Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No picture post.

Claire Helen's favorite things, not quite 21 months:

Buses. Far and away the favorite thing of the moment. Inscrutably, "Wheels on the Bus" is extremely unpopular, but everything else bus related is in its hey-day around here. Whenever we drive anywhere, we play "find the bus," and she loves to talk about meeting daddy after he gets off the bus, and loading up this little plastic bus we got her at the Multiples Club Sale. Farm animals, cheese, legos, whatever. They all get bus rides.

Bossing. I've mentioned this before, but she still finds it so fun. What a great oldest child she is. Simon is not yet really old enough for bossing, but mommy and Betty are just the right age for it. Whenever she has something that is seeming to interest Betty (by which I mean food), she will walk around the house clutching it to her chest announcing "mise." Ex, "Mise. Mise. Mise waffle." or "Mise raisin." When we go on walks, she likes to simultaneously help push Simon in the stroller and hold Betty's leash("I help push. Mise leash. Mise Betty."). She likes directing me as we go about our day. You cannot imagine the number of tasks mommy does not do quite right.

Blue. Nuff said. Yesterday I found her after nap trying to put on some turquoise shorts to go with her turquoise shirt and boots.

Drawing. We got her an art set, and she has been going hog wild with it this week. She still gets the most excited when she gets one of my pens- she knows they are forbidden items, and her eyes get as big as saucers when she finds one in her hands- but she thinks markers are pretty cool too. Especially the blue one.

Aquatic animals. She loves to tell you what a seal says(while spinning around, since we saw a seal in a 25 foot floor to ceiling aquarium spinning and flipping the other day) and find fish. I have been trying to tell her that whales and dolphins only look like fish, but really they are mammals like you and me, but she thinks I am crazy as a loon when I say this.

Also high on her list are books- we usually read for a couple hours a day, bicycles, watches, and cleaning up messes.

Simon's favorite things, not quite 4 months:

Hands. They are so powerful! They can bring him things! They can go in his mouth! They are amazing. Just today he learned to really reach for things smoothly- not like the robot arms they have to start with- really see something, then just grab it. Go Simon!

Kitties! He loooooves the kitties. More precisely, he loves Sadie as Mishka has learned about small children and doesn't appear upstairs during daylight hours. When we are sitting in the living room, he practically jumps over me to get at Sadie, who sits on top of the big cushy chair pretending we have never introduced these small drooly menaces into her life. He doesn't care one whit about Betty, but looooooves the kitties. So soft! And clumps of hair come off when you grab her!

Sitting up. He is getting pretty close to being able to do this indefinitely on his own, but for now I put a pillow on either side of him and hand him a toy to play with while Claire Helen and I make balls and snakes out of playdough. He wobbles his head and grins at me because he is playing like a big kid! And then when I smile back at him he says "Auuooog." And then drops his toy because who has time for a stupid toy when you are having a conversation?

Himself. Specifically in the mirror. He thinks he is so handsome. There is a mirror on his bouncy chair, and whenever he spies himself in it he goes "thbbbt."

Other people. Seriously, how did he get this out of our genes? I suppose we are related to social people, but Mat and I are both so unlikely to talk to strangers in a bar that it's hard to believe we spawned such a social little guy. He smiles for all the old ladies in the grocery line, and every toddler who comes to investigate him at playgroups. He delights everyone who meets him.

Falling asleep while his father holds him on his shoulder. He fights it for as long as he can, and hold onto Mat's collar with one fist, until finally his head droops and his eyes close.

Sparkly things. I think maybe even more than your average baby. He is transfixed by his sister when she plays dress-up, and will drop anything- even a boob- to get to a candy wrapper if he sees one.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I didn't finish that last post. There was supposed to be text with it, but blogger went down, and then last night there were all sorts of baby emergencies. You know how babies are.

Claire Helen sleeps in a big girl bed! The transition went so much more smoothly than I ever thought it would. To be honest, I expected about 3 months of nobody sleeping. I had always intended to keep Claire Helen in her crib until she went away to college, if I could get away with it, and the recent advent of incredible climbing ability thwarted my sleeping plans significantly. Now how am I supposed to keep her from sneaking out as a teenager?

Two weeks ago I found her with one leg slung over the top of her crib railing, so we decided to order a big girl bed before she fell on her head. We spent all week talking up the big girl bed, so that by the time it came in last Thursday she was practically apoplectic with glee when I told her the boxes at the door were the long talked about bed. "Big! Girl! Bed! BIGGIRLBED! Big! Girl! Bed!", she'd squeal, while spinning around and trying to simulaneously hug the box. She and I put it together, and that night we did the normal routine and started silent returns.* Unfortunately she caught a stomach bug and barfed all night starting about an hour into the returns (oh so cute!** She'd come to her door and then try crawling or scooching on her butt or tiptoeing out to see what we'd do, and then runrunrun back to her bed laughing when she'd hear us coming to take her back), so, uh, we aborted and she slept with us. The next day by nap she was feeling better, so we tried again, and only had to take her back to her bed twice.

And that was it. All of it. Now she goes down immediately after the routine and stays there till the end of nap (when she comes to the top of the stairs and barks "Mommy! Up here! Mommy now up here!") or the morning, when she walks into our room (we all are upstairs, and she's across the hall from us), leans on the bed, and says "Mooooorning. Milk? Where is Si-Si?"

* This is where you take them back to their beds 3 times, explaining it's time for bed, and we stay there until morning. The third time you say you are going to take them back to their bed whenever they come out of their room and not say anything else until morning. You're not supposed to laugh, even when they do the Hokey Pokey from behind a mostly closed door, so I am very bad at them.

** Not the barfing. That was sad.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poor Flop the kangaroo is bearing the brunt of her "sleeping smooshed up against something" habit. Posted by Picasa

Unbelievable. Posted by Picasa

On kite hill, extremely serious about her fake dog leash holding duties. Posted by Picasa

Simon is notahugefan of the sun. Poor little vampire baby. Posted by Picasa

Claire Helen sees her first kite Posted by Picasa

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Saying hi to a flower Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The kids are 20 and 3 months, respectively

So Simon gets his picture taken! He is always thrilled about that. Actually, I shouldn't joke. He is thrilled about pretty much everything we do, aside from taking him into the snow today, which impeded his access to the boobs (my extra layers). And also putting him the carseat, as he is convinced we have just left him on the jungle floor for a python to come eat. But anything else.

I don't think there has ever been such a sunny, happy baby. Whenever he can see anyone, he giggles and coos and even belly laughs for them. If they get close enough he'll reach out to grab their nose and maybe blow a raspberry at them. Everything about him says LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! Pleeeeeease look at me! He is the paragon of baby flirting behavior, so good at making you feel he really loves you, and only you(long time readers may recall that Claire Helen, at this age, mostly wanted to know what in the hell was wrong with you that you would make such weird cooing noises at her. Were you having an epileptic seizure? Should she call someone?). The easiest way to get a belly laugh, however, is to hold him upside down. Apparently my children are bats, as this was Claire Helen's favorite position around this age as well. I am such a sucker for his rolling, gurgling laugh, though, that I would hold him that way all day if he wanted. Man it's cute.

He has discovered toys, and oh what a wonderful world they are. You can almost hear him saying "Duuuuuuuuuude" as the dragonfly passes by on his carseat mobile (in an effort to lower the decibel level in our car, we have attached all manner of bright, shiny, noisy things to his carseat. It looks like a deranged Christmas tree back there, but at least it distracts him- if only mommentarily- from his imminent death-by-python). He whips his head around and eyes his rattle very suspiciously before trying to make his hands grab it when I shake it off to the side. He is working very hard on reaching for things, and sometimes can grasp whatever it is he's going for, but you can tell he doesn't quite know why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. We're cheering for him.

Claire Helen has been busy learning all sorts of things. I love this age. I don't understand why toddlers get such a bad rap. It's fantastic. She is old enough to realize that some things are wonderful and out of the ordinary. We went to the zoo last weekend, and I thought her eyes might pop right out of her head when she saw a peacock. Today we went sledding up in the moutains (so so nice to live in a place where it's sunny and gorgeous, but you can drive up to the mountains to sled!), and she was clearly taken with the snow- you can dig in it, but it won't make you dirty. ("snow no mess?") She and Mat sledded down a long, gentle hill, and she would say "Dop!" when Mat was supposed to stop, and "Doooooh" when he was supposed to go.

And oh she has fun bossing the dog. Everyday, all day, it's "Bay-ee, Sit! Bay-ee, Bess! No! Bess!(place) Off!" Betty ignores every bit of it, but Claire Helen is so proud when Betty is on her way to her pillow and she orders her to her place. When Betty gets there, she turns and beams at me, one hand still on her hip, the other pointing pointedly at the pillow. Last night she learned how to jump (but then continued bending and straightening her legs while saying "Claire jump!" without catching any air for half an hour to see if we would keep clapping for her). She worships older children- even more than most toddlers- and will while away a whole afternoon watching four year olds dig at the park while the other toddlers climb and slide and swing. She's such a quiet soul.

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Simon laughing Posted by Picasa

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He still likes standing up, but standing has been usurped by a new favorite past time- attempting to sit up. He can sit in a tripod position for a few seconds at a time (never on camera. Le sigh.), and is so pleased with himself when he does. He really wants a bigger role in how he views the world. Posted by Picasa

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Guess who can count to five? Hint: Not Simon. Posted by Picasa

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Last weekend Mat's aunt was in town visiting her son, so we had all the area cousins over for dinner (a full house!). Aunt Mary made all the girls chicken feed sack skirts, so we had a little fashion show. Cousin Greta really seemed to like Claire Helen, and carried her around the house every chance she got. Posted by Picasa

Claire Helen did not always appreciate being carried around. Posted by Picasa