Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jack's Monthly Newsletter, One Year Five Months

Dear Jack,

Only one day late - not too shabby for me these days! Strange how I was able to keep up with the blog when you were a newborn but find myself faltering these days. Woulda thought it would be the opposite. Anyhow, I'm here now and ready to spill my adoration for you out all over this page.

You are still very adorable. There's just no other way to say it.

Open-mouth smiles all the time, flirting with strangers, you are just the most sweetly social baby I know.

You absolutely adore being outside. When we take Nate to school in the morning, you walk the whole way there and back with me - holding onto my hand most of the way. Any loud engine gets your totally undivided attention; your whole upper body turns around to watch it go by while your little feet keep walking right along with me. Having you hold my hand is such a special feeling for me; Nate was Mr. Independent right from the start and had no interest in walking with me. Heck, he still has no interest in holding my hand! But you do, and it's sweet and warm and soft and trusting and I just love it.

But your favorite thing, by far, is climbing. Stairs, hills, stepstools, ladders - they're the first things you go to. You would be content to climb up and down our stairs for as long as we'd let you; eventually it gets boring to climb around with you so we have to call it quits long before you'd give up. I have started leaving the gate to the basement open; the stairs are carpeted and you show decent judgment about remembering not to just step off the top step the way you used to. You love to stand at the top and throw down anything you can get your hands on.

You still love to grab boxes of cereal off the shelf in the kitchen and sometimes even manage to open them. Daddy was in the basement last week and found you staring down at him from the top, munching away - his favorite part of the photo is the teenage "what of it?" look on your face.

You have just started saying a very few words; even more important you're trying to say things when I prompt you to do it. Your only real word is Dada, and you use it appropriately and consistently and in a gravely adoring voice every time Daddy comes home from work. If it counts, you also say "Mmmmmm....." whenever you eat something you love - and you say it with true relish. When I prompt you to, you can also say Nate ("nah"), Ball ("bah"), Mama ("mah") Banana ("nana", which you ONCE used as a request for a banana in my hand), and Baby ("bah"). We have another assessment at Children's Hospital tomorrow - I'm hopeful that they have some positive feedback for us.

You imitate almost everything physical that we do - playing drums, stomping our feet, spinning around, stretching, and, in the park with my friend Ashley last week, yoga!

But do not let me paint too rosy of a picture. Your up-to-now easy-going nature has morphed into a monster scary to behold: if you feel slighted or denied in any way, you screech a horrible scream and push, cry, wail, and sometimes gently lower yourself to the ground for the pansiest tantrum I've ever seen. If I try to bring you and Nate inside after a walk around the neighborhood, you scream and try to dodge back around my legs to get back outside. Once I have the door safely closed you let go of my legs and just wail with sadness and frustration. If I wasn't laughing, I would definitely feel sorry for you. Yesterday you were standing near me while I was on my laptop; Nate came over to see what I was looking at and you literally tried to push him out of the way, over and over. How dare he stand somewhat nearby to where you might have been thinking about going?!

Truthfully, I think you're going to be far more trouble than Nate. You are so social, outgoing, and now I have to add "determined" to the list...a recipe for parental disaster. But I relish those qualities in you, and I know that in the long run they're going to be huge assets for you.

The world is really yours for the taking. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

I love you,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Out of the mouths...

Tonight while Stewart was putting Nate to bed, they were chatting as they always do. After some minutes of discussion, Nate walked his naked self into my bedroom with Daddy close behind.

Nate: "Mama, remember how you said that if a bad guy came to get me then Daddy shouldn't beat them?"

Mama: "I remember. We don't beat anybody."

Nate: "See Daddy?"

Mama: "But if a bad guy comes, Daddy will always stop them! He can hold them tight and call the police!"

Nate: "Yeah, and they'll take him away to jail!"

Nate turned around to leave, and made sure to follow up with Daddy. "See Daddy? We don't beat people. You shouldn't do that."

Lesson learned.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harris Teeter triples

Using my newfound "sanity meter", I had decided to skip the Harris Teeter Triple Coupon week. But I realized yesterday that I needed more milk for the freezer, so off we went.

I made it easy and stuck to just a few things I'd really use.

The grape tomatoes were on sale for $1.25 each and the boys munch them like crazy. The half-empty one was emptied by said boys right there in the grocery cart.

The dole fruit cups were on sale for $2 each and I had 3 coupons for $.75 off 2 (tripled). So each package of fruit cups cost me 86 cents!

The ziploc bags weren't on sale, but we always need them. Each package cost $2.45 and I used coupons for $.55 off (tripled), so each package cost me 80 cents!

The Ken's dressings were on sale Buy 2 Get 3 Free and I had coupons for $1 off 2. So each bottle cost me 48 cents!

The Muir Glen tomatoes were totally NOT needed since we have so many, but I can't resist the price. Each can cost $2.39 and I had coupons for $.75 off (tripled). So each can cost me 14 cents. Can't pass it by.

The end!