Friday, November 17, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 79 WEEKS OLD)

Years ago I used to babysit a little boy, Ian, who absolutely LOVED the video “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. In fact, his mother had a video tape with just that song on it and even though Ian couldn’t talk, he knew EXACTLY how to put the tape in the VCR and play it over and over and over again. I watched that video so many times that to this day, I can’t hear the song without cringing. At the time, I had no idea that that experience was just a primer for having my own child. I let Taylor watch this video of a baby laughing on YouTube. We just saw it for the first time a few nights ago and we’ve already viewed it easily 20 times. She really gets a kick out of watching that baby laugh. If she sees the computer, she says “Baby! Baby!” and so I’ll play the video and she’ll watch the first 10 seconds or so before she wanders off, leaving me to watch it by myself. Even though she desperately wants to watch the baby video, her attention span is short enough that it doesn’t hold her interest for very long. But then she always comes back in a few minutes saying “Baby! Baby!” – acting as though we hadn’t JUST watched the video!

In addition to the baby video, another of T.J.’s fixations is bubbles. In fact, that word is now verboten in our house because the mere mention of the “B-word” gets Taylor started. I have blown bubbles until I was hyperventilating, lightheaded and ready to pass out and Taylor was standing right there in front of me, demanding more. I’ve tried teaching her to blow her own bubbles, but there’s a level of coordination that she hasn’t quite reached yet. Hopefully she’ll learn soon, because I don’t know if I have the breath to keep up with her bubble requirements.

To set the record straight…Taylor climbed in the hamper and closed the door on her own. I just took the pictures:

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After 18 months, it was finally time to cut Taylor’s hair, so I cut her bangs. Yay…we can see her eyes again!

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Friday, November 10, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 78 WEEKS OLD)

Blowing bubbles:

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I have a confession to make. We’ve recently begun letting Taylor watch television. Now, I know that some people might hear that and think, “What’s wrong with that?”, but ’round these parts admitting that your kid watches TV is tantamount to admitting that you provide them with coffee and cigarettes (but only on occasion). That is to say – it’s just NOT done. Truthfully, she doesn’t watch much TV. We’re just giving her small doses of Sesame Street every now and then. She’s really only interested in seeing the parts of the show with Elmo in them. For Taylor, Elmo is like the Beatles, Elvis and the Rolling Stones all rolled into one. T.J. luuuuuuurves Elmo!! I love him too, because there are times when she’s crying inconsolably for 30 minutes straight and the only thing that will quell the storm is Elmo. I think that if she could talk, she would say that he’s the only reason to watch the show. Actually, she CAN talk and you know what she says? “ELMO!” It makes it tough to keep our little secret, because when she yells, “Elmo!” during a playgroup, it’s going to be pretty obvious where she learned it. I think that when she does finally air our dirty laundry, I’ll just give a mock-horrified expression and say, “She must have learned THAT at her grandparent’s house!”

Our favorite little red monster:

Taylor with friends Ava and Ella. They moved to Arizona last week (sniff, sniff):

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Friday, November 3, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 77 WEEKS OLD)

Last week Gene and Toby came to visit us – they camped out on the “dining room” floor. It was really great to have the kids together again and remarkable how much they’ve both changed in the three months since they were last together. The gap in their ages (a little over a year) is quickly becoming less noticeable, so they’re very good at playing together. This time, though, we also noticed a little bit of rivalry happening. As Taylor’s becoming more aware of the world around her, she’s also less willing to accomodate everyone else’s wishes. Most of the time the kids got along great, but we were shocked – SHOCKED – to find out that she has a lot of work to do on learning to share. Taylor really didn’t understand that when we gave a toy to Toby, she would get it back. It made for some interesting exchanges. At first, Toby was just as reluctant to share with Taylor, but after awhile he really came around and was willingly letting her play with the toys. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that Taylor was shrieking and he probably wanted her to be quiet, but the desired end result was achieved – he was sharing! That gave me hope that someday T.J. might learn to share also.

Pics from our visit with Gene and Toby:
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Here’s a riddle for you: In the picture below, there are two fathers, two sons, two brothers, one uncle, one daughter, one niece and one granddaughter…can you find them all?

I love Halloween. I think it’s great to have one day a year when you can get dressed up and eat candy all day. I enjoy the process of coming up with a Halloween costume and I even enjoy putting a costume together, provided that I have the time. This year I knew that we were probably going to go to some Halloween parties, so I wanted Taylor to get dressed up. The problem was that Taylor despises wearing anything on her head and I didn’t want to get her anything that would be really hot and sweaty. That ruled out almost every kids costume on the market. I decided that she would be a fairy. No headwear and I could pick up a costume at the store…so easy! I went out and got a fairy outfit on sale and brought it home with visions of Taylor putting it on and never wanting to take it off. Instead, I brought it home and took it out of the bag and Taylor wouldn’t let it near her. She screamed and pushed it away and no amount of coaxing would convince her to try it on. Not wanting to be one of those stage mothers that force their kids into a costume, I resorted to Plan B. The costume was returned and I bought just a tutu and wings with the thought that maybe she just didn’t want to put something over her head. Wrong again! I have no idea what it was about the fairy idea that she didn’t like, but it was obvious that she was not going to stand for it. On to Plan B, version 2.0. It was clear that whatever she wore was going to have to seem like “normal” clothes, so we decided on Pippi Longstocking (yay for braids!). A couple of dresses and some stockings were sacrificed in order to make a Pippi outfit, but it actually worked out great. By the end of the party, she had undone the braids, but otherwise I don’t think she even noticed that she was wearing a costume and she had fun with her friends.

Halloween treats:

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Week77m (from left to right: Taylor, John-Arthur (chicken), Hannah (giraffe), Madison (nurse), Aiden (monkey), Nolan (panda)