Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow days

Our 900 ft of elevation gave us quite a snow advantage during these last few chilly days. And to Megan, snow only means one thing: SNOWMEN!

We had a bit of fun with the snow the past few days, but it is now back to rain again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Megan is Three!

At three, we already have quite an insight in to Megan's personality - to sum it up she looks like Mac, acts like me. I am totally psyched to have another Type A in the house, but I have to admit, sometimes Megan is even a little too anal retentive for me! We are hoping that her love of rules (and extreme adherence to them) will make her teenage years a lot easier. I know, wishful thinking! It does sometimes make it tough on Megan, like when her friends come over and just want to move the Candyland pieces around randomly, or worse yet, put them somewhere other than on the board!

A little bit more on Megan at three:
Megan only wears her diaper at night. She changes her underwear at least once or twice a day, but not because of accidents, but because on a whim she has decided she needs a whole new outfit, including undergarments or because she now wants Tinkerbelle undies, but she put Snow White on this morning.

Megan can tell you the beginning letter of pretty much any word, though occasionally she needs two tries for vowel words. She can spell: Megan, Liam, Mommy, Daddy, Kate, and hug. She knows all of our birthdays, our street and our city. She can count to 12 in Spanish and 59 in English, as well as backwards from 10. She also knows body parts, farm animals and colors in Spanish.

Coordination is still Megan's major stumbling block, quite literally. You're going to need a lot of your fingers and maybe even some toes to count how many times Megan trips, falls, bumps into the wall or drops something each day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Megan's Third Birthday

In typical Smith fashion, things were pretty low key for Megan's birthday. Grammy, Grandpa, Auntie Sarah and Cousin Brooke came for the weekend. And on Sunday, we had the requisite cake and ice cream (and pizza!) with two of Megan's friends and their families. And we couldn't let the day go by without singing,"Go Megan, go Megan! It's your birthday!" while we danced like idiots together. (We also did the much more tame "Happy Birthday" song as well).

Introvert Megan works on her party box long after the other girls go off to play.
Megan's cake of choice: rainbow cake with chocolate frosting (and an Ariel figurine)
Jordan, Megan, and Kate
And if being the mother of a three year-old wasn't enough to make me feel old, this is also the day I hit the ONE-THIRD of a century point in my own life - yikes!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Missed Opportunity

I was sorting through old clothes and toys, trying in vain to control the tidal wave of children's stuff that is beginning to drown nearly every room in our home. As i was sorting I came across two Santa hats, neatly folded in the front of Megan's closet shelf, put in an obvious place so as to be noticed at Christmas time. Whoops!

So we got out the hats and took a few belated photos.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Bottom Line

Now that Liam can sit himself up reliably, I can let the kids enjoy the big bath without being in myself (but still under my careful eye, of course!). This extra room allows them to stretch out - Liam especially likes to "swim" around, giving us a good view of his tushy and his little birthmark. Liam's birthmark is in a very discreet location, so discreet we didn't even know he had a birthmark till he was two weeks old. Recently, Megan noticed it, too. "How come they gave Liam a spot on his bottom?" she wanted to know. I wanted to know who she thought this spot-giving "they" were, but neither of us had very satisfactory answers for the other.

Megan also noted: "I have a pink bottom and Liam has a red bottom." Though this seems silly, it is true that our kids have very different coloring. Megan is quite alabaster (a nice way of saying pasty white!) whereas Liam has more of an "olive" coloring. Whether this is his Italian heritage coming through or just too many jars of orange vegetables remains to be seen.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Liam the late bloomer

Every time I read Leo the late Bloomer to Megan, I mutate the name of the title character to Liam. Megan just thinks this is me being silly, but there is some seriousness to this joke as well, for Liam is way behind Megan in terms of development. "He's a boy," and "he's a preemie," are the two most common reasons I get, when I mention this to others. "Every kid is different," pops up a lot, too. To be sure all of these are true, and so we aren't worried about Liam. But we have been pretty excited to see him start 'blooming' in the last week or two.

His wave still looks like an arm seizure, but he is pretty consistent with it.

He performs to the inquiry,"How big is Liam?" (Liam demonstrates "SO BIG!" with both arms stretched over head).

He can sit up on his own.

He's pulled himself up to standing a couple of times.

He likes to clap (especially after performing SO BIG).

And, the little gag machine, seems to be getting the hang of chewing. This is good because it means we can take solid foods off of the "serious danger" list (now that he can stand the coffee table and hearth have been added to this list).

Liam can play peek-a-boo. This is really cute when he shoves a paper or a T-shirt or even his own hand over his face just waiting for you to say,"peek!"

Liam helps you get him dressed and undressed, by raising or extending his arms at appropriate times.

In summary, it seems that Liam is just starting to get it and we are enjoying watching. And even though he's not saying any words, we know he'll get that figured out, too...he's just a late bloomer!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Get Fit Quickly

Mac is preaching (and practicing!) the get fit slowly point of view. It is a very sensible plan, one the doctor in me whole-heartedly supports,but one the rest of me has a big problem with. I am more of an all or nothing kind of person, and so I am trying to get on the fast track to fitness.

I have been whining to Mac recently about being out of shape, needing to run, blah, blah, blah. But New year's came and went without serving as an inspiration to get moving. But two recent conversations with friends served as the push that I needed.

First, my good friend Debbie told me she was planning to do the Honolulu marathon this year (Dec. '08). Debbie had her son five months after I had mine, so it seemed like I should be able to get back in to shape five months before her.

And then, I tried to convince another friend to do the Portland marathon. I figured if he committed to it, it would become a priority and he would do it and feel good about it. It all sounded like good advice, so I decided to heed it.

And so on Tuesday, I ran two miles. And then Saturday I ran three. And since I was running again, I thought I might as well do a 10K today and so I did.

It is probably not advisable to run a race when all of your total training mileage put together is less than the actual race distance (6.25 miles), and so it should come as no surprise that I ran my slowest time ever, by a long shot. My unofficial time of 55:30 is a time that I hope to be able to run when I am 55. But I ran the whole thing. The last mile was very painful, as all last miles are. Afterward, I was tired and quite sore - sore enough to curse our two-story house and its thigh-searing staircase- but I also felt great. I had that exhausted exhilaration that I remember so well, the runner's high, one could say.

This has helped motivate me to get running again and I hope I stay motivated. Especially, since at this accelerated training pace, I should be ready to run the Vancouver (WA) half marathon in two weeks. ;)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

The artist

Megan got a new table for Christmas and she spends lots of time there doing her art projects. Liam sometimes joins in, too (look carefully for him below!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A winning attitude

Mac and I are sick to death of playing Sorry, but not Megan. She can't get enough, even though she gets to play about a half dozen times a day (seriously, this is an underestimate if anything! to save our sanity a little bit we only play with two men at a time).

This evening I went downstairs to play with Megan. The board was all set up, except only one color was on the board. But Megan had an obvious explanation: "I played by myself."

"You played by yourself?" I parroted back in classic parent style.

"Yeah," Megan said enthusiastically,"and I winned!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

The slippery slope

For Christmas, "Santa" picked up a lot of cheap stocking stuffers for Megan. I was trying hard to get non-candy items, because Megan gets plenty of sugar as it is. In addition to the stickers, bubblebath, and tangerines, Megan got a sheet of fake tattoos. This caused a small titter amongst our group. "I can't believe you got those for Megan!" Mac scolded me. "She seems too young." I am not sure how the rest of the group felt.

I had thought it was a fun idea. And we've been calling them "body stickers" instead of tattoos. But then I started to doubt myself. Was this a bad idea? Am I planting ideas in Megan's head at this young and tender age? It has been shown that kids who play with fake cigarettes are more likely to smoke as adults than those who don't (which is why they are so hard to find now). Are kids with fake tattoos more likely to get the real thing as well?

Too tell the truth, I am not all that opposed to tattoos, provided they are in a sensible (concealable) place and they are of sensible content. Tattoos have become quite common place these days, such that they are no longer the gang related markings that they once were. In fact, several of my med school class mates sported tattoos.

That being said, I certainly wouldn't want to be seen as encouraging my kid to get a tattoo. While more and more "everyday people" are getting tattoos, there still are some negative statistics associated with tattoos. Adolescents with tattoos are more likely to experiment with drugs than those without body art. And people with three or more tattoos have a significantly higher chance of dying prematurely than those who have less than three (some of this is gang/drug related, but the multiple tattoos are also though to be a marker of risk-taking personality).

Maybe it wasn't the best choice of gift, but I still think these "body stickers" are fairly benign. And Megan loves them. If you don't believe me just ask her to show you her fairy and watch her face light up.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Parenting, Megan style

"Mom, Can you take care of me?" Megan asked.
"How should I take care of you?" I wanted to know.
"I'll color and when I am done, you clean up the family room."

Megan also had a few choice parenting words for a crying Liam: "Liam, Shut it! or you're going to bed!"

"Mom, Liam has a surprise for you... He did a poopy!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What's Up, Dawg?

Snow Day

Somehow Megan got it in her head that it was going to snow on Christmas. Quite honestly, snowy weather was about the most plausible thing in all the Christmas books we had been reading. These books imply strangers will be entering your house through the chimney, reindeer are going to take off in flight (one with a glowing nose), and snowmen are going to dance around because of a magic hat. So how could we get her to believe that snow filled Chrimtmas mornings are just a figment of one's imagination?

But then, it DID snow on Christmas. And by Wednesday morning, we had a thin covering of snow - enough to stomp around in and to make one very dirty snowman. Here are the cousins with a white backdrop.

Snow day 12/26/07 vs. snow day 1/17/07

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wave On

A quick check in the Babewatch archives reminded me that by nine months Megan could scoot (but not crawl), wave, and sit up by herself. Liam's nine month birthday came and went and all he could do was scoot. Aaah, give him the benefit of the doubt, I reminded myself; he's a preemie and deserves a little extra time. And then, Bam!, a week before Christmas (his adjusted nine month birthday), Liam began to wave. We admit that his wave looks more like the kid is having a small seizure in his arm rather than being a warm gesture of greeting, but nonetheless he is waving. Sitting up is a different issue; we're still waiting for him to figure that one out. And we've seen a lot younger kids crawl circles around Liam as he squirms lamely on the ground. But at least he can wave at those kids as they crawl by.

"Hi Mom!"

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Miss Bossy

About a month ago, Megan added "right now" to her vocabulary. As in, "Can you get me some milk? Right NOW!" you might get a second and a half between the question and the "right now" part if you were lucky. And don't think that saying "just a second" would get you off the hook. If there was any delay you'd just get a string of volume-escalating RIGHT NOWS!

And so, of course, as parents it was our job to step in and correct this offensive behavior. So we told her not to say RIGHT NOW!;; we didn't like it; it was being bossy.

Last night I asked Megan, 'Can I have my goodnight hug right now?'
to which Megan replied,"you're bossy!"