Willem and His Questions… and a Few Updates Around the House

Where has the summer gone? Between baby rearing, toddler wrangling, freelancing, and community garden managing, things have felt a little harried lately. And by “lately,” I really mean, “since January 29, Max’s birth day.” At 6 months, Max has cut his first two teeth, is eating real food two times a day, and has only recently started liking sleep.

My days are full to the brim with baby rearing and toddler wrangling. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This morning as we loaded into the car to go to the community garden, Willem said to Max, “Let’s go on an adventure, Maaah.” I count this as a parenting win, the fact that my toddler thinks of every outing as an adventure.

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So this update is brought to you by a) the fact that Max has been napping for over an hour and b) me managing to get my freelance job for August done. WINNING.

WILLEM AND HIS QUESTIONS: My Cuteness Cup Runneth Over

In July, Willem started something new – he asks the question he wants us to ask him. Then when we repeat it, he says enthusiastically, “Okay!” Ex: Willem: “Do you want play with school bus?” I repeat the question, he yells, “Okay!” Or in the middle of the night, we’ll hear a plaintive, “Do you want to go pee?” from his room. Chris goes in, asks if he needs to pee, then: “Okay!”

Last week, I was tending to Max, who just got his first two teeth and has needed extra snuggles, for a while. Willem was playing on his own, then finally came up to me and said, “Do you want to sit in Mommy’s lap?” Aw, buddy. Later that evening, it was, “Do you need hug?”

Then a few nights ago, Willem was standing at the side of our bed at 1:30 in the morning. Willem: “Do you need some attention?” (I repeat the question). Him: “Okay!” Aw, bud. Then: “Do you need to rest? Do you need to snuggle bunny?” (I repeat him). “Okay!”

So. Cute. He’s got an amazing vocabulary and communicates incredibly well for 2.5 years old. He’s also an awesome big brother. We had big storms a couple of weeks ago, and when the storm really hit one afternoon, Willem started patting Max gently on the top of his head, saying: “That’s okay. That’s okay, Max. Just a little thunderstorm, Max.”

Birdie kisses

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UPDATES AROUND THE HOMESTEAD

We haven’t really done a whole lot around the house this year in terms of building out our garden space. Things have felt a tad busy/overwhelming this year. BUT! We did plant 32 native perennial wildflowers out front AND Chris finished our new 3-bin compost system! He’s all excited about actively managing our compost bin at the new place, which I think is adorable. We were very lazy composters at the old place, but we still got great soil out of the bins. That’s the beauty of composting, right? I mean, it’s decomposition. It’s going to break down… eventually.

Yesterday he went out with his new gigantic compost thermometer (which looks just like a meat thermometer, only several feet long) and found that both piles were in the “hot” range. Awesomesauce! Now we just need to build a bunch of garden beds to fill with our new compost once its done cooking. Hint, hint, Chris.

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Oh, and? I’m knitting again! First project since Max’s birth is a temperature blanket, and I also just started knitting his Christmas stocking. I feel like my old self! 20160806. Temperature blanket, one month in. Hint: brown represents the days above 90 degrees. 120/365. #365days

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TWO WEEKS!

That’s right. Two weeks until Baby #2’s estimated due date. This iconic scene from Total Recall is all I can think of:

We’re ready…ish. Readyish. With Willem, I really had no idea what to expect. Sure, you read the books and the blogs and absolutely soak up all the information you can about caring for your newborn (or at least I did). You get all the baby “stuff” that is supposedly essential to having a happy baby these days. You stock your freezer and buy 20 extra rolls of toilet paper so you won’t have to send your husband out at 2 am.

20160115. Baby blanket for #2.

But no one can tell you how your body and brain will react to insane hormones, nursing all day and all night, the physical pain and recovery your body must go through on zero sleep, and a tiny creature you don’t quite understand, are just getting to know, and are trying to keep alive and, preferably, from crying.

End of the year snapshots.

And so now I know all of that… which makes it both easier and even more terrifying. That’s where the readyish part comes into play. I know I will never be truly “ready” for the newborn shock to the system. It’s just something you’ve got to get through, in all its sweet messiness.

End of the year snapshots.

This time, of course, I also have a wonderful little boy in the mix, a little dude who amazes me daily with his smarts, sense of humor, gentleness, and sweetness. Latest cute Willem-ism: he has this running monologue lately that goes something like, “big car, red car, green car, big big car,” etc. as he’s going about his day. Yesterday I asked him what was in mommy’s tummy. His response? “Baby car.”

I am so proud to be his mom, and I can’t wait to see how he and his little brother become a team. And I worry I am not going to be able to live up to being the mom Willem knows and loves.

Warm December chicken petting.

And then I worry that I’m going to sell this new little guy short, that he’ll just be along for the ride. And I know this is all silly and, really, pointless to fret about because, in TWO WEEKS (+/- two weeks, of course), Baby #2 will be here.

We’ll be fine, we’ll be great even, and when it comes right down to it, I absolutely cannot wait to meet this kiddo.

20160116. 38 weeks.

Willem-Speak

As I get closer and closer to starting this whole child-rearing journey all over again with a second little guy, I find myself constantly amazed of Willem, our first little guy. I swear the kid has grown leaps and bounds in the last several months.

End of the year snapshots.

The latest: potty learning and language. Maybe we’ll get to potty training some other day. Let’s just say I am completely amazed at his ability to really get it this time around. It’s totally impressive to me that in just a week, we are really getting this down. I’m so glad to be laying this groundwork now, even if things slip a little (understandably) when Baby #2 arrives.

Now for the fun stuff: language. A few choice phrases in Willem-ese:

  • Helicopter: “apart-ter-ter”
  • Octopus: “ah-puh-tata”
  • Lawn mower: “murr-murr”
  • Again: “ah-NENN”
  • Stuck (his favorite book lately): “kuh”
  • Semi (as in semi truck): “hem-eye”

Some other faves:

  • Together/Apart: he says “apart” with such gusto, all high at the end – “ah-PAAAARRRRT.” He also loves pulling things apart just so he can say it over and over.
  • “Oh no!” repeated in a very high, sweet falsetto, usually when he does something like purposely pulling his train off the tracks
  • “Milk” – which sounds more like a goofy “MEEEEEELK” (totally taught him that, I’m so proud)

 

And just to get a real dose of the cuteness over here:

ALL THE THINGS!

TODAY:

  • Dig out all the weeds growing in the lettuce bed.
  • Steam some green beans for Willem’s lunch.
  • Cut back the blackberries.
  • Pull ALL THE WEEDS.
  • Lay down plastic to KILL ALL FUTURE WEEDS.
  • Mow.
  • Buy winter rye for cover cropping (and a bunch of other seeds) from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
  • Update a website and track the produce from our last CSA of the summer.
  • Get some more work done on our family portrait.

Family.

  • Make rosemary-lavender simple syrup.
  • Go buy some fixings to make a pumpkin pie. I need some pumpkin pie like whoa.
  • Play with, feed, talk to, smile at, put down for naps, read to, and change the Willem.

This guy.

  • Take at least two showers.
  • Drink ice water, eat ice cream, watch the series finale of The Killing, and drink pumpkin beer in our underwear under the fan once all of the above is complete.

Also? It is stupid hot and humid out there. STUPID.