Ya’ll.  This baby.

I mean, just LOOK AT THIS BABY.

Andi Smith Photography


I worried when I was pregnant with him that I wouldn’t love him enough. That I would favor his sister, who had so deeply cemented her place in my heart. How could there possibly be enough room for another love that great?

Per usual, I was worrying for nothing.

Because the moment he came into this world – he had me. Hook, line, sinker. I was smitten.

He has been the world’s easiest baby (which is much appreciated since he also gave me the gift of a miserable pregnancy & a second unplanned c-section).  He nurses like a pro, and has the most delicious rolls as a result.

And OMG his cheeks. He loves to chew on his hands and they often get caught in his cheeks on their way to his mouth. The struggle. It is so real.

At not-quite-four months, he rolls over from his belly to his back occasionally, and is happiest when being held and talked to.  He was slow to smile at first, very choosy with who he’d show off his gummy grin to, but now beams freely at just about anyone who holds him.

He’s the most laid back baby, which makes him the perfect second child.  He endures the attention of his big sister & her friends who sometimes want to love him a little too hard and is also the perfect tag-a-long baby.  We laugh because we barely took G out of the house for the first several months of her life…and the boy was with me at her dance class when he was 3 weeks old.

Second child problems.

Essentially – Full belly. Dry diaper. He’s a happy fella.

G adores him. I mean – ADORES him.  She was initially skeptical – and by skeptical I mean she didn’t want to look at him.  But now she basically thinks that we brought home a real life baby doll for her.

How good of us.

He’s becoming his own little person. And is inventing his own little mischief, keeping me on my toes in the way that his very cautious sister never has. For example, observe how I found him after leaving him in his crib for exactly ONE minute.


Just giving mama heart attacks, one clinched fist through the crib bars at a time.

He sleeps well at night, usually from about 8-4.  I suppose I could feed him at 10 and he’d sleep til 6 but I’m so exhausted by 9 that I can’t stay up that late. Probably has something to do with waking up at 4 every day.

It’s all a vicious cycle.

But I wouldn’t trade our early morning cuddles, or him, for anything.

Sweet boy, you’ve created a space in my heart all your own.  What an honor it is to be your momma and to get to watch you grow.  I love who you are right at this moment, and I can’t wait to see who you will become.

Let me be clear, this isn’t one of those, “I threw all of my child’s toys away and now they’re ready for MENSA” type of posts.

I’m way too lazy for that.

But, for much of the last week, I stepped over the grass skirt my husband and I brought back for our daughter from our trip to Hawaii.

“G, you really need to pick up this skirt, I’m tired of tripping over it. I’m going to put it in the trash if you don’t put it away.” – Me, 978 times in the course of 4 days.

The thing was, I didn’t want to put it in the trash. It was from Hawaii! I had such fun memories of picking it out for her and her general adorable-ness when we gave it to her upon her return.

But by day 5 of being flatly ignored by my almost 3 year old – I was done.

So done.

I wordlessly walked over to the skirt, picked it up, carried it to the garage, and placed it on top of the trash.

Later that day as we left to run some errands, she saw it.

“Mama! Mama! My SKIRT! My SKIRT is in the TRASH!”

“Yes it is, sister. And that’s where all of your toys that are not put away will end up.”

She stared me down, perplexed, but not nearly as upset as I anticipated.

Fast forward to that evening, and I asked her to put away the toys on the coffee table. I warned her that anything left there by the time I was done nursing her brother would be thrown away.

Once again, I was flatly ignored.

Once again, I wordlessly gathered items and began carrying them to the garage.

This time – she took notice. And her reaction caught me by surprise.

She was totally cool with throwing much of it away. 

And not just okay with it, she was actually ASKING me to get rid of certain items.

Cue: gut check.

Ya’ll. I REALLY thought I had a handle on the number of toys in our house. I regularly purge items that are no longer played with. We rotate toys as to avoid boredom. I make sure that we have proper places for everything before adding anything new.

And yet, here was my not quite three year old, willingly purging her own toys.

Toys I hadn’t been willing to get rid of because they were gifts, or had some other meaning that I had attached to them.  I hadn’t considered that she didn’t have that same emotional attachment. For the most part, toys are toys to her. They’re either fun, or they’re not. Black and white. Simple. Uncomplicated.  Keep what you like, get rid of the rest.

I think, in my desire for her to have plenty of fun things to play with, I neglected to see that TOO many fun things would just become a chore. She was tired of being nagged to pick up. I was tired of nagging.

We were both overwhelmed.

So now, in the post-Christmas chaos, we’ve scaled back. Our play room is basically an art gallery with a permanent collection (dollhouse, kitchen, blocks, magna tiles & art supplies) and visiting exhibits (puzzles, music items, other small toys).

G can now be found playing with her toys in a tidy room that isn’t cluttered by 85 things she didn’t really want to play with in the first place. Hurrah!

She can also be found saying, “I hafta clean this up or momma will throw it away!”


(Side note to our family and friends who lovingly and generously gift our children with toys, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH. And if you don’t see your gift out at our house, it is most likely hiding in the coffee table waiting it’s “turn” when it will be met with much enthusiasm by a certain little girl!)

Not long after Halloween ended this year, I asked G what she wanted to ask Santa to bring her for Christmas.

Lay off me, Thanksgiving Purists, we all know Thanksgiving is the middle child of holidays and I wanted to get a jump on my shopping. 

“I want…I want…I want…”

Her little voice trailed off in the back seat of the car, seemingly unsure of what direction to go. She’s oh so close to being 3 years old and this is the first “gift” holiday where she’s old enough to have an opinion on what she’d like.

I tried to help her out with a suggestion of what I thought she wanted (play kitchen items)…

“How about a…”

But before I could verbalize my idea, her little voice came through, crystal clear, and oh so very sure.

“I know, I know, I know! I want a CLOCK and a CHRISTMAS TREE!”

Well. Didn’t see that coming.

“A clock, honey? Are you sure? And you know, our family will put up a Christmas tree before Santa comes! It’s not really something he brings.”

But in spite of my questioning, she stood firm. For weeks. And was delighted when we put up a Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving — and that she got to decorate one just for her room.

(See, Turkey day does have some reverence in our house. I’m not a total monster.)

Oh, and if you think that means that she didn’t want a Christmas tree anymore, you’d be wrong. She quickly noted that her brother doesn’t have one in his room, and she wants Santa to bring him one. Be still my heart.

Luckily, Amazon Prime Santa was poised to deliver. A digital clock, and a clock puzzle, oh – and a potty watch, just for good measure, arrived on our doorstep (and a small, spare tree was procured).

But just recently, as the days til Christmas are winding down and Amazon’s Santa’s elves are running low on Prime-eligible stock, she changed her mind.

I suppose that’s her prerogative.

“Mama? I not want a clock anymore. I want a tutu.”

“Well baby, we went and saw Santa, remember? And you told him you wanted a clock?”

“Yeah, but now I want a tutu! Please I ask Santa to get me a tutu so I can be so pretty for ballet class?”

She never says “please” in the correct place. And I’m not sure I’ll ever correct her. It’s much sweeter this way.

And how, pray tell, is Santa supposed to refuse a request like that?

“Yes baby, we can write a letter to Santa so he knows you’d like a tutu, too”.

The “tutu, too” phrasing sent her into giggle fits. And I smiled because I knew it would.

Her requests are simple. Her heart is so pure.

And if a tutu is what it takes to bring Magic to her Christmas, well, then I’m going to make that happen.

And all the clocks are showing up as well, because Santa likes to have his bases covered.