Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here Is Pointer

How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you. Run away, run away.

Oliver makes an initial impression of being a kind of cautious, precision-loving kid. You wouldn't expect this level of focus from a 14-month-old, but if there is something to be explored, the exploration is frequently intitiated with Mr. Pointer. His focus, often accompanied by a low groan or grunts, allows him to smash peas with a single press, skewer carrots into new orange fingertip, and start an art project with the exactness of a master painter.

Eventually, though, the focus, precision, and Mr. Pointer himself are replaced by flat-palmed rigor. Peas flying. Carrots smashing. Paint a la Jackson Pollock.

The photos above I took tonight as he disected his dinner. I should have taken a picture of the floor under his chair to show the aftermath of focus lost. Gross. (Grosser is that he tried to eat it off the floor later in the evening before I had a chance to clean it up. Ew.)

The photos below are from an art project in school. They called it "body painting." Just stripped the kids down, taped paper on the floor, and dumped out some tempera paint. He started out quite timidly, but had his fair share of paint on the bod by the time he was done. Can't quite figure out why the teachers would want to go through all the trouble, but I'm sure glad they did because it looks like good fun. Believe it or not he didn't come home with a drop of paint on him.

The unfortunate thing about this particular art project is that it was oversized and thus defies my plan to digitize all of Oliver's works of fine art with my scanner. I guess I'll have to really wimp out and take a photo of the work. It was pretty funny: Just days after I had posted my art-saving dilemma and plan, I read this amusing column on The Daily Babble. What's a mom to do?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Face Forward

I guess it's been a week or so since we've been officially face forward in the carseat in both of our cars, but this is a shot I took with my phone on the day we flipped him around in my car. He seems very pleased, doesn't he?

It is kind of a fresh perspective, I think, and makes it a little easier to see and interact with him from the front, which we better get used to because they say that even when kids are out of their carseats and boosters, they are supposed to ride in the backseat until age 13. (Whatever?!)

I wish the iPhone took better photos so I could zoom in to show you Mr. Toothy Grin. He's really getting some whoppers. And it's really no matter how far apart they may be coming in, the doc says we should start brushing. I did buy the brush, but he really isn't too interested yet. I suppose I should really work on it, though. OK, I'll start Monday (hopefully with more enthusiasm and staying power than my typical Monday-morning diet kick-off).

I'll try to get a better shot of his choppers this weekend when we're in Fort Wayne visiting Grandma. I sure hope he enjoys his 3.5 hours of face-forward fun on the road there and back. I know I won't will.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Word of the Day: Mama

When Oliver had his one-year appointment with the doctor, she asked how many words he was saying besides Mommy and Daddy. I was a bit stunned by the question, actually. It seemed a loaded to me -- I mean, was he even saying Mommy and Daddy?

Eric assured me that he had heard Mama and Dada, so that counts. What he didn't elaborate on is that Dadadada is simply the sound Oliver makes when he's enjoying himself while walking (he gets very proud of himself) and Mamamama seems to mean any number of the following:

  • Mama: More (generically)
  • Mama: More (of something I just had, often shortened to the familiar "Ma")
  • Mama: More (of something I have yet to receive and you must guess)
  • Mama: Milk (generally with an uprising questioning tone to the end)
  • Mama: Gimme (of something he sees and wants and is pointing to)

You can see where this is going.

As far as I can tell, Mama never means ME!

I'm cool with that, though. Really, I am. My mommy friends say that once they know that's your name, they never tire of using it at all hours undesirable and in all tones unappreciative. So I can wait.

I can't wait, however, til he really starts talking. Not so much for the developmental status nor for the convenience of enhanced communication, but simply because I'm sure it'll be cute and entertaining. And cute and entertaining helps to balance out kicking and screaming (see Guantanamo Bay in Chicago). The kid has become an absolute monkey on the changing table -- an angry monkey (kind of like that one in Chris's closet on the Family Guy).

Actually, now that I've started listening closer, I do think he's got a couple words in his repertoire, but really barely two, and I'll save those for another post. Given the way he babbles, though, I know he's definitely got something to say. Just hope it comes out soon. I'll need the blog fodder for sure.

Monday, March 2, 2009

First Haircut

On Saturday, Oliver had his first haircut. And I have to wonder why we didn't do it a long time ago, as his bangs have been poking his eyeballs for months now.

We were in the car on the way to Garfield Conservatory and thought we'd give the haircut a shot since Oliver had been having a good morning with a great nap and was in a good mood.

At first, we thought we'd head down to Snippet's on Clybourn ("a specialized children's hair salon") to get the full treatment and certificate, but then decided it was just too much trouble because there might be a wait and traffic down that way is no fun. Plus, who needs to go to a place that offers a "Missy Manicure" service. So I called my friend Emily -- of Emily and "Theo of the Good-Looking Hair" -- to see where they go on the northside.

Turns out they go to "Julie" of salon-name-unknown and web-site-non-existent, which is no problem in my book because it just means no wait and no over-inflated prices. And like I said, Theo's hair always looks good (except that one time when his daddy cut his bangs and the other time when he went to bed with his hair wet).

So we headed over to Julie's place, which we learned is also known as JRH Kids Cuts.

Immediately we were put at ease by the presence of the car haircut chairs, a must-have for any first haircut. Phew. And Julie was very nice asking us if we wanted him to sit on our laps or in the car chair and if he would tolerate the apron around his neck. Turns out he was fine in the car and with the apron and with the snip-snip-snipping, thank goodness. Although, Julie was quick to remind us that every time is different and he might have a full-fledged fit next time, but so far so good. Although there were no tears, at one point Mr. Pouty Lip did come out.

The whole ordeal took all of 3 minutes and 6 snips to be honest. Not really worth all the pomp and circumstance -- although I did manage to take a fair share of photos, including him enjoying some playtime afterward in Julie's play area.

My own hairdresser tried to give me a tutorial the other day on how to cut Oliver's hair while he's sleeping, but I wasn't ready for that. Maybe at some point in the future now that I've seen how basic and less-than-precise the "professional" cut is, but I kinda doubt it.

Julie didn't send us home with an official certificate, but she did throw his hair into a small manilla envelope and gave Eric a ballpoint pen to label and date it.

I subsequently brought it home and put it into the awesome silver personalized keepsake holder that our friends Jeff and Richelle got us -- one for his first curl and one for his first tooth. I tried to take some pictures of it with the lid on so you could see how cool it is, but it's so shiny and kept just getting a reflection of me and my camera. So here's a quick shot of it and its contents: