Sunday, December 23, 2012

7, 8 and 9

We had our first snow fall of the season last night. 
And I love that we have absolutely nowhere to go this morning.

So I'm sitting here as you are taking a nap and as your sister is playing (aka, obsessively focused) with her Cinderella castle in her bedroom. I am enjoying the quiet, and loving the view of our lit Christmas tree and the snow that covers nearly every surface in our backyard.

And I love how your sister has decorated the bottom half of our tree with tiny clothes pins. Our tree needed a touch of Josie. And now it's perfect.

For the first time in a long time, I'm by myself. And I honestly love it. But not too much. Because I must admit, I sometimes miss you while you're sleeping. 

I decide to take this little time I have and think about you. Because thinking about you and your sister makes me happy.

I realize I haven't written an update since you were six months old. And since we are on the eve of your ELEVENTH month birthday, I thought I better get to work. Not because I feel like I have to, but because I want to cherish you and who you are at every little stage in life. 

So here are months seven, eight and nine.

As you can see, it has become increasingly hard to capture you sitting still. Since I posted last, you have mastered sitting up, waving, potentially saying your first word, crawling, speed crawling (crawling and speed crawling are two VERY different things), pulling up, cruising and pushing your sister's doll stroller all around the house. 

Maybe for Christmas, you'll get something boy-ish to push around the house. :-)

You've also mastered finger foods and basically anything I put on the tray of your highchair or any kind of leftover crumb you find on the floor in the kitchen hours after we've eaten. Gross. But hey, you love to eat.

Oh and you've also mastered the art of the fake cry. The one where you scrunch up your face, squint your eyes and go "uh heh heh heh". No tears. Just enough "heh-ing" to get picked up. Such a smart kid. And a happy one, too. Laughing all the time. Even when you wake us up in the middle of the night for a snack (*sigh*), you are laughing, talking and super hyper.

I've seen you REALLY cry only a few times. And the most recent being when I placed you on Santa's lap. Oh dear me. I'm sorry, little buddy. It was horrible. The next day, while getting you dressed, I tickled your little belly and when you began erupting in laughter, I noticed FIVE new teeth! FIVE! So maybe a sore mouth had something to do with the whole horrible Santa experience. That makes seven teeth total. Now you look like a kindergartener.

And before I know it, you'll be one. I feel like I'm Grover in that Sesame Street story about a monster at the end of the book. He keeps desperately asking the reader to stop turning pages. Except I'm not talking about pages, I'm talking about days, months and years.

For the love....Will. You. Please. STOP. Growing. Up?????? :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

party fit for a princess

It was a party fit for a princess. 
A princess turning 3.

We made royal crowns, played musical chairs, 
had a scavenger hunt and tore a part a castle piƱata in an effort 
to fill bags with every little piece of candy 
we could find sprinkled in the grass.

We invited all of our cousins.

And our grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles.

We had almost more fun than one little newly three-year-old could handle.
But that's only a small fraction of what I want to remember from that day.

I want to remember how you desperately wanted 
a Spiderman party in the months leading up to your birthday.
I'm not even sure if you knew what that meant.
But you kept saying it.

And then you came across the movie Cinderella. And fell in love.
And so the rest is history.

So back to the party.

I want to remember these little feet.

And the way your eyes sparkled when you opened white princess gloves 
and a diamond crown. 
The awe, excitement and dream come true. 
Literal dream come true. 
Every morning, I ask what you dreamt about the night before and every morning, 
you answer, "Cinderella."

I want to remember how before the party you hammed it up for the camera, 
which is generally not your style, 
on the front porch for what seemed like forever. 
And then you waited, even longer than that, for your first guest to arrive. 
Just waited. 
Patiently and quietly.

I wondered if you were getting tired from the events of the day so far, 
which is perhaps why you sat so quietly, 
but then your first guest finally arrived and you jumped up with complete and utter 
excitement and yelled, "You're here! I wuv that you are here!"

Lots and lots of cousin love shared that day.

I hope I never forget how you responded to seeing the decorations for your party. 
A friend gave us this castle decal to put up on the wall. 
When you saw it for the first time, you gasped and tenderly whispered,
"Can I...can I go inside?"

I want to remember how everything you opened was your most favorite thing. 
Either everyone knew exactly what you wanted or 
you just loved, loved, loved everything, just because.
Everything you opened, I heard,
"I wuv it. It's my favorite. I wuv it berry, berry much."

I want to remember how you led our family in singing.
You might have sang the loudest. 
No one can out-do Josie when it comes to singing Happy Birthday.
You may not know all the words, 
but you definitely know all the hand motions and when to belt it out.

Also, the next day, on your actual birthday, you received your first big girl bicycle. 
You rode it like a champ. 
You're in another "Cinderella" dress. 
We've graduated from sleeping in this dress, aka, Emri's old flower girl dress, 
to wearing it just during the day. 
Anyway, watching you hike this dress up, 
revealing darling little panties and sweet little buns, 
as you climb onto the seat, is one of my favorite things.
It's the same process every time.

I love every little thing that makes up you, my favorite little three-year-old. 
The day was beautiful, warm and sunny, but the best part of the day was you.
Ready and excited for a new year with our little bear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

one lucky gal

My favorite little man and I at the celebration of my 33rd year.
Also, my first attempt at using mousse in my 7 month-old's hair.
I'm sorry Hank, but crazy hair just runs in the family.

All 26 of us gathered in the backyard for ice cream cake.
A gal couldn't feel more loved on her 33rd birthday.
We're missing sweet sister Rachel, who is taking the picture, 
and sweet niece Julia who is napping in our bedroom.

When I told Josie how old I was turning this year, she responded, 
"No, mom. Actually you are 6."
And I love how she pronounces every single syllable in the word "actually".
So there you have it.
I'm 6 this year.


Toddie, thanks for planning my pancake party.
I LOVED it. Every single minute.
Todd was the griddle master for the morning.
He asked each family to bring a pancake topping that reminded them of me.
Pretty cute, huh?
Yes. Yes, he is.

We had a variety of delicious toppings:
Bananas, strawberries, peanut butter and milk chocolate chips,
raspberry glaze, whipped cream and some kind of candied bacon, er something.
What was that again, Mom? :-)

I will conclude this birthday post with a series of pictures.
Not because they are cute, I have great hair or because I like smashed cheeks 
or over-excuberant smiles.
But rather, because they perfectly paint the picture of my almost three-year-old, Josie.
The pictures start off sweet. Just a normal picture of Josie, myself and Emri.

And then...well, you can see for yourself as you scroll down.
In a matter of mere seconds, Josie starts to spasm into a sweet burst of super sass.
She's just busting at the seams with excitement.
And I can perfectly relate to that.

You know you love someone when it takes every ounce of your being...
not to eat them. :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Josie Lynn, at 2 years and 10 months, 
these pictures below are so you. 

Years from now, I want to remember 
why I liked these pictures so much.
So I'm making a point to remember the following observations:

1. You are wearing a dress.

On this particular day, we're not going to church, a party or anywhere fancy. 
But as you play around the house, 
you insist on wearing a dress.
A dress that you have named "Beauty", as in Sleeping Beauty.
And just to be clear, 
it sounds more like "booty" when you say it. 
And really, you have named all of your clothes and shoes.
They are each named after a princess.

2. Your smile.

So cute and so cheesy. 
It's a rarity that you smile 
and/or look at a camera on command. 
Unless you have my iPhone and are 
somehow managing to take a picture of yourself. 
Yes, you can do that already. 
Those smiles are the best, but the picture is usually out of focus, 
off-center, your hair is crazy and you have crusties all over your face.
Before having children, I always thought, 
"My children will always be dressed cute and their faces will always be clean." 
Famous last words. I used to be the best mom ever. 
That was before I had children.


3. You are playing with nail polish

You do love getting your finger and toenails painted.
A different color for each finger or toe.
Or sometimes, just the left hand, if that's all you're feeling.
Anyway, it's not that you're playing with nail polish, but rather, 
it's what you're doing with the nail polish.
You have a wild imagination.
I think you get that from your father.
You are creative and can entertain yourself for a period of time, 
longer than I probably should even admit.

4. 3 nail polishes on 3 filing boards

What you can't tell by looking at this picture, 
is that you are singing "The Wheels on the Bus" 
as you line each of your students, aka nail polishes, 
on each of their individual buses, aka nail files.
I sat there and watched as you repeated those steps almost 57 times.

Josie, always remember how much you are loved.
And how much you fill my heart with your passion for fancy dresses, 
cheesy grin, creativity, wild imagination 
and every other little wonderful thing that makes you YOU. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm 6 Months and I know It

Hank. You are just too much for me these days. Too much. 
I adore every little piece of you.

You're six months, halfway to your first birthday 
Be still my beating, anxious, mama heart. 
January can stay away, as far as I'm concerned.
It's just going by too fast.

So let's celebrate six months by talking about you.

You are always laughing. 

Except the other day when you cried horribly 
while my back was briefly turned away. 
I initially thought you were crying because Josie took your binkie away. 
And while she was in time out, paying for her crime, 
I asked if she knew why she was there. 

She sweetly responded, 
"Because I hit Hank. 

And I bit his foot.

And I hit his head. 

And pinched his hand.

Hard. I did it. 

I made him cry." 


She didn't even mention the binkie. 

Now really, I don't think she did all of those things. 
But seriously, you must think I'm a horrible mother.
You two are a handful sometimes.

Back to you. *Sigh* You had your first pool experience this month. 
A bigger deal for me than for you. But it was fun. You were like, "So what? I'm in the water."

You're eating baby foods. Carrots, peas, bananas, pears and peaches. 
I think that's all you've tried. 
You gag every time you take a bite of peas. Seriously. 
You'd think I'd stop feeding them to you. But you gotta get your greens. 

You've taken two big road trips this summer: one to Indiana and one to Minnesota. 
I'd like to say that holding hands was the key to you falling asleep in the car, 
but I'm afraid it had more to do with your snuggle bunny, than it did me. 

You heart your little bunny. It's too cute. 

At bedtime, you laugh when I place him in your hands 
and then you stroke his little face and look into his eyes until you fall asleep. 
Later when I come back to check on you, you're asleep on your side, 
gently holding him in your arms.

It's just all too much.

Other little tidbits:

You are a horrible night time sleeper 
(I say that with love and I'm sure your sleeping patterns could be worse), 
but you have the best bed head when you wake up; so you win some, you lose some. :-)

You love touching faces. Right along the cheek or jaw. 
I feel like you're reading someone's soul when you do that. 

Josie does not want me to get her out of bed in the morning unless you're with me and 
she always holds your hand while walking along side the stroller.

Oh and our six months pics were a little nutty this time around. Something about falling over and wanting to eat your sign. I guess we can't win 'em all.

This tastes horrible, but I just...can't....stop...eating it!

Happy HALF birthday, little one!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Five Months, Baby

Hi! My name is Hank Heitshusen. I am 8 pounds and 20-something inches long. If I were the first born, my mom would have remembered exactly how long I am, but I'm a second-born, so we'll just not worry about the details.


I enjoy watching baseball, eating every three hours, sleeping with my bunny, and hanging with my big sister, Josie. I like watching her sing and dance. And whenever she laughs, I can't help but smile. Except in this picture below. Give me a break. I'm a little tired from a long day of chewing on my teething ring and rolling over on my tummy.

I'm not too ashamed to admit that I like snuggling up with my mom.

And going to concerts with my dad.


I had the pleasure of meeting my great grandma and grandpa on my first road trip to Indiana. I was pretty amazing during the car ride. As long as my mama was sitting in the back seat next to me.

I enjoy walks through our neighborhood during the summer evenings. Now that I'm facing forward in my sweet Baby Bjorn ride, I can really put out the vibe.

Most recently, my first two teeth were spotted. I'm kind of mature for my age.
I love meeting new people and enjoy good, long conversations with friends. Especially with friends that just sit and stare back at me. Some of my talents include sitting by myself, although I'm not much of a risk taker and prefer to have a nice solid pillow around me in case I tip over. Other talents include babbling, making raspberry sounds and reaching for toys.

I am five months old, single and available. If you know any cute girls, send me their number! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

mirror, mirror on the wall

Josie, the other night you asked me to sing 
"The Little Mermaid" as you were falling asleep.

Are you kidding me? 
I've been preparing my whole life for this.

I closed my eyes to get into character, 
tucked your princess dress under your covers 
(yes, this is what you sleep in these days) 
and then began to quietly sing my heart out.

 My sweet audience of one 
watched with a half-smile on your sleepy little face.
And then you politely asked me to stop singing, 
as you were too sleepy to listen anymore.

All of this to say, you are obsessed with princesses.  
Or anything pink, purple, sparkly, lacy or frilly.

You also have an obsession with mirrors. 

Being in front of the mirror is like being home for you.
You sing, dance, twirl, make funny faces or just practice varies smiles.
 And you don't even need a real mirror.
A reflection from a window, the fireplace glass
or side of a car will do just fine.

If you're not being a very good listener
(which let's be honest, rarely happens),
I'll threaten to take the mirror out of your room.
It works. Nine out of ten times, it works.

Raising a little girl, I'm already sensitive
to what I "should be teaching" you.
I don't even know what that means,
but I have that thought stuck in my head.

So when the mirror obsession started,
My first thought was to hinder that desire.
Reasons being, we shouldn't be so into ourselves,
it's not about beauty on the outside, etc.

But then in the midst of my anxiety I realized,
when you look in the mirror,
your thoughts are simple, pure and innocent.

You're not thinking you're better than everyone else.

You see a little girl with a giant hair bow, a bazillion bracelets,
a princess dress (likely with a stain or two), and a big smile.

I'm not sure when this happens, but in every woman's life,
there's a moment when we stop looking in the mirror like you do now.
Instead, we see a mirror as a way to tell us what's wrong with our appearance.
To let us know what we need to fix about ourselves.
And we usually leave the mirror with an "oh well" expression.
Never fully loving what we see.

So with that said, please don't stop looking in the mirror. Ever.
Keep looking into the mirror and smiling.

Love yourself. It will get harder to do so with each year.

Remember to see yourself the way you do now. Lovely, in every way.

Be confident and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Proverbs 139:14