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

 

9 months

dear fella,

your ginger hair just keeps coming in! i can’t believe how much hair you have at this age than your brothers. how much more everything. at your 9 month appointment this week you weighed 20.8 lbs and measure 29 inches (45 cm head). that all puts you in the 75th percentile or so. i could look it up but i am lazy. but you are growing growing! you fit most comfortably into size 18-24 onesies (24 mo sleeves are too long, but often the bodies still fit well) and about 18-24 months pants. if you were walking i think it would be more like just 18 months, but between your big diaper bum and the cold weather, it’s easier to put you in things that are close to too long. but it’s been crazy to see you in clothes that i feel like i just put away! and funny to see you in things that your brothers were in such different stages for when they wore them. you’re eyes are looking more definitively grey these days too. what a fun it is to watch you grow!

2014 02 05 hugo

red turtlenecks are not for you

you’re so busy these days. you’ve always been one to keep yourself occupied, but as you grow there are more and more things or you to do! you are working so much on sounds — for a few days in a row you were waking up regularly between 3-4 am to work on some consonants (d-d-d-d-d-d; g-g-g-g-g). charming, but not as charming as during the sunny hours, my little friend. you are learning that we can communicate through sounds and it’s amazing. you, of course, screech and roar in response to the same sounds from your brothers, will parrot back “iiiiiieeee!” in response to a “hi” and watch closely when we talk to you about things. you waved back to papa once, after papa and i both showed you about waving, and we laughed and clapped and you thought that was great.

2014 02 09 hugo ii

grey eyes

you’re  working on moving around so much. no crawling yet, but working on getting there. you can scoot backwards under things (not your favorite and you bump your head and/or get stuck a lot), pivot around on your belly, and do this strange scoot/drag hybrid, where you sit on your bum and drag yourself forwards with one leg and/or lean forward and get up on one knee with the other leg beneath you and pull yourself forward with your hands. you get around and into a lot of things this way, and it is starting to stress your big brothers out. you are even starting to pull yourself up — or at least to try — on the coffee table and anything else you can reach (which is not much). but when you are flat on your back you get stuck like a little ginger turtle and this makes you ANGRY VERY ANGY until you find your toes and then you are okay with it for awhile. i hope you crawl soon, before you get too frustrated with it all, but i also know it will happen eventually (or you’ll skip  straight to walking, whatever) and i am content to wait for you to do it on your own time. no matter how many times i watch my babies learn new things, it is always exciting!

2014 02 14 hugo and papa ii

hanging with papa

you’re starting to learn other things too. dropping this can make sounds or messes. if you shake your head it feels silly. that if someone rolls a ball to you, it can be a game if you “throw” it back. that pulling a silk off your face feels good and makes funny game, and pulling it off of someone else’s face is even funnier. you are such a fun little person!

big news for your mouth — your top teeth finally FINALLY came in. aunt cheley noticed your tooth buds in december, but it was still another 6 weeks before they finally started to come in. i think you may have more coming in still, or at least the top ones are itchier  than the bottom were, because you are trying to bite my fingers a lot lately.  i guess we’ll see. the best part about teeth is that the fun doesn’t stop for another 15 months at least!

2014 02 15 sleepy h

cashed out

you love your big brothers more and more every day. when you hear them in another room, you always want to go to there. if i walk past the stairs with you and they are in  their room, you bounce in that direction,  take me up there, mama! once they were in the tub, but i had to clean your bum before you could join them, so i took you down stairs and you CRIED AND CRIED! cruel mama! you LOVE the tub and you love it EVEN MORE with your brothers. sad to say, though, after begging and begging for months to bathe with you, no they beg not to. you splash too much! haha!

2014 02 21 hugo ii

stripes

you’ve also started to cry “maa-maa” when you are sad. you are not speaking it as a word yet, but it is still heart breaking! how fun it will be when you starting saying words!

2014 02 26 nine months

9 months

happy 9 months, sweet baby boy.

love,

mama

8 months

dear hugo,

busy as usual you are. thinking about crawling if your silly leg wouldn’t keep getting in the way! no pushing up from your belly — being on your belly still makes you immediately angry and you cary — but you try to lean forward from a sitting position but one leg always gets stuck under you. crawling is coming, just not yet.

2014 01 06 birthday papabirthday papa

still, you’ve started figuring out how to butt scoot yourself little by little here and there. it’s a completely inefficient mode of transportation, but not so inefficient that you are frustrated by it yet. the worst is that you can only go forward, so you do frequently scoot yourself into a table or chair leg and then don’t know how to untrap yourself. it is not uncommon for you to have a little bump on your poor head, but still, you persevere. good for you, buddy! you’ll get it one of these days!

2014 01 11 hugo ii

stripes

you are making lots of new sounds these days. mastering one and then moving on to the next. our favorite from this month is “uh-oh!” which you say enough that to us, it sounds like words even it’s just two sounds you’ve happened to string together that mean something to us. it’s so fun to hear you saying something that sounds like a word, though! i can’t believe that some day fairly soon you will actually be speaking. you have also been working on the “d” and “g” sounds and it is so fun to hear. and to watch. your face gets very serious while you concentrate!

2013 12 31 brothers ii

bubble bouncer

you’re still interested in eating all of the things, and in fact, will occasionally grunt in frustration if i don’t get you another piece of something fast enough! it’s so fun to watch you explore all of the new foods. you will try most anything if you are hungry and you will eat most anything if you are hungry too — one day you ate the entire half of an avocado! that, my friend, is a big meal even for a mama to eat!

2013 12 31 bean eater

black beans

you seem to be finally digesting food too. for awhile it seemed what you consumed would just pass through one end and out there other almost entirely untouched. it was wild. but now it is starting to look like you are actually doing something with it once it enters you belly. it’s crazy watching how your body grows and learns!

it was your first new year’s this month. we of course celebrated the actual coming of the new year by going to bed at a decent hour, but you DID enjoy a noon-time count down at the children’s museum in pittsburgh, which was fun. and then we went out to lunch and you wore fancy hats with your cousin liam and were particularly adorable. you ate a lot of black beans for lunch that day too. it doesn’t even stop being fun watching you eat.

2014 01 26 eight months iv

8 months

happy happy 8 months, darling one!

love,

mama

7 months

dear little one,

happy 7 months! my you are growing! at your 6 1/2 month appointment you weighed 18.4 lbs and stretched to 27.5″. you are now as big (or bigger) than both your brothers were are a year. you are much longer than you are heavy — something like the 85th percentile for height but “only” 58th percentile for weight. so you don’t look super chubby (except for your thighs), but you certainly are rather long. it’s funny to put you in clothes and remember what your brothers were doing when they wore the same outfits — walking or at least crawling for both. we even had to borrow from 12 mo onesies from your cousin Liam as it’s rather cold out right now and most of what we have doesn’t stay over your belly!

2013 11 28 baby's first thanksgiving

pumpkin soup? and the hugo said YUCK!

your first thanksgiving and first solstice (and christmas) were this month! what a delicious time of year to turn 7 months! although you didn’t eat anything for the meal, you did look pretty adorable in your bib! you have been eating more snacks these days, though, and in fact have been known to get rather cranky to be at the table without your own treat. you enjoy most anything we give you so far, and that is of course very fun. mostly we just give you a piece of what we are eating and you really seem to enjoy being part of the fun. so far you seem to particularly enjoy apple slices, sweet potato, broccoli, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

you’ve developed the pincer grasp too. what? how? why? the better to eat legos with, i guess. it’s extra cute when you are eating o’s, but it makes you a terror in the living room.

2013 12 21 sunshine pancakes

sunshine pancakes

you got two teeth this month! your first ones! i didn’t even notice a tooth bud and then all of a sudden you had a little razor poking through! and then barely two days later the second was in. and MY are they sharp! you like to chomp on our fingers a lot. maybe another few teeth are coming through the top? your aunt cheley said she found a tooth bud, so i guess we’ll see. but other than giving up the bottle (what is that all about??), i didn’t even know you had anything going on until we saw the tooth! you’ve just been your regular delightful self.

2013 12 21 solstice

winter solstice 2013

you’re starting to show your kid-ness. you like taking things out and putting them in. you like toys that stack and fall (although stacking things yourself is a bit too advanced for you). you are a professional at sitting; i put pillows behind you still but you don’t really need them. and you are starting to get a little frustrated with your immobility. you haven’t pushed up on your knees yet — now that you can sit you really don’t like tummy time at all — but you have tried to push yourself up..? by leaning all the way over from the sitting position. i imagine you will be crawling before too long.

you got lots of old-but-new-to-you toys for solstice from mama and papa and then lots of fun new toys and clothes and things from your extended family. you of course enjoyed the wrapping paper very much, but have also really appreciated the new toys especially. it’s so fun watching you explore your world and figure out how to manipulate new things!

2013 12 25 cousins

buddies

you love watching your big brothers playing. i often put you in the kids’ room in the morning while your brothers are getting ready for the day and you adore being part of their action. they have this silly game they play where they try to sneak around the room without you seeing them and you all LOVE it. they like to play football around you too. this makes me very nervous, but they are still mostly very careful around you. what very sweet big brothers you have.

you were great on the drive to pennsylvania for the holidays. you tend to sleep longer in the car than at home — which you probably need anyway. i don’t think you ever nap as well as you could; someone is always around making to much noise and/or being too interesting. and then you loved all of the people who snuggled you (except maybe that one time with liam). your cousin evelyn couldn’t get enough holdings of you and you LOVED grandma’s birds. you’re such a social guy — you really enjoyed all the visiting with everyone and we loved showing you around too.

2013 12 26 hugo

cool kid

another whirlwind month of being and growing, lovely. thank you for being you.

2013 12 26 seven months iii

7 months

love,

mama

6 months

dear hugo,

6 months. half a year old. my goodness. i’m not sure what it is about 6 months that’s so striking to me, but it always stands out as a monumental milestone to me. i guess because once a babe can sit, things really start to get fun? maybe it’s the food business? it’s the beginning of the end of babyness though, that’s for sure. soon enough you’ll be cutting teeth and crawling.. i can’t believe it’s all happening already!

it was a busy month, as always. you are already sort of curious about food. you snatched a piece of celery from me early this month. and then promptly gave it back. baby’s first lick of celery — pretty boring. but we’re going to give you pumpkin later. i wonder what you will think! but you enjoy being at the table with us in your high chair so much already, i think it’s only going to get that much more interesting once you are allowed to share some snacks with us!

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sometimes you will take a bottle with papa

you sit up so well now. you can play and play and play without much worry of a fall over. you can’t do it by yourself yet and when you get tired you just sort of ooze down, but it’s now your preferred position for holding and examining things. i don’t blame you. it’s much more fun to look around!

you still love to chomp on everything, even with no signs of teeth yet. your beloved little fish has been SO nibbled that we actually have to throw it into the laundry. i couldn’t believe how much cleaner it looked when i pulled it out! but you have become interesting in investigating almost everything, and you have quite a temper when we won’t let you have something. you are particularly becoming a pest during reading time. you aren’t allowed to sit and read a book anymore unless you have something to distract from ripping out and eating all of the pages. how you YELL when you’re not allowed!!

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you mostly slept through trick or treating

your hair continues to come in a lovely gingery color. your great nana says that was the color of her hair when she was a little girl, so maybe that’s at least part of where you get it? how fun to know who you might share those genes with. your eyes are still a lovely blue/grey. 

you’ve started to notice the cat and of course you LOVE him. he suffers to be patted and so far you haven’t learned to grab his fur yet. i’m glad that old coot is still around for you to meet, but it sure is cute to watch you watch him.

you’ve also started to do some of the same research studies that your brothers did (and still do!). it’s wild to think about how long we have been going!

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you still like the chair but soon enough you want to be out of it!

you are ever so much more social: you chatter a lot more and will screech and yell to get our attention. you are then SO PLEASED when we turn our heads or talk back. you babble more and there are some definite consonants in there (some m’s and b’s) and quite a number of vowels. you often grab my hand while you are nursing. this is so sweet but frustrating! how am i supposed to turn the pages of my book if my thumb is being held hostage?

you have started to show a few signs of separation anxiety, mostly when you are tired or hungry. you very much enjoy people, but it’s’ interesting to see you starting to notice that you don’t recognize everyone yet. you still manage to give most folks a smile or a giggle though, which is always a delight.

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baby in a towel

we took you the aquarium with gus’ 1st grade class today, and you loved the fish. i hope to take you there more often than i took calum, babies and aquariums are just about the best thing.

sweet boy, it’s time for mama to go heat up some pumpkin puree for you! i can’t believe you get to have some snacks already!

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6 months

love,

mama

 

5 months

dear hugo,

this month i put you in the swing at the playground. you found this curious and mildly amusing. i found it decidedly more so. you look so cute in there! and so big!

2013 10 19 porcupine

porcupine: lantern parade

i can tell you have a lot going on. you like to chatter late at night, you immediately start rolling over and around when you wake up, and you like to make noises until we notice you. you’re starting to have the semblance of a sleep schedule. i at least know about when you will take your first nap. after that i only know you’ll have 2 or 3 more, but it’s a start. it means we’ve driven gus to school more this month than we did all of last year, though, since you often nap right through bus pick up. your brother never complains, though, he likes to catch a ride with us to school.

2013 10 18 hugo

backyard tummy time

you officially found your toes this month. they are delightful. so is watching you nibble them. you like to nibble most everything. your favorite thing after your toes being your very colorful fish from our good friends mark and callie. you also like to bite. this started last month but i forgot what my note about it meant. crunching nipples biting! what is the deal with that? no teeth or anything, you just like to chomp. it’s not as cute as some of your other accomplishments.

you’re beginning to do the tripod and you can reach and pick up things from that position. it’s not so easy to sit back up once your get stuck bent over, but you can hold yourself up for a pretty long time without my help. how did you DO that?

2013 09 28 hangin with hugo

apple picking

you turn from your back to your tummy now, although it often makes you angry. still, you can push your head up and look around a little from that position, so it makes you curious too. you like to play from any position, though, and you’ve been known to play SO HARD that you either all of a sudden NEED! TO! EAT! or you just pass out. being a baby is hard work!

your hair continues to grow and your eyes continue to turn more grey. while not a ton of hair, you definitely already have more than either of your brothers when they were 6 months old. and it’s not like they have very little hair now. you are going to be a hairy beast!

2013 10 17 tripod

tripod

you had croup this month, poor buddy. nothing serious, just a sleepless night for mama. calum had it first, i think, and gave it to you. but we tried the shower and the porch (it was cool outside) and you never quite got a fever that night or ever any stridor, so although it was a long night, it wasn’t scary one. you got a little bit of a fever the next day and slept a little more than usual, but aside from another week or so of cough everything was just fine very quickly. i hate when babies get sick, but you were a champion.

i can’t believe you’re almost 6 months old! i’m afraid we are going to have to literally stuff you into the same outfit gus and calum wore for their 6 months photos. but it will, at least i’m pretty sure, fit. you might look a little silly, but that will just add to the cuteness.

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5 months

happy 5 months, my love!

love,

mama

4 months

dear titi,

i’ve been working so much lately that i never seem to get a free moment to myself! so this is very very late. i’m sorry.

but oh little bugger! how busy you have been these 4 months! now you are trouble – grabbing things (knocking plates on the floor! pulling things out of hands! ripping library books!), chomping things (beware all stray fingers).. you chat and coo and try to get our attention — and grin like a jack o’lantern when you do. you have been drooling A LOT. you like to gum and bite things, so there is slobber everywhere, all the time, like sometimes you are more puppy than baby. it’s very cute.

2013 09 14 hat and vest iii

we’ve had some chilly days this september

you’ve begun sucking on your fingers to sleep. it’s so very sweet. it’s not a replacement for mooihees, but it’s very cute to see.

you are so very cheerful. you love to giggle! you love to be jiggled or snuggled or gently teased and you laugh and laugh when you are.

you’ve noticed your toes and you stare at them quite a bit. what ARE those things? how can i get them?? it won’t be long until you’ve eaten them all up, i’m sure.

2013 09 18 snoozer

snuggly snoozer

your hair continues to grow and continues to be like fine spun copper. when all’s said and done, i think you just might be strawberry blonde. with dark grey eyes. they are still changing, almost not blue at all anymore. we’ll see.

the sad part about this month is your real tears. ah when babies cry with their tears for the first time it is SO. HEARTBREAKING. not that you cry much or often, but when you do and tears drip down your beautiful fat cheeks, it’s very very hard to see. good thing you are such a giggler!

you’ve discovered a waist this month, and so finally, finally, you are not just a sausage with toes. a delicious sausage you were, but it’s nice to see you be held sitting  up more comfortably.

2013 09 20 fish ii

drooly sitter

you had ANOTHER growth spurt this month! that puts you at 15 lbs 8 oz (52nd percentile) and and 26 inches (85th percentile). you are such a big fella compared to your brothers — already in size 6-9 months at only 4 months old. goodness! but your stretching out means that you look so much less like a  tubtub, which is a shame. your thighs are still delicious, though.

happy happy four months, sweet baby!

2013 09 26 4 months ii

 

four months

love,

mama