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From Family 2010

This last month has been a lot of fun. Sophie has been recovering superbly from her surgery, and her excitement, energy, laughter and happiness have contributed significantly to the spirit in our home.

Last week we flew out and spent a week with my parents in Arizona. They also enjoyed her random giggles, overpowering cuteness, and comical chatter. I know, you’re jealous. It’s OK. You should be. She’s cute. As a consolation prize for taking the time to read this post, I’ve added two super-cute videos of her on our YouTube channel.

Now, there are only six photos in it for now (and most of the good ones are embedded here), but I’ve started a new family album for the year 2010. I figure that some of you may be using dial-up, and a page with over 100 photos probably loads too slowly to be of use to you. So, I will do a new album every year to prevent them from getting so large.

How the Kids Are

Micah

I just have to say, Micah actually started a sentence like this today: “I can’t believe you’re forcing me to…” Now, it doesn’t matter what followed (the fact is, he was being asked to do something extremely lenient and easy, with a follow-up option to do something he really wanted to do). I just can’t believe (to use his words) that he’s talking that way to his mother.

In other Micah news, his jumping on our couch has finally paid off, and the whole thing collapsed yesterday. I managed to mash it back together for now, and once I’m feeling a bit better I’m going to wrap the broken areas up with a healthy dose of duct tape to hold it together until tax return season buys us some new furniture. We kept telling him that if he wasn’t gentle with the couch it would break one day. He must not have believed us, because when he saw that it broke, his face was hilarious. I wish I had the camera out then.

Micah dropped his jaw two times yesterday, in fact.  Later that evening he was in a bit of trouble and was being very rude (angry faces and all) to his mother and father. I carried the book we are reading at night into his room hoping his attitude had changed so I could read to him, but I was met by an angry troll face curled up in the corner of his room. So, I turned around to leave. He yelled something at me (it seems he wanted to talk about it), and it came up that he feels like his memory isn’t good enough to remember the few simple things we ask of him every day. So, I reached into his bookshelf and pulled out one of his favorite new books – a Pokemon reference book with over two hundred different pokemon in it. He’s got almost the whole thing memorized. I held it up and said, “I’ll bet you can tell me which Pokemon is number 150 in this book, but you’re telling me your memory isn’t very good?”

His eyes nearly fell out of his head and his jaw was jammed open for a moment. He was stunned into silence. Victory! I feel bad, because I used to use the same “I forget – my memory isn’t very good” argument with my parents, and I don’t remember them ever winning such a stunningly brilliant victory against me in that department. The moment was almost too perfect, and perhaps his feelings of defeat in the memory department are the driving force behind his rebellious statement this morning (“I can’t believe you’re forcing me to…”).

Either way, he seems to have realized the error of his ways from the two incidents yesterday, and it showed in his behavior a bit today. When he learns a lesson, he learns it well.

In completely unrelated news, it turns out Micah has a photographic curse. I just can’t get good photos of him. I try, I really do. He and Sophie could be right next to each other, doing exactly the same thing, and the photo of Sophie will invariably come out hundreds of times better than the photo of Micah.

Case in point: Take a second to scroll up to the top photo of Sophie playing on the rope web. Good, now look at this photo of Micah on the exact same web, from the same vantage point, at the exact same moment in the exact same lighting (no shadow caused the problem, I promise).

From Family 2010

I promise I didn’t alter either image in Photoshop or any other image editing software. Both photos were uploaded directly from the camera. It’s sad, isn’t it? I take a lot of photos of Micah, but as soon as he realizes he’s in the lens, he goes bonkers, and even if I get a decently lit and framed photo of him, I can’t post it. Either he’s blurred from moving too fast while going crazy, or his face is a grotesque mutation of the truth. So, from now on I’ll just post the photos of him that I get, even though I rarely get anything that I’m happy with for him.

Sophie

Sophie is cute. She has begun a real rambling streak, and we all love it. It can happen during play, during meal times, or whenever else she feels like it. She just starts “talking.” It sounds like talking, but it’s the most varied, random collection of fun noises and sounds that I’ve ever heard. It closely resembles what I once heard from a child (who is her age, but this was a year ago or so) who listened to talk radio with her mother all day. The baby would imitate the talk radio, and it was really funny. Sophie’s sounds area a little more varied than the noises that little baby could make, and Sophie really seems to know what she’s saying.

Of course, she’s also turned into a magnificent communicator. She tries hard to assemble whole sentences and a lot of her more recent attempts are much longer than the usual, “I like (insert something here).”

She’s more curious than ever before, thinking that there’s something interesting everywhere she can’t see, reach or be. She follows instructions really well, and understands a lot better than we thought she could.

I must say, after her brain surgery it was like watching a flower bloom. The child we thought we had opened up before our eyes and became something much more spectacular and beautiful. We are all happy for her and next month you can look forward to news about her future after the surgery as we are going to be meeting with her surgeon at the end of the month to discuss those things. For now, know that the biopsy did come back, but it was frustratingly inconclusive, so consider no news good news until we have something more definite.

From Family 2010

Until Later

On my other blog I wrote a single review for the two awesome movies we saw out in Arizona. The post is short, so if you’ve got a few more minutes, I’d encourage you to take a look.

I don’t want to overdo it, but I am too excited about it not to mention it – I’ve decided to reformat the interior and exterior design of my book, and the changes are making me feel all giddy inside (which is unusual for me). The redesign is meant to give the whole book a much more professional feel. I’m really feeling quite proud of the outcome, but the changes won’t show up in the product for a while. In the mean time the book is no longer for sale. The first edition was purchased zero times, so once I get the second edition up I’m hoping to market it a little to see where it goes. And if you own a bookstore (wink wink, hint hint) I might be possibly shipping you a couple of copies someday to see if they sell. We’ll talk more about that later though. 😉

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Filed under Celebrations, Travels, Vacation

Taking it Easy

From Family Stuff

I’ve been taking a break from work since Monday last week, but it’s off to work again for me next week. These two weeks have gone by far too quickly.

The goal has been to take it easy and relieve some of the stress work was inflicting on me. I’ve had a good time hanging out with Rochelle and Sophie during the day (driving them crazy) and I have felt a little less stressed out. My lower stress levels have helped me feel a little better prepared to meet the challenges of parenting, and I think everyone has benefited a little from having me around more (or, at least, I’d like to think so).

Sophie has been getting cuter and cuter, and Micah is growing and learning every day. We haven’t done anything terribly exciting, but that’s the point of taking a break, right?

We did find a cool Lego store not far from where we live, and we took Sophie out there last week and we intend to take Micah soon. We’ll probably have pictures of that for next month.

Oh, and we have the kids’ Halloween costumes pretty much done. Sophie’s can be seen in our web album, but Micah’s is a surprise for next month.

Don’t forget to check both our Family Web Album and our YouTube Page. I’m currently uploading the last of five new videos and there are 19 new photos (starting with this one). At the YouTube channel, just click on the Uploads tab (between All and Favorites) and check out the top five videos in the list.

How the Kids Are

Micah

Micah news… What to say? We’ve been working on his lying. It turns out he lies to us a lot. We’ve always suspected it, and we’ve been aware of several (if not most) of the lies, but the problem began to become chronic. So, I had a definitive talk with him touching on: Satan is the father of all lies, even small lies can turn into big problems, and we need to know the truth because parents and teachers can’t help him if we are supplied with false information about his state of health or how an accident occurred (the whole thing started when he lied to me about how many days it had been since his last bowel movement – it had been long enough ago that he had convinced himself that his body magically no longer had the need to poop).

The talk seemed to go well, and I gave him a chance to come clean on any lies he had been perpetuating (the talk took place in the bathroom where I had him sitting on the toilet and, eventually, he pooped). Since the talk, I have noticed an effort to be more honest with us, but it’s a small effort.

It turns out that many of his lies are not intentional attempts at masking the truth, but are in fact the result of his complete lack of ability to portray sequential events even close to the way they actually happened. I think this ability was damaged as a result of his unbridled use of invented “facts” to support his cases in the past (I believe many lawyers and politicians suffer from a similar cognitive anomaly). We’re working on it, but it’s been rough.

I have seen some improvement over the last week, and I believe there is plenty of hope for him.

On a more positive note, Micah and I have begun reading through a book you may have heard of: “The Dangerous Book for Boys.” It’s full of fun stories, information, ideas, games and miscellaneous boy stuff. Some of the material is definitely targeted at boys a little older than Micah, but it won’t hurt to look through it now and let him have a solo go at the book when he’s older.

Sophie

Sophie’s big thing has been picky eating. The only things she’ll readily eat could be counted on your fingers. Late in September, though, I made a discovery that might help ensure she eats more rounded meals.

We’ve known for a while that she loves ketchup enough to try almost anything with it, but we had only used it for things like eggs and a few vegetables in the past. Most of the time we would squirt some on her plate and let her dunk her food in the ketchup.

This time I squirted a little on her plate and pretended to dunk some of her food in it. Then, I slipped the food in her mouth and she quickly devoured it. I did this with stuffing (which she was refusing to try) and green beans (which she always detests). Soon, over half of her dinner was gone and we hadn’t even touched the ketchup.

She was enjoying the food so much, that I just had to break the news to her. “You know, Sophie, I haven’t actually put ketchup on any of your food.” I saw her brow furl while she contemplated the meaning of what I told her, but it didn’t slow her down any.

Eventually she decided to eat just the ketchup with her fork, at which point she stopped eating the rest of her food. By then she had eaten plenty of dinner though, so we just watched and smiled.

The next night after dinner she turned to me and said, “I need a bath.” So, she got one.

Also, she finally settled on what to call her pacifier. For a long time she would just point and say, “peeeeeeeees.” Now, it’s: “Bau-bau.”

Most recently (just yesterday, in fact), she got tired of us denying her the use of her “bau-bau” during waking hours. Generally, if she is laying down getting ready to fall asleep, and she asks for it, we’ll give it to her. However, she often asks for it outside of sleeping time, and we say no (or ask her if she wants to take a nap – she generally says no to the nap).

Yesterday she started doing a horrible fake cry (even she can’t keep a straight face or keep from half smiling) and whining with the cries, “bau-bau.” It really sounds pretty sad, but it’s no Hollywood performance. She tried this three or four times throughout the day, and each time her performance was met with laughter from us – and no pacifier.

Finally, I can’t get off the subject of Sophie without telling you about her obsession with checking the mail and going to the playground.

She asks, frequently, to go check the mail. Starting at eight in the morning all the way until the mailman comes in the late afternoon, she asks, “mee-oo?”

Taking her to the playground is the most fun I can hope to have in a day. She runs around, asking for help into the swings (she likes the little kid style swings, but also loves to ride the big kid swing on her belly) and climbing around the other equipment. One of her favorite things to do is go down slides. Spiral slides are her favorite because the descent is slower and more controlled, but when she’s feeling adventurous she’ll have you wait to catch her at the bottom of a long straight one and she’ll zip down into your arms. She has so much fun, and she loves exploring.

Until Later

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From Family Stuff

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Filed under Normal Life, Vacation