Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dear Kate,

I decided that it would be a fun tradition to celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th with the kids.  After our usual Advent candle lighting, I told one of the most famous stories of St. Nicholas (kid style):

The was once a very poor man who couldn't pay for the marriages of his 3 daughters.  He was so sad.  Nicholas wanted to help the man and his daughters because he loved Jesus.  So Nicholas went by the house at night and tossed gold coins in the open window.  They landed in the girls' socks that had been hung by the fire to dry. Nicholas was very kind and generous, like Jesus, and that's why we celebrate him today.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself as I gave them each a chocolate coin to enjoy.

But then the following conversation transpired:

C:  Where is Nicholas now, Mommy?
Me:  Well, that was a long time ago, honey.
C:  So where is he now?
Me:  He got very old, baby. That was almost 2,000 years ago.
C:  So where is he?
Me:  He got old. And then... and then he died.
C:  St. Nicholas is dead?

Why not introduce death to your 3 year old while celebrating the holidays?

Move over Grinch who stole Christmas, the mommy who killed St. Nicholas is here,
Bora.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dear Kate,

As C climbed back into his loft bed tonight, he told me that he had climbed out because he was trying to get the monsters out of his bed because they were making stinky peanut butter.  "And I don't like their stinky peanut butter."

He just said it so matter of factly.

My kids are so weird.  I love it.

Don't know where they get it from,
Bora

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dear Bora,
Yesterday I asked K to do something and she said, "Yes, ma'am."  I did a double take.  We don't say ma'am in our house, but I guess when the South is all she's known (and she's in school now), it was bound to happen sooner or later.  We've just got to move north before she starts saying "ya'll" or asking for collard greens with fat-back.
Your Still-Not-Southern Sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

Remember how when we moved from Illinois to Georgia we discovered that in school a "yes" without a "m'am" after it was rude and a "yeah" was liable to land you in silent lunch?

I think about that every time my 19 month old daughter says, "Yow" instead of yes.  I think it's adorable but I sometimes wonder what future punishment she might be subject to because her mom apparently still has terrible manners and thinks "yow" is totally acceptable.

Yow, yow,
Bora

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dear Kate,

I realize that to many-a-parent thumb-sucking is evil, but you know what?  Thumbs don't get lost.  We have managed to keep only 2 pacifiers in rotation for R, very rarely misplacing one - until this weekend when we managed to misplace BOTH within 48 hours.  Now, I don't need anyone to point out that this "good fortune" is probably because she rarely seems to take the thing out of her mouth.  Honestly, due to the other "many-a-parents" that believe pacifiers are evil, I briefly contemplated letting this be an abrupt and permanent end to the paci but then I remembered the look she has when her paci has dropped behind a couch or is lost in a pile of stuffed animals.  She has these sad eyes that say, "This is the beginning of true and deep sorrow, Mother."  So instead, I swore to God that I would be a better human being if we could just find one of them before bedtime. When I finally found one of them hiding under a couch, the excitement and love in her eyes rivaled that which she shows me.

Hey, if she loves it.  I love it too.

Here's to found pacies,
Bora.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dear Kate,

I've heard it said that recurrent nightmares in which your teeth fall out means that you feel out of control. What do you think it means if I'm having nightmares where C's teeth fall out?

Love,
Bora

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dear Kate,

C loves to tell stories. Here is the one he told me today:

Me: *sticking my tongue out*
C: *copies me* I have a big tongue. I have teeth too.
Me: yeah, but one fell out.
C: yeah but it will grow back
Me: yep. Do you remember when it fell out?
C: yeah, I fell down.
Me: what happened to the tooth that fell out?
C: a crocodile ate it. Then I ran after him and bit him. Then he cried.
Me: oh my goodness.
C: yeah, then the ambulance came and got the crocodile. It drived and drived
Me: where did it go?
C: to the doctor. But then the crocodile bit her... Then she bit the crocodile and he cried and swam away in the water
Me: man, lots of people get bit in this story
C: then the crocodile went home and told his parents.
Me: oh?
C: yeah, the crocodile told his father. Then the father bit him.
Me: wow
C: then a Big. Red. T-Rex came and bit him too!

Then he finished going potty which was incredibly frustrating given the plot twist cliff hanger ending.

Love you,
Bora

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dear Bora,
Clearly your kids have inherited our impeccable comedic timing. Deliver the (totally ridiculous) line deadpan and walk away. That's our style, right?  Like how I told everyone that I wore 2 watches because one was set to New York time or how you told everyone that the stock photo of an Asian kid in your wallet was your son.  We just like to say crazy things to get a reaction.  I'm pretty sure it's on our family crest. 
 Something else K has inherited from me is her inability to understand song lyrics. Not that it stops her from singing them (incorrectly) ad nauseum. Take her latest favorite song, "All About That Bass.". She only sings one line and it goes like this:
I'm all about that bass, bout that bass no shovel. 
Or maybe it's not something she inherited from me at all. Could it be her father's love of Weird Al and that she's actually attempting to make up a parody?  That's a way better story, so I think that's what I'm going to tell people from now on. With a straight face. And then walk away. 
Love,
Kate
Dear Kate,

I was so proud of myself for posting here so regularly over the last 6 months or so.  That may not seem like much of an accomplishment to a blogger of your status ("Micro-blogging since 2008!") but for me as an habitual "restarter" ("Sixteen different blogs started and stopped since 2008!) it was a big deal.

I wish work didn't get in the way of my otherwise hilarious life.  My kids are pretty awesome, I'm just sayin'.  Even the preschool/ daycare thinks my kids are the best.  The teacher told me just the other day that she loves talking to C because you just never know what he's going to say.  Apparently one of the first conversations she had with him went something like this:

Teacher: C, what happened to your tooth? (he's missing a front tooth from a bathtub accident, remember?)
C: It's gone.
Teacher: I see that.  How did that happen?
C: One day it just flew away...

I wish he'd said that when the pediatrician asked but instead he went with the equally made-up, "My mommy threw me."

See? Hilarious life,
(well, only because CPS wasn't called...)
Bora.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dear Kate,

I recently discovered that C knows all the planets in our solar system - except Pluto, presumably because it wasn't in the app from which he learned. I casually mentioned Pluto today when he was pretending to be jumping from planet to planet and he burst out laughing. "Pluto's not a planet, Mom! Pluto is a dog in Mickey Mouse world!"

Duh,
Bora

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dear Kate,

Remember when I used to talk about running away to join the circus?  I still want to do that.  My family would most likely be allowed to run away with me - check back on the particular day.

Love,
Bora.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dear Bora,
I'm sorry to hear you are stressed. Remember in high school when we would eat almost an entire 9x13 pan worth of brownie batter?  (I say that like it was a one time occurrence, when I'm sure everyone knows better). It might actually be a good thing we don't live next door to each other. I would probably weigh 300 lbs and be in the hospital with my fifth bout of salmonella. Sounds like C is taking on my cookie-pushing wing-man role though. K also knows how to trigger my sweet tooth with things like, "we've been good Mommy, so we can have a treat tonight, right?" Ugh. How can you say no to that?
Your pre-diabetic sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

Here is my conversation with C on the way to school this morning:

C: Mom, can we make cookies tonight?
Me: Um, maybe.  We'll have to see.  We might have some other things to get done.
C: Ok.  (pause)  We can make cookies when you're stressed.

Yep, this kid gets me.

If you couldn't guess from the lack of a post here, I'm sure this conversation snippet makes it quite clear just how well I'm doing these days.

I am pro-desserts-when-stressed,
Bora

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dear Bora,
At least I can say that I was pregnant that time we ate an entire watermelon together. But I don't have that excuse for all the other times... There are worse things to binge eat, though I'm sure that will be a pathetic explanation when I'm having my stomach pumped in the ER. 
Your watermelon-loving sister, 
Kate

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dear Kate,

Remember that time we ate almost an entire watermelon in one sitting?  I wish you were here because at least then I'd only eat 1/2 a watermelon.

I bet there's an ICD-10 code for this:  Polyuria secondary to excessive watermelon ingestion.

I don't know how to stop myself!
Bora.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dear Bora,
I, too, use the patent-pending "3 Blankie System" and it has served me well.  We recently became a bit more dependent on the blankie because K has stopped sucking her thumb!  I was sure it was going to be every bit as traumatic and drawn-out as potty training, but it was easy.  We have her first dental appointment coming up soon and I really wanted to be able to tell the dentist we were trying to get her to stop.  All it took was a trip to the dollar store for some prizes, a fun pair of socks to wear on her hands at he chose is rubbing blankie on her nose.  But since blankie will not cost us thousands of dollars in orthodontia, I think we're trading up.  As for your "naptime friend" dilemma, is it too late to buy 2 more Gunkeys?  K rotates between favorite stuffed animals (she calls them her "guys").  While that's helpful for not becoming too dependent on one, it does mean she often gets upset when I didn't anticipate which "guy" would be her favorite in my packing for trips.  There's a downside to everything, right?
Love,
Kate

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dear Kate,

C has suddenly decided that he needs his monkey stuffed animal - named Gunky - to accompany him to school and to bed.  I'm assuming that he was influenced at school since they are allowed a "naptime friend."  The only problem with this is that we have to be sure Gunky goes with us each day to school AND comes home with us. So much pressure!  I mean, this is the whole reason I invented the 3 blankie system!  I was pretty sure that I out-parented all the other parents when I came up with it.  You see, we have a special blankie for home, a car blankie that never leaves the car, and a school blankie (it was just an extra prior to starting school).  The system started to fall apart when special blankie got softer (hence, becoming "special") but we've somehow managed to keep it going.

But now R has decided that she needs a blankie too.  Despite the fact that C does not tease her about not having one (like an older sibling I once had did to me...), she now tries to walk off with his and will scream if you don't give her the random blankie in the car.

Oh blankies,
Bora

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dear Bora,
That sounds glorious! All it takes is one day like that every so often and it gives you happy memories to cling to while your 3 year old has a total tantrum melt-down during a Skype call with your grandparents or when your teenager gets caught skipping school (both of which happened this week for me). I'm glad you had such a successful and satisfying day of adulting. You deserve lots of them- way more than you will likely ever get.
Your proud and a little jealous sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

Yesterday was a magical day.  It was my day off with the kids.  First, I got up way too early and got my charting done while drinking iced coffee and watching cartoons with C.  Then, we all got dressed and went on a long bike ride/ walk down to the park.  Next, we went to the grocery store and didn't forget any of the items on the list.  C fell asleep in the car on the 5 minute drive home and stayed asleep through a transfer to his bed!  Then R went down without much fuss!  Kate, do you know what I did next?  I read a book.  I read a book without holding a baby awkwardly.  Without being interrupted and losing my place 10 times.  Without any distractions!

After reading for almost two hours without a peep from either kid, I thought to myself, "Is this heaven?  Am I dead?"

Then the kids woke up.

But really, they were in good moods and we had a great rest of the day.

Now that's heaven,
Bora.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dear Kate,

I agree. This week has been an eternity. Today is my "weekend" though since I don't work on Thursdays and it's my week to work Saturday.  Ugh.

I was planning to sleep in this morning but C decided that 5:30 was sleeping in enough.  At least he's cute and content to watch a movie with me while I finish some charting from this eternal week.

Hope the weekend gets here soon for you and passes quickly for me,
Bora.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dear Bora,
How is it not the weekend? This week has already been a million years long. 
Your weary sister,
Kate
Dear Bora,
K still calls them "light savers" which is too adorable to correct. There are only a few things she still mispronounces, and it's one of the only things from her babyhood that I miss. Coffee was foshee. He blanket was her bwitty. Already I'm  drawing a blank on some of the other cute words. Maybe this what all those parents mean about time going by too fast?  Wait, is that my daughter screaming for me when she should still be asleep and I need to leave for work in 3 minutes and I haven't brushed my teeth yet?  Maybe I'll have time to reminisce when she's in college. 
Love,
Kate

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dear Kate,

This morning on the way to the preschool, C and I had a conversation:

C:  Mommy, I want a light sword!
Me:  A light sword, huh?"
C:  (excited now) No, a light saber!
Me:  A light saber?  That would be so cool!
C:  (suddenly very angry) I want you to give me a light saber!  I want a light saber now!

He proceeded cry about this for about 30 seconds.

Me:  I wish I had a light saber to give you right now.  That would be so cool!  If you had a light saber, what would you do with it?
C:  (immediately stops crying)  I would build Legos.

That was the end of the conversation and we had a peaceful drive thereafter.

Didn't know you needed a light saber to do that...
Bora

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dear Kate,

It would appear that my 15 month old daughter's only understandable and frequently repeated word is "THAT!"  Yes, always with the exclamation point.  And while the particular meaning of "that" can be tricky to figure out, you better figure it out because "that" is all she wants.  She will not accept "this" or "those."  She only wants "that" and if you get "that" wrong - you better watch out because NOT "that" is about to get slapped out of your hands.

Love,
Bora

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dear Bora, 
Is there a cap on the number of tantrums children can throw on Mother's Day?  No?  Hmm. Hoping your Mother's Day is less scream-y than mine. 
Love,
Kate

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dear Kate,

Last night when I went to put on R's pajamas, she got up after the diaper change and ran to the coat tree.  I went over to where she was and started putting on her pajamas and she let out the most ear-piercing scream.  She was insanely angry that I wanted to put on her pajamas and not the jacket that she picked was pointing at and saying "That!"

She knows what she wants,
Bora

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dear Kate,

I realize it may be a little early to tell but I'm pretty sure that R has inherited my propensity to start books and never finish them. She LOVES to bring me books to read.  She squeals gleefully as she runs towards me with a book, carefully situates herself in my lap, helps me open the book to the first page - and then before the first sentence has been finished, she forces the book closed and signs "all done."  She then takes the book back to the shelf and gets another.  She does this repeatedly, never getting beyond the first page. If I open the book back up and try to continue, she screams in anger and pushes the book closed on my fingers.

"All done"
- Bora.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dear Bora,
I'm so glad you brought up the "let's never tell our kid about..."  K, who is 3 and half, calls the ice cream truck the "music truck."  After seeing our friends' kids have uber-meltdowns when the ice cream truck comes down the street right before dinner, we decided to a) never buy our children ice cream from the truck because if you do it once you will have to do it every time or face the wrath of an ice cream deprived child and b) not even tell our children the truck sells ice cream in the first place. Hence the name "music truck." It's not totally a lie. It's a truck that plays music. How long can we keep it up?  Just like your Duplos, I think we have until school. Too bad our children eventually spend time with people outside of our family who will expose all of our half-truths. 
Love, Kate
Dear Kate,

C loves Legos.  And of course, being only three, I'm referring to Duplos by Lego.  Honestly, I am seriously considering never introducing him to real Legos and I'll give you 3 reasons why:

  1. You can't accidentally vacuum up Duplos.  The vacuum just pushes them out of the way.
  2. You are much less likely to accidentally step on them and if you do, you will probably not teach your kid a new swear word.
  3. Legos are expensive! You can find "out-grown" Duplos on Craigslist super cheap but people keep Legos forever.
How weird do you think my kid will turn out if he somehow makes it to adulthood not knowing that smaller Legos exist?

Love,
Bora

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dear Bora,
I don't know why but when you mentioned mansions, it immediately made me think of that game MASH. You know, the one where you choose a list of boys you might marry, how many kids you'll have, what kind of car you'll drive, and of course whether you'll have a Mansion, Apartment, House, or Shack. Even as a tween, I knew MASH was far from prophetic and that I had  bit more choice in those matters than how many spirals my BFF drew in the paper before I said, "stop."  Thank goodness I did not end up living in a shack that is full to bursting with my 9 children... though I wouldn't say no to that convertible I was promised. 
Love, Kate
Dear Kate,

Last night I was debating to myself about what to do with my morning on my day off.  Do I get up extra early and enjoy an hour to myself with a cup of coffee or do I try to sleep in until 7 AM?

I might as well have been debating whether I would prefer to buy a mansion vacation home lake-front or mountain-overlook.

My morning started with a baby-turning-toddler kicking me incessantly in the stomach like an angry kangaroo at 4 AM.  This was followed by restless sleep until 6:15, and finally awaking only 15 minutes later than every other day to the pitter patter elephant-like stomping of a very-nearly 3 year-old running to the living room to play with his Legos.

On the bright side, the baby slept in, so I did manage to get a cup of coffee to myself.  On the other hand, sleeping in caused her to pee through her diaper, drenching our sheets.

At least I was already planning to do laundry,
Bora.




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dear Kate,

As I've said before, my daughter doesn't really talk.  She has signs for milk, finished, and more.  Despite being very vocal, she doesn't really use any words other than the occasional "Hi!" that gets added to her princess wave.

Which is why I was more than a little surprised yesterday when she threw a book off the couch, looked at me, and pointing at the book said, "Get that!"

I know I should just enjoy the moment, but... she could have at least said "please,"
Bora.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dear Kate,

I know you must be getting sick of talking about puke (pun intended), but since I usually just write about what's going on in my life, that's what you get to hear about.

Last night, I kept thinking, "If we can just make it through the night. Please let us just get through one night without having to change the sheets and bathe a pitiful, crying 3 year-old in the middle of the night." Well, we made it through the night. Turns out that it is about equally as not-fun to change the sheets and bathe the crying kid first thing in the morning. The sad part is, I can't even try to get him to puke in a bucket because he keeps throwing up in his sleep. Poor kiddo.

I have a feeling that his "special blankie" that was already starting to disintegrate has lost about half it's lifespan in wash-cycles during the last week.

Love,
Bora

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dear Bora,
I cannot one up you with my puke story, but I'll share it anyway. Today, I was at a 5 year old's birthday party- a little girl from K's class. I knew none of the parents but since K really likes this friend, we went anyway.  It was at one of those places with indoor bouncy houses and K was having a blast while I tried to make small talk. After cake, K went down the big slide a few times. Then she came to me and said, "I'm going to throw up."  And then she threw up all over both of us. I barely waited until she stopped vomiting before I left. I don't imagine we'll be invited to very many more parties. 
Ready to be vomit free,
Kate

Dear Kate,

I retract my previous worst puke post. C just threw up boiled eggs, liver sausage bagel, and cherry jello.

In the car.

I'm about to go start the preliminary hosing off.

Wish me luck,
Bora

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Bora,
If we didn't look so much alike and share an amazing sense of humor, I would wonder if we were really related. While your children are scaling your furniture, I had to actually bribe my daughter to jump off her bed into a pile of pillows. I think the solution to both our problems is 2 weeks of Cousins' Camp at our parents' house. Maybe our kids will rub off on each other and they'll find a happy medium between overly cautious and reckless endangerment. 
Now our only dilemma is figuring out what we'll do with 2 child-free weeks on our hands!  Start your list!
Love,
Kate
Dear Kate,

R is not quite 15 months old but she is already scaling the furniture. I can't tell if we have a future traceuse on our hands or just an avid tree climber like her mother. (A traceuse is a female who does parkour, by the way - I just looked that up).

Something about having an older sibling to show her how it's done has pushed her to test her physical limits. Yesterday, she was doing circuits - climbing onto a small chair, then balancing on the back of the small chair, then climbing onto the end table, then onto the back of the couch, then down to the floor, then back to the small chair and repeat.  The whole while she was just squealing in delight.

Today, she realized that her new-found ability to pull herself up on the kitchen chairs means that all counter-tops are now at her disposal simply by pushing said chair where she wants it and climbing up.

I don't need to baby-proof my house.  I need to traceuse-proof it.
Bora

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dear Kate,

There are times when I have to stop and remind myself to enjoy the present moment.  You know, like pausing to enjoy C being super silly rather than getting annoyed that he's drawing with his yogurt on the kitchen table.  I mean, I don't have to let myself get mad.  It's just yogurt.  We can laugh and he can help me clean it up instead of it turning into some giant fight.

The key here though is "REMIND MYSELF."  I do NOT need some random person saying, "Cherish every moment, dear.  It goes so fast!"

Every moment?  Every moment?

I feel like it's just been too long since that person was woken by a kid (very rightly) upset because he woke up to find he was sleeping in a pool of diarrhea, you know?

Will get back to the cherishing tomorrow,
Bora.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dear Kate,

I pretty much let my kids eat what they want/ will (within reason). I do not force them to eat what we are having and they often have strange combinations of foods for dinner. I have never regretted more my decision to allow R to eat mostly liver sausage and black olives for dinner than I did the moment she threw up on me tonight.

Mommy-daughter showering is becoming a thing in my house.

Love,
Bora

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dear Bora, 
I find it incredibly interesting to discover where different parents draw "the line" of what's ok and what isn't. We spent some time with friends this weekend who don't allow their kids to say the following words: pee, poop, or butt. They will, however, allow their children to climb and jump off the following objects: the couch, the kitchen table, and an 8 foot tall privacy fence.  I, on the other hand, will allow K to say vagina and crap, while I won't allow her to jump on the bed or throw toys at visitors. Though I totally respect different families having different rules, it was pretty hilarious to have their 8 year old run over to tell me, "K said the f-word!" In this instance, the f-word is "fart."
My kid's got quite the potty mouth. 
Love, Kate

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dear Kate,

C saw a man walking with a fishing pole down by the lake this afternoon.  After he had been staring for quite a while, I said, "He's going fishing."

C kept staring for a moment.  Then he turned back to me, "Like Jesus?"

Not many anglers in the family,
Bora.
Dear Kate,

C and R were jumping up and down on our bed this morning while the husband was still sleeping.  C was yelling, "We're ninjas! I'm a ninja!  R is a ninja!  We're ninjas!"  The husband was not amused but I'm sure it's only because the irony of a screaming ninja was lost on him at 7:15 on a Sunday morning.

I'm the mom of ninjas!!
Bora

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Kate,

C asked me what the white stuff on his Frosted Mini-Wheats was.  I said, "That's the sweet part."

He now asks for Mini Sweets.

As with most sweetened breakfast cereal, he's probably more right than wrong.

Love,
Bora.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dear Kate,

Do you ever have one of those days where something happens that makes you wonder if anything will ever be funny again?

Today is one of those days.

There's no joke in this post.  Nothing funny.  Just a pause.  A moment to remember a friend.  To grieve with her. To lift her up in this dark moment.

Perhaps some day in the future, I will try to make her smile again with these nonsensical posts, but today, I will just grieve with her.

With love,
Bora.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dear Kate,

I may never get to see you this summer.  My "part time" job is turning out to be part-time only in the sense that it takes slightly less than the million hours per week that it would suck out of me if I were "full time."  You know that scene in Princess Bride when they use The Machine on Wesley and it sucks years off of his future lifespan until he's mostly-dead?  That was modeled after jobs in healthcare.

The next person to tell me anything along the lines of, "Well, at least you are only working part time" is going to get kicked in the teeth.  My anxiety about my job and for my patients is not part time and that is the hardest part of my job.

Mostly dead after my long day,
Bora.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dear Bora,
Sorry for not writing lately. I was busy enjoying one of the perks of working for the public school system: Spring Break. In the same way that I cannot imagine being paid 6 figures, I cannot fathom a life without Spring Break (and Christmas Break and Summer Break). I also understand that these 2 things are probably connected. Anyway, I do realize that the fact that my whole family has off for these big chunks at the same time is very uncommon and so we try to always make the most of it. Usually we go camping on Jekyll Island for Spring Break but we had an incredible opportunity come up: the chance to spend 8 days in Israel. It was amazing. I plan on telling you all about it this summer when we meet up at Mom and Dad's house (and we convince at least one grandparent to take the kids on a walk so we can have an entire 30 minute conversation without being interrupted 47 times). So start looking at your calendar. I'm free all of Jine and July. I'll schedule our trip to Hawaii around you. 
Love,
Kate

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dear Kate,

So as it turns out, I've likely been having migraines my whole life and am only now figuring it out because they got worse after having babies.  I would wonder why no doctor figured this out after writing "chronic severe headaches" in my medical history on every intake form at every doctor's office I've ever been to, except that I know from experience on the other side that it's because when the doctor would ask, I would always say, "Yeah, I've always had lots of bad headaches" and shrug. I am 100% positive that he or she thought, "well if it doesn't bother you that much..." and moved on.

The only reason I'm probably getting treated now is that it's really hard to minimize dry-heaving in between patients at work.

Turns out skull-crushers are migraines,
Bora.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter is so talented that she breaks even break-resistant tempered glass dishes with ease.

Sweeping up glass shards,
Bora.

P.S.  Yep, so thrilled that her little hands can reach on top of the kitchen table now.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dear Kate,

Our Grandma and Grandpa were visiting yesterday.  Nothing like having your kids meet "new people" to make you realize how strange your children really are.

Great Grandma:  I love you hair, C!
C:  Thank you.  It's made of chocolate, you know.
Me: (to myself) .... what??

Also, we went to Chick-fil-A for dinner and neither of my children would eat anything except for the blueberries and mandarin oranges that they picked out of the fruit cups.  I know!  They are super weird, right??  I mean, who doesn't like Chick-fil-A??

Love,
Bora

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear Kate,

Before having children, I never realized how uncomfortable someone else's fever could make me.

As I lay awake last night, I imagined that this must be exactly what it felt like when Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother put hot irons wrapped in flannels in her bed.

Well.... except that I wasn't freezing to death in straw-tick bed in a one-room shanty in the middle of winter on the prairie - I was just lying in a very nice bed in a well-insulated house in the spring time.  And I didn't have scalding hot irons wrapped in flannels... I just had a hot, naked baby that wanted to touch my skin all night.

Other than that, it was pretty much exactly the same,
Bora.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dear Kate,

I had off yesterday when I typically don't, so the kids still had preschool.  To avoid throwing off their new routine too much, I decided to take them as usual and get a few things done that are harder with kids around.  Holy cow!  Do you know how much stuff you can get done in a single day?!  I got caught up on work stuff, did laundry, picked up toys (they didn't reappear!), vacuumed, unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded the dishwasher, went to a store in which I only needed a single item (I was in and out so fast!), went thrift store shopping to find some new jeans (success!), went to Target (and got everything I needed without having to hurry up because the kids were getting to the limit on cart-time), and went grocery shopping!  It was so productive!

The only down side?  I'm a productivity addict.  This hit of productivity is going to throw me into withdrawal as I continue my everyday life as a mother of two.

I just need it,
Bora.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dear Kate,

For C's birthday coming up in May, we decided to re-do his room.  Since I can't time out perfectly finding the right bed on Craigslist, we ended up replacing his floor bed with a low loft bed this weekend.  In classic C style, when we showed him the bed set up for the first time, he walked in, silently climbed the ladder and sat on the bed.  He then climbed down, looked at his dad and said stoically, "It's very cool."  Ugh, he is so like his dad.  "I'm so excited," he'll say in near-monotone.  "No, really.  This is awesome."

Guess I won't be making millions by posting Christmas freak-out-excitement videos on YouTube,
Bora.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dear Bora,
Did you ever notice how Pintrest gives such an oddly specific window into someone's life.  Take my friend Amy for example.  We have't seen or even really talked to each other in years, but we're friends on Facebook and follow each other on Pintrest.  I noticed yesterday that she had 4 pins about for felt cheese tutorials.  What's up with that, Amy?  Felt cheese?  Or Crystal, who pinned 10 "clean living" recipes and then 2 pins for microwave cake in a cup.  Clearly Lauren is considering a new haircut- probably a bob- based on her most recent 7 pins.  And I noticed Brianna's really into essential oils these days.  It's weird, right?  It's such a limited, but intimate peek into the lives of my acquaintances. It also makes me wonder what glimpses of my life I'm putting out there on Pintrest...
Love,
Kate

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dear Kate,

Bedtime with an almost 3-year old (who would rather play than sleep) and a 1-year old (who, judging by her screams, thinks sleep is death in disguise) is an affair.  I often wish I could just skip the bedtime mess all together.

Tonight, I got stuck at work for so long that I wasn't home for the bedtime mess.

You know what?  Next time, I'd like the bedtime mess, please.

Love,
Bora.

Dear Kate,

There is nothing like a GI bug to make you resent the child that gave it to you.

There's also nothing like silly baby snuggles to get rid of resentment.

Love,
Bora

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear Bora,
There are so many things I used to judge parents for, of which I must repent.  Snot crusted noses for one.  I used to think it meant you didn't care about your child.  Now I know there is just no way you can keep up a child's runny nose.  I think K has had a runny nose for about 300 of the last 365 days.  At least we've got her to stop wiping her boogers in her hair.
It's the little things,
Kate

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dear Kate,

I sometimes wonder if the people that design car seats purposefully make them difficult to clean.  I mean, perhaps they are hoping that when my daughter has a blow out diaper and I am forced to remove the car seat cover to wash it, that I will be so disgusted by the crevices full of Cheerios and graham cracker crumbs, the whitewash of dried baby spit-up that wasn't visible, and the permanent sticky-crumby indents in the car upholstery that I will just decide to chuck the whole thing and buy a new one.

Even at $200 a car seat, they almost achieve that goal every time.

Love,
Bora

P.S.  I used to secretly judge moms with food debris in their cars.  I repent.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dear Kate,

C often likes to play cooking and baking.  He will turn any of his toys into food and insist that you join him in devouring whatever it is he has turned it into.

Today, he brought me a block and said, "Here is your popcorn sugar cake, Mom.  Enjoy!"  Now, I could only assume that popcorn sugar cake is traditionally served with ice cream, in which case, he did not have to ask me to eat up a second time. Even if it was just pretend, popcorn sugar cake with ice cream is my new favorite dessert.

Ah, boy after my own heart,
Bora

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dear Kate,

Today is my day off.  Since I've been getting up at 6 AM in order to get myself and the kids ready in time for everyone to get to school and work on time, I was very much looking forward to sleeping a bit later.  With the time change this past weekend, I've had to wake the kids up every day between 6:30 and 6:45 to get them ready.

Guess which baby was kicking me and screaming at 4:30?  And guess which toddler woke up at 5:45 yelling, "I'm awake!"

So much for "sleeping in" until 7 AM,
Bora


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dear Kate,

C's new preschool has nap time so I packed one of his 3 blankies (1 car blankie, 1 "special blankie" for night-time, and 1 back-up [now at preschool]).  The school told me that he refused to nap or even lay down on Monday.  The teacher finally got him to lie down when she agreed to read books with him and rub his back if he stayed on the mat. I couldn't get him to talk to me about school on Monday because he was too tired.  But this morning, when I asked if he was going to take a nap at school today, he said in the saddest voice, "Yeah, but they gave my blankie to R."  Apparently he was too shy to answer when they asked him which blankie was his, so they gave his blankie to R.  Oops.

I think I know now why they make you label EVERYTHING,
Bora.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dear Kate,

Nearly all of the clocks in my home self-adjust for daylight savings time.  Only my stove and my already sleep-deprived internal clock mock me this morning.

Happy Daylight Savings Time! (Brought to you by... COFFEE)
Bora

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dear Bora,
Cute kids are the perfect buffer for uncomfortable situations. You can look at them so you don't have to make eye contact, you can talk about the so you don't have to think of small-talk topics, and you can use them as an excuse to leave early.  If only we could bring our kids to job interviews, as well as other unpleasant work-based situations such as performance evaluations and even staff Christmas parties. Would everyone appreciate the benefits of small children in the workplace or only those of us with exceptionally adorable kids?
Love,
Kate

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dear Kate,

I signed my new work contract today and I officially start on Monday.  I had to drag both kids to the office to sign the paperwork; needless to say, I was nervous bringing two toddlers to my new clinic before I had even started working there.  As it turns out, my kids are adorable and won everyone over immediately (note: we did not go any time close to nap time).  Honestly, if I'd known how well everyone was going to react, I'd have brought them to the interview too.

Blinded by cuteness,
Bora.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dear Bora,
I'm now a taxi-driving soccer mom.  I spend way too much time every day driving around D and several other smelly, sweaty, soccer-playing teenage boys.  All I need is a minivan with those stick figure stickers on the back that show how many people are in our family and my suburban nightmare will be complete.  I hate driving.  I don't really enjoy sports.  Why couldn't my kids be into yoga or at least be part of a team that practices within walking distance of my house?
I know, I know. First world mom problems.  And soccer season will be over soon.  Unless they make the play-offs...
Love,
Kate

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter can reach on top of tables now.  She can't see what she's grabbing for though.  From the other side of the table, you just see this little hand flopping around over the edge, feeling for anything to pull down.  Babyproofing my house just keeps getting more difficult.

Love,
Bora

Monday, March 7, 2016

Dear Bora,
I think I'd rather my kid say, "Feel the Burn" instead of the 3 wrestling catch phrases her dad has taught her.
Like I've always said, people have kids because there are some tricks you can't teach your dog.
Love,
Kate

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dear Kate,

I've always been skeptical of parents who take their kids to protests or political rallies and have them hold signs or shout things.  To be honest, I'm sure that the main reason that this makes me cringe is because the rallies where I have seen this happen are in support of things I am against or opposed to things that I am for.

That said...  it's confession Sunday.

I voted early in the primary yesterday.  And then I spent 30 minutes getting my almost 3 year old to say, "Feel the Bern!" so I could video tape him...

But it's Bernie!
Bora


Friday, March 4, 2016

Dear Bora,
It's confession time, regardless of the day of the week. I hate getting gifts for kids. Not my kid, just other people's kids. I've begun to dread the invitations to birthday parties. It's not even the cost of the gift. It's that I've been inside these people's houses. I've seen the way toys and books take over. I've heard these parents complaining about the sheer volume of kids' crap. Why would I add to that?  I know how kids are. They'll be excited about the new thing for 2 days tops. Then it becomes just another thing you're begging them to pick up off the floor before bath time. My gift, no matter how thoughtful, becomes one more thing they are trying to sneak away to Goodwill during nap. There are a couple of parents who say, "you don't have to bring a present!"  And they probably even mean it. But opening gifts is still part of the party and the guilt is still there. It'll probably get worse as K gets older and realizes she's supposed to bring a gift.  What's a practical, thoughtful, guilt-ridden Mom to do?
Staring down an Octonauts birthday party invitation,
Kate

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dear Kate,

I have such a hard time sleeping with a stuffy nose.

Fortunately, I do not have a stuffy nose.

Unfortunately, I have an equally hard time sleeping when one of my children has a stuffy nose.

All the little noses are stuffy,
Bora
Dear Kate,

The local Dunkin Donuts offers free coffee for NC State home game wins.  It's awesome. Whenever I see the coupon pop up on my phone, I think, "Woo hoo!  Poor Dunkin Donuts.  They don't realize that I'm just using them for free coffee.  How do they make money with awesome free coffee coupons?"

Then as I drive away with my free coffee and the donut I added on because I felt guilty about just getting free coffee, I have my answer.

"Free coffee - no purchase necessary!*"

Love,
Bora

*I mean, it's not necessary... if you don't mind walking around with a guilty conscience all day. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter said her first word just the other day.  It wasn't Mama.  It wasn't Dada.  No, my daughter's first word was "Sit."  As in, "Sit down, R.  No, sit.  Stop climbing on the table.  Sit, please.  Sit down.  You're giving your mom a heart attack.  Please, sit!  If you fall, we will both cry.  Can you not eat that while sitting??  Please, just sit!"

She says, "sit" now, so that's cool.  She still doesn't sit though...

She's just too busy to sit and eat,
Bora

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter just loves those squeezable snack pouches.  It's so much more fun to dump food on yourself with a squeezable pouch than the old fashioned way, you know?

Love,
Bora

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dear Kate,

I'm not a strict shower-every-dayer (and no, I don't think this warrants a confession Sunday).  I mean, I generally shower every day because it helps me feel awake, clean, ready for the day, and it makes it less noticeable that I do absolutely nothing with my hair, but I just don't think it's absolutely necessary for everyone to take a shower every single day, you know?

My criteria for a shower skip day before kids were:

  1. Did you wake up late enough that it is impossible to shower today?  If yes, skip all questions and skip a shower.  Wear a hat and extra deodorant as necessary.  If no, proceed to next question.
  2. Do you smell bad?  If no, proceed to next question.
  3. Did you take a shower yesterday?  If yes, proceed to next question.
  4. Does your hair look no more than 50% worse than yesterday?  If yes, feel free to skip a shower!

My criteria for a shower skip day after kids are:
  1. Are your children freaking out this morning?  If yes, skip a shower. Push off leaving the house until tomorrow. Drink an extra cup of coffee to make up for the wake-me-up effect of a shower.  If no, proceed to next question.
  2. Is it at all possible to take a shower this morning?  If yes, take a shower, you fool!  Tomorrow's shower isn't promised!! If no, see instructions in #1.
Showered today,
Bora

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dear Bora,
Do your kids want to play with you all the time?  K's constant whine is "play with me!"  The problem is, I don't enjoy long bouts of imaginative play as directed by a tyrannical three year old. I just don't have the stamina to be told what to say and then repeat it for 30 minutes. It makes me feel like I'm a terrible mother for not enjoying playing with her. I totally understand those moms who plan dozens of Pintrest-worthy activities for their kids. Even when they fail they are a million times more fun than trying to keep up with the Dictator of Pretend (aka my kid). 
Gotta go. Someone's begging me to play that the living room is full of snow and I'm not doing it right. 
Love, Kate

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dear Kate,

R slept for 4 hours straight at her morning nap! (It was technically her afternoon nap too since it was 1:30 when she woke up). I was super excited about it but since I didn't get to enjoy sleeping during any part of it, it was honestly somehow even more disappointing than when she doesn't nap at all.  I imagine this is sort of how people feel when someone who bought a ticket at the same 7-eleven wins the lotto.  When a win is so close, it starts to feel like you lost rather than that you just didn't win.

I wasn't just awake, you know?  I was NOT sleeping.
Bora

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter is chasing me around the house hollering and screeching holding out a jacket.  She already has on one jacket.  Which I put on her after she chased me around the house hollering and screeching 5 minutes ago.  I finally got her to stop screaming by putting the second jacket's hood on her head the way I used to do as a kid when I was pretending I had long hair like a mermaid.

Some people might interpret R's behavior as diva-like, but given that I'm her mom, I have a sneaking suspicion that she just enjoys wearing a jacket 24-7 and is overwhelmed by the decision between 2 jackets.

It took me 20 years to realize I could make things easier by only owning 1 jacket,
Bora
Dear Kate,

I got R down at 1:30 and C to start his nap at 1:45 today.  I was so excited that my happy dance in the hall almost woke them both up!

Eeek!
Bora

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dear Kate,

C took a 3+ hour nap today. Problem is that it didn't start until 2:30. Waking from a nap at almost 6 PM doesn't lend itself to a 7:30 bedtime.

Why can't he just nap earlier??
Bora

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dear Bora,
As a librarian, I have a really hard time with loud noises.  That's one of the reasons I don't call you unless someone in my family is sick.
Just kidding!
Kate
Dear Kate,

I had a teacher once who had a decibel meter that he kept on his desk (yeah, he was a nerd).  He used to tell us that we could talk at our desks until it got to a certain level.  I felt like it was always way quieter in the room than that meter said.  He'd be like - "we're at 'vacuum cleaner' status, everyone.  Quiet down!"

I often wonder what that meter would read in my house... death metal concert?  jet engine?  rocket launch?

At our loudest, the meter would probably just curl up in a fetal position like I do.

WHAT D'YOU SAY?
Bora

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dear Kate,

Confession time. My favorite part about having dogs is not having to clean up food that my kids throw/drop on the floor.

I mean, I have other reasons I love them too. Otherwise a Roomba would've been cheaper...

Confession Sunday,
Bora

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dear Bora,

You are like my webmd. You're the first place I turn for any medical question or malady.  Only you often tell me everything is totally normal and will be fine instead of telling me I'm dying from some rare disease.  Thanks for answering the phone when I call, even though I mostly only call when my kid has a rash or an especially waxy ear canal.

That's true sister love. Elsa and Anna could learn a thing or two from us. Love is an open door?  No. Love is using your hard earned medical expertise to diagnose your sister's broken arm over the phone. 

Your grateful sister,
Kate

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dear Kate,

My incidentally vegetarian son isn't truly a vegetarian.  Sure, he refuses to eat beef, chicken, and pork in all forms - including Chickfil-A nuggets! (I know! It's ridiculous! But I'm not complaining because I get an extra 4 pack of nuggets every time I try to get him to try them). BUT - he loves liverwurst on a bagel! Yep, he laughs when I try to get him to take a bite of chicken but asks for "liver shwashage" by name. 

What can I say? I love it too. 
Bora


Dear Bora,
Nate took K to the doctor yesterday because she was complaining her ear hurt.  Turns out it was only earwax- and not even enough for them to have to extract it.  I think my kid might be a hypochondriac.  She loves the idea of being sick- and who can blame her!  You get to stay in your pajamas, eat whatever you want, watch tv while getting snuggles and you get delicious tasting medicine.  Heck, I think I feel a bit feverish... I'm pretty sure some Girl Scout cookies and a few episodes of Jane the Virgin will make me feel better.
*cough, cough*
Kate

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter's teeth are weird.  C's came in an apparent order but R's seem to just come in wherever.  She has currently skipped a space and is proceeding to get molars.  All at once.  But very slowly.  Like glacier slow.  Two months of nonstop molar-teething.  Yuck.

In other news, we've officially reached full capacity"all by myself" status with C.  So excited that he undoes things that I do for him so that he can redo them 10x slower and with 150% more errors! I guess I have to let him learn to put on his own jacket at some point.  I guess I was just hoping it would be shortly before college when he stops sucking his thumb and starts using the potty.

I wrote this post all by myself!
Bora

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dear Bora,
Oooo!  Does this give me an open invitation to talk about my own daughter's puking habits?  K didn't spit up much as a baby but began throwing up when she was a toddler.  She has a strong sense of smell and an even stronger gag reflex.  If she takes too big of a bite, she gags and pukes.  If she coughs too hard, she gags and pukes.  When she started potty training, she would poop on the potty, cheer, but then smell it and puke.  She once puked because she smelled dog poop on someone's shoe.  She recently (accidentally) puked in a stranger's purse at a birthday party.  My kid vomits all the time.  I, too, keep hoping this is something she will outgrow soon.  That or she's going to have to learn to clean it up herself since her Daddy also has a strong gag reflex and will vomit if he sees or smells someone else's vomit.  I'm tired of being the designated vomit cleaner.  Thankfully while many things gross K out enough to make her spew, seeing her Mom clean vomit off her shoes is not one of those things.  It's not uncommon to see her continue to eat a cookie while I'm still wiping the chunks out of her hair.
Kids are gross.
Kate
Dear Kate,

You know how sometimes things that are super terrible become amazingly funny with time?  I wonder if I write about them here if they'll become funny faster?  Let's give it a go:

My daughter throws up a lot.  She's always been one to puke easily, but everyone always said it would get better.  I used to go through every burp cloth we have every day (and I have A LOT of burp cloths). But she's a year old now. It should be better. But it's not. The volume of puke has only increased with the size of her body. Twice in the last week she got me so bad I looked like I'd lost a squirt gun battle with a weirdo using milk in a Super Soaker.

Maybe I should start a series called "two showers Tuesdays."

Love,
Bora

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dear Kate,

After a weekend with our parents, C was a "milkshake" addict.  After a weekend with Chris's parents, he says, "Now I can have candy!" after every bite of food.

Yeah, C and R's grandparents definitely don't spoil them.

Eye roll,
Bora.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dear Bora,
After 13 Valentine's Days together, Nate and I have this romance thing totally figured out. He went to the theater to see Deadpool with a friend and I watched 3 episodes of Downton Abbey in my pajamas. 
Confession Sunday,
Kate

Dear Kate,

I wish I could take a nap after being awake for only an hour and a half like R does.

Your sleepy sister,
Bora

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter doesn't talk yet. No "mama." No "Dada." I thought maybe since she turned one that the speaking thing would kick in, but no. It may be that she just discovered her tongue, but it seems like she's mocking me when "say mama" is answered with a loud raspberry.

Love,
Bora

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dear Kate,

Today is R's birthday! Or as I prefer to think of it, my Labor Day! Birthdays have never been a big deal to me (though I might freak out when I turn 30 later this year) but my kids birthdays are exciting. Don't get me wrong, birthdays are simple - Something sweet, a gift or two - but I've been so excited the whole day! Remembering this day last year, watching my new 1 year old in amazement, thinking about all her future might hold... So much fun! Makes me want to start making Mom gifts on my birthday!

Love,
Bora

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dear Bora,
I learned today that you have to pay ($7) to watch your own kid play JV high school soccer in near-freezing temperatures. Apparently sitting on cold metal bleachers watching a sport you don't really care about isn't enough proof of your parental love.
Your cold and poor sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

My daughter is skinny.  I'm not used to this.  My son was such a chunk that I keep encountering problems that I never faced with him.  For example: R keeps accidentally walking out of her pants. She just walks until they slowly fall off - even with a fluff butt cloth diaper on!

Like most women, I have at times wished to be thinner.  I have not, however, ever wished to be thin enough that my pants come off completely simply by walking.

Skinny baby problems,
Bora

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dear Kate,

It's Zombie Tip Tuesday!

...I don't have any zombie tips today.  Turns out there are only a few good tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse with a 2 year old.  And honestly, those tips aren't really going to save you.  I mean, some days I wonder if we are all going to make it through the day alive without a zombie apocalypse going on.  Let's face it, zombies + toddlers... you're not gonna make it.

Zombie Tip Tuesday is over!
Bora


Monday, February 8, 2016

Dear Bora,
Students and coworkers always ask who I'm cheering for in what ever "big game" is coming up. My answer is usually, "pizza"  but lately I've been team buffalo chicken dip. Gooooo junk food!
Your hungry sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

I watched the Super Bowl by myself last night. We didn't make plans, and I have two small children who (are supposed to) go to bed early. I don't know why I was watching.  I have no interest in football. I miraculously care even less about the half-time performers. And I hate commercials - especially ones that try WAY too hard to be funny.

Guess I should have picked up on the fact that the only part of Super Bowl parties that I actually enjoy is food people.

Your grumpy sister,
Bora

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dear Kate,

That last post was a complete lie.

Confession Sunday,
Bora
Dear Kate,

Aw, don't worry, Kate, people do pity your party planning ineptitude. I don't know where in the world you got the idea that I don't plan Pin-Perfect Parties - we must have lived too far apart for too long. I didn't want to parade my success in front of you, but I'm actually known as the Pinterest Party Planner (Follow me on twitter @Pinpartyplanner!) I have over thirty Pinterest boards dedicated to the next two decades of birthday parties for my children. I even have an entire board for smash cake variations.  Honestly, I love smash cakes so much that we're going to continue with the tradition every year!

Also, I don't plan to do decorative table cloths at R's birthday because they would cover up the ten beautifully stained farmhouse tables that we made from salvaged barn wood just for her party.

Sorry you won't be able to attend.  I guess your origami swan invitation made from recycled paper got lost in the mail - which is too bad, because it had seeds embedded in the paper so you could plant it in your garden and think of R when the flowers bloomed.

Love,
The Pin Party Planner!
Bora

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dear Bora, 
With R's first birthday coming up, I'm reminded of how utterly silly first birthday parties always seem. The kid has no idea what's going on. They don't understand opening presents and don't get me started on "smash cakes."  No offense to my many friends who love to do big themed birthday parties every year, I just personally don't get it. A party for me is when people come over and we eat. The end. No decorations, no theme. Probably not even a bowl for the chips. And everyone still seems to have a good time. So either the color-coordinanated napkins and plates don't matter or everyone secretly pities my severe party planning ineptitude. I just realized I'm asking the wrong person. I know where you stand on this issue. We are cut from the same cloth, you and I, and it's definitely not a decorative table cloth. 
Wishing I could be there for R's first birthday party,
Kate 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dear Kate,

Oh, I'm sorry - were you under the impression that this nontraditional baby book was any more likely to be filled out than a traditional baby book?

I just figured if no one's actually going to fill it out anyway, why not have some recognition for those important "lasts" for the parents. Or at least the mom-to-be will get a good laugh at her shower before she realizes that there really will come a day when a young child will loudly call her out on her silent fart in front of guests.

Laugh now, pre-kids ladies.  Laugh good and long and without fear of peeing yourself if you get carried away.

Laugh it up,
Bora


Dear Bora,
The problem with those "lasts" is that you somehow never realize they were they last until later.  Like the last time Korra called popcorn "coo-cot."  I just realized one day that she had stopped saying it and I didn't remember when.  I'm happily looking forward to not realizing it was the last time K peed in her pants.  Potty training is the worst.  Next kid I'm getting pre-house trained.  Adoption perks, am I right?
Your sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

I had another great idea for our nontraditional baby book line. Sure, we've included important, though previously untracked and overlooked, milestones, but I think we should also be sure to include a more nostalgic lost-ability-milestone section for parents. You know, Lasts instead of Firsts. Things like:
  • Last time I could leave you on the bed unattended without you rolling off. 
  • Last time you napped wherever the heck I wanted you to so I could have a semi-normal adult social life. 
  • Last time I could just nurse you for a meal instead of having to actually come up with something for you to eat.
  • Last time I could live in an un-babyproofed house. 
  • Last holiday for which I could buy your gifts in front of you. 
  • Last time I could secretly fart in your presence without you declaring for all to hear, "Something smells!"

I think we're onto something with this baby book,
Bora

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dear Kate,

I have nothing funny to post since there is absolutely nothing funny about a migraine. I had a terrible skullcrusher headache this morning. I was so nauseated that I put up the gate on C's room and let the children loose in there while I laid on the bed with my eyes closed.

C asked me what was wrong and kissed me on the head when I told him. It was sweet and, I may be crazy, but I think it felt just the tiniest better after that.

Love,
Bora

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dear Kate,

I went to a play date with some ladies and their kiddos in our neighborhood.  Well, I say "play date" but it was really a "mom date."  The kids had fun but we all know it was really for us moms.  We all need to talk to other adults sometimes, you know?  I mean, rather than talking about trucks and "gentle hands" with the baby, we got to talk about how much we talk about trucks and "gentle hands" with the baby.

But really, it was super nice.  The ladies were great and their kids were sweet.  So glad to be meeting some other moms here in the neighborhood,
Bora.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dear Bora,
Thankfully, teething never seemed to bother K very much.  I wish I could say that is one of many examples of what a perfect baby she was but we both know that's not true. She just did all of her screaming before teeth (so basically for no discernible reason). It is nice to have something like teething to explain why your kid is crying. It makes it easier to be patient and compassionate when I can say, "she's got a nasty cold" or "she didn't get her nap today."  It's certainly preferable to "she's whiney because I'm a terrible parent and she is and always will be the most obnoxious child in the world!"  Nope, not going to let myself go down that road. Let's continue to make excuses (real or imagined) so we can keep at this parenting thing tomorrow. 
Your Hopeful Sister,
Kate

Dear Kate,

Teething sucks. That said, I have never been happier than the times that I find another tooth has popped through after weeks of terrible sleep. That pointy white tooth says, "its okay, Mommy! You don't have to feel bad for the number of times you've given your child Tylenol at night. Your baby hasn't decided she hates you, after all! Good job! You made it through another tooth! All the crying, all the thrashing about, all the not-sleeping-for-longer-than-15-minutes-at-a-time - it was teething! It wasn't that you are a terrible mother who is accidentally training her child to only scream and never sleep. It was just temporary! ....probably."

Talking teeth. I probably need some more sleep.
Bora

Dear Kate,

C has been very interested in people's names lately. He asks me, "what's his name?" all the time. After our trip to MoMo and Grand-Dad's, he asked me what their names were. I told him that they are Barb and Bob. When I said "Bob," his face lit up and he said, "like the pig! And the dog! And the cat! And the fish!" He had finally understood the joke in "Fifteen Animals" by Sandra Boynton.

Love,
Bora

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dear Kate,

Visiting Mom and Dad's was like going on a relaxing spa getaway. I got my hair professionally cut for the first time in 3 years. Mom watched the kids when they got up at 5:45 so I could sleep until 8. Dad took me out for breakfast and fancy coffee (you know, the mostly hot chocolate kind). I showered at a reasonable hour, ate food I didn't cook, and enjoyed compliments about my awesome children.

It is truly wonderful being the favorite child.

Your (slightly favored) sister,
Bora

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dear Bora,
I did not click on the link to the song.  I do not want that song in my head, whatever it is.  It's like when someone says, "Eww.  That stinks!  Smell it!"  No, thanks.  Think I'll pass on that earworm.
Love,
Kate

Dear Kate,

In a little over 2 hours I'm going to get my hair cut. I'm getting the pre-pixie jitters. I hate the emotional upheaval of drastically changing my hair.

First, I'll think "wow! I like this!" Then a few hours later I'll think, "yeah, I think this is good," followed a few hours later by, "well, it'll grow back. It's just hair." By tomorrow morning I'll cry about it. In 3-5 days, I'll realize I actually love it (in a completely different way than I loved it on day 1) and move on.

For once I'd just like to skip the crying stage.
Bora

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dear Kate,

C discovered a new "most annoying show ever." The number one reason I hate this one is this song.

I just started using a new planner that I really like, though I have a bit of an obsession with planners and to-do lists. Anyway, it has a place on each day for your top three important things to do. Ever since C found this show, that song plays in my head every time I fill out my top three for the day, or do one them, or re-read them, or check them off, or think about checking them off, or think about thinking about checking them off...

Your special assignment was a success,
In three special steps!
Bora

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dear Bora,
I once had a friend tell me, "you should make more of those and sell them!"  I couldn't tell you which crafted item he was talking about but it doesn't matter. I make lots of cool things but I only make them once. I don't enjoy making the same thing over and over- that's boring  That's probably also why I only decided to birth one baby. Been there, done that. And yes, I did just compare my child to the quilt I made for her.
Your crafty sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

C went to the dentist for the first time yesterday. I decided to find a pediatric dentist to hopefully avoid passing on my hatred of the dentist and let me tell you, this place was cool! The whole office was decorated in a jungle theme and there was a giant tree coming out of the floor in the waiting room! The treatment room had big pictures of jungle animals and there was a TV on the ceiling playing "Big Hero 6." The hygienist and dentist were so nice! C was great and only got scared once when they shined that super bright light on his face.
I asked if they take adult patients as we checked out but apparently only kids get whimsical dentist appointments that feel like a mini-trip to Disney World.

I have been told I still look seventeen... so maybe...
Bora

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dear Kate,

I'm only a few rows away from finishing the blanket I've been crocheting for C... for the last 15 months... Hey, that's a big improvement on the last blanket I made - which took me 5 years to complete. 

I'm actually not a slow crocheter. The problem is that I am only crafty in spurts. Blankets are highly unlikely to be completed within a single spurt which gives them a distinct disadvantage. I also tend towards new projects when feeling crafty. For example, I made elaborate sock puppets last weekend for the Hello Parody music video I'm making. Oh you'll get your lyrics - and an awesome sock puppet show to boot.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go finish these.last rows before the creative energy leaves me!

Bora



Monday, January 25, 2016

Dear Kate,

Ah, Pinterest. It's a wonderful thing, isn't it? "Your life can be like this," it whispers.  I'm so glad it didn't exist when I was planning my wedding and that I don't give a darn about planning elaborate birthday parties for my children that involve origami Paw Patrol character invitations, made-from-scratch-gluten-free-allergen-free-no-sugar-added cupcakes with organic fruit, and hand-carved wooden toys stained with teak oil for the individual gift bags.

But really, I like Pinterest.  Heck, I'm using it right now to try to decide what kind of pixie haircut I should go for on Friday. Should I go for the Winona Ryder pixie?  The Emma Watson pixie?  The Anne Hathaway?

I think the Emma Watson pixie is my top choice right now - partly because I'm pretty sure Pinterest told me that if I cut my hair like that, I'll turn into Hermione Granger and get to start Hogwarts next fall.

Can't wait to get my wand,
Bora.
Dear Bora,
I just found a quarter-sized hole in the elbow of my cardigan.  I took it off and realized there are 3 more dime-sized holes.  I thought, "I just bought this... 5 years ago."  Now I have the unwelcome task of trying to replace a staple in my wardrobe.  I hate clothes shopping, but especially when I'm looking for something specific like a v-neck navy cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves.  Add to that that I've recently become convicted about not having my clothes made by Indonesian toddlers and I think I'm going to just start going without clothing.  I'll be the first nudist to join purely because she loathes shopping so much.
Confessing a day late,
Kate
Dear Bora,
I noticed today that you've finally begun following me on Pintrest.  About time.  Clearly I am a trendsetter in every way.  You're going to learn so much from following my boards.  I've got one for recipes I occasionally try, one for craft projects I rarely try, and one for home improvement that I will never try.  It's kind of like one of those self-help vision boards where you put pictures you cut out of magazines on a poster board and then somehow, magically, it's brought into your life.  One day I'm going to have a perfectly organized house, a delicious, nutritious dinner on the table every night, and a family who will tell me how much they appreciate both of those things.  I know it'll happen.  It's what Pintrest's all about, right?
Your Hopeful Sister,
Kate
Dear Bora,
Please post your hilarious lyrics to Adele's "Hello."  I've got the song stuck in my head, but since I only know like one line (and you can probably guess which line it is), I'd rather memorize your version.
Love,
Kate

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dear Kate,

My daughter has stayed in her pajamas all day only to be changed into new pajamas at bedtime for three days in a row.

Confession Sunday,
Bora

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dear Bora,
I'm not a big enough nerd to get your Lord of the Rings reference. Or rather, I am, I'm just more of a Harry Potter nerd. So maybe if you said the accumulated sleet made it look like someone had put a hovering charm (wingardium leviosa) on your neighbor, I would have gotten the joke. 
No snow or even sleet here- just cold. Wish I had some of those blue flames Hermione's so good at making. Heck, I'm so cold, I'd even be happy for the company of a blast-ended skrewt!
Your Potter-Lovind Sister,
Kate
Dear Kate,

It snowed.

Well, sort of.  It sleeted so much that it piled up like snow would.  You can't tell by looking through the window that there's not really 3 inches of snow.  From inside, if you saw someone walking toward your house, you'd probably think that Legolas was coming up the path, but really no one sinks in it because it's just a solid sheet of ice.

I mean, I guess my neighbor could still be Legolas but I don't remember him having pointy ears...

Your sister,
Bora

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dear Kate,

I have never asked the question, "do I smell like spit up?" I always smell like spit up. Breast-fed baby spit up has a milky smell with faint yogurty undertones. I've considered bottling the scent and selling it as my signature perfume under the name Eau de Mommy.

The question I actually asked was, "do I smell like baby vomit?" Baby vomit, unlike spit up, has a pungent rancid milk odor with undertones of acid and death. The only reason you'd want to bottle that scent would be if you were going to market the perfume as birth control...

Those weirdos with like 19 kids who think they need to "outnumber the Muslims" must not have babies who vomit...

Feeling pensive,
Bora
Dear Bora,
Short hair is the way to go!  I've had a pixie cut for the better part of 18 years, so I may be biased.  The only effort required is going get it cut, which needs to be done with some regularity.  An hour every other month is totally worth not having to blow-dry, curl, style, or even really comb on a daily basis. Also, you could think of the haircut as a little "Me Time."  Heaven knows you need some of that.  Last time we were together, I'm pretty sure you asked the question, "Do I smell like spit-up?" several times, but declined to change your shirt no matter what the answer was.  I know it's hard to get away when you have 2 small kids (I can't remember if I asked you recently, but why did you decide to have SO many?), but I think it'll be worth it to you on many levels.  Maybe set up a babysitting swap with a friend who also regularly smells like spit-up?
Just a suggestion,
Kate
Dear Kate,

My hair is annoying.  It's too long to be short-easy and too short to be long-easy.  I mean, it's long enough that I have to brush it but it's still short enough that I can't just put it in a ponytail.  I started looking for hairstyles last night because Mom offered to let me go and get it cut while I'm at her house so she can watch the kids. I know my hair must look bad when Mom suggests I go get it cut by a professional even though I've been cutting my own hair for almost a decade.  I just don't have time to cut my hair.  It takes a lot of uninterrupted time to cut my own hair and it takes time away (+money) to go get it cut.  I'm lucky if I get two minutes of uninterrupted time to use the bathroom.

I'm probably going to cut my hair really short again because I hate doing my hair in the morning.  I'm hoping the hairstylist understands for once that when I say, "I don't do anything with my hair," that I do not mean, "I only put sponge curlers in overnight once a week and prefer to blow dry in under an hour."

I put my hair in a make-shift ponytail this morning out of frustration.  It took no fewer than 11 bobby pins to secure + the last bit of hairspray I could find in my house (probably from my wedding 8 years ago).  Upon seeing my hair, C immediately said, "I want you to put your hair back" motioning across my forehead.

Boy is he going to be upset,
Bora

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dear Kate,

I couldn't tell if there was actual sarcasm in R's slow clap at the end of her bedtime songs or if that was merely my perception after realizing that my 11-month old was still awake after 20 renditions of "You Are My Sunshine," 10 random hymns, and 15 Girl Scout songs.

Is sarcasm genetic?
Bora
Dear Kate,

I went to pick C up yesterday and accidentally gave us both a pretty decent shock. With a sad look of betrayal in his eyes he said, "Mommy, you hurt me." How do you explain static electricity to a toddler? I tried to explain that it was static and that it wasn't on purpose, but he gave me a skeptical look like the one I probably give people when they start talking about how essential oils have magical healing properties that all doctors know about but are covering up so they can make tons of money.

You're picturing my face, aren't you?
Bora

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dear Bora,
Add guacamole to the list of things you sneak eat?  Now I understand why mom only bought dark chocolate with almonds (since we kids didn't like it) and "hid" it in the drawer under the dish cloths. Maybe you should learn to like alcohol. It's completely acceptable (and encouraged) to not share it with your children, though I'm pretty sure sneak-drinking is a sign of alcoholism. 
Your Sister,
Kate 
Dear Kate,

I recently discovered that R loves guacamole. C's slight interest in the delicious green dip has also recently turned to genuine enjoyment. I can't decide if I am delighted by this development.  On the one hand, we may eat guacamole more often since I won't be the only one eating it.  On the other hand, I won't be the only one eating it.

Nom nom,
Bora
Dear Kate,

My daughter's sudden preference for walking over crawling is great.  What's less great is her equal exchange of walking out instead of crawling out of her table-attached high chair.  Why is she such a daredevil?

Mom's voice quietly echoing in the distance, "One day, I hope you have a child just like you..."

Did you hear that?
Bora

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dear Kate,

It's Zombie Tip Tuesday!!  My favorite day of the week!

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse with Toddlers Tip #4
The great thing about having a toddler is that you already have a decked out Zombie Apocalypse Bug-Out Bag! No, really, you do! This bag may still be part diaper bag or it may have evolved from your diaper bag if your child is potty training/ potty trained, but either way, if you have a toddler, it is sure to be well stocked.

In this bag, I'm sure that you already have:

extra clothes for your toddler - You'll need these when your toddler strips down and the old clothes are mysteriously nowhere to be found.
extra shirt for yourself - I can't guarantee you have this, actually, but if you have a puker like I do... Very useful if you don't want to be the character person with no shirt after the first half-hour of the movie.
several diapers and/or pull-ups - these can be used for your kid, obviously, or if they were left-over from before your child potty-trained, you can use them as large bandages for non-zombie inflicted wounds (obviously, zombie inflicted wounds do not require treatment because, you know, you become a zombie)
first-aid kit and hand sanitizer - These will be useless during a zombie apocalypse.  Germs are the least of your worries and we all know those character band-aids don't stick worth shit.  Also, only helicopter moms have this in there, so if you have these... just sayin'
blanket(s) - This is probably an "alternative lovey" so your kid will clearly not want anything to do with it.  Use it to keep warm or in place of your shirt if you don't have a puker.
several toys with batteries - ditch the annoying noisy toys as they will only draw zombies but keep the batteries as they will be currency in the post-zombie apocalypse world should anyone survive.
minimum of 2 board books - guard these with your life as they may be the only written word that survives the apocalypse. Yes, our new society may start with only "Red Hat, Green Hat" by Sandra Boynton and "Llama Llama Time for Bed" by Anna Dewdney. It's going to be an interesting place.
enough snacks for approximately 3 weeks of rations for 4 adults or 2 "hungry" days of rations for your toddler who normally eats almost nothing - this is a toss up. It could be very helpful if you don't hit any "hungry" days. If you do hit a hungry day with your toddler, though, no amount of food can save you. Find an abandoned grocery store or you are going to die.

Now go check your Bug-Out Bag,
Bora



Monday, January 18, 2016

Dear Bora,
After examining your and Mom's shins (and comparing them to my own), I realized that lack of spatial awareness is a genetic trait. I don't know if you can tell at this age what can be attributed to toddlerhood and what is poor genetics, but I keep waiting for K to outgrow running into things and I'm not hopeful. It's just one more unfortunate hereditary attribute that K has gotten from me. We'll just add it to the poor eyesight and buck teeth. Then again, she's also inherited a love of Star Wars from her dad, so I guess the awkward years won't be entirely my fault. 
Hopeful she'll outgrow it,
Kate
Dear Kate,

R took her first steps at 9.5 months but she just made the decision at 11 months that walking > crawling. Honestly, I get her hesitation, though.  She is a speed demon when crawling on all fours, and let's just say she's shaky at best when walking upright.

I know that kids learn to walk all on their own, but every time I see her toddling around, knocking into things, occasionally falling over - I wonder if I should do some sort of training with her.  I mean, she does have my genes, after all.  We both know that I either lack the depth perception or the patience to properly turn corners.  I perpetually have bruises on my hips from running into the corners of tables! I just don't want my daughter to suffer as I have!

Corners suck,
Bora

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dear Kate,

Well, it's Confession Sunday again and it's time for me to fess up.

I sneak-eat.  And not very well.  My son frequently catches me and says, "Mommy, what's in your mouth?" or if I'm closer to his face and he can smell it, "Do you have chocolate?"  Every time I get caught sneaking chocolate chips, cookies, fruit snacks, or some other treat, I think, "Dang it all! When am I going to get better at this?"  I thought sneak-eating was like an automatic mom trait.  You know, like it came with the second set of eyes or something - which, by the way, never did show up for me.  I mean, my body has changed a lot after two kids, but extra eyeballs were not one of the many things I gained.

I'm not Catholic, so I'm not exactly sure what penance even really means, but what do you think the penance for sneak-eating from your toddler is?

Hail Mary, full of grace, sneaky are thou amongst toddlers,
Bora


Dear Kate,

I don't think I've ever recommended procreation for any medical condition, but I have suggested that someone may want to adopt a dog.  Pretty much the same thing, though, right?

Puppies, people.  Same diff.  I mean, I have 2 dogs and 2 babies and I can barely tell them apart.

For reals, but not for reals,
Bora.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dear Bora,
It's funny that you should mention that because I just got back from a grocery trip with K where we got lots of "that's so cute!" looks. K and I sang Raffi songs through the whole store while adding extra verses. 
I've always talked to K.  I'd like to say it was a conscious choice in order to develop her vocabulary but it's probably just because it's more socially acceptable to talk to your baby/toddler than to yourself.  Especially in stressful situations (like trips to the grocery store), talking to myself outloud can really help with my anxiety. So instead of whispering my inner monologue, I can just say it louder but to my kid. Kids are actually a great coping tool for anxiety. Like when you're at a party and you don't know what to talk about, you can talk about your kid. Or you're uncomfortable with a situation but don't know how to leave- the baby needs a nap. Maybe doctors should start to prescribe procreation for social anxiety?
Your anxious sister,
Kate

Dear Kate,

Am I the only mom who talks to her kids when at the store?  I rarely hear other mothers talking to their children at the grocery store, but C and I chat it up.  Yesterday, we talked the whole way through the store, and then he started telling me a story about a blue dragon that was waiting for us outside.  As we discussed this blue dragon (was he friendly? could we see him? where did he come from?), four different people in the parking lot were visibly chuckling at us - not in an offensive way, just in a that-kid-is-freaking-hilarious way (and he really is).

But heck, before he could even talk, I was talking to him when we would go out.  "What else did we need at the grocery store, C?  I feel like we're forgetting something... oh yes!  That's right!  We do need some yogurt.  Thanks for reminding me; I almost forgot."  Really, it wasn't that different from the time I had mono and couldn't talk because my throat was almost swollen completely shut.  Remember?  We were on a cruise (which would have been way more fun if I could have eaten).  But you just kept talking to me and pretending that I was answering you.  The look on people's faces when you would argue with an apparently mute girl...

Those were the days,
Bora

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dear Kate,

I was woken up this morning by a feverish boy scream-crying, "I need my trucks! I need them!"  Honestly, he was basically delirious.  I got him his trucks and then gave him some Tylenol.  I then pleaded with him to let me take a shower before the baby woke up but he noticed one of R's socks on his floor and just kept crying, "I don't want the baby sock!"

It's a good thing I remember how crappy it feels to have a fever because then I see just how pitiful he is.  It's even better to have him running around in a good mood talking about making me a cake when the fever comes down.

Another sick day,
Bora

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dear Kate,

C loves to be outside more than anything and we've been cooped up because everyone in our family has been sick, so I thought it would be a good idea to go on a walk yesterday afternoon.  The high was 43 degrees, but I thought if we bundled up we'd be okay.

I thought wrong.  43 degrees is cold!

C insisted on riding his balance bike, which meant he was wearing a helmet instead of a hat and he couldn't wear mittens because he can't grip with them on.  We got about 10 minutes down the road and he started shrieking that his hands were cold (apparently he hadn't noticed it until they were painful-cold).  He refused to get in the stroller with R because bike.  So he tried to ride his bike without holding the handle bars and promptly fell off.  I finally convinced him to get in the stroller so we could get home faster.  I rubbed his icy hands and showed him how to tuck them into his sleeves so they wouldn't be cold in the wind.  As I'm jogging home in jeans pushing my heavy double stroller, I hear him crying, "They're sneaking out, Mom!" The funny part, though, is that I sped up.  I mean, I didn't want them to get away!

Living in my child's reality,
Bora

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dear Kate,

Everyone always makes a big deal about "two in diapers" but you know what?  Diapers are easy.  Nine months ago, we decided to try potty training C.  He had just turned 2 years old.  When I told people, they dropped the "two in diapers" line and started pitying me for "potty training with a newborn."  We tried for a little while but at some point, I realized that he just wasn't totally aware of the need to go and decided to stop all together and restart later.  Well, we just restarted yesterday and I've decided that "potty training with a mobile baby" is definitively the hardest of these three.  I can't keep the bathroom open because R just loves to dip her fingers in the toilet bowl water. So I brought in the little potty chair - but R believes this to be the best toy she's ever seen and refuses to play with anything else in our house.  Too bad it's probably too early to potty train her too... 11 months is too early, right?

"When the child shows interest..."
Bora