No more mush

Salmon cakes, turkey burger, and cantaloupe.

Salmon cakes, turkey burger, and cantaloupe.

As a parent of young kids, I get all excited about their “firsts”.  The first time they sit up, the first solid food, the first step, the first owie, the first plane ride, etc.  But when it comes to “lasts”, it’s usually not till much later that you realize your child had her “last” of something–the last time they wore an outfit, the last diaper, the last night of waking up to feed.

This past week, Savanna had her last meal of baby food on Monday morning.  While I was mindlessly shoving pureed yam into her mouth, she clammed up and refused to eat.  I tried baby cereal, and she refused that as well.  I was a little miffed.  I put a handful of Cheerios on her tray, and she happily picked them up and ate them.  I gave her a few pieces of scrambled eggs, and she picked them up and ate that too.  Huh!  The little bugger wants to feed herself!

So for lunch, I gave her little pieces of cantaloupe, salmon cakes, cubes of cheese, and some Cheerios, and she fed herself the entire meal.  I felt happy and sad at the same time.  I was happy that I didn’t have to spoon-feed her anymore, but I was sad that she needs me a little less.  From that meal on, for the rest of the week, I stopped pureeing her food and just cut them up into little pieces, and she fed herself.

The funny girl always eats up all the fruit first, starches next, and meats last.  She’s totally crazy about blueberries, and she also really likes plums and watermelon.

9 months old

Multiple Savanna

My baby girl is 9 months old this week.  I have no idea how that happened.  It felt like just yesterday I was up so many times a night nursing a newborn baby.  Now she’s all crawling around and sleeping through the night.

Having Savanna makes life so much more hectic, and so much more fun.  Watching her and Joshua interact gives me tremendous joy.  Before she came, I couldn’t imagine what life is like with two kids.  Now I couldn’t imagine ever not having her.

Everyday, I thank Savanna for giving me a second chance to be a mom, and thank her for giving me this time to spend with people I love the most.

Standing

Alright, I did promise some exciting blog posts after the long weekend.  I know this topic is probably only exciting for my little family, but I’m going to make a big deal of it anyway.  Just over a week ago, Savanna started crawling.  Now she’s pulling herself up to stand!  I really wasn’t ready for this.  I thought she’d spend more time just crawling around, but she seems to be in a hurry to grow.

She’s been trying for a couple of days to pull herself up, but her legs weren’t strong enough to support her body.  But this all changed today.  She crawled up to me, hung onto my knees, and pulled herself up to a standing position.

I am so proud!

I remember that before I had kids, some of my mommy friends would tell me little milestones in their kids’ lives, and I would always wonder why they make a big deal of nothing.  Aren’t kids supposed to grow?  Aren’t they supposed to crawl and walk and poop in the potty?  Now I am totally one of those mommies.

IMG_1429

Two and a half

Lately, I have often commented to Cliff that Joshua is no longer a baby.  The truth is, he hasn’t been a baby for a long time now.  It just takes me a long time to get used to the idea that the little baby I held in my arms has grown up so fast.  Today, Joshua is two and a half.

Joshua’s speech developed very quickly once I went back to work and Cliff started staying home with him.  Cliff explains everything to him, and he never uses baby talk.  Now Joshua talks my ears off everyday.  “Mommy, what are we gonna do all night long?”  “Mommy, let’s go to the park and go to Tisol.”  “Mommy, are you putting mei mei down for a nap?”  “Mommy, let’s go outside and ride your bike.”  “Mommy, I wanna go to IGA.  I no go home.”  “Mommy, is that milk in your coffee?”  “Mommy…mommy…mommy…”

So what else does a two and a half year old do?  He uses the potty.  He buckles himself in the car seat.  He climbs play structures at the playground.  He eats hash brown by the pound.  He puts away his own laundry.  He feeds himself.  He sleeps on his own through the night.

Joshua loves to be outside, rain or shine.  He always comes up with excuses of why we shouldn’t be going home yet.  He will suggest going to IGA to get groceries, or I needed a coffee, or we have to run bank errands–anything to stall going home.

Joshua loves Savanna.  He gets such joy by making her laugh.  He loves to hold her, kiss her, and gently touch her cheeks.  But he also sometimes requests that I stop nursing her, or I put her down for a nap, so I can play with him.

He amazes me everyday with new things he has learned and the logic he uses to explain his world.  He is a growing boy, but I love it that he still allows me the pleasure of a snuggle and kisses sometimes.

Joshua-0244

6 months old

Dear Savanna,

You are six months old today.  How did this happen?  I think my calendar is broken.

Without ever speaking a word, you have the ability to remind me of the important things in life.  You have taught me to live for the moment.  It doesn’t matter how our dirty floor bothers me, or how it’s 4 pm and I still haven’t figured out dinner, your presence brings me back to “now”.  You’ve taught me to forget the less important things, and treasure the moments we have together.

Some days I find that my experience with your brother makes taking care of you an easier task.  I have an idea on how to breastfeed, how to bathe a slippery baby, etc.  But every so often, you remind me that you are different from your brother.  I appreciate that reminder.  You are your own person with your own preferences.  I need to respect that, and listen to your needs.

When I look at you, I am filled with awe and gratitude.  Only God could have made something as wonderful as you.  I think you have my eyes, and your dad’s everything else. I can never get tired of starring at your beautiful face.  When you smile, I just melt into a big puddle.

I love how you used to stick up both pinky fingers when I nurse you.  I love how you wake up happy and babble in your crib.  I love how you giggle when your brother throws something in the air.  I love how you suck on my chin and slobber all over my face.  I love how you took up pureed food like you’ve done this before.  I even love the way you squawk when you’re tired.

You will never know how much impact you have had on me.  I looked forward to your arrival with great eagerness, and now savour every minute I have with you.   You’ve given me a chance to step back from a career and re-evaluate my life.  You make me constantly ask myself what decisions to make so I can be the best mom for you.  To say you have changed my life is an understatement.

Thank you for letting me be your mommy.  I wholeheartedly adore everything about you, and I am so thankful for you.

Love,

Mommy

Having sweet peas for lunch.

Having sweet peas for lunch.

I love those toes.

I love those toes.

Very loved.

Very loved.

Got a shot today.

Got a shot today.

How did this happen?

I don’t remember giving this kid permission to grow so fast.  Yet, she went ahead with it anyway.  All of a sudden, she’s 5 months old.  I felt like I got robbed of time somehow.  Wasn’t it just yesterday she was a soft little bundle in my arms, with the wrinkles and puffiness of a newborn baby?  How is it that today she’s big and heavy and lifting her head up like it’s no big deal?

Before Savanna arrived, I remember wondering how I could love another human being as much as I love Joshua.  Well, in retrospect, that was kind of a dumb thing to worry about.  The moment I laid my eyes on her, my heart expanded its capacity to love.  She instantly became my focus, my light, and my inspiration.  Life is never the same again, and I am so grateful for the way she has changed it.

Savanna-9997

Why do babies have to grow?

I remember not getting very much sleep when Joshua was born, partly because I just don’t want to put him down even if he has fallen asleep in my arms.  I spend a lot of hours just staring at his face.  I was so afraid that in the blink of an eye he’ll be off to college.

Now, I have the same problem with Savanna.  Especially after Joshua goes to sleep, that’s when I feel like I finally have time to take her all in without interruptions and demands.  I can’t get enough of looking at my little girl, and at the same time hate the thought that one day soon enough she’ll be all grown up.

OMG, I am POSSESSIVE!

The point is, these little beings grow so damn fast.  I remember getting so excited when Joshua showed an interest in books.  Now he not only bring books to us to request reading time, he quickly memorizes parts of books or rhymes.  I love reading to him, or watching him absorb what is being read to him.

I love my little man

Nothing could have prepared me for becoming a mother.  No one could have explained it to me well enough in advance what it would feel like.  From the moment I laid my eyes on Joshua, I became head over heels in love with him.

Over the last 20 months, he has grown from this little wrinkly baby covered in acne, to a little boy with almost a full mouth of teeth and talking up a storm.  He is adventurous, non-judgemental, fun, creative, and strong willed.  I love everything about him and his personality.

A few weeks ago I was reading him the book called Hooray for Fish.  At the end, I puckered up my lips and asked him to give me a kiss.  He puckered up his lips and came up and touched my lips with his.  I love seeing his little face come close to mine, with his lips pressed together, aiming to give me a kiss.  Of course, he doesn’t always oblige, so I just love it when he does give me a kiss.

He is a daring little boy.  Nothing seems to scare him.  He likes going down slides head first, giving me heart attacks.  When we’re on the boat, he walks up and down the boat, climbs up and down the bow seats, and giggles when the boat bounces on the water.  Just yesterday I caught him pushing his Pewi bike against the bar stool, and climbing on top of the bike seat trying to get on the stool!  And of course he regularly hangs out on top of the ladder in the storage room, hunting for crackers and snacks on the pantry shelves.

But if his fingers got caught in the door, or if he stubbed his toes on the door frame, or if he bumped his head on the corner of the table, he becomes my little baby again, running to me with his eyes barely open, crying for mommy.  I want him to know that he can always come to mommy for help when he’s hurt.  Cliff thinks I’m making him soft, but I don’t believe so.  I think Joshua is actually quite tough, and he really only wants my attention when he feels like it.  So I happily comply, cuddling with him, fussing over his hurt little fingers or toes, making sure he gets a big hug and lots of kisses from me.

I love it when we nap together, he asks to “nuggle” with me.  That’s “snuggle” but he leaves out the “s” in front and just says “nuggle”.  He puts his head on my pillow next to me, and insists to put one of his little arms around my neck.  Even when it’s a hot summer day and it makes both of us sweat, I enjoy that little piece of heaven immensely.

Lately, he’ll frequently point at my belly and say “baby heart”, and then run to get the fetal doppler and gel.  He knows that he needs to get both things for the doppler to work.  I will squirt gel on my belly and put the doppler on, searching for Savanna’s heart beat.  If I ask him what his sister’s name is, he says “Vanna” (again, dropping the “S” in front).

Sometimes when Joshua is crying for a prolong period of time because he’s really hurt or really upset, often he’ll stop crying if I say, “Hey, do you want to sing a song?”  He’ll enthusiastically say, “Yeah”, and listen to what I’m going to sing.  Lately it’s been a lot of repeated Trot Old Joel and Lukey’s Boat.  He absolutely loves Trot Old Joel.  Often we can hear him playing by himself, and all of a sudden we’ll hear “Whoa, Joel!”  He also refers to the song as “Truck Old Joel”.

The little keyboard I bought him quite a while ago is getting every penny’s worth of use and abuse.  Joshua will often go turn on the pre-set music button, and make Cliff and I dance.  If we’re sitting on the couch and just being lazy, he’ll come and push us off the couch while saying “Mommy dance; Daddy dance”.  He’ll joyfully dance around on the rug with us.

Joshua loves, absolutely loves, to go outside.  Sometimes I just want to take Sam out for a quick pee break, and don’t feel like getting Joshua all dressed and ready to go with me, that really upsets him.  When we do go out, even if it’s early in the morning, he’s always so cheerful and happy.  He bee-lines for the elevator, running and giggling and waving his arms around down the hall, sometimes making a bit too much noise, without ever questioning where we’re going.  I would have to think that he gets that from me, because Cliff isn’t naturally that excited about going outside.

I can sit here and write forever about how this little man tugs on my heart string.  I am so madly in love with him.  Sometimes I wish he would stay little forever.

Size comparison

One of Joshua’s earliest visitors gave him a bear as a gift.  I meant to take pictures of Joshua and the bear for size comparison each month.  But did I stay on top of that task?  Of course not.  I have many other grand ideas I don’t stay on top of.

Anyway, today I figured it’s been way too long since I last took a picture of Joshua and the bear, so we got it done.  Here’s the side-by-side comparison picture.

He is growing so fast!