Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Visiting Grandpa

I had to take a few pictures of the kids in the sweaters Grammie brought back from France before heading out to visit Grandpa on Saturday.

In September the four of us started  a routine of visiting Mike's dad in the hospital on Saturday afternoons.  Michael and Sophie are still a little nervous around hospital equipment, but they've come to enjoy toddling down the long hallways and dancing on the table in the visitor's room--it's a thing now.

This week Michael and Sophie brought gifts.  I printed a message for Mike's dad and one for Mike's mom on card stock and taped the paper to highchair trays for the kids to color.  Trading crayons back and forth held most of their attention at first, but they eventually created masterpieces.

This ordeal certainly isn't over, but Mike's dad is recovering well. Whether he'll go home in a wheelchair or with a walker is uncertain at this point, but Mike Sr. has obviously put his mind to getting back on his feet as soon as possible.

While I don't love the idea of my kids facing difficult challenges in their lives, I know tough times are likely to come along.  I hope Michael and Sophie will be inspired in those situations by the story of Grandpa's recovery, a tale of facing a very frightening challenge with a positive attitude and hard work.  We'll see how this tale ends, but I trust it's of the happily ever after variety.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Watch your language

I believe we're on the brink of having two little language sponges on our hands.

Following directions is like a game right now.  Overnight it seemed that saying, "Sophie, bring me your pants, please," or "Michael, let's read Going on a Bear Hunt," actually started making them stand up and go get stuff, and the specific stuff I mention.  Sometimes the kids will be playing in their bedroom, starting to get into drawers or climb on the ottoman, and I'll say, "Come on, let's go out the door," to stop the mischeif, and they do it happily.  I suspect this will change once they're two or three, but for now I'm marvelling at their intelligence and cooperation.

As far as actually speaking, they've been saying "kitty," mama," dada" and "hi" for a while. Now both are saying "more," ball," yeah," bye," and will repeat back sounds like "moo" and "vroom-vroom."  They also enjoy mimicing intonations and melody, something Sophie seemed to do even as a newborn.

So I guess we better take a tip from Up All Night and cool it on the cussing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hello Good-bye

When I returned to work last month after our second summer together, the kids went through an emotional phase.  Sophie would snuggle and follow me around in the morning, tears flowing as soon as my purse appeared.  For weeks they both kept a close eye on Mike and me when out of the house together, sounding the alarm if one of us strayed too far or out of view.  But now that the routine is re-established, the tears are rare and usually alleviated in the morning by asking the two of them to wave good-bye out the window. 

With so many greetings and departures over the last few weeks, Michael has also developed a sincere and heartwarming "bye-bye."  He likes to say it and wave at the ends of books and before naps and bedtime.  Sometimes he pokes his foot out of his sleep sack as I'm zipping it up and waves with his toes while he says it.

With construction on my work commutes, non-stop technology problems at work, and added pressure and responsibilities for teachers in general, returning to work has been less than smooth this year.  But I'm feeling more at ease now, and Sophie and Michael clearly are as well--it's surely a reciprocal kind of thing. 

Off we go to another school year!

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