On Monday I picked raspberries.
Yesterday we picked buckets and buckets of cherries.
Today I will use the whey from my homemade yogurt to make pickles out of our homegrown cucumbers.
I get such a kick out of this!
Monday, August 3, 2009
This is such a fun phase of babyhood – so many smiles and giggles and none of the troubles that mobility brings! You often seem much more prescient than I would expect from a five-month-old – like you really are actually trying to tell me something with each little coo. And sometimes your tears seem almost calculated – you often will scream your head off until you're held and then everything is magically fine. Sometimes it's especially uncanny when you cry and cry while I hold you then I hand you off to Daddy and you're as happy as a clam. Could it be that you have such strong preferences already?
You officially rolled from tummy to back a week ago and you're nearly sitting up as well. I'm trying to get you to eat solids, but you hate the high chair and you really prefer real food to baby food. Sucking on a carrot stick or tasting ice cream? Yum yum. Baby food carrots? Not so much. You still give me a lot of trouble with breast feeding as well – the only way you will eat is if we are in a quiet, darkened room. That's really hard to achieve with two noisy siblings running around!
I think you think Isaac and Abby exist for your personal entertainment (they probably think the reverse is true). You watch them constantly and your laugh is never quicker than when one of them is playing “peek-a-boo” with you. Isaac is very tuned into you and always trying to calm you or make you laugh and Abby adores choosing your clothes and bringing me diapers.
Sometimes I call you “Mr Grumpy” because you are happy in any one activity for about ten minutes and then you want a change of scenery thank-you-very-much. I start running out of things to do with you most days by about noon! All I can do is hope that it's a sign of an active mind. You are having to learn a little patience too, though, since Mama is keeping up with THREE kids and that means taking turns.
You've gotten to try all sorts of fun things this summer: camping (you and me slept in the van) and hiking and picnics and parades and company and bike rides and the list goes on and on. Most of it you seem to care less about as long as you're being held and walked about so that your scenery is always varied.
You're still sleeping in your bassinet in our room since you're not sleeping through the night. Whoulda thunk it would be the third baby that would dispel my notions of having nighttime sleep figured out. My current theory is that you are simply hungry, since you eat very well in the night and during the day you simply refuse to eat if you are not actually hungry.
Anyway, I love you, little guy. Nuzzling my nose into your cheek and feeling your little hands cup my face is just about the most satisfying feeling in the world. Your smile and your little voice and your chunky thighs and your body pressed up against mine . . . I wish I could save them all forever. Yet grow you must . . . and do.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
You just barely mastered pedaling your tricycle when Isaac got a new bike and now you want his old one (plus training wheels). You can do it too! The technique is all there – it's just leg strength that needs some work. You and Isaac have fun riding around the patio – going to California or a motel or wherever suits your fancy. Grandpa Curt and Daddy built you a “fort” with sandbox last month and you truly love to play in the sand. It amazes me how absorbed you get, especially when you're alone. Your ability to focus will be a big asset as you get bigger!
“Let's check the garden, Mama” - you love munching green beans right off the bush, and our homegrown lettuce gets your approval as well. Every time you see me holding the watering can, you insist on watering “my little pot” of flowers. You're also game to help me in the kitchen anytime, including our new venture of homemade yogurt. You closed your eyes as you sampled like you saw me do even though I could tell you didn't like it in its unsweetened form!
I can barely sit down before you're next to me with a book in hand, “Can you read me a story, Mama?” And I can hardly ever bring myself to say no. You love stories – even just looking at picture books by yourself. You've also got such a vivid imagination – I came upon you one day playing with some invisible friend named “Ellie. Her brother died but she's getting a new one.” And your vocabulary and phrasing is sometimes pretty mature as a result of internalizing all of that language: “Oh, Mother, I would love to have a new sweater in the fall!”
“I just love Matthew so much!” You love having a baby brother. It seems you never tire of “getting him a diaper” or “bringing him a toy”. Last night I sat Matthew on my chest and nuzzled his tummy to make him laugh. You started imitating me and he laughed twice as hard when you did it! You also “feed baby Hope from my body” just like you see Mama do.
You've decided now to be a princess or an acrobat instead of a ballerina. Your definition of “princess” seems to have something to do with being a nurse, as whenever someone is hurt you run to their aid exclaiming, “I'm the princess!” Pigtails and ponytails are out – you often ask me to braid your hair and I do when I can spare the extra time.
Sometimes when you throw a tantrum or dissolve in tears, Daddy and I will have to remind each other “She's only two!” It seems you are mature beyond your years, and we often expect you to act four or five! The other day I told Isaac to take three more bites and he said, “But I already took a bite!” I replied, “Then how many more bites do you need to eat?” You jumped in quickly, “Two more bites!” Subtraction already, eh? You're delightful!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Summer is speeding along as it always does, and you are right in the thick of it. We're out and about all the time – summer street festivals, Storybook Island, Old MacDonald's Farm, Reptile Gardens, Sheridan Lake, camping (three times already!), visits from grandparents, sharing meals with friends and family two and three times a week . . . it doesn't get much better than this.
You did six weeks of swimming lessons (well, five, actually, since I accidentally missed the first week). Last year you hated getting your face wet and refused to put your head under water. You have really improved since now you take your teacher's advice and make “puffy cheeks” whenever you put your face in. You can back float for a few minutes and doggy paddle a few feet to the edge of the pool. Not bad for your first lessons! Your teacher graduated you to the next level and gave you a certificate for a free family swim at a Rapid City pool – we'll have to do that soon!
Papa found you a bigger bike so now you can actually pretty much keep up with Mom and Dad. We've taken a couple of family rides (Abby and Matthew ride in the trailer) and you've gone up to about four miles! Daddy also helped you discover the mountain bike jump course or “the bumpy hills” as you call it. Since first trying it about three weeks ago, you've probably been there eight times and according to Dad, you're starting to get some air! All I can think as I watch you is “What will he be wanting to try when he's twelve?”
You've also mastered standing on your head or hands (against a bed or wall), doing front flips off of the couch onto the cushioned floor, and reading short vowel words. Okay, so “mastery” might be a strong word, but we're working on it. How exciting for me to see you actually read! You think it's pretty fun too, but sounding out words is hard work and you lose interest after about ten minutes. Science is purely fun as far as you are concerned. We've done some informal experimentation this summer and you've particularly enjoyed magnetizing a pair of scissors and using up all of my vinegar as you repeatedly reacted acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate.
Grandpa Curt and Grandma Kim visited in June for Matthew's baptism. Grandpa and Daddy built you kids a “fort” while they were here, complete with a slide and sandbox underneath. You've also had fun helping with the garden – eating sugar snap peas off the vine and reluctantly carrying loads of kitchen trash to the compost pile. We spent the 4th of July in Belle Fourche with the Trimbles – you were in heaven playing with all those boys, swimming, picking strawberries, shooting fireworks, and watching a fun parade.
One thing I like about you is that you are really “all there”. Wherever you are, you usually don't think about being anywhere else – you put your whole self into interacting with whatever surrounds you at the moment. It's only changing venues that presents a problem - “I want to stay camping FOREVER!”
We've had some good talks about how Jesus really does want to clean up your heart and help you make right choices. There have been some truly difficult days when every command from Mama results in a “no” from Isaac. After discipline, you often think of every nasty thing in your little mind to say to your Mama. It's hard. Of course, Daddy need only blink at you before you change your course of action. But I pray almost hourly that you will know the cleansing grace of Jesus and that you will love Him more than anything.