On so many levels. For one thing, it's 1:30 a.m. AND I AM JUST STARTING. That right there is a recipe for a disaster of a day tomorrow. What am I thinking?Well, here's what. I have not written down many scraps of memories of my kids lately. The summer's gone, we only got to the pool once, and I feel like time is just slipping through my fingers like mad. When will I record these things, if not RIGHT NOW, when it's pressing at me? He's so lovely now, just on the cusp of walking, still a bit afraid, learning every day. He can walk, actually, and just usually doesn't. Tonight, six steps at once, on his own, says Daddy-- no prodding, no propping-up-and-then-removing-support to force the walking. Just six steps, all alone, to get to his daddy. He'll be full tilt soon, and then LOOK OUT, because this boy does not care about the word "NO." (And while the abrupt of the end of TV Time will make him scream at the top of his lungs, this consequence does not seem to keep him from crawling up to push every possible button on the TV equipment EVERY TIME HE GETS TO WATCH IT. So we do a little dance every day: put on DVD for him, let him watch happily, turn your back, buttons get pushed, return to TV and close armoire doors while chanting the apparently meaningless "no." Screams of fury arise from the boy. Rinse. Repeat.) He flaps his hands wildly at music, especially his favorites: the Peep and the Big Wide World intro. C is for Cookie song from Sesame Street. The Sun and Moon on YouTube. He claps, shrieks with joy, bobs up and down. We wonder if he'll be a musician like his daddy, his enjoyment is so intense. He also can spend amazing amounts of time by himself, entertained by his own thoughts or who knows what. His crib is a refuge for him, and some days I go in to him at 10 am to find him wide awake in there, happily being alone. (Hello Kid? You Hungry? You want that gigantic diaper changed? Hello?) I wonder about that, think weird Austistic thoughts sometimes. But he's so engaged otherwise, I don't think it could be that. Mom says I was a weirdly independent, content child. Perhaps it's just me that is worrying me in him. How odd. He loves to splash in water, and if given the chance will happily dump his sippy cup into his high chair tray, shake by shake if necessary, and then happily fall to splashing. He loves to ride in the car, loves to be rocked to sleep, loves to go outside. He has a whole mouthful of teeth now, when just last February he was bare of them, and he hates to have them brushed. His favorite food is, forever and ever, macaroni and cheese, followed by cheese, followed by any kind of starchy white stuff void of nutrients. Bananas also are good. Everything else is often rejected, meat most of all. His most favorite toy is fistfuls of the magnetic letters that go on the fridge, carried around nonstop in his chubby little fists-- even all the way to Grammy's, somehow, without me noticing. Last time we had him weighed, he was at about 6% in length for his age group, and 97% in height-to-weight ratio. Baby's got butt. I love it. I need to take a picture soon before he starts walking and melts it all off in that way that toddlers do. He can talk too, actually, just usually doesn't. He babbles, but I'm starting to catch words in the babble more and more often. I'm realizing that he is talking to us, we just can't quite understand all his words yet. Every once in a while, he'll say something amazingly complicated, just once, often under his breath. This week it was "allouicious," once of Daddy and sister's silly words. What?! And you can't say "more juice"?? I love him. I sometimes worry about him-- his development is on such a different time table than Gracie's. But he's a boy, a second child, and one who had both a major surgery and a slow growth rate during his first 9 months. I feel like I need to cut him some slack. But man, is he ever fun. Three months till he's two. Unreal.Gracie is such a little lady, such a wonder. Her vocabulary is fascinating, as is her adult mannerisms. One of mom's friends described her as "three, going on ten." That's about right-- unless she's tired, or very hungry, when she reverts suddenly back to a very impatient three. I love my little not-little girl. She's so inventive-- she can spend hours with her baskets of Little People and Disney Princesses, ferrying them around the house from "their house" to "their school" to "their Grammy's" and inventing adventures all the way. She will earnestly request your attention: "Mommy, I am talking to you now. MOMMY." She can spend ages on the disney and PBS kids websites all by herself, working through the learning games, answering all the questions correctly. She knows the sounds of all the letters, something I did not teach her. She loves caterpillars, planting things, sidewalk chalk, paint. What does she want to be when she grows up? "Just a Grammy," she says offhandedly-- which makes my mother tear up with joy, and me tear up watching her. As their mom, at this point, I mostly want to learn to give them more of my full attention. I feel like my house is never as clean as I think it should be, that my duties elsewhere are always calling me to give them some toys or TV or art supplies and then disappear to get something "important" done. And then there's the less virtuous things that lure me away-- the computer, the Quest for New Hobby Knowledge, the flea markets. But what can be more important than these days?? Why am I obsessing about my dirty kitchen, my little online vintage shop, my new fascination with essential oils, my Facebook account even, when I have these two perfect wonders in the house with me each day? I hope that the next few months bring a More Focused Mommy to your side more often, my babies. (You are my babies forever, you know, no matter how much you grow.)...but you know, to have even the slightest chance of doing that well tomorrow, I have GOT to get some sleep. So I'll cut this short and hope to write more soon.