I have come to accept that our boy is growing faster than I can blog, but it still feels worth jotting down a handful of Isaac-isms every few months.  Some of toddlerhood is too sweet not to capture for posterity; it feels good to know I can come back to these words and photos when he’s up and grown.  Also, though, some of toddlerhood is so hard that it’s good to take some notes should I ever get too too sad about these years slipping by.

Sweet stuff first!  Give me all the Buddy snuggles!  Isaac is affectionate beyond measure and is delightfully generous with his hugs and kisses.  He doesn’t have a stuffed animal he consistently favors these days, but he does insist on resting his hand on my cheek when we’re reading a book or he’s drinking a bottle.  I’m his own traveling security blanket.  Thrilled to have the job.

We really like our Sunday afternoon naps together.  But now I can forget about sneaking away while he’s dozing.

And the nighttime crib sleeping – what progress!  Rarely a midnight wakeup these days, and often a 7am rise and shine.  I miss a lot of things about his younger days, but our 5am mornings together aren’t one of them.

This past quarter has brought an explosion in Isaac’s vocab.  He picks up a few new words every week, about half of which are intelligible.  We play a lot of “guess what Buddy’s saying”, which isn’t the most fun game for any of us – Isaac ran through the house yesterday, carrying his shoes and yelling “patos!  patos!  PATOS!” while we all struggled to understand what he was telling us.  Potty?  Papa?  It took a good ten minutes of us all growing increasingly frustrated until I cracked it – ZAPATOS!  Isaac was saying shoes in Spanish and he couldn’t understand why we weren’t helping him slip into his sneakers.  The beauty and burden of a bilingual preschool…

He’s learning his letters via Juliette’s old Leapfrog ‘computer’ and pushes ‘V’ over and over and over and so that we’re all well aware that V is for Vulture! Vulture! Vulture!  When Isaac sees the letter ‘V’ on street signs or in books, he yells Vulture! on repeat.  Smart boy!

Smoothies are “meenkies”, octopus is “oppatus”, and food not to his liking, no matter how bland, is rejected with a claim of “SPICY!”

Other recent phrases are “C’mon duuuude”, said to no one in particular for no particular reason, but he’s discovered it makes us laugh.  Also, lots of “MINE”, of course, which drives Juliette extra-crazy when stated as “MINE Mama” as he wraps his arms around my neck.  She’s been exceedingly gracious in letting go of her role as only child, but I’m still at least half hers.  When Isaac is a little mad at me, but not so mad as to lose his mind, he furrows his brows and grumbles, “No tank you, Mama!”  Ok, Dear.

He’s often surprising me with his height and strength – when did he get tall enough to open the fridge and start rummaging for snacks?  Nothing is safe these days.  Our light switches get a lot of action.

Which brings me to food and mealtime, which is one of our biggest sources of angst.  If we can get him to the dinner table before he’s hangry, he’ll gobble down his hamburger and we’re golden.  But that means eating at 4:30 pm, which is hardly practical, so we’re often faced with the choice between pumping him full of snacks (then eating with an un-hungry, distracted boy at our own dinnertime), or trying to hold him off, which puts him in such a fragile state of mind that he will become hysterical when his blueberries roll away under the pressure of his fork.  Gosh, though…give him a well-timed bowl of applesauce and he can be pretty damn funny.

He loves the sound of the coffee grinder and flaps his arms like a crazed bird every time it’s running.

I’m excited too, Buddy.

The faces of Isaac…so easily shocked and awed.  Whether it’s a distant train whistle or a dog barking outside or the sound of the garage door opening, he wears this same expression of “HOLY COW – DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?”

He doesn’t spend much time rolling his cars across the coffee table these days, but he does love to pack them in Juliette’s old suitcase and tote them around the house.

Bon voyage, Sweetheart!

Also, BOOKS.  Lots of books.  I’ve loved revisiting Juliette’s old faves with Isaac and we read Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy on the regular.

We go on lots of walks.  These pics are from sunnier days, but whether it’s sweatshirt weather or full-on puffy coat weather, we get out.

There’s a house a few blocks from ours where the owner has installed a series of animal wood carvings in the adjacent Schmitz Park entry.  After dinner (when it was still light out after dinner!) I would ask Isaac “bear bear?” and he’d run for his shoes, knowing exactly where we were headed.

As a bonus, we found a house nearby with a U-Pick sign on their apple tree.  Top night.

The older Isaac gets, the more he hones his talent for annoying his sister, but she’s rarely able to stay mad at him for more than 20 minutes at a time.  They’re buddies through and through.

Bath snaps, just because.

And I’ll end with life as we currently know it… Toys, shoes, and a dripping, open water bottle strewn on the floor.  Pants nowhere to be found.  We were probably supposed to have left the house five minutes ago.  That smile, though.