Our Babies

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My two cents on your senses, and your cent

Aidan,

Lately, your empathy has bubbled up to the surface in incredible strides.

For instance, after accidentally swallowing a penny, which rightly freaked me out, you came up to me unprovoked and said "Daddy, I'm sorry I swallowed the penny."

Whenever we go eat at "Red Baby Tacos" and you see the Drama Masks in the Casa Linda shopping center, you ask, "Why are you sad, Marshmallow?"


You sat quietly in the shower, and your mother asked you "What are you thinking about, Aidan?" You're response? "Closure."

The other day you brought out your doctor's bag and said "Daddy, you are sick." (I wasn't, but I'm always ready to pretend).

"I am. Please help me doctor."

Your response? "I'm a boy, not a doctor!"

When your mother has a headache, you play with her hair and say "It's alright. I got you."

 When Julia's crying, you start crying, saying that her crying is making you sad. One day, Julia stabbed me in the head with her toothbrush. I sternly rebuked this action: "NO HITTING!" Julia's smile crumbled into tears. Soon enough though, she got over it. But you were more upset than her: "Why is she crying? Don't make her cry!"

Even once, Julia bit you...hard...hard enough to leave a mark and make you cry. Your Mom said "NO BITING!" Making Julia cry. You, through your tears, sobbed "Don't...yell...at...Julia!"

Now don't fret, you're not all philosophy and empathy. You're goofy, silly, rambunctious, a bit defiant, proud, clever, creative, and fun too! But this empathy...it's incredible, insightful, -sometimes funny- and beautiful.

That's just my two cents on your sensibility...and your cent...which has now hopefully passed. But your senses won't. They're part of you, and a growing part at that.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Understanding

Aidan,

The other morning you awoke a bit before my alarm. Since we were up a little early, we decided to hang out. You asked for us to read a book together. So we sat in your bed and just read. I think the book was "How do Dinosaurs Eat their Food."

The extra time from our early awakening evaporated oh-too-soon.

I had to go take a shower to get all clean and business-presentable for work.

You popped in the bathroom to talk to me for a bit at the end of the shower, asking me questions about lotion, and shaving, and flossing.

You followed me into the closet as I headed off to get dressed.

You quickly figured out what I was up to.

"Where you going?" you asked.

"I have to go to work, buddy."

"No. You don't go."

I got on one knee. You put your arms around my neck.

"I want you to know that when I'm at work every day, I think of you and Mommy and Julia all the time. And I can't wait to come home and be with you."

"Don't go."

"I'm sorry, Aidan. But I have to go to work."

"Why?"

I tried to explain how the house and the electricity and the water and even the food all cost money, and Daddy goes to work to earn the money. I told you that I have to bring home the bacon.

"Do you understand?" I asked.

You turned away from me, folded your arms on your chest and said "I don't. I don't understand."

To be honest, at that moment I didn't understand either. It sucked. I was tempted to just stay home all day, every day with you. But...we kind of need a home to stay home at.

I'm so sorry Aidan- and you too Julia- that this is the way the world works. I wish I could take like 5 paid years off to be home with you guys while you're little and then just work until I'm 72. But I don't think companies like that kind of deferment plan.

So, I'm on lunch break right now- the first one I've truly taken away from work in a long while- and since I can't be with you, I'm writing to you, and -as always- thinking about you.

One day, when you're both older and have little ones of your own, I'll hopefully be nearing 72 and I can use those 5 years to spend days on end with your little ones, so that they'll miss their Daddies and Mommies just a little less, like how Pops and Mimi and Yaya and Baba do for you.

That's the trade off, I guess. And that's the understanding.

But please know, while you don't understand now why I have to be here and you have to be there, I'm not distraught and not sad. I'm thankful that we have such a good set up that your Mommy gets to be with you every day, and I'm excited for every moment I get to spend with you both, after work, on weekends, and days off, when I get to enjoy the company of those for whom I working so hard.

All my love,

Daddy


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When You Grow Up

Aidan,

You are almost 4 years old. I am in disbelief.



Some days it seems like you're already all grown up. Other moments feel like we have a long way to go.



I'm in no rush. As I sang to you last night (on repeat, three times, at your request), "I can hardly wait to see you come of age, but I guess we'll both just have to be patient."

We're definitely enjoying the ride and as we wrap up "being 3" it's amazing to see how far you've come.

You now dress yourself (sometimes commando, and sometimes with backwards underwear) and put on your own shoes.



You brush your own teeth (sometimes). You sing to your sister and kiss her goodnight. You know your letters and your planets. We're working on numbers.



You know who you are, and sometimes you know where you're going.



I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up.

You might think Marine Biologist?



Or maybe Radio/Music Personality:

 
 
Perhaps an explorer:

 
 
 
 

 
A bouncer?
 

 
 
Three days ago the answer was definitively, "Monster!"

Two days ago, the answer was "I get bigger and bigger. I be a GIANT!"

And yesterday, the answer was "Spiderman!"
 

I was sure "Batman" would be another career choice, but we'll have to see if that makes the short list:




No matter what you are when you grow up, though, I will never forget what you are now and when you were younger: you're head-strong, creative, loving, sensitive, funny, smart, protective (even over strangers! "You can't yell at him!" to the mother disciplining her son at the park).
 
 
You're a leader (who maybe just doesn't have any followers yet, besides Julia, who'd follow you anywhere). You've got a great mind for details, especially when it comes to stories. You're a great story teller (they all start our "Once upon ago, far far away.") You love costumes and role playing and using your imagination.
 
This is a great adventure we're on together- the adventure toward being a Grown up Giant!- and, I know it's cheesy, but since you told me that I was your one true love (you also told mommy this too), I feel like I can tell you: I'm so excited to be on this adventure with you, for as long as you'll have me.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Amazing Julia- 15 1/2 months old

Julia,

It's very hard to keep up with you these days! It doesn't seem that long ago that we were celebrating your first steps...but granted that was in August, and you've now been walking for over 6 months! Every time you leap forward- sometimes literally- it seems like you master your new steps immediately and they seem just like another tool in your belt. You're a natural. And, naturally, you've been growing by leaps and bounds since your first birthday.

I can't even begin to enumerate all the amazing things you do, because you do so many amazing things that it's hard to keep count! It's hard to not take some of these steps for granted because you just keep piling them on.

You climb. Whenever and wherever you can.


It started innocently enough with the slide.

And then assisted with some stairs.

 
But before Thanksgiving, and before we knew it, you were climbing up to the kitchen table.


 And then the bathroom sink. 

And the couch, and stairs unassisted, and whatever else you could find:
You have a sense of humor!

 

 
 You talk: it started out with just Mama. But soon after you started saying "bubba" for Aidan and "gaga" for Dada. You love saying "Mimi" and "Yaya" and "Baba" and "Ba" ("pops" is a bit hard to say).

You started saying "ay-oooo" - which is hard to write, but it's very clearly- intonation wise and in usage- "thank you."

You say "Yo yo" for Joseph...and yogurt.

You say "bow wow" for dogs. But lately, you've gotten even better at saying "Do-jeee" (which is either "Toby" or "doggy." But, you also just call them "boys."

You LOVE "wah wah" (water)...love drinking it...love playing in it. Love everything about it.


You have your own distinct word for "Banana" and "watermelon." Though, I can't even begin to try type up how you say them.



You LOVE babies too. You hold dolls of all kind- some baby dolls, some spider-men, some shreks- and rock them and sing "baybee....baybee...baybee."



You also love living babies too. Every other child who's not Aidan is pretty much "baybee" to you. Asher is "baby." Brady...maybe you're saying "baydee"...but it's a close race.




And, recently, you started saying "Cheese!"

(you've been saying it for the food, but recently extrapolated it to other meanings)


 And recently, you masted "Aidan"...and are putting it to good use. You wake up from naps calling his name, wanting to play. And you can also tell him what to do by name as well!


You also recently mastered my name: "Dah dee." You say it so properly that it just sometimes breaks my heart. One morning I was getting ready to go to work and I heard you asking her where I was: "mama.... daddy?"

I came out of the bathroom and you saw me: "DADDY!!!!" You wanted me to hold you, so I did and we cuddled for a few minutes. When it was time for me to go, I gave you back to Mommy, which is normally 100% a-okay. But this time, you cried: "Daddy...Daddy!"



I did go to work, and missed you so much, as I always do. But, as I always do as well, I came home to hear you talk to your "daddy" even more!

You're so so active!

You run!





You wrestle!


You joke!


You reach, and bounce, and stack, and eat as good as any of the big kids!


 

You sing!



You are smart:



 You love animals (stuffed and real):





 And...you love, love, love.


 


And we all love you. You are growing so much, dear Julia, and we couldn't be more proud to be part of your life every day.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy Hannukannivesarygivingsmasnewyears!


Okay, okay, so a LOT has been going on. And it's already February. Which means some of these pictures were taken 3 months ago. But, nevertheless, the memories feel just like yesterday. We had a wonderful Pre-thanksgiving in Houston with all the cousins, then a great week-long Thanksgivvukah/Anniversary celebration with Mimi, Pops, Rebekka, and Ross. Then even more Thanksgiving fun with Gigi and Pa and family. And don't forget about a fabulous Christmas with Yaya and Baba, Sham and Sock and Jojo/Yoyo. And New Years too. 

So much has happened, and the two of you have grown so much.

We have a lot to be happy and thankful and merry for every day because of the two of you. 

But sometimes it's nice to have a holiday or two to really drive the point home.