Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Day in Portland

Dear Maddie and Simon,

We spent today in Portland, Oregon. (Simon, it was your first time there! Unless you count our visit when you were a fetus about the size of a golfball.) It was not without adventure. It was not without excitement. It was not without some cheese vomit all over the backseat.

Poor Maddie. This was actually the second time you threw up cheese in the car, so we're thinking that a.) you get carsick just like Mommy, and b.) we should stop feeding you cheese before car trips. We pulled over to the side of the highway, I cleaned you up with an absurd number of diaper wipes, we stuck poor Elmo and your clothes into a plastic bag (they were victims of the cheesy splash, but don't worry - they're all currently in the washing machine), and Daddy stopped at the nearest Fred Meyer to buy you some new clothes. He picked out a Frozen tee shirt that had Queen Elsa on it, and you were very pleased. 

We arrived in Portland, about three hours from Issaquah, and went to Grant Park. Grant Park is home of the Beverly Cleary sculpture garden! (Beverly Cleary wrote the Ramona books. By the time you are able to read this, you will probably know how much I love the Ramona books. I hope you'll love them, too!)

After we played at Grant Park for a bit (that's where Ramona and Beezus played too, you know. Beezus Quimby, not Beezus Lute), we headed to Mississippi Marketplace to meet up with Abbie and Ben. Maddie, you remember Abbie. She spent Thanksgiving with us last year. She's a friend of mine from college. Simon, you were such a smiley guy while she was holding you!

Portland is the City of Roses, and there are roses everywhere. It's beautiful. But the most beautiful place of all (in your mom's opinion, anyway) is the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. We headed there after lunch. It was spectacular!

After the International Rose Test Garden, we went to the Japanese Gardens, which were also beautiful. Maddie, you told us that your favorite part was seeing the koi fish.

That's us, on the bridge! (Us and Clifford the Big Red Stroller.)

It was a long, wonderful day, and we're so glad we got to spend it with you. Very happily, there was no vomit on the way home. Just a couple of sleeping cuties in the backseat.

Your Mama

Friday, June 6, 2014

A snapshot of things right now.

Dear Maddie and Simon,

That's right! This is a blog post for both of you. Can you dig it? We've had a really busy week (Music Together, my writing critique group, playgroup, play dates, lots of errands, some fun shopping, some grocery shopping), so we're staying at home today, playing, relaxing a little, and catching up on things like thank you notes and Simon's baby book. While I was sticking some pictures in Simon's book and writing about his sleeping habits, I realized that there are more things I want to hold onto. More than there is room for in both of your baby books combined, and more than our camera phones capture, though they capture an awful lot. So here's where we are right now.

Maddie, you just turned two years old. I get the strangest combination of feelings sometimes when I look at you or talk to you. I am so joyful and proud that you are this incredibly, shockingly smart little girl. And you are such a little girl. You aren't the baby that you were last year, and that makes my heart hurt an enormous amount, but there's still that huge joy, because you are becoming so many wonderful things, and such a wonderful little person. I told you it's a strange feeling. Motherhood is a really strange thing. I am happy and sad at the same time all the time. I am full of love for you even when I am furious, and even when I'm trying to hurry you along ("Let's hurry so we don't get closed in the elevator door! Let's hurry to music class because we're going to be late!") I'm also wishing I could slow you down.

Your vocabulary is out of control. I can't answer the question "How many words does she have?" anymore. You have all of the words. Well, you have all of the words you've been exposed to, anyway. At playgroup the other day, you wanted to play the "pee-no-no," which is your very cute word for piano. You don't really do that with most other words, so I'm not going to correct you. Ever. Maybe someday you'll study classical piano at Juilliard, and you'll walk out onto a huge stage, and there'll be two thousand people in the audience, and you'll say "I'm Madeline Lute, and I'm going to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata for you tonight on this Steinway Grand Pee-No-No." No one will correct you then, either, because you're freaking Madeline Lute, the amazing classical pianist.

You're potty training! Some days we have no accidents at all. You blew my mind yesterday when you told me you needed to use the potty in a store, and your Pull-Up was completely dry, and you just went on the potty, and that was that. When we have days like yesterday, I think to myself, "She is potty trained!" Then, today, I was on the phone with my friend Diane, and you had more than one accident in that short amount of time, despite my asking you every few minutes if you needed to use the potty. I suspect that had to do with me being on the phone. On days like today, I think to myself, "She is potty training." And then I think to myself, "Better do a load of laundry. And wipe up that small puddle." But it's cool. That was hours ago. We're cool.

You do stairs now. You hold my hand and walk on the sidewalk. You sleep in your toddler bed in the nursery with no gate in your doorway! Okay, so sometimes you escape. Sometimes you army crawl into the living room after your bedtime. We catch you and put you back in your bed and tuck you in, and sometimes we have to repeat this whole process between two and seven times. In the mornings, you come into our room and say "Good morning, Mommy! Good morning, Daddy! Good morning, Simon!" This is really sweet when it's actually morning. It was less sweet at 2:00am today, but it happens. Time is confusing when you can't read it. I understand. You eat at our table with us, and don't even use a booster seat! Simon sits next to you in the high chair.

Your brother adores you. ADORES you. He laughs at everything you do. As far as Simon is concerned, you are Red Buttons. (Red Buttons was a comedian. He is not a very timely reference.) You are so loved by your family, little girl.

Simon, you are almost five months old. No, let's not rush it. You're four and a half months old. You are a completely adorable bear cub. You started eating solids on Wednesday, and to be honest with you, even though it was just a couple tablespoons of sweet potato mixed with breastmilk, I still wanted to cry over it. But you were so ready to eat, and you're doing a great job with that sweet potato. You're not so into infant oatmeal, but give it time. In a few days, we'll move onto carrots! You're growing fast, and just like your sister, I wish I could hit pause for a little while, but it's still so exciting to see you becoming this wonderful, bright, funny little boy.

You can sit up for forty-five seconds, unassisted. Then you tip over. You laugh and smile all the time, and you began really rolling over yesterday! You did it several times during the day, and then when you were in your bassinet last night I kept hearing kerthud. I'd look at you, find you awake and on your belly, and then roll you back over onto your back. I'd put my head back on my pillow, and then kerthud again. There you were, on your belly again, and very proud of yourself. I hope you know how much we love you. And we love you so, so much.

As a matter of fact, I love you both so much, I can hardly stand it.

Your Mama