Sunday, October 30, 2011

Free Candy! Free Candy!

NJ's first trick-or-treat excursion took place yesterday on a few blocks up from our home, where businesses throw open their doors to little goblins and superheroes for a few hours in the afternoon. Our Butterfly Witch trudged up the steep hill that leads to Greenwood Avenue for the first time.

Just hang on to the hat, Mommy. I'll let you know when I need it.
The walk uphill wore her out a little bit, and for the first few stops she was a little cranky. She also wasn't completely up to speed on how the whole trick-or-treat thing works to start -- her skills improved ten-fold as the event wore on.

So I can just reach in here and take anything, is that what you're telling me? I can just take it and move on to the next free candy distributor? Really, now?
In particular, once NJ realized that people were just giving sweets away she started approaching doorways confidently and not reluctantly. And when it sank in that she could keep all of her candy in her orange bag, she stopped insisting on carrying each piece in her hand (this happened, of course, when the candy-holding capacity of her hands reached critical mass and she couldn't hold another piece). And perhaps the biggest lesson of all -- you don't have to bite and chew lollipops to enjoy them.

This sucker might last all day!
NJ is a very discerning trick-or-treater, often spending a minute or so deciding just which piece of candy to pluck out of a big bowl. She was so into it that she had to be steered clear of one bag of treats because it belonged to another trick-or-treater.

The last stop on the hour-long tour was at an ice cream shop that opened a couple of weeks ago (they didn't exactly hit their "Opening for summer!" goal), where the kid and The Wife sampled some pumpkin-chocolate chip ice cream. The reviews were positive, especially when the chocolate was discovered.

Oh yeah!
The real test comes tomorrow night, when Butterfly Witch hits the neighborhood for the first time. I'm hoping she gets lots of Reese's and Snickers. Because at Halloween, dads are like mob bosses -- they get a hefty take.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogrolling V

It's here. I think NJ will be a heck of a caregiver in my and The Wife's old age.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kids Say The Darndest @*#$%*&! Things

Today I awoke to hear NJ talking to her mom downstairs:

"You can kiss me on the butt!"

Turns out she'd injured her fanny and The Wife had offered to give her a kiss -- but on the head. NJ didn't understand why, in this case, the healing smooch wouldn't be applied to the point of injury, as per usual.

Looking forward to NJ saying the same thing, but with different intent and vocal inflections, when she's a teenager.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blogrolling IV

NJ will be the most famous three-years-and-under witch in all the land!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glenda The Good Witch Was A Child Once, Too, Right?

NJ put her Halloween costume on this past weekend for a reunion with four other toddlers who were about to be born when their parents all met at a Lamaze training weekend in late June 2009. (Worst. Sentence. Ever. I know. I'm listening to the new Tom Waits and feeling a little semi-discombobulated.) (Semi-discombobulated in a good way.) Here's what she looks like this season dressed as, in her words, a "butterfly witch":

I told Mommy and Daddy I'd turn them into pumpkins if I didn't get a cookie. I TOLD THEM!
The butterfly witch partied with a monster, an octopus, a bumblebee and a butterfly. Everyone had a grand time, as far as I know, and our hostess deserves a hearty round of applause. It's been really nice to watch our kids grow up simultaneously for the past two years -- why, it seems like just yesterday blah blah blah. All the parents are good people and it's fun to compare how our kids are growing up, get advice (POTTY TRAINING was a big topic), brag on your angel and listen to them brag on theirs.

NJ scarfed a couple of muffins, threw a mini-tantrum when the notion of sharing a toy didn't appeal to her, did a lot of charming stuff, and changed out of her dress and into clothes more appropriate for outdoor play:

Don't you just hate it when an octopus blocks your way on the slide?
This year will be NJ's first experience with trick-or-treating on the block, and I'm looking forward to it more than she is (obviously, because she doesn't know now to read a calendar yet, but still). For years I've been opening my door, dishing out candy, and looking over the kids' heads to the sidewalk. Where the parents stand, beaming and watching their little one get gifted with handfuls of sugar.

Speaking of candy -- don't skip any two-story houses (last item on list).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And The Student Becomes The Teacher

For months now I've been relentlessly quizzing NJ on virtually everything:

"What color is that?" (Typical answer: "Geen." Or, "Red." But no more "o-shon" for orange, which is good but kind of makes me and The Wife wistful for simpler times.)

"What is this?" (Typical answer: "A doggie." Sometimes, "A yellow doggie.")

"Who's that?" (Typical answer: "Mommy!" Also: "NJ!" when presented with a photo of herself. I've used that one so much that yesterday she said "NJ!" before I even turned my phone around to show her the pic.)

"What does this do?" (Typical answer, if we're talking about her Curious George jack-in-the-box: "Monkey comes out of the box.")

With all the questions, I should have been wearing this for the past several months.

So this morning, when we were both sitting on the couch bracing ourselves for the day ahead, the little dickens snatched the pebble from my hand.

"Who is Yo Gabba Gabba?" NJ asked me, beaming and pointing to the TV show, currently her favorite, that she was watching.

The host was on the screen, so I answered "DJ Lance?"

"Right!" she said triumphantly before turning back to the TV. And I swear I saw a little flash of pride in her eyes. She probably thinks I'm developing quite nicely (but could put out a little more effort).

BOOM! Consider the tables turned, Dad Solo!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Princess Sunshine

We started out with the best of intentions today, getting in gear early enough to hit a farm for some animal-related fun, then have a nice lunch out, then get home in time for NJ's nap. At which point The Wife and I were supposed to plot out a fantastically fun thing to do in the late afternoon. It was gonna be great!

Things started to look iffy when we left Seattle, which was gray but dry, and crossed to the east side of Lake Washington, where it was much grayer. And wet. And when we got to Issaquah, which we had to drive through to get to the farm, we ran headlong into Salmon Days, which shuts down a pretty big chunk of the town. Long story short, we ended up driving around for almost 90 minutes. For NJ, of course, that's 90 minutes of sitting in her car seat behind us. My heart went out to her.

My heart went out to her so much, in fact, that after we had lunch, I made sure she got a mini-cupcake for dessert. She loved this, and I think it bought The Wife and I a fair amount of goodwill.

At home, the end of NJ's nap coincided rather unfortunately with the start of a football contest waged by the Good Guys, so I was out of contact for a while. (Hey, they only play 12 or 13 games a year. Give me a break.) The Wife and NJ ran to the supermarket, and when they got home I one-eye-on-NJ-one-eye-on-the-Horns'ed it for a while. As dinner approached, the cupcake goodwill must have run out. She got a little tetchy, and once dinner was served she chowed down something fierce. Then bath, stories, milk, and bedtime. All went smoothly.

Point being, The Wife and I let NJ down today in the things-to-do department, and she ended up bored out of her mind. Still, though, she was a heck of a trooper, maintaining her Good Girl status most all day long. Lots of smiles and laughter and overall good-naturedness. So good-natured that, at the supermarket, she did things like this:

When life gives you pumpkins, make pumpkinade.
Hopefully we'll come through tomorrow with an action-packed day of adventure for her. Or, at the very least, a couple of min-cupcakes.