April 7, 2014

Willow Week 46

Its about time I give Willow some awesome photos. hard to pick just one.
The official Week 46.

April 4, 2014

Dear Maggie

Dear Maggie,

This should have been your 2-year old letter, but I’ve been a little slow, as you are currently 28 months old.

Every once in a while, I look at you, and all-of-a-sudden, you look older. Your baby fat is almost all gone, and what’s left is tiny knobby knees on a little girl who loves the outdoors and hiking but who also has a very girly side. You love your “pity des” (pretty dress). You make parenthood look uncharacteristically easy – well, so far. You surprise me every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

The other day I was bathing your baby sister Willow, and you started to take off your clothes. I said, “No, Maggie, you don’t get a bath right now”, so you calmly walked away. Later I found you half naked in our bathroom trying to pull up your pants and diaper because you had just used the potty all by yourself for the 1st time – I was in shock! You have probably tee-teed in the potty maybe 5 times so far, but I have always been there to wait and cheer you on. So you just owning it like a boss all by yourself was a bit out of the ordinary and uncharacteristic of a toddler. Weird.

When I put you to bed that night, I told you to come get me when you had to potty. 30 minutes later, you strolled into my room to tell me you had to potty (again a 1st), and we only missed it because you had to stop to grab a glow-in-the-dark bouncy cow. So basically I think you are awesome for this. It’s the little victories that make me so happy.

Putting you to bed in general is also super easy. You just crawl up there and go to bed, and you gibber along as you say your prayers- really only Jesus could understand you. Twinkie sleeps with you in your bed, and you both insist on snuggling at night.

You love reading, and you will come get us by our hands, drag us to the couch, insist that we “sit down” and read you a “book”. You even sleep with your toddler bible.

You are so fun to watch as you explore your surroundings, test your limits, and figure stuff out. Everyday is an adventure, and most of the time, I can’t help but smile. Even when I’m having a really bad day and my soul is feeling bitter, I come home to see you and your sister running/crawling towards me, and my bad day melts away. You have special powers like that. You know how to test mine and your dad’s patience, but you can erase that all with a hug and a cuddle.

The biggest improvement and milestone you’ve made in the last 4 months is that you’re speaking so much now. You don’t use complete sentences, and your pronunciation is more than a little off, but you can now communicate with us. Though this doesn’t stop the grunting and whining, you are learning tons of words. I love watching you try out a new word to see if we understand you. Sometimes you just blurt out a word and just keep going like you “nailed It”. Just in the last week, you have been really using “tank ooo” (thank you). You are finally calling me Mama, after a very long stint of me being “Bobby” because you couldn’t pronounce your M’s.  You are also starting to say your name- “Battie”…. Um, well kinda. You are still working on your M’s, & G’s.

You do all the fun (and not so fun things) that 2-years olds do:
• You hug randomly and tightly, and you even do this finger tapping thing when you hug that is far too cute.
• Singing (kinda) and dancing with me; and when I dance with your sister you run to grab your doll and do circles with her.
• You stand next to me while I cook and constantly ask for cereal and cheese. Which tests my patience.
• You are becoming picky with your food, but you have finally learned to use a fork. Your favorite foods are cheese, cereal, crackers, sausage, and apples.
Dora the Explorer is your favorite show. You love to play along with the TV show, and you love wearing your backpack around the house.
• You love using my phone, and you insist on seeing the “pitours” (pictures).
• You love coloring on walls. Recently I discovered that you love cleaning up the mess after coloring on the walls more.
• You still breast feed your baby doll when I nurse Willow. You lift up your shirt, put the babies head near your tummy, and then just sit there looking around.

But by far my happiest daily moment is seeing you and your sister playing together. There is something truly special about being a mom and witnessing the beginning of your lifelong friendship. I pray that you and your sister will be able to look past your differences in later years and become rock solid best friends.

Love ya,


Dear Willow

Dear Willa-Monster, 

You are such a happy baby. I hope you stay that way forever and ever. This good nature is really very unexpected, as I was fully prepared for a screamer. You are still feisty, but a different kind of feisty than I was expecting. We have nicknamed you Smiley Lady Infant and that is quickly turning into Smiley. Your other nickname is Willa Monster when you are having a “moment”. But generally, you are a smiley, easy baby who loves her Mama. When you are unhappy, you just want to be held, walked around the house or fed.

You’re about 10 months old now and really walking (oh yes, WALKING) now and beginning to talk. The walking is very strange to witness in a baby as young as 10 months, and you are kind of starting to run a little (it’s faster than a typical walk) and CLIMB onto things. These are things that never dawned on Maggie to even try at this age. We are really starting to see why there is so much baby proofing- we didn’t need much for Mags. I’ve had to tell all of your sitters that you are faster than them, so they have to be smarter.
You love to drop things off your highchair and watch us pick it up. And of course, once we give it back to you, you just do it again. This is actually very typical of babies your age, and it's the first "game" you have played with us.

Kicking a soccer ball around the house is not a typical game, but you do that too. You love holding on to our fingers, while you run up to a little ball and kick it, so naturally we all think you will be a soccer player or sports enthusiast. You also try to throw the ball if you are sitting near it.

You love pulling hair and chewing on shoes, so we are constantly taking Maggie's hair out of your hands and our shoes out of your mouth. 

You talk... kinda. You really love just crawling after me at full speed saying "ma ma ma ma ma" when you are hungry. You also say “uh-oh” when you play your drop-stuff game. We are still breast feeding and nursing, which I'm super excited about because I only nursed Mags until 9 months (barely). You are distracted very easily, and you look up at me with the biggest eyes. You find comfort in curling up with Mama and feeding in the mornings. You also love motor-boating me and blowing raspberries on my chest when you are hungry.
You love to wrestle with us, and play peek-a-boo. Both make you giggle so much. So much giggling! Best sound ever is hearing you and Maggie giggling together, when you play with each other.

I'm sorry I have not been very good at keeping up with your weekly photos, 2nd child syndrome maybe. I have, on the other hand, been taking photos.

There will always be differences between you and your sister. Sometimes you will get the best part, and sometimes you will draw the shorter straw. Your Aunt Jessi will make sure it isn't too short. I love you both very much.

You stay you.

March 25, 2014

I want to be even more Profoundly Disconnected.

I have always loved what Mike Rowe is trying to do. We are all very profoundly disconnected. Go buy this for me. Please. Get it here its only$20 and all the proceeds go to Mike Rowe Works Foundation.

February 26, 2014

I’m starting my own creative business. What does this mean?

I’m starting my own creative business. What does this mean? 
This means that if I read that book correctly, I will be rich in just four hours a week without doing any actual work myself… I probably didn’t read it right, though. In fact, it’s most likely the opposite. Why am I doing this? I like things that require money to operate, like air-conditioning in August, the government and a dishwasher. I like working on a multiple of clients with different needs and problems. I like a flexible schedule and I like to see my kids while they are awake…sometimes. They are pretty cute when they are asleep. I also already have some clients, and it would be weird leaving them high and dry. And moreover, why the hell not?

Here are some more FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS you can find the same questions on my FAQ page of my website.

What will you be doing?
Well, I’m going to stretch my abilities and test my Apple to its limits. This includes: Wordpress websites, Blogger redesigns, graphic work, Photoshop requests, logo design, writing, designer-for-hire retainer contracts, agency work, book covers, book jackets, writing, social media management, blog writing, unsolicited advice and consulting, and general problem solving. If I don’t know something, I figure it out.

Who will be working with you?
Nobody and everybody. I am a one-person design agency, so I work by myself at a coffee shop where I silently imagine scandalous stories about my fellow latte drinkers. I work WITH my clients through whichever medium of communication that best works for them, whether that be in-person meetings, phone conversations, text messages or more-often-than-not long, gaudy email messages sent at 1 a.m.

How can I help?
(FYI – nobody has asked me this yet, let alone “asked me frequently,” but my false sense of entitlement is confused by your lack of asking this question.) You can help by telling your non-crazy friends about me; people who are easily impressed and have lots of money to spend would be ideal, or you could like my Facebook page. Generally, I’m not picky right now. I’ll design your yellow page ads if I need to. You may want to call and get grandfathered into my current hourly rate, since there’s no telling where my false sense of entitlement can take me.

What happened to your old job?
BubbleLife.com is an awesome company bridging the gap between local neighborhood readers and small businesses wanting to manage their online marketing. You should go get on that bandwagon. They decided that they no longer want to spend time/resources doing websites, which is my main specialty and was 60% of my job over there. The other 40% is split between frivolously telling my bosses what to do and web banners for small businesses. BubbleLife still needed a solution for clients that wanted web design so they are the driving force and my main encouragement for starting my own business and hopefully a steady source of freelance. A.K.A. We still love each other.

Are you scared?
Yep. I’m not scared that I can’t find stuff to do; I truly think I can woo my design skills into the hearts of many. I design with bears and zombies — who wouldn’t want that? What I’m scared of is that my computer will be too slow or my files will suddenly implode, that I can’t help a client with my current abilities, that margarita will spill on my mac, that my self-diagnosed-creative-induced A.D.D. will become problematic, and that the supply of coffee will dwindle. That is where the power of prayer can help. Jesus can turn water into coffee and perform all the other miracles I may need in order to pay my bills and help my clients.

Why Duck Soap Box Creative?
WARNING: This is not a funny or intelligent answer. So, years ago in my younger, more na├»ve days, I had a blog that had no purpose (still doesn’t) that I had intended to act as my personal soap box for me to speak my mind and share my feelings on politics or religion. I was going be a famous writer…then I realized I wasn’t qualified to do that. I also like ducks. I kept the name because I didn’t want to lose any branding recognition with my seven readers. This blog is still active.

Where can I reach you?
me@crystalroznik.com will always be the best way to reach me.

But, since its 2014:
Professional-Crystal is on LinkedIn.
Sarcastic-Crystal is on Twitter.

Mommy-Crystal is on Instagram.
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