Amelia

Daisypath Happy Birthday tickers

This blog captures my thoughts and observations of Amelia since there are so many wonderful things I want to just bottle and enjoy. Time doesn't stop and while I will have memories, it will be nice for both her and me to have these in-the-moment snapshots of her life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Play Snow!

Yesterday was a snow day. Amelia saw it out the front window at 7 am and said, "Play snow!" It was still snowing at that point and only 20 degrees so I told her we could go out later. Three hours and one degree later, we were out there and she had a blast. She wanted to make snowballs but it was too powdery. She was hopping around - she does this little jump hop sometimes that is almost on all fours - and landed right on her face in the snow. She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I let her shake herself off and she was running again in no time.

When we first got outside she was totally excited about her mittens and kept saying "Melia's Mittens!" I couldn't understand her at first, and then I got it. After a while I thought it would be wise to head inside, but she did NOT agree. I finally told her we were going to make cookies (see yesterday's post) and she reluctantly came in right after I peeled her snow crusted boots off on the porch so I could put them in the bath tub to defrost and leave minimal snow melting on the carpet to be stepped in by socked feet. (Don't you hate that?)

We got more snow last night and since I had to work this morning, Daddy took us to Nana's in the 4-wheel drive (worth every penny, let me tell you). Amelia was a little confused about having both parental units at Nana's on a Thursday morning and started telling us to sit in our chairs, as in, "Mommy sit in Mommy chair; Daddy sit in Daddy chair." I sat down and told her that I had to go to work and that Daddy was going to take me and then he was going to work, too. She walked over to me, took my hand and led me to the basement door and said, "Momma, work!" In other words, the usual routine of, okay, you brought me here, now you can go. Too funny.
[pictured dated 2/27/08]

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cookies

We made cookies again this morning. This time we made oatmeal raisin - daddy's favorite. Amelia really likes them, too. As soon as I said, "Let's make cookies," Amelia pushed the chair up against the counter and climbed up saying, "Make cookies! Make cookies!" Only once and she's a pro, huh? She certainly knows the routine. So we mixed the cookies and then put them on the cookie sheet. This part was a bit challenging since apparently Amelia believes in quality control prior to having the finished product. See for yourself.

[video dated 2/27/08]
video

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No more crib tent

Amelia has not taken a nap for the last three afternoons. She unzips her crib tent, climbs out and plays happily with her toys. She doesn't think I know she's up - I will walk in and her reaction is to jump up and run back to her crib. I usually do that twice in a futile attempt to encourage her to sleep. She yawns, rubs her eyes, and looks tired, but apparently the allure of toys is just too much to give in to the Sandman.

Since she so easily manipulates the zipper on the crib tent and it makes her crib look kind of cluttered, especially with the extra blankets I put over it to help make it dark for naptime, I decided it was time for it to go. I probably should not have waited until five minutes before bedtime on a napless day, because Amelia got upset. She ran out to the living room and climbed into Daddy's chair and cried. It was a little fake, though, so I ignored it and finished my task. She came back in just as I was finished, but looked apprehensive. I took her pillow and put it in the crib. She said something about the striped sheet (I changed the sheet since I had to take the mattress out anyway) but then she ran back to the living room. Her little nose was red from crying, even though she wasn't wailing, but I guess she was a little upset. Maybe she thought she was in trouble? I picked her up and walked her into her room, explaining that she has a new bed since she is a big girl now (I've been using 'big girl' language for potty training, too) but that she still had her pillow and her two blankets (as I put them on her ... she really likes her one pillow and two blankets ... it's part of her bedtime mantra) and her music, which I turned on for her, and her turtle, as I turned on the green stars, and her Eyeore and her Ernie. I rubbed her back and sang her the "Go to Sleep" song I normally rock her to, and turned out the light.

Of course, the cat decided she had to go in the room and I hadn't yet turned off the hallway light. I peeked in as I closed the door again and Amelia had lifted her head and looked side to side a little. I heard a few noises from her but when I went in a few minutes later to check on her, she was fast asleep in the same position she was in when she laid down. (The flash on the camera makes it look like the lights were on, but it was dark in there.)

I am sad that she got upset, but I think that is an expected reaction to a mystifying change. I think I'd be frightened if someone came in and started messing around with my bed right before I was going to sleep in it. I am also a little sad because my baby is growing up.

I did like that the tent kept her warmer by trapping in her body heat during these winter nights, but the time had come to remove it. It will be a good transition to the freedom of a bed anyway, an interim step in preparing for that investment and change/adjustment. I am interested to see how she reacts in the morning when she wakes. She has always waited for one of us to get her out of her crib - even though she could have opened the tent herself.

For the first two months of her life, Amelia slept in her cradle until her first night feeding and then in the guest bed with me. I put her in her crib a couple of times around the 2 month mark, but then heard the cat jump in there on the second night (I was sleeping in the same room) and that was the end of the crib being tentless. So this is the third night she's slept in her crib without the tent, and the first night since she was about 2 months old. And, at the rate she is growing, she won't be spending many more nights in there at all. *sniff sniff*
[picture dated 2/26/08]

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our latest park outing

Unlike some other 2 year-olds I've read about, or even seen video clips of, Amelia doesn't try to eat or drink like the cats. She has been caught playing and even tasting the cat's food, but doing so in a very human-toddler way of hand-to-mouth. She also likes to dunk the toy mice in the cat's water dish, something one of our cats likes to do also. We try our best to teach Amelia not to engage in these behaviors, and most of the time it seems to work.

Today we were at the park and I noticed a small horse near the fence at the bottom of the hill so I brought it to Amelia's attention and asked her if she wanted to walk down and visit it. She was immediately interested - but I think it has something to do with the other four (big kid) swings that are down there. This suspicion was confirmed when I had to veer her toward the horse and away from the swings when we got to the bottom of the hill.

Once her attention was on the horse, I showed her how to pet it and she petted its nose and proclaimed, "Soft nose!" Then it was off to the swings where I told her she had to hold on, which she would do for about 2 minutes and then forget. After about two or three rounds of this, we got back down and stopped by the horse again so she could pet his nose. The horse even tried to nibble her hand which was funny, and then he turned away to eat some grass. Amelia noticed this and said, "Horse eat grass!" and I said, "Yes, that's what a horse eats." She immediately dropped to the ground and I thought she was going to crawl. When she didn't move anywhere I realized ... she was eating the grass! I didn't know whether to gasp or laugh, but I of course told her immediately that no, we don't eat grass - such a mean mommy.

Where do they get these ideas?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Orange Chessie



When you're 2 years-old and have a pet kittycat (named Chessie) that looks like this, it's a natural and logical connection to be reading your train book and call the animal next to the box a cat. I certainly see the resemblance, now that you point it out, Amelia.

Sometimes, she even clarifies and calls it an orange Chessie. I know I've said this before, but I love how she uses her existing vocabulary to express herself.

Of course, I have tried on a few occasions to correct her and let her know it's a fox, but how do I help her make the distinction? It's like distinguishing between ducks, geese and swans in other books if you ask me. The time will come, but until now I'll let her use her own vocabulary to describe certain things. I enjoy it and I think it helps her self-confidence not to be corrected too often and unnecessarily.

[pictures dated 2/9/08]

Friday, February 22, 2008

2 years, 5 months

Wow, I can't believe Amelia is 2 years and 5 months old already. The 5 month mark is a biggie in our lives because that's when she outgrew her colic. It was 2 years ago this week that she stopped screaming at 7 pm and *gasp* started going to sleep around 8 pm. Up until that time she was just permanently attached to my chest from about 5 pm (or earlier depending on the day) until about 8 pm, and don't even think about putting her down for bed until 10 pm.

The content in the evening and sleeping-before-10 p.m.-baby was SUCH a dramatic shift, which is what everyone said it would be. However, I was expecting it two months earlier. When it didn't come the morning of 12/23 I was disappointed and two days later, it was our worst Christmas ever ... not our best as everyone kept telling us it would be. (We were so sick of people - random strangers included - telling us it would be our "best Christmas ever" that year, that we were ready to drop kick the next person who dared utter those words. Seriously, we said that. And we also wished we had a buck for every person who said it because we would have had some decent dough, let me tell you.

So two years ago this week I finally began to enjoy being a mom. Even my mother-in-law commented on how much love I had as I looked at my daughter. And I realized how personally I had been taking all that crying and screaming and unhappiness.

Ever since then, Amelia just amazes me every day. I often find myself thinking how much more I love her, and how is that possible? And I am amazed at how much she has changed over these past two years, how much she has grown, how different she looks with hair, how much I enjoy listening to her talk and expres herself, how much of a little person she is. Yet, when I look at her hospital picture I can still the person she is today, and as I think back over these past 29 months, I can see the personality that she still has was there at the very beginning and that just blows my mind. How does such an itty bitty baby have a personality?

I love her so very, very much and it's so cool that she loves me, too.
[pictures dated 2/22/08]

Thursday, February 21, 2008

6 Things

This blog is supposed to be about Amelia, but I was tagged by B for this meme (and later by NMM) and I thought why not? So we’ll take a break from our regularly scheduled program.

1. I am really bad about not putting my seat belt on until I’m on the “big road”, something leftover from my childhood. A couple of times lately, even Amelia has said to me “Belt on, Mommy!” as we (as in just her and me) back out of the driveway.

2. I am addicted to Diet Pepsi.

3. I am no longer Catholic but have observed Lent since 2004 by giving up my much loved Diet Pepsi. The only exception was 2006 when I was still recovering from becoming a mother and dealing with a just-recovered-from-colic 5 month-old infant. Please do NOT remind me I still have a month to go until Easter. I am taking it One. Day. At. A. Time. Hi, my name is …

4. My hair is naturally curly. I hated it until it became significantly relaxed two weeks prior to Amelia’s arrival. I did not recognize myself and had no idea what to do with it. As my mother would say, “Be careful what you wish for.” I still breathe a sigh of relief when it curls as it (air) dries … you do NOT want to see me with blown dry hair. There was a decade for that (think Reagan, leg warmers, paisley ties) … but it has passed. Unless of course you live in New Jersey.

5. Which is where I was born.

6. Of course, I can't stand it when people who tell me how lucky I am to have naturally curly hair. Even worse are those who love the color of my hair "so much". On more occasions than there should have been (and yes, way more than once, unfortunately), women come up to me with weird reddish/purple metallic looking hair saying they were trying for my color. They are beaming when they tell me this, as if they even got close. I smile politely while fantasizing about having enough gray to justify coloring my hair brown and being done with the comments and attempts at mimicry. I fear, however, I am too much of a naturalist (and/or too lazy) to ever color my hair, especially since the gray is becoming more noticeable and I really don't care (right now).

Now for the rules, one if which is that I post them:
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least 3 people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

So with that I tag: Clementine, GFF, and LGirl.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vocabulary

In the past couple of weeks I've learned that Amelia doesn't always know what a word means. This was surprising to discover since I have been amazed at how much she seems to understand. However, on a surprisingly mild afternoon, when I asked her at Nana's house if she wanted to go to the park on the way home she said, "No." Short and simple. This shocked me since she, like most kids, loves the park. In fact, we had just been a couple of days earlier and when we left that day, I had to pick her up against her will, legs kicking out to the side (I was carrying her horizontally for just this reason), with whispered reminders that she could have a(nother) tea party at home (which immediately calmed her).

True to form, as soon as we drove up to the park on our way home from Nana's, she started squealing in delight and saying (almost chanting really), "Steps, slide, swing. Steps, slide, swing!" And then I realized, she didn't know the word "park". So I told her we were at the park, and when we left I asked her if she had fun at the park and she said, "Have fun at park!" So now that she knows the word park, it's turned colder again. Boo hiss.

A couple of weeks ago I took her to the library for the first time since Papa died. While it's been only two months, that's a long time for a toddler. When I asked her that Wednesday morning if she wanted to go to the library, she said, "No," and kept playing. As a result, it took a few more minutes to get her out the door than I intended, but as soon as we got there, she had a blast. On this one I made the connection a bit faster as to the lack of the right word in her vocabulary. On the way home we talked about how much fun the library was, just like in her Corduroy book that she loves so much. Last Wednesday when I asked if she wanted to go to the library she said, Yes!" and ran for the door and couldn't put her coat on fast enough. She even gave the librarian her card without any prompting for the first time and said "Thank you," when the librarian handed it back to her.

On our visit two weeks ago we rented Baby Dolittle (from the Baby Einstein series). Amelia loved it but I explained to her that we had to return it to the library after a week and that it wasn't ours. I made sure she saw us return it last week and so she hasn't asked to see it again, but she has mentioned that it's at the library.

Her friend Livia has a swingset that her dad built with two swings and a very high slide. Amelia was barely talking the last time it was warm enough (and light enough in the evenings) to play on it at Livia's house. While we have been to Livia's house several times this winter, you cannot see the swingset unless you walk around to the opposite side of the house from where you park or walk in. Yet, the other day Amelia started saying "Have fun at Livie's house" (normal thing lately) and then she continued on to say, "Have fun on Livie's slide; have fun on Livie's swing; have fun up on Livie's ladder." !!! I was shocked - especially that she made the distinction that Livia has a ladder up to her slide while the park has steps.

I have heard that our memories start at the point that we can talk since we have words to help categorize/label what gets stored in our memories. She is now talking about things she clearly remembers yet wasn't able to speak the words for at the time, even if she understood them when spoken to her. I can understand that memory can exist without speech for everyday things like where her sippie cup is kept or recognizing Nana since even infants clearly show memory in this regard, but talking about something from months ago at this age? Wow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Murphy's Law

So let me tell you about what happened Tuesday. It's been too busy with Valentine's Day preparations and celebration (a gotta do since it's a fun holiday in mid-winter), to write about it until now.

I was running errands, most of them Valentine's related, and pulled into a parking lot. Of course I managed to pick the one spot where the very next person out of the store would need to get into the car right next to me, on Amelia's side. I had given her a fruit roll-up at the end of the last stop and she was sticky, so I pulled out a baby wipe for her hands before getting her out of her seat. Since someone was trying to get into his car, I shut the door momentarily to let him open his door. Do you see where this is going? My door locked.

The guy was all, "Is there anything I can do?" And with my laser eyes I said, "No, I don't think so," as my mind said, "I think you've done enough already, mister, just get out of here already."

My door wasn't even completely closed, just enough to have it latched. When I hit the lock button on my key fob when a door is still open, it won't lock until the door has been closed for a few seconds, so I usually hit that and then get Amelia out of the car so it will lock without me fumbling for my keys after I have her out. This minimizes the risk of my dropping her - something leftover from when she was an infant. She can stand now (obviously), but it's still easier to have it lock on its own rather than dealing with keys once I have a toddler free of her carseat. Or at least it's easier when I don't lock her in with the keys and their fob.

I looked around and two spaces over a guy in his early 50's was sitting in an auto parts truck and I walked over and asked him if he had anything that could open my car. He said he thought he had something at the store and he would make a call. Meanwhile I tried to see if Amelia could reach the unlock button, but she had no idea what I was talking about. A lady pulled up and immediately figured out what was going on and went in the store and asked if they had something. The auto parts guy said he'd be back in 10 minutes, but he wasn't very good at that sort of thing (unlocking doors). I started to dial 411 on my phone (I had my phone in my pocket, but not my keys) and was being transferred to a locksmith. The lady came out and said the store recommended calling the police. My gut told me the police were likely to respond faster and be more effective than the auto parts store. (And as the lady pointed out, he didn't seem to be in much of a hurry.)

Amelia was taking all of this in stride so far ... but as soon as she realized it wasn't a game, I was afraid she'd panic. She'd already asked me to open the door a few times, and we were playing a lot of peek-a-boo.

So after 14 minutes (guess who was counting), I heard sirens, and a fire truck pulls in. I was a little concerned for the store - I didn't want people to think the store was on fire. The fire truck didn't leave it's lights and sirens on, though, and while they parked near me, they didn't park close to the store, so I didn't have to keep worrying about a scene. Four guys jump out and I thought that was a bit much. One has a clipboard and is walking towards me, the other three, one of whom has a tool for getting into the car, are walking towards the driver side of the car and I briefly think of Tombstone with the three main characters walking in slow motion towards their victims.

Fireman Clipboard starts asking me a few questions, mostly my name and address, while the other three go to work. Fortunately, I don't have electronic locks (I had answered yes, assuming since they can all unlock at once they were, what a girl I am) and they were able to just use the wire tool to hook into the door handle and opened the door. Boy was I relieved!

Since I was in a different county from where I live and pay taxes I asked if I needed to pay anything. I was more than willing to - I just wanted someone to respond right away who knew what to do - but he assured me there was no fee. One of the Tombstone Three had trotted back to the firetruck and brought back two stickers and a temporary tattoo for Amelia, who was thrilled with such a great stash of unexpected stickers.

They were happy to help, efficient and friendly. They didn't linger at all except to make sure Amelia hadn't gotten cold. (She had taken her socks and shoes off as part of her self entertainment while we were waiting ... makes me look even more like mother of the year, I'm sure.)

Several minutes later I realized I didn't notice the number of their engine, which shows just how much of a panic I was in, allayed only by endless rounds of peek-a-boo. When you have to stay smiley for a child, it's hard to give into your panic. My dad was a volunteer firefighter growing up and I never see a fire engine and not notice its engine number. It was starting to bug me and then I noticed that one of Amelia's stickers had a picture of their actual engine ... No. 7.

I'm not ready for a mini-van or other vehicle with a sliding rather than opening door, but I think I'll do my best to park where Amelia's side will be on an island or other space that is not available for parking.

And hopefully the firefighters don't compare notes with social workers because if they do, I have only one strike left.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!


We made cookies yesterday morning. Amelia had a hard time with the cookie cutter because it didn't have a back to it, so she had to try to just push down on the edges, which was hard for a toddler to understand. A few of the cookies wound up with little fingers on them as a result.






As anticipated, the cookies were a pretty messy process, but that's okay because they're fun. What did surprise me ws that she was really into eating the leftover flour on the counter - not the dough, the flour that we were rolling the dough on. (blech, but whatever)
We used the recipe from her Clifford Wants a Cookie book. She has the book memorized and if she ever hears me utter aloud even two of any of the ingredients from the book (egg, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, salt), she finishes the list for me. This happened one Sunday when I was making waffles, as I was setting out the ingredients.

She didn't seem overly impressed that we were using the recipe from her book, and she was a bit confused as to why she was suddenly allowed to stand on a chair, but overall I think it was a fun experience for her.

We iced them after they cooled and she couldn't wait to have a chance at the brush herself. Don't we all know that's the best part of baking - licking the batter/icing?


Last week we found a cute Thomas card for her to give Daddy today. She was so good about taking it to him in the envelope tonight, but as soon as he opened it she took it back to enjoy, before he even got a chance to read it. That's how much she loves Thomas.

My valentine flowers came yesterday and Amelia thinks they're roses because of one of her books where the puppy smells the rose. I love how she "smells" so audibly.

video

[pictures dated 2/13 and 2/14/08; video dated 2/13/08]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gesundheit!

I wiped Amelia's nose this morning and she said, "Gesundheit!" clear as a bell. Something new from Nana, I believe, and I just love it. A few minutes later she was playing with her "Mama wolf, baby wolf!" puppets from her Little Red Riding Hood book and was telling them "Gesundheit!" I guess baby wolf sneezed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tea Party

Amelia is all about having tea parties these days. She kept bringing us "water" in her teacups, with her teapot in her other hand ready to offer a refill. We're all about the manners, saying please and thank you and all that. At one point I heard her telling her Daddy, "Thank you for sharing."

Yep, she's ready for her first 12-step program.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday

Daddy was gone for a few days at a conference. Amelia didn't seem to notice too much - probably because he left close to his normal time Wednesday morning. I didn't go out of my way to point out his absence. When he came home late yesterday afternoon, it was also close to his normal time and she didn't make a big deal about his arrival which disappointed him.

This morning he left for a Wildcat game (I wasn't up to a roadtrip two weekends in a row) and she asked about him most of the day. We came home from the park and she said, "Daddy home? Daddy home?" When he left this morning, he told her where he was going and she even repeated it a few times, but she really noticed this time that he was gone and that his absence was not part of the normal routine. She was pleased to see him tonight just before bed (I kept her up an extra 30 minutes).

Meanwhile I had a great day with Amelia - taking her to the park, playing with her, taking some pictures and even some video. We played with puzzles, had a tea party and read books. She is such a constant chatterbox lately, and she's not afraid to tell you what she wants, when and how she wants it. I am pleased that she still listens, so there's some give and take with the demands, er, requests that she makes.

In the past few days she has started repeating scenes from her various Baby Einstein videos and then follows up with a request to watch the video in question. Since I limit her TV time, I have spent more time redirecting her than I thought I would have to at this age. It's kind of fun, though, because playing with her is much more interactive now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Quarters

Amelia and her daddy have a regular (almost daily) routine of putting change into the train bank - a large Lionel train crossing sign that lights up and makes train noises when the coins go in. She calls everything that goes in a quarter. She really enjoys participating and will drag a kitchen chair over to the bank and tell her daddy to sit down so she can get in his lap and put the quarters in the bank.

Occasionally she sees other items that she also calls quarters. She has a gingerbread house book that has some sort of candy scattered on one of the pages and she calls them, "Quarters!"

Tuesday I took her to visit Daddy at work and there was a Connect Four game in the general office area. (Do you see where this is going?) She had so much fun putting the "quarters" into the various slots. She would say "Red quarter! Black quarter!" as each one dropped. I told her they were checkers and she looked at me like, "How dumb are you?", dropped another one in and said, "Red quarter!" (She also put all the red quarters, er, I mean red checkers in before the black ones. She did that several times, so there was definitely a preference/sequencing/pattern or whatever going on in her head.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Brush Teeth!

Brushing my teeth is no longer a solitary activity, and if I attempt to do it alone, I am quickly "caught" and am forced to start over.

Amelia loves brushing her teeth, but will only brush her teeth if I brush mine at the same time. Otherwise she just sits there with her toothbrush, alternating between staring at herself in the mirror and running the toothbrush under water.

If I have started before she comes running over, she demands: "Brush teeth! Amelia brush teeth!" and we have to do the same routine which starts with: "Mommy toothpaste!" and I have to put (more) toothpaste on my toothbrush before we can move onto "Amelia's toothbrush!" "Amelia's toothpaste!". We also have to make sure that after applying some to her toothbrush, her toothpaste is turned around correctly so she can see the strawberry. A creature of habit (or routine), this one is.

She doesn't brush quite as much as she just sticks her toothbrush in her mouth. I try to encourage her, thinking maybe she'll mimic what I'm doing a little more closely, and she does a few brushing motions. My teeth are usually clean before hers and so I try to help her with a few brushing motions. She'll get there. My helping her allows me to also wrestle the toothbrush from her hand as she isn't fond of putting it up. I think she'd sit there for an hour if I let her since she loves to turn the water on, run her brush underneath for a quick second and then put the brush back in her mouth as she admires herself in the mirror.

I learned my lesson a few weeks ago to not even try to brush my teeth without her and it's second nature now to say, "Okay Amelia, let's brush our teeth!" What am I going to do when she goes to college?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Phantom Milk

We celebrated Groundhog Day this year by going to another basketball game. This time it was Kentucky v. Georgia, and it was another win - GO CATS! We brought Amelia, all decked out in her Wildcat regalia of course, and let her play on the campus for about 20 minutes before going into the arena. She had fun running around, playing with her Tigger ball and eating her lunch. She also demonstrated once again that, like her mama, she is a tree hugger!

Once inside I scored a red and black pom-pom for her which she waved around too eagerly, so we took it away after apologizing to the lady in front of us. It was one of those pom-poms on a somewhat long stick, and before the lady arrived Amelia had it pointed to the ground, twirling it around and saying, "I sweep! I sweep!" Too cute.

As we were leaving the game, the same thing happened that has happened after the other live games I've attended this season. My boobs started to ache like I needed to nurse. At the last game I even made a comment to my husband about it as we exited Rupp Arena. And finally this past Saturday I realized ... I nursed through two basketball seasons and so this is the first basketball season in three years that I wasn't rushing back to a baby. However, I am left with some kind of Pavlov response to the end of a ball game that I hope is gone by next season!

[photos dated 2/2/08]

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

February 5th

Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 103rd birthday. Amelia was born 100 years, 7 months and 17 days after her.

One of the downsides of starting a family late in life, something both my grandmother and I did, is I don't get to pick her brain about how things were done way back when. During Amelia's infancy I really wished she were still alive to hear first-hand accounts of what it was like to mother infants during the Depression and in post-war America. Sure, there are a few centenarians around whom I could ask, but it's not the same as asking the woman who changed your mother's cloth diapers and fastened them with pins. Ya know?

Monday, February 04, 2008

When Toddlers Attack

This was a funny series of pictures I'd forgotten I'd taken until late last week when I downloaded them from the camera.

We only take the rabbit out occasionally. Anytime Amelia is around an animal that doesn't immediately bolt, she inspects it like she's a veterinarian. She did this with both my brother's and my sister's labrador retrievers. And here she is with Philip, first counting to be sure there are two ears.





Next, she happily checks for hip dysplasia.







Then she goes in for the kill.






[pictures dated 1/24/08]

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Powerless

We had heavy rain Thursday night which was predicted to turn into freezing rain. Do we put some wood on the porch so it's dry just in case? No. Do we set out the flashlights? No. Do we find the camping lamp? No. Do I check the wick in the hurricane lamp? No. Do we lose power? Yes.

At 4 am Friday we heard a beeping noise that woke both of us up. I sat straight up, squinting across the room at the clock. It's dark and we both assume our cat is sitting in front of it. (She does this regularly. She knows it annoys us and she thinks it's funny.) Then we realize ... there's no power and the beeping sound we heard was the cordless phone losing power. We both try to go back to sleep anyway, knowing the power company in our area is really good about getting the power back on within 2 hours, no matter what the condition or cause. As I listen to the rain continuing to pound (it really was heavy all night long), I immediately thought of our soaking wet wood, sitting out in the open. I tried to remind myself that we could go somewhere later in the morning, if necessary. But of course I was worried about the house getting too cold because of Amelia.

Daddy and Amelia got up around 6:30, as usual. She didn't seem to notice that there were candles instead of lights. And it's still the time of year that there isn't any sunlight at that time of the morning. I heard her normal running morning commentary. Then I heard her ask for juice and I got up to help Daddy find it since I knew exactly where in the dark refrigerator I had put it the night before. I turn the corner and there's Amelia and her daddy hunkered in front of the open, dark refrigerator. As I am digging in the junk drawer for the lighter, Amelia starts getting a bit concerned as she elaborates on her juice request. "Juice, please." "Cold juice, please." "Amelia's cold juice, please!" Meanwhile, her nose is about two inches from her sippy cup, little does she know. Found the lighter, flicked it on and it's amazing how much light it puts off. With juice in hand, a relieved Amelia heads to the living room asking for her Tiger video. I told her we couldn't watch it because the power was off and we should play with something else for now. She seemed satisfied with that answer. Then the power came on.

In three hours, the house temperature had only gone down 6 degrees. Not bad. And a relief to know should this happen again. Of course, next time we'll have wood on the porch.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Hair Bows and Shakespeare

We straightened out the hair bow issue last night. When we were reading Little Pigs and she insisted again that the Piggy on her way to market had a butterfly on her head, I went to Amelia's room and got the same colored hair bow the pig has, explained to her it was a hair bow, put it on her head, and told her to go look in the mirror, which she happily did. (I love the way she bounces when she runs.) And she even left it in - which was quite shocking. I had given up on hair bows six months ago because she just wouldn't leave them in.

The only television Amelia watches at home (aside from college basketball with Daddy, which she does enjoy, and Thomas on Sunday mornings) is her daily Baby Einstein video. I've tried showing her Clifford on PBS, and while she recognizes him from her books, she will stand there and say "Tiger video please" or "Galileo video" or whatever her choice of video is that particular day. Last week I told her that "Bleh Bleh video" was actually "Baby Shakespeare" and she repeated it clearly. (Aforementioned Galileo comes out a bit garbled, but she says galaxy and the planet names pretty clearly.) And she still remembers the correct name and uses it. She truly amazes me. It's just so weird to hear a 2 year-old say Shakespeare. Her current favorite is Baby Bach which she refers to as the chicken video. This one is supposed to be for babies, but she was never crazy about it as an infant, she much preferred Baby Mozart. When she watches the Baby Einstein videos, she anticipates the next object correctly, but with the chicken video she will randomly in the middle of the day start announcing the different scenes.

Amelia expresses herself really well and while her vocabulary continues to expand, I love how she uses what she does know to express herself. She's never been one to say "my" or "mine", but she will say, "Amelia's red crayon, Amelia's farm", etc., especially when Livia is here sharing her toys. When it's the case of someone else touching the item in question, she usually stands really close and says it sadly. It's kind of cute and I'm glad she doesn't seem to be a bully. She also doesn't know how to say "Give it to me" and instead she says, "Here you go!" when she wants something I have because that's what I'll usually say to her as I hand her something. This cracks me up ... it's like she is not-so-subtly trying to get me to say what she wants me to say already.

Amelia has picked up on the fact that Daddy has an alternate name and she's used it a few times, which throws him off. This morning I heard him tell her he prefers "Daddy".

Like a lot of kids her age, Amelia loves to spin around in circles. Of course she's been told that she'll get dizzy and to be careful and not fall down and hurt herself. So she spins and spins and says, "I go dizzy!" "Be careful!" Here she is after she fell the other night. She has a blast amusing herself!

She also tells herself not to do things, as she is doing them. "Leave Maynard alone" ... as she is chasing him. "No climbing!" ... as she's climbing into a chair. "Don't play with Mommy's scissors" ... as she's reaching for them.

One of the cutest things she does now is she comes running to me after she's lightly bumped her head on something and asks, "Kiss and make better, Mommy!"

[pictures dated 2/1/08 & 1/30/08]