Archive for July, 2022

Next month is August, which means Isaac’s first birthday is just around the corner.  Which means this is my last pre-waddler post about my little babe!  You know where I find comfort when I feel like he’s growing too fast?  THE GRAY CHAIR.

We’ve hit peak best of times / worst of times with Buddy.  He can be so delightfully silly these days as he tries out new sounds and and gestures and facial expressions.  He had us rolling at the dinner table last week as he worked on his fake laugh, his head thrown back and his eyes squinted shut while he yukked it up like a little ham.  If you say “Yaaaaay!”, he immediately claps his hands together and he’s made his own sign language version of “all done” after mealtime, waving both his arms back and forth like crazy.

But oh, when he’s in a mood…take away a pencil he grabbed when we inadvertently left it laying around or set him down when he wants to be held and he will throw a fit.  Diaper changes are the current bane of my parenting duties.  There’s kicking (by Isaac) and wrangling (by me) and yelling (by both of us).  There were a handful of times I had only gotten as far as getting the diaper off and getting his bum wiped before he broke loose, cheeks to the wind, but a couple of unfortunate puddles on the floor have put a halt to nakey-time.  Diaper-time, though, with the belly out and proud?  I’m all for it!

We made it off the waitlist of our preferred daycare this month and so we said goodbye to his old school and the teachers that had already come to love him in the space of just a few weeks.  I know it’s the right move for our family, but man, we’d just gotten to a zero-tears drop off routine, where he’d dive out of my arms in the morning and wave good bye to me as I headed off to work.  He was really happy there.

But here we go, Isaac!  New space, new teachers, new friends – it’ll be great.

He has laid down his beloved light saber and lately can’t resist anything with wheels.  Trains, cars, trucks – he holds the toy tight in one hand and scoots along the floor while his legs struggle to keep up with whatever he’s wheeling.

He’s hungrier than ever and it sometimes feel like I’m tossing food into a bottomless pit at dinnertime.  He loves cheese and salami and will scarf down peas if in the right mood, but berries are his all-time fave.  The smile on his face when he sucks down a big juicy blackberry is 100% worth the mess it makes.

We’re hitting a pretty major mama phase – Isaac is generally friendly to whoever wants to give him some love, but when I’m around, baby boy is all over me.  Hanging onto my legs when I’m in the kitchen, climbing into my lap when I’m sitting on the floor, bee-lining toward me the minute I walk in the door and impatiently whining mamamamammmmmaaaaaa while I take off my shoes – God forbid I need to use the bathroom before picking him up.  It’s a lot.  Too much, sometimes.

But most the time, I can’t help but keep my hands off him, either.

Hair woes!  I mentioned how challenging diaper changes can be, so you can imagine how hard it is for me to get this boy to sit still for a hair trim.  Eventually though, his wisps start sweeping into his eyes and the little tufts over his ears become unruly and I can’t take it anymore.

And…gah!  I mean, I don’t mind a tousled look, but there’s some volume here that seems not quite right.  I’m at a loss.

I sure do love that naptime mohawk, though.

He’s still all about the piano…

And loves a good game of hide and seek.

Sister pics!  These two spent a lot of time together this month, with Juliette off of school and Isaac home sick a handful of days.  There have been times when he’s been cranky and she’s sauntered off to her room in need of a break, but really, I’m stunned in the very best way by Juliette’s incessant desire to play with her baby bro.  She’s constantly asking if she can check on him at nap time to see if he’s awake and insists on being the one to go in and get him the minute we hear him squawk.  When he reaches up to her and then leans his head on her shoulder as she scoops him up, she gushes and gushes, “Oh BUDDY.  Could you be any sweeter?!”

Juliette, could you be any sweeter?

A match made in heaven, these two.

And on the rare occasion Isaac lays still long enough for Juliette to cuddle him…I’m butter.

Whew…eleven months.  I’m so glad I have these photos of my happy-go-lucky boy to flip through at the end of the day – they’re a reminder that even on the days I feel depleted, exhausted by the extreme attachment and the constant redirecting, there were moments that Isaac’s infectious smile made my heart swell.

So, what else you got up your sleeve, kiddo?

Ah, June – when daylight runs long, but gosh, the month runs short.  Some highlights:

A new family toy!  Shane leveled up his e-bike game and bought a RadWagon to tote around Juliette for school drop-offs and miscellaneous errands.  I wasn’t sure this was necessary…

…until I realized there was room for one more!

Isaac loves his new chariot.

On Sunday afternoons we hop on the bikes and pop over to the library for Juliette’s weekly reading material, swing by the Hiwatha playground to get some wiggles out, and then head to Good Society for a soft pretzel and a round of cold drinks.  On a ride last month as we zoomed through the neighborhood, Juliette called over to me, “I feel like I have to pinch myself, I can’t believe how fun this is!”.  I tell you, it’s the little things.

In mid-June we spent a weekend in Sequim with the Rusts while Shane, Nance and Jason all made their debut in the PNW pickle ball tournament circuit.  It was A LOT of pickle ball.

A LOT of time on the playground adjacent to the courts.

But also a lot of hanging out at our AirBnb, getting to know the resident deer.

Are they watching the NBA finals on the iPad, or are they watching Isaac yuk it up?  Tough to say…

We put on our most exuberant cheer faces when Nancy and Shane took to the courts on Saturday morning.

Ok, Isaac’s cheer face lacked a little luster.  Kiddo was making up for all the hours he didn’t sleep in his Pack N Play the night before.

These two won a couple, lost a couple, and took a few sweet sips of the tournament Koolaid.  They’ll be competing again come July and August!

G continues to be the best “chosen” big bro to Juliette (and to Isaac, for that matter!).

I know, Isaac, I KNOW!  This is all taking a bit longer than expected…

I super-duper don’t mind having a sleeping baby strapped to my chest, but was all too happy to hand him off to Shane for a bit once he woke up roaring to go!

We spent the late afternoon and evening  back at the house, hot tubbing and watching this mama and her baby wander through the yard.

It was homemade pizza for dinner, s’mores for dessert, and then a good hard crash at bedtime.

Shane and Jason took to the courts on Sunday morning while I got off to a slower start with the kiddos, opting to let Isaac grab his morning nap in our king-sized bed.

We’re ready!

We arrived at the courts to find Shane and Jason taking out their opponents one by one.  These guys were on fire!

Meanwhile, big bro manned the playground.

(Slow down, G!)

Seriously though, they were on a roll.

And giddy about it.

The gold medal match was intense, but Shane and J kept their cool and emerged victorious.  GOOOOOOLLLLLLLD!

Look alive, Bud!

I guess I’m officially a pickle ball wife now, toting around the kids and cheering from the sidelines while my husband lives out his athletic dreams.  I’m here for it.

Mid-June saw the end of the school year and its requisite swirl of emotions.  Juliette was chosen by her teacher as the recipient of the Seymour Kaplan Humanitarian Award and Shane and I got to go to the assembly where she was presented with her certificate.  Goodness, it felt good to be in her school again after over two years of having to stop at the front door!  Felt even better to see our girl recognized for her kindness, generosity, and willingness to look out for others.

I picked up a bouquet of flowers to commemorate the last day of second grade, knowing Juliette would have a hard time saying goodbye to her teacher and classmates, but the flowers didn’t cut it.  I spread my arms wide open at pickup that day, the goofiest of congratulatory grins on my face, and Juliette burst into tears as she buried her face in my chest.  Change is hard.  But hallelujah for good teachers and good friends.  They’re not going anywhere!

And she did perk up a bit over pizza that night.

Soccer season ended right on the heels of the school year, and again, what a group!  Such progress this season, as the girls really started to pass to one another and play the whole field, rather than just following the ball around as a cluster of awkward arms and legs.  Juliette is getting more aggressive with her play, but because she’s Juliette, there are always overtones of friendliness and concern for others.

Plus, such cute fans.

See you in the fall, ladies.

Isaac attended his first Mariners game and Juliette caught up with an old buddy…

And we celebrated Fathers Day with a romp in the park, the finest rosé, presented with such flourish, and a homemade card from Juliette that brought tears to Shane’s eyes with her outpouring of gratitude.

(Isaac didn’t make a card, but he certainly turned on the charm.)

Shane and I had Juneteenth off from work, which happened to be Juliette’s first day of summer break, and daycare was open, so we dropped off little brother and headed for the hills.  We wanted to seize the day and do something that Isaac would typically put a damper on, so we settled on a hike at Rattlesnake Ledge.

It was misty that day and visibility wasn’t great, but I didn’t care a bit.  It felt so good to be in the woods with Shane and Juliette, to have it be the three of us that day, like old times.  We missed Buddy, but also…we kind of didn’t?  I was FREE!

And the…lookout?

We booked it back to the car as the rain started to come down, but then we did some shopping at the outlet mall and lingered over pizza at Tutta Bella and got a drink at Starbucks and took our sweet time through it all, just because we could.  And then we picked up Isaac and were overjoyed to fold him back into our threesome.

We wrapped up June with a weekend trip to Portland to catch up with the Jarrells.  The cousins picked right up where they left off at Christmas.

Juliette earned some dog-walking points…

Isaac didn’t sleep great that first night, but again, was more than happy to nap in my arms.

I coulda shoulda woulda put him back in his Pack N Play for his nap, but…nah.

Time to go play, huh?!

It was hot that day, so we packed up the paddle board and the kayak and drove down to the river to play in the water and lounge in the shade.

We had milkshakes as our afternoon snack and ordered pizza for a backyard dinner.  When it’s hot…

I don’t know what’s happening here, but it’s making me laugh!

Isaac had his bedtime bottle al fresco…

And we went to bed sun-kissed and full of pizza.  Morgan made pancakes the next morning and offered to do a special one for Isaac.  Tiniest pancake ever!  There was a quick round of pickle ball later that morning and a spin through the farmer’s market, and then it was time to head back home.  As always, the weekend felt too short and before we’d even hit the Washington border, I was looking to put another visit in our calendar.

And that, friends, was June.  Isaac says thanks for scrolling this far.  Onto July!

Ten months old and Isaac is threatening to to graduate from baby to waddler!  SLOW DOWN, BUDDY.  He started pulling himself up to stand a few weeks ago and has hardly been still since, cruising along the edge of the couch until he’s out of runway, then gently dropping to his knees to motor over to the next prop in the room.

He was awfully proud of himself the first time I found him standing in his crib.  “I’M UP, MOM!  It’s not even 6am, but don’t think for a second you’re going to be rocking me back to sleep now!”

Sometimes I win and he’ll grab a few extra Z’s in my arms after I scoop him out of his crib.  Not often, but sometimes.

Isaac’s very favorite prop is Juliette’s keyboard – if we let him roam, he’ll beeline for her room and head straight for the piano.  He bangs away at the keys, completely thrilled by his own mischief.  

Sometimes he gets to sit on the stool and we’ll turn on the piano demo as a backdrop to his banging.  This is a kid that feels the music in his bones!

He’s a cruiser, and he’s a climber.  If he’s got his eye on a prize and there’s a pillow or a pile of toys or a person is his way, he’ll plow on though – taking the long way around is for chumps.  He steamrolls Juliette daily and she pretends it hurts but secretly loves it.

He’s determined and he’s fast.

Life is a constant game of hide and seek.  I see you, Isaac, looking for stray Cheerios under the dining room table.

Though he’s rarely (never) content during his waking hours to sit still and just snuggle in my lap, he does love crawling on me, putting his chubby little hands on my legs and then on my chest and finally around my neck as he stands up and opens his mouth wide to plant a slobbery kiss on my cheek.  His affection is almost aggressive in its exuberance – it feels like he’s not just crawling to me, but trying to crawl through me.  We’re encouraging and modeling gentleness as much as possible.  

Gentle, Shane.

Isaac got the memo a couple of weeks ago that summer was on the horizon and has since spent a lot of time with his face pressed against the glass of the back door.  He watches birds while I do dishes.  

But when sister is on the other side of the glass, he really starts getting antsy.  Juliette snapped these pics and then I had no choice but to take him outside for a short backyard romp.  He was begging for it!

Our neighbors gifted us a couple of inflatable light sabers after their four year-old’s Star Wars birthday party and they quickly became Isaac’s most prized possessions.  For weeks he carried them everywhere, dragging them along as he motored around the house, stopping every so often to excitedly wave one in the air.  The force is strong with this boy.

He’s a champion eater and is game to try just about anything we put in front of him.  More and more, I’m able to set him up with his spread at dinnertime and he’ll contentedly feed himself while I enjoy a still-hot meal (such luxury!).

When he wants your attention, he tilts his head to one side, smiles sweetly, and looks right into your eyes.  It’s my new favorite thing.

6pm-7pm continues to be the longest hour of the day.  On evenings that Isaac is particularly fussy, I’ll put him in the stroller and take him to the park for a pre-bedtime swing.  Does his mood good.

On evenings he just needs a little mellowing, I put him in the Ergo for a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood.  He starts off antsy as he wiggles against being restrained, but his body gets calmer with each block until finally his head starts to rest against my chest.  I try not to let him fully fall asleep, as I’d rather he doze off in his crib, but sometimes he just. can’t. keep. those. eyes. open.

Sister is still THE BEST and bowls me over on the regular with her patience and tenderness.

She even lets him borrow her headband when his hair starts falling into his eyes and I can’t find the time or the patience to give it a trim!

Some sweet snaps from an afternoon on the lawn at Hiwatha, just because…

Coming home to this boy is the sweetest part of my day, seeing him beeline right toward me on all fours the moment I walk in the door, perching on his knees with his arms outstretched as I unload my backpack and take off my shoes.  Sometimes Shane and the kids are waiting out front when I get off the bus and it’s a gold mine of warm fuzzies, the way they roll out the welcome wagon.

And gosh, MY HEART when Isaac flies into my arms on the days I pick him up at daycare, gazing at me with such unabashed adoration that I have to stop on the sidewalk outside the car and just hold him close for an extra minute before strapping him into his seat.

Ten months old and more charming than I knew any little human could possibly be.