Monday, March 26, 2012

Do fish have necks?

You boys... you never cease to amaze me.  Today was just a normal day and you two make it extraordinary.  I love you so much. 

Nicholas, you really have taken your first word, agua, and run with it.  You ask for it when you want it, you point to it when you see it.  There is no doubt in my mind anymore.  AGUA is your first word.  I love it!

Funny Face
And your expressions.  You are finding your outer voice for your inner frustration.  You make a very serious face and growl when you want something.   It's only a matter of time before you find a few words to add to your repertoire so I can understand you a little better!  Nevertheless, you are the happiest baby around.  Happy to play.  Happy (real happy!) to eat.  Happy to be outside.  In the yard, you make a bee-line for the swings.  You love to swing.

First there was your walker.  It took you a few weeks to warm up to the walker but once you decided it was going to give you some freedom it took you about 24 hours to master that thing.  You can do a 3-point turn to get yourself out of any situation.  You've even figured out how to lift up the front if you get stuck on a rug.  Pretty sharp, little man!

And now, you've moved on to your push wagon.  You push it yourself and with Sam in it.  You even like to climb into it and stand up.  I think you're gonna be a pretty adventurous guy - you don't seem to be scared of anything!

Your Dad and I have a bet about when you will walk.  I say right at 12 months.  He thinks by 11 months.   You could wake up tomorrow and walk.  Wouldn't surprise me.  :)

god is Nature
Sam, tonight, I told you the story of the lost city of Atlantis.  When explaining that the god of the sea, Poseidon, was the ruler of Atlantis, you asked me why there was more than one god at Atlantis.  Since you've been taught about one God at school, this was a legitimate question.  I explained that people believe different things and that long ago many people believed in gods of all kinds of things: sea, love...  Your response astounded me:  "Mom, maybe it's just like God is everywhere so there are lots of different gods.  Maybe god is nature."   Religion is not a straightforward concept in our house.  We don't subscribe to any one religion, but you are learning Christianity in school.  On your very own, you came up with a set of beliefs that have taken me over 30 years to cultivate and articulate:  god is Nature.

Do Fish Have Necks?
You also ask the most probing questions.  Today you asked both me and your Dad (separately) whether fish have necks.  I'm not sure if you thought of this questions because you seem to notice the smallest details in your drawing.  Perhaps you were drawing a fish and wondered if you should draw a neck.  Whatever the reason, we talked about how fish don't have necks like us and how they have to turn their bodies if they want to see from side to side.  You made the astute observation that fish can bend much easier than we can so that's not such a big deal.  In addition, we talked about vertebrate and invertebrate animals and you understood it right away.  Fish.  Vertebrate.  Snail.  Invertebrate.  Butterfly.  Invertebrate, of course, you said.

Shrimp School
And yesterday,  I had bought 6 shrimp at Whole Foods for you and you asked why I didn't buy more.  I explained that I rarely buy shrimp because fishing for shrimp destroys the oceans.   We spent the rest of the night and the morning playing a game where you were a shrimp and I was a shrimp fisherman.  You explained to me how my nets scraped the bottom of the ocean and pulled out all the coral and seaweed, caught lots of fish and turtles, and everything died.   We decided that we would start a shrimp school and teach the fisherman about how those nets hurt the ocean.  We would teach them to fish for shrimp with a fishing pole, which was your clever idea.  One fishing pole can't hurt the ocean floor and will only catch one shrimp!   I can't wait to start our shrimp school!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bath boys: your first bath together

Nicholas' first word: AGUA

Nicholas, I think you've said your first word:  "Agua"!  How fitting!
You love water:  you love to drink water from a cup, watch the water come out of the fridge dispenser, splash in the tub, have it poured on your head.  You are a water boy.  And Rosamaria has taught you lots of Spanish.  Sometimes, I think you understand more Spanish than English.  When I speak to you in Spanish, you light up.  I hope "agua" isn't your last Spanish word... somehow, I suspect there are many more to come.

Samism - all love

(hugging me) "Mom, all my dreams come true!"
"Ding, dong... My 'Sam loves mommy' bell is ringing."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brother brains

Sam: Dad does Nicky have a brain? 
Dad: yes, he does.   
Sam: well, he doesn't think anything.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jamaica, mon!

After looking at pictures of our destination for 6 months, we finally made the family trip to Jamaica.  The Steinys, The Fentons, and The Smiths.  One word:  AMAZING!  The Tyrall Club has a magnificent villa, Sea Salt (, with a fabulous staff that made our vacation unforgettable.
We woke up to bright sunny skies and breakfast made by Chef Norman and delivered by Nigel with a smile and a "you're very welcome."  Nicholas and Sam you both LOVED the tropical fruit every morning.  

We would spend mornings on the beach playing, snorkeling, building sandcastles, and even treating Mom's hair with coconut milk!

Stu and Nicholas ate their first sand and Sam found a sea cucumber. We went on a nature walk and discovered shy plant, which would close up when you touched it.  We also saw urchins, sea fans, sponges, and sand dollars washed up on the rocks.  We traveled around the property to see an old canon that protected Tryall when it was a sugar plantation, the old water wheel used to process the sugar cane, and even visited Keith, the woodworker.   Sam, you ate lunch at the beach almost every day:  3 dinner rolls, cheeseburger or grilled cheese, french fries, and a glass of milk.

Beach time was followed by a fantastic lunch by the pool (chicken wraps, sandwiches, oxtail with rice/beans, fish kabobs, salad, fruit, and usually some cocktails).

Swimming in the pool was a real highlight for all the kids.  Sam, you LOVED the pool ring - you swam in that the whole vacation.  Nicholas and Stu loved their floaty rings too.  Nicholas, you showed your true inner fish -- you were swimming on your belly, getting your face wet, and kicking your legs.  You loved the pool.

We all usually had quite time/naptime after the pool.  Sometimes we played shuffleboard, had putting contests, or just drank cocktails... thanks Nigel!  Dinner was served at 6:30 and Chef Norman always impressed... fish, chicken, whatever... it was all good.  And dessert... homemade and amazing.  Needless to say, this week will be about food discipline.  

This was a vacation to be remembered for all time.*  Thanks Sea Salt for being our home away from home!

*There were a few forgettable moments, however:

1.  prior to the trip, Nicholas & Sam you both came down with the Norovirus stomach bug.  Fortunately, Sam, you were spared and had it for only one day.  Nicholas, you were sick for a week.  We thought we'd be safe since you got sick on Tuesday and we left Saturday but diarreah on the plane and projectile vomiting on night 1 were our reality.  You didn't eat for almost a week forcing us to re-up on Pedialyte in Jamacia costing us about $100 for the $7 bottles and the $80 ride to the store.  You're worth every penny, though!  Despite feeling stinky, you managed a smile in between each nap and even slept pretty well.  By Wednesday night, the Nicholas we know was back in action.
2.  given it's contagiousness, the Norovirus (AKA "the Goo") circulate through the family hitting some harder than others, but not enough to ruin the vacation for anyone!
3. the plane ride home was not exactly one to remember... Nicholas, you and your cousin Stuart decided naps were out of the question so you squirmed and cried on our laps for 3+ hours despite having your own seat.  That was money well spent  :)!