Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here is Edward at 16 months. He's clearly pleased with himself. His parents can't share his joie d'vivre this evening.

Two inches of rain since 3 p.m. yesterday. More expected tonight and tomorrow. Our backyard is saturated and apparently, so is the ground beneath our house. We are the proud and beleaguered owners of a new six-gallon wet/dry vacuum. John went to the basement for another reason after dinner and discovered the water. It wasn't deep, but it was spreading so he went to work moving/rescuing various items and mopping up what he could. At quarter to eight, after giving Ed a bath and putting him to bed, I went to see what I could do. The hardware store down the street closes at 8 so we decided not to gamble on things getting worse overnight. I dashed out for the equipment while John kept mopping and wringing and dumping the 5-gallon bucket out in the alley.

Ed's new rainy day toy is much more fun. This is something he got for his birthday but we'd stored it away since he was just overflowing with new things back in December. I had a feeling we'd need a little diversion sometime and this week was the time. The living room feels quite small when it's filled with Edward Energy! He wasn't sure what to make of this at first since it was singing the Alphabet Song to him, but he figured out how he could make other noises and then he noticed that it came with 25(!) animal pieces to carry around and deposit around the room. Or, in this case, to bang on the metal folding chair for the delightful noise it produced.

Today's other news was a clean bill of health at his 15-month well-baby check. Yes it was a month late, but who's counting. All we know is that he is continuing on his mid-range weight and supersize head trajectory. After the results come back from lab tests, we may be able to stop the iron supplement, which would be nice. It's not a big deal, but just another thing to keep track of, as we have been giving him the medicine three times a day. We're supposed to give it with juice because the vitamin C helps with absorption so a little bedtime sippy cup has become part of the routine. We may keep that even when we lose the medicine, since it's clearly part of how he unwinds.

No new video lately, but if you need a fix, I highly recommend checking out Ed's cousin Katherine who really knows how to bust a move. She's got rhythm!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yesterday's WalkAmerica in Iowa City could not have been more perfect. It was sunny and warm, with a light breeze to keep the sweat at bay as we trudged up the hills (yes, we do have hills in Iowa!) Many friends joined us to walk the six miles in memory of Will, in honor of Edward and in support of the important work of the March of Dimes. We have so much to be thankful for, and the love and support of our family and friends tops the list.

This is Edward just after the walk. Does he look tired to you? Riding in a stroller can really sap a guy! Not just riding in a stroller, but riding and snacking on the various treats at the water stations along the route. Edward apparently loves chewy granola bars with chocolate chips. He also managed to drink a little water from his sippy cup without soaking himself. Good thing because he had several layers to soak through. That could have gotten uncomfortable and heavy. I didn't really know how to dress him for the walk. I knew we'd be warm enough from the exertion, but wasn't sure what he'd need. He ended up shedding a couple of layers toward the end as the day grew warmer.

It was just as warm today so we tried a new look--shorts! For most of the day he had shoes on outside, but here was a brief barefoot interlude. He's engaged in a new favorite outdoor activity. We started with a jar of bubbles on Friday afternoon. He loved the wand, but didn't care too much about the bubbles I blew for him. He just wanted to dip and dip and dip the wand. It made quite a sticky mess. So today I wised up and gave him the wand with a jar of water. That was fully satisfactory, and as a bonus this jar mouth was wide enough that he could stuff his whole hand in and watch the overflow. It was loads of fun.

Some rain this evening brought some cooler temperatures and we're not expecting to wear shorts again this week. This is actually fine with me. I'm not at all prepared for true summer. My summer clothes are still in storage so I've been wearing whatever comes out of the bin when I reach in and tug on a t-shirt, which is why I cropped myself out of this picture! I'll savor the breezes though--love having the windows open. Except when the neighbor decides that 1 a.m. is the best time to drag race his motorcycle. What a scourge of a vehicle!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is the result of allowing Ed a sippy cup in the car. Now, you might think, "A sippy cup is spill-proof. How could he get so wet?" Well, he has figured a way around this feature. That is, the spill-proof quality only applies to the liquid while it is in the cup. Once you have sucked it out of the cup and into your mouth, all bets are off. Swallowing is optional!

I know he is a sloppy drinker, but I had no idea this was what he was perpetrating in the backseat this afternoon. He was cranky, I passed him the cup, he was quiet. Luckily it was only water and we were on our way home anyway. I actually don't think he was crying about being wet. It was more about the fact that I pushed our afternoon outing a bit too long, and he was ready for dinner. A quick change to dry clothes and then a quick reheat of some leftover chili solved this problem. John came home in the middle of this drama and said he'd take us out for dinner. Ed finished his first dinner at home and then had his Teddy Graham dessert while we had sandwiches and fries. Actually he had the grahams while we waited for our meals. Once he saw the fries, he demanded that we share. When he saw John dipping his in ketchup he was intrigued. So John dipped one and then handed it to him. Ed put it in his mouth a bit tentatively, sucked for a bit without letting go and then pulled it back out for another dip in the ketchup. And another generation is introduced to the all-American condiment. Uncle Joe will be so proud!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Here are some photos of Edward's new favorite kitchen activity. The box of lids is forgotten as this new territory is explored. We must be careful as the weather warms and he goes around barefoot though. One of these to the toe and we could have a repeat of Uncle Joe's babyhood severed toe incident. These are way heavier than a jar of Skippy!

Speaking of Uncle Joe's digits, we recalled that story ane many others from his childhood as we shared "The Joe WE know" with his fiancee, Brenda, at a luncheon in her honor this weekend in Evanston. We had a great time and are so excited to welcome her to the family. She unfortunately had a crash course in life with a baby however, as we were all staying at my parents' house and Ed chose to start his days even earlier than usual--pre 6 a.m. That's just not good for anyone--even the earlybird himself! He was so tired Saturday morning that he fell asleep again by 7:30--this time laying on Gram. He was so comfy he settled in for a good two hours (and she wasn't complaining!) That meant his first afternoon sans nap. In fact, while all the women were at the luncheon, the men were home with the kids (Ed and his two cousins), none of whom napped! They all survived, though everyone was pretty worn out. It wasn't warm enough for a park visit. That's a long afternoon of togetherness.

Later that evening, Ed had fun rediscovering an old favorite--the exersaucer. We put ours away several months ago when he became mobile and wasn't interested in confined play anymore. However, this weekend, he discovered a whole new use--climbing toy! You can see the mixed results in this series of photos. Note the steadying parental hands, ensuring that the saucer didn't tip as he climbed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We had a happy Easter with a visit to Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon in Des Moines. The Easter Bunny found us there with lots of treats for all! Edward is well-equipped for summer fun with his bucket, shovel and watering can. Also a new favorite book, "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb," which is the first (of many to come we presume) that he demands encores of after each nightly reading. We get to the end and he turns it over to the beginning and starts bouncing to the anticipated rhythm. "Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum!"
He needed some help to bust open his eggs to reveal the hidden treats (Teddy Grahams), but knew just what to do when they spilled out on the table.
This was on "Easter Eve"--clearly he spent too much time slobbering over the eggs and not enough practicing how to open them. These didn't have any treats though, so little incentive. He climbed into this box on his own and then giggled as John pushed him around the room in it. We thought he and his cousin might have a face off in the two boxes the next day, but they didn't seem to pay too much attention to each other except to steal each other's toys.

Oh, we also discovered that Grandpa needs to brush up on his "patty-cake." There were several improvised lyrics, but you can see Ed didn't mind.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Edward has been steadily increasing the number of body parts he can identify. Thus far he's found his head, tongue, ears, eyes, nose and belly. Tonight, when Mary was getting him ready for bed, he took a moment to admire his own girth. Anyone who would like to contribute to his future therapy bills, please e-mail me.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

As you can tell from recent posts, Edward has been constantly on the move and usually offering some sort of running commentary in the process. What follows is a multi-part video that captures just a small portion of his day today.

1) Edward walks from the living room to the kitchen, climbs a stepstool, climbs down and then climbs into a cardboard box.
2) Edward plays hide-and-seek around the stepstool.
3) Edward chatters a bit as Mary and I get ready for dinner.
4) Edward laughs wildly because he thinks he's pushing himself and his highchair across the room by pushing his feet up against my knees.

It's a very long video, and I put the laughter at the end. Hope it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here you see Edward today demonstrating his rediscovered walking skills that have kept him very busy and made him very tired. We had a cold snap over the weekend that sent us in search of indoor play, which included two trips to the mall. On Friday he was in danger of being run over as he crawled around at the Children's Museum (unfortunately located at the mall), but by Sunday he'd found his sea legs again and toddled all around the mall's soft toy play area. Then after he'd had enough of the toys he climbed up the two steps to get out into the open mall walkway and just started walking along like it was no big deal. I kept him corralled toward the side so he wouldn't slow down the actual customers. I hate the mall, especially when I'm trying to get in, get my shopping done and get out and I get stuck behind some slow walker, or worse, three or four slow walkers abreast that you can't get around! I did not want to cause such stress in others, but anything to keep him entertained this weekend was worth the effort.

You might think from the short sleeves in the picture above and in the previous post from last week that spring has fully arrived here in Iowa. You would be wrong. These were his daycare spare clothes left there last week when it was warm and sunny. This morning as we were leaving the house we were pelted by snow flurries. We're not supposed to see 50 again until next week. Then again, some might consider that the definition of an Iowa spring. Oh well. We'll just appreciate the real thing even more when it finally gets here. Meanwhile the daffodils are shivering and the tulip leaves have shrivelled.

The Children's Museum has great potential, but we'll try to go at a less crowded time in the future. This was our first visit after friends had said their kids of similar age enjoyed it. It was "Free Family Night" with lots of family activities at the mall, including free admission to the museum so it was very crowded. Luckily we discovered a little play kitchen kind of tucked in a corner and hid there for a little while. Edward really liked the farm room--maybe I'll have a helper for my garden this year? It was a cute set up, with little holes that the kids could "plant" the plastic vegetables in. Edward was more interested in dumping the vegetables out of the wheelbarrow.

It's funny how Edward started walking a few weeks ago and then gave it up and went back to crawling. It was like he didn't trust himself on two legs. I wonder if he'll always be that cautious-ha! But ever since Sunday he's been walking all over, and even turning around midstream or bending over to pick things up. John also has him working on kicking the ball (which continues his pattern of "lefty" behavior--he uses the left foot.) I am amused by this since John's not a big soccer fan. But anything that keeps Edward active also makes him tired. He's been sleeping like...well...a baby lately!

We're working on getting some video of Edward's latest verbal skills. It's all still gibberish, but he's so emphatic about it, we just know he's trying to tell us something. Stay tuned...