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Friday, January 21, 2005

Aunt Pat will be Proud

A couple days ago Zoe started saying "purple." It was the most precious thing I'd ever heard or seen. Her little lips pucker up and what comes out tends to sound more like "burple." So far she always uses the word to correctly identify the color--unlike "yellow", which tends to be her description of everything whether yellow or not. She is also saying "Laylow" which means Elmo and "lilow" which means pillow. Both of these words tend to sound an awful lot like "yellow," but a mom knows the difference between these things when her child speaks.

Zoe has also recently grasped how to say "monkey" correctly, and she is very much excited about this. Mommy and Daddy are equally excited over her recent proclamation of "precia" (which means precious). Of course, she has often heard this word in terms of endearment towards herself as we have showered her with it since the day she was born.

For those of you interested in her vocabulary development in general, here is a list of Zoe's other oft used words and phrases:

boo (which means moo)
wawa (water)
burger (hamburger)
gurt (yogurt; this used to be "noggin", which we never could figure out)
mote (remote)
lo (hello)
Papa (grandpa or grandma)
it's a duck
it's a neow
muncus (music)
nana (banana)
doors (door)
grr (what does a bear say?)
daaa (what does a sheep say?)
tar (star)
noonles (noodles)
more noonles/more burger/more pork

Monday, January 17, 2005

Reading the Newspaper: A Luxury of Days Past

It’s amazing the things one takes for granted before bringing children into the world. Perhaps the shock of having a child was a bigger adjustment for Brian and me than for some, as we waited six and a half years after getting married to take that step (not to mention waiting until we were past the “prime” of our 20’s to get started). We’d gotten used to such things as long lazy weekends lounging on the couch, watching a movie from beginning to end, going out to dinner (or out to ANYTHING for that matter) on a spontaneous whim, sleeping late on Saturdays, being able to stay in bed all day when feeling under the weather, and having time to read the paper before the “news” is no longer newsworthy--and before it ends up strewn about the floor and gleefully trampled on by little toddler feet.

This is apparently a delightful activity for Zoe as she tosses the pages down and stomps and dances upon them. The slick pages are especially fun as they crackle more and cause slipping and sliding (which is fun until a big wipe out—usually by Zoe, but occasionally by one of the unsuspecting adults in the home). It seems that any news we manage to glean once a week from the Sunday tribune is not only limited by lack of time for reading, but also by whether or not a whole, intact page is even left for our reading pleasure. In some cases, finding out how a story ends is a long lost luxury in itself as rounding up the crinkled, torn, mangled pages in proper chronological order is such a chore at times, that by the time they are put back in order, time is up—lost among the more pressing priorities of making sure that full coffee mugs (there’s no time for sipping hot coffee anymore either) aren’t poured onto the carpet and cat food kibble is not taste tested (the fact that cat food is so desirable but nary a green bean will pass her lips is another toddler anomaly).

As far as the newspaper goes, you truly do learn to pick your battles with a toddler. Those things that entertain her for several minutes at a time and are otherwise harmless, we have learned to relish, as that that means we can steal those moments for ourselves—to take some deep breaths, make a quick phone call, or check our email. For that reason alone, the paper is worth its subscription rate. And so we keep it coming to our door step, and once it has been danced upon half a dozen times, thrown about in a toddler frenzy, torn, tattered, mangled, and often only minimally read, it finally makes its way to the recycling box. The floor remains clear of torn and tattered newsprint until the next Sunday edition arrives and we can do it all again.


Among less colorful news is that Zoe has been sick again with yet ANOTHER cold. She came down with this one last Wednesday. Her most frequently used word these days is “nose”, which she states after sneezing when the snot has exploded across her face, or when she is having trouble breathing. She has done well sleeping through the night in her own bed since we began giving her some decongestant at bedtime to help her breathe. The first night of the cold, however, we did not give her the decongestant, and as typical when she is sick or teething (which is also going on at the same time), she ends up in our bed—lest none of us get any sleep whatsoever. Trying to sleep with a 17 month old in your bed is an interesting experience—and a story for another day…. Meanwhile, we are hoping that Zoe is well again soon. There’s nothing more heart wrenching than seeing your child be sick and not being able to do anything about it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Mommy's a Monkey

Zoe's vocabulary has been exploding wildly over the past three months. It seems every day she comes up with something new. Saturday night we actually ate a meal together as a family...all three of us. This doesn't happen often as Zoe tends to need her dinner at 5 pm on the dot, and Brian doesn't get home from work until almost 6 pm. Besides that, with a busy toddler we have found things often work better when the adults eat in shifts anyway. That way one of us can always be in charge of trying to keep up with the energizer bunny whilst the other gets a brief moment of peace for such needs as eating. So the stars were all aligned Saturday night. We were all coordinated with our appetites, it was Brian's day off, and I was well coordinated with my cooking efforts, and it just worked out that way.

Brian got to be in charge of shoveling into the baby whatever she couldn't shovel in for herself (she has a voracious appetite). At one point Brian referred to her as his "little monkey." To this she responded by trying to say "monkey." It came out sounding like "monka." I responded by stressing the prononciation of the the word, "MON-KEY" followed by my enthusiastic attempt to make monkey noises. Zoe found this extremely funny, and so I did what any good parent would do and repeated the monkey noises for as long as she found it funny (which was much too long for anyone in their right mind to be making monkey noises, by the way). Dinner was entertaining for all that night--but more so for some of us than others (Brian had eventually given me that look that says "you are only funny for so long before you cross the line into obnoxious--and you have officially crossed that line").

Ever since that night Zoe has been working on saying "monkey." This afternoon Zoe and I were coloring in her new coloring book and she found a picture of a monkey. She called it a turtle at first (she is into calling everything a turtle these days--I've learned not to work too hard at trying to understand the mind of a toddler). I corrected her by stating that it was a monkey. Her face then lit up and she broke into a huge grin and exclaimed "OH! Monka!" as her chubby little finger pointed right at me.

Yep, that's my girl--right on the ball, as always.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

"It's a Neow!"

When you're 17 months old, it makes perfect sense that the cat food cans belong in the middle of the kitchen floor and not in the lazy susan. It's the adults in the house that continue to trip over and stub their toes on said cat food cans that are apparently being unreasonable about the whole issue.

Zoe has decided that pulling the cans out and stacking them and placing them strategically around the kitchen is a very fun past time. She studies the label on each one as she pulls them out, and when she recognizes the picture of a cat, she beams and proudly announces "It's a neow!" Neow is her word for cat since she hasn't figured out that it's really an "m" and not an "n" that begins the word. She then requires your acknowledgement and praise of her discovery or she will run about the house chasing you with the can and squealing "It's a neow! It's a neow!" until you do.

As I write this, there are 6 or 8 cans of cat food lined up in the middle of the kitchen floor. This is because it makes sense to a 17 month old, and that's where she likes them. It doesn't matter how many times I put them back in the cabinet where I feel they should belong. They will simply make their way back across the room in-bewteen squeals of "It's a neow!" The cans may as well stay where the 17 month old insists they be. If you've ever tried reasoning with a 17 month old, you know it doesn't work. The adults in the house simply need to watch where they are stepping or else invest in some steel-toed boots.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I Love My New Little People Barn and Stable!

Hello to family and friends. The long overdue project to get Little Miss Princess online has finally begun. I will try to post updates and photos from time to time and you can log in and check it out at your own will. This will save us from redundant email and photo attachments.