Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mobile Moments, 6/23-6/29

I had an intro written out for tonight hours ago, full of regret for the infrequency of my inspiration and desire to write. Alas, it was lost to some Blogger limbo and I'm once again surrounded by too many distractions to hope to get it back again.

Suffice to say, I continue to limp along here, making placeholder posts late on Sunday evenings as the summer days tamp down any budding sense of motivation, holding on to the hope of more productive days to come.

Neighborhood Bunny apparently did not receive notice that our Mia is now officially on the move.

Mia has learned that shoes = outside. If only she could figure out how to get the fascinating things on...

Looks like someone went a little crazy with the colored chalk again.

Rockin' Big Brother's Mets cap.

Big Sis likes to wear it too, with her own kind of flair.


Squeaky clean.

Ain't nothin' like fresh whipped cream, straight off the beater.

Water break.

Overheard this week:

Between Tom and Abby

(Exiting the bathroom holding a toilet paper rose in-hand)
A: "Daddy, someone made a ball of toilet paper."
T: " Oh, I think Mima made that to look pretty for the party."
A: "No, it's not good for my tush!"


"Mommy, Daddy, Abby, mine"


"Abby, Mia, read, eat"

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mobile Moments, 6/16-6/22

It's been a week of discovery around here. Mia grows more capable on two feet every day, mastering important skills like balancing on uneven ground and weaving through the perils of a toy-strewn floor. She picks herself up from sitting position with ease, and masterfully shifts to crouching or kneeling as though she'd been accomplishing such things every day of her short life, rather than merely for the last month or so. It's a wonder to watch her, especially when I think back on how much she was still struggling when we first arrived at my parents' home about three weeks ago. A wonder, too, to see her fledgling attempts at communication begin to hit the mark as she verbalizes her needs for sleep, for food, for affection; and an experience of true awe to see her begin to follow simple instructions and to respond to familiar requests. What a privilege it has been for all of us to see her blossom and change before our very eyes. She's my third round of this experience, but it never feels any less amazing, or like any less of a privilege, to observe.

Michael, too, has flourished, displaying true comprehension of some of his favorite stories, continuing to use music and rhyme to find the confidence verbalize words, and demonstrating a familiarity with numbers and letters that is truly exciting to behold. Though he often gets confused about the proper order and can only sometimes identify numbers on sight, he can often be coaxed into counting up to five, and has gained enough of an understanding of the concept of color to begin to identify it. Interestingly, he's currently prone to labeling every color he sees "red," though I'm unsure if that's because he's still trying to match labels to hues or because it's the only label he feels comfortable enough to verbalize just yet.

As for Abby, she so benefits from the opportunity of having hours to herself within earshot of me but away from the hands and mouths of younger siblings (something that we're just not set up for in our own house) that it pains me to consider how our return home will likely bring a huge decrease in frequency to many of the activities she gets to experience daily here and has likely come to take for granted. In the back room of the basement I hear her concoct stories about the goings-on of the dollhouse inhabitants, chatter as she pieces together her favorite puzzles, sing as she colors and colors and colors away. She's even tried her hand at a few of the activities in her beloved coloring books, and I've been proudly impressed by her ability to follow instructions.

Michael has also found a love for putting color to paper (and floor, and wall, and furniture as well), which means that his time has been a bit more restricted and his activities much more closely monitored. However, few things please him more than those blackboard painted closet doors, on which he can scribble away to his heart's content and come away rainbow-tinted, dust covered, and immensely happy.

All the while I've scribbled mental notes in random parts of my brain, half long-forgotten by the time the week draws to its end and I realize that- once again- I've spent the greater part of it avoiding my blog like the plague. It takes enormous strength of will now to put this one post together, and I've begun to pine a bit for the days when it was just another part of the routine, all the while recognizing that some great amount of other sacrifices were made to carve out time to make it possible. I hope to find some kind of groove again someday, but hopefully until then you'll at least find me here, too late on a Sunday night,, fulfilling some unwritten obligation to myself and stumbling along this blogging journey, much like I do in every other area of my beautiful, crazy life.

Making music.

Story time in the "big kid" room.

"Bunny" (Designed and constructed by Abby)

"Mama Bird and Baby Bird" (Mama designed by Mommy, Baby designed by Abby, both constructed by Abby)

New summer sandals, at last!

"We can't wait to try them out!"

Mia's get a close-up, since they're her very first new pair of shoes.

Silly silly siblings.

Kisses stolen.

Kisses returned.

Abby did an amazing job at coloring by number, but Michael felt that a certain color was missing: Green.

Overheard this week:


"Daddy, the lights forgot to be on!"

Between Tom, Michael, and Abby

T: "Michael, are you The Map?"
A: "No, Daddy, Michael's not The Map- he's human. He's not the map, he's not a piece of paper, he's not a sticker. He doesn't stick to things.

Between Tom and Michael (Reading from Curious George)

T: "Now, George, you be a good little monkey and stay here."
M: {Uproarious laughter}
T: "Michael, is George going to be a good little monkey?"
M: "Nooooo!"
T: "Is George going to get into trouble?"
M: "Yeeaaah!"


"Way (as in, I want to go that way)"


"Down, sleepy (seep), outside (ow), ball, balloon (boon), hat (haa), sheep, (seep)"

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mobile Moments, 6/9-6-15

With summer nearly upon us, it's only gotten harder to keep focused on much of anything at all, but I did manage one post mid-week this time around, at least. There are so many changes emerging around me to marvel over that I can hardly keep them straight; they keep my head spinning in every direction as my children blossom before my eyes, leaving their too-short babyhoods far behind them. I'm nearly as sure that they must have some talent for bending time as I am that Spring never truly ran its full course at all.

She walks with confidence now, no matter the headgear (or lack thereof).

Abby-dragon guards her castle.

Michael had better start keeping better tabs on his beloved fedora.

Davy Crockett, Jr.

Even frontiersmen love to color.

Fun with blocks.

Future gymnast?

Window-gazing on a rainy morning.

From "Abby-tails" to "puppy ears."

Crazy-haired selfies with Mommy.

Father's Day snuggles.

It's finally finished!

Overheard this week:


"My head is so screamy!"

"Mommy, why is your belly big?"

Between Tom and Abby

T: "I'm going to eat Mia's nose."
A: "No! She wants to keep it on her face." 

T: "Do you need a hug?"
A: "Yeah..."
T: "Come here, Daddy will give you a hug."
A: "No, Mommy needs to. Mommy's hugs are better."


"Oh, good. Green, way."


"Pull, sit, rock, fish, train, sock."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Uh-Ohs and No-Nos

It's that time again, for the terrible twos. It's been hard to qualify when it started with Michael, since he is mostly nonverbal still, and spends much of the day whining about nearly everything. However, on an evening when he insisted upon taking his blanket into the bathroom- the confiscation of which resulted in an epic meltdown during teeth-brushing- and then followed his grand display of discontent with a staunch refusal to leave the bathroom (and leave off playing with the water from the faucet) even amidst reminders that his beloved blanket was waiting, I knew. We have arrived.

He doesn't say much, but he's mastered "no," and it's his response to nearly everything, whether he means it or not. Thankfully, when he's quite sure about what he wants he can be counted on to gift us with an enthusiastic "yeah!" but if he's distracted or on the fence, there will likely be some miscommunication to sift through before we get anywhere with him at all.

In the meantime, Mia's mirrored use of the word "no" has been strictly for fun. She repeats it like a mantra or favorite song, often set off by Michael's latest protestations nearby. Of course, it's one of any number of words she'll do this with, the most fun currently being "sit" (which she- of course- cannot yet say properly). I can tell that she's trying to figure out how to get her tush down on the seat- hard to do when she always starts by facing it and lifting up a foot- because she talks her way through each failed attempt.

She's learning a great deal at a great speed, the most notable achievement of which has been walking upright. It's hard to say exactly when she mastered the process, as her improvement has been so gradual, but I would say she progressed beyond walking only half the time about three or four days ago.  It won't be long now before we hardly see her crawl again at all.

Perhaps the most fun and infuriating development of all, however, has been the sudden appearance of her trouble-making side. She's proven herself more prone than either of her siblings to eating vastly inappropriate things (she managed cat litter, candles, and a cough drop all in one week), and she's got an eye for finding exactly the kinds of things that she should not be messing with (and screaming bloody murder when they're inevitably taken away). She also delights in experimenting with cause-and-effect relationships, like the sound that her plate makes when it hits the floor.

The noise she makes afterwards makes it worth picking up her discards, though. That faux-surprise "uh-oh" just never gets old.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mobile Moments, 6/2-6/8 (Part II)

Two days late and more than two dollars short; here I am, with the last little bit of this post. At least I've got more pictures to offer...

Double trouble.

Dinner on the patio, and the preschooler and toddler stayed firmly planted in their unrestrained seats through most of it. Who'd have thunk?

Where's Abby?

Banana: the breakfast of champions.

Daddy opens the paper to the car section. Michael's response: "Oh, wow!"

"Mom and Dad took me to Target, and all I got was this new hat."

For the record, I did manage to write one post last week, absent as I've been. Michael's finger is looking better by the day.

Overheard this week:

Between Tom and Abby

T: "Adding is when you put two numbers together to get a bigger number."
A: "You mean, like two plus two?"
T: "Yes. What do you get when you add two plus two?"
A: "You get a big two!" (As she spreads her arms wide apart.)


"Oh, wow!"



Speaking of walking, you should see this kid go...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mobile Moments, 6/2-6/8 (Part I)

As usual, I've started off my blogging attempt far later into the night than I should have, and- of course- (as so often tends to happen) this delay has coincided with Flickr issues.

I have neither the patience nor the strength to wait it out for a couple more hours until my go-to editing website is functioning properly again, so I'll have to go with what I've got, which is these four snapshots here.

Little foot, bit foot.

We're wasting no time in making Mima and Granda's look just like home.


What does the Abby-fox say?

More to come tomorrow (I hope) when such ill-timed technical difficulties have resolved and I can actually keep both eyes open at once by the time I sit myself behind a screen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Little Tough Guy

On Monday night, we fired up the grill for some burgers, corn on the cob, and an outdoor dinner in celebration of the beautiful weather. Though the presence of the hot grill made me nervous, I allowed the kids to run free in the yard for a while, because it seemed criminal to not allow them as much enjoyment of the evening as possible.

Though I vowed to a nervous Tom to keep a close eye on all of them, especially Michael, I predictably got distracted enough at one point not to see just how close my little guy had come to it on his way over to see me. What I did see, however, was his little eyes grow wet and wide, and his mouth turn down as he approached. Noting his proximity to the grill, it occurred to me that he had perhaps burned himself a moment ago and was only just realizing it.

Taking him into my lap, I examined his hand, which seemed fine, and began questioning him. "Did you hurt your hand? Does it burn?", as he quietly, but tearfully, nodded his assent. Mima rushed upstairs to grab an aloe stalk, but by the time she returned he was quite calm, and I saw no redness in his skin, so we both began to doubt he'd actually been hurt at all. Maybe we had overreacted to a moment of confusion, and scared him.

Just to be safe, however, Mima rubbed that aloe all over his hand anyway despite his initial attempts to eat it.

The incident was long forgotten when we neared the end of our bedtime routine last night. But that's when Tom saw it- the blister on his hand.

I was shocked. Not only had Michael clearly been burned, he'd gotten a second-degree burn on his pinky and a first-degree burn on his ring finger. Yet, he'd had an incredibly mild reaction to the injury, and had made no more mention of his "boo-boo" since we first acknowledged the possibility that he'd acquired it.

Even once we pointed it out, he made no fuss; he simply acknowledge that, yes, he'd gotten hurt there, and gave us a look as if to say, "What of it?"

I, however, felt simply awful all over again. Even more so when he did what I feared he would and broke open the blister during a tantrum this morning. He stopped mid-whine and clamored up to me, tiny pinky leading the way. I gathered him up, large eyes, pouting mouth, and all, and brought him to Tom for some Neosporin and a band-aid.

Though it pleased him at first, the band-aid only served to annoy him by the afternoon, and three fresh band-aids into the day we gave up on trying to reapply one. After all, at some point we'd just have to let the wound dry to a scab, and Michael was making no further complaint.

Every time I see that poor finger come into view, it breaks my heart a little bit. But as for my little tough guy?  I imagine that if he could do so, he'd proclaim, "'Tis but a scratch."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mobile Moments, 5/26-6/1

I've been quiet this week. What began as just an overnight stop on the way back home to New Jersey has evolved into an extended visit in my parents' new home as we struggle to restore our basement environment. While here, I've hardly thought about the blog, let alone worked on it. As a result, after barely finishing last Sunday's week-in-review, I found myself doubting whether I'd manage this week at all.

It's hard to explain my reluctance. It's partly due to my current level of contentment, being so close to family and having access to the extra support that I spend most of my time wishing that I had. Part of what drives me to write is a need to feel as though I'm doing something "more." For now, what I'm doing actually feels like just enough.

There's a bit of underlying anxiety at play as well, however. I know I'm spreading my attempts at avoidance across many areas of my life, including the blog. It's hard to think about bringing about an end to our temporary stay here in Maryland, amidst the familiar streets, spaces, and people with whom I grew up. It's scary to consider how much work is left to be done on our home, which Tom has been making slow progress on part-time.

But here I am, back again, trying to retain some semblance of the old life and routine to which I must surely return. And I'm glad to have a place to record the happy memories that I've been too consumed in to take much time to write about.

Synchronized sleeping on the Jersey Turnpike.

Welcome to Maryland! Time for a snack.

Ain't nothin' like a good chew on an old shoe.

Who knew that rain + discarded containers = so much fun?

And... she's off!

"All your rocks they are belong to us."

Just cheesin'.

Puzzle pro. After two "practice" runs with Mommy, she finished it all by herself.


Soaking up the sun.

Not sure if he wants to be in or out, or if he even wants his toy. Oh, the misery.

Look who else came out to play today.

Overheard this week:


While impatiently waiting for Michael to finish up his turn with a puzzle app on my Kindle: "Michael, I don't have time for this."


"Mima, shoe,  ur-no (I don't know)"


"Whee (this is her command for when she wants me to push her in something that moves fast), pants, shoe, teeth, more"