Friday, September 22, 2006

Color Whiz

Me: Hey Ian, what color is my hair?

Ian: (Long pause)!

(I hate to admit it, but there is some red despite my best efforts for blond. What can I say, my color comes from a box.)

Me: Hmmm, what color is your hair?

Ian: (Looks puzzlingly in the mirror.) Gray.

(This is actually a pretty good answer considering his hair is mostly dark blond with some streaks of light.)

Me: What color is Daddy's hair?

Ian: Gray! (Yep, and I know who helped make it that way.) Black. (There you go!)

Me: What color is Laurel's hair?

Ian: Silver, silver like the van.

Ok, wow, I'm impressed. He's all of 27 months, and he's using similes. Way to go little man!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Roll, roll, roll your body, Gently on the floor...

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Let's do this some more.
(So, so sorry. Lame, I know, but this tune keeps going through my head and I'm trying to find an outlet before I go crazy!)

Seven month old Laurel has been mobile for a couple of months now. She's not quite crawling, in fact, we thought for sure she was going to skip that step until this past week. She has only recently started creeping by dragging her belly, arms outstretched, and toe inching it forward. No, her mobility is not in crawling, but instead by rolling. She manages to get to any object or place her little heart desires by putting her body in full spin. Round and round she goes, where she stops, only Laurel knows.

She begins at the playhouse. So much to do here, but alas, she is a baby and her interest quickly wavers. She looks around for something more interesting and finds...

...rattles and all things chewable. One tooth in and another trying to emerge means TEETHING!

Looky, looky, a ball. Oooohhhh, and a stereo with gobs and gobs of buttons to push.

Score! Ian left his train out, and he's no where to be seen. Finally, she has a chance to play with it.

But wait, a container with all its contents still enclosed? This can not be...SPILL!

The destruction continues...

Mama, enough already with the camera and give me some sweet, nourishing booby juice! NOW!!!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

It'll Stunt Your Growth, Kid

Being ever observant, Ian has picked up on my parents' coffee addiction. Dinosaur cup in hand, grin on face, twinkle in eye, he boldly states...

I is drinking coffee.

I'm just not worth a damn until I've had my morning cup of joe juice.

(Lighten up there buddy, or I'm going to enroll you in a twelve step program.)

Question for all parents/care providers of toddlers: Why won't he eat the bread crust? I'm pretty sure he hasn't seen anyone do this, he just does it naturally. It's like a graveyard of crust remnants.

The only thought that comes to mind, is we've worked on not eating the rind off watermelon and cantaloupe. He might be overgeneralizing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Importance of Grandparents

Happy Belated Grandparent's Day!

Such an important day, and somehow I missed it.

Paul and I feel very lucky to have both sets of our parents live nearby. Our children get to be constantly loved by two Grandmas and two Papas. They are also lucky to have two Great-Grandmas and two Great-Grandpas that live in our state, but unfortunately, are far enough away we only see them two or three times a year.

Ian and Laurel's Grandparents give them experiences that Paul and I just would never be able to find time to do or think of. Conversations, play, stories, gardening, walks, shopping, road trips, songs, laughter, games, phone calls, anticipation, hugs and kisses are just some of the perks for our children.

I know Ian would not be the same person without the influence of his grandparents, and the same will be true of Laurel. It is simply amazing to watch our children interact with our parents. There is so much love between them. Everyday, Ian demands, "Go bye-bye, see Papa and Grandma." Whenever their visit at our house is over, and they leave without taking Ian home with them, he is heartbroken. He frequently tears through the house to grab the phone when he hears their voices. Oh how he loves to pretend objects are phones just so he can call Grandma and Papa to talk to them (a great diaper change distraction by the way). He also loves to look at photoalbums and delightfully point them out.

In addition to all the fun and laughter, grandparents play an important teaching role. They spend their time differently from us parents. Whether it be gardening, talking to family members abroad on the phone, shopping, road trips, or painting, all these activities are taught to our children that would otherwise be missed out on. The vocabulary and ideas Ian has learned thanks to his grandparents are abundant.

Let's face it, the importance of grandparents lies in the very love they feel towards their grandchildren. The hugs, kisses, and laughter make our children know they are important. So Papa and Grandma, go ahead, spoil and enjoy our babies. Let them stew in your love, and they'll turn out nice and juicy!


Papa Dave

Grandma Ann

Papa Chuck

Grandma Edie

Great-Grandma Eva

Great-Grandma Edith

Great-Grandpa Del

Great-Grandpa Ray

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ian's First Time Ever to the...

We are heading to Target, when I spontaneously decide to pass it up. That's right, you heard me, I drive right past our usual turn off, and head straight towards...the...LIBRARY! I don't know what triggered that decision in my brain, but next thing I know, I am parked and getting the stroller out for Laurel. I tell a confused Ian where we are, and what to expect...BOOKS!

I know, it's a crime that I haven't taken my 27 month old son to the library before this. I can hear my husband nodding in agreement (rattle, rattle), especially since I've been spending a small fortune buying books at the stores and online. What can I say, I use to be a teacher. Today, it dawns on me as we are driving to Target, that a person could actually read and reread books (a mandatory activity for parents of todders) for free by checking them out at the library. Wow, what a, no, let me rephrase that...FREE! Well, umm, free that is, if I return them on time. We'll have to wait and see how that goes.

We walk into the children's section of the library, and Ian yells out, "Mommy, books. Books, mommy." He's very excited. Then he shouts, "Mommy, Bob the Builder!" as he points to a humongous quilt displaying said character. My little man's hooked and I now know what kind of book to look for. Laurel just blankly stares at the new surroundings.

I aim the stroller towards the board book section, figuring if we check out books for Ian, I want to make sure they won't rip. The section was certainly easy enough to find, I just followed the sounds of a crying youngster. Ian spots kids playing with wooden puzzles and bead mazes, and runs ahead of me to join in the fun. I realize he's not going to be interested in books for a while, so I let him play. Nearby is a bookshelf that I skim. I start pulling books that I think Ian and/or Laurel will be interested in. Then I spot it, a huge Scoop (from Bob the Builder) board book. Perfect!

I sit down on the floor with Ian and begin reading. "Mommy, again, read Scoop book again."

Success! Ian wants to read this book instead of playing. I barely start reading the book again, when out of nowhere two other eager young fellows show up and try to grab the book out of my hands. Easily enough, I convince them to sit down and join us in the story. The last page is turned, and they all shout out, "Again!"

After the third reading, I decide to let Ian read the book on his own so I can continue looking through the rest of the board books. Unfortunately, one of the other boys grabs it out of Ian's hands and runs off. We never see Scoop again. Poor Ian. He doesn't cry, he just numbly sits there trying to figure out what just happened. What can I say, Ian's not in daycare or in a playgroup and isn't street wise yet.

Laurel starts to get restless and begins crying, cueing that it is time to go. We go to the counter, get Ian's first ever library card (a significant milestone in my opinion), and check out the books on his card. Home we head to read, reread, and rereread these wonderful little treasures.

For the curious:
Ian's favorite book we checked out is School Bus by Donald Crews. We already own Truck and Freight Train by Crews, so I knew it would be a hit.

My favorite book we checked out is The Napping House by Audrey Wood, a sweet, funny story about the ongoing activity during a family's naptime.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Must Be a Full Moon

When I taught elementary school, we always seemed to be able to predict the weather and moon phases based on our students' behaviors. If our classes seemed wild, we knew either a full moon was due, or a storm was heading our way. Sounds silly, but it always seemed too coincidental.

Yesterday, after eating lunch, Laurel, Ian, and I head upstairs for our very routine naptime. Diapers changed, stories read, Laurel goes right to sleep. Ian, however, is restless. After an hour of getting him to settle down, I think he has fallen asleep and take the opportunity to jump into the shower.

Right as I'm rinsing out the conditioner in my hair, the bathroom door swings wide open, quickly followed by a bouncing, ecstatic Ian. He's smiling ear to ear. "Hi, mommy, hi!"

I decide to ignore him and continue with my shower. "Hi, mommy, hi!"

I still ignore him. Ian puts his determined, smiling face up against the transparent shower curtain and yells, "HI, MOMMY, HI!"

Holding fast, I continue giving him no response, hoping he'll give up and go back to his room. But then I hear something that needs my attention, Laurel is crying. No, make that Laurel is screaming.

Quickly, I rinse off any remaining soap, turn off the water, grab a towel and run past Ian towards Laurel's room. The second my eyes look inside her room, I only see white. There are baby wipes completely covering the floor. Walking on wet wipes, I peer into Laurel's crib. Her face is bright red from screaming. And no wonder, she's lying in the middle of towels, wash cloths, burp cloths, and blankets. Poor thing, buried alive. Fortunately, all these items are soft and light.

I scoop up Laurel and soothe her, while having Ian pick up the baby wipes, all the time repeating, "Baby wipes stay in the package, baby wipes don't go on the floor." This activity is followed by him putting all of Laurel's linens back into the drawer. It took every ounce of my strength to not laugh at Mr. Ian during all of this.

Yes, we had a storm last night, and double yes, there is a full moon tonight. Aye carumba!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lesson via Ian-Style

It never ceases to amaze me, that it is we parents who are continually learning from our children.

Paul occasionally scores Diamondback baseball tickets through the company he works for. Ah, not just any tickets mind you, he gets Suite Tickets, and this time he got the entire suite! This includes three parking passes, two of which are reserved. All together now...sweet.

Paul needs to find bodies to fill the seats, not the easiest thing to do when the game is on a weekday afternoon. He calls friends and family. Fortunately, our friends Chris and Beth are able to go and bring along their daughter Riley. Ian now has a playmate for the game. Things are looking great!

Beth decides to stop by on her way home from work to pick up the tickets. I'm upstairs giving my dark and graying roots a salon treatment out of a box, while Paul watches the kids. Eventually, I hear Beth's voice and decide to say, hello. Looking down from the top of the staircase, I see Beth looking through Ian's toys and Paul looking at things around the room. Ian is excitedly running around the room wearing a huge smile. I'm curious, "Hi guys, what's going on?"

Puzzled and still scanning the room, Paul yells up, "Oh, I put Beth's tickets on the side table. I think Ian took them and put them somewhere."

Well, of course, naturally. Evidently, we still have not learned the age old lesson: anything within a toddler's reach should be considered GONE!

Trying to be helpful, I ask my happy-go-lucky son, "Ian, where did you put the tickets?"

Pointing at the den, he yells, "There!" He then bounces towards the den, Paul following close behind. No luck.

I try to think of all the places Ian has been interested in lately. Could the tickets be under the couch or between the cushions? In the trash or recycle bin? On the bookshelf? With his train set or car collection? Under the refrigerator or stove? In the VCR? In the air vent? In the toilet? Repeatedly the answer is no (thank goodness especially on that last one).

This could go on all night, so I tell Beth to take our tickets. We'll keep looking and hopefully find the others. We may have to put Ian under a bright light and interrogate him, but we'll find the tickets. Relunctantly, she takes our tickets and heads home.

Looking around the family room where the tickets were last seen, I repeatedly ask Ian, "Where are the tickets?"

He is all giggles as he points to different locations and delightfully squeals, "There!"

Paul and I search everyplace Ian directs us, but alas, no sign of baseball tickets. Finally it dawns on me, Ian spends a lot of time playing with items on the shelves by the laundry room. Extremely hopeful to solve this mystery, I practically run to the location and search under and between things on the shelves. I take my purse off the shelf and a stack of tickets falls to the floor. Oh glorious day, I found the tickets! A quick phone call to Beth to ease her worried mind, and then a hug for Ian for reminding us of yet another toddlerism.

Lesson learned, we do not put anything we want to see again on a surface that is shorter than four feet high. Of course, this height restriction will change as Ian grows, or when he learns to use a step ladder, chair, or similar object to get what he wants.

Ian and Laurel enjoying a walk during the 7th inning.

There's plenty of room to play in the suite. Give it up Ian, Riley just isn't interested in trading her cars for your space shuttle.