Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Around our place lately

Over the past month, many signs of spring appeared: a greening lawn, (occasionally) bare arms, deer and also mosquitoes... despite those pesky creatures, it's a time of year my spirits always rise.

We pruned shrubs and trees and cut down three awkward fruit trees to make room for others. Bubba burned huge piles of debris.

Carson helped.

I wore out my back and found new muscles while chopping those trees' roots to get the stumps ready to pull.

Carson helped.

Doing a "cwawing baby" on top of the dirt pile

Really, what could be more fun than stomping
and sliding in lovely dirt?

By this time I had given up hope for those jeans.

Flowers bloomed...



The maple showed perhaps even better color than fall.

When the oak trees leaf out, you know it's really spring.

But it was still cold enough to require a fire at times, and the cats took full advantage of the couch facing the wood stove.

Alas, they are no longer safe there.

We hope May 25th will be our last snow. Hooray for Spring!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nineteen months

Time marches on and Carson's now closer to 2 years than 1 year. Although physically he has grown very little in the past several months (he is 13th percentile in weight and 7th in height), there's nothing slow about the rest of his development. He continues to be a talker, to our great entertainment and delight, although we wish he would learn to be quiet when appropriate or at least modulate his volume in church!

Bubba found this fire engine at a foreclosed house.
Carson is enraptured.

Starting the engine with his key

"Tunnel!" One of his favorite things.

The theme of the past month was scents. Wherever he goes, whatever he encounters, his incessant demand is "Smell it?" At first the common follow-up to his scrunched-up sniffing face was "Mmm, like it!", even if he was smelling his diaper. Now he often comments, "Baaad", not necessarily fittingly either. I guess one has to start by learning some categories in order to discriminate.

"Fwower! Smell it?"

He has explored verbs a great deal in the past few weeks. First it was "smell; smelling!", then "drive; driving", sitting, raining, etc. He has also produced such constructions as "sticking", while hitting something with a stick, and "trucking" when fiddling with Dad's truck's bumper. But our favorite is his word for petting the cats, or stroking anything gently: He learned he was to be "nice", so now when he reaches out to touch them he declares he is "nicing".

"Nicing" Hannah...

And not-so-nicing. Actually, he is "ringing" her
ear--his stuffed animals are also subject to this.

"Hugging" her. She just loves this.

But she is stubborn and stands her ground.

On a recent hike he tried to catch up to a lizard, crying out, "Hewwo wizawd! Nice you? Hug you?" followed by many "hi wizawd"s. He did not get the chance to carry out his threats. The following day on his walk he learned to recognize road apples (from the safety of his stroller), and when we met the next sample he exclaimed, "Horse poo-poo! Nice it? Hug it?"

Occasionally he gets pronouns right, seemingly by accident, such as pointing to the chair I needed to sit in next to his highchair to feed him and saying "chair you", and ideas like "my water" and "I'm tired", but usually it is "Holdjoo carryoo!" and the like. If he sees himself in the mirror he usually says "Baby" or "Boy", but the other day he saw a toddler girl in the store and repeatedly pointed saying "Carson!" He will refer to "Carson boot" or "Carson book" and such.

These are mom's boots, though.

"tie waces"

He has recently started to pick up on names quickly and will talk about his friends in their absence: Abby, Debbie, Connow, Weaghan, Dofeph, Mewin, AJ, Dwayas (can you all guess your own identities?). In the past couple of months both sets of grandparents have come to visit him and he talks about them a lot (if you ask him who's coming to see him or who's on the phone, the answer is always "gwanma"--he adores both of his).

New bike seat

He's a budding climber and runner now, and after discovering the fun of sliding down snowbanks on his rear, he's quick to recognize any small slope or even steps as a place to "swide". But his latest trick takes him back six months and more: He will drop to his hands and knees and announce, "Cwawing baby!" (This one got him extra points when he pulled it out after watching older kids doing somersaults and cartwheels.)


This boy loves tools. He bonded with Pop-Pop a couple of months ago over power drills, and his toy drill is a prized possession which sometimes goes to bed with him. As we've been working out in the yard with the emergence of spring, he's learned about loppers and shovels and ladders and pitchforks and rakes, all of which he lovingly names and tries to use alongside us. He will carry around a whisk broom and sweep everything in sight (with commentary, of course), or a screwdriver ("dwivuh") and find screws and similar-appearing objects to work on. Whenever he goes outside to work with dad he wants "Carson knife", which is a rusty blade Bubba lets him pack about, and he will find some poor tree trunk and demonstrate "cutting". When he's in the garage he invariably must fiddle with the recently out-of-commission leaf blower and insist, "fixing bwowuh".


More and more he wants to hold his books himself and is learning to turn regular (non-board book) pages as he also learns some lines to "read aloud" on his own. Some current favorites are The Little Fire Engine and Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You?, although he still returns frequently to The Color Kittens and The Foot Book. The book he quotes most often is The Little Fur Family; nearly daily, while playing or eating his lunch, he will begin to talk about "wild, wild... wild grass...achoo! Gwanpa..." and get a giant grin if I join in his recitation.

the stump dance

We've seen the beginnings of imaginative play this month: pretending to drink out of a toy milk carton, "riding" his small stuffed cow, and obsessively, for weeks, "putting on cweam" from various tubes of diaper rash ointment and such--he applies his finger to the end of the (closed) cap and then wipes it on himself, on mom or dad, or an unsuspecting cat. This morning his strips of pancake as well as his spoon were "walking" around his highchair tray. Life is an adventure when you're 19 months old!