Jan 14: I am not pregnant, no matter what Jake says

He's been telling everyone I have a baby in my tummy. Four of his classmates have new younger siblings, and he wants to be a big brother.

I told Jorj he'd better get that procedure done soon.

Jan. 5: Playing with scissors

Jake has learned to use scissors. We had a pleasant two evenings cutting the edges of papers. He'll be fringing in no time! I tried to interest him in snowflakes, but the primary attraction was in further cutting.

Starting to plan his birthday party. What do I do with a dozen three year olds for two hours inside in Winter? Jake wants to have all his friends (and teachers) over, at home, not at the Please Touch Museum, where we could just let them run for a few hours. And most of these kids have siblings!

He is excited about making goodie bags with me. This was revealed as we left the party store with invitations for 20 and he lamented not getting a balloon tonight ("the red baloon is pretty!"). For your birthday dearest. "Will everyone get a balloon?" Yes, with their goodie bag. "Can I help make the goodie bags?" Of course.

I must say, I love, love, love this age. As I look in his face after he falls asleep, I almost wish he'd stay this way forever. (What I really want is time travel, so that well-rested but aggravated teenager-mom me could give sleep-deprived new-mom me a night or two of rest. That and I'd go back in time and tell teenager me that a SIZE TEN ISN'T FAT. And stop procrastinating.) He talks, he plays (by himself sometimes), he adores us and wants to do what we are doing. This morning, he and Jorj built an infra-red receiver for an old radio-controlled car that Jorj took apart while I slept in. He'll help me bake his birthday cakes and muffins (side note: hazelnuts already gone from the grocery stores!). We built Lego towers this morning.

OK, the word "no" has taken a prominence in my vocabulary that is unprecedented. No, stop running. No, get your finger out of your nose. No, finish your dinner. But he understands English! And only wakes up once a night, sometimes not at all!

He is, as he says, Supertoll.

Dec. 14: First visit with Santa

We've never discussed Santa with Jake. It was enough to get through Christmas buying presents for close family and small friends (many thanks to Lynn and Mary for saying "no presents for adults!"). Of course, he absorbed the existence of Santa from eveyone and everything around him (at a Jewish day care too -- talk about pervasive). When asked, he said he would like to see Santa.

Jorj took Jake to see Santa on Monday while I shopped with Shawn, and Jake had a wonderful time. Jorj got there early, and explained what would happen (you'll sit on Santa's lap and he will ask what you want). Jake said he was OK to go up alone, and we have a great picture of him on Santa's lap (Jorj didn't take it, so no on-line version).

The only think Jake wants for Christmas is a balsa-wood airplane, of which I've already bought five. He did say he would also like books and a new 25-piece puzzle ("real" puzzle, not the wooden kind).

June 18: More sleeping through the night

He's started sleeping through the night again, twice this last week, and once the week before. I'd hope, but he's changing day cares next week, and that should disturb everything for a while.

June 5: He didn't get that from his father

Message from Jorj: "Jake asked to go to a barber. He says his hair is long. He wanted to go this morning before going to school."

He's also going to sleep easily (and without threats!), and slept through Saturday night (but not Sunday or Monday), and the cat woke Jorj and I up with a hairball Saturday.

May 23: End of an Era

I may finally have weaned Jakob (he's almost 28 months old). I know what you're thinking: TMI! TMI!, possibly "what finally?"

At 10 months he stopped nursing during the day -- no interest. At 20 months, after a really bad weekend, Jorj did Jake nighttime duty for two weeks and 1) we got him sleeping through much of the night and 2) he stopped nursing when he woke up.

That left beloved milktime before bed. He looked forward to that like going outside, or playgrounds, or seeing Courtney every day. It was OK. He'd fall asleep within half an hour, and he didn't bite.

And then, a month ago, he started, I don't know, gnawing is too harsh a word, but it wasn't pleasant. In fact, we suspended milktime for two days, went to short milk time for a week, and then back to full milk time because it took him forever to fall asleep. Knowing that milktime priviledges might be removed, he was more gentle for a week, but by this Sunday I had to suspend milk time again. And last night. Tears and screaming ensued, from both of us, and he didn't fall asleep until 9:30 (bed time starts at 7:30).

Tonight, during the bath, I said, I think you're big enough to go to sleep without milktime. And Jake said ... I don't know, something totally unrelated, because he's two. But when he went to bed, he didn't ask for milktime, and he didn't yell (the return of Lambie probably helped a lot) and with some gentle threats, he was asleep within half an hour. (My threat is, I've got things to do, and if you don't start going to sleep, I'm going down stair. Nothing like the threat of abandonment, eh? Working on that one.)

May 20: Jorj MacGyvers a fountain

In honor of my father's birthday (not really), Jorj made a fountain for Jake from a sump pump and a wading pool. Well, what else do you do with a sump pump when the basement is dry?

April 29: Nothing but photos

And I can't be bothered to make a Yahoo account now that the "old school" Flickr accounts are disabled.

At the end of March, Cousin Xander celebrated his sixth birthday at Libertylands Park, the only community-owned park in Philly. It has a great jungle gym.

Jake loves his own tricycle, but he also loves biking with us. Unfortunately, he's getting too heavy for the seat mounted on Tobi's old bike, and Tobi's old bike does not go. Co-worker Chris to the rescue, with the bike trailer his children have outgrown. Jake and I set it up inside the day after Christ gave it to us, and we went for rides around the house. Then he gave his stuffed animals rides.

Jake is two, and that's really super-cool.

April 22: Words, words, words

Lots of incremental changes adding up to big realizations of maturity. Jake talks a lot (to us), using up to eight or nine workds in a sentence, and multiple clauses. We can practically see the more complex thoughts running through his brain: if I say I'll do it, she'll probably forget by the time she really wants me to do it. Yeah, I've seen the internal teenager.

And he counts to twenty.

We played in the back yard today with the phone hose, aka 15 feet of garden hose. It's the "speaking tube" principle; speak in one end of the tube/hose, and the sound waves will bounce nicely to the other end. Lots of playgrounds have them now, made out of pipe laid underground. Next time we have a bunch of kids over, we'll try it with the 100-footer -- assuming the basement is pumped out and we no longer need the hose.

March 20: Made his Mama cry

[Jake on his first two-wheeler at the bike store]

March 16: Photos! Photos! Photos!

[Jake the gardener]

[We are ready to garden!]

Jake and I planted some moonflower and morning glory seeds. I'm so excited that he wants to garden with me!

A handful from the last trollops-warriors gathering

We visited Manisha, Jeff, Joey and Maya. All I can say is, they live out there.

February 15: Valentine's aftermath

After yesterday's snow day (spent with neighbors Carly and James playing hide and seek), Jake toddled in today with a bag of thirteen cards and goodie bags. All was glorious, glorious, until that mean mommy wouldn't let him have any treats until after he'd gotten home.

It was much less over-the-top than last year's rather disasterous and guilt-inducing Halloween. Most parents taped a single lollypop or pre-wrapped jelly candy to a card. Only Logan's mom baked (and included chocolates and those bizzarro hearts with cute sayings). Samantha's parents sent home four Hershey's kisses, because toddlers just don't have enough energy. Only Jake gave goody bags with anything other than candy (kazoos and heart stickers, and one kiss, leftover from Christmas, I picked out the red and silver ones). Mostly sane.

I did considering baking Ausstecherle hearts (and freezing half the dough for St. Pat's), but I just didn't have the time. Last weekend had no real baking, only frosting cakes and throwing a birthday party. Sue me. I'll be making a double batch of Fasnacht this weekend.

He's sleeping through one of every two or three nights. Often he wakes up around 6 a.m., sometimes 5:30, sometimes 7. Big snowstorm, no school? Up at 5:30. Everyone back to work? 7 a.m.

February 4: Freezer full of cake

With Jake's birthday Friday, his party next Sunday, and a Trollops get-together next weekend, the downstairs freezer has been stuffed with cake since January. I've baked every weekend, which is great, but it's been rough on my hands.

Anyhow, he's two now, and, wow, big changes in the last three months. First of all, I found the time to bake every weekend (sometimes twice!). He's independent enough to play with his toys on the counter for fifteen minutes while I bake, or sit at his table and eat, or help me. He's co-ordinated enough to stir ("mix"), color vaguely near the lines and flip pancakes. It's so much easier to do what needs to be done, and be able to do what I want to do (which is baking). Mom liked 18 to 24 months best (although she admits I'm not so bad in my 30s, either), but two seems terrific so far.

Oh, it's not all peaches and cream, or butter and sugar, he learned how to open doorknobs with safety covers, so when he gets up at night or 5:30 a.m., he can walk right into our room and scare the bejeebers out of Mommy-O, who, yes, is still afraid of the dark. He bites when frustrated, but has stopped that now that I've stopped nibbling on his cheeks. He'll get to the I-want-it-I-don't-want-it screaming and crying point, and the only thing to do is do what I think is right (out of the tub now!) and hope to distract him; but I manage to handle this most of the time without considering auctioning him on eBay. And let me tell you, the feeling that I know what I'm doing is a complete relief.

He had a blast on his birthday, with cupcakes at school, and everyone signing to him. In fact, Happy Birthday has been in heavy rotation on the Jakob Channel (that is, when Jakob spontaneously bursts into song, about five or twenty times a day), for the past month, along with Jingle Bells (still! that's my boy!), Farmer in the Dell, Old Mac Donald, and Frere Jacques, to which I make up new lyrics. To wit:

Do you have it?
Do you have it?
Jakob's bag
Jakob's bag
Everything is in there
Everything is in there
But no juice!
But no juice!

As it was his birthday, he also had cake for breakfast because that's the kind of mother I am. Jorj tells me it was joy (I was still in bed). He even asked permission before biting the head off the teddy bear -- it was a small, bear-shaped cake.

And we have conversations! I'm not sure about what, although I do most of the talking, but there is statement and response, question and answer.

His favorite game right now is hide and seek, although he got so distracted once while seeking his hiding father had to go get him. All books are lovely, as is anything outside. He watches some TV (Muppet Show, Dr. Seuss, Nemo) and can recognize most of the licensed characters, but doesn't request any of them when we go shopping. The goodie bag was not licensed-character free (Sesame Street activity book with stickers and heavy on the -- but not limited to -- the E-muppet), but it was gender neutral and had pirate duckies. Yeah, pirate duckies. The party store also has Mardi Gras duckies; it's time to stock up.

Jakob Emanuel's photos More of Jakob Emanuel's photos

What he's learned

Open doors, climb stairs, move chairs to climb on to get things off the counter/table he shouldn't have, open bottles (see Advil incident), jump, "Twinkle, Twinkle," being nice and not nice, up/down, in/out, on/off, hot/cold, wet/dry, turn keys, make the harmonica make noise, put together Legos, puzzles.

Words: Mama, balloon (bahl!), Dot (daycare), Anna (daycare), beh-be (he walks around muttering beh-be-beh-be-beh-be and will point to himself), duck, meow, nose (he pointed to my nose and said "nose" very clearly, and has refused to identify another nose since then), rock, dog, me, yes, no, yay, door, Jakob, eye, bubbles, out, bush.

Follows instructions (when he wants). Told, "You need to put your shoes on. Bring your shoes; they're by the stairs," he brought his shoes over so that he could go bye bye.

Drops things on the floor and says, Uh-oh! That's not uh-oh kid, that's goodbye.

Pushes chairs all over the place!

Likes to turn lights off, or on, as long as the switch is pushed down.

Nests his nesting blocks, then shakes them like maracas.

The child likes whisks. I'm so proud!

Everything I learned about Motherhood is on the Internet

Ask Moxie


Year 2: toddlerhood!, or we survived the first year!

Year 1: now what, or that's a lot of attention for something that doesn't move.

Pregnant and loving it. Sometimes. When I wasn't queasy, tired, large, in pain or diabetic. That might have been one day in September. No, really, a very easy pregnancy with only the gestational diabetes to complicate things.