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re:defined: July 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

straight up

let's be frank: i think i might need one of these

today: was 95 degrees and humid
and: i am almost 6 months pregnant
with: poison ivy on my arm...and hand...and face (spreading, in the heat, as it does)
and? i decided to have a yard sale today.

which was a great success, thanks to our friends cody and nickey.
who are awesome, and occupied our children allllll day.

and i don't always recognize that i overexert or overextend, but yesterday setting up (with the help of nickey, thank goodness) and today being out for 8 hours, setting up, pricing, peddling wares, cleaning up, and re-orging the garage...i actually realized that i AM in fact, a little crazy.

it's good that at least i know i have a problem...right?

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Friday, July 16, 2010

dear piper, 2010

dear piper,
when you were born, i imagined you would be the serious one. as it was, your brother and i were handling silly quite well, and i figured by your furrowed brow, you'd probably be serious. but i was wrong. that furrowed brow was a mark of determination and willpower unlike anything i've experienced; your fury is nothing to underestimate. like this morning, when you calmly walked over to your dad and handed him your chocolate milk cup, just so you could proceed to throw yourself on the floor and throw a little fit. what about? we don't really know.

we've decided that you're essentially an alpha female. when you wrestle with daddy and elias, and daddy pins your arms? unlike elias, who laughs, you get angry. and yell, or as your auntie kristen would say, "freak your freak" because you are being dominated. and the dominant alpha? she doesn't like to be pinned. mostly, these traits make us laugh because we're almost always shocked and alarmed at how you walk and talk and roll around this place. we also love you enough to know that we can't let you be strong-willed and demanding, and we're working diligently to lovingly teach you how to behave and communicate effectively. in other words, no piper, you cannot just yell, you cannot cry, and you cannot have whatever you want, when you want.

your dad and i know that when you're all grown up, we won't have to worry about you holding your own. we know you'll be fierce. we just want you to be as beautiful inside as we think you are outside, so we'll put our heads down to weather the piper storm to know that you'll be a respectful, thoughtful, patient, caring, self-controlled, joyful force to be reckoned with.

beyond your ferocity and vigor, lies my second goofball. i didn't imagine that with such a furrowed brow, you could be so silly, but much to my delight, you're as silly as your brother. you make me laugh, pip, every day, and the number of times my mouth hangs open, or i'm shaking my head in bemused bewilderment? many. never a dull moment with you, pip: chalk on the walls, marker on the floor, half-eaten sticks of butter, or in the past few months especially, it's been the things that leave your lips as your expanding dialogue and vocabulary find their, well, voice. true to form, you're very chatty.

heard from the mouth of pip?

me: "do you want help?"
pip: "yes no." and not because she's indecisive. she is just independent in ways she's not actually capable of being yet.

pip: "mum! see?! see?! see?!" and not because i didn't hear her, no. because piper will repeat herself (for effect?) until i am doing or getting or attentive to what her small pointing finger is hyper-focused on. an then even after i've acknowledged it.

pip:"mum you's a beau-eee. dada, you ha-some. mum, mum- a BEAU-EE. dad, a ha-some...ha-some..." you've picked up some cute little habits from your brother. including over-complimenting. see previous bullet.

pip: "I WANT THAT!" self-explanatory?

pip: "no mo muk-ees jumpin on a bed!" and "bup! goes the weasel!"...a couple of her favorite songs

pip: "owww!"
me: "what happened, love?"
pip: "i hurt my body!"
me: "how'd you do that?"
pip: "eli do dat to me!"

looking back over this past two years and remembering the things you say, the way you've grown, and seeing who the little person you're becoming is makes me slightly overwhelmed with affection. we unabashedly adore you, doodle bug. who you are, how you are, and so many other things, too.

like how endearing the things you love are:
  • play doh and books. definitely your faves. and dollies, of course. i have a feeling you'll make a great mama one day to real babies, seeing your love and care and affection for your favorite doll, baby ruby (or as you'd say "baby yoobi"). it makes me excited (and slightly nervous) to see how much attention you'll give your baby brother this fall. he's going to be a lucky little long as i can keep him safe from you picking him up and putting him in your baby stroller, that is.
  • your belly button. okay, and your nipples. but you love your belly button best. you play with it like girls twirl hair- there's no self-awareness in it.
  • taking off your shirt. every. day. you'll say "dooo hot mummy." as if telling me too hot will make it okay for you to always be topless like your big brother. i think it's cute that you think you can outsmart me.
  • the water. any body of water is a pool to you. the ocean? a pool. a lake? a pool. a river? a pool. if you can swim in it, it's a pool. my becoming a fish, like her big brother.
  • making noise. constantly screaming, screeching, yelling, talking, singing. honestly, girl, that's the most exhausting part of your personality. God gave me you to help me to be patient and loving when i want to put duct tape over your mouth.
  • Jesus. she loves her books about Jesus best. i'm hopeful it's not just his long flowing hair and kind smile that interest you. i hope you grow up one day wanting to be just like Him. (i, admittedly, have to say i'm also in love with your tiny little prayers and how tightly you squeeze our eyes closed and how deep you insist on burying your head while you thank God for things.)
  • bags. purses. anything that you can carry on your shoulder. while you swing your baby by the arm, as your shoulder pushes a pretend cell phone into your ear.
  • emotions. your awareness for emotions is very keen. if you see a picture of yourself when you're not smiling? "i yook saddd. i yook not happy." if you see a commercial for the mspca? "doggy is sad, mum. he's sad. sad...see?! he's sad. ohhhh..."
i love you as vehemently as you live every moment, piper. i adore your ferocity, your resolve, your determination, and your vigor. i love watching you grow and learn and evolve.

and your cheeks? truly scrumptious.
your teeny tiny girly voice? deceptively sweet.
your engulfing (slightly overpowering) squeezy hugs? the best.
your big blue eyes? with the glint of adventure and intrigue and intelligence.
your run? dangerously unsound and unstable -looking. dangerous, like you, really.
your inability to be careful? hmm, just like your mama.

thank you for letting me dress you up, play with your hair, and paint your toenails. thanks for all the snuggles, all the smiles, and all the laughs you bring to our home and our family. we think you're a delight, and we look forward to what lies ahead (okay, and we're a little nervous, too.)


in case you're interesed, readers: last year's birthday post- so much changes, and so much stays the same! and last year's picture post. my a big girl. man...

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

piper's picture post

in honor of my pippi doodle bug, my pippa, my pipski, my pip, my whiner, my demander, my snuggler, my goof, my silly, quick-to-smile, piper glory stratton. tomorrow you are 2 years old. here's how you've grown and where you've been since july 16, 2009...

with hands in the cake, of course

you still make this face at me

love that smile


loved that headband, as obnoxious as it was

ahoy, pirate piper!

catching a ride with e man

at nana and gp's pool in your mama's old bonnet

on the train with eli's conductor hat

okay, and i loved these boots

always with a purse. then and now.


following mom

apple picking

those eyes!

finally- pigtails!

twins with mommy at little gym

reading with your "bruddy"

always taking your shirt off, trying to be like elias

braids :)

and mullets...

one of my favorite faces

what your mama sees a lot of


snuggling "yi-yis"

enough oatmeal on your clothes, orrr?

jumping in!

my beach bum

july to july, i can't believe you've grown SO much! what a difference a year makes!
love you monkey head :)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

fast, sexy, and seats 7

growing up, my father, who is a guy who knows cars, grew up working on cars, hot wiring and stealing cars, and just loving cars in general, would always be the dad in the car yelling "59 ford- did'ja see that?! what a beauty..." (and then he'd usually make a growling noise).

and any time an old car would drive by, you could trust he'd know just what it was, the kind of engine it had, and which guy he knew that had one when he was growing up. so, at this point in life, i could give a fair amount of guys some competition when it comes to make and model. and genetically, i'm a girl who gets a little short of breath at the sight of vintage corvettes.

namely the 69.

(my heart done just jumped into my sock, to use the famous words of an older man who stalked me in college.)

now that baby 3 is en route and the murano only seats 5, we're in the market for something a little bigger. the other day, our friend cody was asking me what my criteria was for car shopping, and i said:
  1. it has to be fast
  2. it has to be dead sexy
  3. and it has to seat 7
ahem. seriously.

i was thinking about my criteria later on, and wondering if my criteria is a bit inappropriate for a pregnant mother of 2. like, what about safety, michelle? and what about economy? or cargo space? and those are important to me. i mean, i'm not trying to get us all killed or anything.

but i really can't drive cars that aren't fast.
and if it's ugly?
i mean, it is some kind of vanity to say i need a sexy car, i know it must be, but if i'm going to be in it, it has to be aesthetically pleasing. uncompromisingly, i have to like to drive it and look at it.

but, really?! how many cars out there fit that criteria? i fall into the camp of minivan-avoiders, and not because they don't make WAY more sense, or afford the room you need to accommodate so many small people, or that they're not fast enough.

i just. don't. like them.
(if anyone sees a sexy minivan, let me know, okay? because i'd consider it.)

on our way back from a spontaneous drive down the cape yesterday, dave and i took the kids car shopping yesterday (luckily dealerships have play spaces for kids now, and besides the waiting and the car seat switching, it wasn't as bad as you'd imagine. if you'd dare to imagine.). we took these 2 cars that had made our short list for a test drive (i, like my father, love test driving cars. going fast and racing around on someone else's gas?! pure joy.).

we drove the nissan pathfinder

and the mazda cx-9

i liked them both. both were 2007's (we are pre-owned car-type people) with lower mileage, and were in good condition. but i have to admit...the cx-9?
was fast.
and it was dead sexy.
AND? it seats 7.

does it have a lot of extra cargo space? well, no.
(but it does have roof racks for when we travel)

is it super on gas? well, no.
(but no car or SUV or minivan that carries a bus load of people IS fuel efficient, unless i robbed a bank and bought a hybrid)

BUT. it was fast.
and it was dead sexy.
AND? it seats 7.

and for a girl who would rather be in a 69 corvette?
it might be the best fit. (or the only fit.)

so we'll see, but this one has some promise.
so tell me- does anyone have any other suggestions of 7 seaters that provide a driving experience that is more like a, well, 2 seater??

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