Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Man

Some people love the phrase, some people hate it, but a lot of people around here call their little boys "Little Man." I use it occasionally on both kids, but more and more I think it when I look at Nate.

A few days ago Deborah was over and she and I were sitting around with Nate. He was sitting on a stool next to the red couch , leaning over with his forearms resting on his knees, hands clasped. He watched the TV a bit, chatted a bit, was quieter and calmer than usual. And I saw him, the young man he's going to be. I can see him, straight and tall and good.


There was a weird turning point in the middle of our cruise (post to come, I promise) where he started getting really good about using his manners (an on-going point of frustration for me). Lots of "yes, please"s and "no, thank you"s. It's continued into this first week back home. He seems calmer somehow, less frantic and "spazzy." He's playing nicely with Jack; not just running around and messing with him, but teaching him football and coming up with imagination games.


He likes me right now. He wants to sit next to me while I'm working in the recliner and they're watching TV. He wants me to take them to bed and read to them, even though I keep it to 2 books and kisses and Daddy wrestles with them for 20 minutes and reads 4 books and they linger on and on until Mama yells up the stairs to turn the light off!

Stewart wanted to put a light up on the top bunk for Nate and I found a cheap clip-on one at Target. For the last few weeks, Nate asks to keep reading for a while after I leave. He looks through comic books mostly, but reads some regular ones too. I never call up for him to turn it off and it's always off and dark when I go to bed around 11. It's really fantastic. His reading has gotten really good; a recent assessment from school showed him at reading level "J" which is their target for him for the end of the year! He was only supposed to be at level "F" right now. Once I decoded the system, I was pleased as punch.


He's growing up. We talk together. He's thoughtful, and understands things like "I need a little time alone." I know I'm going to mis these days desperately, but I'm also really looking forward to seeing him at 10, and 15, and 25. I can't wait.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jack Attack

A few days ago, Jack and I were at CVS for a checkup and a prescription. While we were waiting, I decided to take a hit of Jack-love. It went terribly wrong, and yet oh-so-right.

Me: "Jack, do you love Mama?"
Jack: "Well I used to love you when I was a baby, but now I just love Daddy."
Me: "Well, you know, you can love Mama and Daddy..."
Jack: " fanks!"

A few days ago I found the clip of Mr. Rogers showing us how crayons are made and showed the boys, who were fascinated. They were telling Stewart about it over dinner and Jack asked if he could show Stewart. I told him he could show Daddy after dinner which leads to him asking: "Can we pause dinner?" The Tivo generation at work!

Stewart's new job has him leaving really early in the morning, and Jack misses him a lot. Almost every morning he asks me where Daddy is, and moans "But I want to seeeeeeee him!" when I tell him Daddy is at work. A few morning ago we had this same conversation; me downstairs and Jack at the top of the stairs, hidden to me. After the standard back and forth, Jack continues on: "I don't want you, I want Daddy!" I tell him I know, that we'll get to see Daddy tonight when he gets home. A few seconds later, Jack says "I'm sorry, Mama." I ask what he's sorry for, and he says "I'm sorry to hurt your feelings."

Jack is delicious and sensitive and lovely and is going to make some woman (or man!) very very happy someday. For now, he continues to make all of us so happy. How did we ever live without him?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Six Years Old!

Dear Nate,

You are six. You started first grade. Every single day when I head to the "first grade" area outside school to pick you up, I second-guess myself because there's no way I could have a first-grader. None. And yet...


Somehow you ended up with 3 parties; a school party (goody bags and rainbow fruit salad), a family party (Grandma, Grandpa, Deborah, a scavenger hunt, and your requested meal of Costco pepperoni pizza, caesar salad, and mini ice-cream-cookie-sandwiches for dessert), and a friend party. We took the friend party over to Kennedy Rec and played some games out in the big field. Then back to the house for munches and juice, then you all played some insane game in the basement. I have no idea what was going on down there; nobody was crying so I stayed as far away as I could.


Among my many excuses for not keeping up with this blog very much is the fact that you're not changing as much as you did when you were a wee baby so there's not as much to record. But since I've slacked off for so long, there really are some changes I want to make sure to remember.

Your bottom middle right tooth was loose for forever and I kept asking Daddy to pull it out but he wouldn't go for it. I think you liked freaking me out by flipping it completely down (90 degrees from where it should have been!) and actually got a little offended when I was too disgusted to look. Sorry kid; I'm only human. And of course Mommy was right to ask Daddy to pull it out; I got a call from you when you were headed out to Charlottesville that your tooth had finally fallen out! And you'd swallowed it! Of course.

So you and I took a few pictures of the hole and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining the mishap. She took you at your word and left you a Bionicle. She's a good one.


Your reading has finally blossomed. Tonight you read a whole book to me (Charlie & Lola, I Can't Stop Hiccuping) and other than a few weird words you did the entire thing yourself. Your teacher came up to me about a week after school started to say that you were doing great in class; having fun and participating a lot. She said she really enjoyed having you in her class. When I hear things like that I see this future spooling out ahead of you like a red carpet; doors open all the way. You make me so proud.

Every day after school you put your lunch in the sink and your lunchbox away. Then we check on your homework packet and decide how many pages you have to do to keep up. Today you had to do two pages; you decided to do three. Then you have to spend 10 minutes reading alone; today you decided to do 15. You like to work hard and accomplish things. And good gracious what a change in attitude from last year when I was tempted to just put the darn homework packet down the disposal rather than face our daily battles. Ugh.


Did I forget to blog about our homework battles last year? It was probably my subconscious putting it's fingers in it's ears and chanting "nah nah nah nah nah nah" over and over trying to forget about it. It went mostly like this:

I was patient, you were defiant, I was less patient, you were whiney, I was irritated, you were obstinate, I yelled, you cried, and then we finished one page of homework. Repeat 793 times. Excellent.

During our time traveling around this summer we got to spend a lot of time at hotels swimming pools and you really took to the water. I try to be pretty honest about your skills and when you're actually good or if the Mommy sunglasses are clouding things, and I think you truly have an affinity for the water. At Peepa's house late this summer you started diving off the stars - absolutely nobody had taught you how or encouraged you to even try it.


You also turned flips under the water - three times in one go! Even I find that hard to do. We just enrolled you in a swimming class at the JCC and after Daddy took you once he said that you were so much better than the other kids he was afraid you'd be ignored. And your Daddy doesn't say things like that lightly; he's usually a "go along to get along" kind of guy. You told me that they'd had you float on our back for 10 seconds and you did it the first time. Needless to say, you'd never done it at all before, let alone for 10 seconds. Very impressive. I think we'll be bumping you up a level.

Six is much, much better than 5 was. Six is joking around, almost like friends. Six is you trying new things all on your own. Six is you starting to really take care of Jack; turning the light on for him in the bathroom and helping him out of his booster seat. And the best thing about six is that you're starting to be affectionate with me for really the first time. We have a kissing routine at night, and you sometimes sleepily hold my hand or let me rub your back. I went away this past weekend to do a 60-mile Komen walk and when I saw you and Jack at a pit stop you both ran to me, both held onto me, both wanted to sit in my lap. Driving home after the walk, you said "I'm glad you're back." Coming from you, it meant so much.

I love you insanely.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two for One!

What's this?


Two lunches? Two snacks? What could be happening?


Two boys! Two boys heading to camp, eating two snacks and two lunches. Camp!

I was dropping Nate off at his daycamp last week and realized a lot of the kids looked really small. My brain finally caught up with my eyes and I realizd that the camp is for kids who are 3 1/2 to 6. Jack is...3 1/2! Called and signed him up that very day. Today was his first day, and drop-off went beautifully.


I walked him in since it was his first day and got him settled at his table. He's a Tiger, and very pleased about it. I told his counselor that he's never been in a full-day program before, that I had no idea how he was going to do, but that he was great at his morning program and shouldn't be too much trouble. Mostly that he needs a lot more direction than the big kids, and I wanted to make sure she remembered that. And not to lose him, because I really really like him. Jack was unphased, and got straight to coloring at his table. He waved bye-bye and pipsqueaked "Bye Mom! Have a great day!"


Now I'm home and all nervous. It's supposed to rain today and he gets super-scared of rain. What if he gets scared? Ugh. I hate this. But I know he's capable of more than I think he is, and Nate is there to comfort him if need be. I know that he'll be fine.

This is hard.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Road trip recap - Indy!

It's hard to know where to start on this post! What a whirlwind this past month has been, and settling back in at home has been the only hard part about it. But Nate heads off to camp tomorrow so life will calm down a bit. I'm just going to take this bit by bit (inch by inch, I tell the boys! Or bird by bird).

Here's the only pic I have of me with the sweet!

So then we moved out of the hotel into my friend Ashley's house for a few days. We met four years ago, right after I'd had Jack and she was pregnant with her first child. We got to chatting about baby gear in the aisle at Target, and somehow turned it into a real friendship! It was so great to get to spend some time with her and her kids. Unfortunately Jack came down with croup (which I was worried was strep since Nate had recently gotten it) and we spent a lot of time dealing with after-hours care. She even took Nate to a play area with both of her kids so I could stay home and nurse Jack on our second day there. It wasn't the visit I'd imagined, but it was a heck of a lot better than nothing. Somehow I ended up with ZERO photos of our time together. The most rewarding part was that little Bella, who'd always been so shy when they lived here in DC, finally took a liking to me. It felt wonderful.

While we were there, we took a morning to visit the Indy Children's Museum. It kills me that we don't have a Children's Museum here in DC; they're always filled with so much SCIENCE and my boy Nate loves him some SCIENCE, so whenever we're nearby one I make a pilgrimage. This one had us at "dino."

And "transformer."

This was the actual model they used for the actual movie. Of course Nate hasn't even since the actual preview to the actual movie, but he was still impressed by that fact.

Before we even got inside the main area, we found this amazing exhibit of art masterworks re-created in...Jelly Beans! (Jelly Bellies, I suspect). Neither kid was familiar with the original artworks, but they still got a kick out of them.

Nate absolutely ate up the science area, and we decided we're going to start building a few simple Rube Goldberg's here as a hobby (at least the "rolling ball" sculptures. Not sure they meet the criteria of a Rube Goldberg if they don't set out to accomplish a simple task!) Either way, we are both in love with them. Maybe me more than Nate. Just by a bit. Anyway, our house is gonna get it's science on!

We finished the museum trip with a lovely melt-down by Mr. River, and called it a day. Indy, you are lucky to have such a great museum!

Our last evening in Indy, we even got in a visit with the lovely Kara and her daughters Emma and Olivia. Emma and Nate took an immediate liking to each other, Emma is a total sweetheart. And Miss O is sassy, just like my little one. We headed out to their local pool and splashed around for a while; Kara packed us a great picnic dinner. Then Dairy Queen for dinner, and we drove back to Ashley's house sticky, and far too late.

Next up...Ohio!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Road trip!

On Thursday afternoon, the boys and I drove away for a 4-week road-trip. Very exciting. I made an internal commitment to blog every night but obviously it hasn't happened. By the time I get them showered, brushed, pj'd, read-to, and in bed, I have enough energy to zone out on Frontierville for 30 minutes and then get into bed. Where I get molested by Jack ALL NIGHT LONG. His future wife will either love him or hate him. The boy is handsey.

We're getting ready to meet Beth & Scott, and all three kids, at a state park in less than an hour, but I wanted to make sure to get some photos up so that Stewart doesn't disintegrate into a puddle of need anytime today. He misses his boys.

It rained most of the way from Rockville to Uniontown, PA. Nate took this out his window:

He took this one of Jack coloring on a puffy tray. Jack is VERY into coloring right now. And a confirmed lefty.




TV at the hotel (what a MAN, even with Pink Doll in his arms):

Sleeping on the road from PA to Indiana


Cracker Barrel


Nate and a baby (Evelyn? Olivia? I have no idea!) Nate is madly in love with these babies. He wants to hold them all the time. He loves when they grip his fingers. He kisses their heads and strokes their cheeks. Jack is similarly besotted. These boys deserve to be big brothers again!

Nate, Sam, Olivia, and Evelyn

Hotel again. We love staying in hotels!

Have dinosaurs, will travel.

This boy is very little trouble. Sassy, these days, but will play by himself for hours. Big brother is not endowed with those skills, and spends his time effing with little brother. Very extremely frustrating

That said? They're both traveling beautifully and adjusting well to all of the changes. I'm extremely proud of them. More later.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


My boys are exceptionally good eaters. Fruits, veggies, nuts, tofu, grains, beans...they're a commercial for healthy living. Jack is starting to get a wee bit pickier (picking the spinach shreds off of the tofu) but tonight he crammed down the veggie chili and I'm sure he'll come back around to the good side.

Nate is no trouble at all. None. He dislikes avocado (which he calls wacka-moley) and olives. And sometimes egg yolks, though he can do serious damage to a plate of deviled eggs (like Mama, like son). He did eat avocado in some sushi once, and liked it, but has been adament in his dislike ever since. Picks it out of sushi, refuses to have anything to do with it. It's such a healthy, fabulous food that it kills me that he hates it, but such is life.

I've written in the past about my worry about Nate; that he doesn't like to take real risks, that he plays life a little too safe for my tastes. I try really hard to embrace who my childrean ARE, not who I want them to be, and I think I'm pretty successful for the most part. But we all have dreams for our kids, and being an accountant or lawyer is not my dream for my boys. I'll obviously support them whatever they love, but...

So tonight I'm laying out dinner: bowls of brown rice and veggie chili, with bowls of shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, and guacamole for toppings. While I was organizing everything, Nate asked me if he could take a "teeny bite" of the "wacka-moley." I froze in my tracks where he couldn't see me, and squeaked out "Um, of course!" I hear the spoon, and I hear him say "yick" and then I hear him yell "I'm a risk taker!" My heart. There was praising. There was talking about "This is what life is all about, trying new things, being a risk-taker." There was Mama-smooching. There was Natey-squirming. There were shy, prideful smiles.

At dinner, he asked me to put half a spoon of guacamole on his chili, and we mixed it all up. He ate it all. Then he took a spoon and asked if he could eat out of the bowl of guacamole. Um, HELL yes. So he did, and told Daddy "I'm a wacka-moley risk taker."

Nate, tonight you made me so happy. You're on your way.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I am one of the least creative people on earth. Give me a blank canvas and the best paints in the world and I will draw you a wobbly rainbow, pretty much every single time. I have no creative impulsive, no spirit begging to be let out. But even so, it is remarkably easy to make up a bedtime story that will make Nate happy.


Starring role of a boy named Nate + adventure involving dinosaurs, Bakugans, or (newly) Bayblades + beating bullies = Nate wins!

Tonight's story was Nate and a group of 3 of his friends (Sophia, Leo, and Calio (Ca-leo? No idea. Friend from school). Each of them has a bayblade with special powers; Nate's has Unicorn Power (spikes pop out all over the sides), Sophia's has Golden Sunrise power (fire around the edge), Leo's has Laughter Power (shoots out a force field), and Calio's has...I can't remember. Something wicked awesome though.

So the bullies won't let them play at the playground and they BATTLE and Nate's team wins and everyone is awesome. This is the first story that actually caused Nate to break into applause. Proud moment.

Then Nate decides to tell ME a Bayblade story. He thinks for a minute and warns me that it's going to be reallys similar to my story, which is, of course, cool with me. He asks me who my 3 friends should be; we agree on Dave, Beth, and Emily.

And he begins, and he had me from hello. My Bayblade SHOOTS babies out. Awesome. He asks me what Beth does, and I mention that she just had twins so he says that her Bayblade has TWIN POWER that shoots TWO babies out and they have milk in their mouths and I suggest it's sour milk and he likes that and that's Beth's Bayblade power. He asks about Dave, and I remind him that he's a vegan and suggest TOFU POWER and Nate runs with it and he has SPICY tofu power and we WON'T GIVE THE BAD GUYS ANY WATER! Evil. Emily is really nice but her Bayblade says really mean words like "You're stupid! You're an idiot!" and it makes the other Bayblades infected with bad words and then it kills them.

Best story ever.

Friday, April 22, 2011

This sums it up

It happens over and over, just the same way, and I think it totally sums up the difference in personality between my two boys:

We almost always shop at Trader Joes, where they often give each kid a strip of stickers when they leave. The second the strip hits Jack's hands, he immediately starts peeling them off and putting them all over himself. (Please note in the picture that Jack is still sitting in the cart; we haven't even gotten to the car yet.)

Nate takes his strip, admires it, and then keeps it. Forever. He never uses a single one. Weeks later I find the strip and surruptitiously toss it in the trash (he never notices). It's a little sad, honestly, I wish he'd just use them and have fun with them. But then I think of my childhood sticker-books, collections of stickers all untouched and perfect and NOT peeled off, safely stored forever, and I understand his wanting to keep them fresh and perfect. Still a little sad though. (Please note in the picture that we're home, sitting outisde our house in the car.)

I wouldn't change either of them. They're totally perfect just the way they are. Mostly. :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sex on the Brain

It finally happened, just when I had given up wondering when it would happen.

Nate knows that the girls have an egg, and the boys have a seed, and never once has he thought to be curious about how those jive cats get together in the first place. I was expecting it at 3, and at 4, and had finally quit expecting it when I was blindsided driving to a Chinese banquet a few Fridays ago.

I'm making a thing out of it, but in truth the question was uttered quite simply, and telling him was far less of a thing than I had expected it would be. He already knew that boys have a penis, and girls a vagina (which I've explained as an inside-out penis, a tunnel kinda-like), so I just explained the obvious points and that was that. I think I remember saying something about "rubbing against" and the seed coming out but it is kind of a blur.

He was totally non-plussed. He thought about it for a while, and then asked "So you did that?" and I said "yup!" and he said "With Daddy?" and I said "yup!" and we kept on driving. He thought again for a while, and then asked what was clearly most confusing him: "How do you know when to do it?" After resisiting saying "Oh you'll know" I explained that when you were older, mostly grown-up, and had a girlfriend or a wife or a boyfriend or a husband, you'd talk about it and decide you were both ready to do it. That it felt good and was fun, and a thing that people loved did together - sometimes to have a baby and sometimes not. He was still worried about knowing when to do it, I have this picture that he's worried he's going to be at school and all of a sudden it'll just be happening to him and how weird would that be? So I put it in a bit of context by saying that it would be around when he started driving that he'd start to think about doing it, that he didn't need to think about it until then, and that seemed to reassure him.

All in all, it went swimmingly. He hasn't asked about it since or brought it up in strange company or told his friends all about it, so that's lovely. A lovely boy, my Natey.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bits and pieces

Little sayings I want to remember:

When I take Jack to the bathroom (he's 95% trained now) I usually ask him if he wants to stand up like Daddy (it's too cute!), and he usually emphatically tells me "No, I want to stand down!"


Jack is full of sweetness and light and always tries to find nice things to say to me. If I tell him "You are such a sweet boy" he responds with "You're such a sweet Mama!" If I tell him "I love you so much" he says "I love you so much too!" And as he gets older he's starting to initiate these love-fests, telling me "You are so cute!" and his biggest compliment: "You are so huuuge Mama!" Thanks buddy.

Yesterday, driving home from picking the boys up at G&Gs, Stewart and I were mock-fighting in the front, making Nate laugh. And out of nowhere Jack pipes up: "Both of you...settle down!" We had to have him repeat it over and over just to make sure that's what he really said. It was, and it was fabulous.

I may have blogged this already, but months and months ago Nate and I were having a little verbal spar (fun, not fighting) and he blurts out "The more you talk, the more you're wrong!" Touche.


Jack still says that blowing on things to cool them down is "blowing it up." So the other night, at dinner, he says "I'm gonna blow it up, Mama, because it's hot." Jack works "Mama" or "Mommy" into almost every sentence and I love love love it. "Thank you, Mama" and "you're welcome Mommy!" and "I love you too Mama!" and it's so amazing. He's so amazing. He's like some cliche baby with all of the hugs and kisses and sweet words and squeaky little voice and shaking his booty to the music.

At his 3-year checkup he pediatrician asked if Jack was showing empathy and I wasn't really sure. I am now, the kid is full of it. Driving Stella home from school the other day, she was telling him how she hurt her toe at school. Jack breaks out with "You hurt your toe, Stella?! That's so...HURT!" It is so hurt, babe.

I am in love with both of these boys. Can't get over them.


Friday, March 25, 2011

A new family member!

No, not another baby, no matter how hard we try. Hopefully that will be news for another day.

But we did add a girl to the family finally, a guinea-pig girl (or as Jack calls them, a "piggy bank"). Her name was Whitetail, but has been re-named Squeaky. Oddly enough she rarely squeaks, but we're going with it.

We adopted her from a family whose daughter goes to school with Nate, so she came with all the gear we could need. She's already six, so I'm not sure how long we'll have her, but I'm so glad we did it.

I'm very anti-pet, and didn't really need another hassle in my life. But the care she takes is totally reasonably and pretty minimal, the kids adore her but aren't obsessed with her, and it's been a very easy transition. Every day, each boy gets to hold her and give her a plate of spinach and strawberry tops, then she runs around in her little "run". Then back in the cage for the night!

As fas as I can tell, she has absolutely no personality whatsoever, but despite it we're all glad she's here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Uh oh

2 Small tidbits:

Anytime we're watching TV, or a movie (and there's been FAR too much of that around here recently), and the music gets dark / slow / ominous Jack says:

"Something bad's gonna happen!" And sometimes adds "A monster is coming!"

Sometimes I haven't even noticed the change in tone, but Jack senses it immediately, enough to verbilize it. Very intuitive.


And when my boy needs to leave his food to go to the potty, he says some variation on this:

"I have to go pee pee. Don't touch my banana!" This morning he said "I have to go pee pee. Nobody don't touch my cereal!"

He's definitely a Wagner.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


A little update on my little Nate:


Last weekend, he learned how to read.

Yup, learned how in a weekend. What happened, you ask? No idea. One day he balked at sounding out "bus" and the next day he read a whole book to Jack. A new book from the library, so I'm sure it wasn't memorized. He still hesitates sounding out new words* but he's definitely off and reading.

This is the first word he ever tried to sound and write out by himself (it's supposed to be "puzzle", but an A+ for effort):


*Why does he hesitate to sound out new words? Because my son, pride of our hearts, is a very prideful boy. He does not like to be wrong, at all, ever. He covers his butt every time it looks like he might possible be a little wrong about anything. "I really meant..." and "I didn't say that..." and "I'm still right because..." roll right off the tongue. It's funny, but mostly it worries me: if he doesn't try new things, if he doesn't risk failing, then life will be very stilted and boring. I want him to climb Everest. I want him to travel to a country without a guidebook. I want him to fall and pick himself up again, and so far he's absolutely not that boy.

I choose to believe that this is a stage, that this part of his personality isn't set in stone. We'll keep encouraging him, not demanding, but pushing him to take chances and try new things. Hopefully over time it pays off for him.

In Aruba, I offered to take him parasailing but he dug his heels in. We watched some videos of other kids doing it and he wavered, but in the end stood firm in his refusal. So Debs and I offered to take him jet-skiing, and after some hesitation he climbed right on and had a great time. And on our snorkel / boat ride, he put on all the snorkel gear and actually climbed down the ladder out into the ocean with me. I was shocked. He went back and forth between me and the ladder several times, and when I thought he had truly given up I swam away from the boat a bit and all of a sudden he was right beside me, pretty far from the boat. He never put his face down into the water to see the fish, but I think he did a truly brave thing, swiming away from that boat into the very cold, wavey water. All hope is not lost.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Jackity Jack


Little changes in Jack:

He tells stories with his toys now, narrating what's happening. Usually what's happening is that someone is FIGHTING someone else, but they do it very earnestly and sincerely so it's charming instead of violent.

While the three boys were at the beach this past weekend, I picked up a small toy for each in the dollar bin at Target. Jack got a pack of stretchy bugs, right up his alley. He knelt on the floor in front of the brown couch, and laid out each bug and gave it a name ("this is a HORN bug"). While I was laying on the floor doing a puzzle with Nate, Jack picked up all of the bugs, clutched them to his chest, came over to me, and said "can you play with the bugs for a second?" He loves "for a second."

Yes, I could play with the bugs for a second. He now knows the word "beetle."

More soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Jack doesn't nap every day anymore, but today he was exhausted at school (and I got to enjoy all 3 hours of his whinging and clinging since it was my duty day today) and I knew he needed a nap.

About twenty minutes after I put him down, he called out to me. This is usually the sign that he's not napping that day, so I called back to him: "It's night-night time, Jack." He started crying right away, very unusual, so I started up to him saying "What's wrong?!" He called back: "I'm CRYING!" and went back to sobbing.

When I got in there, he told me he wanted me to sing him a song (the song is only allowed to be Sunshine), so I tucked him back into the crib and sang to him.

He's doing two fantastic things in the crib that I want to remember. The first is that when he's really tired, and I'm stroking his face, he will take my hand with his and rub my hand all over his forehead and nuzzle it with his nose.

He's also managed to take away my last-chance-desperate-measures act of rocking him while he's lying down. I figured out when he was little that if I could get his head rocking around he would fall asleep. So every now and then when he's exhausted but not asleep, I'll put my hand on his back (while he's lying on his side) and jiggle him so that his head rocks. He's out in minutes.

But when I tried it recently, he tried to help me by jiggling his own head around and we just coudln't find a rhythm. I ended up laughing, and so did he, at his earnest little head jiggling all around in different directions. He just did it again today, adding in trying to jiggle his own legs while he's doing his head. I think jiggling days are over.

He's still such a baby, but not for long.