Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Who does she look like?

I remember thinking as a teenager that I was a total blend of both my parents. There was no way that I could have been adopted, since I had too many traits from both of them. All the time, I have people tell me Dominique looks like me. I think they are trying to be nice. I don't think she looks like either of us. Do you see any resemblance?

Looks don't matter, but it was weird when I used to keep Myka, because her coloring is so similar to mine it was like looking at my own skin. Big Buddy tries to joke that we are related, but people don't realize it is a joke. I could easily pass for his daughter and so the nursing staff often think we are related and my kids are his grandchildren. In fact we were asked today if they were his grandkids. In so many ways, in the most important ways, they are.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Girls are different

I'm not what you would call a girly-girl. I'm not into dresses, or floral or pink. So it may come as somewhat surprising that my daughter is dressed in all the froo-froo. OK, maybe not all of it. We have head band bow things, but they always slip off past her hair. After about twice of putting it back, I give up and put it away. Meanwhile she has about 10 pairs of shoes- some to grow into (I don't think we put Ivan in shoes until he walked), about 15 hats, some of which go with an outfit, a little drawer full of hair clips and another container of hair bows. I think these pants are called capris (spelling???). I don't know if they're popular up North, but they are all the rage here and who else is wearing them but our little 7 month beauty! These flip flops have gotten her plenty of attention, ohhhhs and ahhhhs from the public at large. The first time I put her in them she had 3 compliments in a 30 min. time period.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Little joyous giggles

Dominique loves to watch this video. She cracks up right along with it thereby giving us the laughter in stereo.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Two little swimmers

Today was a perfectly beautiful day. We walked in my favorite park (it has several lakes- or big ponds) and lots of geese and ducks, very friendly, well fed ones as well as a long winding walking path, a couple of kids parks, many bbq pits and baseball diamonds. It was nice to get out in the warm sun and take in the beauty. I had forgotten though that the baby area of the new (since 2004) community built park was destroyed by vandalism (a fire). That was a downer. It's so sad that kids 1) are so bored they resort to destruction or perhaps are trying to impress friends because they don't have good self-worth 2) don't think of others and the joy they are robbing little babies and toddlers from by destroying the city's gift to them.

I also took the twosome swimming together for the first time ever. They had such a blast. This will definitely be an addition to our weekly schedule. Ivan swam more than ever (he had to impress his little sister you know) and Dominique laughed and laughed, splashed and kicked. One of her favorite things is to rock herself and she can do it while sitting in her swimming seat. She does a sort of butterfly kick. It's cute.

I think a tooth is starting to poke through. I recognize the look of a little hole. Maybe we'll have some pearly whites popping up in the next week.

Any signs of spring where you are?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

the best game ever!

Ivan is totally into hide-and-seek these days. Some funny versions:

I was changing Dominique's diaper when Ivan hid in her closet. He yells out "Where Ivan?"
So I ask "under the bed?" To which he replies with excitement: "NO" So I try again: "behind the door?" "ummmmm....yes" I guess he figured the closet door was a type of door. so I added "in the closet?" His triumphant joyous "yes" resounded with the dramatic sliding of the door to reveal the not so cleverly concealed toddler.

Last night, Jenn called and Ivan was on the phone with her when Ivan decided it was time for them to play again. He covered his ears and said "Ivan hide" How clever of him. I mean if you were playing hide-and-seek on the phone how else would you hide but to cover your ears? Then he ran to a wall to count (I guess Jenn was supposed to hide at this point). The part that almost made me cry was when he started looking behind chairs and under the table for his auntie Jenn. It made her seem so very far away. I tried a fast recovery by telling him that auntie was hiding in the phone! Now how clever was that of her? He ran to the phone and followed my guiding by yelling out "I found you!!!" Happily, he was not dismayed by the fact that she didn't leap out of the little phone as we both would have liked. I think he is more hardy than me at times, he just jumped up and down with a face full of delight: "I found you, I found you" on his singing lips.

Here he is in action for you to see.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ivan the Texan

Yep, I hate to admit it, but Ivan has been developing his pronunciation skills at "The Southern Drawl School of Y'alls" Here is a written example of the fine way that this undercover institution has affected local Abilenian advertising. It's very affordable to have a child trained in this art of speaking. They just have to listen and mimic, no entrance fee, just mockery for the rest of their days from the populace at large. Perhaps some will call it charming. We can hope for the best. I am very thankful however that his drawl is not accompanied by the annoying high pitch squeal voice that some poor Texans seem to have inherited or developed for all of our detriment. Accents are funny. No one thinks they have one. It's everyone else that sounds funny.

What is your favorite accent?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

a little under the weather

So does anyone know where that expression comes from? Dominique is running her first fever tonight. She's been more congested than usual the last couple of days, but congestion is pretty normal in Abilene and even I've been a little stuffed up some mornings, so I know there has been something in the air. Last night she felt warm, but tonight she was hot. She's getting a cool bath now and had some ibuprofen earlier. I hate for anyone to feel sick, but in some ways with babies it's worse because they are so helpless and can't tell us what she feels. In some ways it's better because she has the luxuries of nursing more, getting more cuddles and sleeps. I hope she sleeps well tonight.

Ivan has developed a cute ritual. When I come in the door from somewhere, he runs over to me and asks: "how was swimming? have fun?" or "how was Mary? have fun?" It makes him seem so grown up. I can understand a lot of what he says which is getting more and more interesting as days go by, but apparently I'm only one of two people who can decipher his lingo because he'll say something I thought was clear as day and everyone else will be going HUH?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the Dominique funnies

Another funny vegetable episode occurred just this evening. Ivan was having troubles eating his one measly stick of asparagus, so I compromised and offered him green peas. He was trying to get them down so that he could have his desert of crepes, apples and ice cream which sat there just past his bowl of green goods tantalizing him. Since it was taking about 30 minutes for him to eat his generous helping of green peas, I let him cover them in ketchup (which is another vegetable in our books). When he finished them quite happily, I jokingly asked if he wanted more. To my surprise, he said yes! I asked him about 3 more times and he kept saying he wanted more green peas, all the while that ice cream desert was just sitting there melting. So he ate another helping of peas and then moved on to desert!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1st Valentine

She's only 7 months old and has already wiggled her way into someone's heart. Actually a lot of someones, but I think it's sweet that her first roses and valentine are from her daddy.

Ivan saw his card and gift of m'n'ms from his daddy and started singing a never ending refrain of "happy birthday to me" all day. He even recorded it as a memo on the answering machine (I don't think it was done on purpose, and no, I didn't know you could record memos to self until Ivan came along). We kept telling him it was Valentine's Day and talked about love. Then I lit candles with our meal and that sealed it in his mind, it was definitely a birthday. He said: "blow?" (reffering to the candles), ate half his meal and said "cake?" Gotta love them! However he did manage to eat AND SWALLOW all his meal AND VEGETABLES with the tantalizing promise of ice cream on it's way.

Happy Valentine's day to all of you with lots of hugs and kisses. Did you do anything special?

Monday, February 12, 2007

the Ivan funnies revisited

I think this is fixed now! To those of you who tried watching before, try, try again. To those of you who think this post is perfect, ignorance can be bliss ;)

I love our digital camera, taking pictures and making movies. So does Ivan. Sometimes I wonder if he loves it too much. Of course, throughout the day we take pics or make video. Immediately Ivan wants to see it on the camera screen. He also wants to watch our home videos on the computer- all day long if I'd let him. I guess the positive is that our home videos are interesting to someone. The negative is that I'm afraid his head will swell to gigantic proportions. He has most of the videos memorized. I caught him replaying a video of him from about a year ago.


I guess theatrical performances where he recreates himself is a talent in and of itself. He's also been memorizing the books I've read ad nauseam. It's all worth it now though. He can read them now himself. Tonight I read about 5 books and he read 3. It is so cute because he can't say most of the words properly yet, but I can totally tell he got the gist of each page. I'll have to get a video of it!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

not a twenty-something

I was trying to teach Ivan how to do a somersault. I said WAS. I discovered I'm not a twenty-something anymore. I helped him through the motions, then tried to show by example (sounds like a good mommy thing to do). I got in position and tucked my head under- and let me tell you- it was scary stuff. There is a lot of me to roll over myself. But I irresponsibly pushed aside my fear, since I felt I was already committed being in position and all. I don't remember somersaults hurting. This one did. I rolled all right, narrowly missing Dominique's swing and a side table. Immediately, my neck and head hurt as well as my left thigh. Several hours later, my neck feels like it does when it has a crick in it and my thigh feels like I'm giving it a good stretch- only I'm not so sure it's all good. I told my elderly neighbor what I had done and at least he got a good laugh out of it. He told me that I'm to old to do stuff like that- thanks for the info. I know that now! And to think I was showing some other kids how to do cartwheels the other summer. Ivan may just have to learn all that on his own- or I could get some twenty-something over here.

A more tranquil moment between the sane parent and our non-walking, non-crawling, just calmly sitting daughter.

Our total live wire doing his best impression of a rock star.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not yet Dominique

Watch out Luke Skywalker- here comes Mimi! Dominique is trying to speed through developmental stages to keep up with her brother. I guess that's part of being 2nd in birth order. Meanwhile Ivan is calling her Dominique while I still hold on to "mimi", I guess that is part of being a mom. We were not going to do knick names. Maybe I will grow out of it.

Ivan was trying to finagle his way into eating some chocolate. His methods were twofold: screaming and whining. Dominique started in too and then the funniest thing happened. Ivan yelled at Dominique: "No Dominique, Ivan!" What he meant was that it wasn't her turn to scream and cry, that he was in the middle of trying his own "charm" out on momma and she was interrupting.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's this?

It's been difficult to dress for weather here. I mean, I'm not complaining. I know there are places where it's unbearably cold (hats off, I mean tuques on to my Canadian friends and family). Yesterday Dominique wore 3 outfits. She started in a warm outfit since we had planned a walk at the park and the mornings are cool. She spilled her sippy cup of juice all over it and got a slightly warmer outfit since we had scrapped the park plans and it was now mid-morning and much warmer. By afternoon, it was in the twenties Celcius (70ies F) and we were hot with the sun on us, so she got to wear this for the first time!

Ivan had a funny reaction to his shorts. As I was putting them on he cried out: "What's this?", then as I pulled them up, he exclaimed: "legs!" I guess he doesn't remember last summer or at least now wants the vocabulary for it.

Dominique has been sleeping at night and not at all in the day (ok, maybe 2 little catnaps- 20 or 30 minutes). I looked over to see this tonight as I was putting up the food. Sweet girl ;)

Here is my latest stroke of creative insanity. I don't know why I get these ideas, but I had some wood set aside to make Ivan a play Chapman Stick, Brian's main instrument. I have been procrastinating on it, but the other day he was walking around with his vacuum across his chest saying: "play stick!" I knew it was time to get him something a little more accommodating. I was quite horrified to see on the Stick web site that they had stolen my idea in advance and are already making little versions of the stick. It's the alto stick, but mine came a lot cheaper- although it doesn't work. It does make some sound, which I was pleasantly surprised to discover, but nothing in tune and it can't amplify.

I am also excited to declare that no one was injured in the production of our stick, certainly no animals, but I have sore callused hands, a 2 week dirty floor and Ivan got super glue on his hands today. It was quite traumatic for him. I am very thankful to the small voice that told me to notice the liquid on the table and bottle in his hands so that I could rush him to the sink for water and soap before his fingers glued together. He has a little residue now, a potent reminder that obedience is better than to pay the consequences. If only every lesson were so pain-free.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ivan's alphabet

Ivan is learning the alphabet. I like his version. If you listen well, you'll notice that our good friend Shayshay is also a letter. Sometimes he gets T-U-V mixed up with A-B-C making him start all over again. Once he restarts, he doesn't know how to exit or end the looping. "Next time won't you sing with me" has morphed into "no more next week".

One time I started saying the letters one at a time; letting him say every other one. He thinks Chai is a letter (say the alphabet and see if you can figure out which one is in all actuality Chai). Then try saying the alphabet fast with no slurring, as that letter really is. I bet you can't do it. I couldn't. Well I think I'll go have some tea now- ha, ha ;)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

totally organic

Here Dominique looked so grown up riding a hippo toy. Today Brian took her on a wagon ride and she could sit in it all by herself.

Ivan is discovering the tools of being older. I was working on something in the backyard while the kids "played". I heard Ivan say: "taste it" and thought that was funny because I hadn't brought food outside. I looked to see that he had a fist full of mud. Immediately I looked over his face, but no signs of mud. Then, apprehensively, I looked at Dominique and saw little flecks of mud on her chin. Hoping that was all, I swiped her mouth and to my horror, found some mud and grass on her tongue. Ivan kept saying: "taste it". I asked if he wanted to "taste it", he said: "no, Dominique taste it". I told him that wasn't nice (although really, Dominique didn't seem to mind, she wasn't crying or anything. I know we have started her on some more solid food and she hasn't rejected anything- but mud!!! Maybe she has no taste buds).

What's the worst thing you have eaten? I've had dog food- have you? and I had a bush rat's head (cooked) in Benin, Africa. My neighbor was teasing me because I won't try his pigs feet. I told him I will next time, but to my taste bud's delight, he hasn't been in a cooking mood.

Friday, February 02, 2007


It is ever so much fun to watch as Ivan's imagination grows and flourishes. He likes to recount stories we have read and sometimes it takes me a while to figure out where all his expressions come from. He has been saying: "see you next week" for a while now and it only dawned on me as I was reading one of our books that that is where he got it from. He makes up conversations with people he loves.

The other day, he was knocking on a cupboard and inviting "franklin" to come play (a character from a video he has). My favorite conversation he has been reciting of late goes like this: "don't throw things" "ho-hey".

Dad always said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Well, we are constantly flattered. The IRONY is that I don't iron, but the two males of our household do.

I like the picture with Ivan on his bike. He looks like a harley rider eh? I took it through the screen and window from the kitchen with the zoom. He had no idea. That is fun, but rare. Our camera makes a sound when it comes on and our dear son starts to pose or look for it when he hears the telltale noise.

I love to do pictures in the mirror too. What is better than one Dominique? Two Dominiques! Actually I'm glad she's the only one, she was up most the night last night and about to drive us both nuts!

What was your favorite imagination play as a kid? I loved making roads for our cars in the sandbox, making sculptures out of snowballs and playing house with barbies. My siblings and I are famous (ok, in our close circle of relatives- famous) for doing skits. Maybe our kids will carry on the tradition.