Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two videos

I take a lot of videos of James because he loves to watch them. He's obsessed.

So the other day when he was reminding me of the rule with the toilet paper (that you don't pull it off the roll and eat it) I just had to get a video of him. Notice he's saying "no, no, no" and shaking his little finger? Where he learned this, I have no idea. I've never shook (or is it shaken?) my finger at him when telling him no. He cracks me up. And, yes, the toilet is very clean. :)

I've also mentioned that he LOVES the tree outside. The one that is not even on our property. He asks me over and over in his sweetest little voice "tree? out?" until I say "do you want to go outside and visit the tree?" These are the magic words, a huge grins spreads across his face every time. Notice he kisses the tree on command, but never his mother.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letter to James: 18 months of heart expanding love

Dear James,

It has been one and a half years since you were placed into my arms for the first time. You were crying, as all newborns do, but as soon as they laid you on my chest, as soon as our eyes met, you stopped. You just looked up at me, me down at you.

Right then, with tears clouding my vision I told you I loved you for the first time in your life.

That, my dear boy, is one of my most favorite memories.

Yet every day new favorites are being formed. Just tonight, as you played in the new fountain in our backyard and you unintentionally squirted yourself, you looked at me. Maybe for reassurance, maybe for a smile, I'm not sure.

Then a huge grin spread over your face. I started laughing, hard. There you were, in your sweet little outfit, on a not quite warm enough evening, soaked. Then the most beautiful sound in the world filled my ears. Your laughter. There we were, just us, laughing our guts out for three minutes solid. I thought "this is something I never want to forget."

I love you with every cell of my being, sweet boy. Your Dada and I talk about how we never knew, never even imagined how deep, how all-encompassing, how amazing this love is. I never understood the love a mother has for her child until I had you. And it is the most amazing feeling in the world.

Happy one and a half. Next time I write one of these letters? You'll be two, and that, my sweet kiddo, blows my mind.

Love, Mama

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

18 Month Wolfy Photos {my kid is 1.5!}

He is one and a half. One and a half. That is big. Soon he'll be two. And before I know it he'll be ten.

Today was just like any other day. But things change, so so quickly. I want to remember the things I rarely blog about (ie showering, silly things he does), so here it goes.

James woke early (around six) and we snuggled in bed watching Sesame Street while he happily drank his sippy full of milk. Dada left for work, kissing us both on the cheek before leaving.

At 7:00 James became restless. Wanting to run around instead of sit still on the bed. He slid off the bed expertly and ran out of the bedroom as I groggily followed. He wanted to watch videos, of course. Videos of himself played in an endless loop of insanity. Yet, it's not insanity, it is lovely. I sip my coffee and read my Google Reader on my cell phone as he happily sits on my lap grinning at himself. Waving at the screen when I ask him to wave in the video. Nodding and shaking his head in agreement in sync with the boy on screen.

After breakfast (half a banana, a multi-grain waffle with jam, and a yogurt) we putter around the house. It is not yet warm enough to head outside for a walk (cold and rainy, still!).

I took a shower and as always I lock James in the bathroom with me. I get into the warm water and he stands on the side of the tub with the curtain pulled high, grin on his face, as he laughs and squeals as the water hits his little head. Inevitably it always looks like we've both showered.

I quickly dress, and fight with the demon in my son to dress him. He hates getting dressed and the entire process takes way longer than it really should. I keep telling him that as soon as he's dressed we can go outside. All he hears is the magical "o" word and runs away from me faster.

Once outside we walk East on our street like we always do. We've never gone West. Never. James leads the way, and East is his direction of choice.

Maybe it is because this favorite tree in the entire world is one house East of us. It is an Atlas Pine and according to James it is heaven on earth. I sit on the neighbors driveway, still making my way through my Reader (where I store all my blogs!) and he happily visits the tree. And kisses it. With an open mouth. True love. (I have a video, I'll upload it soon.)

We continue East, up the road, visit the digger (backhoe that is parked at the top of our street) and the river (just a ditch actually) and the secret house. We always stop at the same spots. James shakes the chain link fence over the ditch. He pounds on a forgotten oil drum on the neighbors driveway. He stomps in puddles and says "rock" over and over again near the rock pile. He obsesses about the digger.

I, on the other hand, just enjoy my boy and the sunshine.

We walk, and enjoy, and visit all the things that toddlers just must visit. And then we head home. Always right around 11:00, in time for lunch and a baby nap.

Today's nap was shorter than expected, but sometimes he'll sleep 2.5 or three hours.

Once he's up we have a snack and do an activity. Today he had a huge gourmet white chocolate cupcake which he thought was awesome (the frosting anyway). I've only given him a cupcake once, but I figured he deserved it, being one and a half and all.

Then we visited Auntie Melissa and saw her new apartment. Some days we go to the park. Others we go to the aquarium. Some days he hang out with friends with other kids. Most the time (at least 80%) James and I hang out alone. Just the two of us.

At 5:30 James is excited for the best part of his day. Dada arrives home. E can't wait to walk in the door, ask "where is my boy?" and see James running from anywhere in the house to give his Dad a big huge hug. Come to think of it, this is one of my favorite parts of the day too.

Five thirty also brings baby dinner, bath time and bed. The ritual in all of it is just lovely. James loves it. I love it. E loves it.

All too soon my kid is off to sleep and E have the evenings to relax, get on the computer and blog.

I love you my one and a half year old. (18 month letter coming tomorrow).

I wrote down a list of words you can say in your 17 month Wolfy post, but wanted to add to it. Here are your new words this month:
  • Book
  • No, no, no. You do this while shaking your little finger. It is the cutest thing ever. I also have a video of this. I better get uploading videos soon.
  • Up
  • Down
  • Uh-Huh! (for yes)
  • Yogart
  • Out
  • Goat
  • Tree and Toy. Both sound the same, a hard "t" sound. We know what he means.
  • He says "Maaa" when asked what a cow says.
  • Car/Truck/Rock - again, all sound the same, but we understand.
  • Digger
  • Gecko - we saw a gecko at the aquarium last week. I kept telling him "gecko" and all of a sudden he repeated me! He says "gekgek" but we know what he's saying.
  • Puddle
  • DAAAA! - Whenever he throws something on the ground, which is a lot these days, he lets out a very loud satisfied "DAAAA!"
Onto Wolfy:
My two favorite shots from today were quite blurry. He's a fast little man.

I asked him to snuggle Wolfy and this is what I got. Full-on snuggles.
Also, since he hasn't had a cupcake since his first birthday I figured I better get my camera out. Glad I did.
The frosting really was delicious.

And from month 1 until now:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Red Butte in May

You know those things that you remember doing all the time as a kid? Maybe a specific park or always visiting a specific restaurant? How you feel nostalgic about it, stating to anyone that will listen "we always went there when I was a kid, and I loved it."

That is Red Butte Garden for my family.

We always go there. And we always love it.

Each time we go to Red Butte it is different. The trails and layout is the same. Our route varies a little, but mostly we follow the same winding path each time. However, each time the garden is different, changed. Growing and flourishing this time of year, dying back in the fall, or sleeping soundly in the winter.

And we like each change. Each time is different. Wonderful. Yet it is always the same. James know the paths. He knows when we are getting close to the "Gaga" or "waterfall" as we know it.

He knows it and loves it, just as his Mama and Dada do.

I hope one day he'll take his girlfriends here. Showing them our favorite places, picnicking on our favorite bench. Then one day he'll take his own kids here, saying things like "when I was a boy, this tree was tiny, and I loved it."

Reminiscing about Red Butte Garden I just had to post some links to my favorite trips there. Because each and every time my love for my boy, my family and the garden grew and changed.
James visits the garden for the first time in January (he's one month old!).
A day in the garden last September was amazing.
Baby November enjoys November
We go in February to enjoy the winter garden.
And lots and lots of other times.

First shot of the day. They filled the small fountain on the patio right near the front. James was mesmerized.

He loves the bridge and the "gaga". I've taken a lot of photos of James on this bridge, but today his little bum and his little bent legs seemed to be all that mattered. So cute.

Near the end of our loop we went to the Children's Garden. We planned this, because we knew with such a beautiful day we were having that the splash pad would be open for play. The snakes squirting water? AMAZING!

Soon he was soaked.
And last shot of the day. Same fountain as the first shot. We decided to remove his soaking shoes and socks and dip his toes in the fountain. Baby heaven I tell you.
E decided to get me a chime from Red Butte for Mother's Day this year. We picked it out yesterday and hung it on my front porch. I love it so so much.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We miss you Avi

Avi and Naina have been gone for a week. It rained all week long and James and I were sad. Sad to say goodbye to such amazing friends. Next time, we decided, we'll visit Naina and her family in North Carolina. Maybe rent a beach house in the Outer Banks.

Until then I'll enjoy these photos of two of my favorite people. Naina wanted to take Avi to Gardner Village, and I was happy to oblige. It is so easy to take good photos at Gardner Village due to the amazing backdrops.

The entire week I've been enjoying looking at these photos, not only because Avi is seriously the cutest, but because I was missing the sun. Good news, the sun returned today and E and I took James to Red Butte Garden. Full post to come!

Remember this red door? I love this red door, two of my favorite photos of James were taken here. This one and this one. Avi was thrilled to see if it opened (it didn't).
And then we walked over to the bridge where we could watch the waterfall. Avi was entranced. Naina and I were dying of cuteness overload at this point.
My favorite shot of the day of Avi.
My favorite shot of the day of James.
James looking serious and Avi acting shy.

I love the quilt shop at Gardner Village and was excited to buy a yard of fabric. The boys happily played at the toddler table with all the girl toys. Again, both Mamas were dying about how cute these two are.
We plopped the boys down on a step in the shade hoping to get at least one photo with them both looking non-grumpy. I think we succeeded.
This one totally makes me laugh. Not sure what James was doing.
And about two seconds later they both stood up and ran in opposite directions. Ah, toddler-hood.
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