10 months, for George

DSC_1055
Dear George,
What a month it has been! A whirlwind of fall is upon us and you are doing all sorts of fun things. For example, you high-tailed it three-quarters of the way up the stairs. We didn’t know you did this until we heard you thud thud thud, bump, thud, thud thud THUD SCREAM, hit the landing. Your dad and I FLEW into the living room (we were all in the kitchen making dinner when you disappeared) and you appeared to be terrified, but fine. Not even one bruise to speak of. You were so lucky. The next day we went to Babies R Us and purchased a baby gate. It works for now, but you like to pull yourself up to it, and shake it as hard as you can, as if to say, “It is only a matter of time before I will defeat you, baby gate!”

You are our crazy boy.

This morning in the rush of me trying to get myself and Simon out the door to work and school, I found you in the kitchen, playing with a box of cereal and surrounded by cartons of yogurt and a can of black beans. In both hands you had a piece of Simon’s homework, and you were waving them in the air as if you wanted to take off flying. Your dad and I looked at you and shook our heads. You are our wild man, into everything. You love “grown up things.” We are constantly pulling you out from under the end table, where you like to play with the modem and router. Or we have to pull you away from the electrical outlet, or take small things out of your hands. You want whatever isn’t yours’ to play with. And you scream bloody murder when things are taken from you without your express permission.

The baby sitter said you’ve started to get a “little aggressive”– which is probably true. Simon loves to play with you now that you are more mobile and you two will shriek and play upstairs like crazy people. Your face lights up in a way that is different when you play with Simon. It is clear that you think he is the best. The rest of us are chopped liver when Simon is giving you the time of day. And boy, does he love you, too. Sometimes when he is getting in trouble, he will yell at me (or dad) “I ONLY LOVE GEORGE- I DO NOT LIKE YOU OR DADDY ANYMORE!” So far you are still on his good list. :) I hope it lasts.

In addition to your falling down the steps milestone, you occasionally take a step or two. And you will stand up in the middle of a room directly, by yourself, sometimes with no assistance of furniture or anything around you. You will be running around here by Christmas no doubt. I am terrified and excited.

You are still eating baby food, but we have started trying SOME other foods like those melt-away puffs and tiny bits of softer grown up foods. You still gag and barf a lot, so we’re taking it easy, but I am convinced that someday you will eat like a normal person and we won’t all feel the need to duck and cover, should you gag and barf what you just ate all over us, as you sometimes tend to do.

Your little personality is just so fun and funny. You are very easily entertained, and you still love your farm toys and o-balls to chase around the house. But most of all you love your brother. You would follow him just about anywhere, and when we come home each day, you rush to the door yelling for us to greet us.

You sign ball, milk, daddy and sometimes mommy (we think). You SAY dada and baba. You are otherwise quiet most of the time, but when you do talk, you babble on and it is so fun to listen.

I just love you so much. I love your dimple, your light brownish blond hair that waves over your ears and on the nape of your neck. I love the way you give me kisses when you wake up in the morning, even at 5am, your wet open mouth kisses are the best. And even though you have only slept SORT OF through the night for about a week total in your 10 months of existence on this planet, I still love you more than you’ll ever know…EVEN THOUGH I AM A COMPLETE ZOMBIE AND FUELED BY CAFFEINE AND CANDY MOST OF THE TIME.

So if you want to start sleeping more often, that’d be great too.

I just love your guts, kiddo. I can’t wait to see all you become. Watching you and your brother grow up is the biggest privilege of my lifetime. Keep on being awesome.

All my heart,
Mama

20141013-193533.jpg

9 months, for George

Oh Georgie,

20140916-205058.jpg

Well let’s see. You have oh-so-many tricks now! You blow raspberries and occasional kisses. You push a toy cart around the house, walking like Frankenstein behind it. You have pushed it into furniture and walls and you will scream when you’re stuck and can’t move it any further. You wave, clap and stand. You want to be in the middle of everything exciting. I love that about you.

You squeal and squeal with your brother when he gets wild. You follow him all over and will pull yourself up to the table and yell at the top of your lungs to chime in with his noises. You come barreling towards me when I get home from work, so happy to see me. You have a funny tripod like crawl, one foot on the ground, one knee on the ground, and you are so fast and furious. Your favorite toys are your O-ball, which you will crawl after and throw, playing catch with yourself. You also still love your barn and farm animals. I just noticed this morning that you know how to get the animals out of the silo, where they’re kept.

You are a sweet sweet baby boy and just the cutest thing. I took you to the eye doctor and you had the whole office smiling as you squealed and tripod crawled all over the waiting room. You were great in the office and we scheduled a tear duct probing for September 24th. I’m nervous for it but also glad we’re getting it done because hopefully your eye will be less goopy when it’s over with.

20140916-205118.jpg

At your 9 month dr. appointment/checkup the doctor gave me THREE specialist referrals, one for your gag reflex, since you don’t really like to eat solid food yet. You like baby food just fine- sweet potatoes are your favorite. But any time we’ve given you table food, even in small tiny pieces, you gag and sometimes throw up. I’m not convinced this needs looked into- you may grow out of this too- but if not, we have a referral for a speech pathologist or something for you. We also got a referral for a urologist, which we don’t really need either. And a referral for a cranial ultrasound, because your head is so big, but again we don’t think you really need that. Your brother has a giant head (always has) your dad has a giant head (always has) and your head size is proportionate to your body weight and height. So basically I’m looking at other pediatricians because I think this one is a little kooky. I mean, if things pop up where we think it’s necessary, then sure by all means we can go see a specialist but I felt like she was giving us a long list of issues that aren’t really issues. You are my perfect boy, who is growing perfectly and learning every day. I’m not worried.

20140916-205038.jpg

You still go to a baby sitter and I think that’s going okay. Everything you do all day is recorded in a notebook and even though it’s nearly full and falling apart, I told daddy I’ll be keeping it for you since it’s really a funny journal of sorts, of your first few months. I really can’t imagine our family without you here. When I look back at the times before you were here, it feels like something’s missing. And now, I know what it was- it was you! I cherish you and love rocking you to sleep. Even in the middle of the night (because you still wake up….in the middle of the night) I love looking at your sweet cheeks and tiny little chin, nuzzled up against me as we rock and rock.

You are my sweet boy, Georgie Porgie Puddin’ and Pie. We love you so so much and watching you grow up is painful and beautiful and awesome.
20140916-205139.jpg

I love you more than you’ll ever ever know.

Mama

 

Mom Homework

Simon’s teacher sent home a form for parents to fill out about our family and children. I thought I would share my answers here, or at least what I can remember of the answers I wrote, because they were such good questions.

What is your child’s

Favorite color- red

Favorite book- Elephant and Piggie books, books about dragons, any and all books, too many to choose.

Favorite toy- dress up clothes and accessories

Favorite games to play- pretend playing, pirates, etc. Also sports

Does your child like to

Play alone – yes, but would rather play with others

Play with other children- yes

Pretend- YES!

Draw and Color- not especially

Listen to stories- yes, and audiobooks

My child is very good at: Listening (usually). Being kind and a good helper. Simon is an amazing big brother. He has an incredibly vivid imagination. He is full of good ideas.

I want you to know this about my child: He is very sensitive and he has a long memory.

My child does not like: Bugs. Loud noises, sometimes he doesn’t like busy-ness or places with too many people and loud noises.

What occupations do the adults in your home have? Mom is a librarian, Dad works for the state of Ohio

What do you hope your child gets out of Kindergarten this year? It is most important to us that Simon maintains his love of books and reading, even though learning to read can be hard. We want to foster a love of learning in general and supplement any classroom learning with hands on activities at home when possible.

 

First week of Kindergarten

We finished Simon’s first week of Kindergarten. What a huge transition it has been! We walk to school every morning. People and parents come clamoring out of their houses carrying coffees and backpacks and we trudge up what’s called “Kindergarten Hill.” Then we stand around looking at each other nervously, sizing up other kids and wondering how the hell I got to this point where I have a child old enough to be in school. Wasn’t he just a baby?

Simon has been exhausted every night and morning, though I get the feeling that he is doing wonderfully there. He is a good listener and doesn’t want to get in trouble. I think that by the end of the day, he has just about had it with all of the rule following and learning. The evenings are FILLED with pretend-playing, dressing up, wild horse play and occasional melt-downs from over-tiredness. Everything is new. Routines are different.

My first baby is a Big Kid.
 

20140825-162747.jpg

I didn’t cry on the first day. He had a few tears when I walked out, but he quickly recovered (so I’m told).

I took off work to pick him up and the teacher said “Oh he cracked me up. We did learning assessments today, so they were asked a lot of questions. Simon said to another boy in the class, ‘This is WORSE than preschool'” and she chuckled.  I think I like the teacher. I am nervous about him being somewhere new, but I know it was time for him to go and learn. This letting go business of parenting is hard.

 
20140825-162826.jpg
Over the weekend we had some tears and more lessons learned and a lot of me employing 1-2-3 Magic techniques. I don’t like having to do this. We have such little time together, I hate that so much of it is spent with me saying “No” or “Think about your choices..” or “Okay, That’s one.” But that is where we are. And he is still such a sweet boy. This growing up stuff is tough on all of us.

20140825-162853.jpg

Simon, Questions age 5

Here’s a peek into Simon’s head at age 5.
  1. What is your favorite color? “Ummmm…Spiderman’s color.” What’s that? “The red part of Spiderman.”
  2. What is your favorite toy? Spiderman and Iron Man. And my Transformer T-Rex.
  3.  What is your favorite tv show or movie? “My favorite show is Justin Time.”
  4. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? “Chicken nuggets”
  5.  What is your favorite outfit? Cleveland Indians jersey and my USA jersey
  6. What is your favorite game? Baseball.
  7. What is your favorite snack? Star Wars fruit snacks.
  8. What is your favorite animal? “Lion. I mean Dragons. I love Dragons.”
  9. What is your favorite song? “Underwater ABC’s”
  10.  Who is your best friend? Tommy and Theodore.
  11.  Where is your favorite place to go? School.
  12. What would you like to learn more about now that you’re 5? “Iron Man and Spiderman because I don’t know much about them. Is Spiderman a man or just a suit?”
  13. What do you love about yourself? “I love all the arts I do at school. And glitter” You like being artistic? “Yes. I love it when I put glitter on my art. Red white and blue!”
  14. What does Daddy do at work? “Um helps them learn to drive.”
  15. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? “My Dragon.”
  16. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? “pancakes!”
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up? A swim coach.

And here are answers from Simon at age 4.

Letter to the boy, month 60

DSC_0335

Birthday Cupcakes at the rained-out baseball birthday party

Dear Simon,

Once again I’m faced with the challenge of composing a letter to you that sums up all of the feelings I’ve been having over the last year as you’ve gotten older. This year is the hardest I think. I am having to let-go far more now than ever before. I have to let you go to a new school, where there will be new kids and new routines, and a whole new set of expectations. I am far more nervous than you are.

DSC_0235There is no baby left in you at all, not a smidge. You are all 100% boy. It is simultaneously breaking and bursting my chest with heartache and pride.

Over the last year, you have learned to go across the monkey bars all by yourself. We let you wander further away from us at the park. We let you play outside in the yard or on the porch with limited supervision. Occasionally I’ll leave George with you in the other room and ask you to keep an eye on him. You are just getting bigger and bigger. I love it and wish it would stop all at once.

Every so often you will branch out and try a new food. At times you can be reasoned with and your logic seems far more advanced than a 5 year old’s should be. You listen to us talk, really listen to conversations grown ups have. This year you’ve started to ask the Big Questions- about God and Death. For five years old, you have an awfully smart head on your shoulders. One night after a particularly bad episode at the park, you sang the song “You can’t always get what you want…” to yourself, as though you were reminding yourself of an important lesson. When you do things like that, I catch a glimpse of your conscience and I couldn’t be prouder. You are such a sweet and kind little boy.

You still eat peanut butter and jelly every day at school, and you LOVE Gatorade even though it is a very special treat (and we still water it down). You love to watch shows on Netflix like Daniel Tiger, Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers and Justin Time. Sometimes you will do projects in workbooks with your Daddy, who plays much more often than I do. You and Daddy play all sorts of sports together, and all sorts of imagination games. Often you are pirates or explorers or knights. You love to use accessories and costumes to add excitement to your playing. It is one of my favorite things about you, your imagination and love of dressing up and acting.

DSC_0445

At times you get very shy, which is difficult for me to deal with because I’ve never really been that way and I don’t know how to handle it. You are the sweetest big brother, and George just adores you. You love to give him hugs and kisses and you also love cuddles from your dad and me.

Tonight we went to your Kindergarten Ice Cream social. It was a night for kids to meet their teachers and have ice cream and see their classmates. The school was hot and filled with people swarming around the gym. It was overwhelming for me, so I know it was even more so for you. As often as I could, I kneeled down and told you that real school wouldn’t be so filled with grown ups. Real Kindergarten would be more kids. It wouldn’t be as noisy and busy. You wouldn’t let go of my hand. Suddenly you seemed much smaller than usual. And while we sat at the cafeteria table eating ice cream, you got chocolate all over your face. A wave of nostalgia came over me and I remembered you as my baby. I told you I couldn’t believe how fast you grew up. You shrugged and kept eating. I just can’t believe it. Kindergarten.

I wonder all the time, how I lucked out to have such a great little family. But I also wonder – all the time, how you turned out to be so special. You are a helper, a thinker, and a person filled with such wonderful ideas. I love watching you learn and put those ideas into action. You are going to do amazing things in this world. And a day doesn’t go by where I don’t thank my lucky stars for having you in my life. I am your biggest fan. Thank you for being you.

I love you. Happy Birthday.

Mama

20140811-210448.jpg

20140811-210538.jpg