Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Circles, ABC’s and hugs

Those are the current topics of fascination for Dillon. She has figured out circles and points them out all over the place. I handed her a slice of a sweet potato a couple of days ago and she proudly pointed out “circle.” Sure enough was. She finds them in books, around the house, outside- you name it. Sometimes she can point out squares but they frequently get mixed up with triangles. I’m just impressed she knows circle. She also knows that letters are “ABC’s,” that being her generic name for all letters. She also finds letters everywhere, including in the airport. We were sitting down to eat at Chili’s in the Charlotte airport (during our 6 hour layover) when she pointed to the large A on the wall indicating Concourse A and told me “ABC’s” She frequently will request the ABC song during diaper changes. Of course I often get as far as D and she tells me no. I’m not sure if that’s a commentary on my singing or just all she can absorb for the moment. I’ll request that comments on that point be kept private!

As for the hugs- they are the best. She will come up to me out of the blue, announce “hug!” and throw her arms around me. Even better is when I wrap my arms around her and pick her up off the ground in a big bear hug. Then it’s a hug accompanied by giggles. Last night it was a round of hugs for Momma and Da, then a request for “kiss.”
She gets the idea that you lean in for a kiss, but doesn’t quite get the pucker up part. She’ll get really close, then turn her cheek to your lips. Maybe she’s just practicing being a princess.

She started Monday at the new babysitter’s. The day went smoothly with the distinct exception of naptime. The sitter thinks I should stop rocking Dillon to sleep so that she learns to go to sleep on her own. The sitter provides lots of comfort to her, but doesn’t want to start rocking her because the other kids will want to rock as well. Really makes me question continuing with this sitter, but admittedly, Dillon seems pretty happy there otherwise. My feeling is that I absolutely love the time with Dillon when we are nursing and rocking and she is drifting off to sleep. I can’t imagine not doing it because there’s no doubt in my mind that she loves it as much as I do. My other feeling is that I truly believe that she will have no trouble falling asleep on her own when she is 15 years old despite the fact that I now rock her to sleep. What’s the hurry in making her independent anyway- she’s only 19 months old? A soapbox for another day, I suppose. As for now, we’ll keep on nursing and rocking and loving every minute of it.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Watching the birds with Uncle Randy Posted by Hello
This was taken at the Little Rock zoo

Back home

Traveling with a toddler is always an adventure. I have to give it to her, though- she’s a great traveler. I could not have asked for her to do any better with the flight delays and missed connection on the way to Little Rock. Since I’m a believer in making toys out of what you have, the only entertainment I brought with us was a few of the more loved books and her doll. In her eyes, the airport was one great big toy. The people walking by were fun to talk to, the moving sidewalks were a blast, other people’s strollers were fun to steal and the trucks—those were the big winners. What she called trucks were actually those things that look like extended golf carts that make that obnoxious beeping sound like a garbage truck stuck in reverse. They were everywhere in both the LaGuardia and Charlotte airports and she loved it. She even got to climb onto one that was stopped. I think it was the highlight of the day for her!

We had a great time seeing everyone in Little Rock. She’s so much more active and interactive now. She enjoyed showing off her verbal skills and added several more words, including a few three word sentences. She made her first visit to the zoo while we were there. You never know how they are going to react to real animals versus the pictures. We got to see monkeys, giraffes, elephants, camels, birds, snakes and a few more I’m surely forgetting. There was a small petting area with these very friendly pygmy goats that ate all the dead leaves off the ground. She was not terribly interested in petting them, but really wanted me to. She thought all the animals were pretty cool, but what did she seem to love the most? The silly train that we paid $2 to ride in about a 100 yd circle with lovely views of overgrown bamboo, some discarded soda bottles and a few dead fish. She talked about the choo choo for the rest of the trip. Just when you think you know what they are going to like and they go and pick something else.

Now that we’re back, we’re trying to get back into our routine. I’m finding that unpacking the suitcase is a little more challenging with a toddler around. Actually, to be more precise, unpacking it isn’t a problem. Getting things were they need to be is the problem. I keep finding things under the dining room table that need to be put away. She keeps trying to put all of her clothes on- as pants. Of course every pair of shoes has to be tried on.

The weather’s getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change. For those that had planned to make a trip here to see the colors, you have about 2-3 weeks before they are at peak color then maybe a week after that before they are pretty much gone. If you are thinking of doing it next year, make note that the end of September is typically peak color. If I were smart, I’d tell everyone that it happens a few weeks later than it does- then we’d have help raking the 2 billion leaves that grace our yard!

Maybe I should look at getting some of those goats….

Friday, September 03, 2004

Big blue eyes Posted by Hello

Darned Gravity!

Bless her heart, Dillon keeps hurting herself. Everytime I turn around she’s falling down. Earlier in the week, she fell pretty hard into the door facing and left herself with a good sized bump and bruise on her forehead. To make matters worse, I saw her do it and couldn’t get to her fast enough to stop her from getting hurt. Out in the yard she is constantly falling forward. Most of the time she is pretty unfazed by this, sometimes there is as much as a little whine and declaration of a hurt body part before a bug or airplane or car catches her attention. Yesterday she actually went rolling down the hill in the front yard. We were out looking at the trees in the front yard, when apparently the steepness of the hill got the better of her and she went rolling. She landed very safely in some leaves, very wide-eyed. That took a little more than a passing bug, car or airplane to get over. But get over it she did, and all remains well. Tonight she was climbing from a couple of couch cushions on the floor onto the chair, then over the arm of the chair onto the ottoman that it sitting beside the chair. There was a look of pure joy on her face as she realized how fun that was and that she had done it herself.

Her talking seems to still be advancing at a phenomenal rate. Over the last few days she has started really babbling in full sentences. She has done the babbling for a while, but this has an entirely different quality—more that of sentences with a story to tell. If you give her some encouragement as in “I did not know that!” or “Really?” she’ll phrase another series of babbled words into something that sounds like and answer.

It’s been a busy week around here with me working more than usual in anticipation of being off for our upcoming trip to Little Rock. Dillon has enjoyed to one on one attention of the girls that have been coming to babysit, but has missed having as much one on one time with Mama. I’ve missed it too, and find that my head just isn’t really in work when I’m away from her. It’s been nice weather all week, so we’ve been able to get outside and even play in the water a bit as she got to do today. Dave’s been getting home early enough to join us outside, so we’ve had some great family time. It’s just too sad to think that in a matter of weeks, the leaves will be off the trees and we’ll be looking for our first snowfall. Guess we better get started teaching her how to shovel snow!