Tag Archives: walking

Reflections on a year

Jake’s birthday is imminent.  In just a few days he will be one year old.

It’s so cliche,  but I cannot figure out where the last year went.  It’s been a year of a lot of changes — sold our house, moved back to NY state, quit my job/career thing.  Through all that Jake’s been happily along for the ride.  I spent five months of maternity leave just loving on him as much as I could, and he made it so easy.  He practically came out of the womb smiling.  And once he learned how to laugh, man, it barely stopped.  He is one happy guy.  His smile lights up his whole face and is, in a word, infectious.

After the maternity leave, I went back to work three days a week, and Jake went to day care with his sister.  He seemed to instantly win over the girls who worked in the infant room.  They would light up when we arrived in the morning, and gushed continually about what a wonderful baby he was.  He didn’t sleep much for them – he is and has always been incredibly sensitive to noise when he sleeps – but no matter to them, because his demeanor was always cheery and easy-going.

Then we sold our house, and moved, and I gave my notice at work, and my notice at day care, all in late September/early October.  At that point Lane had just started in a new classroom so her teacher wasn’t much attached to her yet or vice versa, so that wasn’t an issue… but because Jake was still a baby he had remained in the infant room, with the girls who doted on him without remorse.  But regardless, the two center managers knew Lane since she’d started there at six months old, and Lane’s previous teacher was now the teacher in the classroom Jake would graduate to once he mastered walking.  They all cried when I told them.  Cried.  I cried, too.  As much as I was looking forward to my days with my babies, it was emotionally very difficult to remove them from an environment where they were so well cared-for and loved, and where I knew they were safe.  I had about 15 minutes of sentimentality about leaving my job… leaving that day care center was so much more difficult for me.  I still miss them, and Lane still talks about a couple of her friends and asks to see them.

Of course, being home with them isn’t all gumdrops and lollipops.  There are times, like right now, where Frank just caught Lane smacking Jake and put her in time out and now she’s wailing from on our bed for me, like I’m going to go easier on her for being mean to her brother.  Or when Jake fights having his nails cut so hard I’m tempted to duct-tape him to a chair to get it done.  Or at the mall today when Lane decided listening was optional so she lost the privilege of visiting the Princess Store (a.k.a. the Disney Store) and she became a wet noodle and I had to carry her to the car wailing and wet-noodle-like.  And the times, which really occur nightly, where Jake refuses to sleep more than two or three hours at a stretch.

But mostly, really, it’s fun and amazing and awesome and fulfilling. I love watching Jake and Lane interact and love on each other, seeing them learn, seeing them play and playing with them, and more than anything feeling like I can be a better mother because I’m not trying to cram all that motherhood into the too-small window after work, when everyone’s tired and cranky from a long day.  Though I suspect Frank thinks I’m tired and cranky all day anyway, because that’s mostly what he sees when he gets home from work every day.  Two kids are a lot of work, especially when one of them is a three year-old with a body capable of sustaining a constant fusion reaction… because seriously, she barely eats, so cold fusion is the only way I can think of that she has as much energy as she has.

And her constant state of motion provides such a contrast to her brother.  He’s a cool, content dude.  Happy to be in a sling, happy to be in a stroller, happy to be in the playard, just happy.  Crying from Jake means one of three things:  he’s tired, he’s hungry, or his sister has him in a headlock.  Though, that’s becoming less true nowadays, since the boy is walking.  He’s hurt himself as much as Lane has injured him over the last couple weeks.

He’s not just walking either… he has a veritable inventory of skills.  He claps.  Oh, does he clap!  He claps after he walks, he claps when he hears anyone else clapping, even if they are on TV.  He claps when you laugh.  He’s quite a pointer, too.  He has one word, Dog, though it sounds like Duh.  I think in the last day or two Lane has been designated “A”.  He points at her and says “A”.   One of his most recent additions is tickling.  We’re big on tickling, and when I tickle Lane he tries to, too.  If you say “I’m gonna tickle you!” he wiggles his fingers at you.  He’s also waving with meaning, which is just awesome.  And, he knows the sign for milk, which we use for nursing.  He doesn’t use it to ask to nurse yet, but when he knows that breastfeeding is imminent he starts signing “milk”.  I think, though, his most impressive skill is climbing.  Given he’s spent most of his mobile life in this 2 bedroom apartment which completely lacks stairs, he can sure get up a flight of stairs awfully quickly.  Or get on a step stool.  Or on the padded ottoman in our living room.  He can nearly get himself into the bathtub by himself.

He’s just such a little person now.  I love it.

Bon anniversaire

I turned 32 today.  Much to my surprise… for some reason for most of January I thought I was already 32, and then I did the math.  Duh… so this is what it’s like to be old.

We are celebrating in many festive ways.  Mother Nature decided today was a good day to lay down more snow than we’ve had all winter.  Frank has a veritable booger rave going on in his face (seriously, I think his sinuses are on E), and is running and on-and-off temperature.  Because of that, my birthday festivities, supplied by my in-laws in the form of cooking us dinner and providing cake, were postponed.  Our plumbing joys have returned, bigger and badder than ever.  Flushing the toilet or really using any plumbing is thus off-limits until the plumber gets here tomorrow.   I went to the mall to escape the flu-fest in the house (I didn’t even know about the plumbing until Frank called to give me a status).  Lane managed to walk right into a table in a store and has a good bump on her forehead to show for it.  When I went back to the car the escalator to where we were parked (our mall has underground parking under the mall) was shut off, so I had to negotiate the escalator stairs with two kids and a stroller and various bags, during which my Old Navy bag ripped and vomited all my purchases all over the the stairs.

But there were some highlights.    A nice teenage boy helped me pick up the vomited clothes while the rest of the kids he was with kept Lane from scurrying off.  (Teenage boys being generally nice and doing kind things somehow renews my faith in humanity.)  I got a free birthday gift at Sephora because I’m on their mailing list.  I bought some great stuff for the kids and Frank and me for our upcoming vacation to Aruba in April.  Jake got his first pair of big boy walking shoes, because each day he chooses to walk more and crawl less.  I figure by the time his first birthday rolls around in a week and a half, crawling may more or less be a thing of the past.   He’s pretty sure of himself when he walks, but the new shoes must have felt weird and heavy and he got even more zombie-like in his gait than he normally is.  (I want to groan “BRRRAAAIIINNNSS!” every time he walks.  Sometimes I do, but usually only when nobody else is around.)  Jake also had his first foray into chicken nuggets today for dinner.  He had one and-a-half.  This thrills me to bits because Dino Nuggets, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, are a staple around here, so it opens that as a dining option for him when he won’t eat what I make for dinner.  I also got a Wii from Frank (thank you again, honey!), and I CANNOT WAIT until the kids are asleep so I can hook it up and try it out!!!!

So I didn’t get any cake, but I did have a Frosty at the mall, so that almost makes up for it.  I know my in-laws plan on supplying ice cream cake when we celebrate my birthday after Frank’s well enough to participate in the festivities.  It will probably be a Carvel cake which is totally acceptable, but I hinted that they could also get one from Cold Stone Creamery.  Oh my, if they come through on that one I will be oodles of happy.

Who said they could grow up?

Lane amazes me nearly every day.

Lately, we’ve found the bedtime ‘routine’ that works best is simply to ask her to get herself into bed, give her permission to turn on her bedside light and tell her she can look at as many books as she likes, then turn off her light whenever she’s ready.

She nearly always picks out about seven or eight books to page through, does this in 10-15 minutes, and then turns the light out and is asleep soon afterwards.

It is just such a grown-up way to do bedtime. It’s how *I* do bedtime most nights. Sigh.

In other news, Jake is 11 months old today. My goodness, where does the time go? He’s got such a vibrant personality, it just makes my heart smile. He is almost constantly happy and giggly. He loves singing, and has started to participate in singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” by saying “ro ro ro ro ro ro”. We also add a second verse:

Rock, rock, rock your boat, gently down the stream.

If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! [scream here]

Jake highly anticipates the scream. Gets downright giddy and acts completely impatient if you sing the second verse but leave out the scream.

And he’s walking. Not as his primary mode of transportation, though I suspect by his first birthday he’ll be tooling around all bipedal. For now, he’s stringing together four or five steps at a time, and is just pleased as punch with himself.

Of course, as generally comes with most developmental milestones – and walking is a biggie – he’s not much interested in going to sleep. He fell asleep at 8:00 p.m., and I erroneously thought he was going to bed a little early. Oh no, silly Mommy, that was just a nap. He’s now sitting awake on the couch with his daddy as I write this. Yeah, it’s 1:00 a.m. I tried getting him to sleep a half-hour ago and he’d have nothing to do with it. He must have thought I was pretty funny to try, because all he did was laugh at me.