Sunday, November 18, 2012


November 16, 2012 Clay officially took his first steps!  He is 10 1/2 months old.  He was standing next to a chair, and the look in his eyes said, "I want to get to that piano bench where my mom is sitting.  If I just let go and pick up my feet . . ."  So he took a couple steps and lunged toward me.  It was momentous.  I immediately called Alvin to report the news.

Clay gets a kick out of standing and balancing for a few seconds by himself.  His faces lights up with that open-mouthed grin.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our little guy

I’ve been thinking about Clay lately.  He is 10 months old.  That’s almost one year!  He doesn’t talk and say funny things for me to report (yet!), but he has his own personality, and I want to record some of the things that make Clay Clay.
Clay has always been a good laugher.  He started laughing early and heartily – maybe two months old.  He responds to tickling, pat-a-cake, kisses in the swing, funny noises, and “boo!”  He always has a big, open-mouthed smile.
Clay takes things in stride.   Miles likes to knock him over when he’s sitting or standing, or yank his pacifier out of his mouth (isn’t that what the little handle is for?), and Clay mostly doesn’t complain.
Anytime Clay and Miles are in the back yard together, I know the hose will get turned on (by Miles) and Clay will get sprayed (again, by Miles).  And Clay puts up with it!  I guess he thinks that’s just the way things are.  
Clay really likes Miles, and he watches him attentively.  He loves to wake up Miles from his nap by crawling on him and laying on his head, which usually produces a shove and a “Clay don’t!”
Clay hates getting his diaper changed and screams every time.  He will arch his back and roll over unless I lay him on the floor and pin him down with my leg.  He doesn’t like being buckled in his car seat, but he loves standing up to play in it.  He doesn’t much like shoes but has gotten used to some very soft leather slippers.
Clay will sit with his back at a wall or loosely-closed door and repeatedly bump his head against the wood.  He likes to put the knob on Miles’ tow truck in his mouth and crawl around with the rest of the toy hanging out his mouth from the tow cable.  He likes to dig in and eat the dirt from Alvin’s big coffee tree.  He puts his toy cell phone next to his ear, even though he seems too young to have figured that out.  He loves frozen peas and carrots, he prefers Kix over Cheerios, and he likes to pretend bananas are soap.  Today he shared his pacifier with me.  How sweet.
Here's to you, Clay!  Thanks for joining our family and bringing such contagious smiles.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crazy dancing

We got to do some FaceTime with Alvin's mom and dad today.  What a great invention, FaceTime!  Miles informed me that while he was talking to Grandma and Grandpa (which he requests to do by himself), he showed them a crazy dance that was "really super fun."  I didn't see it, but I imagine it involved hopping on one foot while rolling his arms.  Miles said it was called, "We didn't start the air conditioner."  Remind you of anything?

P.S. I made this cake today, and it really is what it claims.  I actually ordered the cocoa powder from Amazon, and it's intense, rich flavor was definitely worth the weirdness of buying a grocery item online.

Friday, November 9, 2012

One step back . . .

One morning Miles was naughty and tormenting Clay.  Extremely vexed, I said, with great emotion, "Dang it, Miles!"

Now Miles sings, "And the dang-it, dang-it, daaang-it, went up the dangit again."

Growing up and growing out

Clay is now 10 months old and getting into things . . . literally.  He loves going higher: climbing the stairs, standing on Miles' tricycle, and climbing on the little kid picnic table.  If we didn't keep bathroom doors closed, he'd unroll our toilet paper and splash in the toilet bowl.  One day at the Science Museum, I propped him up at the water table and let him soak himself.  He loved it!

We had high hopes for Miles when we signed him up for 3-yr-old soccer.  A bunch of his friends from Nursery are on the same team, and one of the moms is the coach.  He loves to run around and kick the ball, but as soon as the whistle starts an actual game, he becomes immobile.  His friend, Adler, would also rather sit on the sidelines and play with a train than get in the middle of the soccer action.  Oh well.  It was a great learning experience for all of us.

Here's a picture of my growing-out hair.  Alvin, who gave me the blue shirt, was very nervous when I told him I was going to get it trimmed.  My hair, that is.  I reminded him that the overall length is increasing, and shorter layers make it manageable.

Two steps forward . . .

Family scripture study is a goal we are working on.  We rotate between illustrated Bible stories and repeating short verses in The Book of Mormon.  The hardest part is remembering to do it.  It seems like we're always dashing off to do something in the evening.  

The other hardest part is getting Miles to sit still.  He climbs all over the couch or races around the living room.  Anyone have a couch seat belt or a straight jacket?  

A while ago, Alvin tried to tell the story of Samson.  I thought Miles would be fascinated by the pictures of a lion and a burly man.  But neither the lion nor our cajoling could make our wiggle worm sit still.
Fast forward a week.  Clay was crawling down the hall away from Miles and me.  Miles said, "If Clay crawls away, I can go get him."  He does like to pick up Clay and tote him around.  I said, "Yes, because you are so strong.  Why are you so strong?"  Miles replied, "Because my hair is so long."

I was dumbfounded.  Then I laughed out loud for a complete minute.  The things your kids hear when you think they're not listening.

Here's another Miles story.  One morning he was being rather naughty.  I lost my temper.   After I  took a time out, I apologized to Miles for yelling at him when I was frustrated.  I said, imploringly, "Miles, sometimes I don't know what to do when you don't obey."

"Hey, Mom!" he answered.  "How about you ask Heavenly Father.  He will help you!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Enjoying some nice fall weather with my two monkies

We didn't start the fire

One of the benefits of marriage is an expanded music CD collection.  Alvin got classical piano, and I got Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel.  Have you ever heard We Didn't Start the Fire?  It has a snazzy beat, and Miles asks me to play it over and over whenever we're driving in the car.  I wonder if his fascination with the song has something to do with his Halloween costume . . .

Group Costumes

Are you a believer?  This year we are.
 Alvin carved the lovely pumpkin on our porch.  We left out a bowl of candy and all went trick-or-treating together.  It was fun, but Alvin had to cheer on Miles (and me) to go to more than a handful of houses to get more candy.  Here's a closer look at Clay, in case you didn't guess his costume.
If we had two more kids, they would be a dalmatian and a hose.