Monday, August 25, 2008

Rocketship Run

Scarlett got a new CD recently. She loves it...obvious to tell by this video. I love it to. Laurie Berkner has instilled in me the hope that Scarlett's favorite song will not, in fact, remain the "La La La La, Elmo's World" song forever. God bless you Laurie Berkner. God bless you and your Rocketship Run. Oh...and tonight I witnessed Scarlett's repertoire of dance moves grow slightly larger than my very own. "That girl's got more moves than an octopus in a wrestling match." She puts her mom, and her mom's solo maneuver, to shame.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bubbles bubbles everywhere...

Scarlett signs "milk"

I taught Scarlett this sign all by myself. Admittedly, I find this "milk the cow" sign slightly disturbing. But hey, what can you do.

Taylor's birthday party

Saturday we went to Scarlett's friend Taylor's birthday party. She turned a very exciting four years old. Taylor had a moon bounce at her birthday party. How cool is that?! ( cool?) Scarlett loved it! I, on the other hand, was petrified. I have a subscription to Parents magazine, and a moon bounce incident was featured in their "it happened to me" section. The point of this section is to explain to parents that no matter how innocent a situation may seem, something horrible can still happen to your child. Yeah...thanks Parents, thanks for instilling in me the ever present fear that Scarlett will break a limb, lose a finger, or melt the skin off of the bottoms of her feet at the playground. Like I don't have enough to worry about. But back to the moon bounce. Joe played the role of moon bounce bouncer and carded toddlers at the gate to make sure that they were under 3 years of age before he would allow them in the VIP jump room.

Ethan's i.d. checked out, and he was the only toddler permitted to accompany my daughter in the moon bounce.
The experience was short lived.
Happy birthday, Taylor!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scarlett signs "more"

Okay...this was all my friend Val's work. Credit is definitely due.
As you've seen in recent posts, Scarlett picks up stuff fairly quickly - usually by watching someone else, and then mimicking what she sees them do. While sometimes this isn't such a good thing (i.e. "no!", hitting, and - most recently- sticking her finger up her nose) in this case, it's good. Val taught Scarlett to sign the word "more." I abandoned the idea of baby sign language because I don't spend that much of my day with Scarlett. I thought that this stuff wouldn't stick in her baby brain if she wasn't asked to sign all day long. I was wrong. To give you an idea of what the sign looks like, here is an image of a little boy signing the word "more."
And here is a video of Scarlett signing the word. When she had originally learned the sign, she had to see someone actually doing it in order to mimic them. Now, all I have to say is the word "more," as you'll hear, and she does the sign for it all by herself. I very much prefer the sign language version of "more" to her whiny grunt finger-pointing request that precedes it. Thanks Val!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Washing our hands...and armpits. I understand that Scarlett would imitate us lathering soap up in our hands. She sees Joe and I do this all the time. But where the heck did she get the armpit thing from?! It cracks me up. She does it every time. We haven't bought the "Elmo Washes His Armpits" DVD yet, so I can't blame Sesame Street. Well...I guess I can't complain about her having good hygiene.

Now this is what I call making an entrance...

Our little copycat

Scarlett will try to do anything she sees other people doing. (Except she'll never see me snap my fingers, because I can't. I'm not kidding. On freak days I can snap with my little finger and thumb together - but it's excruciating, and I don't think it counts. But back to Scarlett...) Joe and I are going to have to watch what we do in front of her a bit more from now on. One wrong "flip of the bird" and we could be in some serious trouble.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Scarlett's new chair

Right after telling my friend Val that Scarlett had a really cool chair with The Little Mermaid on it that she loved, Scarlett tipped forward in the stupid wobbly thing and smacked her head on the coffee table hard enough and loud enough that all I could do for 5 seconds was say "Oh my God" repeatedly. While I fully expected a cascade of blood, all that resulted from the incident was a small bruise above her left eye, and a lot of wailing. (Val, don't buy that chair at the Christmas Tree Shop - you know...the one I was just telling you about.) Joe and I went to IKEA today and got her this one. Unfortunately, it does not fold up and slide under the couch like the Little Mermaid one did. Sigh...I am slowly coming to the realization that I cannot hide all of my daughter's accompanying crap, I mean accessories, forever. Needless to say, she likes the chair.

"I have a belly button"

Friday, August 8, 2008

And here we go...

The terrible twos have come a bit early folks. But they’re here. I swear. Scarlett made the announcement yesterday afternoon when we went to pick her up at daycare. Well…it wasn’t necessarily a verbal announcement – but she…gulp…hit another child. She did. I saw it with my own two eyes.

Scarlett has been hitting me and Joe for the past few weeks, but until now, I thought that’s where it ended. The slappins’ were politely left at the doorstep in the morning where they waited patiently for her royal cheekiness to return early evening – and then – let the slappins’ commence! I’d say there are two or three good slappins’ a night courtesy of Miss Bubsy. The targets range from mid-thigh to mid-face (if you happen to be sitting down). The latter of the two being slightly more painful if the slappin’ catches you off guard and you happen to have your eyes open – which, let’s face it, is usually the case. To deal with said slappins’; we grab the Bubsy, make eye-to-eye contact and say “no,” sit her down briskly and walk away. But of course, this situation would never happen outside of our home. She wouldn’t hit anyone besides us. PSHAW.

When we went to pick her up yesterday, she was playing outside with the other kids. She was lowridin’ in the classic red and yellow cozy coupe car. Along came an innocent 2 year old holding a wiffle ball. SCARLETT ACTUALLY WALKED BACKWARDS IN THE CAR SO SHE WAS WITHIN SLAPPINS’ RANGE – and she reached out the window of the car and hit the little girl. What’s even worse is she didn’t even take the ball. I don’t even think she wanted the ball. The slappins’ were completely unjustified. I yanked her outta that cozy coupe car (which, trust me, is a HUGE punishment) and put her right into her car seat. Having a quick convo with her daycare provider, I find out that Scarlett does, in fact, hit the other kids from time to time. Her daycare provider said that she would classify this “freshness” as the terrible twos. Scarlett’s independence is soaring and her ability to communicate is not – well it is, but not quickly enough. She can tell me that she wants a cup of milk, but she can’t tell me that she doesn’t want chicken for dinner; and that she’d prefer mac & cheese.

There goes my theory that the terrible twos begin the day of the child’s second birthday. They begin right…now (cue terrible twos…that’s a go for terrible twos).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Broccoli Vs. Goldfish - you decide

Scarlett has been participating in some infant cognition research in the past couple months. I began receiving pamphlets from the Yale University based group right after Scarlett was born, and finally gave in and called to say she could participate. They are such a nice group of people! They love Scarlett because although she is certainly strong- willed, she never gets fussy or cranky. So far, we’ve done two studies, including one last night which was to examine how 14 to 18 month olds react to foods they like (Goldfish crackers) and food they tend to dislike (broccoli), and if they can comprehend someone else liking or disliking those same foods.

Joe and I were told that plates of both of these foods were going to be placed in front of Scarlett until she picked out one item to eat. After they determined which she preferred, broccoli or Goldfish, we would then move into another room. She would be handed some toys, and then she would be asked to give them back. And lastly, she would watch one of the researchers enthusiastically eat broccoli, and unenthusiastically eat Goldfish – to show Scarlett that the researcher also had a preference. The same plates of Goldfish and broccoli would be placed in front of Scarlett and she would be asked to give the researcher one of the two items.

As far as 14 month olds (the youngest of the participants in this particular study), this is what Joe and I were told would most likely happen with Scarlett. Scarlett may or may not choose a food to eat. Some toddlers get uncomfortable in situations where everyone is watching them, and don’t feel safe. Scarlett would most likely take the toys from the researcher, and give them back no problem. She would grasp that the researcher preferred broccoli over Goldfish, but Scarlett would either give him her preferred food when he asked for food, or give him no food whatsoever. But if she gave him broccoli…now that would be a miracle and these researchers would instantly become rich and famous and they would make Scarlett rich and famous and give her an instant full scholarship to Yale…redeemable in 17 years. I made some of that last part up – regardless, no 14 month old has ever handed the researcher broccoli.

By now, I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats wanting to know how the little Bubsy did. Here we go…when the two plates of food were placed in front of Scarlett, I was shocked. I thought she would go to town eating the Goldfish (her favorites), but she was hesitant. She started sitting cross-legged on the floor, and wouldn’t take any food. She moved to Joe’s lap, no food. She kept looking around the room and giggling at the people watching her. After moving to my lap she eventually took a Goldfish VERY SLOWLY, and ate it. The crunch was deafening. She ate another, and another. It was determined she preferred Goldfish to broccoli. Genius!! Then we moved into the other room. She sat on my lap and was handed a green rubber duck, and was immediately asked to give it back, which she did. Then a blue rubber duck – same process, same result. And now, here came the clincher. After the researcher ate a piece of broccoli and said “MMMmmmm,” he ate a Goldfish and said “YUCK!” The plates were then put back in front of Bubsy.

The researcher extended his hand and asked Scarlett to give him some food. Then we played the wait game. He asked again – and nothing. He asked again, and Scarlett looked at him with the blankest stare I have ever seen her give. “Scarlett…can I have some food?” he asked again. Nothing – again. Then Scarlett reached out her little hand slowly. Oh God…she was going for something! She was!! And she was going for the broccoli!! She slowly reached her hand up to the broccoli, formed a little pincher with her thumb and forefinger, and made actual contact with the vegetable that could classify my child as a genius. Up until this point, everything had been in slow motion – but not this. Scarlett gasped and withdrew her broccoli-less hand from that plate quicker than she has ever done anything in her entire life. If it were not a cooked vegetable, I would have sworn that broccoli bit her. That’s that. No broccoli. So what next? Scarlett reaches out and grabs a Goldfish. Does she give it to the researcher? No. The greedy little butthead ate it herself. And another. And another. And all the while she was staring at the researcher not blinking an eye. I have never laughed so hard in my life while still attempting to remain somewhat professional because they were filming the experiment. So what did we discover? Scarlett is like every other 14 month old that participated in this project. Well…she’s a genius in my book. Broccoli is pretty gross.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Orange Carnival

Last night we went to the Orange Volunteer Firefighters Carnival with Haila, her mom Lisa, Eric, and Cav. We went to this carnival last year too, when Scarlett was just about three months old. I tell ya folks, the end of this summer has pretty much just been a repeat of the end of last summer when Scarlett was finally old enough to go on some fun outings. It's been almost surreal to go to the same places and events with her now that we went to then - and I'm sad to realize that this is just the beginning of her growing up. I'm sure 10 years from now when we're still going to the Orange Volunteer Firefighters Carnival it will be even more strange...or maybe I'll be numb to it by then...but probably not.

Haila turns into such a little mom when she's around Scarlett. She's so curious about what words Scarlett can say and what foods she can eat. (Try explaining why a 14 month old can't eat Cotton Candy.) After eating some ice cream out of a baseball hat bowl (remember those?) Haila wanted to know "what baseball Scarlett liked" - which broke down to whether or not she was a Mets fan. Here's Haila helping Scarlett model some Mets-ness.
I didn't have the heart to tell Haila that Scarlett will most likely wind up a Yankees fan, just like her father...or maybe a Blue Jays fan? (Represent!!)
Haila played a Rubber Ducks game and even shared one of her turns with Scarlett by letting her pick out her own duck. This took much longer than everyone anticipated...but was really cute.

Initially, Scarlett wouldn't pick any of them up...she just kind of let her hands drag in the water to touch the ducks as they went by.

She finally grabbed one, and was a little pissed that I took it right out of her hands to put on the counter. After taking a whole minute to pick it out I can't blame her for wanting to hold onto it for a bit!
Then we met Sparky the firedog. I didn't know what would happen at first (you can never tell if kids are going to love or hate these larger than life big-headed furry creatures) Scarlett loved him. Of course she did...this kid has no fear (I am, of course, excluding her random fear of vacuum cleaners. I don't think that should count).

Haila went on some pretty cool rides... But we, for the most part, just watched her. That is, except for the giant slide that Scarlett went on with both Haila and Lisa. (They raced - how cute?) I figured, hey, she likes slides at the playground so she should like this. I was right. Here is Lisa lugging my giant 23 lb monstrosity of a child up the never ending staircase...if it seems like she's fairly close that's only because my camera was zoomed in to the max.And here's video of them going down.

As you can see, it happened really fast. I think by the time Scarlett realized what was happening it was over. She actually really liked it (as I'm sure you've learned by now, don't let her expression fool you!). I wish I continued to film for longer than I did, because the second they got up Scarlett turned around and ran back towards the slide as if she wanted to go again.

Yay carnival! We'll see you next year!

Scarlett's new house

Scarlett got a new toy yesterday. I got it for $4 at the thrift store across the street from where I work. It was originally marked $8, but the store was trying to clean out its inventory so it was half off. (I would have paid $8.) I gave it a good ol' Windex bath, and it looks brand new. And just because I'm incredibly proud of myself for finding this deal, I'll tell you that this toy retails for around $70. Needless to kept her entertained for a whopping 16 minutes in one sitting. Worth every penny. Problem is...there's really no hiding this toy. There is definitely a giant talking house in my living room.