Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To my eldest...

Lily lu,

I was shalopping* on ellie jane's cheeks today .

*Schalopping: {sha-lop-ping}: term used to describe mixture of chewing/licking/sniffing/kissing/nose rubbing/obsessive inhaling, invented by ellie jane's mother who occasionally mistakes herself for a cat in her behavior towards her kittens...der uh, i mean children.

And I took note and admired how much the outline of her cheeks and chin remind me of your cheeks and chin. It's like a double present to receive a new baby who is simultaneously their own little personage AND the reincarnation of your previous babies who grew up too fast.

Have I mentioned I am still so in love with the outline of your face?

Have I mentioned lately that I am so in love with you?

Little, big, darling you.

Growing up so fast.
Saying the darndest things,
My little sassy companion.
My big helper.

Is it wrong to think you are so perfect? Because really, to me - you just are. And I can't take credit. Despite my often erratic mothering, you are turning out so magnificently well. A blessed combination of smarts, spunk, energy, tenderness, and bubbly enthusiasm. You speak with your hands a lot. I love that. I wish I could bottle up those little palms and fingers...the way you flit them excitedly to and fro as you are telling me your latest story narrated with your rapidly increasing vocabulary. A vocabulary still mixed with a few, but ever diminishing amount of mispronounced words (I'm always so sad when those words get corrected once and for all. Can't an elevator always be an elabator? Or - when you count to twenty - can you forever include the number sheventeeneleven?). Your most recent four year-old, eyebrow raising statements were:

1. After taking a look at a family member's Christmas card, you pointed to your nine year-old cousin Jonathan and said, "Wow, I'm really impressed with him." (??!)

2. I frequently catch you trying to pull down your sleeves to expose your shoulders (you are fascinated with this whole off the shoulder look lately - is anyone else freaked out by this but me?). After telling you that you can't wear your shirt like that to the store, you sighed and said, "Mom, someday I'm just going to dress inappropriately....okay?"
(!!!! This one elicited such a confusing mixture of pride and horror in me: my daughter just used a six syllable word in an entirely proper context.... to tell me she plans on dressing like a skank. !!!!??!!)

Oh my Lily, how you make me smile and laugh daily.
You are the joy of my heart.
(As are your sisters, but I felt a pressing urge to tell you tonight how much I adore you.)

It's impossible to ever really convey that one: my all consuming, deep seated love for you. To say I would give my life for you sounds trite and cliche. But really....
I would give. my. life. for. you.
I would choose non-existence for you.

Just the other day, as I was exiting a store, a man came up behind me. And for a moment, he was a little too close behind me. Enough to make me turn and deliver a quick glance mixed with a look of just enough obvious suspicion to help him reassess his unacceptable level of personal boundaries. I wondered for a moment, a millisecond, what I would have done had he intentionally come close enough to endanger my children.

And you know what I thought?

Ohhhhh, ooooooh boy.

I dare you. You S.O.B.

Just try me.
I will unleash the wrath of a woman so crazy, here in this very Target parking lot, that it would make Medusa flying in on fire shooting dragons that incinerate your eyeballs seem like Tinkerbell sprinkling pixie dust.

I am Lily lu's mother. And I will always be.

You see, I did not exist completely until you.

You may not know what I mean by that until you have your own little set of cheeks to shalop.

Thank you for being my daughter. If you really did have some sort of pre-mortal choice in the matter of assigned maternal lineage, I am forever indebted.

Goodnight Lubydoo.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December: collage style.

It's fast, it's efficient, and it allows me to post about 30 photos at a time. Hallelujah.

It's also the only thing I know how to do.

Here you have it, a peek into our favorite parts of December:

So long Christmas, we enjoyed you immensely.

{See you next year}

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Lesson.

Dear London,

You better not pout.

You better not cry.

You better

not shout,

I'm tellin' you



Santa Claus
is coming to town.


Can't resist your chubby toddler charms

and will bring you gifts no matter how you behaved
during the Christmas eve family photo shoot.

He figures by the time you someday
emerge as the literal manifestation of the spoiled, teenage spawn of satan....

You won't be his problem anymore.

So, Merry Christmas!!!

More Christmas Albums to come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It's 10:45pm and I should be in bed.

The problem is I won't go to bed until I can clean my sticky floors.

I despise, despise sticky floors. When you're walking across them, and you feel your sock sorta stick as you lift your you know what I'm talking about? Such an event triggers an almost cataclysmic internal "nails on a chalkboard" sensation inside of me. I'm willing to admit this reaction is a problem. I have three kids and should learn to deal.

I do love vacuuming though. It's like brushing your carpet's 'hair'.

But I hate mopping.

And I can't sleep if I have sticky floors.

Hence the {un}reason for this post.

In other revelations:

Dear Lily and London,

Remember how Mommy always sends you to your playroom to clean it up?

Well, I have to admit...

I know you're not cleaning. {Imagine that}

You never are. But, you are playing together.

It's why I send you.

I'm also pleased to see...

That London is in favor of breastfeeding. Only the best for her baby dolls, apparently.


And I just realized something.

You can't feel a sticky floor if you're not walking on it.

And instead lying in your bed.

So....................................... goodnight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jiggle all the way.

Dear Santa,

Hit the gym today.

Oh boy.

My gut, how it's wrinkled! My dimples, so scary!
My cheeks flushed like roses, my a*$ hard to carry.
My droll little mouth gasped mightily for breath
My bra trying to ease the freakish flopping of my chest.

I'm determined to finish, for it isn't just my belly
That's shaking when I laugh, like a bowl full of jelly.

Merry Friggin Christmas.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Tis the Season.

Who doesn't love traditions? Christmas is like the world's most amazing tradition in and of itself. What would life be without Christmas?!, I ask you!! I feel so. sorry. for my Chinese piano student. For reals. We've had many conversations that continually revert to my stupefied display of Western ignorance as I ask (just one more time), "You have never heard Jingle Bells? I know that you don't believe in Jesus Christ - but Santa??? REALLY?! How Communist!!" (No pun intended.)

I'm sure she feels similarly towards me when she tries to explain the Chinese New Year celebrations. She details her own tradition of gathering with the family to make homemade veggie dumplings for the festivities, in which the conversation again reverts to another obvious display of Western arrogance as I raise my eyebrows and think "Sugar cookies are way. better."

Anyways, back to traditions. I love hearing about them, I love instituting them, I love looking forward to them....I simply love. love. love them. For a change-hater like myself, it is consistency in an inconsistent world.

Here at the Haack house we're busy establishing our own little traditions, while still enjoying the larger traditions of the bigger family we're so lucky to be a part of. This year, here are a few favorite ideas that make our season brighter, feel free to pass along:

1. Family Cocoa Night(s).
Add Christmas colored marshmallows, and your kids just might like you more than Santa.

2. Listen to Christmas music constantly. Tyler especially loves this (right hunnie? No?).

3. Wrap gifts while watching Christmas movies. Give the kiddies their own paper and let them practice wrapping any little trinkets you have on hand.

4. Christmas countdown chain.

This is a good one to keep Christmas focused on what really matters (Presents! ....No! Wrong!....Christ and service to others...duh! Invite your Chinese friends!). We had a Family Home Evening and wrote down 25 ideas for family and service activities. The girls are pretty much obsessed, and LOVE picking one link every night before bed to see what the next day's activity will be.
They range from simple to more involved:

- Deliver cookies to a random neighbor
- Family Bowling night (in our hallway, with cans)
-Color a picture for Nonna and Pop
-Buy a present for a needy child from a local angel tree
-Help unload the dishwasher
-Watch the Nativity Christmas video

Etc, etc, etc

5. Read the Nutcracker while listening to the Nutcracker while holding your very own Nutcracker (thanks to Nonna getting each of the girls their own little nutcracker ornament).

6. Go for a 'Christmas light' drive around your local neighborhoods. Have the family vote on the BEST house and drop a treat and a note off at the doorstep of the winner: thanking them for spreading the cheer for your family and congratulating them on winning the world's most important contest ever.

7. Read The Night Before Christmas before tucking your little sugarplums into bed on Christmas Eve. We love Mary Engelbreit's version the best.

8. Enjoy a cup of cocoa with your hubby on Christmas Eve right before you get all nestled snug in your bed (no "family" cocoa night this time). Look over your quiet Christmas home and count your blessings.

Then make out.
(where do you think the song "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" came from?)

Happy Tradition making!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The type of day I could really use a nanny.

I spent over two hours composing a blog yesterday.


Such a colossally absurd waste of time.

I published it, and returned to delete it after five minutes. I was annoyed with grammatical errors, incomplete thoughts, and the general fact that I had truly just wasted London's entire nap-time on such garbage.

As you can see from the above photos, yesterday wasn't our finest hour.


London (heaven bless my child, I love her to the bottom of my being) is driving. me. insane. She insists I perform "Eenie mini Mini mo" for everything lately. I'm averaging around 12 times a day. The problem is, she doesn't ever like the outcome. Whether reading a book, picking a barbie, selecting shoes, or choosing which route to take home from Grandma's house, she begs me to sing and point between two alternate choices.

"Which one do you want London?"

"No Mom, sching (sing) Eeenie Mini Mo!"

"Eenie mini mini mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollars make him pay, fifty dollars every day, my mom says to pick the very best one, and you are the one to be IT!" Okay! we're reading The Night Before Christmas!"


"Then why am I continually singing Eenie mini Mini mo? London, the POINT of Eenie mini Mini mo is to make a decision when you can't make it yourself. It makes the decision for us. See, isn't it fun!?!!!!!


Three year old logic. If this continues through her later years, I'm going to have much bigger problems on my hands.

Lily (heaven bless my child, I love her to the bottom of my being) will not stop interrupting me as I try to get anything done. Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom....I want a drink of water, I want a cookie, can we build the gingerbread house?, dress my babydoll, can we build the gingerbread house?, I want to go outside, I wanna watch a movie, I don't want that movie, I want to paint, can we build the gingerbread house?, who are you talking on the phone to?, what are you saying to them?, why?, I don't want to wear panties, can we build the gingerbread house?, I want a drink of water, can we build the gingerbread house?
And Lils, if you keep refusing any photos - this is all I'll have to post!

Ellie (heaven bless my child, I love her to the bottom of my being).
Oh wait, she's still perfect (for now).
hi petrie.
But yesterday, as she sat in her carseat about to be buckled into the car, London climbed into the front seat of the car and BLASTED the a closed garage. I'm sure detonating a bomb would have been quieter.

I freaked....freeeeeeaked out. London freaked. freeeeeeaked out.


I am continually amazed at the extreme spectrum of parenting. It is so completely blissful and fulfilling and magical on one end, and the other end is pure unadulterated torture. And our pendulum only seems to be at either extreme. I wouldn't complain if we could linger for just a time in the middle section: the "Eh, they're pretty cute I guess. I suppose I'll keep feeding them." area.

Later, when London stood up at the dining room table and consciously pee'd all over the clean chair and floor, I yelled like a banchee and complained and moaned as I cleaned up the mess and lamented my very existence. Then took one look at their darling faces looking up at me, seeming to say "What is wrong? Why are you such a mean mom?"

So put myself in the naughty chair. I really did.

I sat there for a time, and decided they needed a trip to Gamma and Pops.
I thought a visit to the gym to swim laps would help soothe my weary heart (and help me fit into my Christmas dress for Tyler's upcoming company party).
Instead, I opted for browsing the aisles of Walgreens stocking up on diapers and Reese's peanut butter cups. It was wonderful.

We'll have a better day today. And I'm not spending another second on this blog.