Monthly Updates


Rainy Walk
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It’s been ages, almost a year, since my last post. There is no way to get caught up on a year in one post so I won’t try, but I will make a renewed commitment to blogging and to documenting the lives of the two little creatures up there and their parents.

William is one year old today. It has been possibly the fastest year of my entire life and when I think about what I was doing a year ago today, it seems impossible that it was 12 months ago and not three or four. I find myself more sad at Will’s first birthday than I was at Emma’s, wishing it weren’t going so fast and wanting to slow down the whole process and hold onto every little moment forever.

That however, is not William’s plan. He has some growing up to do. In just the last month he hit two major milestones – walking and talking – and his personality continues to expand and grow and become more layered and exciting every day.

He started walking exactly one week ago. He was coerced into it, but once he got going he went about four steps before launching himself into waiting arms. He was completely thrilled by the whole thing although he has yet to make it a habit. He still finds it easier to crawl where he needs to go, something he can do with lightening speed.

He has three words so far, and they are all a variation on a theme, but he uses them so correctly in context that there is no mistaking what he is saying. His favorite and most often used word is “edda” for, you guessed it, “Emma.” He also says “duh-duh” for “dog” (ok, he uses the same word for cat, but clearly he is using the word to mean “mammal-who-lives-in-the-same-house-as-me-and-drives-mommy-crazy” so that counts right?) The most amazing and wondrous word from him so far though is “gen-toe” for “gentle.” The fact that he knows this word is testament to how often we have to say it to him as he flails and swings and grabs at us. But still, he knows the word, never mind why he learned it.

Speaking of flailing and swinging and grabbing, he seems to have discovered lately that his body, his ENTIRE body, is quite useful as a weapon of mass destruction. He has pretty much totaled Mike’s glasses (contacts are now on the must-have list) and we have learned to be very aware of his head, lest it butt us unintentionally. And wow is he an archer, and I don’t mean the kind that uses arrows. His favorite line of defense, especially when he is being held on his back, is to arch his entire body backwards, a trick which requires the person holding him to clutch him very tightly so he doesn’t end up on the floor. He seems to employ this tactic most often when he sees his crib looming in the distance and he isn’t quite ready to go into it. He has also been known to do it while sitting on the floor, resulting in a shocked look when he realizes that it hurts when his head slams down like that. He doesn’t do that much anymore.

On the flip side, his intense physicality also means he is a big time snuggler, giving lots of hugs and kisses and often resting his head on my shoulder when I hold him.

He has been very sick in the last month with what the doctor said was viral pneumonia with a bacterial overlay. He seems to be recovering nicely though and his birthday party, which was going to be tomorrow and had to be postponed till he kicked the pneumonia, will now be held on April 11.

In the “things to work on” column, Will is still not sleeping through the night. He has slept through the night on several occasions, but does not make a regular practice of it. On a good night he only wakes up once, around 2ish. A bad night includes at least two and sometimes more awakenings, or one awakening that takes two hours or more to get back to sleep. Sleep training is in his near future, although no one in the house is too excited about it. He has shown us that he has quite a temper, and although we don’t see it often, it is the middle of the night when we see it most.

He will eat finger food, as long as it is a carbohydrate. Yeah, I’m not kidding. He will chow on big pieces of toast, waffles, crackers, goldfish etc. but if I put a piece of sweet potato, cheese or banana in front of him he curls up his lip and throws it on the floor. If those same items are pureed, he loves them (well except the cheese, pureed cheese? eww) I had thought he was one of those kids I have heard of with a “texture” issue, but his ability to manage the carbs belies that theory. So for the time being he will continue to get his fruits and veggies via a spoon, and we will keep trying…

He is starting to show signs of separation anxiety, preferring me over anyone and burying his face in my neck and smiling if someone new says hi to him. He continues to be a big flirt though and flashes his (5 with three more on the way) pearly whites whenever he has the chance.

Despite the diabolical temper we see from him at 3 A.M. (oh and during diaper changes, he takes those personally), his personality during the day is almost completely delightful. He loves to laugh and smile and he will repeatedly turn and look at us with a great big grin on his face as he explores his world and discovers new things. He is filled with joy and as a result fills the rest of us with joy day after day.

Happy Birthday little one. We love you.

Update: At William’s one year checkup today, he measured in at 21 lbs. 7 oz., 29 1/2 inches long and an 18″ head circumference. That’s pretty much 50th percentile for everything according to the doc (except for weight, which might be slightly below average, although he has been sick. As soon as he starts that toddler weightlifting program we have him signed up for he should start bulking up pretty fast.)

Eleven months old today

William turns 11 months old today.

Unfortunately, his “monthly” updates seem to be as sporadic as his ability to sleep through the night. I try to keep up with them, but something about having two (just one thing Jen?) prevents me from doing them as regularly as I would like. Will, when you are reading this in years to come, please know that my lack of posting is a reflection only on my inability to stay awake past 9:00 PM these days and is no reflection on your awesomeness in any way.

Things have been moving pretty fast in Will’s world in the last month or so. His sleep is still pretty much a disaster. He sleeps through the night every once in a while, but mostly is up repeatedly. In the last week or two he has only been getting up once a night, which has been a cause for celebration (if you don’t count waking up at 5:00 AM as a night wakening. Which, really, I do.)

His sleep is something we have worked hard at fixing but have finally realized that in the end he will sleep when he will sleep. He knows how to sleep, he can go down “drowsy but awake” (curse you sleep experts) and really doesn’t rely on any sleep crutches. He just happens to like a little midnight snack. I will be very very happy when he does finally sleep through the night, because clearly being sleep deprived for almost A YEAR is not one of the “pros” of parenting.

He started eating baby food at around six months, but we quickly realized that he has a super crazy gag reflex and could not tolerate any texture in anything. If he got so much as a half a grain of rice in his food he would look at us in dismay, his face would turn bright red and he would gag repeatedly until he threw up the offending interloper in his erstwhile smooth dinner. This was especially annoying when it happened at the end of a meal.

I was beginning to worry a little that he might still be eating baby food when he was five, but about two weeks ago he started eating Mum-Mums a wonderful little rice cracker that dissolves in his mouth before he can gag. He was so psyched about those that he moved on almost immediately to Cheerios, with great success. Yesterday he ate an entire meal with his fingers – mac and cheese, carrots and string cheese. It took me longer to cut it all up than it took him to eat it, but we were both thrilled. We are going to give him some steak next week and see how he does.

Back on January 4, he stood by himself for the first time, but I couldn’t get him to do it again for weeks. Recently, he got back to it and is now adept at getting himself into a standing position without holding onto anything and getting himself back down to the floor when he realizes he wants to go somewhere. Could walking be far away?

Similarly, he started rocking on his hands and knees months ago, but never could get any forward movement (although he was like lightening going backwards.) Two weeks ago, finally, he started moving forward. Within a matter of days he could move faster than I could and now I have to move with the speed of Lindsey Vonn to get things out of his way.

He adores his big sister Emma, despite her recent penchant for lying on top of him until he is rescued and she is sent to time out. He also loves the dogs, who he calls “duh duh”, and the cats, who he takes huge handfuls of, when they will let him. He has the most lovely smile and is a huge flirt, something that just gets funnier and cuter as he gets older and more aware of what he is doing.

Emma said to me yesterday “Mama, I love William.” Ditto.



STANDING!!, originally uploaded by Justpowers.

Will stood by himself for the first time today. I think I let go of his hands because my fingers were turning purple, and lo and behold he stood all by himself for at least 5 seconds before he lurched forward. It wasn’t a chance standing, it was a definite balanced-on-two-feet-holy-crap-I-can-do-this standing. When I did it again he stood for even longer and got a huge delighted grin on his face. The third time I was able to snap this photo just before he fell.

Of course I know that this is the end of the world as I know it. He has already shown that he is, and will continue to be, more interested in getting into trouble than Emma ever was. This is not a kid I can leave alone in a room for even a second. Even now, only crawling backwards, he can find any number of things to put in his mouth, pull down and rip apart in just a matter of seconds. Once the walking begins…ai ai ai…I don’t think we even own enough gates to keep him out of trouble.

AstronautEmma turned three years old today.

It’s hard to know what to write really. She amazes, delights and frustrates us every moment of every day.

Last week she picked up a towel we were using as a door mat by the front door to soak up rain and mud. Mike asked her three or four times to put it down. She ignored him and instead shook it, spreading dirt and leaves all over the living room. Mike was understandably, um, annoyed and in a stern voice reprimanded her for not listening. She continued to ignore him, making him more and more mad, until she finally said in the calmest, sweetest and most sincere voice “Ok Daddy, I’ll stop. I was just being a goofball.” I looked up at Mike, who had been fuming, and we both had to stifle a laugh.

Out of nowhere the other day she said to me “Do you know what I want to talk about? I want to talk about a short nap. I want to take a short nap so I can watch Dinosaur Train.” Dinosaur Train replaced Thomas the Tank Engine this fall as her favorite show on television and she is rewarded with being able to watch 30 minutes of it after she takes her nap. This was a deal we struck recently after weeks of her refusing to take a nap left her weepy and whining by 5:00 PM every day. When Emma is weepy and whining, mommy is weepy and whining, so something had to be done. Dinosaur Train to the rescue!

Some of our favorite Emma-isms at the moment:

What is happolling? (happening)

It is so much bun. (fun)

Where’s the mokinintrol? (remote control, of course)

No bones at the table Daddy. (phones)

Things she loves:

Dancing – one day I took her to the mall and as soon as we walked in the doors and she heard the music playing overhead she started to spontaneously dance with joy. She especially loves to put on a princess (see below) dress and talk one of us into dancing with her to “I Could’ve Danced All Night.” I guess one of these days we should formalize her dancing and get her into lessons, but for now we are enjoying her enthusiasm and passion.

Reading – this girl loves books. And she loves “snuggling on the couch” and reading together. I think that started last year when I was on bedrest and I couldn’t do much else with her. However it started, it is a habit I am happy we got into.

Macaroni and cheese – I am pretty sure she would eat mac and cheese for every meal if I would let her. I used to be able to get her to eat homemade mac and cheese and could even sneak a little butternut squash in the recipe every once in a while to make sure she got her veggies for the day. A few months ago she informed me she liked the yellow kind and now will only eat boxed mac and cheese with nary a squash in site. *Sigh* The biggest problem with the Kraft mac and cheese of course is that Mike and I have to eat it with her sometimes – like for her third birthday dinner for example.

People – Emma loves to be with people. We have been working hard lately at getting William on a regular nap schedule, hoping it will help him sleep through the night. Unfortunately this means we are housebound from about 9-11 in the morning and 1-3 in the afternoon while he naps. The other day we went to an open gym session at a local gymnastics center and when we left and I told Emma we were going home she became almost inconsolable, crying to me that she didn’t want to go home, that she loved being out and doing ‘bings” and that she wanted to play with someone. It just about broke my heart and made me realize how bored she must be, home with me so much of the time. This is the challenge of having two I guess – figuring out who needs what, and how on earth you can give it to them. Something to work on I suppose.

Her bear-bear – this is a pretty sad looking little white bear head on a piece of white blanket lined with yellow satin. It was the thing she chose a long time ago to be her comfort object, especially at bedtime. When we realized she had chosen it, we ran out to Toys R Us and bought two more. Now she rotates between the three, switching them only when I am able to sneak the used one out for a freshly washed one. Every once in a while she will find one in the wash and grab it, laughing as she says “two bear-bears!!” She doesn’t suck her thumb and was never very interested in pacifiers, but I don’t really know what she would do without “sumping to chew on” as she says when she is asking for her bear.

Waffles – Eats ’em every day. Eggo Nutrigrain waffles. She can get them out of the freezer, out of the package and into the toaster before I have even poured my first cup of coffee. If she could reach the syrup on the top shelf her father and I could probably stay in bed and get a little extra shut-eye.

Dinosaurs, Rocket Ships and Princesses – Thanks to Dinosaur Train Emma can tell you about all sorts of dinosaurs that I had never even heard of prior to about three months ago. She has decided her favorite is Tyrannosaurus Rex, and she loves to talk about Giganotosaurus, Deinonychus and Ornithomimus – but that Spinosaurus scares the heck out of her.

She was an astronaut for Halloween this year and as part of the lead up to that we got a couple of books about space out of the library. The books were far far too old for her but they had some good pictures so I got them. She was fascinated with the space shuttle, the training the astronauts go through and especially the pictures of the moon landing. She started planning a trip to the moon and asked me if she could wear her sparkly shoes when she went. I told her of course she could, and asked when she was planning on going. She told me when she was six and a big girl. Once Halloween was over we thought she might stop talking about rocket ships and astronauts, but much to our delight she is as interested as ever.

And what three year old girl living in America isn’t obsessed with princesses – Disney or otherwise? I loved princesses as much as the next girl when I was growing up – my favorite thing to wear when I was four was a “long dress” so I could twirl and dance around – but I am far from being the princess type now. Upon learning I was having a girl, I am pretty sure one of my first thoughts was, oh Lordy, please don’t let my kid be obsessed with princesses. Obviously I realize now that I would passionately adore my daughter no matter what she was obsessed with, but I have to say that the dinosaurs and rocket ships make the princesses much more palatable, even enjoyable, for me.

That’s our girl in a nutshell. She is spunky and determined and musical and challenging and sweet and passionate and loving and we are having more fun watching her grow than we ever imagined we could have.

Happy Birthday sweetie. We love you.

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