Friday, September 25, 2009


A while ago I promised more tales from our weekend. Well, now that those adventures are 2 weeks old, I'm finally getting around to sharing with you. (I know that the anticipation must have been a killer!!)

That particular weekend we decided to get Dashell some proper "big boy" shoes. (Up until that point he had only worn soft-soled moccasin-type shoes.) We've been hitting a lot of water parks lately (for obvious reasons) and the soft leather soles get slippery very easily in the water and before you know it the kid is on the ground.

Amazingly, he goes down in slow motion so he's not hurt, just stunned. But the horrified looks, that passed over the other parents faces as it happened again and again, were enough to peer-pressure us into looking for some fancy new shoes. (Parenting in a community is really kind of like going back to high school again. I sometimes bowed to peer-pressure then and I'm ashamed to admit I, still sometimes, bow to it now. But, you know, the kid was going to eventually bump his head so maybe they were right to look horrified. As I work through this... Ok, I admit it, maybe peer pressure can be a good thing. Enough said. For now.)

Anyway we took another family trip to the mall, where we had Dashy's foot measured... first with the young toddler foot measurer (yep, that's what it's called. I know allll the lingo.)

...and then the salesman said that Dashell's foot was much larger than he expected and he had to break out the older toddler foot measurer.

(Is it "big feet, big heart"? I hope so.) Once we determined a size, the salesman whipped out some cool new styles for Dash to model for us. We tried to fit one fancy shoe after another on Dashy's feet without luck and soon realized that those luscious bubbly feet that I love so much are not really made for shoes. Dash seems to have bit of a bulgy foot. The top part bumps up and very few shoes actually fit him. Curses. So much for being a fashion maven!

Eventually we got a pair to fit. But Dash was not impressed, initially, and tried over and over to step out of his new shoes! Here's a little video that tells the whole story.... Enjoy!

p.s. He's now walking like a pro in his new shoes. (And I can hold my head high in public once again.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Singing And The "Rain"

Once upon a time a young lad came up with this nifty game...

Unfortunately, he eventually became a little too enthusiastic about it and instead of pouring the water all over himself, he started pouring it all over Mommy! So, we had a little talk...

...and then we had another little talk....

...and then we had a third (muuuuch longer, muuuuch more specific) talk and "we"  finally got the idea and continued to pour the water, but now into the other cup. (Thank goodness, because Mommy was getting pretty darn drenched!)

And everyone was sooooo happy...

 ...that, just like they do in the movies, we broke out into song...

(Yes, you "heard" that right, there even was a silent verse in there. Unfortunately you can't see me mouthing the words back. I really do a spectacular silent verse. You are sooo missing out.)

And then we danced and spun and high-kicked our way off to bed!

p.s. This morning, from his bedroom window, Dash spied 5 peacocks out in our front yard. He enjoyed watching them for a while until they all started to walk in the street, at which point he began scolding them, "No, no, no! No, no, no!" And then realized that they couldn't hear him, so he insisted on going out on the balcony and scolding them some more. Much to his dismay, they never did get out the street. Obviously their mothers didn't teach them all the rules!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nature Boy

LOOK OUT!! There goes a giant flying bug!! ACK! Quick duck! These words... have never been uttered from my mouth.

I, personally, have never had any issues with bugs. I admit it, I have spiders in my house that I don't crush. Ants that I have tried time and again to gently usher out the door. And moths who I tried desperately to live with harmoniously until they treated themselves to a cashmere buffet and so consequently had to be destroyed. (They crossed a line, damn it. No one messes with Mama's cashmere!)

And I have been trying to instill that same benevolence toward the specius insestuos in Dashell, which was instilled in me by my insect tolerant parents. When you're little you have very few fears. Most fears are basically learned behaviors. And who do we learn most of our behaviors from? The people who we are around the most. The people we look up to. The people we admire... our parents. Hence my desire to be a bug-lovin' role model!

Ever since Dashy has been able to associate insects with a sound, so that he can "talk" about them, he has been fascinated. He points out ants and spiders and, of course, bees... as in "Bzzzzz uh-oh OW!" from our last emergency room visit. (btw... he continued to tell that story for the rest of the weekend! Still amusing after it's hundred and tenth telling? I'll let you be the judge.)

This year we seem to have an unusual number of Praying Mantis' around the house. The other day Dash spied one in the backyard and was mesmerized...

Later we also found the skin of another Praying Mantis. I had no idea that they shed their skin. I thought that it was pretty neat looking and so did Dash...

...until he decided to smush it...

...and then he lost interest. Go figure!

This past weekend, Dave spied a caterpillar while we were all out for Saturday stroll...

Dashy was entranced...

And kept signing "caterpillar" over and over...

Finally, in order to get Dashy to leave the caterpillar alone, we had to tell him that the caterpillar was going to sleep. So for the rest of the weekend, Dashy kept signing over and over that the caterpillar was sleeping! (I guess he thought that we might just suddenly wonder what that wonderful caterpillar was up to. So, nice of him keep us informed. We are getting a little daft in our old age.)

When Dave and I lived in Echo Park we had peacocks. But when we decided to move here (and get all civilized) we were worried that their honking would upset the neighbors, so we gave them to a local arboretum. Little did we realize that our neighborhood has peacocks of it's own and ours would have blended in beautifully without anyone being the wiser.

The other morning we woke up to this...

How's that for a new hood ornament? (or I guess I should say: roof ornament!)

Our hitchhiker had brought some friends and they were quite content to hang out for a while.

And this weekend another family of peacocks came calling...

(Don't be alarmed, this time of year the males aren't sporting their beautiful tails. There's no reason to, since the chicks are all caught up in caring for the little ones right now and won't be looking for a booty call for a few more months.)

Dash decided to let them know that, "We come in peace."

...and then tried to befriend them.

That boy really does like gettin' his nature on!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Boys...

...I don't think I could love them more.


Friday, September 18, 2009

All Of The Above

"Look, Dash, there's a chicken. A yellow chicken. Did you know that a chicken is a bird? This yellow bird/chicken's name is Henrietta!"

When I get all high-falutin' like that, with my descriptions, I get rewarded with this...

It doesn't surprise me. I mean think about it... If you were just learning language, all the catagories that things could be sorted into, would just about blow your mind, wouldn't it?! Our dog is a perfect example...

A) Four-legged animal
B) Dog
C) Bull Dog
D) Ginger colored
E) Arlo (his name)

Because of Arlo, Dashell's word/sign for dog is saying "Arlo" and then panting. (Not to be confused with his sign for monkey which is just panting.) For a while our cat, Floyd, was also "Arlo", as were all four-legged animals, but as we have worked on more signs, Dash is beginning to be able to identify many of the four-legged creatures by their appropriate names.

Floyd is now being correctly identified as a cat. (And I have to say that he seems very grateful and relieved. Oh, the horror, of being confused with a dog! I can only imagine.) Cows, horses, giraffes and lions have found their own identities as well. But currently, almost all birds are lumped together. (Except for a couple who make distinctive sounds.)

I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for Dash to communicate. If the basic idea is there, that's enough. We can get down the specifics later. Like "Aqua" is currently all forms of liquid (water in a cup, ice, his smoothie, steam) and it is, also, all the places that water comes from (a sprinkler head, a faucet, a hose). I figure it's better to first grasp the big picture, and then we can break it down into smaller and smaller bits as his understanding of things grows.
The speed at which children pick up on things, at this age, is phenomenal. Currently Dash has a relatively large vocabulary which is a comprised of words, sounds, signs and combinations (words and signs to communicate a single word). In the last five days or so he has started putting together little sentences, like "Nana up". (It was explained to him that when Nana left, she went away on a plane. All planes are the word "Up" combined with a raised hand.) Or last night in the emergency room (oh yes, haven't you heard, we have a membership so we drop by frequently) Dash was explaining to everyone, and anyone who would listen, what had happened, "Bzzzzzz uh-oh ow!" I'm sure that sentence is clear, like crystal, to you but just in case it isn't let me interpret... Dashy stepped on a bee last night. At first he was surprised and then it just hurt like hell. (Since he'd never been stung before, and his foot got a little red and swollen, and he had just had the MMR vaccine, aaaand Diana told me to, we took him to get checked out just to make sure that he wasn't going to have a crazy allergic reaction.) Well, anyway, everyone got a big kick out his version of the tale. So the trip, although ultimately unnecessary, did provide a few laughs.

But this morning was the best. Dash decided that he was going to read all of his books to his Dad. He pointed out all the flowers and cows and birds. He told Dave about how you go up the ladder and about how all the animals sleep in the barn. It was super cute!!

Joyce told me that things were going to explode at this age and they sure have. (Joyce's son Magnus is almost two, so she has a little insight into these matters.) I have to say, I'm blown away everyday!

Last week when Diana made a comment on her blog about milestones, it caught me off guard. I had followed all the milestones for the first 12 months, but really hadn't give them a second thought once Dash turned one. So I looked up what things he should be doing and, of course, panicked. I read that he should have about 12-15 words by 16 months and I thought, "OMG! I don't think we're anywhere near that." So I sat down and made a list over the last week, and boy was I surprised!

Here is a list of the "words" that Dash uses regularly now, at 15.75 months. (There are many "words" that he used for a week and dropped or only uses now and again. I haven't included those.)

-    Mama
-    Dada
-    Arlo
-    No
-    Go, go, go!
-    Yeah or Dah (for “yes”)
-    There
-    Cold (sounds like “ca”)
-    Ball
-    Grass (sounds like “gra”)
-    Up
-    Agua
-    Eye
-    Niña
-    Niño
-    Tractor
-    Bubble
-    Nana (one of his grandmothers)
-    Hi
-    Wow
-    Uh-oh
-    Ow
-    Poo-poo (most of the time he tells us when he's done this)
-    Boo Boo
-    Door (sounds like “dur”)
-    Big (sounds like “baa”)
-    Ooo dat (for what’s that)
-    Row, row, row (as in "row, row, row your boat...")
-    Baba (the name of favorite book character)

Sounds (used as word substitutes)
-    Whoo Whoo (train)
-    Ding Ding (train or the bell at the firehouse)
-    Vroom Vroom (car or truck)
-    Brmm Brmm (car, truck or tractor)
-    Bzzzzz  (for insects)
-    (the sound a fire truck makes)
-    Awh-Aaah! Awh-Aaah! (for macaw or peacock)
-    Plah. Plah. (for dirty)
-    Rooooar! (for lion)
-    Boom Boom (cannon)

-    Eat
-    More
-    All done
-    Bird
-    Fish
-    Cow
-    Monkey
-    Turtle
-    Sleep
-    Soft
-    Nice
-    Hi
-    Bye Bye
-    Hear
-    Hat
-    Giraffe
-    Crab
-    Caterpillar
-    Candle
-    Tongue
-    Cat
-    Frog
-    Flower

Combinations (words & signs for a single word)
-    Hot
-    Dump Truck
-    Airplane
-    Telephone
-    Dog

Pretty sweet, huh?! I'm trying to get them all on video, so hopefully sometime in the near future I can get together a little montage, for your viewing pleasure.

This is stage is beyond fun... all of the amusing chatter and very little of the annoying talking back! But I'm certainly not looking foward to my bad childhood karma coming back to haunt me once he becomes a little more articulate. (Let's just say that I was a champion talker-backer!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


So after a month of Tuesday night awakenings, followed by rest-of-the-night comforting sessions, (oh, and a Thursday night thrown in for good measure; because it begins with "T" too, of course) we have our first molar! Yep, you heard that right Kacey and Taline... we may be a bit behind, but we are hot on your little white-toothed trails!! So look out!!

I got a good peek at the new gnasher while Dash was laughing it up out in the garden yesterday morning. But there will be no picture here, because Dave nearly lost a finger trying to catch a glimpse during bathtime last night. The little bugger chomped down so hard that he broke the skin and Dave was still moaning about it hours later! Either Dash is working hard on his Jaws impression or Dave is an extremely delicate flower, I'm not sure which.

So, that makes it 1 down and 7 to go. I wonder what night of the week the next one will pick?!

p.s. I'm voting for Wednesday's since Dashy woke up screaming at 12:22am last night. What do you vote, as far as last night goes... pain from our latest friend to break onto the scene (oh yes, another baaaaaad pun) or yet another molar?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Taste and A Tale

Until I get a free moment to write a proper post, here is a little taste from one of our weekend adventures...

(Yep, he got nailed. Right in the ol' kisser!)

And a short tale...

This morning Dash and I were in our front yard playing and waiting for Daddy to return from an errand. While we waited, Dash collected acorns, splashed in puddles and pointed out poo-poo (of this he is an expert!)

Finally Daddy came around the corner in his car honking his horn. He rolled down his window, while pulling up to the curb, shouted to Dash and waved. Dashy got excited and starting charging down the driveway toward Daddy, who was still in the street. Panicked, I ran after him shouting, "No! No! No!" and grabbed his arm just as he hit the edge of the driveway.

Dash thought that my panicked shouting was quite amusing. He turned and started walking down the block. Every time he got to a driveway, he would start running down it and then go, "No, no, no!" and stop right at the veeeeery edge where the driveway meets the street. (Can you say, "heartattack"?!)

Eventually this game became a little less interesting (thank goodness!) and our walk down the street became a little more relaxing (for me). Before too long Dash noticed a nice woman walking down the street towards us. He stopped in stunned disbelief, raised his hand and shouted, "No, no, no!!" while wagging his finger back and forth at her!

A little shocked, she looked at me and I explained that today we were learning about how we don't walk in the street. Being the understanding soul that she was, she said, "Oooh..." and high-tailed it out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Dash was pleased, but wanted to make sure she didn't forget the rules, so he chased her, wagging his finger, shouting, "No, no, no! No, no, no!" and then pointing to the street.

Can you believe it? What a good boy I have. I love that he is so concerned about the safety of his fellow man (and woo-man) even if his own safety is, many times, just a bothersome afterthought.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I feel so lucky to have had you as part of my life for the last 18 years, and I know that Dashell will feel blessed for the rest of his life!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Safety Last?

Although we haven't exposed Dashy to marvels of "modern" cinema yet... I think he might be channeling a little Harold Lloyd.

What do you think??

No wonder the last 15 months have been sooo "exciting"!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Imagine That!

When I was little, I spent most of my time pretending something... Pretending I was I princess (or a witch.) Pretending the space between my house and the hedges was a cave that I lived in which I had to defend against intruders. Pretending I was cat, lying for long periods of time in the sun (ok, not particularly long periods, I got bored really fast and simply could not understand how cats could do that all day long!) and trying to drink out of a bowl with just my tongue. My dolls and my stuffed animals were my best friends, well until the day that I invented a twin...

One day, when I was about 4 or 5, a census taker showed up at our door and asked how many people lived in our house. My mom answered correctly, "Four." (If it was a quiz she would have aced it!) And then the census taker asked my mom for something else that forced my mother to leave the door for a moment and go fetch it. I used this opportunity to inform the census taker that there were not just 4 people that lived in my house, but 5. I had a twin and to prove it I would go get her and let her introduce herself. So I left via the kitchen, to go fetch my twin, and returned via the livingroom using two small folding chairs, perched under my arms, as crutches. I then introduced myself, as the other twin who had broken her leg in a terrible swing set accident, to the very nice but slightly bewildered census taker. Ok, I admit it, I was that weird, lonely kid that people are always telling stories about. Sad. (This is one of the stories that still makes me cringe every time I think of it. Did I really think she'd believe me?! Silly girl. But like I said... active imagination.)

Hopefully Dashell won't be taking after me, but his imagination does seem to be ramping up and I am delighted! I truly believe that imagination is the cornerstone to having a full, wonderful creative life. And gosh darn it, I think the kid's got one!

It all started several months ago with his trucks and cars. He'd spend a good part of each day going, 'Vroom! Vroom!" and wheeling them around the floor. Then he moved onto trains, "Whoo! Whoo!" And the trains and cars, of course, not only drive around but also smash into lots of things. Boom! Boom! ...or more accurately, "Ba! Ba!" (He's definitely a boy!)

Lately Dash has been into giving kisses. He gives kisses to the dog, to the cat (or at least he tries), to an illustration in a book. The other day he even gave a kiss to one of our front steps! (Why? Who the hell knows.) Given his penchant for kisses, it shouldn't be a big surprise that this morning Dash was having his train give kisses to the pictures in his books. Or that the other day, his stuffed turtle went on a kissing binge, laying a wet one (or are they just dry and crusty coming from a turtle?!) on everything in sight!

Dash has also taken to "picking" the flowers out of every book we read and "handing" them to me. By the end of storytime, I have enough "flowers" for an enormous bouquet! What a lucky mommy I am!

And if the little guy gets hungry while we're reading? No problem, he just indulges in whatever delicacies present themselves on the pages of the book, and then takes a long draw from the invisible beverage in one of his stacking cups. The other day, he not only "ate" whatever the hungry baby in the book was having for dinner, but he also "ate" the baby's nose and thought that this was HIII-larious!

And then, of course, there was the "spaceman" costume... Dash ran around the downstairs holding his helmet snug against his face (it eventually got quite steamy in there!) giggling, going, "Vrooom! Vrooom! Baaaaaaa!" and banging on the helmet with Arlo's bone.

I LOVE that he seems to have a very active imagination. How absolutely boring would life be without one?! (I definitely would not be going on my monthly hikes in the Swiss alps and winning the lottery every week, that's for sure!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


What look do you think he's going for here?

I'm thinkin', maaaybe.... The Friendly Caveman Of Death From Outer Space??