Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Sign of the Times

I've been showing Mia sign language for certain things since she was about five or six months. Last week, she started doing them herself! She's already demonstrating signs for "more," "finished," and "Mommy." I'm so excited! We never got to see Connor do any signs, although I used them with him as much as I do Mia (He decided at 8 months to just start talking outright and didn't want to bother with forming his hands into funky shapes. Let's just say he could have inherited his motor skills from either of us....sorry, Son.). I am presently working on introducing two or three more words into her signing vocabulary. We'll see what she thinks.

Baby Signing Website

Here's a photo of one of her earliest attempts at signing. It's her adaptation of "more." She taps her thumb on her highchair tray. Please forgive her pitiful expression...Princess Mimi is nursing an ear infection this week, poor monkey. She's not her smiley self at present.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Sunday was a monstrously good time! Photos and/or video coming soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oogie Boogie!

We're getting ready for Connor's birthday party this Sunday. He is super excited--yesterday at Target, my typically bashful (to strangers, at least) young man enthusiastically informed our pharmacist that he was "havin' a monster birthday party!" When he's asked how old he's going to be, he will thrust out the "A-ok" sign, which is apparently easier than coaxing his index, middle and ring fingers to cooperate. Very cute.

His guest list is far healthier than the turnout we were expecting for a long weekend; I'm mighty glad Steve's parents agreed to come down for the afternoon and lend a hand. Today I bought a boatload of junk food (sorry, parents) and some table decorations. I hope it's as cute as what I'm picturing. Entertainment will feature several sprinkler toys (slip'n'slide included, naturally!), a small bounce house, a ball toss, and "make your own monster mask!" Aside from the traditional cake and ice cream, guests will have the opportunity to dine on dirt and worms and guzzle green and purple punch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Daddy's Girl

Steve's in Minneapolis until tomorrow night. His absence generally stands to complicate bedtime routines in this household, so this evening I prepared for the standoff from my two-year-old. He was uncharacteristically cooperative. Strangely, my usually compliant 10-month-old simply would not lay her head down for bed this evening. Instead she pulled herself up, stood at the crib rail, and mournfully called out for "Da-da." Frankly, I didn't expect her to notice he was missing just one night. I found my cell phone, called him, and put her ear to it. She positively lit up. "Da-da," she whispered, and reached for his picture, which pops up whenever we're connected. "Da-da-da-da!" He laughed. She laughed. He laughed. She laughed again. The two of them were having their own little conversation. This lasted several seconds. Satisfied, she popped her thumb into her mouth and clutched Pinky Bear. She looked at me as if to say "All right. Let's go to bed." Night night, Daddy. See you soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rescue Efforts

I have nothing but respect for most of God's creatures. I even like snakes. From a distance.

Steve would say I'm fooling myself.

Imagine my horror when I casually my garage yesterday morning to behold one of the glue traps our exterminator had tucked behind the deep freeze, harboring a captive. You guessed it. The trap had magically walked itself about three feet across the garage floor and was sitting there, unapologetically. All I could see was a dark loop of body hanging from one open end of the little cardboard box. It was about as big around as my finger. That glimpse alone inspired in me what's known as the "vermin dance." If you're female, you are already doing it in your head. For the guys, it involves a lot of tiptoeing in place and vigorous shaking of both hands. Muffled noisemaking optional, but encouraged. Once I got that out of my system, I decided to examine the thing. Yep, still alive. A little black racer, a bit longer than a foot in length, had probably slithered in there after a spider and found himself utterly befudged. He'd managed to get his head and various points on his body well gummed, right onto the roof of the trap. He sat there, terrified, his tongue flicking out periodically, his sides heaving...and every time he squirmed I flinched. The little fella and I spent about an hour together right there in my driveway, as I painstakingly pried him loose with a pair of fingernail scissors. I was finally able to release him , covered in cucumber melon scented baby powder (to keep him from re-sticking as I worked), into the woods behind our house. He looked fairly traumatized, but without serious injury. I was pretty proud of myself. God speed, little guy. Stay the crap away from my garage.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Gettin' Crafty

I've completed two projects this week requiring scissors and glue. Both were super fun, but one of them could have been a whole lot simpler if I hadn't gotten so carried away. Below you'll see an example of Connor's "monster" birthday party invitation (after I made the first one, I thought, "This is cute, but my hand is cramping a little..." After sixteen, I thought "I am stupid."):

The rest are before-and-after photos of my little toddler rocking chair, all spiffed up and refurbished for my sweet daughter. I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby, and it just said "Mia." I'll miss the original Holly Hobbie upholstery, but it had to go--years of storage in my grandparents' attic had rendered it musty and grayish. Years ago, my entire bedroom was tricked out in like fashion--I had the bedspread and canopy, the curtains, the dolls...everything. Those little prairie girls in the giant bonnets were apparently huge in the late seventies:

Apparently, this style of rocker was also a popular item in the seventies, since Steve has one from his babyhood that's an identical frame, with a slightly lighter finish on the wood and decidedly more boyish upholstery. It's at his mom's house, and my plan is to re-do it so the kids can have coordinating rockers. I'll post pics when that happens.