Last year I made my first batch of pumpkin scones to help us get through our quarantine, which set off a pumpkin flavored obsession with Stella. She loved those things and when I introduced her to the pumpkin bread from Starbucks, they quickly became a favorite. She requested pumpkin bread a few days ago but I decided to make scones with her instead as our afternoon activity. Some days I have to come up with fun afternoon activities as a way for her to actually nap. As a bribe, scones aren’t the worst thing. She started out in her elephant apron, but then got distracted by other things. I got her attention when I brought out the pumpkin. I let her taste it and instead of spitting it out like I thought she would, she kept dipping the teaspoon in for more and saying, “That’s really yummy, Mama!” She kept busy for a little while spooning the remaining bit of pumpkin into a container, her mouth, and a little for Tsunami. We baked them up and then made an even bigger mess with the crumbs, which Tsunami was pretty happy about. I’m loving this new phase where she can mostly help me with things in the kitchen. I had to stop her a few times from eating all the spices because I guess she thought flour would taste better with a little baking powder and cinnamon.
When it comes to Halloween, I’m not creative. I maybe could be if I put more thought into it but it seems like every year it creeps up on me until it’s too late to make any fancy costume. This year was no exception because having a two-year old and a 4-month old obviously doesn’t leave a lot of room for crafting. We picked out a Merida (from Brave, though this costume I’m almost positive is something Merida would never have worn but whatever) costume at Costco a few weeks before Halloween. I had intentions of making the rest of the family her bear brothers, but I got lazy and driving to a dozen different stores to find bear outfits for us was never going to happen. I also had plans to make a bow & arrow for Stella to carry around but, again, that didn’t happen. I’m actually okay with that, though, because Halloween morning I asked if she wanted to wear her costume to swim lessons. I thought it might get her more in the spirit of Halloween and a little excited about trick-or-treating. She seemed excited at first but when she realized that I she had to take off her Brave nightgown she refused. Instead she spent the day in her pajamas.
We decided to not carve pumpkins this year because they rot so quickly here. Instead I took out a few colors of paint and let Stella paint them. It turned into painting herself as well. I just let her have at it and got her bathed before we left for trick-or-treating.
Water delivery was Friday and these were still out while Stella was painting. She kept trying to ride on them. It took her a few times to get herself seated on them but then thought it was hilarious to be riding water. “Stella’s riding,” she’d say with a laugh.
Once she realized I was taking pictures,of her, she climbed off and ran over to look at them. “Again,” she would say as she ran back for another ride. This went on for quite a while, until I had been bitten by all the mosquitoes and decided to go inside.
After Wes got home, we headed to our friends’ neighborhood so the kids could trick-or-treat together. Stella was more interested in all of Jack’s toys and once again refused to wear her costume. Luckily, Jack found her gloves and handed them to her and once she put them on it was fairly easy to put the rest of the costume on. James wore a skeleton outfit that I found at the last minute in his 6-month clothing box. I think it was passed down from our friends in Puerto Rico and am grateful that James was able to dress up for his first Halloween even though I had nothing planned for him!
We had been working on saying “Trick or treat!” all day, and it worked. Stella and Jack were both able to knock on the doors and request their candy. After the first house, though, Stella just wanted to sit down and eat the candy. It was an uphill battle getting her to keep going when she already had candy in her bucket.
We managed a few more houses before both kids hit their bedtime wall. Fortunately, Wes had packed up the car before we left so we were able to make a quick getaway. James cried the entire way home and at one point Stella cried for me to “fix your baby” and after refusing a few times because I had no idea what could be wrong with her doll, I finally took it from her to find that she had turned the baby’s head around on her body and it was scaring her. A perfect way to end Halloween!
It’s fairly amazing how painfully slow the last weeks of pregnancy are compared to how quickly the first year goes by. This kid is four months old already. At this time last year I had just found out I was pregnant and was puking regularly. This year I get to snuggle the biggest four-month old ever. He is 16 pounds and 26 3/4″ long. For his half birthday we’re going to have to celebrate by getting him a bigger car seat.
But those chubby little thighs and cheeks are pretty adorable. The only problem with him being such a large infant (compared to Stella, anyway), is that I have to remind myself that he’s still only four months old. Every time I hold him and he flops, or he cries uncontrollably and I think, Dude, get it together I have to stop and mentally slap myself for thinking that a four-month old should be acting like a 10-month old.
He’s a mostly happy baby. Smiling and laughing and generally just being chill. Except for bedtime. When he has had enough of the day he will let you know in no uncertain terms that he is ready for bed and mama is the only one who can handle bedtime, apparently. Sometime Wes will try to rock him while I get a shower, but usually that only results in more crying and so James’ bedtime has been a little rough on both of us, for different reasons. I know he’ll get around to sleeping easier but for now I do what I can to get him down and thank my lucky stars that he sleeps through the night. We still have a few nights where he wakes up once but for the most part we get a solid night out of this kid. Yes, I know how incredibly lucky I am. I have to remind myself of that every night.
We are smack dab in the drooly stage and he should be wearing bibs wherever we go, but I keep forgetting. Even though we’re only a few years removed from this stage with Stella, it’s so hard to remember all the small details of what life was like with an infant. On particularly long days I just look to Stella and remind myself that this phase will be over before we can even get used to it.
James loves to stand and he’s got the body strength to support it. Any time I try to put him in a reclined position, including his car seat, he stretches his legs long and it takes some moving around to get him in there.
Stella clearly loves James but is also impatient for him to be able to play with her. There aren’t as many requests for me to set James down now, but she’s tried to pick him up on her own to play with him, an act that left them both screaming and scared after she managed to lift him a bit off the ground before losing her grip.
He is “talking” a lot now and I love to watch his facial expressions as he does. He’s found his feet and loves to suck on them, particularly the right one. I’ve gone in to get him out of bed and his little foot will be soaking wet. He’s also trying to suck on his fingers but can’t figure out which ones to use. I know it’s a pain to stop the finger sucking, but I love how it’s been able to soothe and comfort Stella and hope that it will be the same way for James.
We visited the pumpkin patch last weekend. Wes’ company sponsored a family day when the farm was holding a 5k fun run. Of course the night before Wes had to go into work and when he got home around 3am James woke up. We scrambled out of bed just in time to grab coffee and muffins at Starbucks before getting to the farm.
Oh, what is that fancy thing? Just something my husband helped build.
This is about half way through the run and, yes, James is in the stroller but apparently didn’t fit in the frame.
After the run (ha. we actually walked), we picked out some pumpkins. Unfortunately, we won’t be carving them because they rot in about 30 minutes here in Hawaii.
Of course we had to get Stella in the tractor wheel. It was ridiculously hot so we didn’t stay long because Wes and I were both pretty exhausted and being out in the sun with a baby who can’t yet wear sunscreen is pretty miserable.
Sunday morning Wes suggested an easy hike at Makapu’u Lighthouse. Now that James has pretty good head control he can ride in the backpack so I agreed. We started getting everything ready and Stella and Tsunami were both so excited. Stella kept trying to climb into her backpack. I had to keep explaining that we had to drive to the hike. “Okay. Sounds good,” she would say before attempting to climb in and breaking down in tears when we would put her in it.
Poor Tsnizz was so hot out there. We bought her a vest that is supposed to keep her cool but that’s a relative term here in Hawaii.
Of course Stella wanted to walk once we got going. But just moments after getting out of the backpack she begged to get back in. “Foot hurts. Foot hurts.”
By the time we got to the top, James was passed out. There was a nice breeze up there, though, so Tsunami stood at the lookout trying to cool down. We finally had to pull her back so that other people could enjoy the view.
Stella decided to walk again but this time she wanted to hold Tsunami’s leash. Downhill probably wasn’t the best place to allow this, but we did. Tsunami pulled her down and it was back in the backpack for Stella.
We finished the hike with minimal crying and enjoyed a fairly relaxing day at home despite the fact that Stella did not nap. It’s our own fault for waking her up to eat lunch and then realizing that the restaurant we wanted to go to changed their dog policy. Perhaps no nap explains why she decided to crawl around with the bumbo on her butt like a snail.
I brought my DSLR camera out last week and Stella has been asking for pictures with it pretty much non-stop. I gave her an apple to eat and told her I would help her take pictures but once I started snapping her eating the apple, she kept asking for more. She’d take a bite, I’d snap the photo, she’d look at it and request “Nother one” as she took her spot next to the couch. I didn’t mind one bit.
Now that we have two kids, we’ve had to split up bed time duties. James is ready for bath and bed at six and will not let Wes hold him or rock him to sleep. So I give James his bath and then Stella’s ready for hers. Wes doesn’t get a lot of time with her during the week, so this bedtime process is good for both of them. And, yes, for me because as I’m rocking James I get to listen to their conversations. Some of them make me laugh and some of them are so sweet that I want to cry.
Here’s a few snippets I get to hear:
“No singing, Daddy.”
“Get Daddy’s hair wet.”
She has a hooded towel that a dear friend. Add for her and I get to see her run from the bathroom to her bedroom with her towel flying behind her like a cape.
“Have some floss.”
“Read this book right now.” Lately her favorite bedtime book is Because Your Daddy Loves You. She knows it by heart and will fill in some of the spots if Wes stops reading.
“Let me stretch.” She likes to jump off the bed into Wes’ arms after story time and needs to stretch “like Gymboreenastics” before jumping.
And, my favorite, “I love you, too.” She says this with her fingers already in her mouth as he’s turning off the light so it’s muffled and it’s one of the highlights of my day.
I want to sneak in and take pictures but I know it’ll ruin the moment so I have to settle for writing them down so that I remember this stage. Like all the ones that came before, I know this one will pass too quickly.
The Blue Angels were in tow a few weekends ago so we decided to check it out. I don’t remember going to many air shows when I was a kid, but Wes loved them. He wanted to be a Blue Angel pilot and wrote them a letter when he was a little boy. One of the pilots wrote back and the framed letter hung in his room until his parents turned it into the guest bedroom after we got married. He was pretty excited about taking Stella to see them fly.
We decided to pay extra to get into VIP seating with shade because the show was on asphalt and it was approximately one million degrees that day with no wind because this summer has been miserable (even though it wasn’t technically summer) with heat. It was well wort the cost because as soon as we packed up our stroller, I noticed the tire was flat. Not much we could do about it at that point so James and I enjoyed the shade while Wes and Stella checked out the rest of the attractions.
The show was at Pearl Harbor/Hickam, which is right next to the airport. So the three shows took six hours because they had to stop airport traffic for the duration of the demonstrations. It was a long and crazy expensive day and even though we had fun, I’m not entirely sure we’ll go next year unless they hold it at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base again.
We have a friend in the Coast Guard and whenever we see an orange helicopter I tell Stella that Gunnar’s daddy works on one. She loves pointing them out now. “Oh, helicopter! Like Gunnar’s daddy.” So this was a fun treat to see the helicopter up close.
Finally, the Blue Angels! Unfortunately, by this time we’d been at the air show for six hours with no nap and Stella was over it. She lost all ability to sit still and watch the jets fly for more than 30 seconds. And she was hell bent on trying to eat the orange ear plugs that we’d brought with us. She would not believe that they weren’t candy. I was carrying James in the Ergo, trying to keep him comfortable and covered because it was so hot. I actually got a slight burn on my arm just from watching this last demonstration.
We left as soon as the show ended and this is what Stella looked like when we finally made it back to the car. The parking situation was a mess and we ended up maneuvering our way through the parking lot because the line to get out was just ridiculous. It seemed like no one knew how to empty a parking lot. We made it out in 25 minutes, but had friends who were sitting there for nearly two hours. Stella woke up for the ride home and kept saying, “Blue Angels fun,” so we know she had a good time. The next day we were able to see them from our front yard and she told all the neighbors about seeing them the day before.