We have a preschooler. Um how’d that happen?

1st day of preschool

It’s been about a month since I’ve been back at work.  A month since waking up with both of my girls and nothing but fun to be had on our agenda every day. A month since the occasional (and somedays more often) toddler tantrum on the kitchen floor. A month since my daily wardrobe of workout clothes paired with no makeup. I definitely miss it. But we’re onto a new stage. The preschool one.

The first two weeks were kind of a bust dropping Lilla off in the morning. She’d break into the ugly cry as soon as I started my goodbyes. As I walked away waving and smiling trying to reassure her, she stared at me through the window with tears streaming down her face. Worst. Feeling. Ever.

But two weeks later we’re in a much better place. Lilla smiles when I drop her off. We make silly faces at each other in the window. And she’s giddy when we pick her up. I’m excited for all the new stuff she’s about to learn. I think it’ll be a great match for her curiosity. She’s turned into such a little person. She cracks us up day in and out. Case in point. Here’s a list of her latest quotes.

Touching her eyelids in the morning she looks at me and says, “Mommy I’m putting my toncacs in just wike you.” I ask her “Your contacts?” She replies, “Yea, my toncacs.” 

Walking to preschool she says, “Mom we sorgot to bring a book!” I say, “I didn’t know we were supposed to sweetie.” Her reply, “Dat’s okay, it’s my on purpose, not your on purpose.” I say “You mean fault?” She says, “Yea, sault.”

After her first foray with Shredded Wheat Cereal she says to Jon, “Daddy, I wike Cheddar Weeps!”

Taking a sip of my water that’s been sitting out all night. “Ugh, Mommy this water is soggy.”

 

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A Minnie & Mickey Clubhouse Birthday Party

To celebrate Miss Lilla’s 3rd birthday, we threw a joint party with Henry (who turned 2 in June) at the park near our house. There was plenty of space for the kiddos to run around and play and even a clubhouse to boot. Sarah and I “slaved” away on oreo cookie cupcakes with ears, felt ears for the kids and ordering way too much pizza from Dominos. The kiddos had a great time.

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Category 5 hurricane coming through

Sure she masquerades around as a two-year old with a toddler accent and cute button nose. But this little girl has the ability to lift the contents of her room and drop them all over every area of our house. Within minutes. Case and point – the evidence below. This happened in–I kid you not– less than 5 minutes. She managed to relocate her hair accessories, her bedding, her kitchen dishes and her stuffed friends to every room in our house but the one in which they belong. It’s a good thing she’s cute. Now I just need to figure out how to get her to use her powers for good and return everything into its rightful place. A mom can dream can’t she?

“Hey I got a good idea…”

This is how all of Lilla’s negotiations start out. And believe me, she’s quite the negotiator. Oh and she never forgets a thing. Something for you to remember the next time you come up against her and her tactics. Pretty sure she gets this from the lawyer in our family. Thanks Dad.

Lilla’s Solo Midwest Adventure

Since Jon’s cousin Scott’s wedding was a few weeks after Quinn was born, we decided it was probably best not to bring a 3-week old on a germ-laden cross country flight. So I stayed back with Quinn while Jon and Lilla headed eastward. On the trip, Lilla got to hang out with her cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. And all of this hanging out involved attending her first Sox game (with cotton candy and fireworks), a birthday brunch for her twin cousins Ava and Jack, a rehearsal dinner with kiddie cocktails and a week long solo trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the lake with craft-making, cookie-baking, boating, tea-partying and tractor riding to name a few. Suffice it to say, Lilla had a blast. The pics below prove it.

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Two funny Jesus quotes in one day

Lilla has been going to Sunday school for the past year and loves it. Which makes me love it even more. And as a result of this religious schooling, her and Jesus have become buds. She loves to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and is fast becoming a big fan of Veggie Tales.

This morning, as we’re watching some Saturday morning TV, Lilla gets all excited, points to the TV and says, “Mommy Daddy, look it’s Jesus!” To which Jon says, “No Lilla, that’s Fabio.” Jon and I both started dying laughing.

Fast forward twelve hours and Lilla tells Jon before bed that she wants to see Jesus at Disney World this summer so she can give him a big hug. Too funny.

Love that little nugget and her love for Jesus.

Our Little Escape Artist

Our annual holiday pilgrimage to the Midwest was exhilarating. And exhausting. And I mean that in the best possible way. We drove all over to see family and friends. And lucky for us, Lilla is a professional car sleeper. Seriously, five minutes into every drive, she was in toddler la la land. Thanks to a little help from her “pa pa” (pacifier).

Lilla definitely loved Christmas a lot more this year. And that’s probably because she could walk and talk and eat “cooooookies.” So it was a lot of fun to watch her experience it all. She wasn’t as into gift opening as I thought she would be. But I’m sure that will come next year. Her maternal side made its official debut. The burping, crying, bottle sucking baby she got was one of her favorite gifts. She wouldn’t let it out of her sight. She also discovered snow “Cooollllddd” for the first time. And became an expert at climbing up and down Grandma and Grandpa Rodgers’ stairs in their new lake home.

And speaking of stairs. The finale of our trip had a little something to do with them. This year we stayed in Chicago for New Years Eve. We wanted to go out with our friends and had the opportunity to cash in on some free babysitters. And when you have that golden opportunity, you never turn it down (thanks Dad & Nance!). So Jon and I kissed our little Lilla Bean goodbye as we ventured out for dinner and drinks in Chicago’s Greek Town. Eight hours and countless glasses of wine later, we arrived back to my Dad and Nancy’s condo at 4am. Clearly someone forgot to tell us we’re in our thirties and have a kid.

After Jon whipped up some late night chocolate chip pancakes, we got some shut eye. Next thing I know, it’s 8am and I’m awoken to Miss Lilla saying “Mommy Mommy Mommy….cheers!” which was quickly followed by clinking of what sounded like champagne flutes. But how could that be? I just assumed I was dreaming and continued to keep my eyes closed. And then it happened again. Poking this time and then “Mommy Mommy Mommy…cheers!” and then clink clink clink. So I opened my eyes, to find that our little 17-month old nugget had escaped her pack n’ play and was in fact banging together 5lb Waterford Crystal champagne flutes. So I did what any parent with the world’s worst hangover would do. I took the flutes, placed them on the nightstand, picked up Lilla, brought her into bed with us and told her to go “night night”. Oh if only that would’ve worked.

A good 30 seconds later she decided the whole sleeping-in-bed thing was a terrible idea and quickly wanted “doooown.” Seeing that she was the only one up and Jon was barely moving, I forced myself to get up. And that’s when it really hit me. A. Holy headache. B. She crawled out of her pack n’ play. C. Holy headache. D. Where’d she get champagne flutes? E. Holy headache.

Fast forward a couple of hours and we had some answers. And in order to tell them, first I have to set the stage of the setup of my Dad and stepmom’s condo. It’s two stories and our little guest wing was downstairs from everyone else. Simply put, the only way out of the condo was to go up the stairs from where we were staying. Once Nancy was awake, I asked her why her and my Dad would have left crystal champagne flutes out where Lilla could grab them. Her response? Uh, they didn’t.

Nope, after putting Lilla down for bed, they decided to have a little New Year’s toast of their own (and why wouldn’t they?) in their family room, where they left the champagne flutes on the coffee table. Let that sink in for a minute. So after I picked up my jaw from off the floor, I put it all together. Lilla crawled out of her pack n’ play (at God only knows what time), climbed up the stairs, grabbed two 5lb champagne flutes, crawled back down the stairs and clinked them together next to my head. So yea, needless to say, we win the parents of the year award. And the cherry on top of this wonderful debacle? We had to fly home a few hours later. Home as in San Francisco. Lucky for us, Lilla’s also a professional airplane sleeper.

The pics are from the morning after when L’s two aunts Lindsay and Kirby were a Godsend and gave her a bath.

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Lilla’s Run-in With Jolly Old St. Nick

The day after Lilla’s chance meeting with the Russian Butcher, we ventured downtown San Francisco to do a little Christmas shopping. After a few hours of browsing, we decided it was time L made acquaintances with Santa. To our surprise, there was only a 5-minute line. We took that as a sign and ventured onward.

Lilla was in the best mood. Pointing at all of the Christmas trees and ornaments, spouting “Utz dat? Utz dat?” And then we were on deck. The 10-month old kid in front of us was gingerly placed in Santa’s lap when he full-on lost it. Wailing at the top of his lungs. This piqued Lilla’s interest. She glanced at him and Santa. I told her it was okay. And she seemed to buy it.

She then pointed at Santa, “utz dat?”. I said, “It’s Santa Claus, can you say hi?”

She smiled, and waved “hi” in her high-pitched voice. At that moment I thought to myself, ‘sweet, this is going to be a breeze. She’s going to be one of those kids that LOVES Santa. We’re gonna have the best and cutest Santa pics ever.’  And then we were up.

I walked slowly with L in my arms toward Santa. Her go-with-the-flowness suddenly took a turn for the worst. She started putting two and two together as I set her down on Santa’s lap. Her eyes widened as her little toddler fingers clung to me with a vulcan-like grip. And then I backed away.

What followed was silence (because she couldn’t catch her breath). Quickly followed by shrieking. And then screaming. And like the caring parents we are, Jon and I watched and laughed. Yep, that’s right, we laughed. Because it was effing hilarious.

Santa kept his cool, which made the whole debacle that much funnier. Finally, after about 2 minutes of sheer Santa terror, we scooped her up and bought a 5×7. We also snuck a few of our own shots. Had the picture been higher-res, it would’ve been our family Christmas card. Ah, well, there’s always next year. 🙂"I Hate Santa!"

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Mommy…Mommy…Mommy!

Well the day I longed for has finally come (actually it came about 2 months ago, but I’m a little behind with my posts). Lilla’s finally calling me Mommy. And it’s all. the. time. I love it. I really do, but boy is that kid relentless. She literally doesn’t give up. And we’ve learned that she doesn’t like it if Mommy is paying attention to anyone but her. It’s cute and a little trying on the old patience. I mean how do you tell an 18-month-old not to interrupt? She doesn’t even know what ‘interrupt’ means. But that’s okay. I’m soaking up all the “Mommy!” that I can now, because I know some day down the road (teenage years), her tone will take a turn.

The Russian Butcher

That’s how Jon and I have been referring to a caregiver at Lilla’s daycare ever since “the incident.” The incident I’m referring to happened on Friday, November 30th, a mere two days before our professional holiday pictures were scheduled to be taken.

Jon picked up Lilla that day and noticed something amiss. As she toddled toward him with an ear-to-ear grin, arms wide open, yelling “Daddy, Daddy!”, Jon thought to himself, “hmm, something looks different.” Different as in our adorable little girl now looked more like an adorable little boy. And that’s when the Russians ran right up to Jon, “We so sorry. She didn’t know. She didn’t know. We so sorry.” Jon quickly put two and two together that a clueless woman at Lilla’s Daycare decided to cut her hair.

Incredulous, he responded, “You can’t cut her hair!” Chuckling to himself at the audacity of it all (and also I’m sure thinking of what my reaction would be), he said, “I’m not the one you have to worry about. It’s my wife. I mean, I’m her Dad and I wouldn’t even cut her hair without asking Kelly first.” At which point, a sudden “uh oh” look came over the caregivers. They apologized a few more times before Jon left.

And that’s when I got the phone call. I was driving home from work and Jon says, “Guess what Lilla got today at Daycare?” Immediately I think, “Great, she’s sick again.” So I say, “I don’t know, the flu?” Jon chuckles and says, “Nope, a haircut.” And then I lose it. I mean, lose it lose it. “That was her first BLEEP haircut!!! We have BLEEP holiday pictures on Sunday!!! That is not their BLEEP call!!!!” I was. so. mad. I asked Jon what she looked like. His response? “Well, yep, she pretty much has a mullet.” Awesome.

Fifteen minutes later I walk in the front door. Lilla’s as happy as can be as she comes running my way with her new fangled mullet. Full on mullet I tell you. The Russian Butcher gave her straight up blunt bangs. Since she didn’t touch the back, Lilla’s first haircut screams “business in the front, party in the back.”

I decide I can’t wait til Monday to give Daycare a piece of my mind. I call them up.

“Hi, this is Kelly Rodgers.”

With trepidation, “Oh hi Kelly.”

“I am really upset you cut Lilla’s hair.”

“I know, we so sorry, we so sorry.”

“That was her first haircut. I wanted to be there for that.”

“A thousand apologies. A thousand apologies.”

“It’s not like we didn’t get around to cutting her hair. I purposely wasn’t cutting it because she’s a girl and wanted to grow it out.”

“I tell her, ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do this.’ She not know. She new.”

“Did you at least save any of it?”

“Save it?”

“Yes, the hair. You know, so I can put it in her baby book?”

“Uhhh, no. We throw it way.”

“Awesome. Well, I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other kids.”

“No, it will not. She know now. We so sorry Kelly.”

Well she definitely knows now. The following Monday, the Russian Butcher personally apologized. That earned her some points back. In my anger, I threatened to pull her out of that Daycare. But after calming myself down (with ample glasses of Pinot Noir), we realized it was merely a mistake. A stupid one. But Lilla really does love it there. And they treat her so well. She wasn’t hurt. In fact, she was her usual cheery self and had no idea what was going on.

Luckily for us, there was a monsoon in the bay area that weekend and our holiday pictures were rescheduled for the week after. So Lilla’s mullet had some time to grow. And seeing that it’s been almost 2 months since “the incident”, her hair is getting back to where it was. She’ll still have a first haircut in a salon with an actual hairstylist and me looking on with a camera. But she’ll also have a great story to tell when she’s older–the day she had a run-in with the Russian Butcher.

Below are shots of our holiday pics and one pic from the night of “the incident.” Enjoy!

Blunt Bangs