Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bep


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letter to Nate at two months (from the archives)

Before I started this blog, I wrote letters to Nate in a real paper journal. I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place. Here is the letter I wrote to him on October 13, 2009:

Dear Nathaniel,

It is 11:35 on a Tuesday night. You are in your pack and play beside my bed and I'm waiting for you to go to sleep. You're unusually fussy tonight and Daddy & I had to spend quite a long time dancing with you before you were ready to lay down to sleep.

When I first started writing you had been staring at your hands, which made you adorably cross eyed. Now you're staring at the ceiling fan, which you love to look at. It's making you smile and laugh a little while you kick your chubby little legs. Oops - back to your hands again. They are very interesting to you, and you don't have much control of them yet.

You have just started batting at things and are getting better and better at it. I'm very proud of you!

You're sleepy and have started to close your eyes in between time spent looking at your hands and up at your bear mobile, which also makes you very happy normally. Your lids are heavy and you look adorable in your blue and brown dog jammies under your blue fleece sleep sack.

You started to fuss again and we managed to get you sucking on a pacifier, so I am hopeful that sucking will calm you and you'll be able to get yourself to sleep. If not, I'll nurse you in a half an hour or so and that should do it.

Daddy's asleep next to me, since he has work tomorrow. Ava is laying on the floor. Coldplay is playing and the humidifier is running since you get all congested and it seems to help some.



Oh, Nate, you are my favorite thing in the entire world. You are by far my greatest accomplishment. Your daddy and I love you very much. 

XOX, Mom

I wonder how long it took me to write that short little note. Probably at least forty-five minutes. I remember being so exhausted then, feeling so clueless. The pacifier never did work out. I think it was only actively used for maybe three nights. And getting him to drift off to sleep on his own certainly didn't last for very long either. If only I knew then what I know now about sleep!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

So I think I gave birth to Joey Lawrence

Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks from A to Z (A Chunky Book(R))The other night Nate was looking at one of his favorite books, Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks from A to Z, at bedtime. (We have a two book system where he looks at one book and asks me questions about it while I simultaneously read a different book aloud. Obviously, Nate was the one that devised this system.) Each letter of the alphabet is accompaniedby drawings of one of more vehicles - you know, C for corn car, G for garbage truck or Z for zipper mobile.

So while I read Goodnight Moon, he started pointing at the vehicles to ask me what they were.  Then he started asking what while he pointed ("wha"). Then that morphed into an occassional "whoa" while he pointed. And then pretty soon he was saying Whoa while he pointed at every single vehicle.  There are probably thirty-five vehicles. That's a lot of whoas. Especially if you have to read it THREE times.

Whoa.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: True love


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Monday, March 21, 2011

March madness

Check out our basketball prodigy in action. Please excuse the mess and our weird mismatched outfits (both of which are pretty much a constant in our home).

video

Balls!
Fans of non-poisonous toys should note that the basket in the Little Tikes TotSports Basketball Set that Nate is playing with is most likely BPA and PVC free, but the ball it comes with probably contains PVC. (I am basing this on a phone conversation I had a few months back with a Little Tikes rep about a different toy.) I really need to investigate further, but in the meantime I try to encourage Nate to use the non-toxic Crocodile Creek Ball instead. I really should just play it safe and throw the other ball out.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Coming out of the closet

We have accumulated so much baby stuff. And I'm mostly to blame. I can't stop trying to find amazing toys that will totally rock Nate's world. I like to think I'm getting a little smarter about my purchases, but really you can never know if your kid is going to like something (and for how long) until it's in your home. So of course you end up with a lot of stuff that your child never looks at twice. I've been storing a bunch of the lesser loved toys away in a closet, in the hopes that Nate will like them more at a later date because he's either reached a different stage or just thinks they're new (because of course, new is always better).

Green Toys My First Red Tug Boat

I bought some safer (non-toxic) toys from Green Toys when Nate was about ten months old, including the Green Toys My First Red Tug Boat and the Green Toys My First Stacker. They're a cool company - all of the toys are made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic and are bpa, pvc and phthalate free. I really wanted Nate to love them. But at ten months, he just wasn't that interested. The only action the tug boat got was in our kiddie pool. Like twice.

Nate at ten months

I reintroduced the tugboat and stacker about a month ago and they were a big hit. Nate's now completely obsessed with the boat and insists that it join him in every bath. He likes to scoop the water out of the baby tub (into the bigger tub) with it and for me to use it to pour water at various speeds onto his fat little belly. As for the stacker, he enjoys making carpet crop circles with it:


What about you - any successful toy reintroductions?

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letter to Nathaniel at nineteen months

Dear Natey-Nate,

Well hello Mr. Independent. You are doing so many new things on your own now. I look at you and see only about ten percent baby left. You're such a little boy now. The other day we went to the park and you climbed up the gym equipment, sat down, swung your legs around and came down the slide all by yourself for the first time....and about twenty times after that. I still need to catch you at the bottom (about two of the twenty times down the slide would have resulted in bloodshed if I hadn't caught you in time), but you did such a great job on your own. You were beaming with pride every time you sat at the top of the slide and shimmied your little diapered butt in place. And I was so proud of you too.

You're also really into washing your hands by yourself. Auntie Dana's parents sent you an adorable wooden chair/stool when you were born. I'm so pleased that you have finally learned to use it for something other than injuring yourself. We leave it by the bathroom for times when you decide it's time to wash up (which is often): "HAN!" You carry the stool over to the sink and stick your right hand -only- under the water. Of course, no soap is allowed.

We have some new favorite games. You love to go shopping in the kitchen. You empty the bottom three pantry shelves of food into your shopping cart, then you wheel the cart around the kitchen. This is your third favorite kitchen game, with helping mommy unload the groceries coming in first place, and emptying out your drawer of dishes ranking second. And just like Daddy, you love basketball. The hoop we got you for Christmas has finally been getting some attention. You've even made three baskets on your own! You've also been really into building block buildings for your zoo animals and people. Or rather directing me to build them.


You're talking up a storm. You say at least one new word everyday. I cannot get over how many words you know. You're getting easier to understand and clearing up some "baby" versions of words....for instance, you are no longer "Deet," you are Nate. And The Count is no longer "Two," he's Count. It makes me sad and happy at the same time to have you grow so quickly.


You know at least three quarters of the alphabet. You keep blowing me away by answering correctly time and again when I point to different letters. You know pretty much all of your colors, but get confused every once in awhile. We're still working on shapes and numbers. You love to hear me count but two is still your favorite number. 

I have to tell you something. I know most moms love their kids, and I love you like you wouldn't believe. But I'm not sure all them actually like their kids.  Well I want you to know that I really, really like you. I think you are an awesome little boy. You're so sweet - good at sharing and quick to hand out hugs and kisses. You have nothing but positive things to say about everyone. I've lost count of all the people you've told me are "cute" and all of the things you think are good ("goo"). I love the ways you're like Daddy. You're pretty even- tempered and generally always in a good mood. Melt downs are rare and usually only caused from your refusal to sleep (which you get from Daddy too).


I love the ways in which you're not like me - you're not shy at all and usually jump right into new activities and hanging out with new people. I love the ways you remind me of myself, like with your weird sense of humor. This morning you insisted on brushing your armpits with your toothbrush. Every time I tried to take the toothbrush away you'd convince me that you would brush your teeth...only to return to your armpit grooming. Nutcase. You make me laugh. Especially with this new smiling thing you won't stop doing:


I love you more than tongue can tell.

~ Mama

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Impeccable manners



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Thursday, March 10, 2011

What we're reading: Piggies


Nate got several adorable books from his aunt for Christmas. His newest obsession is Piggies: Lap-Sized Board Book by Audrey & Don Wood. See? He's head over heels for it. (Um, I don't know what he's actually trying to do in that picture.)


The text is simple and the pictures are beautiful, with a dream-like quality. If that dream was induced by hallucinogens. The weird, trippy pigs dance upon fingertips and toes on every page. And the hands in the book are childsized (if a preschooler had man-hands). I love it. And so does Nate. 


My favorite thing about having this book is that Nate acts out cold by shivering when he gets to the cold piggy page. So cute.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I can just imagine the teenage years



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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby sign of the week: FROG

Here's the ASL sign for FROG.  And here is how Nate performs the sign:

video


I rarely use the sign and he surprised me by whipping it out on our walk yesterday. EEP!

If you are interested in starting baby sign language with your little one, the book I used and always recommend as a good starting point is Baby Signing 1-2-3: The Easy-to-Use Illustrated Guide for Every Stage and Every Age. Although we are signing less nowadays, we certainly still actively sign at eighteen months. It's a fantastic tool for helping to decode Nate's toddler talk and to help him communicate words which are still too hard for him to pronounce (like DINOSAUR).

What do frogs say in your home?

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Best buds


I love watching these two play. Highlights from the play date which were not caught on camera included Nate tickling his friend (who was crying...and shockingly, the tickling did not cheer him up) and the most adorable hugs goodbye I've ever seen.


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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bilibo - the amazing wonder toy!


Kid-O Bilibo - BlueIf Nate had a Match.com profile, he would include, at the very top of his interests - maybe even before traveling and quiet nights home with a bottle of wine: sitting in random things (i.e. boxes and baskets) and putting random things on my head (i.e. boxes and baskets). So when I read about the Kid-O Bilibo, I thought it would be perfect for Nate. It's the award winning (well that's what it says everywhere - I have no idea which awards - but it sounds impressive) all purpose toy from Sweden that kids can turn into anything they want. Like a chair. Or a hat. Perfect!

Dave told me not to get it: "It will just be another piece of barely used junk on our floor." But, honey... didn't you hear? It's AWARD WINNING. From SWEDEN. Sold!   

He wants to like it

But he just doesn't quite have the hang of it

Okay, so far, Dave is totally winning. It's not getting much use. Nate's having a tough time sitting in it by himself without slipping. And though he enjoys me spinning him around in it, he doesn't seem interested in doing much else with it. But I'm not giving up! I think that maybe he's still a little too young and will appreciate it more in a few months. We'll be back, Bilibo, we'll be back.

Anyone else have the Bilibo? What do your kids think of it?

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Somebody put Baby in the corner



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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The many faces of Nate

I just got a new camera. You know how people have certain faces that are just so...them? Well, Nate has a bunch of faces that he makes every day and I haven't been able to properly capture many of them with the camera. Until now...

Confused/borderline pissed...what do you mean "No more Elmo?"

Frustrated

My daddy is the most hilarious, awesome man alive!

Just being sweet

Concentrating on removing the Elmo sticker from his foot

Neutral Nate face

Saying "cheese"


Saying "cheese" while opening a drawer that is off-limits

Eating cheese

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