Pumpkin Patch

 

Last week we kicked off the fall season with our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, and I thought I would share some of the pictures here with you.

We went to the same place that we went to last year, and I feel like they kind of upped their game this year. Maybe it’s just because Esmé is older, and can enjoy it a little bit more? Whatever the reason, we all got in on the fun this year.

You guys. If your pumpkin patch place has a corn crib, you have to get in it with your kiddos. Seriously! I have no idea why I didn’t do this with her last year when we went, but it was so much fun!

Yes, I tried making a corn angel. No, it did not work. It was quite the workout trying though. I was only smiling in the picture because I was laughing at myself for being so out of shape and out of breath! Bonus about playing in the corn crib…your skin feels super soft afterwards. Even my jeans were softer. It was the craziest thing. The only bad thing about it is that it gets everywhere. Have a broom, or vacuum handy when you take off your clothing at home.

Even their corn maze was better this year. Both Emile and I thought that the corn was much taller than it was last year. It made for quite the adventurous game of hide and seek. Actually it was more a game of hide and scare with Papa. Emile would run off in front, hide somewhere, then jump out when we came looking for him, trying to scare the living daylights out of Essie. She loved it and hated it at the same time. It was pretty hilarious.

We didn’t find the cool bumpy pumpkins that we did last year, but we still found 3 good ones. Esmé was so proud that she got her very own pumpkin that was ‘just her size!’

Every year I look back at older pictures of her on various holidays to see how much she’s grown, just to torture myself. So for your viewing pleasure, here are a few comparisons…

NOW:

THEN:

*Quick story… I actually have the above picture on my phone as a ‘live’ background. So Esmé has been watching her 2 year old self shove corn down her shirt for a year, and could not wait to do it again. It’s the only reason I was actually able to get an exact reenactment of this picture.

NOW:

THEN:

I don’t even think she could reach the steering wheel. Ah! Why do I do this to myself?

NOW:

THEN:

 She used to want to be in pictures with us. Or she at least used to actually look at the camera and smile when we would ask her.

WAY BACK THEN:

It might be more fun taking your kids to the pumpkin patch when they’re old enough to really enjoy it. But you’re going to have to excuse me while I go cry into a glass or two of wine. I miss baby Essie.

 

 

 

Esmé’s First Camp Trip

I love camping. It is such a source of nostalgia for me. I have memories from when I was young, and we went camping with family at the Grand Canyon. We weren’t all that interested in the scenery around us, but I distinctly recall setting up the inside of our tent to look like the inside of Jeannie’s bottle from ‘I Dream Of Jeannie.’ It was such fun pretending to be magic genies with my cousins.

After my husband and I were married, we ended up camping a lot. It was how we did all of our exploring around here…at the Outerbanks, in the mountains, and even river rafting in West Virginia.

My favorite was when we decided to go up to the mountains near Mount Mitchell, and hadn’t made a reservation because we thought that there would be a site available for us. Lo and behold there was not. But they did tell us that if we drove up the road a little bit farther, there were some spots off the road you could pitch a tent. So that’s what we did. There were quite a few more bugs than usual because we were right next to a creek, but it was so much more peaceful and relaxing because there were no other campers around. I sat and read my books, while Emile did lots of fishing, but the best part was at night. It was the beginning of summer, so the fireflies were out. Because we had camped where there was no one else around, there were hundreds of them! The only way I can describe it is if you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Avatar.’ How the jungle lights up at night with all those magical lights? That’s what it looked like. It was incredible.

Needless to say, we have been wanting to take Esmé for some time now. Last weekend we finally got the chance to take her and she LOVED it.

The second we let her out of the car she was off and running. She immediately started picking up as many acorns as she could find, set them on the table and was off to find more.

She was more than happy to “help” set up the tent. Though I’m pretty sure my husband would have rather she not. She kept trying to go inside before it was all the way up, and laughed like crazy when it would float back down on her head.

I will say that we had quite the upgrade in our camping situation from when Emile and I used to go camping. We used to be in a very small tent, on very uncomfortable small camping pads. We knew that we needed a bigger tent since the monkey had to sleep with us, so we got a 6 person tent. We also brought along a nice air mattress for us, and Esmé’s travel mattress (which is basically like a kid-sized air mattress). Man oh man. Let me just say, that is the way to camp! We were so comfortable and cozy in our new camping arrangements.

We also did a fair amount of exploring with her. We were right next to this trail that was about a mile walk to a lake, and it was gorgeous.

The weather was perfect, and the water was so clear. The leaves were even starting to change color, which Esmé really enjoyed. She’s seen the leaves change color before, but I don’t think she remembers it. She just loved that there were trees dropping red leaves all over for her to collect.

We even got to see a waterfall while we were there. The water was super cold, but she did not care in the slightest. She probably would have stayed all day if we’d let her. She loves water, and she loves rocks, so this was a very happy marriage of both. There was lots of splashing. There was throwing of rocks to make even more splashes. Basically she was living her best life.

As much as she loved everything else, her absolute favorite was the hammock, (also new addition to our gear!). Probably because she thought it was a swing, thus tried swinging Emile and I (not at the same time) as fast and as high as it would go. Yes, we both got very nauseous/dizzy. Esmé did not. In fact, the higher/ faster you pushed her, the happier she was. She pulled up the sides over her face to cover her whole body in there, like a little bat, and there she’d rock. Back and forth. Back and forth. All the while with her thumb in her mouth.

Truth be told it wasn’t all perfect. Esmé fell six times at our campsite alone, and every single time it was a Broadway production. People two towns over could probably hear her wailing, and she had huge tears to go with. Her poor little knees, legs, and hands took quite the beating from that. We also forgot a couple of things like towels, and cooking tongs, but that was it. Everything else was a breeze.

I know that camping isn’t for everyone. There are bugs involved, and sometimes manual labor is required. You also have to be ok with being kind of dirty for a couple days. But for me, it’s like a reset button. There’s no phone service. It’s peaceful and quiet (Esmé’s meltdowns excluded). You have gorgeous scenery everywhere you look. You’re completely free to relax and enjoy your family.

I kicked back with a good book. I got lost daydreaming in the sites and sounds around me. I got to watch my girl’s face as she experienced the magic of it all on her own. It’s just the best.

Preschool Threes Class

Esmé is back in school you guys! She had such a hard time transitioning into the summer session, (you can read about it here), that I was quite nervous for her to start up again after nearly a month off.

I thought about posting how successful her start was after her first day, but then I was like let’s not jinx it. Give it a week and see how it goes, and well, it’s official. She is one week in and absolutely LOVES it. She runs in to play with her friends and teachers, isn’t the least bit sad, and doesn’t cling to me at all. In fact, today when I asked if I could get a hug before leaving she was like “No!” Then she ran off to play with her friends. Rude.

Before she started school again, I saw all these clever moms who had ‘First Day of School’ chalkboards with fun facts about their kiddos. I, however was too lazy to do my own. Instead I conducted an interview with some fun questions, and thought I would share it here with you.

  1. What’s your favorite color: Pink
  2. What’s your favorite breakfast: Wheetabix, Oats (oatmeal), and waffles. That’s all I like.
  3. What’s your favorite lunch: Peanut jelly and today I ate grilled cheese. ( Was that your favorite too?) Yeah. I ate it all, all, all.
  4. What’s your favorite dinner: Mac and cheese
  5. What’s your favorite snack: ALL THE SNACKS!!!!! 
  6. What’s your favorite book: ALL THE BOOKS!!!
  7. What’s your favorite movie/show: Trolls and Little Einsteins
  8. What’s your favorite animal: Pigs! 
  9. What’s your favorite toy: No toys.
  10. What’s your favorite activity: All the things.
  11. What do you want to be when you grow up? Nothing!! Just a Papa.
  12. What are you really good at: Listening ( laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair. No joke.)
  13. What’s something you want to get better at:  Listening. I really need to start listening…That’s all the questions ( At this point in time, I had to bribe her to get her to finish the list, and we carried on.)
  14. This year I want to learn: Listening at school (can you tell this is something we are really working on right now??)
  15. I’m excited about preschool because: Running in school!!!

I’m so proud of my girl for jumping right in, but I’m even more proud of myself for not crying once when I dropped her off. Yes, I was still sad, and felt like I had a weight on my chest, but it was way easier than this past spring and summer.

We’re off and running, and I can’t wait to see what this new year holds for her!

Tribute To Trolls

Earlier this summer, Netflix released the movie “Trolls.” Those trolls took over our lives. Esmé decided that she needed to listen to the soundtrack every day, in its entirety, at least twice a day. She decided that we needed to see the movie every weekend (since we don’t let her watch TV in the week, or at least we used to have this rule before summer break). We even lost our own personal identities! I was no longer mama, but Guy Diamond. Esmé was Poppy, and Papa was Branch. She even renamed her toys.

These were the very first two items to be christened as Trolls in our household (Poppy is on the left, Branch is on the spiky one on the right). It was actually very sweet because she took them with her EVERYWHERE. They ate meals with her. They came with us everywhere in the car. They came to Washington D.C. They went to school with her. They went outside with her. She even slept with them every night. Once she really got the Troll ball rolling she renamed ALL her stuffed animal friends. Let’s see if you can guess which one she liked the most…

This is Poppy.

This is also Poppy.

This is also Poppy.

This is Hunter the Troll. Hunter is not actually a ‘Troll’ from the movie. But there was a boy in her class she really liked this summer named Hunter, so he got an honorary Troll designation.

This is Branch.

She also loved sets of things, because it allowed her to name ALL her Troll friends. For example, these little containers of Playdoh lined up in a row are (from left to right), Hunter, Poppy, Branch, Satin, Chenile, Guy Diamond, and Creek.

This child seriously had Troll-mania! She would freak out if she saw any Troll items while we were out at Target, or the mall. She would imagine that all her Troll friends (listed above) came with her to school, to the park, to the pool, out for walks, basically they went wherever she went.

My personal favorite about the Trolls movie was the designated “hug time.” If you haven’t seen the movie, all the Trolls wear watches that go “Ding!” every hour, signaling that it’s “hug time.” All the Trolls would then all have a big group hug.

What we started doing, because we do not have a snuggle child in the slightest, is we created our own “hug time.” My husband and I would say “DING!!!” really loud, then say “Is it hug time??!” and we would chase her down and give her a big squeeze. It was awesome.

Yesterday, however, when we tried to do this, she said “Mama, no. We are not Trolls anymore.”

I’m not 100% surprised, because she has been more about “The Sound of Music,” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” lately, but it still makes me a little sad. I’m going to miss her obsessing about all things Trolls, and the stories about all the things she and her Troll friends get up to on a daily basis. It’s the nature of growing up. The constant growing out of things, and leaving old favorites behind.

We’ve moved on from Trolls now. She has yet to figure out all the names for her stuffed animals and toys, but she knows who she is.  She is “The one with the red shirt (also known as Linus),” I am Charlie Brown, and my husband is Lucy.

In The Garden

One of things I was most excited about when we moved to North Carolina nearly 9 years ago, was having my own garden. When we were first married I grew as many pots of herbs and flowers (and trees) as I could fit, outside on our balcony. When we bought our house years ago, I was beside myself with excitement because I finally had the chance to grow my own veggie garden.

It is something I look forward to every year starting around February/March when we get a false Spring. I start seeing all these plants at the farmers market, and I get really tempted to buy them. We actually did do that one year because I got a little too eager, and we got a frost. It killed all the seedlings we planted and we had to go buy them again. Every year since then, my husband has to fight to contain my enthusiasm, so we don’t have a repeat, and have to buy them twice.

Since having Esmé my love of gardening has increased so much more. It was wondrous to watch something two inches tall grow into something that is almost as tall as myself, and bear countless tomatoes. But with her, it’s a whole new experience. She gets the biggest thrill watching all the plants grow, then flower, then start producing fruit.

Fun fact: Esmé didn’t like tomatoes until she tried them from our garden. We actually have to watch her now because she will sneak off from wherever we are outside to go pop a few in her mouth. Then she runs off laughing, while looking like a chipmunk because her cheeks are stuffed with tomatoes (see above). Last year Emile and I didn’t get to eat any for almost a month after they started ripening because she kept eating them!

This year was even better than the last because we had a surprise plant pop up. We composted our pumpkins into our veggie beds last fall, (and by composted I mean placed them in there and let them rot into the ground). One of our tomato plant seedlings died off, then something else sprouted up over top of it. Initially we thought it was a cucumber, because the leaves looked similar. However, as time passed, and it grew out of the first box, then into the second (again, see above), and the leaves grew bigger than my head, we thought ‘hmmmm. Perhaps this is something different.’

Sure enough it turned out we were growing a pumpkin! Now, I don’t think we had the best environment for it to grow in with all the other things crowding around it, so it turned out to be a rather small pumpkin. We harvested said pumpkin last month. I know, I know. Harvesting a pumpkin in July? But the vine was pretty much dead, and I wanted Esmé to get the chance to pick it before it was rotten. So yes. We have a pumpkin at our house and it’s only August. We are those people.

That’s the cool thing about living here in NC. You don’t have to have a green thumb to make things grow. Things just grow on their own! Our pumpkin grew from seeds that we didn’t plant. These mushrooms, (which are not edible, but still fun to explore), show up all by themselves every year. They pop up in our backyard a couple times in the summer, and then again in the fall.

Esmé likes to pretend that they’re homes for her “Troll” friends. She picks off tiny little pieces and then says “I opened the door for them, so now they can go in.”

I have loved gardens and plants for as long as I can remember. Something that was likely the result of having a grandmother who had the most amazing garden ever. She always had flowers. She had three enormous trees out front that were excellent for climbing, and she had fruit trees as well. The fact that she was able to get any of those to grow in the desert was impressive in and of itself, but she somehow made everything flourish.

Some of my favorite memories are from playing in her garden. Whether it was picking and eating apricots off of her tree, climbing the highest of all my siblings up the trees, or pretending we were explorers in a wild jungle. We always managed to have such grand adventures at her house.

Some sad day in the future, when my daughter is grown, I hope she remembers our time spent together in the garden. I hope she remembers it as magical an adventure as I had when I was little.

Best of October

fullsizerenderI thought last years’ October was fun, with our first trip to the pumpkin patch with Esmé, but this year was even better. In fact this past one was probably my favorite one ever.

This year we went to a pumpkin patch where you actually got to pick your pumpkins off the vine yourself. I was telling a friend that even though they didn’t have all the rides and attractions as the one we went to last year (it really was like a mini fair), we all liked it a lot better. It helped that we went during the week, but it was far less busy, and we really got to enjoy it much more.

img_0208

Esmé’s favorite thing was the corn playpen. When we first put her in it she kind of freaked out, and refused to walk around in it unless she was holding one of our hands. But after some time sitting and running her hands through it, and especially once Papa climbed in, she got used to it. Then she really started to have fun…rolling around in it, burrowing in it, and, as you can see in the picture above, stuffing allll the corn into her clothes!

They also had a corn maze that all three of us got to enjoy. My husband would run up ahead and hide, then pop out to scare Esmé as she tried to find him. She had so much fun that she didn’t want him to stop. Anytime he tried walking with us, she would tell him ‘Go hide Papa! Go hide!’ She’s very demanding these days.

img_0392

For our costumes this year, I decided to have Esmé be an angel because she has this crown of cherubic curls right now. Initially I was thinking that Emile and I could be a Christmas tree, so she would be the angel atop our tree, but Emile said he didn’t feel like dressing up. So I was like, I guess I’ll be her cloud then.

img_0393

Esmé had a blast trick-or-treating with her bestie Luigi (Carson), just like last year. Last year she didn’t know what people were putting into her bucket, but this year she figured out what candy was. She was SO excited about all the chocolate. She actually made it around the whole neighborhood without being carried, (quick run home for a potty break excluded), so I was very impressed.

As much fun as all of those things were, my personal favorite thing from the month was a conversation I had with Esmé about my cloud costume that I made. Once I finished making it, I set it on a chair downstairs in the basement. She could see it in the mirror whenever she walked down the steps, so this is what she said when she first saw it:

Esmé coming down the stairs seeing my ‘cloud’ on the chair: What you make Mama? What you have?!

Me: It’s Mama’s cloud costume for Halloween!

Esmé: You take it from the sky?

Me: No, I didn’t take it from the sky.

Esmé: You take it from the ground?

Me: No, lovey Mama made her costume.

Esmé, a little disappointed and confused: Oh.

–A few hours later—

Esmé coming down the stairs seeing my ‘cloud’ on the chair: Mama what you have? What’s on the chair?

Me: It’s Mama’s cloud costume.

Esmé: You take it from the sky??

Me, giving up on trying to explain: Yes. Mama took it from the sky.

Esmé: Mama tooked it from the sky!!

Me: Yes. Yes I did.

Esmé: I want to touch it!

Me: Ok. What does it feel like?

Esmé: ooOOOOOooo. It’s soft Mama.

Me:Is it fluffy?

Esmé: Yes. Soft and fluffy. I want to sit on it Mama. I sit in chair.

Me: No love, you’ll squish the cloud if you sit on it. Let’s go.

Esmé: Ok, I sit on it later.

She still thinks that we have a legit cloud in our house. Anytime I point out that we’re having a pretty sunset, or that the clouds look nice in the sky. She says ‘Mama has a cloud. Mama has a cloud at home from the sky.’

Best October ever.

 

Dependently-Independent

 

We recently started looking at preschools for Esmé for next year, thinking she would be ready by the fall. I’ve been doing research and arranging tours to find the one that’s right for us.

Last week we went to look at a school and Esmé just jumped right in with the other kids in the classroom without so much as a backward glance at me. Then my heart exploded and I decided then and there, that home-schooling would suit us just fine. I mean she has me, the cat, and sometimes my husband works from home, so she’s set.

Just kidding! Kind of.

We are only going to be doing a few days a week, so it’s not like I won’t get to see her at all. Plus, I’ve been dreaming about having a little free time, especially lately with her being so needy.

You remember how a couple posts back I was all ‘I have a much more predictable nap time…blah, blah, blah…or I can catch up on my reading?’ Yeah, that’s gone.

I now have a toddler that is choosing to defy nap and bed time, all the while needing to ‘Hole my haaaaaaan (hold my hand)!’ It might be due to the fact that she is nearly two and a half, and could very well be outgrowing her nap time. Or maybe it’s because she’s potty trained now and uses having to go to the bathroom as an excuse to get up out of bed.  But I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s because I made a boo boo on our most recent trip out to Portland…I let her sleep in our bed for naps.

img_0095

I know I know. Insert shocked and appalled emoji here. Did it make sharing a hotel room with a toddler while trying to undo bad sleep habits a nightmare the following weekend? Yes. Did my husband make me swear to make her sleep in her own bed for the remainder of the trip after said nightmarish weekend? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Every time that I have a phone call or tour with a potential school, I have a huge wave of anxiety hit me. My chest burns, my heart starts racing, and my throat hurts. I literally have to give myself pep-talks in the car because I think about this,

img_7304

and worry that my snuggle time is going to disappear, and she’s not going to want to ‘hole my han’ anymore. Particularly when my husband tells me she’s going to love school so much she’s not going to want to come home.

The funny thing is that when I started this post, I picked the title as a description for my daughter, because that’s, infuriatingly, how she has been lately. In writing the post, I have come to realize that it actually describes me as well. I want my free time, but I don’t want to share her either.

I’m just going to say it…I’m not ready. My child might be ready, but I still need her. A lot.

 

Reflections on Motherhood

mothers day

I wanted to write a post about motherhood that talked about how full a heart being a mother has made me, and how much joy it has brought to my life, but then I thought it would sound too cliché, too mushy-gushy. Then I thought maybe I should share about how I struggled as a mom in the beginning, but I thought too dark and depressing for what is supposed to be a happy holiday in celebration of mothers.

In truth, motherhood is a little bit of both. It is wonderful and exhausting. It is the most difficult job ever, but also the most rewarding.

Being a mother is hard.

Being a mother means not getting more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep for, at minimum, the first 3 months of your child’s life.

Being a mother means finding spit-up/baby poop or pee/ smeared food/ or boogers stuck on your clothing a day or two after you’ve been wearing it, causing an ‘a-ha’ moment for all the funny looks you’ve been getting outside of the house.

Being a mother means learning to function with one hand, or one leg, so that you may either hold your child, or they can cling to you for hours at a time.

Being a mother means catching vomit in your hands because they couldn’t make it to the toilet in time.

Being a mother is sitting on your hands, to let them figure things out for themselves.

Being a mother is being judged/chastised more severely than you have ever been in your whole life.

Being a mother is questioning yourself a hundred times a day ‘Am I doing this right?’

Being a mother means getting pushed past your breaking point so you realize that you are stronger than you thought you were.

Being a mother is to have your heart broken over and over again as your baby grows bigger, and needs/wants you less and less.

Being a mother is endless worry and fear.

Being a mother is having your toddler say ‘oOOOOOohh! Pretty!’ after you’re done getting ready for date night, then having them pick their nose, smear it on your cheek, and say ‘Boogah Mama!!’

Being a mother is being touched and grabbed by little hands a million times in a day.

Being a mother is experiencing pure joy that starts at your center and radiates out to the tips of your fingers, warming your entire body.

Being a mother is a chance to see the world as you’ve never seen it before.

Being a mother is love to the power of infinity.

Thank you Mom for being all these things, and more to the three of us.

Thank you Essie love, for being the greatest gift I have ever received.

For Shame

Today I was shamed in public for my parenting skills, or rather lack thereof.

Esmé and I went to meet up a friend of mine and her daughter for dinner. We decided to eat at a place called Guasaca, which is similar to Chipotle, just a different style of food. Very kid-friendly and a back patio area where you can sit outside.

We got there just before my friend and her daughter did, so we got our food and waited while they worked their way through the line. Esmé was suuuuper excited to see her friend Charlotte, but was even more excited when she saw an older boy swinging on the line-dividing-bar-thing. This she had to try for herself.

She has had several opportunities to hang from uneven bars in her Little Gym classes, but today was the day that she decided she could do it on her own. I was so proud of her. She was swinging (barely) back and forth, but her feet were off the ground!

I think she got so proud of herself she let out a shriek of joy. A couple people laughed and smiled, and I said sorry to the people in front of her, and reminded her that we save our shrieks for when we’re outside. I asked if she wanted to go outside and she said no, and carried on playing.

She shrieked once more, not nearly as loud, and as I bent down to speak to her a loud voice behind me interrupted:

‘Ma’am? MA’AM??? Could you PLEASE CONTROL YOUR CHILD???! There are OTHER PEOPLE here TRYING TO EAT.’

The restaurant went quiet.

My face got hot (and I’m sure red), my arms went numb, my heart started racing, and my hands were shaking.

My wonderful friend stuck up for me saying ‘ Sir this is a family restaurant and if you’re trying to have a meeting or something, you picked the wrong place.’

But I was tongue-tied. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say because I couldn’t believe someone would actually say something like that out loud.

I took my daughter by the hand and went to sit outside, which was where we were going to go anyway, and managed to keep it together until I got home.

The whole way home, I kept beating myself up for not standing up for myself.

I should have smacked him.

I should have called him an old, crabby, insensitive sh*thead who doesn’t deserve the air my daughter sneezed into.

I should have given him the finger as I walked out the door.

But after I got home, put Esmé to bed, did a lot of crying, called some mama friends for support, drank some wine, and did some reflection I realized some things:

1. As good as it would have felt, I would have been no better than him if I had hit/called him names/ flipped him off. Also not the best example to set for my daughter, and the other children in the restaurant.

2. Shame on him. Who the hell are you to tell me how to parent my child?! She was happy. She wasn’t throwing a tantrum. The people closest to her when she was playing did not even notice she was there, yet you critize me from across the room?? Wtf.

3. Shame on me. How dare you let some complete idiot, stranger make you second guess yourself. I can’t believe you started wondering if you were at fault in this situation.

4. I believe that happy little girls should be able to express themselves so they don’t grow up to be suppressed, subservient, obedient little women who don’t know how to respond to asshole old men that critique their parenting skills.

 

 

This entry was posted in Life.

A Toddler/ English Dictionary

IMG_3529

One of my very favorite things to watch has been my daughter’s communication development. Nearly a year ago she had just mastered signing for things she wanted. I was ecstatic at the time because for so long, I felt like I was talking to a wall. For all I knew she was thinking ‘how unfortunate to have been born to a mother who just keeps making crazy hand gestures at me like an idiot.’

What was a huge parenting victory to me then, seems somewhat insignificant now that she is talking in (very short) sentences. My husband and I are amazed at how much she loves to copy what we say now. Her words are getting clearer and clearer every day, so before they’re gone, and I forget, I wanted to write down some of her favorite words.

Iss/ yaaaAAASSSSSS/ Yahhh/ mmHM/ ohyea – affirmative. A month or two ago she only said “is” for yes, but, as you can see her vocabulary is rapidly developing. The last one she picked up from her little activity table. It spouts off “Oh Yeah!” after a certain song, but Esmé can’t quite say it the way they do with equal emphasis on the two separate words, so hers is an “Ohyea.” One word, emphasis on the “oh.” The “Yahhh” only started this past week, and we have no idea where it came from, but it cracks us up every time she says it.

Ickoo– Thank you. This is generally followed by Papa, so it’s “Ickoo Papa!” It doesn’t matter if it’s something I’ve given her or not, she just likes to thank her Papa.

Heego! – Here you go. This is always said with much animation, hence the exclamation point.

Cayfo! – Careful. One of our FAVORITE words. I never knew that I needed to be so careful. Nor did Emile. Nor did Esmé’s milk sippy cup. Nor did her babies know. As you can see she tells everyone and everything “Cayfo!!” just to be sure.

IMG_3489

Kiki – Kitty. Also known as our cat. It is always followed by a scream of delight and enthusiasm, which causes Kiki to seek shelter until terror child is sleeping.

Bassoo – Bless you. Said after any sneeze, and often times a cough, just because we like to say it.

Moona Book – the “Goodnight Moon” book, which is her absolute favorite at the moment. Don’t say this out loud unless you want to read this story to her at least 10 times in a row. She basically has it memorized already.

Seff – I want to do it by myself/ I want to take a selfie. Homegirl loves to look at herself on snapchat, or Instagram, or, well, anywhere. So long as she can see herself in the camera she’s happy.

IMG_5878

cahSINNNN!– our bff Carson, who lives down the street. Again always said with much excitement, hence the exclamation point, and emphasis on the second syllable.

IMG_3482

Fok – Fox. And yes I’m sure she was not repeating a bad word she heard me say. We have a fox that appears sometimes in our backyard, and it happened to be sunning itself one day when Esmé was around. Now when she looks out the back window she asks “Fok?? Fok??” and we have to look to make sure he’s not there.

IMG_5869

Tucka – Truck. Our favorite kinds are garbage and recycling ones. It’s why we live for Tuesdays.

Sickle – Tricycle. Grandpa got us this for Christmas, and we love cruising around the neighborhood with it.

Daw – Draw. Currently our favorite activity.

Ahfoh – Fire. I have no idea how she came up with this one, but she sure lets us know when she wants the fireplace turned on.

Pano! Pano! Pano! – Piano. I wish that she were actually requesting the real deal, but sadly she is requesting to play a piano puzzle game on the iPad, that she is obsessed with.

Tigoh! Tigoh! – Daniel Tiger, the children’s show. She LOVES this show so much, she has to say tiger (“Tigoh”) at least twice in an elevated desperate shout in order to make her demands known. Mama loves it because it has a tranquilizing effect on her. It’s amazing. She sits (or lies on the couch) completely transfixed as soon as it comes on.

Lahler/ Lahloo – water. Sadly I think this word will soon be lost as she said “wahler” the other day.

Meenu – humidifier. Something we have been running in her room this whole winter as she has been sick since about Christmas. She loves to help me put it together and show me exactly where it should go on her dresser.

She is our tiny little sponge and it is so amazing to see how much she loves learning about the world around her.