Sunday, June 21, 2015

Baby sign language (animals): CAT and DOG

Like many babies,  Caroline is very interested in talking about animals, making animal noises (most animals say "mowww" apparently) and reading books with animal pictures. Here is Nate looking at a picture book with CJ and talking about cats and dogs while fittingly sitting in their "nest" of pillows:

Friday, June 19, 2015

End of the year

The year flew by and all of a sudden there are only 3 days of kindergarten left for Nate.  We recently were invited to an "End of the Year" show at the school featuring live entertainment (including a rousing alphabetical version of "Who Let the Dogs Out"), refreshments and a slide show with pictures of all of the big events over the last year.  Here's some proof that we showed up to the show and did not use the time to restock our fake mustache supply even though we're totally out...

The Dads videotaped from their iPhones and the Moms dabbed their eyes with kleenex. I stuffed my bag with brownies when the teacher turned her back and reflected how odd it was that I didn't really feel sad. I don't know if it's because it hasn't really hit me yet or whether it's because my heart is a cold black piece of coal, but I strangely don't feel very emotional about this milestone. Instead of feeling weepy I'm just looking forward to spending more time with him over the summer and watching him continue to grow into the very thoughtful, funny sweet boy that I love so very much.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday sweet girl

Dear Caroline Jane,

Today is your first birthday.  You are one! You are a sweetheart and absolutely perfect.

Over the past couple of months you have learned to communicate so much! You've learned some new words. You can say Mama, Dada, Nate, hi, yay, eye and bubbles (the kind you pop, not the guy from The Wire). You are signing up a storm. So far you regularly use at least 13 signs. They include: more, fan, light, all done, dog, gorilla, water, hear, eat, pancake, bird, flower and hat. You also point, wave hello & goodbye (using both hands) and blow kisses.  You can point to your nose and stick out your tongue when asked where those parts are on your body. You constantly point to your ear, which means either (a) "I hear something" - often a bird, dog or lawnmower or (b) "what sound does that make?" Option (b) is generally used when you're pointing to a picture in a book. You were very frustrated a couple of weeks ago when I couldn't tell you what sound the moon makes. Taking after Gammy, you are quite the elephant trumpeter. You can also sometimes moo, meow and cock a doodle doo too.

pointing to your ear

You are so loving. You give kisses and hugs unprompted (and many prompted too - they are absolutely wonderful and I can't get enough). Sometimes when I tell you that I love you, you respond with a kiss. At first your kisses were sort of dive bombs onto my shoulder with your mouth open. Now you make kissy noises and pucker your lips. And your hugs are often accompanied by a "mmmmm" sound. It took me a while to realize you got that from me. I love it all. You even hug your stuffed animals. You are a snuggle bunny.

And of course you're a stumble bunny as well. You started really walking on my birthday. It was the best present. You're incredibly agile and strong. You can stop, bend, pick something up and then pop back up and keep going. Those walker toys don't ever remain stuck in the corner, because you are very adept at maneuvering them back around in the right direction.

we went to the park today to meet your BFF Claire

You're also a determined little one. If you want something and it is out of your reach, you try with everything you have to get to the object of your desire. I've seen a bit of a temper too. If we take something away from you that you really adore (like a small piece of plastic), you yell at us and really let us have it. It often sounds like a dragon and frankly sometimes I am scared to wake it. There's a duck yell too, but that's for lesser infractions.

Your favorite activities right now include walking, walking into the next room, walking out of my sight and trying to climb up the stairs before I catch you. You don't want to sit still for any hair brushing or nail cutting, but you do like a good stroll around the block.

You still prefer to eat finger food and feed yourself. It's hit or miss whether you will accept me giving you any purees. I only continue to try to save time since it can take you an hour to eat at each meal. You will usually tolerate me feeding you yogurt, but I suspect that is just because you really like it and don't care how you get it in your mouth. Of course, that's not always the case. You're known to grab the spoon away from me and dip it into the container yourself. You're actually pretty good at it. Favorite foods include the aforementioned yogurt, pancakes, peas, broccoli, mashed potatoes, eggs and pasta. When you really like something you moan "mmm" when you eat it. You're really quite adorable.

You are also a bit of a daredevil. You love being upside down and "falling" (throwing yourself) onto your brother's bean bag. Mostly you enjoy exploring and playing with small bits of paper or anything else I'd rather you not have in your hand. Of course, you love jumping on and manhandling Brother more than anything.

playing sweetly together

You're pretty easy going and continue to be a good sleeper, even through this nasty cold you're getting over.

We had your actual birthday celebration last weekend with local family and close friends. You were given the tradition banana cake cupcake (Grandma Beryl's recipe) and after some initial confusion over the sticky frosting, proceeded to go to town on your first piece of cake.

getting some help blowing out the candles

enjoying your birthday cake

As most mothers feel about their children, I find you endlessly fascinating and completely amazing.  I love watching you learn and grow and it's so wonderful that it is *almost* enough to make up for the fact that it's passing SO FAST. Sometimes I feel my heart could burst from loving you.

happy girl

Happy birthday to my littlest love. I love you more than tongue can tell.


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