Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

It is March 29, and this week is going to be the first time in at least four months that we will experience temperatures in the 70’s. Although this whole month has been, minus one snowstorm, decently mild and pleasant, I cannot express how happy it makes me to see the current forecasted temperatures after the long, cold, snowy winter we just experienced here in Iowa. I truly feel like an animal coming out of hibernation. We are meeting some of our neighbors some of whom we have never even seen in the five months we’ve lived in our house. Birds are chirping, plants are blooming, and Brady is loving the outdoors.

I am so excited about our first summer in the new house. Although I have extremely little experience growing plants, I plan to plant a huge garden this year. It will probably fail: I’m sure there is some rule about planting certain things next to each other, and spacing them apart, and stuff like that. I also want to plant lots of tulips and daisies and other colorful flowers in front of our house….which will probably all be eaten by the deer. But I don’t care. I don’t know when or where this love for gardening and flowers came from (well, from my grandma I suppose!), but just like cooking and baking, I hope that I am able to overcome my extreme shortfalls and grow a successful crop this year. I did already warn Joel that he will have to do the weeding, though, because I CAN NOT risk seeing/touching spiders. I already found a huge one in our garage when I was clearing out empty boxes and that was the end of my garage project!

I can’t wait to go to the pool with Brady this summer. And take him to parks. He’s so different now – at the end of last summer he was just barely beginning to walk, and now he runs. I was able to still “wear” him in a pouch, or at least push him in a stroller, but now he wants to be the pusher and the walker. Last year he hated the grass, but he doesn’t seem to mind it now. Last year he couldn’t care less about most things, but now he stops at every piece of dirt and exclaims “KKKKKK!” (his word for ICK). We might have to work on that one….he thinks everything outside is dirty. He may be a little neurotic :)

Yes, spring is here, the weather is warming, and I am more than ready for it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Boy Who Stole Our Hearts: Part Three

I don’t write a lot about my son, but I wanted to take the chance to record some of my favorite memories of him over the last 15 months. Here is part three:
I’ve got rhythm…and so does Brady! I’m not at all kidding  - this one-year-old claps and sways in rhythm. In fact, now when he sees the church, he stops what he’s doing and starts “dancing” (swaying) and clapping. If he hears even the faintest music, he has to dance. He just loves music, and I am more than a little hopeful that my musical gifts have been passed to him.
I always dreamed of a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, but with my Lebanese heritage I didn’t think that would ever happen. I also worried that I would have ugly babies (just being honest!) because let’s face it, not every baby is cute no matter what you say. Somehow I not only ended up with the blonde, blue-eyed little boy I always wanted, he’s as cute as a button. I’m biased, I know, but I can’t imagine a cuter little baby – Joel even says he feels sorry for the rest of our kids because they can’t possibly be cuter. We’ll see what he thinks if we ever have a brown-eyed, curly-haired little girl… :)
Brady loves to push things and open and shut things. He loves microwaves, drawers, and cupboards. His latest fascination is the vacuum. In fact, we have a small red vacuum that is just his size, so last week I let him vacuum all of my hard floors. I don’t think that breaks child labor laws if he enjoys it! But then I got out the big vacuum and he wanted that one. It was funny because it’s too difficult for him to push on the carpet, but he knows he can on the hard floor. But I have to turn off the spinbrush on the hard floor because, well, it’s not good for the floor – except then Brady thinks I shut it off. So he goes back and forth between wanting it “on”, and wanting to be able to push it. He has four or five push toys, but still defaults to the same one he’s had forever as his favorite toy. I think he would be content to push stuff around for hours.
He also can’t get enough of computers and phones. Cell phones are probably his favorite. He likes to beep at my mom’s phone since it chirps so often. As I’ve already blogged about, you have to watch the boy because he likes to dial actual numbers: he called Uncle Bryon from my parents’ house, he dialed 9-1-1 and brought cops to our door, and many others I’m sure I don’t even know about.
Brady loves attention. He’ll do anything that makes others laugh. His latest thing is to “fall down” to get you to laugh. He went through a long phase where he would fake cough to make people laugh; I don’t know how that didn’t hurt his throat, but he did it all the time.
At 15 months, Brady is a little sponge, soaking up new things each day. He’s getting into a hitting, throwing, stubborn phase that brings with it all kinds of tiring yet funny moments. Like how he gets mad and throws something, but it doesn’t go far enough or do enough damage so he has to pick it up and throw it again and again. Or how he tried to throw his crib at me, yes his crib, when he got mad. Or how I told him to brush his teeth and because he had just been “helping” me brush my hair, he thought that meant to put the toothbrush (and toothpaste) in his hair. It amazes me what he learns on his own. I can’t wait to see the new habits, likes, and dislikes Brady will develop over the next year and beyond.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Boy Who Stole Our Hearts: Part Two

I don’t write a lot about my son, but I wanted to take the chance to record some of my favorite memories of him over the last 15 months. Here is part two:

The boy loves to stand. He was super-strong from the beginning, holding his head up basically from birth and standing (with assistance, of course) a mere weeks after he was born. We joked that he would skip crawling and go straight to walking….which he did. He learned to crawl just before nine months and was walking at 9 ½ months. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him crawl since he learned to walk. Actually, there was no “learning” to walk…once he took those first steps (which are on YouTube!) he was done crawling and never looked back.

Brady babbles and talks all the time. From his first noises “how-wow!” that sounded more like a little Indian chant to his current constant stream of gibberish, he likes to be heard. Early on, he developed this really high pitched scream that causes you to wonder if your eardrum has been shattered. He got my lungs and he likes to use them. Recently we were at the playplace at the mall, and Brady started screaming with excitement. Other kids complained that it hurt their ears (which it does!!) so we shushed Brady. Pretty soon Joel noticed that after each scream, Brady would shush and bring his finger up to his mouth :) Ironically though, his first actual word was more of a whisper….”Ptty”. For the longest time, “pretty” was his only word and it was a half-whisper. Some newer words are dog, ball, cookie (so cute!!), num-num, yeah, Carter (his cousin), “quack”, and of course mama and dada.

Brady loves spicy and exotic food. We have pictures when I fed him my favorite food, Tabooleh, at eight months old. It’s a Lebanese salad made from tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, peppermint leaves, cracked wheat, lemon juice, and oil. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but he sure loved it! A few months ago I had some Thai leftovers that he kept saying “num num!” to as I ate them. So I got him a glass of milk, gave him a taste, and watched the result. He seemed to like it, then the heat kicked in – he grabbed tongue, then his milk, took a big swig, and I thought “there, that will teach you to eat my food”. His reply? “NUM NUM!” After each bite, he would grab his tongue, take a drink, and reach for my fork saying “NUM NUM, NUM NUM!” This food was incredibly spicy, I kid you not.

One of Brady’s favorite games is the “daddy git-you game”. I hold Brady, Joel runs and ducks behind various pieces of furniture, and Brady squeals. He loves the anticipation of daddy getting him. He also loves the “pooey feet” game, the fuzzy toes song, “chasing” us around the house, little piggies, “crawling fetch” with mommy, finding the Hawkeye and Nike swoosh, throwing a ball, and beeping our noses.

One of the funniest memories with Brady was at my inlaws’ house. Joel’s dad was snoozing in a recliner when he let out a snore. Brady stopped what he was doing, turned around, and “snored” back at him. We all cracked up every time Orlyn let out a snore, because Brady would stop what he was doing, look at Orlyn, snore right back, and go on his merry way. That same snore sound is also used for a lion’s roar, grandma’s frustrated noise, and the washing machine sound….