Oh Sleeves!

Does this happen in your house? The weather gets a touch warmer, the sun shines a bit brighter, and the general consensus becomes….It’s Spring! You cannot ever say this too loudly in New England of course, because surely if Mother Nature sees the rejoicing, she will inevitably throw one last April snow storm your way. But, this is not about the slow slide into Spring.

In our house, we have a problem. A serious one. Well not so serious, but hilariously annoying. Henry and Owen have plum forgotten how to deal with short sleeves. After over 150 days of cold temperatures and a commitment to cozy long sleeves, jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats, long john’s, and heavy socks, this weekend I pulled out a short sleeved shirt and their world melted. Really though! It all started like a normal morning. We cuddled in bed as a family and laughed and talked about our day. We ate some breakfast slowly and I drank a cup of coffee. Then we headed upstairs to shift into our attire for the day. They slipped on their pants, one leg at a time and chatted about their interests and ideas. No issue when it came to the socks either. Then it was time for the shirt. This item had drastically changed in their 24 hour cycle. With predictions in the mid-60s, it was time to try a short sleeve. Naively, I thought nothing of this moment. It was just part of the normalcy of my own Spring transition. A time of year, that is exciting and much anticipated.

But, for the boys is was HARD and devastating! What the heck are short-sleeves? Why are my arms suddenly exposed? What do I do in the breeze? They fussed quite a bit as I tried to wrestle them into one. THEN once on, they were not impressed. Bottom lips all the way out, it was clear they were not happy with this new development. Each tried harder than the other to pull the little sleeves down their arms. Unfortunately, this only made the shoulder become exposed as it popped out the neck opening! Then came the arm slapping as though that would generate some sort of warmth or coverage. Finally they pulled their arms inside and down their shirts to stick alongside their torsos. And there we were, my armless boys unwilling to give Spring a try and I a tired and sweaty parent not sure how to get them outside to run and enjoy the shift in weather. They won the battle. Donning long sleeve shirts and demanding jackets and gloves too, we headed out. Slowly they shed the gloves, then the jackets. They did not budge on the shirts though. By Sunday, we got Henry into the short sleeves as long as they were batman. Now we wait the little one out. The temperatures will eventually convince them, no?

Owen Edward: Two Years

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How is my baby TWO!?!? Seriously though, it breaks my heart. Two years ago, I spent the day at school with classes and then “Fun Day.” I drove home from work wondering when I would meet him, I picked David up from the commuter rail at 5:00PM and then Owen was in my arms by 6:42PM. He came into this world fast and that describes these two years too!

A blink ago, he was this mushy human a mere 8lbs of love and sweet smells and today he is a busy little boy always looking around the corner for the next thing to get involved in. This year though was really quite awesome with Mr. Owen. His personality is so darn cute, I feel like I say, “He is so cute” approximately 1 million times daily. Born the year of the Monkey, he is exactly what his Chinese zodiac predicts, known to be a smart and  light-hearted prankster. After being a little mischievous this guy will crack a grinning smile and say, “I funny?” in the tiniest of baby voices.

He loves to do everything his brother does. They play, run, bump, and swing together. Every night we all go into Owen’s room and sing a few songs and do shadow puppets against the wall and then Henry gives Owen a kiss and hug and Owen gives Henry one of each and my heart explodes from the sweetness of it all. Owen has truly become Henry’s best friend this year. They play all sorts of imaginary games from super-heroes to construction workers to sitting with a pile of cars or laughing through a game of hide and seek.

Owen is jumping and skipping and working on practicing using a balance bike, he walks up and downstairs “by myself” as he would state, and is starting to the use the potty. And should you mention a number, he begins counting right away from 1 to 13. In so many ways he has just become a real little boy shedding so much of his baby-ness this year.   His talking is non-stop. He loves to share all sorts of stories and repeats his phrases to practice his articulation. Stringing along multi-word sentences, it is so easy now being his parent because he so clearly can engage in conversations and shares exactly what he is thinking about and wants. Climbing into and out of his carseat, he is ready to go. Grabbing books and his milk cup, he is a light packer with few needs once outside of the house and onto an adventure. He eats anything we put in front of him from kale to steak to apples to peppers to fish. The favorite eats are shrimp, raspberries, chicken, and broccoli. But he definitely has a sweet tooth and would eat himself into a cupcake coma if left alone with a dozen.

Mickey Mouse is currently his obsession. After going to Disney world for Thanksgiving he has been mad for that mouse. He loves wearing the fashionable Mickey on shirts and requested his birthday party have that theme. He loves to color and paint and could get lost in creating with play-doh for hours. He can easily cover himself (or the floor) in stickers and requests a tattoo a day always in the same spot on his arm which makes for a fun layered style that is uniquely this kiddo. Should a dog cross his path, he is easily smitten and looks for Buster and Bella every morning. When the afternoon gets lazy, he cuddles his Bella dog and sometimes “cooks” for her in his kitchen or reads her a story.

An escape artists, we are crossing all the fingers and toes to keep him in his crib a touch longer. We are currently onto trick number 2 to keep him in there (a backward sleep sack since little man can get his legs up and over the side of the crib and do zippers with ease). At night after we get into pajamas, and read stories, and sing songs, David takes Henry out to his room for a few extra stories (before I join them in there too), and I stay behind with Owen. In the dark on the glider, we cuddle-in and chat for a few minutes. I share with him how much I love him, how special he is to me, that he will always be my baby and that I am so proud of him and love a whole litany of things about him. He always smiles and grabs my lips and I could stay in that moment with my baby for forever. This has been a magical year, sweet boy. Daddy and I are crazy about you and your brother is too! Thanks of completing our family and giving us so many laughs you naughty little monkey.

Pottery makings

The first session just ended and tomorrow night begins round two of this new hobby. It was hard to step away from my studio hours for the two weeks in China but when I got home I was able to pick up some of my early makings. There is a lot of noticeable progress from the first misshapen messes to the latest “phases” of my work but there is still so much practice and learning to be had. Starting this session is very exciting but a little intimidating. There has yet to be a hobby that engaged my attention or energy level for this long but despite my typical hobby trends, I have a feeling this one is a little different. There is something about throwing mug after mug after mug that just feels so satisfying and relaxing and engaging. It makes me feel strong, and creative, and uncomfortable. All things we could use more of! Maybe the next session I should dedicate to replacing some dishes and bowls but it will be hard not to throw at least a few mugs.