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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More

We went garage sale-ing the other day, and we found several excellent finds, one of which was this cute little rocking chair for Bryn for 30 cents. Lately the weather has been so nice that Ben and I have been sitting outside in the evenings while Bryn plays, and she is now thrilled to have a chair to sit in as well. She doesn't stay still for very long, though, since she also has learned where we keep the bubbles!

Lately Bryn has also gotten very interested in playing with her two baby dolls, both gifts from Nana Meyaard. She likes to carry them around the house and have them sit next to her on the couch. A couple of days ago, she put this one in her Exersaucer and tried to show it how to work all the different noise and light mechanisms. Here, you can see her favorite activity with the baby doll, which is using the kitchen towel to tuck it in to bed. Nevermind that it doesn't have an official bed.... she delights in covering it up with a towel, patting it on the head, and occassionally even kissing it, then letting it "sleep" for about 30 seconds before repeating the entire process. Very cute!

Bryn has also successfully managed to learn some sign language. We tried to teach her ages ago, when she was about 7 months old. Back then, the only sign she learned was the one for "milk," which she used to mean "all forms of food and drink." She also did the motion sideways, so it pretty much just looked like she was waving. That was the end of our original sign language experiment, but since her friend Christopher has recently learned some signs, I thought I'd experiment a little bit. I showed her "more" one day during lunch when she was whining and pointing. I only showed her once, but the next day, she pointed at the cabinet where we keep the goldfish crackers and made the sign for "more." Needless to say (Mrs. Applen), she was rewarded by all the crackers she could eat! For several days she thought that "more" actually only meant "more goldfish crackers," but now she's got the hang of it. It's very cute and definitely preferable to her usual squealing and pointing method!

Friday, May 18, 2007

One Set Up

Several months ago, we started on construction of a set of multicolored shelves for the upstairs playroom. Ben and his dad constructed each shelf in the basement, and his mom, sister, and I started the painting. Then we basically got sidetracked by life, and they remained partially painted for quite some time. Recently, though, we have renewed our determination to actually finish some household projects. Two nights ago, we spent the evening constructing the actual bookshelf. Here you can see Bryn being a "big helper" as the assembly occurs.

And here are Ben and Bryn, showing off the finished product. The shelves are made of lumber and are very, very heavy. They definitely won't be going anywhere, even if Bryn attempts to climb on them.... as she did only minutes after they were built. We still have a second set to make to put on the other end of the futon upstairs. The second set is about half painted, so we're hoping to have it done and assembled within the week. Then we'll actually be able to say that we've finished a project! And, more importantly, we will have a place to store Bryn's overwhelming array of toys.

Here's the finished product. We painted the crates to match. Not bad, if I do say so myself!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Take the Duck and Run

It seems that Bryn just really likes to be wet. We went to the Children's Museum with my friend Andrea and her daughter Hannah the other day. Bryn seems to have entered the Terrible Twos about 6 months too early and now frequently engages in full-out tantrums, lying on the floor and screaming. This especially happens when her mean mommy denies her the toys (or food) that she currently desires. So since we were going out in public, I was extremely hopeful that we could avoid a tantrum. We were relatively lucky. After rejecting basically every toy in the Playscape area (except for a vacuum popper, which she liked so much that she tried to escape the exhibit while pushing it), she settled in happily at the water area. Luckily they had smocks that the kids could wear to keep themselves from getting soaking wet. She didn't even really need toys to keep her busy, although there were plenty to go around--she was just happy splashing.

One of the featured toys in the water exhibit was a gigantic duck which was actually far too big to float down the waterways successfully. Bryn thought it was about the coolest thing she had ever seen. After splashing to her heart's content, she engaged in an epic struggle to free the duck from the constricting waterways. All I have to say is, it's a good thing she had on a smock. When she finally managed to get the duck loose, she stood there clutching it and grinning, so incredibly proud of herself. Then she looked around at all the other toddlers, turned, and made a beeline for the door of the exhibit. You could practically hear her thinking, "No one else is going to get their hands on MY duck." To quote Andrea, "Go ahead, Bryn. You take that duck and run."

Another of Bryn's recent hobbies is feeding herself with a spoon. She's actually getting pretty decent at it, meaning that I can now clean up the resulting mess with a collection of wet wipes rather than by simply throwing her in the bathtub. She is fully aware of the correct way to feed herself, but she has also developed several unique methods to spice up mealtime. In one version, she eats off the wrong end of the spoon, in what we believe is an effort to savor her food and make it last. The opposite of this is the "I'm starving" method, in which she imitates the dogs by eating directly out of the bowl. Here you can see her impatience to consume all the yogurty goodness of her breakfast yesterday morning. She actually holds the bowl up to her mouth and slurps it in like she's drinking from a cup. This typically results in some very sticky hair, and she then cries hysterically when I try to clean it off or comb it out. Ah well, at least she likes to eat.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Getting Wet

Yesterday I took Bryn to the zoo, thinking that she would delight in looking at the animals and maybe even tire herself out by toddling around. We visited her favorites, the dolphins, but there she seemed more interested in the other kids that were running around. Then I decided to take her to see the special butterfly exhibit at the gardens, and we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon there. Did she care in the least about the gorgeous butterflies that kept fluttering into her path? Nope. But she did discover this fountain at the center of the room and spend a good amount of time splashing in it. Whatever makes her happy, I guess.

Then today, I took her out into the backyard to play since it was such a pretty morning. I thought she would enjoy toddling across the grass--again, with the objective of wearing her out. I even got out the bubbles so I could blow them and she could chase them, thus increasing the wearing out. But she wanted none of it. No, she wanted to blow the bubbles herself. She spent over a half an hour dipping the bubble wand into the bottle, pulling it out, and attempting to blow bubbles herself. By the end of the morning, she had actually managed to make a few--although not by this put-the-wand-in-her-mouth method.

Our morning of fun ended, however, with this scenario, where she tired of the soapy mess on her hand and decided to stick it in her mouth to clean it. I wish I had captured some pictures of the hideous face she made after tasting excessive bubble. As Ben says, I guess we won't be able to punish her by washing her mouth out with soap later in life, because at this rate, she'll have a natural immunity to it. But given her get-wet antics of the past few days, I think both she and I will be quite glad when the neighborhood pool opens for the season!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So I'm a Slacker...

Okay, I admit it; I'm a huge slacker--thus the absolute lack of postings lately. I blame it largely on the completion of my grad classes last week and the accompanying paper-writing marathon. Here's a quick catch-up on what's been happening with us:
Bryn has continued to eat... and eat... and eat. Her new favorite passtime is feeding herself with a spoon, which leads to her least favorite passtime, being cleaned up after meals. Here you can see her as a macaroni mess.

In fact, it seems that Bryn has come to love food so much that she has decided to provide it for herself when Mama and Daddy are a little too slow. Some of her most recent adventures have been held in the pantry, where she delights in emptying the boxes on the lowest shelf. This fiasco occurred during my last night of class, when Bryn about drove Ben over the edge by emptying a huge bag of granola on the floor and then playing in it. I view this as a sign that she is ready for a trip to the beach; Ben viewed it as a big project for the ShopVac. As a side note, I should mention that Bryn also loves "sorting" the dogs' food while in the pantry; this makes them love her even more, as she usually "sorts" it right into their bowls.

A couple of weekends ago, our entire family attended the ZCHS prom as chaperones. Many kids commented on "Bryn's first prom," at which point I had to remind them that she was actually there last year too.... She definitely enjoyed it more this year though and spent the entire night on the dance floor. We simply could not keep her away from it. She loved the deejay's lights and repeatedly toddled onto the floor and swayed there all by herself in time with the music. This was cute before most students got there (yes, my daughter is THAT child, the first one on the dance floor, partying all by herself) but was rather harrowing when there were hundreds of gyrating teenagers out there and she refused to get out of their way. She also cried hysterically when we refused to let her crawl up the steps to dance on the stage. I think this one is going to be a problem as a teenager.