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Wanguage.

12 Sep

This video cut out a bit, but all that you miss is me asking the question: “What language does your friend Mateo speak?”  Well, that and the ending where it cut off because my phone storage is too teeny.

And this was him at the glasses shop waiting while his frames were being adjusted yesterday. He is very in to playing pretend right now and this is one of his current go-to personas:

Hahahahahaha I love it! Whenever he hears someone say something he doesn’t understand he always asks “Hey… what he speaks?” He’s really become interested in languages lately. He knows that we speak English at home and that most of our neighbors speak German at home. Except for his little friend Nate, who is from the UK and, according to Asher, “Nate speaks Engwish wif an accident.” hahahaha He means an “accent,” of course. Though he typically responds to German in English, he responds appropriately which lets us know that he understands. He uses his teeny little voice to say “Gruezi!” to all the passers-by when we’re out walking and he says “d-d-danke!” whenever someone gives him something when we’re out. He also does one heck of a robot impression and likes to pretend that he is a kitten or puppy, who apparently have extremely high-pitched voices. lol Oh, Asher! He’s nothing if he’s not entertaining!

Asher videos

9 Sep

Hi, All! 

Life is busy. You get the drill. But here are a few cute recent vids of our boy. 

 

In his boxer briefs conversing with an older neighbor who was working outside of our cracked window. You can’t really hear what she’s saying until the end when she says “Bye bye Asher,” but just hearing a little bit of what he said to her makes me smile. 

 

Last weekend we were so happy to get to spend some time with our dear friends the Galiks. Naomi is 2.5 months younger than Asher and they are, in their own words, best friends. They play so well together that it is unbelievable! Not only do they just enjoy entertaining each other, but they are SO incredibly polite to each other! They offer each other turns, say “please” and “thank you” and “you’re welcome” and “excuse me” and “Oh, excuse ME.” hahaha They are kindred spirits and we are thankful for Naomi (and her parents and sister!). Anyway, here they are playing together (and wearing matching shirts!): 

 

And finally, I just think this is cute. I love conversing with him. hehehe

Burned fingers, grocery store, and tight pants

11 Jun

More Asher videos! Now that I have a good phone, expect lots of videos. Life is so easy with an iPhone!

I know that Asher burning his fingers on the grill is old news, but I found this video from a few weeks ago and wanted to share it to show just how adorably pitiful he was. His face is stuff puffy from crying (for over an hour!) about his poor little fingers, and he was trying hard to make sense of what had just happened.

*Sigh* That was only the first or second time we used our new grill and, though we warned him not to go near it he just had to see for himself. It was a sad night, but we think he learned a valuable lesson. Thankfully it was not worse!

 

Okay, next — This one cracks me up. Asher was walking around the grocery store like a boss singing a little tune. Everyone was smiling at him as he strutted around, perusing merchandise as if he hadn’t a care in the world. I grabbed my phone to film him singing… and then he walked near some refrigerators and got a bit dramatic.

 

One more — He and I watched Jimmy Fallon’s “tight pants” videos with Will Ferrell and J-Lo this morning and then we both walked around singing “Tight pants” all day. For however cute I think this is, I just want him to say the word “on” at the end of one of the phrases — eeeeeek!!! I said it for him a few times and he got upset with me, so I just kept my mouth shut and let him sing the same thing over and over again as much as he wanted. Behold: Asher’s rendition of tight pants:

Songs

4 Jun

 

31

13 May

Hey, hey, hey, it was just my birthday! I assume all of my readers celebrated my birthday in their own special ways this year, and I’d like to say thank you for that. I hope you all enjoyed my day and remembered to keep the focus where it belonged — on me and how grateful you are for my birth just a few short years…er, decades ago.

I’ll be honest, turning 31 felt like a little bit more of a bummer than turning 30. Last year I felt awesome thinking “30 is the new 20!” and about how all of the greatest TV shows show people right around their 30th birthdays. But this year I realized that 20 year olds are way younger than me and that 20 will always be the only “20.” And I remembered that I used to think the greatest TV shows were about talking animals, and then I moved on to shows that highlighted spunky young teens before moving on to high school and/or college dramas… oh, right. I’m not entering the age of the greatest TV shows, I’m just drawn to shows that depict people in my phase of life. How drab I must seem to those younger than me. You know, I really feel quite young. In so many ways, and on so many days, I still feel like a teenager. Or I feel like I JUST left college… until I (attempt to) converse with a late teen or young 20-something and feel like I need to down an entire bottle of wine to keep myself from either dying of boredom or laughing uncontrollably at their insanely misplaced priorities and asinine ambitions. I guess the good thing about hanging out with “kids” is that it reminds me that I’m thankful I’m no longer one of them. Bunch of tools.

I’ve never really thought about aging before. I mean, “when I am old…” thoughts have always run through my mind, but “old” was always something very far away from me, off in the distance somewhere… when the world gets old… when all the animals I love are extinct and the wind whips off of the melting ice caps and softly flaps my saggin’ boobs in its gentle breeze. Of course I know that 31 is not actually “old,” but only as of late have I ever considered the idea of aging. I have read various “what I wish I knew…” type Blogs that that tell me to exercise, eat well, and start saving for retirement. It’s a weird thing, to feel (and look!) so young, but to bear the burden of preparing a future for an old person.

So that is a brief description of my short bout of depression. After that came and went (and it’s mostly gone, I think), I started to feel excited about turning 31. I feel excited because I love what I have done the last 31 years. I love my childhood memories. I love my parents and my siblings. I love my memories of college life and reminiscing on my and Phillip’s story of falling in love and choosing to be together. I honestly love my life. My husband is everything good. I have the most beautiful little boy who, though he is painfully grouchy, shows me the beauty in everyday life by letting me love him and want a better world for him. I live on a hill that overlooks Lake Zürich in one of them most beautiful countries in the world. I have a lovely home, wonderful friends (though most of them are far away), and doggonit, my boobs are still right where they should be. Life ain’t a bad gig, amiright?

I am 31 now. I am that. That is the age I am. 31 is how old I am. I.am.31.years.old. I just turned 31. No, I am no longer a child. I’m just that: 31. And I’m cool with it.

So how did we celebrate? Phil took the day off of work and got up early with Asher to let me sleep in a bit. He made breakfast for me to eat when I woke up and then we all got ready for our day and headed out. It was a beautiful sunny-but-cool-breezy sort of day that was just perfect for turning 31. I had told Phil that I wanted to enjoy a good American-style hamburger for my birthday, because hamburgers are one thing that I do not believe the Swiss do well. So Phil did some research and found “the best” American burger in Zürich and made a reservation for us. Here we are just before heading to lunch:

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We enjoyed an afternoon meal that counted as lunch and dinner, since it was Americanlynormous. It was GOOD. I was too embarrassed to be so obviously American eating at an American diner to take pictures of the food, but now I really wish I had just taken a pic or two so I could relive the deliciousness of that burger and the fries. Man it was good. It was pretty standard. I got cheddar on mine (which is not a super common cheese around here) and chef-prepared garlic mayonnaise that was delicious. Phil got the same burger that I did but with an insanely good bleu cheese and the same garlic mayo. It was gooooooood. We also got onion rings, because they offered them and who in their right mind says “no” to onion rings? Asher absolutely wouldn’t have anything to do with the burgers. We weren’t surprised, so he had freshly cooked pasta with olive oil and garlic (from home) and some freshly chopped melons from the store. I think he ate a few fries, but he was thrilled beyond belief to have his tupperware lunch, so that is what the boy got. He also had me take him to the bathroom twice…. TWICE… before I was able to finish my burger. Phil offered to take him, but Asher really only poops for me, so I took him. I really didn’t mind, but it was kind of funny that it took two tries to get him to let loose in there. Now I would never wish these precious baby/toddler years to speed by any more quickly than they already do, but I definitely look forward to eating a meal all the way through without having to be elbow-deep in someone else’s dump before finishing, but that’s a post for another day. After lunch we walked through the city and just enjoyed the beautiful day before hopping on to a cruise ship and taking a ride on the lake. We thought we were taking the boat all the way to Rapperswil, but ended up on the short cruise somehow. It was still great fun and, given that Asher hadn’t napped, it ended up being the perfect amount of time on the boat.

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After the boat we walked by Sechseläutenplatz to see what all the hullaballoo was about that weekend. There were big tents up everywhere and lots of people partying hard in preparation to blow up the annual snowman that would predict how the summer weather would be (it should be nice, apparently). The platz was newly redone and we were all excited to see that they had installed a little fountain area where kids could play in water that shoots up from the ground. Since the sun was starting to set it was actually fairly cool, but there were still plenty of kids wanting to play. Asher was so excited when he first saw the water, but for the first little while he wouldn’t go anywhere near it. He paced back and forth for a good 10 minutes or so as he watched the kids and watched the water. We later realized that he seemed to have been learning the pattern of the water, because as soon as he dared to go near it, he knew EXACTLY when to run away in order not to get caught in the huge sprays. Smart boy! Phil and I both took a lot of pictures of him playing. He was one of the smallest ones out there (if not the smallest who actually was playing) and he was having a BLAST. Several people came up to us to comment on how cute and hilarious he was, but we’re certainly used to that. 😉

Note the various stages of his clothes’ wetness. The gutsier he got, the more wet he allowed himself to become. By the time he was done, he was SOAKING and COLD. hehehehehe Also please notice his hilarious faces as he runs back to us and away from the water.

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Then we went home where we quickly made birthday hats (Asher thought we needed them), then enjoyed some birthday cake and I opened some presents.

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And that was my great birthday! 🙂

Eggs — colored and scattered (Easter 2014)

9 May

Easter! Woohoo!

This was Asher’s third Easter alive, and our first Easter to put much thought into making it a special particularly as parents. Asher’s first Easter was spent snowed in in our little rental house in Immensee. As ridiculous as this sounds, I was so confused with life (culture shock!) that I just bought a few random things for Asher and put them into a punch bowl lined with towels and presented our uninterested infant with it on the wrong Sunday, but that’s another story entirely. The second Easter here/with Asher, we had several people from church over for a nice potluck lunch/afternoon hangout that was a lot of fun, but we didn’t do anything particularly “Eastery” for Asher. This year, though, we did what we could to make it more of a family event.  I bought Asher some nice new “Easter” clothes, Phil & I put together an Easter basket for him, we talked a lot about Jesus and His resurrection, we colored eggs, and we gave our boy his first dose of actual candy. Our good friends the Galiks came over a few days before Easter, which is when we colored eggs. They also have a 2-year-old (and an 8-month-old, but she didn’t participate in egg-coloring), and I was anxious to see how the toddlers did with egg coloring. I kind of wondered if they would be bored with it, since you have to let the eggs sit, but they both did great! They were patient and interested and really seemed to enjoy it. I had ordered 40 eggs with our recent grocery order and was really bummed when they all arrived as BROWN eggs! We already had 20 brown eggs in our fridge, by the way, so that meant we had 60 eggs in there. I was nervous about trying to color brown eggs, thinking they’d be a dud, so I did what anyone would do and I went and bought 20 white eggs from the store (80 eggs in the house — as far as I’m concerned, that officially made me a farmer). I boiled 20 white and 20 brown and figured we’d all enjoy coloring the white ones more. As it turns out, the brown eggs dyed quite nicely! Orange and green didn’t really work on them, but the red and blue dyes created some really pretty jewel-toned Easter eggs. I’m really working up to just showing you pictures, so without further ado, I give you our egg-coloring eggstravaganza:

 

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Phil and I planned to get up early before Asher on Easter morning, which I sort of did. I got up later than I had expected, and hopped in to the shower thinking I would wake Phil when I got out and then we’d wake Asher. Except that when I got out Asher was hollering for someone to come get him and Phil was still completely asleep in bed. I quickly woke up Phil and we both did a mad dash to scatter eggs and gather the things we had collected for Asher’s Easter basket (why we had not done this the night before is beyond me… next year!). By the time we were ready, Asher was really upset and crying “MOOOOMMMYYYY!!! DAAAAADDDDDDDYYYY!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!” But what is a good ol’ fashioned family holiday without some well-warranted tears first thing in the morning, amiright? We hadn’t really prepped Asher for the whole idea of an egg hunt, so we just kind of put all the eggs out in fairly plain sight. He seemed to notice all of them, as any sane person would do if they awoke to eggs in the living room, but either because he was grouchy from being left in his room for too long or just apathetic, it took a lot of persuasion to get him to actually walk around and collect the stupid things. Nice. Since he has no concept of the value of money, we felt safe letting his new bike be an Easter present without setting him up for a lifetime of expecting expensive Easter gifts, so we brought out his bike and his little basket of fun stuff. Let me say really quickly that Asher was standing there as we talked to the store staff about which bike we wanted, and then basically right there when it was actually purchased… and he never noticed it. The clerks put the bike in a giant bag that had the logo for the toy store (which Asher definitely recognizes) ALL over it in bright colors, and the bike was poking out of the top of the bag… and Asher never noticed it. Phil carried the bag (picking it up, putting it down… good grief, it was in the seat of the stroller for a while) for nearly an hour before we got home and it was put into our room… in the middle of the floor… still with the bike poking out the top of the bag… and Asher NEVER noticed it. On Easter morning we put it kind of behind the table that he, at his short little stature, can easily see under… and he NEVER noticed it. We literally had to lead him to it when we finally got too excited to keep waiting. I’m glad we finally just showed him, but I do kind of wonder how long it would have taken for him to notice the bright green bike in his house. hehehe Okay, so back to our morning — he got a little basket with some other fun things that had been sitting around the house for several days. He was really excited about all of it and indulged in the candy far more than we expected. Other than a little bit of chocolate here and there, he had never really eaten candy before. Some one gave him a lollipop a few months ago and he was so weirded out by it that it took him nearly 20 minutes just to taste it, and then wanted nothing to do with it after only a few pathetic licks. But on Easter morning, he was popping Pez and Kindereggs like he needed them to live — and for the next few hours HE.WAS.INSANE. He was laughing like a maniac nonstop and talking like a drunken frat boy (loud & nonsensical) and it was (difficult) HILARIOUS! After church we were walking with some friends, one of whom is named John (Asher loves that guy, by the way), and Asher was very loudly singing over and over and over again “The wheels on the bus go JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!…” Then laughing hysterically. Of course it got obnoxious, but it was hilarious for a solid couple of minutes. haha Okay, enough about all of that. Here are some pics from our Easter morning:

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And that was our lovely Easter! Thank you God for Jesus! Thank you God for our little family!

(I realize that there is something wrong with the captions on my photo slide shows. I’m still figuring those things out and I don’t yet know how to edit them once I’ve published them. Editing captions! What a drag!)

Guy night

26 Apr

Phil has done a few “guys nights” with Asher where they go into the city to get a bratwurst (which may change since Asher suddenly won’t eat brats anymore), and have a little guy time together. I get time with Phil when Asher is sleeping or playing sometimes, and I get plenty of one on one time with Asher, since he and I are together all day every work day, but the two of them don’t really have much one-on-one time because I’m always there with them. Of course we all enjoy family time, but it’s nice for them to take some time to be together just the two of them and it’s certainly nice for me to have a little bit of time to myself too. So anyway, they now go out together on regular “guy nights.” The first time was just before Asher and I left for California when Phil wouldn’t see us for a few weeks. Phil took Asher out for a brat and then to the toy store to pick a special car to bring on the plane with him. The second time they just went out for fun and walked along the lake after eating, and the last time was the other day when they went to eat together and then to shop for my birthday together. So guy nights are a relatively new thing, but they are already very special. The other day when Phil told Asher that they would have guy night “tomorrow,” Asher got SO excited! He laughed and said “YEAH! GUY NIGHT! I SO HAPPY WE HAVIN’ GUY NIGHT!!!” And then he danced around in between sporadic hugs for Phil. It was really cute and sweet. Then the next day Asher said a few times to me “I’m ‘cited about guy night!” hehehe It’s a sweet thing that I’m happy they can do together. I have taken a few pictures of them before their guy nights. I missed their 2nd guy night, but I have their first and most recent. I think I’ll try to start snapping a pic before each guy night from here on! I hope special time together is something for which they will both always make time. My handsome and precious Loves:

 

First guy night in February 2014

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Guy night April 2014

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Asher’s bike!

23 Apr

You may or may not know that Asher has asked for only two things so far in his tiny little life: A beard and a bike. There’s absolutely no way we can speed up the hormones that are necessary for him to grow a beard (and we wouldn’t want to — that’d be sad and super creepy!), and we did our best to hold off on buying him a bike until we thought he was big enough to use one. He was saying on practically a daily basis: “I want a bike!” “I need to have a bike!” and any time we talked about anything at all, exciting or not, he would respond with: “And then I can have a bike?!” We fought the good fight, but between his precious little looks of longing as he’d watch people of all ages wheel past him and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having, we did it – we bought our baby a bike! We decided it would be fun to have it in the living room when he woke up on Easter morning. He has no concept of an item’s value, so we figured it was safe and that he wouldn’t realize that a bike is setting the bar high for Easter morning gifts. It was just sitting behind the table, which you’d think would actually be really easy to see when you’re shorter than the table, but he didn’t ever notice it. Phil and I were excited and got antsy, so we finally coaxed him over there “to see what the Easter bunny left.” He saw it and he immediately said “MEIN BIKE! I CAN OOZ (use) IT!!” and then he got right on and awkwardly rode down the hall. He was SO excited! Phil and I both expected our little non-daredevil to be too afraid to try it at first, but Asher surprised us. He rode it up and down the hall as we got ready for church. Then we were gone all day Easter day and he would randomly look up at us with a surprised face and shout: “HEY! I HAVE A BIKE!” When we got home he practically hugged the thing as soon as he walked in the door. He wrapped his little arms around the handlebars and said “I’m pwoud I have a bike!” And he is proud. I dare say I have never seen him express pride quite like this before. We took the bike to a big park the other day with some friends. As soon as I got the bike out and set it down for him he hopped right on and then rode all around in the wide open space, stopping to wave to every person he saw so that they would all know he had his very own bike. Whenever he’d catch me looking at him, he’d get a HUGE smile and HUGE eyes and pat his bike to say to me “LOOK! I HAVE A BIKE!” from far away. I think I speak for both Phil and myself when I say that this whole “making your kid happy” thing feels pretty darn good. Shoot, it could even be addicting. This is yet another reminder that being Asher’s Mama means that I will intensely experience his emotions right along with him as my sweet boy’s elation over “finally” having a bike makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst out of my chest.

His Daddy and I are proud of this very proud little boy:

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Christmas!!

27 Dec

Merry a couple days after Christmas!

While we were sad not to be spending the greatest day of the year with our family, we were happy to be together here in sunny (?) Switzerland! After passing around a fever/nausea virus that rendered the three of us near death and completely useless (on different days) and then sharing a pretty legit cold, our biggest wish was to be well for Christmas. Monday we were all great! We were fever free and feeling snappy so Phil went to his office for the day and Asher and I went out for some last-minute shopping before meeting up with Phil to see the singing Christmas tree in Zürich. It was the last possible day to do it and we were happy to finally be well enough to all be vertical and go outside to enjoy the Christmassy world around us! The city is so beautiful at Christmas time and the tree was a lot of fun. They had a band playing Christmas songs in both English and German. We got sausages, at roasted chestnuts, sipped gluhwein — it was lovely! Christmas Eve-day was also great! We had a tea party brunch, hung out for a little bit, then headed to some friends’ house for an early dinner before going to a Christmas Eve service at church. It was a great day and we all had a really nice time.

…Then… on the way back home after church, I started feeling really dizzy and sweaty and nauseous. It came on me quickly and I felt AWFUL. Thankfully, I made it through the 15 minute train ride, the 3 minute bus ride up the hill (I really didn’t think I was going to make it on the bus) and 1 minute walk to our door before crawling right into bed. I felt TERRIBLE. Every breath I took, every teeny glimpse of light that assaulted my eyes, and every little noise that pounded my ears made me feel like I was going to lose it. After a while I got up because I didn’t want Phil to spend Christmas Eve alone (he had put Asher to bed). We were a few minutes into watching The Santa Clause when I had to go to the bathroom to throw up everything I had ever eaten. It was the worst! I felt a little better after purging my belly of its sins, but still had a pounding headache, lady’s days cramps, and felt super nauseous. I felt okay on Christmas morning, and we all had a nice slow morning opening presents, but the smells of lunchtime sent me straight back into a whirlwind of nausea and I ended up going back to bed just before Asher went down for a nap, leaving poor Phil to spend Christmas afternoon alone in a very messy living room. Since I couldn’t even stomach smelling food, our Christmas dinner consisted of packaged soup instead of the delicious enchiladas we had planned on making.

So that’s the sad part of our Christmas 2013 story. Well, Asher was also SUPER grumpy here and there for some reason. He’s usually in his best mood when he wakes up, but he literally woke up crying and demanding things and then refusing the same things (i.e. yogurt). Thankfully he’s big enough now that a crapload of gifts was able to turn his tiny frown into holiday smiles and giggles in no time! After the first few presents, he seemed to “get” that we were opening them all and that most of his were filled with toys and he really got into it. He was so excited with each present! He would say “Oooooooo, what ith it?! What’th inthiiiiide?!” hahaha

Aside from the nausea and whining, we had a great day! We opened gifts, we watched “A Christmas Story,” and we got to talk to  David, Susan, Jennie, Kacy, Daniel, Eden, my parents, Doug, Danielle, Corin, & Fiona! It was a bummer not to get our big fancy dinner, but I’m hoping to do that this weekend.

I am kicking myself for it now, but I hardly took any pictures on Christmas! Granted I felt awful, but still… I’m a mom now, I can’t not take pictures of my precious baby opening his presents! Here are the few pics I DID take:

Our tea party, brunch style!

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Santa came!

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Walking out to see all the presents, still a bit teary-eyed:

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Our almost-done phase just before we tried to clear some of the boxes and paper:

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Merry Christmas from us!

Dinnoh doot

3 Dec

Phil was out of the country for about 5 days last week. Though Asher and I missed him being home with us, I enjoyed having an excuse not to cook big (or even healthy) meals for a few days. Asher is always happy to eat anything but what I would normally refer to as “dinner,” so I fed him easy toddler-type meals and then rummaged around for whatever I wanted after he went to bed. Three nights in a row I had chips, salsa, cookies and Appenzeller beer and it was glorious. I also used the time I had to catch up on some of the super cheesy chick flicks I had on our Netflix list (“Pizza My Heart,” “The Decoy Bride,” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” [that one I watched twice because I enjoyed it so much!]).

One of the nights Phil was away I told Asher that we were going to have a super special Mommy-Asher dinner date. I built it up all day and told him that we could have whatever he wanted for dinner for our special date and that we could watch a movie while we ate. I offered up a list of his usual favorite meals and told him he could choose whatever he wanted for dinner. He didn’t seem to know what to pick, so I had several sure-things in the fridge and ready to go. He was so excited and kept saying “TIME FO’ MOVIE DINNOH!” When it was finally almost time for our date, I again listed off his favorite meals and then told him the choice was his for our special date. His response: “Swack dinnoh!” (Snack dinner) hahaha He is in a phase where he gets disappointed if we give him “breakfast,” “lunch,” or “dinner.” He ONLY wants to eat something called a “snack,” so this shouldn’t have surprised me. He was so excited when the idea came to him — how could I say no?! Snack dinner it was! I gave him a bath, then we both put on PJs and then “made” our food together before settling into the couch to watch Mater’s Tall Tales (his choice) and enjoy our delicious snack dinner. We talked about how yummy our dinner was. We laughed at Mater and McQueen when they did hilarious things. He kept looking at me and smiled, and I would smile back because smiling is both of our favorites. It was a perfect and precious dinner date.

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That was more than a week ago and the past few days he has literally started crying asking for more dinner dates! Well, not “dates” per se, since for whatever reason he can’t remember the word “date.” It’s more accurate to say he’s been crying for “Mo’ dinnoh doots!” hahaha It’s pitiful and precious. I am glad that he enjoyed our special date and I look forward to many, many more dinnoh doots with my sweet baby boy in the future!