Thursday, May 30, 2013


As I've mentioned before, Jackson is very teachable and catches on quickly... once taught. This is a fabulous trait for a teacher mom, but it was also a bit shocking because he has to be taught most things--instead of just picking up on them naturally.

Enter Allie, who seems to be very resourceful, clever and on her own time table for figuring out things by herself. This could make for a super fun toddler period of life (by MYSELF), but right now it's still entertaining and fascinating. My favorite example is when lying on her back, she employs her feet as hands. She's incredibly adept at picking up any object near her feet and bringing it up to her hands... and subsequently to her mouth. We have learned the lesson of not leaving her soiled diapers near her little foot appendages. No good.

She is likewise great at letting me know what foods she does not want to eat. Yesterday, she lined all her banana pieces up on the side of her high chair tray and went on eating the other goodies that were strewn about. Lest you think that was so polite of her to not throw them on the floor, they eventually landed there. My theory is that she wanted to make sure she wasn't still hungry when the good stuff stopped coming,  so she wanted to save the reject pile in case it was necessary.

Here's a little video of how she resourcefully fends for herself at meal time.

We are very appreciative of frugality and cleanliness! Perhaps she's trying to tell us she's still hungry...

Allie continues to come closer to crawling, or at least moving w/o using the roll. She might be there, it's just too slow to notice at real time. Often she is suddenly 2 feet away from me, when I swear she was right next to me minutes before.  I'm never able to actually witness the movements forward, so I took a little video the other night to try and capture it a little better. A detailed analysis of the clip did give me a better idea of how she does it but still a bit perplexed. Feel free to not watch the whole thing... it's rather long and full of a 9 month grunts.

After her little exercise, she was pooped, and resourcefully showed me she was ready for bed. Oh, so cute.

Although the teacher through and through, I'm thrilled to have a student who is teaching herself. Keep teaching yourself good things Allie. Glad you're so resourceful!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Welcome Summer. And more frequent baths to clean our active, sweaty, dirty bodies.

It's about time to turn on the A/C units, and start living outside to escape the endless rumbling noise they produce.

So, we went to the fountain.

The ubiquitous fountain that Jackson has been asking about since February. We went with a friend from Portland and her little guy Dominic.

Jackson now calls it Dominic's fountain.

We went back on a whim yesterday, and brought Allie's suit to see if she had any interest. 

If her serious face in the above picture is any indication, she preferred eating her towel to the cold scary water.

 I preferred eating an amazing cupcake from the bakery next door. (What better way to test if Allie still hates dairy??)

Jackson has already asked to go back again. "It's summer mom! Can we go to Dominic's fountain???" All I can promise is, "we will!"

So glad you're here summer. I'm sure we'll be asking you to leave in a few months when we're sick of sweat and stickiness, but for now we're thrilled to have you.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Livin' the Dream

We had one big fat 3 year old celebration last Saturday, with a school-free Daddy and a little bit of rain.

-Pancakes for breakfast

-Rock throwing in the lake

-Airport visit via train, with a shuttle bus ride on the way back

-Plenty of icing on the cupcakes

We told him it's all down hill from here.

And then we had the bonus rounds this week, playing with our new birthday toys.

And a sleepover at Bodie's house...

... while Dad did this.

Maybe we should have told him it just gets better and better.

This girl certainly thinks so.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Celebrations of All Kinds

We are celebrating a lot this week. 

Our happy Allie is back, and boy is she kicking! We sure missed her beaming smile during the previous couple of weeks. Glad her grumpy state was a result of teeth and sickness and not just a new demeanor.

She is getting closer to crawling as she leans forward and backward to get anything that looks remotely like an object that could be picked up. Pulling herself up was a very thrilling feat last Sunday--she giggled with gleeful excitement the whole time she held herself up there. Completely cute. Unfortunately it's a bit distracting when she's trying to sleep... easy to up, hard to get down.

 Allie is also starting to communicate. Her guttural sounds certainly make the voice teacher in me shutter at what she's doing to her vocal chords, but when you've got a big brother saying everything for you, you have to do what you can to be heard!

Someone else is having a big celebration this week. We made some cookies to bring to preschool tomorrow for Jackson's birthday. Apparently we haven't made chocolate chip cookies for a while (post Allie's birth). Jackson could not get over them. "I LOVE these mom!" "What are they called again?" (referring to the chocolate chips), "yumyumyum yum!! These are so yummy!!" "Can I have some more mom?" He would have eaten the whole batch if I had let him. Glad I did not since the tummy ache came from 2 beaters, a couple of spoons, some snitches and one cookie.

Our big celebration started tonight for Mark, who went to his very last Master's class. We'll celebrate again tomorrow when he turns in his last final. Jackson and I made a sign to commemorate. We are thrilled to be done with finals and eat dinner together again!!

(I'm sure you can see Mark riding his bike wearing a helmet amidst that gorgeous art. Did you catch "our little tiny house" in the left hand corner? It's right next to the "table" at the top. Important details.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Interactions during the day

Isn't he cute. He's also been pretty good lately. Solid independent play, only tries to hurt Allie once a day, and seems to get excited to help. So, why am I so drained at the end of the day?


Enter typical conversation with Jackson:

J: Mom, what are we doing today?
S: We're going shopping this morning.
J: WHHaTT? [really pronouncing the h, and the t]
S: We're going shopping.
J: We're going shopping? Where we going shopping?
S: The grocery store.
S: Where are we going shopping Jackson?
J: I donno. The grocery store?
S: That's right.
J: What we get at the grocery store?
S: We need to go buy some bread.
S: [eye roll, ignore]
J: What mom? What?
S: What are we getting?
J: Bread? Are we getting bread mom?
S: We're getting bread.
J: You sad mom?
S: No.
J: You haPPY MOM!?
S: I'm just fine.
J: WHAT? What mom?
S: I'm doing just fine.
J: You just fine mom?
S: Yes Jackson.
J: What is fine?
S: It's in between happy and sad.
J: [Silence]... You happy mom?
S: [sight] Sure.
J: Where are we going mom?


 I'll never forget babysitting 2 and 3 year olds and wondering how their moms dealt with all the questions they asked ALL DAY LONG. It's shockingly taxing to answer the same questions. I am sure it is a developmental stage and way for the child to learn at a much quicker pace, but boy oh boy. Stick in no nap, and I've been run pretty ragged.

On the plus side, Jackson always has these funny little sayings that make me laugh so much. In his brain, he "used to be" everything. He'll often tell me, "When I used to be an airplane, I fly up in the sky, and swoosh down and land at the airport and vroom over here." This also happens with buses, schools, pirates, ambulances, etc. It's pretty hilarious. He's also always excited to tell Mark things at the end of the day. Throughout the day he'll say, "When Daddy get home, I tell him I jump over my truck and BAM into the door."

I'm sure we'll have plenty more interesting conversations this next week. He turns three on Saturday. With Mark in finals, we decided to postpone the celebrations until next Saturday. I'm just imagining the impending conversations about when his birthday will actually be. "WHHaTT mom? When my birthday is??"

Onto the little girl in the house.


[whining in her jonny-jump-up]
S: Hello Little Miss! What's up.
A: Mamamamamamama
S: Oh you're ok. Here, have a toy.
A: [Fusses]
S: Allie Ballie, what do you need?
A: mamamamama!
S: [sniff test] OH! Poops! Let's go change you.

This girl is a fairly effective communicator for having no words. She hates sitting in her poop and will whine as soon as it comes out. The cutest part, is when she getting changed and her pants are off, she immediately starts to clap her feet together. Her expressive feet are so lovable.

She's also starting to eat more solid food. It has totally messed with her nursing schedule, but we're starting to figure out how to do both. Avocados are her go-to food, with bread and cheerios close behind. Everything else is a guessing game. Last night I gave her chicken--a big hit. Here's a little clip (ok, a little long clip) of our dinner time last night (Mark was at class).  I love how Jackson periodically pipes in, in his own special way :)