4

dear hugo,

well i am not going to lie, 3 was rough. so many big feelings that are so tricky to deal with! i am not sorry that we are not going to have to deal with a 3 yr old kid again. but three is also pretty great. you are really coming into your own as a person – really starting to be able to talk about things that are exciting to you and really starting to stand up for yourself and demand to be included and/or punch and force choke people until they pay attention to you.

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june

you started a drop off program this year 1-2 mornings a week and it was a mixed bag for you. you sobbed at drop off every time there was a new transition but then you always have a pretty nice time. eventually you even made a friend (walter) who you played A LOT of star wars with. it was your first real friend your age that you made all on your own. i needed some time to do some more work and so i always felt a little bad about dropping you off when you were sad about it. but in a lot of ways you are just still my little buddy and you don’t want to leave my side for very long, even if you know you are going to have a good time. when i went away this summer for something like 27 hours it took you a few months to not ask me every night before you went to bed if i would be there in the morning. you’re a brave and bold little guy when i am around but you crumble a little when i am not. although you are getting bigger every day, sometimes it’s easy to forget what a wee small buddy you still are.

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july

you started children’s soccer this past year and you are both super excited about playing soccer like your brothers and super put out by the fact that your soccer team includes a bunch of other kids you don’t know at all. you are so loud and crazy at home that it i forget how shy you can be about making new friends. if papa or i do the activities with you, then you really get into it, but you don’t often want do them by yourself and after awhile you need to take a minute by yourself.

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august

in spite of the 3 yr-old crazies, you seem to be the most in tune with what you need, and will often take yourself away from some alone time in the brothers’ room or ask me if it’s time to go up to bed. we finished nursing this year and that was a little bit sad for you (and for me) but hanging out and snuggling at bed time is not soooo bad (and weirdly you seem to have replaced mahnahs with wiggling the moles on my back, which i guess is an ok compromise?) and it means that papa can take you up to bed sometimes too.

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september

you found a buddy in our neighbor across the street this year (sawyer, who is just about 10 months younger than you) and it has been a really wonderful thing for you. all of the brothers like sawyer, but he’s really your friend and he likes you a lot too, and it’s so nice to see you making a new friend who is all your own. for your birthday party this year, you wanted “only wren and shona and that’s it” to come to bowling and pizza with you and the fact that they could in fact come was really the best thing for you. it was a really fun party (we invited euan and wren and shona’s parents too) and it was so great to see such a simple event bring you so much happiness.

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october

you like pizza but you are so funny about food. you eat a chocolate sandwich (chocolate chips melted into sunflower butter) for lunch every day along with apple slices and a snack (tings or veggie bootie mostly) and that’s it. you eat granola with mini chocolate chips every morning. and then invariably you are sad about whatever we have for dinner. you don’t even really like pizza or burritos or any other “eating out” dessert so you are kind of a pain. you will make some concessions here and there, but who knew there was a non-allergic kid who did not like pizza?! sometimes i wonder if you are not just being contrary.

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november

like your brothers you love the cats (although you can be a little too rough) and you love babies (LOVE babies). you have dolls that you like to play with/murder and i can never tell if it is teaching you tenderness or how to get away with infanticide. you love playing star wars with calum and zachary and emmanuel and you love dressing up in any star wars clothes that we have, especially to be darth vader. but you will also play just about any game that the brothers and other friends will include you in (except magic).

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december

you don’t have the patience for most board games yet or cards. you will sometimes play a family game with us but you get easily bored. you are just getting interested in playing with game pieces and if it’s just you and me or you and papa and we aren’t super concerned about strictly following the rules, we can manage to play a few rounds of pete the cat or the goodnight moon game. you do like matching things and spinning numbers and moving game pieces. you like watching other people do puzzles and sometimes you will join in. you are pretty good at matching shapes and color patterns.

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january

you love reading books and will read picture books and some chapter books with illustrations by yourself for ages. you love being read to even more and you especially like it when i do character voices (but you are not overly fond of my terrible british accent). you will read the star wars encyclopedia for ages and you will sometimes tell the brothers about some fact that you learned about star wars “from reading that book.” we go to the library story hour most tuesdays and you like that routine. you like the books and the songs and the after activities, although most of all i think you like playing on the library computer for a few minutes while i check out the books.

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february

you hate picking up the brothers after school, it’s never at the right time for you and you are always crabby about it. it’s tough because i think it’s during your sleepiest part of the day and you always fall asleep a little bit on the car ride there. but if we let you nap you will never go to sleep at night and so everyone is just a little bit sad about all of that every day. but you love the part at the playground after you’ve woken back up and you can play. sometimes you are too crabby and it takes almost until it is time to leave for you to warm up again, but most times you like to run around and be outside. you frequently want me to play zombie tag or hide and seek and you are quite frustrated if i want to talk to other grownups instead. and if it is cold you don’t want to be there at all.

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march

you like going to youth soccer with papa and the brothers and playing with wren and shona and calum when it’s not his day for soccer practice. it is tricky because sometimes you fall asleep in the car but it’s always good for you to get a little extra run around time and you love seeing your friends.

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april

you love the iPad. you love the little kid games like sago mini and toca but you also love lego star wars. you also play a lot of wild kratts – one your favorite tv shows to watch on a movie night. you are also excited because now that you are 4, it’s time to start watching the star wars movies!

you are bright and funny and working on being brave. you love to run and to laugh and to snuggle. you had so many big feelings this year that were so tough but the storm seems to be calming down and you are feeling more agreeable about most things again. it will be interesting to see how your personality develops this year now that everything doesn’t make you feel so ornery. i can’t believe what a big kid you are getting to be and i am so proud of all of your growing!

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4 (37 lbs 40.5″)!

happy birthday!

love,

mama

 

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7

dear calum,

happy birthday, 7 yr old! can you believe you are so old? 6 was an exciting year for you – finishing kindergarten and starting youth soccer. you are growing up in all kinds of ways and you cannot wait!

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april

six was an ok year for you. you are kind of a dramatic guy, with high highs and low lows. when things are going you way you are quite pleasant; then they are not you are quite the little thundercloud. some of it is your personality and some of it is your age and some of it is probably being the middle child.

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may

but overall you enjoy life and make the most out of things. you enjoyed kindergarten and you are enjoying first grade and you love learning and writing and learning how to read. you are the only nerd in the history of phonics who loves that topic the best.

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june

your teachers find you to be a delight and we struggle to leave school in any kind of reasonable time on rainy days because you have to stop and hug any of them that you see on the way out. and they love it. you continue to enjoy all of your classmates and despite some challenges in reading and writing, you really enjoy doing your school work too. you got to be part of a special reading group at school recently and you really like meeting with classmates and discussing what you have read. you don’t see the extra intervention as anything but positive and that is pretty great. sometimes your learning specialists would like you to get a little more stressed about your challenges so that maybe it will motivate you a little bit to work harder on them, but mostly you are content to keep soldiering along without getting too worked up about things.

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july 

you love getting new books from the library and you love having books read to you. you are not as excited about having to read books back to us – it’s still a little bit of a challenge – but you are really coming along with the reading and you can really tell the work you have been putting into things. at the beginning of the first grade school year you were behind but now you are starting to catch up.

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august

you love youth soccer and you play so hard that it’s almost heartbreaking. all of your hard there is paying off too and you are gaining a lot of skillz yourself. it’s tough keeping up being as small as you are, but that is going to end up being your secret weapon when everyone else underestimates you and then you crush them. you would like to go to soccer every day all week long, so it’s very frustrating to you that we only go to soccer twice a week – once for august and once for you. you’d like to go to both of your practices and to the weekend soccer as well. sometimes we make it on sundays but usually by then we need a break, so that is definitely not your favorite thing.

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september

you also are really enjoying riding your bike and would like to rid every day to and from school and it is endlessly frustrating to you that we cannot do that. you love whenever we do manage to squeeze in a family bike ride and of course we never manage to do it quite frequently enough. you love playing with zachary and emmanuel and you will play with hugo and his buddy sawyer as well. you aren’t too picky about how only anyone is as long as they are willing to play with you. you like playing baseball in the backyard with zachary (and zachary even gave you your won glove to play with) but you are just as happy playing star wars.

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october

you like playing pokemon and you have your own special and favorite cards that you like but you also enjoy playing magic with august. you like playing board games and card games with the family – something that we never do enough of for you either.

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november

you are generally helpful around the house and you are generally kind to your brothers. hugo makes you crazy (because he is crazy making) and sometimes august teases you, and it’s true that it really is no picnic being the one in the middle sometimes. but you do your chores without too many complaints and you get along with your brothers most of the time.

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december

you have a big heart that i am pretty sure is going to break for the whole world when you get older. i think you are going to be pretty tough and take care of yourself but you take social justice pretty personally and i think you are really going to be a fighter for people who have less privilege than you. you always have ideas for signs for any protests that we go to and they are usually messages like “be nice to my friends” and “please don’t hurt anyone”. the world is already lucky to have you.

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january

you love playing the iPad and watching movies. you like snuggling during movie and book time and you like to give hugs during dinner (but please save your hugs until after dinner) and during toothbrushing (and after toothbrushing) and after bedtime (please do not get out of bed for hugs) and although you are quite lovable we are working on consent and appropriate times for affection and also not using affection as a deflection technique to get out of doing what you are supposed to be doing.

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feburary

you are scatterbrained and get lost in the middle of tasks. not because you don’t know what you should be doing but because there is always something else you would rather be doing. we are working on that and you are getting better at all of that as you are getting older. you are funny and brave and confident and silly. you love a good joke and a good game. you are thoughtful about others and you try to be kind. you need to be quiet and eat at meal times and you need to work on not reacting so satisfyingly when your brothers are trying to get a rise out of you. you are the most likely to give a kiss or a hug or to say i love you. you are a delight and i can’t believe how much you are growing every day.

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7 (40.5 lb 43.25″)!

happy birthday!

love,

mama

10

dear august,

double digits. wow. you are finishing 4th grade and entering your last year at school in the fall. how did all of this happen so fast? i feel like i was just shocked that you were entering kindergarten and hear we are – approaching your last year of elementary school!

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march

nine was an ok year for you. you are starting to really develop some kickass soccer skillz and you are super excited about that. you’re starting to become a little bit more of a grown up – you like sitting quietly and reading to yourself, listening to music on your iPhone (a present this year for listening to music, using the internet, and taking photos and movies – no phone service), and checking the echo for the latest sports news (what?). you’ve started to sometimes notice that there are other people in your family besides you and you sometimes actively make a point of helping out when you haven’t been directed to. you are still cranky and pouty about some of the things you are asked to do, but generally you do your chores without putting up too much of a struggle.

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april

but even with the reading and the music listening, you still like to move your body the most. your favorite activity is soccer by far, but you will play almost any physical game that the other kids want to. you and your friends have created a bunch of different wild games that involve throwing and kicking playground balls and you love to tell us blow by blow who scored what points and who almost lost but didn’t after.

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may

you and calum recently started playing four square at school, and since there is a four square board(?) painted at the playground up the street, it is a fun family ball-oriented activity that you can usually get most of us to get into. you find it disappointing that papa and i don’t get as into running around as you do.

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june

you like going for long bike rides and you recently got into magic cards. somehow you have amassed hundreds of them and you play them with your friends as often as we will allow you (which is all of the time during the cold months but never enough of the time when it’s warm out and we make you play outside). you have patiently taught your brother how to play with you as well, and while he is not as able an opponent as your peers, you and calum will often quietly set off somewhere to play magic, which hurricane hugo whirls around the both of you, trying to flip over cards and cause general mayhem. he is still too little to think magic is anything but boring.

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july 

you still love reading graphic novels and you prefer to select your own from the library whenever possible. you like reading historical fiction as much as you like reading fantasy and sci fi. and you will read just about any sports-story book you can get your hands on.

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august (in august)

you love playing the iPad and are hoping to talk us into an xbox when hugo turns 4. for your birthday, you invited friends over for a sleepover and to play iPad on the TV.

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september

you have most of the same friends that you have always had, and even though we are starting to see differences in your interests and personalities, so far these differences are just accepted by all of you as part of who each of you are and don’t seem to cause any direct conflicts. it’s amazing to think of how little you were when you first met some of them and now how big all of you are getting. i can still sometimes see you very tiny baby faces but every day you are all getting farther and farther of that toddling around stage.

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october

you are funny and clever and curious. it is fun and interesting to have a conversation with you. you delight in making your brothers screech and frequently get into trouble for distracting them from their tasks after you have already finished your own. you are responsible and maddening. you huff and sulk if you feel like we have asked too much of you. you are starting to become age-appropriately defiant but (sorrynotsorry) you still pretty much have to do what you are told when you are told it. you have some small ideas about what you want to do in the immediate future (which middle and high school options you would like to consider, for example) and much bigger ideas about what you would like to be when you grow up (professional soccer play/video game tester). you don’t ever want me to cut your hair, although we had to have a serious and fretful discussion about how you would have to wash it regularly then and to wash it well. you have a heart for justice and you feel strongly that all people should be created fairly. although this is often easier for you to understand on a larger scale (community/country/world), you will also occasionally begrudgingly concede that this is also true in our own household (poor brothers).

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november

you love the cats and are kind and tender with babies. you can appreciate a beautiful day and you love a good view and a good hike. you don’t get excited about going to the beach but you always have fun with your friends there (sometimes you are a crab about plans like your papa but then you usually warm up once you’ve been forced to do something).

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december

overall 9 was not the worst. i’m really enjoying seeing you grown up into a person, even with all of the ups and downs. i love you very much and can’t believe you are 10!

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january

happy birthday!

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10 (68 lb 54″)!

love,

mama

3 years old!

dear hugo,

this month you turned three. THREE. where did the time go? didn’t we have another so we could have one more baby? that baby is long, long gone. in his place is a wonderful little person who is so big and so brave and so strong (32.5 lbs, 38″). we are so lucky to have one last year old around.

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june

you have been waiting and waiting for this birthday. it’s tough being not only the youngest but also the last birthday of the season (mama’s birthday in august so far from everyone else’s doesn’t count). you already knew all about birthdays and what to do and what happens. you knew that you wanted star wars cupcakes and to invite manu and zachary and jingle and wren and shona (and josie and anand, who were out of town). luckily manu and zachary and wren and shona came, so it wasn’t just you and jingle (a stuff dog). especially since at some point jingle was disinvited (poor jingle).

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july

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august

you had a great birthday, with birthday cereal (!) and presents (!) and ice cream (!) and a great birthday party (with games and guests and cupcakes and even a few silly presents)! three is so fun because you get so excited about everything. your brothers and friends were very sweet and you were quite pleased with all of the attention. you were rather disappointed when it wasn’t your birthday anymore, but honey, aren’t we all.

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september

because you are three, you are not allowed a regular iPad time. this is THE BEST thing that ever happened to you. interestingly, because you are allowed to use the iPad now, you rarely sneak it (which is nice for papa and me). you can’t quite sit still playing it though, and frequently move about during your iPad time, which is pretty amazing. first you sit on the couch, then, still looking at the screen, you move to the floor. then the easy chair. then the couch again. i can’t tell what it is exactly that has you so antsy, but it’s very funny.

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october

even though you love the iPad oh so very much, you are becoming interested in other things too. you really like coloring and gluing – especially glitter gluing – and many things in the house have been decorated. some of them even paper! i have to keep reminding you where you are allowed to use the colorful things, but it’s worth it to see you so occupied with a project, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

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november

you’ve been going to “school” this past month and you mostly like it. it’s tough for you, honestly, to have me leave you there, although you do tend to be just fine once i’m gone. we talk about how i will always always come back, but even though you try to believe it, you are always immensely relieved to see me at the end of the time. it’s only for three hours – a perfect amount of time for me to get loads of work done – but it feels like so very long to you. it’s times like these that remind me just how little you are still. you are so so very big in many ways, but you still have a lot of growing left to do for sure.

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december

you started nap again because sure why not. i think it has to do with the weather being warmer and the play being more outside and longer. but it makes for very interesting schedule planning. and evenings. it’s like that box of chocolates adage – i never know what we are going to get. sometimes you need the nap, you are so very tired, so i let you, and then papa and i pay the price that night at bedtime. sometimes you skip the nap with vigor and then crash early. sometimes we get a little bit in between. i’m eager for you to figure all of this out one way or another, but these things just take time, i know. anyway, you may as well nap a bit more going into the summer, it will help us stay out later and enjoy the long days and evenings.

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january

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february

you still love books and will bring one to papa for “snuggle and read a book” time most evenings. you try to get me to read to you while we’re signing books out to kids in calum’s K2 class (and calum often brings home books he thinks you will like too). you like to bring a bunch of books over to me when i’m trying to do something else. sometimes gus will read to you. and sometimes still you will look at books by yourself, with a very serious look of concentration on your face. like eating, i will never get tired of watching my kids reading.

 

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march

you like to do everything that the brothers do and you like to know all of the things too. if i try to explain something, you tell me, “i know,” regardless of what it actually is. you still hate to get your teeth brush and you throw tantrums over weather appropriate pajamas and coats without pockets. you are crazy and unreasonable and completely impossible. you can get your pants down but not usually up and you get mostly get your shirts off but not on. boots you can manage but shoes are still tricky and forget about socks. you like taking baths, especially with bubbles, and you think showers are fun for standing in but not for cleaning. you eat most foods when you are hungry and carbs when you are not. you still snack for as many as – if not more than – actual regular meals that the rest of us eat. you are busy and clever and still into all of the things you should not be. at least we can take you out to eat now, as long as there is something there that you would like and the service is not too slow. you love to ride the try and wish we would ride bikes more. you love to swing at the playground too.

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april

my love, you are going too fast but it’s a wild ride that papa and i are grateful to be taking with you. happy three!

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THREE!

love, always,

mama

 

 

35 months

dear hugo,

IT SNOWED THIS MONTH WHAT THE HELL.

i have to tell you that this has been a fairly miserable winter, even if it hasn’t been full of snow like last year. i knew those handful of beautiful days in march were too good to be true – this month has been rainy and cold and dreary and just the pits. everyone is cranky and ready for sunshine and springtime.

after not napping more than once every 7-10 days, you’ve decided now is the time to nap again. perhaps it’s due to the fact that we have been staying at the playground and forcing ourselves to go outside even in the miserable, dreary weather more than we managed in the winter. or perhaps whatever speed you were taking in december has finally worn off, but these days you seem to be napping more and more frequently. you are at least going to bed at a decent hour – but 8-8:30 at the latest instead of 9:30-10 and so papa and i don’t really mind. it makes it easier to do evening things as well and honestly it’s great timing considering soccer is starting and it would be impossible to take your brother on a night when you haven’t napped.

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touching rays at the mystic aquarium

in fact you seem to be generally more sleep overall – at bedtime you know the whole routine and will often climb into bed and turn on the reading light and get snuggled up while i am grabbing my book and glasses. it’s a lot nicer than fighting you to go to bed, that’s for sure.

even so, we are making the best of things as we can. you have finally started to enjoy going to little sprouts on monday mornings. that is – you have always enjoyed going, but you have finally started talking about it and looking forward to it. you are still slow to warm up to people and places, which is very sweet considering how obnoxious you are once you feel comfortable! it’s fun seeing you connect with other kids your age.

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hiking with nana and grandpa

you have a few youtube movies you like to watch – a bad habit we developed during the winter months when mama had to work and you weren’t napping. clash of clans commercials (‘cwash of cwams’ and minions, along with some taylor swift and bruno mars ‘videos’). and now if you do nap and i have to wake you so we can pick up the brothers or so you aren’t awake all night long, they are a good bribe for getting you to forgive me for being disturbed.

because your naps are spotty and unplannable and because you are awful when i work, i have decided that this month you can start having a little bit of iPad time instead of waiting a few more weeks until you are 3. you LOVE this of course, and we have been working hard on ironing out the rules (after lunch, just when mama is working, once a day, you can’t have a tantrum when time is up). it’s not so easy for you to give the iPad up when the time is over, but you are getting used to the routine of it, and now that you have realized that you do get another turn the next day, it’s even getting a little easier to give up to. i have mixed feelings about giving you iPad time “early” but desperate times, i guess.

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if you don’ wear yo scarf yo neck’s gon’ get cold

you love blueberry pouches, those gross gross baby food in foil things. long ago i considered buying some silicone pouches and making our own, but for whatever reason(s) that never happened and now they are your favorite treat. whatever. they cost less than $2 and they are a great purchase to keep you occupied while we are at the grocery store and they are actually healthy too. the amusing thing is that even though you love the blueberry flavor, you still won’t eat actual blueberries. i’m curious to see if that will change this summer when they are fresh and delicious.

you are delight to watch play the iPad, even as conflicted as i am about allowing you to use it. when you play the construction game with grandpa (or whatever it is called) and “grandpa” asks if you “want to play again?” you always whisper, “yes” and i die every time. you also like the “game with the birdies” and you will point excitedly to all the silly things you can make the birdie do.

 

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big helper

although you also eat most things, you can be particular about other treats as well. you like bunny not bear crackers and you would really always prefer star wars crackers (but alas, they no longer sell them around here). you will only eat the short fat pretzel rods, not the skinny pretzels or the “hug” shaped ones. you will eat certain kind of orange slices but not others. you DO still love apples, and will eat them sliced or whole. one of my favorite things is watching you eat a whole apple. it’s still so heavy in your hands and getting a good bite out of it is tricky. still you persevere and it’s adorable. papa would prefer if you would stop taking bites of his apples, however, and he’s often arrived at work appalled to find his morning snack has already been nibbled many times over.

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everyone loves the iPad

we’ve also talked about weaning some this month, and it’s going ok so far. we’re not in a rush, but i’ve been working on nursing you not at all at night anymore. i was thinking that because you are the same age as your brothers were night weaned that it wouldn’t be much of a thing for you either, but it turns out that being pregnant means a lot less milk and therefore a lot less fight about it all. but you know that as you are getting tall and taller there will be less milk and you are ok with that in theory – in practice you are not so sure. still, we are making slow and steady progress at night and that is the most important thing. you still occasionally nurse other times – for nap and bedtime, for example, but mostly that’s it. it’s definitely bittersweet for both of us.

 

happy 35 months, baby! i can’t believe how big you are getting so fast!

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thirty-five months

love,

mama

6 years old

dear calum,

6 years old! what a big year for you!

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april

5 was not your easiest year (you are a stubborn little bugger! which both makes me proud and drives me crazy), but you had a lot of big accomplishments! i think it was tough still being at home for the first half of the year, but you really grew A LOT. your speech has made leaps and bounds in improvement! enough that we only kept your IEP just in case you had some regression over the summer or if you felt a little shy at school and could use the extra help. but it’s made a serious improvement in the way you interact with the world. where once you were shy to talk to new folks or even to express yourself sometimes at home, now you make new friends wherever you go! it’s beautiful and amazing to see.

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may

the summer was a good time for you – there is nothing you three brothers love more than being together, and this summer was no exception. you learned to be more brave in the pool – jumping in to papa or nana and even swimming a little bit to the side or to the ladder. you were able to swim back and forth between two grownups too and you (and we) were very proud about it.

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june

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july

you grew a bit this year too (35 lbs, 41″)! we did go to see how things are going with your body – you are a really small fry – but your bones are just taking their time and you will eventually get there. it was good to hear that you don’t have any deficiencies in anything, you are just not a fast grower (like many other members of your immediate and extended family), and that is good to know. you have a killer smile for sure that more than makes up for your size.

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august

the biggest news after your speech accomplishments is, of course, that you started kindergarten! FINALLY your big day! you got to ride the school bus and you were very excited. we followed behind and met you at school, and while you were a little nervous, you mostly were just very pleased to finally be there. your little uniform pretty much slays me. unlike your brother, you will actually wear button ups, and you are a very handsome and stylish guy. you came home every day for the first few weeks telling us all about your “NEW FRIEND!” until i think you knew everyone’s names in the class. your kindergarten teacher was both impressed and a little appalled at your comfort level at school and i am pretty sure she spent the first few weeks working on getting you to sit down and MYOB.

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september

you do love school, though, and once you figured out the game you were quite good at it. because you are the middle child (and mostly because of your speech), you didn’t know any letters or numbers or oh, basically anything school-relevant, at all when we sent you, but you quickly picked most things right up! it was good that we kept your IEP because it helps with your being a little behind in your letters, especially. BUT YOU CAN READ!! we need to work on that more this summer but you are doing a great job. you will need some help in first grade too, but that’s what school is for! the best part is how much you are up to the challenge and not afraid to back down on things that seem trick at first. your papa and i are really proud of your hard work and progress. it’s been a big year for you.

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october

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november

you are getting better and better at soccer. you’re not the biggest or the strongest or the fastest, but it’s clear that you have the most heart out there. you are the most focused and you really play with a lot of passion. your footwork is getting better and boy if you keep that focus going, you are going to go far with anything you put your mind to!

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december

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january

you’ve been dying for swim lessons and it just keeps not quite working out for us. i am hoping that is something we can do this coming fall and/or winter. you love playing soccer and of course the iPad. your favorite shoes are the riders of berk, clone wars (sometimes), slugterra, and wild kratts. we got you caught up on all of the star wars movies this year in time for you to watch the force awakens and even though i think you don’t really have any idea at all what happened, you were HYPED to be there (so were we!!).

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february

you are tough and stubborn and crazy-making and sweet and sensitive and our tenderheartedist little bear. we are teaching you not to back down from bullies (ahem, hugo) and you are teaching us to always be a lover. we are so lucky to have you in our lives!

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six!

love,

mama

34 months

dear hugo,

you have started to realize that you are growing and you are not sure how you feel about this. it’s a tricky thing. on the one hand, you are ready to be big and big and bigger, because that means you can play more games with the brothers and do more cool things. it means you are getting tall and taller and that makes you proud. but it also means that you are not a baby anymore and maybe you aren’t ready for that. you often ask me, “i am the baby, right?” “yes, you are,” i tell you, because of course you will always be my baby.

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honey mustard chips and oj snack for the strep patient

even so, you continue to strive for things that the big kids do. you like to get things and do things for yourself. putting on a back pack and taking a lunch box places, getting out your shoes and coat (WINTER COAT, MAMA, even if the weather has decided to feel pleasant for a change). you can take your pants and underpants fully off, if they are not buttoned too tightly, and you can even sometimes pull them back up. you can take off your shirt and socks and sometimes, the opposite, pull on your shoes. you can get your own snacks out of my back or the cabinet (honestly, i love when you get your own snacks out of the cabinet because i am terribly lazy).

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when it’s been too quiet for too long

you love to be read to, but you also love to read to yourself. if i am working and won’t read to you (oh WHY did you have to give up your nap so soon?!), you will sometimes sit next to me and declare, “FINE! i will read it MY-SELF.” and then of course it is impossible to work because i love listening to how you tell yourself the story.

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snuggling with a sick mama

your pappy was here a few days to visit and to help us with yet another project. you, like your middle brother before you, absolutely delighted in helping out when you could. you found the work half fascinating and half painfully boring, which is actually a pretty accurate assessment of the project.

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movie break for the construction assistant

you, also like your middle brother before you, continue to w-sit with your legs. supposedly that’s not a big deal, but since your auntie used to sit like that and wound up with knees that make her a little crazy, i have been disinclined to let you or your brother sit like that when i can see it. you find it amusing that this bothers me, and you won’t put your legs into a more gentle position for your knees until you’ve gotten me to yell at you. as in, if i say, “fix your legs, hugo,” you will say, “YELL IT! FIX YO LEGS HUGO!” and will not comply until i do. similarly, if you have to use the potty, you sometimes tell me about it, but then encourage me to hustle you, “say ‘let’s go let’s go let’s go!’ mama!”. weirdo.

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dyeing eggs for spring!

you are learning how to be a pain in the butt from your brothers. all their obnoxious sayings and insults are absorbed by you like a sponge. your favorite is to you, “STOP COPYING ME!” which must be a real issue for the kindergartners this year, because it’s a favorite protestation you have picked up from calum.

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when you couldn’t bunk with the big kids

this month we had an actual taste of spring – one weekend morning we went to brunch with friends at 9:30 and didn’t get home until almost dinner. it’s not that the winter was so cold but it’s been so very dreary. we’re trying to soak up any good weather that comes our way, and you are no exception. we haven’t been to the playground in ages, because it has been too rainy to do anything, and you’ve begun to preemptively tell me that we needn’t even bother to check the swings and slides because, “they are wet, mama.” please hurry, spring, we need more sunshine!

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thirty-four months

happy 34 months, beautiful!

love,

mama