Sunday, January 5, 2014

Abby's 5-year interview

I thought it was pretty funny that I was going to apologize for this being a month late...and then I realized that Abby's 4-year old interview was also a month late.  Apparently, I just need a month after her birthday to get my act together.  

Here is Abby, the 5 year old. Last year's answers are in parentheses. 

What is your favorite color? Blue. (Blue)

What is your favorite toy? One thing I got for Christmas that I really really love is my doll named Dolla.  And Fluffs.  
(Trains. I like watching shows and riding Bucky)

What is your favorite fruit? Bananas (Um...Yogurt! And Berries...blueberries)

What is your favorite TV show? Gaspard & Lisa (Gaspard & Lisa.)  - this one surprised me because we don't watch it very much any more. 

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Peanut Butter on Crackers
 (A sandwich. And PB&J sandwiches and Turkey sandwiches)

What is your favorite outfit?  My favorite outfit is, um, my rainbow unicorn shirt that somebody gave me that has jewels on it. 
(I like dressing up as a sheep and a ballerina and I like my star clothes)

What is your favorite game? My favorite game is Checkers - cause, remember, a long time back ago when I was 3?  I beat Barry at Checkers! 
(The hardest game in the world. (what's that?) It's from Gaspard & Lisa.  And I like Car games - it's called the car game magic flying game.) 

What is your favorite snack? Veggie Chips (green beans.  yogurt)

What is your favorite animal? Unicorns (birds and giraffes and elephants)

What is your favorite book? The City Book ...she means Richard Scarry's Big Book of Words  
(Dinosaurs (Oh My, Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!).  Unicorns.  And my chuggington book.  And the lullaby book.)
What is your favorite song? "Jolting up and down in my little red wagon" and "Boa Constrictor" and "Jingle Bells"   
(twinkle twinkle little star)

Who is your best friend? Gia and Ava and You! 

What is your favorite cereal? The one I had in Arkansas...she means Lucky Charms

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the snow 
(feed the birds and hang ornaments on our house)

What is your favorite drink? Warm Water...yum...Love it.  
(Juice and milk and water)

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas! Because we get a lot of toys.  
(Halloween because I LOVE eating candy)

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Fluffs and Dolla 
(My dog snowball, and baby, and doggie and Lamby and Sunshine and Ferdinand)

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal (oatmeal)

What do you want for birthday dinner?  Thanksgiving Supper!  The Jelly (ie:cranberry sauce) with cornbread. 
(Oooh!  A special surprise!  cake and cupcakes and cookies.  some some special oatmeal and green beans and soup and marshmallows and round donuts)

What do you want to be when you grow up? The whole teachers in the world.  Like, a lot of teachers.  I want to be an art teacher, a library teacher, a music teacher, a gym teacher, and a normal teacher! 
(all kinds of things! Like a driver and a garbage man and to drive cars and to drive a train and to live at a farm and to go somewhere and to go to a restaurant and order by myself.)

How do you feel about being 5? Good! I like Having my birthday. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I got the itch to write out my thoughts about Abby turning 5.  I found myself reminiscing into this little collection of words and feelings about my beautiful girl. 

I remember.

I remember sitting in your quiet room
feeling you kick
Rocking and humming softly 
eagerly yet patiently awaiting you.

I remember seeing you, through blurry tears
Softer than I'd imagined, and smaller.
My heart grew straight to yours.
You were perfection.

I remember watching you sleep in my arms
Staying still while my heart pounded with emotion.
Your smiles shooting like electricity through me
and causing happy tears to spill.

I remember watching you look for me. 
There I am, and you smile.
I'm gone and you search
I'm back! You squeal with laughter. 

I remember that first food
I remember that first tooth
I remember that first step
I remember that first word

I remember seeing your world expand
Your curiosity endless.
We explored and learned together
My pride found new depth

I remember your first questions
and learning to sing
Counting, coloring, running

I remember the first "I love you, mama"
We were in the kitchen. 

I remember you kissing my belly
And sharing toys with your unborn sister.
I watched you see her for the first time
My heart grew again.

I remember every cut and hurt
I've kissed magic healing into so many
Your tear stained toddler cheeks
always begged me to kiss them dry.

I remember you changing
Your vocabulary, bigger 
Your face, thinner
But your lip still curls when you laugh

I remember watching you go to school
I could feel your heart racing in mine. 
Your hand squeezed mine and you were excited and scared
Then you let go

And I watched you walk into childhood.

And I've watched you blossom
And I've watched you grow
And I've watched how clever you've become
You're so very clever. And compassionate. 

I've watched your hair grow long
And your clothes get too small, again.
You like to crack eggs by yourself
And you can spell.  And text.

You like anything blue
You can finish any puzzle. 
You love art and animals and glitter
You are becoming you.

You ask me big questions now
Because you're so big.

And I do the best I can.

I remember when you turned 5.
The years have passed so fast
I look at you and am in awe
You are perfection.
Remember that.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Dear Abby,

Tomorrow morning, you start your first day of school.  It's kind of a big deal.

Some might argue that this is "just" pre-K instead of "real" kindergarten.  And while kindergarten certainly maintains an air of big-kidness - you will be going to pre-K five days a week.  And you will get there at 7:30am and get picked up at 2:45pm.  Monday. Through.  Friday.

And this is a big adjustment for us both.  We've been very fortunate to have always had lovely people to help take care of you at home.  I've watched you grow and learn and blossom your whole life and I do not have any doubt that you are going to LOVE school.  It's just the way you're built.

But, I know you.  And I know that you can feel shy sometimes, and nervous and unsure.  And I know that sometimes you don't know how to deal with those feelings, so you hide behind my legs, or you stare at the table when someone is talking to you.  And because I know you feel those thing sometimes, it's hard for me to think about leaving you everyday. I don't know what I'll do tomorrow if you get scared and ask me not to go. But guess what?  You won't.  Because any of those feelings are going to melt away before you realize it and you are going to have a whole classroom of new friends before you can say "I'm Abby-gail Shachmunt" as you tend to do.

And you're going to learn new things.  So many new things.  I'm excited to watch you grow in a new way.  I'm excited to pack your lunches and see projects you do at school, to hear about the adventures you have and the friends you make.  I can't wait to bring snacks to your class or watch you participate in a school play or race or bake sale.  I'm excited to start this new chapter of our story together.

You will always be my first baby, and so everything that is new for you is also new for me.  It's fun sharing the journey with you and figuring stuff out as we go.  For example, you start school in the morning and I just remembered we have a bunch of summer homework we were supposed to turn in tomorrow.  That's my fault, but I bet you won't mind doing a little coloring with breakfast, right? See?  Lesson learned.  Already.

Abby, I'm bursting at the seams proud of the little girl you've become.  You're going to love school.  I have so much more I want to say, but I don't have the time or brain power to figure out how to say it right now.  Just know that we love you, endlessly.

I hope you have a fantastic first day of school.

I love you so much,


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

things about me

the random thoughts that have been floating around in my brain today.

- I am not good at thank you notes.  I want to be.  But, I'm not.  I can usually do a thank you email, text, video, or in-person gushing, but to actually write something out and stamp it and mail it?  It never happens.

- I would like to be someone who can drink their coffee black - but I never will be.  I ran out of cream this weekend and haven't made coffee since...I wonder if that's why I have this headache, now that I think about it.

- I hate waiting for the toast to pop up.  It scares me every time.  Same for opening cans of biscuits...I have quite the set up in order to do usually involves covering the can with a towel and whacking it from across the kitchen with a broomstick while I cover my ears with one shoulder and one hand.

- I wish I could make all my own food all the time, and that I could afford to buy the best and freshest foods.  But, there is still convenience foods in my pantry and always will be.

- I think it would be fun to get a well designed and meaningful tatoo, but I never will.  Not because I'm scared of the tattoo, but because I am entirely too indecisive to do anything that permanent.

- I don't use shaving cream, or good razors.  Just water and the disposables.  Mostly because I'm cheap.

- I'd like to be someone who cloth diapers - but, again, I never will be.  Mostly because I'm lazy....but hats off to everyone else who can get their act together.

- I don't know if we'll ever find a house to buy, but whenever we look at one - I look for good photography light before I count the bathrooms.

- I need to get my wisdom tooth out.

- I'm a morning person for sure...but few things feel as good as crawling into bed at night.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


At the most random moments, it hits me, like a bag of bricks...but happier - that I have three THREE wonderful girls.  It's incredible.


How did I get so lucky to have them entrusted to me?

I have no idea, but they fill me with so much joy that I could burst - and I hope they know that somehow.  I hope they know they mean the world to me.

Abby is growing up so quickly. It pains and excites me to watch her blossom into an amazing girl. I'm so proud of her.  She is so kind and empathetic...and sometimes bossy - but just the way a big sister is supposed to be.  She's protective.

Elizabeth amuses me with her antics and completely melts me with her eye-squinting grin.  She gives the BEST hugs.  She hugs with everything she's got.  She impresses me with her physical skills and keeps me laughing with her general craziness

Madeline nestles quietly into the crook of my arm, buries her nose in my sleeve and relaxes.  She stretches every limb when she's unswaddled, blinks 10 times, looks at me and grins. She is nothing but sweet and easy and soft and she smells like honey.  She makes my heart palpitate with gratitude. I have to restrain myself from kissing her all day.

This life I have - even with it's stressors and day to day parenting battles, financial woes, and hard moments - is fantastic.  I'm so thankful for it.  May I never take a day for granted.