14 months

dear hugo,

as i am writing this you have one leg up on the coffee table in an attempt to get up on the couch and get into my business. of course, by the time i finished that sentence, you had given up on the coffee table and had cruised over to bang on the keyboard from your place on the side of the couch.

hugo, you are a giant pain in the ass.

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first fireworks! you loved them!

i can get everything done that i need to get done while you are awake and nothing that i actually want to get done. it’s the summer. i want to read books and play a little on the computer and, yes, i want to get some work done during the day too so i can be a little lazy at night. i know i’m asking a lot here, but even mamas deserve a break some time. all i want to know is why you can entertain yourself for ages on end when i am cooking or cleaning or folding but not even 2 minutes when i sit down. it’s a question as old as the ages, i know.

if you were my first i would be feeling more guilty about being over this INEEDTOBEINYOURLAP (or stepping on your foot, apparently) attention. but as i have 2 older yous already who cannot seem to grasp the WE DON’T TOUCH WHEN THE TEMPERATURE AND THE HUMIDITY SHARE THE SAME NUMBER concept, it’s not like i have to worry that you will be getting out of my business any time soon. so i’m going to complain about it, at least a little. and put out a snack and see if it can lure you away (it did. for about a minute).

2014 07 31 beach baby

the beach is the best

you love so many things that are trouble. the remote controls for everything (you throw them on the floor until the batteries pop out. and then you try to eat the batteries..!). ladders. standing on the back of the dining room chairs and then shaking the chair back and forth. sitting on the very edge of the arm chair. sitting on the very edge of a stair. sliding down slides for kids twice your age. climbing UP slides for kids twice your age (and OH! do you get so angry when your shoes foil this plan).

you know the stove is hot (“shh shh!” you tell me, your mouth’s version of “fff” for hot), but that doesn’t stop you from being drawn to it like a moth. you would nap the dishwasher, probably, if we let you. as it is, we just have to let you “help” us load and unload it (regardless of which task we are actually performing at the time). you also frequently set the dishwasher to go on and off at random times. we know have to base our guesses about whether or not the dishes are clean on how full the dishwasher is, not that the dishes look like.

2014 07 excavator babysitter

watching the construction

you completely lost an essential piece of the newer of our 2 baby monitors. it’s fine because magically the old one started working again, it’s just. sigh. i really have no idea where it is! how do you lose things so efficiently?

you got 2 new teeth this month, completely the bottom front 4 set. it was cuter with 6, but you have no interest in slowing things down at all, do you? i’m not sure i’ve ever met anyone so intent on leave babyhood behind as you.

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swimming wipes a baby out

in fact the only vestige we have left of your infancy is the occasional throwback to 2 naps. you don’t really need 2 naps, but if we aren’t careful about not being in the car around 10 o’clock, out you go for a quick one. it throws everything off of course. the afternoon nap is usually late and then bedtime is even later. but you can’t quite resist the lull of the warm back seat yet.

2014 07 24 slide climber

determination

you know that doggies say woof woof – doggies and ALL animals, apparently. it’s fun, though to know when you’ve spotted something, because it usually results in the soft little woofing sound. you still like to repeat words – sometimes whole phrases – and that is pretty amazing too. you have about 8 words or so: woof woof, i want/moohies (tapping you chest), that (pointing) (usually it’s “i want that”), BAH!/BAH-BAH! (bye, which is usually yelled), hi (which you don’t say much, lately), fist bump/boom (lately your preferred greeting), MA!/EY MA!/MA-MA (all of which mean mama/hey mama in general and usually more specifically are issued as a form of complaint), and pah-pah (usually whispered and tend to mean papa, pappy, or hey it’s one of my brothers). you repeat “up” and “car” pretty clearly, but i’m not sure you know what those mean just yet. and you understand, “come here!”, “want to go for a walk/outside?”, and “get the ball.” so it’s sort of like having a dog, i guess.

the biggest news, of course, is that after weeks of perfecting your fighting stance, you took your biggest set of steps ever. 4! two times in a row! your grandpa and nana and uncle adam were here, and you were quite pleased to show them a step or 2, but it was too exciting to do much more than that once every started watching. you were quite pleased with yourself, though, and did a lot of clapping. since then you’ve practiced walking a little bit every few days, and have started to walk around a little holding onto our fingers. i’m really so excited about this i can hardly stand it. i love having walking babies, and i think you will like it so much more too. you are fast at crawling, but it’s frustrating for you to have to scratch your knees outside (which you usually remedy by straightening your legs and thrusting your bum in the year. when naked, you definitely look like some delicious little animal).

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LOVING idlewild

you eat all of the things and more of the things, please. it’s slowed down a bit because of the teeth, but you still love to try most things. and more smoothies please. also please pass the water. although you’ve figured out how to push the straw from the water bottle back into the main container and dump it out everywhere, making a huge mess. so you can’t be left unattended.

you love the outside so much, and you will often bring shoes over for us both (again, seriously, you are definitely the best puppy ever) to let me know it’s time to play in the fresh air. this summer has been great, so we’ve been getting out as much as we can. you love having your brothers around to watch and play with too.

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baby on a boat

you do other cool things like put the rings on and off the stacking pole and move puzzles pieces around and knock over towers and stack 1 or 2 blocks high. you will sit a little bit for a book and damned if you aren’t determine to get a turn on that iPad! and we took you on a BIG ferry this month and you LOVED it. you stayed holding onto the rail looking out for AGES. and then you wanted to climb up and down the stairs and mama was having none of that.

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14 months

you’re a busy little bee and it’s so fun watching you go! thanks for having me along for the ride.

love,
mama

13 months

dear h,

look at you grow! you had a hairy morning wake up month.. i’m not sure why. learning all of the skillz, perhaps? for the better part of this month you were waking up between 5-5:30 am, you awful, awful child. your mama was exhausted, as expected, although it was also sort of nice to get an extra hour of work in every morning. you would wake up, demand to get out of bed, and then demand to nurse and fall back asleep as soon as we got downstairs. maddening. by the end of this month it had stopped. i have no idea what started or stopped it, but now you get up between 6-7 am and that is perfectly fine by me. now. jerk.

2014 05 29 too tall

reaching all of the things

your communication skills keep growing and growing. you like to roar for animal sounds now and your receptive language is pretty amazing. i think it’s all pretty developmentally middle-of-the-bell curve, but since you are so much smaller than your brothers we are always *mind blown* when you do something new and fancy.

you shared your first ice cream cone this month, speaking of mind blowing. you LOVED it (it was so much better than cake), and now if anyone eats ice cream in front of you (or if you THINK someone MIGHT be eating ice cream in front of you) without sharing, you have what can only be described as a complete and total tantrum blow out. i feel you, though, ice cream is delicious.

2014 06 01 helga

long hairs

in other firsts, we took you to the beach for the first time too. predictably, you loved it. you love water so much, and sand is (apparently) delicious. you kept crawling in until the water reached your nose, and then you would sit back, surprised. every time. after awhile i convinced you to just sit and play. you loved that too.

you’re quite adept at going up and down stairs these days. and up and down beds. and chairs. and tables. and, oh, well, everything climbable i guess. i pulled you down from the nook shelves the other day and took the remote control way that you had been going for. epic. angriness. i felt bad after all of that hard work, so i left you have it for a little bit. remote controls are another of your few favorite things. papa is always wondering “who recorded THIS?!!” on the tivo. um, it’s always, always, hugo.

2014 06 07 fancy hat

hat fancier

you know your papa (pah-pah, you will whisper) (also for your brothers, but still). you learned to fist bump with our friend joe. you like to read the “what do you say to a..” book with papa. and make the animal noises. this must be where you learned about roaring. i love that you love books already. and not just for eating (although you like that very much too).

you are mimicking more, speaking of sounds and listening. you yell “ih ow!” back to me when you are in the tub, standing, and i have just yelled at you to sit down. you say things like “LOOKYLOOKYLOOKATIT” and “IDIDIT” along with your usual “goodygoodygoody.” you are working do hard at figuring all of this out.

2014 06 07 hello little fish

hello, little fish

you know how to comb your hair (sort of) and what a barrette is for (sort of). you are always wanting me to put my shoes on me and your shoes on you. you like being fancy in hats – sometimes. you know what things are for, and you are always so pleased to show me that you know. i’m always so pleased to see it.

little 24 months-sized bear (what?!), how fast you are growing. i want you to slow down, but i enjoy watching you learn so much. as always, it’s bittersweet (although you’re so cute, it’s mostly sweet). i’m delighted for all the things you are so proud you can do. i’m proud of you.

2014 06 26 13 months

13 months

love,

mama

happy birthday, hugo!

hugo’s actual birthday is memorial day weekend – terrible timing for traveling, so we invited the grandparents to come up for the last weekend in may/first weekend in june. everyone managed to overlap for one full day, which was perfect for celebrating, and then had another day or two to have the grandkids to themselves, which was perfect for visiting.

2014 05 30 new play structure

hugo almost ruined all of the plans by getting hand foot and month disease the day before the party. i couldn’t figure out what was wrong – all of a sudden his bum looked like almost chicken pox, but he hadn’t been exposed. it didn’t make sense.

2014 05 31 on the train

finally we were able to diagnose HFM over the phone with his pediatrician, which really only meant we know what was happening. there’s not much you can do but ride it out. i was a little worried, because i thought he wouldn’t have a good day, but in fact, it was just lovely.

2014 06 02 in the tunnelthe weather was beautiful so walking all the way to the green line, and then over to the swan boats. hugo fell asleep on the way to the train and didn’t wake up until the boat ride was almost over, but the public gardens were still nearly in full bloom and everyone really enjoyed being out on the water for a bit.

we bought the big kids some balloon swords and they immediately battled each other. i gave the man a 5, expecting change, but he kept it all.

2014 05 31 balloon battle

we took everyone to wagamama for lunch. all of the kids ate a little bit of something, which is always nice to see.

2014 05 31 wagamama

Then we walked through the market to the carousel there. i thought hugo would love riding up and down but i was very wrong about that. once we moved to a stationary horse he felt a lot better about the round and round part, though. gus enjoyed it and cal loved it.

2014 05 31 cal rides

we took the blue line to the orange line just for fun, and on the way home, someone gave calum a whirligig.

2014 05 31 whirligig

we opened presents when we got home and then had some cake. hugo was very confused about what he was supposed to do with it, but after a bit he enjoyed a bite or two.

2014 05 31 yum

it was a great birthday!

the big brothers got hand foot and mouth the next day, but at least everyone got to eat cake!

12 months

dear birthday boy,

one year old! happy happy birthday! i can’t believe it! how did a year go by already?

well my busy little 1 yr old, let’s see what you have been up to these days:

you are talking more and more and more. you love to repeat sounds — both that you make and that other people make (goodie goodie goodie is a favorite phrase of late). you like to look us in the eyes and very seriously tell us things. it’s amazing to watch as you learn how to communicate. i am certain you and certain you are telling us things.

2014 04 28 happy birthday aunt cheley iii

fuzzy pajamas

you say uh-oh a lot (often preemptively, of course) and seem to understand what we are saying. you are understanding your name and mama and papa and gus and calum. you seem to understand when we point or ask, your receptive language is really growing, it’s crazy to see the comprehension in your eyes about so many things.

2014 05 01 hippie ii

hippie

you are working and working on walking. you have started cruising around on the furniture. you are not so steady on your feet, but you are trying hard. you don’t like to be stood up by your hands or arms, but you can scoot around the couch or the coffee table pretty easily. you have begun to master the stairs as well, and although you still occasionally fall (eep!), you are pretty good about going up and down. you have figured out how to get up on the couch and on your brothers’ bed — this always stresses me out, as you can’t be trusted to pay attention and not fall off or to get down safely. you seem to have calum’s skills and gus’ lack of fear. not a particularly successful combination. still, you persevere (and give me heart attacks).

2014 05 01 must eat zzz

eat? sleep? eat? sleep!

you also do this funny thing where you crawl with both back legs straight. i can’t tell if you are working on your core this way or just don’t want to scrape your knees. or both. it’s very silly. and cute.

you have discovered the swing at the playground and it is OBNOXIOUS. you love it so much, that i don’t dare put you in it before the last few minutes before we leave, as you have THE HUGEST tantrum when i take you out, no matter how long i swing you in there. here you are, so big and with all of the opinions.

2014 05 07 real fruit smoothie ii

real fruit smoothie

i have failed to mention for several months know how obsessed you are with the vacuum cleaner. which is to say, very. it can even stop you from crying! you love to push the buttons, pull on the cord, shake your head over the fan, unplug it. frankly, trying to clean the floor with you around is a nuisance, but it’s at least a cute nuisance? i keep waiting for you to get bored with it, but as both of your brothers appear to be fascinated too, i am starting to think i am going to have to wait a very long time.

2014 05 07 tire swinger

swing lover

you are so fun – you pretend to blow your nose (we have had so many colds around here!), you wave — and say! — hi, you pretend to talk on a cell phone (anything remotely phone shaped you put up to your ear and say “elo?”, you LOVE peekaboo. you can often be found crawling across the floor with your entire head covered with a pair of papa’s boxers, or a silk, or a towel, or any other piece of material to do that job, so that when you find someone, you can pull the cloth off and SMILE. you also — much to your brothers’ delight — learned how to play the drop-the-spoon-from-the-high chair game at dinner time. yay.

2014 05 10 hugo

more than meets the eye

you do this lovely thing where you make a kissing noise and hold out your palm, so that it can be kissed. it’s a cross between a greeting wave and blowing a kiss, maybe? you can do that game for ages, and it’s adorable.

you’re getting bigger and bigger, of course. 20.8 lbs and 29 inches. you are in size 18-24 months pants and shirts. it’s mind boggling.

2014 05 11 hex bugger ii

hex’n’bugs

you had your first smoothie AND your first puke this month. the smoothie you enjoyed (although maybe the mango gave you hives), the puking, not so much. it’s always so sad the few times a baby pukes. it’s so very confusing (not to mention unpleasant). you were trooper, though. you got hand foot and mouth disease this month too (poor baby! it probably has NOTHING to do with the fact that you put *everything* into your mouth) – right before your birthday celebration! i was worried you wouldn’t be able to try your first piece of cake, but you ended up feeling better by that afternoon. but you got lots of pustules on your poor bum and a few on your hands and feet and face. and it was hard to nurse. oh terrible virus! your brothers ended up catching in too. misery.

2014 05 26 birthday day crown

one

but even so, you had a great birthday visit with both sets of grandparents, and we were so glad to have them here to celebrate with you!

happy happy first birthday, dear little one!

love,

mama

11 months

dear h,

here i am sneaking in under the wire! happy 11 months!

you continue to grow and amaze in so many ways. your powers of mimicry are astonishing and hilarious. you watch and listen to all of us so closely, and then as soon as you have something figured out, you do it for yourself. you are *this* close to saying hi, you repeat all of the sounds you hear cal practice at speech, and you have a little panda bear squeeze toy that you pretend is your cell phone. you’re not just a big guy, you have a big brain up in that noggin!

2014 04 01 raisins

natick organic farm

you’ve started to flirt with dropping your nap pretty seriously. i don’t mind moving to one nap, but it makes planning our lives very interesting. i never know which days you are going to fall asleep in the car in the morning and screw up our afternoon vs which days you are going to fall asleep long after we’ve left somewhere early. so we’re on our toes and fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants a lot. it’s mostly only a stress because i do the bulk of my work during your nap, and it’s hard to be thrown off frequently, but we roll with it. what else can you do? you still nurse to sleep for nap and bed, and although that makes evenings somewhat inconvenient, it’s so lovely to have you drowse and snuggle to sleep in my arms. i still don’t care though. i am trying not to think about how our numbered our days are in that arena, little lover.

2014 04 10 commuter

the rush hour commute is such a drag, man

you started to crawl right at the beginning of this month. after calum’s birthday party, you suddenly figured it out. of course by now you are quite the professional, taking your time or zooming as you please. you even do this weird thing where you stick one leg out straight while you crawl with the other. i don’t know what it’s all about, but it looks crazy. it doesn’t seem to slow you down much though (not much does!).

2014 04 05 open gym

tunnel of love

you’re learning how to communicate more and more: waving for hello and goodbye, repeating the signs for “more”, “eat”, “up” and “water.” you are always so pleased when we understand each other. i can’t believe you will be actually speaking before long. everything is so big so soon with you.

2014 04 01 crawling

crawling

because you are a GIANT, this month you have forgotten how to roll over from your back. this is very funny — for me. you are as sad as an upended turtle when i change your diaper and you can’t struggle to freedom. although it’s silly, it’s nice to leave you while i run to get something in the middle of a diaper change. i am sure you will figure it out again soon, so i’m enjoying it while i can.

2014 04 10 spring

spring

you’re hair of course is getting longer. your eyes are getting grayer? greener? less blue? still beautiful.

2014 04 19 bunnies

brother bunnies

you have your own water bottle now, and you love to drink water out of/make a HUGE mess with it. it’s wild to watch you eat your lunch and drink your water just like a little guy. a little guy who is rapidly growing out of all his size 18 months clothes. what the HECK, man? thank goodness it is getting warmer and i can just put you in shorts soon.

2014 04 23 the way back home

airport snacker

we went to meet your new cousin this month. you thought she was fascinating, but you didn’t like it when i held her. but when we came home and i held our new friend leela, you didn’t mind at all. funny little bird. you were fabulous on the plane, though — curious but not too much trouble — and it was fun for me to take a trip somewhere with just you. you adapted just fine to being in a new place, but the look on your face when we got home and your brothers walked in the door was priceless. you really do love those big guys.

2014 04 26 eleven months ii

11 months

happy 11 months, my cool little guy!

love,

mama