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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Alden is 9 months old! He had his well visit today and is 18 lb 13 oz (25th percentile, so just getting skinnier and skinnier) and 30 in long (90th percentile, skinny and tall). The Dr. asked if we read to him every day. We do, but I feel like not half as much as when Rhianwen was a baby. We are just busier in general, and I read to Rhianwen too, but Alden often loses interest and goes wandering off to crash into things like the sharp edging on our brick hearth. (No we hadn't and yes now we have installed that ugly padding made to prevent such things).

Just in time for our well-visit. From 9 months on, when we have a "well-visit" with my kids, there is always some kind of horrid looking wound that needs scrutiny. At best they say this is normal. At worst, they pat my arm patronizingly and say, "Things happen....have you baby-proofed your house yet?". In addition to Alden's scrape, Rhianwen decided to get a nice shiner on her forehead right before the Dr. appointment. They also ask how Alden's taken to solid food.

Well, what do you think? Even better than grapes is a cob of corn. I think sometimes he wants to stick the entire thing in his mouth. He's so taken with corn on the cob that he forgets his table manners and snorts in enjoyment as he chews away. It's hilarious. Of course, he also really enjoys fistfuls of dirt. I can't work outside without strapping him into the umbrella stroller and letting Rhianwen push him around the driveway. Otherwise, he's eating mulch, dirt, grass, chalk. I wouldn't care except that I worry about worms and parasites. I do let him play and pick up sticks and chew on gumballs and grass. Don't worry, I'm not so much a micromanger, but when I'm trying to get something done outside, he just decides to go all out and come up with his own lunch. He's also capable of climbing. I had the dishwasher open, and he used the top rack to pull himself up onto the open door...all very quietly while my back was turned. When I discovered him there, he just looked at me nonchalantly as if to say, "What do you expect?"

This past weekend was Rhianwen's first swim lesson. She had a BLAST. And to top that off, Grandma Nanny Kim and Grandpa were here when she came home. We had a fabulous time relaxing and enjoying our backyard and Duke Gardens. Rhianwen made sure that we didn't leave Minky and Zephyr (Nanny Kim's and Grandpa's monkeys) and kept track of Grandpa's hat as well. However, somehow, Rhianwen's hat ended up in Nanny Kim's car even though we never used their car over the weekend, and it had to be mailed back...something that Rhianwen thought was just so fun. She loves getting mail. Who doesn't if it's not junk?

Weirdness runs in the family.

Everyone found this pavilion amazing with all the wisteria blooming on it. It's one of my favorite spring flowers even though it's a terrible invasive species!

Daddy often does catechism questions during part of bath, and recently when he gets to "What is God?", Rhianwen doesn't want to answer. She's worried over an apparent contradiction that she voices by saying quickly, "God is a Spirit has not a body like man" Big breath "But Jesus is God! And Jesus has a body!" I can't believe she's already capable of such logic! Talk about questions that are hard to answer even for an adult!

She'll also just say things out of the blue like: "Does Jesus have a soul that will never die?" Hmmm. I don't think I know the answer to that one. I mean, He was fully God and fully man. All men have souls that will never die....I've never studied up on this and really want to look into it. One thing I do know, she absorbs more than we think and mulls over it even when we aren't talking about it!

One strange obsession she has is alligators. She's started having bad dreams about them. I don't know where it comes from b/c we've never talked much about them. She's seen some small ones at the museum. I don't really know if I should talk more about them, find funny stories at the library featuring them, or just ignore it.

Don't worry. We DO have lighter conversations. I've made a habit of coming in after putting Alden down and after Rhianwen's been put to bed to talk to her alone. We often "imagine" things. One day we had found a sparkly circle on her rug and I had asked if a fairy had come during the night. So, that night she said that her fairy was going to come with her bag and get the sparkly thing. I asked what her fairy looked like and she immediately said, "Sparkly and red". I asked, "Where does she live?" Answer: "Oval Park" (a park we had visited for playgroup a couple of MONTHS ago.

Other funny conversations:
If you could have anything to eat what would it be? "cheese and broccoli"

Should we plant something for earth day? "Yeah". What should we plant? "Birthday candles."

Our little independent thinker.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Help not Haylp

A good Southern family.

Wally went out of town on some kind of emergency arc flash business and left us here to our own designs. Mostly that means peeing and pooping in our pants, fussing, and sleeping with fettuccine noodles up our noses and sneezing them out in the morning. Okay and some linguistic lessons as suggested in our title. For some reason Rhianwen has been drawling in Southernese lately. Mysaylf (translated myself) and haylp are 2 such words. The funny thing is when I corrected her for "myself" she said haylp a few seconds later and self corrected without me saying a thing! So, she knows she's drawling! Oh boy, are we in trouble now. I blame it all on Uncle Averett (I love to give him a hard time) though Wally does have his moments (his days of the week are actually dees).

At the start.

Grandpa and Grandma Nanny Kim gave us their canoe along with the bells and whistles (notice the comfy attachable seats), and mommy had the brilliant idea of trying it out this past weekend with an 8 month-old and 2.5 year old. We committed completely to this adventure when we chose a river (no turning back). It was quite fun and I think left Wally with stars in his eyes for his intrepid wife. We saw lots of turtles and even a Canadian goose family with their goslings, oh so adorable!

Rhianwen styling in her Kid Rock wannabe outfit. 

All tuckered out at the end of our trip.

"I don't know how I got here but I DO know I have a graham cracker in my hands. All is well."

Then it was back home for Easter Egg painting.

We got these cheap neat Q-tips that were made by Paas which were filled with dye. When you broke near the line at the top, the dye ran down to the tip where you could then use it to paint the egg. Genius! We'll be buying these every year.

"I'm exhausted. Why are we painting eggs?"

Alden has such a sweet spirit. Despite missed naps, interrupted naps, and late bedtimes, he's still a happy guy just wanting to hang out and do what the big kids are doing. Of course, in his many explorations around the house, he's discovered the thrills of toilet water, plungers, and toilet scrubbers. He searches these items out with a zeal that is unmatched. He even tries to get to them from the bathtub, no longer are water and toys alluring.

Easter morning fun with plastic eggs and a new book entitled "I Love You Stinky Face". 

We enjoyed talking to Grandaddy and Grandmama on the webcam Easter afternoon. Rhianwen got to show off her box of treasure from the Benjamin's Box story. She did a fair job of explaining, but was highly distracted with the novelty of the webcam call.

We're just waiting for dad to come home...Rhi keeps asking if daddy is home now. As if she thinks she might not know if he was home. And when she talks to him on the phone she asks if he is at home (I think the confusion is b/c we recently talked to each other on walkee talkees). We all miss daddy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

1st Haircut

Rhianwen had her first haircut this past week. She went with mommy, and we both got it done. We had been talking it up all week long, but finally right before we went, she asked, "Is it going to hurt?" I wonder if she had thought about it all week and finally asked or if it just occurred to her then. I felt bad that I hadn't thought about that. I have heard that it is a common question before your first cut. Oh well. She did fabulously and sat VERY still. You really can't tell the difference between before and after pics, but it looks much better to me. It's more even and not so straggly especially in the back.

"My first spaghetti...what a blast!"

Alden managed to get a child's plastic hanger caught in his eyelid so we had a surprise visit to the doctor's office. His eye was fine and so were his ears and heart (since there's an obvious connection). Mom says there's nothing like a kid to give you grey hair. He's been using Rhianwen's little ride-on car as a walking-assistant and can walk all the way down the hall with it. Of course, Rhianwen often will see him using it and decide to hop on and take off. Alden tries his best to speed up and run with her, but usually gets left in the dust unless Daddy or mommy makes her slow down. He's getting his top incisors in, but this wasn't obvious to us until we heard him grinding on something. The top teeth aren't even visible, yet he can grind them through the hole in his gums. I find this intriguing and disturbing. It makes me want to cringe.

Styling in his new sandals.

We enjoyed going to a state park this past Sunday despite the clouds (literally) of pollen blowing across the lake. Rhianwen only wanted to "fish". She's continued to talk about the blue fish that she caught. What an imagination! And I suppose it was Alden's first hike on his own 2 feet.

For Easter, we have been reading Benjamin's Box. We read one page each night to Rhianwen. Along with the story are visual aids that we keep in a treasure box. We've also been trying to sing hymns that pertain to the story. She's holding straw which is to remind us of Christ in the manger. I think she really enjoyed this night since she finally got to sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing again. She knows and sings the entire first verse. If you don't know this carol, perhaps you aren't impressed, but it has huge words...like "God and sinners reconciled" and "Join the Triumph in the Skies". It both makes me laugh and fills me with hope to hear her little voice singing such huge words and concepts.

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