Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dear Lord it has been over a month since I wrote.

Some of you may know that we moved. Some of you may have, indeed, helped so much that you legitimately have a claim to one of the (newly painted) kitchen cabinets. We very much appreciate that, and now if whoever took the camera cords that allow me to download pictures could just send that back, we will be able to post pictures of our little runts for you all. Seriously. Where did they go? I think it is about time to just go buy another one, but Mat keeps reminding me that we own TWO, because, you know, TWO camera cords that you can't find are so much more useful than one camera cord that you can't find.

Everyone seems to have adjusted very well to the new digs. Betty is really enjoying our lack of fenced yard and her 4 walks a day because of it, not to mention all the dog-friendly contractors we have working in the house, so the countless extra pets she gets. The house is much more light filled than our old house, so Sadie has twice as many sunspots to lie in(also I keep leaving clean laundry on the dining room table because I am a slow learner, so she has a nice puffy bed to fill with long white hairs). Our basement is about as big as our entire old house, so Mishka can finally live her life the way she has always wanted- as an entirely subterranean animal. I feel like we have a pet mole. Simon has no idea that we ever lived anywhere else (or, really, that we live in a "house."), and Claire Helen loves that she can ride her car in big figure eights around the living room and dining room, and that she can run run run run run down the hall from the playroom to the guest room, and then FLOP onto the bed.*

Claire Helen is entering that stage where she becomes utterly and completely devoted to one or two things for approximately 4 nanoseconds at a time, before completely abandoning them as though they'd never existed. This week we are on trucks and ducks. She identifies trucks every time we pass by them, or they pass by the house. A surprising number of trucks pass by the house every day. They are digging up a street near our house- one that is on our walking route from here to her friend Claire's house- so every time we pass by, we spend a good deal of time agreeing that yes, they have a truck. A YELLOW truck. And a RED truck. And look! The YELLOW truck is back! Either this delights the road crew or they think we are hatching a terrorist plot. I can't tell. Her love affair with ducks started last weekend when we were on a walk. We saw some by the side of a trail, and stopped to watch them for a good long while. As we left, we said "bye bye" to the ducks, and thanked them for the fun. Now, whenever we have a lull in our day, Claire Helen asks to see them by reinacting the event- "Outside! Duck! Bye bye! Thank you! Bye bye! Outside! Thank you!" (the thank you is signed) and pointing urgently toward the stroller and pushing her shoes into my lap.

She also thinks she has learned how to jump, which is adorable. I'll say "Can you jump? Jump!", and she'll bend her legs, and say "jump!" as she straightens them quickly. She also thinks jumping is something you only do on the fireplace. Not sure why.

Simon has gotten awfully baby like, and less newborn like. I am constantly surprised at how different he is from his sister. When she was his age (and even now), she loved being flown around quickly in the air, or bounced in big, huge bounces on my knee. Simon thinks this is about as fun as skydiving without a parachute, and will look extremely startled if you try to do this to him, and once you have finally stopped the madness, will make a big frowny face for about a minute before the pressure finally gets to be too much and he starts to cry. Poor little guy with his daredevil mother.

He always gives us that long warning period, if he is unhappy about something. About a minute of the pouty face, and then another 30 seconds of a high pitched sigh before he starts into the serious cry. He wants us to succeed, I think.

Simon is a people person, extremely so. He lights up whenever he can tell someone is looking at him, and would play "call and response" all day. His carseat is right next to Claire Helen's in the car because he cries when he can't look at her, and in fact really only cries in the car when she won't look at him. He is sunny and grinny and giggly, and so I am forgiving him for the fact that he seems to have preternatural strength and coordination, portending possible early baby mobility. The other day he was scooching during tummy time, something he shouldn't be doing for months yet(in addition to the rolling over he does like it's no big thing) if you ask me.

We are having a nice time and enjoying the return of the sun after an uncharacteristically gloomy Seattle winter. In a little while we are going to the dog park (because Betty is not nearly spoiled enough...) and then Mat has arranged babysitting as an early Valentine's Day present, so we're going to see a play. Neat, huh?

By hook or by crook, we're going to have pictures soon, I promise.

* when she runs, she pulls her elbows up to her side, and puts her little fists out in front of her chest, and her whole body twists side to side with each step. It's very cute, but you can tell she's taking herself very seriously, because she dips her head forward and watches the floor to make sure it doesn't jump up and trip her.

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