Sunday, October 08, 2006

Oh internets, it has been a long time. I have lots of excuses (who doesn't?), but I have to tell you that getting those pictures up has been an epic journey involving Costco, multiple technological failures, and some very colorful German language. Hopefully the little people didn't pick up too much, or if they did it will be unintelligible when they repeat it at preschool.

I would say we had a great September, but those pictures you see under Claire Helen's first day of school portraits are of our trip to Minnesota and Iowa for Mat's grandma's funeral. She was 99, and in great health for 97 of those years. We dearly wish Simon had gotten to know her, but were grateful for the opportunity the funeral gave for us to visit family. It was particularly thrilling for me to see Claire Helen and her cousin Mara get to know each other. I'm excited for a few months from now when Simon, who is even closer in age to his cousin than big sister is, can play too.

Speaking of the mister, he's been walking lately. Not a whole lot- about a month ago he started taking a step or so, not really on purpose, but not just a toe brush while on his way to falling down either. For about the last ten days, he's been taking 3 steps once a day. It's a baby training regimen. It's a little dance he does, chasing the cat as she tries to escape his freakishly strong grip. Step.....stepstep, then drop to crawl. I keep waiting for him to take off; he's got the balance now, and has had the strength for a while, but he just doesn't. He's a pretty fast crawler, and has a healthy circumspection regarding newly acquired bipedal abilities and toddler sisters. He's probably wise to wait.

He's also a little chattier. At 10 months, Simon says* Mom-mom (mama, there is something wrong, give me that waffle), bau-bau (nurse), Hay-o (hello) and bop (pick me up). He loves sparkly things, rocks, the dog bowl, "Old Macdonald Had a Farm," chasing big balls around, and lining up baby dolls(we have 3- he collects them from around the playroom and lines them up, occasionally covering them with a blanket, often pausing to gnaw on a nose). Much to Claire Helen's chagrin, he is also utterly smitten with her doll stroller(What IS it with babies and doll strollers? All of them, to the child, they all love them.), and schemes and schemes to get to play with it when she's not looking. He does not love getting his face washed off, extended carseat rides, and when I walk away. He's 29.5 inches tall and not quite 21 pounds- a long skinny string bean of a boy.

I believe I have also been remiss in not mentioning that he is mellow. He actually is, and in fact when other people come across him in the world that's they way they describe him. "What a mellow little guy! He's quite serious, isn't he? Well, I don't think I've ever heard him cry!" And they are right, he is mellow, extremely so. Just not as mellow as Claire Helen was, and since she was my first it turns out she's my set of norms for baby behavior. His brand of mellowness also has a different sort of character. Claire Helen has a lot of things going on when she's quietly looking, and I am often astounded by the connections she makes when she doesn't appear at all involved in a situation. There is judgment behind her impassive gaze, as well. Strangers are either to pass or fail, and are generally sized up for their potential to address her directly (the horror). She's happy enough, of course, she just doesn't see why she should perform at some strangers request. I can respect that. Simon is just...waiting. He's just watching, and if he's looked at enough will start bouncing and smiling, but for the moment he'll just watch, thanks. He finds this all very interesting.

Claire Helen is enjoying her new preschool, and talks about her friends there constantly, even begging to go on off days. I take these as good signs. She has lately taken another leap in imaginative play, and I am enjoying it very much. One of her favorite games is to pretend she's a fork and tell the inhabitants of the living room(animate and otherwise) that she might try to eat them. Who thinks of that? When she is not asking me to read her a book (rare) or to go see Claire Jane(rarer still) she spends a lot of time building different kinds of boats with her legos and dressing up as a ballerina.

She has never had a smooth relationship with sleep and has recently decided to forgo daytime sleeping altogether. Thank God for preschool days, man, or we would probably all 3 be liquored up by dinner. 13 hours is a lot of hours in a row of mommy and toddler time. I can only read so much Olivia before that little pig starts to look pretty darn annoying. She's not very nice to her mother, you know.

I hope you all are well, and that I can get myself back here sooner next time. A whole month of life is a lot to cram into one little post.

* Hee hee. Simon says. Get it? Ha.

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