Sunday, January 29, 2012

our alphabet prodigy

**Warning: this post blatantly brags about the talents of my child.**

For some reason, Genghis got really into learning the alphabet. It started with his foam bath letters. We spent a lot of tub time pointing to letters and telling him what they were. I didn't think much of it until he turned around and started telling us all about the "O" and "A". Then he started pointing out Os everywhere we went. On the address on our door (technically a zero), street signs, books, cereal boxes.

Of course, we immediately got serious about letter training. Genghis has to sit through countless sessions of letters every day. (I just finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and was conscientious of fostering success while still upholding free choice). In addition to the foam letters, we also had an alphabet chart posted in the living room, write letters on paper or Abe's new Kindle Fire (Amazon, you owe me at least $0.05 for that), and pointed to random reading materials. Genghis learned to recognize letters in all formats.

On the near-eve of 18 months, he now knows all the letters with the possible exception of U and W. I say possible because I think he knows them but refuses to repeat them back, often insisting that U is C and always insisting that W is M.

Here his is with a slightly more limited repertoire over Christmas.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

friday photos

Delayed photos from Christmas vacation.

Abe and Genghis enjoying the snow (note the Frisbee in the lower right corner).

Our attempt at a gingerbread house. Two seconds after I put it together.

Two minutes after I put it together.

Genghis enjoyed the mint M&Ms.

We re-purposed the wreckage.

Monday, January 9, 2012

oh, the things we do

Several months ago I received 3 bins of baby clothes from a friend. I knew we were really having a baby girl when I did a full load of laundry today that was just pinks and reds. And that was just for sizes 0-6 months.

Genghis was extremely helpful in today's project of sorting baby clothes. He has been very interested in putting things into boxes and then taking them out again. I think he spends, over the course of a day, about 45-60 minutes taking all of his small plastic animals out of their bag and placing them all in various locations around the room - on the bookshelf, in the storage compartment of his train, on the chair. A grosser version of this ritual is when he takes all of his food out of his bowl at dinner time and stuffs it into his cup holder, then tries to balance the cup on top.

So while I was sorting clothes today, I was able to give Genghis a pile of clothes of a certain size and gender and he dutifully put them all in the tub for me. It was quite efficient, partly because he helped put the clothes away and partly because I didn't bother to do any folding because, well, it was a 17-month old who was handling the clothes.

Really, though, I've always felt a little silly folding onesies that have less fabric to them than a dishcloth.

But not as silly as I felt tonight when Abe and I were teaching Genghis how to do the actions to "Once There Was a Snowman" (hands over our heads in a snowball shape, growing taller and taller and then shrinking smaller and smaller when we melt) and I realized that we were fully facing our front room windows. From the outside, you could get a great view of us, but Genghis was totally out of sight.

Friday, January 6, 2012

friday photos - Christmas

I don't know if these are rightly called Friday Photos since I feature more prominently (in many ways...).

A few shots from Christmas.

Here's our Christmas Eve dinner with friends. It was a lovely evening. Genghis spent most of the night holding and sucking on an apple that one of the guests brought.

Modeling my 3 new blue scarves, each from different family members. I have already worn each of them and I love them all.

Genghis's favorite Christmas gift - a 4-pack of toothbrushes. He carried these around all morning and stored them in the back of his push train, where he only keeps things that are very special to him.

Modeling my trendy pregnancy outfit. Thanks a bunch to my mother-in-law for several wonderful wardrobe pieces for work and every day.

Genghis modeling an outfit from my parents. It's hard to see it in the photo, but I feel this is something you could only purchase if you lived in Wisconsin. Red fleece jumpsuit with plaid embroidered deer on the front.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

i broke a nail - quick, to the E.R.

I have a million thoughts and stories about Christmas, New Year's, family time, Genghis's growing sense of humor (and mastery of the alphabet), and the utility versus futility of setting resolutions.

Instead I'm going to share my latest medical experience. I'm also tired and it's getting late so my New Year's resolution is to write this post in under 5 minutes.

A few days before Christmas, I pulled on a small piece of cuticle that was hanging from my fingernail (that sounds really gross when I write it out - no time for editing though - 3 minutes to go). A minor annoyance that I thought I could quickly get rid of. Except that it hurt quite a bit when I pulled it off. And it didn't stop hurting.

The next day my finger was red and had a stinging/numbing sensation in it. That night, I tossed and turned for a few hours, unable to sleep because of the incredible pain coming from that little part of my nail. At 2am, I gave up on sleep and googled my medical condition. Infected finger (I'd give you the technical name but that would require look-up time which I don't have). I could try to home treat it by soaking it in water an Epsom salts several times, or I could go to the doctor.

Recall it was 2am and I wasn't getting any sleep anyway. So five minutes later I was pulling up to the E.R. I'm sure I went red in the face when I walked into triage announcing that I needed to see the doctor because my finger hurt. And what was I supposed to say, really, when they asked me to chart my pain level on the 1 to 10 scale? I think I said 5, which is just one notch lower than when I was in the last hour of labor when delivering Genghis. Perhaps the scale is exponential.


Two hours of waiting and 3 minutes of operating later, they had lacerated and cleansed the infected area. I was driving home. And my finger felt much better.

All week I have been grateful to live in the days of modern medicine. I keep picturing my 1840s self on the homestead, taking my last, labored breaths after suffering an infection that spread through my whole body, while my husband and 6 children look helplessly on. In sepia tones.

Happy New Year!