Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Dandy Diddy

And now, ladies and gentlemen, may I present a little diddy performed by Dashy and Daddy for your listening pleasure...

What do you think... ready for Carnegie Hall??

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Schoolin' Mommy

For awhile I have been gently encouraging Patricia, our nanny, to try to get Dashell down for two naps a day. He goes down at night much better when he has had two naps (even if they are both short) and it's supposed to be healthier. But, Patricia enjoys going to the park. Who can blame her? The park near us is lovely and Dashy and Patricia have a group of friends that they enjoy meeting up with daily. They always come home with wonderful stories of their adventures (and misadventures!) It is definitely the highlight of their day.

Unfortunately, many days, Dashy's first nap crosses the time they need to leave to go to park in order to hook up with everyone. So they take off. Sometimes Dash gets a few winks in the car (during the 10 minute ride to the park), sometimes not. He then wakes up and stays awake until the ride home much later in the afternoon.

When this happens, he naps until about 5pm and is then a bit of a bear to put to bed. So I've been trying to suggest to Patricia that he really does need two naps and that if he doesn't make it to the park because the nap gets in the way, maybe that's ok.

Every weekend I get him down for two naps. I thought it was because, if given a choice, he would just choose two naps. But after today, I'm thinking that maybe that's not quite it...

Last week we had Patricia stay late on Monday night, so she put him bed. He was coming off a weekend of two naps a day and Patricia did manage to put him down for two naps on Monday. So, for the first time she was able to see how blissful it is to put him down when he's had two naps. She was amazed! It was like a lightbulb went on. After that, she worked hard to get him down for two naps each day this week. It was fantastic. Every night he would gently nodded off to sleep. And then on Friday, he slept a total of 3 hours during his naps. I thought the weekend was going to be wonderful (and that I was going to be able to get a bunch of chores done during his, now blissfully long, naps.)

But Dashy had a whole other plan for today! This morning he went down for a brief 35 minute nap, which he fought all the way to the very first z. And this afternoon.... nothing. Nada. Zilch!

I tried and tried to comfort him to sleep. And you know what the little rascal was doing while I was giving it my best shot? He was pointing, over my shoulder, to the light switch. And then when I didn't turn on the lights, he decided I must not understand what the switch does. So to help his poor thickheaded mom out, he pointed to the overhead light. And when that didn't do the trick, he pointed again to the switch and then again to the light. This continued as he got more and more frustrated. (And we thought we were SO smart showing him how the light worked!) Eventually I realized that the nap was just not going to happen
(I guess I really am a bit slow) so I turned up the lights.

An hour later I tried again. Same result. So I thought we'd read some books (that usually does trick) and try again. Well Dashy didn't want me reading the book. He wanted to read it himself. Or at least a page of it (and a page of something else, and a page of something else, and a page of something else!)
So for 45 minutes he pulled out every book he owns and went through one page of each of them and then went through them all again, and again, and again, and again! (You get the point.)

Alas, no nap. Maybe I shouldn't have (so strongly) suggested to Patricia that he needs two naps a day. Maybe I should have reserved the delicious double nap days for myself!

I think I will chalk this up to: lesson learned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Trilled!

Dashy has a few new tricks. They all crack me up, so I thought I'd share.

A couple weeks ago he suddenly began to understand the concept of "under"...

He will now roll something under his dresser and then attempt to fetch it. Unfortunately if it rolls too far (which it usually does, because of our very uneven floors), he doesn't quite get the concept of "around". So he'll let out a shriek of frustration when he can't reach it. If only he understood "around", he would get that if he just crawled to other side of the dresser (where the object inevitably ends up) he could reach it from there. But, alas, not yet.

My son is a bit of a delicate creature. Of course, there's the tooth. (By the way, it's hanging in there! Still crossing fingers, but we're up to 80-90% that it will make it.) So nothing too hard in the mouth for a little while longer. And if he crawls too much without shoes, he gets bruises and rough patches on the tops of his feet. But I think he understands this about himself and has learned to take his own preventative measures.

This is how he crawls on surfaces that hurt his knees...

...and most of the time these days when he's crawling "regular style", he's trilling up a storm!

With all that trilling he's really going to be able to roll those R's when he starts speaking Spanish.

And speaking of Spanish...

Guess what?! He's officially bilingual! (Thanks Patricia!!)

Here's Dashy's latest party trick...


...and Spanish!

And the other day he pointed to water in two places (sprinklers out his window and the drawing of a stream on his toy) and said, "Agua". If I don't hurry up and order Rosetta Stone, he and Patricia are going to have a "secret" language. (Maybe I should be worried, but how cool, right?!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Work has been pretty insane for the last three weeks. I start at 6am and I've been finishing my day around 11-11:30pm. And this hasn't been running at a casual (or even comfortable) pace. It has been balls to the wall, no bathroom break until 3:30pm, trying to carry on two ichats, two skypes and one conference call (where everyone is speaking english but it is everyone's second language except mine) all at the same time, flat out running like a hurd of hungry lions is chasing you kind of pace. And because of this (I think) I haven't been sleeping more than three hours a night. I pass out, something wakes me up and my mind starts racing and that's that. End of story. I'm awake. I've tried various things to get my mind off of everything that I need to do, but they haven't been working. So, the other night, when I found myself awake at 3am, I thought I'd explore a few new mommy blogs. Cute pictures and funny ancedotes sometimes take my mind off of things.

I stumbled across this and this. I can't fathom it. I cried and cried. I still catch myself thinking about them and I start to cry again. The thing that really hit me, was if you track back only a few days before, there are pictures of smiling happy children and funny stories. Both of these horrible, horrible things happened suddenly. One last week and one the week before.

Any mommy who blogs knows that our computers are full of photos and movies. As I would scroll through files for work, I would hit upon a picture of Dash and think what if something had happened to him and here was this picture. One day here and the next, gone. But you have these photos, and movies, and this stuff. All the trappings that made up a life. A life that included a child. How can you wrap your head around the fact that you will never hear your child babble again, or smile when they see you, or be able hold them close and feel their soft breathe on your neck as you comfort them to sleep? I can't imagine what these parents are going through. It is beyond words. My heart and prayers go out to them.

It made me take a step back. Work, however important, needs to be prioritized properly. You never know what the next day (or moment) brings. So hug your children, your spouse, your parents, cherish your friends. Take mental snapshots of every joyous, funny, heartbreaking moment of life. And don't take anything for granted. It is fleeting. (Sometimes way too fleeting.) Don't forget that. I'm going to work harder not to.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And The Victor Is...

Ah, sports! We love 'em in America. In fact many people define Americans by their extreme competitive nature. So it's natural that we here in the great U.S. of A. would work hard to introduce our young'uns, at early age, the concept of striving to be the one's to enjoy the spoils of victory rather than having to endure the shamefulness of defeat.

Dashy's a little young for competitive sports-like activities (or so I thought!) At this point in his young life, almost all he ever hears is praise and cheers. In fact he gets a rousing "YAY!!" for just about anything he does. (I know, eventually he's in for a very rude awaking. But I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.)

Little did I know that when we made plans to go to the Easter Egg Hunt at a local garden, that it was going to be the closest thing to a full contact sport that Dashy (or even I, for that matter) had ever participated in!

The Saturday before Easter we arrive at the garden and the place is a madhouse. Kids and their families have come from miles around. We are notified that the hunts are sold out for hours. Disappointed we begin to piece together a new plan. But, at the last minute our friend Diana hears the cry that there are two tickets remaining for the next hunt. We pounce.

Pre-school children and their snap happy parents are cramming, packing into the starting area. Waiting with great anticipation for the Egg Hunt to begin.

TOOT!! goes the whistle and kids pour out over the lawn sucking up all the eggs in their path. The wave of toddling children is very much like a human vacuum cleaner. You can almost hear the roar of it's powerful motor. (Or is that the squeals of delight as they toss their treasures into their baskets?!)

Dashy, Dave and I bring up rear. I have to say, there is not an egg in sight. Oh wait... what's that there. Could it be? (Dave bends down to examine it closer.) Oh yes, there it is... What a treasure! ...a cracked orange egg. At last our prize!!! This is what we angsted over maybe missing out on. Oh goodness... look over there!! Another prize! A perfectly broken yellow egg! We cheer. Dashy flashes a delighted smile. Easter is complete. Dashy is entranced with putting his beautiful plastic egg-bits in his basket. And of course, we cheer more as he does it!

What parent could wish for anything more for their child on such a glorious holiday?! That day we definitely enjoyed the spoils of victory!

I hope next year Dashy doesn't get mowed down on his way claim the one remaining unbroken egg. But even if he does, I'm sure we'll be applauding the graceful way he hits the ground as he falls. I think we're just those kind of parents. To us, life with Dashy is the spoils of victory. (Winning is really in how you define it, right?) Eventually he'll experience the agony of defeat, but who needs to rush it?!

Dashy and his prize...

Carefully placing it in the basket...

Dashy shared his treasures with Kacey... (I'm not sure she was so impressed!)

He might have made out better if he'd gone to hunt dressed for business...

But even if Dashy wasn't prepared for the full-contact, fast-paced nature of this holiday activity, the dad's were. Here they are sporting their huntin' helmets...

And although the hunt wasn't exactly picturesque, the gardens were. They provided a lovely backdrop for some wonderful group and family photos...

Dashy's Grandma and Grandpa were out this weekend and he thoroughly enjoyed having some new playmates!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This 'n' That

Tonight Dash came up with a new bath time game...

I love listening to him laugh and giggle! There is absolutely no better sound in whole world. But I think, next bath time, I would be better served by wearing a swimsuit!

This past weekend we went to Brooke and Aaron's wedding.

It was beautiful and so touching. Dash had a lot to say during the vows. (In fact he had so much to say we had to stop watching the wedding and go watch the cars.) Later Dash decided he wanted to practice his stair climbing. The stairs were very high and just as we almost made it the tippy top and sat down for a moment to rest on one of steps, the bride and groom suddenly appeared, just above us at the top of the stairs, ready to make their grand entrance. Little did they know when they planned this, that there would be a bit of an obstacle course waiting for them in the form of a kneeling, waving 10 month old (and his very embarrassed parents!)

At least Dashy will look good on their wedding video. He was sporting a lovely suitcoat and his very first big boy tie.

This Saturday we had our second swim class (yes, Dave was all better and took Dash in the pool this time!)

Afterward Diana, Jamie and Kacey hosted a barbaque for the whole gang. The food was delicious, the company even better and everyone had a blast! Kacey made it extra special by choosing this occasion to walk more continuous steps than she ever had before. Go Kacey!!

Dashy, Kacey and Taline showed off how speedy they are by having a race...

And Dashy was zooming all over the place, playing with Kacey's toys and exploring her super fun house!

(Thanks Jamie for taking such great videos!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Puzzling

Sometimes when the manutia of life piles up around you, you loose perspective on how much you have learned over your life. How much you understand. How much the knowledge of one thing helps you understand other things. How the things you learn in life are building blocks. Some of those blocks are tactile and some are theoretical. But learning how they fit helps to move us from one intellectual plateau to the next.

The world is complicated and the only way anything works is by all the bits and pieces fitting together just right. Many times I take this for granted. Sometimes because I'm overburdened and simply focused on the outcome. And sometimes because if you think really hard about it, how every little piece of everything has to come together just perfectly so that things work out the way they do, it can be very overwhelming.

This is the case for very complex things like Dashy: every cell had to divide properly, my body had to supply him with everything he needed properly, and our emergency c-section had happen properly for him to be here with us just the way he is today. And, it's the case for simple things like my purse: it needs to be big enough that I can tote diapers, wipes, baby food, a few toys, my George Costanza wallet, cell phone, blackberry, some unpaid bills and my laptop. A smaller purse just would not do (but it might help my sore back!)

I never thought about exactly when you begin trying to figure out what things go together, and how things go together. Like Floyd (our cat) and food. These things go together (but maybe it would be better for his waistline if they didn't.) Or which sheets go on which bed and how they fit on each bed. These are things you just know. You pick them up along the way but you don't work hard to understand them or to figure them out. But, I'm learning, there probably was a time...

Dashy has been working hard, for a while, to figure out this puzzle of a world we live in. It started a couple months ago, remember the ball in the elephant's ear trick ,and has progressed from there. Every few days it's something new.

Which lid and how does it go on the container...

How do the cups fit together...

How does the puzzle go together...

Do Floyd and a shoe go together... (Floyd: "You SO don't get me!")

The other morning Dashy was popping around his room matching things by color. The yellow ducky and the yellow balloon. The green cup and the green toy. The yellow ball and the yellow butterfly wings. The purple puzzle piece and the purple hippo.

Sometimes, like that morning, all the pieces come together. Other times you see him trying hard to figure it out.

You and I know that the doggy doesn't go in the kitty hole. But you gotta try in order to learn, right?

Or he'll try to see if Arlo (our dog) is interested in a book. Or if the big cup fits in the little cup. (I love the "concentration tongue" in this one!)

I feel like I'm letting you down a little on this post. Like I should have more pictures and video. I actually started this post a while ago but eventually decided I just needed to go ahead without all the show-and-tell or I would never get it up. The problem is it's not a constant thing. It's here and there. It's fascinating when it happens, but whenever I move to get the camera I distract him and he zooms off to do something else. So, sorry. I apologize.

But trust me, it is amazing to watch and it definitely makes you think about how everything works together, and how you have an understanding of this on so many levels, and how you take that knowledge for granted everyday.