Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today was our first measurable snow of the winter, which means grudgingly heading outside to shovel (for me) or looking outside in giddy anticipation (for Edward). He was excited at the prospect of going out to make a snowman, but was able to temper that urge long enough to go to church.

Once he was home, he quickly got suited up: snow pants, boots, coat, mittens and hat. Properly attired, we headed out to run around. I suggested we just run around like crazy people and flop in the snow, but Edward was having none of it: "No," he said, politely but firmly as he shook his head.

My suggestion to build a snowman was met more favorably. Of course, part of this stems from the fact that Edward doesn't actually have to do much with the building. It's my back aching as I stoop to roll the three big snowballs that make it up, but the end result was worth it. Edward did help with the vital task of packing snow between the pieces to keep it in place. Unfortunately, I built the first snowman at a bad tilt, so no amount of packing kept him from crashing to the ground as we headed out in search of an arm-worthy stick. Snowman 2.0 was much more sound, and was deemed a success. Edward decided after Mary snapped this photo that the snowman needed a mouth. We made one out of a stick. He then said it needed teeth. I wondered how we'd pull that off, but it was easier than I feared: Edward picked up some snow and smacked the snowman in the mouth. "There are his teeth!" he exclaimed.

Next it was on to sledding. Our yard has a bit of a slope to it, so I could get him going pretty fast headed that way. But that meant lugging him up that slight slope to do it all over again. Strangely, he didn't tire of this as quickly as I did.

Our other pursuits included trying to smack a tree with a stick so snow on the limbs would fall on Edward (much like in one of his current favorite books, Snowy Day) though this proved difficult, and to smack the snowman with his plastic hoe in an attempt to knock it down because "it was a bad one."

Meanwhile, Daniel has been a bit under the weather, battling pink eye yet again. That hasn't kept him from his normal rambunctiousness, however, as you can see from this shot. Before the onset of that, he was happily playing with his brother at Grandma and Grandpa's. Ed has a four-wheel bike there that he likes to ride on, and Daniel decided he either wanted to push Ed along or hitch a ride... or maybe a bit of both. Ed starts by "fixing" his bike and changing the tires. Then Daniel joins in the fun:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daniel is getting more bold with his walking now and has the bruises and scrapes to prove it. When I picked him up from daycare today he had an "incident report," which is just an official documentation of any injury that happens during the day. He's bumped his head crawling over his teacher. I didn't even notice the bruise because it is just one of many. They said he hardly even cried. I guess when you fall that many times per day you get tough quickly. Here he is on Sunday morning fending off Edward's destablizing efforts and walking across the room to me:

We had a busy weekend with a trip to visit Great Grandma and Grandpa in Chariton. Daniel slept through both legs of the trip despite Edward's running commentary through the outbound trip (more than two hours!) So much to see--cows, horses, sheep, trucks, even a little snow in the fields, though luckily none on the road. We are glad not to be traveling any further than across town for our Thanksgiving. Even though we'd love to see friends and family, there simply is no easy way to take a road trip with two small children.

Lately the way to get Edward to do things he thinks he doesn't want to do is to challenge him to be "the first." Refusing to get in the car? Let's see who can get his buckles on first, Daniel or Edward. "Edward," he screams and races to his seat. Not interested in taking a nap despite barely being able to stay awake on the drive home from school? Let's see who can get upstairs first, Daniel or Edward. "Edward," he calls as he bounds upstairs and into his bed. Manipulative? Yes. Fostering unhealthy sibling competition? Perhaps. But it gets the job done with at least one-third fewer tears and fights, which has to be good for something.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Here's some video that should have gone with the last post, but I didn't get around to editing until today. I finished my class for the semester on Thursday (did you hear the hallelujah chorus?) and have just spent my first Saturday afternoon in 12 weeks free of any external obligation. The boys cooperated by taking simultaneous naps. I believe John has joined them in slumber. I've been reading, answering email, and prepping these videos for your viewing pleasure.

Daniel is perilously close to walking. He frequently lets go of whatever he is holding on to and stands unaided until he realizes what he's doing. Then he plops down. But this week, he also has been willing to take one or one-and-a-half steps toward the outstretched arms of a waiting parent.

I believe this is a bit of foreshadowing of my life as mom of two boys. I am sure this is quite tame compared to what is to come. At this point we can still laugh. I may have to watch it in a few years when they're at each other's throats.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daniel is 10 months old today--wow, picture and post on the actual birthday! Who said second kids get the shaft? Latest developments include a few attempts at standing without holding onto anything (generally resulting in a plop to butt within seconds), attempting to feed himself by shoving his hand in his mouth to explore the texture of food that has been spooned in, and displaying his true hillbilly roots with three upper teeth and a gap. Combined with his new snorting sound it makes for quite a comical picture--if only we could capture it. Stay tuned (or come visit in person!)

For a historical perspective, check this out. I swear this was not planned, but I'm guessing no one will believe me.

I will try to post a new video soon. No time now to piece together various snippets. Finance final is Thursday--that light at the end of the tunnel is getting bright!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween was a great success by all accounts--or at least by all that matter, which in this case is just one: Edward's. He loved it! The firefighter costume was a huge hit and has been worn daily since then. (Not all day, but let's just say it has seen action.) My office had trick-or-treating from 4 to 5 so we went down and paraded around with all of my co-workers' kids. Then we stopped to see some of our old neighbors who remembered Edward as a pumpkin and said Daniel was just as cute. By this time he wasn't too keen on getting in and out of the costume every time we had to get back in the car. But it was only once more.

We came home and had dinner before heading out in our own neighborhood. We met some neighbors who had "glow sticks" for their kids and they shared two with Edward--a HUGE hit! (He slept with them.) Edward walked for about two blocks and back. We had to carry Daniel as lots of our neighbors have steps up to the front door, so not stroller accessible.

We convinced Ed to come home by telling him that we had to give candy to kids that came to our house. (I showed him our basket of tootsie rolls and smarties before we left.) When we got home he was immediately digging in his bucket, appearing to be trying to grab as much as he could with both hands. We were both telling him he could have ONE piece before bed, but he kept digging. Frustrated that he wasn't listening, I became more forceful. "Edward! You can not have all that candy now. Pick one piece!"

"No, Mommy!" he replied, holding up a pile of candy in his hands. "These are for the other kids!"

He had misunderstood and thought we had to go home to give HIS candy out at our door! We explained again about the basket we had for the other kids, and he happily put all of his back in the pumpkin and picked a bag of peanut M&Ms. (Actually, his first selection was something that looked like an eyeball, but we were pretty sure it was a jawbreaker, so we had a bowl at the ready for him to spit it out when he realized he couldn't chew it.) We didn't end up having many trick-or-treaters at our house and we don't think we missed many while we were out. I guess our street is not a hot spot.

I should also note, that this Halloween has to be one of the warmest ever. It was in the 70s--we didn't even need jackets!

Here's a funny picture of Daniel's "toothy" grin. However, it does not show that in the last week, three of his top four teeth have poked through. These three are not all in a row, as one of the top middle teeth has yet to appear. As you can imagine, this makes quite a goofy, gap-tooth grin. Orthodontists of Iowa City may start lining up for our business any day now.