October 2010

My, how the time has flown since May! Arina has celebrated another Adoption Day, as well as her 6th birthday. At 10 months, Jack is crawling around the house, pulling up on the furniture, and trying his darnedest to walk like his big sister, whom he adores.

And, speaking of big “Sissy,” here’s a recent photo of Arina, minus her two front teeth:

Arina had her first dentist appointment in August. After the dental hygienist pointed out that Arina’s two front teeth were loose, A. promptly replied, “Well, pull them!” She was very excited to show off her new smile.

Arina is losing teeth, and Jack’s are coming in. He has his bottom two, and his top two are starting to peek through. I’ve yet to get the perfect photo that shows all that’s going on in his mouth, though. He’s such a pensive little boy sometimes. He does smile and laugh, but he makes you work for it! Arina, clown that she is, is probably best at getting him to grin. But even Arina had trouble getting him to grin for our first professional photo shoot at USC’s horseshoe. Mom went with me, and we decided that Jack doesn’t like to be outside yet. He didn’t like the way the grass feels, the heat, or the bugs. As soon as we left the shoot and were in the air-conditioned car, he started laughing and cooing, and he laughed and cooed all the way home.

Our photographer, Sarah Bothwell, was amazing, because she somehow managed to get some of him smiling. Mom and I really didn’t remember him smiling at all, but good photographers are somehow able to find those in-between moments. Check out the photo gallery for more shots from the day. (And, Mom, don’t panic when you see only the October album. Scott is revising the site and will be putting back all the other albums shortly).

What else about Jack? He is tactile, like his Daddy. He loves to see and to feel. We got him his first “work bench” complete with a hammer, drill press, and vice, and he loves it! He’s so much more responsive at 10 (nearly 11!) months. He waves his arms and bounces and says “Ha ha ha!” when I pick him up at nursery school, and he thinks it’s tons of fun to “bounce” in his saucer when we tell him to. And his new favorite game? Throwing stuff on the floor from his high chair and watching as we scramble to catch it all. — or laughing when the dogs beat us to it.

His favorite foods include pumpkin, sweet potatos, and almost any kind of fruit. Oh, and ice cream. Are you even supposed to give ice cream to such a young baby? I guess that’s what Nanas are for. She shared some of her vanilla ice cream with Jack, and he cried when she’d take a spoonful for herself, convinced that he was being deprived of the cold, creamy goodness.

And he’s such a cuddle bug. He’s in a nuzzling phase, where he’ll grab my face with his little hands, pull me towards him, and nuzzle me like animals do, cooing all the while. He also says “Ma ma ma ma ma ma,” which I think should count as his first word. 🙂 And he likes to give french kisses. — to everyone, including the dogs. Yuck. He’s also fascinated with the dog bowl of water, which we’ve had to move upstairs. To start with, we could move him to a different room and distract him with baby toys, but then he started crawling at lightening speed and is dogged (no pun intended) in his pursuits. Scott thinks it’s interesting that he loves splashing his hands in the dog bowl of water, since he hates having anything else on his hands (food, lotion, etc.). I explained that he’s like his Mama. As a child, I loved washing my hands so much that I carried around a washcloth. Scott says we’re both weird.

If Arina were to hear Scott call Jack “weird,” she’d be up in arms. Scott told Jack “NO!” when Jack was splashing around in the dog bowl, popped his hand (not hard, though he still got an earful from me for doing so), and moved him to another room. Jack cried, of course, because (like his Dad) he wants to do what he wants to do. Arina thought Scott had “spanked” Jack and started bawling. Such a sweet, protective big sister.

And now for some Arina-isms:

My facebook post on Arina’s Adoption Day: “Arina celebrated her Adoption Day and her cousin’s birthday at Wannamaker Waterpark today. One of the highlights: A random little boy stole her watergun, and before anyone could intervene, Arina snatched it back, grabbed his water bottle, threw it, and ran away. Happy Adoption Day, Arina! You make life interesting and fun.”

I was trying to sell Arina on her new pediatrician. A. was indeed impressed by the waiting room, both the mural on the walls and (especially) the tv set to the Cartoon Network. Me, enthusiastically: “Isn’t this the best doctor ever?” Arina, dryly: “No. It’s the best waiting room ever.”

One morning, Mom was complaining about the fact that Jack peed all over her. Arina’s response: “Oh, well. We’ll still love him, Nana.”

Jack started crying one night as soon as Arina and I sat down to eat. Arina: “So, Mom, what do you do? — eat or take care of the baby? I say eat, because it’s a hard life.”

Arina’s response to her after-school snack (fruit roll-up and juice box): “Wow, Mom! Thanks for the not-healthy snack!”

I scolded Arina for not being friendly when I introduced her to a friend. A’s response: “Oh well, Mom. You know how kids are. Sometimes they just don’t want to talk to grown-ups.”

I’ll try to post again soon. We’re very much looking forward to Halloween this year. Arina will be Little Bo Peep. Jack will be her sheep.

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