Littlest Valentine

Our littlest Valentine is almost one year old! She’s fully engaged with growing up and her participation is absolutely endearing. She surprised us with the cut of a new tooth on the bottom left, after nary a fuss. She’s cruising around proficiently. She converses back and forth with you using the prettiest little grunts. She giggles and shares.

Most of all, Lady Kitty loves to smile and wave! One hand or two, her joyous waving of hello, goodbye, and all those moments in between is gorgeous and totally heart-melting.

Big brother Lake is melting hearts and growing up, as well. Tonight he popped into the kitchen to proudly show us that he had successfully gained his pajamas. I was washing up and drinking hot chocolate while Madeline dried and made herself a coffee. We pleasantly chatted. There must have been a slight scent of sweetness in the air as we performed our tasks and pleasantly chatted. Lake burst into the scene, instantly catching the mood, and dared himself a brief glimmered hope among his heavy wager of doubt.

“Is there dessert?” Lake said.

A pregnant pause ensued as my internal struggle with prudence and compassion duke it out. Into that space Lake’s matter of fact reason swelled. His hopes were dashed back from whence they had come as quickly as they were born.

“The answer is probably no, right?” I let my breath out, and with it evaporated the half formed words of a little hot chocolate with his name on it. He had let me off the hook, and handily parented himself. “That’s right, honey, no dessert. It’s bedtime.” I couldn’t help feeling proud of my sensible child, as he went on his merry, if not slightly resigned, way.

We hope you enjoyed a lovely Valentine’s. We love love! A perfect day—I’m glad I spent it with you!

Lady Kitty and the Big Snow

Seattle has a tradition these past three years of saving up the annual snowfall for a Big Snow in February. As Lady Kitty concludes her first year, she experienced her first really big snow. It had dusted a bit prior to Christmas which was really quite lovely. And then this weekend—President’s Day weekend—we were graced with absolutely heaps of snow. We had a pop-up piste out our front door. Ski-in/ski-out was delivered express to our doorstep.

The whole city turned out in support of winter sport. We walked everywhere as much as our feet could carry us, taking in the sights: legions of snowmen rolled up overnight, snowboarders caught air at Greenlake, and cross-country skiers swooshed to and fro going about their business.

I spoke with Lake at NanaBaba’s who said, “I didn’t know there was snow in Seattle too!” Yup, loads of snow Lake! Nearly a whole foot! The cats didn’t know what to make of it. Mr. Silky comically walked outside like the snow was on fire. Mr. Cat went in and out a lot.

Mr. Cat couldn’t decide …return indoors
Or remain outside

Lady Kitty bundled up to keep cozy warm and took it all in stride.

A perfectly snowy weekend, I’m glad I spent it with you.

The Perfect Age

My dad used to tell me every year on my birthday. “Well, ___ [fill in the blank] years old; that’s just about the perfect age.” My ears would tingle and my heart would swell with pride. It always felt so special. It never seemed odd at the time that every year he would say the same thing. Later, I caught the paradox. As a parent, I concur with the truth in his philosophy. Every year, every age, is perfect in it’s own way.

But eleven months… really is the perfect age! The sweetness of the pre-verbal phase is absolutely heart melting. Lady Kitty’s coos and grunts are rich with meaning and purpose. She waves bye-bye pretty reliably: to Madeline, to the tiger at the zoo, to herself in the mirror.

Lady Kitty at 11 months—the perfect age!

“Lady Kitty, I could never have this much fun with you if you weren’t here,” Lake said in the morning. He floors me. I tried really hard to commit these words to memory.

My memory is unreliable after about six minutes. I couldn’t replicate his phrasing. “Lake, what did you say this morning about Lady Kitty?”

Lake deadpans as above. “Lady Kitty, I could never have this much fun with you if you weren’t here,”

“All my words travel around with me” he said, explaining his memory.

Lake is an entertaining dining companion. Eleven months might be the perfect age, but four and a half is pretty perfect too. “That’s amazing that she plays with LEGOs, because that’s really rare!” Lake said in response to the news that a baby octopus named Tiny plays with LEGO.

When I apologized that the bread was still frozen. Lake said, “I don’t mind that it’s a cold sandwich–I just mind that it’s a sandwich.”

“Now my nose is like a smokestack!” Lake said while eating basil with dinner. “There’s spicy air coming out of it, ” he elaborated.

“I’m wearing the right clothes to be wearing blueberry jam,” said Lake in his navy blue sweater.

Lake is also really into telling “jokes” that he makes up.

“Here’s a joke: why’s it called a shortcake not a long cake? That’s the joke!”

“Here’s the joke: you can stain bananas when they’re peeled. you can never stain bananas when they’re not peeled.” Peals of laughter ensue. They do. For some reason I think Lake’s homemade jokes are hilarious.

The perfect age, a perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you.