Thursday, February 18, 2010

The highlights of the day

My friend AnnElyse from ECHO days is here visiting - it's so fun catching up. We lived together (with up to 7 other women depending on who was visiting) in a tiny cinderblock house in FL. That was a bonding experience. She's wonderful with kids; Natty talks non-stop to her and she is oh-so-gracious about it! They made a snowlady in the backyard today. And we started on a candle-making project. Thankfully AE has made candles before and she's very crafty, so it was fun. I didn't get enough wax though, so back to Michaels tomorrow (on our way to Mystic Seaport).

Natty changed her favorite color yesterday. It is now yellow. (This is big, folks)

Sam has a cold. I hover and fret when the kids are sick - and thank God they are such healthy critters. (I try to do that anyway, but when they do get sick it's a good reminder). He's coughing, congested and miserable. He slept most the day today which was helpful - there was a glimmer of my cheeky monkey this evening. Hopefully he'll have a good nights sleep (therefore so will Murray and I - we've missed our solid zzzz's).

Saturday, February 13, 2010


My favorite milestones for my kiddos have to do with humor. The other day I realized that Sam was trying to make me laugh. I forget what exactly he was doing - but it was some kind of joke, that he would do, check to see that I was paying attention, then do again and look back at me, laughing expectantly. Yes, I laughed back - how could I not? Just him trying to make me laugh was adorable enough.

Natty also loves making up jokes. Unfortunately, she seems to have inherited my random, obscure and, well, not funny sense of humor (I call it the Heller humor - my mom has it too). It nearly broke my heart when she came home from school one day and said, "Mommy, Zoe hurt my feelings today. She said my jokes don't make any sense." I was hard-pressed not to laugh, because, honestly, Z is right; they don't make any sense at all. But the Thing To Do was to respond to her sad little eyes, downcast face and quivering chin. Poor little lovebug. (Her favorite joke (that she made up her very own self): What if we had a friend named Great and she did something really well? Then we could say, "Very good, Great!" big grin.)

As a Mom, I worry. Currently I'm worrying that she's too young for her classmates and won't have any friends. Yesterday she went to her first classmates birthday party (at a movie theatre! And she got to bring home a purple balloon!). I, of course, was a little uptight about it: Is she dressed appropriately? Will the birthday girl like her present? Will she have fun? All of which concerns are covered in the over-riding question: Will those little girls be nice to my precious little Valentine?

I worry that she inherited my wallflower gene - content to observe, but not good at interacting. One of the things that attracted me to Murray is his social facility. He is almost always the life of the party and makes friends, or a least chats well with people, everywhere he goes. When we travel, he makes a special effort to learn the language and try it out with everyone. Whereas I figure I sound like a fool murdering yet another language, they probably speak English anyway and couldn't we just figure out what we need to know from the guide book? I'm technically correct, but he's in the right. I hope Natty learns his skills. And therefore it's incumbent on me to model them as well. It remains a great truth in my life that having children makes me work harder at being the person I want to be.

While I am not usually that into Valentines day, I am this year. Natty is totally excited about it (a whole holiday dedicated to her favorite color! What's not to love?). We handmade her classmates' valentines cards and everything. A perfect snow day project. That's another thing about having children: they make celebrating anything a great, big adventure.

Happy Valentines Day - enjoy celebrating with any and all of your Valentines!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The difference a year makes

Sam is one! He celebrated the actual b-day at a dinner party/hootenany at our friends the Patenaude's. And then we had a cake eating extravaganza the next week with Marmee and Papa and the Carlisle cousins.

He was fascinated by the music at the Patenaude's. He jammed on the bongos while Eric rocked out on the guitar. As a non-musical person, I recognize the benefit of being exposed to music, taking lessons, etc and I want to foster the instinctive fascination that kids have. While I wish Murray and I played an instrument and the kids were surrounded by live music through our virtuosity, we don't and they aren't (and won't be, our good intentions notwithstanding). So a perfect alternative is musical friends (and listening to live music - hello, summer music festivals!).

There was also a passel of girls there so Natty was in high cotton - and they all adored Sam. He's getting used to groupies at a young age.

Then we had the family birthday party the next weekend. I don't have a picture of Lindsey's cake - but it was super cute. It was a lamb theme, in honor of his Lambie (who he looooooves).

To compare the first and second child: while Natty fastidiously poked at her first birthday cupcake, he knew exactly how to tear into the cake and smear frosting everywhere - and then shriek for more. Natty snacked on organic, homemade treats. Sam's favorite snack? Frosted Mini-wheats (we try to avoid letting him ever see them to prevent the shrieks of desire). Aah, to be a second child.

Here's a sample Facebook profile for our Sam today:
Name: Samuel Frank Buttner
Age: 1
Sex: Male
Relationship: Single
Hometown: Pomfret, CT
Interested in: People
Looking for: Friends
Likes: Lambie, milk, Mommy, Daddy and "NaTa", empty beer bottles from the recycling
Activities: bathing, sleeping, crawling, eating the telephone, pulling Mommy's glasses off her face, eating with hands, being tickled.
Hates: being fed with a spoon, diaper changes, being thwarted in eating the telephone, being thwarted at all, being left behind when Mommy leaves the room
Resigned to: the car seat, the loving attention of Natalie

That's our boy!

PS All of the above is in flux (except loving Mommy, Daddy and NaTa)