Dear Calum,

Wow, 8. I feel like it took us a lot of work to get here. If I am honest, 7 was not my favorite age for you. Seven is regarded as somewhat of an emotionally downer year, developmentally, and that was not far off the mark for you. Not that you were not often delightful but you did (and still do) take the world quite personally, and I have to admit that it can wear on a person (and on you as well). The upside, if there is one, of all of your sensitivity to the great injustices that you have suffered is that you have extended this sense of raging against wrongdoing to the world around you as well. Your teachers have remarked on more than one occasion about how you speak up for others and call out unkind words or actions or point out ways that we can all be better. Your heart is very big, which means, yes, it does take things more personally but it also beats for more than just your own self, and that is a very beautiful thing.

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It has been a challenging year for you academically as well. School is getting to be more, well, school-like, and that can be tough for you. You do like school very much, even if you are not always able to rise to the challenges as easily as others around you, and your papa and i and your teachers and staff at school have been working very hard to make sure that you feel supported and continue to be curious about learning. We did some testing and you do have some attention issues and you are doing some OT work this spring to help and see if we can get your reading and writing a little more organized. As always, you are patient with all of this and do your best and even find ways to enjoy it. I know soon you are going to start to notice how much easier all of this stuff is for other kids – particularly when Hugo starts school in the fall, I am sure, but we are hoping that by helping your put some scaffolding in place you will feel confident enough in your abilities that information won’t be too much of a roadblock for you to get over. You love reading and you love math and you love writing stories, so we want most of all is that those things continue to be interesting and exciting for you, even as you begin to recognize the difficulties they pose for you.

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You continue to love soccer. You were excited to stay all day at soccer camp again this past summer and are so fierce and fast and tough. You are starting to recognize how much smaller you are than the other kids (sorry about those constitutional growth delay genes, buddy) but you have also noticed how much that doesn’t necessarily matter on the soccer field. Playing with your older brother all your life has given you skills and advantages that other kids your age don’t have yet and you use it to your advantage as much as possible. And while you are getting a little bored of clinic work this spring, you are super excited about starting on travel team in the fall.

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You talk about gender a lot. Mostly you are sad that you cannot grow or nurse a baby, although you acknowledge that it is not altogether to terrible that you will never have to actually give birth. You love rings and necklaces and rings (although they are a bit of a distraction and you never end up keeping any of them on long) and you love deciding which earrings to wear. You and your little brother are excited about wearing sundresses again this summer and you have been impatient with the cold weather we had for too long this spring. You even asked for a navy blue jumper to wear to school, but you haven’t quite been sure about actually wearing it to school yet. You are nervous that the kids will say something to you. It makes me sad that that is what seems to be holding you back, as last year I think you wouldn’t have worried about that at all. Your papa and I try to make sure that you know that we support all of your weather- and location-appropriate fashion choices, but right now you are feeling pretty sensitive about what other kids have to say, so I think you won’t end up pulling that jumper out this year. But you do still love to wear sundresses at home, as well as leggings or shirts or shoes with sparkles or rainbows or anything shiny or glittery that you can find in your drawer.

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You loved our trip last summer and just like August, you were really quite excellent in the car. You and August played some weird imagination soccer game or looked out the windows or sometimes did some activity books. You wanted very badly to go on this inflatable water obstacle course even though at the end there was a 10-foot free swim from the course to the side of the pool and you aren’t that strong of a swimmer. I ran over to the other side to cheer you on and you gave it all you had to swim all the way to the edge. You are one tough kid. And it was fun seeing how much you enjoyed everything we visited and saw. You were always up for an adventure and it was so fun being on the trip with you. You especially liked visiting with our friends in Seattle and really look forward to seeing them again some day (we do too).

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You are really into riding your bike and you spend most of the fall being put out with me that we almost never rode to school. You even moved up a bike size this winter, which you were crabby about but now are quite good on the new bike. I hope that we can do some more bike riding soon, now that the weather looks like it might actually decide to be spring!

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You like playing outside with Zachary and Emmanuel and you are as equally excited to play sports with them (baseball or soccer or frisbee or football) as you are to play imagination games (mostly star wars). This year you were super excited to try snowboarding and you are getting better and better at ice skating. You like playing board games (who was it? is a favorite) and card games (from sleeping queens, to pokemon or magic to exploding kittens). You love the iPad of course and play too many new games for me to count and have been getting into using the computer at home to play games you have learned about in school as well.

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You love being read to, particularly as reading is a lot of work for you, but this spring you have started to work on reading some graphic novels by yourself. We read Zita the Space Girl and all of the Worst Witch books together this winter and that was super fun. We have been working on Amulet, but bedtime has been crazy lately and we are very behind. But I am proud of you for working on it without me!

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You have been getting into art and drawing more. We got you gel pens like your Nana has and you sometimes will color in postcards, but you have started just drawing freestyle as well. Your artwork at school is incredible – both because you have an amazing art teacher but also because you clearly so very much enjoy getting to express yourself this way. It’s fun to see you sit still for a minute while you work on something.

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You get along with your brothers quite well, although you frequently lose your temper and overreact to small injustices. This often gets you in trouble, even if one of your brothers initiated the altercation. One of the things we will be working on over the summer when we don’t have all of the extra school work to wear you out is how you can respond to perceived injustices. We have been working on understanding how it is ok to be upset but how treating everything like an end of the world situation isn’t helpful for you or anyone and intellectually you know that, but I think perhaps working hard all day at school just leaves you too wrung out to do much about it right now.

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You love watching Dragon Riders of Berk and Wild Kratts and this year we discovered that we all enjoy Odd Squad. You love going to movies (minions and star wars are favorites) and really wish you could go on more sleepovers. You like pizza and quesadillas but you eat just about anything we ask you to, even if it is not exciting. You like cake and ice cream and cookies and brownies, any flavor but without fruit filling, please. You are funny and silly and loving and you still won’t sleep on the top bunk unless you are forced to. You love the cats and you love your uncle’s dog so much that sometimes we almost think about getting you on before we come to our senses. You are challenging and wonderful and we are lucky to have you.

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Happy Birthday, my love!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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!




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.



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).





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.



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.



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.



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.



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.





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.




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.



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!



love, always,




32 months

dear hugo,

happy new year!

2016 01 04 crazy hugo

gumband face

we had plans to ring in the new year with your aunt and uncle and cousins, but you threw up on the way to their house, eat a bunch of dinner, played your heart out and then threw up again first thing in the morning. we were sad to leave but we didn’t want to get anyone else sick. good thing too, as you and your brothers were then sick for the next 10 days (sheesh).

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birthday papa

we did still managed to have a nice visit with nana and grandpa, though, at the tail end of your collectiveness sicknesses and neither of them got sick, whew!

it was an up and down month, lots of snot after all the intestinal distress and lots of strange weather. we spent the month catching up on everything we didn’t get down preparing for the holidays in december and it went by pretty fast.

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snowy day

you are talking talking talking and saying very funny things, like “one, two, let’er wip” and then jumping off of a table or bench or rock at the playground. who taught you that? one of the brothers, probably.

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penguin house

my favorite of your expressions is when you tell me how you are “thinking” about something. like the other day in the grocery store when i was telling you we were buying marshmallows for dessert that weekend.

“are we gon’ make s’mores?”

“not this time. this time we’re going to dip the marshmallows in chocolate”

“mama, i fink da choc’lit’s gon’ be good!”

we are also talking about you need to be more gentle about the way you handle things in general, like putting the toilet seat down or getting my attention. you seem to take it seriously and have been asking me lately, “was it gen-tually, mama?” the answer is usually still no, but at least you are trying!

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hugo selfie

you are also starting to make an amazing case for why you should be able to nurse. i think when you are bored you think it’s time to nurse but when i say no it makes you very frustrated so you start to cry. although i feel bad that you are sad, if it’s not time to nurse, it’s not time to nurse, so i still tell you know. you have begun countering with “BUT I C’YING I WANT MAHNAHS!” it’s a fantastic analytical argument for a 2 1/2 yr old but the answer is still no, buddy.


happy 32 months, my big kid! i can’t believe how much you are growing growing growing!

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32 months



31 months

dear hugo,

the saddest thing that happened in at the end of last month was the death of our steelers zombie.  you and grandpa were out in the front “yard” (such as it is) playing around as you love to do, and for reasons i cannot explain, you decided to throw the zombie over the fence, shattering the poor fellow. you were surprised. i was disappointed. the funny news is that pappy game me a present “from hugo” over Christmas and guess what it was! a new steelers zombie! so all is right in the front yard again.

you had fun helping your brothers choose a tree this year and even more fun decorating it. unlike last year, we did not have to leave the entire first 2-3 feet of the tree bare of ornaments, although we did have to talk a lot about NOT. TOUCHING. ALL THE THINGS. we put the breakable ones up high and mostly you left things alone. when we finished you told me, “mama, that’s too pretty!” it was, hugo, it was.

2015 12 22 happy solstice

season’s greetings from the death star

every year as we count down to solstice we do a few different things. one of them is lighting a candle on our yule log and reading a poem every night. this was the first year that you really began to understand what we are doing and you were very excited to turn out the light so we could do the ritual and you were quite delighted to yell out, “WELCOME, YULE!” at the end of every poem. it’s so fun to see you getting involved in the traditions too.

we also open boxes and a chocolate calendar and you did an ok job of taking turns. you were pretty mad about every day that was not your day for chocolate, but you handled it as well as a 2 yr old can (not too badly). in fact, it was really lovely going and doing winter things with you and your brothers – we have a bunch of different traditions now (cookie exchange, zoo lights, special holiday movies, putting up the lights, etc) and you participated in them all with delight and wonder.

2015 12 21 carousel rider

he loves it

we went to sturbridge village for their Christmas by candlelight celebration this year for the first time and you thought that was just great. they had a horse drawn wagon ride that we rode twice – you loved it – and a model train display that you cried like your heart was broken when we left. the brothers liked it a lot too – maybe a new tradition in the making.

we had an adventure on the way to grandma and pappy’s this year – pouring rain and a flat tire (causing us to miss a meetup with friends from LA!) and somehow you also lost one of your shoes somewhere in pennsylvania. still you and the brothers did really well in the car, even with all of the craziness.

2015 12 23 shoe loser

rip adorable shoe

of course we had a fantastic holiday with all of your aunts and uncles and cousins (including a surprise visit from nana and grandpa!). you enjoyed spending time with everyone as much as opening presents. this year many of mama’s cousins and their kids were in town from all over and that was a special treat, seeing all of you great-grandchildren together for the first time. you also really, really enjoyed seeing chewie, too!

you’re growing and changing so much! i think your eyes are solidly hazel now – green sometimes, copper sometimes, sometimes a little of both. they are beautiful.

you are talking SO MUCH about SO. MANY. THINGS. when you are nursing you tell me things about it, “it’s coming! there’s more. that one’s empty.” you tell me “i love you too” (first – you believe that i say “i love you” and you say “i love you too” but you don’t believe there is a particular order to that exchange). you will tell me when somethings hurts – your body or your feelings – and ask for hug-oo. you’re very aware of the world around you and very sweet.

2015 12 07 ice ii

little sprouts ice experiment

you are learning all kinds of other things too – you can actually recite your numbers up to about 12, although you usually miss one around 4-5- 6. you like pretending games, like “dis my coffee!” and then you pretend to drink it. or you make us something to “eat” and we pretend to eat it. you are very silly and it’s fun to see what you come up with next.

you get songs stuck in your head and you sing phrases of them over and over. this month in particular it was “peace like a river in my soul” from Calum’s winter concert, but it is just as often a random pop song.

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silly guy

i realized this month that the reason you are so attached to specific outerwear of yours depending on whether or not the coat/jacket/vest has pockets. it’s been a crazy winter season, alternating too warm and too cold, and so at first i thought you just didn’t believe me about the temperature. but it turns out when i was trying to dress you in lighter jacket on warm days and you were angry and wanted to wear your winter coat it was because you wanted pockets not because you cared about the winter jacket at all. oh, baby.

you’ve started to drop your nap this month. right after i explained to papa that you still needed to sleep in the afternoon you just stopped. well that will show me i guess. it’s nice for putting you to bed, but everything else is a mess right now. well, another phase we’re working through. nap dropping is not my favorite but the early bed time is not the worst.

2015 12 26 thirty one months

31 months

happy 31 months, baby!




30 months

dear hugo,

2 1/2! weren’t you supposed to be my baby? almost none of that is left now. sure you’re still a wee little guy with lots to grow, yet, but you’re rapidly becoming one of the gang. there’s hardly a game that the brothers play that you can’t figure out a way to be a part of. board and card games are still out of your league, but even there you can hang, if briefly. you know how to kick and jump and wrestle and throw, you so pretty much can manage to be on at least the periphery of almost everything. it’s pretty amazing kiddo, even as it is a tiny bit heartbreaking to see you move up and on so fast. just wow, buddy.

2015 11 09 brothers

sometimes calum sneaks in for late night snuggles

you continue to love books, and this month it seems to be “what makes a rainbow” in particular. a book where a little bunny asks all his bug and animal friends about what makes a rainbow and they each tell him another color. i don’t know what exactly appeals to you about the book, but you are drawn to it over and over again, asking “what makes a rainbow, little bunny?”

it was halloween at the beginning of this month and you think dressing up and getting free candy is pretty neat. you love being outside in the dark and you even like wearing your costume.

2015 10 31 pappy and grandma ii

you told everyone you were a clone trooper

i didn’t know what to expect from daylight savings, but it didn’t seem to affect you much at all. i guess that’s good but it means mama and papa didn’t get any fabled extra hour of sleep at all, and that’s no fun. the getting darker earlier means we are out in the dark more, though, which means you get to see your friend the moon more often. “oh!” you will stop and point and gasp with delight, “dere’s dah moon!” since i like being outside at night too, it’s fun to have an extra reason to take you with me.

in fact, i have needed to feed the neighbors’ cat quite a few times this month and you have come with me. it takes twice as long when you go with me, but it’s a nice way to get you out of the house for a little walk after dinner, for you to see the moon, and for both of us to get a little bit of extra fresh air. you are extra talkative on these walks, maybe because you are tickled to be outside in the dark, and you make feeding the cat extra cute. we talk about the things we see (the moon, dogs, sometimes different neighbors, the colors of the cars we pass) and the things on your mind (which could be just about anything). you like to walk on walls and curbs that we pass and to jump on and off of steps (one of the reasons it takes us so long). at one point on the walk we pass a wild apple tree from which you like to kick fallen apples into the street. we will be really sad when that tree is out of apples.

2015 11 10 i'm hiding

you can’t find me!

you had a cold this month that started off with a fever. your brothers had various minor illnesses as well, including some wild hives on August that ended up being related to the strep he and Calum (but not you) had. it’s that time of year again. sigh.

you are learning how to get your pants on and off when you have to use the potty (when you have to pyoop, as you say it). it’s tricky getting them back on, but depending on the pants, sometimes you are actually able to do it. nothing is easier than going totally without, though, so that is the option you most frequently choose (and who can blame you, really).


2015 11 02 big kid

so big so fast

you have started yelling after you ask for something nicely but are denied: “mama can i have mahnahs, please?”

“in a minute, i am a cooking dinner.”


luckily you are the third baby so this is more adorable than it would have been in the first brother. also, surprise, it doesn’t get you what you want.

you have started detouring into the front yard to sit on the gas meter whenever we arrive home and are all going into the house. it’s mildly annoying, since you are really two small to be left outside unattended and since you used to just go right up the stairs with everyone. at the same time it is hilarious and adorable.


2015 11 07 secret spot

special spot

i use my glasses all of the time now for reading a book or using the computer, so frequently when we go up to nurse for your nap i take them with me. because you are the best, you also want to bring your own umglasses and book (or “computer”), which means i have been nursing you in shades a lot lately. i always forget and then i look down to see if you are asleep and instead see you in sunglasses. it is funny every time.

you enjoyed thanksgiving this month, too, although the concept of cooking food all day and then eating is still a bit out there for you. you ate some of the dinner but mostly you were just delighted to have your grandparents and uncle adam here (we missed aunt nita this year!). it was beautiful weather, so we were able to get around boston a little bit too, which you always enjoy (riding the train!).

2015 11 26 dinner


weirdly you have revealed to us this month that you don’t like peanut butter. you have picked nuts out of things for awhile but it seems you don’t like them smashed, either. you will eat sunflower butter, though, which is good, but you will reject a peanut butter sandwich immediately upon learning what it is without trying it. this doesn’t seem to extend to peanut butter cookies, though, which means you are not a total weirdo.

you still like to watch trucks and you will stop whatever activity you are doing to rush to see the garbage or recycling truck out of the front windows. you will point out excavators and front loaders and cranes when we see them out and about and you still like books with pictures of the same. in fact, you chose a “things that go” richard scarry book from the library recently and then had a total breakdown when gus was reading it. i feel like we need to work some more on sharing, but it WAS pretty adorable. you really liked that book.

2015 11 24 coloring



you are getting into drawing – probably because calum is drawing more things at home these days and you like to do all things that the brothers do – and you will frequently ask papa or me to draw something for you. often it is “draw mama and papa” and i will draw stick figures (one with curls, one with a beard) and then you will scribble over them and report, “i draw mama papa inna shower.” or occasionally, “inna rain.” ok, weirdo.

happy 2 1/2 years, big kid!

2015 11 26 thirty months iii

30 months



29 months

dear hugo,

it’s autumn now and beautiful. autumn is usually beautiful here but this year has been especially pleasant, for the most part warm/warmish and sunny/sunnyish and generally very lovely all around. enough so that when we have dark and dreary days – it is fall, after all – i feel very indignant about them. the cold is coming for sure, but not just yet.

2015 10 02 great pumpkin iii

baby’s first great pumpkin

we’ve been really enjoying our fall, too, with awesome playground time (finally finally i have figured out it is the tot lot) and library hour and the zoo and even sometimes the little sprouts (we have missed so many little sprouts gatherings. mostly due to sickness. nothing major but always just enough not to be able to go). you are a delight at the zoo – everything is new and exciting to you and so we have been trying to go as frequently as possible. after a few tries we finally saw the new lions and you were quite thrilled. it is really neat to see two of them at once, although they don’t roar nearly enough (christopher was always good of a roar or three). you really enjoy story hour and sing the songs a lot. we call it “popcorn kernel” now, since that is your favorite song. but you also like “this is the way we wash” and “here’s a cup” and “big big big”.

2015 10 03 stylin

fall gear

your molars started to come in this month and that was no fun. you weren’t more cranky, which was nice, but you didn’t sleep or eat as well as you usually do. it’s nice to know that we are almost finished with the terrible teeth, though, as the 6 yr molars don’t really seem to have the same kind of impact. i’ve also noticed that your 1 yr molars are a little spotty – it looks like your enamel might be following in your middle brother’s footsteps – so we have been doing some extra brushing these days too.

2015 10 11 truck driving

truck drivin’

you have become very particular about things in the way the 2 yr olds often are. you don’t like to be called nicknames of any sort – they aren’t your real name after all – and you will correct me if i call you anything like “buddy” or “little bear” (“i not little bear! i hugo!”). you do still respond to baby, and i’m not sure whether you’re just used to being called that or if you still believe yourself to be a baby or the baby. either way, it’s nice to be able to call you something besides hugo sometimes. you also feel very specific about the order of things, more so than even your brothers were, and it’s very cute. let’s say your brothers want to play the pushee game with you (a very stupid game where all of you sit on the big arm chair in the living room and try to push each other off of it) and you want to play with them BUT you are also hungry for a bit of a snack. if they ask you to play you will emphatically say “NO” but in fact what you mean is “yes, of course, but after i have this snack.”  and i understand – you don’t have the words to express all of that yet – but it makes for what seem like very surprising choices at times.

2015 10 14 hot dog with ketchup and seitan

i hot dog with seitan and ketchup

along those same lines, you also have embraced the toddler independence more fervently than either of the other two. perhaps this is because you have two older siblings who can do things that you feel very strongly that you should also be able to do things yourself. you can do a very surprising number of things by yourself as well, including getting your pants off (and a little bit on) by yourself, getting some of your shoes on (and almost all of them off), getting your coat off and putting it away, getting in and out of the car, etc. it’s lucky that you are the one who decided to do so many things BY MYSELF as with the other two at school we almost never have to be anywhere at a specific time in the morning. at least after we drop the brothers off at school. the afternoon is tougher, with the picking up, and sometimes i have to put you in the car seat myself and that can be very sad. but we are working on getting out the door in time for you to take your time anyway.

2015 10 17 city kid

city kid

we biked to school one morning this month. you loved it, we all did, until it started to rain. we haven’t biked since! but not because of the rain, just timing. it’s tricky with having errands to run and needing to drive or places to be and the bike not working for the ride home (if you fall asleep on the bike, your whole nap is ruined because i can’t transfer you without waking you). but when we do get to ride, it’s really quite nice.

2015 10 10 afgahni scarf ii

scarf from auntie diver

you’re also becoming quite the jokester, understanding plays on words and making up funny things yourself. we were walking to meet your papa and brothers at soccer one afternoon and the wind was blowing and blowing. i was saying, “baby it’s windy” from one of our favorite books and then i said, “ooh, it’s too real” from one of our current favorite songs, and then you said, “ooh, it’s too windy!” and we both laughed. clever baby.

2015 10 26 twenty nine months

29 months

happy 29 months, my love! you get bigger and bigger every day!