Thursday, January 22, 2009

He's At It Again

How can you tell when someone is trying to impress you? When he squeezes out another molar within days, nay minutes of the first one. Jason is in a mad dash to win the "Fastest Molars of the East Coast" award. You go Jason!

Kevin, for the first time, used one of those walking/activity toys to walk. He held on to the handle and pushed the little toy along. He did it last night for the first time and then again today.  Great job, Kevin. 

Another cute moment missed: Sue said that yesterday after lunch, Kevin extended his hand out and Jason took it and they sat there holding hands.  

The moments that I have witnessed: Jason pushing Kevin down and holding him down with his elbow, Kevin perched on top of Jason's chest while Jason wailed unhappily, Jason pinching Kevin's cheeks like you see little old ladies do to babies, Jason yanking on Kevin's ears, Kevin biting Jason's arm.  
Oh, I've seen some cute moments too. Kevin blowing me kisses, Jason kissing his Chewy goodnight, Kevin hugging his brother, Jason worrying over why his brother is crying (he didn't want his diaper changed).  It's not all blows and bruises at our house.

Pretty funny expression, eh?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interesting Things (to me anyway)

We've been teaching the boys about animals and the sounds they make. I work with a Russian fellow. Last week I asked him what cats and dogs say in Russian. He humored me and actually seemed to enjoy the conversation (anything that isn't about data
 passing is perhaps a relief?).  I won't keep you Russian, a cat pretty much says "meow". It sounds a bit more like "miao" but it is still pretty similar to English.  Dogs, however, a very different story. They say "guf, guf". So there you have it.  

Part II: Yesterday I asked Vlad (yes, that is his real name, we do not protect the innocent in this blog) and I resumed our animal conversation. Turns out that pigs are also very different. In Russian, pigs say "hoo dluh hoo dluh hoo dluh".  Well that is my close approximation of the sounds Vlad made. 

Other interesting things

Fisher-Price must intentionally make toys that have 1 essential part that will get lost simply due to poor design. Here's the cute
activity toy (Laugh and Learn Music Table) Santa brought the boys. Hi Kevin, or quick Photoshop facsimile thereof. The table is cute and has lots of neat features. A laptop computer, a mini-keyboard, a telephone, and a flip book. So cute that you could easily overload on the cuteness if it weren't so darn cute. See cute Kevin playing there at the activity table? Hi Kevin.

Here's a snap of the laptop. Cute, right? Kids can learn about colors, letters, music, etc. The tunes are well-known ones. It has a nice mix of classical tunes and children's tunes. There are a few that FP must have made up as they are short little tunes that are really just the sound/music equivalent of filler.

Here's the phone. And here is where FP's dark-side becomes apparent.  See the cute little handset?  Of course, it's cute and has a rattle inside and is the perfect size for wee hands so the boys love it, love to hold it, chew on it, play with it and then drop it where ever they happen to have toddled off with it in their hot little fist. The handset just sits on the phone. Just. Sits. That is, when a wee boy isn't mouthing or playing with it and then dropping it where ever the cat can start to knock it around. This thing is doomed. Everyone can see what will happen to this little handset. It will meet an untimely demise. Either it will disappear to the place where all small parts and toys go. Or, it will end up flattened, smashed into a zillion, trillion, non-repairable bits by an unsuspecting and immediately saddened parent.

As I type....there are a couple hundred parents out there who should probably write down the item number of this product and photograph the handset because down the road....they'll be looking to buy a replacement (me included). And someday, when Fisher-Price files their revenue numbers...the column that tots up the $$$ they made from add-on parts that parents have to buy for replacement purposes....well, this little number will add significantly to that column. 

Don't get me wrong. It's a great toy. We like it. The boys like it. It inspires them to stand and move. They can play with it today and grow with it as they learn English, shapes, colors and even Spanish. As I mentioned, so far we've only used some light Russian in addition to English. But there it is. A small cute part. Not attachable. And so darn cute that it's the one thing the boys zero on when they approach the table. 

Of course, if it goes missing...will they REALLY care? They'll never notice, right? Ah, but Murphy's law (or Doherty in this case) says that the cute little handset will go missing at that exact moment when the boys will notice that it is gone AND they will be able to speak, even in broken baby English.  "Mommy, where did the purple phone go?"  or "Mama, phone?"  

What do I say to that?  "Technology Heaven?" It is a phone after all.  Or "Toy Heaven".  If I say "I don't know", will that undermine my knowledge base in the boys' eyes?  What if they ask me to find a replacement?  Hello Fisher-Price Replacement parts hotline.

I recently ordered some Fisher-Price replacement parts. To their credit, they were helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, etc. The parts came quickly (quicker than they said) and were perfect. I'd order replacement parts from FP again and probably will.

Guess how many photos one typically takes of Kevin before a suitable(not blurry) one is attained? Today it was 15 and then I gave up. Our boy Kevin is smart enough to know that the red light means a flash. So, he closes his eyes when he sees the red light on the camera. I turned the flash off this AM and he still closed his eyes or squinted. He's got a great smile. When the camera is off. Trust me. 

Here are some more photos of the boys Book Nook. As you can see, Kevin is a fan of the Book Nook. 

Breaking News - Jason molar

Jason's top right molar has started to break through.
Typical stoic Jason. Who knew his molar was ready to bust on out? He's so lowkey. No excessive drool. No crying, rending of clothing, tearing of hair. Just a new tooth.

Funny word, molar.  \ˈmō-lər\

Middle English molares, plural, from Latin molaris, from molaris of a mill, from mola millstone

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 8, 2009.

Month 11 was very fun. Lots of new experiences and a couple of bruises along the way. No permanent scars luckily. So, all in all, it was a great month.  Here are many of the new experiences we saw during month 11.

They boys' first Christmas was fantastic! 
They had a great time. Tissue paper, wrapping paper, toys, treats. What's not to like?  Joe and I loved every minute of it. They boys got to meet the bulk of the Doherty clan again. For them it was most likely a first as they probably do not recall meeting everyone at the Baptism. It was a
bumpy start but after a bit they warmed up to the room. 

This past month brought a new tooth for Jason.  Kevin worked up a lot of saliva and is still growing what will eventually be some crazy big molars. 

Kevin learned to sit up from a lying position and to stand up from a sitting or lying position. Jason learned to pull himself up. Kevin learned to cruise along from piece of furniture to anything within arms reach. Any number of times he has looked like he was leaning in to give me/Joe a hug but alas, no he was looking for a leanto on his way to someplace else. Crawling is still the primary means of getting around. They are traveling at around 2 mph so it's a pretty fast crawl, relatively speaking.

There were lots of new experiences with food. Yogurt was a hit with both birthday boys. Jason loved ziti and marinara. Kevin loved saltines and cheddar cheese. Bottles are slowly being phased out. Both guys like sippy cups and prefer to have the lids off so that they can drink like big boys and see the formula (and see the bubbles they blow). Fun for them, messy for us. We should invest in the manufacturer of Bounty paper towels.

Jason mastered clapping. His favorite use of clapping is Pat-A-Cake. 
Kevin can feed himself with a spoon, more or less.

Favorite songs for both boys are: Down By the Station, Dream Police by Cheap Trick, Run Away by Slade, ABCs, The Ants Go Marching and Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized. Their tastes differ when it comes to classical and ethnic music. Kevin's favorite Mozart tune: "Non più andrai" the march from Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro.  Jason's favorite Mozart tune: Sonata for Piano No. 11 in A Major, K. 331: Rondo Alla Turca. My favorite (for the blog record): Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622: II. Adagio.  Kevin likes Spanish music and enjoys listening to the Caliente channel. Jason seems to favor the 50's

Frankly, Kevin likes all music. He does favor some kinds over others but he likes to rock-n-roll (literally) to all music.  Jason enjoys playing
the drum. He even follows the lights and patterns (it's a leap frog drum so there are lights and patterns). Kevin is good at the maracas and seems to favor that instrument over others. Clacking my plastic measuring cups together is great fun and the Doherty Boys band is good and loud.

Favorite reading materials.  Kevin enjoys Elmo's Christmas, Disco bedtime (that's not really the name but the images are shiny and disco-ey), and Simba's ABCs.  In the morning, I'll frequently see Kevin sitting by the bookshelf in the nursery, reading Elmo's
Christmas. It's a soft book with crinkly things and zippers and other touchy/feely activities. Very cute.   Jason loves "The World Around Me" and Hello Bee/Hello Me. Together, they both love: Ernie & Bert, "Love", "Smiles" and "Kisses" and "I Love You Through and Through" and a series of Helen Oxenbury books. 

Neither boy will come to me when I call them. So, when I want them to come to me or to pay attention, I start reciting the words to "I Love You Through and Through".  This book is our nighttime/bedtime book. It's the last one we read just before lights out. We read it every night and have been since they were 4 months old.   This book makes them come running, well, crawling, quickly. They love this book. When we read it to them, they rock back and forth and get excited.

They have officially outgrown all of their Carter's sleep sacks. They are both taller than the play yard fence we use to discourage access to the TV and AV components. They both are trying to climb up on anything that will support their weight. 

Kevin likes to hang out in the Fisher-Price Wonder Aquarium tunnel. He sits in there and plays with a toy or chews on a toy or pokes through a book.

Jason likes when I play peekaboo with me in the Aquarium tunnel and him on the outside peeking in. There is a small plastic window on the side. It always catches Jason off guard when I'm in the tunnel. It must look pretty funny. He'll put his hand up and then squish his face on the outside while I do the same things but on the inside. 

Every toy Kevin plays with goes into his mouth first. All the roundabout balls move faster through the roundabout after they've been liberally coated with saliva. This applies to the dinosaur and dino ball toy too.

Both boys are slowly discovering Elmo. We have a handful of books with Elmo as the protagonist. On Saturday during the first AM bottles, we all watched Sesame and when it came to "Elmo's World"....boy oh boy were there smiles and laughter. But then they both smiled and laughed at Mayor Menino on the news this AM so go figure.  They also like/smile at Cindy Fitzgibbons, the Fox 25 meterologist, and Doug Meehan, the traffic guy.

House mottos that are spoken regularly to the boys as gentle reminders:
Books are for reading, not eating
We don't spit our food
We don't push our brother
We don't hit our brother
Careful, we need our eyes/ears/fill in body part for life
We share
We take turns
We talk nicely to each other (this one applies to Jason who likes to use his sharp/gruff voice with Kevin)

Mottos for down the road:
We don't put our feet where we eat
You get what you get and you don't get upset
The couch is for your seat, not your feet

There are a million more little things that are different and new about them. Jason has a crazy curl on the top of his head near the back that (after a bath) is very cute and sticks up. Kevin has a deep little belly laugh that makes you laugh outloud. Both boys like to be upside down. Jason is as long as the changing pad. Kevin loves to take baths and loves to jump up and down. Guess we called the wrong one Jumpy but then he also loves kicking with those heels of steels. I could go on and on. I have a few small videos I want to post. Sorry, just haven't found the time. I'll see if I can do it tonight.

Until I post the videos, check out the boys' expressions in these snaps. Pretty funny.

Jason enjoys watching Kevin.

Kevin has a wry expression. Jason looks like he's in a Grant Wood painting.

Like Jason's ornery expression?

I'm not sure what to say about this photo.  Kevin's expression is one thing. However, if you've seen the movie Parenthood, Jason is doing his best imitation of Baby Buckethead.

Have a great night all.