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Archive for August, 2008

Evidently wearing a bucket on your head is a pretty good time.  The good time for me came about 3 seconds after I snapped this picture…let’s just say he was headed straight for his crib, going at a pretty decent clip!  Too bad I wasn’t taking a video of this moment!  Side note…he was using his shovel as a walking stick of sorts.  Maybe next time he’ll realize that when the walking stick strikes something hard, it’s best to steer clear of that particular area.  Live and learn.

It’s always fun to shred toilet paper in teensy weensy pieces, isn’t it?  AND, it’s always a bad thing when it’s too quiet in the other room…  Notice the bushy tail that is retreating from the scene of the crime and the fact that the shreds of TP are missing from the floor (well, except the one proudly displayed in Owen’s hand).  Max is such a good little picker-upper.

He just looks like he’s done something naughty in this picture, doesn’t he?  Whenever I can’t find Owen, the bucket is still filled with cars, and the toilet paper rolls are still safely stored in the closet, I check the guest room.  Owen has really taken to sitting on this “bench” and looking around.  Occasionally he’ll bring in a book and just sit here and read.  I’m waiting for the day when he realizes this “bench” is a pretty good step stool.

What will he think of next?!?

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Congrats to our friends Ben and Anna, who just had a new baby, Drew. The night Anna went into labor, we got to keep their little gal, Ella, at our place.

As is the usual custom in our home, we were rockin’ the tunes during/after dinner. Owen and Ella decided to cut a rug to some She & Him, and as the following video proves, 1-year-olds have a style all their own.

I desperately hope that Owen takes Ella to their first jr. high dance so that I can pull out this video before they leave and sufficiently embarrass them both. To complete the cheesy dad requirement, I’ll finish by saying something Ward Cleaver-ish – “Okay kids, if you slow dance, I should be able to fit a balloon between your torsos…” or Emily and my all-time favorite imperative dance statement, “Leave room for the Holy Spirit!”

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a lesson in vocabulary

Owen was feeling especially talkative yesterday, and I got lucky enough to capture it on video! Check it out…

Oh yeah…you’re going to hear me asking Owen to say “Mammy”. You may think that’s a strange thing for me to be asking him to say. Owen has recently started calling my mom “Mammy”. She calls herself “Grammy”, he calls her “Mammy”. We’re gonna go with it for now.

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farewell to dear old bat

Sunday was a very sad day in our house. Owen’s favorite bat is no more. Here’s the sad tale…

After church we met our friends Emmie, Pierson and Chase for lunch at a park and then went on a train ride together. We knew in advance that the train ride was about 30 minutes…and we also knew that our child has the attention span of about 2 seconds. Not wanting to miss out on a good time with friends, I picked out a couple of toys to bring with us on the train to keep Owen occupied.

Notice that this train is a very narrow train. With open air seating. Close to the ground.

Well, the train gets going and Owen gets a bit agitated. To keep him from climbing out of the train, I give him his bat to play with. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Not two seconds after I give it to him, he chucks it overboard! I stare in horror as his precious bat lands in the rocks next to the train track. The train speeds ahead, and dear old bat gets smaller and smaller.

I should have considered the fact that Owen is very into throwing things (and he’s got a pretty good arm) before I gave him his favorite bat on a moving train. Not my smartest parenting moment.

Not long after bat is chucked over the side of the train, we experience every train-riders nightmare…we got DERAILED!! Evidently it’s a pretty big job to re-rail (not sure if that’s a word…) a train, so we ended up sitting on the tracks for an extra 10 or so minutes. Plenty of time for my athletic husband to run back and rescue bat from a rocky grave. But we didn’t think of that until much, much later. Here’s a picture of the derailment and all the engineers trying to re-rail us:

When the train ride was over, we thought that maybe the bat had been turned in to lost and found. Evidently they don’t have a lost and found (I guess most parents aren’t dumb enough to bring their child’s favorite toy on a train ride.) When the lady asked me what the toy was, I responded that it was a bat.  She said, in a very shocked voice, “You brought a bat on the train?!?”. Oh please. It was all I could do not to say, “Yes, I brought a Louisville Slugger on the train for my one year old to play with.”

All I can say is that I hope dear old bat has found a good home with a small child who will love it as much as Owen did.

(Did you notice that all my pictures contained pictures of the bat?  Sniff, sniff.)

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15 months!

I keep you pretty updated on Owen’s stuff through other blog posts, but in case you want a quick recap…

Some things he’s been up to this past month:

1. Walking EVERYWHERE! He loves to explore and discover new things. He is not at all interested in toys…he would rather play with TV remotes, cell phones, spatulas, etc…

2. Talking up a storm! Owen now says and understands 11 words (doggy, ball, mommy, daddy, car, bat, duck, keys, books, hi, bye-bye). He is working on lots more, but doesn’t quite have them in context yet. He loves to chatter in his crib before he gets up from his nap, and he loves to talk while I’m at stores running errands!

3. Teething…again. I think he might be getting his molars. Whatever they are, they need to hurry up already. As with every other time he’s cut new teeth, his sleeping is screwed up, his eating is sporadic, and he’s cranky. I hear these teeth are the big dogs…hopefully they’ll make their appearance soon.

4. Temper tantrums! He’s learned that, at home, I ignore him and walk into another room. He has pretty much stopped doing them here. But he LOVES to do them in public places. I’ve lost track of the amount of times that he’s thrown a temper tantrum in public. I used to think I’d be so embarrassed if I had a child who would do this. I’m not saying I love it, but I guess I’m getting pretty used to it. Owen pretty much just likes to have his own way all the time. He HATES it when I remove an inappropriate item from his hands (example: Sharpie marker that he’s managed to remove the lid from). His favorite variety of temper tantrum is to arch his back and let out a blood curdling scream, which I’m sure makes everyone else in the store think I’ve just done something awful to him. If I try to offer him a different toy to play with, he does what we call the “windshield wiper”. You can imagine…he whips his arm back and forth, knocking whatever it is I’m trying to give him out of my hands, all the while screaming like a stuck pig. We knocked out the tantrums at home with just a bit of ignoring. But I’m starting to think that, while I’m ignoring his screaming fit of rage at Target, the other customers sure aren’t…so he’s getting some attention for this negative behavior.

Enough about that! Besides the tantrums and teething, he really is a fun, goofy kid! We’re loving this new toddler phase and enjoy taking him to explore new places.

Oh yeah…the big news!  He’s finally growing hair!  You may not be able to tell in the picture, but I had to give him his first haircut this month to get rid of his baby mullet.  He has some very fine, white-blond hair coming in all over his head.  Maybe he won’t be bald forever!

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usa! usa! usa!

We’re halfway through the Olympics, and Emily and I are running hot with Olympic fever.

We’ve gasped as 27-pound gymnasts jump 19 feet in the air. We’ve marveled at Michael Phelps’ ability not to flash his privates to the world (seriously, those pants ride low). And we’ve tried our best to understand Bela Karolyi’s in-studio commentary.

I’m not afraid to admit that I love the Olympics. And for those of you who are of the opinion that that makes me “one of those posers who loves a sport for two weeks every four years”, I suggest you read this article by KC Star columnist, Joe Posnanski. He makes a great point, and bases it around a quote by Jim McKay that pretty much sums up my thoughts: “The sports themselves don’t matter. No, it’s the competition that captivates us.” It’s the tension…the drama…and to be honest, the fact that it does only come around once every four years is what makes it work so well. People dedicate their lives for years to get to this one point. For lack of a better cliche, it’s all on the line.

Also, for every 10 schmaltzy stories about what the athletes have gone through to get here, there’s one or two that are genuinely touching. Like the story of Lin Hao – the little boy walking alongside Yao Ming during the opening ceremonies, carrying the Chinese flag. The short of the story is this:

On May 12th, 2008, a massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on the richter scale hit the Sichuan province in China, killing over 70,000 people. When the earthquake struck, the entire building collapsed on 9-year-old Lin Hao and his classmates. But before Lin escaped the rubble, he went back into the pile of rubble and was able to save two of his classmates. When asked why he risked his life to save others, he said, “I was the hall monitor, it was my job to look after my classmates.”

Call me a sap, but these are the “little” stories that get a national stage at the Olympics. And it’s just one more reason why I can’t stop watching.

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Today I got out the markers and paper and set out to let Owen’s creative juices flow.  He worked very hard on figuring out how to get the marker to mark on the paper.

He also spent a good amount of time kicking back, trying to figure out what was making the marker mark on the paper.

So much time, in fact, was spent on this task that his hands looked like this by the end of our creative venture:

Owen found every part of this art project enjoyable, including trying to pick up the markers after he was finished.

His finished product is gorgeous and is now proudly displayed on my fridge!  (And no, I did not help him at all…I didn’t even do “hand over hand” to help him hold the marker.  This was all him!)

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