Friday, September 18, 2009

Harry Joseph, 26 Months Old

Dear Harry,

Above is you wearing your favorite accessory, your "a bike" helmet. You always say "a bike" instead of just "bike" which is quite adorable. And you can spot one at 100 yards. Or on a package of yogurt, or in a magazine, or a billboard. You will be saying "a bike" and by the time we figure out where you saw it, it's gone. They are everywhere. We got you a lovely tricycle for your birthday and you were having none of it. You wanted "a bike". So, after a few weeks, we broke down and got one with training wheels (though I wish we had done a balance bike). You still want all the other kids' bikes (and toys and balls) but you do think your "a bike" is pretty cool.

Speaking of kids, you just LOVE the big kids on the next block. You say "kids" like "geds" and you drag us to the front door saying "Ged! OK!" wanting to walk over and see if they are out playing. The youngest ones on that block are 6 years old and they are all very nice to you, but it proves to me that we need to help you find some friends your own age. You are doing a drop off playgroup for EI and have done well. Tomorrow, we are going to your "Future Classmates" playgroup for the first time. I hope we can get some social outlets going for you. I think you will love going to school. As it is now, you ask for "Goop (group)! Go? Go?" nearly every day.

One of my favorite moments in recent days came from you figuring out the concept of "all gone" or "all GA!" as you say it. You have discovered your pockets lately, after I showed you you could put an acorn in one on one of our walks. You were wearing a hooded sweatshirt with pockets one day that had pants that matched, but had no pockets. We were playing with your piggy bank and you had taken off the sweatshirt when you suddenly got the idea to put the coins in your pocket. You pulled at your shirt and pants looking for a pocket for a moment. Then you looked at me in bewilderment and said, "Pocket all gone!" It was priceless.

On the other side of things, we have had a big adjustment this week with my return to full time hours. This was also my first time having to deal with a long commute during rush hour from our new house. On a good day, it takes 45 minutes. With traffic, 90 minutes. This means that I have to leave home at 6:30 AM, before you wake up. This makes Mommy very sad. I have cried on my way to work every day this week. First, I miss you SOOOO much. Second, I really, really miss you. Third, and I just figured this out today, this is the first time, since switching careers from teaching/playing to library (The playing is on hiatus for now. No time.), that I really felt like I had joined the "rat race". That I had really left the old Bohemian freelance days behind me. That I am the breadwinner. That I work Full Time. Capital F. Capital T. It has been true for a while, but now, having two kids, living in the suburbs, leaving at 6:30 AM every day, it has really sunk in. And it is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I have always worked and always wanted to work, but I was not prepared for how hard it would be to leave my children. I always assumed I'd just go back to how things were before. Not true. My priorities have shifted, as has my world view. It's staggering, really. I know it will get easier, but I will always, always regret not being able to be home with you more. Especially during these early years.

So, please give Mommy extra special hugs when she comes home every day. I need them just as much as you do. Maybe more.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Nathan James, 4 months old

Dear Nathan,

I cannot believe that it is the end of your first summer. The weather has turned cool and it is time to break out the footsie pajamas. We didn't get to do a lot of summery stuff this year, but that's OK. We had plenty of fun just being with you and Harry at home and around the neighborhood.

You are doing lots of amazing things, Nathan. You figured out how to roll across the floor within the last week. It looks like our days of having a stationary baby are over. I remember how your brother started doing that around your age and then he NEVER STOPPED MOVING. You may be different, but we will be ready this time. You are very smiley and you have even started giggling. It is very contagious, I tell you. You light up a room, baby boy. Your parents are, understandably, smitten. Your brother, surprisingly, is pretty enamored of you too. When you see him you start grinning and several times a day, you get bombarded with special Harry-loves. He thinks it is funny when you blow bubbles and coo.

You are having a rough time sleeping, though. You tend to cat-nap during the day for 30-45 minutes at a stretch and you are having trouble going for longer stretches on your own at night. We can still usually get 2-4 hours before I bring you to bed, but some nights, you just need to be held until my bedtime. I remember the 4 month sleep regression well from the first time around; though, that time it went from bad to worse. With you it's gone from great to just OK. I really shouldn't complain, but you have spoiled me. I'm hoping that we can get back on our routine within the next few weeks.

You are still huge and getting bigger by the day. I had to break out the 12-18 month sizes, since the 9 month outfits cannot accommodate your height. I'm going to have to take a trunk full of clothes to the consignment store and see if I can make a trade. You are burning through Harry's old clothes faster than I can pull them out. You are easily 28 inches at this point and quite likely close to 20 lbs. We'll see at your appointment next week.

Not much more to say, except that we are so happy to have you around. It is such fun to watch you develop and to watch your relationship to your brother grow. I think we're going to have a good year. Fall is here, Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming, and we get to see it all through your eyes. I can't wait, Nate.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Harry Joseph, 2 years, 1.5 months old

Dear Harry,

Mama is very late with this post because I can barely keep up with you! You are so much fun to be around that I hate to spend time on the computer while you are awake. Plus, you rarely let me do silly things like check my email, never mind write a blog post.

You are talking up a storm these days! You say new things every day and are using words to ask for things and tell us stuff. It is so fun to hear you talk! Your new speech therapist is awesome. She works with you on things you like, like rhythm and movement. You have said things for her that you had never said for us before. She got you to say "Mommy" by using a drum and beating the syllables. (You sometimes call me that now, which is so sweet!) You started a new EI playgroup last week and it too was awesome. Much more hands on than our previous groups. In fact, the services here in our new town are just leaps and bounds above where we lived before. You have your 6 month reevaluation this week and I'm hoping you don't test out because I think you will really start to blossom with more help.

Your current obsession is the lawn mower. You love it. You hate it. You fear it. You talk about it all the time. We bought you a toy one and you like to mow around the house. We made a game of having you chase us with it while screaming and now you just run around with it screaming. It's hilarious. I think Daddy should do that while mowing the lawn just to freak out the neighbors. You like to say "vroom, vroom" and then ask "Dada?" Then I say, "Dada, mowing?" and you say "Baby" and I say "Baby mowing!?" and you laugh and shake you head as if to say, "Mother, that would be ridiculous." It's your favorite comedy routine.

You also love your new bike. We bought you a tricycle for your birthday and you were having none of it. You wanted a real bike. We caved after several weeks of hearing you say "Bike? Bike? Bike? Bike? Bike? Bike? Bike? Bike?" and trying to steal bikes from the 8 year olds on the next block. The trike will be good for Nathan's first birthday. You love your bike helmet almost as much as your bike an you wear it everywhere. Not a bad thing for you, my little road runner.

2 miles from our new house is the Children's Discovery Museum. My work ID gets 2 of us in for free, so we have gone once a week for a few weeks. There is a train room and a "ball" room where you can set off chain reactions, a water room and much more. You love it and call it "Rarr rarr!" because there is a giant dinosaur out front, who you imagine must roar. So, every time we pass the "Dino House" you have to pipe up with "Rarr rarr! Go? Go?" When we pass by, you inevitably let out a very sad sigh. Even though it makes you sad, I am so happy to hear you using your voice to ask for things. And it is so great that you are aware enough of your surroundings to see something you like and to have the skills to ask for it and express your disappointment. It shows a whole thought process and complex comprehension. So, even though I can't say yes to all your requests, keep asking, Pumpkin Bear! You are doing so well!