We are currently on vacation, enjoying a little piece of the Oregon coast that my family has been coming to since before my mother was a little girl. My brother, sister-in-law and their two boys flew out to join us, and it has been a blast. You know, when we haven’t had screaming kids, or fights over toys, or car vomit (OMG. the vomit). I never would have guessed that in writing a paragraph like that, I was actually serious that it has been fun and wonderful.

The bads (or hards, or grosses):

Darwin vomited 30 seconds *30. Seconds.* before we parked at the rental house. Since then, I have been vomited on once (by my sweet, over-exhausted nephew), and cleaned up vomit in a third instance, than involved Linnea rolling off the bed and screaming until she puked (she is fine from the bed-fall).

I have been struggling to sleep. So I drink lots of coffee. And struggle to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.

Linnea will. not. leave. the. stairs. alone. This kid is determined to have a concussion by Saturday morning.

Leah still has to do work this week to prepare for a class she’s TAing next week. This means she’s working mostly after the kids are in bed and so is also exhausted during the day. Queue me drinking even more coffee to try to be awake and alert with the children all day since

No one is napping outside of the car.

The Goods:

Darwin and her big cousin B are getting along brilliantly (95% of the time). B seems thrilled to have a playmate, and Darwin seems simultaneously awed and exasperated by him, depending on the moment. I have found them snuggling up, “reading” books together. Playing with the dollhouse here. Just goofing around. It’s the sweetest.

Linnea is walking everywhere charming everyone.

P, the little guy who had such a rough start in life and is growing and eating and chattering and playing and LAUGHING. Oh my goodness. He thinks us hitting the ping-pong ball around is the funniest thing in the word. He smiles at everything and everyone, except when his teeth are hurting (I understand that!)

The ocean. The sand. The smell of salt air, and late summer Oregon coast. It is the best.

13 Months and Walking

Well, as usual this is a few days late, but Linnea jumped into 13 months the same way her sister did: by legitimately walking! Since she was mobile at 4.5 months and showing signs of wanting to walk early, we were (pleasantly) surprised that she held off, but the fact that we’re running out of pants that don’t have holes or stains all over the knees made this a welcome development. On the forth, she started taking 3-4 steps between us (me, MamaLee, and Darwin made a triangle!) and now, just 6 days later, she walks almost everywhere. Our little wobbler.

There are all sorts of neat and hard things about 13 months with this kid. She is all go right now. Her morning naps are slowly being cut (I couldn’t imagine her going down to one nap a day from three a month ago, and now we’re almost there). Her sleep overall is crap, according to Leah, but we’re still holding onto hope that walking is going to change that. When she starts at childcare at the end of August, that also may alter things!

Here’s a 13 for 13.

  1. Linnea knows when she’s being funny, loves to be tickled, and now tickles us as well. She loves to be silly in general.
  2. She prefers to use the potty (when we think to ask) and tells us when she is all done.
  3. Books are a theme with our children. Linnea has begun to demand (yes, demand and scream if we say no…) to have us read books. Current favorites include The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and a slide and see Under the Sea book from Usborne.
  4. Words, so many, many words! Darwin, up, doggy, (all) done, yes (“Da!”), mama, that, no, shoes, socks, the list goes on and on now!
  5. And speaking of shoes and socks, Linnea loves them and wants to wear them all the time. She and Darwin have matching shoes and it is adorable. She also pulls all the shoes off the shoe rack, and regularly hides one of each pair.
  6. Climbing continues. Darwin has a little step stool in the bathroom and Linnea has managed to climb up and fall off. She still climbs onto chairs, Darwin’s kitchen helper, us….
  7. “Rocka, rocka.” This is one of my favorites right now. Linnea will rock herself back and forth, sing-songing rocka-rocka. Sometimes she’ll ask me to be rocked. I love this kid so hard.
  8. Thank goodness, one of our kids likes having her teeth brushed! Leah started a bedtime routine a couple of months ago, and now I hear them reading a story and Linnea brushes (read chews) with her toothbrush.
  9. Lovies are her favorite thing in the whole world, except maybe Darwin, and Leah. She grabs and snuggles anything soft and squishy and pulls it to her, squeeeeeeezing it with all her might, the biggest, sweetest smile on her face. This kid is going to have a room filled with stuffed animals someday. It will not be at our house.
  10. We are starting to exit the 18-24 month clothing entirely now, I think. At nearly 25 lbs this is not a surprise. I can’t really remember what is in the next box, even though I only packed it away about a year ago.
  11. Whining, trantruming, and clingyness are in FULL SWING around here. While not constant through time, it is a significant part of every day. I look forward to 1) better sleep and 2) words helping get us all past this phase.
  12. Now that Linnea has a little bit of actual hair, it is curly at the bottom, which is entirely adorable and endearing.
  13. Food is super easy with this kid. She eats almost everything, and plenty of it. She also likes nursing again. The same thing happened with Darwin. I understand why people wean between 6 and 12 months, it is such a distracted-nursing/nursing strike-ridden difficult time! I’m glad for Leah that she was able to do what she wanted to do and keep going.

The growing excitement of birthdays

We are now a little more than a month out from Darwin’s third birthday. THREE. She is going to be three. We are going to have a three-year-old, preschool-attending, great big kid. This year, she gets to pick what we’re doing for her birthday (going to Grandma and Opa’s house and going to the park down the road). This year, she can tell us what she wants for her birthday. It begins…

Months ago, she started saying she wanted a red skateboard for her birthday (red is, without question, her favorite color). I did some research, and not surprisingly, skateboards are not generally recommended for three-year-old children. I did find a specific kind of scooter that is recommended for kids under 5, so we’re gearing up to present her with a Micro Kickboard (red, OF COURSE) on her birthday. She will also, simultaneously, be presented with a helmet and knee and elbow pads.

Carefully, carefully, I engineered the opportunity to talk to her about getting a scooter instead of a skateboard. I showed her a picture of the red scooter. I explained how skateboards are something that you get when you’re bigger, and you start with a scooter to learn how to lean and balance without falling so much (I didn’t not actually mention falling because I am not stupid ready to introduce that idea to her and scare her off of the idea entirely). I then asked if she would like a scooter before she gets a skateboard. No mama. I want a SKATEboard. This was the answer after some thought, and before she ran off to play with her sister. I was not surprised, nor was I overly disappointed. I was pretty sure we were going to have a skateboard that wasn’t going to be touched for 5 years after one try showed her that the kids on campus that she stops and gazes after longingly had been practicing a lot longer at both balancing and using a board than she has been alive.

Fast forward a few hours. Mama, I want that scooter, and then when I am big like you and MamaLeah I can have my red skateboard? Like when I’m five??

Holy. Shit. Kid is definitely getting the reddest, most amazing scooter ever, and a ladybug helmet to match.

Snapshots of working at home

Why I love working from home:

Me, getting ready to sit down at my computer while Darwin plays with puzzles on the bed in the office: Whatcha’ doing Darwin?

Darwin, pulling puzzle pieces out and putting them on the bed: Nothin’. Just chillin’. In the sunshine. I’m so silly. Being silly all around the house.

Potty: take 2

Without disclosing too much information about my youngest daughter, potty learning has commenced, at her insistent persistence. Just in time for big sister to be pretty much completely, 24 hours a day, out of diapers. I can see something in the distant future that looks like turning diapers into rags, and tucking a potty chair under the sink cupboard. Still no decisions about how long into the future that may be.


In which Linnea applauds herself.


For a long while, it was impossible to get shoes on Darwin. We could never find the right pair, the socks weren’t good, and as soon as they were on, inevitably we would get in the car and off they would come.

Things changed when we got the Magic Shoes. Until that point, we had mostly hand-me-down shoes (she did have one pair of sneakers before that but I think they were too tight). We probably had 10 to 15 pairs of shoes. None of them fit quite right because they had molded to other feet.

Now Darwin has five pairs of shoes now. Keen sandals, rain boots, Magic Shoes, a pair of Soft Star barefoot shoes, and a pair of See Kai Run summer sneakers that we got on clearance last winter. All these shoes fit her properly and were not molded to other little feet first. She can choose to wear footwear without socks (her sandals) or with (everything else).

The best part of all of this is that she also puts her shoes by the door without being asked most of the time. After months of gentle reminders, it’s becoming less necessary. I’m not generally worried about things being clear and orderly all the time with the kids (ha, good thing, right?) But I hate the constant “I can’t find my shoes” struggle too. The best moment came yesterday, when my mom commented that Darwin had taken her shoes off and put them by the door all on her own at Grandma’s house. I’m so proud of this kid who is taking responsibility for her things!

12 months from the pediatrician

All is well with our happy youngest child, per her pediatrician this morning. Linnea’s vital stats, for posterity:

24 lbs 4 oz sturdy

31 inches long

The appointment went swimmingly. Linnea did not show off her latest skill (she currently stands and giggles, and takes steps between any two people willing to entertain the thought). Our lovely pediatrician is great with the girls, and the nurse we always have, who definitely rubbed me the wrong way the first time we met, has become a favorite.

Two shots today. Basically no crying. Over it in under 10 seconds. This kid is a champ. Leah laid her down on the table and I briefly thought she was going to go to sleep! Two quick pokes and done. Here’s hoping she sails through the next couple days too!

And now the latest cuteness: Linnea sat still for a good five minutes while Darwin attempted to help her get her shoes on. Kids together. They slay me.