In Russia, he'd be called Grigori.

Amidst all the chaos that is New Home Buying and Old Home Selling, our fine readers should not forget the fact that there are two kids involved in this Life we call Austin. Mrs. A would contend there are three children in our house, but that's for the therapists to decide.

I officially started LIA when LMA was about 14 months old, having missed most of her "firsts," a fact I'm not particularly proud of. But what we lacked in quantity at that time, we made up for by having another kid.

I realize I haven't talked much about Little Mr. Austin much and that got me thinking that I also haven't given him much. I haven't spent every second with him while he figures out how to use his hands or plays with his toys. The evening hours are spent just trying to get him to be quiet and placid. Not having a written record of what LMA was like at one year, it's hard to go back and say, "Huh, well, crap. He's just like she was," or "Yeah, she never did that." Mrs. Austin and I agree that both kids are vastly different both physically and mentally, but it's hard to go back just a couple years and make a spot on comparison.

It's also terribly unfair to him.

Gregory, and I'll just use his name here, because that's who he is, is a wonderful little kid. He's a pain in the ass sometimes, but none-the-less a fabulous mini-human. He's sweet and funny and cute. I see in him a lot of what makes me who I am, kind, gentle, friendly but tempermental and prone to outbursts. In fact, I'm probably more like a little kid than I am an adult in that respect. He head butts things a lot -things like floors, cabinets, people's faces- and he still cries a lot at night. One of the reasons I've gone back into the archives is to find out when LMA started sleeping through the night. Like a scientist checking the logs for anomalies against a control, I've been unsuccessfully researching when we can expect Yogi to finally just say, "You know what, I'm fuckin' beat. I'll see you cats tomorrow."

An example, last night he went to sleep around 8:30. He was awake at 11 at which point he was changed and given a small bottle of water. At 3:30 he was awake again, another small bottle of water. At 5:30 he was awake again but was left to fall asleep on his own. Each time he wakes up, Mrs. A and I lay in bed, grumpy and awake, waiting for the other to get up or make some kind of deal. "I'll get the bottle if you change him."

The problem is, we've done both coddle and ignore and neither work real well. We've let him cry for almost an hour at times, we've picked him up immediately others. Neither seems to work well for any given length of time. Plus, even though this is #2, we're still running into the age old baby questions: Is he hungry? Sick? Wet? Lonely? Probably a combination of each, plus a dash of Pissy Baby.

(Man this entry has to be boring for you guys.)

But he's not a baby anymore. Last week his daycare officially moved him to the toddler room. He wears shoes, walks around with other kids, eats big people food and no longer requires that we bring formula or milk. He's off breast milk and formula at home and we're slowly moving away from bottles. He can walk...pretty well. Sort of like a drunk at a fun house, but there are still steps. He doesn't have any real clear words yet but "hi" and "achoo" are really close. I think he even knows what "hi" means. He can wave, point, grab small things and use a fork to come Spaghettios into his hair. He can crawl up into a chair and lower himself off the couch.

He crawls like his pants are on fire.

Lord o' mighty I've never seen a kid crawl that fast. One of my favorite things to do is wait till he's going full tilt then start stomping and teasing from behind and watch as that extra gear kicks in and he leaves little flaming marks on the floor.

For all the sleep and crying crap we give him, he loves to hug people, namely his big sister, and he's just about the cutest kid I've ever seen. He loves to smile and play and squeal. He's a good kid.

For now.

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