October 2012


When we put this proposition to my sister, Angel, I think it was a bit daunting.  But a weekend with both kids, my parents and their dog Jake invading the Wileman’s abode turned out to be a huge success! (At least that’s what I’m told).  They had a great time getting to know each other and the routine, and I think this was a win-win-win-win for everyone involved.  At least we had fun.  Looks like they did too:

Tubing down the river.  They had one day of 90 degrees before the cold front moved in.

 

Hanging out with Grandpa Bob.  Is that oxytocin flowin’, dad?

“Little Rest” time, just as valuable to the grandparents! (Yes, Miles sleeps with his head under a pillow all the time)

 

Throw-back night at Chuck E. Cheese.

 

We didn’t get any photos of it, but Miles and Grandpa Bob built a Stellaluna house! (That’s a bat house for the uninitiated)  It included a trip to Lowe’s for supplies, plus a lot of dong-dong hammering and turning-turning screwdriver use.

Grandma Valerie and Auntie Angel took the kids to a pumpkin patch on a gorgeous, autumn day.

 

 

And just lots of fun eating, smiling and hanging out time.

 

Hazel, do you want mom & dad to go away and spend time with the Bolhouse/Wilemans again?

She said yes.  Thank you!!!

 

 

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One of the impeti for our trip back to North America was the wedding of some very good friends – in Mexico! Tim and I took the opportunity to give the grandparents, aunt & uncle some bonding time with the kiddos while we headed south of the border.  The wedding was in Valle de Bravo, a 2ish hour drive from Mexico City.  We were very glad to not have the kids on the bus ride that pushed 5 hours, or on the 40 minute walk with all our stuff through town to our hotel.  We missed the kids like crazy, but they were having fun, so we did too!  Eating street food, running, hiking, exploring, staying out past dark, waking up after sunrise, drinking, and being spontaneous made for a fantastic couple days.  One downside is we were unable to experience the true spirit of the latin wedding (staying up until 4am dancing), as Tim was struck down by flu half way through the reception!  This was after I got locked in a bathroom stall minutes before the wedding and was glad I had sensible shoes and decent ups to make my escape (just thankful it wasn’t the bride – it could have been BAD!).  Great time over all!

 

Getting taller and speedier, our little baby girl is growing up.

  • Crawling & Cruising.  Hazel gets around.  In fact, she is happy to do just that: potter around the house, pushing off on the right foot and dragging along the left knee.  Mornings are spent just crawling around and stopping to play with whatever is interesting.  At mealtimes, she’ll make it into the kitchen and pull up on her chair.  She has learned to climb up steps, but not get back down.  Next month, hopefully.
  • Communication. She’s got the sign for more down.  Still shaking her head for no and making an attempt at saying words.  “Ma” seems to be a go-to for most things important: momma, milk & Miles.
  • Bulky.  Yeah, I already said that.  But seriously, this girl has a great appetite and puts all the nutrients towards girth and none towards teeth or hair.  Some of it does go towards poop, I suppose.  About 5 times a day.  Favorite foods are carby, bread is a go-to favorite.  Being home, we’ve turned on the taps and she is eating just about everything.  And lots of it.
  • Adaptable.  Sheesh, this lady is mellow.  We traveled to the states and she had no qualms at all about picking up the new time zone and doing a funny nap schedule.  She settled right into a long weekend with the grandparents and found out the joys of being held.  A few smiles got her carried around constantly.  Her personality is coming out, and I think she’s someone I’m pretty glad to have around.
  • Playtime.  Hazel is way into playing.  She loves picking up little things and examining them (usually with her mouth first), and is happy at the playground with a cup and a field of pebbles.
  • Leaving it be.  Unlike Miles, Hazel seems to be happy while not getting into trouble.  I can’t tell if it is because everything is cleared out from baby proofing the first time, or if she is getting into stuff but it’s Miles stuff so I don’t notice, or if she genuinely is not a troublemaker.  Anyway, I am not complaining.

Our little man is a walking, talking, singing little boy. It’s crazy that I now say he is “almost 3” when people ask his age.  He is so much fun right now. (I sound like a broken record…)

  • What Happened?  These last few months have been all about “what happened?”, which we discovered is his way of saying “why”.  He’s transitioning slowly to the toddler favorite of the W’s.  Another fun word mixup is “cannot know” which means “I don’t know”, and is a very good response to “what happened?”
  • The Ledge.  Miles has not tipped into full-blown tantrum mode yet, but he has regular emotional meltdowns over tiny things.  Luckily, it still seems pretty easy to talk him down from the ledge.  It helps that he is relatively rational now. (Ha!  I just called a 2-yr-old rational.  Compared to a 10 month old, I suppose he is)  Something that has helped a lot is being empathetic: “Are you sad?” typically stops the waterworks long enough to say yes, and we go from there.
  • Helper.  Miles loves to help (see above evidence).  He will help with baking, packing, laundry, cleaning, shopping, fixing, etc.  Sometimes he is a bit too eager, but it all turns out OK.
  • Big Brother.  Miles is a pretty good big brother.  Times when they are playing together are rare, and he does spend a lot of time moving the toys to higher and higher shelves to avoid Hazel getting involved.  But he does love his sister.  He will call her any name we give her (“baby thing” is a favorite), and loves going into her room to wake her up should the unfortunate situation of waking a sleeping baby be necessary.  Before bed, he does a little “chuckle dance” for Hazel, gives her a big hug, kiss and a gentle.
  • Favorites. He’s expressing likes and dislikes very regularly. Lots of things are currently “my favorite”.  Recent favorites: the color green, Stellaluna, blue rice, and yellow watermelon.  At least we know he’s not color blind.
  • Rider.  Miles learned to ride a tricycle and is getting there with his balance bike.  He zips around the pool on 3 wheels.  He is also taking swimming lessons and getting more and more confident in the water.
  • Stories.  Evenings are full of stories.  Stories about his day, stories from books, and the favorite: stories from when momma was a little guy.  It’s fun for me too, to remember things from when I was small.  I don’t remember too much from being 3, but I can relate stories I’ve heard.  It’s fun to later hear his rendition.
  • Thanks.  We continue our tradition of saying thanks before a meal, Miles singing his blessing, and he has now started adding in his own things to be thankful for.  Recents: swim lessons, kindy, and candy.
  • Temperament.  It’s amazing to me to see how a 2-yr-old can be a small person.  I see characteristics that will likely make up the man he will one day become.  He’s a saver, hoarding candy in his palm and savoring slowly instead of stuffing it in his mouth.  He’s not aggressive (does this make him a pansy?) and will cry or run away from others who are.  If he doesn’t want to jump in the pool, no amount of bribery or cajoling will get him in; forcing him will have unintended consequence of making him even more unwilling.  I’ll be on the look out for more characteristic signs.
  • Logistics.  I almost forgot to write about the mundane aspects of his day, which I think is telling that they are not at the forefront of my mind.  Miles sleeping and eating are going great.  He is diaper free for his waking hours, which works well for all of us.  He’s been well and is loving kindy.

We were lucky enough to make it home for the fire station open house in our old neighborhood in Austin.  Miles has been loving fire engines (nee-naw, nee-naw) since they came to visit at kindy a few months back.  Here we are inside engine #9, with our good buddy Natalie too.

The other morning, Uncle (driver of the kindy bus) asked, “was Miles like her as a baby?”  Like what?, I wondered.  “So…bulky?”

Yeah, she’s pretty sturdy.  Her feet are tall, puffy pillows that she cruises along on, her legs pillars of insulation that end in a white rubberband of an ankle that never sees the light of day.  She carries a spare tire on each thigh where it joins the hip, and her bottom is reminiscent of so many renaissance models.  She maintains a comparatively trim torso, but her arms are soft and squeezable.

I’m proud of her size, and disappointed I can no longer take full credit.  Hazel inhales anything put in front of her, meals are easily the size of Miles’ bowl.  Rock it, sister!

Last weekend, we had a little overnight outing with some of Miles’ best buddies and their families.  We packed up the kids, picked up a crazy array of take-away, loaded the cooler with Tiger and Cuervo, stacked the board games on top and wound our way up into the jungle of Penang Island for a hotel party.  The ‘hotel’ was a boutique collection of 5 villas built into the hillside.  There was no cell phone service and the neighbors were all durian farmers.  Our villa was a rambling wooden structure with an outdoor spa shower and jacuzzi tub.  The decor was kitch at it’s best and there were about 200 throw pillows on the massive U-shaped couch.

We had a great time and Tim managed to catch a few great pictures (again, mostly of the kids) on Fig Tree Hill.

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