Monday, July 02, 2012


Playing tractors with second-cousin H. at Aunt Gin's house!

This is Gabriel's birthday week! Wow! Two years have gone by so fast. But I should save some mushy-mama-ness for the actual birthday post.

I just love this little guy so much.

A couple stories - one afternoon in Akron, he woke up from his nap, sat up, looked at me in that very serious sleep-dazed way one has just after waking, thumped on his chest and said "Bug! Bug!" Pause. Look around. Think. Then looked at me again and averred, "Bug!"

Since watching Kung Fu Panda, Valerie named us all after characters in the movie: Gabriel is the Bug (Mantis), I'm the Bird (Crane), Terry is the Turtle (Tortoise) and she named herself Fox (really a red panda, but he looks kind of like a fox). It was funny to me that he has embraced his nickname and alter ego. Although he will refer to himself as "Gabe" or "Gabe-uh!" he most of the time now corrects me when I call him that and says very firmly, "Bug."

He's talking a ton these days, mostly in English although he knows a lot of words and phrases in Albanian too. And, like his sister, still uses the Spanish word for water - agua.

Coming back from the US, we had a layover in Rome, and on the concourse by our gate there was a little cafe with a play area for kids. Genius! Every concourse in every airport in the world should have one of these. Coffee and a play area. It was so good for the kids to be able to run around like maniacs after enduring 9 hours confined to their seats (or the near vicinity thereof). They were so sleep-deprived and manic, but it was so good for them. There was a little girl there whose mom told me was about 2.5, but much closer in size to V than to G. Valerie called her "the mouse" as they chased each other around. At one point the girl came over to our table and took a drink from Valerie's cup. Her parents immediately jumped up saying "no no no no!" G was startled, then looked at me and very earnestly and seriously said "Mouse! Agua! Val-Val!" Pause. "Da-da Noooooo!"

I fear he may be dropping his afternoon nap already (second day in a row today). "Fear" because the mid-day lull is so nice. But if he sleeps better at night as a consequence, I won't complain too much.

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