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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kick, Kick, Kick

Dylan took swim lessons the past two weeks with his best friend, Rocco. The first day consisted of him clinging to me like we were surrounded by sharks, declaring "all done" throughout. That night the three of us piled along our bed, stretched our arms out and practiced our "kicking" - which seemed to help Dylan grasp what the goal of swimming was. The next day he narrated the entire class with "kick, kick, kick, kick" as he and I puttered around the pool with kickboards, pool noodles, and the like. All in all it was a successful swim class experience for us, minus a few days he declared "all done" following attempts to get him to float on his back.

And on the last day he even went underwater with a round of Ring Around the Rosie, which was an accomplishment!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

A Toddler in the Mist

Fun times, courtesy of the Children's Garden at The Huntington.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Skip, Skip, Skip to my Lou

Dylan learning how to skip after one of our evening walks with daddy. Notice how he thinks putting his hands on his 'hips' (rather his tummy) is integral to the skipping.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Snuggle Bug

Dylan hasn't officially climbed out of the crib, but he came close a couple times and I don't want to find out the hard way that he's ready to make the transition from crib to toddler bed. Therefore, since this past Friday, Dylan has been sleeping on his "big boy bed" - which is actually just his crib mattress on the floor until the new bed comes.
And so in preparation for his new sleigh-toddler-bed that is coming in another week or two, we moved his mattress to the floor, rearranged his room a bit, and really talked up his move to big-boy status to get him ready for the transition.
He is VERY excited, mentioning the new bed at least once an hour now!

Oh, and did I mention the awesome bedding set that is also on its way?

Anyhow, Dylan still asks for me to stay with him as he falls asleep. Before I couldn't stand there for too long because my arm would fall asleep from hanging over the side as he hung onto it. But now that he's so close to the floor I can just lay down with some pillows myself and boy does he know it. He says goodnight to Daddy so easily, but clings to my arm, pulling me close, telling me to stay.
If I wasn't such a cuddle-bug myself, I might try to weasel my way out of this new bedtime routine, but I love it. I love laying there next to him as he drifts off to sleep, closing my eyes and enjoying our snuggles. It has become my new favorite part of the day. And while I'm excited for his new bed to arrive, I'll be sad for our special little on-the-floor routine to end.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Can I just say that I'm an IDIOT?

For starters, Dylan's swim lesson was so much better today. I guess practicing our "kick, kick, kicking" at the edge of the bed, arms stretched out like superman WORKED.
And we even squeezed in a quick lunch date with Ryan with some Taco Bell (yeah, nutritious little meal for the fam...) before heading home to wait for the plumber all afternoon.

Wanna hear how much of an idiot I truly am?
Ok. So here goes: I came home after meeting ryan with Taco Bell, exhausted, but managed to read about 5 books to dylan and put him to bed. Then I decided that since I didn't know what time the plumber actually would come, being that they gave me a 3 hour window and I was exhausted (apparently!), I could lay down and wake up when they rang or knocked on the door. Here's the tool part: I never woke up. They apparently knocked and rang the bell, called me, etc. for 20 minutes!

I'm now sitting here waiting for them to call me back, wondering what I'm going to say. How lame to have to admit that I'm such a slug that I missed their appointment because I took a nap?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jam Packed Day with a Bloody Toe to Boot!

8:00am: wake up and give free Legoland ticket to friend before appointment

8:45-9:45am: appointment

10:00am: pickup Dylan from Caltech from Ryan and head over to run errands

10:15-11:15am: errands including grocery shopping

11:15am: race home, change Dylan and I both into swimsuits, head out to swimclass

11:45-12:15: swim class where Dylan clung to me, scared of doing anything the instructor encouraged him to try, but enjoyed being in the water.

12:30pm: undress wet self and toddler, attempt to pee with said toddler while attempting with all my might to convince him that it is DISGUSTING to touch ANYTHING in the stall!

1:00pm: call and make plans with friend to go to the zoo while sitting in parking lot at pool, eat packed PB&J sandwich lunch with Dylan in car before running home again.

1:15-1:30pm: rush home, pack snacks and bag for zoo

1:30pm: as I use the bathroom, Dylan pulls fan (it was off, but still heavy) onto himself and cuts big toe open, requiring many kisses and band aids after fight to clean out with alcohol because mommy doesn't have peroxide on-hand for some lame reason.

1:50pm: arrive at zoo

2:00-5:00pm: walk around zoo until legs ache

5:15pm: Dylan sacks out in car (finally a nap for at least one of us!)

5:30pm: Call Ryan and tell him we are home, crawl upstairs and put Dylan to lay down until daddy gets home, crash on bed.

Tomorrow our day is only slightly less packed, but hey, it's summertime!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Place cells

Dylan has great place cells. These are neurons in the hippocampus that fire when an animal (or person) is in a specific spatial environment. We've noticed some things recently that have astounded us:

1) Dylan knows when we are close to Taco Bell when we are driving around town, and will say his word for taco, which is "pow-k," (over and over) to indicate his desire for a tasty, nutritious dog-meat taco. Yeah, you know your family is eating WAY too much Taco Bell when your two-year-old can identify the streets around the local drive-thru.

2) He knows when we are even remotely close to a certain tunnel on the 710 freeway here in LA. We sometimes honk the horn when we are going through it, so he yells "beep, beep!" when he senses we are near it.

3) This one is cool. We go for walks in our neighborhood sometimes, and they are often quite long and take us over 2 miles from our house and often end when it is pretty dark out. On our way back, when we are still many blocks away and have several left and right turns to go before we get home, we will be very upset if we turn in any direction away from home.

The other thing he can do, though not exactly a spatial awareness task, is he can recognize any Volkswagen on the road. At first we though he was just recognizing the shape and pattern of the logo on the front of the car, but he can recognize it just by the shapes and contours of the metal (we know this because he has often pointed out a Jetta or Passat - being those are the cars we have - when the logo is covered by another car on the road). When he sees a VW, he declares "a-daddy," indicating for us that there is a daddy-car until we acknowledge this fact for him. It's pretty remarkable.

I'm sure you have gathered by now that this is being written by the resident nerd, err, neuroscientist in the family. Aren't kids amazing!?

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Friday, July 13, 2007

3-foot Wonder

We had Dylan's 2 year pediatrician visit this week. Here are his stats:
Weight: 28 lb. and 1.5 oz. (50th percentile)
Height: 36.75 inches (95th percentile)
Head Circumference: 49.5 (60th percentile)

So by the standard approximation, you are supposed to double your kid's height at 2 years old for what they should be as an adult... which would put Dylan at about 6.1
Not bad. Actually that is what Ryan is, so it makes sense.

And about 10 months behind his other lateral incisors, his bottom right tooth is finally popping through. Yeah, just in time for us to actually get to ask the doctor about it, it decides to join the rest of the gang. So not only do we have a tantrum-ing toddler, we have the lovely combo of a teething AND tantrum-ing toddler during our visit. But stickers and new toys always help.

And just as the pediatrician came in to see us, Dylan decided to have a little meltdown because Daddy wanted to clean up the toys - and we had a lovely example of how much measures up to the two-year-old mold. But the good part was how she gave us suggestions on how to handle it and complimented Ryan on how he dealt with Dylan's frustration with the toys, reminding Dylan to ask for 'Help' and yielding a much less volatile toddler.

He also got his follow-up Hep A immunization shot, which was uneventful considering he had thrown that lovely tantrum earlier and then didn't cry at all with the shot. He did, however, like the fun "crayola crayon" band aid that they gave him.

And as I type this, Dylan is in his room, singing himself to sleep. My little 3 foot wonder.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Love Thursday: Stickers

Dylan loves stickers. And thanks to Julie and Kathy, we have two very special sticker colorform fun pockets that Dylan really enjoys.

Here is a little video of us doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar one together:

Notice the fire-truck sirens that go by in the background? Then Dylan points out the "trucks"? We do indeed live near the fire station, but it is actually really cool. The sound of the trucks that go by make me feel comforted to know that 'help' is only about a block away if ever we needed it. We drive by it everyday and count how many of our trucks are there. And on our walks, we often get a wave from the firemen sitting outside. Then one time Dylan was even invited to come sit up in one of the fire engines, which was AWESOME! So there you have it. What could be an annoyance, is really a blessing.
Ok, now go watch it again!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pool Party, San Diego Style

Saturday night, after celebrating with our friends (see previous post), we drove down to San Diego to celebrate with Ryan's family. We enjoyed Sunday by his parent's pool, which was VERY nice indeed (especially with a new bikini bathing suit!) Sitting out there felt like we were on a tropical vacation and the weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor pool-party.

Daddy and Dylan enjoying the pool.

More singing of the beloved "Happy Birthday" song. Dylan even clapped at the end of the song.

Happy Birthday, my little boy!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Birthday Boy

Dylan turned TWO this past weekend. We had a little party at a local park, which was fun. There were balloons, of course, cupcakes (which he LOVED), a battery-powered bubble maker (thanks to Anna for bringing that - it was a HUGE hit), and lots of fruit (another one of his favorites!)

Here he is with his best friend, Rocco, over by the balloons!
Here's the birthday boy eyeing the cupcakes, again with Rocco at his side (notice how after we took EXTRA care to keep them level during transport to the park, they were knocked over just moments before this picture when Dylan decided to crawl behind the table for them, indicating to us that it was time for the cake).

And here's the family all together!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Things Dylan likes

For starters, here's something he likes (all the way from St. Louis!):

And a few more things that I'd love to get him:
1. Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs

2. The Moon and the Stars or both

3. Fish Prints with white frames for his room

4. Sticker Books (note that Dylan's prized possession right now is his sticker book!)

5. Anything about bugs or ants

6. Tubtime toys (or these)

7. Kids music

8. Little Einstein Kids Videos

9. An Easel (or this one)


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Love Thursday: Fishies and Forts

Today we all ventured out to the Cabrillo Aquarium.
It was a small-ish aquarium, perfect for an hour or two visit, including a tidepool touch-tank.

Here he is giving the fish in the tank a 'kiss'!

On the way home we missed our turn for the street leading us to the freeway. Once we turned around and turned up the correct street, we watched a nasty car wreck just about 50 feet ahead of us (in which the jeep/hummer car did a 180-spin just missing our car by a couple yards)! Imagine if we hadn't missed our turn, perhaps causing us to just miss being one of the cars in that accident?! That could have been us. We pulled over and I almost got out of the car to try and help... flashbacks of last year come to mind. But Ryan knew better. Since we were in the middle of LA, there were plenty of other people already running to help out. I have been thinking about what happened again back in December and I'm thankful that Ryan had the foresight to know what was best for our family today, gently telling me to stay in the car this time.
We drove carefully the rest of the way. Dylan fell asleep in the car, giving us time to talk and enjoy the rest of our time together before taking Ryan back to work. Then Dylan and I came home and took a nice, long nap.

Tonight we had the perfect post-aquarium visit dinner: fish.

Then Daddy and Dylan built their first fort together, which Dylan lovingly referred to as their "how-t" (which I guess was 'house').

And in two days it is Dylan's birthday. Two years. I can't believe it has gone by both so slowly and so quickly at once. I dread how fast Dylan is growing up, however I love watching him grow. It's a bitter-sweet road. And so I buckle-up (it's the law, and part of a campaign here in California, don't you know?) and get ready for the next year's ride!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th

We acquired some free tickets to the San Marino Lacy Park fireworks show yesterday. AND, we know someone who lives a block from the park so they let us park in their driveway rather than walk a long way to the show.
We took Dylan, Daddy took his camera and Kathy joined us for some nice fireworks. We almost choked on the fumes of some guy spraying massive quantities of bug spray right next to us. Bugs in CA, come on! Obviously he had never been to the midwest!

Monday, July 02, 2007

toddler bed?

Dylan is rounding the age where he needs to transition from crib to bed. The question is whether or not he should have a toddler bed or just place his mattress on the floor? And if we get a toddler bed, should we get another crib mattress or use his old one? So many decisions!

In any case, I've been browsing the good 'ol internet and found a few cute choices:

The Boat Bed
Sleigh Bed (probably in Oak or Cognac)

And for the bedding:
Hungry Caterpillar

What's your vote?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dodger Game

A friend of ours works for a company that has LA Dodger Season Tickets with Club Level seating and offered them to us for today, as his wife was scheduled for delivery of their baby this morning (congrats guys!) and obviously wasn't going to use them himself...
So, we went to the LA Dodger game today (and enjoyed some swank seats to boot!)
It was Dylan's first baseball game. We arrived about 30 minutes before the game began and as soon as Dylan finished his first round of snacks, he waived his hands and declared "All Done" like it was time to go. To be honest, I was nervous about how we'd manage through the rest of the game. But we actually made it through the 8th inning before heading home (all in all, he lasted a good 3 hours!)
Our friend Kathy joined us for the event and probably kept both Ryan and I sane as we tag-teamed to the bathroom, getting snacks, and taking Dylan for little "walks" to buy more time watching the actual game. She even trucked up and down the stairs with me on my pilgrimage for some snacks I spotted some neighbors enjoying. Our snacks were fabulous, our seats were in the SHADE, and the Dodgers won.
It was a good day.

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