Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Edward is majorly into Daddy worship these days. When he wakes up from an afternoon nap and I go in to retrieve him, his first word is almost always "Da?" As in "Where the heck is he?" This question pops up frequently throughout the afternoon. We often head outside (now that it's not raining or 99.9 percent humidity) to "look" for Dad, even up to an hour before he's expected home. Luckily there are many distractions outside while we wait for John to pull up through the alley. If we point at John's car and say "Who's car is this?" he says, "Da!" On Saturday while we were outside, Edward began demanding "bubble, bubble!" The "l" sound is not distinct, but this is one of his words. I got up to get the bubbles and sat down to begin blowing them for him and he screamed "No no!" reaching for the jar. He is not allowed to hold the open jar, just the wand. So I put the lid back on and gave it to him and he trotted down the ramp and over to where John was sitting on the patio, handing him the bubbles. Guess I know where I stand.

As noted, the weather finally broke on Friday and we had an absolutely gorgeous weekend. Cool and comfortable--a hint of the approaching fall, my favorite season. It was cool enough for long pants so Edward tried out some jeans that have been languishing at the bottom of his drawer for months. He looks so grown up, but if you look closely, there's a Peter Rabbit tucked under his arm to remind us he's still our baby. For church on Sunday he tried out his new shoes--very stylin'. It was nearly impossible to get a picture though because he knows he can see our saved pictures on the camera and demands to see "baby, baby!"

The see-saw between "baby" and "big boy" tipped the other direction on Monday morning when John offered him a bite of banana, and Edward insisted on holding the whole thing by himself. He managed a few bites and played with the peel a bit before discarding it. He's been a bit picky with his eating the last few days. Today very congested, so I guess he's probably coming down with a cold.Edward impressed the heck out of his daycare teachers today with something we thought was quite routine. While outside on the playground he suddenly heard the sound of a lawn mower across the street and proclaimed "lawn mower!!" They were apparently floored by this bit of vocabulary, but we've heard it all summer. Edward is fascinated by lawn mowers, pointing them out when we're driving and even stopping in his tracks on Sunday to stand on our front walk and watch our neighbor across the street tackle her lawn. I'm sure she hadn't realized it could be a spectator sport. I guess they don't get much mowing action near the daycare. As with "bubble" the "l" is not clear and neither is the "r" at the end, but you can clearly tell what he's saying. It sounds like of like "maw mow." He also says "thank you," though it sounds more like "day doo." He can use the sign for "please" but only does so with lots of reminders and prompting. Still, these are little niceties in his otherwise demanding world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This is Edward waiting for John to come home from work today. He took an extra long nap, waking at about 4:30 and the first words out of his mouth before I even got him out of bed were "Da? Da?" "Dad's at work" just doesn't seem to register with him. He kept asking all through his snack, and then while we were playing he kept running to the door in anticipation. John doesn't believe me because then when he finally got home Ed looked up, said "Da" and then went back to his puzzle." This little jumpsuit was one of the first summer outfits he wore this year (before it was really summer) and we noticed today that it's getting a little snug. He even popped the crotch snaps a couple of times. Fall can't come soon enough!!

We had a busy weekend with a visit to Evanston to see family, friends and Saturday night's Crowded House concert at the House of Blues. We got lots of good time with my parents, saw two of my sisters, visited friends in their new suburban house and had a great extended dinner with friends we haven't seen in, well, we couldn't remember exactly, so let's just say a LONG time. Unfortunately the concert was a bust as the House of Blues is a rotten place for a sold out rock concert. John said it was like standing in someone's basement surrounded by people we didn't know and grew to dislike listening to a CD on a cheap boom box while watching the band through a window. Oh well, two out of three ain't bad, as they say.

We learned from this trip that Edward is not the car sleeper he once was. He slept for less than two of the four hours each way between Iowa City and Evanston. He used to reliably sleep for at least three and sometimes more. We may have to rethink our travel plans from now on. Of course, we're not really planning any long road trips for a while. Once we hit the third trimester, I'm Iowa bound (by my own choice) until the baby arrives. We've heard and read too many stories about people who take an innocent pre-baby vacation and wind up in a NICU in a city far from home. We know how hard it is when you're close to friends and family and don't wish to tempt fate with any big adventures.

Speaking of the baby, today's OB appointment went well, with his/her heart rate still pumping away at about 150 beats per minute. I'm doing fine too so we'll just proceed with the same "one day at a time" mantra that got us through the wait for Edward and has carried us this far again.

We had the camera with us over the weekend, but were so busy chasing Edward that we never even took it out of the suitcase. His favorite activity now is running through the house or outside (weather permitting) chasing or being chased. He finds this hilarious and endlessly entertaining. It only ends when whatever adult is playing simply can't keep up anymore. John tried to distract him the other night by shoving two stuffed animals up Edward's shirt before sending him running into the kitchen. This brought a momentary reprieve when "green bear" fell out on the floor and Edward had to stop, examine the situation and then look up with a worried "Uh oh!"

Dancing is also still a favorite activity and Edward really kicked it up a notch when we played the CD our friend gave us over the weekend of the band he used to play with. It's a lot more rockin' than most of what we usually play for him and he seemed to notice, breaking out a new dance move that had us rolling on the floor. By the time we calmed down enough to shoot the video he knew he was putting on a show, so you see him here checking over his shoulder to see our reaction. (Note to S&C, he seriously has NEVER done this for any other music so let us know when The Strike has its reunion tour!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

OK, Edward isn't going to be asked to join Mensa anytime soon, but he still exhibited what I thought was a pretty sophisticated bit of logic this evening that is of the sort that I never thought I'd share.

As Mary reported yesterday, our plans to move fell through yesterday, so tonight we met with our real estate agent to sign the papers to take our house off the market. Edward, of course, was trying his best to get our attention throughout all this, running around like, well, like a toddler full of energy. At one point he left the kitchen and went into the living room, where he occupied himself for a while. He came back after a couple of minutes with a container of talc he'd pulled out of his diaper bag, which he had removed from a cabinet and somehow clawed open. I took it from him, he waited for a moment to see if I was going to do anything more, and then went back into the living room. After another couple of minutes, he came back to retrieve the talc. I gave it to him with reservations, sure that he would figure out how to open it and shake it all over the living room. I followed him this time and saw that he had taken the changing pad out of the diaper bag as well. He proceeded to walk across the room, dropped the talc next to the bag and then laid down on the pad. Being relatively smart, I asked him if he had pooped. He pointed to his shorts, said "puh" (which is one of his new favorite words) and finally got through to me the fact that he needed to be changed.

It's not the multiplication tables or anything, but I was still pretty amazed at how methodically and patiently he put all of that together. Suffice to say, we celebrate small things around here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Edward woke up on the wrong side of the crib after his nap today. At first he happily threw his pacifier and blanket back in the bed after I picked him up, but as soon as we left the room he started fussing and nothing I suggested would appease him. I snuggled him for a few minutes but then he squirmed down and stood next to me crying. Snack? "No." Stories? "No." Trucks? "No." Ball? "No." Juice? "No." All punctuated with persistent wails. I'm sure it was as frustrating for him as it was for me. I carried him into the kitchen, thinking the sight of his sippy cup and the grapes I had ready for snack would change his mind. He accepted the cup, and then one half grape, but went ballistic when I tried to sit him in his highchair for the rest of the grapes. I set him down and he reached up for more grapes. Ah, so it was to be a battle of wills.

We attended a picnic hosted by the daycare last night and of course there are no highchairs at the park. He also was fussy after yesterday's nap but I really needed him to eat before the picnic since I had no idea what, if anything, he'd eat there. (Answer: watermelon and not much else. He'd been so fascinated by the sight of it on the counter awaiting slicing--pointing and grunting-that John finally brought it for a closer inspection, which they both found hilarious.) So I'd let him sit in my lap and spoon himself yogurt yesterday--what a mess! Not wishing to establish such a dangerous precedent, I decided today we could battle it out for a return to routine. I removed all the food from within his reach and retreated to the living room where I sat in a chair where he could still see me as he stood at the table screaming his head off. After about five minutes of this the phone rang and he stopped long enough for his customary "A-lo" at the sound of the ring. But before I hung up he was back at it, wailing for all he was worth.

Finally I said, "Ed, do you want some spaghetti?" It's a favorite so I thought it might work. He looked at me suspiciously, but then trotted over to his chair and climbed up while I heated some leftover pasta. He wasn't finished with the fussy phase though. He ate a noodle or two, but then spit out a half-chewed one. He then proceeded to plunge his hands into the bowl in search of the larger vegetable pieces from the sauce which he then fed himself bit by bit. He also ate a few more noodles along the way, but abandoned the fork and went for the full body experience. After we cleaned up the mess, he grunted toward the grapes, which were still on the counter from the earlier rejection. So I brought them over and he ate them piece by piece, demanding "more more" until they were gone. So he was hungry, but testing his authority. I have no idea what round this is, but I'll score it in my column.

We then decamped to the living room (still oppressively humid today, but supposed to be better tomorrow and through the weekend--woo hoo!) where he drove his London bus all over making some sort of vehicle noise and crashing it into other vehicles and objects. He found the ball seat gave him a perfect vantage point for driving all over the chair.

And that was our day. In other news, the 30-day contingency on our purchase offer for the house expired today and the sellers declined to extend it, so it looks like we'll stay put for now. We can't possibly buy another house without selling ours, and we've had absolutely no action for the whole month. Now obviously, it can take much longer to sell a house, but with no one even looking (we had two showings the whole month--one the first day and one yesterday) it's unrealistic to expect a buyer to pop up out of thin air. We'll take ours off the market and settle in at least until next spring. It might be a bit cozy come January, but larger families have lived in much smaller spaces, so I'm sure we'll make it work.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We had a good weekend where most of our energy went toward staying cool. It was easier for some of us, as you can see from these pictures of Edward. He might not have been "cool" in a temperature sense, but he certainly seemed to think he was cool in other ways. He got these sunglasses at daycare this week, and was allowed, like the other kids, to decorate them as he saw fit. That meant stickers everywhere, including on the lenses. They didn't stick very well, but they did leave a residue that must make it hard to see out of them, because he staggered around rather comically with them on.

We had a great visit with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Askren on Friday. They were in town to see my folks' new place, and we used the opportunity to celebrate Great Grandpa's birthday. Edward didn't get him a gift, but he did give him plenty of opportunity to play, which seemed like a good gift for both of them.

Even though we spent more time inside than outside -- venturing out only when Ed's declarations that he wanted to go OUTSIIIIIIDE! were too frequent to ignore -- he still found ways to at least see what he was missing. Here he steps into my tennis shoes so he can take advantage of the extra couple of inches to help him see out the front window.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

This is an image captured from a video, so not very large or high quality, but we loved the expression on his face. We were trying to get him to demonstrate ring around the rosie, but of course he stopped doing it once the camera was rolling. He is now very interested in the camera and walks right up to it pointing when he sees it, which makes it kinda hard to take pictures. But John likes the super close up, so maybe it's not such a bad thing.

It has been very hot and humid here this week, so we've been outside only in short bursts. Edward did a little chalk drawing on the patio on Sunday and ran his firetruck up and down the ramp a few times on Friday. He wasn't as fascinated with the spectacular crashes off the end or side of the ramp as I thought he'd be. My brothers will be so disappointed.

Indoor activities have included coloring with crayons, which he has learned to love at daycare. We discovered that the Rubbermaid container full of his outgrown clothes, which is strategically placed in front of some cords that can't be otherwise put off limits, makes an excellent art studio. When he says "color" it sounds a lot like "car" so we have to catch the meaning from context. He likes to hold up the crayons one at a time so that each color can be announced. So far he can identify black and sort of say it, but I'm not ruling out coincidence on that one since none of the other colors seem to be identifiable. He doesn't have a tremendous attention span for this activity, and in fact sometimes seems more interested in the box than the colors, as you can see if you decide to watch this video. Fair warning--it's about three seconds of coloring and about 45 of trying to put the crayon back in the box. I was too lazy to edit.

Another favorite indoor activity is John's guitar, which he somehow allows Edward to explore without having a heart attack. This is closely supervised and usually short lived, but Ed loves it and frequently bangs on the door to the office where the guitar is stored. At the end of the guitar segment, you get an idea of why we're having trouble getting photos these days.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A mid-week bonus post to share the news that we are expecting another baby. I'm almost 14 weeks now and feeling good, though often tired. It's a lot different being pregnant when you have a toddler to keep up with! The official due date is Feb. 3, but anticipated arrival is early- to mid-January since I'm not allowed to go past 37 weeks. I am taking heparin shots twice a day, as I did during my last pregnancy, and hoping for a similar outcome. I will be monitored closely, especially after I reach 24 weeks. We're just thankful for each healthy day and hoping for many more.