Saturday, December 30, 2006

15 Months!

What hath 15 months wrought? Will power! Opinions! Words! And our first temper tantrum.

Meredith is more tuned in to her world than ever before. The other day I was asking Chris why our daughter was constantly barking when there was no dog to be be seen. I promptly realized that there was, in fact, a picture of a dog on the open magazine on the table near Mer. Earlier today a few of us asked why silly Mer was pointing at the sky. About 20 seconds later, we too could hear the airplane that had caused her to point. So, yeah, she's tuned in. It must be exhausting.

Speaking of exhausting: Yesterday morning we embarked upon one of our much-loved early morning So-Cal walks. It's fun to be on Memphis time and wake up long before most sane people. It's fun to have paradise to ourselves and watch the sun come up over the mountains. It's fun, that is, until Meridy decides that neither riding in nor pushing the stroller will do. Neither will riding on shoulders, or walking. We're not sure what WOULD have worked, but we do know that the peaceful, still sleeping golf course was awakened that morning by the blood curdling screams of our own precious offspring. Sorry, dear Indian Wells retirees. Unfortunately, at the point of the meltdown, we were quite a long way from home. So we had a sort of tantrum parade and spread the joy throughout the neighborhood. Needless to say, naptime came early to Mer that day.

The innocents embarking upon a seemingly harmless journey.

Tantrum in full swing.

Tantrums can be cured with donuts. I'm sure it works for adults as well.

Mer has lots of words now. Shoes, dog, kitty, please, thank you, bottle, apple, boom (after falling), down, sit down, get down (you get the picture). She also has lots of signs and uses please, more and thank you very frequently. She also seems to have figured out her own way to indicate pain: she points at her poor little molar infested cheek and says "oosh." It's pretty effective communication.

She hugs on command -- and sometimes of her own free will. That's pretty wonderful. I took her to work one day before the holiday and in the madness of the rush to close up my office and deal with loose ends while also carrying her on my hip so that she wouldn't hurt herself or anyone else, she suddenly put both arms around my neck and sort of patted me and said "hmmmmmm." Perfect timing.

Christmas was a joy and she's getting a big kick out of all the wonderful toys she received. Of course an empty gift bag is still the biggest thrill -- and a an empty water bottle with a cap to put on and take off is nirvana itself. And that's as it should be, and certainly affordable fun.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas High Jinks

Before leaving Memphis, Mer experienced some true Christmas gluttony. I came home from an errand to find this scene. I turned to Chris, thinking "Why the heck did you let her have a cookie?" -- his response to my as yet unspoken question was "I couldn't tell which one she wanted." So you let her have ALL of them? That's what dads are for...

Here's Mer opening her stocking in Memphis. It was full of wonderful things that Santa thought she might enjoy on the plane to Cali. Santa is a GENIUS.

Here's most of the Cali gang. It was a wonderful Christmas dinner, and Mer sat right up at the table and had a grand time. We were missing Chris' mom and sister, who were delayed by Denver snow. Everyone is here now -- though some are not sure they'll make it BACK to CO on time!

Meredith has taken to gnawing on whole apples. It's kind of cute. Except when she spits out the skin.

This is one of many reasons that I love to visit California.

Mer and Mom on the beach in Carlsbad. We visited the Winkelmans and took a short drive on the PCH. Beautiful.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too Much Fun

Anybody out there with me on this? The last couple weeks have been fun, but frankly, I've had enough of fun. I'm ready for boring. I'm ready for not-a-thing-to-do Friday nights and sitting around Saturdays. Bring 'em on.

But in the mean time, Friday night was a lovely Christmas party at Chris' sister Beth's great apartment on Madison. Saturday was a wonderful dinner party at the Huddleston's. Sunday was Robert's belated and Taurean's on-time birthday celebration at Laser Quest. All of it was wonderful, and we're blessed to have so many precious folks in our lives.

The grownups got to actually act like grownups at the Huddlestons! Holly's younger sister Amanda watched the kids, along with her sweet boyfriend Anton, who changed his first diaper that night. Awwww. Virginia and Meredith practiced their teamwork skills.

Nora practiced her being-cute skills. She's pretty much got it down.

Here's Chris and me, pretending to be grownups.

Here are the boys and me outside the Laser Quest place. I was making a mad dash for it cause Meredith was wild with the pain of her emerging molars. The boys were being their usual precious selves and helping me get everything in the car. Two days later, she's still wild with pain. At least from 11pm to 6am.

God bless us, every one.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hey Kids

Hey Kids,

This is what you'll look like if your mom puts your hat on backwards. It's hard to use your peripheral vision when you have this kind of hat on backwards. I got a little frustrated. But it might not be her fault. She might be directionally challenged. She might have had trouble with things like this all her life. She might not have even realized it was on backwards and she might have been beating herself up for buying a hat without making me try it on first, thinking it was just too small.

Poor Mom. Poor me. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday Morning

It was a rough Sunday morning for little Meridy. She got kicked out of Sunday School. Yup. I don't think this bodes well for the future.

Kidding, kidding. She got the boot cause she had a cold. Apparently, sometime during your average Church of Christ worship, this cold went from a Stage 1, perfectly harmless, sort of cold, to a Stage 87, death-by-cold sort of cold. So she was vanquished.

Shoot. Those kids would be lucky to have Mer's germs.

Again, kidding. Hope your holiday season is both merry AND bright, thus far.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Merrrrrry Christmas! The boys helped us put the Christmas tree up again this year. We took a somewhat different decorative route than in years past, choosing the safer option of tying bows directly to the tree. That craziness of tiny hooks which allow the ornament to simply hang from the branch doesn't work with toddlers. Or, at least, my life will be easier if I don't try to make it work. Anyway, here's the annual Christmas pic of the whole gang.

We made Christmas cupcakes that night and, in the spirit of holiday giving, allowed Meridy to tear into her very own cupcake. She was happy to oblige, with much encouragement from the boys.

After decorating the tree, the hubby and I hit the road for a quick trip to Cali for the 80th birthday of Chris' dear Grandma Poo. My parents were kind enough to come to our house and keep Mer, so Chris and I enjoyed peaceful flights involving lots of sleeping and reading...just like the old days. Thanks, Gran and Papa. And Happy Birthday, Poo. We love you all!