Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

Wow we had a busy weekend. We had Memorial Day parties to go to on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We also went to the Memorial Day parade in Stratford with Grandma. It was so fun...and, of course, I took a ton of pictures and videos of all the fun events. Here's her royal cheekiness looking adorable with her newly trimmed bangs courtesy of moi. I am referring to the haircut as a Suri Cruise-esque bob. Joe is referring to the haircut as "the helmet." Having her first slice of watermelon at baby Radhika's (and Jess and Bhanu's) Memorial Day party Playing ball with AlexPlaying Bocce (or trying to figure out how the heck to play Bocce) with the adults

And whiffle ballScarlett was in a great mood after the party, so we tested out some of her new tricks on the car ride home. Here she is blowing kisses...

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And her newly learned "where's your nose" trick. We had taken a brief hiatus from training for this trick, but when we saw Carson making a hilarious noise with his nose (to see, click here) , it was baby boot camp time.

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Finding your nose is utterly exhausting. So, apparently, is taking off your shoes.
Parade time!! Scarlett LOVED the parade. She doesn't usually do so well with sitting still - but she was so good. She probably realized that there was no way she could compete with all the action - so The Scarlett Show was temporarily paused. This is Scarlett's new favorite game. I will try to catch her in action on video, but it's so funny. She spreads out her arms and wiggles her little fingers to get you to pick her up. When you pick her up, she just reaches out for someone else to hold her. They take her, and she just reaches out back to you. Repeat, and repeat...and repeat. Here she is wanting one of the marchers to pick her up. While they found it adorable, they were a little too preoccupied.

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How cute is she sitting in this Scarlett sized canvas chair?!? Please notice the sippy cup conveniently placed in her own personal cup holder. She actually sat in this chair for like 20 minutes.
This may have been partly due to the beads she was given by a marcher. Tuckered out...can you blame her?



Yay long weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2008

"My girl likes to pah-ty all the time"

What a fun day we had! Scarlett slept in until 7:30 - it got to the point where Joe and I could hardly wait until she woke up to see if she looked any older. We went downstairs so Scarlett could open the present Joe and I got for her. She got a Radio Flyer wagon..."The Pathfinder" to be exact. It has cup holders which, to Joe's delight, fit beer cans as well as sippy cups. It also has seatbelts for those wagon off-roading experiences.
Speaking of off-roading, Scarlett gets to sit front facing in her car seat now. She loves it. I do too because it's far easier to see if she's sleeping or not...which she's usually not, but hey...it's far easier to see that she's not sleeping, anyways. Because she turned one, I went and had Scarlett's photos taken at good ol' Kiddie Kandids. Check out this ham!!! People at the mall were actually stopping, staring and oh-ing and ah-ing at how cute and good Scarlett was being...which really helped the matter because if someone is actually paying attention to Scarlett she instantly starts an episode of The Scarlett Show, and that's what resulted in these awesomely adorable photos. Plus...I somehow got these four poses for only $30.52. I still don't know how that happened, but I'll take it.

Now...it's party time!! Here's Scarlett with her Godmother "Auntie" Joyce.

Playing with her friend, Haila, who I think was the only person who thought Scarlett was going to be a girl and not a boy. A whole lot of people.
Scarlett's handsome boyfriend, Carson, and his mom, Val, who also had a birthday that same day! (Can you believe it?!)
The love birds hanging out.
It's present time! I cannot begin to tell you how lucky of a girl Scarlett is! Everyone was so generous - too generous! Scarlett got beautiful clothes, bathing suits, some toys, quite a bit of money for her college fund, an awesome zoo pass for Beardsley Zoo (which will get Scarlett and I into the zoo for free for a whole year!) a bubble machine, books...the list goes on! Thank you everyone for all the gifts!
And here's the cake!


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"Mom...that cake was worth the whole $45 Julia's charged you for it. Don't have buyer's remorse mom! A Wal-Mart cake would just not have been the same."

Yay birthdays! Thanks everyone for making Scarlett's first birthday such a special one. She'll be talking about it till next year!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Her big day...

To my Scarlett,

Today is your first birthday. You don’t quite know what that means yet – but it’s a good thing; a great thing even. It means that you have been here with us for one whole year. On May 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm – you were born.
The hospital room was chaotic. There were doctors yelling, phones ringing, machines beeping – and then, all of a sudden, there was you. You were tiny and so quiet despite the chaos. You didn’t cry at all. You just…looked. Your dad held you first, and I watched as the tears streamed down his face, off the bridge of his nose and onto your blanket. He didn’t wipe them away; He didn’t take his eyes off of you; He just held you and cried. (If life offered a pause button, I’d have pressed it right then.) Your dad would go on to proudly tell his friends, “there’s something about a girl…there’s just something about a little girl,” and I’d smile knowing the exact moment he had figured that out.
We left the hospital and we could barely carry everything to the car. So many people had brought you flowers and balloons and stuffed animals. Your dad’s hands were too full and he accidentally let go of a balloon in the parking lot. He and I both stopped and smiled as it floated up and over the streets of downtown New Haven, as if announcing to the whole city that you were finally here. (And even then, we knew that one day you’d like that story.) When we got home, our neighbor was planting you a beautiful garden on our back deck. She said she wanted to give you “something pretty to look at.” There were flowers everywhere – and they were all for you. We opened the back door, we brought you inside, and then – a year flew by.
Ah, my baby girl, what was life before you? In this past year you’ve slept, you’ve woke, you’ve smiled, you’ve cooed, you’ve laughed (and my heart skipped a beat), you’ve rolled, you’ve sat, you’ve clapped (and we did too), you’ve crawled, you’ve walked, you’ve talked, and we’ve loved every second of you. Right before you were born a woman was trying to explain to me just how much I was going to love you when you came. There was a softness in her eyes, and she was literally glowing as she said to me, “You’re going to love that baby so much. You don’t know it now, but just wait…you will soon enough.” At the time, I thought, “Well, of course I’m going to love the baby”…but she was right. I had no idea just how much. Now I sit here with a softness in my eyes just thinking about you. Thank you for this past year, my baby bubbaloo. You make everything worth it somehow. Happy birthday, Scarlett.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

An early birthday present

Mossimo and his mom, Jen, got Scarlett a birthday present. With Jen's permission, I gave it to Scarlett last night instead of saving it for her actual birthday (which is this Sunday). I couldn't wait to let her open it because Jen said that Mossimo has the exact same toy at his home and it's one of his favorites - so therefore, it's gotta be good. Well...that little Mossimo has excellent taste because Scarlett loves it! Here is Scarlett unwrapping her new GBaby Magnetic Play System...
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And here she is playing with them. These toys are magnetic block-type things that fit together in a bunch of different ways. They can go in the bathtub, stick to the fridge, make a ball (which is Scarlett's favorite). Scarlett realizes shortly after she starts playing with them that they actually stick together. She was amazed! She brought them with her upstairs when we started to get ready for bed. She held on to them while I was putting on her pj's, and while we brushed her teeth. In fact, the only object that Scarlett would let replace her new GBabies was her bottle. I think we've got a new favorite toy folks!
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Thanks for the birthday present Jen and Mossimo!! Scarlett loves it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

She speaks!!

I think that Scarlett has been saying a few words recently. It's hard to tell though, because the words I think that she is saying are only one syllable words - and if it's even possible, Scarlett is dropping the second half of each syllable. I was hesitant to post any video of this milestone because I wasn't totally convinced...until now. Scarlett is reacting to the words that I think she is saying. She understands both "dog" and "ball"...or "da" and "ba" - however you look at it. If I say "where's the dog?" Scarlett points at him and says, "da." If I say "where's your ball?" Scarlett picks it up and says, "ba" (Well...sometimes she does.)

Here is Scarlett talking about our dog. (Just so you know, Link is hanging out in the kitchen behind the baby gate. And sorry these videos are so dark. I've got very limited video shooting time with Scarlett, and most of it happens to fall in the poorly lit evening hours!)
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Here is Scarlett playing with her ball.
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Yay dog! Yay ball! Yay Scarlett!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Scarlett stuff...wow, shocker.

Scarlett has been a little crabby recently. As you learned from my last post, her crabbiness initiated what may have been a premature introduction to Elmo. We all now know that she loves him, and there's no turning back. This crabbiness, I have realized, is because Scarlett was cutting both of her top front teeth. Any time Scarlett has given us trouble at bedtime Joe and I pace around wondering why she's being a "buttface" and not going to sleep like she usually does, yet any time Scarlett has given us trouble at bedtime she's gotten one, or even two teeth a few days later - justifying said crabbiness. I figure by the time she has a full set of teeth Joe and I will have caught on to this routine. So...in addition to her three bottom teeth, Scarlett has two top ones. Now if this relationship with Elmo does not wind up working out - she can, quite effectively, bite him.

On another note, Scarlett had her one year check-up today. It went very well. The Dr. was very impressed with oh...just about everything! She was shocked when I put Scarlett on the floor and Scarlett practically ran to the other side of the room to the toy bin. Since her 9 month checkup, Scarlett has grown two inches taller (wow), but only gained 3/4 of a pound. She is 95th percentile in height, but only 75th now in weight. Someone's turning into a skinny little beanpole. (At least one of us is...sigh.) Scarlett's iron count is better than perfect - which is a huge relief to the mom who was two steps away from buying her an iron supplement last week thinking that she wasn't getting enough. The Dr. said she was very impressed with how social Scarlett is, and how well she communicates through pointing and facial expression..."and grunting," I had to add. I told the Dr. that Scarlett was eating whatever Joe and I were having for dinner, including any meats, and the Dr. couldn't believe it. Turns out introducing babies to meats is supposed to be particularly difficult. So in short, the Dr. confirmed that Scarlett is perfect. But we all knew that already.

Here is a picture of Scarlett and I on my very first Mother's Day. I panicked right before I was about to put Scarlett to bed because I realized I hadn't gotten a picture with her and I yet. She's tired...as you can see. She fell asleep in my arms during her goodnight story. I couldn't help but to hold her and stare at her for a long time after that. Probably too long. Ahh...my little bubbaloo.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Elmoification of Scarlett

The TV has been on in the background of most, if not all, of Scarlett's life. I felt it was because of this that Scarlett rarely showed any interest in television. Like air, the TV is reliably there. And like air, Scarlett paid it little mind. Whoa boy, has that changed. We were having a cranky night last night, so I desperately popped in Scarlett's new DVD (which was purchased at a tag sale for 50 cents, mind you). Scarlett, meet Elmo. Elmo, meet my previously inattentive daughter, Scarlett.

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I can officially say that "Elmo Visits the Firehouse" is Scarlett's favorite movie. It's got everything, comedy, drama,...dogs even. A brief synopsis...Elmo is taking Maria out to lunch at Hooper's store and he is just about to eat a "scrumptious grilled cheese sandwich" when the fire alarm goes off and smoke starts billowing out of the kitchen. They immediately vacate the store while the firemen do their thing. Elmo develops a wicked case of the shakes followed by complete paralysis due to his fear of firemen...and I thought I had problems. Scarlett was at the edge of her seat...literally.
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After this, I wised up and pulled Scarlett's chair closer to the TV. I found it funny that she had what appeared to be an inherent urge to sit during the movie. She also pulled out her Nuk, which she has shown no interest in in...oh, EVER.

There he is folks...Scarlett's favorite muppet - in all of his furry glory.

I'm sure that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The updated (and preferred) caricature

Val and Andrei were kind enough (and talented enough) to fix up Scarlett's caricature. Now this is a far better representation of Scarlett. Happy grimace is more accurate. Head is less cone-ish. Shirt is far less purple (a despicable color, in my opinion). Val and Andrei - you should definitely go into the business of caricatureography touch-up.
So folks, please disregard the previously displayed caricature. I'm going to pretend it never happened.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The caricature

As promised, here in lies the caricature. Val was nice enough to film the work of art in progress. As you can see, Scarlett sat more still for this procedure than I've seen her sit still in the past 11 and 3/4 months...except when she was a baby baby and all she could do was sit...but I think even then she moved around more than she did here.

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And here's the finished product. I actually like it more now than I did when it was first done and handed to me. I'm slightly disappointed with that fact that Scarlett's happy grimace is a little too happy, and therefore, inaccurate. This portrait actually displays the corners of Scarlett's mouth pointing upwards - which you and I both know doesn't happen. The artist (who wore a beret in 68 degree weather, mind you) obviously doesn't know that we've all come to accept the happy grimace, and therefore, he should too. He's twenty dollars richer, regardless.

Mystic Aquarium

We went to Mystic Aquarium on Sunday with Carson and his parents. We were going to go to a rubber duck race (how cute would that have been?) with Mossimo and his parents, but it was cancelled due to rain - rain that never happened. We replaced rubber ducks with real marine life and called it a day. Here is Scarlett not looking at a beluga whale...even though I'm pretty sure that beluga whale was looking at her.Here are Joe and Scarlett walking to the penguins. Can you tell how excited Scarlett is? (This picture is the epitome of what I have begun to call Scarlett's "happy grimace.")Penguins!! (I swear they're there...they were just really boring and hung out on that giant rock. Shouldn't they be tap dancing or something? “Tootin' low [tippity tap], tootin' high [tippity tap]. He's a new tooter in with the tin pan parade.”) Everybody loved this penguin...including the parents. It provoked a long and detailed discussion about how it looked like the penguin was flying, but flying underwater - which is technically just swimming. Hey...give us some credit. This was a 10 minute conversation which wasn't, for once, about our children.I think Scarlett's favorite part of the aquarium was the sea lions. She loved them. I know this because she looked at them for more than a few seconds - which I'm slowly learning will not happen often. Come to think of it, these sea lions look very much like Link (our dog).Scarlett was not satisfied with just watching the sea lions. She insisted that they watch her as well, as displayed in this episode of "The Scarlett Show." video

Ah...the Anemone Garden. This exhibit enabled me to pass on an important life lesson to Scarlett. Despite how chaotic and stressful life can be, never forget to stop and smell the anemones.We saw some sting rays...and fish...and this thing...which I would be so happy never, ever to see again. Ever.
Carson went in for a kiss.
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We all ran (quite literally) to make it to the sea lion show at 4pm. Scarlett started off fine, and was even what I'd call "attentive."Then the actual show started, and my attentive bubbaloo did this...and this...After the show, I begged Joe to let us have a caricature done of Scarlett. He hesitatingly agreed. I'll show you the end result in a future post. I think the caricature is still in the back seat of my car. I think. (Yeah...doesn't say much for the caricature, does it?)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Family photos!

We had some family photos taken for Scarlett's Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Hopkins. It was both of their birthdays recently, so these were their presents. (Happy birthday, Grandma and Grandpa!!)
Don't we all look charming? The whole process was actually quite fun. I think initially the photographer was slightly concerned about Penny Lane and Scarlett because neither of them sit still. Well, at least Penny Lane grasps the concept of "sit," Scarlett, on the other hand, does not. At all. She was very good though, and the photographer said she was one of the best babies he's ever photographed. Maybe Joe and I should move away from Olympic swimmer and instead pursue baby modeling as the means of Scarlett earning us millions. We're just going to wait until the "happy grimace" becomes the new black...should be any day now. From left; my sister Stephanie, her fiancee Craig, Penny Lane, my mom, Scarlett, Joe, and I.

I think you know who these crazy folks are. They're crazy. And...kind of cute...if I do say so myself. But definitely crazy.