Monday, February 28, 2011

Frère Nate...

Dormez vous? 

I took these pictures just before 7:30 this evening. FYI: 7:30 is about the time I like to get Nate and Seth into their jammies and try to get everyone thinking about sleepy-time. Apparently somebody's watch was a little off.

At first I thought this looked kind of uncomfortable... 

... but then I decided it looked quite comfortable indeed. Also, as a (sometimes) weary mommy I could kind of relate. I often feel the same way around 7:30.

Still, it was a bit of a quandary since Nate was so sleepy and peaceful looking and yet I still had to get him into his jammies and into bed somehow. I was really struggling with how to disturb him with the least amount of "disturbing" so to speak.

Fortunately Seth came to my rescue just in the nick of time... 

– Oh, hi everyone! It's me, Seth. Has no fear, I is here – and I know just what to do about 'dis sleepy-time Nate situation. When you see something (or someone) who is committing an act of irresistible cuteness... 

–... is best if you poke it. Mommy teach me 'dis one.

*poke* *poke* *poke*

- L.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Amazing Nate: No Van De Graaff Required

Alternate post title: 
It Might (Almost) Look Like Business In The Front, But It's Definitely A Party In The Back.

Alternate post title II: 
What A Hat And A Slightly Sweaty Head Can Do.

I realize it doesn't appear too spectacular here but if you look closely you can see that's not Nate's regular curl behind the ear poking out at you:

The following might give you a better idea what I'm talking about: 

It's like he's got his own electrostatic generator.

And just because Seth was trying so hard to get your attention in the background (and looking so cute while doing it)... 

He's busy chewing on his sleeve here as he has been for pretty much the last month thanks to his new teeth. By the time I laid him down to sleep I had to seriously debate whether to find him a new shirt to sleep in because his sleeve was so soggy – but he was already dozing off so I opted for not. 

•   •   •   •   •

Mommy note: This is not the first time Nate has sported this look since it's winter here and a hat is generally required gear when going outside (and even in the coldest weather Nate's head tends to get a little sweaty in just about any kind of hat), but his hair was especially out of control after we got back from the grocery store today. I should have made more of an effort to take some pics immediately upon our return since everything had calmed down some by bedtime when I managed to sneak in a few photos. Yes, you read that right. You're looking at the calmed down version.

- L.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Confession Time (Brought To You By Seth)

– Oh, hi everyone. It's me, Seth. You might have forgotten about me since I ate all my carrots and fish, which got all of a passing comment if I recall correctly. Here I am about to start my big new food adventure. And yet... 

... and yet I appear troubled. As though something is on my mind.

What could that be, everyone? Well, I is glad you is asking.

– You know, it not easy getting stuck all the time with the backdrop that makes it look like I is at some kind of Home Depot® DIY on how to block off an uninsulated room. I never complain about 'dis though.

No. Instead I'd like to call your attention to that spot on the wall. The one behind me and a little to your left.

This one...

I prefer not to say how it got there, but it been there for awhile. I bet you not see it here even though it was there the whole time. I pause while your mind boggles temporarily...

Mommy wants to talk about a magic trick? Mommy makes me laugh. Mommy been fooling you the whole time with Photoshop trickery! 

– Yep, that right. Mommy has been taking the time to digitally erase that spot instead of real-life erasing that spot for quite some time now.

I can hardly believe it either, but I is pointing my finger of blame at Mommy in this picture. 

– Now in all fairness, we does keep Mommy pretty busy and it easy to forget things. I know 'dis firsthand. So in case you is being judge-ee, I will stick my tongue out at you. I know it adorable, and you probably want to poke it, but try to take 'dis seriously. Maybe just have a polite word with Mommy about cleaning 'dis spot off the wall. Again, I won't say how it got there ('dis NOT important after all). Important thing is it be gone.

Thanks for listening everyone!

– Seth

PS. 'Dis probably not the time to question how I know words and phrases like "uninsulated" and "if I recall correctly" or what a Home Depot® is, while I still saying "'dis" and "I is". Just go with it everyone. Don't make me poke my tongue out at you twice!

•   •   •   •   •

Mommy note: No more Photoshop trickeries – spot will be summarily dealt with. Oh, the shame. The shame!!!

Not to mention the horrors.

- L.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The OP Proudly Presents... The Amazing Nate!

– Oh, hi everyone! It's me, Nate. I's about to have lunch. 

– ... or, you know, maybe not. What are these strange bits of orange and white doing on my tray? 

– Is I supposed to eat 'dis? 

– I think I do a trick instead and make whatever 'dis is disappear. 

– I tap out a dramatic drumroll with my Touching Finger while you head over to our YouTube™ channel to see my amazing lunchtime trick.

•   •   •   •   •

Mommy note: Today was the first time Nate and Seth tried fish and cooked carrot pieces (instead of carrot pureé). I figured the carrots would be an easy hit since it's one of their favorite foods. I wasn't as sure about the fish, although I went with sole for its mild flavor. Both were a hit with Seth. And Nate? Not so much. I do recommend heading over to check out his antics on YouTube™ though.

It really was a pretty good trick.

- L.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, Part Deux!

... brought to you by the color red and the letter E. 

- L.

PS. In case you were wondering how the "E" factored in... it's as in "eeeeeee!!! I have the cutest little Valentines ever!". Yep, I'm a lucky mommy (and I know it too).

Happy Valentine's Day!

... brought to you by silly lunchtime faces! 

*kisses and hugs* to my two little Valentines. 

- L.

PS. February 14th was also my estimated due date a year ago. Of course, it was based on a standard 40 week pregnancy with a singleton so there was no way were were going to get there, but it was still a sweet day to see written on my file. Even sweeter to know I'd be holding my babies by then.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Touching Finger


I caught this pose randomly when I was taking pictures of Nate and Seth in their new birthday outfits (not to be confused with birthday suits btw, which you can safely assume would be their preference). Not a great shot in general, but a pretty good silhouette of the hand-dynamics behind the Touching Finger. I say "pretty good" since the Touching Finger is normally fully extended when approaching a touchable object. This was clearly shot mid-touch.

This isn't an easy hand gesture either. I have fairly flexible fingers and cannot manage to even come close to accomplishing it, but the finer points are thus:

  1. Middle finger fully extended (some of you might be good at this part, but I assure you the rest is hard). 
  2. Index finger pulled back completely, as though it is in the way. 
  3. All other fingers (plus thumb) are in a relaxed state. 

If you can accomplish all of the above with ease, then get touching! It's apparently the way to go.

*touch* *touch* *touch*

I first alluded to the Touching Finger in this post where Nate was giving careful examination to a Cheerio. Things that are new are always greeted with touches. 

And when you're only 12 months old, there's a lot that's new. Like the first time he spent some one-on-one time with this guy:

Poor Teddy got his eye poked and poked and poked. Er... I mean "touched". A lot.

Remember this photo? 

It was an add-on to a post that had nothing to do with anything really, but I liked it enough to want to include it. At the time I said:

I took this picture last week and while it's not the greatest photo ever, there's something about it that I love. It's very Nate and I wanted to post it before it got lost in the shuffle (as things do when you're chasing two rather mobile babies around all day). Much like his brother, he has a way of looking at the camera that just takes my breath away. 

I didn't know then that I would someday be writing a post about the Touching Finger, but I can now admit that one of the things about that photo that I loved was the Touching Finger in action and that's at least part of what I meant when I said, "it's very Nate". The rest really is the way he's looking at the camera. That's very Nate too btw.

You were probably too distracted the first time you saw this photo to even notice the Touching Finger. 

Cute baby + cute costume and a pumpkin too? I almost didn't catch it, but this is probably one of the best shots of the Touching Finger in all its glory. 

And just in case you hadn't already picked up on this... 

It's an ambidextrous touch. The Touching Finger knows no bounds and is very equal opportunity that way (especially when it comes to blueberries).

And lastly, the photo that finally prompted me to write this long-awaited-much-anticipated post: 

While digging through The Vault, I came across a picture I took when Nate was all of 4 days old, Touching Finger on full display even in the throes of much upset.

Honestly, it took at least a few weeks after he was born before I even noticed Nate's endearing affectation and yet he'd been doing it right from the beginning – which made me think he probably didn't just start doing this on Day 4. Looking back it seems more likely he was already practicing his special Nate brand touching style before birth, perhaps right around the same time babies learn how to suck their thumb in utero.

It makes me wonder how many of the smaller movements I felt around that time were actually Touching Finger touches.

*touch* *touch* *touch*

- L.

PS. The last time I mentioned the Touching Finger was here. I think everyone attending was a little surprised that Nate chose to use his index finger at the time, but over the last week I've seen him doing this more and more – which as a mommy, makes me a little melancholy already. I felt it was time to write this post for reference just in case.

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Photos From The Vault: 4 Days Old

These photos are a little like our birth photos, a little bittersweet. I took them as I was dressing my babies before we left the hospital. It was the first time they'd worn anything other than a hospital issued gown or a snugly swaddle. I couldn't wait to take them home (which is the sweet part).

At the time, I didn't know we'd be readmitted 24 hours later.

This however is most definitely a story for another day. I'd rather dwell on the sweet tonight.

I want you to keep in mind that Seth was my big baby and weighed an impressive 6 lbs. 11 oz. Check out those "chubby" legs! 

He was also an impressively long baby for that weight at 20 1/2 inches. That newborn onesie he's wearing, while being all shades of baggy, has already got vertical pull-lines. But I didn't have much time to think about that because... 

Wait... what's going on here? Is Seth about to do what I think he's about to do? 

Yep, just as I suspected. He's striking a pose.

As early as April, I commented that, "the camera just loves Seth – honestly, it's nearly impossible to take a bad picture of him", but looking back I can see that's always been true. So really, no surprise that he's already got his moves down at 4 days old. He had them down pretty much at birth. You know, if Nate hadn't been stealing his face-time.

Nate, on the other hand, was not "loving the camera" so much here: 

His outfit isn't pulling quite as much as his brother's did. He was just over 20 inches long and not quite 6 lbs., so I thought I'd try him first in one of the preemie outfits I'd brought since he was definitely within the range weight-wise. Again, you will see it's all shades of baggy and even though newborns naturally keep their legs tucked up for the most part, he was already too long to stretch out in this sleeper and let me know straight up this wasn't cool: 

Either that, or it was just the first of many commentaries delivered in a similar fashion from both my boys on the fact that clothing in general constitutes a cruel and unusual punishment.

- L.

Photos From The Vault: 3 Days Old

Last week while I was sorting through my babies' birth photos, I came across a stash of other pictures from their first days earthside and wondered why I didn't post them last year. And then I realized what a ridiculous thing that was to wonder – I barely had time to remember my own name a year ago.

Some days it's still difficult since I mostly go by "mom-mom" now.

The title says it all really. Nate at 3 days old: 

It's hard to imagine now that my big boy was so tiny.

And Seth, already working the camera even in his sleep: 

I think he had almost as much hair when he was born as he does now (minus the sweet curl of course).

- L.