The two month sojourn in California was nothing short of spectacular.
We spent extended amounts of quality time with family, especially cousins in Fremont and my dad, Yogi Dada, in San Francisco. For the first time ever we experienced some semblance of regularity in our relationships with important loved ones on my side of the family tree. We rented a granny flat fora month in a beautiful area called San Mateo Park- walking distance to downtown San Mateo and Burlingame, as well as the fantastic Coyote Point recreation area.
Upon arrival our very gracious cousins let us stay with them in Fremont, right at the base of a regional mountain. Needless to say Maxwell had tons of fun hiking with Mommy, Daddy and Sammy Uncle. My father's oldest brother and wife live there and I guess my dad looks an awful lot like his big bro seeing as Maxwell called Harshad Dada "Yogi Dada" the whole time. ;)
We saw my dad frequently and visited California treasures such as Half Moon Bay beaches and the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. Again: amazing.
A highlight for me was being so lose to one of my best friends, Caitlyn, and her kin in Morgan Hill. It was especially sweet for me that Maxwell fell so in love with her kids- for the first time, ever, he didn't want to come home with his Daddy, but wanted to STAY. Caitlyn does have an amazing family, so I totally understand not wanting to say goodbye. We even got in a "girls' day" of sorts when her mom came to town- I loved catching up with them!
We took two road trips to Southern California. We spent (not nearly enough) time with my mom, Grammy, in the desert. Her boyfriend Robert, has a condo in a cozy tennis club community he let us borrow. The weather was as close to perfect as one could imagine and the neighbors so friendly. We were in the pool, jogging at dusk, wearing shorts and sandals! Grammy held baby Miles poolside while the rest of us lounged around in the pool. Maxwell even swam across the pool relying on nothing but his own devices and floating noodles!
We also stayed with Auntie Mila. She took him on adventure walks around the neighborhood, collecting treasures in the form of Rollie Pollies and snails. Maxwell thought her two "boys", labs Brandy Brown and Duncan, were the most amazing things since sliced bread. Tossing their toys into the pool for them to fetch, rubbing them down afterward, brushing their teeth and feeding them their breakfast and dinner were exciting daily activities. Oh, and Auntie Mila even made picking up their poopies something to look forward to. :)
Thanks to Auntie Mila for watching the baby while I took a much needed break to visit a close childhood friend, Bree, who lives not 5 miles from her in Murrieta and who has newborn twins, Hannah and Nolan. They were sooo precious and I only wish I could have spent more time with her.
Maxwell's English really exploded- just as I had hoped. He's now truly distinguishing between both languages and will switch to English when addressing me. On. His third birthday, celebrated low key at Farfar's house with his requested meal of hotdogs and asparagus, he asked me "why?" For the very first time. He wanted to know why I was removing my nail polish. I said, "mommy is taking off. The old nail polish so she can put on new and be pretty." He then proceeded to ask me why again and again. I think I know what's coming next...
He is really giving potty. Training the old college try. We're proud of the strides he's making- now that we're back in rugged Sweden he's basically diaper free and going like a pro. ;)
Another funny thing he's started doing is telling me "two minutes, Mommy," with a outstretched finger and earnest look oh his face. This is a tool I've been using with him for at least a year and half: giving him a five or so minute countdown before we are leaving somewhere or shifting activity gears. So, now when I've finished the countdown to, say, brushing our teeth in the morning he throws a sweet and funny countdown right back at me.
He loves singing the alphabet song and almost ever lets anyone else chime in. He is identifying around 5-7 letters by sight, the world Elmo and is drawing A, L, O and E. I'm working on teaching him to spell his shortened name, MAX.
Just two days ago, our toddler genius ;) drew a roundish circle with two smaller circular o's inside. "It's a man," he said. We were beaming with pride.
Next up: saying fare thee well to the binkies. Wish us luck.
Baby Miles is a crack up. He's a little charmer, to be certain! He is very eager to smile and laugh. That's not to say he doesn't have a mean temper, because he does! From zero to angry cry in all but 3 seconds. Just try giving him a binkie at night when what he really wants is milk. Watch out! I must say, however, he makes the cutest little quivering pouty lip sometimes. Plus, we were almost rid of his "reverse tonsure" hair style (you know, the reverse of the old medieval friar 'do), but now he's again squirming all over, giving himself basically the same bald patches as his Yogi Dada. Hey, it's actually quite becoming if you're over 70 or under 12 months. :)
like i said, he's really rocking and rolling. From front to back at around three months and by five from back to front. Makes co- sleeping somewhat more taxing on us parents, though.
He's just about sitting up in his own. Loves his feet which he discovered about 2 weeks ago at 4.5 months.
He had solids, avocado, for the first time at over five months at Auntie Mila's house and loved 'em. He's now downed sweet potatoes and pears with pleasure and we are starting to settle into more of a schedule now that we're back and over jet lag; three naps a day, two solid meals and sleep training on the not too distant horizon for this little man.
He watches our mouths more determinedly at his age than Maxwell did. He's really keen on getting a head start on that talking thing and I bet he'll be quite the ham once he does. He just starting blowing raspberries a week ago- sometimes while nursing, spraying milk all over me!
Oh, and Miles quite surprised me and Biarni two nights ago when out of nowhere the little dude pushed up into all fours during some evening tummy time! Watch out world,crawling into trouble seems sooner than we first thought!
When my boys look at me, my heart melts. I can't imagine a better feeling or moment in life. Ever.
*****Dang it! The pictures are all TOOOOOO small! Sorry folks. Will correct this when I get another hour-long break to myself during which I do not prioritize something good for me like exercise or sleep or eating cake.*****
(forgive the sideways rendering- this old netbook just ain't what it used to be)
Maxwell at about 5 months.
Miles at almost 5 months
Maxwell and Sammy Uncle cruising Old Town Livermore one beautiful Saturday afternoon in February
Yogi Dada and his boys
Uncle Raj and Maxwell walking through the Presidio
Grammy and the boys
The family at Coyote Point Recreation area near Burlingame
Poolside at Auntie Mila's house
Bjarni in Uncle Richard's dune buggy near the Salton Sea (one of the best days of his life, says he!)
Auntie Mila and Maxwell on the Carousel at the San Diego Safari Park in Escondido
Maxwell and the python becoming best buddies (Safari Park)
The family at San Gregorio beach south of Half Moon Bay
Bass Pro Shop. Need I add more?
Ready for the pool!
Miles and Mommy poolside at Auntie Mila's
Miles and Daddy poolside at Auntie Mila's
Miles with a diaper wedgie
Maxwell striking poses as a Jr. Park Ranger in Joshua Tree
The family at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Mommy and her boys