Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

A Few of His Favorite Things

As more and more of Jacob’s personality comes to the fore, he’s starting to show preferences for certain toys and activities.  I’m very reluctant to say he likes something; his picking something up once or twice isn’t enough to convince me it’s his favorite.  But now even I have to admit that there are some things he keeps coming back to, even when other options are offered to him.


First of all, the little man loves interactive board books.  Every day he spends about ten minutes in front of his bookshelf, reading.  (Could I be prouder?  Absolutely not.)  I keep the big picture books where he can’t really get (translation: destroy) them, and he is mostly content with the chunkier editions.  His favorites are the touch-and-feel books and Gallop, which uses a really cool kind of illustration that’s almost animation.  About eighty-five percent of the time, he holds the book upside down—I’ve even see him spin a book so that it’s oriented that way—but maybe he’s just interested in learning Hebrew or some other language that reads from right to left.  All in good time.


At this stage of his development, he really is all about interaction. He also loves when I sing songs and use hand motions to illustrate the lyrics.  In the signing class we took a few months back, I learned modified American Sing Language for “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  The shopping cart—Jacob’s version of a discotheque—plays that song, too, so we sing and dance to it very often. When we do, his smile and giggles go on and on.


As much as I loved our Maya Wrap sling, it was getting a little tricky to carry Jacob around in it as he got bigger.  A few weeks ago, I bought an ErgoBaby carrier on craigslist.  It was brand new, but half price!  I like it because it balances Jacob’s weight better and I feel he’s more secure as a bigger guy.  The better news is how much he likes it!  When he sees me buckle the waistband around myself, he crawls across the room, smiling.  I’m so grateful he enjoys being in it, because it makes life outside our home a whole lot easier.


And finally, what I fear is a premonition of Jacob’s college career.  Whenever you move, there are those last couple days in the old place when you’ve packed up all your dishes and glasses, and you use disposable plates and cups at mealtime.  When we hit that juncture this year, Jacob adopted one piece as a new toy.  A solo cup.  A red, eighteen-ounce solo cup.  He’s right that it makes a great sound when you bang it on stuff, and it’s just the right size for his little hand to hold.  So into the toy box it went.  Still.  It’s weird to see my kid get such joy out of something that just screams “college” to me.


As much as Jacob enjoys the solo cup and these other things, he still plays with a variety of toys, usually whatever’s on top in the box.  Often he’ll take one thing and drag it all over with him, but the next day it’s the same thing with a different toy.


I think it’s pretty cool that he hasn’t latched on to a single thing.  It means we’re not in trouble if we leave the house without something, but more importantly, I think it speaks to how easygoing he is.  All he needs is a good book, a toy with a nose he can bite, and a snuggle with his mommy. With the exception of the toy, I could say the same of myself!

August 30, 2011

Dear Jacob X

Dear Jacob,

As your first birthday approaches, we are looking out for the precious moments when you take your first steps and say your first word.



You have been crawling, cruising, and walking while holding onto our hands for months.  When people see you doing these things—more and more steadily every day—they say you’ll be running all over the place any day now.  I guess that’s true, but even if it’s a few more weeks, or even months before you walk on your own, it’s fine by me.  Besides, you already dance like a pro, so who needs walking?



You make a bunch of sounds now.  You use different syllables, intonations, and exclamations to express yourself.  We think you’ve said “da-da” for Daddy and “ma-ma” for me (and even “daaa” for the dog you visited last week), but your language isn’t super consistent yet, and we’re not really sure if these things “count” as your first words.

As sentimental as I can be sometimes, and as much I want to keep track of these milestones, I feel like God has given me the grace to just be grateful with where you are, who you are, right now, today.  I think some people—myself included—may have expected advanced milestones from you because your daddy and I went to good schools, but while you have a lot of teeth, you are simply on par with where you should be.  You’re neither racing ahead, nor giving us any cause to worry.



Little Jacob, I loved you as a newborn, when you stayed where I put you and made the most adorable little sighs and coos as you fell asleep.  I love you now as a baby, when you laugh more than you talk and you get around your world as a four-legged (or two-kneed) creature.  I love you as you grow into a little boy, learning to feed yourself, following instructions, and continuing to bring your daddy and me more joy than we could have imagined.



I love you for who you were yesterday, who you are right now, and who you will be tomorrow.  This is as true now as it ever will be, and I hope you always know that.  You are my precious little man, and I love you with all my heart.

Love, love, love,

August 29, 2011

As Summer Draws to a Close . . . Kind Of

This weekend, with Hurricane Irene to help me out, I celebrated my birthday.  My birthday has always felt like the first step toward the end of summer.  Within a week, Labor Day comes and goes, school starts, and before you know it, everyone’s back in sweaters and jeans, with shorts and sundresses packed away for the next year.


Summer always seems to be the shortest of seasons, and I’m often sad to see it go.  This year, though, summer has been so chock full that I’m looking forward to a more settled autumn.  With a week at the Jersey shore, our big move, and an almost weeklong trip to Boston, things have been blessedly busy.  Plus, I’ve already had a couple of I-wish-I-were-wearing-jeans-today moments, so I’m officially ready for the leaves to start turning.


I am grateful to have one more week before Labor Day—one more week to enjoy warm weather and iced coffees, afternoons in the park in sandals and the smell of baby sunscreen.


But even after Labor Day passes, I will remain resolutely convinced that summer is not over until mid-September.  As thrilled as I am that football’s preseason has begun and the regular season is just two weeks away (J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!), I have a baby boy with a summer birthday.  From this point forward, summer will be summer until my little boy turns a year older.



Although as sunny and warm as his personality is, I think Jacob could make any month feel like summer.


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