Monday, January 30, 2012

I feel pretty

Wolfie had a friend over, a little boy in his class, after school today.  Tulip changed her outfit 4 times.

At dinner, my husband teased me about something dorky I said and I reminded him that I am cool and I have been cool my entire life.  Wolfie said, "Mama, you're not cool, but you have been pretty your whole life."

Luna said, "Knock knock."
We said, "Who's there?"
Luna said, "Pretty poo."

But she made up for it when she dressed her own self for bed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How I saved 50 bucks.

My friend and colleague is due in a few weeks and I've organized a shower for her at work.  I was also in charge of collecting contributions from the team to buy her a gift.  We were hoping to collect enough money to buy her a stroller she registered for at Babies R Us.  It's $250.

I looked at her registry online Monday night and saw the price of her stroller listed as $199.99.  I do not know why today the price was different than when I first looked at her registry two weeks ago but I scooted straight over to Babies R Us.  This young guy named Tim asked me right away if I needed any help.  I showed him the stroller on the registry I had printed out and he walked me over to it.  The price sign said $249.99.  I showed him the registry and pointed out that it was $199.99 on my paper.  He said he'd go ask someone about it.  When he came back he told me that $199.99 was the online price.

Okay, here we go.  I hate retail.

I said, "So how do I buy this stroller for $199.99 online while I'm in the store.  Can I use one of your computers?  And then can I just arrange for store pickup and take this stroller with me?"

"I...don't...know.  But I'll go ask."

"Well I'll just go ask.  I mean, I have to go to the registers at some point to figure it out anyway."

"No really, it's no problem.  I'll go ask; I've got nothing better to do."  This guy was on my side because I was promising to be a project and he really needed something to do.

"I'll go."

"Well, I'll just go with you to see what the story is," my new young friend Tim says.

Tim goes to the computer at the customer service counter behind the register.  I show the cashier my registry and she says that was the sale price of the stroller when my friend registered for it.

"Then that's what I should pay for it since that's the price listed on her registry."


No?  Who trained this woman?  When I am faced with a flat out no like that, you better believe I am going to get exactly what I want and it won't take me longer than 15 minutes to get there.

"Does this sale price have anything to do with my rewards card?"  Yes, it's true, I have one of those stupid rewards cards but inevitably we make a big purchase at Toys R Us around Christmas and there's always the big ticket item from Babies R Us I pick up for my pregnant friends.

The cashier begins to explain how my rewards card has nothing to do with sale prices but she mentions something about coupons.  Meanwhile, Tim interjects, "See, $199.99 the online price," referring to the computer screen and directing his statement more towards his cashier co-worker than at me.

I point out that in no way does the registry print out say anything about online prices versus in store prices.  I'm about to say that it's deceptive advertising but I don't want to be combative.  Yet.  I've got other strategies.  You catch more flies with honey, you know.

The cashier shows me a coupon that expired yesterday that gives you $10 off every $50.  I tell her that I get coupon emails from my rewards card.  I'm kind of working the I'm-ignorant-about-how-my-rewards-card-works-so-I'm-just-going-to-keep-talking-about-my-rewards-card-as-if-it'll-earn-me-a-discount angle.  She tells me that those emails are different than coupons. 

"Oh.  Because right before I came here I looked at my rewards card email coupons and it said 20% off baby gear."

Tim pipes in, "It's indoor baby gear," as if he's bummed for me.

I turn to Tim and say, "I know...I got real excited when I saw 'baby gear' on the rewards card coupon but then I saw that it said 'indoor' so it was, like, swings and stuff."

"Yeah, a stroller is not indoor baby gear."  Good ol' Tim.

Then she tells me that a new coupon promotion is starting tomorrow.  I say, "I am in the store right now.  How can I get that stroller for $199.99?"  I'm still holding the expired $10 off $50 coupon she showed me as if I'm perplexed about how coupons and expirations and promotion start dates work.

I think the cashier is sick of me talking about coupons that don't work or a rewards card that doesn't actually give me any sort of discount so she says, "If you can find that price [$199.99] online and show it to me, I'll price match it for you."

"Oh, I can totally show you that stroller for $199.99 online."


I point at Tim and his computer, "Right there.  Babies R Us online price.  $199.99."

"Okay fine.  I'll grant you the online price."

Tim shouts, "I'll go get it for you!"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vocabulary lessons for 4-year olds

Tulip was hosting a "feast" which was like a tea party only with more of an emphasis on food, not tea.  She invited many of her stuffed animals, and her family.  She told me I had to wear a fancy hat.  So I did.  Then Papa arrived for the feast and she told him, "Papa, you have to wear a fancy accessory."


That is what she said.

At dinner, we were treated to cupcakes delivered by one of our awesome neighbors.  Yup, just like that the doorbell rings and cupcakes from Designer Desserts are on our kitchen counter.  We live in an awesome neighborhood.  Anyway, I tried to introduce the term "decadent" to the children.  We'll see if that word appears again. 

I asked everyone, "How do you say 'delicious' in Italian?"

Tulip said, "Dahm-bee?"  I was looking for 'delizioso'.

Then I asked, "How do you say 'delicious' in German?" and without skipping a beat Tulip says, "Lecker."

She and I split a red velvet cupcake.  I comment on how tasty the frosting is.  I say, "There were little crunchy balls in the frosting, right Tulip?"

She says, "Those are sprinkles."

Gabe says, "Yeah Mama, little crunchy balls are sprinkles."  Well then, I stand corrected.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Must touch snow and leaves

Tulip loves nature.  She's barefoot in the grass all summer long.  If I let her, she would spend the night in the leaf pile in our front yard in the fall.  She's missing the green in winter, that's for sure.  She's the type of girl that will spot a potted plant in a room, wander over and gently place her fingers in the dirt, caress the trunk and finger the leaves.  In the dead of winter, she'll go for a nature walk with Papa and Luna and come home with pine needles, pine cones, and stray abandoned leaves.  She's a leaf lover.

This morning she asked to go play outside in the snow after breakfast.  She knocked on the patio door, while holding a big lump of snow and asked, "Mama, will you take a picture of me holding this snow."  Of course. 

Later, I was snipping some fern leaves off one of our house plants.  She wanted to help but I didn't want to take the plant down off the hook in the ceiling to bring it down to her level and I couldn't figure out how to get her high enough so she could snip.  She'll just have to settle for holding the leaves I snip off, I thought.  Turns out, that was fine because as she held those leaves, she examined them closely and got a brilliant idea.

"Mama, I can use these leaves for a craft!" she squealed with delight.  I brought her a bottle of glue, and this is what she made:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why I think McDonalds is okay

I don't think McDonalds food is healthy, certainly not.  And as I began my mothering journey, and continue it, I aspired to be totally organic and healthy and eco-friendly and...well...perfect.  And McDonalds is none of those things.  Except that sometimes on a road trip, McD's gets the job done.  (Perfect mother means happy kids in the car, right?)

Then Wolfie ended up in the hospital.

I've told my story (his story) to family and friends, and I wrote it in a journal with a pen to keep for my family forever.  But I'd like to share it here, since I now think McDonalds is okay and even though we never have pop cans in our house (because those are so un-organic, -healthy and -eco-friendly), I know all about the pop tab thing.  And I'm very grateful for it, and appreciative for any of you who ever saved a pop tab.

A year ago, Wolfie woke up on a Thursday and said, "Why do I have this weird rash on my hand?"  His hand, wrist and a bit of his forearm was very discolored.  It was like a mottled purplish color.  But it wasn't inflamed, and his skin was smooth - no bumps, and I asked him if it itched or anything and he said no.  By the way, he had no, absolutely no symptoms of any kind of being sick.  Not even the sniffles.  He had tons of energy, big appetite, and was happy.  No emotional outbreaks, which with 5-year olds usually indicates they are not feeling well.

So I thought to myself, "Well if this is what his eczema looks like now, then that's what it looks like."  We sent him to school.  Fifteen minutes after school began both Gabe and I got a call.  His teacher saw his hand and sent him to the nurse and she called us and said to bring him home because he might have strep.  Strep?  She took his temperature (99) and asked him if his throat hurt and of course he said "yes" (Mom-teacher here: you aks, "What hurts?" so the child can give you a specific answer instead of asking, "Does your throat hurt?  Does your tummy hurt?" therefore providing them with a fixation.), and of course he had that rash.

Gabe called our pediatrician and spoke to the triage nurse who said if he had strep he would 1) have a high fever (much higher than 99), 2) have a sandpaper like rash on his chest, and 3) his throat would hurt - a lot.

We didn't send him to school on Friday because he was absolutely fine other than that weirdo rash.

But a funny thing happened.  He started to get reddish purple polka dots on his belly.  Tiny ones.  We called the triage nurse again.  "It's hard to identify a rash over the phone," said the nurse.  Plus he had no other symptoms.  The nurse said he could have come into contact with any type of irritant - something he ate, something in the air, something in his clothes.  This, again, made sense to us because we've heard it all before when looking for an explanation for the cause of his eczema.

Irritant.  Irritant.  Irritant.  Ah ha!  The kids had gotten a craft kit.  Scratch paper.  You know, paper that appears to be gray but if you scratch it with a little scraping tool, you reveal rainbow colored designs underneath.  Wolfie had been obsessively scratching that stuff, creating piles of filament.  Who knows what that stuff is made of.  And it was all over his hand and his belly.  Why of course, that must be the irritant.

But a funny thing happened.  He took a bath Saturday night and he was covered in bruises.  His polka dots were all over his abdomen and his arms and legs were bruised.  He had a bruise on his forearm that was the unmistakable pattern of a little sister's grip.  Four fingerprint shaped bruises with a thumb shaped one on the opposite side.  Tulip was three; how could she bruise him that easily by grasping his arm?

It got worse.  Sunday morning he had a fresh, and by fresh I mean bluish-purple and lumpy, bruise on his neck.  I remember Saturday night I was at the computer and Wolfie was balancing on the foot of the rolling chair, stumbled, and clipped his chin on the edge of the desk.  He said "umph" or something.  Rubbed it real quick.  That was it.  Nothing that should have produced a bruise like this one.

Gabe had been planning to visit Grandma (retired nurse) with all the kids because Aunt Julie was going to be there (current nurse).  I was staying home to nurse myself.  I had a sinus infection or something.  But instead of taking a nap I searched for a identify-your-symptoms-and-name-your-illness website.  Found it.  It was a good one - it was set up like a flow chart where it would take your initial description, ask you questions, offer pictures, and after a few clicks there it was.


Go ahead and look it up or just read the definition here: a minute reddish or purplish spot containing blood that appears in skin or mucous membrane as a result of localized hemorrhage.


So of course I do some searches on what causes petecheia.

Lack of platelets.  Serious infection.  Leukemia.

That's when I decided to stop looking at the computer and take a nap.  Julie called from Grandma's house.  She said, "Wolfie has petecheia.  I don't want to scare you but that usually means there's something wrong with his hemoglobin...I think you should call your pediatrician." 

Of course.  It's Sunday.

I call the doctor on emergency duty and tell her, "My son's records for the past three days will say that he had a rash.  He actually has petecheia.  My sister-in-law is a nurse and she just looked him over."

"Okay," the doctor says.  "I want you to take him to the emergency room."  Actually, she said it like that after we talked about it for a bit and she said that I could bring him to her office first thing Monday morning but he'd have to be in a bubble until then; couldn't run the risk of him bumping any part of his body and causing any internal bleeding, head trauma, etc.  I pointed out that he is five and has two little sisters and none of them know the game called "stay in a bubble".  She finally said, as a mom, don't wait.  Take him to the emergency room now and find out what it is.  I was grateful for that.

We go to the emergency room.  PS - Wolfie is totally fine.  Covered in bruises and spots from head to toe but totally happy like he always is.  He is excited to go to the hospital.  It's going to be an adventure; he loves adventure.  He and I eat a quick very early dinner, I grab my purse, he grabs a Star Wars coloring book and a bag of markers.  We are off on our adventure.

The triage nurse (loved her) tells me that something scary is going on here.  I need to be prepared.  I might end up somewhere else - another hospital.  A hospital that specializes in children.  It was nice she said that.  I knew it - that something scary was going on - but it was nice that she said it in a caring manner.  I knew that she was totally ready to deal with me, a hysterical mother, but I wasn't hysterical.  I was in my mama zone.  Mama warrior.  Optimist mama.  All those types of mamas I am when something scary is going on and I refuse to let it hurt my children.  Besides, how helpful would it have been for Wolfie to see me lose it.  So that nurse measured me up just as I measured her up and we went to work.  Wolfie colored.

Wolfie got to wear a hospital gown!  It had tigers on it!  Awesome.
Wolfie got a needle poked into his arm.  Ouch.  That was all.  He was brave.  He got to see his very own blood leave his body through a tube and fill up two little vials.  That's part of the adventure.  Wow.

Then we wait.  We wait for the doctor to analyze his blood and tell us the diagnosis.  I begin my optimistic mantra chanting (in my head, of course, because how helpful would it be for Wolfie to see his mother chanting while rocking back and forth?).  I think back to the brief bit of research I did on petecheia and what kind of problem it could represent.  It seemed that there was a list, from mild to serious.  The most mild indication for petecheia is low platelets and the treatment for this is medicine.  It's treatable.  Curable.

It's what Wolfie had.

Big.  Sigh.  Of.  Relief.  (But I knew it.)

The doctor told me that Wolfie had low platelets.  Typically you have 150,000 per unit of blood and Wolfie had 10,000.  He suffered a onset of ITP - idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.  Out of all the things on that spectrum of problems represented by petecheia - this was small potatoes.  This was treatable with a dose of medicine.  Done.  Never to be experienced again.  (I mean, the percentage of a child having recurring ITP is extremely rare, but possible, so said the doctor.)  Why did he have ITP?  Who knows?  That's the idiopathic part of it.  For whatever reason his body was producing antibodies but there were no foreign invaders in his system so the antibodies just started gobbling up white blood cells.  Sometimes this happens when a child had a virus a few weeks prior, sort of like the antibodies are a bit late to the party but decide to party hard when they arrive.  We all had the stomach flu about three weeks earlier.  Weird, right?

The doctor also said that he would feel better if Wolfie were treated at a university children's hospital (which I really appreciated, I mean, he could've done the treatment there but he wanted my little boy to be surrounded by pediatric and asked if I would prefer Riley in Indianapolis or Comer in Chicago.  I chose Comer.  He said, "Okay, I'll arrange for transport, you should be ready in about 30-45 minutes."

I think my head was spinning so much as the good news (the good news being that Wolfie only had ITP), that I needed a little clarification as to what was about to happen.  I turned to the nurse and asked, "What does he mean by transport?" and she replied, "Oh, I'm sure it will be a ground as opposed to an air."

Transport = ambulance.  An ambulance ride to Chicago.  Right now.  

Holy cow can you say excited boy.  Our adventure just kicked up about 100 notches.  An ambulance ride!  Wolfie was so excited that every time he heard wheels rolling down the hall (and believe me, in the ER you hear that noise often), he'd say, "Is that my cart?"  When his "cart" did arrive, the technicians had to operate it's hydrolic lever.  Wolfie had leaped out of his hospital cot and was dancing with anticipatory delight at the idea of being strapped into an ambulance gurney.  By now the boy was somewhat of a Sunday evening ER celebrity and a whole committee of nurses and doctors had stopped by to wave him off.  Wolfie, the smiling boy with polka dots and a thirst for adventure.

The way the ambulance transport worked is the child is in the back with a technician, the one and only parent rides in the front with the driver.  Throughout my contact with Gabe at home, we decided that I would do this with Wolfie.  Gabe would bring the girls the next morning.  Wolfie and I were on a Wolfie-Mama adventure date.  But I figured he would just pass out in the ambulance; it was already close to 10:00.  He totally stayed awake.  He and his new friend Jessica played 85 games of tic-tac-toe and he talked her ear off.

We arrived at Comer - the most wonderful place for a sick child to spend time.  The staff was amazing.  The "amenities" were amazing.  Considering that my boy felt fine, it was like being at a children's resort.  Movies on demand.  Rather kid-fabulous 24 hour room service.  "Would he like anything else?  Perhaps a milkshake or smoothie?"  "Why yes, yes he would."  There was an awesome play room, video game room, art studio, more play areas, family kitchen lounge, and specialists galore.  Art therapists, play therapists, very fine doctors and nurses, and volunteers whose soul purpose in life was to play with my child and make him happy, happy, happy.  Which, I have to say, was an easy job for them.  In fact, I was trying to be a mother and tell Wolfie it was time to wrap it up and leave the playroom because Grandpa Bob was coming soon and we were all going to eat dinner together in the room and we had to get up there and order room service...inhale...and during that inhale the play room volunteers just jumped right in and offered Wolfie more toys, more video game time, more art supplies, more play.  She certainly didn't shoosh me away but I think she was considering it.

Wolfie's medical treatment at Comer was pretty simple.  Depending on his blood type, he would receive a dose of medicine called IV-IG in either one four hour dose or two, slowed down four hour doses.  Of course his blood type called for the latter and those two doses needed to be 24 hours apart.  He received the first dose shortly after midnight once he finally fell asleep.  That's why we got to spend a whole day in play land.  We had to hang around for 24 hours so he could get his second dose.

And that, my devoted readers, is where McDonald's comes in.  Have you heard of the Ronald McDonald house?  I admit, prior to this I had heard of it but didn't really understand it's purpose or services.  I thought it was a place where children lived but it is where parents stay when their children have to live in a hospital.  Since we were being treated on the Oncology/Hematology floor of the hospital, it became pretty clear to me that the other children were living at the hospital.  We were going to leave after the inconvenience of having to wait 24 hours for that second dose of IV-IG.  That was sobering.

The second night we were at the hospital, I took the girls to the Ronald McDonald house so Gabe could spend the night with his son, something he had never had to miss until the night before.  And I was so glad to be reunited with my girls, both of whom I've never spent a night apart.  The Ronald McDonald house allowed us to be together as a family, just a 10 minute shuttle ride apart.  I can't imagine what a life saver that house is for the families that spend weeks and weeks or months and months at the hospital.  This beautiful Victorian home offered three floors and about 12 bedrooms.  My room phone was a direct line to the hospital.  The kitchen was stocked with donated food, or food people bring themselves and mark with their names.  Our room was luxurious, and I didn't mind at all that I was expected to launder my sheets the following morning.  I was so grateful for the yogurt and granola and chocolate chip cookies for breakfast that had been donated the evening before.  The girls played in the Ronald McDonald play room while I washed our dishes.  I suppose I could have lounged in front of the fire place in the parlor overlooking the veranda and garden.  The girls could have watched TV in one of the common rooms upstairs near the bedrooms.  Instead we looked at the beautiful winter wonderland miniatures set up in the parlor before heading out to rejoin our boys at the hospital.

All I was asked for was a $10 donation.

Did you know that every Happy Meal purchased at McDonald's donates one penny to Ronald McDonald house?  So now, I don't cringe at the thought of McDonald's being our only recourse of road food.  We often pack a lunch ahead of time when we head out on the road.  The kids call it Papa's Happy Lunch.  Sometimes we put a little toy in their carton of food.  But that once in a while, when we lapse in our planning, I enjoy the fact that I'm given the opportunity to donate a little tiny bit more to the Ronald McDonald house.  And when I look in the back seat and see how beautifully perfect my children are, I think that a little un-organic, un-healthy, un-eco-friendly is a small small price to pay in comparison.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Her dreams

My Tulip, sweet sweet girl.  She loves everyone she loves so much.  She'll smush all she knows about you into a big offering of love Tulip style.

Tonight, as we shared a grapefruit, we had this conversation:

"Mama, is it true you like opossums?"
"Well then tonight I'm going to dream about opossums.  And there will be babies and mamas and papas and brothers and sisters.  And they'll be friendly.  And they can all be your pets.  And they'll be big, as big as people, so you can play with them.  And they'll be from Chicago."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I want to be a traditionalist so bad.  Maybe I don't know what that word means.  What I mean by traditionalist is that I want to create unique traditions in my household that my family will cherish forever.  Kind of like me and my fond childhood memories of Christmas gambling.  So that's what I mean by traditionalist.  Just let me have it, okay.

My friend Stephanie has inspired many with her dedicated mothering and professional blogging, and she has been taking a picture of her four kids on the fourth of every month.  Awesome, right?  So many of her followers have decided to start this tradition this year.  Including my extremely talented-with-the-camera friend, neighbor and blogger, Donya.  She happens to snap a picture of my own child like this:
photo by Donya

Where I manage to get a picture of her looking like this:
Okay, so the dress is super cute and so is that precocious little tongue, but look at what a crappy photographer I am.  That background sucks (and yes, this is what my living room always looks like...sigh)
 So I tried my own third of the month.  It's pathetic.  Ready?  Look:
My 3 on the 3rd of January, 2012

"Wolfie?"  I ask.  "What are you doing to your eye?" 
"It's itchy," he says.


I do like this picture.  A lot.  Oh, by the way, one of our traditions is that everyone wears a silly hat to dinner on New Year's Eve.

I might just fib a little and claim that I snapped this picture on January 3rd, 2012 and that my children are such free spirits and have such terrific imaginations (which they do, honestly) that they just happened to be wearing silly hats to dinner.  But then everyone who knows what a traditionalist I am will say, "Hey, that picture doesn't count because you took it on December 31st - not January 3rd!  You always wear silly hats to dinner on New Year's Eve."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

100 Things I Love About Being a Mother

This is my 100th blog!  I could go on and on, but I limited myself to 100...for now.

100 Things I Love About Being a Mother:
1.  My son's freckles
2.  My water birth experiences
3.  Luna's musical voice
4.  Tulip's spritely skip down the hall
This is Luna's current favorite face to make - surprise!
5.  How each child is a little slice of me and a little slice of my husband and a big slice of their very own
6.  They are a reminder that I am capable of amazing things
7.  They make me want to sing and dance (because this is what they do)
8.  Bedtime routines
9.  Saturday morning pancakes
10.  Luna's midnight visits
11.  How Wolfie explains and describes things to me in great detail
12.  Tulip loves to touch plants and dirt
13.  Playing
14.  Hugs
15.  Kisses
16.  Tears
17.  I love how they can sense when I'm low and they treat me with oh-so-gentle loving gestures
18.  Their eyelashes - each and every one
19.  Bath time and the mega-dry
20.  Brushing tangles out of my girls' hair
21.  Coloring
22.  They way Wolfie calls Toy R Us, "Toy Are Rust"
23.  Bunk beds
24.  The soundtrack to my life balanced by "Mama...I'm ready for you to wipe my butt!" and "You're the best Mama ever.  I love you."
25.  They way my children look when they are sleeping
26.  Little socks
27.  Brand new first time underpants
28.  Sticky handprints on the wall
29.  The first day of school
30.  Breast feeding!
31. Wiping noses, clipping nails, cleaning ears, brushing teeth - anything that allows me to touch my children and care for their little bodies
32.  Hearing the words, "Look at me!  Look what I can do!"
Trying out a new pose for the camera...

33.  Tea parties
34.  Building legos
35.  Playing restaurant
36.  That heavy, yet soft, sinking feeling when a child falls asleep on your lap
37.  Poo poo humor
38.  Infectious joyful giggling overheard in the other room
39.  Knowing that they will always have each other
40.  Hospitals, sickness, injury, and hurt - because these are important things to experience and make me a stronger mama
41.  Hand made cards and pictures just for me
42.  How each of my children's first pronunciation of computer has been "pooter"
43.  Teaching my son how to answer the telephone, and hearing him do it
44.  Christmas morning!
45.  The way Luna likes to stick stickers all over herself, and all over me
46.  Hearing my children say "please" and "thank you" when I didn't even have to remind them
47.  Babywearing!
48.  The last day of school
49.  Showing my children how to dig a hole, drop in a seed, and then gently cover it up with dirt
50.  Loose tooth
51.  Amusement parks, zoos, fairs, carnivals, museums all have renewed excitement
52.  Sun-kissed skin and white stripes in the folds
53.  Invented games such as Throw the Washcloth on the Wall
54.  Hearing Luna say, "I do it by myself" and realizing that she actually can
55.  Hearing Luna say, "I need your help" and knowing that she will always need me for something
56.  Holding hands
57.  Building a snowman
58.  Picking apples
59.  Baking cookies
60.  Carving jack-o-lanterns
61.  Making homemade costumes
62.  Being entertained with a song and dance and puppet and karate moves and magic tricks show
63.  Watching little hands help littler hands
64.  Creating a new rule and sticking to it
65.  Hearing the baby pronounce her sibling's names for the first time
66.  Watching my toddler play for 25 straight minutes with a handful of tartar sauce packets
67.  Sitting next to my daughter, watching her build a puzzle, enjoying every little furrow of her brow and marveling at her logic
Wolfie's new buddy, Steve
68.  The endearing way my children ask for favors: "Mama, I just love you so much.  And, can I have some ice cream?"
69.  Relearning rules to soccer
70.  Road trips
71.  Breakfast for dinner
72.  Naked Saturday
73.  Reading books to my children
74.  When my children realize they can read books to me
75.  My children's insatiable desire to "help", as much as it drives me crazy sometimes
76.  Making and eating s'mores
77.  The way baby feet feel on my cheeks
78.  Prying open a baby's closed fist while sleeping to wipe off the lint
79.  The smell of my baby's hair
80.  Knitting clothes for my children (or their dolls)
81.  Rolling up pants that are just a little too long
82.  Packing away pants that are just a little too short
83.  Watching my children love on their Papa
84.  The spin: a reward in my house for doing something awesome like making pee pee on the potty or getting a spare in Wii bowling
85.  Family jokes such as "Remember when Papa sneezed so loud I dropped my strawberry?"
86.  Snuggling on the couch
87.  Watching my children play so well with each other and knowing that they love each other as much as I love them
88.  Reacquainting myself with the Guardians of Childhood (Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, etc.) and learning that things have changed since I was a child - there is now a Stitches Fairy
89.  I can easily be a hero with either a popsicle or a bandage
90.  Seeing Wolfie carry a stuffed animal in a baby sling
91.  Seeing my girls breastfeed their dollies
92.  Cutting food into tiny little pieces
93.  Remembering what it felt like to be pregnant
94.  Traditions - new and old
95.  Butterfly kisses
96.  Teaching my children how to be kind, considerate, compassionate and courageous
97.  Learning from my children how to be kind, considerate, compassionate and courageous
98.  Tucking my children into bed and immediately missing them
99.  Summer vacation
100.  My husband - without him I would not be a mother