Nibbles & Bits

Small bites from a life revolving around my sweet family, a love of cooking, and all things good.

I'm Ali. Email me at akoper (AT) outloook (DOT) com

Meanwhile, this little one turned one and a half. It happened to coincide with the neighborhood carnival, so naturally, I hosted the cupcake walk and turned it into a bit of a celebration for Evan. It’s hard to believe he’s now as close to two as he is to one, yet there are so many reminders of this each day. He understands everything we say and responds with a yes or no. And, is incredibly steadfast in that response. He’s one stubborn little person. He’s absorbing everything around him. I wasn’t shocked that he knew how to blow out his candles on this first try (Ryan didn’t master it till 2 1/2), given that he can already blow bubbles. Everything big brother can do Evan will try his very best to do, too. Including jumping down two stairs at a time. Place your bets now and when he’ll have his first cast.

Ryan learned to ride his bike on Friday afternoon, and spent much of the remaining weekend looping around the cup-de-sac. I was elated. It was one of those moments you know you’ll flash back to in your mind when your baby graduates from high school, gets married, has children of his own (no pressure!). It came naturally to him, but it was hard for me to let go. There were a few early times when he’d get his balance and I’d let go, only to get anxious over how quickly he was racing ahead and grab his handlebars back. I couldn’t help it. Before long, though, we both grew comfortable, and by that evening, he refused my offers to get him started. 

Seeing his scraped knees brought me back to another image from three years ago, his first summer since learning to walk. He was one and a half and still fell frequently. His knees are bonier, the scrapes are from a different kind of fall, but he’s still very much my sweet baby. 

Yesterday was National S’Mores Day. And I love our neighborhood. New friends pulled their fire pit into the cul-de-sac. The kids roasted marshmallows, played lacrosse and ran circles, the rest of us drank wine and talked until it was dark. We got so lucky.  

Relatively impromptu dinner tomorrow, NYers? Headed your way ridiculously early tomorrow!

This was the week E learned to talk. Not words strung into sentences, not the infinite vocabulary of a big kid - or even a full-fledged toddler. But, his vocabulary probably doubled in the past week alone. He called out “baby, baby!” while pointing to the Pampers box, he asked for a “cracker” even when that cracker was in fact part of a seashell on his brother’s nightstand, grabbed a “diaper,” learned the names of my mom’s dog, “Stella,” and my step mom’s dog, “Bea” and even more. He’s so proud of his new words and it’s just incredible to watch him learn day by day. I forgot how magical one is. 

This was the week E learned to talk. Not words strung into sentences, not the infinite vocabulary of a big kid - or even a full-fledged toddler. But, his vocabulary probably doubled in the past week alone. He called out “baby, baby!” while pointing to the Pampers box, he asked for a “cracker” even when that cracker was in fact part of a seashell on his brother’s nightstand, grabbed a “diaper,” learned the names of my mom’s dog, “Stella,” and my step mom’s dog, “Bea” and even more. He’s so proud of his new words and it’s just incredible to watch him learn day by day. I forgot how magical one is. 

Last week, I was driving the boys to daycare. We’d been talking about nothing in particular when, from the backseat, Ryan said “My heart wishes it could look at Evan’s face all day. He’s so cute and I love him.”

I know that being a big brother can be hard, but Ry Ry is as good as they get. He even shares his ice cream.

I need to get back in the habit of my mundane, interesting-only-to-me bulleted updates on my little guys. There’s so much about this time in our lives that I want to remember in detail. Evan is so funny and tender and stubborn. He has hugs and kisses all day long, and loves to make us hug and kiss his lovey Pierre.

He could color all day long. He was the first kid to wake up the morning of July 5th - the bigger kids sleeping off the fireworks and baby cousin Astrid one-upping him (girlfriend sleeps from 6pm-7:30am!!!). He saw his cousin’s pens and pulled himself into one of their sturdy wooden chairs. He looked so big to me. But really, he has no idea what he’s doing, draws on his legs, tries to eat the pen. Definitely still on the cusp of babyhood and toddler.

We were playing in his bedroom tonight after bath. He walked to his dresser, opened the drawer, took out his sleep sack and said “night night.” As a mom of a four year old I realize that’ll be hard to remember what it was even like to consider that noteworthy and charming, but it was. He has opinions, he knows how to express them, and he’s learned so, so much about the world around him. 

The top picture is a common occurrence. Mouth full, already signing for “more.” This was after splashing at the park. He loves water so, so much. Maybe even more than Ryan. At this age, Ryan was fine going under water, but Evan begs for it when he’s in my arms at the pool. And if he’s standing in shallow water, he falls face first over and over. 

Oh nothing, just researching wineries since Steve and I are going to Sonoma two weeks from tomorrow for 3 days sans babies.

!!!!!!!!!

Flights and car booked yesterday (and called my mom because she is THE BEST), house rented and dinner resos made today. Happy anniversary to us!

A “before” picture. Look at that sweet strand of hair over his right eye. He’d had that very hair since the day he was born. I miss that baby, and know that in no time at all I’ll miss THIS baby. The one who high-fives every member of the family for the tiniest of accomplishments (obeys when I tell him to put something down? high fives for EVERYONE!). Who says “Daddy” more often than any other word - with arms outstretched when Steve walks into a room, or when Evan comes into our bedroom and looks for Steve under the covers even if he’s already left for work, or just when he’s thinking of him. Who climbs up and down the stairs a zillion times a day yet still can’t remember to go down on his belly without strict guidance - he’d far rather walk down like the rest of us. Who dances like a maniac, twirling in circles till he falls down. He copies every little thing his big brother does, climbing onto the foot stool to faux spit into the sink after brushing his teeth and wiping his face with the towel all by himself, coloring with great zeal. I’m going to miss him just like this and today’s haircut makes it feel almost over.  

A “before” picture. Look at that sweet strand of hair over his right eye. He’d had that very hair since the day he was born. I miss that baby, and know that in no time at all I’ll miss THIS baby. The one who high-fives every member of the family for the tiniest of accomplishments (obeys when I tell him to put something down? high fives for EVERYONE!). Who says “Daddy” more often than any other word - with arms outstretched when Steve walks into a room, or when Evan comes into our bedroom and looks for Steve under the covers even if he’s already left for work, or just when he’s thinking of him. Who climbs up and down the stairs a zillion times a day yet still can’t remember to go down on his belly without strict guidance - he’d far rather walk down like the rest of us. Who dances like a maniac, twirling in circles till he falls down. He copies every little thing his big brother does, climbing onto the foot stool to faux spit into the sink after brushing his teeth and wiping his face with the towel all by himself, coloring with great zeal. I’m going to miss him just like this and today’s haircut makes it feel almost over.  

A couple of boys at dinner after a long, sunny day of haircuts, bubbles and pool time. I took the day off and Evan got his first haircut. I held it together, but it was a close call. He looks adorable and Steve’s hairdresser - who now cuts all three boys’ hair - did a great job. But I already kind of regret it. I want to turn back time, and not just to this morning.

A couple of boys at dinner after a long, sunny day of haircuts, bubbles and pool time. I took the day off and Evan got his first haircut. I held it together, but it was a close call. He looks adorable and Steve’s hairdresser - who now cuts all three boys’ hair - did a great job. But I already kind of regret it. I want to turn back time, and not just to this morning.