This blog is dedictated to our son, Zander.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Z and I walked over to the playground in the early evening yesterday. We heard a dog barking and he turned to me.

"Th' doggie arfing?"

I paused a moment to absorb his words, run them through my toddler-speak filter.

"Yes, the doggie is barking."

"Barking... barking." He repeats after me while his steel trap of a mind saves this new word for later.

What I want to know is this: when did Zander learn to conjugate verbs? Arf-ing? Nobody says "arfing" -- although we have been known to mimic a dog's sound by saying "arf, arf."

The amazement never ceases.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What did he say?

Zander is a master of the mimic. Anything you say, he will repeat it, and with a marked degree of accuracy. The baby-ness is sloughing off him like skin off a snake, revealing a new, shiny Zander underneath and he looks exactly the same but there is nothing the same about him at all.

A few nights ago we were reading Who Loves Baby? which is a cute teeny tiny board book with peekaboo flaps. Zander knew almost all the people in it: Mother, Father, Puppy, Fish, etc. Including Brother - but not Sister. Is this some kind of sign? (No, I am not pregnant, save your breath.) At the end of the book: "Everybody loves baby!" Zander spent a lot of time repeating the word "everybody" - and making me repeat it while he studied my lips - until he had it down pat.

Not that we haven't seen this behavior before, but he is moving on to harder words all the time and he's starting to use complete sentences. Like "Where is my puppy?" Or "I want breakfast." "Where is Tessa?" is a litany I hear daily, which is sad because Tess is in South Carolina for the summer, with her father.

Oh yeah, yesterday he was trying to figure out how to say "Carolina." This was after he worked on "Incredibles" which is a new favorite flick, thankfully dusted off the shelf by Matt when we thought we might go mad from another round of Wallace & Grommit. Love ya, Nick Parks, but even too much of a good thing...well...

Speaking of repetition - Zander has a pretty good selection of books but of course he wants to read the same five over and over again. And on any given night, he will pick one book that he wants read in ceaseless succession. I've decided my limit is 2 times in one sitting and it still depends on my mood and the book and how well he is sitting in my lap. I think I have him hooked on Where the Wild Things Are to expand our repatoire and our imaginations beyond things like Can You Cuddle Like a Koala? and Daddy Kisses

A coup last night! Zander has seriously been tearing up the upstairs out of boredom and protest of being put to bed. We have an evening routine but reading a few books doesn't usually calm him down enough. Well. Last night, Z was a little wiggly so I informed him that his choices were to sit in my lap or lay in bed (he never picks the bed). After reading a bunch of books and fending off multiple recitals, I laid Zander in his bed and sat over him, singing him a lullaby and stroking his hair. He laid there, staring off into space and when I stopped singing, his eyes dropped and within 3 minutes he was asleep! And it was barely 930pm!

I've tried all of these things before but for some reason it was a magical combination last night. His behavior didn't belie any tiredness which is perhaps why I am so astounded. Who knows if this is repeatable and of course Matt and Z need to figure out their routine because we don't want Z to rely on one person to be able to sleep. Actually, we prefer he rely on only himself but that hasn't gone so well of late. Ah, transitions...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Haircut

The long awaited haircut photos! Zander got his haircut right around his birthday which was a month ago. I took these last night - the cut is a touch grown out but who cares. Actually, his hair is so messy in the photo, you can only tell that it's a lot shorter than the older pictures.

The little prince in his natural state: pacifier (which is known in our household as a "muka") and that ragged, stained, and much beloved puppy named, you guessed it, Puppy. Zander is sticked Puppy's tag in his ear. (It's his thing, he's always done it. When he recently had an ear infection, the only outward sign other than his persistent cold was that he was sticking Puppy's tag in his ear MORE often.) There ain't much left of the tag at this point.

I can't imagine where he learned this pose from:

And since we took these as well, we may as well post one (Zander loves to play with Photo Booth - the program on my Mac which takes pictures with the computer's camera). Say cheese!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wherein Zander takes control of his bedtime

(Composed Friday morning . . . there were some connectivity issues.)

Zander got his hair cut a few weeks ago - I owe you all a photo of that at least. But I don't have the camera or the baby on hand at this time so you will have a wait a little bit longer. Trust me, he's still cute - a little more mundane and boy-like and older-looking - but Zander nonetheless.

We've all been swept with a cold - first Matt, who actually took sick days, it was that bad - then Zander, who is still sick and I am starting to wonder if he might need antibiotics because the virus may have turned to infection - and now me, who isn't doing too bad after one day of virus-influenced exhaustion because I am hopped up on echinacea, an immune-boosting herb. FYI - echinacea is a major active ingredient in Airborn. I don't bother with Vitamin C - I get much faster and stronger effects from echinacea - my next line of defense is garlic pills (natural antibiotic). I also take a double dose of my multivitamin since I only take one a day and not three anyway. Cut out all dairy and drink lots of tea and water. Now you can be as healthy as I am.

On to the toddler news . . .

Zander, adept at climbing in and out of his crib as well as opening his bedroom door, has made bedtime very difficult. We're lucky that we've got a leg up already because we have a solid bedtime routine and he doesn't fight it (this is where I cannot be convinced that letting your child cry it out for a few nights at age 7 months has done anything to harm his trust or our relationship) - in fact Zander has, a few times, gone up the stairs and climbed into his own bed when he wanted to go to sleep.

Last night I came home from working at the community garden. Zander has just been put to bed (#1) but was still awake and Matt advised that I should go visit because Zander wanted a hug (this is one of his latest control games). Lucky for Zander, I am helplessly in love with him so I went upstairs and tried to hold him in the glider. He was wiggly so I just put him back in bed (#2) and then went to take a shower. No surprise that Zander spent most of my shower with the curtain half open, talking to me. I even tried getting spray on his face so he would run away like the cats do - which sounds mean, I know, but trust me, it didn't work.

After the shower, I put him back in bed (#3) and went downstairs, shutting the gate behind me. Zander was up and calling for us at the top of the stairs within minutes. We told him to go back to bed and then ignored him, hoping he would get bored and tired and just go to sleep. He ignored us and played. At some point Matt went upstairs to change into pyjamas. Put Zander back in bed (#4). But he left the gate open on his way back down and Zander found the security breach within minutes and came downstairs. Matt put him back in bed (#5). It is now aproximately 10pm and it's been 2 hrs since Zander was first put to bed. Again, he comes to the top of the stairs, we ignore him, etc.

We retired for the evening around 1115 pm and found Zander, like Goldilocks in Papa Bear's bed, curled up in a ball on our bed, right in the breath of the AC unit (and it wasn't hot last night so I wondered about that choice), with the bedroom light left on from when Matt changed his clothes an hour earlier. Zander hardly sighed as I scooped him up and put him in his own bed (#6).

We're discussing putting in the toddler bed this weekend. First, for safety - no more climbing in and out of a crib, even with the rail down. Second - maybe, just maybe, the novelty of his own big boy bed will keep him in it more than not.

I know I'm fooling myself.