Tag Archives: James

A brief jaunt to Newport

Deetles speak 1We ventured to Newport, RI, a couple of weeks ago for a rugby tournament in which Christopher wound up tearing his ACL (by approximately 11am on day 1 of the tournament). The unfortunate bit was the torn ACL; the fortunate bit was that the three of us wound up with a heap of extra time to share together on account of Dad-dad being relegated to the sidelines.

We spent quite a bit of time exploring (slowly because of a two year old, a dude with a bum knee, and a pregnant woman), relaxing, and enjoying the coast. Multiple seafood meals, a giant milkshake, and some time on a sandy beach. All in all, a great weekend aside from the ACL.

Sunday morning we chose a stroll along the Breakers, the waterfront path that wanders along the rocky coast in front of all the old mansions. James insisted upon walking most of the way and must have worked up a bit of a sweat, because when the sun broke through the clouds, the poor thing turned his chin skyward, closed his little eyes, and said, “Oooooh…outside…heat on…so niiiiice.”

Perhaps it’s time we reevaluate our winter home.

Back seat chatter…

IMG_0840[1]James and I go through stages in our daily commute to and from daycare/the office together. In the beginning, we shared a peaceful ride as the car lulled him to sleep almost every time. That transitioned to a half sleeping/half screaming baby shortly down the line, and up until about a month ago, the ride to and from daycare became my least favorite time of the day. James hated the car, squirmed in his seat, called Mom-mom UP, and all around showed little appreciation for the world passing by his windows. Our commute became the worst kind of necessary evil.

But then, as things do, something shifted. Now we chat. The entire way to and from daycare. We talk about who he played with (Owen and Eve), who he danced with (Owen!), who he cooked with (Eve!). We call out Digger, where are youuuuu? Snowplow where are youuuuuu? We laugh. We talk about red lights and green lights and school buses and spoons and pots and whatever else pops into the mind of a 23 month old. And the drive zips on by, and before we know it, we’re talking about being hooooooome and what we’re going to cook for dinner and if we should play with Legos or trains while we chat on the phone with Wawa and Dad-dad.

I can remember when he was a teeny, tiny little thing, and thinking how everyone said time would fly but really the days never ended and time seemed to stand still…but at the same time they fly by…but really stood still…or flew. It was always so hard to tell! Anyways, I remember thinking that the stages lasted so long and the thought of ever getting to a few months down the line when whatever the next milestone was would happen seemed like an impossible feat. And now? The stages just barrel into one another, come and gone before we even realize that a stage just happened.

So the fussing car seat boy turns into the chattering car seat boy who all of a sudden turns into the who knows what boy. But with each passing phase I realize just how fleeting the prior phase was, and just how damn them, whoever they are, they’re right. Time does fly, and little boys grow up and ask for bikes for their birthdays and to go down slides with their cousins and to eat ice cream for breakfast, And so we do all of that…we contemplate the first bike; we find slides on which to play; we sneak bites of ice cream at times when ice cream shouldn’t be eaten.

All because the damn stages fly and I already find myself thinking back to the earlier ones with wistful sentimentality of what once was versus what now is. And there is joy – so much joy I can hardly stand it – at being along for the ride, sharing the adventure. So despite the fussy stages and the whiney ones and lord knows what other ones that lie ahead, I embrace the stages and find excuses to sneak in a little more time, one more snuggle, five more minutes in bed listening to a still tiny soul whisper, Hug, Mom-mom…Hug, because the only thing I have learned for certain is that each and every stage has an end.

For every…

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I looked in the mirror this morning (above picture is NOT from this morning), and the first thought that registered was, wow, I look tired, and then, whoa, where did those wrinkles come from?  And then I chuckled because…

For every missing ounce of sleep, there is a little boy snuggled up beside mom all too early in the morning whispering the sweetest Hi! I ever did hear. There are little eyes, so very open, peering at a weary mom who is hoping for just a few more minutes rest. And there is the declaration, Bed – all done! that invariably follows.

For every new wrinkle on my face (see above: missing sleep), there is so much laughter and joy. Some tears…sad faces make for wrinkles too…but mostly joy. The lines follow the expression on my face when I’m laughing, smiling, living. They’re not faint lines either…but they are a by-product of laughter and joy, and I would not change them for a second.

For every moment when I wish for a breath of peace and quiet, there is a little voice squealing with delight over a plastic tea pot, a spatula, a ball cast giddily under the cabinets to be retrieved with a ‘ockey stick (hockey stick).

For every cup of hot coffee gone cold, there are morning snuggles and sloppily shared bites of cereal, sticky pancake fingers and spilled milk.

For every missed yoga class or leisurely long run, there are monkey bars and slides and so very many playgrounds to explore.

And, perhaps most poignant of all, for every new day, there is the constant reminder of just how much joy one small boy can bring to the lives of two grown (albeit weary) parents.

So for every every, there is a trade-off. And the trade-offs I have made of late? I’m okay with them.

Because that early morning hi? It’s irreplaceable.

The vacation word explosion

Beach pondererFor a while now James has graced me with the sweet, sweet sound of Mom-mom, and he has had a few other words as well, but vacation really marked that tipping point I’ve heard many moms speak of where the kid just starts to talk. He mimicked so many sounds on vacation that I hadn’t heard before, and he found his words.  So many!

The list:

  • Bath
  • Book
  • More (and mas!)
  • Please (I’ll give him the world when that sweet little voice squeaks, pwease?)
  • Boost (as in, Dad, give me a boost!)
  • Chip
  • Dip
  • Cups
  • Body (as in Bodyyyyy Slam!)
  • Step
  • Beach
  • Bus
  • Diap (as in diaper)

Crazy, just crazy. Since we got home he melted my heart once again when he figured out how to say Grampa (gam-paaaah). And gracias!

Wee little dude is growing up!

Swapping the grand for the simple

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These days fly by in a whirl of motion, a speedy toddler, the hustle and bustle of getting up, ready and out for the day, the joy of the daycare pick up, the exhaustion of late afternoon.  They blend into one.

In an effort to take back our time, I’ve been playing a little game. A game of intention. A game of being present. A game of sharing laughter, smiles, joy…a game that brings me back from my perpetual daydreams about what next, where to, when can we go?

I’m guilty of it…the daydreaming. It’s what brought us here, and here, and here. And it’s a piece of me that I hold so very, very dear. But it works counter to the notion of being present, embracing the day, sharing the joy of a sweet little boy.

So this weekend, we stayed local. We went took the T to the aquarium (given that it’s still summer, I don’t think we can check it off the list just yet), wandered the streets of Chinatown (red bean buns!), perused the open air market on the Greenway, picked up some fruit at Haymarket. We ate a leisurely fish and chips lunch, enjoyed some time by the water. When all was said and done, we wandered back through Boston Common, and rather than hopping right on a train home, we sat.

That’s all. We sat. In the park, with James whirling about in a sea of toddler curiosity. I chose a tree root as my perch of choice. Chris preferred the grass. But either way, we sat. We lolled away an hour during our park sit. An hour of peace, quiet, people watching, toddler freedom.

The most basic of pleasures, the most simple. An afternoon of tree root/grass/park sitting. Feeling the breeze, enjoying a late summer afternoon of warmth, sunshine, relaxation. No daydreams about what next, what’s for dinner, where should we wander? Simple relaxation, a mind empty aside from feelings of complete joy, presence, relaxation.

So of course the grand adventures will always fuel my soul, but given these days of go, go, go, perhaps there is much to be said for a less grand, more grounded, purely simple type of day.

The boy.

Beach boy

I look at this little baby, and I see a boy. A boy covered in sand, sunscreen, salt water, joy.

I see a boy curious for the world. Eager to explore. Ready for adventure.

I watch as the boy soaks it in: the sun, the sand, the beach, the day.

He wakes up laughing most mornings. There are a few whimpers, then some rustling in the crib, then laughter. He is ready to take on the day, this boy.

And I find myself wondering, where did it go? The days that seem to last forever yet at the same time move so quickly they all blend into one fleeting moment of time in which my tiny little baby has turned into a boy. It is so quick. One year’s time. So very, very quick.

I feel proud.  Proud of myself, my husband, our family, but mostly proud of this little boy.

For there are things we hope for when we have children, and if I had to voice my greatest hope for my little baby? It would be that he loves the world. That he looks at it as a place of wonder, a place to explore, a wealth of adventure. That he shares his mother’s curiosity for new places, new food, new people.

But meeting each day with laughter?

I didn’t see that one coming, though I sure do love it.

 

Season in review: Summer 2014 travels

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Let’s pause for a bit of summertime reflection.  Reflection on where the season has taken us, where we’ve fallen short, where we’ve hit the nail on the head.  Shall we?

Where we’ve been:

Where we’ve fallen short:

  • Not enough beach days! We promise to seize the rest of the summer. Beach, beach,  beach.
  • Not enough ice cream! Again, seize the rest of the summer.
  • The garden is a mess. We were over ambitious – lesson learned.
  • Not enough evening patio sitting. Nor grilling. We’ll work on it.
  • Not enough corn. There’s still time.
  • Basil is supposed to grow like a weed.  Ours most definitely did not.  Ditto mint. Next year.
  • Father’s Day Ale fell flat.  Really.  Not a bit of carbonation. We’ll just have to try again…
  • Not enough vacation. Never enough vacation from the damn cubicle.
  • No camping? What? No camping?  That’s terrible. September, we’ve got our eyes on you.

Where we hit the nail on the head:

  • 4th of July. Despite the crummy weather, we made the absolute most of an afternoon back porch sit. Victory.
  • Getting the kid in the water at the beach. He loves it even though it feels like ice blocks on your parts.
  • Cross-country voyage – we rocked it.
  • Mowing the lawn with the boy in the backpack. The squeals of delight are ridiculous.
  • Home-grown tomatoes. So many, and they are all so magnificently delicious.
  • Evening walks. James and I go on them almost every day before Dad gets home. They’re soul soothing. We finish at the playground, and everyone is happy.

So we might not have traveled too far and wide (though one cross-country trip is a solid undertaking!), but we have done our best to embrace the season, live in the moment, savor the time.

What’s left on the list? For us we need to tackle that camping trip, get out for another hike or two, and spend some quality time both at the beach and on a patio.

 

Beach Baby

It happened.  We went from this towel bound tiny little guy…

Beach 1

To this sunscreen-filled mullet, sand-covered, beach lover of a boy:

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All in one year’s time. Success!

Beach C

In an effort to take back the summer, we’ve been packing our (weekend) bags and seizing the remaining beach days. Just a mile’s walk from Gramma and Grampa’s house, Singing Beach is our summertime happy place. And now that the water is not so frigid (last weekend it was a balmy 63!), James happily spends hours running up and down the sand, into and out of the waves. He gladly wades out to the deeper parts with Mom or Dad, and a full dip up to his shoulders is met with joyous giggles. Oddly enough, face plants in the sand and/or a wave are (usually!) met with giggles as well.  He’s a little beach baby, our Jamesey lad.

Some tricks we have learned along the way:

  • Bring the stroller.  It takes some huffing and puffing to get it through the soft sand, but it’s worth it for a long walk along the water’s edge or for squeezing in a beachy nap (waves make the best white noise).
  • Pack snacks (always). We stick with the usual goldfish, cherries, pretzels. Anything will do really, especially when you stop for Captain Dusty’s on the walk home.
  • SUNBLOCK. So much. In the mullet, if your child refuses the sunhat.
  • Pails, shovels, little toy trucks. Anything to move sand and/or water from here to there.
  • An extra towel.  Toddlers do not know the meaning of no sand on the towel.
  • Water, coffee, a beverage of your choice. Playing on the beach makes parents and kids thirsty.
  • Wet swim diapers lead to chafing. Fair warning.
  • Pee runs right through dry swim diapers. Fair warning.
  • And sand? It gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Beach B

But those summer days at the beach? They are priceless. Especially if you happen to live near a beach where the sand sings.

[in the effort of full disclosure, there’s an amazon affiliate link above. It comes with two very enthusiastic Jaimecito thumbs up]

Month 16

Mom, mom: the biggest, most beautiful development of Month 16. My little boy says Mom, mom. He started while we were in Washington, and now it is just non-stop. Often they are the first words out of his mouth in the morning, and it melts my heart every single time. Mom, mom. My sweet, sweet boy.

In other also big news, he sort of says James! It sound more like Djms, but he points at himself and says it when we say James! The wheels are turning.

But really, Mom, mom. In the sweetest little boy voice in the world. He makes it sound like a sigh of relief.  Mom, mom.

He’s got me, that little dude.

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So yeah, Month 16.  That’s a lot of months!

Height and weight: Can’t remember exactly, but I know height was in the 15th percentile (little dude!), and weight was 40th.  Both of these are great given the winter slump that left him short and skinny…we’ve had a nice, long healthy stretch that means good things in terms of the little dude plumping up nicely.  He has the best little belly these days.

IMG_2701 Adventures: so many! We had the 4th of July, a visit from Grandma Jody, our Washington weekend, a beer festival in Manchester, trips to the beach, voyages on the sailboat (little dude hates the life jacket), so much fun!  We’re tired.

4th

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Teeth: a bunch…maybe getting more? Still four top, four bottom, plus two top molars and two bottom molars. He has diversified his palate this month too given all the teeth.  Lots of crunchy things to bite. And he loves having his teeth brushed. And flossed! He thinks it is so funny (we do too).

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New tricks: climbing up on all the furniture, making car and airplane noises, plucking tomatoes off of the plants, barking at dogs, obsessing over trucks of any sort, doing puzzles, playing at the beach (in the water!).  He also loves mowing the lawn with dad. Like squealing in delight when dad asks James, you want to mow the lawn?

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Signs: eat, milk, more, all done, and now please too!

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Words: this, that, mom, dad, woof

IMG_2809So there you have it, month 16 with the wee dude.  He continues to get more and more fun, and we find ourselves wondering how we ever got so fortunate to call a boy this sweet our own. James, you bring so much joy to the world – may you never lose that spirit, you sweet little thing.

A Washington weekend

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We struggle to keep anything simple, and traveling is no different. With five days to see, do, eat everything, we started the engines and didn’t stop until we hit the pillows back at home on the other end of a whirlwind trip across the country (yes, that Washington),

On the list:

  • Visits with family
  • Sailing
  • Chris’ Peace Corps reunion
  • More visits with family

The adventure panned out as follows:

Wednesday night, 10:30pm Seattle time, we arrive (that’s 1:30am Boston folks) with a weary little boy in tow. We’re whisked away by a wonderful aunt and uncle to our home for the night. We visit, we laugh, we chat, we finally hit the hay around midnight Washington time, convinced we’re doomed for a very early morning wakeup from the wee lad.

He proves us wrong, so very wrong, and sleeps until 8:30. We rejoice but hardly dare to acknowledge what happened for fear that it won’t happen again until 2048.

At 8:31 the flurry of activity began, not to stop for days.

We sailed.

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We ate.

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We chatted, visited, reminisced.

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We played in the sand.

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Laughed.

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Drank a few beers.

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Had a water fight.

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Snuggled this little boy.

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And embraced – oh gosh did we embrace – being away from the phone, the computer, the world, for a magnificent five days in time.

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All too quick, yes, but so very worth it. Washington in the summer is a magical place with its sparkling water, fresh cherries, ferry rides, family reunions, sailboats, sunshine, and Mt Rainier.  We’re fortunate fools.

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