Posts in Family
"Yosemite Abenture"

So California is in a drought. And by that I mean, it is illegal to wash your car. So that's pretty dry. But what I've heard is that Yosemite had the most precipitation that it has had in a decade this past winter... which means the waterfalls were flowing bigger, louder, and faster than they have in the past 10 years. It was a good time to be at Yosemite. For so many reasons. But especially for the waterfalls.

Unless you don't love "woud noises."

If that were the case, hiking in Yosemite might take a bit of courage.

And some momma and daddy arms.

A lot.

And by that I mean, mostly daddy arms.

Right now. This season. As we traveled with an infant and a two year old this summer. It was not the season for sight seeing. I mean, we saw some sights. And they were pretty. The kind of pretty that leaves you feeling small and vulnerable and in utter awe. But for the entire trip, we had to keep reminding ourselves (and by we, I mean 'I'), that the goal was not making it to the next waterfall or the next lake... the goal was happy adventuring. Which goes against every way that I'm wired. I am made up of more of my dad than I realized. If you are going on a hike-- the destination is the goal. The lake. The waterfall. The crest of the hill.

 Not so when you are hiking with wee babes.

Whose goals consist of climbing, and running, and stopping, and squatting, and picking up leaves, and chatting, and throwing rocks, and drawing in the dirt and eating Nutella and drinking juice boxes and not using their own walking feet.

Yosemite was an exercise in patience and enjoying the moment and making memories as a family.

Because "hiking" looked a lot like this:

But oh the pride that welled up with each mountain conquered.

And there were many, many mountains for these little baby legs to climb.

For all the patience and perspective taking that a trip to Yosemite required, we sure had a blast. We slowly but surely made it to Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls. We trekked out to Mirror Lake and we wandered around the trails at our own pace. Oliver cheerfully greeted every. single. passer by with a "HI! HOWSITGOIN?!" And it was pretty funny watching him try to engage with complete strangers. He struggled with timing and volume a bit... frequently his greeting was a tad early or a tad late... but when he nailed it, he really nailed it.

And Milo, bless his heart, went a little caveman on us. Any time he could find a stick, it was in his mouth. Nothing beats nature's teething rings. (I promise we intervened.)  There was absolutely no keeping these kids clean. And honestly, we didn't even try. Because why. Which made this fancy tub in our cabin a necessity. The nutella and the almond butter and the Yosemite that we washed off of these two every night was something spectacular.

We took many a bottle breaks. And a squirmy baby and a tired toddler both took a load off, wherever we happened to land. 

Every so often we'd release Milo into the wild. And by that I mean let him crawl around and get as dirty as possible and retrieve sticks and rocks and dirt out of his mouth over and over and over. And how did so much dirt end up inside his diaper?

We did a lot of rock throwing. Just so many rocks were tossed into streams and lakes and rivers and mud puddles.

The first day we explored in Yosemite, Oliver announced within the first thirty minutes: "This is best day EVER. It's TWEE (tree) day!"  And oh the trees we counted, and hugged, and high fived, because whatever keeps a toddler moving forward on their own two feet.

We learned poor Oliver gets car sick, as we drove in and out of the valley every day and he panicked in the back seat "No! I dont want to fwo up! I don't want to fwo up!" He never did actually throw up, but poor buddy. Every single time. We also learned that digestion slows down for him a bit while we are traveling... which led to some desperate attempts to relieve his discomfort, however we could. Full permission was given to make use of his pull-up and we pulled the car over a time or two to give him a chance to calm down and focus. All to no avail. Some serious intervention was required the moment we pulled into our driveway. But those views, when we took "intervention breaks."

Trips right now are by no means vacations... and should only be classified as "Abentures." But the memories we made with glow sticks when we tucked O in bed at night, and the Nutella that covered all our faces as we paused for snacks in the pineneedles, and the almond butter in my hair as Matt fed Milo in the backpack, and the pooping pitstops on the floor of Yosemite Valley with headphones on, and the cold feet from wading in streams and throwing rocks in rivers. Worth every tantrum from an overtired toddler and every inch of grime scrubbed off this little duo.

But seriously. Why do they wake up so early on trips!?

Beautiful Yosemite, You were lovely and exhausting and "woud" and just so, so big. Thank you for reminding us how small we are.

Motherhood Is...

Motherhood is spending 48 hours making a frozen excavation site.

For 10 minutes of fun. 

Because you like the way he purses his lips when he's focusing.

And because you love the glimmer in his eyes when something novel is set before him.

You see yourself in those lips. And you see his daddy in those eyes.

And after all, in the grand scheme of his childhood, what's one more puddle on the floor and one more pair of shorts in the laundry?

If it means I've met him where he's at and spoken the love language of mess making and mess enjoying and mess cleaning.

Milo Chap, Month 10

10 Months. Oh Chapper Boy, your babyhood is flying by. I love watching you grow into yourself... your silly, wild, adventurous self. Your intense, passionate, determined self. Your cuddly, squishy, delicious self. It is such a deep, deep joy.

Milo is a crawling machine. He's on hands and knees now, wearing the floors out with his speed crawling. Oliver can hear him thundering down the hall, towards his room, and depending on O's mood, there is either a surge of excitement and belly laughs or a panicked and desperate "NOOOO! Chappers!!! No!!!!!.  Although Milo can crawl, and is definitely efficient, he spends most of his time on two feet. He uses anything he can get his hands on as a prop for his standing. He's started using the baby walker with help and the look of pride that spreads across that face as he propels himself down the hall is too much for my heart.

He loves to babble and has all sorts of sounds. He seems to favor some for a few days and then move on to a new sound. Today it has been "Esssssssss, Esssssss, Esssssss" all day long. He is especially vocal at meals, and has no tolerance for baby food unless there is also a little something on his tray that he can shovel into his mouth. He's now eating about 50% table food and 50% purreed baby food at each meal. Which means the length of Milo's time at the table has quadroupled, because buddy only has so many teeth, but a very hungry tummy. He loves Strawberries, Avocado (HadoCado in Oliver-speak), Cheese, Peas, Peanut Butter Crackers and Bananas... He'd rather not eat eggs or any form of meat unless it is hidden in a bite of baby food. He's taking 5-6 bottles per day. (2-4oz during the day and 6oz before bed, in the middle of the night, and at waking). He lets us know when he's ready for a bottle by crawling up to us and mouthing and licking our arm or leg or cheek, whatever he can get his mouth on and taste... it's both crazy endearing and disgusting at the same time. Which basically sums up being a boy-mom.

Speaking of the middle of the night... we are down to just one feed at night... although, the past week, there has been a resurgence of pleas for two bottles per night... but after a little love, he makes it another few hours. Most nights he takes a bedtime bottle at 6:45pm and then a middle of the night feed anywhere between 2am and 4am. His day starts anywhere between 5am and 6am... but typically it's more like 5am. To be fair, Matt still takes the early morning shift (what would I do without him!?), but if he has a late night at work, then I push through and handle the middle of the night and the 5am wake up call.  And I don't like coffee. But I wish I did. Because 5 am is unkind.

He is ready for a morning nap thee hours after waking, so I typically lay him down around 8:30 or 9am. And if we don't have anything going on in the morning he sleeps for about an hour. I wake him up at 1.5 hours because his afternoon nap gets pushed too late if he goes longer. He's ready for an afternoon nap most days around 2pm and he sleeps about two hours in the afternoon... longer if Oliver is quiet.

The fuzzy hair is now half laying down and half standing straight up depending on the recency of his bath and the amount of food he has scrubbed into his scalp. But I love the way it feels against my cheek when he's asleep on my shoulder. There will probably be real tears when it is replaced by a head of toddler hair in the coming months. Just another thing about his babyhood that I am trying to memorize each night when I lower him into his crib.

Sweet boy, you are so deeply and fiercely loved. We are treasuring these last few months of your baby days and are filled with excitement and heartache as we prepare to leave your babyhood. We are so incredibly blessed and privileged to watch you grow and develop, because it means you are healthy... but oh there are days I just want to linger in this season with you. To keep your squishy legs, and your baby coos and your grunty nose and your fuzzy head. But then you start screaming at 4am and I'm thankful that babyhood is a season. I love you... and I love sleep. And I'd love to have my cake and eat it too. You are so precious to us. You are one of us. You are part of us. You belong to us. 

Today Oliver was singing a made up song about you, called "Miwoe-- toe eater-- Sane-ders!" We would be an althougher differnt type of Sane-ders without you bubba. And our made up songs would be so vanilla without our "toe-eater".