Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Duck Lips

it is hard to even describe how completely gorgeous Al is. Eight and a half months. Blond, and his mother's big blue eyes and full lips.

His body is so filled with joy that he wriggles around (head swinging side to side like he is saying no although he is clearly saying yes!, legs and arms going in all directions) when ever anything nice happens - this could be as simple as one of us returning into the room (especially Thomas who always gets a smile) or playing with his belly (a guaranteed laugh). His little chubby legs swing gently back and forwards under his high chair in a way that is completly endearing.

At night he lies in his cot long after Thomas has fallen asleep - loudly and cheerfully calling out to him, trying with his whole heart to wake his brother. He loves his jolly jumper and Lightning (the puppy) insists on lying at his feet (often getting a face full of foot) as he jumps. Just seeing the jumper, the bath or hearing the mixer going with potential food is reason for a grin and a noise that can only be described as happy.

Al doesn't really cry, he is pretty much always happy. Sometimes a bit grumpy but even then mid whinge he will smile at us.

Until recently his lip would drop when a big noise or something sudden happened or he hurt his head as he rolled on the floor. There was a big dropped lip and a small dropped lip. In our house we call the big dropped lip the 'full lip' (imagine if you will an 8 year old calling from their bedroom "Gaye! Gaye! Mumma! this baby has the full lip, our baby has the full lip" followed by cheering up attempts). But in the last week or so this has changed to the cutest pout-y, kissing lip thing that we call duck lips. Often it is accompanied by an 'ooh' sound and followed by a dropping face.

Gaye and I like it so much we have to resist them temptation not to drop things loudly around him or some other sort of dreadful parenting mischief just because it is so cute. I sooo hope we catch it on video

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

This has been a year of so many changes and so much action in our family and it has ended in the same way it began. Lots of activity and time with those people we really love.

Thomas finished his time at Infant School with ease and happiness. A lovely school concert with the children’s voices being heard (unlike the last one) and a very simple ‘graduation’ ceremony for the Grade 2’s to send them out into the world of primary school. It reminded me of all the reasons we chose the school. A good and small community of people who really enjoy their children.

Thomas made all the year 2 mothers cry – by crying himself as he sang “Lean on Me” with his classmates, tears rolling down his face as he bravely wiped them away and kept on singing. Both Gaye and I have been approached by many a local parent commenting on how they were keeping it together until they saw him.

His report that arrived that day was excellent and he was thrilled to have us all there to watch him get his certificate – especially Al. He did make me laugh as he came in standing up suddenly to remind me that he wouldn’t be getting a special award this year as he had had one in kindergarten. It was nice to see our friends’ son Isaac who is in kindergarten – get his – he was so chuffed with himself.

I felt a bit sad at leaving the school but am ready for the next adventure too. This is my general state of being as the boys grow – mourning the fact that at stage has passed and it is no longer – looking forward to the next bit too. So far there has not been a time when I haven’t thought – "I wish I could just freeze him at this point he is just lovely"… but inevitably I enjoy the next stage too. We got a call on the last day letting us know that a place was available for Thomas at the local, larger and highly regarded primary. After previously making a decision to send him to the smaller local school (and actually thinking I had taken him off the waiting list for the big school) we are now in a state of dilemma about what to do as most of the kids and parents we like have gone for the big school.

I was spoilt rotten with a pre-birthday/Christmas present of a piano. A much longed for and not at all expected present from Gaye, Thomas and Al. I can not express how pleased I am to have a piano in the house…thou my expertise has dropped somewhat in the last 20 years since I regularly practiced…I am looking forward to learning again in a way I cannot describe.

I honestly believe that Thomas has enjoyed the keeping and planning of this secret as much as I am pleased to get it. A few weeks ago when Gaye was away for a few days he was bursting at the seams to talk about it. Counting down the sleeps until her return so they could ‘go for a walk at just talk birthday plans’ Apparently on agreeing on the piano he then started planning for my 40th next year. He has shown the same generosity in the lead up to Christmas enjoying the buying and organising of presents for his brother and others as much as the sweet agony of trying to work out what he might get.

We continued to enjoy the lead up to Christmas with carols on the Saturday night before with our lovely friends Soy and Elissa and their kids. The rain that had poured down all day stopped just in time and the kids roamed around the park with the neighbourhood kids, skirting water at each other and generally while we grown-ups sipped champagne and congratulated ourselves on a year well done.

We drove down to my parents place for Christmas and Christmas Eve was all that you would want. Thomas was literally jumping up and down after writing his note to Santa with pure and unadulterated excitement and anticipation. We went to church to see my niece and nephew as a king and wise man respectfully which was endearing. Especially, my young nephew who brought tears of laughter to my sister (his other aunty) and my eyes as he – without thought while sitting in the pew next to us started to do learned hand actions to Away in a Manger.

Al was completely gorgeous with everyone and charmed the sox off the whole crowd with his smile and chubby legs. It was so good to see him well as we had had a night during the week in hospital with asthma. He is rolling to get everything and anything and we are pleading with him not to crawl until after our camping holiday.

Santa did as Santa does and we were initially woken with a ‘Mum Santa has come!’ at 1:00am and then joined in our – already filled with baby – bed by a wriggling Thomas who was beside himself with excitement. We re-awoke at 6:00 to open presents and had a lovely morning and lunch with my extended family eating food that my mother could not have gone to more trouble over and that was completely gorgeous. Heading home in the afternoon to meet up with Gaye’s mum who arrived first thing on Boxing Day.

A week of holiday fun has followed with laid back and thoroughly enjoyable family outings fit for a grandmother, two mothers, an 8 year and an 8 month old to the beach to try out the new surf board, a couple of different pools (Al just adored the indoor one kicking and splashing with glee) , a middle of the day dvd Harry Potter festival, a bit of cricket and dog walking, a return trip on the ferry to harbour side beach for fish and chips and a swim on NYEve – amused and rather horrified to see the punters already lining up for the fireworks 10.5 hours away.

We ended the year – well sort of it was 9:00pm – watching the fireworks and eating chocolate from the hill at our local park, which has good views over the city. I don’t know about Gaye, but I felt very content sitting there – the four of us and her mum – thinking of the year that had gone by and looking forward to the one that is upon us…

Happy New Year to all