Monday, April 30, 2007


A much nicer day than it looks, a great time playing in the sandbox and trying out new ways to delight. That smile says it all.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Moon motorcycle airplane boat

Lunch outside - smiles all around.

Some of the words from Dear Alex this weekend, that truly surprised and delighted - it's as though she knows all about me, and which buttons to push (in a good way, of course) to get even more love, affection and attention. Every once in a while you have an experience that transcends your expectations, and the genuine surprise and delight that goes with that can transform your outlook.

This weekend was like that - low expectations and energy at the start, with both Beautiful Wife and I having had some long weeks, this weekend was an unexpected delight. It started with the trip to the undisclosed location on Friday night, with the usual ritual of bath and bedtime for Dear Alex then the quick trip to the car for the night drive to the house. She didn't really do her usual fall-asleep-in-the-carseat, but instead stayed awake, to watch and comment on the drive and the beautiful crescent moon following us as we drove. Dear Alex was delighted to point out the moon as it came and go behind buildings as we drove. - "Moon, Moon, bye-bye Moon!" BW and I took joy in telling Dear Alex that the moon would follow her wherever we went. There was the usual flurry of activity as we got there and put her in her crib at last, to sleep, then a remarkable peace. It hit me that the house wasn't cold, there was no desperate rush to get the place warm enough for the girl or ourselves - maybe winter is over.
On Saturday, we stayed outside for the whole day, aside from the two hour nap - Dear Alex loves being outside - to the point of calling "outside, outside" at every opportunity, and rushing the door at every chance. I'm more than happy to oblige - the outside thing is my world with Dear Alex, and it makes me feel like I'm actually doing something for her development - the intricacies of navigating uneven terrain, the textures of dirt and leaves and trees and stones and the pointing out of the obvious and subtle cues of nature - things that I love and want to share with her - It's my own way of giving her the world.

Daddy's oooowotercycle, wow.

I had the chance during naptime to take the motorcycle out for a bit of a ride and I surely enjoyed it, though I must say that it's been so long I forgot a lot of the "muscle memory" that makes it easy - it was akward at first, but I do remember the laws of physics that make it work
and after a trip around the lake, I was ready to go - the ride was short, but it did remind me a lot of other times and other rides and the way it feels to just go as though there was nothing else in the world - but always, of course with the ever present now of Dear Alex, and how and when I could share it with her -
Dear Alex has a morbid fascination with daddy's motorcycle. It's the "oooowootor cycle! wow! She likes to look at it, will say "motorcycle" (in her funny way) but she won't go near it, or let daddy get on it. If you put her down near it, she'll go up to it and touch it, then scamper away as though she's daring herself. Kind of funny, but of late she's continued the fascination, and will notice a bike parked on the street with the same fervor - I wonder what she thinks.
Another Saturday afternoon treat, that started for me as a low rumble - the sound got my attention, and it was the familar and unexpected sound of radial aircraft engines that grew louder and made me and Dear Alex look up for the source - three WW2 era twin-engine planes in close formation flew low overhead, prompting an exclamation (uncoached) from Alex - Aaapane! aaapane! Who taught her this? She now knows what an airplane is, and will point one out whenever she sees one, without prompting - "aaapane!" This causes me great joy, and I dearly hope I live well long enough to take her flying someday.

Dear Alex tries on the fabulous lifejacket -
or, "ifeacket" - Like me, she likes any sport that requires an outfit.

Another new Alex word, and something that we could readily demonstrate - after a trip to the local Wal-Mart where we scored a perfectly wonderful toddler-sized life jacket, BW and I debated whether we should take her out in the boat, and of course, delight won over our better judgement - On Sunday morning we should have been packing to travel home and/or cleaning up, but instead of doing responsible things we went for the immediate gratification of taking Dear Alex out for a ride in the boat - a canoe, really - plopping her in the middle, with daddy rowing as best as possible - Dear Alex was skeptical at first, but she really enjoyed wearing her lifejacket with flowers and took great joy in being on the water with mommy and daddy.

So, a transcendent weekend. The girl is a joy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Upside down!

Dear Alex has a lot of new words - and she gets things very quickly. As part of her newfound understanding and experiments with the world around her is this exploration of the concept of the orientation of things - She really likes to turn her special Alex chair over, with the delighted exclamation "upside down!, upside down!" Then she climbs up the back - this has a visit to the emergency room written all over it, yet it's truly fascinating to watch. She already has the ability to turn the most-ordered room into a disaster scene in a matter of minutes, and this is one more skill in her portfolio of wanton chaos.

Gratuitous bath time pix

Dear Alex really does enjoy bath time.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Still growing

A favorite face - it may not be the most beautiful picture of Dear Alex, but it captures her personality of late perfectly - Beautiful Wife and I call it the 'crinkle nose' face. It's usually accompanied by a giggle or a squeal of delight, and it's Dear Alex's most profound expression of happiness. I live for that. BW and I got into a conversation this weekend about the nature of things lilscreamie, (not the blog, but the dear girl herself) and it's clear that she's developing quite a personality, and that she really is very smart - that's an easy and obvious self-congratulatory place to get to when talking about your own child, but the conversation was more about how easy it is to forget that she's still really a baby.

Dear Alex watches the world, and listens - and is now at the parrot stage with words - anything you say may and will likely be used right back at you later, sometimes recombined in funny ways. It's her way of trying things out, and it's delightful to get little glimpses of how her mind works. She's at turns questioning, serious, and declarative - and you really get a sense of her take on the world. The only thing that makes you realize that there's still a baby in there is those moments when something goes wrong, and Dear Alex doesn't yet have the words to tell us what's bothering her - or the patience or experience with the world to understand that whatever it is, it's not permanent. Our job, I guess, is to help her through the worst of those screaming moments with patience and reassurance, but we're still having a really hard time understanding what could possibly be so hard about going to bed or having a diaper change?