When the youngest starts growing up

Although we are wrapping up the summer of accomplishments I feel like I am also saying a bittersweet good-bye to a stage in my children’s lives. This summer my youngest turned two. It really hit me then – this is really the end of “babies” in my life.

Big girl vest!

Big girl vest!

IP is in full-on toddler mode. She wants to dress herself, go to the “big ol’ potty” herself, climb at the park by herself, etc. Instead of saying “Mommy, help me!” she is shouting “Mommy, look at ME!” as she attempts some new feat. We went through this explosive growth of independence with LP too, but at the time I still had a new little baby that needed me desperately for food, warmth, and lots of snuggles. Now, as our second little one grows older, I realize that this is it – there is no little baby waiting in the wings this time. We always wanted two children, and it still seems like the right number for our family for a myriad of reasons. But there is a piece of me that wishes I could borrow a little baby to need me, just once in a while.

Fun with stickers!

Fun with stickers!

Recently we reached another milestone. IP stopped nursing. Just to be clear, she is just over two-years old now (26 months, but whose counting?) She has been just nursing one or twice a day for ages, and it was mostly a short, sweet session before bed or nap. Since it wasn’t onerous to me, and since we both enjoyed it, we kept it going for quite a while. But we had gotten to the point that she didn’t really care, it was just stretching out bedtime, and I wasn’t even home during the day for that second nap-time nurse. So, I just stopped offering, and she didn’t even notice. She has asked about nursing twice in the last three weeks, and both time I told her to remind me later (note for fellow parents – this technique has mixed results. When I used it on LP for other things, he inevitable “remembers” at the most inconvenient time). IP never did seem to care, was perfectly happy with an extra story or two instead, and is wholly unfazed by the transition.

I’m grateful. I have plenty of friends who are dealing with a much more painful and laborious weaning process. But I’m a bit melancholy too. I cried a little about it last week. I’m so happy to have my breasts back to myself, but I miss the special time my baby and I had together, that was really, truly, just us.

We do still have cozy mornings!

We do still have cozy mornings!

I suspect this is how it goes. I was sad and thrilled when LP started preschool, and I expect to feel the same, just more intensely, with IP. When our littlest takes big steps, it is the end of something. The ending itself is not sad, because growth is happening. But it is also a reminder that we will never walk this way again, and I have a much more keen awareness of the importance of living in the moment, so that I don’t look up later and realize how much has passed me by.

A Summer of Accomplishments

This summer was a busy one, but busy in a way that I enjoy. There were very few scheduled activities (except for the plethora of birthday parties)! Yet we were busy every day, going to the pond, the park, a different park, the beach, blueberry picking, etc. This lack of schedule also opened up opportunities for all four of us to learn some new things! When I look back, I realized this was truly a summer of accomplishments.

One of our summer adventures - a hike to the tower in the Fells!

One of our summer adventures – a hike to the tower in the Fells!

LP

LP is still working hard on riding his new big kid bike. He is riding less and less on the training wheels, and with some practice on a flatter surface, he will soon be ready to have them off all together. He is also quite good at pumping his legs on the swing, and now he can swing “almost as hi as Grandpa Hobo!” (Grandpa Hobo is my dad, who is 6’4″). He can write the alphabet, and throughly enjoys making lists where we spell out words for him. He also has started using the words “absolutely” and “assume” correctly (and constantly).

Beach day! Another fun summer adventure.

Beach day! Another fun summer adventure.

IP

IP mastered an important skill this summer – potty use! She is potty-trained for the daytime, and only wears diapers at night and at naptime. The first 10 days were touch-and-go, and I was starting to worry we may have to go back to diapers, but she then quickly figured it all out. Now she is super proud of keeping her underpants “clean and dry” and she loves it when she gets a “BIG star from Daddy!” on her potty chart.

G-man

One of the major yard projects the G-man tackled this summer was finally getting the stump of an old Norwood Maple out of our yard.

The last bit of the old Noorwood Maple is out of the yard!

The last bit of the old Noorwood Maple is out of the yard!

Additionally, the G-man’s garden this year was the most amazing one I have ever seen (and he makes me look at lots of gardens)! He grew tomatoes (5 varieties), corn, mountain of kale, shallots, carrots, gherkins (which are the latest hit with friends since we bring them everywhere), basil, cantaloupe, and more. Words can’t do it justice, so see the set of pictures at the end!

Mom

This summer I read a ton of books, but that is pretty much par for the course. I also learned a new skill – canning! With a lot of prep help from the G-man I canned almost 20 pounds of Roma tomatoes and five quart jars of tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes. I also continued to prepare weekly meals in advance, so I enjoyed late summer afternoons even more than usual.

 

Now that school is here, we are all back into a schedule. For me it is getting up early to get to work, and trying to come hope at a decent hour 2-3 days a week. For everyone else, it is getting used to preschool days, swim lessons, music class, and other assorted activities. We will all learn a lot more this year, and I’m sure we will have more new skills to add to our personal lists. But I do look forward to having another relaxed and fun-filled summer next year, complete with even more accomplishments to be had!

Garden Pictures 

LP an Dad getting raspberries

LP an Dad getting raspberries

Raised Beds

Raised Beds

 

LP's tiny tomato bush

LP’s tiny tomato bush

Still a few pepper containers

Still a few pepper containers

Our 10ft tall sunflower!

Our 10ft tall sunflower!

The start of our pear tree

The start of our pear tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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