Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Part II

We've had so much fun over the past couple of weeks it's taken me a while to recover! By the time I returned from Roan's wonderful birthday party in Houston it was already time to start preparing for Jen's 30th birthday bash. It may take a couple of posts to get fully caught up.

For starters, here are some photos from Roan's Houston birthday party. Many thanks to all the friends and family who were able to share the day with us. We had gorgeous weather and lots of yummy food. Roan was a real trooper, considering we arrived in from Denver just 15 minutes before the party started! She is such a little champ. Sadly just one day was not nearly enough to get caught up with everyone, but it was much better than the alternative.

You can see all the photos from Roan's birthday here.

Lots has been going on since then. She has started signing! Her first sign was "more," as in "more food please!" She has been enthusiastically learning new words as well, and much of our day consists of her pointing at things she wants and grunting/babbling. Because this tends to make me feel weary by the end of the day - there's nothing like being ordered around by a little cave girl - I've been emphasizing the sign for "please." It's an open palm on your chest moving in small circles.

We had a bitter confrontation one morning over using the magic word in which I wanted her to say please when she was pointing to her milk and grunting. This was apparently an affront she simply couldn't bear. Or maybe she just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She launched into a temper tantrum like I've never seen before. At first she seemed defiant, but at a certain point she acted like we'd hurt her feelings or violated her trust. It was perplexing! Even after we gave her the milk she was still so upset. But now that a few days have passed we've noticed she has been signing please without even being prompted, and with a sense of pride. Today when I picked her up from a day with the nanny, Lindsay remarked that she'd been signing "please" enthusiastically all day.

In other news, she seems to be growing like a weed. She got a *ton* of adorable 18 month clothes for her birthday (which was lucky since she had no summer clothes whatsoever) and she's already squarely into the 18 month size even though the weather is summery only about half the time. It better get warm quick or else she better slow down on the growth curve.

One funny story. This is from a week and a half ago or so. I was on the phone with a client one afternoon on one of my half days when Roan woke up from her nap. Arwen volunteered to go get her up and feed her while I finished up on the phone. About an hour later I came upstairs and Arwen filled me in on all I had missed. I had put Roan down for her nap in just a t-shirt and her diaper, unaware that she is now capable of pulling her own diaper off. Which she did before Arwen came up to get her. And it was full. I mean really full. By the time Arwen got in there she had already been fingerpainting in the color brown all over her sheets, her crib and her hair. The thing that totally impressed me (besides her ingenuity) was that through all that I didn't hear a peep from Arwen. He just took care of it all before I made it upstairs without saying a word - cleaned up her crib, washed her up, the whole 9 yards. Go Daddy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

way overdue

I know, I know. Have patience. It's been a whirlwind the last few weeks. Between birthday parties and business meetings I don't know whether I'm coming or going. For those who don't know, this Saturday is Jen's 30th birthday!!! So of course I'm scurrying around like a little mouse. If you remember to do so, give her a ring on her big day to wish her well!

Photos from our trip to Houston & Roan's 2nd 1st birthday party will be posted soon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First words

In the last weeks Roan's vocabulary has started to blossom. It seemed like for the longest time she referred to pretty much everything - including me - as "dada". But now she can say all of these things, and knows what they mean:
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Dog
  • Cat ("dak")
  • Duck
  • Quack (she loves to quack! but it sounds more like "kah")
  • Sock ("dock")
  • Hat ("at")
  • Up
  • Down
  • Cheese ("she")
  • Go (she says this crystal clear as she is zooming around the room or along the sidewalk)
  • Food ("nana" as she calls it)
  • Ice (which she says with a thick southern accent, "aaice"

I would have to say that the lightbulb has gone off in Roan's head as to the power of language. All of a sudden, by uttering a few simple syllables she can get what she wants (usually for me to pick her "up up" and give her some "nana"). She spends a lot of time babbling incomprehensibly too. She talks with such conviction it's as if she's fluent in a language we just don't understand.

This week I've started to see more toddler-like behavior. She's getting frustrated over the littlest things (like not being able to pick up something heavy, or not being coordinated enough to sort shapes) and have mini temper tantrums. She is also no longer placated by my attempts to distract her from unacceptable behavior. When she does something I don't want her to (like dig in the dog food), I try and offer her a choice of two alternate (acceptable) toys. The idea is it's a win-win. She gets to feel in control because she is making a choice, and I get her to stop doing the no-no without even saying "no."

This has worked beautifully up to now. But this week, when I show her the two toys she swats them both away and shakes her head emphatically almost to the point of meltdown. Guess it's time to pick up some new tricks!

Oh I should also mention she had her one year checkup and is 20 lbs 4 oz, 28 3/4 inches tall, in the 50th percentile for height and weight. And she is currently cutting her eighth tooth.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's official

Roan is now officially one year old, and we have officially survived our first year as parents! We had a nice day today. Well actually we worked all day and had to deal with all manner of perplexing software bugs and being hacked. But we had a nice night.

Jen and Micah came over and brought a beautiful gift for me in honor of having "squeezed that monster out of your poon," as Jen so eloquently put it. In all seriousness it is a gorgeous necklace, asymetrical with large assorted stones. I wonder sometimes how it is that I got the reputation for being the sweet one, when it seems she never leaves an occasion unmarked.

Tonight is Josefa's last night visiting with us. We went to a neighborhood restauarant for broasted chicken (it's an Iowa thing) and homestyle sides. Roan wished we had elected to stay home to celebrate, and vocalized her displeasure throughout the meal. But we got through it. Nothing like a tough meal out to eat with a toddler to make you feel like you're earning your stripes.

I uploaded a few more pictures from this past weekend including a visit to the contemporary arts museum. My camera is acting up right now, so I don't have anything more recent. For some reason the flash isn't working. I'll have to take it in and get it looked at. In any case, hope you enjoy these.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Roanie

Saturday we threw Roan a little birthday party here in Denver. Gramps and K flew in from Miami Beach as well as Grandma Fifa from San Francisco. Several of her friends were on hand to help celebrate, and their parents downed some margaritas and sangria with us.

So I'm sure you won't be shocked to learn that Roan *loved* birthday cake. She snarfed down half a cupcake before Dada cut her off. I'm not sure whether it was the cupcake or the general excitement of the day, but that night was her worst night of sleep ever in her life. She woke up at 1, 2, 3 and 3:30! That's AM people. Oh what a night...

It just so happened that only girls showed up to the party. It was fun watching them play together in their cute little outfits. All the guests went home with pinwheels and balloons. What a blessing it is to be able to entertain them so cheaply at this age!

Here's another shocker for you: Roan enjoyed opening her presents. To a point anyway. It is true she was generally more interested in the packaging than in the contents.

It will probably take days for her to absorb the new goodies that have been added to her stash. She keeps picking up new things and marveling at them like "Oh wow, where did this come from?"

Long after the presents were opened, she marched all around the house that evening with gift bags filled with nothing but tissue paper, as if she were showing off something very important.

One of her big presents was a rocking chair restored by Gramps that's been in the family for over 70 years. His father rocked in it as a child, as did he and his brothers. It was in pretty bad shape when he got his hands on it, but it's as good as new now (even better!) and he restored it with a finish very similar to its original barn red stain. He fashioned the cowhide seat himself!

Roan loves the chair, and instantly seemed to appreciate that it was just her size. Every morning when she wakes up and comes into the livingroom it's the first thing she goes for.

One thing I was truly grateful for was the weather. We had had some chilly overcast days earlier that week and the forecast wasn't looking good. But we had warm temperatures (for Denver in March) and sunny skies all day. It was warm enough that after all the guests had gone home we put Roan into her swimsuit to try out her new water playscape. Unfortunately it wasn't all that warm, especially as far as the water temperature was concerned. If Roan ever wants to allege parental misconduct in the future she can point out that I subjected her to this activity less just a few hours before snow actually fell in Denver!

You can click here to see all the pictures from the party.