Monday, March 26, 2007

18 Months! 1.5 Years! Not a Baby Anymore!

My friend Kim at work has been giving me a hard time for a couple months now because, as a mother, she sees through my pathetic attempts to prevent Meredith from aging past the baby stage. These attempts include surrounding oneself with pictures of child as infant and outfitting child in nothing but dresses (she looks younger that way).

But at 18 months, one has to face the music. The sad, sad, music. She's not a baby anymore.

Could we petition God for 2 of every year? I think it would be good for parents, and good for kids. Do a year once, figure it out, enjoy it more the second time around. Exclude years 13-17 and you might really have a plan that would benefit all parties. And think how much wiser we would all be...Ah, but I digress. People much smarter than I have asked these questions, and we've still only got one shot at things, as far as I can tell.

So. My TODDLER is one-and-a-half. She is taller and skinnier than last month, losing the belly that her adoring Uncle Matthew said reminded him of that of a catfish. Her adoring Auntie Beth thinks her language skills are impressive, but I'll leave that to Auntie Beth to decide and I will remain the ever neutral observer. Her gran (who is henceforth known by her nickname Keddie, since the hard 'G' in Gran would be difficult for even the most linguisticly advanced child :) thinks she should be able to do whatever she wants -- including getting paraded around in her stroller INSIDE the house.

Mostly her dad and I just think she's precious enough to make terrible days wonderful and wonderful days idyllic. Life with Mer is good. Here's a pic of Mer with her Daddy. We had lunch in Court Square downtown and then Mer pushed her stroller for miles and miles. It was great watching the faces of approaching pedestrians, who saw a moving stroller, but not the toddler who was moving it.

And finally, here's a pic of Meredith and Virginia. The moms really didn't want to be in the picture, but YOU try taking a picture of two toddlers in front of the dogwood and azaleas. No way. You might get a picture of them with the driveway in the backgroud. You might get a picture with the recycling bin in the background. But you'll never get a pic with the blooming trees and bushes in the background. We love you Virginia and Holly and Billy and Henry. We'll come visit you wherever the Navy takes you, even if it's not San Diego (please please please let it be San Diego!).

So happy 18 months, Meredith Jubilee Lareau. So far, so good.

We Love Our Toddlers, Oh Yes We Do

We got to see lots of friends this weekend. We had a date with Walt on Friday and we saw Virginia and Nora on Saturday. Unfortunately, when there are 3 toddlers present, one doesn't really have the opportunity to take pictures, so I didn't capture any of that particular evening's cuteness.

But here's some random toddler fun.

Here's Mer mugging for the camera, which would be funnier if you could see the look-of-death she gave the photographer at her school the other day. The pictures he took are almost bad enough for me to pay money for them, just for laughs. Almost. So you'll just have to imagine. You can try this link to see hilariously bad photos -- but it probably won't work -- fair warning:®istration_required=yes

Here's what any well-trained Midtown baby does when he sees a Harley. Was the ear plugging necessary for the subsequent departures of a scooter and a bicycle? Perhaps not. But I appreciate Walt's sensitivity to loud noises.

Here's what any well trained eater looks like after licking the container of sour cream. Walt pretty much had sour cream for dinner that night. Precious boy.

This is Mer's favorite bath time activity involving her favorite toy category -- any towel-like object. She spreads the washcloths out on top of the water, and then quickly places them under her chin. Sort of like how many people might fold a sheet, or something like that.

It's a really intense process that can go on for 10-15 minutes with no sound other than that of the washcloth slapping the water and her chin slapping her chest. I watched her do this forEVER last night, and just to see what would happen, I started handing her washcloths, sort of serving as her assistant. She didn't break stride or glance up, but did say "da-doo" every time I gave her one...that's Meridese for thank you, so, well, frankly, it was pretty sweet.

And this is the classic toddler look that says, "What I'm doing is perfectly normal and sane. Why in the world are you taking pictures of me?"

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Sights to See

Meredith is exploring her new neighborhood. We haven't gotten far (really just across the street) but we already found a great little bridge that crosses a pond filled with big beautiful goldfish. Since it was the first day of spring, we tried to take some appropriately seasonal pics. Okay, when I say "we" it's possible that I am slightly exaggerating Mer's interest in the process. But her interest in the pond, bridge and fish was very real.

By the way -- posts have been few in number and short in length because of the difficulties inherent in "borrowing" wireless signals from my neighbors. But I have now found a primo spot on the back deck from which to soak up the signals, so I'll try to do better. I promise, we'll get our own signal soon and we'll wait awhile to password protect it, thereby offering other poor souls the opportunity to borrow our signal. Good karma, right?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break Fun

Meredith had a lovely spring break with her Gran and Papa and Aunt Judy and Uncle Paul. Judy and Paul spoiled her with all manner of gardening accoutrement, so here's some pics of the gardening action.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Where is Everybody? (and a grammatical aside)

It's spring break and the Lareaus are seriously out of pocket. Meredith is in Arkansas with Gran, Papa, Aunt Judy and Uncle Paul. This is for two reasons: 1, her school is closed for the break and 2, every girl needs to be intensely spoiled a couple times a year. Chris is in Chattanooga learning how to be an incredible trial lawyer. I'm here in Memphis all alone (don't feel too bad for me) and I can't get Blogger to upload pictures.

And now for the grammar. Arkansas just passed a bill making it proper to show possession by the state using the following method: Arkansas's. This is so wrong. So very wrong. (Check this out -- and any number of other sites -- if you don't believe me.) I love Arkansas -- it's "the natural state." It's a beautiful and much maligned state. But PLEASE folks. How can you go to the trouble to pass a bill and actually make it illegal (in a sense) to use proper grammar? I will protest here and now:

As long as I live, I will question the sense of the lawmakers who made it proper to insult Arkansas' collective intelligence by using Arkansas's own special brand of grammar.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sick and Tired

Meredith, Maggie and Mommy have all been sick and tired of late. Moving is hard, even when Daddy does most of the work. It's also hard to have some sort of tasmanian death virus. It's also hard (speaking for Maggie now) when 2 neighborhood punk dogs beat you up in your own backyard and the vet shaves you half-bald and you're scarred (physically and emotionally, I'm sure) for life.

We're heading for the hills this weekend and plan to be healthy, happy and well rested by next week.