Saturday, March 26, 2011

Someone Get That Girl A Harpoon

After two beautiful, spring-has-dadgum-sprung Seattle days, it was only fitting that Saturday was dreary and overcast. That didn't stop us from heading out to a lovely little Queen Anne park. Once I mopped up the standing water on the end of the slide with a diaper from NJ's bag, she spent a good ten minutes doing what you can see in this two-minute clip. I've posted slide vids before, but I like this one because it encapsulates everything that's going around here lately, namely: boundless energy, lots of toddlerbabble, and a growing independence and determination to do things for herself. She kicks things off with an old favorite, though -- bringing all the lively action to a grinding halt and becoming non-photogenic as soon as Dad Solo whips out the camera.

Repetition is beauty.

After that NJ climbed on another play structure and did some dancing (no photos or video, sadly) and hung out with her mom. She also pretended to be on a whaling ship just off the coast of Nantucket in the 1840s. Or, maybe I was pretending that she was pretending to be on a whaling ship. Whichever it was (Psssst: It was the latter.), it made for some cute photography.

Batten down the hatches! Make sure the port-side cullery is skanded close to the torlator! Any slippage means the jib will deploy wide and loose, so the entire stern could mandilate out of control! Arrggh! Starboard! Ahoy, ahoy!
After this, the kid was gifted with some crayons and books, and then a delicious brunch at Barrio before heading home for a long, satisfying nap.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Socks Appeal*

*I know, I know: Lame. Saw-wee ... OK?

Big doin's here last evening, when I took my socks off in my office! (My home office, where it's allowed and normal and perfectly OK to take off socks.) It didn't take long for NJ, who shut us in the office together by pulling the toddler gate closed, to grab one, exclaim "Peee-yew!" and hold her nose. (I wonder what The Wife has been telling her ...) We played at that for a few moments, then she laid down on the floor for a few moments of deep thought.

There's no ennui like toddler ennui.
Eventually she decided she wanted to emulate her beloved father's bare-footedness.

Later on, the kid was honest enough to acknowledge that her socks, too, harbored a rather unsavory odor.
Guess what, though? NJ's goal wasn't bare feet. I turned to my computer for a few seconds, and when I turned back to her, she was trying to pull one of my socks onto her tiny little foot. I helped her, and she laughed her fanny off so we did the other one. Then, I laughed my fanny off. She had a little Nancy Sinatra go-go boots action going, with my socks pulled up to her hips. For the finishing touch, we put her socks back on, over mine. The result was splendiferous!

Check it out -- four socks at once. Isn't it just the craziest thing ever?
Coming soon to a runway near you. When is the next Fashion Week, anyway?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Princess Addendum

NJ's vocabulary is expanding daily, primarily based on things she sees in her many books. Other words she picks up from real life, and she's already learning that sometimes one word is not enough. She's figuring out what words go with other words. For example, one of her books has a picture of a pile of balls. Thanks to The Wife's reading and her day care playtime, NJ knows that "kick" (and a little kicking pantomime) goes with "ball."

Her best two-word phrases didn't come from a book, though. And while I don't mean this in a harsh way, they sort of expose her as a shallow, flippant, conniving little liar. Perhaps she has a future in southern politics.

Her new favorite word for the moment is COOKIE. (Yes, we have created a monster, with the help of the late Paul Newman, whose Fig Newmans are delicious.) In hopes of boosting her chances of being handed a Fig Newman, NJ now pipes up with ONE right after she asks for a cookie. She even holds up a pudgy little index finger to illustrate her point, which is that if she could have just one delicious fig cookie, all would be well. But here's the thing: She doesn't really mean it. Because once that cookie's been consumed, she's back at it: "Cookie! ... one" again, with finger extended. And when that second "one" cookie doesn't materialize, she instead chows down on the bitter snack of tears and heartache.

Her other common phrase favorite of late comes after she's slugged me in the chin, a new hobby she's picked up. Prompted by her manners-minded mother, NJ belts out a SORRY ("saw-wee!"), and then a beat or two later adds an OK for good measure -- it'll have to do until she learns "We're good, right?" But here's the thing: She doesn't really mean it. I tend to take her apologies at something less than face value because 1) She has to be prompted by The Wife, as well as my own chin-rubbing exclamation of "Ow!", and 2) her declaration of "Sorry ... OK?" is punctuated by uproarious giggling, and usually is followed by another smack to my face.

These are rapidly approaching the top of NJ's catch phrase list, but this is still the favorite. A few evenings ago we heard her stirring on the baby monitor. The noise escalated quickly, and suddenly she blurted out a rather desperate "No way!" and started bawling. It was the cutest nightmare ever.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Swingin' Little Joint Where She Can Jump And Shout

There was a time when NJ did not want to spend a single waking moment in her crib. Now, she's turned her bed into a dance studio.

The precise moment when the boogie started to explode.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Fall Of The House Of Dad Solo

This place has been a sick ward for so many days now that I've lost count. So much cold and flu medicine has been consumed around here lately that I'm worried about driving, lest I get pulled over and fail a DUI test. Ghosts of Black Plague victims have been walking our hallway, occasionally asking if we're "ready to go now." We've been so sick -- How sick have you been? -- that vultures are perched on the back fence, wearing bibs and scanning a wine list. I mean, we've been sick.

And, in a plot twist that should surprise no one, it seems that NJ brought it home from day care. She ran a fever of varying degrees for four consecutive days and had a bad cough, too (not to mention a molar coming in at the same time). I've been congested and had a sore throat and wicked cough. The Wife has had all the above and was hit the hardest, and became so desperate she sent me out yesterday to buy a neti pot . Thankfully for the child, she was already asleep last night when her mother used the pot for the first time.

Things have been so bad that The Wife had to abruptly shut down production of an adorable toddler video:

Worst cameo ever.

NJ recovered first (see above) and seems well and good now, but Man! there were some rough days. The difference between a sunny, delightful NJ who wants to walk and climb and explore and talk and a dour, cranky NJ who wails if you look at her wrong is so vast there aren't any metaphors to capture its essence. Me? I'm mostly OK, too (other than a tick in my throat). The Wife is still dragging, but hopefully the worst is behind her.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Slide, NJ, Slide! Redux

The kid's attitude toward sliding has changed considerably in the past few months.