We’re playing the waiting game around here, counting down the days, and feeling pretty anxious as things go… Clothes are washed, ready and put away, and there are still more details to iron out as time gradually slips away from us. We are trying to be very practical about what we need for this little one, including things that will help save space over the long term.
We know that we won’t be living in this cottage forever, and we dream about a house that will properly fit all six of us one day… goodness knows where that will be, but it is definitely on our list. Til then, there will be welcoming arms, open hearts, and abundant heaps of love and affection to shower this baby. That’s all he really needs in the end, isn’t it?
A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…
//Reed: snug-as-a-bug…asleep in his toddler bed for the very first time
//Finnlagh: digging with his favourite beach spade; he lost it in the ocean only moments later
//Alina: after the 2nd grade end-of-the-year picnic, she thoughtfully picked up some sweets for her brothers
//Baby #4: airy pregnancy silhouette taken in Week 35 by my dear, sweet Grant
Joining in with Jodi of Practising Simplicity
There is a fair-haired and very mischievous little elf that wanders around our garden, scouring it for pink and purple wildflowers, stopping now and again to pluck off a perfect bloom. He collects them and offers the posey to me with a resounding “Mamaaaa…Love Flowers. Here go!” Just like that, I could care less about whether not he picks every poppy, daisy or gilia. I should be cringing, but there would be no point. There is something so endearing about a toddler discovering the world around him, and developing a sense of appreciation for those very things that adorn our everyday lives. “We can add them to our flower press,” I tell him, and then he brings me all the ones he can find. Always purple first — it is, afterall, my favourite colour, and if Reed is anything he is a very astute young man who knows his mama’s daily routine and aesthetic tastes fairly well.
Halfway through his 22nd month, this boy is growing up, and yet still very much our darling baby. Yes, it is true he will cease to be the ‘baby of the family’ in less than 6 weeks, but then again, all of our children are still very much our babies —no matter how old they get. He is quick as a bunny, a budding Picasso who draws and adorns walls/paper/coffee tables with very deliberate and concentrated markings. Reed even requires a notebook and pens in the car, and once he’s done, lets his big sister or brother help him ‘sign’ his name on his finished masterpiece.
If you have something, well he’d like it very much please, especially if they are scissors, batteries or dvd discs he can toss like a frisbee. Is that a tabletop I can clear off with one swipe of my arm? Why yes. Do go ahead and throw absolutely everything you can find on the floor, and then get up on top of a too-high surface, shake your naked tushie, and tap dance. By all means!
We do give in to assuage him to avoid that throwing-back-your-head thing our children have seemed to do as toddlers when things aren’t quite going to plan. Grant and I will choose avoiding injuries over ‘discipline’ and ‘making a point’ any day of the week. As I have touched on previously, we practice attachment-style parenting which lends to a very natural, emotional sense of security for the child, but also develops independence and trust. Luckily, for now he is very easily brought out of his itty-bitty tantrums (thankfully!) and still eats, takes bubble baths and nurses with great gusto. He calls himself “Me Me” most of the time (but will answer to a huge variety of nicknames we’ve got for him, from ‘Pas en tout’ to ‘Toodles’). He’s recently started saying his own name, which is positively the sweetest thing; my heart simply melts.
Reed Anders: you have us constantly in awe of what a dear, dear soul you are. You are a bright light… a shining, wide-eyed, pursed-pouty-lips totally inquisitive boy who wants to do everything we are doing, see everything as we see it, and tell us about it all in an unending stream of delightful toddler banter. Flooding the bathroom and pulling the cat’s tail..? Getting your parents up at 3am so you can eat cereal bars and play? Not exactly your best choices, but we’ve all got a little bluster in us, haven’t we? Let’s roll with it.
It’s a gorgeous afternoon here in Santa Barbara, breezy and warm with sunshine flooding the skies overhead. This being Friday, I thought I’d round up a few favourites from the past week.
Ever dreamed of becoming a speed reader? This App can get you to read up to 1,000 words per minute! While I’m not sure how practical this is in terms of leisurely reading enjoyment, I can see the applications of it being very useful for students and those needing to get through great tomes of technical writing. Tell me: would you try it?
Go-to fashion “it girl” and last week’s Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o on the essence of black beauty.
This has been going around like wildfire on social media. Definitely worth a listen!
Today is the start of SXSW (music/film/interactive) in Austin, TX. Tonight’s opening film is Chef directed by and starring Jon Favreau. Wish we were there!
If you live in a country that uses Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to spring forward this Sunday, March 9th! We might lose an hour of sleep but gain bright sunshine streaming through the windows in the early morning hours, which means spring (for those of you with a four-season climate) is just around the corner.
Last but not least, for the past few weeks, we’ve been back to homeschooling Finnlagh (a bit of a long story there), which means that during the day, I get to spend a lot of extra time with our boys while Alina’s at school. Budding photographer Finnlagh surprised me with these photos he took on my iPhone the other morning, explaining that I was “daydreaming” and “enjoying a morning break with the new baby.” Ah, he knows me so well!
For more favourites and ideas, follow me on Pinterest.
Reed Anders at 19 months is a high-energy, talkative, dichotomy of a boy — on the one hand, the most cooperative little guy you’ve ever met, and at others, so willful and masterful at yielding his newfound toddler independence, you just stand aside and let him do his thing. For ages, we have marvelled at Reed’s cooperation: sticking out his mini hands and toes to have his nails clipped, lying down patiently and stretching out his legs whenever he needs a change, stepping into his pant legs one at a time and helping to pull them up, eating whatever it is that you put in front of him, sharing anything and everything he is given… Then there is the strong, eagerly precocious guy who refuses strollers, high chairs, and constraints on his freedom of any kind, all the while running at top speed and shrieking and shoving aside your hands with a firm “no.”
Through it all he is bright-eyed, kind and loving (perhaps the most affectionate of all of our children), and around our neighbourhood, known as the boy with the easiest smile around. An inquisitive old soul, Reed has to be shown only once before he appropriates your knowledge or skills for his own. “That’s mine. I did that. BRAVO!” (applause applause applause)
Such is the lucky fortune of the third-born, who looks up intently and locks eyes with you, pulling you into his conversation, parroting what all the other ‘big kids’ on the block seem to do.
Those toddler days seem so far away with Alina and Finnlagh, and yet we are so glad to be discovering them anew with Reed, rolling with the moments (oftentimes cheerfully compliant, sometimes obstinately) as best we can. Come July, we will have the arrival of #4, and we’ll start the process all over again…
Rough-and-tumble Reed: we adore you.
A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting, this will always be a special moment in time…
Do you remember the days of your childhood when you were just so exhausted you fell asleep right then and there? For our little Reed, he found the perfect spot for a nap sprawled out on the coffee table. I guess he heard firm mattresses are good for the back!