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Monday, July 31, 2006
Birthday Ideas
So I spent quite a while last night updating my Amazon wish list with things for Jay's birthday. Mostly I was researching train sets. I finally picked an official Thomas set (wooden track pieces), mostly because it looked fairly simple, wasn't terribly expensive, and the tracks are grooved to make a nice rhythmic train sound. I was looking just now to see what sort of table I could find for it, when I came across this. Is it too short? If he gets that, does he need wooden track? He loves putting things together, so it shouldn't take him long to figure out how to fit two pieces of track together, but it'll be a while before Jay has the planning capabilities to set out the right pieces in the right places. Plus, a one-piece track has a great appeal to the lazy parent in me (though Jay's doing much better at picking things up). Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

And he's so handsome!
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He makes such a great pillow!
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I love my baby brother
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OK, so the blues don't really match.
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Matching, and proving that a 12-mo sized outfit may still not cover a nearly 5-month-old's belly
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The yet-blue eyes (Romans, countrymen, lend me your helicopter blankies)
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The oft-furrowed brow
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Friday, July 28, 2006
Friend to Dumb Beasts, Comedian to Tired Infants
One of the friends we had over last night (let's call him, oh... Thomas) managed not only to pet our skittish cat, but also to send the littlest boy into fits of hysterical laughter. Judging from Isaac's reaction, Thomas is the Jerry Seinfeld of the almost 5-month-old set. Thomas, you've just been added to our emergency contacts list for babysitters.

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Why Does This Crack Me Up?
M (to grunting, red-faced Jay): Jay, did you know that you can make BMs in your potty?

J: Yeah (matter-of-factly, nodding sagely)

Dog Days
Another week full of follies here in Mebane. We had a nice visit to Solgarden on Tuesday, where we got to see Kells and learned that our friend Miss India, in addition to being a locally well-known artist in a myriad of media, is also a musician and has formed a band with some other locals. They are playing at a winery just north of here in mid-August, which sounded like a great opportunity to cash in our free babysitting coupon (from a couple with grown children- church friends) and have a little grown-up time. With folk, bluegrass, and old country music in the band’s repertoire, it sounds like something we would both enjoy!

Meantime, our house was shown Tuesday evening just about suppertime. Since it had just been shown Sunday, the heavy cleaning (such as it was) had already been done, so mostly we just had to pick up toys and other toddler-created debris and make the bed. We went to the local barbecue place to discover they had a new menu, including a $2.95 early bird special (M-Th 4-6 PM) of chopped barbecue or fried flounder, and 2 side items. Plus, they give you hush puppies just for showing up! We swung by the new Shoe Show by the new WalMart after dinner, since Jay’s shoes were getting tight. He seems to have skipped size 8 entirely (just as Isaac seems to have outgrown half of his 9-mo sized clothes just as he was starting to wear them!). I even found some shoes that wear pretty comfortably on my gnarly arthritic feet.

Then we went to WalMart, where I bought pants just like the comfy, comfy pants I bought in Beckley after we left our luggage at my parents’ house (though in tan, since I already had the black ones). I love these pants! They’re even petites, so they fit just right, and they’re smalls, so that feeds my vanity ;) . And to top it all off, we came home to a tidy house! I might just start liking having the house on the market… Of course, Paul was home, which meant that it was family time, and a fairly rare treat! The only bad part was that Jay was pretty tired, having not napped very well, and so our research into his birthday wishlist got a little bit cranky, so to speak. He loved the books they had, loved all the cars, just basically wanted to play with everything he saw. And he couldn’t, so there were some loud outcries. His birthday should be pretty fun, though!

Jay did a great job of putting his books away last night. He’d bring one to me, we’d read it, he’d put it on the shelf and then pull out the next one. Since he did it spontaneously the first time, I decided it was a manageable goal to make this a habit, so I reminded him to do it with each subsequent book (and there were quite a few!), and he continued to re-stow the read books. Isaac liked being read to as well, and wanted to touch all the books. Jay now points to the coal in the coal tender in Freight Train and says, “Coa’!” I’m not sure where he learned that, so I was fairly impressed. The odd thing is that right after he says “coa’!”, he leans over and licks the book. *Shrug*

Since Paul’s been gating Jay in his room (he’s getting much better at falling asleep in the toddler bed), there’s usually only one gate downstairs. When Paul’s home, it gates off the living room from the rest of the first floor. Paul left to do some work right after I got home yesterday, and as soon as Jay finished saying his “bay-bay”s, he was pointing to the door, saying “Go!” Isaac was napping, so I told Jay we could go later, but we had to wait until Isaac finished his nap. Jay responded by opening the front door. This is bad. He’s been able to open the storm door, but I’ve never seen him open the front door before. He was good enough to close the door when I asked him, but crafty enough to open it right back up. It was locked very shortly. I’m afraid it won’t take him long to figure out the lock- we don’t even have a deadbolt, just one of those turny-things on the knob. My sister-in-law gave us a couple of stick-on alarms, one of which may soon be put to use!

This single-gate situation also means that when Jay and Paul get up before Isaac and I do (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends), Jay usually comes back upstairs to make sure that I know he’s awake. And that Isaac knows. This morning, he brought one of his (very much outgrown) shiny black penny loafers with him and started slamming it around, as any vigorous child would. I asked him to put it in his bedroom. Sometime thereafter, when I was changing Isaac, I asked Jay where he had put his shoe. He ran off and came back with a cup of water (naturally!), and responded much the same way to my subsequent inquiries. Since I had heard the diaper pail piston drop shortly after sending Jay off with his shoe, and I didn’t see any preppy shoes around, I had a pretty bad feeling about where the shoe had ended up. Thankfully, though my fears were borne out, there were only a couple of wet diapers in the bag, so the shoe wasn’t harmed.

Well, Jay and Paul went to Toddler Time, and Isaac is napping (update: or not!), so I suppose I ought to see if there’s something useful I should be doing (like connecting my laptop to the internet and posting this!) Let me just say this: It’s hot here!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Umm... that's my HAIR!!
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Is that a big yellow BIRD on your diaper?
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Oh- that IS a silly word!
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WHAT did she say?
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Heh heh- you said COCONUT!!!
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But I hope that tiger doesn't eat babies...
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I think I LIKE sitting up!
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This tiger is thirsty!
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See how well I can sit?
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Those wacky bears fell on me again!
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Brothers at play
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And Isaac Wanted Me to Mention
That he was very good while we were car shopping. Of course, he got to go on the test drive!

Saturday Shopping Trip
We went to Burlington to look at a van. We were looking for a red Sedona I saw online, thinking maybe we'd look at a Vibe. The salesman instead pointed us towards a Pontiac Montana (2005). It had an unusual seating layout- instead of captain's chairs, bucket seats or a two-thirds bench in the second row, it had three bucketish seats, any of which can be removed independently of the others. This brought both ends of the second row seating right up to the door, so you don't need to climb in on either side before you can sit down. Very friendly to my arthritic knees. This also means we'd have room for someone to sit between (or next to) the boys while the third row is stowed, leaving us mucho cargo space (though we'd have the flexibility to expand into the third row when the kids are older, or if we add to the family). Another advantage this car had over the van we borrowed was that I could open the tailgate fairly easily. I was chasing Jay around the showroom while Paul did the testdrive, but from what I saw, I very much liked this van. Paul's take seemed to be "yup, it's a van."

He'd like to drive the Saturn to 200k miles (it's up to 183k). I'm ready to trade it in while the brakes still work and invest the hundreds of dollars it would take to keep the Saturn safe in a car that will last us a while. I had to drive it to work yesterday while the Taurus' windshield was replaced (I know, Mom and Dad, we should have done it a long time ago, but we did it). The Saturn was making some weird noises (one sounds like when you drive over a slick spot, like dried tar or something, on the highway, but there was also a sound like when Jay runs something down the metal grate over the air intake in our living room) which made me really nervous. But so far, the brakes still seem to be working. Of course, the car has been parked for most of the last three months, so we haven't been working the brakes too hard!

Jay had a great time in the van and in the display cars in the showroom, trying out all the steering wheels, climate control switches and dials, and stereo buttons. It was really cute to see. He really liked the little red Pontiac sports car (surprise, surprise!)

Thursday, July 20, 2006
Feeding the Ducks, Etc.
Just a few quick notes on the day's activities:
-Jay was running wild during Toddler Time, while Isaac was watching Miss Chris and commenting on the goings-on
-Jay pretended to share his milk with the animals on Isaac's borrowed baby gym- I heard him say "mmm!", looked up, and there was his sippy cup spout in the ladybug's capacious mouth (later the duck got a taste)
-Jay has started jumping without holding on to anything
-Isaac reached out and touched the Very Busy Spider book, and touched the pages as I read to him
-We were out in front of the library when the Amtrak went by. Isaac started wailing as Jay set to hooting back at it

It's Starting
At our local coffee shop:
M: "Jay, hold your juice. We're leaving."
J: "Nonono" (puts cup back on table)
M: (Sighs, puts cup in Isaac's canopy)

Two more months before he's actually two...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
By which Jay seems to mean "Good morning!"

Monday, July 17, 2006
Call Me Irresponsible
Paul's away with the singing church men and I'm here with two small grumpy boys who refuse the slumber which has been beckoning to them lo, these many minutes (or, in Isaac's case, hours). Jay's gated in his room, Isaac's confined in his swing, and here I am in the office, typing at Paul's computer.

Despite these circumstances, all is quiet for the moment, so it must be time for me to do a development update on the aforementioned grumpies.

Isaac's four-month appointment went as well as can be expected, ending with four quick (but not painless) stabs in the thighs by needles at the end of dread-dead-pathogen-laden syringes. That was the part he didn't like. Isaac's a pretty good-humored little fellow most of the time. After I came home this afternoon and nursed him, I put Isaac in the swing, which didn't result in his napping but rather in his giving me a big smile and a gurgle every time he saw me looking at him. I-max has an adorable little habit of sticking out his tongue when he smiles, sometimes drawing it in and sticking it back out like some cuddly little snake. He's also adopted stroking his own head as a pastime, for which I can hardly blame him. His hair and skin combine for an irresistible petal-soft sensation, which I've been known to enjoy upon occasion myself.

By the way, the quiet ended some time ago. I had to put the big boy in his crib, since I didn't have the freedom to slowly sing him to sleep tonight ("All Hail the Pow'r of Jesus Name" was the one to put him out last night). Isaac, having nursed AGAIN and refused to remain asleep AGAIN, is on my lap, alternately trying to gag himself and break my fingers with his hands.

So Jay is continuing to say new words on a more-or-less daily basis. He has a new word for bug which sounds a lot like Isaac's drier gurgles. He's been saying "Bob" ("Bo'!") for some time now (usually in combination with opening the doors to the TV cabinet and reaching towards the VeggieTales videos on the upper shelf). A morning or two, he's come into the bedroom, poked me, and said "Mama" or the ever-popular "mamama", which matches quite well with "BAY-by-by". And the second or third time he's asked "What does a baby say?", he'll respond by squinting and saying "wahwahwah".

Jay-Bear has learned how to fasten the seatbelt on the double stroller, which he likes to demonstrate when it's time to go inside. He also fastened the seatbelt on Isaac's swing. He's getting much closer to figuring out how to put a sock on his foot (hooray!), though he hasn't managed it yet. When Jay hears the phone ring, he points and says "hewwo", which rhymes with his second color: in addition to "boo, boo!", he now says "yewwow". He's imitating a lot more frequently- I heard him imitating Paul's "no", but he hasn't started using it himself yet. He's still my little "yah"-man. Except when he says "'K" instead.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Here's Jay at a couple weeks shy of 4 months
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4 months, 16 lbs 4 oz, and 25 in
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Someone's had enough of tummytime
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Big brother with a new haircut
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Thursday, July 13, 2006

The House is down to $85,250. Ooooh, I want that house!!!

Here's Something Fun
A family outing, or maybe just a toddler/Daddy trip...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Not Tragic?

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork

The Noble PrincessYou are just and fair, a perfectionist with a strong sense of proper decorum. You are very attracted to chivalry, ceremony and dignity. For the most part you are rather sensible, but you are also very idealistic.Role Models: Guinevere, Princess Fiona (of Shrek)You are most likely to: Get kidnapped by a stray dragon.
Take this quiz!

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I'm in good company!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The whole gang 'cept Aunt Cathy
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The whole gang 'cept yours truly
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"Aunt" Cathy with two
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"Uncle" Josh and his boy
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Aunt CEP with Mr. Macho
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Daddy and Isaac sharing a laugh
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Beka meets Isaac
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Hugging cousins distracted by someone's entrance.
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No, Jay is NOT climbing out from the fireplace. He's playing with [one of] Grandpa's reel-to-reel player[s]!
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Grandma and Grandpa G entertaining youngsters
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The castle is a hit with the toddling crowd
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Aunt Jan finishes assembling cousin Beka's new castle
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This must have been the day Uncle Todd got up by 7AM
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Doting Aunt Mindy reads to Beka and Isaac
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Sunday, July 09, 2006
Gotta Love the Minivan!!
It sure did help with the crying problem. Vans and pacifiers rank pretty high on my list tonight. Unfortunately, I didn't think of the pacifier until we were already at my parents' house, but it made the return trip even better than the trips north.

I don't have time for a full update right now, but we had a great time seeing everyone, and are very thankful for our friends' generosity!

BTW, anyone have tips on curing a toddler of his peeling fetish? I'd like to be able to trust him with BOARD books, for crying out loud!

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