Eighteen Reasons Why

Eighteen Reasons Why


Eighteen fantastic things I love my 18 month old, Fox.

  1. He’s my little Romeo. He will crawl up onto the bed to kiss me in the morning.
  2. He loves to carry around fuzz (think the inside of a stuffed animal) just like his older brother did.
  3. I love how you can show him snacks and he will shake his head or nod to show his preferences.
  4. He likes to dance on the coffee table, on the dinner table…pretty much any  surface he can scale.
  5. He has delightfully crazy hair in the morning.
  6. I love his little toddler run, with one arm pumping to give him momentum.
  7. The boy feels the music. He’s always doing a little bounce or shaking his booty.
  8. He has some fascination with the trashcan.
  9. I love his Fox-created sign language.
  10. He tries to sing with songs, even though he can’t talk.
  11. His 12 perfect little baby teeth.
  12. He can give high fives.
  13. He’s a baby detective. He watches to see where we hide things.
  14. He loves his Mimi (my mom). Even when it has been a few weeks since we’ve seen her or other family, he seems to always remember her.
  15. The way he hold his gloworm, like his own little baby.
  16. He loves to unroll toilet paper, much to my chagrin.
  17. His newly developed “baby attitude.” He starting to let us know when he is displeased.
  18. When he pretends anything shaped like a rectangle is a phone and holds it up to his ear.
15, 16, 17

15, 16, 17

Fox has continued to grow and develop. He has such an adorable little personality. He is definitely a snuggler. He loves to do anything that his big brother is doing, and he has a strong bond with his pup, Liam. Fox loves to dance, do headstands, and give kisses. He has a strange obsession with tearing little pieces of toilet paper off the roll and carrying around bits of fuzz that come from stuffy toys that Liam had destroyed (Jude was obsessed with fuzz, too). He loves baths but hates to have his teeth brushed (all 12 of them). He likes watching Curious George and Daniel Tiger. He enjoys playing with his play kitchen and various empty bottles of shampoo. He’s adorable when he runs, since he’s still got that baby waddle, but you can tell he’s starting to get more lean and doesn’t have those baby thighs and tummy anymore.

15 months


16 months


17 months

2015 Recap

2015 Recap

Well, as if often happens, we got so busy living life, that I forgot to document what was happening in our life. So, we’ve rolled over into a brand new year. Jude is doing great in school. He’s a strong reader and really wants to read chapter books on his own. He’s also amazing at math facts. Jude loves to play Nerf guns outside or build tents and forts inside (which unfortunately his little brother destroys). Fox loves to run and climb. He is a great observer, and we often see him mimicking behaviors we didn’t realize he was studying (holding a baby, loading a Nerf gun, typing on the computer, etc.). Both boys are going in their bond with one another, and in their ability to annoy one another.

Here are the highlights of the last quarter of 2015.


Pumpkin Patch: We went to visit the local pumpkin patch for some picture opportunities. I think we got some really great ones.

Texas Book Festival: We got to see Bob Shea, one of Jude’s favorite authors, present his new book. It was a beautiful day on the Capitol grounds and downtown, but it was a short day because sometimes festivals are a little too much. Here’s the only picture we got that day before the grand meltdowns.


Book Character Parade: Jude was supposed to have a Book Character Parade at his school (he was going to be a Wild Thing) but the weather was so terrible and severe, that we ended up sheltering in place for a few hours. There were tornadoes and flash floods. The power went out briefly. I was at Jude’s school to be a guest reader, but ended up being a guest for the morning because it was too difficult to leave. I told Jude we would never forget that day.


Halloween: This was the first year we went to Waco for Halloween. The boys were both Eggs from Boxtrolls, which was probably the cheapest costume I have ever made. Both boys got so many compliments. We went to the Art Center, for a Harry Potter themed game carnival, and then did some trick or treating with his cousins. We even got to celebrate cousin Kennedy’s 13th birthday with her on Sunday.


Thanksgiving: We really nice and relaxing, but apparently I didn’t take a single picture. I was probably too busy stuffing my face at three different Thanksgiving dinners.

Santa Sightings: We got to visit Cowboy Kringle in Gruene and also had a Breakfast with Santa at Jude’s school. Finally, during Christmas break, all the boy cousins took a group picture with Santa at Barton Creek Mall.


Jude’s class Christmas party: Jude and his classmates got to wear pajamas and make gingerbread houses. I had a fun time spending some time in Jude’s class and getting to interact with him and his classmates.


Christmas: We had a very lovely Christmas. We got to spend time with lots of family members, including Jude’s younger sister, Rosemary, and her two kids. I don’t think I took a picture of every house we did Christmas at (since three Christmases in one day, means you start to get tired at the end), but I wanted to at least say that we got to spend quality time with the people we love…and we slept like babies that night. Oh, and the boys wore their new pajamas all day, which made for a very comfy day. I guess it should also be acknowledged that it was a very warm Christmas, which was nice for playing outside at Mimi’s house.




Sometimes in Austin, we like like to do things with equal dashes of creativity and pretension. Case and point: the children’s museum is called The Thinkery. It’s a great Austin-y name. I like it, but I can see how it can be a “little much” for some people. We’ve been to the Thinkery many times since it’s opening. Jude loves going. He already starts planning in the car ride what he wants to do first and his whole plan of attack. Today was Fox’s first chance to enjoy the Thinkery. The last time I brought him, he was still mostly in the stroller while we did everything that Jude wanted to do. IMG_1872 IMG_1878

Today, the Thinkery truly lived up to its name. Jude was so inspired, that he came home to create his own version of the Thinkery for his little brother. I wish I had taken a picture. It would mostly look like a mess-plosion in the living room, but you would have seen all the elements of the museum present. The train, the video wall of faces, the baby room, the building blocks. Jude even had volunteers staffing his Thinkery (a stuffed Charlie Brown doll) and was offering free admission for Museum Day (and a really reasonable pricing structure…$0.01 for anyone 67 and under…he wanted to make sure his Mimi made the cut).

Overall, it was a great family outing. Those boys played so hard. They were doing some intense thinking and exploring. So, I believe “The Thinkery” is quite possibly the best name ever!

IMG_1866IMG_1877 IMG_1869 IMG_1870

IMG_1882  IMG_1892 IMG_1894IMG_1888 IMG_1897 IMG_1900

Two Little Boys

Two Little Boys

My heart has felt very heavy this week. I’ve been carrying around two little boys me all week. Two little boys frozen in time. Two little boys I don’t even know. Two little boys who drowned and washed ashore last week in Turkey: Aylan and Galip Kurdi. I debated with myself whether I really wanted to write this post. It seems almost selfish to write a post about my perceptions as I sit here comfortably in my home in America, but I wanted to share something about how I was affected by their lives and their deaths.

I was very unprepared for the images of little Aylan, the younger of the two brothers and the subject of the photos that were published. I had been listening to the news stories on NPR during the latter part of last week, and come home Friday night to continue reading the story online. And then I saw the pictures.

I had an immediate and visceral response to them. I cried. I cried hard. I cried hard, alone in my room, for a solid 30 minutes. Because when I saw the pictures, I saw my own little boys. Little velcro shoes. Little boy clothes. But all wrong; the context was all wrong. My motherly arms longed to reach into the screen in scoop that little boy up. I longed to hold him close to my heart. I could simultaneously feel the weight and the void in my arm span.

Then I imagined myself in their place. When faced with all that was going on in Syria, I could see myself coming to the same conclusion. I would need to protect my family and get them out of there, at all costs. I could not fathom the soul-splitting pain that father felt as every thing he loved quite literally slipped from his grasp. It felt as if there was an intercontinental echo, in which his pain reverberated within my consciousness.

I cried for their whole family. I couldn’t help but feel the shrieking injustice that because of no special skill, talent, or inherent goodness on my part that I don’t have to endure that pain. Simply the pure luck that I was born and live in a country where I don’t have to make those kind of choices: whether I will stay in place where death would surely find my my family or embark on an equally dangerous journey to escape that fate. It’s like a cubist painting, where you can look at all the different sides and angles at once and they are all painful. Every facet is equally terrible: the human tragedy, the parental loss, the lack of choices.

I don’t know how to make sense of something so bad. I have nothing to offer in the way how I am supposed to make this world better or what actions I can take. So I’ve decided that I will keep them with me. When I hug my two boys, I am also hugging two boys I never met. I will pause for Aylan and Galip, instead of moving on quickly to the next thing that will “take my mind off of things.” I will let my mind linger on two ordinary little boys, and those who are in similar situations. Instead of looking away from the tragedy, I will look into the eye of what is actually happening in our world. I will bear it.

Tacos for 14 Months of Awesome

Tacos for 14 Months of Awesome


Fourteen months of pure baby Mitchy awesome! Fox love to run and has learned how to climb on the couch and use the stepstool to get on our bed. He could do the circuit of climb up-get down for 30 minutes straight; its endlessly rewarding for him. He loves to watch Curious George with his brother in the morning and much to Jude’s chagrin, he loves turning off the tv even more. Fox sleeps in his crib (at least half the night) which makes him seem like such a big boy to me. He loves to run to his daddy when he comes home from work. He’s very curious about how it would feel to pull Liam’s ears, but Liam is pretty spry and makes sure that Fox won’t find out.


Fox loves to be pushed in his cozy coupe. He still wants to be held a lot during the day. He loves his Mimi…even when he hasn’t seen her in a while, he still prefers to be in her arms when she comes. Fox gives the best snuggles. He laughs and babbles, but still hasn’t said his first official word. Baths are still his favorite time of day and he loves to run around the house naked. He’s recently started wearing shoes. They’ve caused him to clumsier and more off-balance, but this week he has had lots of improvement. He likes the shoes because that means he can have more freedom to walk around and explore when we are out and about. We had lunch at Maria’s Taco Express and he was content to follow grackles and hit the dance floor with his older brother.

IMG_4348 IMG_4352

IMG_4359 IMG_4360 IMG_4361 IMG_4364



13 Months Old

13 Months Old


At thirteen months old, Fox is rockin’ and rollin’. He’s so excited to play and explore. He baby hustles everywhere and is so curious about how the world works. August went by quickly, as we all had to transition into our return to work and school schedules. Here are some pics of Fox is in his natural habit, doing what he normally does: snacking, playing, watching, and leaving a wake of toys and snacks across the entire house.

IMG_1785  IMG_1794 IMG_1798 IMG_1802 IMG_1806 IMG_1807 IMG_1809