Letter to Zeke: Eighteen Months

June 16th, 2009 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

It has been a full month for us, full of firsts and transitions.

At the beginning of May you delighted us with your love for parades.  Delighted us because we were able to see the Apple Blossom festivities through your eyes, rather than our “oh my God, we hate parades” jaded adult eyes.  Suddenly the myriad tractors and bands and animals seemed wonderful and exciting.  You were totally jazzed for the firefighter’s parade.  The entire time.  You danced to bands, watched elephants march past, were thrilled by the tractors and fire engines, and basically loved the entire experience.  For the first time since we have lived here, I enjoyed Apple Blossom.  Thanks, little man!

After the craziness of the beginning of May, we moved slowly toward our week of vacation, the days dragging by slower and slower.  Finally, it was your last week at school at our church preschool.  They had a big picnic at HRR and we had a less than fun time chasing you down as you tried to steal other kids’ balls and bikes and generally were frustrated by everything.  We were sad to say goodbye to SLC.  Sad to say goodbye to your teachers and your friends.  But that night, we were NOT sad to say goodbye to the picnic as we pulled out of the parking lot…the first people of over 400 people there to leave.

Then it was time for vacation!  We headed down to South Carolina to see mommy’s grandmother who is now 94 and daddy’s mama lou who is almost 90.  First stop, Nana’s.  Or…as you began calling her almost immediately, “Nanny.”  I told her that she could add one more name to the list of things her loved ones call her: Mer, Nana, Grandma, Mother, Miss Lib, Elizabeth…and now Nanny.  You loved Nanny’s walker so much, pushing it all around the house and refusing to return it to her unless we forced you to.

But when we outside all of that was forgotten.  Because we were on a farm.  Which meant cows (“MOOOO!”) and donkeys (“HEEE!”) and tractors (“TRACK-TORE!”) and roosters (“ERRERRRERRRR”!!!)  You were living large, tromping around in all that red clay with your boots and your hat and your john deere t-shirt.  We went swimming in the pool, you went to see the creek with your poppa.  And then, to top it off, we went to the zoo!  It was a trip full of animals.  You couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

On the way back to Martinsville, we went to visit Mama Lou.  You immediately broke one of her figurines.  And she immediately could have cared less.  You were your own, irrepressible self…and everyone loved you just the way you were.

You were such a good traveler as we rode with Papa for most of the trip.  And then we were able to go spend a few days in Martinsville with Papa, Nonny, and Gramps.  So it was a good time.

When we returned home, you began your first week at a full-time daycare.  It has been a rough transition.  Not one that any of us have enjoyed.  And though we have worked through all sorts of complicated equations trying to figure out how we could move or quit jobs or work part time to keep you with us more, we have finally realized that this is just the next necessary step as we pursue our vocations and also our role as your parents.  We will work to make it work for all of us as much as possible.  And hope and pray for the best for you.

You have not enjoyed it though.  No…not one bit.

Here’s hoping things get better soon and that your mother figures out an antidote for guilt.

Love,

Kristin

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Letter to Zeke: Seventeen Months

May 16th, 2009 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

I bet you didn’t think I would actually do this during your seventeenth month. And, if you were judging my failure to blog on any sort of accurate timeline in previous months, that supposition is warranted. But! But! I am only three days late today! Hooray!

You are seventeen months now. And you believe yourself to be fully grown. You want to drink from a cup without a lid, resulting in very wet shirts and floors and socks and faces. You want to use the potty on your own…so I bought you a little potty seat that you pull out, put on the toilet seat, I lift you to sit on, you sit for a while and then get down, remove the seat, shut the lid and flush. All of this is only a prelude to doing what you actually came to the bathroom to do, however: wash your hands. Oh my little obsessive compulsive darling. You LOVE to wash your hands, preferably with soap. You love to play in the sink and splash and get your hair wet. You love the little step stool from your great-grandparents’ house with the elephant that you place just so as you step up. You love every bit of it. If you aren’t in the bathroom, the kitchen sink will suffice. You just want your hands in that water. All. The. Time.

I bought you a pool the other day at Target for four bucks. A small inflatable pool. And for the past two days you have splashed happily in that and then come inside, dried off, and then asked to wash your hands. Sigh.

You are just a very independent, strong willed little man. Some things do not change. You would rather walk around than sit in a high chair. You would rather feed yourself food on your fork than be fed. If we are dipping bread in olive oil, you would like to do the same. You want to be fully grown so that you can do it all on your own by your own rules…just like your mommy and daddy. :)

Some new words you are adding to your repertoire seemingly daily: hat, waffle, bubble, balloon, pool, potty, wet (sounds like hot), hippo. You asked for a waffle for dinner last night. And though that seems small it was just a sign of the ways you can communicate your desires and wishes all the more each day.

And you LOVE saying truck now. It sounds like duck. Which sort of sounds like clock. But we are learning to differentiate. In all three words you stress the final hard K sound. Sometimes to the point that it sounds like Ach, which puts us in mind of Scottish lairds or Hebrew school. It’s cute.

Yesterday you were taking a nap and I realized that I was excited about you waking up so we could spend time together. It may seem like mommies should always feel that way. But you are a lot of work and I crave the breaks that your one nap a day affords. But when I have those moments of clarity when I can see fully the fun, interactive, amazing little kid you are, it makes me thankful for all the time we have together and excited to see what you will do next. Even if it means you have to wake up from your nap!

Yesterday after we got out of the pool and got you dried off and you were able to briefly wash your hands (of course) you got dressed. And grabbing the little duckie bathrobe I had put you in earlier, you swung the hood (aka HAT) onto your head and walked around for the better part of the afternoon pretending to be a duck. You ate your goldfish and drank your milk as a duck. You played with your trucks and puzzles as a duck. You just loved that.  And I did too.

Can’t wait to see what you do next!

Love,

Mommy

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Mother’s Day 2009

May 10th, 2009 by Rainey

On this second of my Mother’s Days you:

-decided not to take a nap

-ran a fever of indeterminate cause

-ate almost nothing and demanded to nurse only to stop almost immediately after latching on about a million times

-finally gave up the fight about an hour earlier than normal and went to bed before your daddy and I even ate dinner

Which caused me to:

-go to the ATM, CVS, and Wendy’s wearing my pj’s, my glasses, and flip flops to get cash, buy children’s motrin, and our supper because I was too beat to cook.

The romance of motherhood is, sometimes, almost overwhelming.

However, on this second of all my mother’s day, you also:

-were almost unceasingly happy about everything

-gave me numerous sloppy and loud, smacking kisses

-laughed and laughed when your daddy ran you around the backyard

-decided to be amazingly sweet to other children, laughing and smiling, hugging them, holding their hands, and giving them kisses…repeatedly…when we were having fun at the Robertsons’ house after lunch

-hugged my neck and your daddy’s neck simultaneously and gave us both kisses

-made me feel so lucky, happy, and blessed to be your mommy.

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Saturday Gratitude

May 9th, 2009 by Rainey

So sometimes life gets a little heavy.  And lest I fall into a miry pit of self-pity, I have decided to change my course and begin writing five things for which I am thankful each day, or at least once a week.

I am not holding myself to any permanent timeline with this whole gratitude idea.  Not because I don’t believe in being grateful and thankful for the gifts of life.  But because I know who I am.  You see, despite all my best laid plans, I am notoriously bad at self-discipline.  I am the one who gave up soda for Lent in college, then decided one soda a week would be ok, then moved to one a day.  And then…well, whatever.  Let’s just say I didn’t make it through forty days by a long shot.

I am also the one with an array of beautiful diaries and journals, all with varied covers symbolic of where I was in life when I bought them with the best intentions.  The pink princess journal with a lock and key: I was in elementary school and I had a little sister.  The bright green and pink and purple impressionistic flowered hardback journal that housed quotations and poorly constructed poetry: I was in high school, searching for wisdom, and trying to find it in the heads of other people while still thinking I was much smarter than I truly was.  The Japanese inspired blue leather journal that I wrote in post-partum: I was a bit depressed, but could still sense beauty underneath it all.  The muted blue leather journal with metallic overnotes that I sometimes still write in: conclusion still pending.

The thing is…those journals/diaries/blogs (ahem)/what-have-you began with great aspirations.  And I was pretty consistent for at least a week.  And then they began collecting dust on my nightstand and, finally, were unceremoniously shoved aside for books I was reading or other things that began to occupy my time and interest.  Same with my grand ideas when it comes to new spiritual disciplines.  I am just not very good at it.  And I could come up with millions of reasons why that might be…millions of excuses.  But basically, I get distracted easily and am just not all that disciplined in general.  Diets, diaries, exercise regimes, and big ideas.  All wonderful in theory, but generally never picked up as habit or incorporated into my day-to-day routines.

So perhaps I should revise my expectations and rather than begin with a goal for the days to come simply begin, period.

Five things for which I am grateful and thankful today, on this day before Mother’s Day:

1.  I was in Panera the other day eating by myself before picking Zeke up from daycare.  It was my “day off”–which holds less meaning than it used to.  But I was wedging in some quality time with a bowl of soup and my Christian Century magazine.  And I kept being distracted by all these other women.  The one who was carrying a toddler, a diaper bag, and a highchair to the table on her own.  The one who was eating while holding her infant in a sling while her other daughter sat across from her in the booth meticulously deconstructing her ham sandwich.  The one who was helping her mom with the cane to her table before going to get their food.  The one who was so obviously shoveling her salad into her mouth in a desperate attempt to eat something before her child tired of his bottle that I almost laughed.  And I was just filled with this sense of camaraderie and thankfulness.  I asked the woman with one too many things in her hands if she needed help and she said no, that she was fine.  And I chuckled a little bit, knowing that she was going to do it all.  Because that is what women do.  We do it all.  We work.  We care for each other and our loved ones.  We care for small children and elderly parents.  We make dinners and wash dishes.  We clean floors and organize our calendars and go to work in the morning and tuck children in at night.  And I was thankful that day.  For the experience of being a woman and a mother.  For knowing and loving and having such a wonderful relationship with my own mother.  I am so thankful for all she sacrificed and all she did for us and for the way she loves us.  For having the opportunity to see my sister grow in her own sense of self and strength and commitment and joy.  For having such powerful, strong, loving, gracious role models in my own life.  For having such good friends, even if they live very far away and feel very far away sometimes.  For being able to live this crazy, hectic, sometimes-bone-sucking, exhausting and still exhilirating life.  I am thankful for my son.

Was that five already?  I have more!

2.   Tonight I was feeling sorry for myself after we put Zeke down for bed.  Because it was 7:00 and my evening had effectively come to an end in terms of any social interaction.  I did not have a good book and we don’t have cable.  I had work I needed to do and no real motivation.  Conan was going to go for a run.  And I was just being pathetic.  I sat on the couch and Conan sat beside me and he listened to me gripe and he gave me options and asked me what he could do.  He listened and supported me while I came up with all my different ideas for the future.  And I realized that this was just our life in microcosm.  Because even when I say that women do it all, I know that I couldn’t do anything without my husband.  Feminists, don’t get mad!  I mean that I would just not be any good at any of this if I was in it on my own.  Having Conan there to listen and discuss things with.  Having him here to support me and root for me and want good things for me.  That is such a gift.  So tonight I am thankful for my husband.

3.  I am thankful for our internet connection.  All the friends we have here in W’chester are in a different life-stage than us.  Either they have grown children or have older children or have no children.  And so when our evenings end at 7 theirs continue.  They are either staying up later with their whole family.  Or they are leaving the house to do things and go places.  And I sit listening to the lullabies on the baby monitor and play online.  I love our computer because we have no cable and, as I mentioned previously, I have no good book to read tonight.  This may seem like a strange thing to list.  But tonight it feels pretty important.

4.  I am thankful that we have what we need tonight.  We ate a good dinner of leftovers because we had more than enough to eat last night.  We drove around because we have two good cars and can afford fuel.  We have a house and a cat and furniture and central air.  And after working at the soup kitchen this morning with my youth, I am once again reminded that these simple things are not always so simple.

5.  I am thankful for words and the way that they can help me reflect and rearrange myself so that I can go from pity-party to thanksgiving simply by writing a few meager lines.

What are you grateful for today?

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Letter to Zeke: Sixteen Months

May 4th, 2009 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

I am, unfortunately, once again very late in posting your monthly letter.  I guess it is just a sign of how very busy you have been keeping us lately!

All of a sudden you seem to be a big boy, full of words and your own plans and ideas.  We have trouble keeping up sometimes…which frustrates you.  But we are learning right along with you.

First of all…some of the awesome new things you do:

Give kisses.  You have a great big “mwah” sound you make when you give kisses or blow kisses.  It is one of my most favorite things ever.  You love giving us kisses and we sometimes just keep trading them for quite a while.  You kiss and hug your daddy bye-bye in the morning when he goes to work.  You blow kisses to your teachers when you leave daycare and your buddy George when we leave the office.  And recently you have begun kissing boo-boos.  If you pull our hair or bite or do some other hurtful thing out of frustration, we tell you it hurt, and you immediately kiss us to make it better.  You have also begun finding boo-boos on other people.  George had a bandaid on his hand the other day that you must have kissed ten times.  I had a scratch on my arm that you kissed.  Of course, you demand kisses for boo-boos too.  Quite frequently in fact.  To the point that sometimes I think you might be making some of them up.  But the very best is when you kiss your own booboos in the backseat when we are driving somewhere.  It is so extremely cute.

When we say prayers you do a funny squinty eyed face.  You understand that we are closing our eyes, but you are bound and determined you won’t be missing anything…so you pretend.  It is hilarious.  And at the word “Amen” you clap.

You are learning how to do the hokey-pokey fairly well, especially the “turn yourself around” part.

You love drinking water from cups with straws, opening up a whole new universe in “things that will amuse you for short periods of time at restaurants.”  Panera has become a Saturday morning ritual for breakfast, followed by grocery shopping.  It has been great fun!

Due to illness, “spring break” at daycare, and other weird coincidences, you and I spent a good month of Fridays together for full days by ourselves.  It was so wonderful and exhausting!  We had lunch together at Panera (once again with the Panera, I know!), we went sightseeing, we played on the playground, we played outside, we went to the library.  You are always on the move.  It is fun to try to keep up!

Some of your new words or words that you are perfecting: duck, ball, up, mommy, daddy, papa, hot (with hand outstretched as a sign), out, go, off, no, bird, plane (sort of), mine, octopus (I know.  so weird), balloon, cat.  You also stick out your tongue and blow for cars, moo when you see a cow, bark when you see a dog, try to oink for a pig, say baa for a sheep, neigh for a horse, chomp for the gator, yodel in a strange attempt at a cock-a-doodle-doo for a rooster, bawk bawk for a chicken, and trumpet with a hand motion for an elephant.  All of which is adorable.

You can point to almost all your body parts when prompted.  You can also pick out different animals from a lineup.

You are getting much better about going to sleep tonight.  You love to go upstairs for your bath because it means that you then get to snuggle in your pjs with monkey and your blanket on the futon and read books with daddy.  After spending copious amounts of time with mommy all day, you sure do love that special time with daddy.

You are getting better and better at going down steps.  You are pretty proficient at crawling up them…and now we are having to really watch that you don’t just try to go down them all on your own.  You still don’t know your own limits.  Which is wonderful in a way.  But also terrifying.

You absolutely LOVE playing outside.  If you could live outside you would.

You love to dance.  Which I also love to see you do.

You had a wonderful Easter, hiding Easter eggs and finding them.  On Palm Sunday weekend we were able to visit with Grammy and Grandpa.  We had such a good time!  And mommy and daddy even went on a date!  At church on Palm Sunday you decided the pebbles covering the egg were more interesting than the egg, piling them into your basket and then walking away, leaving the egg.  The playground equipment proved much more enticing.  But by Easter you had gotten the hang of it and loved finding the eggs and Papa John’s and Miss Mattie’s.  That evening your Papa arrived and you had a wonderful day with him on Easter Monday, despite having to go to the doctor with an ear infection.  You also got to spend some wonderful time with grandma and your great-gramps that evening and the next morning.  You sure do love being the center of attention.

You have always had a mind of your own.  More and more you are making your desires known.  Sometimes at very loud volume.  Sometimes with mini-tantrums.  Your daddy and I are learning about our style of discipline and learning what will work with you.  So far we have done a pretty good job.  We too know when it is time for us to take a break and a step back.  We hope we are teaching you what that looks like too!  :)

Oh!  A few other new loves in your life: your monkey that you sleep with, green gators, Thomas the Tank Engine (thanks to powerful marketing ploys that we have unsuccessfully avoided), Kipper, your books, and animals!  Oh the animals!

You are so much fun, my little man.

Love,

Your Mommy

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Holy Week…

April 9th, 2009 by Rainey

Well, it’s Thursday.  Maundy Thursday, to be exact.  And  I have no sermon.

Thankfully, I am not preaching at tonight’s service, and because of childcare issues I hoisted the Good Friday community service onto the senior pastor this year…but I am still preaching on Easter.  AND…no sermon.

Thursday is generally the day that I have everything done for Sunday.  Yes, I am that anal.  The Holy Spirit can move and breathe during my work-week hours, thank you very much.  And I have felt the Spirit’s presence during hasty revisions Saturday nights and before and between services on Sunday as well.  Just, in general, I would prefer not relying completely on the Spirit to give me words when I walk up to a pulpit on any given Sunday.

But this week, being, as it were, “holy,” means that in the midst of prayer stations for youth, visits to nursing homes and hospital rooms, extra services during the week, planning a community service day and a 6-month long fundraiser for a community center in Uganda…the sermon has been brushed to the periphery.

There’s just something about Holy Week that makes me want to pile on extra work.  A few years back we decided to buy a house during Holy Week.  This year we decided to work on Zeke’s sleep issues throughout the week.  And, I am just emotionally and physically drained.  My head hurts, my shoulders ache, my stomach has been weird.

And now I am trying to write a sermon.

Mary came to the tomb while it was still dark.  It feels pretty dark here too some days.  So I guess I will just lead myself to the tomb and wait for a miracle.  Like every other year.

Peace to you on this Holy Week and blessings for the coming Eastertide.

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Poem for the Day

April 2nd, 2009 by Rainey

At the risk of making this the most depressing blog ever, I am still going to post this poem:

Days Before the Funeral

Cards from the children, colorful and sticky

Hang like prayer flags above your bed.

Strung on clothesline as you lie

wide and loose and uncaring.

The casserole dishes crusty in the sink

The yard sale leftovers lying in heaps

on a carport with no cars.

Women rearrange afghans and flutter on the periphery

Children climb into the laps of strangers and lay down their tangly heads

Old men smoke on the porch, hands hung loosely between their knees,

nodding their heads at the neighbors who drive past.

A silence loiters

The history channel plays on mute

The downstairs renter moves out his things

The laughter and dampened lights and our

Sighs as we clasp one anothers’ hands.

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I Mean, HONESTLY!

March 31st, 2009 by Rainey

I now know why some women stay home with their children instead of reentering the workforce after giving birth.  While there are convincing reasons such as spending “quality time” with your children or truly enjoying playing toddler games of “build the blocks and knock them down” over and over…I am pretty sure that a good portion of women who can afford to stay home do so because they know that the money spent on daycare is ridiculously compounded over and over again by the cost of all the damn doctor visits making it come out about even in the long run.

Our son…who was breastfed and came to work with me for the first nine months of his life, etc. etc. Attachment Parenting, etc….has been sick for the majority of three and a half months.  The latest addition to our ongoing list of baby infirmities is now pink eye.  Oh, pink eye!  Why?!  Why?!

It didn’t seem bad at first.  Just a little watery.  A little pink on his eyelid mainly.  He was his normal, happy self.  And then I took him to the doctor because he was running a bit of a fever too and they prescribed him drops.  After two drops that day he looked almost completely better by that evening.  So we bee-bopped him along in our normal routine for the next couple of days until Sunday threw up all over us as his eye swelled up, his nose became a veritable fount of snot, and he looked like he had been run over by a mac truck.

Not to mention the sleepless nights.  Oh…the sleepless nights…

So we carted him back to the doctor only to find out that he still had pink eye, but apparently was ALLERGIC TO THE DROPS THEY HAD PRESCRIBED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Internets?  Did you hear me?  HE WAS ALLERGIC TO THE THING THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE HIM BETTER!

So much so that he now has a slight sinus infection from all the congestion, one of his ears looked like it was “on the verge of infection” and instead of one drop three times a day he is on new meds that require two drops four times a day and an oral antibiotic once a day!  FANTABULOUS!

Because giving/administering medicine to a fifteen month old is so damn easy.  It is like a cake walk.  Only instead of cakes you end up stepping in big steaming piles of….well you catch my drift.

He howls like a cat with his tail caught in the door as we wrestle him (lovingly) to the floor and pry open (with gentleness) his eyelids and or mouth.  Try to place two drops somewhat accurately onto his eye or try to force a teaspoon of meds into his mouth and then hope beyond hope that he won’t projectile vomit it back onto us.

And then, after a long, exhausting day of wrestling and cajoling your son into taking medicines that may or may not be somehow POISONING him…you give him a warm bath, put him in cute pj’s, and proceed to wrestle and cajole him into sleeping for more than an hour or so at a time for the rest of the night.

Rinse and repeat.

Ain’t parenthood grand?

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If I Had Only Known…

March 24th, 2009 by Rainey

how fun it was to have the carseat turned around, we would have done it at the first possible moment.  Instead, we waited around, all concerned about “safety.” Pshaw!

You are loving facing forwards.  You are fascinated by the radio buttons and being able to see out the windshield and the other windows.  You also, I must admit, absolutely are delighted to be able to see your mama!

And I am learning that all those times I couldn’t see you in the back very well you were quite possibly doing very cute things.  Such as conducting, with both hands, the classical music that we blare out of the speakers while driving you around.  Or trying to snap in time.  (That just kills me!)

Or cuddling your sock monkey.  Or “flying” your toy plane around.  Or grinning at me like an idiot at stoplights because you are just.so.happy. you are able to finally see me!  (Ok…that one probably only happens now that you actually are able to see me….but you get the gist.)

I love this new development in our daily meanderings and commutes.  What fun!

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Letter to Zeke: Fifteen Months

March 19th, 2009 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

Well, we continued our string of “hard months in 09″ this past month as you faced illness after illness.  From a double ear infection to roseola to a strange bout of diarrhea for about a week, we have again run the gamut of childhood illnesses that are annoying but not particularly scary.  Sleep-disrupting, laundry-producing, painful and uncomfortable…but not life-threatening.

I have found that, even as I complain and roll my eyes over how frequently you are sick because of daycare and our crazy lifestyle, I am so thankful that in reality you are a pretty healthy little boy.  You come down with things…but we are so lucky that we are not in and out of the hospital with serious conditions.  I can’t even imagine.

You continue to do new and fun things.  You are babbling your head off these days and love to point out all the things you see like birds and planes and animals.  You bark at the dogs every day as we leave daycare.  And you wave bye bye and blow kisses to your teacher as you climb the stairs up to the parking lot.  You play chase with your buddy George in the office, and love to grab my hand and pull me to the various things you want to do and the places you want to go.  I love that.

In the morning you have begun giving us kisses when your daddy leaves for work.  And you wait with me at the storm door to see him pull in in the evenings, throwing your head back in delight when his car pulls in.

When we get ready to leave for school, I pull you into your coat and you grab my keys and try to unlock the door.  Then you grab my hand and push open the storm door to go down the front steps (you missed them once when you decided to let go of my hand and scraped up the side of your face pretty badly)…and then you take a hard left and try to barrel down the sidewalk.  In the opposite direction from the car.  I stop you and stoop down, asking you to look at me.  And I tell you that you have to hold my hand or else I will carry you.  You (sometimes reluctantly and with prodding…sometimes after being picked up and protesting for a while) grab my finger and keep walking, pointing to cracks in the concrete, pieces of mulch, the weird Redskins troll in our neighbors yard that you love…

Finally we reach the end of the sidewalk and I turn you, sometimes forcibly, around, and we head to the car.  I buckle you in your seat and we head to school.  Life is pretty fun these days.

When we eat dinner at night we have begun just giving you a plate with all sorts of finger foods, depending on the night: cut up sandwich and green beans, ravioli and banana, cheese and pieces of fruit…a veritable smorgasbord.  One of the wonderful parts of this is that your daddy and momma can eat their dinner as you eat yours, finishing things off with a spoon food…which you are beginning to spoon into your own mouth more and more.  It’s pretty cool.

To celebrate you fifteen monthiversary, our friends Mark and Chandra came to visit us (actually, that was more to celebrate Chandra’s big 3-0…but we’ll let you believe what you like)…we had such a good time.  You absolutely love hanging out with them.  And you were such a hambone, dancing and laughing and “singing” to your Raffi cd by pulling your tongue in and out of your mouth as you mouthed unknown words and rocked your head from side to side.   You would grab Mark’s hand and take him on tours of the house and play with legos with him.  You looked at magnets on the fridge while Chandra held you.  And you sat at the table and told them all sorts of things during dinner.

The next night you entertained my youth with the same dance moves you had used the night before…moves that look alarmingly like the Safety Dance from the 80s…but I used to love that song.  So it’s ok.  One of the most wonderful things is seeing how your sheer exuberance and unselfconscious way of living life affects my teenagers.  All of a sudden they are dancing and singing too…doing things they wouldn’t be caught dead doing with just their peers…it is a good thing.

We love you, little man.  Even in those moments when you are infuriatingly independent and as you grow increasingly strong-willed, we find that you are still more and more fun each day.

Love,

Mama

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About Living in the Spaces

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