I love Pinterest. As of this writing, I have 64 boards, 3,905 pins and 923 followers and have averaged 5 pins a day since I joined in 2010. Clearly I spend a significant portion of my very limited free time trolling the internet for inspiration that I can save for later. As much as I love Pinterest, it constantly makes me feel like a giant failure as a parent. It seems like all of these other people keep baby diaries, take monthly or weekly photos and create keepsake ornaments of their baby's hand/foot prints or their artwork. I make sure my kids are fed, clothed and hugged regularly, but handmade keepsakes are few and far between.
For the most part, I am okay with this. Numa and HH* know they are crazy loved and cherished and we have a great time together when everyone is rested and not throwing tantrums (because, say, their banana cannot be reassembled after breaking in half - true story). I do wish that I had a better record of what they were doing at various ages though. Not just pictures - pictures are great but they don't tell the whole story. I need a way to take a 5 senses snapshot of our life. What HH's first teeth look like and the smell of her head. The sound of the Numa using his silly voice and the feel of him giving me giant kisses (which are just regular kisses, but lots and lots of them) and the taste of the biscuits we make every weekend for breakfast. How my heart swells when they smile and breaks a little when they are sad. When I am very old (fingers crossed) I want to be able to be transported back to this time when they were little and carefree and oh so happy just to be with one another.
The Numa has just turned 3 and continues to be a joy and a challenge. He is super strong willed, which means that his listening skills are directly proportionate to his desire to listen. He is easily frustrated and forgets to ask for help nicely, instead choosing to scream or stamp his feet. He has a crazy amount of energy on good days and a crazy amount of unfocused energy on bad days. Missing his nap = disaster. He is also getting a little bossy and constantly reminds M and me of our house rules while shaking his finger at us. But despite all that he is a good little chap. He LOVES his sister. When he comes down from his nap or she wakes from hers he gets right in her face and asks: Did you take a gooood naaaaaap? She loves it and she worships him. He kisses her all the time and drives us crazy by climbing out of his chair 14 million times during dinner to get the toys she has gleefully discarded. He is a great helper, setting the table, feeding the cats and fetching things for us or for HH.
His current favorite songs are Silence by Depeche Mode and Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, the latter of which he dances to enthusiastically. His favorite thing to watch on "da TB" is Wild Kratts. (It is too adorable when he asks "Mom, want to watch something on da TB with me?") He runs around the house imitating their intro jump and yelling "what if" and encourages us to do the same. He just started preschool and so far is doing pretty well. We have to pack his lunches now and I spend most days worried that I haven't sent enough food cause the little man can really put it away when he is in the mood. He likes hot dogs, cantaloupe, waffles, BANANAS (we tell him he is going to turn into a banana and he giggles), strawberries, eggs, rice, ham and cheese. Also Veggie Booties (the plural form is his, not mine). And dried fruit and gummy bunnies and pistachios and bacon. He eats an awesome variety of food (but still manages to be pretty picky) but doesn't like anything on his plate to touch anything else or be combined, like in a sandwich.
His silly voice never fails to make me smile. Tonight, he spent 15 minutes singing 10 Little Monkeys but would leave out the part about the doctor. Yesterday he missed his nap at school and fell asleep in the car on the way home which was actually better than today, when he didn't fall asleep and was a total loon by bedtime. He can put on all of his clothes by himself, including his socks and shoes. He is getting really good with the games on his LeapPad and will sit still long enough to put together one of his floor puzzles most of the time. His favorite place to go is the Boston Museum of Science but he also likes the Children's Museum, Uncommon Grounds and Trader Joe's, where he pushes his own little cart and fills it with things that look good. He likes talking to Gma B, Gma P and Aunt E on Skype and loves having breakfast every weekend with our closest friends. He is funny and caring and determined and he makes every day better.
HH is almost 7 months and is determined to be nothing like her brother (except in looks; they look just alike). The Numa was crawling by now but HH would rather have the mountain brought to her. The Nums had no teeth until he was almost a year old but HH just finished cutting her second. Both of her bottom front teeth are finally through and it looks like her top front teeth may not be far behind. Numa has never had a fat roll in his life but HH has the most delicious chunky baby thighs - not too fat but definitely chubby. Like her squirrel cheeks. I just want to kiss them all the time. She constantly has lint between her fingers (we call it troll fingers) because her hands are always in her mouth. She likes to be warm and right now she sleeps in two onesies, socks, tights and a footed fleece sleeper, with a blanket over her. She hardly ever fusses unless she is really tired, really hungry or doesn't feel well. She babbles all the time.
HH is obsessed with the Numa and her mommy but I am fairly certain that if the Numa could carry her she wouldn't bother with me at all. She finds him hilarious and her whole face lights up when he is near. She is sitting on her own and loves to throw things over the edge of her high chair and then look interestedly at them until someone gives them back. She immediately throws them again but we never learn. She has started eating baby food, something the Numa was never into, and it is astonishing how much cereal she can eat. She currently likes apples, pears, bananas and spinach with potatoes but we are cutting back on fruit due to some output issues. She is really warming up to her daycare teachers and loves being with the other babies. I usually call her by her first name but if I need another moniker, my current favorite is Monkey Shine.
She is not a great sleeper, during the day or at night. When she is at home, she naps really well but at daycare is only doing two or three half hour naps which isn't enough. Last night, she only woke once which was an amazing treat for me. (I haven't had a full night of sleep in over 7 months so I almost cried with joy when she only got up one time.) She drools constantly but fortunately Gma B has provided her with enough clothing to sustain the 2-4 costume changes she requires each day. Her cloth diapers make her butt huge. I am pretty sure that she is starting to understand some of our words as I can ask her "where's Daddy" or "where's the Numa" and she will look around for M or the Nums. She loves to pull hair and sometimes, when she is tired, she lays her little head on my shoulder and sighs and I wish we could stay like that forever because it is perfection. She is a happy baby and, if I do say so myself, a very pretty baby as well. (What can I say - I make pretty babies.) She is cheerful and cuddly and inquisitive and I can't imagine our life without her.
In equal parts, I want them to stay just as they are now and I can't wait to see the people they become. Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done in every way but it is also the most rewarding and the most fun. I have read several studies which found that people with children are less happy than those without and I wholeheartedly disagree. My life has a depth and a richness now that it never had before the kids and they bring me joy each and every day. I wish that everyone could be this blessed.
* The nickname Numa came from one of the little guys first "words" that he would babble over and over. Sometimes we call him the Nums or Doobie, but Numa is the one we used the most. Her Highness just seemed a fitting title for our second child who is a good baby but very determined to be the center of attention and have her own way. We don't actually call her that.