Trying to Keep Cool

The last few days have been very, VERY hot. I have had to get resourceful to keep my tiny toddler happy when the weather is so miserable. We have been slathering on the sunscreen when we get dressed first thing in the morning, continually sipping on beverages, and when we dare to step outside of the air-conditioning, finding water to splash around in. Thankfully children are easily distracted and don’t seem to notice that they are sticking with sweat when they are happily playing with their friends, so we have been trying to keep busy. Everything from playdates to birthday parties, kiddie pools to slip-n-slides, water bottles to sippy cups. Here is some of the evidence of our trying to keep cool in this crazy heat:

I’ve put the pictures from the last few days in Ana’s eighteen month gallery here and you can always check my Flickr for the latest pictures. Enjoy!

Obstacle? What Obstacle?

I would say Ana has pretty much conquered climbing. Watch this:

The kid can climb like nobody’s business. And she definitely did not get my fear of heights! Ana and I were outside playing with the dogs, I turned around for a minute to throw the ball for the pups and when I looked back Ana was halfway up the ladder. I watched her precisely place her little feet on each step and pull herself up another rung. Then once she reached the top she started her slow but deliberate ascent back down. Like she had done it a million times before. She amazes me. Every. Single. Day.

Next step: mountain climbing.

Happy Birthday in Three Takes

Ana wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Daddy, but since he left the house before she was awake this morning, I thought we might make a little video for him (and to share with all of you). Turns out the attention span of an eighteen month old often requires multiple takes to get the mission accomplished. Luckily for everyone, the work-in-process is often as entertaining as a perfect production. Enjoy!

Take One:

Take Two:

Take Three:

Happy Birthday Simeon! We love you!

Father’s Day Adventure

For Father’s Day (and coincidentally my father-in-law’s birthday) we went to the coast and spent the day geocaching as a family. We found caches hidden in Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Gearhart, stopping every now and then for snacks or to enjoy the breath-taking scenery. We even had a few surprises, such as wild bunny rabbits and perfect weather!

You can see all the pictures from our adventure here. Enjoy!

A Letter: Eighteen Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn eighteen months old. One could also say you are now one and a half, which is SO much more impressive than telling your age in terms of simply months. As we embark on the latter half of your second year of life, you are really developing your personality and mastering your independence. In fact just the other day as we were walking down the stairs instead of saying, “help” and asking for my hand like you normally do, you pushed away my hand and said, “self.” That pretty much sums you up right now: Little Miss Independent.

Your physical ability is now suddenly matched with your mental cunningness. Meaning you are now able to figure out ways to climb to get what you want. You climb everything: chairs, couches, stools, beds. You dad and I understand we shouldn’t stop you from climbing, as this is your way of dealing with a world so much bigger than yourself. However, we want you to be safe. We are constantly reminding you to “sit on your bottom.” So you sit on the back of the chair…on your bottom.

A pleasant result of all this climbing is that your baby alarm is now back: you say “down” when you are climbing on something you shouldn’t be or you say “bottom” when you are standing on a chair when you are suppose to be sitting. So I just listen for you to set off the baby alarm and I say, “that’s right. You need to get down or sit on your bottom.” Man, you sure do make it easy for me to parent.

Several months back, when your language was just starting to develop we sometimes had a hard time understanding what you were trying to tell us. Eventually we started asking you to show us what you wanted. As a result, even now that your language is booming, you walk up to us and say, “hand” then while leading us by the hand you say, “show” and take us to see whatever it is you want to see or do.

Most of the other children you play with are older than you, and I think this has really helped you to understand the concept of taking turns and sharing. You have started saying “turn” when you either want us to help feed you or more frequently, when you want to feed yourself. Sharing can be a little tricky, but you definitely understand the concept when it comes to something you want; you are quick to tell us to “share” when you want some of what we have!

Anyone who has met your father and I knows that computers are very important to our household. And you are following quite nicely in our footsteps. You ask to “type” when you want to play on the computer. You love it so much we had to set up your own “computer system” at the dining room table with a mouse and keyboard just for you. Now you climb up on the chair at the kitchen table and pound away any time you want.

Another aspect of your ever expanding vocabulary is that you now like to name everything: animals, toys, people. You even point to yourself and say “Ana.” One of your favorite games to play is the body part game where you point to and name all of your body parts. You sometimes get confused by knee and elbow, thinking they should just be leg and arm. Quite frankly, I agree.

Another huge milestone this month is that you have started swinging like a big girl, that is to say you no longer require the full “bucket” seat. When we knew you were fine to swing on a normal swing, we took you to play on the swing set in our back yard. Once you found out you had your very own swings, you suddenly understood that it is no longer necessary to reserve swinging for special trips to the park. No, now you can swing anytime or all the time. And you definitely prefer the latter, as you would swing all day long if it were up to you.

A few weeks back we had some very hot weather and on one of those days we had a playdate with your friend Elliot. He has a great little kiddie pool so we covered you both in sunscreen and let you loose in the back yard to play. You LOVED the pool. So much in fact, that I went out the following day to get you one of your very own. You played in it every single day the weather was nice and were very distraught when it started raining again and we had to put the pool away for awhile. But don’t worry; when the sun comes back out, so will your pool.

Ana, I have dreamed of being a mom for as long as I can remember. It’s not very often the actuality of a dream is better than the dream itself. But the time you and I spend together is more amazing than I could ever have imagined. I would never have thought that the sound of your laugh would turn my world around, that a smile from you could erase all the troubles of my day, or the intense happiness I feel when you run across the room to wrap your arms around me. I could not have asked for a better daughter to make me a mom. Thank you.

All my love,

Like Father, Like Daughter

Simeon stayed home with Ana the other night so I could go see the new Sex and the City movie with some friends. Mid-way through the previews he emailed me this picture, titled “Future Programmer?”

As you can see, Ana is madly “typing” away on the keyboard while wearing iPod earbuds. I wonder if she has seen someone doing this a time or two before…

Taking Bear for a Walk

A while back our lovely friend, Kristin, sent Ana the most adorable home-made teddy bear. Ana loves it and plays with it every day. Here is a video, taken tonight, of a typical day playing with her friend, Bear:

Kristin is the most crafty, creative person I know. So much so, in fact, that she has her very own store, Something Sweet and Sassy, where she sells her creations. Go on, show her some love…then you could have a Bed Buddy just like Ana.