Monday, March 31, 2008

Days of firsts

It's very clear to me that I have very talented, wonderful boys.

Yesterday Jack found his toes, and by grabbing at them also learned to roll all the way onto his side. I find it absolutely gorgeously adorable. Nate just never did the super-cute "baby" stuff - cooing, baby-laughs, or grabbing his toes, so I'm really enjoying this.

Nate has started helping me out in the kitchen a lot. When he sees me in there, he asks "What are you doing, Mama?" and when I tell him I'm cooking he says "I want to watch you!" He runs into the kitchen, sets up his step-stool, and clambers up to the counter. I've been making sure to dice and chop a lot of ingredients on Sundays, so Nate helps me put things in bowls, spoon things out of jars, and stir. Tonight I was making salads, and Nate was watching me peel the hard-boiled eggs. He suddenly says "You're peeling good, Mama!" My first compliment from my sweet boy.

And just for bragging's sake, here was Nate's snack and dinner today:

Snack: red pepper strips, cucumber slices, and strawberries
Dinner: bibb lettuce with chopped egg, mandarin oranges, grape tomatoes, and shrimp on top. And he used a fork for every bite.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jack fell down and almost broke his crown

I made a rookie mistake this morning and Jack ended up rolling off the side of Nate's bed and landing square on his back / back of his head. He lost his mind, and so did I.

I was in no condition to drive, and I just didn't know what to do, so I called 911 and they sent a firetruck and ambulance (in DC they just send one of everything!) Too bad Nate was at school; he would have enjoyed all of the firemen in our house.

They were incredibly kind, attentive, and helpful. They decided they wanted him seen at Children's Hospital, so we took our first ambulance trip. The firemen locked up the house for me, carried my bags, and were generally amazing.

Long story short, Jack looked to be fine. By the time the doctor saw us, he was smiling at her and charming the nurses. We got home and Jack took a nap. I kept checking on Jack and watching his little chest go up and down. He wass fine, but I felt like someone hooked up a hose to me and sucked out every bit of energy I had. Two hours of self-flagellation will do that, I guess. It hurts enough when one of my boys is hurting; to have let it happen in such a stupid way makes me so mad at myself. I know "things happen" but it's just so much worse when they're preventable.

Tonight I got him ready for bed as usual, but he didn't fall asleep while he was drinking his bottle. I gave him his pacifier and kept him cuddled against me, and we rocked in the glider together. His eyes would drift closed, and then open again, and we just relaxed together in the dark.

Love you, Jack.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Nate is becoming so self-aware now. We were playing in his room today and he picks up his big stuffed bear and tells me to hold it. Then he tells me "It's my bumper!" He grabs it, says "see?", holds onto the bears ear, sticks his thumb in his mouth, and grins at me sideways. Smartypants.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jack's Monthly Newsletter, Month Four

Dear Jack,

It is always a bad idea to start these letters while I'm bleary-eyed from lack of sleep due to someone being up every hour last night, but frankly if I didn't write while bleary-eyed, there'd be no blog. And it's also a bad idea to write in tiny-little-sit-down-and-type-for-three-minute spurts during someone's 13 minute naps, but again I'm left with no other choice due to someone's inability to sleep more than the aforementioned 13 minutes during the day. All I can hope is that a vaguely coherent blog is better than no blog at all. And a big shout-out to your crib mobile, which is keeping you occupied right at this very moment.

You had your four-month check yesterday and you are:

15 pounds, 6 ounces which puts you in the 50th - 75th percentile
27 inches tall which puts you in the 95th percentile

You are still the sweetest baby alive, with huge smiles for everyone and lots of laughs. Lately I can make you laugh hardest by saying "Stinky stinky POO POO" and bringing my face really close to yours for the all-important POO-POO part. What a boy, already enjoying the potty humor. Luckily your brother and your Daddy are both on your wavelength, so you guys will have a lot to talk about as you fart, poop, and laugh your way through life together. I will join in on the burping, but that's as far as I can take it.

You are ranting at your crib mobile right now, as you do for much of the day. You absolutely delight me with all of the talking you do, and the sincerity behind it all.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

In the last few days I've noticed that your fists are finally starting to unclench, which means that instead of fruitlessly gumming your fists you're actually getting your fingers and occasionally a thumb into your mouth. Ah, blessed thumb-sucking, come visit our sleepless home. I welcome you with open arms, and thank you in advance for the comfort you will give my son while my boobs take a much-needed break from the thankless task.

Your eyes are getting darker and are a muddy hazel right now. You'll probably end up a plain-old brown just like your Mama, but the dimples on both cheeks will hopefully make up for it. Your Daddy and I think you're going to be dreadfully handsome, with your big eyes, dimples, and pouty lips. I especially love the way your eyes taper off on the sides.

You love to try to sit up now, and you can hold all of your own weight when I "stand" you up. You stare all around when I push you in the stroller, and you watch everyone while they move around the room with you. But your most favorite thing to watch, beyond everything and everyone, is your brother. You can't take your eyes off of him. A few days ago you were sitting on my lap on the couch, and Nate was running back and forth past us. Out of nowhere you started laughing on each pass he made by us. If you're in a bad mood, all I need to do to cheer you up is to have Nate come over and smile at you. You grin back instantly.

Having two kids has been a lot harder than I anticipated. Sometimes I get frustrated with the limited time alone with each of you, and the almost non-existent time alone by myself. But every single day I look forward to time when your brother is sleeping and you are not when I take you into the living room and spend time just us. Sometimes I sit with my back to the couch and you laying between my legs, and sometimes we both lay on the floor looking at each other. I talk to you, and smile at you, and tickle you, and we're just downright delighted with each other.

You really are my sunshine, and I'm so glad you were born.

I love you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All grown up

Our infant is now officially a baby.

1) At his four-month checkup today, the pediatrician asked if Jack was reaching for toys. I said that other than yesterday when he sorta seemed to reach for something, he wasn't. She actually seemed really concerned, and asked me a lot of questions about how much time I spend showing him toys (lots), how much time he spends on his back (lots), and how much time he gets on the floor (lots). So she puts him on the table and takes the toy I usually dangle above him on the floor, in the carseat...I would dangle that toy here, I would dangle that toy there, I would dangle that toy everywhere! Jack does his excited startle with his arms out to the side and stares intently at it, as he always does with me. When I dangle the toys. A lot.

So he's staring and she's dangling, and just when I start to say "See? He really doesn't..." Jack reaches up with both hands and grabs the heck out of it. Then he did it again. Nice.

2) He's been cut-off from Pampers Swaddlers and he's in the Target brand diapers.

Next he'll be insulting my music and piercing his nose.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I was getting my sneakers on to go for a walk after Stewart got home tonight, and told Nate I'd be back soon. He said "Get my coat! I go you, Mama!"

Sweet boy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


So I've now got another baby who can't / won't fall asleep without the boob. This time, at least, I'm putting up a fight - I try rocking him, giving him a pacifier, shushing him, but I eventually give in because I need him to nap as much as he needs to nap. So I sit down in the glider and put him on the Boppy and as I'm whipping out the boob I swear a smug little smile flashes across his face before he lunges at me with his mouth wide open. The fact that I burn calories while I'm nursing is just about the only consolation. And I get to sit down. That's not nothing these days.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Two Years Six Months

Dear Nate,

You are two and a half years old. My goodness. You sleep in a regular bed, you have conversations, and you throw tantrums.


Just kidding. Sort of.

You really are blossoming into a big boy. You put your own shirts and pants on, and can take your shoes off and put them away. You help bring me things around the house, carry bags from the car, and put Jack's pacifier back in. When you're in the mood, of course. The rest of the time you're selfish and needy and demanding. The perfect two year-old.

You are very into dinosaurs now, and love to read books about them and to pretend to be them, roaring around the house. You name them (this morning one was "Rubber Duckie" and the other was "Roar") and love to watch any TV show with a dinosaur in it.

Your imagination is going crazy. You tell me "You Nate! I Mama!" You dub yourself a princess, or Jack a princess, though I don't think you really understand Princesses yet. Grandma got you a magnetic board with a bunch of dinosaur magnets, and you'll lay on the floor by yourself, moving them around and talking about them. When you play in the sink you'll suddenly tell me "Don't touch, Mama - very hot" or "Not done yet!"

You've gotten much more social, and much less social, all at the same time.

Less social: You've gotten terribly shy and borderline rude in new situations. You don't want to go with new people, you don't want to play with new kids. You tuck your chin into your shoulder, and glare sideways at the offending parties. You are all about Mama these days, and want me with you constantly. You throw massive tantrums if I need you to leave somewhere you'd rather stay. When we left the Natural History Museum yesterday, I had to hold you down to strap you into the stroller. You then put your hands on the sides of the stroller, pushed your butt up into the air as far as it could go with the straps on, and cried "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" for 22 straight minutes while we walked home. Good times.

Your new favorite phrase is "Don't DO that, Mommy!" I must hear it 15 times a day. Don't take your pajamas off. Don't put your clothes on. Don't take your clothes off. Don't change your diaper. Don't put your lunch out. Don't put your lunch away. You're also an aficionado of "Don't SAY that" and "Don't change me!" Everything you don't like, or want, gets labeled YUCKY. It's a lovely phase you're going through. I'll cherish it always.

More social: You actually talk to other kids now, and have little conversations with them. It's precious. You still delight in Sophia's company, and think everything she does is fabulous and funny - you'd follow her right off a cliff. You make drawings, and then hand them to me saying "It's for you, Mommy!" The other night Daddy told you that he liked to eat chicken, and you exclaimed "I like chicken too, Daddy!"

When you go to try something new / different, you glance over at me to see if I'm going to allow it. The remarkable thing is that if I tell you "no", you generally just stop and do something different. You seem to have a sense of when you're pushing your luck; if you've already had a fruit snack, you'll slyly ask "Another fruit snack?" and just grin when I say "no."

But by far, the most fabulous social thing you do is when you talk to Jack. We decided to go to the park yesterday, and you turned to him and said "We going to the park, Jack!" and when we went to Sophia's house you squealed "Going to Fia's house, Jack!" I could just die of the cuteness.

You are massively in love with Jack. You love to help take care of him, and always get a big grin when he comes into the room. Whenever he's on the floor or the couch, you cuddle up with him and lay your arm over and around him. When Jack holds your hand back, you are over the moon. This morning Jack held your hand so hard it hurt you, and all you did was gently remove it from his grip. You give him kisses on top of his head and then turn around to make sure everyone saw your sweetness. You are gentle and happy with him, and a total ham to boot.

You love animals, and can identify a shocking array of them. I just got a membership to the National Zoo; I anticipate spending a lot of time there this summer. Your favorites are elephants - the big ones!

You had a wonderful time in Aruba, and swam and beached every day. You started off timid of the pool and the ocean, and by the third day were flinging yourself happily into both. We spent most mornings at the pool, and most afternoons at the beach after it had cooled off. Your favorite thing to do in both places was to wade in and out, in and out. I think you were proud of your bravery in going so deep, and wanted to experience it over and over. It was pure joy watching you enjoy yourself.

The big-boy Nate is far more demanding than the baby Nate. I have to come up with answers to your endless questions ("Who that guy, Mommy?") and handle your tantrums. The stakes are higher; you notice and understand so much more than you did before. The challenges are much harder, but the rewards are bigger. When I pick you up at school, you squeal "Mommy!" and run into my arms. I put you to bed at night, tuck bumper on one side, hippo on the other, and Dino in top. I pull up the covers, and kiss you good-night. It makes it all worthwhile.

I love you.