just re-naming our activities using convoluted euphemisms.  So far this morning we have explored independent play (i.e. the kids tore apart their room while Dad lay semi-conscious on the toddler's bed while I showered), engaged in a multi-sensory book experience (i.e. the baby threw every book on the floor whilst squealing, tore pages out, and then tasted said pages), practiced fine motor movements with a multi-media art project (i.e. the toddler smeared peanut butter across the kitchen table during breakfast) and participated in animal husbandry (i.e. the baby fed the dogs all of her cheerios).

Well, I have to go; I need to go practice gymnastics with a focus on hygeine with the kiddos (i.e. change some diapers).

Love you,
Bora

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dear Bora,
I figured since you decided to become a stay-at-home mom that you'd given up on all your dreams, including the one where we became a famous blogging duo. Or maybe I just assumed you were too busy planning themed learning activities for every hour of the day. Isn't that what you SAH moms do?  
Anyway, I've become THAT mom- the one who talks regularly, with acquaintances, about my child's bowel movements. Crap. Oh and while we're on the subject, my 3 year old told me to "stop being such a turd."  Yep, I'm going to win Mom of the Year for accidentally teaching her that phrase. 
Wishing you a day filled with more love than poop,
Kate

Restart

Dear Kate,

I'm just not willing to give up on this blog.  We are too funny and my life is only getting more hilarious by the moment.  I mean the jokes write themselves!  With my 10-month old perpetually crawling at break-neck speed for the dog's water bowl that she believes to be a pool, and my 2-year old shout-singing in monotone, "Jingle Bells, Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells!" I can't say I think I'd ever run out of material.

Besides, we just don't get to talk like we used to...  Mostly because our phone conversations entail more off-to-the-side remarks to children than actual conversation with each other, but hey, what can you do?  Anyway, I promise to write to you every day for at least-- oh crap, gotta go get my daughter out of "the pool."

Love you,
Bora