Monday, August 27, 2001

Whew! It looks like we've finally found something we might be able to use to stave off the howling book fiends for a while ... puzzles! Yep, that's right -- those big wooden cutouts are just the thing to fill tiny hands, hands which might otherwise be shredding board books in a page-flipping frenzy. (Not that we know anyone who'd do such a thing.)

Bryn seems to get the idea that you could put each puzzle piece back into the matching hole on the board, but otherwise she's in total agreement with Maya: that'd be a waste of a perfectly good wandering-around toy.
2:51:00 AM

Call it the "free film" effect, but after almost a year to the day with our snazzy digital camera, how much disk space do you think we've filled up so far? Well, suffice it to say that we've just taken our 2000th picture. (Relax, you've only seen about 35% of them here on the site.)

Anyhow, to commemorate this momentous occasion, Bryn decided at dinner tonight to show us her latest sound effect -- a sure-fire way to make her voice sound like a kazoo:

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Sheer talent, huh? :-)
2:31:00 AM

Friday, August 17, 2001

Slice of life ... evening with Maya:

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This is my secret stash. Whenever someone gives me one of my favorite foods -- in this case, Os -- I make sure to stash some in my fist for later. That way I clear my plate faster and they'll give me more.

See that finger and thumb? Usually I leave them free to use as a pincer grip for picking up more food. However, I've been known to fill both hands so full that even that doesn't work. This is why you sometimes see me diving face-first into my food. A kid's gotta eat, you know?

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I wonder why my parents tell me "chairs are for sitting" so often? I'm very good at sitting in the chairs I've climbed into, especially while they're reading me one of my new books.
12:03:00 PM

Slice of life ... morning with Bryn:

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When I get up in the morning, there's lots to do. For example, Grandad may need help reading his email, or even typing a new message. I can be very helpful.

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I try to start each day off fresh with a different toy. Today it's this small bicycle I got from my cousins last month. It rolls really well, even over the bumps between the tiles. Cool! This day is off to a great start. Hmm. What's next?
12:02:00 PM

Thursday, August 16, 2001

When Grummy came to visit last month, among the many presents she brought were these pillow pockets she made:

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Each pillow was handmade and personalized, so the kids of course immediately fell in love ... with the "wrong" ones. :-) So, don't be confused by the names on the front and back of each pillow:
  • Maya adores the fish, and
  • Bryn thinks the bugs are neato.
Thanks, Grummy!
9:14:00 PM

Wrong shoes. This morning, Bryn set us straight on what she was really trying to tell us the other day:

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OK, got it. Clogs, not sneakers, for this kid.
8:19:00 PM

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Today's word of the day is "dada", brought to you by ... you guessed it: Bryn.

Thus, tonight's dinner conversation consisted almost entirely of the words "mama" and "dada" repeated in an alternating fashion. Incessantly, and with much pointing and clapping. :-)
1:05:00 AM

Monday, August 13, 2001

We recently moved the kids up to a new shoe size -- from fours to fives. However, they still have a lot of growing to do before they get to Mommy's size, as Maya happily demonstrates:

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Bryn, on the other hand, is far more direct:

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Forget the shoes! I want Mommy. Now!
2:40:00 PM

Sunday, August 12, 2001

Updated directions on how to read a book. For both kids, the process these days is roughly as follows:
  • grab a book,
  • bring it over to the nearest adult,
  • thrust it at them forcefully, and
  • grunt or hoot relentlessly until they cave in.
However, the process does diverge a bit at that point:
  • Maya ... insist on reading every word of the book
  • Bryn ... flip through each page as fast as humanly possible
On the plus side, they both agree that each book should be read all the way through, two and a half times in a row, without interruptions. On the minus side, they often don't agree on which book to read, and even if they do ...

... well, let's just say that unless there are very very few words per page (ideally two or less), there's no way to read at a steady pace without wrestling one or both kids for control over who turns the page when.
7:11:00 PM

In the past few weeks, the kids have gone from enjoying the occasional book to being out-and-out book fiends. So much so, in fact, that to preserve the sanity of any and all adults in the house, we went out yesterday and bought another seven just to have something new to read.

We'd have bought more, but after sorting through nearly a hundred, those were the only ones we could imagine memorizing without hating them. (The books, of course, not the kids.)
7:04:00 PM

Today's word of the day is "mama", which both kids have been toying with for a while now. However, yesterday two things became quite clear:
  1. Bryn knows how to use the word discriminately, and
  2. positive reinforcement really works well for her.
Thus, all day today we've been treated to the same gleeful chirp every single time Mommy appears. Like clockwork. :-)
6:32:00 PM

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Our other houseguests last month were the kids' cousins Danae and Haley, who brought their parents Chris and Ellen all the way from Michigan for a three-day visit.

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Happy birthday, Aunt Ellen!
12:57:00 PM

Among the houseguests we had last month were Grummy and Farfar, who spent a week here as part of their wonderful fifth anniversary gift to us. Since today is Farfar's birthday (yay!), we figured this'd be an especially appropriate time to put up the slide show of their visit. Enjoy!
12:40:00 AM

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Maya just woke up from her nap to insist that the recent mention of her wigglyness be put in perspective.

She's quite right. We were all very impressed that during the hands-on portion of the exam, she actually sat still, and in the doctor's lap, no less. (It was even her idea.) Given how much stranger anxiety she and her sister have been working through lately, this was quite unexpected.

We're not due to go back to the pediatrician's for another five months now, and the changes we'll be seeing by then should be even more remarkable.
8:45:00 PM

Wow. Here we've been thinking that over the past two months, the kids have been getting really tall. Nope. They've just been bulking up, at least according to the official measurements at the pediatrician's yesterday:
  • Maya: 21 lb 3 oz, 31 in
  • Bryn: 23 lb 12 oz, 30.5 in
This moves them back onto the growth charts for height (90th and 75th percentiles, respectively), and shows a widening spread on weight (20th and 80th).

Of course, you need to take all this with a grain of salt, because those measurements weren't entirely scientific. For example, Maya wiggled so much that her first measured height was a full inch less -- when she's still clearly taller than her sister. The second try was no less wiggly, but the results were more plausible, so now they're "official".
8:28:00 PM

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Finally, we hope you enjoy this new slide show of our Lassen mini-vacation one tenth as much as we enjoyed the trip itself.
1:09:00 AM

"Ba!", aka Maya's favorite word this week. Said with vigorous enthusiasm, it seems to be an all-purpose word, used in a wide variety of settings. Can also be chained together in a repeating string. Possible translations include:
  • Isn't that cool?
  • I want that!
  • Yay!
  • Gimme!
  • Hey, look at that!
To avoid any ambiguity, be sure to pronounce it in a crisp, loud fashion. (Wouldn't want those illiterate grownups to mistake it for some placid sheep noise.)
1:02:00 AM

A particularly pleasant milestone this past week has been the discovery of nodding. In classic toddler fashion, the kids have long since mastered the side-to-side head shake that will be getting so much practice over the next year or two. We were thus thrilled to see first Maya, then Bryn, both rapidly master the far more positive up-and-down maneuver. Yep, that's right -- even at thirteen months, "no" comes first and "yes" is an afterthought.

We keep trying to reinforce this new skill with lots of praise, telling the kids how cute it is, and just generally ooh-ing and ah-ing. As Grummy says, we're enjoying it for these few weeks, because after that we may not see much of it for a long, long time.
12:57:00 AM

Sorry for the radio silence these past few weeks. It's not that nothing worthwhile's been happening -- the converse, actually. There's been so much happening that there's been no time left over to post any of it here, including:
  • Bev and Travis bought a house in Texas,
  • we had two different sets of houseguests,
  • this computer went in for major surgery, and
  • Paul and Kathy got away for a cool mini-vacation.
More details forthcoming.
12:49:00 AM

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