A Snow Day, in Photos

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.” – Roger Ebert

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“There is just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you are special.”
- Carol Rifka Brunt

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“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” – Vista M. Kelly

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Tater and Tedders : Best Buddies and Greatest Nemises

Having a very #theoandbeau kind of afternoon... #365grateful #teddygram #instateddy #rottie #puppy #bestfriends #nap #sleep #cuddle

Some days they are best buddies. They are honestly pretty similar. There is something about a three-year-old boy and a puppy that would make anyone’s heart jump a little bit, but these two are as good of friends as they are each other’s greatest enemy. They are each equally curious, ornery, smart and quick, which makes for some hectic days around our house. Every morning, when Tate comes shuffling down the hall after waking, the first thing he looks for is Teddy. “Aw, hiiii puppy!” he says in his gravely, sleepy voice. That’s when it starts. Teddy, who is always super pumped to see people, runs up to Tate at full, out of control, puppy speed and knocks him right over. Tate screams at the top of his lungs, which gets Teddy even more excited. At this point, after two months with Teddy in our home, almost all of Tate’s shirts have little holes in the back, where Teddy has grabbed him with his little puppy teeth. Tate is definitely not innocent in this…every time Teddy lays down or settles in with a toy or bone, there is Tate, jumping on top of him or taking his toy and running away, giggling maniacally.

Movie night at our house, watching Chiddy Chiddy Bang bang :) #instateddy #teddygram #puppy #rottie #365grateful

“Mama, I just giving Teddy love,” he’ll explain when I catch him. There is no amount of convincing that will make Tate realize that most puppies don’t like to be “strangled” with love. And there is no amount of dog commands that will convince Teddy that Tate’s screams are not one’s of happiness. He just thinks the little human wants to play! So most mornings and evenings are full of “No, Teddy, no biting!” and “Tate, leave that dog alone!” It’s a loud, hectic life we’re leading.

Lucky kids, lucky dog. #365grateful #instateddy #teddygram #puppy #rottie

But every once in a while, I find them snuggled together on the couch watching cartoons, or sleeping together during nap time, twin snores emitting from Tate’s bed. There is so much love here. It might be tainted with screams and little puppy bite marks, but I can still see it. Right now they are about equal in size, but very soon, Teddy will outgrow our little boy, so we are working hard training both of them to treat each other with respect. And even though they bicker, I can already tell they are going to be the best of friends. We are so lucky to have found Teddy. Just proves to me, once again, the good things in life are worth waiting for.

Icy Friday morning with the boy and his dog... #puppy #rottie

Three Years Old

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Dear Tate,

Last week you turned three years old. Holy. Wow. You’re not a baby anymore. You’re not a toddler either. You are a real life, little boy! This blows my mind. You are my youngest, so I’m sure to some extent you will always be “my baby,” but looking at you now, I know those baby days are over for our family. It’s a little sad, but mostly wonderful. I am excited for the next year! Heck, I’m excited for the next several years. Little boys are pretty fun, and having you around to keep us on our toes will be a blast.

You are what people call a “strong willed child.” You are very, VERY stubborn. You know what you want, and it doesn’t matter if it makes no sense or if you can’t exactly express it, if people around you don’t comply, they’d better look out. Your tantrums are epic, so much so, I find myself working my day around avoiding them. On the converse, your happiness can be felt for miles. When you are being silly or joyful, it is just as epic as those tantrums. It’s the best (best?) of both worlds.

You are smart, Tate. Very, very, VERY smart. You are smarter than me already, and the worst part is, you know it! Most of the trouble you get into is because you are attempting to outsmart your father or myself, and a small part of your plan goes awry. You are sneaky and mischievous, a little grin on your cherubic face as you break rules and push boundaries. Oh, that face! You still have those lengthy eyelashes and big blue eyes, which you open wide when you know you’ve been caught. Your voice is so sweet these days, and a little “I’m sowwyy, mama” gets you right back in the game. Moms, we are so gullible.

You are my little buddy. In addition to all your silly and trouble-making antics, you are also one of the sweetest children I’ve ever known. At night you ask me to sit with you in your bed, singing “Moon River” and stroking my face. When I am hurting or sad, you are the first one that notices. You bring me your blanky and snuggle close, even if it’s just for a second. You love to dance and sing, and we’ve spent countless hours making up songs about your trucks and trains or about your family. You adore your big sister, even though you have perfected the role of annoying little brother. You want to “give her love” and then you smash the Lego set she’s spent hours building, with a little gleam in your eye. When she has friends over, you cry at her bedroom door because you want to play too. You two love each other, even when it’s not always easy, and for that I’m so grateful.

This year will surely be a full one, Tate. There will be train sets to build and pictures to draw, soccer balls to kick and scooters to ride, snowmen to build and snowmen to smash into a million pieces. I know it will all be a blast, as long as it’s with you. I love you, my sweet boy. You are my gift.

Love,
Mama

Things to Remember

Growling voices, pretending to be monsters. Hiding under beds and blankets.
Pre-bed dance parties, elaborate shows with intermissions and multiple curtain calls.
Sweet cheeks resting on mine as he snuggles in for a nap, both hands holding my face telling me not to leave.
Yelling from the car, “I love you!” and seeing her eyes light up as she waves back.
“I’m never too old, mama. I will never be too old for snuggles. Not even when I’m in college.”
The fighting. They scream at each other with the passion of two little people who are so different and yet so very alike. They hate each other. They love each other. They despise each other. They are each other’s heart.
They call each other “teddy bear.” When one falls and scrapes a knee, the other comes running. “Teddy bear, oh my teddy bear.” In the morning it’s “wake up, teddy bear.” Then they nuzzle into each other and hold on tightly.
Mysteries and games, made up outside. They come in, telling of their clues and what they’ve found. I play along, following the trail, seeing their faces brighten when I pretend to find a new clue they’ve left in the open for me to stumble upon. They giggle, trying to cover their glee.

A Conversation with Tate

It’s official, 22 months is my favorite. And my favorite color is “rocket” too.

(Lucy at the same age, here.)

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