All posts by michelle

Father’s Day 2010

You marry someone with future in mind,
You start as a couple, get a dog,  and soon you find
That time passes and you get the parenthood call,
A baby is born and you feel you have it all.

She coos, cries, and smiles with glee,
You can’t help but kissing her cheeks, toes, and knee.
She shares your looks,
She also likes books.
Bath time, photos, and trips to the park,
Covering her with blankets when the sky gets dark.

You are her father and I am your wife,
We couldn’t be more blessed with our life.
Every day you teach us something new,
We love you Daddieee…Happy Father’s Day to you!

As an added bonus feature, Chelle and Cece also created a sweet slideshow. They are not as tricky ad Daddy with getting it on the website, but you can see it over here.

Month Twelve

Dear Cecilia-

The day you turned one (or 12 months in baby parent parlance), we felt we were leaving the baby stage behind and passing the tollbooth to Toddler-land. Smart, manipulative, often scary toddlers who have just enough knowledge, mobility, and vocabulary to make their wants and needs known, but, to put it mildly, lack the tact to ask politely or wait three seconds for those needs to be fulfilled.

Most days now, you usually wake up with a mischievous grin letting us know that you have plans for us. What are those plans? I’m glad you asked.

The Blankets

Right now you have two blankets in your crib. When you wake up those blankets must be given to Daddy. It is a national security, code red priority. Daddy handles the blankets. Mommy is not to be trusted with this task.  You start with the light green one and easily passes it up to Dad.  Next is the yellow knit afghan. It’s much heavier, but you will not accept help. This is your burden and you will shoulder it. Eventually you get it untangled from your feet and hand it over. With the runway cleared of debris, you now take to your morning calisthenics (also know as jumping on the bed) with a vigor Jack Lalane would admire till you collapse in a giggle heap. Or get distracted by the way the sun makes the dust motes drift in the air. Whichever comes first.

Words and Signs

You have a few consistent words in your arsenal now beyond guttural grunts and yippy screams. You current favorites are Lola, Doggie, Daddy, Papa, Turtle, bee, and Cupcake. As if we needed more proof that you are your father’s daughter. You definitely understand many more words but to cut down on frustrations we started incorporating some baby sign language to help us all communicate. Most signs revolve around eating and you can sign, ‘please’, ‘drink’, ‘more’, and ‘all done’.  Only once did the ‘please’ sign get confused with the universal sign for choking. That incident along with your parent’s universal response of ‘panic’ is a story for another post.


We’ve been reading to you for over a year and after having most of the pages ending up in your mouth, we are happy to say that you’ve now started to show a real interest in books.  Very particular books  and very particular pages, but it’s a nice change.  For instance, you love Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, but while you tolerate the green frog,  you must first see the pictures of the children. You are also obsessed with Richard Scarey’s Word Book, but we’ve learned to turn the pages to the professions or getting dressed at our own peril. You have eyes only for the pages about fire trucks, trains, fruits, playground, and zoo. And heaven help us if we don’t add a realistic train whistle. And I do mean realistic. That train goes by every morning while she sits in her high chair with her oatmeal and she can spot a fake whistle when she hears it.


Let’s just say you and your Daddy have a very specific bath routine. I won’t comment further. You come out clean and without tears, so who am I to complain if the blue Hippo needs to be placed in the soap dish during bath time.  Not in the water with the other toys, not on the shelf, but IN THE SOAP DISH.  It’s a crucial component to the bath routine. I can’t emphasize this enough. You check multiple times. Sometimes it’s quick glance, other times you’ll climb up and give him a pet, but if he (or she?) isn’t there, forget about a tear free bath experience.


“Turning one means you don’t need to wear a bib anymore. Duh, Mom and Daddy.” I’m pretty sure we quoted you accurately there.


Bugs are everywhere…Didn’t you notice this Mom?  Ants, bees, flies, mosquitoes, moths, spiders and the ever popular lady bug.  They are important to notice. We must stop and look at them.  Don’t just walk by…Lola get out of the way, because there is a bug, a glorious bug right there next to your paw.  Wait, here’s another. And another.

But for all of her growing toddler independence, she still enjoys getting her bottle at night with Mom. Truth is Mom loves giving it to her too because it reminds her of the baby she was and the little girl she is becoming.


Momma and Daddy

Ten Months: Olympic Edition

I’m not sure The Books prep you enough for the drastic and seismic shifts that come with baby mobility. So, in the spirit of the USA’s rousing Winter Olympic performance,  I present a few humble suggestions for the IOC’s consideration:

Event:  Speed Crawling

This usually occurs on the oval track in the lower level of Spring Street Stadium.  The competition is brutal as we have a dog who is also very skilled at making quick turns and has a keen sense of smell to guide her.  Cecilia’s crawling has improved all season and the committee  awarded her a silver medal.

Final Result: Gold Medal to  Mom, for she has both the finesse and strength to out crawl all competitors. A surprising bronze to Papa who showed good form in the grandparent division.

Event:  Uphill Stairs run

The stairs at Spring Street Stadium are known for their soft track and easy turns.  The trickiest part of this course is figuring out where to jump as there are some corner stairs that are larger and call for increased agility and stamina. Cecilia takes the ‘one stair at a time’ approach and has a history of being distracted by the guard rails, fuzzes on the track,  the starting mat (aka rug).  Her usual nemesis, Daddy also has challenges on the stair run.  Spring Street Stadium Stairs has a nasty overhang that is a disadvantage to tall people.  One false move and Daddy can (and has) scrambled his brain, putting him out of competition for a few hours.

Final Result:  Gold Medal to Lola,  the dog just knows how to climb stairs and beats the whole family up them every time. Lola’s signature victory dance entails her sitting patiently at the top peering down at the competitors below her as if to taunt them on their human slowness.

Event: Downhill Stairs run

This course had to be temporarily shut down. We apologize to those who already purchased your tickets for this event  please do not go to the course as there is a  gate blocking the entrance to go downstairs.  Hopefully this event will be active again by 2014.

Event:  Water Luge

The water luge event takes place in Spring Street’s lower level aquatic center.  The course winds from floor to tub, then through a toy obstacle course, back to the floor in a matter of 15 minutes.  Cecilia enjoys putting on her skin suit for this event and has a habit of taking off her warm up diaper seconds prior to her start time.  Cecilia always gets a good head start, but then slows down when it comes to the toy obstacle course.  She finds the floating ducks and boats a distraction. Lola has been disqualified from this event every time due to a graphic doggy paddling injury in her youth. At least that’s what she claims. There are also rumors that she just doesn’t like getting her fur wet.  Mom also routinely withdraws from this event. She finds that Water Luge is an event for Daddy and Cecilia and decides to wash the dinner dishes instead.

Final Result:  Gold Medal to Daddy, somehow Daddy always outwits Cecilia on this event.  He has learned that he doesn’t even have to go in the water to complete the course.  He is so skilled at the water luge that he is always at the end of the course waiting for Cecilia’s finish with a warm towel.

Event:  Pairs Kitchen Dancing

Kitchen dancing usually takes place before or after dinner.  Pairs teams are usually Daddy and Cecilia and Mommy and Lola.  Daddy and Cecilia have some nice synchronized moves such as the triple cabinet drawer opening and the double dog bowl pick up.  Mommy and Lola also have a few tricks up their sleeves like the dishwasher dip, and the dropped peas round up.  This year Cecilia did take a risky but not life threatening fall on the tile floor. Luckily Daddy was there to pick her up.

Final Result: Gold goes to Daddy and Cecilia for their artistic interpretations, winning smiles and dueling air guitars.

Closing Ceremonies:  This 10 month 2010 Olympics has been an inspiration for all. Through injury, sickness, training, and achievement all of these athletes reached their goals.  Stay tuned for 2014!

Eight Months

Dear Cecilia-

Late November and into December is one of my favorite times of the year.  It was a true source of delight for me to look forward to Thanksgiving and the onset of the Christmas season knowing that I’d be able to share it with you.

In retrospect, this past Thanksgiving won’t be one that either of your parents are likely to forget. Somehow we hoodwinked both sets of your grandparents to travel up to Boston for the feast marking the first time in his memory that your father didn’t pass through the Vince Lombardi rest stop on Thanksgiving day. We were all quite excited right up till the point we realized you came down with a wicked fever via one of your daycare buddies. So unfortunately we will remember this first holiday less for the food and family and more for the first time your temperature spiked past 104 degrees and your father hyperventilated into a paper bag because of you and not the Red Sox. Needless to say, you handled it with your typical stoic grace. Most of the time you had this bewildered wrinkle in your forehead like you couldn’t quite figure out why you couldn’t harness the full wattage of your cuteness.

Now the fever did break and with a little tinsel, good tidings and holiday music you beat back that first major cold. Speaking of music, if you haven’t figured it out yet, your father and I don’t really see eye to eye on Christmas music. In the past he has tried to institute a house rule that no Christmas music can be played until after Thanksgiving (ed. note: this is true, I vehemently arm myself against Christmas creep. I enjoy the season, just not in October). However,  I always break this “rule” and can be found listening to Christmas music in early November. A fact I happily shared with my you, my new tie breaking vote. And girl you took to holiday music like an elf to a candy cane. Some of your favorites were, Jingle Bells, Frosty The Snowman, and Up on the Housetop. However the sleeper hit of the season was definitely Bob Dylan’s polka style version of Must Be Santa. His Christmas album was no joke to you. It was a spicy eggnog to your soul. You loved it. You wiggled, smiled, clapped and cajoled anyone in the vicinity to join in your merriment. I think your father even came around in the end.

Besides making your father’s ears bleed olde English carols, we also introduced you to the wonders of holiday decorating. Tinsel! Lights! Animatronic Santas! Wrapping Paper! Oh my! On one of the last warm days of the year, we strung the lights outside while you and Lola competed on who could get them in their mouth first (we called it a tie). We also displayed our collection of Hallmark-style, musical, battery action holiday items.  What could be more exciting than singing snowmen? Nothing, except maybe Cheerios, given the look on your face.

Next came The Tree. The wonderful, glorious Christmas tree.  Every morning we’d come downstairs and plop you on the rug in front of the tree and plug in the lights. Even the grinch’s heart would swell to see you clap, squeal, and smile with delight.

We also taught you about Baby Jesus, and while looking at the manger didn’t seem to excite you as much as looking at the Tree, you did enjoy Mom’s impression of the stable animals.

And if holiday madness wasn’t enough you decided it was time to start crawling. Unfortunately, we installed a part wrong and you started crawling backwards. Despite what we came to call your “fancy crawling”, you and your parents were proud to glide past (backwards) another milestone. You are also “talking” more in more and taking notice of your environment. Grabbing and pointing vehemently in the direction of things that you would like to comment on or get your grubby hands on. Dad calls this using “The Force.” He’ll explain what that means exactly in newsletter 108 (ed note. Cece, pay attention. If you stumble across something on cable that claims to be Star Wars but is numbered episode 1, 2 or 3. Turn it off immediately! Trust me.)

Finally, eight months also brought you your first teeth. Two tiny flecks of white that look so innocent but caused so much havoc in the Donohue household.  Our happy, smiling baby suddenly became cranky and inconsolable.  When the two conniving clumps finally broke through, you had some stern and disapproving looks for your parents. Probably won’t be the last time.


Mom & Dad

Seven Months

Dear Cecilia-

This month could be subtitled: Invansion of the Cheerios. We’ve added finger foods and fine motor skills to your daily diet. Lola couldn’t be happier. She has now taken to pacing around the house looking for these little whole grain treats that seem to appear out of thin air. On the plus side, they keep you very occupied when we eat dinner. On the downside, there are particles crunching away in the keyboard right now.

Seven months has also brought out a restive curiosity in you. Everything grabs your attention. You are no longer content to rest against your Daddy’s chest or get kisses from Momma. You squirm and shift and wrestle to look over or around us at the insanely interesting crack in the wall. Or the chipped paint. Or the dusty Cheerio that rolled under the coffee table. You must see it. Now. Study it. Understand it. Each day you are only too ready to set out exploring your expanding world. It’s humbling and scary. Now that you’re mobile it feels like a rock gaining speed going downhill. Today, you’re aiming to chart a course across the living room by scooting on your tush. Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting college campuses. Yikes! But I’m sure we’ll cover that in newsletter #204.

This month you had two trips to NJ, one by plane and one by car. During the plane ride you mastered the tray table, dissected the peanut bag and tried to use the plastic cup as a fashion accessory. In the car ride you wanted to play with Mom’s seat belt, Mom’s hair, Mom’s necklace and if we gave you the steering wheel you probably would have given that a try as well. You even found Connecticut interesting.

You do not yet know how to crawl or to walk properly, but you love to “stand”.  Standing brings you the kind of joy that your Grandfather gets in seeing the Sox win the World Series. Of course, this love of standing means that sitting is now some kind of torture that must be avoided at all costs. You stiffen your legs and harness the strength of a horse to resist Mom or Dad’s attempts to place you on your rump.

Besides exploring and traveling, you’ve added the word “Dadda” to your vocabulary and boy is it cute. You love saying Dadda at playtime, at mealtime, and definitely at nighttime. I think what you really mean to say is “Dadda please come and change this late night diaper.” Your Dadda has a different translation.

Seven months and while nothing keeps your attention for long, please know that your parents always have their attention on you.

Mom and Dadda

When Mommies Attack…

. . . babies will laugh. You never know what will cause it. Actually that’s a lie. We have pinpointed one cause. Apparently the feel of hair on her face is the pinnacle of infant comedy (see video below for evidence).

But other times, it can come out of the blue like a tornado on the prairie. It might begin with an innocent noise, like the sound of zippering jacket. Or the feel of Lola’s fur on her bare feet.  It may happen when you sing a funny song. Or mess up a rhyming couplet. But when it happens, it’s like a tractor beam and you can’t help but join in too.

It starts with a heh…and then builds to a heh heh and then resonates into a full on bowl-full-of jelly belly laugh. Cecilia does most everything with gusto and laughing is no exception. It’s not uncommon for her to get rolling and mix in some snorts, hiccups, and an the occasional spit up. It’s a jubuliant chorus that can make flowers bloom and DMV workers giggle.

Its the type of laugh that can melt stress into a quivering puddle. Defeat a frown with one hand behind it’s back. Act like kryptonite to a case of the blues. Or wrestle your bad attitude into submission till it cries uncle. It’s that powerful. The world needs more of this sound. We certainly never get tired of hearing it.

Watch larger version here.