Monday, August 26, 2013

A Growing Reed

Yes, I missed the 2-year update.  By almost five months.  But Reed is so much fun at two years and nearly five months that I thought  I might as well just share some of THOSE updates now!

  • Reed is GROWING!  A month ago in CA, he weighed in at 28 lbs, but Jeff and I are sure he's gained at least one, if not two pounds since then.  He's getting harder and harder to carry around (yet he still asks, "Mommy carry you?" whenever possible).  According to his Baseball Hall of Fame height chart, he's just at 36 inches.
  • He still takes one nap during the day, between 1 and 3:30 or 4 p.m.  As much as I love being around him, I'm not going to lie - those naps are heavenly for Mommy and Daddy too!  He goes to bed around 7:45 and wakes up between 6:30 and 7 a.m.  He still sleeps in a crib, but he does know how to get out and has swung himself over the edge three times.  Fortunately, he's so big now that he's not far from the ground and 99% of the time, he's perfectly happy to stay in.  We're starting to make plans for the big-boy bed, but he's probably got another month or so in the crib.
  • Speaking of nighttime, his routine with me is precious.  After we read a book and I put him in the crib, he says, "One more hug, one more kiss", about three times before I leave the room.  
  • Reed is still such a snuggle bug!  He loves to be held and his favorite place is in our lap to read a book or watch one of his shows.
  • He's very into labeling everything - "That's a dog.  That's Pooh.  That's a mermaid."  He also likes to ask, "What's that?", even when he knows exactly what something is.  Some of my other favorite phrases are, "Mommy [or Daddy], where are you?" (said in a sing-song voice); "Mommy, what are you doing?"; "Mommy, are you doing exercises?"; "Mommy, can Reed watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in Mommy and Daddy's room, I fink?" 
  • Reed's gotten a lost less picky with food.  While he's still far from adventurous, he eats much more now, both in quantity and in types of food.  Some of his favorites are cereal (Life, Raisin Bran Crunch), chicken nuggets, fish sticks, ground beef, eggs, bagels with cream cheese, bread, cottage cheese, pizza, and fruit.  Of course, he loves sweets, especially lollipops and yogurt-covered raisins.
  • He is still our music-loving boy.  He can ID musicians from just hearing a bar or two of music, and he loves Michael Buble (hooray!), the Beatles, Sesame Street, and Mickey Mouse songs.  He's got quite a repertoire of songs he can belt out, including several tracks off the new MB album and a whole host of other diddies.
  • Reed also likes his TV.  This summer he fell in love with Mickey and the gang on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and he still loves his Classical Baby DVDs (The Poetry Show is a new fave), Elmo, and Barney.
  • Fortunately, he still loves books too!  Current faves include Oh Say Can You Say, The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat, The Shabbat Box, The Little Engine That Could, and The Giving Tree.
  • While his CD player still keeps him occupied most mornings while Mommy and Daddy are getting ready for work, Reed has a growing interest in blocks, and he also enjoys stickers, his water table, and the park.  
  • Generally, Reed wants to be doing whatever Mommy (and sometimes Daddy) is doing, whether that's exercising, making the bed, putting on makeup, or cooking.  He is definitely my little sidekick!
Here are a few pictures of Reed from the last few weeks, as well as a fun video of him singing a duet with his new friend Sadie.

Fun at the park by Bubbe and Zaide's house

Just enjoying his shades and lollipop

A rock star in Mommy's sunglasses

Sunday, August 18, 2013

California Dreams

When thinking about our summer vacation plans this year, we considered renting a beach house in North Carolina's Outer Banks or Rehoboth Beach, like so many of the other folks around here do.  But Reed is notoriously wussy when it comes to new situations, and we worried that we would pack up for a week at the beach, get there, and Reed would steadfastly refuse to get anywhere near the sand or shore for the entire time.  Instead, we decided to head home to Agoura, where a heated pool waited in the backyard for twice daily swim sessions, the beach was a mere 20 minute drive away (in case a certain 2-year-old hated it and needed to leave NOW), and our Sherwin family awaited our arrival with big smiles and open arms.  We made sure to plan our trip with Rob and Brie, so that we could all be there at the same time.

It was an amazing week.  Some of the highlights:

  • Twice-daily swim sessions (as mentioned above!).  Reed particularly enjoyed the noodles, his circle raft, and seeing Uncle Robby wear his swim sweater.
  • The beach!  Turns out, Reed could be a beach bum.  He loved it all - the sand, the waves, the tunnels on the canyon.  
  • Watering Grammy's flowers.  Reed loved his daily chore.
  • Colin's performance and Aunt Candy's choreography in TADW's Aladdin.  So cool to get to see all of their hard work this summer pay off in such a great show!  Colin was an amazing Abu and Candy's choreography was wonderful.  I think the best part of the experience was Reed's comment once we got in the car to leave.  After being on the verge of tears the entire time and whimpering into my ear every five minutes, "Home!  Go home!", he says cheerfully, with zero sarcasm, "That was FUN!".  I kid you not.
  • Telestrations.  Perhaps a new Sherwin family favorite?
  • Old friends.  A special treat for me was visiting with my old ballet teachers Kim Maselli and Joyce Hurley.  They were such an important part of my childhood and teenage years, and I owe so much to them.  
  • Family BBQ.  Catching up with our family and seeing Reed enjoy his cousins Colin, Evan, Brooklyn, and Chelsea was so precious.
  • Splash park!  Well, maybe not a REAL splash park, but the water fountain at the Janns Mall was definitely a highlight for Reed.  
  • Talking, talking, talking . . .  Reed had a huge language burst while we were in CA.  All of a sudden, his three and four word sentences turned into six, seven, and eight word sentences, and we could actually have real conversations with him.  It's only increased since then.
And here are some of my favorite pictures of our vacation.  I just wish it had lasted longer!

Reed and Uncle Robby playing telephone through the noodle

Reed thought Uncle Robby wearing the swim sweater was HILARIOUS!

On a search for rocks at Zuma Beach

Surfer dude

An expert with a pail and shovel

Good times burying Mommy's feet in the sand

Gorgeous Rob and Brie

Enjoying some afternoon animal crackers with Daddy and Bampa

Dinner al fresco (every night!)

The fam at CSUN for Alladin

Our awesome Abu!

Reed loved pool time with Bampa (and the blue noodle!)

He just hated being the center of attention

Floating like a big boy in the spa with Mommy and Grammy

Light of my life!

Scoping out the flower beds

He doesn't delight us at all . . .

The love affair continues with cousin Chelsea


Strike a pose, buddy!

Pure joy!

What's Your Favorite Team?

I've trained Reed carefully on this question.  While I was raised a Los Angeles Dodgers fan and I will always love the boys in blue, it's pretty hard to be a die-hard Dodger fan living on the East Coast.  Their games are rarely televised and, when they are, they often start at 10 p.m., just when I'm ready to conk out from exhaustion.  For a while I would try to "watch" day games at work, following those pitch by pitch images on my computer, with no sound, in between answering emails and preparing event briefings.  Needless to say, it was a challenge.

So, I'm not ashamed to admit that I jumped on the Washington Nationals bandwagon in 2012, when the team finally acquired more than two or three solid players and started making a name for themselves.  While Jeff does not enjoy my often over-the-top reactions to key plays in the games, he's been a supportive spouse, watching the games with me (every game is televised on MASN - hooray!) and indulging my love-hate relationship with F.P. Santangelo, the color commentator.  

All this to say that I encourage Reed to watch games with me whenever possible.  He enjoys clapping for the Nats and singing the old softball cheers I dragged out of the corners of my memory when the Nats are up to bat.  When singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", we root, root, root for the Nationals, and I now have proof, on video, of his favorite team and players (well, his mommy's favorite players, at any rate).  Sorry, Bampa, but we're raising a Nats fan in this house.  If the Dodgers make it to the playoffs this year and the Nats get aced out by the Reds, we'll be cheering for Puig, but until that wild card race is over, it's Zimmerman, Harper, and the Nationals!

Shabbat Shalom, Hey!

Much to our delight, Reed adores Shabbat.  His standard response to our question, "Reed, do you know what tonight is?" (regardless of the day of week) is "SHABBAT!".  He loves every step of preparing for our Friday night ritual: running into the dining room to get the candlesticks, kiddush cup, kippahs, and prayer book; lighting the candles; singing the blessings; and, best of all, drinking the "Shabbat juice" (his words, not ours!).

Earlier this summer, we captured Reed singing the barucha while paging through the prayer book.  He's pretty darn close to getting that "chai" sound!

Future American Idol

By May, Reed was VERY into singing and had quite the repertoire under his belt.  He continued to love listening to the Muppets station on Pandora and could recognize many artists by the song's intro.  Singing at the dinner table was a fun activity for Mommy and Reed, as captured below.

With the warm weather starting in May, we brought out the water table Bubbe and Zaide gave Reed for his birthday, and our little guy loved it!  Here are a few pictures from its first use.


While Reed's gotten much better at smiling for the camera since late April, his early attempts to say "Cheese!" and smile were some of the most horrifically funny things we'd ever seen.  Thank goodness he's evolved a bit since then!

And We're Back!

After taking an 81/2 month blog hiatus, I'm back and determined to continue recording our family adventures in a much more regular fashion!  So far, 2013 has been a bit of a challenge, with myriad health issues (luckily, just Jeff and me, not Reed!) and typically busy schedules taking precedence.  But Reed continues to grow and change so fast and I hate that I missed documenting every step of the way. While there's no way I can really get all of the 8 months, I'll at least provide a few snippets, starting with the spring and Reed's 2nd birthday.  Here we go!

With Reed's continued infatuation with everything music-related, we went with a music theme for his party and invited the music teacher from the JCC, Miss Michelle, to come to the house and give the kids a 45-minute music class.  Reed and his friends had an absolute blast.  We also lucked out with beautiful spring weather, so everyone got some play time outside, followed by pizza and an amazing cake.  After Reed's nap, we opened presents and had a family dinner with Grammy, Bubbe, Zaide, Aunt Rachael, Alex, and Uncle Floyd.  We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day!

Happy 2nd birthday, Reed!

Reed meets Miss Michelle
Reed rocked the sticks

Grabbing hold of the friendship rope

Outdoor play time

Justin and Graham with Dustin

Blow out that candle, big boy!

Enjoying cake with Aunt Rachael

Present time!  Reed loved his new guitar and microphone.

Proud Uncle Floyd

Reed loved his singing Elmo card from Bubbe and Zaide

Kisses for soon-to-be Uncle Alex