Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Because you are a parrot, language is improving slowly but surely. You can say dada, mama, green, meow, daddy, baby. Those last 2 just came out this weekend and we've been practicing other "y" ending words ever since. Believe me when I say, your father would happily sit for hours listening to you say "da dee" over and over again. He would melt into a puddle each time too.
Between you and me, on the weekends, your dad has been dressing you in flannel shirts to compliment his own color palette of the day. On Saturday, you both wore red flannel and on Sunday, the hue was blue. It's pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen.
And now, some pictures!
"Are you trying to trick me into eating vegetables again?"
"Alright I'll eat it, but don't try any funny stuff. I've got my eye on you."
Any guesses on what the cameraman is wearing?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
You are a whopping eighteen months old already. Even if I didn't know it myself, the season change seems to be reminding me of how quickly time moves. I will always enjoy how your birthday is the beginning of Spring because it's pleasant to mark time in conjunction with the season changes of North Carolina.
Our early fall has been filled with camping trips to Jordan Lake. Around the campsite, you like to tidy up by mowing the pine straw and relocating rocks. The camping experience has changed with you in the picture. As always, you are independent and drawn to dangerous situations like investigating the fire pit and turning the knob on the propane tank. If not being watched at all times, you will wander off into the woods or down the road in search of new sticks, rocks and often, garbage. We always leave our campsite cleaner than we found it thanks to you.
This is your reaction to being told not to do something. We see this face a lot. I admit, it makes me laugh. Of course, I hate seeing you so unhappy, but I find it amusing that the simplest things can bring your world crashing down. Like both of your parents, you hate being told what not to do. To get back at us, you have mastered the art of fake crying. It sounds like a machine gun, a very fake machine gun that fires at the utterance of the word "no" that is.
Then it's right back to being adorable.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
September is upon us and with it the end of summer. As we move into the thankfully cooler temperatures of fall, I welcome the relief from the oppressive heat and am excited by the prospect of many camping adventures in the next few weeks. We just bought a new to us pop up camper to make these adventures even more enjoyable for all of us.
You were particularly fond of playing in the galley sink, with your body snugly wedged between the back of the counter and the camper's screened window. Much of your time inside was spent squeezing the bubbles out of the sponge and then wiping the bubbles off everything. Thankfully, you haven't attempted to rotate the sink handles to turn the faucet on yet. Your dad and I work as a team, one of us distracting you while the other slyly uses the water as quickly as possible. I hate to think about the day you open the flood gates, but I promise to laugh when it inevitably happens since I've just jinxed myself.
You're still taking two naps per day and sleep about eleven hours per night, which was a great concern of mine going into this trip. You do great in a crib, but you've never slept in your own bed or with us. The first night we set up camp, we decided to have you sleep on the convertible bed/dinette area because it's the shortest bed. We stuffed the exposed side of the bed with pillows, just in case you rolled off in the night. Aided by the blue glow from the radio light, all night long, your father and I checked on you to make sure you were okay. Around three in the morning, I woke up and you were gone. My stomach dropped as my body sprung to action. I scanned the room but there was no trace of you, a lamby or a binkie in sight. Perched on top of the table bed, I reached under the table to the cubby area and felt your fuzzy head. I may have possibly poked you in the eye too. They say to never wake a sleeping baby and I'm certainly not disputing what "they" say so early in the morning. I heard murmurs from the table depths about an hour later and rescued you. You slept between us on the king sized mattress after that, which became one of our favorite memories of this trip.
When we needed a break from chasing you back and forth around the campsite, your dad would sit with you while you played in the truck. The inside of a vehicle is a wonderland for you, but the truck seems to be your favorite.
This will be the picture that will break my heart when I look back years from now and reflect on how little you were. So don't be surprised if I make you wear a sleep sack into your teenage years.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I'm a little late getting your letter out this month because we've been running on empty getting ready for vacation and then burning on fumes since we've been back. You were a little trooper all through vacation though (other than those early 5:30 AM mornings) and everyone commented on how well behaved you were. Being back at home, I think you miss the hustle and bustle of all the people around.
You must have learned quite a few tricks from all the other kids during vacation because you are playing games with us now that we have not taught you. For example, you love a new game where you sit on the couch holding the remote control and offer it to either your dad or me with your puppy noise that means everything. It's the same noise that means, "can I have that", "what is that", "pick me up", "can we go outside" etc. But in this case, the puppy noise means , "here, have the remote control." So I try to accept it from you, but you pull it back with both hands and snuggle it into your body while giggling madly. Rinse. Repeat. You could play this game for hours delighted with keeping the remote control out of our greedy paws.
One point of difficulty is getting you to eat new foods. Oh who am I kidding, sometimes you won't even eat the things that were your favorite only yesterday. I hope by the time you are reading this, it will make you laugh because by then, you will have conquered your hatred of all things vegetable and we can giggle over this hopefully short lived phase.
I've always promised myself that I won't give up on offering you new foods and vegetables, but living up to that promise is quite tiresome, not to mention wasteful. I've even tried pureeing vegetables and hiding them in pasta sauces. You caught on quickly to that game though and now shake off the noodles before putting them in your mouth. I worry you're going to be one of those kids that only eats chicken nuggets and bread and I feel guilty that I ever judged the parents of those kids in the first place. Now I can see that those children wore the parents down day by day, throwing green bean after green bean off their tray and onto the floor. The struggle has become less about the quality of food you let grace the inside of your mouth and more about the success of getting you to swallow, well, anything. Bill Cosby's rationalization of giving his children chocolate cake for breakfast comes to mind.I'm sad to see your Midas Tire Guy arms slowly morph from baby fat into the slender arms of a little boy. Maybe this is the silver lining to your high carb diet though? Thankfully, you still have one or two pudgy little rings that we tickle with kisses while we still can. You are freshly tanned from the beach except for those baby rolls. It almost looks like you put rubber bands up your arms before laying out in the sun. This will be the one time in your life when untanned rolls of fat are considered desirable, so enjoy it son.
It's difficult being back at work after spending nine days in a row with you. I find myself staring at my screen saver and wishing I could kiss your plump cheeks and smell your fuzzy head all day long. Even when your hair is encrusted with your dinner and your cheeks are covered in dried drool you smell like the most expensive perfume to me.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Fifteen months we have shared with you and they have been the best of our life.
Our summer has started taking on a predictable routine over the last few weeks. You spend your morning with dad taking walks around the neighborhood touching trees and pointing at the sounds you hear. Afterwards, the two of you play in the living room for awhile. Your father builds lego towers which you destroy with gusto. He pushes trucks along right beside you as you both spit your vroom vroom noises all over the living room. You are most definitely all boy. Although I have caught you wearing my bra around your neck a few times now.
Afternoons are spent with me outside in the swimming pool. My goal is to get you floating on your back by the end of the summer. Initially, you hated laying your head back in the water, so step one was getting you comfortable with water on your head. When we are in the pool playing, I'll casually splash water in your face or dump a small cup of water over your head. The first time I did it, you gave me this look of "mom, what the HELL was that for?" But now, you are barely phased by it at all. In fact, you dump the water over your own head. So we are on to step two: blowing bubbles in the water. The easiest way I could figure how to do this is to do a raspberry into the water, submerging my mouth and nose just under the surface. You squeal at the bubbles and slap the back of my head deeper under water as if that will make more bubbles. You attempt to mimic my raspberry until you're about an inch from the water and then you open your mouth and take a sip of the pool water. Not exactly what I was going for, but I guess swimming makes you thirsty? Step two might take a little longer than I expected!
So far, you're not much of a talker. You still babble and squeal, but there are no real words in the jumble. Everything is still "dadadada" right now. Unless you get upset, in which case you often erupt in the most pitiful "maaaaaamaaaaa!" that's ever ripped my heart right out of my chest. People keep telling me about the vocabulary explosion that's in store for you, but right now you seem to be able to communicate just fine by pointing at objects and making puppy-like whines. Rather than get all freaked out by the monthly baby progress emails I signed up for that have somehow calculated how many words you should be saying at fifteen months, I'm trying to enjoy what are probably the last few quiet days we may have for many years to come.
You seem to be less of a talker and more of a doer though. You don't have time to say cat or point at your nose because you are a very busy thirty inch tall man. There are couches to climb and beer bottles to throw off the deck! How can I expect you to wave hi to me when there are so many tomatoes that need picking? There is no time to learn new words when it is your job to press the power button on the television every thirty seconds. Busy busy busy, you are our son for sure.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Our summer traveling plans have been in full swing this month and we've already taken you to the beach and up north to Pennsylvania. With all that time stuck in a car, we've been seeing a lot of this out of you:
All the traveling seems to be fine with you, especially since we discovered how much you love water. I told you I'd give you a cookie if you made super happy baby noises for the camera. That's my boy, bought off easily!
Each month, we try to take a photo of you, but I'm afraid you currently look like you went one round with Rocky Balboa. You have battle scars from all of your climbing monkey antics and thus, the inevitable crash landing that follows.
Yesterday, I came home from work and Miss Patty told me about an alarming goose egg on the side of your noggin. I wish someone had warned me about how horrible they look, so close to the brain and all. It was like your brain was pushing it's way out of your skull and into that perfect little bubble. You seemed unfazed by it though when I rubbed it with my finger. You are so strong like bull except when I won't give you the remote control and you melt into a screaming puddle of tears.
It's strange to me that you will grow up in a world where you can search any information you need quickly and efficiently. In my day, you had to call a radio station or if you were really serious, you had to consult what we called an "encyclopedia". Funny word right? In spelling bees of the future, that space kid will ask for it to be used in a sentence because he doesn't know what it is. We got our set "free" after buying a billion dollars worth of groceries back in the 80s.
I mention the computer searching because that's what I did to appease myself that you, in fact, were going to wake up from your nap. That was one big egg! But the article I read was obviously written with amped up overly cautious moms in mind because the first tip was not to panic. Followed by a quick #2 of "you do not need to page your doctor." That was all the further I needed to read. After all, humans came out of caves and survived, flourished even. It's so easy to forget how resilient the human head is when I see a protruding knot climbing its way out of your fuzzy hair.
We let you do your mostly supervised climbing around your play area, which includes the couch and dining room table. I don't know what the correct approach is on this, but I know that "no" doesn't stop you. Plus, it seems to me that "no" can become a lazy habit of parents too distracted to supervise their kid. I try to reserve my use of "no" to dangerous situations only. I figure, you're going to do whatever you want to do anyway and if you practice more with someone there, eventually you will get better at it. Don't get me wrong, if you insist on driving my car, the "practice makes perfect" philosophy ends there. We saw what happened last time we tried that.
All of this brings me to last night when I heard some papers shuffling behind your father and me as we sat on the couch. I turned my head to see you perched on top of the dining room table pushing newspapers over the edge. You had silently assembled a makeshift ladder out of your potty/step and a chair to ascend the table top. You beamed a prideful grin in our direction and threw another ad circular to its hardwood floor death below. I'm wondering if all those bananas you eat are turning you into part monkey.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
North attracted quite a crowd when this photo was shot. Dave was crouched down at the side of the tractor and I was behind him holding the back of his pants by their belt loops so he didn't fall off the high seat of the tractor. In other words, passersby couldn't see the parents of said baby. All they could see was this tiny cute person perched on the tractor pretending to drive it and they began snapping pictures too.I love this one. It looks like he's surveying his fields considering how much plowing he has to get done before nightfall. A two foot farmer's work is never done.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I know we will be reminded of him for years to come, especially when finding little Jake furballs here and there. Bits of velcro white fur make me smile now.
Friday, May 7, 2010
The past month has been filled with a whirlwind of activity in our house. We've staged two garage sales, had family in town, installed new kitchen appliances and are currently in the middle of a garage and drainage construction project. All this and your father and I have both gone back to work full time.
But no matter what activity we are involved in, there you are right along side us. Some times watching, at other times busy playing with whatever object is nearby. Your happy baby babble is our soundtrack while we work. That is one of the last baby things you still do.
Sadly, I imagine you will only remember him from pictures. Our poor Jake is not doing so good these days and his time left with us is likely to be limited. From what the x-rays show, the vet thinks his lungs are filled with tumors. All we can do is make him as comfortable and happy as possible. This translates to extra treats, like on Sunday when Dave made him his own blueberry pancake. It also means we are taking a camping trip while Jake still seems to feel pretty good. Even with all the medication he's on, he's still the same smiling Jake he's always been. He's had a good fourteen years for sure.
It's hard to let go of someone that has been such an integral part of the family for so long. I am thankful that we have time left with him to say goodbye and let our furry friend know how much we all love him.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
"Thank you for the free toy, here is some poop for you!"
Dave bagged up the poop and strapped Jake's leash through his belt loop and Jake squatted again in the road and shat three more times. Again, Dave bagged the poop, resituated our poopy puppy and took up his side of the jungle gym. Meanwhile, the neighbors giving away the item were surely watching our display and will now think twice before they do a good deed in the future. Strange, but some people do not like to be thanked in feces.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
After 24 hours of walking, you think you are a big shot. Yesterday, as I made dinner in the kitchen, you played in the living room. I can normally see you the whole time or at least hear you when you crawl to the far end of the room. I should have known you were up to no good when suddenly not a peep was coming from you. This happens occasionally; it makes my heart pound in fear when I get to the living room and you are nowhere to be found. Then I'll see the tall metal lamp swaying back and forth as if possessed and find you have made your way behind the recliner to play with it. But yesterday, you were not in any of your usual hiding places. In fact, you were out in the open, but off the floor entirely. You had crawled onto the fireplace hearth and only your butt could be seen as your upper body was making its way inside the actual fireplace. You turned your head and gave me this big smile as if to say, "look what I found mom, black stuff!"
I removed you from the hearth and poorly attempted to block access to it by moving some large toys in front of it and hoped that you would just forget how you got up there in the first place. I returned to my cooking. A few minutes later, I heard our makeshift "gate" sliding ever so slowly across the floor. The gate is really a Radio Flyer wagon still in its box and we have it sort of wedged between the couch and the wall blocking access to the dining room. I made my way toward the noise to find you had escaped and were confidently walking across the dining room toward me.
The following day, I watched you jailbreak time and again and caught it on video.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Today, I noticed the tulip tips are starting to sprout from the ground. They are always my favorite indicator of spring being right around the corner. But this year, they are also counting down to the anniversary of the day you arrived. Even nature is preparing to celebrate that day for you.
Monday, January 25, 2010
"His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I have to take credit for your bizarre outfit in the following clip. I often tease your dad for the way I find you dressed, but this one is all me and I'm sorry. It could be worse though. I took a video of you the other day where you were totally naked except for a pair of blue and green flamed legwarmers and you were flash dancing all over the living room. So I would advise you to be nice to me, my dear son.
One of my favorite things right now is going to get you when you've woken up after a nap. From upstairs, I'll hear the sound of you babbling, "da da da da bido iyeeeeeeee!" and turning your musical aquarium off and on. When I go to retrieve you, you're normally standing holding onto the bars of your baby prison and looking up at me as if to say, "lemme outta here warden, I done my time. I been in here for 60 minutes. I'm a changed baby I tell ya!" Other times you seem to be numb to your lot in life and can be found banging your binkie along the bars of your crib and making up nonsense songs to anger the guards.
You are now eating finger foods almost exclusively: pizza, grilled cheese, sweet potatoes, pasta, ham, vegetables, chicken, muffins, and your favorite, cheerios. When things aren't going your way and crying ensues, a simple cheerio can often bring you out of your misery. I guess they are a well named food after all.