As Long as He Doesn’t Take the Donut Rings…

There are reasons that we had our kids close together in age. My health issues aside, the main reason we chose this spacing was because we wanted them to be close to one another. FireDad’s sister is seven-to-eight years older than him and I am seven-to-eight years older than my younger brother. Until the past few years, I had nothing in common with my younger brother and though I love him and enjoy his company that’s still a big age gap to get over in order to foster similar likes and dislikes and experiences for the sake of conversation. (As an example: if he gives me parenting advice one more time, I’mma sock him. Hi, Bro!)

Anyway, so, BigBrother and LittleBrother are two years, one week apart in age. Almost to the minute as they were both born just after 6:30 in the evening. This, of course, has made my life tough in different ways. Ever tried to nurse a baby and potty train a toddler at the same time? Obviously, I didn’t have enough foresight to predict that would be difficult at best. There are other things, of course, that make me wonder what the heck we were thinking. Though, I have been assured and reassured that even parents with larger age gaps between their children think similar thoughts. Apparently kids make us doubt our ability. (Even with just one, I am so told!)

But then there are gems. Little moments that shine and make me realize that, yes, we went about this in the right way for our family.

The other evening, as the sun poured in our living room window, we sat and played on the floor. As LittleBrother is now an independent sitter, he has been enjoying looking at BigBrother on an almost eye-to-eye level as opposed to looking up at him from his vantage point on the floor. He was happily chewing on some blocks and donut rings. BigBrother saddles up next to him and says:


“Friend. BEST FRIEND! [LittleBrother] is BEST friend! I love [LittleBrother].”

(Goofy) Best Friends

I then ran for the camera, snapped a few pictures and melted into a large puddle of Mommy Goo. A few minutes later I had to tell BigBrother that if he took the donut ring from LittleBrother one more time that I was going to take all of the donut rings and put them up for the rest of the day. But for two minutes that evening, I had a small glimmer of hope for our future. Yes, there will be noogies and mean words and slammed doors. Feelings will be hurt and I’m sure a few fingers and toes as well. But to grow up with a ready made friend? It’s what we wanted.


(This post brought to you by a teething seven month old and a grumpy two and a half year old and a Mommy who needed to find something positive just to get through the day. Remind me again why I thought this was a fabulous idea? Oh, oh yes.)


Shop Chloe + Isabel

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? No? GOOD!

We’ve had neighbor issues in the past. The cats. The kids running through our yard and knocking over our table and chairs. And apparently this is the summer of yard maintenance woes.

We’re kind of picky about your yard. Our back yard, through which the children run, isn’t exactly high maintenance, but we still take care of it rather well. My day lilies line the back fence row. Last summer, I didn’t get one bloom because the birds, rabbits, deer (yes, deer in the suburbs) and children ate and picked off the tops of my stalks. I was not a happy pregnant lady. Also, we keep our backyard free of sticks and what not as BigBrother and I are often barefoot. (What? I grew up on a farm. Why does this surprise you?)

Here’s the thing about life in the suburbs: other people’s lack of maintenance affects your maintenance.


Neighbors\' Grass ClippingsThe house behind us doesn’t believe in trimming all that often. The last time that they did it? The lady left all of her (many, many) grass clippings on our side of the fence. All over my lilies, mind you. And, to boot, as they have a bunch of berries along their fence row, she left a bunch of stickers/jaggers/briars. (What do people call these?) More than making my lawn look horrendous and more than possibly harming my lilies that I love so very much, this lady put my son in danger.

You can argue that he should be wearing shoes outside. I get it. He could step on a bee. And I can’t protect him from everything. But I can’t keep shoes on the child. If he gets in his sandbox, his shoes come off. He likes the feel of sand on his feet. And with some of his texture issues, I’ll gladly let him enjoy anything on his feet. Suggesting that he put his shoes on for the three seconds that it takes him to run from his sandbox to his slide just so he doesn’t step on something seems somewhat ridiculous, no? More over, did I mention that it is our yard? We don’t even rent. We own. Our. Yard.

So, while the lady was still mowing in another part of her yard, I cleaned up the clippings. I made a neat pile. And early the next morning, since I wake up with the birds, I tossed them back over the fence. (I think this is far more acceptable than tossing a can, which is not biodegradable and which was not ours, back over our side of the fence like they did the month we moved in over two and a half years ago. No. I don’t forget.) Turns out, they didn’t even notice. And did it again a few weeks later.

So, I’m eating all of their berries.