Daddy/daughter time

Kristen's Christmas break is over and she's back to work, but mine continues until next Monday. So what have Carolyn and I been up to? Eating snacks and watching football of course.

Video: Carolyn's Second Christmas

Slideshow: Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas!

Video: Counting eggs

Month in Review: Carolyn's 19th month

Today Carolyn is 19 months old. Let's recap the highlights from the past month.
  • We had Thanksgiving with lots of cousins.
  • Carolyn is a dancing machine.
  • She now eats at table with us, and in fact eats what we eat for the most part. Usually about halfway through the meal she'll proclaim that she's done, but if we give her something to distract her, she'll eat more.
  • She's been talking in short sentences, e.g. "Wake up, mommy"
  • She's also started repeating things we say, which is dangerous. So far she has repeated three different ways to say "excrement" from three different people. ("Excrement" was not one of the three variations she repeated.)
  • We had 22 inches of snow. Carolyn was hesitant to play, Dad was hesitant to shovel.
  • She's had a few instances of talking in her sleep right while she was falling asleep. One time she said "Nemo, Elmo, Nemo, Elmo". Another time she just said "No!". And a third time she said "Toot."
  • As you might have gathered from the above bullet, we watch parts of Finding Nemo nearly every day. It's the only movie she ever asks for, and I have to say, there are certainly lots worse choices she could have made.
  • She's got a new tooth, which brings the total to 11 (4 molars, 4 front top, and 3 front bottom).
  • She's gotten really good at fitting shapes into the right spaces, for example in puzzles and other toys. She now knows "circle" and "triangle".
  • She's starting to learn colors, though she's not too great yet. She'll routinely identify blue correctly, but blue is also her first guess for most other colors. However, she's pretty good when you say a color and ask her to find the right crayon.
  • A few days ago, she was playing peek-a-boo with herself in a mirror that was hanging on the back of a door. She proceeded to pull the mirror down over her own head, and it promptly smashed into a million pieces on the floor, and yet somehow she emerged completely unscathed. Since then I have bragged that my baby is so tough she smashes mirrors over her head. At the time Kristen and I both nearly had a heart attack.

Video: Gobble Gobble

Slideshow: Snow

We had about 22 inches of snow fall yesterday. Carolyn was a little apprehensive to actually play with the snow, but it did give us an excuse to break out the snowsuit. And I spent 2 hours shoveling and only got half the driveway cleared, but all of my back and legs in pain.

Video: I Kissed Lynnie

Slideshow: Thanksgiving with all of the Hyland cousins

Video: Carolyn looks good on the dancefloor

Month in Review: Carolyn's 18th month

A year and a half today!

  • Carolyn dressed up as Elmo for Halloween.
  • She's been stringing words together like crazy, including "Daddy sweep", "I coming", "Sip peachy", "Hi Gamma", and many others. There's usually a short pause between the two words.
  • She has developed a great attachment to our spice cabinet. Every single day, at least once, usually four or five times, she will ask for us to pick her up and open spices for her to sniff. Her word for this is "Asahmee". I have no idea what actual words this is meant to represent. Her favorite spices are paprika ("peek-a-pock") and cinnamon ("simmon").
  • She's a great help with loading and unloading the dishwasher.
  • Carolyn now feeds herself using a spoon or fork, and will pick up any glass left within her reach and help herself to a big gulp.
  • She loves to dance when we put music on the stereo, when there's music on TV, when one of her toys plays music... really anytime there's music, there's a chance she'll dance to it. Funny video upcoming on this one.
  • She loves to announce when she's playing ("punnin") or when she wants to play, including one morning when she woke up and that was the first thing she said. Oh, and she's been waking up around 5:30am every morning. Awesome.
  • Almost daily, we'll look at pictures on the computer. She especially likes the Colorado photo album, since it has pictures of Phoebe the dog and all of the zoo animals.

The dishwasher helper

I think I've mentioned this in a previous Month in Review post, but the click of the dishwasher opening is a sure-fire way to summon Carolyn into the kitchen and keep her occupied for at least a few minutes.

She loves helping to both empty and load the dishwasher, and has on occasion attempted to open it herself, saying "help me" (which she has derived from me saying "will you help me load the dishwasher?").

When we're emptying the dishwasher, she will hand me each piece of silverware one-by-one, saying "Ek ku" (i.e. "thank you") every time she lifts one up to me to put in the drawer. She also likes helping to sweep the floor and stir anything that's being cooked on the stove-top. Now if I can just teach her how to do laundry, I'll have all my bases covered.

Another example of what happens when Carolyn is left alone for 30 seconds

The other morning, Carolyn was eating her usual bowl of Cheerios, and doing quite well by herself, so I left her alone for a minute while I went and got a bowl of cereal for myself. When I returned, less than a minute later, Carolyn had drank all of the milk out of the bowl, leaving wet Cheerios in the bowl, and a milk mustache on her face.

The Hamburglar

The other day, Kristen left her hamburger sitting on the coffee table, and, well, you can guess what happened. Kristen had taken one bite out of it before Carolyn got her hands on it and polished it off within minutes.

Video: Carolyn drinks a glass of water all by herself

How to pronounce "aspirator"

This oddly shaped item is an aspirator, and is used for cleaning out babies' noses. Kristen and I have taken to calling it "the blue thing". We also have a white one, which we call -- you guessed it -- "the white blue thing".

Carolyn calls it a "boogie".

Check out my awesome hot dog ring

A belated recap of our trip to Colorado

Back in October, we flew out to Colorado to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Moyer (and an assortment of other family members).

Carolyn played the piano with cousins Margaret and JJ...

She made the "please get away from me" face a lot...

We went to the park where Carolyn played soccer...

Carolyn warmed up to Phoebe (the dog) after a day or two of terror...

We went to the zoo...

Carolyn's favorite spot was the monkey house. She saw the monkeys and started doing her monkey impression, to which the guy sitting next to her said, "Wow, that's really good!"

We went to the aquarium with Grandpa, where Carolyn very much enjoyed the sting rays...

But her favorite was Nemo...

We went to McDonald's for the first time with her, despite my objections...

And Carolyn finally allowed Grandma to read a book to her literally 15 minutes before we left for the airport.

Check out the photo album for more pictures.

Video: Carolyn playing with a balloon

Video: Carolyn pretending to talk on the phone

I just can't get enough of this picture

Who needs professional photographers?

Don't drink the water

The other night, Kristen left her water on the coffee table. Carolyn took it upon herself to just go ahead and take a sip. Believe it or not, she didn't spill a drop and placed the glass gently back onto the table. Of course, now we can't get her to stop picking up glasses and drinking out of them.

Bate! Bate!

In the last Month in Review post, I mentioned how Carolyn likes to stir. Well this is what happens when we put actual flour into her bowl.

A few more Halloween pictures

Video: Carolyn tickles Phoebe

New lullabyes

Who are these shaggy, flannel-laden young hipsters, and what are they doing on this blog? Well, they sing Carolyn's favorite song. Allow me to explain.

A few months ago, Carolyn started responding really well to having lullabyes sung to her when she was being put to sleep. Well, as it turns out, singing the same 2 songs over and over again becomes tedious and boring, so I started searching for something new to spruce it up a bit.

As it turns out, the song "He Doesn't Know Why" by Fleet Foxes (the band pictured above) is a perfect fit for a lullabye. No significant stretches without vocals, a nice soothing melody, and copious amounts of "Aah, aah, aah"s. Carolyn often requests the singing of this song by either saying "row row row" -- I'm not entirely sure where this came from -- or by saying her version of "fox", which I cannot write on a family-friendly blog.

Have a listen (and a look at the bizarre music video) for yourself and tell me this isn't the perfect new lullabye.

Month in Review: Carolyn's seventeenth month

Once again I'm late with the Month in Review, and once again I don't really have a good excuse. But let's ignore that and just talk about what's new with Carolyn.

  • A significant amount of travel-related news:
    • We took a trip to the Adirondack Balloon Festival in upstate New York.
    • We took a trip to Colorado to visit Grandma and Grandpa Moyer. I owe you all a full post about that trip. It's on my to-do list. In the meantime there is a photo album.
    • I had a business trip to London, and we again used the webcams to video chat with great success. Everyone was sort of sick at the time though, so not really much fun.
  • "Okay" is her new favorite word. She still won't say "yes", but "okay" is an okay substitute for now. She's got a lot of new words, for example, apple juice, silly, chilly, and toot, and is starting to string together short sentences, such as "I got it", "I fall", and once she even said something close to "I'm sitting on the table". Guess what she was doing at the time.
  • Carolyn loves attempting to put on her own shoes, which she will do while saying any combination of the following: "foot", "feet", "shoe", "outside", "I did it".
  • She hasn't gone on the potty for a long time.
  • We will put some Cheerios into a mixing bowl and give her a wooden spoon, and she'll proceed to say "Bate, bate" (Spanish for "stir") while stirring them around. You wouldn't believe how long this can keep her entertained.
  • Ever since we were in Colorado, we've been having trouble keeping Carolyn in her own crib. I think just about every night she's come into our bed at one point or another, and we need to find a solution to this. Anybody got any bright ideas?
  • Part of the reason for coming into our bed probably has to do with another of her new favorite words: "teeth". She will frequently wake up in the morning and say "teeth" while pointing to them, which we believe is a signal that her teeth are bothering her. She's still got the same 9 teeth (as it turns out, she's only had 3 of the 4 molars, although Kristen and I had assumed for about a month that she had 4 of them), but we think she's got a few more about to break through.
  • Finally, Carolyn likes pulling or pushing you up ("poooool" and "pooooosh"), then grabbing your finger and leading you to wherever it is she wants you to go.

Happy Halloween!

This year, Carolyn will be Elmo for Halloween. Here are a few pictures of her in her costume, and below are a few pictures of us picking pumpkins at Linvilla Orchards. Carolyn really wanted to pick up one of the big pumpkins.

Family Field Trip: Adirondack Balloon Festival

A few weeks ago, we drove 6 hours to upstate New York to bring Carolyn to experience her first hot air balloon festival. (She behaved surprisingly well in the car - we only had to break out the DVD player once.)

The festival itself is a bit of a bizarre animal. You get up at 5am, drive to an airfield in the middle of nowhere in the dark with hundreds of other cars, drive down the runway and park, then spend, oh, 30 minutes watching hot air balloons inflate and take off. Then it's time for breakfast.

Carolyn seemed to like the balloons alright (especially the Nemo clownfish one), but I think her patience wore a bit thin with the cold weather (high 30s/low 40s) and the fact that we woke her up in the morning to arrive in time.

We were pretty excited to go to The Silo for breakfast. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport to the restaurant because of the festival traffic. We expected Carolyn to take a little nap before we got there, but she stayed awake the entire car ride... until we pulled into the parking lot. One minute she was talking with Kristen, then I suggested they get out and put our name in while I found a parking space, but when we looked at Carolyn she was fast asleep. Oh well. So we came back for lunch instead.

I think the highlight of the weekend for Kristen was when she complained about the obnoxious family next door to us at the hotel, and they proceeded to upgrade us to a suite, which was much more comfortable for all of us than the kinda-crummy room they had originally given us.

Anyway, check out the video and pictures below, or click over to the photo album for higher quality pics.

Skeleton baby

Does this outfit remind you of the same thing it reminds me of?



For whatever reason, whenever Carolyn pretends to use the phone, or when the phone rings, she says "Papa?" Of course, whenever Papa is actually on the phone and trying to talk to her, she just stands there and grins ear to ear.

Month in Review: Carolyn's sixteenth month

So this post is a little over a week late, but Carolyn is now 16 months old. We had some pretty significant milestones this month; here's a summary of all the new stuff.

  • A few weeks ago, she went on the potty for about 5 straight days twice a day. Since then we've had trouble getting her to go, but not really any trouble getting her to sit on the potty and try, so maybe it's a matter of timing.
  • She has started counting. While we can sometimes get her to count from two to ten, usually she'll just alternate between five and six. Not sure why those are her favorite numbers, but there you go.
  • She likes to yell "Push!" and "Pull!" and actually uses both of them in the correct context.
  • She likes to attack with tickles out of nowhere, saying "Deet deet deet!"
  • She gives big kisses, complete with "Mmmmmmmwah!" We got her a new Sandra Boynton book a little while ago - Snuggle Puppy, which she loves by the way - and built into the book are prompts for kisses, which Carolyn always delivers on.
  • She still begs to go outside every chance she gets, and especially likes playing basketball. Or more precisely she likes it when I hold her, run around, try to steal the ball from Mommy, and toss up air balls.
  • When we read certain books, Carolyn chimes in with the words (or at least her version of the words). And sometimes she'll even read entire books by herself.