Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eighteen Months and Entertaining!

The Pumpkin aka Tater aka Jo Jo Bird is a trip! He is coming into his own personality and what a personality it is! For the most part he is a happy, busy, smiley, guy. He loves dogs, going outside, climbing, music, throwing things, balls, and handling things he isn’t supposed to. Other loves include handing people their phones, including strangers, handing his daddy the TV remote (I won’t get into the obvious sexism of that here), staring at strangers, slamming doors, and his pacies and blankies. He abhors being told no (insert melt down here – he physically collapses onto the floor but very carefully so as to not hurt himself in his rage), getting water on his head, sitting still, taking naps, being held when he could be moving and any other way of trying to constrain him when he wants to do something.  

He is starting to say some intelligible words now – Ball, Bye-Bye, Banana and Pacie are just a few. I taught him how to say ‘Ahhh’ and stick his tongue out. He loves this because when he does it I’m supposed to do it to, then he sticks his finger on my tongue, I act aghast and he giggles. It’s our thing. He’s also learning his body parts, colors, animals, and how to brush his teeth/chew on his toothbrush and to blow bubbles and kisses. The only things he really kisses are Percy, Sam and any image of himself. Percy has become the Pumpkin’s self-appointed defender and will coming running if the little man starts crying.

Meals are trying for me. Anytime I think I get a handle on what he likes and will eat, he stops eating that particular item. But when he likes something, he will go to town sometimes out eating his brother. Ice cream is his particular joy, just like his Baba. Speaking of his brother, the Pumpkin has developed a definite yet limited sense of sibling rivalry. If brother comes over for a hug, Pumpkin is right behind him, squeezing in between to get a better one. If brother gets a snack, Pumpkin is, again, pushing his mighty way through to get his own. And if brother ever gets to go outside without him…I shudder at the screeching that ensues.

Pumpkin, life will never be the same with your spunk and tenacity filling our family with vim and vigor. You are a man who knows what you want and have a hard time stopping at getting it. Any detour leaves you breathless and angry; at least until the next distraction. Your Godmother says that you are a born leader and will never succumb to such trivial things are peer pressure. Our concern will be where exactly you are leading your troops and to what end. I pray every day for the grace to teach you and your brother to be exemplar men of God. And, sincerely, if I could teach you one thing it would be that first and greatest commandment. If you have that, the rest of the gifts God has given you will take you far in this life and home in the next. I love you, Pumpkin, from the bottom of my heart; a heart which you continue to expand every day.


Friday, February 17, 2017

One Year and Opinionated

W: 21 lbs 9.6 oz
L: 30.25 in

Oh Pumpkin, what a year it has been! When I held your peaceful, perfect little sleeping body in the hospital those first few days, I had no idea what the next year would bring. There were definitely challenges but you have brought such incredible joy to us too. You have changed so much, as babies do, and we are getting to know you as the little person you are. You have turned into a man of a thousand faces: anger, outrage, frustration, mirth, glee, consternation, doubt, confusion, joy, and intrigue - they all cross your face at some point, sometimes one right after another. You are starting to experience emotions and will let them go in sudden bursts like machine gun fire; they have the ability to take our breath away and worry for your mental health. You’re also becoming an expert at the throw down tantrum. You collapse on the floor in a sitting position with your head over your feet. I have no idea how you do it with your rather large tummy but it is a feat of flexibility. A few seconds later can see another flash of your megawatt smile and we’re left wondering, again, at your sanity!

You have become such a little love bug and want cuddle time every day with your Mama or Dada. J You put your head on my shoulder as I rock you before bed and it’s really the only time you manage to stay still for any length of time now. It is my absolute favorite. I can’t tell you the happiness and peace you bring me in those moments. It’s totally gone when I put you in your crib and you scream for 10 straight minutes but nonetheless…you want me to know that you’re not done with cuddle time.  You tend to like sitting up on the couch with us, to drink your bottle or catch a bit of television but usually are too busy to stay in one place for long. And when you are let out of the baby cage – watch out! You have wheels, man, and will cruise around and around the house without stop. Your brother is determined to play with you and have you play his games. Most games turn into chasing you or being chased by you because that is what you like and understand. If I utter the words, “I’m gonna getchya” you take off as fast as your chubby legs can carry you, squealing and laughing all the way.

For the most part, you and your brother play very well. There are times that he won’t let you do anything you want, the bossy boy he is, and you stare at him with such fury I am surprised he doesn’t burst into flames. Those times notwithstanding, you adore him and like nothing better than playing with him, being in his room with his toys, or stealing his stuff. He is still the one person that can make you laugh uncontrollably with his antics; the rest of us have to tickle the laughter out of you.

Little but mighty – that is the phrase I keep coming back to in order to describe you. The weight and space you take in our home and hearts is a 100 times bigger than your body. You seem ready to tackle the world at some moments, yet still coyly, shyly smile at strangers the next. You can babble up a storm, yell loud enough to bring the walls down, and give the tightest hugs when you’re nervous. You’ll blatantly steal your brother’s prized possessions and stare at him, daring him to do something about it with a satisfied smile on your face; or beg me for my food with the same level of confidence.

Movement – the Pumpkin learned to walk at 11 months and has been a stellar performer. He really hasn’t had too many spills, bumps or bruises considering that he loves to run everywhere now. He’s a pretty agile mover. He’s also a strong baby, able to lift items twice his weight and size. Which is dangerous because he loves throwing these things once they are lifted. I think all of us have gotten beaned in the head by something courtesy of the Pumpkin. His dad is hopeful of a MLB contract one day. He’s a bit of a daredevil too – he loves being thrown up in the air, tossed on the bed or flipped upside down. He loves doing back flips. He is all boy and we should probably buy him a helmet and hair dye for mama. 

Food - Pumpkin got his second set of teeth for Christmas – his upper middle. It looks like the upper lateral incisors are getting ready to make an appearance too. Cutting teeth has been difficult for the little guy but once they’re out, he’s back to his chipper self. Meanwhile, he’s making pretty good use out of the four teeth he has and his gums. He loooooves him some Gerber Crunchies. They are basically like Cheetos for babies and apparently as addictive. Saying that, maybe I shouldn’t be giving him so many but they have to be one of his favorite foods. I’m not sure if it is because he can feed himself with them or what but he shove one, sometimes two, of them in his mouth at time. He is practicing at using a spoon too and enjoys the chance to feed himself some baby food. He does a pretty good job with not as much mess as you’d imagine.

Sleep – Putting him to sleep is still a bit rough. Sometimes he’ll go down without any urging. Most of the time, it requires a couple trips to his room to refresh his bottle and put back everything that he’s thrown out of his crib – blankets, pacies, bottles, everything. Once he’s asleep, he’s good though and only wakes up once for another bottle. His preferred sleeping position seems to be on his side curled up with at least one blanket. Occasionally, he’ll sleep through the night. In the morning, he’s usually pretty chipper and will lounge in his crib for a while before demanding to be let out.

Halloween brought Grandma and Baba out. We tried the chicken suit on the Pumpkin and he didn’t much appreciate it. Though, as I write this, we should have dressed him up as a pumpkin – that would have been much more appropriate though, probably, hated as much.

Pumpkin’s first birthday fell the day after Thanksgiving this year. We were in Spring, TX with Nana and Papa and the rest of the Emersons. His birthday was monster-themed because he is truly our little monster and we love every little monster bit of him. He didn’t quite know what to do with his cupcake but enjoyed the frosting immensely. Lots of Emerson relatives showed up to shower the Pumpkin with love and we’re so appreciative.

Pumpkin, we have been so blessed to have you in our family. It seems like you arrived the minute we starting dreaming of adding another child and we’ve been trying to catch our breaths ever since. You are the whirling dervish in my life and I can’t wait to see how you grow and take on the world! Love you my little monster.