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Rebecca – Happy 2nd Birthday!

Regularly, in the weeks leading up to my birthday, I would excitedly throw my arms in the air, do a little hop, announce “Becca’s Birthday!” and point out the adorable cupcake hat I was wearing. When asked how old I was, I confidently stated “two minutes”. I awoke the morning of my birthday to find the house simply decorated with helium balloons, hanging swirls and fresh flowers – the perfect setting for the casual morning brunch where fresh bagels, fruit and, of course, cupcakes, were to be served! While Gus & Calina were at school, I hosted friends Anne, Molly, Maddie, Rita, Sarah, Andrew and Johnny for a birthday play date! As an activity, we had a book swap, where each friend brought a wrapped, previously loved book. We took turns choosing a gift and then had fun unwrapping and exploring our new treasures. It was a really fun morning! In the days following, the birthday festivities continued. Saturday morning was spent opening presents and cards that had arrived in the mail and enjoying these surprises. Since Christmas was just a month previous, my gift opening skills were still sharp. Sunday evening was our family birthday cake night where we enjoyed chocolate bunt cake, topped with fresh whipped cream, chocolate sauce and berries. Yum! Along with all of this excitement, I also received Facebook wishes and phone calls! It was wonderful to feel so special and loved. Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate and made my second birthday so fabulous.
…Becca

Rebecca 2 years old!

On my approach to two years old, I adopted some quintessential behaviours, like having difficulty  sharing toys and kicking up a fuss when I didn’t get my way. But mostly, I was still really happy, full of contagious smiles and generally delightful to be around. I was quick with my manners, remembering to say “bank you” or “I sorry” when required. I took great concern if someone was crying, and checked in with them if possible, “Keena okay?”. A game I really enjoyed playing was “sleeping/awake”. I would pretend I was sleeping, anywhere, wait for someone to notice and comment, and then I would pop my eyes open, grin and shout “awake!”. This simple pretend play just never got old. The one place I didn’t play this game was in my new crib-converted-to-daybed or my big girl single bed. In early January, Daddy James decided it was time for a big girl bed. The first night went well, but the three weeks that followed were tough for me, Mom & Dad. I would start the night off in bed, but then get up to knock at the door and call “Mommy are you?” or I would be up reading books until late into the night. By the time my birthday rolled around, I was sleeping much better and preferred the single bed to the crib-daybed. I visited the dentist for the first time, which was okay. I watched Gus and Calina closely while they had their teeth checked and cleaned, but I wasn’t so interested in having Dr. Gonzales look in my mouth. A tag-team effort between Mom and the dentist resulted in my teeth being looked at, in which all was well, but I was told it was time for my beloved “sue-sue”(soother) to go. I’m not sure Dr. G onzales knows how much I love that thing! At my two year doctor appointment I weighed in at 22 pounds 6 ounces and measured 34 1/4 inches, and increase of 4 pounds 7 ounces and  5 1/2 inches in the last year. If what “they” say is correct, and I double my height, I will be 5 feet 8 1/2 inches as an adult. My current favourite books are the Dora series and any Look&Find. Some notable quotes/words: “I like it!”, “Cime it” (Climb it), “bunt” (button), “no nice” – when I didn’t like something.     …Becca

Christmas in the Valley

December 19, 2015 – January 2, 2016

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JRM20151225-124240Since “Christmas is a great time for extra hugs and cuddles, and love is the magic of Christmas”, being in the Valley for the holidays was essential. Although, our vacation started off a bit rocky, when I vomited 1 hour into our 10 hour car ride, everything got better from there. We spent our first few days settling in between G&G’s and Gram’s. Tuesday was spent at the Bissett’s for an all day play date. The day ended on a super high-note when the DesRocher’s and Aunt Tina joined us for dinner – making it a complete Mortimer cousins get together! Wednesday we left Dad to work on a building project at Gram’s and we joined Grandma Cathy for lunch at the airport. Christmas eve we joined Uncle Bradon, Carter & Fallon for a yummy dinner of appetizers at Grandma Cathy & Grandpa Mike’s. We stayed up too late, but easily fell asleep in our gift of new pajamas. I awoke Christmas morning to find the pile of gifts under the tree had grown. Uncle Lyle & Pattie joined us for gift opening and breakfast. Gus & Calina were sure to coach me through the ritual of gift opening, and I quite enjoyed finding fun surprises beneith the pretty paper. We joined Gram & Aunt Tina in Renfrew for a quiet afternoon, and shared a delicious roast beef dinner. Boxing Day was sunny and crisp, and perfect for meeting Shane & Rob for a morning walk in the Grove. We returned to Grams in time to welcome the Bissetts and DesRochers for two days of boisterous fun, which happens when 8 adults, 8 children and 2 dogs reside in one house! We gave ourselves some breathing room, when we all went to the Horton Community Center for our Clarke family Christmas party. There was about 40 people gathered around the table for a ‘crock-pot, comfort-food lunch’. The next day was Uncle Ryan’s 40th birthday – a milestone in need of a little celebration! We adorned Grandma Cathy’s kitchen in ’40’ themed decore, made lasagnas and salads. It was a fun evening with all my Muldoon cousins and family. Through the night a storm moved in, bringing with it 30cm of snow, which cancelled our beloved Moodie-Nixon-McAllsiter play date. Having Carter & Fallon spend the day with us eased the pain, and we spent much time playing in the snow, which I loved! Having Daddy pull me around on a GT snow racer left me wanting “more outside!!!”. And play outside we did, when we visited with the Steele family the following day. While a yummy dinner, which included homemade poutine, was being made, we spent the evening enjoying the snow in the dark! On New Year’s Eve day, we sent Mom out for a sisters lunch with Aunt Tina, Aunt Lisa & Aunt Carla, which meant I got another play date at the Bissett’s! That evening we had a dinner of Chinese take-out and went to bed in good time (to initate good habits for 2016). New Year’s day we gathered at Gram Berny’s one last time with Aunt Tina and the Bissett’s to honour Daddy’s upcoming 40th birthday. The next morning we were headed back to NJ. It was very hard to say good-bye after two weeks of extra hugs and cuddles, and feeling so much love! …Becca

Rebecca 23 Months

JRM20160104-104815The Tan family was so kind to have us for Thanksgiving.  It was fun to have a table of Canadians eating delicious turkey, mashed potatoes and gravey to celebrate Americn Thanksgiving. It had been quite a while since I had seen Liam, but we hit it off very well, and I think our pre-dinner play at Ponderosa Park was the perfect ice breaker. Thanksgiving weekend was so beautiful that we took the opportunity for a family bike ride!  Gus and Calina pedaled their own bikes, and I rode along with Mom. As soon as this festive weekend was over, we jumped right into Christmas mode. Hunting for a Christmas tree at Dreyer Farms exhausted me, so I napped while everyone else decorated. “Oh Wow!” was how I showed my approval when I got to see the finished product. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I had so much fun learning about “Baby Cheese-us” through stories and songs, and I got to the point where I could identify him in other places, like church or at Calina’s school, much to Mommy’s delight. Making Christmas cookies was fun, and I enjoyed pressing cookie cutters and applying sprinkles, but eating the finished product was really the best part. We made our annual trip to Turtle Back Zoo to see their holiday light display. This was only my second time, but I felt like it was way better this year! More lights, more cut-out figures, marshmallow roasting, a super warm night and lots of people! It was fun! For two consecutive days, I attended Calina’s school Christmas concert, which was really just an excuse for Mommy to dress me in some of the cute Christmas outfits that hang in my closet. Dressed to impress, I watched Calina act as a shepherd one day, and a wise man the next. Calina & Gus have very clear understandings of what Christmas is all about, but at my young age, they knew I was inexperienced. To prepare me for what lay ahead, they presented me with early Christmas gifts to open. They did an excellent job of instructing me on unwrapping, opening, and fussing over the generous and thoughtful gift inside. Hmmm, what else happened this month?  I counted “3, 7, 8, 9”, with 9 being my favourite number. I graduated from my bucket carseat into a forward facing big-girl carseat, that despite looking a lot like Calina’s old carseat, I happily referred to as “Annu seat Becca!”. Now I no longer have to crane my neck to watch videos during long car rides. Since videos are a novelty in the van and music is commonplace, the instant a song ended, I requested “more song?”. I did lots of cheering (“I did it!”) and clapping for small accomplishments, like eating breakfast or putting my socks on, and at times I would cheer and encourage friends. I’m helpful that way. My favourite letter was M because I means “McDon-ode’s”. So even when Mom signs her name, or I’m eating M&M’s, I point to the M and shout “McDon-odes’s!!”  I was totally fascinated by “Annu Daddy Phone” when he got his iPhone 6, and loved to querry with “Hey Serie”. I said “yuck” a lot, to mean ‘I don’t like that’, ‘no thank-you’, or mostly ‘I don’t want to wear pants’. And finally, I was maybe at my cutest, when I practiced karate with Gus and said “kiai” while blocking.  …Becca

Click on this link to see photos:  Rebecca 23 Months

Rebecca 22 Months

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This month was super fun because I had a lot of great visitors. Grandma Cathy & Grandpa Mike spent three full days with us, and we entertained them with a true weekend-in-the-life-of the Mortimers. We attended Fall Fest at Gus’ school on Saturday, and took them to William’s Nursery on Sunday – where we went on a spooky wagon ride, picked pumpkins, ran through the maze, and where I had my first horse back ride! I was sure not to let them leave hungry, so on Sunday night we all went for dinner at Fujiyama Mama for a fun hibachi dinner. Two weeks later, we welcomed Aunt Tina, Aunt Lisa, Nora & Felix for a long weekend! Their entertainment was a playground tour – three playgrounds in three days. Whew! On Thursday we took the train Westfield to explore Mindowaskin Park, have lunch at Qdoba and get a sweet treat at Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe. Friday we were off to the Trailside to enjoy that playground and a short hike. Saturday we opted to hang out at home, which made going to Nomahegan Park an easy, and fun, choice. When we weren’t out and about, I loved playing with Nora and being tackled by Felix. The other notable event this month, other than a trips to Kidstreet playground and the zoo, was Halloween! Our friend Alana celebrated her 6th birthday with a Halloween themed costume party. I went dressed as an adorable spider and went home with a sugar high because I cleverly scavenged many sweets off the floor at the out-of-my-reach candy buffet. In the days leading up to Halloween I helped carve pumpkins and took in our town’s Scarecrow Stroll. For trick-or-treating, now dressed as a cute lion, we joined the Nesheiwat family. I caught on very quickly to what this activity was all about! With great determination, I walked around the neighbourhood carrying my own bucket, climbed every step to front doors, said “oh wow!” for each piece of candy I received, and anxiously called out “me too!” when the bigger kids got ahead of me. I was in love! Otherwise this month, I walked home from school drop-off as often as I could (kicking up a fuss if I had to sit in the stroller), waving to everyone I saw along the way, stopping to collect leaves and pick up sticks. My preferred footwear for these walks, and pretty much every activity, was a cute pair of pink rain boots. I enjoyed the ease of slipping them on and off on my own, that it just made sense to wear them everywhere and with everything. My swim lessons progressed nicely, and in my final few weeks Mom was dunking me under the water, which I really didn’t mind. It also seemed that my music class was paying off because with the correct tunes, I sang “to you” for Happy Birthday, “go away” for Rain, Rain Go Away, “BDBD” for ABCD and a totally incomprehensible version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. With my growing verbal abilities I called my friends, Anne, Molly, Sarah and Andrew by name each time I saw them, and after a day in Princeton with the VanBodegom family, I recounted my day with, “Aanya, house, play”. I identified colour with increasing accuracy, had some potty successes, and showed a preference for using my left hand. I developed a love for “kep-ah” (ketchup) and “tabet” (tablet), both of which I requested a little too often.
…Becca

October 2015

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    Gus enjoyed his spring secession of karate so much that we enrolled him again this fall.  He is excited to be back learning and practicing once a week at the community center with Sensi Ben.

  • Calina’s friend Annie turned 4, and along with many friends from school, we helped her celebrate. Her casual, at home party was really fun.  The kids played pin the tail on the pony, had a relay race where they walked with a balloon between their legs, and took turns whacking a piñata.
  • Calina helped her classmate Julian celebrate his 5th birthday by energetically jumping on the large inflatable at Pump It Up.  The same day, Gus helped his classmate Ilan celebrate his 6th birthday at the Satori Martial Art studio.
  • It had been years since either James or I had celebrate Oktoberfest, but we had a great time at the Jaycee’s 3rd Annual Oktoberfest. The festivities were held in a parking lot at the Community College, which is within walking distance of our house, and were complete with a polka band, soft pretzels and ad lib beer. We met up with a large group of friends, but felt like we knew most everyone there as we bumped into other friends all night long.
  • For Canadian Thanksgiving, we were delighted to have the Steele family visit with us.  Not only did Aaron, MC, Zoë and James make the long trip, but Chris & Claudine did as well. Although we didn’t have a traditional turkey dinner, we ate really well all weekend long – a 7 vegetable stew, steak & tuna on the bbq and roasted vegetable lasagna, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, homemade maple walnut ice cream.  We even had a joint pie making effort one night which resulted in a delicious chocolate-pecan pie. When we weren’t eating, we enjoyed the beautiful weather by spending a morning at Nomahegan park, an afternoon at Trailside and a day at Point Pleasant.
  • Gus’ class went on their first field trip. Dreyer Farms, which is across the street from our house, and around the block from the school, was their destination. Gus had fun learning the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, getting a tour of the fields and making a vegetable man.
  • We joined the Friedman and Nesheiwat families, for our third annual Trailside Hayrides and Campfires.  Kids and adults alike enjoy this fun evening of marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate drinking, glow stick wearing, wagon riding, playing in the dark.
  • Calina’s friend Claire celebrated her 4th birthday with a western themed party, so of course Calina and I donned our best cowgirl attire for the festivities. We had a great time at the backyard party catching up with friends and playing games.
  • Calina and I had a special day together in NYC. We had tickets to see The Gruffalo at the New Victory Theater in Times Square, with some friends.  My friend Claire and her son Paul, decided that they would take the train into the city with us, while Jen and her daughter Claire opted to drive and meet us at the theater.  We arrived in the city with enough time to walk to the theater and stop for a snack along the way.  The show was very cute, and we stayed afterwards to the Q&A with the actors.  After lunch together at PAX deli, Claire, Paul, Calina and I headed to Toys R Us for a Ferris Wheel ride before catching the train back home. It was a really fun day, and I enjoyed every minute of this special one-on-one time with Calina.
  • While Calina and I were in the city, James, Gus and Rebecca were off to a birthday party.  Gus helped his friends, Dean & Nicholas, celebrate their 6th birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese. Gus had been asking to go to Chuck-E-Cheese for the last two years, so he was thrilled to finally go and was excited to play all the games in the company of his classmates.
  • Gus & I attended our town’s Duck Race one Sunday afternoon.  We had fun watching the nearly 1,000 individually numbered rubber ducks be released in the Rahway River at Sperry Park and tumble over the falls racing to the finish line at the nearby bridge. Although our flock of 5 ducks didn’t yield a winner, we still enjoyed the event.
  • I hosted my book club this month to discuss my book pick, “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins.
  • Our friend Alana’s 6th Halloween themed birthday party was the perfect reason for the kids to give their Halloween costumes a test-run.  Gus was a ninja, Calina was Spiderman and Becca was a spider.
  • Grandma Cathy & Grandpa Mike spent a long weekend with us.  The calendar was packed with activities, so we showed them a real weekend-in-the-life-of the Mortimer family.  Friday they took the one-hour walking tour to deliver Gus & Calina to school.  While I took the kids to a birthday party on Friday evening, James and my parents opted for dinner at the Kilkenny House.  Saturday morning was soccer for Gus & Calina, and that afternoon was the fall fest at Gus’ school. Sunday we spent several hours at William’s Nursery enjoying the spooky wagon ride, pumpkin picking, pony rides and running through the maze.  Sunday night we treated G&G to dinner at one our favourite restaurants – Fujiyama Mama, a hibachi grill where the chef cooked dinner on a hotplate right in front of us.  It was a great weekend and we were sad to see G&G go on Monday morning.
  • This year was the 8th Annual Scarecrow Stroll, and we made it a family affair one afternoon, when we pulled James away from work early.  As always the scarecrows were super impressive and we had great difficulty choosing only six favourites for the voting.  The kindergarten classes from Gus’ school had an entry, as well as Calina’s school, and my Newcomers Club.
  • To continue a Halloween tradition that started for us last year, we “boo’d” five friends, which entailed leaving mystery Halloween treat bags on their front porches.  Each bag contained instructions for the friend to pay the Halloween fun forward.
  • Since Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, the Friday before was a busy day!  Gus & Calina both dressed in costume for their mornings at school, where each of them had a class party.  Rebecca and I attended the school Halloween parade at Calina’s school, and then a few hours later, Gus, Calina & I returned to Gus’ school, so he could participate in his school’s parade (the parade is in the afternoon, so morning kindergarten students had to return to school after lunch to participate).
  • That evening, I was feeling exhausted (and still had pumpkins to carve), so James took Gus & Calina to the trick-or-trunk in the parking lot of Gus’ school.  Trick-or-Trunk is an evening where parents volunteer to decorate their vehicles and hand out candy.  Yes, just like trick or treating, but done in a very safe, family friendly environment, and candy is given at trunk doors rather than home doors. Gus & Calina loved it!
  • Halloween morning was the final day of fall soccer.  Calina dressed in her Spiderman costume and Gus was just his regular soccer self.  As usual, Gus was super pleased to receive his end of session medal, but unfortunately, nobody showed up with the medals for Calina’s group.  :(
  • We joined the Nesheiwat family again this year for trick-or-treating.  Layla, Dylan and Gus were all fierce ninjas, Calina was a cat and Becca was a lion (so much for our costume test-run a few weeks ago).  The group of kids excitedly went from house to house around the quiet neighbourhood and collected a huge amount of candy.  Rebecca caught on very quickly to this activity, and regularly shouted out “me too” so she wouldn’t be left too far behind.  We enjoyed dinner together afterwards and then took our exhausted children home to bed!
  • Gus’ quote of the month, while looking in the trophy case at the community pool, “Mom, it’s my destiny to have one of these”.
  • At Gus’ 6 year doctor appointment, he weighed 50 pounds and measured 48″, an increase of 5.5 pounds and 3.25 inches in the last year.

Rebecca 21 Months

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Five days a week, I made sure Gus & Calina arrived at and were picked up from school on time.  To help accommodate this busy schedule, I gave up my morning nap, and managed quite well with this adjustment to my routine.  The one-hour round trip in the mornings allowed me ample opportunity to point to and name things I saw.  A favourite activity with my expanding vocabulary.  By the end of the month I was energetic and eager enough to make the 1.5 km return trip home on my own two feet!  I joined Gus in celebrating his 6th birthday by jumping in the bouncy house, making huge bubbles and of course, eating pizza and cake.  I started two extra curricular activities of my very own – swim lessons and music class.  I was not so in love with swimming, but music class, with a few of my friends, was really fun.  For Canadian Thanksgiving, the Steele Family, with bonus guests, Chris & Claudine, came to spend the weekend with us.  We had so much fun showing them Nomahegan Park and Trailside Nature Center and playground, but the best part was spending a day at Point Pleasant where we visited the Jenkinson’s Aquarium, enjoyed lunch on the roof-top patio at the Boardwalk Bar & Grill, and then spent a few hours playing on the beach.  Our family teamed up with the Nesheiwat and Friedman families again this year to partake in the Trailside Hayrides & Campfires.  With a glow stick attached to my coat, I was delighted to be playing outside in the “more dark”, chasing after the big kids.  The clear night sky was perfect for star-gazing as the John Deere tractor pulled our wagon through the reservation.  One of my latest passions was “ky” (colouring), and I was happy to do it wherever I could – on myself, on the table, on paper – and the colour I chose most often was orange.  Another thing I fell madly in love with was the television show Bubble “Guppies”.  Although Mom wouldn’t let me watch it very often, it didn’t stop me from asking for it regularly and thoroughly enjoying each moment when I was allowed to watch.  I’ve been a climber from an early age, and I recently mastered climbing the ladder on our play structure.  I’m eager to climb across the monkey bars, but Dad & Mom say I’m not big enough yet. Bummer.

…Becca

September 2015

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    Although we had an amazing time in Canada for the month of August, we were excited to return to NJ and catch up with our friends here.  We started off by spending a day at the Centennial Avenue pool with Crawford’s, another day with Keenan’s at their house (and their new super fun swing) and Labour Day at the Friedman’s for a BBQ.

  • 4th: We spent a day together at the Liberty Science Center, which we hadn’t visited since Calina was a baby.  We all had so much fun learning, building, climbing and exploring.  The outdoor Wild Life Challenge where we had the opportunity crawl, climb and claw our way through tests which urban wildlife face every day was the perfect way to end the day.
  • 8th: Back to school! Gus started morning kindergarten at the neighbourhood public school, and Calina returned to her pre-school for morning Pre-K4.  Gus’ school is a 10 minute walk from our house, and Calina’s school is another 20 minutes from there, which makes for a nice morning walk. Gus enjoyed riding his scooter to school most days, but was very disappointed about not having any homework in the first few weeks of school.
  • Fall soccer started for both Gus & Calina mid-month. This was Calina’s first time playing ‘Peanuts soccer’ through the town soccer club, and she was less than enthusiastic to do so. Thankfully, after a few weeks in, she was happy to go and participate.  Gus had graduated from the peanut program, and played ‘Kindergarten’ soccer this fall, and was on the Pirates team.
  • 12-14th: With the schools closed for Rosh Hashanah, we took advantage of the long weekend and went camping!  For more on this adventure, see Becca’s blog…Camping – Cheesequake
  • 15th: We took the 1 hour 15 minute drive to Sandyston, NJ to visit the Sussex County Sunflower maze. The farm was very quiet that day, and we enjoyed our picnic lunch beside the sunflower fields and then spent the afternoon touring through the many paths. The flowers had bloomed early this year, and although we were catching them in late bloom, the huge black oil seed flowers were beautiful, as were the many butterflies.
  • 16th: Buying ice cream from an ice cream truck is a rare and exciting experience for Gus & Calina.  My Newcomers club hosted an afternoon ice cream social/playground play date, where the truck showed up especially for our group.  All the kids were in heaven!
  • 23rd: Our friend Nate celebrated his 5th birthday in a hanger at the Linden Airport.  This huge space allowed the kids ample space to run around and play games, all while watching planes and helicopters arrive and depart on the runway and landing pads. We also had the opportunity to look a few old war planes up close.
  • 26th: Gus turned 6!  For more details about his mad science party, check out his blog… Gus’ 6th Birthday
  • By the end of the month, all three kids had started swim lessons.
  • Gus is spelling phonetically, which is adorable to read, and always makes me so proud.  Despite the grave errors, I love the effort he puts into trying.
  • Calina is quick to state the rules, even to a group of people.

Gus’ 6th Birthday!

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“Drip, Drop, Goop & Slime, Let’s be Mad Scientists for a day, and have a great time!” read the invitation that requested Gus’ friends join him in his lab, to help him celebrate his 6th birthday.  The day was sunny and beautiful, as the weather usually is on September 26th, which was perfect for our back yard party and twenty-two children.  Each guest received a lab coat and safety glasses to prepare them for a visit from Mad Science’s Jupiter Julie.  Jupiter Julie did an amazing job of keeping the attention of most children for an hour with various science experiments, which included dry ice, a soda geyser, and each child making their own silly slime.  To otherwise keep everyone busy, there was a bounce house, bubble solution, a sand table, foose ball and the play structure.  Everyone dined on pizza and of course, cake!  At Gus’ request, the cake was a two-layered (pineapple bliss) cake with green icing between the layers, and white icing on the outside.  To make it sciency, I put an erlenmeyer flask on it using sprinkles.  It seemed like everyone had a great time, especially Gus, who wore a huge smile the entire time.  His friends were super generous and thoughtful and gifted many science projects that will keep us using our thinking caps through the fall and winter.  Happy Birthday Gus!  We love you so much.

Rebecca 20 Months

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The month started with a week at the cottage, and my return to NJ after three weeks in Canada. Since labour day was late this year, I took full advantage of one more week of summer and enjoyed play dates with friends and visited the Liberty Science Center. I  helped Gus & Calina get reacquainted with their back to school routine by walking them to school each morning. I really enjoyed these strolls because the weather was beautiful and I was able to point at and name many of the things I saw. My other adventures this month included a visit to the Sussex County Sunflower Maze and two nights of camping at Cheesequake State Park. Since I spent more time running than walking and more time climbing than sitting, I suffered from many skinned knees and bumps. I’m pretty tough, but each incident was announced with a series of “ow-ow-ow” and required a kiss from Mommy. Were all these tumbles the result of me graduating to size 5 shoes? Hmmm, not sure. Since the cooler weather had set in and the humidity had dropped so did my curls. The adorable tight ringlets that I sported all summer were just gentle waves down my neck. Drinking from an open cup was something that I became quite skilled at, as was throwing dishes when I was finished with them. Daily I saw Gus & Calina monkey around at bedtime, so I came up with my own stalling techniques.  I requested as many stories as Mommy would read, the more the better. Then I asked to nurse, but wouldn’t, and when Mom tried to put me in bed, I begged in a really sad voice that I DID want to nurse. At that point I got serious and drank my milk. Then I needed to pick a book to read to my babies, count (well technically, Mom counted) how many babies were in bed with me, make sure I had my two soothers (because I still hadn’t given up that terrible addiction), and then I got tucked in! Sweet success – every night! Some of the cute phrases I had been using: “side” which is what I called nursing, “enty” (empty) – most commonly when I was done nursing, “okay” instead of yes, and “Kiki” for my sweet sister, Calina.     …Becca

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