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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Dear Corwin,

We started reading to you when you were just weeks old, I think. We’ve been reading to you almost every day since then. You started turning the pages on your own quite early, maybe on your 7th month. Now, we’d say a title of a book or mention a book character, and you’d go to your pile of books to hunt for it and bring it to us.

Olivia was one of your first books. Recently, grandma gave you a stuffed Olivia and the look of recognition on your face was just precious. You kissed her snout. But then I hugged her. You grabbed her, threw her down, kicked her around, and sat on her. We’ll need to work on that. :p

You’re so animated when you read. You absolutely love Rocket Town. You get more and more excited the further we go into the book, and when it’s finally countdown to takeoff, you look like you’re about ready to jump out of your skin. It makes me want to pick you up and squish you ’till you pop.

Love,
Mommy

Dear Corwin,

We celebrated your dad’s birthday yesterday. It was so perfect that it almost felt like it was my birthday, too. I love him more than I know how to put into words, and it melts my heart, how much you adore him, too. When he enters the room, you run to him and hug his knees. You do that more often with him than you do with me. I’d be jealous, but I’m just so proud that my husband is such an amazing father that our one year old son runs to hug him that I can’t really mind.

He hurt himself during his 31-kilometer “birthday run”, his longest run to date, so I had to patch him up when he got home. (Nothing serious, don’t worry.) You tried to remove the bandages, so we explained that daddy’s hurt and no, you can’t do that. We each signed “hurt” by putting our index fingers together, and said “Ow” with a sad face. You walked away and carried on playing. Later, you walked up to your dad and sat beside his knee, put your index fingers together and said “Ow” with a sad face, too. Then you kissed him on the cheek. Oh, my heart.

We’ve been teaching you how to sign, and it’s amazing how you’re just picking it up. You sign the following words now: milk, eat, drink (water), finished / no more, hurt, brush teeth, diaper, and wash hands. This makes communicating significantly easier for us now, much to your delight.

What else is new? Well, we got you new shoes, and you proudly pointed to them and said “wow” when your tita and grandparents were around. You like balloons and our neighbors’ Christmas lights. You engage in pretend play. You’ve actually been doing this for months now, but I’m not sure if I’ve written it down anywhere so I’m writing it down now. I’ve been making you felt toys with my own hands. I made you a mobile and hung it over your playmat. You pointed to it with a huge smile on your face and said “Wowwow.” Mommy got a double wow. I felt like a preschooler who got an entire sticker sheet of gold stars. You said the same thing when we showed you our little Christmas tree all lit up.

We considered buying a bigger Christmas tree for our new place, but we love our little tree. We bought it at a bookstore along Katipunan 8 years ago, when we lived in a tiny flat there. It was our first Christmas since we moved in together, and we weren’t going to put up a tree then, but it was on sale. It’s 4 feet tall and all we could afford at the time, but it made us so happy. It looks especially tiny here, but it feels right keeping it. Your father and I have a Christmas Eve tradition of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. We’re all about the little trees.

You’re 13 months old today. Sometimes when I look at you, I see the young man you’re going to be. He looks a lot like your father. They say not to marry a man unless you’d be proud to have a son exactly like him. I hope we raise and nurture you well enough that you become your own person, but if you turned out exactly like your father, I wouldn’t mind in the least. I would be damn proud.

Love,
Mommy

  • peaches

    You always make me cry with your writing and anecdotes.ReplyCancel

I came across Smiling Tree Toys on Etsy while looking for wooden toys, and I was just bowled over and charmed. The shop is run by Justin and Kathleen, and their lovely daughter, Amana. You can read more about them here.

Corwin loves wooden and felt toys, so I’m encouraging that now. And I’ve always loved handmade things not just because of the love and and care that go into making them, but because of the stories and lives we get to be a part of, even in the littlest ways. I love small family businesses. (We have one ourselves!) Their wooden toys are organic and handcrafted, and there are no words for how much that sentence makes me incredibly happy.

I got a wooden toy car for Corwin, and a Christmas tree ornament. I saw the owl and I could not resist. These are actually gifts from his grandma (that I picked out, hee), and I’ll love telling him about these when he’s older. If I raise an unsentimental child (which is highly unlikely — have you met me?), and he doesn’t want to keep the car when he’s older, I’ll happily keep it on display in our living room. The ornament will stay on our Christmas tree every year from here on out. I wish I found them sooner and got one for his first Christmas.

I’ve been doing a lot of crafting lately. It’s funny if you know me. I’ve always loved pretty paper and nothing cheers me up like a trip to a school and office supplies store, and I love, love, love handmade things, but I’ve always sucked at crafts so I just didn’t bother.

What got me started was preparing for Corwin’s first birthday party and my obsession with washi tapes.

As you can see, I have a bit of a problem there. Must stop buying washi tapes.

Anyway, I realized I might not be as awful at this as I thought I was. So I decided to make Christmas tree ornaments. I want to make things for Corwin. I remember when a friend showed me their tree at home and told me proudly that his father made the ornaments by hand. Now those were lovely. The things I’ve made are not fantastic, but they could be worse. I made them with my own hands, and that’s what matters. I want to have these ornaments around when he’s older, and have him know that I made them for him when he was a baby.

I also found some keys at the crafts store and strung them with lace. They make for lovely tree ornaments, too.

I didn’t get to make as many ornaments as I would’ve liked before we set up the tree. It’s been difficult finding the time. But I’m happy I got to make a few, and I figure I can add more over the years. When that was all done, I still felt the need to make things, so I made a mobile of hexagon felt cutouts. He loved it.

I gave Corwin two extra hexagon cutouts to play with, and he spent a good 20 minutes talking to himself and pretend playing with them. I was so happy watching him, I wanted to cry. So I promised myself I would make him toys next. I relearned how to blanket stitch on YouTube while uploading albums for work. Multi-tasking goodness.

Still need to learn how to properly blanket stitch sharp edges.

He’s been playing with what I’ve made so far. He’s known “blue” and “star” for some time now, as those are his favorites, but I figure I could teach him more colors and shapes better with these toys. Thankfully, there’s no mad rush. He’s just a year old.

I’m working on learning as much as I can about making felt toys in my spare time. There’s pure wool felt available on Etsy that I’m dying to get my hands on. Can’t wait to make him more.

(All photos reposted from my Instagram.)