18 months. A year and a half. We’ve entered a new clothing size – the last size to be measured in months.
How Henry feels about being 18 months old:
Favorite foods: Bananas. Blueberries. Annie’s cheddar bunnies. And he’d eat pancakes every hour on the hour if we let him.
Favorite toys: Swiffer, tea bags, spice jars, hot cocoa canisters, dot pens, bouncing turtle (that he has begun standing on), Noah’s Ark, dump truck at school, anything he can or can’t stand on, anything he’s not supposed to play with.
Favorite activities: Reading, sweeping, taking tea bags out their box and putting them back in, stacking hot cocoa canisters, moving spice jars from one flat surface to another, opening and closing doors and drawers (we’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen together), turning lights on and off, taking baths, singing in his stroller, counting, watching Tony Awards performances on YouTube.
Then there are the words:
Manana, cackah, tuh-tay-ta, mik, joosh, dow, no-no, uh-oh, bye-bye, aah daah, moe, eet, baou, Mommy, Daddy, ot, Bown Bow, Man-uh-nine, beep beep, toot toot, step, dot doo, dee aahn, and mine.
Translation: Banana, cracker, potato, milk, juice, down, no-no, uh-oh, bye-bye, all done, more, eat, ball, Mommy, Daddy, hot, Brown Bear, Madeline, beep beep, toot toot, step, thank you, the end, and mine.
How Henry currently makes us laugh:
- Singing only “all through the town” in “The Wheels on the Bus.”
- Shaking his finger when he says “no-no.”
- Clapping whenever a song, any song, is finished.
- Dancing anytime any music comes on.
- Eating entire pears and apples, including stems.
- How proud of himself he is when he climbs onto something new or stands on something not meant to be stood on.
- How strongly he feels his feelings.
- That he’s ticklish on his baby butt.
- Waving to everyone when he enters or leaves a room.
Oh my gosh I love this kid.
Maybe I have Dutch ancestors who lived here. Maybe it’s just my American heart. But so much about Harlem feels important.
These photos are part of the Museum of the City of New York’s photography collection, which I discovered via Harlem Bespoke. Looking through the photos, so much looks the same. Is this good or bad? Probably both and neither. Enjoy the photos and your visit to our home.
Banana? Banana?! Banana!
Quite often I worry that I’m not documenting Henry’s milestones well enough. I don’t have scrapbooks or baby books* – that’s what this blog is for. But we’ve already been through a whole year of firsts and the only one I’ve shared here is his first birthday.
There are plenty of adorable ways to document baby milestones (that you don’t even have to come up with yourself). But I’m sure even the mothers who do them all feel like they aren’t doing enough. So instead of trying to become something I’m not (someone who has patience for crafts and craft-like projects), I’ve accepted feeling guilty as a constant side effect of motherhood that I can tolerate and keep on living.
But all is not lost.
Here is what I do do:
- Twitter. I created a @measuredinweeks account for some real-time documenting. I tweet about Henry but also about momness, parenthood, New York City and the sports teams we cheer for (which really falls under the category of family – go Bills!)
- Instagram. I’m bad about adhering to the “instant” implication of the service and post pictures much later than I took them, but I’m getting a little better. And I have actually started tagging not-real-time photos as #latergrams, which is good, or people will think I’m at brunch at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday.
- E-mail. Soon after Henry was born I set up an e-mail address for him so that I could e-mail him when he does something new or funny. I even actually do it sometimes. It’s especially convenient since I can send e-mails from my phone, which was my primary documentation device for the first year of his life. Sometimes the e-mails are sentimental, but most of the time it’s “You just farted and laughed at yourself.”
- New camera. Well, new to us anyway. This spring we bought a secondhand Canon someprofessionalmodel for half its original price. Then started taking pictures with it, some of which I even share here. We’re still working on taking good pictures with it.
- Family photos. I had a friend who takes good photos take good photos of all three of us recently in Central Park. Stay tuned if you want to see them. I have a notion to even make cards and mail them. I mean, it only took me 6+ months to send out birth announcements. Up until the recent photo shoot, these were the only family photos I had:
This one is from Opening Day. We’re at a wing night upstate. Tim, Henry, me, and a glass of beer.
And this photo from this summer in my parents’ pool. We’re saving this one for a t-shirt tan contest.
- Went through a back-up-all-of-our-photos-on-computers-and-hard-drives-and-the-cloud frenzy, including all cell phone photos from phones alive or dead. And I dare say we have, like, 13 or so good photos among the thousands. Success! Maybe I’ll even print them out. And hang them on walls. But I don’t want to push myself too hard.
So, if you’re like me, and the thought of choosing photos, printing them, putting them in frames, deciding where to hang those frames, then hanging the frames or doing anything else like it makes you want to instead build a blanket fort and hide from the scary decision making and the following through and read your Christopher Plummer memoir that you’ve been trying to finish for three months, then maybe one of the memory-capturing methods I’m capable of works for you.
What do you do capture memories?
*This does not mean I don’t value the worth of baby books or scrapbooks. A blog just works better for me, probably because I also get to talk about myself on a blog.
Happy Halloween from Harold, his purple crayon, and the moon that went with him.
The ache of this month’s move from the neighborhood I love(d) has me reflecting on where I was last year at this time. Last October was hard.
Henry was 5 months old. He had just started day care, and I had just returned to the office. My heart was an open wound I felt inadequately equipped to protect. I also felt like a confused robot. Then one of Henry’s sweet classmates died of SIDS at home in her sleep. Then a friend’s best friend lost a 37-week-old child she was carrying. Then Marina Krim’s nanny killed two of her young children. None of these tragedies were mine, but they also all felt like mine, in a very small dose that I could handle.
This must be how people get through unimaginable grief: We all, through empathy, take on a little bit of the suffering for the people for whom it should be unbearable, and somehow they go on breathing, sleeping, doing, being.
I’ve thought of these families often this month, and I probably will for many Octobers to come. I hope it helps.
Goodbye, old apartment. We will miss you.