Sad Sheep

Jack was a sheep for Halloween.

I had originally wanted him to be a satyr, but I failed in the crafty mom department and did not have enough time to make him a costume, which introduced a whole new category of guilt in to my life; mom who does not make Halloween costumes, but buys them from Amazon at the last-minute! This is a close guilt cousin to; Mom who did not get it together in time to send out written birthday invites and had to send an invitation via E-mail instead.

Jack was not pleased with the sheep costume, and began to cry as soon as I put it on him. Actually, first he fell over trying to run away from me so I could not put the hood up, then he started crying.

I took him to a Halloween fair on the 29th, but knew that the chances of wrangling him in to the sheep suit were not good. Also it was 95 degrees out, which added to his  dislike of the costume. I decided to strip him down and put some wings on him instead, so he spent the night as a little cupid.

People went  a little crazy over him. I kept hearing coos of “what an adorable little angel” and “what an adorable little girl.” That one made me a little confused. He was wearing his red sandals and his teething necklace, but I don’t think that he looks like a girl at all!  My favorite comment was “did you dye his hair that color to be an angel?” I would need to be much more dedicated to Halloween to be willing to dye my babys hair for one night.

Next year I am going to have to start working on his costume earlier, maybe if I start in August I will actually be able to get it together!

Sad Sheep

Cupid

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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.

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;)

Vampire

This is the result of some serious blackberry eating that occurred last week. Lynch mentioned that he looked like a True Blood vampire post meal. While true (and really gross) I did not find it particularly funny as Jack had bitten a little girl in Yoga class really hard that morning.

Jack has figured out that if someone takes a toy from him, and if he bites the arm that is stealing the toy, the thief will drop the toy and he can take it back. This is actually a very effective tactic. I think he may be an evil genius.

 

10 Things I Learned While Traveling

1. 10 days without Lynch is a long time.

2. 10 days without Lynch is a lot of diapers to change for Mama. I began to develop a theory that Jack had been storing up his waste, like a camel, waiting until I was on my own to release it. I swear I have never had to change him so much.

3. I used to deeply dislike speaking to strangers, and preferred my conversations with acquaintances kept short, but I will talk to anyone for any amount of time if we are talking about how rad my baby is.

4. Even at a casual wedding, being a bridesmaid and caring for a 1-year-old can be slightly disruptive and daunting. I had to duck out of the barn for a moment during the ceremony because Jack started to cry. However if you dress your baby in a suit and bow tie that matches the bridal party people don’t seem to mind.

5. If your child likes to crawl under stall doors you have to hold them while you squat and pee in the airport bathroom, this is very acrobatic and a really good thigh workout.

6. People freak over babies with red hair.

7. In other parts of the country you get a lot of credit for being back in shape after you have a baby. I have worked out for most of my life, to hardly any fanfare ( the injustice ) but since having Jack I seem to get major points for this outside of LA. I should clearly move, and continue to enjoy this ego boost.

8.  I need to live in a place with seasons and weather again.

9. Spending all day, and all night with Jack is exhausting and awesome.  I am with him 90% of the time, but that extra little bit of time together was really sweet, I feel like it made us even closer.

10. Jack is not really a baby anymore. I noticed this most keenly when we came home. Seeing him in his familiar environment hi-lighted how much he has changed in the past few weeks. He is so much more verbal, he says hello to everyone and barks at every dog we pass. He can run and climb more steadily, and his ability to sit and play with toys has expanded. His temper and his independence show themselves more readily, but he is also becoming far more affectionate. He is starting to look a lot like a toddler.

The Burn

We are happy to be home from our travels and getting back in to the flow of life again. It’s hard to believe that Jacks birthday was 3 weeks ag0!

Baby burning man was a success! The little ones were dressed very burning man hip, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We had about 14 kiddos and their respective parents along with a few of Jacks “grown up” friends join us.

I was so filled with happiness looking around the party at all the people who had come to celebrate my boy. So many of them were not even in our lives a year ago, and now they are so vital to our little world. Having a baby connects you to so many wonderful people and nothing is more gratifying than watching your child connect and build their own relationships.

The pictures of Jack and I were taken by Max Wanger and the picture of the 3 or us was taken by Brian Morrow. So nice to have such talented party guests!

Off We Go!

Jack and I are heading to a wedding in Fairfield tomorrow. About a month ago I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my dear friends wedding. She is an amazing impetuous, creative person who has managed to throw a wedding for 260 in a month! She is getting married on our farm and I am beyond excited to celebrate with her.

I am a little concerned about traveling with Jack on my own. He is a great traveler but he needs a lot of entertainment to stay settled, so I am ready to sing, read books, offer snacks, nurse and play, in short, I am ready to be a one woman vaudeville act.

I am also a little concerned about the logistics of being in the wedding and caring for Jack (really wish Lynch could come.) The wedding is fairly casual, and Jacks Godfather will be wrangling him as well as his own toddler,  since his wife is also a bridesmaid. I got Jack a little blue suit, that matches my dress just in case I need to hold him at any point during the ceremony  (as if I really need an excuse to buy my boy a dapper little suit!)

There is so much that I want to say about Jack turning one, and I have some adorable pictures from baby burning man, but it will all have to wait until we return. Wish us luck with traveling and being bridal party appropriate on our own!