Sunday, November 20, 2011

We have a winner!

After months of "talking", David has yet to utter a multi-syllable, actual discernibly English, word. That is, until this evening.

Don't get me wrong, we are very proud of the way he is developing communication skills, trying to get across his message as best he can and announcing proudly those things he has words for, like "ball", "dog", "please", and the newest one, "light". But, let's face it, unless you know him well it is unlikely that you would understand much of anything he says outside the usual "Mommy" and "Daddy".

Back to the subject at hand. His first multi-syllable word. Here's a little hint.

Yes, folks... "cookie". And he repeated it to Cory multiple times, pointing to the pile of chocolate chip cookies on the kitchen counter, one of which he was hoping to devour.

We were so proud, we couldn't say no now, could we? :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life right now.

I'm in the process of assembling David's baby book (better late than never), and the task has me a bit sentimental about how he has grown in his brief 20 months. Had I not recorded some of the seemingly mundane and intricate details of everyday life on this blog and in my scrapbooks, I might have lost those memories forever since it took me so long to get around to the final project.

Of course every little detail of life can't, and probably shouldn't, be documented. Sometimes the process of documentation itself can get in the way of living life. I can be guilty of letting that happen. But it's still so fun to recall the little things once enough time has passed to let those memories vanish. You just can't do that unless you write those details down.

Enough philosophizing. My point in bringing this all up is that while looking over my journal entries for baby book material, I realize how long it's been since I made a little list of David's here-and-nows. I think I'll regret not having done this in the future. I'm gonna do that right now.

  • In the past few days, he has figured out how to shake his head "no".  Grreaattt.
  • He loves his wooden rocking horse made by Great-Granddad Calvert. He rocks back and forth so vigorously that I'm afraid he might flip it one day. No guts, no glory.
  • He's quickly become a Sesame Street junkie. He asks to watch it regularly (pointing to the TV and pleading "tree! tree!"), and somehow already knows the names of the characters. I watched this show as a kid and I turned out OK, so it can't be all bad, right? Just wish they'd bring back Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.
  • Still loving books. I leave a few in his crib during naps and I often find him quietly flipping through them once he wakes up.
  • He is an eager helper around the house. Chores include putting items in the trash, getting his diaper and wipes out for a diaper change then throwing the dirty diaper in the can afterward, helping me put wet clothes in the dryer, and getting out his socks or clothes to get dressed. The look on his face is priceless during all of these tasks. He is just so darn PROUD of himself. And he should be. My little helper, and he's not even two.
  • He adores stickers. Loves his sticker book, and the stickers that the bank tellers or grocery clerks give him for his shirt on outings. I was at Anthropologie a few weeks ago and he pounded his shirt when the sales girl spoke to him at the register. He wanted a sticker, and they didn't have any. I guess not too many brave moms venture in that stores with toddlers in tow, so they weren't properly equipped.
  • His temperament is changing a bit. He's still calm most of the time, but he's become prone to passionate outbursts, both of the funny and the angry variety. We are working hard at consistent and firm discipline. And when I say "we", I don't just mean Cory and me. David is clearly trying to discipline us as well. We just continue to try to follow that age-old tenant of toddler-rearing: don't ever let him win. Even if it means leaving a Sprint store red-faced and sweating from restraining him for 20 minutes in a desperate effort to keep him from running amuck amongst the displays. Not only did I win that battle, but I think I got faster service because they were trying to get me (us, really) the heck out of there.
  • He has recently started saying "Mom-my" and "Dad-dy", instead of just "Mom" and "Dad". We both love this.
  • Before we leave the house, we are required to say "bye" to everything. The TV, the toilet, the kitchen sink, the remote. Everything. And then we're off like a herd of turtles.
  • He's just so darn much fun.

These are just a few details of our everyday life. I'm sure they will change in no time. Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My music man...

David has enjoyed a tune since very early on. I think the first jingles that caught his ear were of the commercial variety, I'm embarrassed to admit (Unique Home Solutions has been and continues to be his favorite, unfortunately). The more repetitive the melody the better.

His tastes have matured over the months, thanks to my trusty iPod and a few playlists I created for him. Combining Frank Sinatra, Train, and some good old '70s children's music (think "Free to Be You and Me" for example, google it and I guarantee you'll recognize the song) was the lucky charm, and the ambience created by these strange conglomerations has soothed many a fussy moment and entertained through many a dinner time.

He loves Bob Marley, Adele, OkGo and Muse.  He DOES NOT like Coldplay, Guns 'n' Roses, or any other of my '80s hairband rock (and yes, I still listen to this junk sometimes, my apologies to those of you with more refined tastes).  He dances, can't help it.  His feet just have to MOVE. And if he's stuck in his highchair then well, he just does this adorable move where he puts his chin to his chest, lowers his eyes and shakes his head from side to side. Not quite to the beat, but you get the picture.  Simply adorable.

Until recently, the iPod itself has been off limits. The docking station sits on top of the microwave, and after arriving to the kitchen for mealtime it is the first thing that David points to and asks to have turned on. So, now that he can sit in a big person's chair, I could not resist the urge to give him the iPod + docking station and let him go to town. The selection for this moment was an Allison Krauss and Robert Plant collaboration.  I love it myself.  And judging by these pictures, he does, too.

Let the music play!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zoo Boo

It was a beautiful Saturday, so knowing there won't be many more of these left in the year we headed down to the Indianapolis Zoo this afternoon for their annual Halloween celebration, Zoo Boo.

Although David couldn't have cared less whether he was costumed or not, we dressed him up anyway in this little chicken suit I found at Old Navy last weekend.  I chose it for the price and the simple fact that it was one of the few things left available in his size that wasn't pink or glittery in some way. And, let's face it, this might be my last year of being a benevolent dictator when it comes to choosing a costume, so I figured I might as well pick out something cute. Next year he'll probably ask to be the Incredible Hulk or something. Made of fleece and more like a sweatsuit than a goofy get-up, it kept him comfy and toasty warm in the chill air.  AND he looked incredibly adorable, which goes without saying.  We must have had twenty compliments.

He enjoyed the exhibits and gawking at all of the other kids in their costumes. He "trick-or-treated" a bit and devoured his first candy, a Twizzler.  (I know, ridiculous that we waited this long, just trying to avoid passing on my own sweet tooth too early).

He rode the carousel with Cory, which spun backwards as a little weird Halloween twist. He only screamed a bit in protest when it came time to disembark, a tradition he started at the State Fair this year. A little embarrassing, but as long as we can still carry him away, we're good.

I was able to capture his flirtatious gaze, one in which he is perfecting. The lady sitting next to me on a bench was the lucky recipient of this precious face. My little heartbreaker.

It was so crowded I couldn't get decent pictures of him checking out the animals, but oh well. Sometimes I get so caught up in capturing moments that I forget to enjoy them while they are happening. This is the best one I could get of him against the glass with a tiger pacing within mere inches (he's the little white and orange blob, upper right corner). He did a little excited dance when it came near, and was fearless.

All in all we had a ball. We are continually amazed at his good spirit and adventurousness. With his newfound independence he can be a handful at times, but he seems to know when we're trying to do something special for him. I love that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For Cory's birthday I surprised him with a family portrait session by a local photographer, Katherine Scheele. The setting for our photos was our beloved downtown Zionsville, the time a gorgeous October afternoon.

I agonized over our outfit choices, worried about the weather, fretted about David's mood and willingness to have his picture taken.

The results were nothing less than amazing. Katherine is an artist. We couldn't be happier.

I'll let the images speak for themselves...


She captured our family so perfectly. I will treasure these forever.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dear David,

"Dah" was one of your first words. When you see a dog, it brings instant joy and curiosity, an eagerness to get a bit closer. It's how we lure you away from the playground, to point out a dog and follow it right out of the park. It's the only way, really, that we avoid hauling you away kicking and screaming, engaged in a full-scale tantrum, reluctant to leave. You are always eager to follow that puppy, see where it's going, what it's doing. Big ones, little ones, mean ones, nice ones, you don't care. Any dog is your instant friend, at least from your point of view.

When we're outside, you plop down on the property line and watch the neighbor's yard in hopes that one of their puppies might appear. When they do, you are elated. You point them out on TV, in books. You throw your puppy blanket over our heads and demand that we "woof". And we do, every time.

Although the loss of our beloved Sammy and Casper still seems like yesterday to us, it was ages ago on your scale of development. When they were still around, you were barely mobile. You didn't say much, and seemed only mildly aware of their presence, having yet to do that jig of excitement that the sight of a dog brings on these days. Sure, you were anxious to get at them (much to their dismay), but at that time you were into just about anything and everything anyway. You didn't appreciate the fact that you had such treasured objects, the future objects of your passionate affection, in your very own home. That makes me a little sad.

We'd give you just about anything, we really would. But we've got to draw the line somewhere. Time is so precious. We want to enjoy YOU and OUR LIVES and still have a little time to breathe. And I'll be honest, I want a clean house, at least as clean as your toddler self will allow. A puppy just doesn't fit into that plan, at least right now.

Maybe by the time you can read this we will be ready to bite the bullet. Until then, the plastic dog at Old Navy will just have to do. By the looks of this picture, that might just be enough to keep you happy.

Love, Mom

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Instagram Love

Got an iPhone yesterday when Cory changed cellular services for his business. Having limited technological savvy, I was only a recent convert to an Android even though it seems everyone else has been using "smart" phones for ages. And I admit there was only one real reason that I was willing to yet again learn a new device, a little gem of an app that my many online scrapbook acquaintances have been raving about.  Instagram.

Instagram takes seemingly mundane, everyday camera phone photos and transforms them into little works of art with a few simple clicks. Just check out this picture I snapped of David at the mall today and you'll see what I mean. Sweet.

Here's another photo, taken by Dad while we were visiting in Perry County a few weeks back, transformed by one of Instagram's photo filters:

If you have an iPhone, download this free app and "follow" me. You'll see the pics I plan on uploading frequently now that I have the ability.

Technology continues to amaze me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lesson learned.

We had planned to head to Columbus, OH this weekend to peruse an antiques fair and explore the reknowned Columbus Zoo. We scrapped our plans after incurring an expensive car repair a few weeks back, so we found ourselves with a "free" weekend here at home. What to do, what to do?

Yesterday morning, after completing the typical morning routine, we sat around and debated the many possibilities before us. Fountain Square antiquing, Irish Fest, Country Fair at Connor Prairie, a jaunt about downtown Zionsville, a hike at Eagle Creek.... all of these came up as possibilities. What should we do to make our weekend great? Exhausted by our choices, we gave up and decided to simply take a walk, stopping at the little park behind the elementary school.

And the ideal thing-to-do pretty much fell into our laps. Who knew a seemingly mundane playground would provide us with such entertainment.

He absolutely loved the tunnel slide. Went down by himself many times, laughing all the way.

Cory even took him down a twisting tunnel slide on the bigger kids.  The above photo looks disturbing but trust me, they are both laughing. And VERY static-y.  Ha!

Who says a major outing is necessary to make a weekend great?  Lesson learned.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Using a spoon?

I caught David "using" a spoon the other morning. And whereas I'm sure you would enjoy this video thoroughly even without my annotation, there are a few interesting things to note:
  • Please forgive the first few dizzying seconds. I use my Android to tape him now (so handy), so I have to approach him with stealth or else he will stop what he's doing. I start the taping out of his earshot (it beeps) and walk toward him acting like I'm using my phone for something else. It fools him. For now.
  • He is eating cantaloupe. A current favorite.
  • Note the bagel-sniffing. It was blueberry, and was rejected as you will see. Not sure what was so offensive about it. I'm afraid he's become somewhat of a picky eater.
  • Even though the clip is quite short, this process went on for the entire meal.
  • I have shown this to everyone who will watch it at work, so now it's your turn:

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Bon appetit!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

He's got wheels...

In recent weeks, I've watched David attempt, multiple times, to get behind the wheel of a plastic army Jeep he got from his Uncle Ian.  Mind you, this toy was designed for Barbie-sized GI Joe dolls, not 27ish pound toddler bodies.  Needless to say, the few times he was actually successful perching on the little thing it didn't last long (he inevitably always tipped over, oops!), and he wasn't able to really go anywhere.  Pretty funny to watch, though.

So when I saw the Cozy Coupe at Toys 'r' Us yesterday, I had to let him take it for a test drive.  He was instantly smitten.  He grinned as he climbed behind the wheel, honked the little horn, and scooted around the store, Fred Flintstone style.  This trial, however, was not well thought out by me.  Since actually leaving the store in the car was not an option, I had to remove an emotionally labile, tormented by teething, very grumpy 17-month-old from a coveted toy, and I had no way of explaining that we were buying the silly thing.  Nope.  So, he threw a giant fit, attracting the stares and craning necks of our fellow shoppers.  We got out of there pretty fast, red-faced, with our very own Cozy Coupe.  Before the giant fit we had already decided to buy it, I swear.

Once home, Cory slaved to assemble it as David (very impatiently) waited for him to finish. Once it was together, we took it outside for a test drive.  OK, as you can see by these pictures, he was not willing to wait until we got outside, but we eventually did make it out there as well.

I don't know what it is about this thing, but I think its about the cutest thing ever.  And the Cozy Coupe's pretty cute, too.  ;)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trying something new...

I've been so busy living life lately, I haven't been blogging it.  And where that's not necessarily a bad thing, I'm sure I will come to regret it in the future, especially when life slows down a little. And it inevitably will.

So this marks my first Android-powered blog post.  We'll see how it turns out before I make any proclamations regarding more to come...

We'd planned on visiting the splash park today, but due to the heat (again), we thought an indoor pursuit might be more comfortable.  Plus, isn't it every 16 month old's dream to spend a Sunday afternoon antiquing?  At least it was the dream if this newly-minted 37 year old. So that's what we did.

We ventured to Noblesville, hoping for another find like my WWI nursing recruitment poster I got there several years ago.  No luck there, so we had root beer floats on the square. Deeee-liscious.

Then on to a children's store called The Wild, where we got David his first puzzle.  Had fun looking around there.  Love buying from independent merchants.  They are a dying breed.

Like a junkie, I just HAD to find a treasure, so we stopped at Westfield Antique Mall.  There, I hit the jackpot.  Got a glass citrus juicer, a Fire King measuring cup, a set of three flower frogs, and a coveted locker basket.  Found so many other treasures too but had to leave something behind for the next guy.

I can't believe how good of a sport David is on these types of excursions, we are truly lucky.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Broadripple Art Fair 2011

I guess it's old news now, but the three of us spent the day at the Broadripple Art Fair last Sunday and we had a fabulous time. Cory and I have been going for years, and always enjoy ourselves immensely.  At a mere two months old last year, David merely tolerated the event.  But this year, he seemed to really take it all in, and it was so heartwarming to see and feel him enjoying himself doing something already pretty special to Cory and me.

It was very warm, and waves of thunderstorms and rain showers rolled through.  We still managed to fit in some incredible shopping, eating, drinking, and people-watching.  And, as usual, I was incredibly inspired being surrounded by such creativity.

One of the first booths we hit was the Art Farm. The artists there construct utilitarian objects out of vintage finds, including clocks, lamps, jewelry, and other treasures. I bought a clock from them a few years ago, and was heartbroken that they were absent last year.  Talking to the artist, I discovered that they were actually not invited (shocking!), but boy was I glad to see they were back.  It was not a question of if, but what I would buy from them.  The clock on the far left was destined to come home with me at the end of the day.

David added another wooden truck to his collection from the same vendor we got his train from last year, as well as three smaller wheeled toys.  I just love the simplicity and beauty of their design, and they have already become David's go-to toys in the living room.  I love that out of the most intricate, technologically advanced playthings he has, he still picks the most simple as his favorite.

After this bit of shopping, we took a break in the shade to enjoy our lunch.  We also tried to pose for some pictures in the prime lighting.  This first picture cracks me up.  We both have the same slightly uncomfortable smirk on our faces as I try to force David to hold still.

Cory is always a bit  more successful than I am to get him to hold still for a picture.  Once again, David looks pretty uncomfortable, but more in the manner of a contortionist.

Lightening and thunder threatened right after lunch, so we headed inside the Art Center to wait it out, along with a few hundred (thousand?) other people.  We took that opportunity to try to get David to take a snooze.  Once the clouds cleared and we were back outside, I peeked into the top of the covered stroller, and this was what I saw.   Oops.  At least he was smiling.

Eventually he did succumb to the sandman, and took a nice nap while Cory and I shopped a little bit more.  Then, we took some more pictures, and David did some classic people-watching.

On the way out, we stopped by a booth that Cory has drooled over for years.  The artist creates prints from handmade etchings depicting classic ballparks.  This was the year to splurge.  We picked out one of Wrigleyville, our own personal Mecca.  The detail is incredible.  We both absolutely LOVE it.

We departed just in time to miss the next deluge that descended upon the Art Center grounds.  What a fabulous day.  Already looking forward to next year...

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