This is my 500th post!
To celebrate, I'm going to share what I'm loving right now and sponsor a contest. Because I've been so busy I don't have anything to give away right this moment. So instead, I'm going to make something specifically for the winner. If I know you, I'll make something specificaaly inspired by you. If not, you'll get something made of clay, fabric, paper, berries, or some combination of those...
To win, leave a comment by 9:00am EST next Sunday August 1, 2009. Each comment counts once and I'll count an extra comment if you share a memory that will make me smile, laugh or cry, OR share one of your favorite pictures on the blog.
Now onto things I'm loving:
I have been loving these frequent smiles and the way this kid coos at me. Melts me. Seriously. I also love the way he loves to be wrapped up in a blanket and held like a baby when he's tired. I love the way he is mellow and alert and quiet most of the time and that I feel like I actually can console him much of the time. I love that he might be sleeping better lately. I don't want to jinx it, but we've been slowly stretching out those three hour blocks and they've been seeming more sound than they were. We have taken his to the chiropractor, and though they didn't hang him by his toes, maybe it did help? I don't love how fast he's growing though. Knowing this is the last biological child we will have (a choice we've made), it is maddening to constantly think, "this is the last time I get to do this!" I feel so lucky to have two healthy babes and to get to be home with them as they grow.
And I SO love this kid. His joyful self is starting to return as he has gotten a bit more used to sharing the attention with Remick. A few stories that I love from recently:
We took the train into Boston recently (pictures to come) and we were meeting friends that we couldn't find. As we pulled into the next stop, Raph went into some other cars to see if he could find them. Makili was very concerned that he had left and was asking where he had gone. I told him that he'd be right back. A moment later, the train started moving and Makili looked at me with sparkling eyes and said excitedly, "Daddy fix it!" (He thought Raph had fixed it.)
The concept of "fixing it" is something Makili is really into at the moment, but he does understand that not everything can be fixed. So a normal conversation goes like this: "Oh no, Makili, _______ broke." Makili will then say with conviction, "Daddy fix it." I'll say, "No, we can't fix this, Makili." His prompt response is, "buy a new one!" Yikes! I have no idea where he learned this!
I also absolutely love the way he is acquiring language at the moment. He uses new words ALL the time, and I constantly think to myself, "wow I didn't know he knew that word." (This would be a prime time for me to cut the swear words out of my vocab!) Recently he learned the word "just." I was giving him options for snack - grapes, crackers and cheese. And he looked at me seriously and said, "just grapes." He will repeat anything though. My cousin Emily taught him to walk around with a ring box, open it and say, "marry me!" Also she taught him to say "so fly" when wearing cool sunglasses, which I lengthened to "so fly for a white guy," which is absolutely hilarious. He really is terribly cute...
I've been loving where we live, even if this is becoming the summer that never was. We haven't really gotten hot summer weather yet, and most of my garden reflects that, but I actually haven't minded too much. I did mind the month of June in which it rained nearly every day, but since then, temperatures have hovered in the 70s and low 80s and been terribly pleasant. And I get to see vistas like these daily. I'm pretty lucky. I love being able to go to the beach for an hour when I feel like it or an entire day if I want. I love being close to Boston and Portland (my new favorite destination) and Portsmouth, which offer all of the city things I need, while still being in what feels like a rural area. I love the community here which is super diverse from earthy artists, to environmentalists, to "Mainers." Our street for example is about as diverse as it comes. We have several lobster fishermen, a member of the zoning board who is all about protecting the wet lands, a homeschool Christian family with six kids, and everything in between. Every one of them is incredibly nice and we're feeling more and more connected here. (Now if we could find some people with kids our kids' ages who don't live 30+ minutes away, we'd be set!)
I've been loving hanging out with these McCall kids a lot too. Now that I'm not actually babysitting for them, I feel like I could hang out with them everyday too. I love being able to talk to another adult, and I so love watching Makili interact with them. Boy does he love those kids. I haven't really had as much consistent interaction with kids growing up as I have with these kids and it feels special to have been part of their childhood.
I've been loving having my little niece around for the month too. She has been super helpful in this transition, though to be completely honest I apparently don't remember what it is like to be 13. She and Raph are like soul-mates, which is occasionally somewhat annoying (like what am I, chopped liver?) but Makili has loved playing with her, she is an expert at putting Remick to sleep, does dishes (but does NOT change poopy diapers), and has generally been great to have around!
I've been loving on this guy too, of course. We get to have a date night tonight, which is pretty exciting. He has been a pretty terrific husband, taking the baby the most of the night so that I can function during the day. I'm told not all guy are willing to change diapers and bathe them, but I got a winner, I guess, which works out cause I couldn't handle it any other way!
I've also been loving my under-producing garden. My flower garden is a constant source of joy, and the vegetable garden coupled with some yummy produce has been filling our bellies.
In short, life is good.