Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am being phased out

A minute ago, Claire Helen got thirsty, so she went to the cupboard, got herself a cup, opened the refrigerator, got out the (right) milk, and poured it. She got a drop or so on the ground, so she got a dish towel out of the right drawer, cleaned it up, and threw the dish towel down the dirty clothes. All without asking me for help with any of it.

Sweet! And also, sniff, where'd my baby go? Thank goodness we have an extra.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Behold! Photos! I have been neglecting the objects of my blogging affection all morning trying to get this stupid thing to work. But it did! For your viewing pleasure, reject Christmas card photos. Hopefully I'll add more soon, but my brain is melting from all the technology change. I'd make a snide comment about my age and all these new fangled computer thingies, but my parents are actually both far better with computers than I am, so it's not just age. Clearly some kind of genetic defect.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Almost forgot to add the insanely cute way Simon throws temper tantrums, which is to say loudly "Aaaaaa!", and ball his little fists up and shake. Then he collapses to the floor and puts his head on the ground, utterly bereft at having lost the cord or choking hazard he had been happily playing with. Then he puts his head down and says "Mmmm. Mmmmmm." until he realizes he is looking at you sideways, at which point he starts to giggle.

Happy Birthday to Simon!

Hello everybody! It's been a little while, but as of today, there are no babies in the house. All toddlers. Simon woke up this morning quite cheerfully at 6 am, I think making sure he didn't miss a second of his special day. This morning we are having a little impromptu baby party, and tonight we are making a dinner with his favorite foods- bananas and cream cheese. An epicurean dream, I am sure.

Simon is still the very happy, enthusiastic guy he was starting around 7 weeks, and he brings such a great energy to our little family. Every single thing he does he is convinced is going to be the best time ever, and every time he spies a familiar person, he lights up and starts to bounce as though he just can't physically contain his joy. He worships his sister, and is thrilled beyond words(good thing as he only has about a dozen) when she deigns to allow him to play with her, and is basically nonplussed when she is not in a sharing mood (unless she has a big red ball or the hippo walker).

He is still only walking 70% of the time. He has been walking some percentage of the time for the last 3 months, and internet, bad, impatient mother that I am, it is driving me crazy. It is cold and wet here in Seattle, and I have 57 pounds of small child to cart places. It's so much better if either one of them can be put down at times. With him only walking barely most of the time, if I put him down in a new place, like on a sidewalk, he drops down to crawl. And gets his pants wet and slimy, so he's cold which he haaaaaates, and it's a bad scene all around. Not least because he is so skinny that his pants fall off him constantly when he crawls. Between the potty trained exhibitionist and the boy-with-no-waist, we rarely have a pant filled afternoon. Who needs pants? Pants are for plebeians.

I would love to share pictures with you all of Thanksgiving and of Claire Helen putting the very first ornament on the tree, but blogger seems to have changed something about pictures, and I am not good with change. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Last Ever Baby Update

11 months! Next month Simon will be an official toddler, and we will have no more babies in the house. He’s already showing signs of toddlerdom- a bizarre growl/shriek when his sister takes a toy he was interested in, a pointer finger always at the ready to direct the adults carrying him around, and cute little banging games he amuses himself with.

24 hours later I’m posting again and find myself apologizing- again- for my son’s complexion. We took these pictures after a trip to the park * which he was probably a little underdressed for. He’s one of those people who gets cold and turns purple at the drop of a hat, and I am one of those people who thinks jackets are for wussies. Toughen up, boy. Kind of sad when his hands are all bright red on the swing, though.

He does really enjoy our little park outings, now. It’s so nice now that he’s getting old enough to enjoy the places we go- parks, playcenters, museums, et al- I feel less like he is just getting dragged around and more like he is having fun too. He especially likes if there is a ball or ball like object, and if it’s red will just horde it the whole time we are out. At Gymboree all the other kids climb up and down the ramp and play bouncing games with their mothers, but Simon just locates the big bucket of balls, and sits in front of it with his red one, fending off all “invaders.” Until the bubbles come out, and you can see his little head nearly explode from trying to figure out how to fit every single bubble into his mouth while keeping guard on his balls. It’s a hard life, baby.

Aside from the Gymboree bubbles, he is actually not that oral. If he finds something small on the floor he will stop to inspect it, and then usually bring it over to me and say “mamaMA.” I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do with it, but this is a godsend because with a 2 year old around there are lots of small objects on the floor.

He’s got a few other words besides “mama,” but it’s so hard to count at this age since they pretty much all sound the same. I’m pretty sure he says:

Duhduh- Dada
Ah duh- all done/get me out of here
Bop- pick me up
Baubau- nurse**
Keer- Claire
Dot- that
And possibly dog, but then again, maybe not.

I think I am forgetting some, but they are probably ones I am only half sure of anyway.

He says many fewer words and is much more physically advanced(oh the climbing! He can climb on anything) than Claire Helen was at this age, but the neat thing is how they still seem developmentally the same, when I think about her then. There is something about not quite one year olds that hold more similarity than difference, but the only things that are easy to quantify are the differences.

He’s such a funny guy, so good natured. I never see him getting upset about things the way the other babies do. He protects his stuff, for sure, but to be honest that is a relief after watching Claire Helen get bullied for two and a half years. He is basically delighted by any new thing put in front of him, and has a charming persistence and optimism that he can accomplish anything he feels like, even and almost especially if it is something he has not once managed to do despite daily attempts, like catch Sadie’s tail when she’s running away from him.

He is, however going through some medium bad separation anxiety. In theory this is so flattering- Mama! All the time! No one else! Will do! But in practice it S-U-C-K-S sucks. Last weekend Claire Helen’s preschool had a parents’ night out, so we conned a friend into watching Simon while we went out to dinner. Apparently he cried on her shoulder for 40 minutes (after 10 minutes of having no idea we were gone) before just passing out from the sheer tragedy of it all. He knows my friend well, and sees her at least once a week for 2 hours at playgroup, but apparently that’s not enough for Mister Oedipal Man. We hope it passes soon.

If I had more time I would tell you all about how Claire Helen locked me out of the house on purpose the other day, and then tapped on the window brandishing a new bag of cookies, “Mommy will you open this for me? I want some cookies.” Yeah, I bet you do.

*There was SUN! In Seattle! After Halloween! The whole city is walking around disoriented and confused. What is this bright light up where the rain comes from? Will it harm us?

**two more weeks, buddy boy! I swear I am going to throw a party when we are done with this.

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So ruddy! I really should keep more hats in the car. Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

I bring you the two year old jitterbug.

I obviously have no idea how she or my shoes got into the bath tub, or why she turned it into a dance club. Ah, two.

Still serious about that 11 month picture and update for Simon. As a preview, I will tell you that his word for his sister is "Keer." Rhymes with "here."

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Wants-to-be-two Posted by Picasa

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The red stuff on his face is strawberry nutrigrain bar, not some horrible disfiguring rash. Bad mama, not quite despicable mama. Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hurray Hurray, the democrats have taken back congress!

Now I know how Red Sox fans felt when they won the World Series. Is it nerdy to say politics is way more fun as a spectator sport than baseball? Probably.

Just now, Claire Helen and I were coloring, and she got out the white crayon. After swirling it around (on the Big! Giant! PIZZA! she was drawing), she looked at me very very seriously, and said "Mommy this one doesn't work. It needs new batteries." It's a good thing she says cute things like this, otherwise when she does things like break a window pane on the front door by kicking it during a fit, I might just leave her on the front porch for gypsies. We had friends over yesterday afternoon, and none of them believed me that Claire Helen 1) ever had a tantrum or 2) even if 1, certainly not with kicking and property damage. It was a surprise to me, actually, since lately she's been a great little egg, but I guess two is two.

Claire Helen is working a lot on relationships lately. Claire Jane* and Claire Helen have recently blossomed into great little friends. I think I always would have said they were good buddies, but I would have meant that in the sense that they were slightly less likely to bonk each other on the head than some of their other aquaintences. They've got a cute little bond going right now, and Claire Helen even made her first long distance phone call (to Claire Jane) while we were in California. They light up to see each other, and almost anywhere we go, Claire Helen says, "And prolly Claire Jane will be there?" No, Claire Helen, I don't think Claire Jane is going to be on the ferry. Good try, though.

We had a really great Halloween. In the morning we had some toddler buddies over all dressed up (Simon is pretty sure he's one of the toddlers, too). The highlight of that little party was seeing two bumblebees, a cowboy, a unicorn, a bee, and a kangaroo all huddled around the playroom window trying to get a looksee at the jackhammer working out back. In the afternoon we went to the outdoor mall near here to trick or treat with some friends, which Simon found invigorating, and Claire Helen found terrifying. After we got home, Mat and I took turns goin with Claire Helen around the neighborhood, which was one of those iconoclastic parenting moments. She loved picking out which houses were lit up enough to go up to, and just being outside in the dark with a parent.

Below are some very poorly taken pictures of Halloween. Slightly less terrible 11 month photos of Simon, and a proper baby update, coming soon.

*Claire Helen has known Claire Jane since they were 4 weeks old, and her mom and I were in the same mom's group. Definitely it would have been easier if Claire Jane's mom had just named her kid Natalie, but it's cute to hear them talking about each other in such formal terms. "Where'd Claire Helen go?" "Mommy I wanna see Claire Jane!"

Halloween, and a series of about the worst pictures I've ever taken. Moving objects, and all. Posted by Picasa

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Note the still firm grasp of the lollipop and candy package. This is half and hour after the first picture was taken. Posted by Picasa