msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



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Mama and baby with redwoods

The end of 2007

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December 30, 2007

Mama and baby with redwoods

Mama and baby, originally uploaded by mslaura.

This pic was taken by my friend Angela out in the redwoods. We were calling Adrian the "wood elf" all day.

December 29, 2007

The end of 2007

The four of us, originally uploaded by mslaura.

Change is definitely afoot.

Julian can write his name, and almost every letter of the alphabet. He can even do simple addition and subtraction, with the help of fingers. Dan is doing a fantastic job of teaching him all this and more, reading lots of books, etc. Who knew I was married to a homeschooler? Not me.

I'm so busy trying to keep Adrian from eating paper and gnawing book/magazine spines that I can't get even close to a book these days, not until both kids are asleep anyways. Bedtime story-reading is not possible when Mr. Baby is in the picture. But while I am putting him to sleep, Dan can read to Julian, and they go over math and spelling and all kinds of things.

Julian also has a handheld game device from LeapFrog that plays games with him about letters and numbers. He loves it. Well, he'd love the Sponge Bob game too, but hey...if he'd love either one, might as well give him the good stuff.

Adrian is *this* close to walking. He takes 4-5 steps on a regular basis, then drops down to crawl. It's just faster for him right now. But pretty soon walking will be easy enough for *that* to be the preferred mode of transport. That day is not far off.

He is also starting to sign So far he has done "milk", and I'm pretty sure that he does "more", but he makes it his own by clapping instead of touching his fingers together. That's pretty common, for babies to do baby versions of signs, just as they make cute verbal mistakes when learning to talk.

I'm working on signing "potty" with him these days, and "eat" and "drink". The basics. He's so cute, he watches my hands *intently* when I'm making a sign for something.

Adrian is still a chunk. I haven't weighed him in the last few weeks, but he was 28 pounds at his last weigh-in, around 10.5 months old. I don't think Julian weighed that much until he was 2.5 years old.

I doubt Adrian weighs much more that that now, however. He seems to be lengthening out now. Instead of a block-like baby body, he is developing a long back and a waist, and losing the numerous rolls of chub on his legs. Turning into a little boy, for sure. Not so much of a baby.

Ah, Adrian is also getting FOUR new teeth, including two new molars. He already has one molar, which popped up after a mysterious string of sleepless nights and extra-fussy behavior. All made sense afterwards, when I saw the new tooth. I had no idea that he would get a molar that early. Crazy. Much less two more! He has quite the adorable toothy smile now. But yeah, life is rough sometimes with all those teeth coming in. Poor thing gets just a tad cranky at times with his sore mouth, as you can imagine.

We had a pretty Christmas this year. I decorated the house more than I ever have before, at Julian's request. We did an advent calendar every night, and made a gingerbread house, and had a long string of white and colored lights out across the front of our porch.

The night of the winter solstice we celebrated by having a fire in our copper firepit outside. It was too cold to be out there, but we could see it. (And yes, I fully admit to being a wimpy Californian about cold.) I made cassoulet, lamb kebobs, winter fruit compote with cheese, and mulled apple/cranberry cider with spiced rum. A few friends came over to share with us, it was a very pleasant evening. Until the kids started melting, that is. Oh well, in a few years they will be able to stay up a bit later.

Dan has a new job, so he is busting butt proving himself right now. My business is going well, but I am terminally behind in implementing all my plans for upgrades, improvements, additions to the website, etc. Kim is going to start coming to watch the kids four afternoons a week from now on, so hopefully that will allow me to get back on track and catch up.

The last few times Adrian has been screamy due to his teeth, so I haven't gotten an unbroken period of time to work in. I end up having to take him and comfort him at some point. But he was great with Kim before and he really likes her, so as soon as the teeth come in, that should give me more time.

Also, as the weather gets better. They are inside every afternoon on most days. The temperature just dropped to a low point in the last week or two, enough that is you are outside without gloves and hat, it's too cold. I do try to take everyone outside for a few hours at least twice a week, and it's just getting to the point where we are all a bit too cold at the end of it and need to come inside.

Great news is...the days are getting longer. Seriously, I *celebrate* the winter solstice. With a damn good reason, too. Bring back the sun!

I got a Wii system from Dan for my birthday, and it is KILLER. You can play tennis, golf, bowling, boxing or baseball with real movements appropriate to each sport. I've been pretty desperate to get back into playing sports and exercising, so this is a dream come true for me. I'm playing tennis and golfing with Dan a few nights a week, and we're having a great time working on our games.

Adrian is almost old enough for me to feel OK about leaving him in our club childcare for an hour or two, so Dan and I will be able to play tennis for real as soon as the weather warms up.

Let's see, what else? I'm back to doing Cooking Collective and walks/hikes with my GoBabyGo group, after not doing much with either group for the past year. Two kids just kicked my butt too hard for me to organize anything. But now I feel like I'm coming out of the First Year Baby Fog enough to take part in the outside world again.

One of my resolutions for the coming year is to cook more Japanese food. It's healthy, delicious, dairy-free (Dan gave up dairy because it was giving him eczema) and pretty. We have a ton of great ASian markets around here, and I bought some gorgeous Japanese bento boxes off eBay. My friend Hana turned me onto the Martha Stewart of Japan, Harumi Kurihara. I got her English-language cookbook and a few others about bento box lunches and Japanese veggie preparation, so we'll see where that goes. I need to get over to Lion market and check out ingredients.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm rocking on my Xmas present to myself, the Hasbro Power Tour Electric Guitar. It's pretty fun. I'm only up to the second lesson, which is jamming out a few chords from "Wild Thing", but whatever...I'm having a good time.

As things get easier with Adrian, I think I'm going to take Julian and sign us up for some real guitar lessons. He wants to play, and so do I. We're both beginners, obviously, and it would be fun to take lessons together and practice.

On another musical front, Dan was trying to get me to listen to In Rainbows, the new album from Radiohead, for ages, but he always picked the wrong time, like right when I was trying to get the kids out of the bathtub, or make dinner, or on the phone. Drove me crazy with it until he finally came into my office at night after the kids were asleep and popped it into my computer. Once I could listen to it in peace and quiet and focus on the songs, I fell into obsessive love with it, and it ran through my head day and night. I'm still in love, but I'm trying not to listen so much because I want to prolong the delight of listening to this album. It's really gorgeous, every single song.

Time to go make lunch, Julian is hungry and asking me for food, and Adrian is going to wake up soon.

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