Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snow Please (and Happy Birthday, Dorothy!)

We had a few mini snow storms in December, and although they were wimpy by New England standards, I was quite pleased since we really have had no snow to speak of for a little under three years.  I know this for a fact, since today is Dorothy's third birthday and the December in which she was born, followed by that February broke all snow records for Philadelphia, yet since I picked up Dorothy in March of 2011, we have had no more than about two inches twice.

And Dorothy is a Maine girl who loves to frolic in the snow!  And I love snow unless I have to travel in it!  (Although I do have an irrational fear of going to work on a snowy day and getting stuck in the city.  I tell myself it should be a pipe dream, since I could stay in a hotel, say, and get my first uninterrupted night of sleep since Owen was born.  But still, my boys need me!)

But where was I?  I am blogging rusty, so you'll have to forgive my digressions.  Anyway, I love snow and am hoping that we will get a big storm this year--I'm talking about 24 inches of snow.  I'm thinking I'll have to get my sister, Martha, to visit, since whenever she is scheduled to fly here there is a storm that prevents it happening.

But we had at least two respectable snows here in December--each about four or five inches.  I even had a snow day on one of them, and stayed home and played with Owen.  I took him outside in his snow pants, parka, boots, and mittens.  Of course, in a cliched way, it took me about 30 minutes to get him bundled up, which ended up being more than the time we spent outside.  He liked it though!  He gets frustrated with his coat, as it is a little stiff and is designed for a kid with a neck like a giraffe, whereas Owen is a Boy With Very Little Neck.  But he was intrigued.  Here are some pictures of our house and yard and Owen in the snow:

Looking at the pictures makes me wonder--just how do you put mittens on a toddler?  I can only get them half on and then they hang all skewed and bunched and make his hands useless.  There has to be a better way.

Poor Dorothy wasn't able to enjoy these two storms much, since she had injured her leg with some vigorous hill-running, and so was on bed rest more or less.  She did very much enjoy the snow in her yard; we just didn't let her do much frolicking in it.

And I shall end with a picture or two of the birthday girl.  Happy Birthday, Dorothy!  You're my favorite bulldogge, even though I am not your favorite human!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No No No No No No No No

Owen is on the cusp of speaking.  Or rather, Owen is on the cusp of speaking in real words and sentences, for he currently speaks all the time, it’s just that his sentences, always featuring a lot of the letter D, tend to sound a bit R2D2-ish:  De do da de do de di doo?  Sometimes it almost seems like a sharp clip on the back as he talks would change the above into real words.  And often in the midst of the nonsense syllables real words appear, like gold in the sand:  de doo da di do thank you de do?  Dorr! (his word for Dorothy) De do di big boys de do?  Etc. 

He plays an iPhone word app game with Susan and she says his favorite words are “opera” and “bellow” and that he repeats them often.

Hands down though, his most oft-repeated word is No.  And it is not enough that he merely say “no”; he must needs say:  No no no no no no no.  In the middle of the night when Owen wakes up crying and I pick him up to nurse, he’ll say no no no no no, and I’ll think (and often say), I’m the one who should be saying no!  But he’ll say it with vigor, he’ll shout the no’s in anger, he’ll speak them in triumph, and he’ll say them sadly while shaking his head, no no no.  He’ll say it even when we are quite certain he means yes.  I will be glad when no is a less featured word in his vocabulary.

Owen dreaming of saying no.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


So far, Owen has proven himself to be the rare toddler who is quite fine wearing a hat.  Every once in a while he will take it off, but usually just when he is sitting in the car and the hat starts getting moved out of place by the back of his carseat.  He’s outgrown his winter hats from last year, but luckily he received a new one from his Aunt Meredith and we like it very much:

And then last weekend we went to Old Navy and added two more to his collection.

On the coldest of winter days, we can guarantee that Mr. Owen will have a toasty warm head.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Up:  Sean is getting inspired in the kitchen these days and I am reaping the benefits.  Last week he made homemade stew, then meatballs, and the other night he made us some kale and butternut squash soft tacos.  Delicious!

Down:  Owen is eating less of a variety than even a few months ago.  He basically eats whole wheat bread with cheese and sometimes turkey, bagels with cream cheese, cinnamon raisin bread, cookies, and all kinds of fruit except for citrus.  We still feed him vegetables in baby food form, since that is the only way he will eat them.  Whenever we give him some of what we are eating, he spits it out and then proceeds to systematically throw all the pieces off his tray.  It is tiresome.

Up:  Owen had a mallomar the other day and just about lost his fool mind.  We had to put the box away, because when he got a glimpse of the yellow wrapper he would refuse to eat anything else.  He is definitely an Andersen!

Down:  Our kitchen floor is disgusting (see above about Owen throwing his food off his tray).  Even though we try to pick up the food pieces, inevitably a half of grape ends up going unnoticed until it gets stepped on.  (Where’s a pug when you need one?)

Up:  Now that it is cold, the cats have decided to join the family bed.  They can be quite cozy.

Down:  Posy’s everlasting infernal nose whistles.  The poor smushed-face cat can’t breathe, and her labored breathing is VERY loud at night.  Sometimes she has awakened Owen.  Sometimes I kick her out of the room before she can wake Owen, but that is always a gamble, as she is liable to YOWL outside the door then, and in case you forget what I’ve mentioned here before, little Posy has the loudest YOWL I have ever heard.  It’s so loud you think the sound is coming from your very own mouth.

Down:  I get home at 6-ish every night which is right in the middle of Owen’s cranky time.  If he is really tired too, every single thing we do is wrong and worthy of causing a crying fit.  He’ll get so angry that we don’t understand what he wants us to do!

Up:  There are so many new novels out this fall!  My "To Read" stack is looking not unlike the leaning tower of Pisa; such bounty pleases me, even though my reading time is slim.

Down:  Donna Tartt’s interview in the New York Times Book Review irked me.  She mentioned many authors who she loved and all – ALL – the names she mentioned were men.  All.  Even in an answer in which she talked about how much she has been influenced by and loves 19th century novels.  No women.  To be honest, it made me a little grumpy that I had already purchased her new book.  I will still read it, but will do so with raised eyebrow.  (That will show her!)

Down:  I keep having to stand on my train ride into the city.  Stupid Septa won't add a much-needed car on any of the scheduled trains on my line, despite the fact that they are all crowded.  The few days when I am able to find a seat, it is usually a middle seat.  So much for my body buffer zone.

Up:  It's been cold outside at the train station, so when the train arrives, its warmth is pleasantly cozy.

Dorothy thinking, I'll show you cozy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bathroom Buddy is the New Kitchen Witch

I know most of you are probably thinking that the last thing you want is a bathroom buddy invading your privacy and destroying your calm, and that there is most certainly such a thing as too much togetherness.  But not so fast!  For I am here to attest that my bathroom buddy, Posy, is quite a good one. 

The bathroom to our master bedroom has been claimed by Posy as her domain.  It has a litterbox in it, a water dish, and a bathmat, which she thinks is a cat bed.  Plum will visit it, but he won’t stay long, so it is really the one place in which she doesn’t have to worry about getting bothered by her purple brother.  It also has a ceiling heater and a shower, the steam from which helps clear Posy’s mangled tiny sinuses.  So whenever I use that bathroom, Posy is there, and I have become quite used to her furry little presence. 

When I get ready in the morning, she almost always appears in or on the sink and talks to me a bit: a wee girlfriend helping with my makeup.  I will warn you that if you use “her” bathroom, and sit on the toilet, she will probably  jump up and try to curl in a circle on your lap—and I get that that is not everyone’s cup of tea, what with talons near the privates and whatnot.  But look at this little powder room gargoyle!  Is she not sociable?  Don’t you wish you had one?

Posy thinking, why wouldn't anyone want me as a buddy?

Think carefully before you answer that, bitches!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More Owen

I know!  This blog is becoming all Owen all the time!  But I have yet to crack the baby book I bought for Owen before his birth, so the blog is really his only chance at having his baby and toddler-hood documented.  But if you are missing the wizened visage of Dorothy, the merry sarcasm of Plum, or the everything of Posy, I promise some pet entries soon.

We got some toddler crayons for Owen for his birthday and periodically set him up at the kitchen table with the crayons and some paper.  He likes to scribble a bit, although doing so seems to rank equally with tasting the crayons, and then throwing them all one by one on to the floor.

He still loves bath time.  Sean is the primary bather for a variety of reasons, and as I am downstairs usually tidying, but okay, sometimes sitting on the couch eating bonbons, I am treated to a whole host of loud noises and sound effects, for which Owen seems to have inherited Sean's propensity.

We haven't taught Owen any sign language, mainly because I don't know any myself.  I did read somewhere one anti-signing viewpoint that if you teach kids to sign, they aren't looking at your mouth, which is what they need to do to learn language.  That did make sense to me, but I can't really argue that that is why we aren't teaching him any.  Oddly enough, Owen has made up a few of his own signs, the main one being the one pictured below, which is his way of asking for more (in this case for more oreos).

It looks like he is doing a move from the Thriller video, but its genesis is really from asking him "how big is Owen" and getting him to hold up both arms in a "so big!"  Owen soon started only lifting up one arm (lazy boy!) and then lifting up one arm and tilting his head.  I guess we reacted favorably enough so that he started doing the movement to generally charm us and get what he wanted.  In this case a second cookie (it didn't work).

And lastly, here is Owen walking with his pet gator, which I'm including because what is cuter than a toddler with a pull toy?

Not much!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Owen Outside

Owen does love to swing, and now that he can walk, there's a few other things he can do on the playground as well.

But when it comes to the great out of doors, he is not a one-note kind of fellow.  For example, he loves scuffling through the leaves:

He's fond of exploring the flora and fauna of his own backyard, plus poking the grass with sticks:

He'll sit down splat on the driveway and entertain himself with bits of the crumbling asphalt:

He loves to walk up our deck stairs and then play with the seeds and bits of leaves that can be found there:

He is not above doing a little repair on his car now and then:

And I can't convey to you how much time he can spend carrying rocks to the picnic table bench and then throwing them off:

He is definitely a budding outdoorsman.

Although he gets tired of being found and followed by a certain paparazza:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Being Very Busy

If I had to pick one thing to characterize Owen at fourteen and fifteen months, it is that he loves to be busy.  And by being busy I mean taking things out of drawers and putting them in other drawers, and endlessly sorting through the hamper of clean or dirty laundry.  He can spend a solid hour doing one of these activities.  Here he is taking items outside of our corner hutch in the dining room:

And then I always like to encourage him to sort through the laundry, be it dirty or clean.  Hey, it keeps him quiet and occupied and surely there is something beneficial to that?

Next up is teaching him how to fold.