Wednesday, July 30, 2008

If You Vote For Me, All Of Your Wildest Dreams Will Come True

Two years ago today, as we were gazing as our newborn son, Phil said to me, "I think time just sped up." Ten points to Daddy for calling that one. It is amazing that we just finished celebrating Andrew's second year. We've been having a good time.

We had a lovely little party at home with a few dear friends on Saturday morning. Here's the kitty cake I slaved over until midnight the night before (with Kitty, Andrew's beloved stuffed animal serving as my model). My goal was that he would recognize the cake as a cat, but he had absolutely no idea what it was. He stared at it intently, but it took me 2 days to even get him to taste it.

I wish I could post pictures of everyone who came to help us celebrate, but instead I'll post my favorite: Eunice Chantilly* stuffing her bra from the ball pit.

We started out this morning with presents: A 1970's Sesame Street Clubhouse and books from Mom and Dad (thanks for the idea, Eowyn!), a beautiful clock that chimes from Nana and Pa, nifty big boy briefs from Weatherson*, fabulous t-shirts from Spartacus*, and a book from our Sandersons (which I've already read 7 or 8 times today). A Radio Flyer wagon is on the way from Nannie and Papa. We then moved on to a birthday breakfast of chocolate pudding and apple juice. The Precious adores candles, so I though he'd enjoy a couple in his pudding cup, but they totally wierded him out.

I don't want to overwhelm you with videos, but this clip of Andrew trying to blow out his pudding candles make me laugh every time I watch it. Notice poor Phil pacing in the background trying to find car keys as I ignore his pleas for hep. Also notice that, in my giggly and distracted state, I end up very unceremoniously blowing out the candles myself.

After pudding (which was much more exciting than his birthday cake), we met some friends at the playground and had lunch at the mall while gazing at the fountain. After his nap (yes, a nap!), we had some big fun playing with all the leftover party balloons. As I was putting together his supper, I heard a funny sound behind me, almost like tearing paper. I look up to see my little boy holding a lit match. Ahhhhhhh! He was really bummed when I would let him go through and light the whole box. Perhaps the kitchen table isn't the best place to keep those anymore.

And now a tribute to my sweet boy and his first 2 years. You are my dream come true, Dear One!

*As is my policy, name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are You Suggesting Coconuts Migrate?

Well, he's not afraid of bubbles anymore. In fact, he's become quite a fan. Every time we go into his bathroom, he eyes the tub and his bottle of Mr. Bubble and requests a bubble bath.

My darling Precious has turned into such a big boy. He'll be 2 in less than a week. Amazing. Here's the latest on his bigness:

We've had our off days, but overall he's doing super with his potty training, especially now that we're back and home with a more regular schedule.

He has decided to ditch naps along with his nappies. It is a rare day when he'll sleep during the day no matter how sleepy he appears to be. Often after I've given up and gone in to rescue him, he breaks into a big smile and proudly announces, "poopy pieper!" I keep hoping that it's just a phase, or that I'll figure out the magical sequence of events that makes him drift off, or that I'll learn a way to re-train his bowels. No luck yet.

His expressions are killer. Everything from the "Mom, you're really wacky" look to the furrowed brow of concentration just make my day.

The most dramatic thing has been his language development. He's been understanding me just fine for a while now, but hadn't been nearly as interested in actually talking back. Lots of grunting and pointing and signing "please." Over the last month or so, however, he's been exploding with new words. It's fascinating and wonderful! Phil and I will be talking across the room from him and notice him repeating words from our conversation. (Thus we've decided to take the swearing down a few notches.) He's constantly coming up with words I had no idea he knew, and he's become obsessed with letters, numbers and colors. I now spend most of my time trying to follow what he's telling me. Here's a snippet of what I might hear while in Kroger (translated into our adult dialect):

"Go potty? Go potty? Go potty? Wipe wipe. Flush. Flush. Flush. Go potty again? Three. Three. Three. Nine. Six. List. List. Orange juice! Orange juice. Orange juice. Orange juice. Orange juice. Orange juice. Orange juice. Light on. Orange juice. Orange juice. Orange juice. Three. Ten. Light on. Broccoli. Broccoli. Avocado! Avocado. Avocado. Avocado. Avocado ...."

Not surprisingly, I'm the only one who understands most of this (though Phil catches a lot of it), and I find his special pronunciations endearing. Here of some of my favorites:
  • nahn duice (orange juice)

  • atatoo (avocado)

  • beeden (blanket)

  • Hahoo (Shiloh)

  • pay Mommy adein? (play with Mommy again?)

  • bree (three)

  • E I E I adein? (Mother dearest, I'd really appreciate it if you'd replay Old MacDonald for the 500th time)

Every day he's more of a real companion. Candy Land is right around the corner, I can feel it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I LIke My Men Like I Like My Pretzels

The tall, dark and handsome Carrothead, long-time traveling companion of my Aunt Leslie, arrived at the beach with sweaty palms and quivering stalk. He'd never had a girlfriend before and the tales of Melvina's incredible wit, fanciful dress and intriguing facial arrangement made him certain he wasn't vegetable enough to win her heart. To make matters worse, he lost the lavish bouquet he had brought with him all the way from Pittsburgh somewhere in the parking garage. When she sauntered onto the beach, tan and sporting a brand-new pair of red gingham leggings, he almost passed out. Fortunately, he held it together enough for Aunt Leslie to make the introductions. Their eyes locked. She gave him a shy smile. And thus began the most wonderful weekend of their lives:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life Would Be So Much Easier If We Were All Newts

Look at my boy enjoying the beach! And lest you be confused, that is a Manly Sun Hat he's wearing , not a bonnet as Uncle Bradley suggested. Take heart - my camera battery died while I was there, sparing you all at least 75 photos.

I have decided that taking an almost-2-year-old to the beach is much easier than taking an almost-1-year-old. Last year he wasn't walking yet and rubbed his baby knees raw on the sand in a desperate attempt to crawl to the bottom of the sea. This time he thoroughly enjoyed exploring all sand-covered areas, masterfully avoiding sharp shell patches. And though he'd let the water lap at his ankles and almost burst with joy when Uncle Bradley and Cousin Brent pulled him through the waves by his arms (picture a kind of backwards skiing), he had a much healthier respect for the ocean depths. Whew. He also let me bury him up to his arm pits - bonus fun for me.

I still can't convince Andrew to wear his awesome Batman sunglasses while he's outside playing, but he performed quite a show with them at Chili's. What a ham.

He made sure his Ashton was close at hand most of the time. How he loves this girl! One of his very favorite things to do was to sit on her hip in this indoor water park area and watch a huge barrel dramatically dump it's watery innards on the kids stupid enough to play under it. They'd all hoot and holler while he sat wide-eyed in his perch, then he'd whisper "again."

Bradley took Mom out in his kayak one afternoon. Aren't they adorable? They were having a wonderful time 'til this skinny lifeguard Bradley could have eaten for breakfast whistled them in. Killjoy.

It was all so fun and relaxing, and I'm already missing my dear Aunties and cousins. I think Melvina had the most exciting time, however. She met someone. A mere summer fling? A long-term romance? Stay tuned to find out ....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Did The Five Fingers Say To The Face?

We had the most delightful treat this week - a visit from Uncle Bradley! I got the word only a couple weeks ago that he was able to take some of his leave time, and I managed (barely) to keep it a secret from my parents. He flew in on Friday afternoon and we kept him all to ourselves on Saturday. We played games and went to the zoo and got ice cream and shopped for rock-climbing shoes, all the while being constantly amused by tales from his most recent adventures.

There were a couple times during our zoo outing when I half expected security to escort us from the premises. This was the other one.

Uncle Bradley was a huge hit with Andrew. I think the highlight was getting to play "crash" with him on my bed. He's still talking about it.

And now for the best part. On Sunday morning, Bradley and I took off for Rock Hill where my mom was visiting her father while her mother was traveling. Bradley hid behind a bush at the side of the house while I lured out my very confused mother. I'm so glad to have her reaction on video for all posterity - it was all I was hoping for. And I'm so sorry you have to endure my overly loud remarks - I've got to learn to shut my yap when I'm recording.