Monday, September 13, 2010

Monthly Newsletter — Month 9

hi, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

You turned 9 months old last Friday, but my monthly update was delayed because your daddy and I were out of town for the weekend, celebrating our 15th anniversary a month late.

But you... YOU. You are... in a word... splendid. You are so sweet and adorable it really is all I can do to not just take a big bite out of your delicious cheeks.

Your newest tricks are as follows:

1) You can now officially crawl. You began on the very day your brother and sister started back to school, almost as if you wanted to make sure that the day was a special milestone for EVERYONE.

2) And with crawling now comes... pulling up. You can't quite make it to your feet — yet — but you can pull up to your knees, and I now have to make sure that there is nothing on the coffee table or any other low surface that you can get to. This also means that more often than not when I come into your room to get you from a nap or first thing in the morning, you are up on your knees, peering over the railing of your crib and crowing happily. Owen and Edie are particularly delighted with this, and they spend lots of time playing with you while you laugh at them from your perch in your crib.

3) You now blow kisses (in addition to giving the big, wet, open-mouthed sloppy REAL ones you've been giving us for a couple of months now). And, as your sister before you (who "blew" kisses from her forehead), you blow kisses in your OWN unique way, preferring to press the back of your hand to your mouth and wipe it to the side.

4) I decided I want to try and teach you baby sign language, which I had started to do with Edie but gave up when it was clear that she was such an early (and clear) talker, I didn't really need to rely on sign language to communicate with her. So the other day I was feeding you in the high chair and decided to try using a very easy one: the sign for "more." Imagine my delight when you picked it up almost immediately, and now when it's feeding time, if I say to you, "Would you like more, Isla?" You press your palms together (your version of the sign is not quite right, but you have definitely got the idea) eagerly with a big grin on your face. Clever girl.

5. You have also become very interested in the telephone, particularly if someone is speaking on the other end whose voice you recognize, whether it's me or daddy or Jacquie. When your daddy and I were out of town this past weekend, we called every evening and morning to talk to all you kids, and Jacquie told us how your face would light up when you'd hear our voices.

Also? Like your brother and your sister before you, you are, at heart, a mama's girl, and you reach for me whenever I am near. When we arrived home to pick up you kids from Jacquie's house this weekend, your face broke into a huge grin when you saw us, and when I scooped you up, you cuddled me close for a moment before pulling back just a bit to really get a good look at me, your eyes traveling from my forehead to my eyes to my mouth and back up, with a sweet smile on your face. Your expression seemed to be saying, "I've missed seeing your face, Mama."

And oh, I missed seeing yours too, baby.

Love, Mama

Monday, September 6, 2010


Cool Kids, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Owen,

Today is your eighth birthday... and what a ride it's been. I was recently looking through some old pictures of you as a baby and toddler, for a project I'm working on, and every single one made me smile at your darling little chubby cheeks, your delightful smile, your impish grin.

You were a happy baby and have grown into a happy, thoughtful boy. A boy capable of a little mischief, yes, but a boy who, on the whole, is sensitive and creative and thoughtful and loving and kind and sweet. I'm not saying you don't have your moments — we ALL do — but you... there is some special little spark in you that touches a very central part of me in a very unique way. We are kindred spirits, you and I, and I think you recognize it, too.

We celebrated your birthday with your three best buddies from up the street, and we caught a movie, ate some pizza, and had a round of mini-golf, followed by a late-night DVD while curled up in sleeping bags around the living room floor. Surprisingly, all four of you made it — barely — to the end of the movie, just around midnight, when I turned out the light and the TV and whispered goodnight to you all.

It wasn't much later — perhaps a half hour or so — that you came quietly into my room to tell me that you couldn't sleep. You've had this happen before, where you couldn't fall asleep right away and then you get yourself all worked up over the idea that you might not be ABLE to go to sleep, like EVER, that you get upset. So I walked you into the living room and tucked you back into your sleeping bag next to your three snoozing buddies. Then I laid down next to you and curled around you for a bit, stroking your hair the way I used to do to you when you were small.

And that triggered memories of the way I used to have to do that to you nearly every night, lay there with you until you were all the way asleep, because otherwise you'd cry or come crawling out of bed looking for me. So last night I laid there perhaps longer than I normally would have, remembering those early days with you and thinking about how, each time you have a birthday, I get a little sad at how grown up you have become.

You were the one who made me a mother, my first-born, my angel baby. And you hold a very special place in my heart, reserved just for you.

I love you, little man. Happy 8th birthday.

Love, Mama

Friday, September 3, 2010

Of Bugs and Other Icky Things

Tonight, when we were outside:

Me: "Edie, don't touch those bushes. They're full of spider webs."

Edie: "Do bugs live in there?"

Me: "Spiders live there, yes."

Edie: "Are spiders bugs?"

Me: (Choosing NOT to delve into the differences between arachnids, which have eight legs and are NOT, technically, bugs. She is just five, after all.) "Yes."

Edie: "What other kinds of bugs are there?"

Me: "Well... spiders. Ants. Bees. Wasps. Aphids. Grasshoppers..."

Edie: "Vampires?"

Me: "Well, vampires are icky, but they're not bugs."