Friday, March 28, 2008 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 46 WEEKS OLD)

T.J., catching a little static in the ball pool:

This past weekend we had our annual Easter Egg Hunt here at the house. It was a gorgeous spring day, the weather was absolutely perfect. We probably had twice the number of kids turn out this year because almost all of the kids from my mom’s group have new little brothers and/or sisters. The hunt went off really well. It was really funny seeing the difference in how the boys seem to approach the activity vs. how the girls did it. The girls pretty much just walked around filling their baskets with eggs, but I noticed that some of the boys actually appeared to stake out their spots next to a tree where there was a heavy concentration of eggs. Another comment that I heard from multiple parents is that their sons either opened each egg to look inside before moving on to the next one or they shook the eggs and chose the heaviest ones. How strategic! It could have been a total coincidence, but I found it interesting. I think my favorite part of the egg hunt was after the kids got all of the eggs and then they sat down on the grass with their parents to check out what was inside them. It was so sweet and touching to see all of the families scattered around the lawn together like they were each having a little Saturday picnic.

I wish I could post all of my Egg hunt pictures here, but there’s just too many, so I’m only posting the shots of Taylor searching for her loot:
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Friday, March 21, 2008 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 45 WEEKS OLD)

This past weekend we drove down to Santa Barbara for Gene’s wedding. It was the longest drive that we’ve taken with Taylor, but she did really well. T.J. and Zach were both in the wedding – she was the flower girl and he was the best man. It was so cute seeing both of them dressed up, along with rest of the wedding party. It was especially sweet to watch Taylor with Toby. They have a really special bond together. Even though they haven’t seen each other in months, they picked up right where they left off, entertaining each other and cracking each other up. Toby was the ring bearer, so he and T.J. walked in the ceremony together. I was pretty certain that one of them would meltdown or bail out of the wedding before they got down the aisle, but they both made it. I think it helped that they were together. After the wedding reception Taylor crashed out before we even got to the car, so we checked out of our hotel early and drove straight home instead of waiting until Sunday. Once again, she was fantastic during the drive.

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I wish I had more pictures of the wedding party, but the ones that I took didn’t turn out well – the sun washed them all out. The photographer took over 1000 pictures, so hopefully he’ll have some better shots than I got. Taylor, on the other hand, took loads of pictures on my iPhone. I have to admit that when I got my phone, I was not sure how much I would really use it, but I use it all the time. I know it sounds cliche, but the phone is really so easy to use that a 2-year old can do it. Almost too well. Taylor discovered the features and she knows how to pull up her favorite videos, she can type on the notepad, she calls people and her latest favorite thing to do is take pictures. She’s actually gotten pretty good because she’s not just randomly snapping photos. She will patiently line up the camera to make sure that she gets her subject in the middle of the frame and she’s taken some surprisingly good shots. I think it helps that people seem to let their guard down when a kid is taking their picture so they seem to be more relaxed. At the rehearsal dinner we asked Taylor what she wanted to eat and she picked up the camera and said, “Let me show you something on your phone.” She opened the photo gallery and pulled up a picture that she’d taken of a plate of pasta that we had at lunch the other day and she said, “I want those noodles.” Yup – she’s an early adopter just like her dad!

Here’s a picture of Taylor showing off a picture that she took of me taking a picture of her (get it?):

Friday, March 14, 2008 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 44 WEEKS OLD)

For the past couple of months, Taylor has been faking being sick whenever it’s convenient for her. If she doesn’t want to go to bed or eat something on her plate she’ll say, “I’m sick!” and then she very convincingly gags for dramatic effect. It’s so alarming and, at first, we would jump up and try to rush her to the nearest restroom. After going through this a few times, we caught on and when she’d claim sick I would calmly reply, “The trash can is right over there if you need to be sick.” It got a little weird when she did it in public, because I could see the looks of horror on other people’s faces when I would react so nonchalantly to my child’s claims of being ill. I was at turns both annoyed and strangely proud that she had managed to concoct such an elaborate scheme to get our attention. Sometimes I would sit her down and explain that if she faked being sick then we wouldn’t know when she was REALLY ill. Well, as it turns out, T.J. got the stomach flu last weekend and I can assure you that there is no mistaking the fake for the real. Poor Taylor just laid on me for two days straight – on the bed, on the couch, in the hammock – she just splayed herself across my chest looking absolutely miserable. We found out that there is a limit to the number of videos that she’ll sit through. She actually got bored with them sooner than I thought she would, which surprised me. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I was beginning to feel like I had been cooped in the house for weeks. Thankfully, T.J. was making a good recovery by then. Since then, there’s been no faking sick yet, so hopefully the experience of being sick cured her of pretending to be sick.

We met a friend at The Village in Corte Madera the other day and they have a great play area with all of these vibrant animals and things to play on. Taylor fell in love with the pelican and even started to get a little territorial with it. If she saw another kid move toward it, she would run and try to jump on first.
Here she is staking out her turf:

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Friday, March 7, 2008 (TAYLOR IS 2 YEARS AND 43 WEEKS OLD)

Last week was miserable with the flu and gloomy weather, but this week was exactly the opposite. It’s been so sunny and so has Taylor. She’s been in the BEST mood and we’ve had so much fun together. She’s been running around all week doling out hugs and kisses to everyone. We’re accepting them all gladly, just grateful to ride the happy wave.

Taylor playing outside. Do you think she likes jumping in the bubbles?
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Sometimes we have to be careful what we introduce to Taylor because if she gets hooked on something she wants to do it all the time. In general it’s best to keep things simple, but I tend to forget this lesson until it’s too late. A while back, we got some Sesame Street dolls (Elmo, Zoe and Ernie) for Taylor. I didn’t really want to get them – they were kind of odd looking but they were only a penny each so we had to buy them. Anyway, they’ve pretty much been sitting in her room gathering dust UNTIL I had the bright idea to have a play date with the stuffed toys, complete with voices. As soon as I did it, I realized that there was no going back and now Taylor wants me to read all of her books while doing the voices of the characters and holding the dolls up. I’d like to think that it’s my amazing imitations that capture her attention, but I do a terrible Ernie, so I don’t think she really cares if I nail the voice down. Still, she insists that I keep doing it. Even though I’m the “puppeteer”, so to speak, I have to admit that my ego feels a slight twinge to think that she prefers a bad Ernie impression to a dead-on mommy impersonation.

Taylor with her “play date” friends: