Sunday, February 21, 2010

104 weeks

Someone we know is a year older.

Two to be exact.

We had a little party for him, with some friends and family. Of course, we had cake.

But I think his favorite part was the balloons. He LOVED them.

We got him his own little table and chairs, so that he has his own place to color and draw. He's pretty happy with this new setup. The only problem with this plan is that now he instructs us to sit with him--on those tiny, tiny chairs. We nearly had to get a crane to get Geoff out of the chair! (OK, maybe not really, but they're definitely not made for adults!) But really, could anyone say "no" to that face, when he pats the chair next to him saying "Sit! Sit! Sit!"? I think not.

He was thrilled to have Grandma and Papa come to visit and pretty much had them wrapped around his finger, if I might be so bold as to say so. He had Papa sitting here, and there, and playing with this and that. He wanted nothing to do with us in the morning; he wanted to go downstairs to see "'Ama and Papa." He was sorry to see them go.

He got some Legos, which are a big hit and I'm sure will soon be spread all over the house. There are lots of new books and toys to keep him busy, as well. I think we're going to have to purge again.

He's grown a bit, huh?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More snow.

I had to laugh at this column in yesterday's Washington Post. Regardless of what you think of the gist of the article, you can't argue with the fact that the first thing that Zack asks for when we're bundling to go outside is his shovel, so that he can help his Daddy shovel snow. Even if we're just heading to the car.

And we've had more to shovel! This time it was windy and snowy, so it drifted nicely. The highest drifts are, of course, on the driver's side of our cars. Rob made it out this morning and took Zack to daycare. I'm going to wait a little bit longer in the hopes that a plow will remember that we exist (though I'm not holding my breath). Apparently I'm just a block and a half away from plowed streets! So close and yet so far.....

I'm kind of tired of taking pictures of the snow, so just see the last post and imagine more of it. In lieu of snow, I'll show you some of our latest photographic masterpieces. Zack is fascinated with pictures now. He loves to look at the ones that I have on my Blackberry, and he's sort of figuring out that our camera takes pictures and then he see them on the screen. We took these the other night before dinner.

And I was directed to take a picture of his "elephant." He was particularly pleased with this one.

Updated early afternoon: We were plowed! By someone who knew what they were doing! Oh happy day!

Updated again: And they're STILL plowing 2 hours later! The plow driver had people move their cars so they could plow properly! And they're CINDERING!!!!!! This is nothing short of a miracle!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It flurried

For about 24 hours. And now it looks like this. Thankfully, we have power, which many do not, and we're able to get out if need be, though it's tricky since plowing around here has been absolutely abysmal.

And we're supposed to get 10 to 20 more inches tonight and tomorrow. I'm note sure where we're going to go with it all. As you can see, we already had to pile the snow about head-height. The DC area is pretty much infamous for its inability to deal with just a few inches of snow, so this should pretty much bring this area to a complete and utter standstill. I just heard that school is already canceled for the rest of the week. I'm sure the federal government isn't far behind.

We've been doing OK, though. We've made soup and cookies. I've been doing a lot of knitting. Zack really likes to go outside and shovel (Thanks again, Grandma, for getting him this coat and pants--we would have been lost this year without them!).

He's gotten the hang of his boots and the snow, and is walking around like an old pro.

When he's not outside (read: Mom and Dad are cold and want to go inside), he's busy coloring in his coloring books, or making installation pieces.

Here are my guys all snuggled up to watch the Super Bowl. Zack loves to watch football. I can't quite figure out where that comes from, but he didn't hesitate to jump up on the couch with his football, cover himself with a blanket, and ask for a cracker.

Now we're just sitting and waiting for the snow to start. The forecast said noon, but nothing yet. I would love for the weathermen to be wrong this time, but it's not looking promising.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I have no idea what week it is.

But we're back from Florida and I've got pictures.

Zack did great on the plane both to and from Tampa. I'd gotten him his own backpack and put some new toys and books in it for the trip. He was quite happy to stay sitting and look at books.

We chose our week in Florida well, as it warmed up after the cold snap they'd experienced. It was definitely nice to be able to go outside without a coat after the cold, cold snowy winter we've be having so far this year. We didn't do much aside from go to the beach, swim in the (heated) pool and hang out with Nonni, Nonno, and Angie. Zack had a great time. The first thing he'd say when he woke up in the morning was "Nonno! Nonni!" So out to the living room he went, and back to sleep went Rob and I--lovely!

Nonni, Nonno, and Angie were also nice enough to take Zack one evening so that Rob and I could go out for a movie and dinner. I will let Anna recount that story, if only because it's as funny to see her crack up trying to tell the story as the story is itself. I'll suffice it to say that everyone came out intact at the end of the evening, and Zack was apparently the hit of the Italian-American Club of Venice.

It was interesting to see how much Zack had changed from his last trip to the beach which was in August. Then he wouldn't sit still and ran all over the place for hours. This time he was much more content to sit next to us, examining shells, pouring sand on our feet, watching birds in the water. I think I'll always remember just sitting there next to him on the beach, watching him stack shells and be completely enthralled by it all.

Of course, he was also enthralled by the dead fish that washed up on the beach the morning after a storm.

It was like he was magnetically drawn to these fish. I finally pried him away from it by telling him that it was going nighty night. Then not two minutes later, I looked down the beach to see Rob closely inspecting and picking up yet another dead fish. I guess I may as well just give up now.

By the end of the week, Zack had gotten the hang of condo living--going down the hall, getting on the elevator. One day was particularly foggy and chilly and we stayed in most of the day. He was bouncing off the walls by the time we'd finished lunch, so I asked him if he wanted to walk down to the trash chute with me to throw away a bag of garbage. He got all excited, ran to the door, thought a moment, then ran to get his pail, ran back to the door, and said "Outside!" He was so disappointed when we only threw the garbage away and didn't get on the elevators. So we put on coats, and off to the beach we went.

The next day was much nicer, and he was ready to take advantage of it.

He's grown so much in the past few weeks. He's putting words together to make several word sentences. He's picking up new words like they're candy. He's got more routines down. For example, we were getting ready for lunch one day and he realized once he'd gotten in his chair that there wasn't a bib on the table for him. So he got back down and went and got one.

I made pudding again the other night. I put the bowls of it on the table after we'd eaten dinner. Zack took one look at it and started looking around frantically saying "Boon! Boon! Boon!" I quickly gave him a spoon and all was well.

He's also telling us what to do--like patting the floor next to him and saying "Sit. Play" He's also starting to show some preferences for Rob over me. He wants his daddy to sit next to him and color in his coloring books with him. And he often won't give me a hug and a kiss before bed without some cojoling. I'm not completely persona non grata, but there's definitely a shift occurring, a shift that I find very sweet to watch.

He's starting to figure out colors, though not consistently yet. He knows what numbers are--if he sees a string of numbers he'll say "1, 2, 3." One of his books has a picture of the alphabet on a chalkboard and he'll often start humming the ABC song when he sees that picture. He knows hearts, circles, triangles, and stars. He thinks squares are the same thing as triangles for the moment. He knows where his shirt, pants, socks, shoes and hat go, but hasn't taken much interest in dressing (or undressing) himself yet. Sometimes he'll try to put his socks on, and he likes to pull his and our socks off, but that's about it.

He's started being concerned with "mess." He'd want to brush the sand off of his hands and feet when we were on the beach. When he's eating, he holds out his hand so we can wipe off the miniscule piece of banana on his finger. I find this remarkably amusing since the house usually looks as if a tornado went through it thanks to him.

He's figured out the TV. We have one video for him that he likes to watch for about 10 minutes. He'll open up the TV cabinet, turn on the TV, get up on the couch and pull a blanket over him, and demand "BV! BV! BV!" Sometimes we put it on, sometimes not. He's pretty easily distracted with other things, but watching videos does make getting dinner ready a lot easier!