Friday, February 13, 2009

And this is how it is.

Chase is at this moment moving water from the dog's water bowl to the dog's food bowl, using the dog's food scoop. Luckily, there is no food in the food bowl, but since he has in the past moved food from the food bowl to the water bowl, I know the dog actually prefers dog food soup.

A little over an hour ago, he locked himself in the bedroom. The bedroom to which we have no key. Luckily, he also UNlocked himself in the bedroom, while Mama was frantically trying every key in our odd-key box and calling our-neighbor-the-carpenter.

In between locking himself in the bedroom and creating his own water toys, he had me make a plastic bottle and dried bean shaker..which he opened and ate at least one dried bean and put the rest goodness-knows-where; he tripped over the babygate threshold rushing to say "hi" to Dada (who was on the phone); he amused himself by pushing the stroller in circles in the garage; he got mad at me for folding laundry instead of eating the mushy waffle he was pushing in my face; and he took all the pillows out of the laundry cupboard.

This is life with a toddler.

This is how it is nearly every day. Granted, this day held a bit more drama than most; I don't usually worry about how much of my house I'm going to have to take apart to "save" my son. But the busyness, the swing of emotions? That's there, always.

It's a wonderful thing to be able to stay home with my toddler, to hear him say, "Oh no! Oh no! Mommeee? Momeee? Oh no!" when something doesn't work the way he wants (like just now, when he got his pants wet). He changes so much. Every day. New words, new skills, new behavior...same amazing little boy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New skills

For all those who asked, Chase climbed IN the dog door for the first time the other afternoon. He crawls out because he really wants to be outside, and usually we scoop him up and bring him back inside. Or we go out with him, but use the screen door instead of the glass one, and he can open the screen door. But the other afternoon, I sat out with him for a while when it was too hot to leave the screen open. At some point, he must have had enough, because he climbed back in! He came straight back out again, then five or so minutes later, he climbed inside to stay. Such a smart and clever boy!

Speaking of smart and clever, he's getting faster on his feet, though not actually running yet. One interesting thing we've noticed is that his "talking" has really increased since he started to walk. He chatters and babbles all the time, but nowhere is he more loquacious than on the changing table! We have quite the conversation there a couple of times a day.

He has started trying to climb on furniture, but he's still too little to actually get on the couch or anything tall. He has taken an interest in pens and other writing implements; I guess we'll need to buy some crayons and BIG paper soon.

Best of all, for Mama anyway, is that he now nods his head "yes". He's been shaking his head "no" for a while, so now I can ask him YES/NO questions. What a world of communication this opens! "Chase, do you want a banana? No? How about blueberries? Yes? OK, here are blueberries." It is SO much nicer than the old grunt-and-point!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I know you are all DYING to see Chase crawl through the dog door, right? Well, here ya go!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Escape Artist

We kinda sorta thought he could, but now we know for sure.

Chase can - and will! - crawl through the dog door.

I saw him do it twice today. Or rather, once today, I saw him half in/half out, pajama-striped leg sticking up in the air as he slithered to the ground outside. And later he went from being in the kitchen to being in the porch in the blink of an eye (or the time it takes to read half an article in Sunset - you choose).


We had a lovely and successful family outing this afternoon, and took some great photos. Unfortunately, I can not find my camera cable and James is putting Chase to bed and likely to stay there himself. So I'll say no more, and write all about it when it can be a proper photo-essay and not just some rambly text.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The cuteness never ends

Chase is growing and changing SO MUCH. Every week, he is a different kid. And truly a toddler now that he is (occasionally) walking on his own.

His understanding of the world increases by leaps and bounds, and I'm constantly amazed at what he knows. Last night I had a great example of what he truly understands about the way the world works.

We've been having hot weather, and Chase took a late nap yesterday, so he was up later than usual. Up after dark, in fact, which is saying something since it doesn't get truly dark here until sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 at night. I'd been out knitting last night, and dumped everything - keys included - on the chair when I got home and realized the Boy was still awake.

Chase climbed on the chair just enough to get the keys. The he held up his hand and grunted - his way of letting me know he wanted to go walking. Keys in one hand and my finger in the other, he led the way out the front door and down the driveway. At the bottom of the driveway, he let go of my hand, sank to the ground, pointed the remote at the car and started pushing buttons. When nothing happened, he asked to walk again, and we moved forward about two feet. Again, he sank to the ground and started pushing buttons. Nothing. Forward again, each time a bit closer to Daddy's car.

Ah! This time something happened! He managed to pop open the hatch above the tailgate. He kept pushing the same button, and nothing more happened, of course. So I encouraged him to push one of the other buttons. Eventually, he unlocked all the doors, and popped the hatch several more times (with Mama closing it in between).

Now, I could have been annoyed at this. After all, he was up way past his bedtime, I was tired, it was dark out, we should have been winding down. But instead I simply watched in awe as he showed an understanding far beyond what I thought he possessed - he not only went to the car that matched the keys, he seemed to know that he had to be close to the car in order for the remote to work.

Kids really do pick up on EVERYTHING that you do. Everything. Chase will mimic behaviors I'm not even aware of until I see him copy them. The learning capacity of the toddler brain is truly astounding.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fun with Flash

OK, so I really need to do a photo dump the meantime, here's a nice cartoon version of the "Mama Kisses" family :-D

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sometimes, we need a 2nd bath

Chase had a pretty long day yesterday - his first visit to the dentist, lunch at Daddy's school, and a late nap. So we were pretty sure bedtime would be easy. But Chase had other plans.

Things started out easy enough - he ate a lot at dinner, and was happy to splash in the bath. We brushed teeth, got into PJs, had some milkies. But then he noticed something on the table. Daddy had brought home notes and presents from last week's "Teacher Appreciation Week." So we let Chase help Daddy open the notes. Ripping paper is a lot of fun for 15-month-olds!

Among the gifts was a small bag of foil wrapped chocolate hearts. Chase is in a phase where he loves to take things out of containers and put them back, or into other containers. These hearts were great fun for him to play with - first he took them out of the bag, then he put them back in. Then he took some out and put them on the table. Then put them back in the bag. Then he took them out of the bag one-by-one and handed them to Daddy. Who wisely hid them under a sweatshirt. That last heart, though? He wouldn't let it go, even when both Mama and Daddy emphatically insisted it was bedtime and time to let go of all toys and similar items.

Oh, well, though Daddy. At least I'll know when he's asleep because he'll drop it. So off to the bedroom they went. Daddy began to rock Chase to sleep and Mama settled into her chair with her knitting. Ah, peace!

Then, a plaintive cry from the other room. "Mama? We could use some help in here...and you might want to bring the camera." So I grabbed the camera and went off to Chase's room. Where I found this:

As you might have suspected by now, that is melted chocolate in his hair. And all over his hands. And in his ear. And on Daddy's shirt. Oh, my!

Mama tried not to laugh too hard while she undressed Chase. We plopped him into the kitchen sink, which has a sprayer - easier to get the chocolate-covered portions of the baby while not completely redoing bath-time or refilling the tub.

Chase fell asleep pretty quickly the second time. No less sweet for being covered not with chocolate but with mama kisses instead.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I love my guys!

This post might be better suited for the week before Father's Day, instead of the week before Mother's Day, but I really don't care :-D

In talking to other moms, I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have married such and Involved (and evolved!) Husband and Father. James has often commented on how he wants to be able to do it all; but, alas, the Universe did not bestow the power of lactation upon men, and so he can only do mostly all. And he does - he plays with, diapers, bathes, reads to, and rocks Chase any chance he can get. Watching them together just melts my heart. Just look at some of the moments I captured on film in the past month.

Here they are at the park. James is holding out raisins for Chase to eat.

And here at the top of Mt. Tabor, looking toward downtown Portland. James often wears Chase on our walks, or carries him when we go shopping. Although lately, Chase sometimes prefers to be on the ground, exploring.

Last weekend, James kept Chase busy while I baked and made dinner in the kitchen. I was busy, busy, busy, and bopping away to the radio when it was break time - dinner on the stove, muffins in the oven. I went in the other room to see my guys, wondering why it was so quiet. This is what I found.

Look at how cute Chase is, lovingly snuggled in Daddy's arms!

Earlier that day, we had moved the couch in front of the window. Now Chase can look outside without my having to hold him up. And Daddy can look, too. Isn't this a sweet moment?

There are moments like this every day, but I can't always get my camera out in time to capture them. I knew before I married him that James would be a fantastic father, but I didn't realize how seeing father and child together would so often make me want to smother them both with mama kisses.

Friday, April 18, 2008

First Blood

It had to happen sometime, and I guess I really should be happy it hadn't happened yet.

Chase had his first bleeding owie today.

I was in the garage, with the door to the house open, and Chase was amusing himself by banging on the keyboard of my laptop. I don't know when he realized I wasn't in the room, but I heard him coming - he is very loud when he crawls fast!

I expected him to crawl to the edge of the step and babble and gesture for me to come get him, the way he always does. But either he was going to fast to stop, or he wasn't watching where he was going, because by the time I looked up he was face down on the door mat.

He started crying, so I swept him up and spoke to him the way I do after any tumble. "Oh, baby, are you OK? That must have been surprising, to fall like that. And I bet it hurt, too." I thought at most he'd have a goose egg on whatever part of his face he'd landed on, but when he finally let me look, all I saw was blood. I cleaned it off while he cried (and cried, and cried...) and finally figured out it wasn't a bloody nose as I thought.

It doesn't look like much in this photo, but there's a nasty scrape under his nose. It looks like road rash from the rough scrape-your-boots door mat. Poor little fellow.

I held him and cuddled him and kissed him while he cried, and then put him down for a long and recuperative nap. This afternoon he seemed just fine, although at least one woman at the coffee shop thought he had a bloody nose.

I'm sure we're in for a lot more bumps and scrapes through his life. I just hope they are all as easily cured with mama kisses.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two cute

I have a backlog of photos I want to share, but I'm too tired tonight to do that. Instead, I'm posting because I want to remember these two really cute and incredible things Chase did today.

First, we were in the living room and he was standing with one hand on his little walker-wagon and one hand on my leg. He'd been trying to get to my cell phone - and becoming very upset when I wouldn't hand it over - so I handed him his cell (an old inactive one we had in the garage). he was so excited to grab it, he did so with TWO hands - letting go of both of his supports. I don't think he really noticed; he was intent on opening the cell, standing wide legged and only a bit wobbly while I grinned for ear to ear and shouted (in my head) "Look at you! You're STANDING!!!" After about 10 seconds, he started to wobble, and rested his hand on my leg while he sank to kneeling. He did it again this evening, just letting go and standing for a few seconds. I don't think he'll be walking by his 14-month birthday (another week), but it won't be long now.

A little later, we were sitting on the kitchen floor, where he was insisting on drinking a strawberry smoothie from a "big boy cup" without any help from Mama. We both had our legs out in front of us and we were facing each other, with Chase between my knees. Well, he must have gotten frustrated with how I kept helping him and reminding him to hold the cup steady (and then reminding him to "tip it a little more" when he was trying to drink) - he suddenly pushed on the floor with his heels and spun around, facing away from me! This made him giggle. He took another sip of smoothie (and dribbled a little on the floor), then did it again, ending up facing me. Another giggle, another sip, more spinning. Soon he was just spinning himself around and around, stopping every once in a while to giggle and sip more smoothie. :-D OMG, I about died holding in my own laughter.

By the time he was done, there were plops of strawberry smoothie all over the floor, a dab of strawberry in his hair, and several dribbles of strawberry down his shirt. Addie (our dog) and I both took a stab at cleaning the floor, then Chase got a bath to wash off all the sticky. (He did more cute stuff in the bath, but I said I'd talk about two things...)

Gosh, I love my boy!