Wednesday, August 28, 2013
With first child in crawling stage: "Oh no! Don't pull the clean laundry out of the basket! Here, this is how we fold clothes. Do you want to help?" With second child in crawling stage: "Oh, you're pulling the clean laundry onto the floor? At least I vacuumed a while ago. That should keep you occupied for a little while..."
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
It's been some time since I've written about what milestones the boys are passing so here goes. Although he keeps pretty quiet when we're out or around people he isn't as comfortable with, Logan enjoys telling me all sorts of stories about various aspects of life. We're finally starting to leave the stage where I have to repeat everything he says before he believes that I really understand so it's a little easier to listen to all the stories. For some reason when he tells these stories or even sometimes in conversation his face scrunches up. It is so hard not to laugh but I believe he does it when he's trying to emphasize the importance of what he's saying so it would be quite ill-advised to laugh at him in these moments. Also I have a sneaky suspicion that I am the one he learned it from so shouldn't be laughing at it, I suppose. He's concerned to be a 'good boy' mostly because that is the requirement before he gets the privilege of watching some shows on youtube or playing a video game for a bit. But as long as he isn't tired I do find that he tries to do the right thing most of the time. He is still slim-built but I think once he's back into wearing pants this Fall I'll find he's grown a lot taller (even if not an inch broader). He and Walter have the same waist size so there have been a couple incidents in which Logan picks out a pair of Walter's trousers to wear and they fit fine except on him as capris. He loves making Walter laugh (sometimes by doing things he shouldn't) and is generally good at sharing although there have been a bunch of times I've caught him taking toys out of Walter's hands. He's over all a good brother and I'm pretty sure he loves his little brother. Walter's been trying out every way he can to get around these days. Because our apartment is pretty small he hasn't had to crawl to get to anything he wants so he has been more interested in pulling up on things (much more interesting stuff on a higher level around here). He has been able to pull himself up to standing for a few weeks now and has quickly learned how to take steps along things and from one place to another. He started his crawling attempts by leaning forward into almost the crawling position from a sitting position and then when he reached whatever he was going for he would tip back to sitting to chew on it. It seemed at first that he couldn't quite get fully on his knees to crawl (he always had one leg stuck in the sitting position but twisted against the other) but I quickly learned that this is exactly how he wanted to be positioned because it meant he could get back to sitting easily. If anyone tried to 'help' him get the traditional crawling posture by unhooking his leg for him he would become most upset. Now he has been moving along the floor in a crawl of sorts but he keeps one of his feet flat on the floor while the other leg is in the proper kneeling position. It seems to work for him for now. I think he may modify it when speed and distance become more desirable but we'll see, I suppose. One last note on his posture, when he is sitting it seems he always must cross his feet. Not sure why but it sure is cute! He has also been busy cutting three top teeth at once. I don't think I've ever seen gums as swollen (not that I have seen an extensive variety of new teeth) and he has NOT wanted me to touch the gums at all these past few days. Although he really hasn't been drooling much at all. He has been a little fussy these past few days. When you combine massive amounts of teething with repeated not always successful attempts at walking and crawling you end up with a frequently frustrated fussbudget. One thing that does make him happy these day (as it has his whole life) is food. He seems to devour pretty much anything we put in front of him. He growled at me for some steak the other night... There was a little while where he became bored with the plain cereal but he seems to like it when I mix it with porridge or other mashed foods. He really likes food he can pick up himself (including whatever drops from his brother's plate onto the floor) and is pretty well coordinated with getting tiny bits of things into his mouth. Above all else, though, he's extremely happy and quite the character. I have been so blessed with and by both of them!
Monday, August 19, 2013
In our ever-increasingly documented lives I sometimes wonder what this'll mean for how we hold memories. I should think this post out and organize it along a discernable thought-line but I just don't have the time right now and if I put off writing about it I will forget the thought in the first place so here goes. As may be quite apparent, I am guilty of sticking a camera in my children's faces on a daily (hourly, sometimes) basis. Over all I don't feel as though this is a bad thing but there have been a few qualms I have felt here and there. I partially take pictures of my boys because photography of a loved subject is part of how I express myself artistically. This is good for me but how does it affect the subjects themselves? I have two viewpoints on this: the first came through an encouraging note from a childhood friend. She said some of the pictures reminded her of what she loved about her childhood and that the boys will likely be thankful to have the pictures when they are older. I love this idea and readily agree with the flattering viewpoint. However, I also have had a few conversations about two different families we knew growing up in which the parents would avidly document the children's every moment and accomplishment. These children are now adults themselves and I remember (in a slightly judgey way) thinking how the children in one of the two families seemed not to be self-conscious or spotlight-seeking but it could not be said of the other family. Of course there are many more factors at play than whether they were familiar with looking down the lens of a camera. At the risk of making this even more scattered than it will already be, I also think about how my own memory is affected by the photographs of my childhood. I sometimes get the feeling that some of my memories are not only coloured by the pictures of the events but also shaped completely. It may not be a bad thing, though. If I remember about a particular birthday party because I am used to seeing the few pictures from it, is it not better than having no memories of it at all? A topic that interests me is the connection of the decline of a powerful memory with the rise of the written word. I know this is likely over-reacting to the increase of documentation to wonder if our children will retain memories at all or if they will simply rely on pictures and videos from the past. But there is likely some connection. Of course memory on its own is far from infallible, as has been demonstrated time and again by greater pens than this... All these disparate while connected thoughts were prompted by an episode this morning when my elder boy sneezed and the younger laughed. After a few fake sneezes and much enjoyment, my older one asked if we could put it on facebook. Except I hadn't been filming the exchange. I do try to capture some of the more charming moments of their lives and interactions and I do usually post the short clips for adoring relatives (and friends) to view if they feel so inclined. However, I hadn't realized the extent to which my boy had come to expect this. Also I'm a little unsettled that he recognized a potential Kodak moment and expected it to be captured. I hope that when he is aware of me posting pictures and videos for loved ones to view he is also aware that it is in the spirit of sharing rather than that of showing off. I have known kids to say "Look at me, I'm so cute! Take a picture of this!" and have shuddered. Heaven forbid mine should ever do likewise! I try so hard to pass on the right attitude about things to my kids but just hope that I am not sending mixed messages simply because I love taking pictures. Seriously, do I need this many pictures of the same moment? Of course I do!
Friday, August 16, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
I can't believe how much of the summer has passed already! It seems as though this summer we have done quite a bit and kept busy with fun low-key activities and family get-togethers. But at the same time a lot of this summer has passed in anticipation bordering on dread over a couple family-related things that have needed to be done but were quite unpleasant (and should have been completely unnecessary). I know that I have been over this before but I think that it is interesting to explore the reasons behind which aspects of my life I make public and which I generally don't talk about. There is a virtue in being open but some things I don't feel are mine to publish. A horrendous rift in James' family has affected us deeply on several levels and to pretend that nothing is happening would be hiding things but I still haven't figured out which, if any, of the details are right to share. Even with my closest friends and family I had said nothing about it for almost a year until things finally got to a point where it became necessary for an explanation of sorts. But then it almost felt as though I had been trying to hide something from them for that year so I still haven't figured out if I had done the right thing when I kept quiet about it. So there has been a lot of pain this summer but we have chosen to enjoy what we have right here right now and that has been a wonderful experience. We've been so blessed with other aspects of our family and lives and have been in a mindset truly to enjoy them! It's been a difficult summer in some ways but a wonderful one in others. I suppose that's about par for the course in life.