Two-year-old Clive is like a human Divining Rod. He has a radar that picks up any water within a certain radius. It’s his element of choice. Just like Ephraim automatically heads for any available dirt for digging, Clive longs to be near water. Or in water, more specifically. Up to his neck, if possible–though he will settle for at least getting his hands wet.

Every store we visit that has a display of fountains, every home we visit that has a pool (whether we’re intending to swim or not), every creek we walk by or lake we drive over, it’s the same: “My Water? My Water? I have My Water please??”

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fourteen months

Anselm turned Fourteen Months on May the seventh. My camera was in the shop, and I entertained the idea of just using phone pictures for his post, but in the end I decided to just wait until the camera was back in my hands and I could take “real pictures.”

a 14 mos-7

His hair is getting longer, longer, and flippier and flippier. It doesn’t really seem to actually curl, but I keep letting it grow in the hopes that someday it will magically turn into ringlets. (It does, at least, have substantial wave to it, which means 1) he doesn’t have my hair at all, and 2) his Baby Mullet doesn’t really look like a mullet at all. He is, however, frequently mistaken for a girl because he does not have the same haircut as the other boys.

a 14 mos-6

He is really coming into his own Look, which still doesn’t look like much of anyone to us, although he does have a lot of Ephraim’s mannerisms, and a lot of Clive’s reluctances. His will and his personality are shining through that baby sweetness, and we have begun to have our first real clashes of will. I am happy to report that they were not as difficult as my first power struggles with Clive.

a 14 mos-8 a 14 mos-9a 14 mos-10

He has five teeth, almost six–he gets around by slithering about on his belly (army crawling) and by whining until someone gives him their hands and helps him wobbly-walk around. I had really, really hoped that he wouldn’t be a really late walker like Clive, but it looks like I’m out of luck. I’m just glad Ephraim came first and was “normal”, so I wouldn’t wonder that I’m doing something terribly wrong.

The other day I had him on my lap while I called to Clive: “Clive, Clive!” And he echoed, to himself, each of my calls, “Kye, Kye…” I managed to get him to repeat Mama, Daddy, Kitty, and Ephraim as well before he caught on to what I was doing and clammed up. He really abhors doing things on command. Even though he is perfectly capable of telling everyone goodnight, he won’t do it until we’ve all given up and I’ve walked him out of the room. Likewise, when I make him laugh by kissing the teddy bear, then hold the bear for him to kiss (which he does,) then try to kiss him myself, he promptly turns his head and won’t do it.

I think he’s an Evil Genius and he’s probably totally faking not being able to walk.

We should call him Dr. Mo instead of Mr. Mo.

a 14 mos a 14 mos-2

He still prefers his loopy, squealy sounds to most words, and will occasionally “repeat” something you’ve said in his own noodley vernacular, grinning to himself like he’s made a secret joke.

He loves his books, and has learned not to grab them out of my hands until the story is done. He sits quietly for longer books than I remember Clive doing at this age. But really, I’m a little sad to say that I don’t remember much about Clive at this age as I was too sick with Anselm. That is something I am determined to appreciate about this age with Anselm–it’s been the first time I’ve had a fourteen-month-old and haven’t been preparing for another baby.

a 14 mos-5

For about ten days of the last month he initiated a new bedtime routine where I would turn on his noise machine, and he would immediately lie against me, cuddling his blanket and sucking his thumb. He would sit like that for a long time, until I got him up or he sat up himself and was ready to go to bed. It was very sweet while it lasted. Then one day, a few days ago, he just stopped. Who knows?

a 14 mos-3

He is a stinker. He’s my stinker. Happy Fourteen Months, Dr. Mo.

fourteen months

twenty-two months

On the 30 of May, Clive Louis turned twenty-two months.

On that day I was also doing laundry, cleaning, and packing like crazy in anticipation of our trip to see Grandfather and GranMaggie.

I think it was raining, too.

At any rate, there wasn’t much time to take pictures and go someplace with wi-fi so I could share about Clive’s month. I decided to wait until we were in Kentucky, as (I figured) pictures there would be more interesting anyway.

I was right.

clive 22 months

We woke up this morning to slightly cooler temperatures after yesterday’s rain, and Jeremy took the boys outside, barefoot, to run around in the grass. Clive, however, decided it would be a better idea to climb into Maggie’s washtub and sit in the very cold water. You know, just for fun.

clive 22 months-5The kid likes water. He is always asking me if he can get in the tub (“Baff? Baff?”) And shrieks with joy when he hears the faucet turn on. It is also a constant struggle to keep his chubby little toddler hands out of the Cat’s bowl, though I’m sure she wouldn’t mind chubby toddler fingers in it if she knew they were his.

He loves to pour water from one container to another, watching it cascade through the air.

clive 22 months-4Oddly enough, “water” isn’t one of his regularly used words. It’s likely that he’s still practicing it, mentally, in the car or as he is falling asleep at naptime. He generally will not say a word until he feels he can say it correctly. His “correct” vocabulary is far beyond what Ephraim’s was at this age–which is saying something, since Ephraim was one serious chatterbox. Clive is still the quieter of the two, but he is easier to understand–that is until he gets excited and spouts off some great long sentence in Clivese. Those are generally unintelligible. And often about water. Or cars.

clive 22 months-2

He’s 100% walking, now, which he does with a somewhat stiff gait and his hands held out–his fists clenched, if he’s excited–he makes me laugh to see him.

clive 22 months-3He fills his days with books (Robert the Rose Horse and Don’t Forget the Oatmeal! being favorites), cars, books, music, cars, more books, milk (mook), and, if it’s a very good day, a bath.

He is enamored with everything his Big Brother does. If Ephraim is finished with playing cars, Clive is finished, too. (“No car!”) If Ephraim is done eating, Clive is done eating, too. (“All done all done all done? Pease pease pease!”) If Ephraim falls down and hurts himself, Clive finds the nearest surface and whacks his head against it and cries, too. I’m not joking.

I’m not sure how he really feels about Anselm, though he is excited to see him from time to time. I believe he is secretly thrilled for another chance to poke him in the eyes or stick his finger in his ears. When he catches me watching him closely, though, he gently strokes Anselm’s chest. “Nice, nice.” he grins. Whatever. I’ve got my eye on you, mister.

clive 22 months-7I can’t help it–I love you too much.

clive 22 months-6





twenty-two months

twenty-one months

We’ve started the downhill rush towards two years. It’ll be here before we know it. clive 21-2

So many leaps were seen this month. For one, he finally, finally have abandoned the butt-scoot.  It’s all walking, now, with the occasional crawl, and the more-than-occasional attempt to run. It’ll make our nightly run-around-the-staircase sessions more interesting with another body in the mix. Ephraim will be happy to not have to dodge a scooting Clive while he runs.

clive 21-5

His vocabulary is expanding rapidly, with words both intelligible and unintelligible, and things that you think are unintelligible until you realize you’re just not listening closely enough. He still refuses to say “thank you”, though. We’re working on it.

It’s such a pleasure to hear him talk, with his voice that is so soft and sweet and quiet–except when he’s shrieking “MINE, MINE, MINE!!” while “playing” with Ephraim.

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He has this little ritual chant that he made up about his Baby Brother. I’m not sure where it came from. But he starts with a high pitched “Baaaay-beeee!” which is then followed by the even higher pitched sequence of staccato ah’s: “Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah!!” Each ah is punctuated by a double hand flap. I have no idea what exactly the story behind it is, but I love it, and I do my best to encourage it.

clive 21

He is still nurturing his love of books. Every now and then during the day he’ll go missing, and I’ll find him in his room with a pile of books, methodically going through each one.

We’re working on counting; he can count from two to five. I’m not sure why, but he will not say “one”. He’ll say “broccoli”, though, while singing the Veggie Tales theme song. I’m not sure how he arrived at the conclusion that “broccoli” is manageable while “one” is not, but then again he did do that weird scoot for months before even attempting to walk (which is much less physically taxing) so maybe it’s some weird perfectionist over-achieving thing. I have no idea. He’s just Clive.

clive 21-4



twenty-one months

twenty months

Two-thirds through his second year. Master Clive isn’t getting any younger.

20 months-2


The big news for this month? He walks. It’s not his preferred method of getting around–he’d rather scoot at the moment–but he no longer crumples to the ground and cries as soon as you let go of his hand.

His last trip to the pediatrician was something that I was dreading, since he still wasn’t walking and I wasn’t sure what they’d want to do. Fortunately the doctor agreed with our assessment–that he was perfectly capable of walking, just afraid to do it. “It’s purely psychological,” she said. That was simultaneously encouraging and disheartening to hear. The good news was there wasn’t some sort of physical problem. But  what kind of therapy do you do to alleviate fear?

I mulled over it for a week and felt impressed to not pray, not that he would walk, but that he would be released from that fear. As annoying as it could be that he wasn’t walking yet, the fact is that we were used to it and could keep on in our routine for a couple more months without him doing it. The thing that weighed on my mind was that his fear could so cripple his ability to exercise a skill that he was totally capable of performing. As a fearful person myself, I hated that thought for him. I contacted a few close friends and asked them to pray with me specifically for that–that his fear would be lifted from him. A couple  of days later he started walking on his own.

20 months-3

The other big news in his life is that he has officially graduated to Big Brother. He is incredibly interested in the new baby, particularly in his eyes, and what happens if he pokes them. This just in: what happens is Mama removes you from the situation. Sorry if I’ve spoiled anything for anyone.
20 monthsHe talks up a storm now, employing in particular phrases he’s picked up from Big Brother like “MINE MINE MINE” and “I need [fill in the blank]”. He also loves to count to five and sing along with “So Long, Farewell” while he’s playing in his room. He still offers kisses to complete strangers while we’re out and about, which thrills everyone; what they don’t know is he thinks it’s quite funny to offer a kiss and then turn your head at the last minute. Like all toddlers, he loves all animals, especially the Cat, who still loves him in turn (and spurns his brother.) I guess some things will never change.

20 months-4

Happy Twenty Months, Master Clive. Who knows what this next month has in store for us?


twenty months

nineteen months

We’ve passed the halfway mark of the year–two years is looming in the distance.

clive nineteen months-5clive nineteen months-7This month has seen tons and tons of walking practice, and a strong preference for going about on two legs (while holding someone’s hand, of course) instead of scootching around on his backside. He has even taken to going up and down stairs on his own feet (also while holding someone’s hand). If you let go of his hands, he immediately plops to the ground and wails. Someone needs to tell that boy that he is perfectly capable of continuing on his own. He won’t listen to me.

clive nineteen months

clive nineteen months-3He is perfecting his impish sense of humor, delighting in destroying MegaBlock edifices that Mama has built, or poking or prodding or invading the personal space of his brother (though he hates it when brother does the same to him). Or sticking his finger up his nose and then shoving it into his mouth (I don’t know who taught him that?)

The smile he gives when he comes looking for you, scooting down the hall to peek around the corner of the room where you’re sitting, is nothing if not pure radiant joy. Clive positively shines with happiness and enthusiasm–except when he doesn’t. Clive doesn’t play favorites; negative emotions are given just as much spotlight as the positive. The upside to this is you never have to guess where he stands on any given subject.

clive nineteen months-4

He is the quintessential morning person, putting Big Brother to shame with how quick he is to chatter and laugh as soon as his eyes open. (Big Brother is not so eager to be chipper upon waking.) He is always the first one you hear in the morning, either jumping in bed or singing to himself. (Big Brother is, naturally, the second one you hear, usually telling him to “Get down!” or “Be quiet!”)

He loves the kitty, loves Mama and Daddy (“Dah-DEEEEE!”), loves Mimi (who has come to stay until Baby arrives), loves to Facetime with Grandfather and GranMaggie, loves his brother, loves bathtime, and–though he does his best to hide it–I suspect he loves the church nursery, as well. He lives to go anywhere in the car (they say “beep-beep”, now) and is never so pacified as when there is music playing.

clive nineteen months-6


He adores reading, with his favorite book at the moment being “Rawr, Rawr” (otherwise known as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?.)

clive nineteen months-8He’s my perfectly lovable little son, soon to be my perfectly lovable middle son.

clive nineteen months-2





nineteen months

eighteen months

This post is so late. So, so, so late.

clive 18 mos-5

First there was this freak snowstorm–which meant that Jeremy was home to help me with many, many projects that the nesting bug demanded be completed RIGHT NOW, and in that manic flurry of activity, the day for this post just drifted on by…

Then there was the day that where the time I had allotted for writing this already-late update was spent instead in Labor & Delivery being monitored for pre-term labor…

It’s nothing personal, Master Clive, I promise.

Well, maybe I was holding out to see if you’d start walking.

You did take four steps Saturday night. Then nothing.

You’re such a stubborn little man.

clive 18 mos-8

This month saw a huge growth of vocabulary and talking, including pseudo-sentences he’s picked up from Big Brother, like “I see a _____” and “I need _____”, as well as an adorable, nasal, drawn-out “naaaoooo” which makes a lovely complement to a simple shake of the head.

Emerging alongside this talking spurt has come a whole slough of Clive-isms, such as wanting to “at” (instead of “eat”) and the insistence that cars say “boop-boop”.

clive 18 mos-7He is in desperate need of another haircut.  ANOTHER. Haircut. Just how often are you supposed to have to do that, anyway?

clive 18 mos-6

He has become quite the music aficionado, and can be heard frantically calling “More, more!?!” whenever a song we’re listening to ends. In the mornings, when I get him out of bed, he goes straight for the stereo in his room and asks for more music.

He is enthralled with his brother’s drumming skills and tries to emulate him whenever possible. He still hasn’t quite caught on to the fact that it’s best to keep your hands away from the same drum head that your Big Brother is playing on. Or, at least, he is still convinced that there is a way for them to play the same drum simultaneously.

clive 18 mosHe has proved himself quite the man of mischief, finding great joy in stunts like finding things on the floor and sitting by it while saying “yucky, yucky” until Mama looks to see what it is, at which point he will pick up said yucky thing and pretend to put it in his mouth.

clive 18 mos-2For being such a cuddly person, he has developed a very strangely strong sense of personal space when it comes to his brother touching him. Of course, he did get quite a few eye pokes in those first few months of life. Not that he hasn’t already given back more than his fair share. I suppose that’s just brotherhood for you.

clive 18 mos-4In another strange turn of events, he is most willing to drop whatever he’s doing so that we can “go, go” in the “car-car”(boop, boop!). Mama only finds this odd as he spent the first 4-5 months of life screaming any time he had to be in the car or carseat. Just goes to show you that even the best of us can change our minds about things.







eighteen months