Thursday, February 28, 2008

Milestone Moment!

Nate's been sleeping in his bed for some naps, but never overnight until yesterday. Figured I'd bite the bullet, cautioned him on getting out of bed, and he slept all night there. He's back down there for bed tonight, too. You can't believe how cute he looks all surrounded by pillows with bumper tucked in next to him.

I've been a little sneaky and tried to convince him that he really can't get out of bed without calling for me, just like when he was in his crib. So far, so good. No little footsteps yet!

Watch yourself!

I'm sure this is obvious, but one aspect of parenting that I hadn't realized was that Nate would learn how to treat Jack from watching how I treat Jack. It's both adorable and frightening to see how he mimics me, both in word and emotion.

A few days ago both boys were downstairs while I was up getting a few things out of their rooms. Jack starts to cry in his carseat, and I hear Nate saying "Mommy right back, baby Jack!" and "Don't cry, baby Jack. It's okay, baby Jack."

I've read that kids who are given sympathy when they're hurt give sympathy to other kids more readily. I can't believe how much force we have in shaping these little ones. I hope we're up for the task.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Nate is so into dinosaurs, and I just puzzle at it. I don't think we have any dinosaur books, movies, or toys. One pillow with a dinosaur on it that he ignored for most of his life. But now? Dinosaurs are it.

He talks about them all the time. If something has a dinosaur on it, he's there. He wants a dinosaur snack (?), and he claims his bed is a BIG dinosaur bed. Okay, sure.

It does help us out, quite a bit - if we want him to do / eat / wear something, we just call it a dinosaur widgit! He's there.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I've always been impressed with Nate's use of -ing at the end of words - running, climbing, he always uses it appropriately.

In the last few days, Jack's decided he likes to stand up, and he wants to do it much of the time. Yesterday Nate looked at Jack, standing in my Mother's lap, and exclaimed "He's upping!"


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jack's Monthly Newsletter, Month Three

Dear Jack,

We just got back from a week in Aruba, and I can't tell you how many times we were stopped and told what a gorgeous baby you are. A lot of times. You really are terribly gorgeous. But more important than gorgeous, you are the sweetest baby. You smile your big open-mouth grins at everyone who stops to talk to you. My favorite part of your smiles is that they always start on one side of your mouth, and then they take over your whole face.

I wish we had more photos of you in Aruba, or really any photos of you in Aruba, but we were blessed with a Mother's Helper there and I really didn't spend much time with you. I love you, I adore you, but you were mostly a drag in Aruba. You just didn't get into the whole vibe of the place and kept insisting on being a baby. I expect that you'll shape up before we go again next year, okay?

You are really getting yourself together on the night-sleeping front, and went a whole week where you slept for longer than 6 hours every night. Aruba set you back a bit, but I have hopes that you'll get back to it soon. Our household is starting to feel regular again - I bathe you with your brother around 7 pm, get you warm and dressed, swaddle you up, and pop a bottle in your mouth. It's fabulously regular.

You have just started to stand up a bit when we support you, and you're trying to sit yourself up. You are beginning to grow out of your 0-3 month outfits, and you wore your first pants / shirt outfit while we were away. You ride in the stroller sitting up now, instead of lying down in the cocoon or in your carseat. You are starting to get ticklish, and when I tickle your thighs and chest you make a huge grunt and then sometimes a small smile. I don't do it much since it's a tad disturbing, but I know that we're going to hear you laugh pretty soon.

You have a funny habit that your brother had - when you get excited, your legs and arms stiffen up. You get so excited in your bouncy seat that you alternate between kicking your legs wildly and stiffening right up. I love your gorgeous eyes in this video.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

I can't believe how lucky we got when we got you. Daddy thinks you're going to be really smart, and I think you're going to be really sweet and happy. I know how much joy you're going to bring us, because I know how much joy you already have. I'm so glad you're here.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Some photos, okay a lot of photos, from our week in Aruba:

Me and my boys:

Can you see Nate's arm around Jack in this one?


It finally happened: I lost Nate in a public place today. Went to playgroup at the Air and Space Museum and had a little private story-time. It was our first story-time, since Nate's not much for sitting still or talking quietly, and our last for quite some time. Nate didn't do so well on the sitting still or talking quietly front.

After story-time, we let the kids run around and go in and out of a plane. There's only one other woman with 2 kids there, so the other Moms can keep an eye on their kid while they talk. I thought I could, too. I knew exactly where Nate was, I looked down to tend to Jack for just a second, and Nate was gone. I waited a minute to see if he was just around the back of a display, and when he didn't appear I went into action. Another Mom watched Jack, and I ran around checking all the areas where Nate had been. Nowhere. I finally alerted the other Moms, and 3 or 4 of them fanned out looking. After just another minute, one of the Moms came around the corner with a security guard holding Nate's hand.

I was so glad to see him that I didn't remember to thank the security guard or to find out where she'd found him. The other Mom of 2 (boys) made sure to come over and tell me that it had happened to her a million times. Everyone was considerate and kind and non-judgmental. I've lucked into another nice playgroup.

Well, it had to happen. At least he was back with me pretty quickly. Phew.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Nate is so sweet and happy and loving so much of the time; he's turning me into a ball of mush. I'm pretty strict about not going in to tend to him at night, but he's started sleeping with a blanket in his crib, and I put it on him when I put him down the first time. Inevitably about 10 minutes later, he calls to me says "My banket, Mama!" and I can't resist - I go in and cover him up again. I make sure to tell him I won't come back in again, and he never calls for me again. He's such a good boy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I am completely kid-free right now, thanks to my gorgeous mother. She just left with Nate, Jack, a handful of lollipops, and a huge bag of stuff. Thank goodness for my mother. Thank goodness for Enfamil Baby Formula With Good Stuff In It (tm).

My big plans are to work on my to-do list in peace, and to pack for Aruba in peace. Heaven.

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Two Years Five Months

Dear Nate,

It's like someone handed you a book called "These are the things boys are interested in" and you've read it, cover to cover. Memorized it.

Dinosaurs? Check.
Airplanes and rocketships? Check
Bats, balls, sports? Check.
Climbing and jumping? Check.
Firemen, firetrucks, policemen, police cars? Double check.
Hammers, screwdrivers, tools? Triple double check.

We've had a really nice month. You are sweet and cheerful to be around most of the time, and I really like you. You're always trying to share your food or toys, wanting to play, and pleasantly chatting with us.

You ask so many questions these days. Among your favorites:

* Who 'dat, Mama?
* What 'dat, Mama?
* Hear 'dat, Mama? What 'dat, Mama?

I'll tell you: that's a man! or that's a shed! and you say: Ohhh, man! Ohhh, shed! You ask me "You upstairs, Mama?" and I say yup, and you say "Okay!" and head back to playing. You have the most cheerful-sounding "Okay!" It's my favorite thing you say.

You announce yourself to everyone around: "I'm Nate!" We went to visit Sophia the other day, and you walked through the door and said "Nate here!" Yesterday you were helping me cook in the kitchen, and you took a break to demonstrate "Daddy right there! Mommy right there! Nate right here!" pointing at each of us in turn.

You're also starting to get funny. A few weeks ago Daddy asked if he could have one of your cookies - when you said no, he pretended to cry. Now you love to walk up to him and say "No cookie, Daddy. CRY! Cry!" You two were playing in the basement, and you were hiding his belt from him. You thought to hide it in the dryer, and when Daddy was getting too close to discovering it you paused and said "No touch, Daddy. Hot!" Cunning technique.

You like to do everything for yourself. "Nate do it!" has replaced "My do it!" but the point is still the same: you are fairly insistent on it. I have to work extra time into our routines to give you the time to zip up your own coat, pour your own milk, carry everything yourself, and generally "help" me out.

You are a little Daddy to Jack, and you're always repeating the things I say to him. He started to cry in his swing the other day and while you walked over to him you were saying "Don't cry, baby Jack" and "I've got you, baby Jack." Then you bent down and put your arms around him. You like to try to pick him up and hand him to me. I try really really hard not to intervene in the interest of protecting Jack because I don't want you to become wary of touching him, so I only step in if you're in danger of hurting him. Yesterday he was fussing in his bouncy seat, and you brought him things to try to comfort him. You gave him his stuffed toy, your precious juice, and your even more precious bumper. That's how much you love him.

Your memory is sharp as hell. Right after Jack was born someone gave him that stuffed caterpillar, and I told you it was for Jack. You remembered it all these months later. It's pretty amazing.

You are going through and interesting shy period. You used to barrel right into every situation, and now you're often reserved for a while. You refused to stand on the scale at the doctor's office, and are wary of new places. We actually quit your gymnastics class because you just refused to participate. A woman next to us told me that her son was exactly the same way at your age, and now he's right back in the thick of it at three years old. I have no doubt that if you're allowed to be yourself and adjust and grow, you'll be your old social self again.

You certainly have your two year-old moments. You can be defiant and stubborn, especially when you're tired. You have a tendency to melt down just when I'm trying to get you, Jack, my big bag, and groceries out of the car and into the house. And it's raining. You'll go along cheerfully, and then refuse to keep walking just steps from our house. The other day I ended up sliding you along the floor between the front doors, while you wailed "No Mama! No Mama!" You love being outside, and it's often a literal struggle to get you back inside.

We have to use time-out every few days, but now you understand that I mean business and you rarely try to get up. You just cry "No Mama! No Mama! (notice a pattern?)" the whole time, and then give me a quiet "sorry" when I ask for an apology.

We're going to Aruba in a few days, and I think you're going to have the time of your life. Everyone's looking forward to spending time with you, and I can't wait to see you in the pool. Making you happy is the best part of my life, and I am so lucky that I get to do it so often.

I love you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Milestone Moment!

Jack laughed for the first time this morning! Guess I'm funnier looking than I thought I was. He's such a sweet, happy boy. We're so lucky.


We're having to sleep train Nate a bit. We made the mistake of letting him go to bed with "juice" several months ago, and for the last few months he's been waking up in the middle of the night to ask for a refill. I finally decided to put an end to it by keeping juice out of the bedroom entirely, and though he's not happy, he's dealing with it. Last night was the first full "no juice" night and I was determined to be strong.

He went down around 8, and a few hours later woke up moaning. His juice requests usually go like this: "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy Mommy Mommy. Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY! Mommy?" You get the idea. So when he woke up moaning, I decided to check on him just in case it wasn't a juice request.

I went in, and found him absolutely completely naked, curled up around bumper. I'm a little forgetful these days, but I'm pretty positive we put him to bed with a diaper and pajamas on. Got him re-dressed, and all was well - no juice requests last night. Thank goodness.

Sleep update

So Jack's been a horrible sleeper, right from the start. He understands night is for sleeping, and only wakes to eat, but he wakes up 4-5 times a night. Four nights ago he was up every hour and a half, on the dots.

This past weekend, we had a ton of fun social stuff to do. We stayed at a party until 11:30 pm one night, and 11 the next. Jack dozed, but never slept well. When we got home and I put him down to bed, he slept 6 hours straight each night. Fabulous, but not repeatable in my opinion - I didn't have any interest in keeping him up all evening just to get a little extra sleep!

But guess what? The next night I put him down at his normal 7:45 and he slept for eight straight hours. Last night? Seven hours. It's almost like by exhausting him and forcing him into a longer stretch of sleep, his brain re-wired to sleep for longer stretches. I'm absolutely thrilled about the sleep, and also about "inventing" a new system of sleep training! :)