The Tiniest Caped Crusaders

(my living room, four days before moving)

Me: “Hey J, come check out this costume! It’s a SHARK! You could be the Land Shark for Halloween!”

(sidebar: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for 11 years to get one of my children to be the Land Shark for Halloween. 11. Years)

Alex (uninterested): “Nah.”

Me: “HEY MIMI, YOU could be the Land Shark this year for Halloween!”

Mimi (similarly uninterested): “Nah.”

Me (gearing up to spend some quality time perusing the wares at one of my fav Halloween stores): “Well, what do you want to be for Halloween this year?”

Alex: “Batman.”

Mimi: “Batman.”

Me: (goggles)

Me: “Are you SURE?”

Alex + Mimi: “YES.”

Me (tries not to look TOO unhappy about the prospect of not perusing costumes for the kids): “Ooookay.”

(time passes as I sulk. Mimi tries unsuccessfully to wrastle the iPad away from me.)

Alex: “Hey, Mama? What are YOU going to be for Halloween?”

Me: “Hrms. The Twitter Fail Whale?”

tinest caped crusaders

Alex (genuinely puzzled): “What?”

Me: “Nothing. I don’t know – maybe “Your Mom” or something?”

Mimi: “You should be Catwoman.”

Me: (thinks to self – no longer in my early twenties = not dressing slutty for Halloween) “Um…”

Alex: “Or Poison Ivy. You love plants.”

Me: “Ummmm….”

Alex: “Dad can be the Penguin.”

Dave, from the other room: “HEY!”

Alex (confidently and not deterred by Dave’s dismay) “And Big Ben can be The Riddler.”

Me (three remaining brain cells spell out one phrase “buy cat ears and DO NOT LOOK SLUTTY”): “Okay, kiddo. You got it.”

(Alex and Mimi scamper off.)

————-

I took to The Twitter to ask for advice on buying capes for the tiniest of crusaders, figuring having new capes at my house could help with the transition a bit, and this is where it’s awesome to have Pranksters. My girl Jessica came through for me. Again.

tinest caped crusaders

(note: the boxes are, thankfully, now gone)

(the awesome hat, however, remains)

Tinest Caped Crusaders

(just looking at the boxes gives me hives)

Tinest Caped Crusaders

And now? They’re ready to fight crime. Just like the recycling lady.

And no, for the record, I never did go to the office and pick up the sheet about recycling. Seemed… like a waste of space.

—————

I wrote this, too. I learned stuffs.

The Kids Are Alright (Part Deux)

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review. For more information about the LeapFrog Animal Adventure Learning Table, please visit their website. #LFAnimalAdv #spon

One of the things that drives me craziest about kids toys is not the whole gendered toy thing – I mean, my daughter LOVES pink and her name is Amelia which means that a pink airplane? Pretty freakin’ rad. So while I could go on about that – my mother would approve heartily of me bashing gendered stereotypes – it’s not something I think about terribly often.

No. That’s not what bugs me.

What bugs me about kid’s toys is that they’re aged all wrong.

Sure, they may be labeled as “appropriate for ages 6 months to three years,” (in compliance with the whole, “let’s not let your kids choke on stuff-n-things”) but really, my five year old is going to have a TON more fun with a toy designed for a toddler than a toddler will. He’s the one who can read and write and sing along to whatever annoying song the toy sings, which by the by, is another thing that annoys me – those freakin’ things go off in the middle of the damn night, nearly causing me to pee the bed as a discombobulated voice asks me if I’m “ready to count now?”

Freaky crap, Pranksters.

Anyway.

LeapFrog, who happens to be one of my most favorite toy manufacturers (besides Legos, because, well, the kids are OBSESSED with Legos) ever, sent me an Animal Adventure Learning Table, which was rad, because then my kids had something new to play with at Mom’s house. New (or used), in kid eyes, always equals better. This was no different.

the kids are alright

(totally note the boxes behind her – I wasn’t quite done unpacking. That’s a job for THIS weekend)

Like other LeapFrog toys (of which I’ve owned plenty)(no, not for myself)(weird, I know), it’s a nice sturdy toy, that, to be honest, I’m thankful because my children are now old enough to enjoy it. While it would make a fabulous thing for me to stub my toes on while a toddler used it to practice standing, puking and walking, it’s much better suited for older kids. Kinda like that kid’s Blackberry I bought Alex back when I was a Blackberry Widow, which bored him to tears then, but now, finds it wildly entertaining.

She played with the thing for at least twenty minutes, which is practically an eternity for a three year old, and honestly? The noises it makes are kinda soothing and not nearly as grating as some of the toys the kids’ve been given over the years. (note to self: buy new parent friends THE MOST ANNOYING SOUNDING TOYS EVER) Alex was similarly impressed, although he was busily playing Batman, which is his new favorite game. Just WAIT until you hear what his decisions about what we all have to be for Halloween – it’s both hilarious and full of the awesome.

Love that kid.

And while the nights (when the kids are at Dad’s house) are lonesome, the apartment filled with no pattering of wee footsteps, I know one thing and I know it well.

The kids? They’re gonna be alright.

I carry that thought with me all day long.

I was selected for this opportunity as a compensated member of Clever Girls Collective and received free product from LeapFrog to review.

The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #LFAnimalAdventures #spon

The Kids Are Alright (Part I)

One of the biggest concerns I’ve had about moving out and away from my kids (since, of course, I cannot pay my home mortgage) has been how they would cope with the change. I mean, I get upset if I find out my favorite brand of socks has been discontinued, so I could only imagine how my kids would feel about their Mama moving out of the house. I talk a good game, but I love my children so fiercely that it’s been barely possible for me to talk about the divorce and the kids without bursting into tears.

Damns. I just burst into tears again. Looks like I’m going to need a new keyboard and now.

I was very careful, when packing my stuffs up and loading my life into a truck, to make sure that the kids would have a place they could feel at home. My new apartment is small, but cozy. It’s been partially decorated, so I can even call it slightly homey (not, as you may expect, “homie.”). Deliberately, I chose a place so near to one of the parks that the path is literally behind my buildings. I may not have the bedroom for the kids (yet), but I do have a space for them to call home.

In that vein, I’ve been careful to snatch up any toys that have been long-forgotten and shoved into bins in the basement formerly known as my own. And I’ve happily accepted any fun stuff the kids might like, while I quickly replaced my kids lovies with as an identical match as I could find. Hey, I’m not above bribing them with toys that are strictly for Mama’s house.

The timing was fortuitous for me as I’d been asked to do a giveaway (after trying the product) for kids from The OrganWise Guys, who promote understanding of how the body works and how to be healthier by following a set of educational games followed by some plush toys. It’s not quite the same as Oregon Trail, but I’m pretty sure my digital kids would be all, “what is UP with that green screen, Mama?” and the anatomy nerd in me, I won’t lie, squeed at the chance to teach my children about anatomy while they learn eating habits so they can grow to become doctors and buy me a house and diamonds and stuff. It’s a little more on-level than the Grey’s Anatomy book I’ve been reading to them since they were babies. And the diamonds? I figure it’s the least they can do to pay me back for those sleepless nights.

Amelia, my wee book nerd, was especially impressed. That girl will read ANYTHING she can get her wee paws on.

the kids are alright

Alex is, well, he’s a dude. Watch. Trust me, it’s… he’s a dude.

And lastly, we unveiled the kidneys, which were much cuter than when I’d dissected them on the A&P slab. THEY’RE EVEN HOLDING HANDS, PRANKSTERS. When I stop dying of the awesome, I’ll let you know.

the kids are alright

(note the matching Capitol Kitty’s in the background – Amelia was especially impressed that she’d managed to put both of her cats together.)

While I’d wanted to play a game with the kidneys, possibly, “hide the kidneys” or, “let’s cuddle with kidneys,” I didn’t. Mostly because the kids both fell asleep inside my sparkly pink ottoman after this shot was taken. Don’t ASK me how. I can barely sleep in a bed, but they’re happy sleeping inside furniture. Kids are weird.

ANYWAY.

So The OrganWise Guys are giving away the very same game to one of my Pranksters. Why? Because they’re awesome.

To enter, leave me a comment telling me what YOU’D do with a pair of plush kidneys.

For additional entries, you may do the following (please leave a comment for each – I’m not too bright):

*Follow me on Pinterest

*Subscribe to my Frugal Living Blog (how to save money at Target is my post today)

*Like my Facebook Page (which I have NO idea what to do with)

*Like Band Back Together’s Facebook Page

I’ll pick a winner (heh) in one week – October 10, which I feel something important is going on, which makes me uneasy, because if there is something, I’ve forgotten it. I’ll also give you one last day at this giveaway before I pick a winner!

Moving totally screwed with my mojo but I’m SO almost done!

Warm, Like The Evening Sun

I knew of her before I knew her. That’s the mark of a truly great person, I think.

And she had that ability to make people feel like they’d known her forever. In my case, I kind of had known her forever. Since she was 13 and I was 14, which pretty much made us sisters for awhile.

I cried for a solid month straight after she died, two years ago today. Unable to make the silliest decisions, I was overtaken my my grief. I never ended up sending flowers to her funeral, not because I didn’t try and pick some out–I sat for hours flipping through flower websites–but because I couldn’t make up my mind.

Did the “Eternally Yours” scream out “I can’t believe you’re fucking dead?” Or perhaps, “Gentle Thoughts” bouquet might be more appropriate for someone who, at age 26, died of natural causes in her sleep, leaving behind her two sons. Someone else should have told me which to choose, because I was useless.

In the end, I chose nothing, because nothing could properly express how I felt about losing my friend Stef. Shit, I still can’t write about it. This stupid fucking post won’t capture the half of who she was. Because you can’t capture her essence.

By being her friend, you were a better person. She had a sparkle to her, not a quality most of us have, and if you were with her for very long, it rubbed off on you and for awhile, you were better too.

For years, I’d have gladly traded places with her without hesitating. She was everything I didn’t think I could be: strong and solid, funny and sweet. If she’d been a bitch, it would have been easy to be jealous of her, but she wasn’t.

During a time when I had no one, I had Stef. When I was pregnant with Ben, and his father sought refuge in another vagina, Stef was the one person who not only comforted me, as all of my “friends” turned against me for this transgression (obviously my fault. The situation sucked) but then chewed the vagina a new, well, asshole.

There aren’t a lot of friends who will do that for someone. Or, if there are, I don’t have them.

She sat with me day after day during my pregnancy with Ben, co-hosted my baby shower and told me that I looked beautiful 50 pounds overweight after I delivered. That’s a real friend.

I love her very much.

She was miserable after she had her first son. Even more after she had her second. She chose to drown her sorrows in bottles of vodka. I channel mine into growing orchids and writing words.

Stef died in her sleep after coming home from her second stint in rehab.

I don’t regret not reaching out to her and Doing Something, because, to be honest, after having been through 2 alcoholic parents, I know damn well that no matter how nice Intervention makes it look, for ever success story, the addict has to WANT change.

So sitting her down and saying “you need to CHANGE” would have done nothing. I can’t accept responsibility for her death.

I can accept responsibility for not telling her that I loved her before she passed. I never, ever thought that I’d be here, telling The Internet that I wish I’d been able to tell my friend one last time that I loved her.

Because she was so, so loved.

Her funeral was standing room only. The room was filled with mourners who wept over her open coffin. All of us crying for her, for us, for her children, listening to the string trio weep as they played the Stones song “As Tears Go By” hoping that maybe her spirit was in the room and could hear us tell her in death what we hadn’t in life.

The world is a worse, colder place without her. This much I know.

I miss her every day.

The Last, Last Time

I’m a purger.

I can hardly go a week without finding something to pass along to someone else, give to the Salvation Army, throw away or recycle or otherwise dispose of. This is probably a good thing because once, while we were moving from our condo in Oak Park to our current house, I found a receipt that Dave had saved from Target.

Curious as to what he had bought that he had so steadfastly guarded for so long, I saw that it was 3 years old and had 4 things on it: a plastic garbage can, beef jerky, Fritos and…wait for it, wait for it….

…..

…..

…..

kitty litter.

Oh yes. You read that right, Internet.

Thank sweet merciful sweet baby Jesus in heaven hallowed be thy Halloween name that he had carefully thought to store that receipt so lovingly on the floor of his office and move it with him not once, not twice, but three times since then.

Before you call “Hoarders” on me, a show that I cannot watch because I think that I would physically hurt myself either clawing at my skin or eyeballs (and because I don’t find people with obvious mental illness really gosh darn hilarious television), it’s not that he was saving it because he had any attachment to it, it just never dawned on him to throw it away.

Just like it never occurred to him to get rid of his box of cassette tapes that I personally lugged from apartment to apartment and I finally lugged DOWN to the dumpster after I realized that we didn’t own anything to play Milli Vanilli’s greatest hits, (an oxymoron of a tape if I ever saw one) any longer.

(Although in the interest of full disclosure here, I still sing “Blame it on the Rain” in the shower)(what? Like you don’t.)

Lately, I’ve been itching to purge my house of stuff, and while I have managed to go through several of the cabinets in the kitchen, ridding myself of such awesome condiments as a mysterious can of “Kraut” I have an entire genre of stuff that I cannot seem to go near:

Baby Stuff.

You see, my uterus, it’s vacant.

With the exception of an IUD, should Daver continue to be “too busy” to get his vasectomy, I’m done having children. 3, like that wily School House Rock says, has always been the magic number for us. Although I’d always imagined having an assload of children, Dave assures me that 3 kind of IS an assload of kids.

If anything, skating so closely by with Amelia’s neural tube defect reminds me of just how fragile life is and how fucking lucky any of us are to be walking around upright, presumably not dragging our knuckles, slack-jawed and drooling (unless, of course, you’re me, in which case this IS the norm).

I’d read somewhere in my scant research about NTD’s that they are more common in siblings, which reminds me that I must do more research for something I’m writing for the March of Dimes, and since I’ve been on folic acid since dinosaurs were my classmates, well, I don’t know. Would you want to risk that one?

(that really wasn’t up for debate)

Dave’s done, and I’m pretty sure that no matter how many crotch parasites I popped from my delicate bits, I’d always be sort of wistful for one more. Just one more.

Chicago has 2 seasons: Balls Hot and Balls Cold and last week it went from being Balls Hot to Balls Cold and I noticed that my daughter had nothing to protect her rolling rolls from the searing wind.

I also noticed that denial is a pretty powerful thing: she’d been pretty quickly outgrowing her 6 month onesies (she’s 8 months old now) to the point where she was regularly popping open the snaps of the crotch as she scooted along the floor.

I hadn’t wanted to see that.

Just like I hadn’t wanted to go through her clothing bins to sort out the teeny tiny clothes and hats because unlike the last time, this really was The Last, Last Time.

Never again will one of my children wear that frilly dress or that spotted onesie with the frog that Alex used to wear or the hat that was Ben’s or the pink sweatshirt that I bought with my friend Steph when I found out I was pregnant with Ben who I just KNEW was a girl that I’ve carefully saved for my daughter for 8.5 years.

Those wee hats and tiny mittens won’t go on my gnome-like babies, and the bassinet that we so carefully picked out for Alex will have gone completely unused by any of our kids.

I know in my heart that I prefer my children to be children rather than garden slugs, but there’s just something so…sweet about a new baby that you just can’t get back again. I look at pictures of all of my babies as ickle babies and I can’t believe they were ever so small.

I’m not going to let their things go, though, like I normally would, chomping at the bit to get it out of here. For now, all of those memories sit in bags in Alex’s room along with the broken swing where Alex slept for the first 7 months of his life and the bouncy seat where Amelia spent several of hers.

I hope that the smell of their babyness will stay there, in the fabric, so when they’re big and gruff and smell like the woods and grass and dirt and rocks, I can go and grab a bag and open it, and inhale that sweet baby smell, the essence of their babyhood and where they began.

And remember when they were so small and good and when I could fix everything with some warm milk and a cuddle and a blankie. When I could stick my face in their neck while they slept to breathe in their smell so that I could carry that with me as I went about my day.

When we could curl up together like peapods, just the two of us against the world.

I hope that will always be enough for me.

Becky and Benny

Why Aunt Becky, I can hear you exclaim, you look positively AMAZING for having pushed what appears to be a 30 pound 4.5 year old out of your cootch!

And I will tell you, there, there, Internet, this is what happens when you have children when you are a broke 21 year old: you don’t have any digital pictures handy.

PLUS, you look WAY better in postpartum pictures this way.

Becky and Alex

Notice how much BETTER I looked in the picture with Ben than I do in this one taken after giving birth to Alex?

Juuuust kidding. Wear a condom, kids. Not kidding. No glove, no love, okay?

Becky, Ben and Alex

If you look closely, you’ll see why Ben is The Person of The Year. This is Ben meeting Alex. Look at Ben. Now look at Alex. Ben still adores Alex. I do not know why.

Ben deserves a medal or something.

Becky and Amelia

And lastly, my Cinnamon Girl. My sweet baby Amelia. My last, last one.

The Closest I Will Get To Having A Penis Of My Own

In a stunning fit of anal-retentiveness rivaled only by the time I found Bath and Body Works doing a 5 for 10 sale on antibacterial soap, I went through my blog roll the other day when I was having a particularly dreary, maudlin day. I don’t know if you have one, a blog roll, I mean, not a maudlin day, because, let’s face it, I think that emo music exists for a REASON, but blog rolls are a total annoyance.

I’ve operated thus far, as you can, by the length of it, tell, under the assumption that they are worth the hassle of upkeep of it. But, when I update it, I inevitably delete someone by accident. Mainly because I am stupid and also because I am dumb.

SO. Here is your chance, my band of merry pranksters, so gather ’round Aunt Becky’s knee: please, if you care to, go to the side bar, and click on the link for “Aunt Becky’s Band Of Merry Pranksters” (I’d link to it, but it gives YOU a dead link if I do that because of the aforementioned stupidity on my end). IF you are not listed AND you are a friend of mine (you comment here, you have me on your blogroll, etc, etc, you make me cookies, I wash your car for you, we make out, whatever):

SEND ME AN EMAIL and SEND ME THE LINK WITH YOUR BLOG NAME.

Do not leave it in a comment or I will forget it.

Currently I cannot remember the last time I gave Amelia Motrin for her fever, let alone to go back and try and piece together anything greater than two words. And I will obviously be too busy cross-stitching all of your comments to remember to add them to my blogroll. So shoot email to aunt.becky.sucks (at) gmail (dot) com or auntbeckyrules (at) gmail (dot) com.

(I’m always torn on the whole HAVING a blogroll thing. Is it worth it? I really don’t know.)

——————–

Some of the links that you have subscribed to are broken. I do not know what this means other than some of you that have subscribed via Google Reader or Bloglines have told me about this. I do not know what to do besides gnash my teeth and wring my hands and occasionally pace around the room.

I have been told that you can unsubscribe then REsubscribe and that fixes the problem. Beyond that, I am bewildered.

——————

The first thing that I was told after I pushed Alex rather quickly from my nether bits was that he was “beautiful.” Upon first glance, I thought he kind of looked like a wet rat, and even after he was toweled off, I wasn’t entirely sure I was off base in my assessment. I didn’t CARE, mind you, what he looked like.

The older he got, the less rat-like he looked and the more frequently I was stopped by strangers so that they could admire my child. I never really thought of him as beautiful, in fact, the only adjectives I could think to describe Alex were “devilish” or “payback” because he wouldn’t let even his own father lay so much as a pinkie finger on his delicate ass without him screaming violently.

(as an aside: Alex is the only child of mine whom anyone has stopped–often–us for to comment on. When he was younger it was all.the.time. And I mean all.the.time. It’s not that I don’t think Alex is cute, he is, but…I don’t know, he’s not THAT cute.)

(As an aside TO the aside: If you are going to stop a family that has 2 children, one who is a baby and one who can not only walk and talk but is talking TO YOU, why don’t you fucking pay attention to that child instead of the fucking baby who hates you because you are not his mother and you’re in his face?

Poor Ben. Seriously, poor Ben.)

Alex was a Momma’s Boy.

A Momma’s Boy who, according to the people who stopped me as my son was dressed head to toe in blue, looked like he sported a vagina.

Alex Mullet

I may have a mullet because my mother refused to cut my hair, but I do not have a vagina, people. Thank you.

The other thing that I heard with such alarming regularity that it started to make me want to rupture my eardrum with a red hot poker is this: “WOW! He looks just like Dave.” Which, he does. Sort of.

After 9 months of pure pukey torture, 12 months of being attached at the nipple, the kid could have had the common courtesy to at least SORT OF look like his mother, you know?

But no. He doesn’t LOOK like me. But he IS me. From the tippy top of his hard headed I-will-get-my-fucking-way-if-it-kills-me down to his I-will-cut-off-my -nose-to-spite-my-face butt.

I didn’t KNOW that anyone on the planet could possibly be as stubborn as I am, but yes, Internet, I am here to tell you that not only it is possible, it is currently upstairs, refusing to say “I’m sorry” not because it is not sorry, but because I insisted upon it. Had I NOT insisted, he’d have done it, but because I had, he won’t.

Did you catch that?

If I say, “Hey Alex, you say, “THANK YOU, BEN,”” he will dig in his heels, and refuse. No length of time out will persuade him to do something that naturally he will do–it isn’t the thanking his brother part that he’s refusing, it’s because I told him to.

Dinner Time has become an equally shall we say hair-raising event, if “hair-raising” is code for “makes me desperately want to tongue a bottle of Nyquil” and then cry hysterically to someone who won’t just tell me “eventually, he’ll eat.” Because, wow, the kid is WILLFUL.

Alex, he used to be my eating child and it was so lovely after having a child with bona fide food issues relating to his autism. Ben would happily live on a steady diet of saltine crackers and lukewarm tap water and Alex would have–at some point in his life–eaten food that would sustain more than an ant.

No more, ickle grasshopper.

But Ben eats now, mostly, now that getting Alex to do anything he doesn’t want to do is akin to backing a wild boar against a metal wall, so we just choose our battles and remember that multivitamins, like beer, are God’s way of reminding us that he loves us and wants us to be happy.

While Dr. Spock would probably call this a “phase” and tell me that Alex will “grow out of it,” Alex and I both know this is pure bullshit. The only way Alex is going to change his nature is the only way I’ll change mine: traumatic brain injury. Which, God willing, won’t happen.

So, until then, Alex and I will put on our boxing gloves and get into the ring to fight to the bloody end every time we need to determine who gets the last packet of barbecue sauce.

Good thing I still outweigh the SHIT out of him.

A Tale of Two High Chairs

Alternately: The Most Boring Post On The Internet.

I didn’t have jack shit of my own when I was pregnant with Ben. Everything I had and everything that he had was graciously given to me by other people as I had no influx of income, only a douchy ex who wanted me to itemize everything I ever bought for Ben. I know. I KNOW. I sure knew how to pick ’em.

Ladies, don’t all clamor for his number at once, please. And stop throwing your underwear at the computer, I promise it won’t help you win his heart.

But anyway, because I was not exactly rolling in the dollar bills, I had to kind of make do with whatever people gave me for Ben. Baby Stuff is something most people are really eager to hand down to others, usually by the carful, because, well, it costs a fucking fortune and usually can be used and reused. So, I was showered with hand-me-downs, which, awesome. Unless it involved swishy-looking pastels, which, not QUITE as awesome.

By the time that Alex was born–5 years later–the hand-me-downs were long gone, handed down to someone else. I had some of the clothes from Ben, but even those had been scavenged before I got to them again. No fear, though, because this time around, I was fortunate enough to be in a decent enough financial situation to not require castoffs.

Meticulously The Daver and I began to pick up painstakingly researched gear: the car seat, the pack-n-play, the swing and the bouncy seat. And the high chair. While Dave had been content with just having Ben, I’d wanted a gaggle of kids. We settled on two–Ben and Alex–with the option to have #3. With that in mind, we tended to try and pick out the more resilient options so that we didn’t have to buy it all again.

What we hadn’t really taken into account is who the fetus flipping about in my body cavity was: Mr. Destructo. I should have known, as he never stopped wriggling and flipping, nestling his tiny toes into my liver using and my internal organs to box. Being pregnant with Alex was a violent, violent act.

As a child, Alex just beats on things. He’s not destructive for the sake of destroying things, thankfully, but I worry one day that a well placed kick to a particular support beam will send my house into rubble. It wouldn’t have been on purpose, likely it would have been something that just sort of happened. Alex is Chris Farley in miniature form, frequently flinging his body onto the ground (or into a wall or something) just to make you laugh.

Ben is distractible, Alex is destructible.

The first of our carefully executed choices to be broken was the swing, which was Alex’s bed for the first 6 months of his life. It just…stopped working one day. Next to go was the bouncy seat, which somehow lost an entire screw somewhere along the lines from his constant movement. His crib is missing a couple of screws too, although they’ve been replaced, because he’s somehow managed to wriggle them loose as he flings himself at the mattress from a standing position.

And his high chair? ALSO missing some screws.

So. Yeah. Plan. B.

It was obvious Amelia wasn’t going to inherit anything from Alex save for the saucer toy.

Also obvious was my desire not to acknowledge that she’s growing up. Because while I simply couldn’t WAIT to stick spoonfuls of cereal and fruits into the screaming and indignant mouths of my boys, I’ve only half-heartedly tried Amelia on the cereals and fruit. She’s suitably underwhelmed with them all and I haven’t pushed it. I mean, she’s only a BABY after all, right Internet?

Except no, she’s 6 months old and ready, but getting her a high chair was not even a wee blip on my radar. She’s my last baby and I’m just not ready for her to grow up. It always annoyed me when people would tell me to savor it; it goes so fast, because dude, OBVIOUSLY.

But it does. It goes so, so fast.

(I did not have a digital camera back then and I do not have a scanner now, so I cannot add Ben at this age. Instead, I will show you a picture that will carefully show you what Ben thought about rice cereal)

ben-eats

I was cruelly serving Ben PIZZA.

alex-high-chair

Captain Destructo, himself.

mimi-high-chair

Dude. Who knew Heaven was shaped like a Wagon Wheel?

Benner Turns The Big Four

Happy Fourth Birthday, Benner. Without you, I would be nothing. Someday, maybe I will explain why today was such a pivotal, important, terrible awful day. But for now, let me just say that I love you more than anything and I’m sorry and I hope that the McDonald’s and the ice cream cake that I had The Daver run out to get make it special.

Happy Number Four, baby boy. I’m so proud to be your mom. You make me so, so proud.

Becky:Benner