Sunshine and Smiles: More Updates
So July was a little crazy.
Job-searching stress (boy, that’s a whole separate post). Childcare uncertainty stress (anyone know a reliable nanny to start Sept. 1? Someone who can live up to Abbie and Jillian standards?). Designing the renovation of our basement. Lots of visitors and events.
These three help me keep it real.
Audrey walks like she means business. She marches determinedly, swinging her left arm, toward her goal. When she runs, she is fast. She is strong, too: she and Theresa like “hanging like a monkey” on horizontal bars, and Audrey can pull her legs parallel with the ground.
Their imagination play is incredible to witness. Audrey, on not seeing diggers at their usual construction site: “The diggers were going home. To have lunch. With dump trucks.” Me: “What will they have for lunch?” “Sambo [sandwich], edamame, and peas.”
She also came up with the game of her animals riding the zipline, just like at our new park. She runs headlong through the living room, holding her bunny in front of her the way we hold her on the zipline seat, and at the end, turns and bounces the bunny up and down on the return trip like the zipline swing bounces back up the hill to the start.
She is a helper and an orchestrator. She likes directing her siblings in their games: “Teesa, push me!” If one of us asks, “Where’s [this toy, that book, this article of clothing…],” Audrey drops what she’s doing and goes about finding it for us.
She narrates of her play to whomever is listening. She says, “Fenks.” She calls sunscreen “scun-scream” and pretends to apply it via doll baby bottle.
Her running-to-you-with-joy hugs (sometimes accompanied by high-volume squees) are the best thing ever.
Theresa walks like Charlie Chaplin. If I gave her a cane and some spats, she would nail it. She runs on her toes.
She talks to her animals/dolls/little people all the time. The other night, she was reading one of the little books to them in our calm-down space. (Calm-down space was inspired by Calm-Down Time, a fantastic book for toddlers.) She is on a secret mission, I believe, to eventually bring every shared stuffed animal in our house into her crib (she’s probably up to 12).
One of her other favorite pastimes is rocking babies in their car seats. When our friend’s daughter, Baby Stella, was baptized, TK got to rock her in the car seat for 10-15 minutes at the post-Mass reception.
She loves being silly. She wiggled Jamie’s bear and said, “Bear is dancin’. He’s a maniac!” (although she hadn’t heard us sing the song about being a maniac on the dance floor in months). On finding out Aunt Jen is pregnant: “Aunt Jen is holding a baby and she’s gonna sing [TK sings] ‘Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree tuck…'” On having a banana for breakfast: “It’s yellow! It’s yellow! It’s yellow! It’s amazing!”
At the playground, she loves the sandbox. She says “no thank you” unsolicited now; i.e. “We’re going to have some pork for lunch.” “No thank you. No thank you pork.”
Her bury-her-head-in-my-shoulder snuggles are the best thing ever.
Jamie’s love of music has permeated all areas of his life. He marches from front to back of the house, shaking his maraca and singing various songs from our music collection. During most meals, he asks, “Play some music,” a request that resulted in a near-meltdown during dinner with my parents and our parish priest, when I tried explaining that we don’t turn on “One Little Owl” in front of guests.
He runs with his head down. He’s also fast and usually avoids running into obstacles.
He also finds particular words or phrases hilarious, erupting into his infectious giggle. “Mister Man” (a Daddy nickname for him), “Are you havin’ a ‘nack?” (he has trouble pronouncing “sn” and asks to “‘niff-‘niff” Daddy’s coffee), and “Nine FANcy ball gowns!” (from BabyLit Pride and Prejudice). Grampy calls a funny kid a “hot ticket” (what my Grampy used to call me), and Jamie thinks it’s more hilarious to say, “Hot two-mah-lee!” Then, getting into his comedy groove, he said, “One mahlee. Two-mahlee!”
He has started a love of trains (“Twain twacks!”), and loves playing with train tables at the children’s museum and the play center. I foresee a train table in our future finished basement.
He is really good at gratitude prayers. He often thanks God for the food in front of him (i.e. tacos), but also will thank God for the people in his life, including: Kathy, Andrea, Cleo, Fr. Tony, and Miss Claire (the wonderful children’s librarian who does storytime at a truly family-friendly branch).
His cuddles-in-my-lap-while-reading are the best thing ever.