Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Girl's famous words...

At the table, she held up her hand in askance for pause, squenched her eyes and said, "Ooh, my eyes g'tangled."

After my lengthy description of what we had to do one morning by way of errands, on our way down a large hill to the first chore of the day, "Rook, mommy, de errands, dehr running."

Gary's taught her, "Give me pound, dawg," commence with fist bump.

Little calls of "Here I Are!" throughout the day.

She named her toes, "Papa toe, Mama Toe, Granpa Toe, Gramma Toe, and Baby Toe."

Lately complimentary, "I rike-ah yoo-ah head. I rike-ah yoo-ah heearh."

She tries to kiss away Gary's head ache. (Why in the world would anyone not want to have kids, with little moments like that?? Little person decides that if only she gets enough kisses on your head then you'll feel better. )

Pumpkin Hunt

Pumpkins aren't that difficult to hunt. They actually sort of mill about in fields, yes, fields upon fields of pumpkins. Herds of the orange gourd* are offered for autumnal festivities, most specifically at Rock Creek Farm. Here's the odd thing, some of them are even free of their vine tethers and still they don't make a run for it. But then gourds aren't known for their speed or their intelligence. We came across a few that had the looks of escaping, it's hard to say though as they move only a bit faster than rocks.

I am in love with Rock Creek, I don't even know if they do more than pumpkins every year, though I suspect there is much more to their farming operation than Pumpkin Season. There are mazes, photo ops, baby animals to ogle (officially not for petting, though no one reprimanded us for it---how does one explain that baby animals within Little Girl's reach aren't for touching??), varieties of mini-gourds*, pumpkin products, and pumpkin honey from bees that pollinate the fields. Super-kewl. A small tip, wear proper boots, when cleaning little boots do not clap them together as to splatter field mud all over oneself---then again, a little dirt never hurt anyone!

* pumpkins aren't actually gourds, they're fruit, but I'm allowed some artistic leeway...besides, I really enjoy the word, "gourd", try's fun to enunciate!

Balancing Babe

The thing about two-year-olds in gymnastics is, well, it's cute. They get to try out all the apparatus, balance beam, bar, somersaults, spring-board thing to big foam block, and the most infamous Foam Pit. In the last 6 weeks, every Wednesday night it's been pretty easy to put Little Girl down for bed 'cause the draw of being rested for tumbling class the following morning is a great incentive.

Now, it is prudent to understand that taking a Tenacious Two anywhere can present certain challenges. I have found that it is extremely helpful to explain thoroughly what to expect and what is expected of her, in no uncertain terms and in simple language. At first I expected that she should follow instructions, but that's just silly when I stop to consider developmentally reasonable expectations. Fiona was into following the loosely defined syllabus of the day at first, but toward the end of these sessions she mostly just stuck to the trampoline having no interest whatsoever in the obstacle course, only periodically trotting over to the beam or bar where the rest of the class was migrating.

Of course the Foam Pit is a massive tempting thing that I must herd her the other direction until our class' turn. Some structure is good, too much structure only creates conflict. I have laid out a structure as a basis of operation and then from there we are free-form. Fiona can generally expect breakfast, lunch, nap, and dinner at essentially the same time every day. Between those times we do many other things, lately I find myself explaining how one day we do things for Fiona, another day we do chores & errands for mommy, then yet another day we do something again for her. Sometimes this concept goes over smoothly, sometimes not. The egocentricity of Two never ceases to amaze.

Anyway, a dozen or so toddlers tumbling around, chasing hula-hoops, bouncing in foam blocks, thoroughly enjoying simplicity of exertion and movement is really a treat to behold. There are invariably explosions here and there, when a tot does not want to cooperate in someway or other, particularly direction, but it passes, and it's back to enjoying the multitude of distractions. Top the entire thing off with a stamp for each appendage and it's a super morning activity.

Trading Trucks

My truck needed 30k mile service. My payment plan includes a rental for two full days. Upon completion of the work I return the rental truck and pick up my Escape, this is how it goes...

Park rental Explorer truck one row from my Escape. It's windy outside. Pull out all necessary items from rental truck, ask Toddleator to help by carrying jackets. With armloads of accoutrement, dragging the car-seat I attempt to coerce Little Girl toward the other truck, asking her to stay close, PLEASE. She decides she would rather carry the car-seat with her little Bear. I re-ask her to carry the jackets to Our Car. She refuses, and takes off "NOooo!" randomly into parking lot. I drop everything immediately, catch her. Then hauling struggling Little Girl under one arm, another arm full of what papers and bags I could grab quickly, I head to Our Car and dump them all in the backseat. Return to drop-everything-spot to retrieve car-seat, little Bear, etc. Back to the Escape to install and organize. Fiona has taken over the driver seat, thoroughly enjoying "driving". While I install the car-seat, wind blowing door closed over and over on my butt, try to block with shoe, shoe falls off, door catches foot. Fiona, in front seat, opens driver's door. Grab Toddleator, haul from front seat to back seat, place her near window. Door blows shut behind me. Now I am stuffed crouching in front of car-seat, door closed and won't open because child door safety thing is engaged. Finagled-squirm-climb my way to front passenger seat exit vehicle and re-enter back seat to complete car-seat installation.
Big deep breath. Child-safety seat properly installed, now install child into seat---child that has decided she would rather sit in the "big seat"...after a short count (to 3) she concedes.

We finally did leave the Ford Dealer's parking lot and all the way home I listened to the Toddler's lament of, "Noooo, I don' want Our Car. I want rental caaaar."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Squirrel v. Dinosaur

I glanced outside our kitchen window and see this outer-Denver squirrel working over a small item out on the deck railing. Not a nut, it was taking too long for Squirrely to munch....

Look closer, look even's bright appears's a tiny lime green squishy dinosaur, the club tail species with armored head/neck/back. Squirrel-NUTtykins is doing his chewiest chewing to detached said tail from dinosaur.

And then later, I suppose Chewy needed a breather.... (and some Toddleator finger painting at the end---not with the squirrel)

I've forgotten to relay (without the proper segue it's useless), also, that I saw a squirrel last winter drag an abandoned dessicated hamburger up a was after the first snow, Fiona & I were on our way to Music Together class. Tres Bizarre.
A few minutes later I checked the squirrel-chewing-dinosaur status, both squirrel and dino had vanished. A day or so later, Fiona comes toddling up, "foundt dinosaawer mommie!" Of course I immediately washed it as best I could until such time as lime-green dinosaur could be spirited away without conflict.

Speaking of dinosaurs, we hit the Nature & Science museum a couple of weekends ago, and the Gem & Mineral Show. Fiona had a ball checking out the great displays at the museum and just as much fun gathering up crystals, looking for fossils, and panning for gold at the Mineral Show.

It's happening again!

The leaves, the LEAVES!! This time last year we were bundled up already. The acclimation has occured, I'm still in slippahs and jeans with a tee, at 40 degrees.

This past weekend we visited Georgetown took the little narrow gauge train up a few thousand feet to see fall colors. Alpine smells, mossy rocks, big rocky-rock-rocks ROCK, crisp & clear blue, some freezy rain to boot! Big swaths of gold through the evergreens. All the leaves haven't quite turned yet, just a bit around the edges here and there. But up at 9000' elevation things are definitely underway toward winter.
Slowly rebuilding the 'puter, slowly really settling into the area, the house, etc. still lots to do though.

If you ever need to entertain a toddler, it's easy to get caught up in the ideas that kids need all sorts of in put all the time. They don't, nor do they need all sort of automated toys, bells n' whistles out the wazoo. Simple is better, in all things in fact, most especially toys. Paint + moving box = playhouse, furthermore = happy entertained toddler exercising fine motor skills, creativity, conversation, and of course the sillyface. Take that Made-in-china toy-mafia!

How to Catch a Fairy

Love and wonder. Fun things to do almost every day. Sugar and spice, most everything nice....especially peanut butter on toast, or honey toast, or simple chocolate milk...
but definitely anything sweet.