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The tender time of year

The change of seasons from summer into fall and winter has always been a time that stirs up nostalgia in me.

This is the season of preparing for holiday celebrations, and I feel nostalgic for a whole series of small, one-off memories of otherwise long-forgotten or even insignificant moments from childhood Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations.

This is the season of college Christmasfest rehearsals, and I feel nostalgic for choir memories, for college moments, and for the days when there was the perfect mix of of alone time time, quiet space, and coming-of-age introspection.

In recent years, this is the season of saying the long goodbye to my father, which evokes a different sense of nostalgia, laden with a lot of "what ifs" and "if we had only knowns." And so this is also a season where I feel nostalgic for all memories of my dad and all the things that I associate with him - food (especially holiday meals and treats), music (especially holiday music), and famil…
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Eleanor - Seven, eight, nine months

Well, then. I’m a little behind over here. So we are going to cram three months of updates into one!

Ellie, you are nine months old. In so many ways, it feels like you are still brand new. Maybe it’s a second-kid thing, but I have found myself far less anxious about rushing you into milestones and rushing you into growing up. Maybe it’s because I realize use how fast time goes, and I don’t want to miss a moment. Either way, I cannot believe that you are already nine months old, and I am amazed at how many things you know how do to!

You are quite the eater, little lady. You take down giant bowls of rice cereal or oatmeal at mealtimes. You eat fistfuls of puffs. You chomp on Cheerios (but just throw them around if we put too many on your tray at once - the temptation is too great!). You eat pouches. Just in the last few days, you’ve become really interested in trying to suck right from the pouch instead of eating spoonfuls from it. You are a fiercely independent eater. Sometimes, you’l…


It hasn't been the best day. So I baked brownies.

This morning, Sam and I waged epic battle over what shirt to wear. He insisted short sleeves, I insisted long sleeves. This led to an out and out refusal to wear a shirt at all. After about an hour of pleading, yelling, whispering, drawer slamming, bribery, guilt trips, reverse psychology, love & logic, and every other parenting maneuver (good, bad, and ugly)...he still was wearing no shirt.

So I did what any reasonable parent would do.

I picked him up, carried my shoeless and shirtless child to the car, and strapped him into the car seat, throwing a pair of shoes and a long-sleeved shirt into the front seat of the car. I put Ellie in her car seat and away we went. I naively believed that Sam would calm down during the drive and feel compelled to put on shoes and shirt when we got to school.


He spent the whole drive demanding that I turn around, go home, and find him a short-sleeved shirt. We got to school and he refused …


It is 9:53 p.m. Both kiddos are asleep. The baby monitor is quiet. The dryer is tumbling with the last of the laundry. The living room lights are dim and cozy. I am stretched out on the couch with a cat at my feed, my knitting bag sitting next to me, ready for action. The remote control is also sitting next to me, in case I want a little background noise, but for now, the quiet is nice.

I should be enjoying the moment and looking forward to an hour or so of unwind time before heading up to bed. But instead, my heart just won't quiet down and my brain can't settle, and I keep neurotically looking to the baby monitor, to catch any sound before it happens. And why?

Because Sam said his tummy hurt.

We watched the end of Finding Nemo tonight, and ate some popcorn. He was happy and sweet and wonderful. He was full of energy tonight, and was in great spirits. He played nicely with Ellie. He was helpful. He was funny. He was a good listener as Matt read him bedtime stories, and even t…

Eleanor - Five months, six months

For those of you keeping tally at home, here we are at the halfway-to-Ellie's-first-birthday mark, which blows my mind. I cannot believe how quickly this last half-year has gone, Eleanor!

You continue to shine as our our giggly, squirmy, happy, bouncy Ellie-belly.

Big brother Sam can't get enough of you these days. He wants to shove his face as close to yours as possible, and grab your arms, and help feed you. He wants to hold you in his lap. He will pile your toys on top of you when he thinks you want to play. He calls you "Ellie-belly" like I do, and likes talking to you in the same sort of high-pitched voice that grown-ups use when they are talking to kids.

I'm a little late in writing up this two-month update, so the timeline is a little out-of-whack, but this past weekend, at six months and three days or so, we decided to transition you out of our bedroom and into your crib in the room you now share with Sam. You'd had a good stretch of good sleeping:…