Kurt's milestones

A Boy Turns 11 (and a little bit of other stuff)

Time flies when you’re having fun, and when you’re consumed with worry, and when you’re eating too many processed carbs. Time just flies.

So, I have an eleven year old.

He is probably a bit younger than your average eleven year old, but nevertheless, he is eleven. He loves Roblox (it’s a video game), sharks, swimming, jumping on trampolines, conveyor belts (really, he just thinks they’re cool), road trips, elevators, cars, trucks, and all law enforcement vehicles. He loves the movies Deep and Finding Dory. He likes school. He sleeps on shark sheets. He checks the phase of the moon every day and tells us what it is.

He remains spectacularly sweet.

He spent his birthday at Great Wolf Lodge, by request. And this time, nobody threw up.

Kurt's milestones

Kurt/Tom is 9 years old!

I know! And he's adorable, despite breaking my favorite mug. Here he is midday, super over-stimulated.



Rewinding to the top of the morning, here he is in his jaunty orange shorts riding a glass hotel elevator down to the pool for a dip.


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He asked for a birthday trip to Washington D.C., and the more he talked about it, the clearer it became that he mostly wanted to stay at the same Embassy Suites we stayed at the last time we were there. So we did. It was a Kurt-style road trip, which means he got to wear his pajamas, eat lots of fries, and stop at every single rest stop on the interstate. 

We decorated the hotel room with Subaru themed decorations because he is, um, a big fan.



 He received an array of toys from The Secret Life of Pets, his current fave movie.



After a swim and an Ihop breakfast (sometimes Kurt's a cheap date), we went to Climbzone, which afforded our half-monkey, half-boy the chance to climb some unusual walls. 







Afterward, he went to his favorite restaurant, McDonalds, of course! 



Since we were in the DC area it seemed a crime to not visit Ikea, what with our need for a new kitchen table and all. So Jeff took Maria and our car there while Kurt took his time at the McD's playplace (in a suburb of our nation's capital where we may have been the only English speaking patrons). Afterward, the boy and I took an Uber to meet up with them at Ikea and it may have been the highlight of his day. Seriously. If you see him this week, ask him about it.

Of course, the dude's birthday always finds us reflective. Lord knows it ain't easy. But his sweetness has helped us transition.

Autism isn't a detour for us; it's the road. I have a 53 inch tall nine year old who knows the capital of North Dakota is Bismarck but has to be persistently and gently reminded to not lick windows. (What is it about windows??) 

His awesomeness defies blogs. 


We're having a snow day today! And tomorrow! And yesterday. January, man. We could be here a while.

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Kurt's milestones

Kurt Is Five Freaking Years Old!

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He clearly can't believe it either.

Yes, it's true. This little bean, the highly unlikely result of my 2007 fertility treatment, and the first baby delivered in 2008 at Goleta Valley Hospital by my unfathomably ancient OB somehow turned five years old yesterday. I think he had a pretty good day.

After school we headed down to the children's museum in Portsmouth so he could greet the trains. Most of the time when we take pictures of Kurt and trains he's too blurry to be captured with the iPhone. So in the picture above he is merely rapt instead of ecstatic.

After the trains he and Maria ran around to the bubbles and science exhibits, enjoying themselves and absorbing no science whatsoever before they settled into the bus exhibit. The bus exhibit is  always a highlight for them. It is literally a decommissioned bus. They love it.

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Mostly they just sit in it.

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In twenty years, when they have to get on a bus, bleary-eyed at seven in the morning to go to work, I'm going to show them this post.

Anyway, after the children's museum, we got some fries and headed home. Kurt asked to put on his rocket jammies at four thirty and seriously, how could  deny such a request? 

So he had his Official Birthday Cupcake in his PJs.

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(When we told Maria we had to wait until after we sang Happy Birthday before we could eat our cupcakes, she offered her own warbly version immediately, all the better to speed things up. )

We sang Happy Birthday for real, and Kurt looked at us in wonder, as if he was hearing it for the first time.

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Then he dug in and had his cupcake. And we subtly took a picture of him in the birthday hat.

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We tried to get his height and weight. Forty two inches, give or take a couple of inches, and forty three-ish pounds. I dunno, he seems lanky. Since he's five, I will now give you Five Kurt Tidbits.

1. He's about eighty percent potty trained, and dude, I never imagined the sound of someone peeing could be so life affirming.

2. He likes to sing the song Some Nights by Fun.

3. He still loves fountains, bridges, lights, fans, freeways, tunnels, and bridges. A lot. I have driven to Norfolk about five times now for no reason other than Kurt wanted to go through this (admittedly well-engineered) tunnel, which plunges into the ocean mid-bridge.

4. He worships his New York City cousins. At school, Sebastian continues to occupy a special place in his heart. He's a fair weather friend to Sylvia and Baby Hannah. He has a love/murderous relationship with his sister. 

5. Yesterday as I was lying in bed he came over and patted me like I was one of the cats. "Oh, Mommy," he cooed in a voice that sounded very much like the voice he uses when speaking to said cats, "Such a good Mommy." I purred.

I leave you now with a short video of my two children running around in circles.



Kurt's milestones

Kurt is four years old!!

I really think the major disadvantage to having a birthday the first week in January is not so much having a birthday close to Christmas, but having a birthday at a time in the year during which you or someone close to you is likely to be sick.  Alas, Kurt is quite snuffly (and Maria's cough is sounding consumptive). He slept awfully last night, even on his newly acquired Lightning McQueen sheets. Thus, he spent a long portion of the morning and the early afternoon lounging in bed with books and toys. He was content to receive visitors and snacks like a lazy little monarch.



By afternoon he seemed well enough to go out for a birthday swim with Daddy, followed by a birthday dinner of fries and apples at McDonald's.



He came home for a quick birthday visit with Val and Allen of next door, before he settled in for his birthday cupcake. In my attempt to illustrate why we should not touch lit birthday candles I actually did burn myself, which was not as effective a lesson as one might hope.

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We didn't bother with bedtime Benadryl, because even if you're successful in holding him down long enough to get the medicine in his mouth, he's now knows that he can just spit it out if he waits until we let him go. Luckily, he passed out easily enough on his own. Long may it last.

I suppose we should have measured him or something. Soon! 

(In the meantime, see Danielle's birthday video montage!)

By the way, here's Maggie! Kurt is already enchanted by Maggiecat. She's kind of lukewarm on him.


Kurt's milestones, Maria's Milestones

A Proper Mess


Yes, those are Harvard T-shirts. Hey, it could TOTALLY happen.

It's been a while since I've given you any milestone post, so if yer interested…

Maria! At sixteen months, she is a little over 18 pounds and 29ish inches long. For her adjusted age (that is, 14 months) she is at less than 3rd percentile for weight and 16th percentile for height. The actual conversation I had with the pediatrician went like this:

Him: "Well, her frame seems small, so I think she just might not end up being a very big person." (Pauses) "Remind me how big your husband is?"

Me: (Thinking back to our 2005 trip to Thailand, where the locals stopped him on the street to point and laugh in delight.) "Um, big."

Him: (sighs, closes eyes, shrugs) "Well, whatever, she seems fine."

There you go. She does seem fine. Keeps picking up new words. Still loves her stuffed Pablo ("Pah-boooo!") Today she crawled up on to the back of the couch, over the shelf to the kitchen, reached into a bag of bread and grabbed herself a slice, then plopped down next me and started gnawing on it. Seriously, she eats like a horse. She also uses all manner of sippy cup and can be regularly spotted breakfasting competently with a fork

Among her more charming habits is her method of getting me to read to her, in which she picks up a book and hits me repeatedly with it until I give in. 

She's taking five or six steps at a time, but is still mostly a floor dweller.

Kurt! At three years and 8 months, he's 35 pounds and 42 inches tall, which is 55th percentile for weight and 94th percentile for height.

The boy is becoming downright chatty, at least by Kurt standards. Comments on the color of the sky, for pete's sake! Greets taxis and firetrucks on the street like they're old friends. In fact, since he started watching the movie Cars, he strongly associates people he knows with the car he regularly observes them in. So when we left our neighbor Val the other day, he cried over his shoulder, "Bye, Val Red Car!" When we visited the little girl across the street, it was "Hi Danika Blue Car!" I'll take it.

He points out his Grandpa (and other people) in pictures. He puts on his slip-on shoes by himself and is finally and for real drinking out of regular cups, using a fork, asking for a napkin, and giving his sister honest to goodness kisses. Don't know if he'll ever spontaneously say "I love you" or "Why?" but I'm surprised at how little it matters now. 

Maria painted today for the first time. Some of the paint even got on the paper. 


But not as much as you'd think.



Eventually, she figured out the real action was over at Kurt's easel, so she toddled over there to help him.