You Don’t Know Jack #3

Ten things about Jack you probably don’t know.

1. His new favorite foods are as follows; lentil soup, blueberries, turkey burger and sweet potato.

2. He seems to have some ambition in the circus arts. He has taken to standing atop the dog, like a circus girl atop a pony. The dog has no desire to partake in the foolery, and usually walks away in a huff, leaving the budding circus performer on his bottom.

3. He has four birthday party invites for the next month, which officially makes his social life more happening than mine. Luckily I get to tag along.

4. He has perfected the following animal noises and performs them with serious gusto; sheep, bear, dog and monkey.

5. He kisses like a little sweetie. Also like a little Frenchman, lots of tongue.

6. He now really understands the nursing sign. It was amazing to watch it click in his brain. He made the sign and smiled, and when I said “nursing” his face lit like a christmas tree. He was so excited to be able to communicate with me. It was reminiscent of the scene in ” The Miracle Worker” when Helen Keller as played by Patty Duke,  learns to communicate water (I refer to her excitement, not her level of achievement.) Unfortunately the power has gone to his head. He now wants to nurse ALL day long. He comes at me, both hands blazing with the nursing sign and nurses with new-found relish.   I have been trying to honor his requests, as we are doing some night weaning, and I want him to feel really secure in our day nursing. This has evolved into something of a hostage situation. I am the hostage. Yesterday I got stuck in a dressing room for half an hour, as he enjoyed his new communication.

7. He can smell things now. I think that developmental discovery is owed to the book “Pat The Bunny.” He leans in and sniffs the flowers.

8. His hair is a precious and rare commodity. Although it is growing, it is still sparse. He has a few curls growing in the back. They are the most beautiful and tender curls you will ever see. They bruise my heart with their red perfection. I have been referring to them as his mullet ( I always knew he was an Iowa boy at heart.) A friend suggested they are more of a skullet, which is brilliant and accurate.

9. He is the love of my life.

10. He is a Flirty McFlirterson. He loves the ladies. He has game, he does not however have subtlty. If the lady he intends to woo, has her attention somewhere else, he will hoot rather loudly to get it. He will continue to hoot, with escalating volume until he gains her attention. Once caught, he smiles his sweetest and coos like a little dove.

Check out “You Don’t Know Jack” numbers 1 and 2

Splash Park

Yesterday we had a fun afternoon with our neighborhood pals at the little splash park up the street. While we were there, I realized how proficient Jack has become at walking over the last month. He was tooling all over, too many steps to count, weaving among the older kids and looking like a toddler himself.

Here are a few pics I snapped, while dodging streams of water, and crazed children, I anticipate my award for photojournalism in treacherous regions any day now.

11 Months

July 2012

July 2013

Dear Jack,

This is the last month that I will be able to say, “this time last year you were in my belly.” This sentence already seems fantastical, I wonder at how you ever existed inside me. You are such a radiant, energetic and dynamic little man.

I recently looked back to an old journal entry that I wrote two weeks before your due date, almost a year ago (you were due on the 17th of Aug, although you were not keen to be born until the 23rd.) It is amazing now to realize, that I had a feel for you even before we met.

August 9, 2012

I have discovered the end of my patients. It’s here, two weeks before my due date, so ready to meet my son, so ready to burst. My stomach feels like it is about to implode, from the pressure of containing him. If feels like his vitality has grown too much for my skin to hold. Now that he is in his formed and thriving state, my own body cannot bear the radiance. Maybe my skin will split and traces of light will spill out the seams. To be whimsical for a moment, it feels as if I have a hot little sun inside of me, rather than a son. The heat and pressure of him begin to eclipse my own tolerance for eternal grace. 

I love you so my little Home Slice.

xoxoxo, Mama

“The Graduate”

Back in April, our friend Brian was visiting from Seattle and accompanied us to one of Jacks swim classes. Brian is the other half of  Shark Pig, and has been one of our dear friends since college. Usually when Lynch and Brian are together the cameras roll out. It has been this way forever, resulting in short films, features, music videos, commercials, and all of our college years meticulously documented (yeah, that footage is pretty embarrassing.) These days, even though they are all grown up and professional about it, they still geek out over fun equipment and love to film. Lucky me! So when Brian decided to join us for swim class, it was immediately decided they would bring the under water casing for the camera. They filmed all the babies going under, resulting in some adorable footage ( and some major brownie points for me with the other Moms. )

Here is Jack taking the plunge, or reenacting the pivotal scene from the graduate.

P.S. Check out his speedo!

A Promise

Last night I was driving to yoga booty ballet (please feel free to judge and giggle) and the sky was lit with one of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen. I snapped these pics with my phone through the car window. They don’t do it justice. It was breath-taking, literally. It literally stole my breath, from my lungs. It was one of those times when something is so beautiful that it means more than just the physical beauty that you see. It pulls you out of the moment and seems to promise something more. I am never sure what the promise is, but it seems like if there is such an abundance of beauty in the world, some small part of it can trickle in to my life. Some small part of that great beauty and wonder is meant for me.

Birthday Looming

My little Home Slice is 6 weeks away from turning 1!  I am ripe with emotion over the passing of such a milestone in his life, but this post is not about that (that would be about 7 posts.) This post is about the fact that I have to get my ass in gear and plan his birthday party! The only problem is that I am still not really sure where we will find our little family in the middle of August. It is looking more likely that we will be in LA, but there is still a chance that we will be on location in Illinois with Lynch. Hopefully we will have some clarity on that this week. But I am feeling woefully behind, as some of Jacks little pals have started sending out invites already, for end of August birthdays. I do have some ideas forming, but need to amp up the party planning.

I would like the party to be at our home (if were in LA.) I would like it to be adult friendly (cocktails provided.) I want it to look awesome since this is probably the only birthday where Jack will not have input on the theme or decor. Although I have absolutely no ideas on what the theme or decor might be. Time to start flipping through magazines and browsing pinterest.

I want to make a really stunning cake, like the one pictured above, and I probably won’t let him eat any (mean mommy.) I will make a sugar-free baby friendly desert that he can rip in to. That is another element that I can probably only get away with this year. I know my ability to keep him off sugar won’t last forever, but I am going to as long as I can. If anyone has any awesome sugar-free recipes, please send them my way.

I think part of my procrastination is cloaked denial that my baby is almost a whole year old. Maybe the theme of his party should be tissues and runny mascara, since I am pretty sure I’ll be weeping the whole day.

 

Dirty Hippy

Nursing my Home Slice on the Cape Cod harbor tour

Warning: This post contains some stereotypes, generalizations, over simplifications and unkind attitudes towards bongo players. If you find these offense, kindly skip to the next post.

” I think that baby Jack is going to be a bongo player when he grows up.”

“Really, why do you think that?”

“Cause he is wearing a necklace.”

This chilling prediction was made by my 6 year-old second cousin, on our family vacation to Massachusetts and Maine last week. I then explained to her that the necklace is for soothing teething pain. While I frantically wiped images of Jack (as Jeff Spicoli,) playing the bongos in one of Venice beaches weekly drum circles (which I, by the way, strategically avoided when I lived in Venice beach.) Everyone within ear shot was nodding politely, but I had a funny feeling that they were all thinking ” well, she is from California.” I explained the necklace numerous times over the next week, and raised a few eyebrows over my baby-wearing (remember that Jack is huge, and is does look as if perhaps he should be carrying me), and nursing him in public.

I was born and lived in Massachusetts until the age of 7 when I moved to Iowa.  I lived there until at 21, then I continued my sojourn west and moved to L.A.  There is a lot of crunchy granola parenting in LA, and by crunchy parenting I mean advocates of; natural birth, baby wearing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, organic baby food, teething necklace and attachment parenting/continuum theory ect. But I think my crunchy parenting tendencies came from Fairfield Iowa, the town I primarily grew up in.

Fairfield is home to the Transcendental Meditation Movement, and crunchier parents have never been found! Crunchy mixed with traditional Eastern philosophy, is a whole new level of crunchy. And by that, I site all of the examples of crunchy I had previously listed and raise you; Ayurvedic baby massage, Ayurvedic-organic home-made baby food, Jyotish for new-born babies, yagyas, avoidance of western medicine and doctors,  Sanskrit baby names, home birth, a reverence for stay at home mothers and an overall belief that our children are very highly evolved to have chosen to be reincarnated in to a family that practices meditation.

In Fairfield I am considered main stream in my parenting choices, for example (and there are many) I chose to have Jack receive some vaccines (you can read about that here), whereas most people in Fairfield do not vaccinate their children. My kids name is Jack, decidedly not Sanskrit. In LA by comparison, I am much more crunchy than many of my peers, for example I choose to have Jack receive only some of the vaccines. And apparently on the East Coast I am such a new-age hippy that my son is destined for life as a bongo player.

The point of this rant, is not to judge any child raising practice or culture. It is just to point out how relative it is. How what we think is best for our babies, varies by culture, age, region and time (in history not of day.) In one community a Mother may be considered mainstream and conventional, conservative even, and the very same Mother may be considered a dirty hippy in another community.  It helps remind me to be easier and less strident with myself regarding my own parenting choices. Hey, if I keep traveling I am likely to find a place where all my opinions and decisions are perfectly in vogue.

Vacation Renaissance

Home again, after our trip to the East coast. It was so wonderful to introduce Jack to my side of the family. They were all mutually smitten. We bounced around a lot, staying in a new place every few days. Jack did really well with that and with the time change. He is officially a little water baby now. Playing in the frigid Maine water with as equal a fervor as he played in my Dads pool.

Jack has been changing so rapidly in the last few weeks, that it feels like we left for our trip with a baby and came home with a little boy. So much growth and development has occurred. It was a renaissance of exploration and new skills. He is walking more everyday. He spends as much time tooling around vertically as he does crawling. He holds on to the edges of furniture and cruises, and takes 4 or 5 steps on his own.

He is becoming increasingly verbal as well. The big new is that he said his first word! He was being introduced to a family friend, the friend said “hi” and Jack responded with “hi.” I was in total shock. He has said it a few times since. I am not entirely sure that he knows what it means but he delights in saying it. He also knows what the sheep says, “baa” and what the bear says, “rawrr.” We are constantly prompting him, and working on new noises. My monkey noises have garnished major compliments (clearly my minor in acting was not in vain.)

He has also started signing. I have been doing a few signs with him almost since birth and today he made the sign for nursing (a boob has never been shoved in a kids mouth faster!) It is so exciting that he is starting to communicate more. Each day he grows more fun, and in to more of his own person. An ocean-going, talking, walking, signing, animal noise making cutie of a person. I am one lucky Mama.