Sunday, August 29, 2004


It is absolutely fascinating the view you get into a child's mind as they start pretend playing. Dillon is really getting into pretending to do things. She likes to sit her baby in an opening in her activity table and pretend to feed her, complete with spoon and sippy cup. Actual food is optional. She likes to pretend to put a diaper and shoes on the baby. She likes for baby to sit in her lap when we watch one of her animal videos (also named baby- it's a pretty versatile word around here). She'll pretend that the baby wants to nurse, but then at the last minute decide that she wants to waaayyyy more than baby does, so baby gets ditched. One day she was pretending to pick things off the floor and hand them to Dave & I. I need to cultivate that little activity- it could come in useful one day!

Yesterday we went back to Billings Farm for their annual Children's Day. She got to see more of the cows, sheep, horses and chickens. The cows remained the favorite, despite getting a little freaked out by a calf that walked up to us. She was holding onto Da so tightly that I think he could've let go and she wouldn't have gone anywhere! Somewhere on the way home, she saw a swing and started saying "whee!" Pretty soon the "whee's" overtook the moos and baas, so we went to a park with one of those bucket style swings. She had a blast with Da pushing her on the swing, alternating between a exuberant "whee" and an equally exuberant "push!"

We came home and decided to grill burgers. Dillon, Satchmo and I were standing outside when I saw something move in the woods. It turned out to be a yearling deer. It was a safe distance from us, sucessfully managing to ignore Satchmo barking, Dillon saying "Dee!" and Dave coming outside. It just poked around until it eventually wandered out of sight. Unfortunately, this prompted several "more dee" for Dillon, followed by "go?" All was made well by being able to say "bye dee."

As for today, naptime is over and all efforts on my part to make pretend sleeping as much fun as pretend playing have thus far been futile. So, we'll make the best of the day and go see how much fun the world can be.

Feeding baby Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More Da

She is learning new words and phrases at an amazing rate, or so it seems to us. "More Da" is a popular one over the last few days. Dave was mowing grass & I held Dillon up to the window to see him. She got too heavy so I told her I was going to have to put her down. She immediately started crying "more Da, more Da!" So, of course I held her up to the window a little longer. When he came inside it was "BIG Da!" She saw his car the other day and said "Da car." She told a little girl in the grocery store "bye baby." "Baby duck" remains pretty popular too. She has also said elbow, shirt, swimming, pet. And we can't leave out Dave's favorite-- booger. I told her I needed to get the booger out of her nose one evening. She allowed me to do so but only after having said booger a half dozen times. Now she'll walk up to you, look up your nose and say booger, then crinkle her nose for added effect. Lovely.

She made some friends yesterday afternoon at the park. Our city has a girl's soccer league that was having practice at this park. We happened to be in the area of the field as the girls were arriving. Of course, several little girls (probably 8-9-10 age) and a toddler- it's like a match made in heaven! Dillon would take anyone's finger that was willing to walk with her and lead them around wherever she thought to go. The girls shared the soccer ball with her, got her to roll it to them, and absolutely delighted her by kicking it into the goal. She also got to see a man exercising his dog by hitting a ball with a tennis racket for the dog to catch. She just squealed when the dog would catch the ball in the air. She never wanted to pet the dog, just follow it around and watch it. I'm sure she was thinking "Why doesn't my dog do that? All he does is bark and try to steal my food." Maybe that's why she's always trying to steal his food!

Today is her 18 month appointment with the pediatrician, so we'll see how much she weighs and how much taller she's gotten- which is quite a bit. All those 12-18 month clothes that were 2-3 inches to long at the beginning of the summer now fit perfectly. I noticed the other day that I can see the top of her head over the chair when she walks by. She's losing the fat rolls on her legs and her torso just looks so much thinner. She looks more like a toddler than a baby. Part of me is sad and nostalgic for the little baby that she isn't any more and the rest of me is just excited to see what comes next. All the talk about how fun it is to re-experience the world through your child's eyes is completely true, even if the experience of choice happens to be boogers.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


Dillon & I went hiking with our friends Ginger & Ben on Wednesday. We've been hiking with them several times before and always have a great time. I had gotten a map of all of the local trails and had found a new one I wanted to try. Ginger was up for it, so off we went. It was supposed to be a trail leading down to the banks of the Connecticut River. Unfortunately, the trail was not well maintained, so it was overgrown and bug infested. It was also more or less underneath the I-89 overpass to the Connecticut River so it was also noisy. We kept thinking that it would get pretty just around the next bend, but finally ended up just adandoning that hike and heading over to another trail we had done before and knew was nice. Dillon enjoyed riding in the backpack, but started to get bored by the end of it. She kept saying "go!" then "UP!" when go didn't do the trick. All in all, though, the hike was nice with beautiful views of a mountain pond. This nice lady at offered to take our picture as we were leaving, hence the "I'm really sweaty, but this was a great hike!" picture below.

I have such a good time watching Dave and Dillon together. He hasn't been getting home until around 7pm for most of this last week, but got home early at around 4:00 yesterday. Dillon was so excited to see Da and tell him about the BIG trucks that she got to watch that day, as our neighbors were having their entire driveway paved. He got down on the floor to play with her and just made me smile to hear the various words she would say interspersed with huge peals of laughter. She has figured out that for as much fun as it is to read books with Da, he makes a pretty awesome jungle gym as well.

Speaking of jungle gyms, we met another friend and her little boy at a local park yesterday afternoon. It was empty except for us, so we pretty much had the run of the place. There is some jungle gym equipment with a couple of smaller slides and one of those bigger spiral slides. I have taken Dillon down the bigger one on my lap several times. Yesterday she headed down it before she sat on my lap. I asked her if she wanted to go by herself, which was met with her typical enthusiastic "Yeah!" I told her to go ahead, so she did. She doesn't quite get the idea that you have to lift your feet, so it was a pretty slow descent, followed closely by me. Arrival at the bottom was met with an immediate "More, More!!" My friend thought it was great that she was so daring, as her son would have nothing to do with the slide. Umm, sure. Remind me of that when we are in the ER having a post daredevil stunt gash stitched up! No, really, she's pretty cautious in trying new things and mostly does so only after I've encouraged her or shown her how to do something.

Now if we can just keep it that way when she's 16 and learning to drive!

Hiking with Ginger and Ben Posted by Hello

Monday, August 16, 2004

My little helper bee

And what a helper she is! I've taken on the job of stripping the wallpaper off our dining room walls. Excuse me, the flowery, 1980's wallpaper in our dining room. It is a long, slow process at baseline, but with Dillon helping it is almost painful how long this is going to take to complete! She likes to help by taking my scraper away from me so she can scrape on the wall, and by taking all the little pieces of paper that I've pulled off and putting them in a small container that she then carries around the house scattering said pieces of paper. She likes to help pull pieces of paper off, but them wants them back up there once they are off. She doesn't like that momma's attention is on something else, so she wants to sit in my lap during much of this process. Oh well, I just accept that it will take a while and let her help me.

Dillon's gotten really into giving hugs over the last few days. She is so sweet! She will just lay her head over on your shoulder and pat you on the back. She's also getting a little more liberal with her kisses and has actually acted like she is giving us one. The kisses are still several feet away, but hey,that's an improvement!

Her vocabulary just amazes me. She must add a couple of new words a day and is now putting 2 words together. She has said "Da's shoe," "Big truck," "Bye truck,"and "Baby duck." Sometimes she'll rattle off something that you just know must be deep and profound but just sounds like total gibberish. But the look on her face tells you it isn't gibberish and if you were smart you'd write down what she said because it's important.

Come to think of it, her daddy does the same thing, especially at the end of the day! :)

My little helper bee Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Smiles at the DMV?!

I actually saw people smiling at the DMV today- not the employees, but the customers! Why were we there? Well, in NH you get a temporary license, then 6 months later you get your permanent one. I truly have no idea why, nor do I really care enough to research it. Anyway, I received my permanent one in the mail several months back, but apparently threw it away instead of my temporary one. So, there we were at the DMV to get a duplicate. Since ours is only open 3 days per week, there was, of course, a line. Dillon, of course, was only happy being held for a few minutes before she wanted down. Fortuately, there was a little room for her to roam without really getting into anything. She thought the divider ropes were pretty cool and that stepping over them was even cooler. Luckily, the posts were too heavy for her to really move, so she lost interest in those pretty quickly. Being the little social butterfly that she is, she would go to different people that caught her eye and say hi to them or point to their shoes. She was truly quite charming and most everyone smiled at her with several people speaking to her. Only once was someone clueless enough to hold the door open while doing something else so that I had to intercede before she made it out the door. Remind me not to ask that particular teenaged girl to babysit!

Yesterday we went to the house of one of our friends whose baby was born at 32 1/2 weeks. He's now 4 weeks old, at home and doing great. I took lunch and dinner over to Melanie & Andy (our friends) since they've been eating chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner. I held the baby so she could eat, then got him to sleep while she showered uninterrupted (what an absolute luxury!). Dillon loved seeing the baby & was really good with him. She was very gentle and with some direction stuck to only touching his back, arms and legs. She actually was much more enthralled with the 3 cats that they have. They were much more fun to touch- plus they just moved a lot more! She also got to see more babies at this morning's La Leche League meeting. They are fun, but all those new toys there-- now THAT's fun! There were a couple of times that we had to run interference between Dillon & another toddler, but I have to give it to her- she'll hold her own for the most part, even against kids older than her.

The new stuff over the past few days includes: trying to repeat lots of the words I say to her. I don't even think I could count all her words now. "Tiger" is pretty loud and clear as she has gotten to watch one on her Baby Einstein "World Animals" video. She has a new tooth & I think is getting another one. She is starting to really do the pretend playing. She wants her baby to get a new diaper on each time she does, she wants to use the spoon to feed the baby, she wants it to ride around in the backpack like she does. It's really fun to start seeing not only this element of her personality, but the beginnings of her imagination as well.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Billings Farm- try #2

Yesterday we went to Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, VT It is this beautiful old farm that operates out of an 1890's farmhouse. They have a working dairy farm and tons of educational programs. Yesterday they had an antique tractor show including the one that Dillon is on in the picture. She loved it! She kept laughing and kicking her feet :-) We also got to see cows and calves, sheep, and horses. They had chickens too, but we never saw them. She had lots of fun mooing at the cows. We met up with a friend of mine, her husband and little boy there. Her little boy is 4 months younger (and probably 2 inches taller) than Dillon. He & Dillon had a great time grinning at one another and playing in the pieces of tiny gravel they had there. They kept passing rocks back and forth in between trying to eat them. Why we had to pay to get into somewhere for playing with rocks to be entertaining is beyond me, but hey, she had a good time, so it was worth it! I even got to hear bits and pieces of some of the educational programs, like about some of the heirloom vegetables that they grow there and about the dairying process. We left when it started to rain and got to enjoy Dillon telling us all about what she saw at the farm on the ride home. Of course it was more like long strings of nonsensical sounds interspersed with several moos and baaaas, but we got the idea- she liked seeing the animals.

I'm sensing a round of "Old MacDonald" coming on.......

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Billings Farm

Farmer Dillon Posted by Hello

OK- I just typed out a long post to go with this and it erased it. Now I'm too tired, so I'll have to post it tomorrow. Sorry!!

Thursday, August 05, 2004


I think that the fact of learning by imitation is something I knew but didn't realize just how entertaining it would be- at least while they are imitating one of your more desirable traits! Last night, Dillon picked up one of her babies, then sat in the floor rocking back and forth saying "rocka rocka rocka" just as I have done to her. As far as she's concerned, that's what you do with babies- you carry them around and rock them, because that's been her experience. She also feeds her babies with a spoon and her sippy cup. It never ceases to amaze me the things she picks to imitate- like blowing her nose after she saw me do it or opening her mouth wide to show me she doesn't have any of Satchmo's food in it, because that's what I show her to do. Of course it only works once she's already shallowed the food & it isn't there anymore, but that's beside the point.

We went to the pool on Tuesday. It was a beautiful day and we went with another couple of ladies with toddlers, though it wasn't like we got to visit much as we mostly spoke in passing while chasing each of our respective children. Dillon absolutely loved the water this time and was overjoyed when I let her "jump" into the water from the side as she saw the bigger kids doing. She would actually just sit on the side and lean toward my hands which were just a couple of inches away. I'd dip her in the water to her waist and then lift her into the air during which time she would kick wildly and laugh. There were a couple of older kids that handed her a little toy so she could throw it in the water for them to try to catch. There was, of course, a lot of splashing and laughing, so she had a ball. Now if we could just have a few more days like that in the 3 weeks or so the pool is still open, that would be great. Today is supposed to be a high of 69 and raining, so the pool looks like a no-go today.

I just tried letting her play with paint by putting her in her high chair, putting a little bit of paint down on a piece of paper and giving her a small paintbrush. The entertainment value of that: approximately 3 minutes before she was standing in the chair saying "GO" loudly and decisively. The small piece of tape holding the paper in place got almost that much mileage with a lot less set up and clean up time. What's interesting about that is that I used to get all these paintings from the daycare when she was there with reports that she loved it. Not sure if they just had lower expectations of how long it would be entertaining or if they misinterpreted her signals of what she found interesting. Of course at that point she wasn't quite so clear as to stand and say "go."

I see the sun! Maybe there's hope for a beautiful summer day afterall.........

Monday, August 02, 2004

Ready to go swimming! Posted by Hello

A casualty of Dillon's diaper fascination Posted by Hello


Dave and I were trying to figure out how many words Dillon has right now. The guestimate was 50. Then we actually started putting them down on paper. We came up with 77 words! Not all of those are understandable by anyone other than us (or me), but they are all deliberate, consistent sounds with deliberate, consistent intent. I had thoughts of listing them all but since it took 45 minutes to get her to go to sleep, I'm too tired to list that many words. She seems to add new ones each day, though. Over the last couple of days it has been "kick," "off" and "pull." She likes to run through many of her favorite words while I am rocking and nursing her to sleep. Methinks its a clever ploy to keep herself awake...hmmm......

We went to a picnic at the home of the anesthesia department chair yesterday. He throws this big picnic each year at his beautiful 100+ year old home on the Connecticut River. It was really a lot of fun and Dillon had a great time roaming around in all the wide open space. There were several big dogs there that she was pretty excited about until one of them came and stole food out of her hand and knocked her down. I don't think this poor dog knew what happened-- all of the sudden this small person is crying loudly and there are about 3 people yelling at it to get away. I'm sure whatever small bite of food it scored was not worth all that. She was a little freaked out by the dogs after that, but did eventually get to where she wanted to pet one of them that was lying down.

We did get to go swimming the other day. The pool is really nice! It starts at no depth at all and very gently slopes to 4 feet, but over a pretty good distance. Most of the bigger kids that can swim either stay in the other regular sized pool or in the deeper part of the kiddie pool, so it's a pretty safe place for little ones that don't swim. She wasn't sure about it at first and would only stand in the water for a few seconds before she wanted out. So we'd walk around and she would want to try it again. She got to where she would get in to about waist deep. She seemed to have good time. It's supposed to be pretty warm over the next several days, so I'd really like to take her again. Besides, I met someone at the picnic that has a son that just a month older. She & I had a great time chatting and it would be a good excuse to get together again.

I have pictures to post but it doesn't seem to want to work tonight. I"ll try to get it to tomorrow. It's time for bed.