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Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2009

It is good to be home after a trip–a good trip north to visit Christer’s aunts.  Our Thanksgiving, as has been the custom over the past several years, included card games with the aunts, catching up on family news, cafeteria turkey dinner, and getting our cable fix late at night in the guest house.  Bringing along a baby meant working around some naps and some crazy wake-up times (6, 5, and 4am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively), but he also provided the entertainment.  Mealtimes were a blast–here Turtle is putting on a show for the women at the nursing home where one aunt lives.  He would walk up and down the aisles, practicing his baby steps and chatting with the women.  The meals at the convent were similarly well-received.

For Turtle’s part, he enjoyed himself thoroughly in these playgrounds full of walkers (things to push!) wheel chairs (things to push with wheels!) and grandmotherly women who kept giving him candy and applesauce.


Over the Weekend

November 8, 2009

Over the Weekend:

  • A road trip with the baby to visit my brother.
  • Best playground train ever.  And a baby who was not impressed and only wanted out.


  • Crazy warm weather.  More to-dos put off because this really will be the last nice day.  I’ve used that excuse a lot this week.
  • Eight elementary kids acting out the book of Ruth.  Caught on Flip.
  • 100 blue streamers waving in worship every time water was mentioned.  For a sometimes stodgy church, this experiment in incorporating children was a step in a fun and thoughtful direction.


Coming up this week:

  • Lots of meetings and gatherings.  Why does every organization meet on the second week of the month?
  • A morning to work, whatever that might become, while Turtle is at daycare.
  • Overriding past bad luck with video editing so that the Sunday school video can be in some sort of watchable form next week.
  • I’m going to clean my bathroom.  Really.  I am.

Right now:

  • A baby who awoke with a fright and is now wide awake.  Christer is taking his turn rocking right now.
  • A pile of fabric cut up and on its way to becoming Christmas presents.
  • The thought of some hot chocolate entering my head.  G’night all, I’m off to make a drink.


Stringing Along

November 4, 2009

Today Turtle helped me with a little craft project–and this is about the most organized our playtime has ever been.  He really likes grabbing at little things, but, of course, he also likes putting them straight in his mouth.  So while he gets to play with bits of food at meals, and while I occationally have the patience to play with acorns or rocks or beads with him, constantly swiping them from his mouth, the best way for him to explore small things right now is when they are connected.  I had a bag of beads from a summer garage sale that I wanted to string for him.  And this morning when I realized that we had eatten breakfast, gotten ready for the day and pulled out all the usual toys, and it was only 8:30, I decided to pull them out at let him join me, or not, in the stringing.


He was more interested in watching me than I anticipated, although trying to put beads in his mouth was still his favorite part of the activity.  He even caught on enough to hand me a few beads–especially helpful since the first part of this game was for him to spill the rolly, bouncy beads all over the floor.  And whenever I stopped stringing and started tying he would grab like crazy.  I think he knew that his new toy was almost ready.

Now we’ve got four strings of different lengths.  Turtle explored the strings–he liked waving them around and, of course, chewing on them.  (And no, for goodness sakes, he is not teething.  Babies put stuff in their mouths, always.  So stop asking.)  When that got old we added a pie tin–dropping the beads in it and swirling them around made all sorts of noise.  And noise makes a happy Turtle.

For anyone else who wants to try this, please note that the yarn isn’t the strongest, and these will continue to be top-shelf toys that come down when I’m able to keep an eye on him.


November 3, 2009

Y’know, maybe time is moving faster.  Or maybe it’s a sign that we’re leaving the tiny baby phase that is counted in months, and getting awfully close to the toddler stage that is counted in years.  But as I look back on my 10 month post (am I allowed as a mother to admit this?) I don’t see too many differences over this past month.


Not that there aren’t new discoveries.  Daily, in fact.  The big ones?  Turtle took his first steps a week ago.  He was holding onto my jeans as I shuffled around the kitchen, and at some point he just let go, stood there a minute, and took a few steps on his own.  He did this a few days in a row, and then stopped–no more interest.  I’m sure he’ll figure it out again soon enough, probably sooner than we can figure out how to keep up with him.  The other big discovery:  you can put things in other things.  The first was a ball in a cup.  Then a cup in a cup.  Then (oh, and this was hilarious, he was laughing like crazy) a cup in a cup in another cup!  He’s got a toy that’s like an oversized marble run and he’s mastered putting the balls into the track.  He’s even tried putting a block, a toy lion, and a cheerio in the track.  It’s so much fun to watch the excitement on Turtle’s face as he figures all this out.  And such an honor when he takes a moment from his experiments to glance up at me and smile–his way of calling out “look at me!”


There have been events this month, too.  My parents visited, and he got spoiled while we got some painting done.  I took my first baby-vacation, two nights at a church conference nearly an hour away, and we all survived.  In fact, we seemed happy enough with it–me with the professional time and Turtle with his daycare–that we’re going to give one morning a week at daycare a try for a few weeks.  The in-home daycare is the haunt of a handful of babies and toddlers for Turtle to play with, a calm & caring friend who is amazing with babies, and a dog, which Turtle absolutely loves.  Turtle also got hit hard with some combination of cold & ear infection last week–poor kid.  He celebrated his first Halloween, as a Turtle, of course.  We drove to a few friends’ houses to trick or treat & snap pictures.  Christer and I ended up with most of the treats, but Turtle did get his first sucker.  Not surprizingly, the idea that he could drool all over something and it would reward him with a rootbeer flavor was a bit hit.  Christer helped Turtle put his joy into words, “I’ve been licking things all my life looking for this.”


We’ve been transitioning to more inside time as the weather cools.  Turtle’s been finding amusements around the house–from clanging muffin tins when I’m cooking to pulling books off the shelf in the living room to hiding behind the bedroom curtain as I’m folding laundry.  And with his new coat and mittens Turtle has ventured out into the chilly fall–he’s especially enjoyed trips to a local nature trail with Christer.  Turtle has always enjoyed looking at the tree out his bedroom window–we’ll catch him staring quietly out it as he awakes from napping.  And lately he’s watched the leaves change color and then fall to the ground, and I’ve wondered what he’s thinking as that steady landmark changes.


We’re nearing one year, starting to make plans for a birthday, starting to think of our baby as a little boy.  The changes aren’t coming as quickly as they were a few months ago, but our Turtle’s reached a slightly steadier pace of exploration that is its own sort of joy to watch unfold.  It’s easier to see the similarities–he’s the same independent, determined, curious, chatty, cuddly baby he was last month.  He’s just finding more and more ways to insert all that personality out into the world.


November 2, 2009

These are my current favorite baby pants.  Favorites because they are kinda baggy, and crazy easy to slip on and off for diaper changes.  Also, because they have big orange pockets.  They’re just one of half a dozen pairs I’ve made over the past year, all using a sloppy approximation of Soule Mama’s directions in The Creative Family.  No T-shirt in the house is safe–special favorites include an old Union shirt of Christer’s and a black & white Homer Simpson shirt.

The only problem with these pants is that, as it gets colder, the T-shirt material really isn’t enough for a day outdoors.  (We weren’t planning to take these outside today, but stopped by the park on the way home after learning that an indoor playground was closed on Mondays.  So it was a quick trip.)  I’m thinking baby needs another set made out of old sweatshirts.  Or fleeces.  Warm and fuzzy stuff.


And speaking of pants, our favorite book these days is Moosey Moose, by Chris Raschka.  It’s about a Moose, who wants his pants.  His long pants.  Not his short pants.  That’s about all there is to the book.  And while grabbing the link I took a look at the reviews on Amazon, and they are almost as funny as the book.  So go, read them.

Turning the Page

November 1, 2009

A new month, and a reminder that some celebrate NaBloPoMo at this time of year.  I can’t quite make the commitment to blog every day, but it was enough to inspire me to blog, even though all I have is a photo from a few weeks ago, and a quick list.


  • Fit in one last beautiful day at the park today.  But the park is less relaxing now that Turtle can climb up steps but not down.  Still likes the swing, though.  And splashing in the disgusting water pooled at the bottom of the slide.
  • Impressed again by the kids at my church.  These days I’m teaching the 3rd-5th graders, and that’s such a fun age.  Very capable, and yet very much still kids.
  • Watching baseball, again.  I am so bad at watching sports on TV–I don’t think I could tell you who was ahead right now.  Although I’m afraid it’s the Yankees.  And I’ve spent enough time watching baseball around here to know that’s a bad thing.
  • Realizing that November means it’s time to start celebrating Christmas.  And a bit overwhelmed by first stint planning a Christmas for a baby.  He was around last year, but there were no plans.  Shoot, I was proud of myself for staying awake through presents and dinner, that was about where we were then.  I’ve, of course, bookmarked about 50 projects I want to do–decorations, presents, whatnot.  I just need to keep reminding myself that there will be many more Christmases with the little guy, I don’t need to do everything this year.
  • Wondering how long it’ll take the baby to figure out that we have fallen behind one hour.  Whoever came up with the idea of daylight savings time clearly did not have small children.  Still, happy that Indiana has decided to join the rest of the country in observance.  I wouldn’t want my comments to be seen as anti-clock-changing.  That’s important political stuff around here, and I want my loyalties to be clear.
  • The Jim Carry Christmas Carol movie looks terrible.  The American Express commercial with all the inanimate-objects-turned-happy-faces on the other hand, makes me giddy every time it comes on.

There, now, that wasn’t that bad.  I could do this for 30 days, right?

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2009

Mama’s first Halloween costume.


Of course, he was a Turtle.