She Says… Easter Bunny Dreams

Easter 2014-1

I’ve always been a little bit on the fence about creating and maintaining the myths of things like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up believing in all of these, and more, and I don’t think that I’m any worse for it. But there is something… strange… to me about telling your kids lie after lie to keep up this farce.

Easter 2014-2 Easter 2014-3

To Benjamin and I, Santa is worth it. Santa is the pinnacle of the magic of the holiday season. The Tooth Fairy we haven’t decided about yet (we have a few more years before that milestone hits), but I’m thinking we’ll spin that imaginary web as well. But the Easter Bunny? That one just seems downright strange to us. A gigantic bunny hippity hopping into your house and delivering a basket? Perhaps no weirder than a dude in a red suit coming down your chimney, but Benjamin and I agreed that it seems unnecessary to lie about this one too.

Easter 2014-18 Easter 2014-19

At our house, Easter baskets are from Mommy and Daddy, and the big bunny who we happened to see last weekend is just a person dressed in a costume for Easter.

Easter 2014-25

I think the whole “person dressed in a costume” conversation is why Owen insisted that he wear his frog costume after the Easter egg hunt (see below). Perhaps in our effort to keep Easter a little less lie-oriented, we confused Easter and Halloween. Ha!

Easter 2014-24 Easter 2014-23

Maybe if Owen was a different kid, one who reveled in stories of make-believe or didn’t try to “figure everything out”, we might have been more likely to tell him some tall tales. But this lie just seemed like more work than it was worth.

Easter 2014-15 Easter 2014-14

Nevertheless, Owen and Emmett were both tickled to come downstairs and find their baskets. We opted not to do an egg hunt at home, since we always go to Grammy and Grampy’s house for the hunt in the afternoon, so we had a nice, quiet morning playing with Easter toys in matching monster pajamas.

Easter 2014-13 Easter 2014-26

In the afternoon we had a nice early Easter dinner with part of Benjamin’s family and the boys did the annual egg hunt. I think this is the last year Emmett will be placated with “finding” just one egg on his own. Owen is going to have some competition next year!

Easter 2014-10 Easter 2014-16

Owen loved being just like the adults this year, with his own little pre-dinner mocktail and blazer/tie combination (that he picked out himself, without fussing at all).

Easter 2014-9 Easter 2014-8

He even asked Grampy to put on a tie so they could match (copycatting again!).

Easter 2014-5

You know, just like the adults… with a frog suit on.

Easter 2014-29 Easter 2014-30

Easter Bunny or no Easter Bunny, we had a sweet day celebrating with family.

Easter 2014-4

And everyone was pooped at the end.

 

Side note: Apparently we’ve really gotten our money’s worth with Owen’s “fancy clothes”. That red tie was featured on Easter 2012 (HOW CUTE IS LITTLE OWEN!) and the blazer on Easter 2013! I think they’ll both need to be replaced for 2015, but perhaps Emmett with be big enough for the tie by then…

She Says… Wardrobe Malfunctions

Thanks for your comments on yesterday’s post about Owen mirroring his friend. I have never heard of “mirror neurons” and the psych major in me finds the idea very interesting (especially as it relates to building empathy/self-awareness… two things I can clearly see Owen working on developmentally).

copycat2 copycat3

Case in point… here is a picture from last weekend where Owen WOULD NOT pick his face paint design until another friend did. At least he copied something cute!

spring1

Last weekend was our first real taste of spring. Ahhhhh, spring. After the long, cold, snowy winter. It was glorious.

spring12

WAS. We got a taste of the warm breeze and the sunshine and then it was rudely replaced by frost and 30 degree temps. Nevertheless, we basked in it.

spring11 spring10

Along with the warm weather came warm weather clothes! Shorts. Tee shirts. Even sandals. Owen was IN HEAVEN. Remember in the fall when we had such a hard time with layers and wrinkles? Apparently the cure for that is called WARM WEATHER.

spring5

Or so I thought.

spring3

Dude was all aflutter over getting to wear his shorts and sandals. He walked on air and acted like an angel for 2 days. And then it got cold again, and now even the thought of talking about clothes sends him into a rage-y tantrum, like I’ve never seen before.

Perhaps he’s not cut out for New England livin’.

spring4

Let me just say that Owen has been completely dressing himself for about a year. We don’t tell him what he can and can’t wear… we just make sure that his clothes are weather-appropriate since he spends a lot of time outside. If he wants to wear a frog costume to the grocery store, he totally can. We never talk about matching and love to see what he picks. He usually jumps right out of bed, gets himself dressed right down to the socks, and we go downstairs to start our day with no problems.

spring7

This week, however, every morning, getting Owen to get himself dressed has been a nightmare. All of a sudden, if we say he has to wear pants because it’s freezing outside, he will only wear ONE pair of fleece sweatpants. No others. And there’s only ONE acceptable long-sleeved shirt in his drawer (and he HAS to wear a long-sleeved shirt because his friend wears long-sleeved shirts, duh). ONE. I’m such a mean mom that I won’t let him wear shorts in 30 degree weather, and Benjamin and I decided to put our proverbial foot down about wearing dirty clothes, so every day except for the ONE DAY when both the shirt and pants happened to be clean, we have had an all-out, lay-on-the-floor-and-cry, scream-at-the-top-of-his-lungs tantrum on our hands.

spring6

We’ve tried hugging it out, and helping him along. We’ve tried no tolerance, “we’re walking out the door even if you don’t have a shirt on at all”. We’ve tried negotiating and trying to get to the bottom of the new rules (what is this REALLY about?) and listening and explaining why we have to wash clothes. We’ve tried going shopping and finding new, acceptable clothes that Owen picks out himself (which worked really well, actually, except that all of the clothes that were available are summer clothes, except for one pair of pants, so he can’t wear most of what we bought until the darn sun comes out again). We’ve thought about picking the clothes out the night before, but that just shifts the tantrum to night time and then, knowing Owen, he would stress and be anxious all night and not even sleep.

spring8

The good news is that, as soon as we get out the door, the tantrum, no matter how crazy, is totally forgotten. He even apologizes “for fussin’” and promises that it won’t happen again, totally unprompted. It’s like he can’t control it himself, even when he tries.

Whew, being 3 is hard, yo.

spring9

On some days I think he just wants something to fuss about to see if he can. On other days I really, truly think that he feels emotionally connected to these clothes and cannot fathom wearing anything else. I get it, but I also can’t let him go to school in shorts when it’s freezing out (remember what happened when he refused to wear gloves and we went sledding anyway?).

The silver lining on this particular struggle is that the warm weather is on its way. And soon we will not even have to talk about fleece pants at all. And he can wear his shorts and sandals every. single. day.

Hallelujah.

Does your kid have favorite clothes? Do you let them wear the same ones day after day? What are your clothes “rules”?

She Says… Copy Cat

copycat1

Owen’s teachers describe him as a “big personality”. He’s the kid who tells other kids’ parents more about their child’s day than their own child. He’s the kid who shoots his hand up (and shouts out his answer at the same time) the second a question is asked at circle time. And even when it isn’t. He’s the kid who can’t let you get through one page of a book without asking 10 million questions. Everyone he meets knows his name because he won’t let them forget it.

He’s assertive. Creative. Verbose. Outgoing. Hilarious. He loves to be the center of attention. He looks for opportunities to put on a show.

Which is why his recent behavior is… confusing. Peculiar. Sort of frustrating, as a parent. He is currently OBSESSED with copying what other people are doing.

Before choosing a coat to wear, he’ll ask me, “Which coat are YOU going to wear?” and then he’ll only wear his coat that matches mine. Yesterday he had a full-blown tantrum because I was wearing black pants and his black pants were dirty, so we couldn’t wear the same pants. When I ask him what he wants for snack he’ll ask me if I want the same thing that he will have. In an effort to model making my own choices, sometimes I’ll say, “Maybe. But I’m going to pick for myself. You pick for you, and I’ll pick for me.” Still, often he won’t even choose a snack until he’s certain that I’ll have the same thing. Or he’ll change his snack choice based on what I picked for myself.

At home, it’s pretty easy to manage. It’s sweet, actually (except when I REALLY want to wear flip flops for a quick trip to the store but he doesn’t have flip flops that fit and waaaaaah). You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But at school it seems to take on a different flavor. He’s currently focusing all his attention on one particular friend, and will only do what she’s doing in the classroom. He will only wear long-sleeved shirts because SHE wears long-sleeved shirts. He wants to bring a backpack to school everyday instead of our normal bag because SHE brings a backpack to school everyday. It’s like he can’t function without someone to copy.

I get it. Every one of us, every day, is working through what we want and balancing that with what others want. We are learning how people react when we act a certain way, and the social impact of following versus leading. Of going your own way versus following the crowd. We are all doing this dance of copying things that we see other people doing (hello, Pinterest! Facebook!), but we’ve been around the block enough times to know that you kind of have to hide that you’re doing it or you’ll be a copycat. A poser. A wanna-be.

Apparently this lesson starts young.

I guess this irks me because I know that he is a headstrong, confident little boy most of the time. And it makes me a little sad to see him lose himself in someone else. To not even know what he wants because he just wants what SHE wants. I want to see Owen stand up for himself and his opinions. I want him to have opinions. I want him to continue to share those opinions, even if they are not what his friends would do or say. If genders were reversed in this situation, I’d be wondering if I taught my daughter enough about how women don’t need men to make decisions for them. About girl power and confidence and being proud of who you are no matter what anyone else thinks. (Don’t get me wrong — certainly the same messages still apply for boys as well!)

But the truth is that I know this is just one of those social things that everyone has to learn. Striking that delicate balance between where you end and your friends begin. Learning how to make decisions for yourself no matter what your friends are doing. Certainly a lesson he’ll learn over and over and over again throughout his life, though in some cases it will undoubtedly be much bigger and will require him to make harder decisions than wearing long-sleeved shirts and carrying backpacks.

If you had asked me 2 weeks ago if my kid was a leader or a follower, I would have said the former, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. But now I’m not so sure. I guess the only thing that is certain is that we are all both, and it takes a lot of practice to figure that out for ourselves.

She Says… Brotherly Love

brothers1

As one of four kids, I know the joy of outnumbering your parents. I know the silliness that ensues when your parents leave you alone long enough to come up with a hilarious (and likely dangerous) new game. I know the late night giggles and inside jokes and choreographing dances together on the back porch.

brothers2

I know the yearning to be bigger and do the “big kid things” my older sister and brother could do before me. I know the pride of getting to do those “big kid things” before my little sister. I know the way good news grows exponentially with each sibling that I tell. I know the way each one can comfort me and support me, in their own way, when I need it the most. And I know the way that sibling relationships can blossom into real friendships in adulthood.

brothers3 brothers4

So I always knew that I wanted to have more than one child.

brothers5

In fact, anyone who knows me in real life has probably heard me say that I am one of those crazy women who adores being pregnant and loves the baby stage so much that I would have a million kids. Ok, maybe not a million, but certainly a few more than we have now. (Of course there are lots of things that come into play when planning a family, so our family may very well be complete with these 2 wild and crazy, beautiful boys.)

brothers6

Watching Owen and Emmett delight in each other and grow up side by side, hand in hand, for the last 9 months, has been even more powerful than loving each of them individually. They are greater than the sum of their parts. They will have each other in a way that neither Benjamin nor I will ever be able to match.

brothers7

Emmett is still a few months from saying any intelligible words, but no words are needed for us to know how he feels about his big brother. His adoring gaze says it all. His little chuckle at everything Owen does. The way his eyes dry and his face brightens when Owen makes a silly face, no matter what caused his tears.

brothers8

The way he tolerates (and even enjoys, despite me saying, “Emmett doesn’t like that! Please stop”) Owen’s manhandling and bear hugs and not-always-so-gentle-pats on the head. The way he crawls after Owen, his little diaper butt swaying as quickly as it can, to get all up in his brother’s business. He’s the peanut gallery. The sidekick. The wrestling partner.

brothers9

Owen dotes on his little bro in a way I could not have even imagined. I knew there would be love, but I expected frustration and impatience and jealousy. I knew there would be hand-holding and head-kissing, but I expected hitting and pushing too. I knew there would be times that they would play together, but I didn’t expect Owen to ask for Emmett almost all the time. To call for him when he’s crying, because he wants to give him a hug. To proudly pull his friends over to show Emmett off, even though they’ve met him a hundred times before. To comfort Emmett so sweetly and gently when he is sad.

brothers10

It nearly bursts my heart.

brothers13

Sure, there are surreptitious elbows to move Emmett out of the way and sneaky toy grabs when he thinks I’m not looking. There are times when Owen will plop himself in my lap simply because he can tell that Emmett is headed in that direction and he wants to claim his turf. There are times when a sweet, brotherly hug stealthily turns into a body slam… and not in a good way.

brothers15

But those times are fewer and farther between than I ever thought would be the case, especially with an attention-hog like Owen. And hey, those times build character too, right? For both kids.

brothers18

There are many things that Owen got that Emmett didn’t. The classic and unavoidable lot of the second child.

But there’s one thing Owen didn’t have until Emmett came along.

brothers16

A brother.

brothers17

And I’m pretty sure that is the best gift we’ll ever give either one.

She Says… Writing About Not Writing

It seems silly to write about not writing. But this week, that’s all that there is time to do. And given that this is the second week that is the case… I’m going to guess some of you will stop checking here to see if I’ve written anything. I hope you don’t — but I get it. You come here to read. And, well, lately there hasn’t been a whole lot to read.

It’s been a bit of a tricky schedule for the last few weeks.

Benjamin came home from his 20-day work adventure in Spain last Wednesday. While he was in the air on the last leg of his journey, a flight from New York to Boston, I had to get on the train from Boston to New York. We literally passed each other going in opposite directions, in the air and on land. Ships passing in the night. It couldn’t have been worse timing, but it couldn’t be avoided while we both met our professional responsibilities. I dropped the kids off at school in the morning, Grammy picked them up, gave them dinner and put them to bed (she was happy to get a little playtime with them, and we were very grateful that she could be there to connect the dots of our crazy travel week!), and Benjamin got home a couple of hours later. Despite the tricky logistics, it all went quite smoothly and the kids loved being able to get some grandma time and didn’t feel disrupted at all. I got home from New York on Friday night and Benjamin and I FINALLY got to see each other again.

We’ve spent our time since then simply enjoying being together. Appreciating each other. Playing with toys we haven’t played with in a while. Taking walks. Playing on the playground for the whole afternoon without other plans. Making our favorite dinners and eating them together, laughing at Owen’s antics and Emmett’s hilarious head-bobbing and dancing while he smooshes food into his mouth, spilling most of it on the floor. Breathing in the quiet, post-bath, pajamaed moments with each boy before bed.

You know, normal stuff.

But at the moment I’m too busy enjoying the normal stuff to find time to write about it too.

This week I’ve had another work event Tuesday and Wednesday (local, thankfully!) but it has meant that I haven’t been in front of my computer during the day, and all I want to do is see my family at night.

So I’ll be back. Next week.

She Says… Latest Favorite Baby Product

Day 16 of partner-less parenting, but we’re making it through. We’re so ready for Daddy to come home (soon! soon!). The bliss of the first 11 days wore off a little over the last week while we weathered a stomach bug for Emmett and some rough behavior from Owen. But my mom visited for the weekend, which meant entertainment for the kids and two more helping hands for me. Hooray for Moms! A wonderful time was had by all.

One of the products that has saved me (and Emmett) during the many solo bathtimes over the last few weeks is a new bath seat.

bathseat4

(Side note: No one is paying me to say this… I just really like this seat and all of my friends in real life were interested in hearing about it, so I thought you might be too.)

Since Emmett was born we have been using this angled seat. When he was tiny I used a foam pad to keep him from sliding around and bathed him alone, but as soon as he was a little sturdier (12 weeks, I think), we started double bathtime with Owen. It’s a lifesaver when there’s only one parent home in the evening, and it has turned into one of my (and the boys’) favorite parts of every day.

bathseat3

At 8 1/2 months, Emmett is obviously sitting like a champ these days (and crawling, and pulling up, and standing, and practically cruising already — SLOW DOWN, BABY!), so he could just sit in the tub like Owen. Except that Owen likes a ton of water “like a pool” so he can practice opening his eyes underwater, and, let’s be honest, doesn’t always follow directions like “no splashing!” or “don’t pour water over Emmett’s head!” or “NO TIDAL WAVES.”. So just putting him in the water is, uhh, a bit dangerous.

bathseat5

I got this Keter Bath Seat on Amazon (that is my affiliate link, so I’ll get a few shiny, copper pennies if you order through that link). It’s currently on sale for $30, but it is usually $79 (WAY too expensive for what it is).

I ordered it immediately, not thinking about the fact that it was sold by an outside seller, as it was not available through Amazon at the time. As someone who is used to my Prime shipping, I am always appalled when I can’t get my item immediately. When I got the shipping notification, it said it would be delivered some time between March 15 and June 15. Umm, seriously? A 3 month window? So I went to return the damn thing because I don’t think I’ll even need it in June and was just looking for something to keep Emmett’s face out of the water while his brother tries to drown him (in good fun!) every night in the bath. And they told me they couldn’t cancel it because it was already on its way. ON A BOAT. Finally it arrived but was mysteriously marked as Registered Mail, which of course I wasn’t around to sign for at exactly the right time, so I ended up having to go to the post office to get it.

Lame.

bathseat1

But now that it’s here? I totally love it. Emmett does too. Now he’s no longer face-first into the water because his big brother is teaching him how to swim like a fish. (Kidding, obviously. I would never leave him unattended in the tub!)

bathseat2

If you need something like this but don’t want to spend 30 bucks, my dear friend Nancy Holtzman also clued me in that you can use an empty laundry basket once your baby can sit well! Genius!

What’s your favorite new product that makes your life easier with kid(s)?

She Says… Day 11

solo6

Welcome to Day 11 of Benjamin being on a long trip to Spain for work. I hadn’t mentioned it because hello! Crazy people on the internet! But I tell you now just so you don’t think I’ve disappeared. I’m still here.

solo2 solo1

The boys and I are having a grand old time, actually. I was nervous about being home “alone” for so long, but it has been so, totally fine. Fun, even. I hate to even say this out loud for fear of jinxing myself, but I think we’re in a” sweet spot”. You know, one of those elusive times when both kids are in happy, sweet stages at the same time and everyone’s sleeping and eating and not getting sent home from school? Those days? Last week I even exercised almost every day and even said, “Hey! It’s WARM out! Let’s wear just vests instead of coats and hats and mittens” one day. I can feel the spring a’comin’.

solo10

Please ignore the fact that we almost got a blizzard yesterday.

solo7

SPRING IS COMING AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. Are you with me? Maybe if enough of us are on board in New England it will actually happen?

solo9 solo8

I love me some winter, I really do, but the brutal temps have gone on long enough. My knuckles are cracking and both boys have red rashes from going outside to play and I haven’t worn anything except Uggs and a puffy coat in ages. Not to mention that the poor dog hasn’t been walked regularly since the fall. I know, I’m a horrible dog owner at the moment.

solo3

Heavy work load at work + all of the workload at home + 2 hilarious boys = no time for blogging. Or exercising. Or dog walking. Or sometimes showering. But aside from those three balls, all of the others are in the air! Hooray!

 

She Says… Feeling All the Feelings

I have seen a few viral videos recently of kids who “feel all the feelings” and break down sobbing at certain songs. This one makes me laugh because he’s aware that it’s not cool to cry like that, but he likes the way it feels. This one is hilarious because it’s like he’s so touched he can’t contain the tears. And he’s 10 months old. And this one cracks me up because she’s just seems SO SAD and the song has barely started.

They all strike a chord because Owen is EXACTLY the same way.

Pure, unadulterated, raw, unchecked emotion. All the time.

When he was around a year old I would sing to him all the time (ok, who are we kidding… I have sung to him all the time since before he was born and plan to continue long after he starts saying, “Stop singing, Mom. You’re so lame!”). But I rarely know the words to songs, so usually I just make them up about Owen. One of the few songs that I do know the words to is “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. It was our favorite song to sing on the changing table while I zipped him into his sweet little footie pajamas before bed. When I would get to the chorus that says, “when I’m feeling sad”, his brow would furrow, his lip would quiver, and he would CRY. Outright cry. Hard. So hard I would have to stop singing (usually from laughing so hard, but sometimes out of pity that the song was making him so darn sad). Benjamin and I swore we’d get it on video someday (and who knew it could have been a viral internet sensation!), but alas, it was one of those precious things that just stopped after a while. We picked a new song and that was that. Now it is just a memory I hope I never forget.

Fast forward to now. Our song repertoire has grown exponentially, most recently to include the favorites from “Frozen”. If you have a child under the age of 10 (or maybe even if you don’t!), I’m sure you know it. (And if you don’t, the music is AWESOME). You know the part in “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” where Anna sings, “Ok Bye” when Else won’t open the door? We were singing that together in the bathroom the other night while we filled the tub. I sang the “Ok Bye” line with a little musical theater flair, putting on my saddest face while I sang to Owen. All of a sudden his eyes filled with tears and they spilled out onto his cheeks while he took my face in his hands and said, “Don’t sing like that Mommy, it makes me SO SAD.”.

I was simultaneously super proud of my out-of-practice acting skills and overcome with how sweet and emotional my little boy is.

He absolutely takes after his father (who could be a viral video himself, crying at every single episode of “Parenthood” while hiding his face from me with a pillow). They both feel all the feelings so deeply. I could not love that about them more.

So now it has become a game. Every night at bathtime, Owen challenges me to sing those two words (“Ok Bye”) to him as sadly as I can to try to make him cry. If I come close, he’ll break character and tell me to stop singing because it’s making him too sad. Usually I can’t wipe the smile off of my face long enough to sing those two words without cracking up.

Feel all the feelings, kid. You’re in good company.

 

She Says… 8 Months

Emmett-y. Bonky Bonks. My smiley little buddy.

Emmett 8 Months-3

This was a big month for you! All of a sudden, it seems, you are a mover and a shaker. While you used to be content snuggling into my lap, now you are ON! THE! GO! A day before you turned 8 months you figured out how to get your knees under yourself in crawling position (a skill you had been working on for weeks). You straightened your legs and jack rabbited forwards right onto your face. Not to be deterred, you got right back up and did it again. And again. And again. And boom. Now you’re crawling all over the place.

Lookout world. Emmett has arrived.

Emmett 8 Months-5

It seems that your personality is blossoming right along with your gross motor skills. You are expressing yourself in all different ways now. You coo and gurgle and grunt and shout. You have already figured out how to match your brother’s insane volume level! I think we’re going to need earplugs soon. You will shout, and Owen will imitate you, and then you will imitate Owen, and before I know it we’re all shouting and laughing. You guys are HILARIOUS together. Partners in crime, for sure. But perhaps we should start to learn the difference between an inside voice and an outside voice.

Emmett 8 Months-4

You blow raspberries like it’s your job. All day long, every day. Blowing raspberries and giggling your little “huh, huh” laugh. Your teacher at school told me that yesterday you were laying on the floor with one of your friends, doing your little Emmett chuckle, and she was cracking up at you. The two of you just sat and laughed, you laughing at her and her laughing at you, for several minutes. Adorable. I hope you always keep your sweet sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself. It will serve you well, my joyful little darling. For there will be many things in your life that will make you want to stop smiling and never laugh again. But the truth is, in those moments, the best thing you can do is keep smiling. Keep laughing. Keep your head afloat. And they will pass. They always do.

Emmett 8 Months-9

Now that you are moving, your relationship with Owen is changing too. You’re no longer the little blob that he pats on the head as he walks by. You are all up in his business — even if I put you across the room, you lock eyes on him and whatever he is playing with and you gather your strength and crawl straight for him. Lately we’ve been saying, “Ahh! Attack of the Giant Baby!” when you start beelining for him, your eyes twinkling with delight. Your favorite game is crashing towers that we have built with blocks, or getting whatever Owen is playing with and putting it right in your mouth. So far I haven’t seen any frustration from Owen regarding your new mobility. Mostly encouragement. When you crawl, he claps his hands and says, “You can do it, Emmett! Crawl!”. When he does something silly now, like put a toy on his head and balance it, he’ll say, “Watch this, Emmett!”. You giggle obediently. You giggle all the time when Owen is around. You are the best audience that little extrovert could have ever asked for. He’ll entertain you and hand you toys and tell me what he thinks you need when you are crying. “I think his teeth hurt, Mommy.”.

And you are always the most engaged little peanut gallery when he dances and sings at the dinner table. You shake your head side to side bobbling along to his crazy songs. You love it. You love him. And we love you.

Emmett 8 Months-8

Let’s be honest, though. Amidst the brotherly love fest, there are also many times of not-so-gentle touches and accidents. Oh brothers. We have a long road of “accidents” between the two of you. Owen went to the ER last week after falling into the bookshelf at school. The next day (during the photo shoot for this letter!) he tipped you over into the side of your crib and you hit your head. The next day he made a tidal wave in the bathtub and covered your face in water. None of it was on purpose, exactly. You guys are just boys. Rough, tough boys. I love that about you. But let’s try to stay out of the hospital for the most part, mmmkay?

Emmett 8 Months-7

You have surprised me by preferring to feed yourself rather than me feeding you. Owen could not control his body to feed himself at your age (or just preferred for me to feed him like a baby bird), so I assumed that you wanted to be fed mash as well, just like your big bro. But no. I was wrong. All you want to do is eat what the family is eating, and you want to do it all yourself. So after I wrapped up our appointments with the GI specialist and the allergist, we started giving you little bits of EVERYTHING (except milk — you’re still allergic to milk) on your high chair tray. Your fine motor skills are impressive and you can get just about anything from the tray into your mouth. Little bits, big chunks, long things you hold in your fist and gum into submission. You’re a fantastic eater. Every day I feel like I need to give you more and more and more food. Your favorite foods at the moment are whole peas, green beans, broccoli, green grapes, bananas & oatmeal and Cheerios. Oh you LOVE those Cheerios.

Emmett 8 Months-2

Oh Emmett. I love watching you grow into yourself. Getting to know who you are under your fuzzy blonde hair, deliciously chubby cheeks and thoughtful blue eyes. I see the twinkle in your eyes and know you are mischievous and daring. I see the way you are insistent and determined, practicing new skills over and over again. I see you exploring your voice and I love every squeak and shout and babble. I see your lip quivering and your brow furrowing when I disappear behind a door. I am always coming back, little one.

Emmett 8 Months-1

It is quite clear that we delight in you and you delight in us. We love you so much, Emmett-y.

Love,
Mommy

She Says… Track and Field

Owen ran in his first “race” this weekend.

race1

We live right near the Boston marathon route and people have started to fill the sidewalks on the weekends doing supported runs to train for it. Though I’m not really a runner myself (despite wanting to be), I love seeing the runners prepping for the big race and get chills just thinking about it (especially given what happened last year). So on our way to his race, Owen’s face was all aglow watching the runners and chatting about when he will run the  marathon.

Truth be told Owen’s first race was really a happy accident. We were joining some friends at a fundraiser/fair over the weekend, and unbeknownst to us the event was a Fun Run for kids. Indoor, thankfully, since the temps here are still hovering around 30 degrees. When we arrived, his age group had already run, but they let him get a number and run with a few other little stragglers in between heats of big kid runners.

race2

Owen was elated.

He stood, toes on the line. Body wiggling with excitement. He eyed up the competition, a huge smile on his face. He knew where the finish line was and he was determined to be the first one there. The guy managing the race said to him “This is your lane. Don’t cross it!”. Owen had never run a race before, so had no idea what that meant. He ended up running the entire race with his legs straddling the line, like he was wearing a big diaper, because he thought he wasn’t supposed to step on the line.

Didn’t matter. He smoked ‘em.

race3

He beamed with pride as he got his ribbon. Then he asked me if he could do it again, with bigger kids next time. He certainly has the competitive spirit (ahem, but not so much the grace of a good loser yet)!

Dude is FAST and Benjamin and I have often joked about taking him running. I probably could — I’m pretty slow, so it might even out. When the weather gets warmer I’m thinking the track may be the perfect equalizer. We could all run at different paces for different distances but be together. Anyone out there do this with their kids? When did you start? How far/fast can 3 year olds run, on average? He seems to really love it, and Lord knows we could use another outlet for his physical energy.

race4

After playing every game at the fair, we celebrated his “big win” (and perhaps more importantly his recent great attitude and wonderful sleeping habits!) with ice cream.

Everyone’s favorite reason for running, no?