Friday, August 31, 2012

{this moment} Cousins

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Idea courtesy of SouleMama

Thursday, August 23, 2012

{this moment} Just Like Daddy

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Idea courtesy of SouleMama

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Foreward: I know that the most of the world isn't dying to know Nate's favorite things or latest sayings. I write this to remember my sweet boy as he is now, because next week, it will change. Because life is busy, and I don't want to forget the sweetness of now. Or now-ish, since I am a bit behind.

Books: After a hiatus, books have made a comeback. Nate requests them first thing when he wakes up, last thing before bed, and several times in between. Several of last fall's favorites are still in heavy rotation, but here are the newest faves:

-"To The Beach" has a tractor. Nuff said.
-Nate makes a frowny face and shakes his head to implore (along with Grover) you not to turn the page.
-"Did Pete cry? Goodness, No!" Likes pointing out the tractor, and Pete's cup of "tea." (Why it isn't coffee,we aren't sure.)
-Try switching up any word in "MouseACookie." He will correct you.
-Baby bunny knows what he wants to be when he grows up...a daddy. One of Mark's faves as a child, which just melts Mama.
-Onomatopoeia. What could be funnier?
-Nate lifts his arms and jumps along with Little Nutbrown Hare.
-Lowly Worm is a rockstar in Nate's world. Also, there's a tractor.
-Requests this often, but never sits still for it.

And the reigning champion, much to Mama's delight:

This simple charmer of a book has been Mama's favorite since his godparents gave it to him for his baptism two years ago, but Nate is just now discovering it. It finds grand themes in the everyday, and is packed with so much love and wonder on every page. It doesn't hurt that the illustration style reminds me so much of Papaw's. Nate loves finding small details in the drawings, and is clearly thinking about human relationships, and why people do what they do. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

He's doing more complex puzzles now, both jigsaw type and a 3D fire hydrant puzzle that was Mark's. (He was so disappointed that the hydrant we saw in Annapolis "doesn't come apart like MY fire hydrant." He knows, because he tried.

He likes the alphabet song, and counting. He likes to say the alphabet responsively, but I've learned that "Y" is followed by "AND," and "Next time won't you sing with me?" is followed by "YAY!" When counting responsively, "fourteen" (and any other number in the teens) is followed by "fiveteen."

The bicycle (tricycle) and "bike-bike" (two-wheeled balance bike sans pedals) get daily workouts, usually down to see the boats in the marina. When mean parents force him indoors, Nate zips around the basement on his Plasma Car, usually begging until one of us rides the second one. He likes to play "red light, green light" and ride wearing hats from the dress-up box.

Matchbox cars are also a big hit, but only if someone else will "sit beside you, drive the other one and Nate drive the other one." If you sit too far away, you will be asked to sit "closer," then "another closer."

But lest I be guilty of "crunch-washing" our parenting style, I will confess that there's also a fair bit of watching short videos, both on Daddy's phone ("Mama's phone doesn't do anything,") and on the computer. Mostly he watches videos of himself, but there are some classic Sesame Street and Muppet faves, too. He asks me often to "meep meep" Ode to Joy like Beaker, while he ticks like the metronome in the video, and laughs when Beaker explodes at the end. "Mahna, Mahna" is also in heavy rotation. And there are some (somewhat educational) games in the iPad he visits daily. And the Tractor Movie, which he knows by heart. He sings the short song from this video often, complete with a staccato laugh at the end.

Some videos, like this one:

get acted out repeatedly:

Another Muppets video also seems to have taught him the concept of opposites. He keeps coming up with new pairs of them, much to my surprise.

We have missed having Papaw around the house, and are glad he will be home next week. Nate likes visiting him at the rehab facility, cheering Papaw on during his physical therapy sessions, pushing his wheelchair, and bringing him a lapful of toy cars, just like at home. The rehab facility is a separate wing of the nursing home facility where Granny was. Nate made that connection on his own. He now talks about how "Granny's body isn't here any more. She's in heaven. But we can talk about her." Some of that is repeating what he has heard us say, but he seems to understand more than I would have thought possible.

There's lots of talk about what "isn't very polite." Spitting noises, elbows on the table, greeting Mama with "Go AWAY, Mama," et cetera. Both parents have also learned that the impolite "uh-huh" they wanted to weed out of Nate's vocabulary graces their own speech more than previously thought. Nate invariably points it out within nanoseconds. Oh well, at least he's listening to us. And the "Daddy only" phase only seemed to last a week or two. Although the "No, DADDY change my diaper" wasn't so bad...