Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'baby'

happy (almost) halloween!

October 22nd, 2015 · 3 Comments


I love holidays — pretty much any holiday. 

This comes as a surprise to exactly no one, because my favorite things in the world are parties, great food, and spending time with friends and family.  So holidays?  On the list of things that I love, they fall somewhere between Bear and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is to say: very high on that list.

But there’s a special spot in my heart for Halloween.  When I was a kid, I really believed that there was something magical about the night of Halloween.  I’d pretend to go to bed and then stay up in my room, in the dark, until it was finally midnight, waiting for ghosts or trying my hand at magic spells. 

Bear was too little to go trick-or-treating last year, but we might give it a try next week!  Either way, I couldn’t let the moment go by without some snaps of his Halloween costume.  Last year, he was a baby dinosaur, and this year he’s a panda bear!  I know that pretty soon he’ll be telling me what he wants to be for Halloween, so I’m enjoying my last chance to pick out his costume myself. 

And, if I do say so: that is one cute Panda!

Photo credit: Rachel Sutherland







Tags: baby

bear’s favorite books: one year update

September 10th, 2015 · 4 Comments


When I wrote about Bear’s favorite books when he was six months old, I mostly focused on some classic books that I loved to read with him.  Our little guy loves curling up with a book in mama’s lap (and I love it too!) but at six months, I’m not sure it was really possible to distinguish between “his” favorite books and mine.

Fast forward eight or so months, though, and it’s a totally different story! He points at pictures and can pick out a specific book that he loves from a stack, and reading has become one of his favorite things to do. It’s less reading to him, now, and feels more like reading with him, which makes it even more special for both of us.

So I thought I’d write about a few more that we’ve enjoyed! We’re still primarily reading board books (the thick cardboard-stock pages that a baby can’t fold or rip), but we’ve just started introducing paper books in the last month or two. It’s still a challenge to make sure he’s gentle with them, and most of our copies have a tear or two already, but he’s learning!

This time around, I wanted to focus on a few more under-the-radar authors.  Here are some of Bear’s favorites!


Kadir Nelson: Chad picked up our copy of Baby Bear when he was on a work trip for very obvious reasons — how was he supposed to resist a book called Baby Bear? But when we read it for the first time, it was completely clear to me that he’d stumbled onto a treasure. The book is about a bear lost in the forest trying to find his way home, and the story is so beautiful that it’s more like reading an illustrated poem than a children’s book. And Bear loves it — when he was a baby, it was one of the first books that he had a “favorite page”! There’s a page where Baby Bear meets a salmon, and Bear would always grab the book and kiss the salmon! It was so adorable, and one of my favorite memories of reading to him so far.

Nelson’s second book, If You Plant A Seed, is maybe even better. It’s about a rabbit and a mouse that plant a garden, and what happens when they’re approached by some birds and have to decide whether to share. The illustrations are breathtaking, and I say that without a whisper of exaggeration. Bear calls this the “Grow! Grow! Grow!” book and it’s the first book he ever referred to by name. Of all the books in our nursery, this one is my personal favorite right now.

Giraffes Can’t Dance: Oh my gosh, you guys, this book is so cute. It’s about a giraffe who’s too self-conscious to participate in the Jungle Dance, and it’s darling. This book is exactly what’s great about books for kids — it has sweet characters, a lot of vocabulary words, fun illustrations that Bear can point to, and a sweet, meaningful message. We have the board book and have probably read it a hundred times.

Little Blue Truck: This is another really sweet story, and one of the first books that made us realize that Bear was really absorbing the stories we were reading to him! We read this book every day for weeks, and suddenly, out of the blue, he started pointing at the birds on every page. It was like a light flipped in his brain, and he could point to the birdies! And then, a few weeks later, he knew most of the farm animals on each page.  It’s crazy to watch them learn right in front of your eyes!

One Yellow Lion: This is Bear’s most recent favorite. He loves the fold-out pages and all the animals, and it’s great for teaching counting, colors, and vocabulary. Some of the learning-oriented books aren’t as fun for parents as they are for kids (yes, kiddo, it’s amazing, but I already knew that alligators are green), but he loves them. I couldn’t write this list without including it!

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic: This is an old book of mine that Bear has fallen in love with. (Want to know how old? It comes with a record of Bing Crosby singing the song that it’s based on.) It’s a really sweet story that Chad and I sing to him as we read it, which he loves. If you don’t know the tune, you can hear it on YouTube! Technology is crazy.

Finally, I have to round out this list with some classics! Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, and Pat The Bunny are a few other well-loved favorites that you guys already know about, but that Bear has been really into at this age!

Whew! That’s a much longer list than his six-month update. I was a big reader as a kid, and I’m really happy that Bear seems to have inherited that from me. If you guys have any others that I should try, please let me know. I usually order a few books a month for him so he always has new stories to explore, so I’d love to hear your favorites!

Photo Credit: Kate Robinson




Tags: baby

to baby bear, at sixteen months

August 31st, 2015 · No Comments


Sixteen months.

That’s how old you are today. 

When our friends mention your name, they call you “Baby Bear,” and then smile sheepishly, because you’re not really a baby anymore.  Or you are, but only to me.  (And you’ll never get big enough to outgrow that!)

Because suddenly, in the last few months, our little baby became a kid!  It’s the craziest thing — it feels like a moment ago that you couldn’t even hold your head up by yourself, and now you’re running, dancing, throwing a basketball (I kid you not.  A full size basketball!) and asking for bubbles and Rambo by name. 

What!  How did that happen so fast?

Parenting a toddler is totally different than parenting a baby, and I have to say — I think it’s a lot more fun.  Sure, newborn snuggles were wonderful (I miss them sometimes when you won’t sit still in my lap anymore!) but it’s so much more exciting to watch your personality grow and take form.  To actually communicate with you, even if your vocabulary is still limited.  (‘Yes’ and ‘No’ were life-changing developments!) To make faces and watch you laugh, or see you bop your head to the songs that we sing. 

There are a million little things I’d like to remember about the last month, but my favorites, by far, were these…

… how you call both me and Chad “Mama.”  Sure, this breaks my heart a little bit (I’m your one and only Mama, kid!) but it’s also so darling.  We’ve started explaining to you that I’m the Mama-Mama and Chad is the Dad-Mama.  And we also regularly explain to our families and babysitters that Bear thinks he has two mamas.  Funny kiddo!

… dancing with you to Let It Go!  Ok, ok, sometimes you get cranky at the end of the day.  But one day, after dinner, when we were playing in the kitchen, Let It Go came on my phone and I decided to teach you some goofy ballerina moves.  For the next three minutes, we twirled and leaped around the kitchen together, and you thought it was hilarious to mimic every move I showed you.  If only I’d caught it on video — this would be excellent blackmail material for your teenage years!

… Hi Mama!  Every morning these days, you greet me standing up in your crib with an excited “Hi!”  I love it!  I’m not a morning person and your 7 a.m. wake-ups are pretty tough for me, but opening the door and hearing a big “Hi!” and a smile makes it all worth it.  (Sort of.  It would also be worth it at 8 a.m., just in case you were wondering…)

… Banana.  Ok, so, this one was my bad.  Again, at the end of the day last week, we were done with dinner and playing in the kitchen.  And I took out a banana and told you what it was, and you repeated back to me “ba-nweh” or whatever toddler approximation sounded a tiny bit like the word I’d just said. 

And I freaked out.  I was so excited (a three-syllable word! you’re heading straight to Harvard!) that I kept repeating it to you, over and over: “Banana!  Banana!  Banana!”

And then I realized that you had a banana graphic on your shirt.  Yes — on your little tee shirt was a picture of a banana.  So I picked you up and we ran over to a mirror, and I pointed at your shirt and tried to show you the banana picture, which was basically me just pointing at your chest and saying “Banana!” again and again. 

And then we went back to the original banana and I decided it would be funny to pretend the banana was a phone, so I picked it up and held it to my ear and said, “hello?”

And then you took the banana and did the same thing, held it up to your ear like it was a telephone… and then looked at me with a very perplexed expression. 

And suddenly I realized that I had just confused you beyond any possible understanding of what the word “banana” actually meant.

First, it was pretty clear.  This is a banana. 

And then I grabbed you and pointed at your chest in the mirror and basically said “You’re a banana.”

And then we got back down on the ground and I told you that we use them as telephones

This is a banana.  You’re a banana.  And we have conversations, using bananas. 

Yes, our son calls his dad ‘Mama.’

And he will probably call just about everything else he lays eyes on: ‘Banana.’ 

Happy Sixteen Months, Baby Bear.  I love you so.


Tags: baby · life