Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthday Fun

Jack (and the rest of the family) enjoyed a solid three-day stretch of birthday celebration this weekend. Choo-choo trains, fire trucks, water fountains, truck books, pillow pets, balloons, streamers, and little cakes shaped like our favorite animal, the Monkey. It even warmed up enough to go for a walk today!


GG showed up Friday morning and got to pal around all afternoon. She even got to spend the night in Jack's room, which is always a good thing because you never know when there might be a Tickle Monster on the prowl. They are sneaky little devils, and often come camouflaged as mothers. So fast, you can't even cathc them on camera, they blend right in, but the smiles they leave behind are unmistakable evidence of their existence.


Saturday morning the other guests started arriving - Bud and Nana got here while Mommy was picking up her new car, and Matt and Rachel and Callie were just a few minutes behind. We were so lucky to have such wonderful people to join us in celebrating Jack's 2nd birthday - I know he enjoyed the company:

And the attention:

And the cake:

I can't believe this little guy is 2!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seven hundred and thirty

At some point a few minutes past 8 o'clock Friday morning, our little Jack entered his third year of life on earth, now officially a Two Year Old. It is amazing to think that in the interim between today and January 28th 2009 we have seen 730 sunrises and 730 sunsets, each circumscribing days which have left an epic and indelible mark on our lives. (If we were counting the number of "no it's not morning yet conversations" that marked so many of those mornings, the number would be much higher).

And with so many diurnal iterations under his little belt, Jack really seems to have come into his own - walking, talking, thinking, learning, laughing and making jokes. He knows his grandparents, loves his "Sissy", plays with his cousins, and is generally a ham to whomever he thinks he can conquer with a simple smile - the rest of us, he just persuades with a small petulant fit. "Outside", "Orange", "Choo-choo", "Bulldozer" and "Eee-oh-eee-oh" (you know, the sound that fire engines make) are his current top five faves. And in addition to the words, and colors, and numbers, and books and laughter, what I just can't get over are his myriad expressions, looks that once in a while so clearly communicate ideas that I know he won't be able to articulate for years yet, but that somehow as a walking, talking member of our race, he just knows. Competition, joy, one-up-manship, wonder, sweet hugs for mom and dad and Caroline - he gets all these things so obviously that it is just thrilling to watch.

This morning, I told him of course that he couldn't have peppermints for breakfast (typically Cheerios and fruit at half past 6), but that maybe he could have one after lunch if he was good. Well, somehow around 8:30 he managed to cajole a small piece of peppermint while under the watchtful (but relenting) eye of G.G., and quietly walked up to me in the den and just looked up at me while I was writing this. A little devious twinkle glimmered in his eyes, as if to say "I told you so.." as he opened his mouth and displayed the red and white sugary contents. He snapped his jaws shut, grinned like fiend and ran off to GG without another word to me, to dole out his hugs in exchange for more sweets.

It just doesn't get any sweeter than that. Happy Birthday, Son.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Bride of "Ram-Man"

If you are anything like me, you look fondly back on your childhood days when the battle between Good and Evil was as simple as GI Joe vs. Cobra Commander, or He-Man vs. Skeletor. In fact, one of the toys I remember vividly was this one He-Man action figure, Ram-Man. Ram-Man was this sidekick of He-Man, a sturdy warrior of poor verbal skills that ran down most of his enemies with a battering-ram like head. I had one of these, and he had spring-powered legs that, when compressed, would knock his head into whatever you pointed it at.

We've been worried since Caroline has taken to hanging out in the Jumperoo, which we hang in the kitchen doorway, that her vigorous hopping and bouncing and swaying is going to lead to a head injury before long. It really wouldn't be that hard to bang into the door jamb. And that would be the end of the Jumperoo.

Fortunately, our fears have been recently assuaged by her increasingly prominent plagiocephaly, which today resulted in her getting fitted for a cranial molding helmet:


At least they come in pink. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wreck of the Old No. 9

Of course, you have all heard the story of the Wreck of the Old Number Nine, the classic Jim Reeves ballad:

But what you probably didn't know is that, instead of an unexpected oncoming train, the real cause of the disaster was a devious toddler in charge of the track controls that day: