Posts tagged ‘Sharing Stories’

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 11, 2011

Butterflies on the Brain

First of all, thank you to my mommy friends who have offered encouragement and Jacob-friendly food suggestions, in light of my posts earlier this week.  I think we may have just had a mini-breakthrough.  I’ll keep you posted as the saga continues.

 

Now, on to business.

 

Friends.

 

Take a look at the photo below.  Beside Jacob gazing very seriously into his sippy cup, what do you see?

 

 

A butterfly?  Yes, indeed.  A butterfly.  The manufacturer calls it “Freddie the Firefly,” and we do refer to him as Freddie, but I’d say it’s a butterfly.  Freddie the Butterfly.

 

At this point, butterflies are an integral part of my daily life.  I have The Very Hungry Caterpillar just about memorized. “In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf. . . .”

 

I recognize that, as the mother of a young child, I am better versed in some of the simpler things in life than other folks are–things that are forgotten as more important matters usurp brain space.  I understand that there can be mental lapses in high-pressure situations, like being on TV (if you haven’t seen this, check it out, except if you’re somewhere where you’re supposed to be quiet and productive: http://youtu.be/Sv5woNs9WRE ).  I will even admit that I mistook a chipmunk for a squirrel in junior high–and shortly after I was named salutatorian of my class, to boot.

 

Yet recently, two random adults have–with total confidence–referred to Freddie as a caterpillar. Not a recently morphed caterpillar who is now a butterfly.  Just a caterpillar.

 

I was surprised but understanding the first time it happened.  I was kind of shocked when the scene replayed itself with a totally different person later that week.  Neither time did I have the heart to make the correction.  I figure, it’s not confusing Jacob yet (just me), so I let it go.  I nodded and said something like, “Yes, Jacob loves Freddie.”

 

Freddie the Butterfly.  Who has wings.  And can fly.  And for the record, is not a caterpillar.

July 29, 2011

What I’ll Miss About This Apartment

On Monday, we will move to our third apartment in just under two years of marriage.  Needless to say, moving this often was not in our plan.  But who said our plan was the one that counts, right?

 

Last year’s move was a stressful one:  I was (very) pregnant, we were moving to a new borough, and we were searching for somewhere to make home for a lifestyle we hadn’t yet experienced.  Thankfully, we ended up in a great apartment, in a wonderful neighborhood, and made some very special friends to boot.

 

Our new apartment is only a short walk from where we are now, so there isn’t a whole new neighborhood to learn this time around.  It will be more of a recalibration of points we already know and love.  The layout of the new place is different than what we have now, but it’s a very open plan, and one I think will cater well to the way we live our lives day to day.

 

That said, there are some things I’m going to miss about this apartment.  The first of these is the mirrors.

 

See how it looks like our dining area goes on forever? Thanks, mirrors!

There are floor-to-ceiling mirrors in every room of our current apartment.  In each of the bedrooms, two four-foot-wide mirrors function as the sliding doors to the (ginormous) closets—which, come to think of it, I will also miss!  Even in the living/dining room, one wall is entirely composed of mirrors.  Before we moved in, John joked that with all the mirrors and the hardwood floors, it looked like a dance studio.  I joked about the wonders it would do for my downward-facing dog.  And while there was some yoga done here—and there was certainly dancing done, too—I think Jacob loved the mirrors the most.

 

Everywhere you turn in this place, you see your own image looking back at you.  This was helpful in Jacob’s newborn days, when we would check to see if his eyes were closed without shifting him on our shoulders.  It was also a good distraction in the evenings of those first months, when I would count the minutes until John came home, all the time bouncing Jacob in front of a mirror and watching him smile with delight when “the little boy in the mirror,” as I creepily refer to Jacob’s reflection, did just the same things he did.  “That little boy comes everywhere with us!” I’ve told Jacob countless times.

 

One of the selling points for me when we first looked at this apartment was the built-in bookshelves.  I loved that all the books I was hoarding under my desk at work could finally come home and have somewhere to breathe.  I love having books on display—I think it says something important about our family, our values, and who we are.  What I love about these bookshelves is that they were low enough to use as storage for some of Jacob’s toys—and books!  Once he could crawl around, I really enjoyed giving him a few shelves of his own, where he could grab the books he wanted (to chew on) when he liked.  We still haven’t gotten to the point of putting books back on shelves, but all in good time.

And finally, what I’ll miss most about this apartment is that it’s where we brought Jacob home.

As we’ve been packing up our things, especially when the artwork (and more mirrors, if you can believe it) came off the walls, I realized that the items that identify our home are coming with us, and we can just as well settle into the new place and make it home.  But still, there will be a time when John and I think back to our first year with Jacob—our first year with a child—and I know we’ll remember the floor plan differently.  I’ll think one room was bigger than it really was, or that we had the couch in some physically impossible orientation.  I know some parts of the memory will fade, but I also know that those aren’t the important parts.

 

The important part is that my home is with John and Jacob.  It is in Brooklyn now, and will still be in Brooklyn next week.  But in a few years, it will probably be in New Jersey somewhere.  The things we hang on the walls will come and go, pictures in frames will be updated over time, and we ourselves will change as well.  But those are all good things.  They mean we are growing, that we are getting closer to where God needs us to be.

Then again, perhaps we’re already there.

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