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

 

10 months

dear hugo,

you have definitely been thinking about crawling this month. a lot of scooting backwards accidentally and then being angry about being stuck under things. you do this butt scoot thing where you are sitting up and sort of drag yourself forward by your legs. you want to move productively SO BADLY. i hope it comes soon, little dude. you will be so much happier!

you continue to enjoy eating all of the things. i no longer keep a list. essentially, if you are hungry, you will eat. and wear it. we take a lot of baths these days. that’s okay, though, because you love baths. so much so that your brothers don’t want to bathe with you anymore — you’re too splashy! i got you some water based goodies for your birthday (soon!) that i know you are going to love. it’s pretty exciting.

2014 02 28 stripes

stripes

you are quite the mimic. calum goes to speech once a week and you work on the sounds with him. it’s pretty hilarious to listen to calum work on sounds at the table while you repeat them (easily. poor calum) from under the table.

you’ve been working on your signs too. you are so delighted to wave hi to everyone. so far it’s your only word and your main form of communication, so you use it all the time. it’s incredibly cute and hard not to laugh and wave back to. the sad part is that you haven’t learned how to catch someone’s attention first, so there are a lot of unanswered waves too, which is pretty heartbreaking (to me). you aren’t deterred, though, you just keep waving and hoping. ah, love.

you and papa have been working on “dada”. for awhile you seemed to at least understand that it’s a game you play with him. it’s pretty far away from actually calling him papa or any version there of, but it melts our hearts every time anyway.

2014 03 05 poor choices

how did i get under this table?

you also may be learning “hi” — you repeat that sound back whenever anyone says it to you. same inflection even. seriously, for a baby who can’t do anything, you’re quite the charming guy.

your red hair just keeps coming in. i can’t get over how much you have. much more than either brother at this time. you’re totally on some sort of weird accelerated growth curve. i can’t wait to see how all of this shakes out.

your eyes are still sea-colored. ever changing. grey or green or blue, sometimes depending on what you are wearing or just the lighting of where we are. so beautiful and so interesting.

2014 03 24 brothers

spring egg hunters!

you’re also such a tech nerd! you always want to eat my iPhone (and in fact, may have busted my life proof case with one of your 6 teeth, you punk) (life proof does not equal hugo proof, apparently) and you are DYING to get your hands on the iPad. even though you are not allowed to use it, you know EXACTLY what to do. if you actually get ahold of it somehow, you immediately swipe and tap on the apps. what? how? smarty!

i just love having you in my life, little titi. you’re absolutely the best.

2014 03 26 ten months

10 months

love,

mama

4 years

dear calum,

my love. how big you have grown! 4! the age where i can no long pretend you are a baby. the age where the baby fat (and tiny as you are, it’s still there — just barely — yet) starts to go. the words and sentences and stories get bigger. where the kid really starts to blossom and grow. 4 is a great year, if bittersweet. how did it get here so quickly?!

2013 04 26 buddies

3 was a good year for you. i’ll admit, i was nervous. 3 was hard with your big brother. i didn’t know what to expect from you, my easy going guy. but while you spent this year becoming more of your own person, with lots of bursts of independence and I-CAN-DO-IT- MYSELF’S, you didn’t seem to be as tumbled by all the feelings and you were able to keep your cool more often than not. i’m not disappointed — we introduced a new baby into your life a few weeks after 3 last spring and you seemed to take it all in stride. partly i’m sure it’s because you already have one brother, so what’s the big deal about adding another? and partly i think that’s just you, more or less ready to roll with most of the punches.

2013 05 06 truck

closer to 4 was harder — for me, anyway. you’ve become a lot more stubborn and unmovable. you are SO stubborn. you mostly so easy going that when you dig in your heels it’s always shocking. and mostly over very stupid things, so it’s very annoying too. we’ve had to entirely revamp previous disciplinary plans that worked really well with your brother because you just don’t give an eff. seriously. it’s always really impressive in hindsight, although during-sight it makes me want to hang you upside down by your toes. one time this last year it took you 45 minutes to put away your legos. forty-five minutes. 39 of which i am pretty sure you spent sitting on the basement stairs in 1-2 minutes increments. you punk. it wasn’t until i assured you that you would go to bed and then getting up and do this stair sitting again in the morning AND NO BREAKFAST that you finally agreed to put them away. so help me child.

2013 06 12 brothers

you really enjoy having a baby. i don’t know how much you know what it means to be a big brother yet, but you love having hugo as much as you love having august. the best part about having a 3rd baby is you and august being his big brothers. he of course completely adores you, but what is so amazing to me is how much the two of you adore him right back. unlike august you seem to have easily accepted that he is a new person, or at least a new thing that it is important to be gentle with. not that you’ve never hit him or pushed him around or that you never get mad at him, but you pretty much never have given him a hard time that he didn’t deserve. and you loved to hold him (before he became a giant. and not that it stops you, you still are always in his business trying to love him to death) and to play with him and to read to him. yes he’s annoying and knocks down or eats or tears your things, and that makes you mad, but mostly you are happy to have him around. i think that’s really cool.

2013 09 26 calum ii

august going to school this year was tough for you. you feel like you are ready to go to school, and the first few weeks it wasn’t uncommon for you to burst into tears when your big brother go on the bus and left you behind. so we got you a backpack and a lunchbox and we got you some “school”. twice a week this year you are hanging out with your frenemy lola. actually, you are great buds now, but it took several months for you to realize that you enjoy her company. you still are frequently total jerks to each other, but when you are good together, you are really really good.

2013 11 28 calum

we also started speech this year, at your other school — a real school, no less. once a week for an hour at the school right around the corner from us! so great to have speech and so close too! so many wins. the only drag is hugo, who is very easily (understandably) bored. and also amusingly very very good at repeating all of the sounds you are working on. you don’t seem to notice/mind, though, and you are really starting to enjoy going very much. you like the games that you play with the SLPs and you like the other kids (a few kindergartners have speech for the first 30 minutes with you). and you are getting new letters left and right! you are very proud (and so are we) and it’s been very nice getting a better idea about what you are saying!

2013 12 21 sunshine pancakes ii

you moved into the room with gus this year. that of course was a happy/sad moment for your mama. you still wake up pretty frequently at least once a night, and we still often wake up in the morning to find you had moved into the single in the middle of the night. i miss having you in the room, but i love that you are snuggled up with your big brother. you seem to really like sharing a room with gus, too, and it is you, not gus, who occasionally sleeps on the top bunk. otherwise you both have your own clone wars comforters and pillows on the bottom bunk together. you are getting so BIG, my little one.

2014 01 13 calum

we are having a fun year spending time with your friends, josie (cho-zee), rory (yuri), and shona, seby, makiah, margot, and eamon. just almost to 4, you really started to hit your groove with kids. you’ve enjoyed playing with kids for a year now, but you’ve suddenly discovered the ones you own age/size are actually worth playing with too. and it’s been so adorable to hear you get all excited about meeting up with them by name. sure, the big kids are your biggest heroes (and all the other kids were of course invited to your birthday party as well), but it’s nice to see you making your “own” friends too.

2014 02 09 calum

we had more cavities this year. ugh. the only good news about that is you are such a laid back guy that the dentist was able to fill them without putting you under. hurray! you also grew this year too! at your 4 yr appointment you weighed 28.4 lbs and are up to 37 inches! although that’s very very big for you, it still makes you a very small peanut (sorry).

IMG_0189

you started soccer this fall. you were always very excited to go, but still spent most of the time in papa’s arms. this spring, though, you’re suddenly very into it on the field as well, and play very very hard. you’re actually quite good as well, tiny hero. you like to kick the ball around a lot at home or at gus’ soccer practices too. it’s so fun to see you play so hard. off the field too — board and card games are on your radar these days too. and books. you LOVE ladybug girl and bumble boy, oliver jeffers books, pete the cat, and books about clone wars. and you like the same book over and over and over and over and.. you get the picture. it’s adorable/the worst.

IMG_0256

you’ve gotten much better at the balance bike, you eat a lot more things, you love to play the iPad (surprise), and have all kinds of opinions about what shows you like (clone wars, charlie and lola, curious george, despicable me). you still love to dance. you still have amazing floppy hair (although you have expressed interest in cutting it short “like august”) (mama said no).

IMG_0559

you are my amazing, stubborn, silly (so silly! so many jokes), obnoxious (so many butt jokes!), perfect 4 year old.

2014 03 26 four ii

i’m a lucky, lucky mama to have you!

love, always,

mama

 

7 years

dear august,

this year you turned 7. wow. you are taller and kidder than ever before. although of course you are always growing, these past few weeks especially it has become increasingly obvious. your ankles and belly are sticking out of everything, even the pieces you insist still fit. and most of what still fits still fits because it is voluminous on you. long enough and much too wide. you continue to exhibit my metabolism — eating many things and gaining no weight. you are busy and strong, though, with a great enthusiasm for running and jumping and laughing and wrestling. 

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silly brothers

you still love soccer and were very excited to start jp youth soccer this fall. practice is twice week (although we usually only make one) with scrimmages on sunday afternoons. the scrimmages are the highlight of your day — you have been waiting and waiting to play “real games” and you are always to proud when you score. your feet are pretty amazing. you can tell you love the game and have been studying it, you are always getting just a little bit better and you really love playing with anyone who will take the time in the backyard.

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big brother meets baby brother

this year was part kindergarten/part first grade, both of which you loved. i thought for sure the transition back to school from the holidays was going to go worse than it did both times, but you like school enough that so far going back after time off always goes better than i fear. you are always pretty wiped out — you work really hard both emotionally and intellectually at school to keep it together — by the middle-to-the-end of the week, but you don’t resist going back. you really do enjoy learning and it’s so fun to watch you grow this way. you continue to love math and you are starting to enjoy drawing and to  be proud of your writing as well. first grade has brought upon an explosion of reading that’s astonishing to see. we can’t spell in front of you anymore and you’ve annoyingly started reading over our shoulders at the computer! well done and also stop that! but watching you read to yourself or — more endearing still — to your brothers is absolutely one of the most amazing sites. you are growing up quite a bit, my love.

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playing games with grandpa

getting bigger means more responsibilities too. you have taken on more chores around the house. you don’t like this, and you complain and sulk a bit about it, but you are always proud of a job well done. well no one likes chores, frankly, so who can blame you for the sulking? but i’m always  proud when you do what you’ve b sen asked to do too. you walk yourself home from the bus stop these days too. this is particularly fabulous because it means your baby brother can take his nap without being disturbed most afternoons. it made you nervous, at first, to walk home by yourself, but now you have more confidence. i’m proud that you can look both ways for cars and that you managed to be brave until you felt comfortable. now what i’d really like is for you to be able to walk yourself to the bus, but i guess there’s time for that yet too.

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apple picking

speaking of baby brothers, you are a big brother again! you handled the change beautifully. i guess babies are old news to you now, but still, it was wonderful to have you welcome into our lives with such open arms. you adore him and are just as loving to the new baby as you care to calum. they are both lucky to have such a great older sibling in their lives. that’s not to say that there’s never a fuss about little brothers in this house, but for the most part you are loving and patient and kind. hugo adores you, and you are very careful with him. you and calum will watch him for me while i’m in the other room working or cooking, play with him just for fun on your own, read to him, and play games in froth of him just for his entertainment. you used to beg to take baths with him, but now that he is a giant monster baby who splashes too much, you have started to ask to take baths on your own (well he does make quite the mess)!

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counting down to winter

you’ve changed in others ways this past year too — asked to have your hair cut into a faux hawk, which we did. it looks pretty wild but you love it. i love that you are starting to take an interest in expressing yourself a bit. you choose your clothes most (non-school) days too. you like bold color choices and comfortable pants. well, i can’t fault you for that one. you lost your first tooth in december this past year too. i can’t believe in the next year you’ll have two front teeth again! i’ve gotten so used to you missing a tooth that it will be strange to see it replaced. you have another tooth loose too, but it seems to be taking its time.

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legos

you had a “minion” birthday party this year – despicable me is a favorite. we made a minion cake and minion masks and had a minion dance party. it was a bittersweet event, a lot of different friends from all our years in boston were here, some of whom are moving far aways this summer. all of your friends are very sweet, though, and polite, and generally very lovely party guests. it was great fun to have them all over!

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it actually looks like dave!

it’s been a wonderful year and i’m so proud about the great kid you are growing into! know that your papa and i love you so very much for always.

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seven

love,

mama