The Jane: Two Months Old

I didn't post it!! I took the pictures and edited them and then...my brain! Where is my brain?!?

Anyway, about Jane at two months...

She continues to prefer (and now demand) me above all others. Although my sister Joeli (who just moved here!!!) can get her to be calm, and a professional grandma in our branch can settle her quite well. She has added a little girly scream to her cry now. It's cute and scarey all at the same time.

She also already tries to get her brothers in trouble with her zero-to-hysterical tendencies. I will walk out of a room where one of the boys is cooing and talking to her and she's totally happy, then suddenly I will hear her scream and hold her breath and start crying like crazy so I rush back in thinking that the brother did something to her and expect to see the bouncy seat overturned or teeth marks on her face or something. And then I remember - she doesn't wind-up fuss. She just lets you know right away when she's done being pleasant. Poor big brothers.

If I didn't know it before, I definitely know it now: a baby is born with personality and preferences and character traits. Jane is spicey and baffling. At two months.

She is growing fast and I already had to retire a few of her littlest clothes because she started looking like she was exploding out of them. So sad.

Her little bit of hair is decidedly strawberry blonde in hue and her eyes are very much like Henry's - blue/grey/green. Her looks surprise me all the time - I took it for granted that I would have a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl. She has beautiful porcelain skin and is soft and squidgy all over.

And now for the pictures. She does smile - mostly for me, occasionally for her dad or brothers, but never for the camera. But who needs to smile? Those thighs speak for themselves...


To Jane From Henry

(On an orange piece of construction paper folded in several directions. The "J"s are backwards with giant dots on the top of them...He gave it to me to give to her to help her stop crying.)

you'r very couht jane

I. love you jane



You Should Live Here: Moonbounces

We're getting into our routine again here in Kiev. That includes at least one trip a week to a park or playground. We went to Marinsky Park on Saturday, which was really beautiful. But it did make me miss London a bit.

One of the very, very best things about London is that they have amazing parks. Beautiful gardens, paths, fountains, ponds and lakes. Green. Clean. Perfect. We spent a lot of time in Regent's Park and some in Hyde Park, St. James, and Kensington Gardens. I love not only being outside and strolling through the parks, but I love the atmosphere, the people, the feeling that is there. The boys loved feeding the huge variety of birds (although Charlie did equal parts feeding and chasing) and discovering the playgrounds, which were safe and clean. It's the little things, you know. So nice.

But almost every time we left a playground or park in London, Charlie would start a steady repetition: "Ah wanna doe on moonbouse...Ah wanna doe on moonbouse..." It took me a while to figure out what he was saying and why it always came up when we were leaving a park. Then I realized it was: "I wanna go on the moonbounce."

(We call them moonbounces - I'm not sure what they're called in general. In Northern Virginia, people not in our socioeconomic bracket rent them for backyard birthday parties and they usually are just a contained place to jump like mad inside a huge air-filled cube. The ones here are the same huge inflated things, but they are slides instead of air-trampolines, and they usually have some kind of chicken/barnyard theme to them. Do you call them moonbounces, too?)

Yeah, they don't have moonbounces in every (or any?) park in London. But they do in Kiev. For less than $1, your child can climb, bounce and slide like crazy for ten whole minutes. Charlie loves the moonbounce and apparently considers it an integral part of his going-to-the-park experience. The other boys were discerning enough to appreciate London's parks for what they were, but Charlie felt they were distinctly lacking.

But now all the boys are thrilled to be back in the land of the moonbounce parks. Considering the state of the playgrounds and the broken-glass-strewn paths in a lot of the parks here, the moonbounce is heaven.


A Cuppla Sweet Things

Jane will not take a bottle. She did a bit in the first few days of her life (thank goodness) but now she will have none of it. Breast only for her, whether I like it or not. Also, she truly prefers me over any other person in the world.

And when I feed her, if I am not looking at her, she gets restless and latchesonlatchesofflatchesonlatchesoff. This means no talking to others (which was a problem when I had to feed her today while teaching the young women at church, which is another crazy phenom: I can actually breastfeed in public without indecent exposure), and no watching TV. She does tolerate me reading, but only sometimes.

None of my other children ever did breastfeeding this way (I was seriously considering not even bothering with Jane because of past experience) and all of them were consolable by their dad. It's just wierd, sweet, and somewhat exhausting to be so much in demand.

And Charlie. We have worked out a special bedtime ritual since all my other time with him during the day usually gets interrupted or multitasked in the wake of Jane. (He says, "I want Mommy pway wif you" and I have to tell him, "Not right now" so much it breaks my heart. But the topper was the other day when his dad asked him for a kiss and he said, "Ahm bissy wight now." Ouch. I think he's heard that a little too much.)

So at night he now insists that I "hing hongs and hay pwayohs" (sing songs and say prayers) with him and only him. Oh, I love those five minutes with him snuggled on my shoulder. And I love it that he likes to hear me sing - my other boys love music, but my singing is not their fave, and they never got hooked on it as something soothing when they were little. Charlie is the one and it is precious to me.

And that is all for now. I like my babies. The end.