Monday, August 18, 2014

He's just on a level, so high above us

Howie (26 months) is really showing his smarts these days. He looks at Katie's big family picture and recites the names of a dozen people he's only met a few times. He sees car license plates and starts naming characters on them. He shouts out keywords on every page of certain books before I read them out loud, many of which are words he couldn't possibly understand but has memorized. We drive past Yogurtland and he says "I want ice-cream". It's so fun to watch his fresh little brain developing. If only it didn't coincide with the tantrum phase, which yes, is also beginning.

My favorite thing he's saying now is "I wan Howie do dat."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Title here

Eleanor is such a ball of fun at 6 months old. She absolutely loves it when you look at her. She makes the cutest scrunchy face smile and kicks and flaps like crazy, while frantically panting. I wish I could bottle it up and give it to sad people, because you can't help but laugh and melt. She likes to say "hi ta" a lot, which I like to think means Hi Dad. She's been able to roll over for a few weeks, most easily onto her tummy. She has Gigi's nice olive complexion, lucky girl. But everyone says she looks like her dad, so I'm afraid she's doomed.

Howie is a blast. He spend a lot of time jumping in his trampoline. He gets pretty bossy in there, I suppose that's his kingdom. He says "I want daddy go" which means he wants me to get in the trampoline. Then he wants daddy up, and daddy down, and finally daddy out. Little punk.

Howie has indeed started barreling down the road to talking. He knows too many words for me to count now, and repeats everything we say. He impressed me the other day by noticing the Walker's car parked in our driveway, touching it and saying "Uncle Ben car". I couldn't believe it! He hadn't even been awake when they'd dropped it off the night before.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Howies words

It seems as though Howie is right on the edge of talking. Don't get me wrong, he still can't even pronounce most sounds and has yet to speak a complete phrase, but it feels like he's gonna wake up one morning and change all that. He has a small vocabulary of words that he says, albeit not perfectly. But the real indicators are how much he understands us saying, and how receptive he is to learning new words. For example, the other day I pointed at a tree in our backyard and said, "Howie, this is a tree," and he responded by saying "tree!"

So at 22 months old, this is Howie's main vocabulary:
Elno (Eleanor)
No, Oh no!
Ya, Yep
Outide (outside)
Ba (ball)
Wing (swing)
Goggy (doggy)
Choose (shoes)
Beet (feet)
Broccoli (probably his best word)
Dee (please, or cheese)
Wa-wa (water)
Ga-go (cracker)
Why (rice)
Eh-mo (airplane)
Eh-ka (helicopter)

Whenever we're playing in the backyard, he points to the sky and says Eh-mo or Eh-ka every couple minutes when something flies by.

And then there's his animal imitations, which are hilarious. He's got down a doggy, cat, duck, lion, monkey, horse, and sometimes a cow (when asked for a cow, he usually does a cat). His duck impression is the best one, he really belts out a throaty quack.

I'm gonna miss this phase when he starts to fully talk, because his babblings and partial words are so fun and cute.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ellie's smile

Eleanor is just over two months now. Today she got some shots, and then joined Cy, Julie, Katie and Howie for a tour of Avago. It was kind of funny, ocne I started showing them the Avago test labs (which essentially look like an episode of Hoarders, but electronics themed) everyone seemed strangely eager to return to the beautiful sunny day outside.

My favorite thing these days is that Ellie has started really making eye contact, and gives cute little grins and coos when she sees us. It's spotty, most of the time she's just starting off at nothing. But several times throughout the day she'll lock eyes and give me a big smile.

She's still quite the bobble head, and still like to keep her limbs stiff and curled up, but I can see those things fading. Best of all, she's sleeping way better! Just now (11:45pm) Katie fed her and put her right back to sleep. I'm incredibly thankful she's sleeping better, because my turn is coming soon. Katie returns to work this Friday, so I'm on nights!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New people and old ones

Eleanor is almost 7 weeks now. We love having our new little girl and all the fullness she brings to our family.  It's very fun to show her off and have people be excited about her, but I'm finding that it makes me a little defensive of Howie. Everyone used to be all excited about Howie and think he was so cute want to see pictures of him...but it's all about Eleanor now, and that makes me want to push him forward and say "Look! Howie is still cute and fun, don't you want to see him too?"  I don't want my first baby to be forgotten just because I have a newer one. And it isn't that I don't want people to be excited about Eleanor. I love her! I just get fiercely defensive of my little boy. I guess there really is something about your first child, that little person that unwittingly launches you into parenting and makes you realize you'll never really be prepared for any of this.
  Then again, there are days like last Friday when he screams all the way through the grocery store as if I'm electrocuting him, and then I'm not quite as inclined to feel like people should be excited about him... But most of the time, he's my little boy who I love and don't want to be overshadowed by the newness of his little sister. I guess part of parenting is making sure each kid knows how very special and loved they are. Shouldn't be too hard- I have two super great kids.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hand, foot, mouth, and sadness!

We are so bummed, Howie and Eleanor's Baker cousins have become sick with hand foot and mouth disease. The boy that Jenny babysits broke out with it, and then sure enough Evelynn got it too, poor little sweet girl. Evelynn's cousin, Maely, also got it. A few days later Henry started showing the symptoms too. Sadness.

Research and experience indicates this disease spreads like room-temperature butter, even through adults. So we sadly have to quarantine our little newborn from all Baker-side family. Boo!!! We're really bummed and really want to see our family, but such is life. We're probably extra paranoid, but just don't want to take any chances.

Time off, recovery, Howie & sis

I had anticipated returning to work part time yesterday. However, Katie needs more time to recover before I leave her alone with both kids. Katie is doing great, but this second c-section seems to be harder than the first, as she experiencing more pain and soreness. She was told not to lift Howie for a month after Eleanor's birth, so in order to stick to that I need to be home. Fortunately my boss is presently feeling very gracious, as he himself is now vacationing in Cabo San Lucas.

Ellie is such a good little girl. She is so peaceful even when awake. She loves to be held! When she gets sad, I just pick her up and she's soothed almost immediately. It's so precious, and makes me feel good to know that she is so comforted by me.

Howie is being very sweet to his new sister. He affectionately says "baby" to her all the time, seemingly recognizing her as a new constant in our home. We let him hold her on the couch and he's very gentle and cautious, except for the occasional nostril gouge. He hasn't acted very jealous yet, but that may yet come with time.

Monday, January 27, 2014

10 day old Eleanor

Eleanor is 10 days old today. We celebrated by making her favorite meal, several times.

One thing I remember now about holding a newborn is the juxtaposition of my strength with the newborn's helplessness. I feel so protective of her, and in a sense afraid of my own strength. I understand better the common storyline of a great monster befriending a human, and clumsily aiding in that humans affairs. I used to resonate with the human, now I resonate with the monster.

It's a lively house, now that there are two kids. Howie was already becoming increasingly vocal, filling the house with nonstop babble, and frequent grabs for attention. Couple that with a new competitor for attention, and I can see how things are gonna get interesting real fast.

Two kids feels like more of the family atmosphere for me. There are now as many kids as adults (or more, depending on how you categorize me), which makes me feel more like part of a group.

I also sense my role in life becoming humbler. I remember when Katie and I got engaged, feeling like I was the hottest headline in the country. I was in the spotlight, I was the thing to be excited about. With Howie came a shift. He was now the hot news, the thing to be excited about. I could feel my role as a headliner fading into obsolescence. Now with two, the feeling's even more pronounced. They are the big news. My new role is as caretaker to the two hottest headlines in the country. It's a privilege and a joy to be such, and I'm quite excited about them. When I look at them, I don't want to be in the spotlight any more, I want them to be.

As I write, Eleanor is sleeping by our bed in her bassinet, and cooing. So cute. Katie is sleeping too. Soon I'll be sleeping, and they'll be up having a snack. Fun times ahead!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mission Statement

I'd frequently thought about writing a blog like this when Howie was born, but didn't. There are so many endearing, unforgettable moments raising a child, but I tend to forget them. This blog is to capture some of those moments for myself, and also share them with friends and family. Please stay tuned!