Life with a toddler

I had just put Ana down for her morning nap, sat down at the computer to check my email when I heard her crying. Not I-wanna-get-out-of-bed cry but an I-just-hurt-myself cry. So I ran up the stairs, imagining she finally realized how to get out of her crib and picturing her sprawled out on her bedroom floor. Instead she was sitting in her crib, face streaked with tears, holding open her mouth. She instantly stopped crying as I swept my finger across her tongue and found a tiny unidentifiable glob.

Me: Ana, what is this?

Ana: It just food.

Me: Food? Where did you get food?

Ana: Um…in da ki’chen.

Me: You were eating food? From the kitchen?

Ana: From the kitchen dow’ stairs!

Me: But you were crying. Did you get hurt?

Ana: Um…I ok.

Me: Ok, then would you like to go ni-night now?

Ana: Um…yeah…EYEBALL!

And she promtly proceeded to poke me in the eye with her finger. Such is life with a toddler.

Movie Monday

We are back to Monday again and to make this particular Monday a little better I have a couple “movies” for you. The first is Ana pretending to talk to her Aunt Jeni on the cell phone. Simeon was driving so I was actually able to video what happens every single time we are in the car. Who she talks to on the phone varies from family to friends to her toys. But the conversations are generally the same.

The second video is Ana having a little pretend tea party. She had a friend over for a playdate and they kept themselves quite entertained. It was very sweet. Not wanting to post video of other people’s children on the Internet, I uploaded a segment of the playdate where Ana was playing alone. But you get the idea of how the rest of the playdate went in this clip.


A Letter: Twenty-One Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn twenty-one months old, or one and three-quarters as your Father tried to explain to you at dinner last night. But no matter how you say it, it just means that you are growing up faster than I could have ever been prepared for. A friend who is thinking about having a baby asked me the other day if there were a lot of things about being a parent that surprised me and I responded that “the only thing that surprised me was Ana. She amazes me each and every day.”

I am constantly caught off guard by the sheer magnitude of the things you can say and do. It seemed like one day you were hardly talking and now you are practically speaking in complete sentences. Sure you omit the occasional words, but you use subjects, verbs, and even pronouns. More often than not you even use them correctly! Last night we were driving home in the car and the sun was shining straight through the front windshield and there was no escaping the bright glare. I was struggling to even see the traffic lights and from the back seat you said, “Turn light off please, Mommy.”

Physically I am stunned with how quickly you can get from one place to the next. Or as is generally the case, how quickly you can get into something you shouldn’t! I feel as if my senses are heighten just to detect the slightest hint that you are doing something dangerous. Moms don’t just have eyes in the back of their heads, we have ears in the other room! For example, yesterday I heard a strange scratching noise and came into the living room to see that you had dragged an empty laundry basket across the room then turned it upside-down, and climbed up on top of it so you could stand on the coffee table to try and reach the top of the television. Yeah, that wasn’t your smartest move.

Being a total dare devil aside, you are becoming more and more like me every day. You thrive on cleanliness and order. Always following behind me as I clean, dusting the furniture, trying to help me vacuum the floors and putting your toys back on their shelves. A benefit of being organized is that you always know where all of your things are at any point in time. One day you went down for a nap before putting Tinkerbell back into her zebra “bed” and when you woke up you looked over at the zebra, instantly noticing she wasn’t there and frantically asked, “Tink-a-bell go?!” I suggested she was downstairs and you promptly went down to retrieve her and put her back in her bed where she belongs.

You have also inherited my Chapstick obsession. In fact, with as often as you see me applying lip balm it would have been a miracle if you weren’t obsessed. Whenever I grab my Chapstick out of my pocket, no matter where you are, in an instant you are by my side saying, “Chapstick too please?” Who am I to deny you our shared addiction? You are also very adamant about applying it yourself and as a result I have accepted the fact that all my Chapsticks have–and will continue to have– toddler teeth nicks along the smooth surface of the balm.

As you continue to develop your personality and interests, you are also proving to be a lot like your Father as well. I have never pretended to be the slightest bit musical, so I know you get your love of music from his side of the family. When we were at the Oregon State Fair a few weeks ago we picked up an adorable little acoustic guitar, practically your Father’s in miniature, and the two of you love sitting on the couch strumming away together.

In the past month you have become obsessed with Toy Story so the other day while we were at the mall I took you into the Disney store and said you could pick out a toy as a reward for being so well behaved. You instantly requested Jessie (from Toy Story 2), which of course they did not have, but you willingly accepted Woody as an alternative. I was pushing your stroller through the store and you were swinging Woody in the air, pretending he could fly just like Andy does in the movie. Then you started chanting, “a friend me…friend me…A FRIEND ME!!” It took me a couple minutes to understand that you were singing, “You’ve got a friend in me” which is the Toy Story theme song. I was so impressed with your memory, your singing, and your pure enthusiasm with your new toy that I just about yanked you out of your stroller to smother you in hugs and kisses right there in the middle of the crowded mall. Wanting to save some humiliation for your teenage years, I managed to use what little restraint I had to wait until we were out in the parking lot.

Ever since that day, Woody has been your constant companion and faithful side-kick. You ask to bring him along everywhere (“Woody go too?”) and therefore he is never far away. When you take a bath he waits patiently near by (either on the changing table in your room or beside the bathroom sink) and since you are not allowed to play with toys while you eat, he sits on the kitchen counter until you are all cleaned up. It is very obvious: you’ve got a friend in him.

As you grow up I often catch myself eagerly looking forward to your next milestones and accomplishments. From riding a bike to learning to braid your own hair to getting ready for your first day of school and every little thing in between. I think to myself, “Oh I can’t wait until Ana can…” But the truth of the matter is, I can wait. I want to treasure every moment that you are small, every moment that you need me, and focus on what you can do right now. I love everything about you at this very moment and that is exactly how it should be.

All my love,

Wagon Lust

If you follow me on Twitter or Flickr then you have probably noticed Sim’s recent obsession with station wagons. He was constantly looking up stats and photos online then obnoxiously pointing them out anytime we were driving around. It was getting quite annoying. So in an effort to quench his “wagon lust” we stopped in and looked at a few Subaru Outbacks. They were pretty cool, and incredibly affordable (i.e. cheap) but we are nothing if not well-researched shoppers, so we couldn’t make any decisions without checking out the competition. For Sim, Volvo was really the only other competition that he was considering. So Saturday morning after an early breakfast we headed over to the Volvo dealership hoping to look around before they actually opened and check out this one car Sim had his eye on. Our plan was foiled when an employee poked his head out of the dark building and offered to help us. His “help” found us loading Ana’s car seat into the back of a smokin’ hot Volvo XC70 and tearing off the lot for a test drive. I think Sim was sold the instant his body touched the smooth leather seats, but it easily could have also been once he discovered the iPod Music Interface and Bluetooth hands free system.

A Volvo XC70 was always my dream car, so I didn’t need any convincing. We drove the car, tinkered with the extra features (of which there were TONS) and got a feel for how easily this car would integrate into our lifestyle. The particular car we were looking at was a 2007, but wasn’t a “used” car because it was never actually sold, but rather used as the demo car. They tricked it out, complete with leather seats, extra wood paneling, Bluetooth, iPod integration, steel cargo (dog) barrier, child booster seats, moon roof, roof rails, heated seats, Park assist (reverse sensors), heated windshield washer nozzles…well you get the picture. The list goes on and on.

Ana’s nap time approached so we told the salesman we would have to leave, but we’d be back later. Wanting to hold us to that, he offered to let us take the Volvo home for a few hours. We quickly signed a waiver and headed off the lot. Once Ana was well-rested, we didn’t exactly head straight back to the dealership, but rather took the scenic route around town so that I could actually drive it (Sim drove on the test-drive with the salesman while I entertained Ana in the backseat). It was everything I always imagined it would be. We swung by the house on our way back to the Volvo dealership so Simeon could drive the truck over so we could evaluate it for the trade in. We printed off some research to help us haggle and went back to talk numbers.

As you can see, the numbers turned out in our favor. We are officially the proud owners of a 2007 Volvo XC70. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.