- 08:26 Zeke (age 3) on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything: "A giant robot is pooping on our world."
A multimedia extravaganza starring Zeke (born January 2005) and his little sister Talia (born December 2006), lovingly put together by their father!
Sorry for the long silence. There's no especially cogent explanation -- mainly, I don't seem to have collected many very good pictures, and it's only fairly recently that I managed to get my home computer working properly again. Anyhow, though, I intend to begin again, and to show I've turned over a new leaf, here's a nice webcam photo of Talia for you. I have a camera attached to the computer at home, and I was trying to prevail on Talia to do something cute for it. Like, for example, sing. Ordinarily she seems to sing pretty much constantly, except, I guess, when you want to show her off. Her favorite song is the alphabet, but she will repeat almost anything she hears anyone else singing. Anyhow, though, this is all I could get out of her.
Posted 8:51 PM
Today, when I picked the kids up from day care, Talia informed me: "Eat cake. Happy birthday to you." This was the first time I've heard her tell me, in a declarative way, about something that happened in the past. (There had been a little birthday party for one of the kids in her "class." She couldn't tell me whose birthday it was, but Zeke filled me in on the details.) In fact, I believe it's the first time I've ever heard her use language to describe something that was neither (1) immediately in front of her or (2) something she wanted us to get or do for her. Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems like a major cognitive milestone to me, in terms of how she uses language and how she thinks about events. I don't remember anything quite this dramatic with Zeke.
Here's something else -- two photos, showing Zeke at age 22 months and Talia at age 18 months (a few weeks ago). I think it's pretty striking -- you can really see how much alike they look.
Z.: I want to go with you to the store so you don't forget to buy Froot Loops.
Me: Why do you want Froot Loops?
Z.: Because they're very expectful to eat.
Me: What's "expectful"?
Z.: "Expectful" means, um, "really reliable."
Me: What does "really reliable" mean?
Z.: (after a pause) Poop.
It's been a long time without a real update. Sorry about that, loyal readers (all three of you). In the meanwhile the clan has been off on two short (four-day) vacations, one to Ricketts Glen State Park (about fifty miles west of Scranton), where we hung around in a small cabin and did some light hiking (very light) in what passes for mountains in Pennsylvania. The other one was to a rented vacation house at Chincoteague, Virginia, i.e., a trip to the beach. Both were a lot of fun. Both kids liked Ricketts Glen, and they also found they liked the beach, though the waves made them nervous. Zeke in fact was in some distress the first few times he watched his mother go into the surf.
In other news, Talia is really talking. She's hard to understand, but she is definitely stringing short sentences together. She imitates her brother a lot. She has a few fairly adorable verbal idiosyncrasies, like saying something that sounds like "see" instead of "it's" -- thus, when eating, "See good!" or when playing, "See funny!" (You can see an example of that last one in the video at the bottom of this post.) For a while, when she was eating, she'd always comment enthusiastically, "I yike it!" but that seems to have passed. Her other habit is screaming at the top of her lungs when something excites her, and also dancing around, with lots of prodding from the audience. The two of them, at least at the moment, are getting along famously and really enjoy one another most of the time.
I have no real good stories off the top of my head, aside from the little one-liners that I've been posting. But there are a few nice photos. If you are reading this in an email, you probably won't be able to see them; click here to see this post on the web, where everything ought to work properly. Same goes for the little video at the end of the post.
First, here are the photos from Ricketts Glen.
(Note: Some of my favorites aren't visible here because they show someone else's kids. If you want to see those, go to Flickr.com, which is a site I use for managing digital photos, sign up for an account, and then visit my page and add me as a "contact," either as "friend" or "family." I can walk you through this if need be. After that, the hidden photos should be visible here. If this is too much of a pain, well, eventually I'll come up with something else. Also: I have left out many of my own photos that show only scenery, but if you want to see those, they're here as well. Ricketts Glen is a very nice place.)
Here are some Chincoteague photos. For some reason we only took very few (sixteen). You can also see them here.
And finally, here are a couple of other recent favorites. Personally, my favorites are the ones of Zeke and Talia perched together on the "changing table" (i.e., a foam pad on top of a dresser), both goofing around. (For some reason they're not displayed together, but they're part of a series, and it'll be obvious when you flip through them.) All those can also be seen here.
And, one last little tidbit, here is a one-and-three-quarters-minute video of Talia and Zeke jumping up and down in a crib. That's all it is, but it cracks me up anyhow.
Posted 5:56 PM
Posted 10:08 PM
Zeke's bedtime routine has come to include the song, "Green Grow the Rushes, O," which is interesting. He used to love the as a baby, and then we sort of forgot about it, maybe because it's so long, and it never seemed like a great bedtime song. It's a traditional cumulative counting song, which begins with one and runs through twelve. Anyhow, he now wants to hear it before bed. Tonight, presumably wanting to postpone the inevitable, he interrupted me halfway through the song and instructed me that I had to sing all the way through twenty tonight. I laughed and told him I didn't know any more after twelve, but that I'd see what I could do. He answered, "If you don't know the other numbers, I can teach you." I said O.K. After I got to twelve, and stopped, we had this exchange:
Z.: Daddy, you forgot two numbers. Thirteen and fourteen.
Me: I don't know those.
Z.: I can sing them for you.
Z.: (after a pause, in a speaking voice) Thirteen. (pause) Fourteen.
Z.: (after another long pause) Daddy, thirteen and fourteen are hard to explain. Very hard to explain.
Posted 9:46 PM
Hicked: "a little bit broken." Trains, in particular, can easily become hicked.
Moots: "when you do what you're not told to do it, but you do anyway." No usage example.
Grass-griffs: "a little hedgehog that comes out at night and sleeps in the day, and eats grass."
Talia enjoying herself in the bathtub.
A few glamor shots of Talia, taken by Heather.
Talia has sort of decided that the high chair is hers, which seems to be more or less O.K. with Zeke, most of the time, since that means he gets to sit in a grown-up chair. She likes to climb up into the seat and try to stand on it, shake it back and forth, or contort herself into weird positions (as in this photo -- she gets stuck a lot), while saying, "Chee-yur! chee-yur!" (chair) over and over again.
An action shot of both kids playing on the slide. Talia really likes going down the big slide as fast as possible.
To my surprise (I guess this is what happens when you have someone else taking care of your kids for more than half their waking hours), Zeke has an opinion about what colors are appropriate for boys and for girls. Overheard recently (K. is our next-door neighbor, a girl about Zeke's age):
K.: Zeke, do you want to eat yours out of a pink bowl?
K.: Do you like pink?
Z.: No. Pink is for girls.
K.: Do you like purple?
Z.: Yes, purple is for boys.
K.: No. Purple is for girls. Black is for boys.
Z.: No. I don't like black, but I like purple. Purple is for boys.
Zeke loves the toy section at the Goodwill near our house. (Incidentally, I recently discovered that it's not just a Goodwill store, it's a Goodwill Fashions store). I think he prefers it to the zoo. We don't even have to buy anything for it to be worthwhile. Last time we were there I also spotted a Hasbro "Queasy Bake Cookerator" (four bucks), evidently a boy's version of the classic -- but very pink -- Easy Bake Oven.
Here's Zeke and Talia goofing around, having some toast and jam on the bed.
And here's Talia having some string cheese in her high chair.
At the moment, the kids and I are out of town. The residential sewer lateral that connects our house to the city sewer appears to have collapsed and needs to be replaced. (If this sounds expensive — it is.) No showers, no flushing the toilet, etc. Luckily Naani and Pop-Pop are only two hours away.
Zeke's been able to recognize his own name in writing for a while now, mainly (I assume) because you just don't see that many short words that start with "Z" (especially when they're written on the back of, say, the pictures he draws at daycare). But this surprised me.
Tonight, Zeke stared at this bowl for a minute or two and then asked, "Daddy, what does this say?" I said, "What do you think it says?" Then he sounded out what he saw: "Tuh... ah... luh... Talia."
Later, I was reading him a book (about Rosa Parks -- not sure this is really the most appropriate for his age, but he likes the pictures of buses) which includes, in large type, the text of a spiritual, beginning with the words, "O freedom, O freedom, O freedom over me." I read this out loud to him, and he interrupted me and pointed at each of the "O"'s in turn, saying "O feeding, O feeding, O feeding over me."
Our home computer is still busted (not connecting to the Internet) and may remain so for the foreseeable future, so if I'm going to maintain this blog, I'm going to have to get used to using my work machine. So here goes. First, here's the news. Talia's completely mobile. Not only is she walking, but she's trying to climb pretty much everything. She continues to be pretty sweet-tempered most of the time, but she's beginning to develop a very strong will (to match her very strong muscles -- I sometimes have to use two hands to hold her still while diapering). She shrieks with displeasure when you take away something she believes is hers. On top of this, she's beginning to talk -- a lot. She has a hell of an appetite and accordingly probably sixty percent of her vocabulary refers to food. "Quacka" (cracker), "nana" (banana), "mee" (milk), "goff" (goldfish), "chee" (cheese) -- all staples. (As you can see, she's not yet adept with final sibilants and palatals.) She's also into dancing around in circles (in a sort of proto-toddler waddle) and making funny faces. It's cute.
Zeke is still getting used to using the potty. I feel like we've been saying that for a long time now. But anyhow, he continues to make progress. He hasn't worn a diaper or Pull-Up in probably several months now, but accidents (especially the smelly, filthy kind, rather than the wet, rug-destroying kind) are frequent. As you can see from the previous post, he is very interested in letters and reading. Perhaps surprisingly, he is maybe even more interested in numbers. Every time he sees a cluster of numbers together (especially in the car, like on a highway sign), he asks what it means, for example, "Daddy, what do two 2's and a four mean?" on seeing the sign for U.S. route 422. He's fooled around a little with making his own numbers, but he hasn't really discovered yet that one can draw symbols for oneself.
And then, some recent pictures.
Go here to see all these pictures together on a single page.
Finally, here's the latest quip from Zeke. This is from bedtime tonight.
Z.: Daddy! Do you smell something?(By "boogies," he means, ahem, boogers. )
Me: Um, no, do you smell something?
Z.: (rubbing his nose) That's boogies! I smell boogies!
Posted 6:07 PM