Monday, December 22, 2003

Monday a week ago we went in for both boy's Well Visit Check-ups. I delayed Aidan's to be back to back with Quincy thinking that maybe then Quincy would see that all was OK with Dr Uba = and that he really is a nice guy after all. Not a bad strategy except that Pete took Quincy to get coffee (for Pete I assume not Q) and then forgot which floor we were on... Anyway, by that time AIdan and I were in the exam room and he was in the mini-hospital gown they hand out. I was interested that the nurse had him do a little eye test before we went in, after weighing and measuring height. She asked if he liked letters or pictures. Neither he nor I understood the question until we saw the 2 side by side eye charts on the wall - one consiting of little pictograms of a house, tree, apple etc and the other with alphabet letters. Aidan did great with the letters and even did each eye holding the little black thing infront of the other eye. All seemed well with both kids - and they were both thrilled to not need any injections. I would have subjected them to the flu shots but there is no serum locally. The flu has mostly already decimated his preschool so I can but hope that it won't come back around and that we got lucky. Dr Uba wanted to know what we were feeding the kids - AIdan had jumped statistically to 20th% in weight and 60th% in height! At first he thought Quincy had also had a big jump but then he realize he misread the nurse's numbers and instead he was still off the chart (low) in weight - but tracking fine with himself (and similar to Aidan at that age). We visited with Thomas today and Sara pointed out that our 2 4 yr olds are identical in height at the moment - a first - Aidan has usually been up to 2" shorter than Thomas. I guess there is a reason his pants all seem really short all of a sudden! I have invested in a few pairs of 4 yr old pants but they really are the perfect legnth for him now so will be quickly outgrown - on to age 5 pants we go!

For the stats - Quincy was 23 lbs (10.4 kg) in weight and 34 1/4" (87 cm) high. Aidan was 32 lbs 5 oz (14.7 kg) and 41" (104 cm) - guess he really was OK for that Splash Mountain ride he did - it had a 40" ht restriction and we weren't sure but they didn't stop us...
belated Thanksgiving Florida trip update...

A trip to FLA. Quincy got his last free flight. We flew out the Monday before Thanksgiving – a nice direct flight and even an extra seat to use. We also flew out midday – quite nice. Got us in for a latish dinner – it didn’t help that we got a bit lost on the way there and it took us about twice as long as it should.

Mom & Dad (Gma & Gdad Thompson) had rented us a 6 bedroom 3 bath home with a pool. We all agreed it wouldn’t be our choice of homes to live in but it worked out great as a rental. The living room had 4 sofas in it ringing the room so seating for all was not a problem. We were a bit cozy at dinner as the kitchen table really sat 6 best and we had to drag over the nice chairs from the dining area to supplement it. Audrey had a highchair to use. The garage had been converted to pool, foozball and basketball shooting area – we should have used it more than we did. The Websters had a queen room sharing a bathroom with the 2 twin bed room – the kids beds had very large Mickey Mouse on one and Minney Mouse on the other – the kids were pretty happy. The room also had a Playstation which I regret to say I didn’t try – I have never used one. I think there may have been a TV in every room. The main room had a large rear projector HD TV with DVD. Sweet. I took Finding Nemo with us – Aidan got to see his first full length movie. I think he watched most of it…

The first several days were quite warm and we got to use the (heated) pool a few times. Then there was a cold front that came through on Friday – we drove home in the driving rain from Gville although Rob & Dad & co got an earlier start back and missed it. The OR Thompsons arrived Tuesday evening after a long day and some flight delays. Dad was nice enough to shuttle them back and forth to the airport. Audrey is a real cutie – a very sunny little girl. I was really happy with Quincy’s reaction to her – we have seen him push over at least 4 children smaller than him in recent times at playgrounds – it is very deliberate – you watch him look them up and down – can almost see him determine that he can take them – then a firm hand push to their chest and down they go. Makes us cringe! I guess he is just so happy to be bigger than someone. Most of Aidan’s friends siblings we hang out with are a few months older than Quincy and definitely larger. Anyway – all 3 kids played really nicely together and there was no fighting or pushing. Audrey is still in the mouth everything stage – we got some Dominos for Xmas – she really liked them!

On Wednesday we opened birthday presents for Audrey and Quincy. Both my kids liked the coloring LeapPad Gma got him. Gma also had tons of grandma toys that she had brought along so the kids were fully entertained at all times. Later in the day we had “Christmas� – presents everywhere! I thought I had brought plenty of room for presents once I got rid of ours – after all I had almost a full suitcase for presents. Ha! Quincy got a huge stuffed bear among other things. Good thing there was that car seat bag to fill up… Both kids also got very soft hand crocheted afghans and pillows from Greatgrandma Killinger. They loved them and toted them around all week. Of course Paco loved them too… Quincy was typically terrified of Paco. Especially if he was sort of caught unaware. Other times he would do OK. I think maybe he was willing to pet him once. Audrey was supremely unconcerned about Paco even when she would get to occasional tongue swipe to the face. Aidan liked him but was still somewhat timid.

I baked a cake for Quincy & Audrey – unfortunately the rental truly had no food (not even salt) and limited cooking stuff – no cake pans or mixer. Turned out fine though – Quincy helped me decorate it with sprinkles after it was frosted. I did like Sarah – made a cake I wanted – chocolate with sour cream frosting. Mom had the place fully stocked with food and drinks before we showed up (and I do mean fully!) although we still managed to spend 2 or 3 more hundred at the store. We were all skeptical that there was anyway we could go through it all – and we didn’t finish off the 6 loaves of bread nor all the pantry items, but we did pretty well on the frig items. Mom cooked us excellent meals as usual with Dad’s help manning the grill. There was the smoked turkey, grilled chicken breasts, and a large salmon grilled - all on various evenings. Yum. Also lots of roasted sweet potatos – a favorite of mine. Quincy did manage to blow out his candles on his birthday party night in FL – unlike at Ellie’s house.

On Thanksgiving Thursday Dad was long gone when we work up (golfing with Larry and Troy). The rest of us had a leisurely day – unfortunately Audrey and Quincy had opposite nap times the whole trip. She was getting up at 6 or so and ready for a nap by 9 – we got up at 8 and ready for a nap after lunch. Then she needed another later afternoon nap when Quincy was up. Oh well. Audrey mostly got her naps respected. Quincy didn’t. I think he got to sleep on the way over to Tampa that day. Lynne & Troy have done a nice job (with Larry’s assistance) in making Dad’s childhood home into an attractive more modern home. Larry, Larissa & Alec were there and Adam came with his new wife Meredith. There was plenty of food as you would expect – and tasty. It was a bit of a pot luck with Lynne & Troy providing the turkey, ham, mashed potatos and green beans and others bringing appetizers, salads and desserts. I made the molten chocolate cakes that I love at their house. We had plenty of chocolate as Larissa had also made individual chocolate cakes! After dinner Lynne announced that she was newly pregnant. Hopefully she will have an easy and healthy pregnancy to look forward to. Between dinner and dessert the gang took a walk down to the Bay. Troy took along a couple of fishing rods and managed to pull up a couple of fish (and release them). Aidan was quite fascinated and a bit scared I think. Quincy was in fine form and having a grand time – I think he ran the whole way – and we went a few blocks! Quincy was surprised a couple of times by one of Lynne’s cats – boy you should have heard the blood curdling screams! Poor cat – he just wanted a bite of his food.

On Friday we all headed to Gainesville. A 2 ¼ hr drive instead of 1 ¼ hr. We had lunch of fried chicken, fried okra, hush puppies and lima beans – all you could eat at a restaurant in Alachua. I wouldn’t want to eat it often but it was tasty. Afterwards we headed back to Norma’s house for a little visit. I was disappointed that besides Norma, Stewart & Great-grandma we only saw cousin Shelby. The visit was also short so I didn’t get too much socializing in with either Norma or Gma – also a big disappointment. Rob had even less time as they left at least an hour before we did as Audrey was ready to nap. That was the evening that we had salmon for dinner. Very tasty and I don’t usually like salmon much.

Saturday Mom & Dad headed off to Sarasota to check out retirement homes and visit with a friend. Rob & Sarah decided to hang out at the house. We Websters headed north to the Science Center. It was a very nice Museum (Alec had recommended it) with a variety of hands on things the kids could enjoy. There was also an Imax with free movies – we tried to see one about Stomp but they switched it to one about Dolphins at the last minute. It was fine although nothing too special but it gave Quincy an opportunity to nap. We got home maybe around 7 – just in time for dinner…

We had debated going to Disney on the weekend – but I was pretty sure I didn’t want to join the post Thanksgiving crowds. Then we thought to head to Silver Springs – but Rob had been sick and Quincy had also thrown up so we decide to pass this trip. Instead we headed off on a trip to ck out some more retirement communities. We had lunch (at Irish pub) in Mt Dora and then a little walk around the town. Again the Thompsons decided to head for home earlier so that Audrey could nap. Pete had headed off with the kids in search of a playground and had finally found one as the others were leaving. I joined him and then we headed across the street to do a little nature walk along the lake. I have to say it was one of the highlight activities for me. It was close to sunset. There was a little rainbow in the sky and reflected in the lake for no reason I could figure. We saw a swimming large turtle and also an alligator swimming. There were some nice birds to see including what I am sure was a kingfisher – very attractive. There was a raccoon eating some scraps left at the side of the boardwalk path. The path wove in and out of the woods? Underbrush? Out onto the lake and back. Attractive.

Rob had told us that the Disney planned community of Celebration had “snow� every night on the hour. Aidan had really been looking forward to it but we hadn’t gone the previous evening as it was a bit too cold and perhaps late. But finally – Sunday evening we made the 8 p.m. performance! They have 3 or 4 snow machines above the lightposts on each side of the little main street. The snow is made of soap bubbles. Quite convincing from afar and fun to be in regardless. Quincy wasn’t so sure he wanted those bubbles on his shoes however. It lasted 10 minutes or so and was a hit with the kids. This was all set to Christmas music of course. Then we checked out the fountain thing at one end of town – one of those ones that randomly shoots stuff up. People would try to time it and run across. Finally one dad and daughter got caught and SOAKED. After that my kids said no to the horse buggie ride (esp Quincy) and yes to the little trainlike people mover tour of town. So the train it was. Dad & I had driven around Celebration during the day a few days before – quite nice – looks like it has been there a long time – but of course in mint condition (it is only 10 yrs old after all). There was a variety of sizes of buildings – apartments, town homes to mansions on the golf course. No adjacent houses looked at all alike either.

Finally on Monday we decided to head to The Magic Kingdom. To see Mickey’s home you know! Rob & Sarah had to fly home so they headed off to Celebration for lunch with Dad before he took them to the airport. Mom joined us and we saw Dad mid-afternoon. Disney truly is vast. We only made it to maybe (not even) half the park. And you take long people movers from the acres of parking – to the mono-rail to get to the park – and then you walk…. We saw Mickey and his friends performing in front of the castle as we headed into the park. My first ride with the kids was the Mad Hatters Tea Cups (I love that ride!). Then we decided to do Pooh’s Adventure (Pete had read up in the Official Disney Guide Bk from the rental house which rides we should do with little kids in tow). We waited a good 45 min in line – no too popular with any of us! And saw all these people using their “Fast Passes� to go to the front of the line – aggravating! But we learned our lesson and Pete invested in Fast Passes for us from then on – no investment required other than running around to the various rides to get the tickets when they are available. An odd concept but it works great if you do it! Mom rode with us on It’s a Small World – I remembered it rather fondly but found it oddly freaky this time. Really weird little dolls singing and dancing. We took a little lunch break – I had brought a lot of food but Mom hadn’t and the kids liked her purchased food better than anything I had brought anyway. Other rides we took – The Jungle Cruise (with Dad), Peter Pan’s Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean (Aidan was scared), Aladdin’s Flying Carpets (Aidan’s favorite – he did it with me and you could make the “carpets� go up and down – I liked it too), Splash Mountain (flume ride partly in the dark to Brier Rabbit theme) – Pete’s favorite – we had 5 Fast Passes all told for this one – he rode it alone first and loved it so much he got us 4 more passes. Dad & I took a turn – we got soaked unfortunately right before sundown – but fun. Pete took Aidan (who was just at the 40� height restriction) – Aidan wore his rain jacket and got soaked but not cold fortunately. And had a good time although he did later say he didn’t want to do it any more – once was enough although he did give it his 2 thumbs up. We also climbed up Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. And they went over to Tom Sawyer’s island (while Dad and I Splashed). Cell phones were a great invention although the book also recommends walkie talkies. We saw the 3 p.m. parade after we saw the Country Bear Jamboree (Christmas) show and we saw the 6 p.m. light parade. Mom and Dad headed back to the car at that point – Pete figured we could get in another couple of rides. We did the Haunted Mansion – Aidan tried to duck out but we didn’t him – so he just closed his eyes most of the way. We got to front of the Peter Pan line again thinking it was the Pooh line when Aidan said if it wasn’t Pooh he wasn’t interested. So we tried to head for the exit when the 7 p.m. firework show started. Aidan wanted NO part of it. Quincy had finally passed out during the Haunted House ride and there was no waking him. We got bogged down in the crowd in front of the castle so we had to join the masses leaving afterwards and waiting in line for the mono-rail. Disney does an amazing job with crowd control I have to say. It takes a while but you are always moving. A good day, a long day. Then home for our last dinner and packing. Pete decided it was his night to put the kids down (the 1st of the trip) and he went down with them. I packed all our bags. Pete rousted himself to ck on me close to midnight. We had a 7 a.m. flight and the airport was a good ½ hr away. We got the kids up a little after 5. Fortunately Dad said he would return our car for us as his flight was an hour after ours.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Well this has been a fairly full weekend. Today is Quincy’s 2nd birthday. Aidan got a party at Acrosports for his 2nd birthday. Quincy got to go watch a Circus Performance at Acrosports for his. Aidan had a cake baked by Mom. Quincy got to go to Cousin Ellie’s party and have birthday cupcakes made by Julia (they were quite tasty). The group was kind enough to sing Happy Birthday to Quincy as well as Ellie although the only kids he knew were Ellie and Aidan. Fortunately I don’t think Quincy minded.

He has woken up at 6 a.m. every day this week since our return from FL – until today. Today he chose to sleep until 10! I dashed off to yoga class slightly before 8.30 leaving Aidan and Pete giggling and goofing around in bed. I returned at 10.15 to find only Aidan dressed for the day. Quincy was noshing on something. Pete headed off for a shower. We were supposed to arrive at Acrosports close to 10.30 to grab seats for the 11 performance. Needless to say we didn’t make it there by 10.30.

Both boys were quite captivated by the activities on stage – mostly the coaches doing things like aerial rope acts interspersed with clowning and juggling. Quincy got a bit restive an hour into it but it finished shortly thereafter. Then to my surprise they said that they were going to have the kids come on stage and do a Circus for the parents. Aidan and Thomas liked that idea. Quincy didn’t make the 3 year old cut off. Aidan and Thomas joined the biggest group (3-5 yr olds) in rhythmic ribbon twirling. It was fun to watch and they seemed to have a good time doing it. Thomas & Aidan (esp Thomas) had a running commentary going during the real show. Main topic was Coach David – who will be their new coach after the holidays when they move into the 4-5 yr old group. He was quite good in the show.

Next activity today was lunch at Park Chow with Thomas and his parents. At first Quincy was telling me he wanted to go home but then he changed his mind and insisted on “restaurant”. Good choice as he didn’t really have a say in the matter… Good eats as always. Then home for a short stop to pick up presents (Aidan didn’t understand why we couldn’t go to Thomas’ house instead). Then off to Cousin Ellie’s house.

Julia had her usual bountiful yummy spread. The kids enjoyed the pretty afternoon (after a few icky days) in the backyard for a while. Most of the guests were Ellie’s Daycare cohorts with a few other friends, Julia’s parents and us. There were goodie bags given out at the start – a hit with my kids as they enjoyed their bouncy balls and bubbles especially. There was a little dancing (one of Ellie’s favorite activities I understand). Aidan was a bit of a wild man on the dance floor. Quincy declined to join in. There was singing and candle blowing and cupcakes. And there was present opening near the end. Ellie, like my kids, really thought that she should play with her toys as she got them instead of ripping them all open. Unfortunately she’ll learn. Julia gave Quincy a bag of tools and a car thingy as we left. A big hit but Aidan was pretty sure he should have it. Quincy managed to go without a nap (a VERY unusual occurrence) and Aidan clearly could have used one – he was not his usual good mannered self but rather over tired and wanting anything Quincy had all day. There were tears on the way over in the car when Aidan realized that Quincy had a baby doll. Aidan promptly desperately wanted it. I suggested he ask Q if he could have it. “No” was the response. More tears. A few blocks further on Q kindly offered it to Aidan.

We came home maybe around 6 or so. Time to open some presents from Nanma & Pop. Nanma even got a present for Aidan. Aidan liked his new finger puppet like gloves – but then asked why he only got 1 present – shouldn’t there be more for him? I reminded him several times exactly whose birthday it was but didn’t make a lot of headway. Quincy was fairly good at opening something, playing with it briefly but enjoyably, and then opening the next thing. He got it. Aidan had some major heart burn over wanting a flashlight I gave Quincy. I actually have a similar one for Aidan – for Xmas. I suggested he ask Santa for one. We made it through the presents and some snacking on yogurts and a couple of phone calls to books and bed. Phew!

Yesterday the kids went off for bagels and the “Toy Gym” with Dad in the morning while I shopped for presents for Ellie & Mateo, picked up some pantyhose for me, a living Norfolk Pine tree to decorate, some Soy Eggnog for Pete and a few other odd items. Then I wrapped packages and made a birthday card in about 15 min before meeting the boys at Mateo’s 5th birthday party at school. It was the smallest group yet at a party at school – just the right amount. And someone described it as an old fashioned party – there was pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs followed by cake, piñata and present opening. Too bad the birthday boy didn’t play any of the games, but Aidan did. In musical chairs they didn’t insist any of the kids stand out – they got to keep going but there was just one less chair each time. It took Aidan a couple times to figure out what was going on – then he was following Mateo’s mom, carefully watching her hand on the cassette thing, and he had his hand touching a chair at all time. He even learned to lead in with his butt when going for the chair. He wasn’t always successful as there were some forceful bigger kids and when another kid was there are about the same time Aidan would back off – but I was impressed with his quick grasp of the necessities of the game.

After the party we hurried home so Mommy could get ready for the school adult’s only holiday party downtown. Aidan & Quincy got to play with Amanda Salamanda at home while Mom & Dad trudged downtown in the rain. It was nice event. It ran from 4 – 7 so we got to put the kids down when we came back – but it felt like it had already been a long evening. I made the mistake of purchasing a Eucalyptus wreath from Trader Joe’s. I finally clued into the fact that that was what was causing my sore throat etc – it now resides OUTSIDE. I haven’t brought in the Norfolk Pine tree yet – hopefully I won’t be allergic to it although chances are good that I will be.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

October 18 – Aidan’s 4th birthday party. Aidan tells me he is 3 ½ but almost 4 but that he won’t REALLY be 4 on the day of his party – he birthday is a few days later. I queried Aidan several times on his desired guest list. Fortunately he isn’t like a lot of kids who like to rattle off the names of everyone in his class. He had no problem at all keeping it down to a select few. Thomas & Zoe are still considered very close friends – although we see Zoe only a few times a year these days. They headed the list. Theo (and his 2 yr old sister Lillian) were next – Theo and Aidan are 2 peas in a pod at school – by far his best friend. Theo also lives a half block from school and we have stopped off there a few times after school recently – which is now becoming almost a daily request. Ella Baker was requested although I wasn’t really that aware of them being good buddies – but I think they play well together. She moved to the morning program but has just added back Friday afternoon with us (my teaching day). And Zoe of Henry and Zoe (and Henry) were requested. Interesting to me that I think he has a preference for Zoe although again I never see him play with her – but perhaps that is because they don’t go to school on Friday. Cammie was also invited – she seems to be liked by a lot of kids at school – she seems very sweet – and her parents are unbelievably welcoming and seem to have at least one school friend & family over for dinner each week. We invited our friend Cassie but she was busy. That is it.

Pete had ruled out the school as a birthday locale. I thought perhaps Acrosports with Thomas might be fun – but after attending another party Sarah ruled that one out. Hmm – what should we do. Should we bite the bullet and host it here?! How many little kids would be wreaking havoc? I thought perhaps we could get Cousin Jeff to come and do sing-a-long with the kids – he picked up my guitar at Quincy & Ellie’s 1 yr party here last year and the kids were entranced. Too bad he was busy. Next thought – let’s have a Cooking Party. The kids love any cooking project at school and both boys love any cooking we do at home – either real or pretend. We already had 2 aprons and I knew some friends had some too. I ordered real, adjustable, paper chefs hats through the internet (thank you google or was it froogle?). And on that day I was working at school helping clear out the basement I ran across 5 or 6 old kids aprons – score! Now to figure out the logistics… I decided to let the kids divide into 4 groups of 2 or 3 and each group make something for us all to eat. Then afterwards the real fun would be decorating cookies. First “course” was Chex mix – add 2 more cereals, some cashews, pretzels, honey roasted peanuts and I think we have a winner – measure, pour and mix – hard work and quite rewarding for 4 yr olds. Next comes the fruit salad. Cutting is a skill they like to work hard at to master. OK let’s cut up some melon, and cut, and cut. Add apples, blueberries, grapes (pluck ‘em off the stem 1st), oranges & pineapple, cut some bananas and toss. Try to keep it in the bowl… Pasta salad time – to the corkscrew pasta add 2 containers of pesto, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, and grated parmesan. Stir as best you can and try hard to keep it in the bowl. Eat stray noodles. Last item was intended for Quincy & Lillian but soon became a free for all – jello jigglers – firm jello you cut with cookie cutters. I think 8 little bodies would have been content to do vulture imitations around the 11”x13” if I had let them!

I had just enough seats (as Quincy got his high chair and Millie got her Dad’s lap) for the kids. Adults were left to fend for themselves. The food was pretty good. But at least 3 kids had gooey noses and despite insistence on handwashing before “cooking” I am sure germs were freely spread. It was nice to watch – the kids did a pretty good job of having a decent lunch.

After lunch we went on the landing and played a little “pin the nose on the pumpkin”. They all wore the blindfold – and I for one couldn’t see anything out from under it. I had located the pumpkin at the right height with Aidan’s assistance in the a.m. (he REALLY wanted to help get ready for the party). He also took a couple of practice tries. I spun each kid 3 times then set them straight and gave them a push. They only had about 3 or 4 feet to go but they all (with exception of Lilly) were within about 3” of the center of the pumpkin. The adults were joking that it would have been much more entertaining to let the adults try to do it. The kids seemed to like it though. I had another game but didn’t bother getting it out as it doesn’t work that well – the spider dangles and catches bugs with the Velcro on the bottom of its legs – but the legs often catch each other…

Back to the table for cookie decorating. A time that I think a lot of us adults cringed. A time of excess. How many sprinkles can you pile on one cookie? About ½” worth in some cases! I gave each kid their own icing and left them select a color to add and they each picked a couple of cookies. I was surprised that with one exception all kids picked pink or green frosting. I finally had one request for blue. Aidan went with pink although later used some green and blue. A couple of kids just wanted to eat the sprinkles and icing when they were done. Too bad as by far the best part was the cookie – I have a new recipe that makes beautiful cookie cutter cookies as well as tasting really good. I had the babysitter make up this batch yesterday while Quincy slept and Aidan & I were off at school. Aidan selected which of our 100 cookie cutters to use…

Then it was time for cake. Aidan had asked for CAKE not cupcakes this year. What flavor – vanilla. Hmm. I asked if he wanted an ice cream cake – YES! Flavor? Vanilla, strawberry & chocolate. Hmm – I’ll ask again another day… He agreed that mint chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip sounded pretty nifty. I ordered it up from Ben & Jerry’s. It was very good. I brought it right to the table from the freezer and tried to use my slicing / carving knife for the job – it was having trouble – so I had to go back for my 9” chef knife – it was up to the task. The kids were so quiet while they ate. It was so nice! Of course before we could eat we had to have candle blowing out time. Aidan had come to me early in the morning and told me that he didn’t want people to sing happy birthday to him at his party. Both Pete and I at various times tried to reason with him but he stayed firm in NOT wanting a song. When the time came he reminded me and I asked everyone not to sing. We weren’t even allowed to count 1, 2, 3, 4. But he blew out the candles happily enough. I had funny curly candles that were very skinny (he picked them out). The cake was too firm to poke them in! I finally made little hole with the back of the match which worked perfectly.

I had decided to play the present opening thing by ear – some kids take them home to open, some get to open one a day, some open them all at the party. Aidan decided he wanted to open them at the party and I agreed. I was off looking for something and came back and had missed a couple presents! I had cleared the table off and had thought we would do it there but the kids just plunked down on the landing with only one adult in sight and went at it. Thomas said he wanted to help Aidan open his presents – and did so. Normally Aidan is a very slow opener but I think having help kept things moving at a fast clip. He has only really gotten 2 of the presents actually out of their boxes and played with them. Zoe gave him (like she gave Thomas) – a tool set. A big hit. Quincy was enjoying them too – I couldn’t find my camera in time to get Quincy and Aidan pretend screwing something onto a kitchen cabinet with Aidan & Pete wearing kitchen gloves, and Pete using the saw on anything he could think of – like Quincy’s thigh. It was pretty cute. Quincy gets right in there with his brother. Good thing for the most part they are very good friends. 2nd toy to be really enjoyed – the Brio ambulance train for our train track. Came with 2 “cars” – the first one for the driver and the 2nd for the patient (it came with the 2 people too). Quincy really didn’t want to part with them esp as it makes ambulance sounds. Aidan was pretty darn good about sharing. We also got 2 little pieces of track that can be used to make funky transitions when your tracks don’t line up. Both kids liked all the pictures on the box and somehow thought that the little box contained several trains and a lot of track! Aidan is not so sure about the pieces but Sara really got them for me anyway…

Well that about wrapped up the party. Aidan handed out the goodie bags and people left en mass. The party started at 11 a.m. and I think most people left perhaps around 2.30. Ella had come late (from another party – just in time for cookies and cake) so she stayed a little bit after the others left which was nice. Pete and I did a little cleaning but the place wasn’t too badly off. He then took the boys off to the Exploritorium at around 4 while I did a bit more clean up and then put my feet up for a bit. Nice. Both boys have not gotten enough sleep the last few days so we aimed for an early bedtime. That ended up being 8 for Aidan and after 9 for Quincy which isn’t really much earlier than usual. Aidan was quite a little bear at bedtime thanks to being over tired. Quincy just won’t go to bed for me at all unless I stay in bed with him – he cries and cries even if I try to sit in the doorway and read. Somehow he is willing to go to bed with Pete in the doorway. Oh well. And he still doesn’t sleep through the night… Well it is late here – I will post and head off to bed myself now.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Ok – an update at last. I compose regularly in my head and not at all on the computer. That said…

Quincy’s language has been the thing really fascinating me the past month or so. Mid to late August he really ramped it up and started trying to say most words that you said. Julia Reiff tells me that Ellie started her parrot stage mid-August. Her language skills are much more precise than Quincy’s (other people can understand her easily!). I sort of felt for a long time that Quincy must have been an Hawaiian in a previous life. He has every vowel sound going down pat but only about 5 constants – and almost the same ones they use. For a long time now Quincy has had possessive words down – mine, my, our, mommy’s, Aidan’s, etc. “My Turn” gets a good work out. But he is putting together 5 word sentences these days no problem. I seem to remember Aidan’s early longer sentences being full of nouns and verbs – “orange light blue truck” – leaving out the word “on” in the middle. Quincy has the “on”. He says things like “put it down right here” although it sounds more like “puh ih down righ here”. He often says “read A book”. And he’ll use “the” as well. He has picked up most of his colors along the way without any particular effort on our part. Perhaps because often he and Aidan will have matching things but in different colors – or he needs to tell us which color cup he wants. He clearly knows that the yellow chair belongs to Aidan and the green one is his. Both kids can get rather upset when the other uses their stuff although I think Quincy might even be more aware of it than Aidan when it comes to toys – he picks up a yellow car and tells me it is Aidan’s – but then asks where Quincy’s (pronounced Keency) red car is. Aidan would be happy to play with Quincy’s car if he came across it and not necessarily think of it as belonging to Quincy.

Quincy looked to be stretching out his night time sleeping before our summer trip to Europe – which of course wreaked havoc with his schedule esp as he wasn’t getting enough calories at a lot of meals. Unfortunately he hasn’t made any move back and is waking 2 or more usually 3 times a night and wanting to nurse! He can go all day without nursing quite easily however… The boys share the double bed futon in their room most nights. Interestingly this past week (Pete has been out of town) I have brought Quincy into bed with me for convenience in the middle of the night – and somewhere in the wee hours Aidan creeps into bed with us too. Clearly Aidan misses the company as he usually stays in his bed all night although perhaps once a week we get a 4 a.m. visit.

Aidan has had his school days increased to 4 afternoons a week. He loves it as he goes the same days Theo goes now. I haven’t been quite as enthusiastic about that… Aidan and Theo were inseparable until lately when they have been forced to separate at snacktime. The “new” teacher didn’t realize that they were best buddies and she told me that she felt so bad for Theo the last month of school (when we were gone) as he seemed so lonely. Aidan does fine without Theo but the reverse isn’t as true. The were going pee together – in the same toilet even! A few times they bumped heads as they were even so physically close together! I liked having the day different where Aidan played with other kids, but Aidan is quite happy with the current arrangement. Theo has a 2 year old sister Lillian that Quincy likes. We hang out at their house sometimes as they live half a block from school. Unfortunately they have a yappy small terrier that both of my kids are terrified of for no good reason so I sometimes end up with a kid in my lap or within 2’ of me at all times.

We are getting to see a lot of Thomas these days as we arranged the kids’ schedules so that they share Acrosports class at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays followed by playtime at our house before heading off to school. Wednesdays we head down to their house in Redwood City – a 40 min drive south. At least the weather is usually a very nice change from the city – never any fog! On Thomas’ birthday party day our car read 60 degrees as we headed out of town (and we were in dense fog at 1 p.m.) but was up to 77 degrees when we arrived. Ahh. Both boys got “bigger boy bikes” at about the same week as it turns out and we usually take our bikes down there as they live on a dead end street on the flat. The biking interest has died down a bit – and Aidan is always a bit more interested than Thomas. We usually take our swim stuff too and use their pool. Quincy was VERY into that although we haven’t gone in the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately their pool guy comes Wed mornings and adds a bunch of new (cool) water so the pool isn’t as warm as “usual” (Sara installed solar heating). They now have a 5 bedroom home with a large downstairs play area. Quincy usually tries to drag me down their first thing (open door mommy!) as there is usually the train set up. Thomas still has trouble thinking of Quincy as anything other than a baby who eats toys (and Quincy never did much toy eating) and tries hard to exclude him often. The bigger boys often head right into Thomas’ room and SLAM goes the door in Quincy’s face. Aidan sometimes tries to intervene for Quincy esp if I have a little talk to Thomas about letting Quincy play with something – then Aidan will jump right into policeman mode and try to enforce “sharing”.

We joined Thomas for his Wednesday swim class once (and watched it the week before that). He goes to an outdoor (but covered) 92 degree pool. And this summer he really learned to swim – he does laps and is working on various strokes. We are just very excited that Aidan is no longer absolutely terrified of the water and is OK about getting his face wet! He is also willing to splash around now with just waterwings or a life preserver on – a huge step forward. Quincy given the right opportunity would be swimming by now – he loves the water and automatically goes into full kicking mode. He just gets cold (clue lips) very very easily as he has no body fat on him.

Now Wednesday mornings we go to our local park where Coach Jamie has Soccerkids Class. There are a couple of other kids from Aidan’s school and class is at least half girls (often much bigger girls!). Coach Jamie is GREAT. I am not sure we will keep on with it though. First class it took 30 of the class’ 40 minutes to get Aidan on the field. Next class Aidan insisted that I run along side him holding his hand (and carrying Quincy). 3rd class I got to stand out in the field with them (as opposed to all other moms hanging out back on the far sidelines) but I didn’t have to hold his hand nor do much running (still have to hold Quincy). This last time I was out there standing nearby for much of the class but was allowed to go to the regular mom area for some of the time. Hmm. Jamie does a lot of fun games like have the kids pretend they are dinosaurs collecting eggs (soccer balls) and raiding the other kids “nests”. I think Aidan thought these games were soccer. They finally had a “real” game this 4th class – where they also saw the goals for the 1st time and learned to “power” kick. Some of the kids have been taking classes for a while. Anyway toward the end of time they finally divided into teams and played a “real” game of soccer. I was horrified to see Aidan get knocked down and another kid fall over him but coach handled it beautifully and Aidan got a free kick off it that happened to make one of only 2 goals scored. Aidan had told me earlier in the class then he doesn’t really like to run after the ball after he kicks it (he likes to leisurely walk!) and I realized that soccer probably was NOT the game for him! Aidan is one of the few boys I know who does like to just RUN. He is pretty good at it and certainly enjoys running up and down our hallway with Quincy…

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Well, here it is morn of the start of our “holiday”. I believe we lift off the ground at around 9.30 p.m. and head off to Munich on route to Barcelona. We will finally land in the evening in Barcelona and will thus be able to head to bed shortly after a very very long day!

A red letter day for me was earlier this week – perhaps Monday (July 14th – Bastille Day) when Quincy slept through the night for the FIRST time! Of course it has also been the only time… but I have hopes! He was waking around every 3 hours at the time of his 18 month check up but shortly afterwards started increasing his initial waking from around 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. or sometimes later. He still often wakes at 6 and the bad part re earlier this week is that there were 3 days in a row where he decided to wake up for the day at 6 a.m. – and we were used to both kids sleeping in til 7.30 or 8. Calorie intake definitely effects how long Quincy will sleep – so I do my best to get some good high cal food in him in the evening or better yet all day long. We aren’t always successful esp if we have days out and about. He eats fast and well when he first sits down but then tires rapidly of the offering and the sitting and heads off to play. Sometimes I can pursuade him to come back for more bites later on. Other days he needs to do a poop and then makes room for more.

A red letter day for Aidan was on Thursday. We headed off to Thomas’ (new) house down in Redwood City (30 miles south of here) where the summers are hot hot hot. After being served a nice lunch and having a little playtime (and I was very proud of Quincy – he played nicely with the train set upsetting no tracks and not bothering Aidan or Thomas’ trains), Thomas went off for his soccer class and Sara & Aidan went to watch while I put Quincy down for a nap at the house. The boys came back after class and watching some skateboarders do their thing in the park and downing an ice cream with beet red faces from the 90 some degree heat. Time for the pool! I think the 3 of them played in (or around as Aidan’s case is) from about 4 til 5.30. I waited for Quincy to wake up (tried to wake him up!). To join them. Aidan is unbelievable timid around the water. But this time he had on water wings (and goggles – very important). I was busy splashing both my kids to try to get them used to the water in the face thing. But the point here is that by the time we left Aidan was striking out ALL BY HIMSELF in the water with just his wings on! He was also shimmying along the wall in a “monkey walk” – something that earlier that day he kind of screamed in horror when I suggested it. Aidan needs very long warm up time each time, but this was frankly amazing to see. I think having Thomas so comfortable in the water – Thomas is truly swimming at this point – is a big help too. Quincy loves the water and has no fears and is a natural little swimmer. He does get purple in the lips quite easily – not enough fat on him! A last note here – it is quite funny afterwards to watch Thomas & Aidan taking a nice hot shower together and listen to their comments and see them try to apply soap to each other.

I have remained quite busy with school. My Board position has changed over and I have been trying to help out my replacement (although I had no help when I took it on but she has been a bit needy). I have also been working hard to convince someone, anyone, to take on a couple of the jobs that report to me – Maintenance Coordinator and Immediate Fix-It Person. I finally have that out of the way. The school has about its all time highest enrollment at present at 58 families – it apparently used to be around 48 families as there was some sort of $ incentive to have your kids go more days. A result of more families has been that there are more people to do the work. A nice thing! We are going to be doing a remodel to the shed where all the outside toys are stored – we will be adding a wall in the middle and creating a Teacher’s Lounge at long last. I am of course heavily involved with this. But the best of all is that one of the new family jobs is going to be an architect to do the drawings for this remodel. A very good thing as otherwise I was on the hook for it and 1) I haven’t been able to find my drafting board – let alone my pencils and triangles and scale and 2) I am not proficient enough to put it on computer without many many many hours. So I am heading off on this trip with a sigh of relief for some of the school stuff being roughly taken care of.

Now we just need to wait until we return to find out what is happening with Pete’s job. He has been posted at The Gap downtown in a lovely building by the water since we got back from New Zealand. The project was being done by consultants and Pete wasn’t very happy with their progress / solution – and it turns out neither was The Gap as the plug was pulled on Friday. So Pete spent the day packing his desk and getting his computer files sorted out. When we return he might need to return to The Gap with whoever ends up taking the project over – OR he might be posted to San Antonio TX for 4 or 5 months to work on a large project for USAA. Yikes! Life is never dull!

I hear squawking kids so should go relieve Pete.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Well, I am hardly doing a good job at keeping the sight current! I write quite a bit to blogger in my mind but somehow have trouble carving out the computer time to make it real.

Upon review of the past entries I noticed that I neglected to put any record of our trip to South Lake Tahoe with Thomas, Zoe & their parents. Fortunately anyone checking this blog is sure to see my ofoto emails so gets a sense of our trips from photos and captions without any additional help from me. It was really nice to have that weekend away – we had a spacious home this time with pretty good amenities in house – I think there were 3 TVs that we never watched and at least 4 recliner chairs. The people clearly had a passion for seashells and lighthouses as all décor contained one or the other. They had managed to even find and install raised seashell tiles in the bathrooms to coordinate with the seashell light fixtures… They also had been fairly liberal with their use of various granite, marble or slate on various surfaces. We were hearing horror stories about the weather (snow) we could expect on the drive up – fortunately the wild winter storm was really more like a few flurries. We did have some ground cover for the first day for the kids to enjoy and some actual snow in the a.m. to enjoy. Aidan is still asking when we can go to snow again. It was especially nice to have the trip as we rarely get a chance to connect with Zoe’s family anymore – they live in the East Bay now and Jessica has just gone back to work – and Zoe has been in fairly fulltime daycare/preschool since early fall. Thomas’ family had moved south about 30 miles just a week or two before we went to Tahoe. We still see Thomas at least once a week as Sara drives him up to go to the same Acrosports class as Aidan (5 or 6 very cute 3 year olds and their cute teacher Felice). She is also keeping him enrolled in the same preschool that was near their old home for next year – we all think she is a bit crazed as it is at least a 35 min commute each way – but I also sort of understand. With these Co-ops you get so involved and invested that you do crazing things like having your kid have an adult-like commute.

Our most recent trip was a fairly last minute one to southern California. Pete had to be a Epson in Longbeach on Thursday and part of Friday and then in Anaheim for a user conference on Tuesday. We also had a companion air ticket just about to expire – so we invested in a ticket for me and called our San Diego friends for some free lodging on the weekend and off we went. We realized it had been three years since our last visit! Hard to believe. I got to reconnect with Anne Marie from college – and meet her 2 kids who were 4 ½ and 13 months in age. They were about an hour away from our hotel but we all had a good time despite the drive. In San Diego we got to meet a whole bunch of “new” kids ranging in age from 13 months to 6 (although we had met the 2 oldest before). We also got to see the very nice (and huge) new homes a couple of our friends were enjoying. Our last night was spent back in LA at the Disney Hotel Grand Californian. I think roomrates were something like $250 a night (thank you Epiphany!). I was laughing a bit as we approached it – it seemed like a very large Swiss chalet complete with lots of evergreen trees. Disney had actually done a masterful job of creating a Craftsman Style Lodge – sort of what the lodge at Yosemite might have been with lots more $ thrown at it. Disney had nice little touches all over the place and clearly very thorough design control. Every little thing you ran into was “designed” – the waterglass coasters in your room, the plastic door key, the soap wrapper etc and of course the public areas were beautiful with custom tiles and stone and carpet designs. I declined taking the kids into Disney park by myself for $120 or something like that. Instead we enjoyed “Downtown Disney” which was right outside the hotel side entrance. The kids had plenty of fun playing in the fountains and at the Lego store and running around the patio of the bakery area. Aidan has lately become quite avaricious – he used to be a great shopping companion, but now he seems to think that I should buy him everything he shows any interest in – even things that I know he would have NO interest in outside the store. And when I say no “why?” he asks. Apparently Thomas is going through the same thing so it is some age related event, but it sure gets tiring! And no matter how nice you are and do actually let them have some treats they always want something else too… Quincy is just plain miserable to shop with. I now work as hard as I can to avoid taking him with me to a store. He was delighted to find himself one day in a Barnes & Noble with a 20’ long bookcase between me and him. He thought it was great fun to play keep away from mom. Fortunately as fast as he runs, I am faster. Another day he woke up in his stroller in Target. Immediately he hopped down and decided to play hide and seek in the clothing area. Fortunately we were in the little boy area and the clothes were high enough off the ground that I could see him when I stooped down. He is also pretty happy to pull things off shelves – something Aidan didn’t really do. I think other kids can be worse in that department – but then they are also really well trained to stay in the shopping cart – Quincy will just start screaming until I let him loose – I can’t figure out which is the worse of those 2 evils – screaming or running around with a huge grin on his mouth. Bad news is that if Aidan is with me that he thinks he needs to behave just like Quincy and he can run faster and is much louder. I get quite embarrassed. Aidan has also lately decided that it is fun to talk in a babytalk sort of manner – he tucks in his bottom lip and says silly things. I really don’t like it but there isn’t too much I can do about it although I do ask him what happened to his lip and it usually will then pop out again. I also tell him with monotonous regularity that he is supposed to be the good example for Quincy and teach him how to behave properly – NOT the other way around! Oh well. Good thing the kids enjoy each other so much that at least we have that reward for Aidan’s not so great behavior!

Quincy had his 18 month check-up at the beginning of the month. The Dr wanted to know what I had been doing to him as he had had quite a growth spurt – was up to 20 ½ lbs (from not quite 18 lbs) and was 32” high if I correctly remember which equated to around 50% in height I believe. Quincy has all his teeth now. I have met several 13 month olds that still only have 2 teeth and a 15 month old with 4 teeth – so a full set (of 16?) including 4 large molars is impressive. But best for us it means that he can chew pretty well. Aidan still chews something like 30 times for each bite while Quincy is happy to swallow whole food – VERY different little eaters! I bet you can guess who gets finished first!

Aidan likes school to the point where he will opt for school over staying home with mom just about every time. I sometimes take him for “drop-in” on Thursday afternoon and then I get a little time off while Quincy sleeps – Quincy has finally moved to an afternoon nap – hurray! Aidan will be changing from 3 to 4 afternoons a week come September. It is nice that his school is year round (with a couple 2 week breaks). The kids there are really nice and I still enjoy my “teaching” days quite a bit. Last Friday I took worms and a snail we found to school. I forgot the tub of ladybugs at home in the frig – they may go with us this week. Quincy is enamored with the ladybugs. He was a bit hysterically scared when I let one loose the first time – but once he was reassured that they were OK he got very into them. He says ladybug (“lay-buh”) and points rather demandingly or maybe I should say pleadingly when he sees them in the frig. We just loosed a couple more spoonfuls this morning – he pretty much just dumps his spoon and then when he spots them climbing around he dances a jig.

Pete and I have been spending a lot of our free (evening) time trying to get our Spain/Portugal trip sorted out. We have relied on Rick Steve’s (of PBS travel show fame) for a rough itinerary (we LOVED his Italy itinerary). Unfortunately we are heading over for the heat of the summer, but we are working with Dave’s trip to Barcelona to sing in the choral group (convention??) there in late July. This means our trip runs into August – when all of Europe seemingly is on vacation. A couple hotels we looked at were just plain closed for the month of August – guess all the hotel workers head to the beach! Pete found a great site that has really nifty boutique looking hotels throughout Spain. I had the brilliant idea of sending them our itinerary and criteria and seeing what they came up with. Pete had logged many many hours to this point with which has been great for looking up lodging and checking reviews by both various travel books/sites as well as individuals comments. He also spent countless hours running all sorts of permutations with the airlines which was very difficult as we are trying to fly using frequent flyer miles (very limited availability) and we originally thought we would tack on Greece at the end of the trip. This is by far the most involved Pete has ever been with trip planning – and he stated early on that he finally understood why I got so frustrated in the past when he wouldn’t get involved with the lodging selection – this time it was me leaving well enough alone. He booked several hotels last night and I think we are down to one unscheduled day in central Portugal and a couple nights at the south west coast of Portugal (I am a bit anxious about these as August is Europe at the beach). We also bought some hot weather clothing over Memorial weekend (something we rarely need around here!). Now we just need to get our respective workloads under control and before you know it we will be off! I am not looking forward to squiggling Quincy on my lap for some unbelievably long time – I know of no other family that has flown once with a kid this age who then repeats the cost savings of not buying their kid a ticket. Cousins Julia & Phil are coughing up the dough to buy Ellie a ticket to Australia this summer. Are we just crazed?? Of course Pete sleeps on the plane and knows that Quincy will want me anyway so maybe there is a method to his madness…

More later – am off to the gym now.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Language and growth

Quincy is having major language spurts – the beginning of many fun months I am sure. Quite different words than Aidan’s were. Mama was just about first. Ball was also early and Balloon. Daddy has been surprisingly a bit late. Doggie was earlier – and now Doggie and Daddy are often rather hard to tell apart – need to use context! Aidan joined the word stable a couple weeks ago – he says it very well. Quincy likes to point to various objects and label them as belonging to Aidan or Daddy. He especially likes to point out Daddy coat in the dining room hanging on closet knob, and Aidan cup (as opposed to his cup at the table). He says Moo, Woof, Whoo (owl sound), Tick Tock (Clock – early word), Duck (an early word), Baby (he signs this concurrently), Home, Phone (sounds a lot like his Home), Bus, Cheese (he doesn’t really eat cheese so don’t know why he bothers with this one!). He has been signing Where, Help, and More for some time now. He just added Book a few days ago – interesting to me as I showed him the sign along time ago and he has just started using it himself (no prompting or recent showing by me) – ditto with Baby. He also does Fish (a lot like his Baby). He also signs Hear. There are other words as well and he is acquiring them pretty fast. Apple has been one he has had for a while – I noticed today that he was designating something (perhaps all things) red as Apple and then later a plum (which he used to correctly say in the book) as an apple. He can also sign this one. He can nicely say two syllable words like Raisin and Shovel, repeating after you, and is willing to attempt Butterfly and Strawberry. He likes to say Elbow – it cracks him up as it is then usually followed by him pretending to eat my elbow. He also correctly identifies face parts and says Eye and tries Nose and Ear.

Quincy is also enjoying reading – and is more emphatic about which books he is interested in than Aidan ever was, and is also wanting them multiple times (that More sign gets a work out). Aidan was quite happy to have us pick out 5 or 6 books and run right through them. Quincy is also more of a self or active reader – even compared to Aidan of today. I think some of this comes from being kid #2 and having to entertain himself to a much greater degree – and he is very good at it!

Aidan continues to have excellent language skills for his age. He still hasn’t mastered all the exceptions in our language (something is Broken not Braked, there are Men not Mans etc). We took the kids down to the Main Library today. I saw him engage at least 5 adults when we were out and about in conversations. He is always asking Why (to my chagrin sometimes after 150 times or so in a day!). So he asked a man on the train if the paper next to him was his. (No) Why not… Later got in quite a conversation with someone about his earphones. He tries hard to get kids to talk to him, but they more often than not ignore him or can’t really talk themselves. Amanda reports that he then will usually turn to the adult with them at a playground and get them into a conversation. I’m meanwhile usually dashing after Quincy…

I took them both to Mervyns a week or so ago – and swore not to do any shopping with 2 again for a while! Aidan was busy trying to chat up people and Quincy felt it his mission to dash around the end of aisle and play hide and seek with us. At one point I asked Aidan to stay with him (figuring I could always find Aidan if I called), Aidan would go a few steps and then stop and finger some item of clothing “wouldn’t this look good on me (or Quincy)?” Argh!

Aidan could never be described as modest. He cracks me up with his “don’t I look cute in this picture” or “doesn’t this shirt and pants look beautiful on me?” (when they often clash). He is quite deliberate in his dressing these days and has interesting rationales for why things look good together. The blue camouflage pants look animal like therefore they will go nicely with the zebra socks and this orange shirt with an animal picture on it… Usually there is some color tie-in – here is a tiny red stripe in the shirt print so the red pants will work nicely. So he actually does OK a lot of the time. I also love when Aidan asks me “What did I just say”. You’d think he could listen to himself – he expects me to! And often when he asks Why I will ask him back “Well why do You think?” and he will launch into an explanation. So if he already thinks he knows, why ask?! Altho perhaps this could really be a case of wanting to confirm his theories. Pete gets a bit, well annoyed is the wrong term, perhaps amused, when Aidan asks Pete something, gets an answer, and then immediately turns to me to confirm the validity of that answer. I will enjoy my position as all knowing – as I know only too soon I will be relegated to knowing nothing… Aidan has formulated some framework in his mind where The Builders are responsible for all the world. I think they are somehow a combination of Bob The Builder and God. He will reference The Builders making Trees for instance. I don’t really understand what he thinks happens. But I have fallen into this scheme of the world as an easy way to answer some of those Why questions. Why is the straw that shape? The builders made it that way. Why? Because they did. Doesn’t always satisfy him, but sometimes it does.

Quincy seems to have physical skills similar to what I remember Aidan having – very self-aware of his body in space. I tend to be on the complacent side when watching him tackle a challenging climbing apparatus – other moms get very worried for me! He can shimmy up high ladders and complex things and takes care to make sure his feet are correctly positioned etc. I also don’t expect him to ever dash off a ledge (although off a sidewalk is another matter). He likes to Walk up stairs instead of crawl – and can even sometimes do it himself if they aren’t too steep and he can put a hand against a wall – or else he is very happy to hold my hand and hike up (and even down which is harder). He really wants to jump up and down like big brother does – but can’t yet. Aidan was about 22+ months when he mastered the 2 footed jump. Quincy just does the ankle thing like Aidan used to so doesn’t get any air. Quincy does a very good seated jump though – gets a lot of bounce off his bottom there! Aidan has good skills still I think for his age although I have seen some kids with amazing ball handling skills that he doesn’t have – I would bet practice makes a difference here. Aidan is catching big balls quite well. Quincy even manages sometimes. Quincy throws better than little Aidan did – his balls actually go FORWARD! Aidan does a nice forward roll. He also does great Donkey Kicks – puts hands on object say 1 or 2 feet off the ground and then kicks up back legs (often with aid of trampoline) – he can get his legs almost completely over his head – it will be interesting to see the day that he goes over! He does a good job on the balance beam at Acrosports too. He runs pretty fast – like a big boy now. Quincy now enjoys being thrown around in the air as much as Aidan has/does. And since he can make those More signs… Aidan gets a bit jealous sometimes of the things I do with Quincy and wants similar treatment – one move I have is to take Quincy by the waist and swing him up and over until he lands with his bottom on my shoulder facing backward – and then back down again. I have to explain that there is no way I can do that with big boy Aidan – nor swing him from the ankles between my legs. There still are plenty of tricks I can do with Aidan including balancing him on my feet up in the air and swinging him around in “airplane” rides.

The kids continue to enjoy each other and sometimes there are real gigglefests in the backseat of the car as they egg each other on with silliness. Jealousy also continues mostly from Aidan but also from Quincy. I can see both aspects continuing on for a couple of decades to come just in different guises. There are mornings Aidan can’t keep his hands off Quincy. Fortunately Quincy is a pretty tough little guy. Yesterday he bit through his lip pretty severely falling off a (very low) footstool – he cried a bit and I got some really big hugs (he is VERY good at the big hugs) and then off to playing as normal – the bleeding hadn’t even stopped before he wanted me to let him go on his way!

Quincy continues to have much more stranger and separation anxiety than Aidan. I was fine dropping off Aidan with Ginette and Lucien while we headed to a play – I don’t think I would do that at present with Quincy. He enjoys his babysitters, but I get the huge trembling lips and crying and big tears whenever I leave – and the long pauses for air between sobs. Really sad. Aidan was also a natural flirt pretty much since birth. Quincy is much more reticent about even smiling at a stranger – he has to be really comfortable. Quincy hates me to leave him, but he is quite fine about leaving me – like today when he was running laps around bookshelves playing hide and seek with Aidan. But if he isn’t sure where I am or if a stranger were to try to talk to him then the tears would immediately come out. Quincy has continued to cry fairly constantly through the whole visit in the gym childcare – even when Aidan goes too.

Quincy has had haircut #2. It looks OK despite the lack of cooperation. I continue to trim Pete and Aidan regularly. This latest time I even used the razor on Aidan – he was pretty into it. I also make both my big boys strip down and sit on a little chair in the tub to contain the cleanup mess. Pete grumbles a bit… Quincy gets a lot of oohs and ahhs over his white blond hair – and of course the requisite “where does he get it from?”.

Pete continues to enjoy a scant 40 hours a week job working out of downtown (using MUNI to commute). He makes it home near the end of dinner usually – but it is great to see him in the evenings in addition to the late morning starts (9ish usually but often a bit later). Quincy has just started being willing to go back to sleep even if he sees daylight in the morning. Phew! So now we sometimes get to sleep into 8 – or 7.30 instead of 6 or 6.30. His nap has also moved (due to sleeping in I think) to just after lunch from morning. He was the only kid his age I knew who napped in the a.m. – occasionally as early as 9.30!! Today he went down at 11.30 but he also woke at 6.30.

So what have we been up to in the many many weeks since a last update?? My high school friend Becky was here in early April with her 3 yr old son and her husband. We got together 3 times or so which was fun for me. We have been to the Exploritorium a few times. We checked out a playground a bit south down the coast last weekend. We have been to Crissy field many times as you may have noticed from photos – including while Nanma visited and when Becky visited. Nanma trecked around with us for a week. Both boys enjoyed her company but especially Aidan I think. I always enjoy having another adult around – it really mitigates the jealously thing as there are enough adults for everyone to have one… We had a very busy Easter weekend – first with a birthday party for baby of Pete’s college roommate Greg (our 1st meeting with her) – complete with egg hunt. On Easter we had a mini-egg hunt here (Quincy was remarkably good at it) followed by brunch and more eggs and baskets at Thomas’ new pad down south 35 minutes. Then a stop off at the train in Tilden Park followed by Dinner at the Eggerths with the usual family gathering of 15 or so. I took a key-lime pie that was great. Too bad it was sort of for Pete’s birthday but was mostly scarfed before he got back to the dinner table. I let him have half of my piece… Pete took his birthday off work for a little more time with kids and a rare day golfing with highschool buddy Rick. We had a snow weekend in Tahoe a while back (late March I think) with Zoe & Thomas that worked out well. Now Pete & I are trying to figure out our summer travel plans. I continue to keep busy with preschool stuff especially pertaining to my Board position but also a bunch of other things. I seem to have become the email voice of our afternoon Director as she isn’t on-line. Still enjoying my Friday afternoon teaching days. Aidan has a very best friend Theo at school. They are very very cute together. At his parent teacher conference I was told that he is very good at inserting himself into others’ group play without any disruption – a skill I still haven’t mastered – he must get that one from his daddy. I was also a bit appalled to learn that he sometimes (especially if he thinks he is unobserved) will get a bit bully like especially if another kid isn’t “listening to his words”. He will also feel compelled at times at clean up time to insist that something be done exactly right (at least as he views it). At least both my boys are actually pretty reasonable about doing clean-up – even Quincy. Quincy sometimes will clean up only to dump everything out again – but he’s moving in the right direction. I do notice that he is aware that certain things belong in certain places – if you give him a small bowl of snack food he will immediately take it off to the little table and usually even climb into his chair to eat it.

Well, enough from me for tonight! I need to do some Co-op Board stuff and Pete’s pushing to get out another edition of the CVH (Cole Valley Herald). Fortunately he is the main contributor, but I am on the hook for at least one article and of course all the graphics.

Monday, March 03, 2003

At last, a chance to sit down with a (mostly) working computer and try to knock out an update. The computer still has it’s side off, exposing its innards to Quincy’s curious gaze – but so far not his curious digits. And a new hard drive, motherboard, and videocard. Good news is that the old hard drive works enough to copy over our old info, a discovery made after a couple of weeks of sweating it. Chalk up a lesson on the value of backing up your computer!

We have had continued nice weather around here with the occasional sprinkles. We received e-photos from my parents and 4x6s from Nanma Phyllis of some of the piles of snow they are living through. I have just gotten us reservations to head to Tahoe with Thomas & Zoe for 14th & 15th of March where we hope to see snow – although it is quite possible that it won’t even be right outside our door like it was last year. I have been taking lots of snapshots (as usual) with my new camera – and will upload some to ofoto one of these days. Included are ones from a place called Hidden Villa that we visited down near Palo Alto a weekend or 2 ago. What a nice place – in a fairly steep valley – neither of our cell phones would work – and the nation’s purported 1st Youth Hostel is there. There is an organic farm and also some animals that our friendly guide Duncan took us around. There was only us and another family with small kids on the tour and he did a great job of keeping Aidan’s interest for the 90 minutes but also imparting information that the adults could enjoy. He started off with having us try to put our fingers into the soil in the “people places” and the “plant places” – there were raised plant beds that were of course well aerated and hard packed dirt walkways in between. A good way to explain to kids why they need to stay on the path! He cut up a stalk of rhubarb for all to try – Aidan thought it yummy to my surprise. Aidan has become the epitome of preschool picky – “no, peas are yucky!” – leaving me to pick them back out of the mac ‘n cheese – but not a word about them today floating in his ramen noodle soup – and rice in sushi is fine, brown rice with take out Chinese is fine, but any rice that mom makes is sure to kill you… Back to the farm, after that we checked out the composting heaps and got good looks at all the do-gooder worms in action. Pretty amazing how quickly they can convert the greens into “worm poop” otherwise known as nice soil. We learned the hand/body movements to “munch munch, wiggle wiggle, poop poop” – a favorite with the kids as might be expected. We got up close and personal with some sheep and a cow but kept our distance from the goats and pigs. Quincy was fascinated by the animals as usual – and also as usual, a bit terrified. He wanted nothing to do with touching a sheep. We took one short treck alongside a babbling stream in the cool shade of the trees and it looked like there were many other nifty pathways to explore another time. To our sorrow our friends Thomas, Sara & Eric are moving to Redwood City – 35 min away south on a good day. But maybe we’ll go back with them. Thomas is pretty delighted with the move as he will now have a pool, and Sara is looking forward to one of the 5 bedrooms being her craft room. He will continue to stay in his Acrosports class with Aidan and go to his nursery school so we should still see plenty of him hopefully.

Yesterday after my yoga class while the boys picnicked on the grounds of the Legion of Honor we trundled down to Ghiradelli Square for the 1st time in forever. While there Aidan noticed a lot of coins in a fountain. Why are they there? He asked. I explained that sometimes people liked to make a wish and throw coins in the water. He asked for a coin. His wish with his penny? That he could have a playdate with Thomas. Later amended to be a desire for Thomas to come to the Dolphin Club sometime with him. (We stopped in for him to do a poop). Cousin Sue does the polarbear swim there – something like 50 miles in the little cove there during the winter months – no wetsuits allowed. Cousin Phil joined her one winter but now just goes on the rowing boat expeditions. A much saner approach! A few weeks back we joined the Garfields and Eggerths there one Saturday evening (after the twins had their 1st sleep over with Sue & Jeff in the city) for the usual pizza and salad. A few weeks later we were heading back again to meet with the Garfields and Phil, Julia & baby Ellie. Aidan was looking forward to seeing cousin Bobby & Johnny again and Rick “who threw him high in the air”. None of those guys were there, but Phil always rises to the occasion. He took Aidan & Ellie for various wheeled object rides (and Quincy too sometimes). 1st one of the rowboats on it’s little trailer. Then a wheelchair with Aidan clutching both Ellie & Quincy, then a dolly, then a tiny dolly, then a desk chair on wheels – and finally Phil ran out of found vehicles. Yesterday we were supposed to head to Phil et al’s house to meet up with the whole gang + his parents – but Ellie decided to be sick instead. Aidan doesn’t really understand why the Dolphin Club isn’t someone (perhaps Sue & Jeff’s) house – just like he has trouble understanding that his teachers don’t live at his school.

It is also interesting watching Aidan try to get some understanding of how time works – or at least all of our expressions for it. Yesterday, today, tomorrow are very hard let alone any expression that refers to a timeframe that is further out. There are some good quotes in this arena if only I could think of any offhand. We are crossing off days on a calendar as I hope that he can see a visual of the passage of time. I think some more cognitive development needs to happen plain and simple though. Aidan is dressing himself top to bottom including buttons and Velcro items. Hasn’t mastered starting zippers (on jackets) nor of course tying shoe laces – but those will be coming soon enough. He has some interesting fashion statements. He will claim that all sorts of colors are his “favorite” or his “really favorite” or “most favorite” but I think orange really is it with red following close behind. Bright. He likes to “layer” – as in wearing 2 shirts. But he is all for layering one short sleeve over another. He does have some logic usually for why he selects what he does (it used to be TOTALLY random) – and usually there is some tiny area of the color of one thing in the other. And he will say “I look VERY cute wearing this shirt and pants”. Not too modest my boy!

Quincy puts up with outfit changes much better than he used to – not so much screaming. And if you ask for specific cooperation he will often give it.

Took Quincy for his 15 month check up today. 76 cm tall I think and only 17 lb 14 oz in weight! The Dr called him “petite”. I think Q is behind where Aidan was in language although his comprehension is very good – his pronunciation skills are still lacking. The Dr said he was right on track though. He is clearly ahead of where Aidan was physically. Quincy went back to waking up every 2 hours for a couple of weeks – I was going crazed. Turns out that 2 more molars did start popping out and just in the last few days he has gone back to more of every 4 hours for waking – SOOO much better although still far from sleeping through the night! I often leave him on Aidan’s bed toward the end of the night – and if I am not in there with him he will wake and come running down the hall. He’ll climb right over Pete if he is in the way. Funny in a pathetic sort of way. Then there are the nights that Aidan comes running down the hall in search of me. There was a night last week when we had the sofabed going to (so we could close door on Q’s crying in crib if needed) and I put in some nighttime hours in each of the 3 beds! I currently have a sinus infection which has been a real drag. Funny too as it didn’t follow a cold. So no real congestion to speak of, just the pain… The kids have been quite healthy although I noticed that today Quincy is coming down with something as he nose has started dripping. First time I think that he has had something before Aidan catching it and giving it to him.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I have a feeling that I have lost my blogger audience – but no matter! This is my record of kids development, as incomplete and occasional as that might be.

Aidan is really doing a lot of body exploration – by that I mean that he now runs quite well and is constantly doing “tricks” – standing on one leg, various types of hopping, galloping, twisting jumps, rolls, balancing on various furniture items, balancing objects on himself. It is fun to watch him try new things and master them. We were at Acrosports this morning and I was impressed as how accomplished he already is at 3 ¼. He is clearly a bit more coordinated than Thomas at present, but that has almost always been the case. Today they were hopping backwards down the “fasttrack” (long skinny trampoline) and doing open and closed legs (think jumping jacks) concurrently. I also watched him walk along a balance beam backward with a ring balanced on his head and later just climb right up on the uneven parallel bars with hands on top bar and feet on bottom one and shimmy right along to the other side. He has such fun doing it all too and also seems to very much enjoy his companions (there are 5 total in the class). He and Thomas often hold hands when walking between activities – too cute. I think Thomas usually initiates but however it happens I like to see it.

On the downside, Aidan sometimes has an unbelievably hard time leaving Quincy alone. Quincy is quite self directed in his play and is quite happy to explore (or get into mischief) on his own. But there are days that anything Quincy touches Aidan suddenly NEEDS. Even at the playground the other day – Aidan had 4 shovels – but Quincy picked up an itty bitty pink one – and Aidan suddenly desperately needed it to add to his stash. I wouldn’t let him have it so he kept following Quincy around – “has he dropped it yet? Is he done with it yet?” Sad. Then Aidan of course did end up with it and Q nothing. So I spied a rake – just like one A had only blue instead of red. And guess what – desperate NEED for that one too. Comical if not so unbelievably frustrating! On the flip side, sometimes he can be very sweet to Quincy. He will build towers and tell Quincy he can knock them down – and Q waits until told now – a big improvement!

Quincy has obviously good understanding of language now. I can give him an item in the bedroom like a tissue and ask him to go put it in the trash (in the kitchen) and he will. Cool. You can ask him to point out things in books – where is the bear’s eyes – and he points. Mostly correctly… You can ask him to help put things away or back – and he will especially if you do it as well. So nice to have him help put things back and not just pull them all down. I can also ask Quincy where he wants to go and to show me what he wants and he does – I’ll pick him up and then follow the pointing. Very helpful.

He clearly picks up behavior from his brother. Sometimes now he throws himself down on the ground when not getting his way – he even bruised his forehead superbowl Sunday doing that! This morning I was telling him “no” touching the stereo. He wasn’t paying attention so I had to physically remove him. Then he came over and looked at me and threw the calculator he was holding on the ground. So I told him no throwing and picked it up. Then he started to deliberately empty the study trash can while looking at me so that got removed. All very deliberate testing of the waters. Aidan sometimes (esp at dinnertime when I am home alone with the kids) will say his legs don’t work and flop on the ground – “you have to carry me!”. Not much fun for any of us. But Quincy soaks it all in and I think has decided that maybe this behavior is useful in some way. Oh well!

Quincy clearly recognizes what “sputter” refers to (him blowing wet raspberries). When you mention the word off he goes! You should have seen the kids in the car yesterday – I am not sure who started it but they were both “sputtering” away and laughing/giggling away between times. Very cute together. Quincy still faces backwards in his carseat so he and Aidan have good views of each other. I can also ask to see Quincy’s tongue and he’ll stick it out for me – and of course I have to do the same back which elicits the giggles.

Quincy walks quite well now and can sustain pretty decent knocks from – oh say his brother – and still remain standing. He lolls a bit as he goes – clearly still a new walker – and one of the smallest kids around you see walking. But he likes to get down and walk and although I think he prefers to head off on his own, he will go along and hold my hand or even have me on one side and Aidan on the other. I really need to find the harness I never successfully used for Aidan – Quincy is surprisingly quick and I can turn around and turn back to find him missing. Not a lot of fun.

I am sinking further and further behind on household tasks like updating Quicken, filing, medical claims etc. I no longer have any Aidan naptime – Aidan will grant me a few minutes to do some computer work after I put Q down for a nap – while he watches Blues Clues or does a puzzle or a poop (like at present – fortunately a long event! And one he recently decided he needed “privacy” for – thus a closed door). He is getting a bit antsy for me to come play with him so I need to go soon. Quincy no longer obliges with an afternoon nap while Aidan is at school so I’ve lost that time. I do have babysitters but that time flies by! I just finished up this year’s solicitations for our coop auction on March 8 – we are each responsible for raising $1000 from at least 10 items. We exceeded this year’s quota thanks in part to Pete working at The Gap and getting $250 from them in 5 giftcards. Hopefully The Gap will continue to employ Pete – otherwise his company would like to send him to Mutual of Omaha in Omaha! Not a place any of us are anxious to visit! The co-op just asked me if I would be willing to step into a Board position starting tomorrow as Parent Participation Coordinator (I am currently Publicity Assistant). And then come June (normal Board transition) to become Vice President and head up the Building Committee and a master plan for school work. Guess I have been a very proactive person to date and they need more of that – I am supposed to beef up the Board position I am stepping into – the current guy was letting things fall by the wayside and not coordinating well with the various parent and Director (teacher) needs. So thanks for all the hard work – is more work… At least I am enjoying it and I want to know all about how things run and who is who and of course I have a lot of ideas for change etc so will get to try my hand. So we shall see.

Well, Aidan has told me 3 times that he is tired of waiting and wants to play Hess Truck (mom should be happy to hear that – he wants to play at least once a day – I am not sure how well they will hold up at this rate tho!).

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Had lunch with a some friends from the “old days” – used to get together with 4 or 5 others from San Diego every once in a while at a local (downtown) dim sum place. Funny how we all ended up here. Could have been a lunch 3 years ago – time goes by and yet so little sometimes changes… Of course I have 2 great little kids to show for my 3 years J

Having a rainy time of it today. Another great Acrosports class to start off the day for Aidan – he had so much energy and was so bubbly. Kept chatting away too telling the teacher stuff (what I’m not exactly sure). Quincy seems to be on the upswing from his cold too. Finally had a long nap today (which I was gone for at lunch) and a reasonable night last night and no fever etc. Now if I can get my sinuses back on track and if Pete doesn’t come down with it like he looks to be doing we’ll move on… We know people with Chicken Pox, Strep & Hand,Foot & Mouth disease so a common cold has almost been a blessing ;-)

Aidan was cute – I changed out of sweats for lunch today. He said “mom – you look pretty! I LIKE your pants! And look! They match your shoes! They match!”. Makes you feel pretty good until you remember the interesting outfit he wore yesterday that “matched”… He also is into preferring a couple pairs of his socks – and when he takes them off at night he says he wants to wear them again tomorrow… he wore his “zebra” socks today and picked out some blue on blue camouflage patterned fleece pants to go with them – said they looked animal like so would go with his zebra socks. Interesting.

Quincy has been able to milk this sick thing a bit. We have had him sleeping in our bed as he was waking so much – and a couple of evenings he had a late nap so got to stay up way past Aidan’s bedtime. The one night he started out just about comatose on Pete’s shoulder while Pete watched the playoffs. Then the Tylenol must have kicked in – boy was he raring to go. Pete and I kept looking at each other wondering what happened to the sick little boy who had woken up! At one point he grabbed the tambourine and one of the sticks and was walking around drumming away (Aidan was asleep at this point).

Both boys (at Quincy’s instigation) are enjoying what I like to term “shopping” – they grab brown bags from beside the frig and walk around with them and deposit items inside. I must have spent 15 min looking for my sneakers one day – only to discover after I came home that they were in a brown bag under some toys…

Aidan has been very jealous (?) the last few days of Quincy. Anything Q shows interest in A has to have – yank it out of his hand if that is the only way he can get it. And there has been a lot of “my legs don’t work – pick me up and carry me there”. You should see how pathetic he can look lying in the hall with one hand stretched out and up and him blubbering “help me help me”. Fortunately I know he is not alone in this behavior. Apparently Thomas is a victim too – only Thomas has even more parts that don’t work – hands, mouth etc – “I can’t put the food in my mouth”. Oh well, I know that this too is a phase and will pass…

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

well, Quincy is asleep (nap) and Aidan is occupying himself doing puzzles. His current activity of choice when I nurse Q down is puzzles - I have to take the pieces out (it is too hard mom!) and he puts them back in. He is simultaneously working on 4 puzzles I believe (altho the pieces are kept separate). No more TV these days for him interesting enough. This a.m. we had our 2nd "big boy" Acrosport class. He is in a class with Thomas and there are 5 kids total - all 3 and 4 yr olds - and one teacher. Moms (and Dads and siblings) have to watch from the bleechers way up high. Q gets excited to see his brother running around below. The kids all do great and it is a much better class than the old one. They call it "Tootsie Rollers". They have a trampoline they call the Fast Track - it is maybe 5' wide and I don't know - 50' long - and the kids hop down it - I think you could use it when learning to do vaulting etc. Anyway - today they had the kdis hop, hands on hips, half way down, jump on a mid-way mat and Freeze then turn around and hop the rest of the way backward. You should have seen Aidan go! I didn't know he could do it backward. You will have to come watch...

Aidan & I both have colds. Ick. Aidan came down with his Sat nite and I feared it would be a bad one but despite not getting his normal amounts of sleep he has been in a good mood and doing really well the last few days. Hopefully Pete & Quincy avoid it. We'll see.

I changed YMCAs and now work out at the Presidio - it is nice seeing the bay again frequently. They have all the free yoga and pilates classes I could ever want. I took a Pilates for the 1st time since early in my pregnancy with Quincy and did remarkably well. It was the intermed/advanced class with my old teacher who remembered me right away.

We had been doing well with Quincy before Portland re sleep - alot of 6 hour stretches at night. Now he's under 3 again. Molar #1 is almost all the way in... But we are also letting him cry it out at least once (w/out milk) to try to get him back on the longer stretches. The downside to that is that Aidan was finally sleeping thru the night in his own bed (Ijust jumped in and nursed Q when needed) and now we have to relocate him to another room so that the prolonged crying doesn't disturb him. He isn't woken by short amounts of crying (of course neither is his Dad!).

Quincy is just clearly communicating more and more. The other day I asked him which chair he wanted to sit in (at the little snack table) - he picked the yellow one and pointed to it. He and Aidan now both sit down at the little table for snacks and some meals. I was impressed when I gave Quincy a graham cracker the other day - he then promptly went over to the cupboard and pulled out a bowl and put it in it then returned to the table to sit down. Of course a bite or so later he carried both over to the trash and dumped the graham and then the bowl into the trash... Guess he was done! He also loves to "read" and is pretty active about it. I tell him to pick a book and climb into my lap - and he does! Then we look at the pictures and he turns the page (on command) and we touch the various textures etc or point to animals. He loves dogs - but is a bit afraid of them. There is a new dog downstairs and he loves to look for it in the window - but if he sees it then he wants to be held!

Well, I think Aidan is tired of playing by himself - it has only been an hour! So I should go.

Monday, January 06, 2003

I spy a new tooth! Bottom right a molar has appeared - to join the 8 other existing teeth. This means a little gap between the front ones and the molar - guess that one will appear later.

Beautiful weather - spent 3+ hours at Crissy Field (beach just about under GG Bridge) yesterday with friends. Kids had a blast.

Quincy is our little squirrel. He deliberately hides things. Latest casualty - one of his new shoes... he didn't really like wearing big boy shoes and figured out how to get out of it. I have NO IDEA where it is. The cleaners didn't turn it up either. I have watched him (unbeknownst to him) pick up a random (to me) object and take it to the end of the house, open a drawer (like in the Secretary in the Hallway) and deposit said object then hurry away. Eek! He also enjoys depositing items in the various trashcans around the house...
02/12/31 update…
seems like I will never actually get around to writing unless I start… it has been a long time and I always make mental notes of things I want to write about (mainly something too cute that one of my boys has been doing of course). Ouch – I just went back to look and the last one was early November! Tells you something about our life… we kept quite busy doing this years edition of Cole Valley Herald. It seemed to take on a life of its own and grow and grow… Then it was time for the calendars… now I just need to trim the file sizes to something that will open from the CD for Kinkos to handle – apparently 125mb files just don’t work – and that is only ½ the year in pics only. Oh well.
So, we end the year with a little toddler – and he really does. He now only crawls if he is moving a vehicle around the floor – just like his older brother. Vroom vroom. It was fun to watch the progression just in Portland from wanting to walk to almost exclusive walking. I took the boys shoe shopping on a rainy day the Thurs before the holidays. Aidan got a very nice (expensive) pair too and was very happy. Quincy wasn’t happy at all about having clunky shoes put on his feet – he thought maybe he should just sit down and scream about it. A short while later he forgot about it (at a friend’s house afterwards) and toddled around in them. The toes are already nice and scuffed. I would have put him in Aidan’s old shoes except that he is younger than when Aidan got his first and as I suspected, has smaller feet. We love to watch the glee in his face as he does his best Frankenstein impression lumbering around – usually with something in one hand and the other raised about his head – like he wants to hail a taxi. With nothing in either hand it is both hands above his head – rather hysterical.

Like the rest of Quincy’s development, the move to walking has been progressive. About a week before his 1st birthday he started letting go and taking a few steps – I even captured some of the earliest on video and sent it forth across the web to the grandfolks. Just a week ago before we headed north I watched his persistence in walking the length of our hall (long as you know) – he stumbled maybe 5 times but only crawled perhaps 4’ out of the total length – he just kept getting up. Now he thinks nothing of the hall and back.

I have been interested to see his language skills blossoming the last week or 2 as well – interesting that he is working on both at the same time. He does have clearly distinguishable words now for some things (clear if you are his mom that is!). Mostly things that start with “B”. Ball, Boom, Book. Pete is thrilled that pointing has become a big part of communication. He can be very clear in his intent now. He seems very interested in animals too (I don’t remember this kind of interest from Aidan). He was trying to say “cat” and “meow” and then “woof woof” for dog. He seems to have decided that all furry 4 legged creatures work fine with a “whooo whooo”. Last night at a party he was excited to see a cat “whoo whoo” and we watched it go outside. Several times during the course of the evening when I had him in my arms (usually to distract him from some mischief) he would point to the kitchen then the door and tell me “whoo whoo” – it was clear he wanted to go find that cat. He is ignoring my effort to get him to sign – although he is interested in watching me do it and seems to comprehend my signs.