We went to San Antonio for Memorial Day weekend where you got to visit with all your cousins, even giving X a ride on your wagon. We went to Sea World and let’s just say that that went as well as can be expected on a too-hot-no-breeze-past-the-naptime-thunderstorm-approaching-overcrowded-holiday-weekend. We lasted the Shamu show and time enough to snack on some peas and polenta. It’s a good thing we have season passes, otherwise we would have forced you stay and have a good time. Because that’s what parents do.

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In and out and in and out and in and out of the sliding glass door at Aunt Stacie’s lakehouse, Lake Londa Lynn. June 14, 2009.

We inadvertently dropped the last remaining bottle that Saturday morning, the one you’d been getting before your morning nap For. Like. Ever. It was our intention to wait until after the trip to yank your chains with a change in routine, but, well…oops. So since we forgot it that day, we just kept forgetting it. And you hardly noticed but for the fact that you wake up hungry from the nap. Nothing some milk and a graham cracker can’t cure. And now we can mark 13 months and 6 days (May 23rd) as the last day you got a bottle.

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A well deserved respite, coupled with goldfish crackers, after successfully climbing onto the chair on Aunt Stacie’s deck. Lake Londa Lynn, June 14, 2009.

This was also the weekend, Mateo, you decided you were done with crawling. Your grandma Yoyi will tell you that it is because you were at her house. She believes eeeeeevery grandchild milestone happens at her house. And that’s when I remind her it was on her hearth that you got your first Ouch! above your left eye. Your manner of transportation has become all chest out, one foot in front of the other, and at least one thing in your hands, usually a plastic strawberry or a plastic golf club. You’ll say “HAR-puh”, the last syllable like the airy “p” in the word “pull”. It’s cute. And surreal.

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Not even a week after that, Harper, you started walking. Everywhere. Just. Like. That. It’s like you spent months and months observing, studying, and then boom, okay, you can do that. Combined with you calling out to your brother, “TAY-oh!”, it’s pretty clear who is calling the shots right now. Getting you up in the mornings is a hoot. You’ll usually play in your crib for fifteen or so minutes before we come get you. When we open the door, you’ll see us, then start to gather all your Woobies and your blanket into your arms and mouth and then stand up, ready to be picked up. We oblige. At which time you immediately point to the clock and say “wha da?” and we say “Clock”. On the wall is a charcoal picture of John Lennon, a piece of Matou’s artistic talents. You will point to it and we’ll say “that is John Lennon!” And you will scream and cheer and kick your feet against us and grab my neck tightly. For this, we know what it must be like to be stars.

Around the same time, I had to replace my camera lens after a little mishap.

And just this past weekend, we went to a friend’s lakehouse where you went on your first boat ride. That did not go over well. What with the constricting life vests and us refraining you from climbing over the boat wall and into the water. Yes, we are THAT MEAN.

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I found a green shoe, it’s one, not two, from me, to you. Lake Londa Lynn, June 14, 2009.

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If you enter the house from the garage, there is a tiny foyer and a coat closet. On the entry wall, there are hooks for our keys and for the toy rings that we use to hook your snack traps to your stroller. Immediately to the left is a door leading to the former guest room, now Harper’s room. If you instead continue forward, you walk down a long hallway with the washer/dryer closet housed underneath the stairway. At the end of the hall is a small landing for the stairs. To the left is a tiny foyer with the former nursery, now Mateo’s room to the right, and the bathroom to the left (across the hall from Mateo’s room). If you intead continue forward, you end up in the former office now play area. And then there’s a door leading to the back yard. In the bathroom, there is the room with the sinks and to the right is the door leading to the area with the tub and toilet. If you are standing at Mateo’s doorway and the bathroom doors are open, you can see into Harper’s room.

I give this layout because it is important in explaining your flight patterns.

Each evening after your baths, we’ll close the door to the tub area, but leave the bathroom door and the two bedroom doors open. Matou and I will sit in the play area and we’ll talk about our day while you go about your evening routine which goes like this:

One leading, one following, you will go through the bathroom, maybe try to open a couple drawers, move onto Harper’s room, play your version of peek-a-boo on the side of the crib, ending with one of you falling onto the mattress on the floor, giggling until the other of you does the same. Then we’ll hear a brief silence. And then bare feet clapping against the stained concrete. Within moments, you’ll appear at the far end of the hall and make visual contact with us. Which you think, of course, is hilarious. The invisible starting gun will fire and here you come, walking towards us, picking up speed as you go along. You’ll descend like crop dusters, arms out for balance, and take a sharp turn that teases us and just barely misses walls. When you do that, you might split, one heading to the bathroom again in a big rectangle, the other to Mateo’s room to toss yourself onto the mattress in his room, meeting back somewhere in the middle with more squeals. More often than not, you both go into Mateo’s room, do the giggle and laugh mattress bit, and then start the process over. Sometimes, instead of crop dusting, you’ll have picked up so much speed from walking down the hall that you’ll kamikaze into us from about two feet away. We have to be prepared for this because what usually ends in kisses and laughter can instead end in tears if your start your descent from too far away.

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This may go on for a couple rounds until during a pass of crop dusting, we’ll sign the sign for Milk. At which time you will put on the brakes – drop to your butts – and walk giddily towards us for your cup of milk. It’s during this time that we can read to you. But the vision of you sitting on our laps as we do so is not yet a reality. Too much to do. So basically Matou and I just read to each other.

When your milk is gone, we’ll let you go a few more rounds of playing and walking and sometimes we’ll make up songs for you. We can tell you are getting tired when out of your bedrooms you’ve now grabbed Raffy and Woobie. It’s then that we can call for “let’s brush your teeth” and you will both meet us, from wherever you might be, at the bathroom sink waiting to grab your respective toothbrushes. We’re long away from mastering the actual brushing part, but we sure do let you suck on them while we get you into your nighttime diapers. Keeping the peace and all that. After that, it’s kisses all around and we’ll each take one of you and put you down to bed.

This thirty minute or so ritual is surely a sacred part of my day.

It’s been a month now that we separated your sleeping quarters. The first night was much harder on me than it was on you, but since then, all has been well. One of the neat things about having you in different spaces is how you’ll look and listen for one another each morning. And when you see each other for the first time in the day, a smile will come across your faces so new and tender. Being witness to this is better than watching the sun rise.

Soaking up every moment we can,

Mommy & Matou

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A little boat ride.

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