Sunday, September 28, 2008

Milestone Moment!

Again!

Jack stood up yesterday!

Right in front of me, Grandma, and Grandpa: he got his little feet and hands under him, stuck his butt up in the air, pushed off of his (well, Nate's) sippy cup and stood right up. Plunked down when startled by the applause.

Well done baby.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Milestone Moment(s)!

Some fabulous milestones:

Jack took a step yesterday! None since, but the thoughts are definitely there. He stands stock still staring at where he wants to go, thinks for a while, and then drops to his knees and crawls off. I give it a month before he's properly walking.

We play a game where I sit on the floor and stand him up a few feet in front of me. He stands there grinning at me, then falls towards me without moving his feet an inch. It's exactly like one of those "trust your co-worker" exercises except he's facing me.

Also yesterday he semi-stood up on his own. Stewart was on the floor playing with the two of them, and Jack was standing up next to him, leaning forward and holding onto him. Then he just stood straight up, holding onto nothing. Twice.

Lastly, Nate: two nights ago I was turning off the TV to send him to bed, and he stood in front of me and protested in the words of our fathers, and our father's fathers, "It's not fair!" I think that's the first of about 10,000 times that I'll hear that phrase from him. Thank you, preschool. Thanks a lot.

Fake it, Don't Make it!

I love the "fake it, don't make it" cooking philosophy. Semi-homemade cooking. Whatever you want to call it.

Friend Dave and I tried this Samosa recipe from Real Simple magazine, and it turned out wonderfully. (This is Real Simple's photo - ours actually looked better!)



Easy, fun to make, pretty to look at, delicious, and vegetarian to boot. Nice way to use up whatever veggies are in the fridge. When Nate's a little older, I think he'll have a lot of fun making these with me.

You can find all of their Fake it recipes here. I've tried the lasagne before and it was fun and easy.

Got any other good ones to share?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A preview of cuteness to come

Nate and I couldn't resist trying this on Jack today.



It's a cow costume, but since Nate will be a firefighter this year, I'm going to try to pass it off as a Dalmation costume. Since I suspect Jack will tire of the headpiece quickly, the ruse might actually work. Important stuff, this Halloween planning.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Silly boys

Nate prides himself on being able to comfort Jack and make him laugh. I love how Jack's gazing at Nate in this video, literally and figuratively looking up to him.

video

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jack's Monthly Newsletter, Month Ten

Dear Jack,

The hardest part about writing this letter was choosing among the great photos; you have personality coming out of your ears. Everywhere we go, people are always commenting on what a smiley, adorable guy you are, and darnit if you haven't come to expect it. When we're near other people who aren't looking at you, you'll smile at them and sometimes make noise until they look at you. You can't get enough of it.

I picked this photo to go first because I feel like it really shows you. The flying-nun curls, the rivers of drool, and the scrunchy-nose-squinty-eyes smile that makes you look a little evil:



You're changing every day, just like you're supposed to. Last week you started "creeping" which means you're walking along holding onto the furniture. You've been able to stand up for a while if I let go of your hands, but a few days ago you started letting go on your own. You can climb stairs like a pro, and you're starting to kneel with one foot up while you play with your toys. I sense much head-bonking-falling-down in our future.

We've spend a lot of time out at the beach and you've just been a superstar. While Nate and Sam ran around like lunatics, you'd just mosey-crawl from one thing to another, gnawing and shaking and drooling on everything. You like to come check in with me, but you're awfully good about playing by yourself and watching what's going on around you. Thank goodness for you.



Shockingly, you've turned into a pretty great sleeper. You take a morning nap around 9:30 and another one around 2. Bedtime is around 7, you sleep until 5, take a bottle, and sleep again until 7 am. You've even gotten good at sleeping away from home - you're at the beach with Daddy right now and he reported that you did just fine last night.

You had a wonderful first trip to the beach. You didn't balk at the sand, though you were pretty worried about the crashing waves. I can't blame you for that - it's pretty loud! We've been back several times and you even warmed up to the ocean, letting me dip your feet in the waves when they roll in.



You're very good in the car, and great in the stroller, as long as we're moving. Your favorite toys are balls, and these days Nate's plastic bats. I've been calling you Bam-Bam - you whonk that bat as much as Nate will let you. You're big on shaking and banging and whomping. You still just have the bottom two teeth, though the top ones are close, close, close. They're driving us both a little mad, frankly.

You're still an absolute pig; you eat everything and anything you can. Your main staples are tofu cubes, black beans, celery with hummus, bananas, and grapes. You are starting to pick through and eat your favorites first - the grapes always get eaten at the beginning. Pretty much, though, you'll stuff anything in.



There's no doubt about one thing: you are a Mama's boy. There's nowhere you'd rather be than in my arms. You are amiable about playing on the floor, being in the car, and all of that, but in the end you want me. One of my favotie things is when I go to get you from your crib. You're always standing waiting, and you reach up as I put my arms down. When I lift you through the air, your arms are up just waiting to wrap around my neck and when you get to me you stick your face in my shoulder.



I love all of the love, and I chafe at it a bit, but mostly I'm grateful as heck for you. You're just a chunk of overflowing joy and happy and I can't tell you how much I adore you.

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Statistics

Jack just had his 9-month visit and Nate had his three-year. Here's how they shook out:

Jack:

Weight: 20 pounds, 11 ounces (50th percentile)
Height: 30.5 inches (97th percentile (again!))

Nate:

Weight: 33.5 pounds (50-75th percentile)
Height: 38 inches (50-75th percentile)

Everything was on track and perfect with both of them. We are incredibly lucky.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Conversations

Some of these conversations with Nate are just too much. Here's one from yesterday:

We went to get Jack up from his nap, and must have scared him when we (read: Nate) busted through his door. He started wailing.

I picked him up and started soothing him. Nate asked what was wrong, and I explained that we scared Jack. Nate started saying "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay" in the high-pitched tone he uses for Jack. He followed it up with a few repetitions of "Don't be scared."

We headed downstairs and Nate said to me "We didn't meant to scare him. It was an accident." I agreed.

He followed-up with "Sometimes [his new favorite word, usually said all drawn out "sometimes..........."] we all make mistakes." I agreed again.

"And sometimes........we clean the pee-pee off the carpet."

Yes, absolutely. Sometimes we make mistakes, and when we do we clean the pee-pee off the carpet. Important life lesson for us all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Three Years

Dear Nate,

I've put this off until I can't put it off any longer. I have plenty of excuses: your birthday party, our vacation at the beach, the demands of my day. I think the truth is that I'm so scared to get this wrong. To leave something out that would explain you better. To put too much in that doesn't matter. To fail at communicating who you are, how you are, what you do.



You are three years old. You are a little boy. You ran up to me this morning, hugged me around the knees, and said you loved me. Last night I gave you you a Woody doll I'd bought you for no good reason. When I handed him to you, you played with him for a minute and then said "This makes me glad." Woody sat in a chair next to you at the dinner table and you looked over at him after every bite of food.

Almost every morning when you wake up, you come crawl into bed with me while Daddy is downstairs with Jack. We cuddle a bit, you squirm around, we cuddle a bit, you sit up, lay down, we cuddle a bit, you jump on the bed, we cuddle a bit. And so on.



Your language is amazing; it's almost like talking to a regular person. I counted a 14-word sentence the other day, full of prepositions and adverbs and adjectives and whatnot. When I'm on the phone with someone, I hear you repeating everything I say: practicing the intonations and the tones. At the beach when Beth was talking to us you would respond "Uh huh, uh huh". Out at the boardway, Sam kept throwing his sippy cup out of the stroller. You kept picking it up, giving it back, and watching him throw it out again. After four or five times, you gave it back and warned "If you do that again, I'll take it away."

I can practically hear the wheels turning in your head when I ask you questions these days. It's just amazing to watch you work. Last night we were driving home from the store and I asked you what your long name is. You've said it before, but never pronounced Nathaniel right. Last night you started with "Henry Davis" and repeated it a few times. I kept quiet, and then there was a very long pause, probably a 15-second pause. And you said your whole name just right. You just needed the time to work it out for yourself.



You're big on doing things yourself these days. You can get yourself dressed all the way down to your flip-flops which you insist on putting on, and taking off, standing up and leaning against something.

You sing songs all the time, mostly the songs to your TV shows. Backyardigans and Little Einsteins are your favorite to belt out. You like to make up words to the songs, which strikes me as a little precocious. When you request something without saying please, I tell you I can't hear you: you tilt your head, bat your eyelashes, and say "Pleeeeeeeeeease???"



You've turned into a sweet, enthusiastic, charming, cheerful, affectionate, loving boy. When we were at the beach house, I was sitting on the ground playing with you and Jack. You crawled into my lap, put your arms around my neck, and murmured "I won't let the dinosaurs get you."

Vice versa, Natey. Always.

I love you,
Mama

Relaxation

Notes:

Three boys, ages 3, 17 months, and 9 months.

A small 3-bedroom condo.

Trips to the pool and beach and boardwalk.

None of the aformentioned boys can swim.

Sunscreen, bugspray, diapers, snacks, meals, naps, bedtime.

Traveling with booster seats, high chairs, strollers, bottles, bibs, creams, soaps.

Six days.

Our single parental moment of relaxation:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vacation notice!

And by vacation I mean "I'm at the beach with two kids (plus my friend and her 16 month-old) and I'm too damn tired to do anything."

Stewart asked me yesterday if I was getting some "rest and relaxation." Har. Har-dee-har. Ho, ho, ho. And on and on and on.

I haven't posted Nate's monthly newsletter yet. I'll put it up this weekend, late for the first time. I just don't want to give it short shrift. Third birthday. Sniff.