March 21, 2016

Time is slipping away from us: it’s just a little over two weeks until I have to go back to work. Let’s not think about that right now. Instead, let us consider the owl. Linus sure loves his! Yen bought it months ago when Linus was really interested in seeing owls in books, but he didn’t really seem interested in the stuffed owl. And I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye and screaming, because it looks like such a real little creature. But now we’ve all warmed up to it.

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We’ve had some cold weather the last couple of weeks, so we’ve been cooped up inside more than usual. Linus is making the best of it by performing chair acrobatics to get some of his energy out.Every once in a while he gets stuck and has to yell for help.

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Exercise makes for long afternoon naps! He is sleeping on the floor regularly for his naps now, so Yen can join him. Meanwhile, Mina and I spend that time together downstairs. She naps on my lap, and  I catch up on whatever show I happen to be binge-watching. (This week it was Mozart in the Jungle – check it out!)

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Batman hid in the curtains! Linus found him right away. Linus is funny when he spots the Batman. Sometimes he runs up and captures him (or insists that you pick him up). Other times he just gets a little grin and carries on with whatever he was doing before. He’s the same when we spot stars decorating neighbors’ houses on our walks. If the star is in a tough place to spot, he yells and points it out. If he feels it was too obvious, he just grins.

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And Mina? She’s growing furiously, and so is her hair! I talked to a woman at the doctor’s office who said her daughter had hair like Mina’s when she was born. But it fell out! Mina’s hair is here to stay, I think.

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We don’t have any hand prints from when Linus was born, but we sure have them around the house now. These are from after he fed himself yogurt, then went on a tour of the kitchen. We need to catch a video of when he feeds himself. It’s quite impressive, but entirely messy. Sometimes he even uses two spoons!

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The weather was really nice on Sunday morning, so we headed over to Great Brook Farm. We checked out the little farm that’s up at the top of the hill before we started out walk. They’ve got lots of Holsteins – it’s an actual dairy farm, not just an educational venture. And also llamas, sheep, goats, and chickens.

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Linus really enjoyed seeing the calves. I’m not looking forward to the day when I have to explain to Linus why all of the calves in the pens are girls.

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Mina slept through all of it. But that’s OK. She’ll have lots of adventures in a few months.

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Linus has renewed his old interest in peekaboo. He’s a little more sophisticated about it now, actually hiding inside things before jumping out. Unfortunately this old cereal box is his favorite, so we have to keep it around even though the cereal is long gone.

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Mina is a Tummy Time champ! She can stay that way for quite a long time without whining, and her neck and shoulders are getting very strong.

Poor thing. She’s got a lot of hair, but it is rather thin. What you can’t see here is that there’s an understory that’s begun to sprout, which will soon fill in the gaps.

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Nap time. He looks like a baby centerfold.

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One particularly cold day, Yen took Linus to Best Buy to kill some time. It was pretty much the perfect place to take him, with all of the washers, driers, and fans.

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Even in Best Buy, Batman can’t hide from Linus!

Linus shopping at Best Buy Burlington

Mina spends dinnertime hanging out in her bouncy seat, just watching us all go about our business. She’s got a little monkey attached to the chair that she really enjoys watching. Unfortunately it was Linus’s first, and he gets pretty upset whenever he notices her playing with it.

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Yen has gone crazy fostering Linus’s love of anything that spins. That includes a good old-fashioned top.

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Yes, we’re finally getting some wide smiles! She’s not quite as quick to smile (and charm) as Linus was at this age. You have to earn Mina’s smiles. But they are worth it.

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Linus crawls up onto the couch with a book whenever he needs a little “me” time. With a baby in the house, that’s at least once a day.

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We’re taking advantage of our flexible schedule, visiting museums and other public places during the middle of the week when few other people are around. Here’s Linus contemplating the lower floor of the Museum of Science.

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Mina liked the museum too with all of the lights and moving objects. She actually stayed awake for most of our visit.

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Yen and Linus always have a terrific time at the MOS. It’s a hands-on place full of things that move. What could possibly be better suited for them?

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In the morning, we all gather in Linus’s room to go about the business of waking up. Yen spreads pillows all over the floor, and we all just kind of lounge. The hardest part of it all is making sure Mina doesn’t get trampled as Linus roams around. Sometimes we put her in his crib for safety. She loves it in there. I hope that means we’ll have an easy time transitioning her when she’s ready to leave our room.

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Mina has completely warmed up to Yen (finally). They spend mornings together while Linus and I have breakfast, and they also get some nice quality time in the evenings when I’m getting ready for bed. She loves to sit on his lap. I’m not sure what other adventures they get up to. When I ask, Yen just says, “Oh, I sing to her. And other things.”

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Lucky baby.

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Cuddly little baby! She’s stronger and can stand up more now, but she still melts into my shoulder when I carry her. I can’t get over how sweet and calm she is. She’s definitely living up to her middle name, which means “goes with the flow.”

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This one was taken shortly after she’d had a bath. We carefully combed her hair down flat, but just a few minutes later, it began to pop up again.

Her eyes look very black here, but they’re still slate blue. I can’t remember when Linus’s changed from blue to brown, but we’re waiting to see whether hers do the same.

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Here’s Linus enjoying his afternoon bottle. I know we should probably wean him off of it, but I think the poor little guy has had enough change in his life for right now. And potty training… Well, we’ll wait for the summer to try that.

Have you noticed all of his shirts? He refuses to wear one that doesn’t have a vehicle of some sort on it.

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Playing trains in the basement. This is another “me time” activity for Linus. He gets completely absorbed when he’s down there, and sets little challenges for the trains to overcome. He gets rather irritated with me when I interfere, so I spend the time exercising a bit. Of course, that ends up making him laugh, so he joins me for a bit.

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We had an unusually warm day a couple of weeks ago, and naturally went to the park – along with everyone else! Here’s Mina getting a little wind in her hair. She loves to be outside, and spends the walks staring up at the trees with the most charmed look on her face.

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And Linus, man about town, had a short-sleeve shirt on!

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“Nice wheels, lady!”

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I don’t know how someone can look so serious while sitting inside a ladybug.

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He looks like he’s posing for a clothing catalog. “Leisureware!”

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Mina and I usually do laps around the park. As we go, everyone we pass gets excited about her hair. I talked to a woman one day who’s got a 19-month-old boy, and is expecting a baby in May. She had a lot of questions for me.

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On that particular day, some little girl had driven her car to the park. We spent the whole time reminding Linus that it isn’t his, and please stay out of it. Every parent was having the same conversation with their kids. I heard the father of the car’s owner say, “I didn’t mean to cause such a problem!” There was general relief when they left.

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This could be Linus in a wig! Just as he always did, Mina loves to lie on her mat and talk to the animals.

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I think baby pants are just the funniest thing.

That little frog rattle you see next to her is the source of some pain in our house. Linus really loves frogs, and he gets pretty bent out of shape if she plays with it without his permission. He gives permission by demanding to have it back, playing with it a few minutes, and then saying, “Eh! Eh!” while he waves it at her.

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Whenever Linus is in his high chair, he wants these three vehicles with him. And at some point during the meal, he always lines them up as if they’re standing at attention.

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Our friends Tan and Susie lent Linus a Cozy Car. He loves it. “Going my way?”

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Here’s Mina with Co Betty. She hadn’t seen her in quite a while, but it was as if they’d never been apart. Betty makes a terrific auntie to all the kids.

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I love this series. We had some friends over to celebrate my 40th birthday, and I think she had gotten fancy for the party. Doesn’t she look particularly pretty?

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Meanwhile, Linus was still hiding in that cereal box. I wish he’d actually eat some cereal!

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I’m so glad Mina is finally old enough to be an airplane! She loves turbulence just as much as Linus always did.

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Yen specifically took this picture so that later we will have proof that Linus used to eat vegetables without a fuss. Sometimes, anyway. And especially if that vegetable is corn.

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Yen likes to put Mina up in a sitting position in the morning while Linus and I have breakfast. Every once in a while she topples over, but she never seems to mind.

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See the little dimple high up on her right cheek?

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Poor Mina. She just doesn’t trust Linus sometimes.

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Safe again in Yen’s arms. Isn’t that hooded sweatshirt a hoot?

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OK, ready for this incredibly cute outfit? I think she looks like a little elf princess, headed out for an adventure. The French truly do make the best baby clothes.

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Napping with the manatee.

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