Words

Each day that passes Jack is adding new words to his vocabulary. It is such a joy to watch, to see him process and make connections, to see him discover the names for  things that had no names before. He is so delighted to be able to communicate, to impart his wants to us. So far his vocabulary includes the following; hi, no, yeah, up, down, duck, all done, dip, Axy, Mama, Dada, Ike (his pal,) flower, shoe, sock, outside, water, pumpkin, go, hot, ball, cracker and  soup. He is also signing a little and making a whole host of animal noises. The sweetest words to my ears are Mama. Although I think his favorite words are Axy, hi and flower, these are said with the most gusto!  I love this phase.

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You Know You Have An Almost Toddler When…..

You know that you have an almost toddler when…. you dream of the day when you can go to the bathroom alone, without the persistent request of “up, up, up,” and the accompanying wails that follow when the request is denied because “Mama is going potty.” A day when small prying hands will not be digging through the bathroom trash while simultaneously trying to apply mascara, as you reach in vain across the bathroom with one arm trying to stop them, because your seated answering natures call.

You know that you have an almost toddler when….you dream of a day when your glass of water will not always be filled with undistinguishable, but surely disgusting floating things, left by a small constantly messy mouth that has not yet learned that it is not cool to backwash.

You know that you have an almost toddler when…. all of your clothing has tiny, muddy footprints around the thighs, left by a child that is eager to run and explore and has a talent for finding the dirtiest places. And after exploring said places is suddenly exhausted and demands to be carried, therefor muddying all of your clothing.

You know that you have an almost toddler when….they chat constantly to you in private, stunning you with their grasp of the english language and unparalleled linguistic genius, only to be struck dumb in front of all you friends doing nothing but smiling and drooling making you shake your head and remark ” I swear he said it earlier.” while your friends look away embarrassed and mentally call you a liar.

And you also know, that when you no longer have an almost toddler in the house that you will miss it! And think fondly about the good old days when you never had to go to the bathroom alone.

Pumpkin Patch

In the past two weeks have spent a few days at the most fantastic pumpkin patch. It is a 160 acre farm in Moorpark (about a 45 min drive from LA.) It is such a special place boosting, petting zoos, horses, wagon rides, corn mazes, live music, pig races and a myriad of pumpkins. I am already looking forward to going back in December to pick out our Christmas tree!

Nana

My husbands Nana passed away last week, so we all traveled to Iowa to hold a memorial service for the amazing women who meant so much to us. No one in my husband’s family still lives in Iowa, but Nana touched so many lives in the almost 30 years that she was a member of the community there, that we could not deprive anyone the chance to pay their respects to her. So we all travelled to Iowa, surrounded by friends and family in the flush of Autumn and we bid her farewell.

Nana had lived with my husband’s family since before he was born, she was a staple in the Lynch household, cooking dinner and snacks for three growing boys and their constant parade of friends, driving them to school, sewing costumes for school plays and supporting “her boys” in any way she could. She was the ideal Nana, but with her light accent and tales of growing up in the Cayman islands she radiated a touch of glamour and the exotic, that made her even more covetous. Growing up we all wanted a Nana Rita, luckily she seemed to have infinite attention and energy for everyone.

Her relationship with her daughter (my mother-in-law) was one of the most incredible relationships I have ever seen. Nana’s husband passed away when my mother-in-law was very young, so it was just the two of them for many years. Their bond was solid, immovable and beyond that of family, they were kindred spirits and amazing friends, so much love flowed between them. Nana took such excellent care of the family, and they in turn took care of her. In the last few years of her life, when her memory faded my mother-in-law cared for her with such love and devotion, it inspires me to be a better daughter and a better mother, which is exactly what Nana would have wanted her legacy to be. Family meant everything to her.

After losing someone so beloved and important, life feels tender and flinty as it moves forward. It draws a stark line between what is vital and important and what is not. I find myself pressing my face in to  Jacks fat little baby neck and breathing in his smell more often than normal. I like to think about the lineage of  family that brought Jack to us, the culmination of generations of genes all dancing and melting together to create our boy. I think of the stories I will tell him about Nana, who he will not remember but who has marked his life with as much certainly as ours, and who just the memory of, inspires us all to be a little better.

These Days

These days Jack seems to be going through a lot of changes. The most notable being that we have been making a lot of changes to our sleep routine ( a post on that is pending,) he has had an explosion of communication and a newfound attachment to Mama.

His vocabulary has tripled in the last week. Previously he was only saying hi and no, and making the animal sounds for dogs, monkeys and sheep. In the last few days he has added the words up, all done, down, shoe, dip and the animal sounds for ducks, roosters, and cows.

His favorite new word appears to be up, as Jack has been a little clingy lately. For those of you who know my little social butterfly this is very unlike him. He is normally a very independent child. I have been trying to honor his needs as much as I can, if he needs to nurse then we do, and if he needs to be held, then I try to hold him. I know this is Just a phase and am trying to honor his feelings, while continuing to keep him social and exploring.

We are all eagerly awaiting cooler weather. I think everyones moods will improve with its arrival, especially mine, and the dogs;)