Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Games Hankie Plays

Hank has really latched on to the idea of playing games and we are constantly coming up with new ones. Last night we played a game he "invented" that we are going to call Tackle Hug. I sit on the floor in the middle of the room. Hank backs up to the wall, revvs his engines, and then runs at me full steam ahead, tackles me, and gets a HUUUUGE hug. Rinse and repeat.

Last night we did this for about fifteen minutes straight. Over and over. The more we did it, the more excited we both got. At his most excited, Hank scampered to the side of the room, turned to me, started to get ready to run and tackle me, and exclaimed, "Hank LOOOOOVE HUGS!!!"
me: "I love hugs, too!!!"
Hank: "I love you!!!!!!!!!!"
Me: "I love you, too!!!!!"
Hank: "I love you I love you I love you!!! Hank tackle mama!!!"

It is a great game.

Earlier in the evening, Hank found me in the bathroom. He was dragging with him one of my sneakers, one of Henry's hiking boots, and a guitar. "THEEEEERE'S mama!!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fish on the Freeway!

I wish I had a picture of this, but there was no way -- I was driving Hank down 880 a few mornings ago. In the thick of rush hour traffic, a large white van pulled along side us and slowly passed us on Hank's side of the car. As it pulled ahead of us, I saw that the van was towing a small trailer, the size of a large cooler. Only the trailer was an aquarium and it was full of fish swimming about! I wanted so badly to point it out to Hank, but I was worried he wouldn't see it, and would get upset and want to see the fish, so I bit my tongue. After a quiet beat, Hank shrieked a joyful shriek, and cried out, "look at the fissss!!!!", and cracked up!


Sand!!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

New Year's Day trip to the beach.

Darwin and Obama

Darwin and Obama
Originally uploaded by allthingssara
Hank has long loved his Obama and Darwin action figures. He thinks the are best buddies and when he has one he always wants to find the other.

Tonight was Obama's (the real Obama's) first State of the Union Address. When I picked Hank up at daycare tonight he immediately (as he does every evening) ask to hear "banjo music" (a.k.a The Gloucester Wassail, which he remains obsessed with -- it has a banjo-ish interlude). The conversation that unfolded went a little like this:

Hank: Mama, Hank want to hear the banjo music in the car!
Me: Sorry, honey, tonight Obama is giving an important speech and mama wants to listen to it on the radio.
Hank: Mama going to listen to Obama on the radio?
Me: Yes. We are going to listen to Obama talk on the radio.
Hank: Hank want to hear DARWIN talk on the radio.
Me: Well, that would be really neat too, but we are going to hear Obama talk on the radio. And when we get home, he will probably still be talking, so we will listen to him talk on the TV when we get home.
Hank: Hank want to see DARWIN talk on the TV?
Me: No, honey, Darwin won't be on the TV.
Hank: Hank want to see STAR WARS on the TV!!!

We have great talks in the car.

Three months....


is living in the present, but thinking about the future.
Ask, believe, receive....

Tonight Hank learned that one cannot leap from a dining room chair to a yoga ball without plummeting to the floor (Cirque De Soleil performers excepted, of course).
Experiments with gravity, anyone? It happened so fast -- he seemed to think the floor just disappeared from underneath him! And I suppose it did... He was pretty stunned, and we called the advice nurse just to make sure we knew what to do after a knock to the head that hard, but in the end he was a-ok. He's still talking about it, though...

Sitting in the hallway, listening to Hank beg me to 'come in Hank's room' over and over again. I knew moving him into a bedroom from a dining room would be a mistake.

The transition has been hard for him. Back in the apartment he would get into his bed happily and shoo us away so he could go to sleep. Since we've moved bed time has slowly gotten better, but when we first got here last month, it was awful! Oh the screaming! Oh the sadness! Oh the desperate need to have me in his bed with him! Things have gotten a lot better -- no more screaming, and no more heroic measures to keep him in his room... but he looks kind of sad and lonely, and I don't know how to fix that. I guess that's what we get for having him sleep, essentially, in the living room with us for his first 25 months of life and then moving him into a room with a door, upstairs, away from all the action.

thinks that there no better reminder of what is important in this world than pulling into the driveway and finding her Henrys just getting home, too. Lordy, those boys just make my heart sing.
No elaboration necessary...

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
A quote from a favorite movie from my teenagerhood -- John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler in Say Anything. I've been going through a lot of career stuff, and this quote summed up where my mind was one recent afternoon.

thinking about planting carrots and strawberries.
I really can't wait to get to work on my garden. I hope we all work in it together. I have dreams of growing a lot of our food ourselves. I think about seeds and growing and cultivating. I think about these things a lot. I have plans for vegetables and a few fruits, and lots of flowers. I used to think I would plant all natives, but I have never had land in which to plant whatever I want, where ever I want it, and I want vines laden with flowers, stands of dahlias exploding like fireworks, and a lemon tree. I want to put a fairy door on the base of a tree trunk, and grown forget me nots all around the base in its shade. It will be our own little Secret Garden.

This is from one of Hank's favorite books, these days, "the Knuffle Bunny". Other favorites right now are "Harold and the Purple Crayon", "Caps for Sale", "the Color Kittens", and "Where the Wild Things Are".

wonders: if you can't do a little something nice for a complete stranger once in a while, what good are you, really?
I guess this was sort of a new year's resolution I made -- to do nice things for strangers at least once a week. It is amazing how good it makes me feel to share with those who are less fortunate. This usually means that I buy breakfast for someone who is pan handling, or a BART ticket for someone who clearly needs it. These offers have never been rebuked, and are always met with such gratitude that it overwhelms me. One young man that I have helped with BART tickets now and then told me that he's waiting on a substantial back payment from SDI. Then he said that next time he saw me he wanted to pay me back. This was clearly a person who needed the money more than I ever could. While I was touched by his desire to pay me back, I told him to please just keep it or pass it along to someone else who needs help. I haven't seen him again, but I probably will.


is noticing that a lot of people are glad to kiss this decade goodbye, but by-and-large I'd say it was a good one for me. Got my JD, passed the bar, career finally seems to be on track, met my husband, welcomed Hank in to our hearts, and met and spent time with so many wonderful people I am proud to call friends and family. Happy Decade!
Of course, after posting that, 2010 got off to a really painful start. I make a policy of not discussing work too much in this forum, as you never know who is going to be reading along, but work has not been great. I'll leave it at that. The flip side of the negativity is that I am really making a point of working on positive thinking and I am placing some value in getting back what we put in, in terms of focusing on positivity and hoping to reap the rewards of that.

Found a quarter of a cheese toast in the living room this morning, with a perfect little Hank-sized bite in it.
Hank LOVES cheese toast. He calls it Gorilla Cheese, which is what my mom has always called it. I'm pleased to pass that tradition along.

baking cookies!
There are so many benefits to homeownership. One is having counterspace and a place to plug in the mixer! It is actually dangerous how easy it is to whip up a batch of cookies when you have the space to work.

Another benefit to having a large kitchen is that Hank can help in the kitchen! Just the other night I pulled a chair up to the counter and he climbed up and helped me make a pizza. He got to put on the pepperoni and sprinkle the cheese. A few days before he helped me bake muffins -- he lined the muffin tins with paper cups and told me which cups to fill and when. He is so helpful, and cooking with him is really fun.

What a terrific day it has been. Xmas with a 2 yr old is completely lovely. What fun! And we've officially broken in the house. Hurrah!
Man, Hank really "got it" this year. He was really into the idea of Santa. He helped put out cookies and milk for Santa, and was pretty blown away in the morning to find that the cookies had been eaten and the milk was gone. Santa even left Hank a thank you note! A few weeks before christmas I got him all prepped to visit Santa. He was ready -- he wanted to ask for a choo choo, and he knew that he had to say "please". Unfortunately we showed up for Hank's visit to Santa at the worst possible time of day for Hank and he had a massive meltdown. It was so bad that Santa kicked Hank out of Santaland!! We didn't even get a picture! Nevertheless, Santa must have heard his request anyway, as on xmas morning, Hank woke up to find a big train set running around in circles around the christmas tree. Oh it was so exciting. Other big hits from Santa were a doctor's kit (the other day he was giving me a check up and he said, 'mama, thank you for the doctor kit!') and a toy microphone.

Really enjoyed tonight's service at our Unitarian church. Lots of singing, and a beautiful message -- that this is a time to celebrate the birth of any child, and to contemplate the potential within each and every single one. Merry Christmas to all. Thank you for all that you give me.
It was a lovely christmas celebration. We went to the service will all our family. It was a real honor to be asked to light a candle during the service. Hank even piped up in the midst of a quiet moment to ask for applesauce. The sunday before we did a "pick up" christmas pageant, and Hank was one of the Wise Men. It was so cute! Baby's First Play.

Those of you without toddlers may want to avert their eyes for this update, but we are so proud of Hank! He wanted to use the potty tonight, and whoa nelly! Did he ever use the potty! Hoorays and high fives were flying.
God, he is SO CRAZY about the potty! We still aren't "training", but pretty much every time he asks to go, he goes. He is really good at it, and so proud of himself when he does it.

Has no idea where any of her work shoes are.
Never mind the shoes, where the hell are all the umbrellas???

These were my status updates on our first Monday in the new house. We couldn't find a damned things.

Eep! It is moving day! Moving day!!
The move went really well. My parents took Hank and got him all excited about the bug truck coming. When we arrived later with the truck, Hank was really excited to watch the movers unpack. For the first several weeks he was so happy in the house that he would have a huge tantrum whenever we had to leave, he would beg over and over, "but Hank wanna go to the NEEEWW HOUUUUSE!!!" It also took a few weeks to have it sink in that the new house is the same thing as "home".

Was just greeted by a trumpet and a tuba playing Feliz Navidad.
This was a great way to get into the christmas spirit!

Note to self: your child is a climber. You should not be surprised that when it got very quiet in there during rest time, it was not because he was sleeping, but because he had climbed up the changing table, grabbed the canister of desitin, opened it, and smeared it all over his face and head. Advice nurse says he should be fine.
Ahhhh, parenthood. I have never moved so fast in my life. We were finding little handprints for days after that one.

Was just handed the key!!
This was even better than hearing that the deed had been recorded.
really loved driving home with Hank tonight with wassail songs pumping out of the ipod.

Hank is OBSESSED with wassail songs, in particular the Gloucester Wassail Song. Still, in late January, he begs to hear it whenever we get in the car.


Thinks her parents need to record a childrens' album.
When we were in NY, my parents recorded a couple of tracks -- The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night, and Last Train To San Fernando -- and emailed them to Hank. He immediately knew who was singing.

Hank was OVERJOYED to eat pie tonight. That kid is NUTS about pie. Nuts!
Thankful and grateful for senses of humor, the gift of love and compassion, family in every definition, and a wacky little toddler who has finally learned how to give a real kiss.
Thanksgiving. Peace.

Having a great time in NY. Yesterday Henry and I went to the city -- empire state bldg, soho, and brkln bridge. Today Bronx zoo with everyone. Hank loved seeing 'da tiger eat da food!!'.
Finds it hard to believe that her husband has never actually heard the 59th Street Bridge Song. Feeling grooovy!!
Henry and I got to get away by ourselves for a day during our trip to NY over Thanksgiving. We went in to NYC and did lots of wonderfully touristy things, like going to the top of the Empire State Building, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh boy, did our feet hurt by the end of all that... It has been several weeks since that trip, and Hank is still talking about the tiger eating the FOOD!

Happy to report that despite birthday cake for dinner and complete and total over-stimulation today, Hank went to sleep at 10:15 tonight. A vast improvement over last night's midnight. Thanks for the support my friends.

Out for a walk and a coffee, trying to recover from last night's nightmare bedtime. Not sure what we are going to do for the rest of this week, but we are considering getting Hank a tent to play/fall asleep in, because we need our evenings back.
Jet Lag + all the excitement of being in NY made for some pretty gnarly bed times during our trip back east. He was often up till midnight during that trip, and lots of crying. Hank cried a lot, too. Fortunately by the time our trip ended, Hank was figuring out how to sleep in his new environment. Just in time to go home!

Very distressed to read about the pumpkin shortage. Don't tell Hank!
Hank's October pumpkin obsession carried right on into November and December, too. Heck, we still drive past the Whole Foods and Hank fondly recalls the October pumpkin display.

The deed is recorded!!!
We became homeowners for real when that happened! It was so cool to hear that news

waiting for Hank to fall asleep and listening as he reviews, in detail, all the things he did this weekend. "party? party? party? happy birthday, happy birthday. Baba in the big bed. Play fox song? Make a long long traa-aain. Hank dump-a-cat food. Go to playground. Hear nice, nice music. Hankie play da nice nice music. Biddy bum bum, biddy bum bum! I going go sleep. Hi Raree, Hi Munchie, Hi Mommy!!"
Right before Hank turned two he started narrating things, summarizing and recapping all the events of his day, that kind of thing. It was so, so cute! (it still is.... he still does it constantly).

Closing on the house today. Wish us luck and sanity, and remind us that homeownership really is all it is cracked up to be?
Simultaneously the most sick making and exhilarating day of our lives! So much paper, so many signatures.