As usual, I had big hopes to do a “quick” blog post back at the beginning of July, but there you go. Summer. And in a three weeks we are off to to France for Chippy’s wedding, so I better get this in fast.
It’s been a HOT summer, so we’ve spent a lot of it near water. Fountains, water falls, the pool, spraying our hose. Our plants grew early and we’ve been devouring our tomatoes (Milo especially). There’s always some event in Portland: concerts in the park, we couldn’t resist showing Milo the Red Bull Flugtag, just this past weekend we ran up to the top of the Fremont Bridge when it was open to pedestrians for a bike race. Grandpa and Nana, possibly still jetlagged from their trip to Bali, kindly came up again to watch the kids so we could go to our last dragon boat race (and WIN it–yeah!). But poor Emmett that week got hit with a really bad fever. We’ve never seen him so miserable. He couldn’t eat or sleep and would just cry and moan as if he was aching all over.
Ben has been on bonding leave for almost a month now, and he is loving it. He and Emmett are NW regulars: book babies, the French bakery, Wallace Park, the grocery store. Emmett crawls in and out the front door and on the porch while Ben gardens, Emmett naps and Ben is impressively productive (like making jam out of our hundreds of plums and getting on the ladder and cleaning the stain glassed windows). I’m jealous and happy at the same time. At least I get to be home one day a week to spend time together.
Emmett is constantly moving. He’s gotten a lot more stable at pulling up and standing, he loves going up the stairs (but not down), and as of today, he can go over the couch. Too bad because we often leave him unattended on the couch, which he acts as if he owns. He can spend at least a half hour crawling back and forth, playing with toys, and captains it like a ship. Poor second kid though: he has already fallen down the stairs (just the basement steps which are few and carpeted). I love how pleased and happy he is when he physically accomplishes something. All this moving does make me more weary for our flight to Europe.
Emmett is clearly different than Milo (you can see in the pictures below). Also, he’s much less interested in books. He doesn’t use the pacifier. He is an eating machine. He’s a better sleeper, in that he sleeps 10-11 hours straight and doesn’t wake in the night, but he starts his day so friggin’ early (often at 5-5:30am!). He’s not a mama’s boy–I mean, he clearly wants me when I show up, but I can easily hand him off. He’s a much more smiley baby; he doesn’t have that signature Milo intense stare. It’s hard to believe he turns one in just two weeks (again, he’s more like a 9-month old).
It really feels like Milo has grown up a lot, physically and maturely. He’s an inch taller since June and he suddenly seems a lot more coordinated, in climbing, riding his balance bike, catching a ball. His first time in the pool this year, he was completely comfortable on the noodle by himself. It makes me feel better about not making enough time to teach him things, because I can see he’s starting to grow out of his toddler body and learning on his own.
Milo seems to be getting past the challenging 3-year-old phase. He’s very proud to tell everyone he’s “three and three quarters” and that he turns four in the fall. The meltdowns are less; I’m putting more responsibility and ownership on him; he’s less picky about his food. He’s never been a difficult eater, but he’s back to trying more things. “Make it again!”, as he likes to say.
Milo is just really good at expressing his feelings and thoughts. We feel like we have adult conversations with him. Ben is so happy and relieved to be reading “real” books. We’re in the middle of “The Hobbit” and Milo is totally engaged. Milo is very logical and of course he always has something to say. I love it when he gets giddy with excitement over something.
“I want hundreds of dinosaurs! I mean, I don’t really need a hundred. But I want lots and lots.”
“Were the flying dinosaurs killed by the giant meteorite?” I see where he’s going with this.
At the sushi restaurant and confirming that we did have to kill the crab to eat it, “I feel sorry for the crab on my plate.”
After being interrupted and asking everyone to stop and listen to him, he paused, “Umm…what was I going to say?”
Milo’s lecture voice: “Earth, as you know, is a planet.” Ben was explaining why our pupils get small, and Milo chimed in, “And our irises contract!” Ok, nevermind then.
Road trips and bedtime often bring out the philosopher in him.
“What will come after humans?”
Driving home on Vista Road and admiring the skyline, “It’s better to have flowers in the garden than look out at the view. Maddy lives in an apartment, so I guess she likes the view.”
After I sing him songs, he asks me to rest with him. “I wish I could rest on you forever. But that wouldn’t be comfortable. I’m not soft like a pillow. You look soft.”
Two kids is certainly more work–there’s a lot of alternating, like at dragon boat practice or the morning shift. But we are at that sweet point where we actually have a routine with the kids. We stay home until Emmett’s morning nap (around 9-10am), go out for an activity, eat lunch together, then both kids go down for an afternoon nap (aka the golden hours!). Then it’s the final push through dinner to bedtime. We’re quite caught up on our TV shows, so we’re making a note to use our favorite sitter who is back from college for just this month (Saturday sitters are still hard to come by!). We’ve gone out to eat at the famous Langbaan twice and Mad Max is possibly my all-time favorite movie of the year. Of course we’re going to disrupt all this and go on a three week trip, stay in six different places in three countries, go to two weddings… Ben is clearly too rested from his bonding leave because he keeps telling me it’s going to be awesome.