Friday, November 30, 2007 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 29 WEEKS OLD)

I love this picture that my brother Pete took of Taylor a few months ago. (She was in hair and make-up for 2 hours…what a diva!):
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C.R. came to visit last week and Taylor was SO excited to see her. She loved having another person around to play with her and read stories. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s house. T.J. was running around like crazy for two days straight and after C.R. left, she crashed. Hamming it up is exhausting!

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Taylor has been waking up earlier and earlier these days and wanting to play in the pre-dawn hours. It’s normal for her to wake up around 6:00 a.m., but when she started getting up in the 5:00 hour and coming into our bed, we decided we had to teach her a lesson about appropriate wake-up times so that we could rest a little longer. First, we showed her the digital clock in our room and explained that when the first digit read “7” it was time to wake up. It took a couple of times for her to understand, so at first she would peek over my shoulder at the clock and call out, “Look…a seven!” and we would have to explain that it was actually 6:27 and the seven had to be the FIRST number on the clock. Then Zach went out and bought Taylor the biggest wall clock he could find and put it up on her wall. She really likes her clock and she got the concept of telling time pretty quickly. Now she comes into our bed in the morning and looks over my shoulder at the clock to see if it’s 7:00 yet. When she sees that it’s not, she’ll say, “I’m going to my room to see if the little hand is pointing to 7 yet, mommy”. Then she’ll go into her room and yell out, “Mom! It not seven yet! It not time to wake up!” This goes on for the entire hour before the clock FINALLY strikes 7 a.m. Once it does, T.J. comes running into our room to announce, “Mom! Mom! The hand is pointing to seven! It’s Sesame Street time!” As if we didn’t already know.

Taylor with her new clock:
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Friday, November 23, 2007 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 28 WEEKS OLD)

Taylor turned two and a half a couple of weeks ago and it seems that everything has changed since then. We’re re-inventing the rules because all of the rules that worked before don’t seem to work anymore. She doesn’t want to sleep at all anymore, so we’ve had to find new and creative ways of getting her into bed. Naps are all but extinct these days, although she’s often exhausted in the afternoons. We’ve also had some groundbreaking, record-setting tantrums, which are probably the result of the lack of naps. She also is wanting us to be in the room with her more while she’s playing, so whereas before we could cook dinner for 1/2 hour while she played, that’s getting harder and harder to do now. We’re just trying to keep a sense of humor about it and assuring ourselves that all of this is just a stage and it will pass…until she turns 13.

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On a positive note, most of the time T.J. is still pretty upbeat and silly. There’s a lot of goofing around and playtime. She LOVES playing with play-doh and making up songs and reading books. This is one of her favorite activities these days…going to the bookstore, finding a book and plopping herself down on the carpet (I know, ewwww) to read a story:

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Friday, November 16, 2007 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 27 WEEKS OLD)

Last weekend, we decided to take Taylor into San Francisco to see an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. When we got there Oracle was setting up for their big conference and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that they had paid for free admission to all of the surrounding museums as well as the merry-go-round in Yerba Buena Gardens. We couldn’t resist taking a ride on the carousel. Thanks, Oracle!

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Zach and I made a huge rookie move that we’re paying for now. We’ve been letting Taylor watch Monsters, Inc. and Taylor loves it, but it’s apparently had a bit of a negative side effect. I was noticing that over the past few days she’s appeared to be scared of her room and getting her to go to bed has been increasingly difficult. Last night she told us that she’s scared of the closet. We gave her a bottle of “ScareAway spray” (ahem, water) and had her spray it in the closet to see if that would help. It got her to sleep, but I realize that we could have a problem brewing here. We’ll have to be more careful about what she watches from now on.

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This morning, when Taylor woke up, she kept asking to see the orange and blue outside. I thought she was talking about Play-Doh until she said that they were in the sky and I realized that she meant the sunrise. It was only about 6:30, so we went and watched the sun rise over Mt. Diablo. Of course sunrises are beautiful on their own, but it was especially magical watching it with T.J., who would yell, “Ooooooohhh….look at the pink!!” and “Hey, I see brown!” What a way to wake up.

Friday, November 9, 2007 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 26 WEEKS OLD)

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Last weekend we found ourselves back in Arizona for a visit with Gene and Linda and Toby. The kids did really well together for the most part – they had their normal minor disagreements, but overall they managed to get along. Whenever we visit with Toby, we get a glimpse into what Taylor’s behavior might be like soon. Since he’s a year older, I feel like we’re getting a sneak peek into what to expect in the future. Last year I was marveling at his sense of imagination. He would pretend that he was in the water all the time. Now Taylor’s doing the same thing. She stands on the couch and says she’s in the water. Toby also had an imaginary friend named “Bobby” and Taylor has recently started talking about her “best friend” named Candy who is a “boy kid” according to Taylor. Anyway, Toby is now completely and totally obsessed with the Power Rangers. He pretends that he is Nick the Red Power Ranger (except he says it all as one word: “I’m Nicktheredpowerranger!”). He insisted that we call him Nick the entire weekend. You gotta’ admire his passion and persistence.

Toby/Nick the Red Power Ranger:
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We haven’t exposed Taylor to much TV or movies yet. Granted, she watches Sesame Street almost every day, but so far that’s been pretty much it for her. It’s not because we’re totally opposed to TV, more because she’s been content with Elmo and Big Bird and the gang so why rock the boat. It feels safe and somewhat educational. Last week, that all changed when Zach brought home the movie Monster’s Inc.. We love that movie and so we let T.J. watch it with us and now she’s totally hooked. We’ve seen it every day since then and Taylor just doesn’t get sick of it! It was really nice to have it on our trip in Arizona because it kept her interested for most of the flight. Thank goodness for DVD’s!

After we got back from Arizona, we went out to dinner with some friends – Mitzi, Craig and their daughter Carrie, who is going to UC Berkeley. We met up with them at a restaurant in Berkeley and when we got there T.J. was so shy. She buried her head in my shoulder and wouldn’t look at anyone, including Zach. They were so sweet to have brought Taylor a present…three teddy bears in different colors. That warmed Taylor up pretty quickly and she flipped the switch from acting shy to being a total ham in just a few moments. The rest of the evening she spent giving out hugs and kisses, laughing, shrieking and dancing on her chair. It was the first time that Mitzi and Craig had met Taylor and I’m sure they were wondering what we’ve been putting in her sippy cup (it was only milk, I promise!) We had a really nice dinner and Mitzi and Craig raised two really great kids, so I’m hoping that some of their good parenting mojo rubbed off on us during the evening.