Chronicling Summer 2016

I find myself, everyday, making mental notes to myself to record the cute and wonderful things my kids are doing that I don’t want to forget.

Things that are so cute and wonderful it seems like I could never forget, but as I have learned from going through the early stages with Maya, do slip away. The immediate day to day routine incrementally adjusts to include the new skill that the baby acquires until it’s another norm taken for granted: Of course Cole can give hugs; I don’t remember a time when he couldn’t!

As much as I love going to my job, I am so grateful for this time home with my kids, so I can SEE these small advances and take note. It is miraculous to observe how things really do change day to day.

Cole is 13 1/2 months old.

Maya is 4 + a couple months.

  • Cole just started hugging for real within the past week or two. For as long as I can remember, he has “given hugs” by turning his face so that his cheek is on your chest,  tucking his arms down by his sides, and pressing into you. But recently, when he woke in the middle of the night because of whatever ghosts haunt a baby’s sleep, I went in to pick him up, coo, and settle him back down, and when I lifted him, he wrapped his wiry baby arms around my neck and squeezed with all of his little might. I may have teared up in the face of such beauty and reason for living.
  • He also, occasionally, will give what we call an “Ahhh-kiss”: two people put their open mouths together while saying “Ahhhhhh,” like we each have a tiny dentist in our mouths that needs to check out the other’s teeth. (Maya and I have a whole repertoire of kiss types that we run through at bedtime: Butterfly kisses, Vacuum kisses, Ahhh-kisses, Cheek kisses, Surprise kisses, Herbert kisses, Fish kisses…)
  • He will make a kiss face and smacking sound when sitting alone, but has not put that together with actually delivering a smooch yet.
  • Cole is starting to experiment with how forks and spoons work. This mostly results in food flying off of his plate/placemat and raining down a buffet of treats for the dog hovering under his high chair, but sometimes he gets food to his mouth while using a tool.
  • He’s tall. He can get things off of all counters now. Move the knives and coffee mugs back.
  • He really loves lift-the-flap books right now. He will carry a book over to me, then turn around and back himself up until he plops down on my lap. So damn cute.
  • He says “Mama, Dada, Maya, Nana, Gigi” but not always exactly with purpose. For example, he says “Dada” almost any time he is expressing joy. Or anytime he sees a truck. Or a car. Or a cloud. Or whatever. And he yells “Mamamamamama” if he is at all upset. A friend recently told me that that is where those terms came from: Fathers are “Dada” because that is the sound of joy that babies make, and this helps fathers to bond with their babies, and Mothers are “Mama” because that is the sound expressed when a babe is in need of comfort. I can’t officially cite this etymology, but it seems to hold true in our household.
  • He LOVES to dance. He sways back and forth, marches his feet, and pumps his arms up and down. It is so damn cute. He will dance to any Pandora station, theme songs on TV, or even low background music behind the long list of side effects in a prescription drug commercial. Or if I sing. Or if he sings to himself (Da, da, da, da, La, la, la, la).
  • His absolute favorite food is frozen blueberries. And he can drink an adult sized smoothie no problem. He also likes beans and sweet potatoes. He is not too keen on salty or garlicky foods yet.
  • He smiles all the time. He is a very happy kid.
  • He climbs and climbs and climbs and climbs. And has recently begun to consistently get himself down by putting his feet first. This has been a big step for me as it means I don’t have to constantly hover or jump across the room if he’s standing on Maya’s art table. I know now that he can get himself down.
  • He can bark like a dog (oof, oof), tweet like a bird (a high pitched eep, eep), growl like a bear, and hiss like a snake.
  • He can play peek-a-boo himself – when did this start!? I don’t know! But I do remember Maya playing this game with my scarf when she was 15 months old and we were on our CA road trip.
  • He has 8 teeth – 4 up top, 4 below.
  • He has started playing with our reactions if he screams at the highest possible pitch. Usually in a restaurant. Hilarious.
  • As I write this, he just opened the magazine on the dining room table, pointed at the Ralph Lauren Polo model and said, “Daddy”. You betcha, son.
  • He’s gentle with patting the dogs, but occasionally hits and bites Maya.
  • He knocks on the window and waves bye-bye to Daddy.
  • He will run up to us, hundreds of times a day, and hug us around our legs out of the blue.
  • He understands:
    • If I say, “Where is your paci?” he will point to where it fell/he threw it.
    • This morning, he brought me Maya’s detangling spray we use to coax the rat’s nest out of her lovely long hair, and then bowed his head and waited for me to spray his light tuft of wispy hair.
    • As I made Maya’s bed after Sean took her to school, Cole picked up the throw pillows one by one and stacked them on her bed, already having observed the job she usually does in the morning.

  • Pushing her toy baby stroller is his favorite thing to do. But he will also happily push the toy shopping cart, though it doesn’t handle turns as well as her lithe sports model wheels.
  • He naps (usually) twice a day: Once at 9am and again around 1:30/2pm. He wakes at 6am and goes to bed at 6:30pm. The clockwork of his schedule is just enough structure to keep my day moving productively. I’m not so great with wide open free time. I need something else to build the parameters. I do yoga when he goes down for morning nap. Period. No wavering or justifying. No doing the dishes first. Stick to the schedule.
  • Maya is capable of everything. Everything.

  • I love the way she says “Okay,” when she’s satisfied with an answer we’ve given her, her voice lifting at the end like she’s checking an item off of a list.
  • She has had walking pneumonia this past week (low fever and yucky cough, fixed with antibiotics), and having her home with me each day, I have learned that she really enjoys making her bed, helping me with mine, and is totally fine with picking things up and putting them away. I did not realize this when we were rushing to and from work/school and leaving detritus in our wake of getting ready for our outside-the-home lives.
  • She enjoys pushing her baby stroller (with Little Red Riding Hood – a doll she “found” (thanks to Gigi) in a rabbit hole in a tree out by the river behind my mom’s house) along side my big stroller as we take slow morning walks on the Morgan Creek Trail before the day gets too hot.
  • She can name a bunch of different birds and plants.
    • “I smell honeysuckle! Where is it? I want to drink it. Oh, there it is; too far down on the rocks to get to.”
    • “There’s a redbird! It’s a boy cardinal because it’s red. The girls are brown.”
    • She can identify the plants in our yard: eucalyptus, black-eyed susans, rosemary, irises (“Like my friend, Iris!”), day lilies (“like Aunt Lily!”), dogwood trees, a magnolia (“Like my friend, Magnolia!”), crepe myrtles, and a bradford pear that “smells like dirty socks.”
    • She asks me why she has mosquito bites or needs to look out for poison ivy. I tell her it’s because it’s North Carolina in the summer.
  • She still starts to cry at any bump, bruise, scrape, or stub, but the meltdown is much shorter and she seems to be confident in her body’s ability to heal quickly. She also finds comfort in band-aids and will reluctantly allow me to clean any cuts with hydrogen peroxide (“bubbles”). Though she will scream/cry the whole time, she will hold her own arm or leg out over the bathroom sink so that I can pour it over her boo-boo.
  • She asks us multiple times per day, “What are you going to do tomorrow?” and laughs like we’re the butt of a joke when we make a fake-exasperated face and give her the same answer we already gave 10 minutes prior.
  • I am currently trying to talk her into a hair trim – my main line of reasoning consists of using the theme from The Little Prince, which the two of us went to see at Carrboro High not so long ago – a wonderful student production. We must take care of our own “little planet” – this can mean picking up and cleaning our home, but also can mean taking care of our bodies by washing, brushing our hair/teeth, trimming our nails, and yes, even our hair. I also parallel it to pulling off the yellow and brown leaves from the plants on the porch – it’s good for the plant, and good for your hair to trim off the dying ends so more healthy hair can grow like Rapunzel’s. Yesterday she agreed to do it “when I’m 5”, but I suggested she may have to decide while she’s still 4.