Tag Archives: family

Lullabies

By my calculations, Forest has heard the songs “Star of the County Down” and “Wild Mountain Thyme” a bare minimum of approximately 800 times each.  I’ve sung both songs to him as lullabies almost every day since his birth, and multiple times per day the first six months or so.  Donald (Daddy) does an excellent Scottish brogue when singing both songs to Forest.  Forest is also showing an early predilection for contra dance moves–he has been practicing his allemande lately.

Lullabies and other music have been a big part of Forest’s life.  Since he was difficult to settle and put to sleep as a baby sometimes, we ended up singing him many, many songs every day while holding and rocking or bouncing him.  Donald used to go through his entire repertoire of songs for naps while I was at work, and then I would often go through my entire repertoire of songs to put him to sleep at night and sometimes in the middle of the night.

Forest loves to listen to music on the I-Pod stereo, but especially on CDs where he can ask us to change out the CD often.  He likes opening and closing the door for the CD player, opening jewel cases, and pressing play on the device.  I’ve often thought that I should just spend a day putting the rest of our CDs on the I-Pod to clear up some clutter, but Forest definitely prefers the many tactile joys involved in listening to CDs over the relatively boring couple of buttons to press on the I-pod.  Here is a picture of Forest with his Mozart CD.

We should find someone to visit who has a turntable and vinyl records.  That would really blow his mind!  Of course, it can’t be my brother Don who cares deeply about his record collection and probably wouldn’t appreciate the adorable cuteness of his nephew scratching an expensive needle across his precious Beach Boys album.

Forest comes by his love of music quite honestly.  Here’s the rundown on his father’s side:  Grandma Miriam has a Master’s in Piano, plays organ and piano professionally, and is a music teacher.  Aunt Evelyn has a Master’s in Voice, sings opera, teaches music, and plays piano.  Uncle Billy plays electric bass, trumpet, sings, and plays with a band.  Aunt Clara has a Master’s in music technology, is an elementary music teacher, plays guitar and piano, and sings  with a band.  Forest’s Grandaddy Charles can lecture for hours on Mozart and claims to have a superior aesthetic sense.  On Forest’s mother’s side:  His maternal grandparents passed away before he was born, but they loved music.  His maternal Grandmother Ada played piano beautifully and loved to sing.  Grandfather Norman played a bit of guitar.  Uncle Walter plays viola and has a giant digital music collection.  Uncle Don plays tenor saxophone and has a giant vinyl record and CD collection.  Mommy plays piano, viola, and loves to sing (all rather ineptly, but it brings me joy).

To top it all off, Mommy and Daddy met contra dancing to lovely, live Celtic music.  So, when Forest was just a wee glint in Daddy’s eye, there was music in the air!

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Corn on the cob!

Forest ate his first sweet corn on the cob tonight.  I had cut kernels off for him, but he wanted Mommy’s cob as soon as he saw it.

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Forest explores Indiana

Forest has been having fun in Indiana.

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He’s really enjoyed playing with his cousins, and more cousins are coming soon!

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We visited the Slow Foods Garden in downtown Indiana today.

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Grandma took us out for a nice dinner, where Forest seemed to be offering his broccoli (repeatedly) to the gods in jubilation at its green, crunchy goodness.

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rambling thoughts & labor day weekend recap

Today we discovered a fun game.  Forest makes various squawks, baby grunts and groans, and other cooing noises. When I imitated his noise, he would look at me, smile and laugh.  I think he is much louder (sometimes piercingly loud) when he’s overtired and/or teething, both of which happen pretty often.

I had to work at the library for several hours today because of a flood caused by a failed HVAC unit, so I didn’t get quite as much weekend baby time as usual.  But I’m really enjoying the time I do have with him.

Forest has quite a wild approach to nursing when he is overtired and more distractible than usual.  I told Donald that it’s like nursing a monkey-octopus.  He wiggles, kicks very hard, repeatedly, and repeatedly detaches and re-attaches, often pulling away with a very rough breaking of the suction.  I can’t help myself from laughing sometimes, because he is just so wound up it is kind of cute.  Sometimes he ends the nursing session by partially falling asleep and biting which can be quite painful.  But more often he’ll fall asleep nursing following about 30 minutes of what we call sleep-nursing which is very sweet–he seems so peaceful and content when he sleep-nurses.

Aunt Evelyn and Cousin Arianna playing with Forest at the YMCA over Labor Day Weekend

My father-in-law, my sister-in-law Evelyn, and my niece Arianna came to visit last weekend over the holiday weekend.  Evelyn and I took the kids to the YMCA water park.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  I intend to go back often.  I am a longtime YMCA member, but this is the first time I visited the Y since Forest was born.

Mommy, Forest, and Cousin Arianna at the YMCA pool over Labor Day weekend

I’m also hoping to do a mommy & baby water class if I take off on Friday and work Saturday instead sometimes.  Maybe eventually I can get back into yoga.  I really miss the yoga instructor at the Edmond YMCA–she is wonderful.

Charles and Evelyn watched Forest on Sunday while Donald and I went on a birding trip and lunch.  Even though this outing included recycling and grocery shopping, it was as close to a date as we’ve gotten in six+ months, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

When we came home, my father-in-law announced that all had gone well, except for one tantrum on the way home from a walk, and that Forest had been climbing the tree.  Although I was initially horrified, Charles did know what he was doing.  After all, he managed to raise five children quite successfully.  When I expressed my initial surprise that he put our six-month old in the tree, my father-in-law said, “Well, you know, if you have five or six children it doesn’t matter so much if you lose a couple here or there.”  Have I mentioned that my father-in-law is incorrigible and often hysterically funny?

San Diego family visited Forest

I was so happy that my brother, his wife and my 11-year old nephew were able to travel from San Diego for a nice, albeit too short visit.  Forest particularly enjoyed playing with my brother Walter.

Uncle Walter and Forest

Walter taught Forest some new words, such as “merp!” and “ploopy.”

Walter teaching Forest the word, "ploopy"

We went to a local restaurant for lunch on Saturday, and Forest seemed to enjoy the ambience, especially since it included entertainment by Uncle Walter.

at the Benedict Street Marketplace restaurant in Shawnee

On Saturday afternoon, we got ready to go swimming at the municipal pool.  Forest is wearing his first ever swimming diaper.  Forest and Walter had some time to kill while waiting for others to get ready, so they had a chat about important plans for the future.

Forest receives advice on creating mayhem.