31 August 2010

Two More Things...

I must've been slightly scatter-brained while I was writing my last post because I forgot to note two of my very favorite things that Luke does. Please forgive the oversight.

The first are quirks totally unique to Luke. I've never seen another baby do this and I think it's so funny. Whenever we are on grass he seems to dislike the feel of it on his legs - so if he's wearing shorts he will hold one of his legs in the air to keep it from being in contact with the grass. And it's usually the right leg. I don't know what it is but it's so funny.

Not surprisingly, he also doesn't like to crawl on grass either. He used to try to scoot along crawling on one knee while the other leg would only touch the grass with his foot - it's this strange hop along movement that's so funny to watch. He's gotten a little older and more coordinated, so these days he does what looks like a Mowgli crawl. You know, Mowgli, from The Jungle Book? He crawls on his hands and feet. With his bum high in the air.

It's cute too. Don't you think?

As cute as those two (related) things are, this next one is my most favorite thing that he does. And I can't believe that I didn't think to include it. When I nurse Luke, he likes to reach up and run his fingers through my hair. It is so special and tender and lovely. I love the special bonding time of nursing. I will miss it. But I'll never forget it.

30 August 2010

The (Lovable) Lucas.

My Lucas is now 13 months old. Crazy how time flies. I remember when he was just a tiny little bug of a boy.

Do you remember?

He's quite amazing. Honestly. I'm not biased. He really is a remarkable little boy. I wanted to write this blog in his honor and in honor of all of the cute things he does right now that make me love him even more. I don't want to forget the little things, you know?

Little things like:

How he grunts. When he is uncomfortable, he literally grunts. It's very guttural and primal. He has been doing this since he was born too - when he would start to get hungry he would just start to grunt and I would know that I had about 15 minutes before the grunts would escalate into crying. I loved the warning signs! And he's only stayed consistent. If he's really uncomfortable or unhappy he growls. It's just a more intense and loud version of the grunt. The most adamant and aggressive of his growls come when you try to take away his apple. We've recently found out that he loves apples. Not applesauce. Apples. Plain and simple and whole. Try to give him a piece of an apple and he takes it as the most personal of insults. He growls and then looks at me like: What mom, you think I can't handle a whole apple? (for the record, he does like applesauce just not as much a regular apple.)

And not as much as watermelon. Definitely not as much as watermelon. Watermelon may be his most favorite thing to eat. See?

His favorite non-fruit food? Cheetos Puffs. He cannot get enough of them!

His favorite non-food? Dirt. I don't know how or why, but he is always trying to get access to dirt - houseplants, potted plants on the porch, the garden bed - he's always trying to consume dirt and will growl when we don't let him.

I love how he has the most contagious cough-laugh. Especially when you tickle him. The tickle hot spots: his chubby little thighs, under his chin, and his upper sides (right below his arm pits). If he is really laughing and happy he will start to chew on his hands.

It's so endearing!

Speaking of endearing, when you hug him and hold him close he always folds both of his arms in front of his body so that his straight arms are between his belly and you and then he curves himself into you. I love it. He also does this whenever he rolls onto his belly in his sleep. He puts his arms underneath him so they are between him and his mattress.

He has started to enjoy watching movies. His first favorite: Sesame Street's Follow That Bird. He loves it. He gets so mesmerized by Big Bird and all of the music. No movie will entertain him more than Follow That Bird. Toy Story is probably a distant second. With Cars taking up the third spot.

He isn't saying too many words yet. But he has quite the sound repertoire. My favorites are: Fuh-Fuh. And he makes this hissing noise when he's really busy - he just lets the air kind of whistle through his teeth. It's very cute.

He's not quite walking yet. It can't be too far in the future since he does so well with cruising. My favorite is when he is walking - using one hand to support himself against a wall or piece of furniture and using the other hand to carry a sippy cup. He looks so big.

He loves to figure out how things work. His favorite toys are those that have moving parts. He loves opening drawers and cabinets. He loves taking things out and then putting them away. He loves being busy.

And one of the things we love the most is how he loves to stand in a shopping cart. He doesn't want to sit in the front designated passenger seat. He would much rather be in the actual basket, standing up. And if I have shopping that is going to take longer than 5 minutes, I will let him stand in the basket so that we will both be happy for the duration of the outing. He is just a busy, busy boy who doesn't like to sit. Ever.

Well... unless Sesame Street is on!

18 August 2010

Fruit Minutes

Hey, just a quick addendum to my last post. This one is the newest and one of the cutest....

Audrey loves her Princess movies. Disney Princess. She loves Barney. She loves Elmo. She loves musicals (Mary Poppins, Enchanted, Sound of Music, etc.) She loves Disney animated movies too. As a matter of fact, she's kind of a little movie freak. She loves them.

Usually, right after a shower-bath she will request a movie and I will usually say "OK, but just for a few minutes" - as keeping her occupied while I get Luke settled is helpful. Well now, whenever she asks for a movie she will always tilt her head to the side and say,
"Fruit minutes?" And smile in her charm-your-pants-off way.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the answer is usually yes.

09 August 2010

Audrey: The Greatest Hits

I may have mentioned this before: I don't journal. It's one of those things that I think would be a good idea and I admire people who do - but for whatever reason I just can't seem to make the time to do it. And most of the times when I have made the attempt, I'm just not sure what to write. It's like there is too much to write about, so many options, that I get overwhelmed and then the writer's block sets in.

My neglecting to keep a journal is one of the reasons I like to blog - because it's a way to acknowledge and record a moment or a thought or a feeling that doesn't feel as intimidating as a whole big blank book waiting to be filled. Am I crazy for thinking this way?

So, it's been on my mind a lot lately that there are so many teeny tiny things that Audrey does and says that I don't want to forget. She is a little over two and a half years old and, like most toddlers, she is talking more and more and growing up so fast that my baby is literally fading away and being replaced by an actual little person. Over the last few days, I have enlisted Adam's help and between the two of us, we have started a list of the phrases that Audrey says that we love the most so we will never forget them. I hope that one day she will read this list and get a feeling for the kind of fun and funny person she has always been - even at two years old.

Without further ado, we present Audrey: The Greatest Hits (if you will):

We have been teaching Audrey the concept of sharing. With little success... until we went to Costco one hot afternoon. When we were checking out, we decided to try one of their freshly dipped ice cream bars - vanilla ice cream hand-dipped into delicious chocolate followed by a generous coating of chopped almonds (and yes, it's every bit as delicious as it sounds). As we were walking to the car, Audrey became very aware of this delicious ice cream treat and proceeded to tell me that it belonged to her. Seeing this as an opportunity to teach her how sharing works, I told her that it was Mom's treat but that we could share it. So I told her "Mom's turn." and then took a bite. Then as I handed it to her I said "Audrey's turn." and let her take a bite. Then I said "Mom's turn." and reached for it. And we proceeded to share our ice cream bar. Audrey took up the great responsibility of telling me who's turn it was - with her turns lasting longer and longer! And ever since then whenever we are eating something or playing with something that Audrey wants in on, she will confidently say: "Audgie's turn." But she is always good about letting us have a turn too! (Mom's turn... Dad's turn... Audgie's turn....)

Audrey is a great little helper. Whenever we are coming out of a store she will always spot our car and say, "Mom's car." and point to it. It's gotten to the point when I don't even note where I park anymore because I know she will help me find it!

Most toddlers don't like being told what to do... because they already know what to do, silly. So it shouldn't have been a surprise to us when the other day after Audrey let us know she wanted to go for a walk. Usually she simply says, "Walk. Block." or "Audgie. Walk. Block." You can't say it's not efficient. Or effective. Anyway, on this particular day, after we agreed to go for a walk, we apparently weren't moving quite fast enough for her taste. She looked at Adam and said very sternly, "Dad. Shoes. On." The combination of her stern attitude and the concise instructions had us all laughing.

When we go on our family walks, Audrey always wants to race ahead (anytime Audrey is on her feet she likes to run). What is great is her running commentary - mostly about herself. She will lean forward, leading with her head, arms pointing behind her, and run. Then she will stop and say, "Fast!" Or "Whoa, fast!" Which isn't necessarily anything that cool or funny, but when you hear how she says it, that's where the good stuff is. It's like a half-whisper, half growl, awed proclamation. It never fails to make us smile.

Sometimes she gets running so fast that she stumbles or trips, if that happens she never fails to say, "Easy Dude." or sometimes it's "Easy Now." She will also say this if she drops something or bumps into something.

If she does fall down and hurts herself she will tell us about it and then admonishes us to "Kiss it better." And who could refuse her?!

Anytime she does something successfully on her own (from putting her shoes on, to finding something she was looking for, to brushing her teeth, to climbing on to her chair... and more) she will proudly exclaim, "Audgie did it!" And usually right before she makes the attempt she will tell us, "Audgie do it!" It's awesome to see her confidence and abilities growing. I hope she will always have such straight-forward confidence in herself.

When Audrey does something that I don't like or she is stubborn about something I call her a stinker. I know I have called her one here on this blog on occasion. Well, she has recently started to try to turn the tables and call me (and occasionally Adam) a stinker too. Except her toddler mind gets confused with articles still so this is how it goes:

Audrey does something and I say "You're a stinker." and Audrey says, "No, I'm a stinker!" And I say "You're a stinker." And Audrey says, "I'M a STINKER!" In her growl-ly way. It's very cute that is is so persistently and sternly agreeing with me!

Toddler-hood is a time for tremendous growth - physically and mentally and emotionally and spiritually, basically in every way a child really starts to develop into the person that they will become. It's really exciting. And they know it. I know that Audrey knows that she is really learning and mastering a lot of skills and concepts and she feels good about it. We feel good about it. But you can't teach her anything because she already knows it. We will tell her about how something works and she will always respond with a very calm and knowing, "Uh-huh." In a tone that says, why are you telling me that? Everyone knows that! I love it.

Except she doesn't know everything because she insists on having lunch every morning and when I tell her we're going to have breakfast instead she gets upset!

Speaking of food, one of my most favorite things she says is at mealtimes. When we are eating something and she really likes it she says, "So Yummy." Or "It's so good." But this is another example of how she says it makes it great. She really emphasizes the So and it makes me feel like the best cook in the world.

One of the more recent things she's started doing is asking us how we are doing throughout the day. She will simply say (usually after some kind of short absence - like she will go play in her room for a few minutes and then come back into the room that I am in): "Hi Mom. How are you doing today?" And I'll say "I'm good. How are you doing today?" And she'll say, "Good." It's so cute - these little beginnings of empathic interaction.

The best is when I see that extending to Luke too. There are times when Audrey and Luke are playing together so I will seize the opportunity to do a few dishes or start on lunch or dinner; usually as soon as I try to do something productive like that Luke will sense the shift and decide he wants to be held, and will crawl to wherever I am and start to fuss a bit. Audrey will remember how I've responded to him in the past and will very sweetly try to calm him by saying, "Yuke. Just a minute bud." Or "It's ok, buddy. No cry, Yucas." And she usually rubs his back softly while she says it. She's a good big sister.

And last, but certainly not least, is one that will be a favorite for a long time to come. This one goes to Adam. He gets the credit for teaching her this.

Because Audrey is a toddler she is on the go and she doesn't like anything that slows her down - this includes diaper changes and cleaning her face and brushing her teeth and changing her clothes - any time we want her to be still for longer than 10 seconds. She tries to escape our grasp and goes to the very edge of the bed and then Adam will say "Daddy Tractor Beam" and pull her to him by her feet/ankles. He only had to say it a handful of times before she started asking for it. She will go to the edge of the bed and lay down and say "Daddy Tractor Geem." or "Mommy Tractor Geem." and wait for one of us to grab her by her ankles and pull her across the bed while she's lying on her tummy. It's awesome. We love it.

Quite simply: she's awesome. We love her.