Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Peek a Boo

Every once in awhile I get a moment of inspiration (and a moment of time!) when I realize I should catch up on my blog!  And, I have so many things I want to record.  So many moments of their lives I want to capture.  I actually get consumed by guilt sometimes at how much I am NOT capturing.  I read some blogs of mommies that write every day.  Every.  Day.  I can't do that.  I barely can fit in time to write in the sporadic, three posts one day and then no posts for a month fashion that I write now.  I capture bits and spurts of them. I try to capture their essence. 

Anyway, one of those moments -- something we've been delighting in that I know I'll forget in the years to come if I don't write it down and capture it here -- is Alden playing peek a boo.  He's hilarious.  He covers his face with one of his hands or both, he waits for us to say, "where's Alden" and then removes his hands with such flair.  I haven't gotten a great video of it -- but, this at least captures the flavor of it (the essence, if you will!):

The other thing that he does that is hilarious is look at us out of the tops of his eyes while grimacing.  It's a bit of a demon face.  It's so funny. He's copying us -- but, when he does it, it just slays us.  We do it back to him and then he does.  He does seem to get that it's a look to use when he is super serious about something, and so will sometimes flash the look at us when he really wants something.  It's even funnier when he uses the look somewhat correctly. I haven't captured it on camera.  I must try.  If I do, I'll update here.  But, at least even writing about the look will help me remember these moments years from now. 

Three posts in one night -- it's all about the essence of these times, if not all of the tiny moments that I wish I could bottle up and remember forever. 

Ribbons Undone

I've always loved the song "Ribbons Undone" by Tori Amos.  And, I've always understood it, in an intellectual way, at the very least.  But, I just got a picture from Kai's teacher of her 1st grade class... and it immediately made me think of that song.  And, no longer in any wistful or sentimental way... but, with a newfound understanding.  Like it was happening before my eyes.  Like I could taste the song and feel it rolling around in my mouth...  rather than simply hearing it.  I opened the file from her teacher and nearly gasped.  She just jumps out of that picture at me.  And with her toothless grin and her hip jutted to the side -- she just looks like a full on kid charging towards the next moments.... I see this picture and think, "my little pony is growing up fast... a pure flash of lightning.... running through spring..."  I see that picture and flash to her babyhood and adulthood all at once. "She's a girl, rising from a shell, running to spring... ribbons undone."  She's our girl.

Here are all the lyrics to the song:

She's a girl, rising from a shell
Running to spring
It is her time, it is her time
Watch her run with ribbons undone

She's a rose in a Lily's cloak
She can hide her charms
It is her right there will be time
To chase the sun with ribbons undone

She runs like a fire does just picking up daises
Comes in for a landing a pure flash of lightening
Past Alice Blue blossoms you follow her laughter
And then she'll surprise you arms filled with lavender

Yes my little pony, is growing up fast
She corrects me and says, "You mean a thorough bred"
A look in her eyes says the battle's beginning
From school she comes home and cries
I don't want to grow up Mom at least not tonight

You're a girl, rising from a shell
Running through spring
With summer's hand in reach now
It is your time, it is your time

So just run with ribbons undone
It is your time yes my angel
It is your time, so just run with ribbons undone
Run run, ribbons undone

Putting Concepts Together

Alden is really starting to put language together and is communicating with us more every day.  He has mastered several signs, including the sign for milk (he's had that one down for awhile -- and crawls over to me every morning and thrusts his little fist in my face while squeezing it intently... and then, when milk doesn't immediate appear, he does it again while shouting.  It's persuasive.  We always get up and get him milk).  Anyway, beyond milk, he now signs when he wants to "eat", be picked "up", or when he wants to do something "again", and he waves his hands around when he's "all done".  It's all very cute.  

He also knows how to shake his head yes and no -- and is very good about patiently shaking his head no as we guess at the thing he wants.  Like this evening, he was pointing across the table at something and I wasn't sure what.  I asked him if he wanted to eat, while signing the word.  He shook his head no.  I asked him if he wanted some little toy that was on the table, and he shook his head no.  I asked him if he wanted Kai's food, as that was the direction he was pointing, and he shook his head no and then signed that he wanted up.  I asked him if he wanted up, and he looked at me like I was a one year old myself and signed it again while nodding yes.  I picked him up and then he leaned across the table pointing, obviously hoping that his new angle would help him communicate what he wanted.  I said, "Alden, I don't know what you want!" And then I put him on the table and let him crawl to the desired object, which was Kai's sippy cup!  Ahhh.... water!!  I signed the word for water for him and said, "Alden, this is water".  He looked at me, looked the sippy cup, nodded emphatically and smiled.  I got him water.

Earlier in the evening, I had gotten him a bottle of milk, which he quickly downed.  Once finished, he looked at me and thrust his little fist in my face and pumped it, indicating he still wanted milk.  I signed the sign for "all done" while saying, "Alden, the milk is all done.  It's gone.  No more."  He looked at me and waved and asked, in a questioning tone, "bye bye?"  "Yes! bye bye!  The milk is bye bye".  He waved again, more resigned this time, saying "bye.... bye" and he didn't ask for more milk. 

I can also tell he understands what we want him to do and, like his sister, is rather stubborn about doing things his own way and on his own time schedule.  Like walking.  Alden rolled over, sat up, crawled, cruised and all other variety of movement ahead of schedule.  But, walking?  He has no interest in walking.  He'll push one of his push carts around in a half hearted way, but much prefers to just get down on his knees and crawl.  Or, increasingly, he bear walks, using hands and feet.  It looks so laborious.  I keep saying to him, "Alden, just walk! It's way easier!"  But, when we try to stand him up (which he is more than capable of doing) he does spaghetti lets and shouts at us.  If I say, Alden, try walking!  He shakes his head no and gets into bear crawl position, looking at me like, "THIS is how I move."  Today, when he was with the nanny, Will (the little boy that does the nanny share with us) took three steps unassisted!  So, this evening, I tried to get Alden to stand up, reminding him that Will tried walking.  That almost seemed to interest him -- and he stood unassisted for a minute before sitting down and looking up at me as if to say, "OK?"  So, who knows.  I think once Will starts walking, Alden will try it too.  Or, vice versa. I love that I can tell - absolutely - that he knows what we are asking him to do and just refuses.  Of course, this same behavior once he is seven will drive me utterly batty (ask me how I know this to be true).... but, the defiance in a one year old amuses me.

It amazes me how they start putting concepts together.  That all done and bye are similar concepts -- and he is testing out his understanding of the words.  It's my favorite part of this age, watching them learn how to communicate and use concepts and words rather than whines and shouts and cries.  Don't get me wrong, there is still so much whining.  And shouting.  And crying.  But, increasingly, it's punctuated by understanding and communicating.  I love the windows into his mind and all that he is thinking about. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mother's Day

Kailey's class prepared a special Mother's Day treat for us.  I know in a few years, she won't be doing these sorts of things anymore, and I'll miss the sweet songs and the handwritten notes.  I arrived at the classroom and Kailey escorted me to her desk, where there were some paper flowers she had made, a couple of pictures, and a paragraph she wrote about me.  Then Kailey asked me what I wanted to drink (coffee, tea or juice) and what I wanted to eat (there were a variety of different kinds of muffins) and fetched my order for me.  It was darling to see all the kids running around gathering food and drink for us -- the coffee was quite cold, which I guess was good since the kids kept nearly colliding with one another!)

The paragraph was funny -- translation below (with my own comments added in the parenthesis):

  • My mom is 43 years old (as she read it to me Kai said -- "ignore that! I don't know how old you are!!  I was just guessing."  At least she was in the ballpark -- some moms got over 100 and some as young as 23). 

  • She likes to make Blue Apron (I don't know that this is a "like".  I think it's hilarious that so much of what she wrote focuses on Blue Apron.  We get a couple of meals ordered through Blue Apron every week.  Kai likes a few of the meals, but mostly she doesn't like the meals.  But, because it comes in the mail and it's a thing we do every week -- it's become a big association for her. Meaning, she associates it with me.  I suppose the positive spin is that she knows we cook and eat together every day -- and that Blue Apron is the symbol of the meals we have as a family.  Or she just couldn't think of anything else to write about.  That's equally possible).

  • Her favorite food is Blue Apron (Blue Apron is a meal service -- not a food per se... but, I think I get her point)

  • Her favorite thing to do is relax and nothing (Kailey said, "I don't know what you like to do!  I couldn't think of anything so I wrote nothing."  I had to laugh.  I also don't ever know how to answer that question.  When people ask me what my hobbies are or what I like to do in my free time my first thought is always, "what free time?"  And, when I have free time, I do just like to veg out with a movie or a game or a book.  I don't really have any hobbies.  So, I get why this question stumped her).

  • We like to play together (true)

  • She is really good at cooking (back to the theme of the thing she sees me doing the most -- since I make them breakfast and dinner every day, and those are the hours we mostly spend together.  Sometimes I wish there were a way to have these meals magically appear so we could spend time together doing something else -- I think reading this made me realize how much time I spend in the kitchen.  But, they do need to get fed!)

  • I would like to give my mom a necklace

  • My mom is special because she has Rocksbox and Blue Apron (ummm... Ok!)

So, that was her paragraph about me.  Pretty cute. 

The pictures were cute -- my lips are so large!  And in the second one, Kai was trying to draw me in a particular sweater I own (although, I'm not really sure which one).

Then the class sang a song and recite a poem:

It was a special celebration.