Video: Carolyn at fourteen months

Beating the heat

This past weekend was the hottest of the year so far. 90 degrees and high humidity. Yuck. So what better way to beat the heat than a dip in the pool?

Carolyn's favorite move in the pool was to take her bucket...

... fill it with water...
... then dump it all out. And repeat ad infinitum.
She also enjoys drinking the water out of these 'Splash Bomb' balls.
And then when we took her bathing suit off after she had had enough, she decided to go streaking.

Caught in the act

We left Carolyn alone in the living room for a minute or two and this is what we returned to - sampling mommy's ice cream.

Protector of the giant sunflowers

Video: Carolyn in California

As promised a while ago, here is the second of the videos from our trip to California at the beginning of June. I'll admit this is sort of a schizophrenic video. As it turns out, the footage that I had remaining after using all of the ocean/scenery shots for the Bodega Bay video was all over the place. So here's the mishmash that's left over.

Month in Review: Carolyn's fourteenth month

Some quick notes to recap month number fourteen:

  • Lots more new words this month; I won't go into them all, but pretty much she will repeat whatever you ask her to say in some form. She's starting to put together jumbles of sentences -- "I don't know", "There it is", "Want this", "Swiper no swiping", etc. -- and it's really pretty amazing.
  • She likes chasing and being chased.
  • She is officially no longer breastfed. Kristen was a real trooper going 13+ months with it, and pumping at work for 10 of those months.
  • She is sleeping through the night, usually. So that's one less thing for me to complain about. However, she has gotten more difficult to actually put to sleep. At night, it's anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of walking/singing/humming/rocking before she'll fall asleep.
  • She got to meet Great Grandma Netter, Great Aunt Anne, and dad's cousin Katie. We didn't manage to get any pictures because Carolyn still doesn't let big people hold her, although she did seem to like Katie a whole lot.
  • She enjoys opening and closing doors, but has yet to figure out the doorknob part of it. She'll have a tough time with a lot of the old doors in this house, so we're not too worried. (Famous last words?)
  • Really, really, really, really likes playing outside, and frequently asks to go outside. On more than one occasion, she has asked to go outside as soon as she woke up in the morning. Her favorite things to do outside are play on her swing, write with sidewalk chalk, and play with a ball.
  • When she wants to emphatically say "yes", she nods with her entire body while breathing heavily with a "heh heh heh heh". This is a frequent response to the questions "Do you want to go outside?", "Do you want some cereal?" and "Do you want to read a book?", and can even show up with "Do you want to take a nap?"
  • She's recently developed a serious fascination with toothbrushes. Whenever she wanders into the bathroom and sees a toothbrush, she will not move until that toothbrush is in her hand, and more often than not she will not move until she has multiple toothbrushes in her hands. She will then walk around the entire 2nd floor of the house with the toothbrushes, sometimes even using them to brush her teeth.
  • Her favorite TV shows are Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer. Her favorite character on Sesame Street is Elmo, hands down, but she's fond of pretty much all of the monsters. Her favorite character on Dora is the backpack -- I don't know why -- and she likes to announce the arrival of the backpack on screen by shouting "Baa-paa!" We try to limit her TV time, and will usually only put it on when we plan to sit and participate with her, encouraging her to respond to questions, asking her to name characters, etc. Typically we'll watch an episode of one of these two when we're winding down before bed or when she's really cranky (which is rare). Thank the heavens for DVRs.
  • She's now moved on from the flimsy leather shoes into real big girl shoes, and can be found frequently asking for shoes, because she knows that a prerequisite for going outside is having shoes on.

Video: Carolyn Mary and the Quest for Missing Shoes

Not the proper way to hold a baby doll

We're picking blueberries today

Video: Boom shaka laka! She's on fire!

Just a couple of short videos from my cell phone of Carolyn messing around with a basketball.

This is what happens when you don't change a diaper fast enough

Carolyn's new tree swing

We had intended to buy Carolyn a swing set for her birthday this year. A number of things have delayed that. First was finding the time to shop for swing sets. With Kristen's schedule as it is, it's hard to find time for anything it seems. Then it was trying to find a swing set that's not enormously large and incredibly expensive; they don't seem to make just regular old swing sets anymore - everything is an 'activity center' with lots of junk that we don't want.

Then when we found the one we wanted, we found out that it was not going to be available for 6 weeks, and the grade on the lawn could be no more than 6 inches for them to install it. Well ours is more like 12 inches, so now we need to do some leveling. Being frugal as we try to be, we plan to do the leveling ourselves, but now we need to find the time to do that.

So, in the meantime, we've installed a tree swing, which I must say is easier said than done. It seems simple, throw a few ropes over a thick branch, tie them up tight, attach swing. Well it took me a good 20 minutes to get 2 ropes over the tree, then another 20 minutes to figure out how to tie appropriate knots, then another 20 minutes to get the swing to an appropriate height, then another 20 minutes to start all over again because my knots at the top came undone, then another 20 minutes to rig up another system for securing the rope to the branch.

But hey, Carolyn couldn't be happier to be able to go out and play on her swing anytime she wants. Oh, and she asks to go outside quite frequently nowadays. As Carolyn likes to say while she's swinging: "Wheeee!"


Still not sure about those grandparents...

Carolyn is getting better around people she doesn't see every day, but she is still incredibly hesitant to let anybody hold her, even grandparents she has met on numerous occasions. We had to be quick with the camera to get this shot, and I think Carolyn's face speaks pretty clearly: "Okay, snap the picture, but then I'm outta here."

Mommy and Carolyn having some fun

Just a few wonderful shots here of Kristen and Carolyn laughing it up. Also notice Carolyn's big girl shoes; she's very proud of them.

Little shopper

Happy Fourth of July!

Sidewalk chalk is all the rage

One of Carolyn's favorite outside activities these days is drawing on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. At this stage, it's just a series of slashes, which is either inexperience, or some wild artistic statement that I don't understand.

She has equally as much fun carrying around the chalk box, especially trying to climb and descend stairs with it.

Check out all those pearly whites

... and the messy indie rock hair.

Carolyn's favorite books

As I mentioned in the latest Month in Review post, Carolyn is really into reading books lately. I thought I'd give a rundown of some of her favorites in case any moms or dads out there are looking for ideas.

by Sandra Boynton

Okay, let me get this much out of the way: Sandra Boynton is the undisputed queen of baby books. Not only does Carolyn love her books, but I must say that Kristen and I get a kick out of them as well. Opposites has a pretty simple structure: Pictures of things that are opposite. Each is depicted by an animal. Carolyn often chimes in with the first word of the first page: "Big!"

Belly Button Book
by Sandra Boynton

A book all about how hippopotamuses love their belly buttons, which is so crazy that it has to be true. Highlighted by a baby hippo saying "Bee Bo!" Hilarious.

Barnyard Dance!
by Sandra Boynton

Yeehaw! I like to sing this one with a Southern square dancing flavor. "Stomp your feet! Clap your hands! Everybody ready for a barnyard dance!" Carolyn has started stomping her feet at the beginning, and pays close attention all the way through.

Toes, Ears and Nose
by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Karen Katz

A recent addition to our library as one of Carolyn's birthday presents, this one has flaps that you lift up to reveal various body parts. Carolyn starts chanting "Bap! Bap!" 3 pages before the "back" page. So far she's only pulled off the two ear flaps. This book has gone a long way in teaching Carolyn to point to body parts, especially, well, her toes, ears and nose, as it turns out.

Grover's Book of Cute Things to Touch
by Constance Allen, illustrated by Tom Cooke

Not exactly my favorite book: It's not very clever or coherent really. Half the book is filled with things you don't want to touch, like porcupines and cacti. But boy does Carolyn like it. Especially the page where Grover's on a mountaintop, where she goes "Brrrrrr".

Good Night, Gorilla
by Peggy Rathmann

Carolyn's absolute favorite nighttime book, and possibly favorite book overall. This is actually a really clever book, in that it lets the pictures drive the story, with only very minimal dialogue added in, e.g. "Good night, gorilla", "Good night, lion". Therefore, the reader gets to take some creative liberties in telling the story, which of course I'm quite happy to do.

Carolyn's favorite part is when Mrs. Zookeeper pops her eyes open after turning out the lights when 8 animals in her room respond to her saying "good night" to Joe, the zookeeper. My favorite part is how the zookeeper is wearing his zookeeper outfit in their wedding photo in the background of one of the pages.