I've been in denial about it for some time now, but Tater Tot is officially mobile. First it was an easy-to-ignore slow roll and pivot, then a creeping army crawl, then on hands and tip-toes. Now she is agile on all fours and eager to try this pulling-up business. She teeters precariously with her determined dimpled arms straining and her legs just not quite strong enough to lift her tiny body upwards. She crashes, cries for a moment, then tries again. While it's human nature to wish your youngest child to please slow down, I am also so proud of her and glad to see her progress. She was so tiny at birth, that the doctors didn't know if she'd have major developmental delays. While of course we'd love her and support her no matter her challenges, every milestone is a triumph for her. I told Hubby when we brought her home that this tiny little peaceful bird looked frail but was really mighty.
Tater is plucky, more independent than the boys, ever cheerful, and a little bit sneaky. She'll fool you into thinking she's this placid Buddha, then quick as a flash, she is knocking over your drink and grabbing a fistful of your food with an impish twinkle in her eye. If Spork is a reincarnated beaver and the Nugget is the spirit of Will Ferrell, then Tater is the reincarnation of a tiny monk, the kind who is always smiling, as if wisdom and humor were intertwined. She adores her big brothers...she wants to follow Spork wherever he leads, and she and the Nugget could easily put together a comedy act. I've already (only half-jokingly) said multiple times, "Nugget and Tater, do I need to separate you two?!" Two kiddos will have to share bedrooms eventually - the Nugget is lobbying for Tater Tot as his roomie...there would be peace, but I'm not sure how much sleeping. At almost 9 months old, she's finally going into the 6-9 month sizes, and her toes come to the very end of her 0-6 month shoes. She has grown sweet dimples on her elbows and knees, round kissable cheeks, and you can see tight beautiful corkscrew curls developing in her hair. When wet, it falls past her shoulders.
As the Nugget adjusts to his new school year, the babies are adjusting too. Nugget-less mornings mean that they are starting to notice each other more, and their own relationship is growing. When they play on the floor, they gravitate towards each other immediately. It's very fun to watch them in parallel play, but they also initiate contact with each other, and not always to just grab the toy the other baby has (although that's a big part of their day). Spork pats her gently on the head, Tater attempts to tackle him from behind. They exchange smiles, giggles, and drooly toys. I say this so much, but it's a wonder, it's magical, there are 3 little souls entrusted to us, and I am in total awe of them.
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Nugget had a pair of adorable frog boots from Grammy that he never got to wear outside. He simply outgrew them before he could walk. He wore them once for posterity, then they were put away in pristine condition for Lil' Sib.
The Nugget at 12 months
I'm happy to say that Spork is taking full advantage of these boots. I can almost imagine the little frogs are smiling for the joy of introducing a young toddler to the puddle of his dreams.
Spork at 13 months
The cheeks! Look at the cheeks!
Discovering his shadow.
Ma! I need a towel!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Because of the Nugget's July birthday, we are able to give him one more year of preschool. It was a tough decision, but we are very sure it was the right move for him. Yesterday didn't feel like such a big deal, but today as I uploaded these three pictures, I realized this completes his preschool first day of school trifecta, and the tears started welling up.
2010: To the 3's room!
2011: To the 4's room!
2012: To the 4/5's room!
And my OCD side hates that I couldn't close the front door for this shot, but an anxious and tearful Spork was on the inside, so I couldn't do it for the sake of the photo consistency....but still...ok, letting it go now. OMG, his little skinny legs and giant feet are killing me!
This year, the Nugget takes both breakfast and lunch at school. He is a pretty good eater, I would dare to say he is less fussy about his food than the average 5yo, but there are still things and combinations that he won't touch at home. I am hoping that eating with his peers will encourage him to try new foods, and yesterday he reported that he ate his "peas and soft carrots all up"!
Although the majority of his classmates from last year moved to K, he has a handful of summer/fall birthday classmates - at least 6 - who also took that extra preschool year with him. The Nugget is great at making new friends, and I can't wait to see his friendships grow and change throughout the year.
Again, he declined gymnastics and opted for dance as his extracurricular. He says he doesn't need his headphones for the toilets at school anymore - hooray!
We are so proud of you and love you so much, our dear Nugget. It's tough being the oldest, but you are blazing an awesome trail. Wishing you a wonderful, fun, exciting school year of learning and friendship!
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Last weekend, we loaded up the car to head to our favorite local farm for their Sweet Corn Festival. It was an overcast and cool day, a rarity for August in these parts. We've had one hot and early summer, and autumn is my favorite season, so no complaints here!
Spork loved the freedom of being able to wander about the farm on his own two feet. His little sneakers and bum quickly became damp with dew, but it did not phase our intrepid explorer.
Assessing the grounds.
Meeting the natives.
Contemplating the architecture.
Taking the farm trike out for a spin.
The Nugget, a practiced professional at these sort of events, kindly introduced the babies to the farm, pointed out the assorted attractions, then made a beeline for the pedal cars. He ran from the child-sized cars to the adult cars and back again at least a dozen times in the hour and a half we were there.
Adult-sized. Should I be alarmed that the 5yo Nugget can ride an adult-sized pedal car?
I forgot to take a Tater toes picture, but she was there and content to view the action from the comfort of her spot in the Ergo.
The Nugget always wants to move into the farm house in lieu of leaving. Spork seemed to agree with his sentiments as he threw a mighty fit when we loaded the kidlets back up and headed for home. We're looking forward to another trip here for the pumpkin patch.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Me: .... (notices he is holding play money) Do you mean cashiers?
Grammy and Grandpa's big birthday gift to the boys was a swingset. As you can see, all 3 love it, and our backyard time has doubled. To prep for it, we had to hire a landscaper to level the area with sand. Despite that, we kept it a secret from the Nugget, explaining only that he was going to have a special birthday surprise planted there, and that he needed to keep the ground safe for the planting. He has lovingly watered the sand patch and vigilantly shooed babies and animals away from it. The installers finally arrived, and the Nugget watched them out the window. We recorded him making a series of guesses.
1. They are making me a corn field! And I can pick my own corn when it is ready! (The best part was that he was so excited about a birthday corn field. FFA, here he comes.)
2. It's not a corn field, it's a giant box!
3. Wow! I don't know what that is.
4. I think it's balloons.
5. A treehouse! (Close enough, Nugget.)
In other news, I cleaned the Nugget's ears, and Spork threw a 40 minute tantrum about not being given the cleaned-out earwax. I kid you not, no amount of toys, music, or raspberries on his tum could distract him from the object of his desire, which I snuck to the trash can while he lay screaming red-faced on the floor. I know, Spork, I am the meanest mama ever. Sorry. Luckily, he also gives awesome grins like the one pictured above, such is the balance of life. Or as Hubby says, "They are cute for a reason."
Tater is sitting on her own now and creeping on her belly. She wants to crawl but up on her tiptoes like my little sister did. This method makes for some really terrific face plants.