Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A post about my favorite person under three feet tall

Jared is officially a one and a half year old as of yesterday.  When you ask him how old he is, he says, "Wah."  This is exciting because it took us several days to persuade him that he isn't two (his favorite number).  He loves to mimic sounds and try new words.  A couple of his recent favorites, which he shouts at random, are macaroni, "mamamoni," and resurrection, "rarararah."
Jared is usually enthusiastic about everything he does, but his favorite activities are rides of all kinds, baths, plunking on pianos, carrying keys around, pretending to be a cat, and being read to. He has recently started to be equally unenthusiastic about things he does not want to do, but he can usually be persuaded to follow the example of his stuffed dog, Rufus, or to avoid a time out.

Jared is normally a very cautious boy.  He doesn't usually climb onto things higher than his knees, and then only after he has studied his climb very carefully.  He often spends a half hour at the park climbing up and down stairs without ever venturing near a slide.  One of his favorite expressions is, "Almost!"  Which he starts to say before he even tries to go up a step or climb onto our couch.  His other two favorite expressions are "don't fall!" and "help me please."  It can be frustrating when an eight inch high step becomes an insurmountable obstacle for him, but normally I am content that he isn't going to be flinging himself headlong into danger.  Sometimes, though, even the most careful child has an accident.
On Friday I set Jared on my bed while I was making it. I opened the blinds so that he could look out the window.  He stood up, giggling, to bounce on the bed.  He wasn't near an edge, so I kept making the bed, satisfied that I could catch him if he fell off.  Suddenly, he lost his balance, fell forward, and caught himself on the windowsill with the bridge of his nose.  His nose immediately swelled to twice its original size while I frantically tried to hold him still to put ice on it.  I'm not normally a parent to panic, but this looked horrendous. I called my mom, who tried to improve matters with descriptions of blood clots in the head, concussions, and broken noses that don't start to bleed for three days.  I called my doctor, who was much more helpful.  He promised that if Jared could breathe and wasn't acting lethargic there was no cause for alarm.  Sure enough, Jared was nearly back to his silly self within an hour. He had this sweet black eye/ bruised nose to be preserved forever in the family pictures we had scheduled for Friday evening.
By now the bruise has darkened, making Jared look like a raccoon.  While the bruise doesn't hurt anymore, Jared preserves a perfect memory of this traumatizing incident.  On Sunday morning he climbed into bed with Daddy to wake him up and performed a complete reenactment with his stuffed dog, ending with pointing at his nose and pronouncing a solemn, "Ow."

Today we went to the doctor's office for two shots and an 18 month checkup.  Our doctor said that Jared's nose is healing just fine, so you can stop calling back with more scary stories, Mom.  Jared now weighs 27 lbs. 10 oz. (75th percentile), is 31 inches tall (25th percentile), and has a head circumference of 50 cm (95th percentile).  He took his shots like a champ, without even giving me the looks reserved for betrayers.  Happy half birthday, Jared!  Now stop growing up so fast.

I know half birthdays stop being a big deal at some point, but when six months represents a third of your life, it seems like there should be a celebration.  We celebrated the half birthday and Todd's day off for President's Day with a walk to a nearby piano gallery and lunch out.  Jared was in "pappo" heaven until the time came for us to leave.  We were all sad to go, but Jared was more expressive than the rest of us.  Love those moments. Happily, Todd ordered me a piano as a present, so we will have a pappo of our very own in a week!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ride!

One of Jared's new favorite words, to the dismay of his exhausted parents, is "ride!"  He likes to ride in the car, on his scooter, on our shoulders, in the stroller, in our arms, on our knees when we are sitting, and on his potty.

Last weekend, before the torrential rains of this week, we decided to indulge Jared's demands for a ride by finally breaking in Todd's birthday present and taking Jared for a bike ride along the bayshore trail.
I think that Jared is adorable in his little helmet.  Todd looks kind of sinister squinting into the sun.
Jared loved the ride.  He yelled "wheeeeeeeeeee!" and pushed on Daddy to make him go faster.  The weather was cool and sunny; perfect for a bike ride from Ryder Park to Coyote Point and back.

When we got back to the park, we broke out Jared's new hat and turned him loose on the playground.  Of course he mostly just wanted to play with Daddy.
All of the hard work of riding and playing gave Jared a big appetite. . .
. . . and wore him out for an early nap.
All of this excitement made Jared more enthusiastic about rides.  We didn't get a break from the rain all week, but he imitated his bike ride by putting on a "helmet" (plastic construction hat) and riding on his scooter with his stuffed friend Rufus.
We all hope that the sun comes out soon so we can take our bikes out again.  We only have a few weeks left before little sister arrives to change everything.  Stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Goodbye Again, Tucson

A couple of days before we left Tucson, partly as a result of the monster storm sweeping North America, Southwest Gas was unable to maintain the pressure in gas lines running to Tucson.  This little glitch left 14,000 gas customers in Tucson without any gas.  That's fine, you're thinking, Tucson is warm, right?  Wrong.  At the exact time that much of Tucson was without heat, and arctic chill swept in with record breaking cold temperatures.  A couple of days didn't get above freezing.  Grandma and Grandpa's house wasn't affected, but Colette and Jacob and all of their neighbors were taking cold showers and huddling around space heaters for a few days.  Emergency shelters were actually opened for people who have homes.  In a classic case of Tucsonans don't do freezing, the citywide crisis was compounded by broken water lines all over the city.
Whenever we visit Tucson in the winter I find myself thinking, "I could move back here."  I forget for a minute that nine months out of the year are intolerably hot.  And then a portion of the infrastructure collapses on the eve of a city emergency and I am happy to escape Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged world and go home.

On February 5, Todd's last morning in Tucson (Jared and I flew home the following day), Dan and Katie came over to say goodbye.  Jared and Landon played together, sort of.
We really miss our Tucson friends.  A little bit of the fun of having babies one day apart is lost when we only see Dan and Katie a couple of times a year. Our next babies are due ten days apart, so Katie and I have agreed to have them together again.
Dan at least was sad to see us go.

After we took Todd to the airport, we spent the afternoon at Colette and Jacob's recently reheated house.   Jared and Rachel had tons of fun playing together in Tucson.  Jared still asks for Rachel.
  He also associates all baby things with baby Annie.

We had a great visit to Tucson.  We were sad to leave behind our family and friends, but we hope to see all of you soon.  For anyone who is wondering, Grandma is still recovering miraculously.  As of last week, Grandma is walking again without even using a walker!  You are amazing, Grandma.  We love you!

More Fun at Namma and Bampa's

After a long stay with Grandma and Grandpa Knight, they were probably starting to get a little tired of us.  They would never say so, but a busy toddler can be exhausting to a completely healthy adult, so we know that Jared was tiring for grandparents in less than perfect health.  We decided to give them a few opportunities to rest without us hanging around.
On January 24, Todd and his buddies, Lashley, Dan, and Bud, went to see Guster performing at the Rialto theater in Tucson.  I instructed Todd to take pictures, but apparently concert lighting doesn't make fantastic pictures, so this is what I got: 
Head banging?
While Todd was partying, Jared and I met up with Lashley and Dan's wives at Dan and Katie's house, where Tania gave Jared a great haircut.  I showed up grumbling about the boys having all of the fun without us, but the nicer wives decided to make treats for their husbands to enjoy after the concert.  Sorry Todd.  I'm glad you had a great time.  Really.
On January 25, Jared and I went with Colette, Rachel, and baby Annie to the Children's Museum of Tucson.  Jared had a great time playing with all of the different hands on exhibits.  He had such a great time that I only got about two pictures of him standing still.  For more pictures, check out Colette's blog.  Highlights of the trip for Jared were popping bubbles, watching the electric train run around the ceiling in the train room, playing with the animals in the veterinary exhibit, throwing plastic peaches in the food exhibit ("Ball!"), and the phone and the gazillion buttons to be pushed in the submarine.  
After bubble popping there was a craft, which Jared had zero interest in.  The craft was stringing beads onto a wire to make bracelets.  Jared was really bothered by all of the beads being spread around and spent the whole craft time trying to pick up all of the beads and put them back in a little cup.  
I, for one, like that he is into cleaning up.  Who needs more foam jewelry anyway?  Thanks for taking us to the Children's Museum, Colette!  This is a great place for a morning with toddlers.

Jared and I had a great time at the therapy pool with Grandma.  Jared LOVED the water.  When he discovered that the pool had support bars all of the way around the edge he insisted on hanging onto the bar himself and refused to be held.  He spent almost our whole time at the pool giggling, and didn't even mind putting his face in the water.  Needless to say, this new fearlessness had me on my guard constantly, resulting in no pictures of the little swimmer.
Swimming with Grandma wasn't the only way Jared helped her rehabilitate.  He requested rides in the wheelchair almost every time Grandma was in it, and tried to commandeer her "hopper" whether she was using it or not.
There is a special place in Jared's heart for his bampa.  It is associated with coke flavored ice cubes, turning on ceiling fans ("Whirl! Whirl!"), eating lemon yogurt, bubbles in the bath, and being pulled around the house on a towel.  Jared spent every possible moment following Grandpa around.
Grandpa claimed to love every minute of it.  I can see how being awakened from a nap twelve times by a little knock on the door and a very persistent voice calling, "Bampa? Bampa! Fan!" could get annoying.  Maybe I will have more patience when I am a grandparent.  After all of that, Grandpa was still volunteering to change diapers and give baths.  My hero!
Here are the conspirators rolling coins down a tube into a metal bowl.  Jared is a sucker for ringing noises.
And here is a picture of Grandpa bringing Jared a pillow so he will be more comfortable on his potty.
Jared discovered this potty at Grandma and Grandpa's house and got very interested in it.  He spent many hours sitting on it, carrying it around, scooting around on it, pulling the inside out, and talking about the "poppy."  Colette brought over some of Rachel's potty training books, which Jared proceeded to memorize.  One of Jared's favorite games involved him sitting on the potty, which Grandpa put on a blanket or towel and pulled around the house.  Jared's interest in potties extended to seeing how various things float in the big potty, and led to a rediscovery of flushing ("Whirl! Whirl!").  It was an exciting trip.