Monday, December 27, 2010

Recipe Time

This is an easy one, quite suited to a Monday morning, post holiday, where you just don't feel like cooking breakfast.

Tasty Muffins  (I named them myself)

English Muffin
Salted Butter
Peanut Butter


Slice the Muffin in half if needed and toast both halves.
Butter lightly (you can skip this, but especially if you have unsalted peanut butter it will make a big difference)
Smooth on a nice coat of peanut butter
Drizzle with honey
Enjoy with your favorite breakfast beverage. I recommend cold milk or hot coffee.

Just make sure you have a napkin handy, because you can get a bit sticky.

You might be thinking, gosh why didn't she share this before I was done with breakfast? Well, I was eating mine. Just remember this for after New Years and don't say I never gave you anything.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Monday

This post has been sitting in limbo since the 6th. I guess December has gotten away from me a little bit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Obvious

I have to assume this is why there was an "extra" sword in today's advent calendar surprise.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I can't find any information on the developmental stage that involves making fart noises with your mouth, but I'm pretty sure Max is advanced for his age.

Just in time for the holidays too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I did not know I could still screw up a diaper change so bad. It's not like I'm new to the diaper game. Anyone who's been around little ones knows that by the time you have a 17 month old (or close enough) you've changed a heck of a lot of diapers.

It started normally enough. Max had a stinky diaper, so I took him upstairs to change him. He frequently screams, cries, and tries to get away the entire time that you change his diaper now, so I wasn't bothered with the way he was carrying on as I went to change him. But he managed to thrash around and get a foot in his dirty diaper, so I had to clean more of him than usual.

Then in the time that it took me to reach over and grab the new diaper he peed all over the changing pad. I grabbed a clean cloth diaper from the drawer and slid it under him while I cleaned him up a second time. He was thrilled with this process. Once he was clothed I cleaned up the changing pad and put on a new cover.

Then as I was trying to dump the poop in the toilet it just went all wrong. Somehow the clump split four ways and rolled off the cloth in every direction except down into the water, so I had to pick poo off the floor. I have no idea how it happened, but the string of "uh-oh"s from Max at least added some humor to the situation.

It could have all been worse, I know, but still... you'd think I'd be better at this by now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I am either a little late or quite a bit early with this illustrated guide to making Mummy Sausages. These are regular sausages, made to look like mummies, not some sort of disgusting science project. They were incredibly fun for Halloween, but you can have mummies any time in my book. So go ahead and bake some up tomorrow. I think these sausage wraps come out better than the ones I've had where the bread dough more completely covers the sausage. The bread has more golden yummy surfaces, the meat seems to cook a little better, and with little gaps for moisture to escape the inside dough didn't seem to suffer from being as soggy as usual.

You bake the sausages at the temperature and time according to the directions on your biscuit can. In my case I found they needed to cook a lot longer, but just go by looks. The sausages are fully cooked when you buy them, so you don't have to worry about food safety in that respect. Also, remember that these are similar to hot dogs, so if you would normally cut a hot dog for your little one make sure you cut these as well. With the smaller circumference I was able just to cut the sausage in half and Max handled it with ease. I actually cut them before wrapping and baking for him, and they came out just as well as the uncut.
Get Some Canned Biscuit Dough
And Some Pre-Cooked Sausages

Roll Out a Piece of Dough So it's Thinner & Wider Then Cut Into Strips
Wrap Around the Sausage, Leave a Gap
Repeat Several Times
Bake Until They Look Yummy
Add Mustard (or Ketchup) For Eyes
That's it. I'd say it was as easy as pie, but it is a lot easier than baking a pie. For a festive presentation you can skewer the mummies after baking and stab the skewers into a pumpkin. We did this for a get together before Halloween and it was a big hit.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I don't really have anything to say, but I love when Max gets all up in the camera lens. Although when the flash is on, it can get a little bright.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Maybe a Day Late

I suppose this post would have been more timely if I'd posted it on Nov 2nd, it being about voting, but then again we actually voted during early voting last week, so let's not get too hung up on our time lines. It's not like I'm going to tell you who to vote for anyway.
Voting is Serious Business

I'd like to get Max excited about voting, but when you don't actually get to vote what incentive is there for you to be into it? I'm voting donuts. We had donuts before heading over to the grocery store to cast our ballots. I think we should make this a thing that we do. If nothing else, I really like donuts.
Enough Pictures Already

I hope that you voted, that you made your voice heard. If something kept you from the polls this time, don't dwell on it, but make sure you get out there next time. It doesn't hurt as much as you think it does.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dishwashing Baskets

I recently discovered a new dishwashing basket for baby stuff by OXO; as soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted one. Our old caddy took up almost a fourth of the top of our dishwashing space. The bigger basket was pretty much the standard that was available when I tired of washing the bottles by hand, so it's what we used. The Munchkin basket held a lot more than this new basket, you can see below the new one is pretty much stuffed to the gills with 3 sippy valves and the tops to two Nuby water bottles.
Just About One Day of Bits
The OXO Tot line has a lot of products that look pretty good, and I've always been happy with their other kitchen gadgets so I was pretty confident that I wouldn't be let down. The Mini Dishwasher Basket is just what I need right now. It is slim enough that you can stand it up in the dishwasher and it takes up hardly any space. Check out the side view below.
Slim Side View
I was sold just on the fact that I'd be able to fit a whole days worth of dishes in the dishwasher again without running out of space up top. What I didn't think about was how much cleaner items would come out. In my old basket items would bounce around in the wash and at some point flip upside down and fill with water. Every time there would be at least one thing that needed rinsing, if not complete hand washing. This basket keeps everything snug so they come out clean and not full of funky rinse water.

I've been using this basket for almost a week now, so I can finally recommend it to you. I didn't want to encourage you to go get one until I was sure it would work well. I think everyone that has any sort of basket in their dishwasher for bottle or sippy cup parts should go and get one of these. If you think it's too small for how many bottle pieces you wash then buy two, it's only $7 so that's no more expensive that one larger basket and this will take up less space.

To make up for the general lameness of a post that is all about dishwasher baskets I shall now include a picture of random cuteness.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

His New Thing

Skillet fried toddler, over easy, with a side of adorable toes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Patience - Part 2

Told you he had patience. All this while sitting next to a toddler splashing in the bath.

Fez Cat is Will Get You at a Later Date

Friday, October 22, 2010


Cabbit has always been incredibly tolerant of less than gentle cuddling. I think it's because I've always been a little rougher with him than most cats will stand, but you know he kind of looks like a bulldog and for a while he would even play fetch. So whether it is simply nature, or a bit of nurture, Cabbit puts up with a lot of Max's affections.

This cat gets sat on, hugged, kissed, smacked, has his fur pulled, and once or twice Max has tried to pull his nose off. Cabbit is lucky he doesn't have a tail or I'm sure that would get pulled too. He doesn't seem to have a the same fondness for Max that Bullet does, but he certainly isn't afraid of him (probably because he still out weighs Max) and sometimes I think he figures the kid ain't half bad. I just love it when Max is sweet to the cats and I love this picture of him hugging Cabbit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Texas Book Festival

I occasionally watch "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" with Max. I've saved episodes on the DVR so that we can see them when we (ok when I) want. He really likes the short song they sing as they go off on the day's adventures, and he seems to recognize his Cat in the Hat doll in a way that he didn't before we watched the show. So it seemed to me that he would probably enjoy going to meet and have his picture taken with the Cat at the Texas Book Festival last weekend.
Hi, go get in the tent or bugger off. Kthxbai.
It turns out that the only rule about the Cat meeting seemed to be that you wouldn't be able to get near the Cat until they wanted you to, and that there would be no lines to queue in. So, although it wasn't what I had hoped for, I was actually relieved when Max didn't seem to notice the big ass cat whisk right by him.

It was nice in the shade, and there was a little breeze, but anywhere too close to the tents and I felt like all the oxygen was gone. I was a little claustrophobic and there were too many people trying to fit in some of the spaces. Since Max didn't care about the cat we decided that we didn't care either and started to head back towards the car, but not straight to the car.
Such fast friends.
We figured Max would enjoy some running around time, and since we had to cross the Capitol grounds to get back to the car we headed for some flat spaces under nice big trees. We ended up finding another family there who had a little boy about 8 months older than Max, and they had a blast together! There was no prying Max away until the other family headed off. By the time we got him home it was well past nap time, and he was pooped, but it was totally worth it.

Max is in a cuddly phase right now, and has started freely giving hugs to Jeff and me. While running around he actually ran up to the other little boy's mom and hopped in her lap to give her a hug. There was a brief moment of jealousy where the other little boy did not want Max honing in on his territory, but then he gave Max a kiss. It's a shame they aren't our neighbors, because that would totally rock.

On a side note, I'm going to make a blanket statement right here and say that I will not be letting any of my kids play Call of Duty. I thought it was pretty horrible when my four year old nephew was always begging to play CoD*, but when the sister of Max's playmate this weekend said that he was pretending his whistle was a gun because he loves playing Call of Duty I was just stunned. Who on Earth lets a two year old play, or even watch, Call of Duty? I don't know enough about the game to know at what age the story line might be appropriate, but I do know enough about the level of violence to know that preschoolers don't need to be exposed to it at all.

Updated 10/25
* I should probably have taken the time to expound on the video game habits of my sister's kids. There was a time when the kids were granted access to games and movies that in my opinion were not appropriate at all. This was not all their mom's doing, she had help with some of these decisions. The kids spend time with their dad (her ex) and used to be baby sat by our other sister, because mom was working a full time job. As can be expected with several different sets of care givers, not everyone was always on the same page as far as what was allowed, and what wasn't.

I'm not sure when things started to change, because we live several hundred miles away, but I do know for a fact that things are much different now. One of the major changes is that mom is able to stay home with the kids now, and as such she is able to be in more control of what they see and do. The last time that we were in town with them the kids wanted to play video games and she asked them about the rating. They know they are no longer allowed to play games that aren't age appropriate and they don't like it. No more CoD in that house. I was proud of her when I heard the law being laid down, and I should have given her credit in this space instead of just bringing up the old times. I was too busy ragging on the fact that somewhere someone thinks CoD is okay for a two year old, and sees nothing wrong with them pretending to shoot people. That was my bad, and I'm sorry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Blog Has a Mini-Me

I created a new blog yesterday. It's kind of a sister to this one; you can find it here. I've also made it a tiny home on the left sidebar of this blog.

There's really nothing special that's going to go on there. The current plan is that the posts will be tiny things that I don't want cluttering up this current blog space. I know that's pretty much what Twitter is for, but this is an experiment, so bear with me or feel free to ignore it.

I make no promises. I may hardly ever post on it, or I may go nuts and overrun the place. I also reserve the right to kill it dead at any time; so don't get too attached unless you want to pay me actually money, in which case perhaps we can come to some sort of arrangement.

Monday, October 18, 2010


It becomes almost impossible at some point to take pictures of your child from the front. I have ample pictures of the back of this child's head, and I have pictures of all sorts of blurs. Take for instance the following photo:
Exit Stage Left
I swear that Max is in that photo, you just can't tell because the lighting was dim and he was on the move. I think I took 10 photos in 2 minutes because he was being all sorts of adorable, and this was one of the best. He's not yet old enough to understand or tolerate a direction to stay still, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up.

Sometimes you just have to get creative. If you have the same problems of "blurry kid" that I do you can try to following technique. During daylight hours, take your kid and tickle them until you can lay them on the ground. Use the red-eye flash to distract and immobilize them, and then with a steady but quick hand click some pictures with the macro setting on your camera.
I had to pin him to the ground.*

Voila, you will have precious close ups that accurately depict that darling smile in no time.

*Not really, that red eye flash really throws him for a loop.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Small Wonders

I can't believe how excited I am by this, but Max is actually using crayons today. This is the first time he's been offered a crayon and actually drawn with them, instead of try to chew them then throw them on the floor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How Does He Do It?

This kid keeps getting cuter. I don't see how it's possible, but every time I turn around he's just more adorable than the last time I looked.
Mah Bukkit

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Kind of Obvious

Even when they don't have the words to communicate what they're thinking, sometimes it is clear what a toddler wants to know.
What the heck is this?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sometimes Max can be fearlessly independent. It's times like these I have to remind myself that he's not a little baby anymore, and to let him have a little room to roam.

Exploring the Playground

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trying New Things

Max was cracking me up at Pho Thaison this weekend. He was watching Jeff eat pho, eying each spoonful as it went into Jeff's mouth. So being the kind daddy that he is, Jeff let him try it. I think Max had 3 or 4 tastes, and each time made an interesting face. I'm not sure what he thought it was going to taste like, but I think that every sip caught him off guard.
Also, he absolutely hates vermicelli noodles. I wish I had video of him reaching in to pull them back out of his mouth and then vigorously shaking his hands to get them off his fingers. Granted, they weren't the best noodles, but they weren't that bad.

I know I recommended Pho Thaison recently, so I need to let you know about this visit. The pho must have been good because Jeff scarfed it down quick as he could while still having to feed Max. The noodle bowl left a lot to be desired though. Maybe I'm just spoiled after Jeff dragged me up north to Sunflower Cafe, but although there was a ton of beef on top, the rest was poorly cooked noodles, and 1/4 bowl of iceberg lettuce. No sprouts or anything, and hardly any flavor at all. The spring rolls were still excellent though.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pot Luck Win

Yesterday was another awesome pot luck dinner at the Thomas house. I have an odd relationship with pot lucks. I always think they sound great right from the start, then some where in the middle trepidation sets in and I fear that it won't work out well so I kind of don't want to participate, but then I get my act together and everything works out just fine. (It's not always perfect, but I don't think I've ever just not had any food.)

Last night was one of the perfect ones. The food went well together and there was a nice balance of main dishes and veggie sides, as well as an assortment of breads. I love bread, so maybe that's coloring the experience for me. There were also ample beers of quality stock, and of course absolutely wonderful company. On top of all that, you could not have asked for nicer weather. Sometimes I wish we could just let Max sleep on the couch for a little while so we could stay out longer, but I don't think it would work... maybe when he's seven.

I wish that I had some photos to share with you, but I failed at that. We arrived later than planned, so we were already losing the light. Then I stayed indoors to keep Bill company as he cooked beets (I'm not converted I still think they taste like sour dirt) and hear his story of having his beard molested by TSA. By the time I made my way outside I just couldn't get good pictures with my phone.

Even with the flash you get a blur if you or your target are moving, so chasing down little ones for a picture was not working at all. I didn't bring the real camera, so you'll just have to use your memory or imagination as you will to imagine the good times. The kids were adorable, the four kids that don't belong to me spent most of the time roaming the yard as a pack. Max pretty much played by himself, except when trying to get clobbered. He almost gave me a heart attack by repeatedly trying to dive into the danger zone of a fast moving swing. The first time I was okay, but by the seventh time I thought I was going to have to call in the relief parent to take my place.

We got home, and tucked an exhausted little guy into bed and five minutes later his dad was snoring away. It was just too much fun for everyone. I hope we get to do it again soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still Buddies

I interrupted a moment of play; Max was dangling one of the straps that secures his booster seat where Bullet could paw at it feverishly. This was safer than the earlier game where Max was surprising Bullet from behind a curtain, while Bullet was trying to sleep.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Lunch

We had lunch today at the Lux Bakery & Cafe while getting new tires on the vehicle. By happy chance today was half price bubble drink day! Jeff got himself an Asian Pork sandwich and I had turkey, Max had a plain hot dog because it's easier.

The turkey sandwich was incredibly plain. Jeff's pork was not plain, but I didn't really like it. The hot dog was quite tasty, and might be what I opt for if we ever make it back. I highly recommend the green apple bubble tea, and I wish it was what I had ordered. I got the spiced chai and it tasted too much like a ginger bread cookie for my tastes. The pearls could have been better flavor wise, but at least they had a good texture. The folks running the place were quite nice, and they have really pretty paintings on the wall. To end the meal we got a tiny cupcake with lemon icing that was awesome.

If you're at Firestone and need some food you might check it out, but I'd suggest Pho Thaison for food instead, and hit up Lux for some dessert on your way out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Saturday

Playing a quick game of acorns with Daddy at Southpark Meadows.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Date Night

If there was a prize for coming the closest to a failed date night without calling it off, we'd totally have won on Sunday. Dan and Jean stayed in to watch Max so that Jeff and I could go out together. I can't remember the last time that we went out alone, but I know it's been a while. So over the course of the day we made a plan.

The Plan
Drive downtown and go to How Do You Roll for some sushi and then head to one of three theaters in the area to watch Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

We tucked Max in bed, and got dressed. Then we tucked Max in again before hopping in the car and heading downtown. Things seemed to be going well enough to start. Traffic wasn't stupid, and although we missed a decent meter spot we did find an almost empty parking garage for only $5 that was practically across the street from the sushi spot.

A minute or so later we are entering How Do You Roll, when a woman looks up from cleaning the soda fountain and informs us that they are in fact closed. I fail at reading at thought they were open until 10, but they had closed at 9, a mere 4 minutes before we stroll through the door.

At first I was a little bummed, but I was also relieved not to be sitting in that freezing cold space while my jacket kept the seat of the car warm. Still we'd already paid $5 to park nearby, so it was time to find a new plan. Up comes google maps and a quick search to verify that we're walking to an open restaurant, and we have a new plan.

Plan B
We will walk to Malaga for some tapas and wine, and then we'll head over to the Alamo Drafthouse to see the movie and have dinner.

We ignore the warning signs as a hostess tells us that the half empty restaurant (including open patio seating) will have a 25 minute wait for a table, and proceed to sit at the full service bar. We ignore the 7 other couples at the bar having tapas and drinks, and the fact that there is only one bartender pouring every drink for every person in the place. It seems they don't even trust the waitresses to pour water there. We get wine fairly quickly, and only 10 minutes later we are also able to get glasses of water. We sit chatting and sipping our wine, enjoying the evening but steadily getting hungrier. I think it was about 30 minutes later that the bartender comes to ask what our order was, because the kitchen lost the ticket ... and so sorry but we are out of spinach empanadas. They were able to get our fried goat cheese out quickly, and he comped a glass of wine, so it wasn't all bad. In fact we can recommend the goat cheese, it was delish!

We chow down the cheese, finish our wine, and cash out. We have places to be, and they have food, so we need to jet. As it was we were going to be a few minutes late for the start of the movie. Jeff drops me off at the ticket booth while he searches for a parking spot, and honestly I don't know if he found one because the movie was sold out. I call him to come pick me up and we pull up the show times for other theaters to come up with a new plan.

Plan C
We'll grab some tacos at the Jack in the Box drive thru and eat them on the way to the Cinemark Tinseltown theater.

Oh how the mighty date night plans have fallen. We were going to have sushi, but instead went to get tapas, and finally end up in a drive thru getting weird taco things and soda. I like these weird taco things though, so it's not that bad really.

When the guy at the Regal Metropolitan ticket window tells us that we've driven to the wrong theater all we can do is laugh. Even the parts of the plan we have control over we don't seem to be able to execute properly. We dash back to the car and get to the other side of I-35 to the correct theater. We buy tickets, craptastic popcorn, a drink and even have time for a quick pit stop before we enter the almost empty theater and watch Scott Pilgrim vs The World with 10 other people.

In the end we got to see the movie we wanted to see, we had a little bit of adventure and a lot of laughs. We had some good fancy food and some good junk food, and really liked the movie. I'm not sure how any future date night is going to be able to compare.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I can tend toward the high-strung. You really don't want to see me in the 30 minutes before we are "scheduled" to be getting in the car to go out of town. I'm a complete wreck, and kind of horrible to be around, although we have found a secret weapon. It turns out that if I drink a beer during the last hour or so of packing and getting ready it can help me stay calm. It's as good excuse as any to keep some beer around.

But stress is a funny thing, because you can't always see it. With the exception of Max's teething meltdown yesterday, and his sleep being all buggered up (day and night) things are pretty good around here. I'm actually getting things straightened up, and that always makes me feel better. I'm really proud of the improvements to our upstairs space lately, even if there is still a lot to be done. I don't really feel stressed out right now. I feel pretty chill actually.

Last night I had several dreams full of stressful situations.
  • I was entering a darkened room to look for something or someone but kept the door propped open with my foot. I was afraid that if I went all the way into the room the door would shut and I would be stuck inside.
  • I was working at a company, but something really bad had happened and we were all going to lose our jobs.
  • Someone was going to get beat up, but I couldn't find them to warn them.
  • I wandered around the grocery store, but couldn't find anything to buy. I also did not have a grocery cart, and although I kept waiting the guy making coffee never finished, so I couldn't even get a free sample of coffee.

There seems to be a common thread here. In every dream there was something I couldn't find, except possibly the one about losing a job. I don't remember that one clearly though, so maybe the horrible thing that happened was that we couldn't find something. I slept pretty bad, and I can't believe that I'm in a pretty good mood with how tired I feel.

Dear Brain,
Stop being weird.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Max: It's All A Game

I look forward to the day when I can ask you to throw a piece of trash away, I have no idea how far away that day might be. For now we are only focused on getting you to stop throwing everything away.

One of the first games that you learned to play by yourself was the Take Things Out game. Take Things Out is played by finding a container, be it a cabinet, box, clothes hamper, or diaper bag, and removing things. You will ruthlessly grab items and toss them aside until you find one that tickles your fancy, and then you're off. You take the new toy and wander with it for a bit before returning to the scene of the crime; suddenly the cheese grater is MIA or there are 10 socks scattered through 3 different rooms.

The next part of the game came later, the Put Things In game. Only recently have you started to put things back where they came from. Usually Put Things In involves moving clean clothes from a dresser drawer into a dirty clothes hamper, or a diaper pail. A downstairs version is played by putting toys and tupperware into the trash can. Oh the fights we've had over that trash can. You won't remember, but I have taped it shut with painters tape or sometimes just put it in the laundry room on the other side of a baby gate to keep you out of it.

Clothes hampers are still fun, I can tell because I find our hairbrushes in them with some regularity, but it has been a hard climb to try and teach you not to put things into the trash. It started with just liking to open the trash lid, the lid really intrigued you I suppose. I can't count how many times you cried because you got your hand stuck in the lid. You briefly tried throwing stuff into open waste baskets with the obvious intent that now you had to go in the trash, because you had to get your toy back out. Thankfully you are getting better about staying out of the trash. We still have to remind you, "No trash" but the game seems to be losing some of its charm.

What I find a bit harrowing is that I see you starting to eye the toilet lid. I can hear the gears in your mind turning.
Please don't throw my hairbrush in the toilet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Max: Teetering

Like every new parent, and possibly every old parent, we were wondering when you would finally learn to crawl. We tried holding you up so that you could put your hands and knees on the floor and maybe figure it out. You'd seen other kids crawl around and I know you wanted to follow them. It was frustrating to you the way you couldn't keep up with what they were doing. You'd yell when one of the other kids around your age would scoot off to play with a new toy and you couldn't follow.

It was kind of cute.

Right around your Dad's birthday you crawled a few little inches. By Easter you were cruising along the floor fairly competently.You were only nine months old, so I don't know why we fretted about it. As I suspected, you were much happier with your new found mobility. Within a month you could pull up on furniture to standing, all on your own.

That's when the messes you could make started to grow, and when the cats became a little more nervous of you than they already were. I remember the first time that Spooky, who was laying on the coffee table at the time, saw you pull up and came face to face with you in a spot that he thought was safe. His eyes almost bugged right out of his head. He was off like a shot, jumping over the baby gate, and bounding up the stairs.

You liked to pull up on the coffee table, the couches, and chairs and cruise along them. Sometimes when I lay on the floor on my side you'd even pull up on me and cruise up and down from my legs to my head. It was one of the days when you were cruising on me that your dad came home and you took your first steps.

It was June 4th, and when you heard a key turn in the lock you stopped what you were doing and turned your head to see the front door. When that door opened, and you saw Daddy, you let out a squeal and toddled 5-6 steps over to the coffee table then cruised along towards him. Your dad just stood there with his mouth hanging open for a second, and then asked me, "Has he been doing this all day?" A second later he dropped his bags and scooped you up for some well deserved hugs and kisses.

Nope, you hadn't been doing it all day. That was the first time that you took any steps all on your own with nothing and no one to hang onto. You just saw your dad and were so excited that I think you forgot that you didn't know how to walk yet.

Within two weeks you didn't need to crawl anymore. There was one horrible day when you wouldn't crawl at all, only walk, and you also wouldn't nap. I'm happy to say that you've gone back to your two nap a day schedule,  and you will also crawl sometimes just for fun.

There's this hysterical thing that you've taken to recently. You will crawl as fast as you can going "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" You aren't too loud, but louder than your regular speaking voice. Sometimes you'll run doing this too, but usually it's reserved for a crawling race. A race that you always win, because you're the only in it.
Nothing is safe from you anymore, but I wouldn't trade these crazy toddling times for anything.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Max: Peek-A-Boo

"Where's Max? Where's Max?"

Your dad and I pretend that we don't see you behind the curtain, or in the middle of the floor with a blanket/towel/piece of clothing over your head.

"Where's Max?"

Sometimes we can see your mouth and the smile that widens as the game continues. I'm pretty sure that you know this is a game, and know that we really can see you, but there's no way to be certain.

"Where's Max?"

Then you whip the covers off your head as we exclaim, "Peek-a-boo, I see you!" or "There's you are!" You take a moment to laugh and then pop the cover back over your head.
Honestly we hardly ever instigate a game of peek-a-boo anymore. Suddenly we'll realize that you've gone quiet and look over to find you hiding. You will sit there waiting for us to look for you. Rarely you'll get an impish sort of grin and rush over to shove a blanket on someone's face. That means it's our turn to hide, but you like hiding better than seeking, so usually you keep the covers all to yourself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Max: Sonic Screwdriver

Your sonic screwdriver might not work quite the same as the Doctor's, but it's still got power. A simple plastic toy, with a noise chip, and bright shiny colors. It makes really odd sounds. I'm not sure what sort of noise I would expect a screwdriver to make, since normally they are a quiet tool, but this one makes cartoon sounds for lack of a better description. Like when someone gets hit or falls in a Warner Bros cartoon, there's boings and honks that kind of thing. It's real power though is to make you laugh.

Ever since you first heard the silly sounds and saw the blinking lights it tickled your fancy. You couldn't even sit up, and you would get angry for reasons that we just couldn't fathom, sometimes all that could fix you was that screw driver. Amazingly even now, it still works. You're bigger now, and completely mobile, but the screwdriver cracks you up. The difference now is that you can pick it up and run around the house with it, pushing the little red button and making yourself laugh. Still, if all else fails it's what we will turn to. We screw in all your loose screws and more times than not you're giggling before we're done.

I haven't managed to grab a picture of you with the screwdriver, because you're so funny that I don't want to go downstairs to get the camera and miss all the good times. So I'll just attach a random picture of you grinning at me while you "help" with the dishes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Max: Kitty Love

Since forever Bullet was Daddy's cat. He would play with me in ways that kind of hurt, because he liked me well enough but only understood how to play as a kitten and not how to be gentle. With Daddy he would curl up on his chest and snuggle. He would crawl up and mew into his ear begging to be pet and purr SO loud. If I tried to pet him he would grab my hand, and if particularly feisty he would bite me. He was just playing, but it still meant no snuggles for me.

Bullet has always liked to come up and trick people into thinking he's sweet so he can grab them with his claws. With your grandparents the situation was more intense. He's been known to hiss and growl at them, especially if they are in his way. There has been at least one occasion when Bullet has cornered your grandma, and to hear her tell it she feared for her life.

We had no idea what to expect when we brought you home. If the cat loves your dad, thinks I'm okay, likes some of our friends, but is pretty hostile to most people he's around for more than 5 minutes, what on earth would he think of a baby? Not a single person that I know could have predicted his behavior. Something about you and your presence has brought out an incredible sweetness in Bullet. I don't know if you'll believe me when I tell you about how Bullet used to be, and I hope you never get to see it for yourself because right now he loves you kiddo.

That's right, out of all of our cats, Bullet is the one that adores you. I can't explain it. He's even nicer to me since you came along. He'll actually sit in my lap, or let me pet him and hardly ever plays rough anymore. With you it's even more insane. This cat lays there as you put your mouth up to his head for kisses. He lets you grab fistfuls of his fur, and pull on his ears. We try to keep you from abusing him, but you have yet to master "being gentle". Sometimes when you get in a foul mood and are crying, Bullet will actually come over and stand in front of you, as if presenting himself as a distraction. When your sniffles stop and you happily squeal as you tackle him I think he's happy. Even before you could crawl, when you cried for too long he would come and whine at us, he's never liked to hear you cry.

When I think about your first year, I think about you and this cat. Maybe all this time what he needed was a little boy to love. I only hope that he always feels that way about you, because it's really sweet.