Holidays are the perfect occasion for me to unabashedly dress up my child in hand knits. Looking quite spiffy on Thanksgiving morning, here's Silas, sporting the v-neck sweater I made for him before he was even born, and which FINALLY fits him.
Hanging with Sparky: And Shannon: And friends...Hey, what's so interesting over here? Oh, it's just those silly sheep. Blu is eating some alfalfa of of Audrey's back (and getting a mouth full of wool for his efforts too), which everyone thought was pretty funny. We had a pretty restful, low-key Thanksgiving, which is just the way we like it to be. Silas talked to all of his grandparents on the phone, and we made a lot of great food, which we ate next door at Patrick and Shannon's house. And as you can see, we got to spend a fair amount of time outside walking around the yard and neighborhood. It was a happy Thanksgiving for us!
I've decided to start our own Thanksgiving tradition: Each year, Silas will make a list of what he is thankful for. Here's this year's response to the question "What are you thankful for?" Commentary and translation from Standard Toddler to Standard English, when necessary, are in parenthesis. Repetitions of words have been removed to keep the list from becoming book-length.
1. Mommy (I like how this is beginning!) 2. Pen (said while trying to grab the pen I'm using to write the list) 3. Ga-bige-a (bike) 4. Car 5. Tea 6. Coffee (You know your child is a native Northwesterner when this is one of the first words out of his mouth every morning) 7. Daddy 8. Fah (fire) 9. Ki-eeey (kitty) 10. Puppy 11. Gamma (grandma) 12. Pa (grandpa) 13. Pa-kwa (Patrick) 14. Shaaahn (Shannon) 15. Dolly 16. Llama (or maybe he ment Dalai Lama?) 17. Gummy (vaccuum--a story for another blog post)
And there you have it. We hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. I'll post some pictures from today soon.
We hear it all of the time -- "He looks just like you, Amber." Looking at the two of us together in these pictures,well, it's pretty hard to deny the resemblance. I had the same light blond hair as a child, and the same smile. And if you saw pictures of my father as a tot, you'd never doubt the power of genetics again. They could be twins, seriously. Drew has also commented that there are moments he sees his paternal grandfather in Silas. So, Drew's side of the family is in there, too. You can see that Silas' eyes are darker than mine--closer to Drew's in color. I always say they have eyes the color of olives. The boys also have matching beauty marks on their foreheads, which I think is pretty cute, considering that my mom, sister, and I all have matching beauty marks on our cheeks.
And if you ask me, Silas has Drew's feet. Drew says all feet are the same. He is wrong. Silas has his feet, for sure.
On another note, I've been asked several times if Silas has had a hair cut. No way! He's just got enough hair now that it is starting to stick up in the back and over his ears, and I LOVE it that way. I really want to see him with those cute little baby curls, like you see on a lot of little ones, so we are letting nature take its course for now. We'll cut it if it becomes a tangled mess, but otherwise, he'll be sporting a shaggy look. He's been bald, or nearly so, for most of his life, and his hair is still pretty thin, so I'm looking forward to it being crazy, messy, longish, and adorable for a while.
I expect we'll capture better videos of Silas playing the harmonica in the future. Right now, it's a little tricky, for two reasons. First of all, he only started playing about a week ago, so he tends to only play in small bursts, though he does occasionally go crazy with it, playing up and down the scale. Secondly, he has to be pretty distracted (as he is in this video), not to notice the camera. If he sees me pointing it at him, he stops what he's doing and yells "baby, baby" while grabbing for the camera. This is my fault, really. I made the mistake of showing him the pictures the camera takes and not surprisingly, these pictures are mostly of himself (the "baby" in question). So, he now associates the camera with seeing pictures of "baby."
Anyways, here's our aspiring musician at the spring of his career. One more thing to mention: He recognizes both guitar (he calls it "tar") and harmonica (he pronounces it "gumma") when it's being played in the music we listen to. He has been playing air guitar for some time now, and now he plays air-harmonica as well, holding one hand over his mouth and fluttering the other hand in front of it, and moving his head back and forth. Maybe I'll try to capture that on video some time too.
Thanks to the generosity of Beth (at my work), we are the proud owners of a bread maker. We now bake all of our own bread (7 loafs in the last 7 days!), which has been really fun. One does have to get used to its strange shape due to the the kind of pan the machine uses, but the bread is undeniably delicious. We've made several different kinds --oat, french, and cranberry walnut(pictured). Silas helps by adding certain ingredients and pushing the start button. Later on, when we're eating the bread, we tell him "that's the bread you helped make."
Our big guy is 20 months old today. Only 4 more months till his 2nd birthday... I've wanted to make Silas a simple baby doll ever since he was born. He seemed to be gravitating towards toys like cars and balls and I kept putting the project off. A few things have occurred recently that made me get a move-on on the doll-making front. One thing he started to do was lay a diaper out on the bed (where we change him) and line up a few of his stuffed animals for diaper changes, saying "diapa, diapa." He likes to watch me put diapers on his bear, for instance. He is also very loving with his stuffed toys, and will hold them to him and pat them lovingly. The event that finally led me to break out the crochet hook, however, took place at a store downtown. I had taken Silas to the toy isle and was intent on buying him a small wooden car. He loved the cars, of course, but then his eyes caught site of a cheap little baby doll. He picked her up and did not want to put her down. He seemed utterly transfixed. So, I promised him that I'd make him a doll. Thus, Silas' dolly was born. He picked up the word "dolly" right away and does seem to like her. Like many other objects (remote controls, cars, knitting needles), he often holds her up to his ear and pretends she's a phone, saying "hi. mom. mom. mom. bye." He will hug her, and line her up for diaper changes. But, let's be frank: his favorite thing to do is to pull her by her hair and stretch her head as far as he can. Thankfully, I crocheted her in one piece, so it's unlikely that he'll actually be able to pull her head off. Dolly will most likely have a complete wardrobe of handknit clothes someday. Not sure if Silas will like to change her clothes, but I will :)
I've been meaning to archive Silas' list of signs for some time now. This list is incomplete, but it's better than just deleting it from the sidebar and forgetting many of the signs he once knew. He leaves each sign behind when he learns the vocalized equivalent. "Puppy" and "kitty," two of his most common signs, for instance, are only spoken now. "Bird," on the other hand, is still only signed. I have a feeling that "milk" and "more" will be the last to go.
It makes me a wee bit sad to think that soon he will no longer use any of these signs. After all, it was the first way we communicated with him, and we worked really hard on it. It was such a joy to see him learn a new sign, just as it is thrilling now each time he learns to say a new word. I suppose it's sort of like when your child outgrows a once beloved toy. The child moves on and doesn't even notice, but the parent looks at the toy and realizes they've developed a sentimental attachment to it on behalf of the child. I love when he says "puppy" but at the same time, I miss how he would enthusiastically slap his hand to his leg every time he saw a dog. It's only a matter of time before he's speaking in complete sentences, doing advanced algebra, dating girls who aren't good enough for him, leaving for college...
I'm really too pretty for the likes of this blog. --Sobin the cat.
Sobin said that if I didn't devote an entire blog posting to him (no Silas allowed!), he'd stop waking us up at 1:30 every morning complaining to go outside. He also threatened to stop leaving dead rodents on the front lawn, right in the path we walk on, and he even mentioned ceasing to leave muddy paw prints all over every surface of our house.
Well, here you go cat. Please, don't stop being the lovable nuisance that you've worked so hard on becoming.
Introducing Planet Silas' November 08 book of the month:
Engine, Engine, Number Nine by Stephanie Calmenson ; illustrated by Paul Meisel.
Okay, two things to mention before I describe the book. First, I'm really late with this, as I normally try to publish the book of the month post on the 1st day of the month. With Halloween and the election, I pushed it back. Second, I don't have a bunch of pictures of Silas reading the book. I mean, do you really need to see pictures of him reading books every month? It's a little boring, right? And to be honest, I was getting tired of doing a kid-with-book-in-hand photo shoot every month. It's not that easy to get good shot when he's got his head in a book. So, from now on, unless there happens to be a nice picture of him looking at a book, or there's some other reason to post such pictures, the book of the month post will feature book cover images and a write-up of story in question and that's that.
So, let's get to it! This is a book that I used to read to Silas in the olden days when the worst thing he could do to a book was drool on it. In other words, we both really seemed to like this book when I could sit there and read it to him and there was little interaction on his part. At some point, it got shelved and forgotten about. Not too long ago, Silas brought it down and asked me to read it to him. "I remember that book, we loved that book" I said. I doubt Silas actively recalled it, but regardless, after just one or two readings, this became a frequent request. It's also the sort of book wherein after completing one reading, Silas shoves it in my face yelling "Mom, mom" until I agree to read it again (several more times).
Now, to the book itself. This is the story of a train picking up a myriad of passengers, from Bess and her pet pig, to Jake and his prize cow, to an entire marching band. They're all on their way to a county fair and it's the engine's mission to get them there on time. I don't know why both Silas and I love this book so much. Certainly, it's got a nice rhythm and there are lots of characters to follow. It's also humorous and sweet and, speaking as someone who went to the state fair every year, somewhat nostalgic. But there's something more to it that I can't quite place my finger on, even though I should be able to for the purposes of writing this review. Well, it's enough that we enjoy reading it, and I don't sigh and say "not that one again" when he asks me to read it for the hundredth time.
Sorry to say, but there's no honorable mention this month. Maybe I'll get back into the swing of it next month. Stay tuned...
I woke up this morning feeling more hopeful for Silas' future than I ever have before. I have great hope now that we can begin to overcome some of the major obstacles we face and create a brighter future for our children. Because of the choice our country made, the world has given us a second chance and we won't take it for granted this time.
Here's our little pumpkin sprite! It took over a month to make his costume, but I think it was a success. I was worried at first because he wasn't too fond of wearing the hat. I lined it with flannel and then he agreed to wear it. In fact, he wore it for 4 hours without trying to take it off once!
In addition to the felted pumpkin hat and knit pants, I made a simple crocheted quiver for him to carry a stalk of Chinese lanterns on his back.
Here he is, running to the car so that we can go trick-or-treating downtown. Being only 19 months old, Silas doesn't eat candy and we didn't want the temptation of having too much of it in the house, so while we did collect some, we largely wanted Silas to give something away instead. Seeing as though he was a pumpkin sprite, I got a bunch of tiny pumpkins for him to pass out. Our first stop was Cafe Trios where Silas gave away his first pumpkin of the evening to his favorite barista (apparently, in exchange for her phone, which he really did not want to give back). Then, we hit Winslow Way (our main street), which was closed to traffic for trick-or-treat. We saw lots of great costumes, and as the rain had stopped, there ended up being tons of people. Here's our friend Carmen, with baby Ozma, dressed as a bat. So cute! A good shot detailing the back of his costume: Silas loves this fountain, which is right outside my favorite store, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. After trick-or-treat, we made one last stop at Shannon and Patrick's house. Silas gave away his last 2 pumpkins and posed for a few more pictures before calling it a night. What a great Halloween! And if the pictures weren't enough, here's a short video too. Remember that if you click on the video and go to Youtube, you can choose to watch it in high quality.