Tag Archives: development

Mercury, It’s All Your Fault. Right?

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I don’t generally put a lot of stock in astrology, or where the moon is in its orbit or whatever. Sure, I love a good horoscope as much as the next girl, and once even had my “stars read” or whatever you call it when you get a report about yourself based on the planetary alignment at the moment of your birth. It’s all very intriguing to me, but in a very theoretical way.

After perhaps one of the roughest parenting days I’ve had in a while on Monday, Benjamin sent me a link to this article about Mercury in retrograde making people “go haywire with miscommunications”. And jokingly noted, “Maybe this is the reason they are so crazy?”. Ha, I thought.

As I scrolled through my Instagram feed last night, I noticed 4 separate and unrelated posts where people mentioned their kids acting completely out of character and jokingly blaming it on Mercury’s retrograde. Ha, I thought.

Benjamin’s father is a pediatric dentist and has mentioned in the past that it may seem unlikely, but his office definitely gets packed with strange dental emergencies during certain planetary alignments (and I’ve read the same about emergency rooms when there is a full moon). Ha, I tend to think.

Well, maybe the joke’s on me.

Sunday (June 8) through today my kids have been acting uncharacteristically wild. Emotional. Delicate. Fussy. Defiant. Mercury has been in retrograde since June 7 and will be until July 1st. Coincidence? Perhaps.

But if there’s any truth to this, hold onto your hats, folks. It’s going to be a long three weeks.

Have you noticed your kids losing it more than usual in the last few days? Or any weird connections to behavior and the planets/moon?

 

On a  somewhat related note, Owen’s class did a unit on the solar system last month. He LOVED learning about the planets and brings up random planet facts in our conversations every day now. Everything that is a circle becomes a planet, and he knows the order, weather and relative size of all of the planets in the solar system. I’ll be the first to admit that space knowledge is not my personal forte, so I have learned a lot from him. Here he is singing about the planets about a month ago. Perhaps HE can teach me something about this Mercury retrograde situation!

The Best/Worst School Photo Ever

I don’t even know where to begin. This school photo is too ridiculous.

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Contrary to how it looks, Emmett is not actually an 800 pound man walking with a cane.

I can’t stop giggling.

It’s so bad it’s fantastic.

 

2012:

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2013:

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Can’t… stop… laughing.

Poor Emmett.

I love these little faces so much.

She Says… 10 Months

BOOM! It has been a huge month for you, my little buddy.

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The day you turned 10 months, the very tiny tip of your very first tooth poked through your gums. Bottom left. I know, it took FOREVER for you to get it. As I’ve said before, it certainly has not slowed you down in the eating department. And you took the teething pain like a champ! A handful of fussy days and sad nights, but all in all you continue your general “go with the flow” streak. As long as Daddy and I (or your favorite teacher at school) are there to give you a cuddle when you need it, you are good to go. A few days later the second one peeked through. You’re well on your way to having the cutest little pair of pearly whites punctuating your gummy grin.

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And grin you do. All day long. Especially when your big brother is goofing off.

Which is all the time.

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All of a sudden, your personality exploded right in front of our eyes. You move with purpose now. You have a bubbly, giggly sense of humor. You love to be hugged and kissed, and to hug and kiss right back. You squeeze my shoulder and gently pat my back when I carry you, and sometimes you’ll divebomb my face with your open mouth, gumming and sucking my cheek/chin like a big ol’ sloppy kiss. You are shockingly persistent when you want to grab or touch something and deceptively strong once it is in your grasp. You shout your words (perhaps to get a word in edgewise in our loud family?) and bob your head around to dance whenever music comes on. You make people smile wherever you go.

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Owen’s favorite thing to do at the moment is squish or poke your delicious cheeks and say, “Mr. Cheeks! Mr. Face! I love you little Face! I wanna give you a smooch! SMOOCH!”. The other day you were crying in your crib when you woke up (which is rare), and I was busily making your bottle before I came in to get you. Owen danced nervously next to me, telling me to “Hurry, please”. He grabbed the bottle out of my hand as soon as it was ready and dashed into your room. His voice went up 2 octaves and he cooed, “I’m here, my baby. Here’s your bottle. You want this bottle? Here baby. I love you.”.

Gah! The love between you boys is so strong and palpable I could cut it with a knife. You are so lucky to have Owen by your side and he is so lucky to have a sweet, adoring brother like you.

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Oh! Another huge development this month is WORDS. Well, you know, baby versions of words. But you are very clearly signing and attempting to say “All done!” (“Ah duh!” while twirling your hands in the air). In fact, I think we’ll count “all done” as your first “word”. You also pointedly say, “Daw!” when Schnitzel walks in the room, and “Baw!” for ball. I may have heard the beginnings of “bottle” (“bah buh”), while your chubby hand did the fist-squeezing sign language last night at bedtime. They aren’t decipherable to anyone but us at this point, but words are definitely on the horizon, my little linguist.

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And finally, one of the most momentous milestones is just about here as well. Your first steps. You’ve been cruising for a month or so now, pulling your cute little body up on anything and everything you could reach. Lately you’ve been reaching for things farther and farther away, hanging on to your support with only a finger sometimes. Yesterday at school your teachers said you let go with that finger and took one wobbly step forward before plunking onto your butt and crying because you were so surprised that you were doing it by yourself. I can’t wait to see your skills myself. Doesn’t count ’til Mommy and Daddy see!

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Your early walking skills seem to be following right in your brother’s footsteps (pun intended!). A few months ago I would not have guessed that would be the case. You both took such different paths (sitting and crawling at different times, very different body types, different personalities) to end up at the same spot. Remember that, little one. The road to success does not look the same for everyone, and you never know the route someone else is taking. Do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, because you are YOU. And do not judge others against your own path, because they are THEM. Just celebrate the successes (yours and others’) and enjoy the ride. The end result isn’t the goal anyway; the “getting there” is.

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I love you so much, Emmett-y. Mr. Delicious. Mr. Cheeks. You bring so much joy and happiness and silliness and comfort to our little family. I can’t wait to watch your personality grow and change as the months and years pass.

We adore you.

Love,
Mommy

She Says… The Next Chapter

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Let’s talk about chapter books, shall we?

Chapter books are a milestone I didn’t think we would be ready for until, oh, I don’t know, age 6 or so. I’m not sure why I had that arbitrary number in my head, but I assumed that my needs-to-move, kinesthetic learner (aka wild child who can’t possibly sit still for more than 5 seconds at a time) wouldn’t want to sit still for long enough to listen to pages of books without many/any pictures. I doubted he’d be very engaged. He loves to be read to, and to look through books, so I’m not sure why I wrote them off, but I just thought we weren’t quite there yet.

So I had been saving the “books with too many words” up on a high shelf in his closet as they have been gifted to us or accumulated along the way. But a few days ago, Owen asked me to pull them down so he could see them. He carefully examined the covers and then handed me “The Secret Garden” and begged me to read it.

As usual, he surprises me again.

Ok, so this one isn’t technically a chapter book, but it’s much, much longer than any book I’ve ever read to Owen. This story is very special to me, and I’ve been saving this particular copy since I was a little girl. I loved this story and read it over and over and over again as a child. Then, when I was a musical theater-obsessed sophomore in high school, I got the coveted part of Mary Lennox in the musical the boys’ school across the street from my school was putting on. It was a dream come true. It was my first lead role in a musical, and the start of what I thought would someday become my road to being a Broadway star (spoiler alert! I never made it there).

So I started reading to Owen and immediately realized it uses words I tend to shy away from (name calling like “horrible witch!” and words like “hate”) and topics like death and chronic illness. But, as these are all parts of life that he’ll come into contact with eventually, I resisted the urge to edit the words or omit certain sentences. We’re all growing up a little bit, eh?

He was hanging on my every word. He asked very astute questions like, “What’s a moor?” and then, when I told him, he asked follow-up questions like, “I wonder what animals live on a moor? Birds? Maybe… mice? Or voles?”. Once in a while I stopped and clarified part of the story or asked him things like, “Who do you think is crying?” to see if he was really following along (because it’s not always so clear — the sentence structure is different than most of his books and the references are vague and there are lots of names). He was right there with me every time.

When we were about halfway through, it was past his bedtime and I told him we could stop and read the rest the next night. He bargained for more pages (either really into the book or just stalling bedtime… you decide…) and we settled on 2 more pages, then I showed him how to fold down the corner of the page so we could start there the next morning. The next morning he came into my room with the book in hand and asked me to finish it. And finish it we did, before his normal milk or tv show. Unprecedented.

That night at bedtime we started “The House at Pooh Corner”. It was one we had been gifted a year or so ago, and it had been relegated to the top shelf because it was so dense. I figured it had to be appropriate for kids (duh, it’s Winnie the Pooh), and it is, but what I didn’t realize was that the writing is terribly confusing, especially to read aloud. As an adult I see how clever it is and find so much humor in the writing, but a three year old, even an astute 3 year old, doesn’t necessarily pick up on those things. So we’re halfway through at the moment, and Owen loves it, but I’m thinking there have to be better 1st chapter books out there somewhere.

I’m not sure we’re ready for Harry Potter yet (though perhaps not far off!). So what are the best chapter books for little ones? I would love a series, since Owen loves to get multiple books out of the library in a series (we love anything Pinkalicious and Toot and Puddle). Owen’s teacher recommended “The Magic Treehouse” series, so that’s on the list, even though I’ve never heard of them.

Suggestions?

She Says… Blabbing with my Boy

Owen and I had several conversations this weekend that made me chuckle. I wish I could follow him around with a little tape recorder, as I can never remember all of the sweet, honest, hilarious, wise things that come out of his mouth. It’s amazing to me how our conversations these days are, like, real conversations. We can just… shoot the shit once in a while.

Owen: When I am 25 1/2, how old will Emmett be? (We’ve had this conversation about a bazillion times in the last few days… either his brain is working on understanding the math behind how he will always be three years older than Emmett, or he’s learned that asking me this question over and over is a hilarious way to make me go insane)
Me: When you are 25 1/2, Emmett will be 22 1/2.
Owen: What will I be doing when I’m 25 1/2? (A nice diversion from the usual exchange of asking the same question with different numbers for 10 minutes)
Me: I don’t know, exactly. You’ll probably be out of college. Maybe you’ll be in another school, like medical school or business school, or maybe you’ll have a job. And maybe a family. Would you want to have a family?
Owen: Yup. I want to be a Daddy and have a family. I want boy babies. Two boys. Like me and Emmett!
Me: Well, I hope you get that! You know, you don’t always get to choose what kind of babies you get, or if you get babies at all, though.
Owen: What’s medical school and business school?
Me: They are schools that you can go to after you finish college. To learn how to do certain jobs. Like to be a doctor or a lawyer or someone who works in business. What kind of job do you think you want to do when you grow up?
Owen: I want to go to medical school and then business school. And then I want to paint pictures of what I want to eat for snack as my job.
Me: I love that plan. (How apropos for the offspring of two liberal arts students: going to school forever and then becoming a painter!)

Owen: When do people stop growing?
Me: Well, it’s different for every person. I think around the time they go to college.
Owen: So when are you going to be as tall as Daddy?
Me: I’m not. I’m done growing. I went to college already.
Owen: And what about Schnitzel? When is he going to be as tall as Daddy?
Me: He’s done growing too. He’s “full grown”, which means he will stay the same size for the rest of his life. But his hair will keep growing.
Owen: But he didn’t go to college.
Me: True.

Owen: I hear a woodpecker!
::Owen runs to find his binoculars to see if he can see it::
Owen: What if a woodpecker pecked into your head and all over your face? Well then you’d need a LOT of bandaids. And you’d probably have to go to the store to get new ones because that’s a LOT of bloods. And you might have to see the doctor and they might say, “Why did a woodpecker peck your face, silly?!”.

 

I love this kid and his little brain so much.

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).

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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Or so I thought.

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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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It nearly bursts my heart.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A brother.

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

She Says… 8 Months

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?