Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here come the words.

So far Olivia's lexicon includes: "Mama" (mostly when she is feeling troubled, who knows why), "Dada," (any time, any place is great to say that one), "Teetee" (kitty, any one), and "Nana," (previously thought to refer to a grandparent, now understood to mean "Grub, please"). See if you can spot the latest addition in this super-quick video. VERY cute.

Cat in the . . . box.

OK, so we never get tired of watching Olivia hunt down and love on Earl (aka "Teetee"). Here, she has him cornered in a very convenient spot which she has already explored thoroughly because Preston has made her fetch his keys from inside it. Anyway . . . enjoy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monkey + coffee = cute Halloween

Olivia came to love her chunky monkey outfit, and had a bunch of fun trick-or-treating with Pollito Angel in Potrero Hill (KodakGallery album to follow). Here she's back at home, you-know-what-ing around (and no, she's not drinking coffee, she's just playing with Mama's travel mug). The clip starts out dark but ends with light (Daddy turns it on).

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Olivia has projects. They are very intense and involve a lot of concentration interspersed with swift movement. For example, Olivia arranged and rearranged tomatoes of varying degrees of ripeness on and off of a ledge for about twenty minutes yesterday, pausing to taste each one, usually after it had fallen on the ground.

The project in this video is equally complex. The ending: priceless -- check out the sophisticated perching of bottle nipple on gravy separator spout. Riveting.

The Birthday Files

Here are the videos I took on and around Olivia's birthday. (DISCLAIMER: these clips are recommended for Dedicated Viewers (i.e. aunties, grandparents) rather than "Where's the Fun Baby?/Will this Head Straight to You Tube?" visitors. YOU guys should head back the archives for "Hot Tomato vs. Baby,""Swingers," "Naughty has entered the building," and maybe a little "Stinky!" if you need to see a baby cracking herself up hard. You'll really get your money's worth with those.

The first of these birthday videos is the on-the-day celebration with cupcake and frosting. The second two feature card opening and present wrapping removal. The BEST birthday videos live on Nanny and Grampy's camera, but I think that they are either trapped there or deleted. (Gramps took video when he meant to be taking pictures . . . and the results were AMAZING! Uncle Todd -- are you up for a video saving mission?)

Friday, October 10, 2008

DJ/Dancing/Scratching Baby

Mixmasta! Mixmasta! Hey, Ms. DJ, put a record on . . .

This is a classic clip of Olivia's full-on scratch and dance moves a la NYC house club. I've been holding on to it because I don't know how to edit in iMovie yet, but now that she's learning to walk, I'll need to get another video up soon anyway.

Not much happens after the one-minute mark, but before that, good stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How we learned that "no" is not enough information . . .

Olivia's favorite word is "no." Not because she says it, but because it's hilarious. In fact, it makes her want to do silly jokies like put a comb in her mouth even when she knows that a comb is for combing.

Maybe this is her way of showing that "Please don't climb up the stairs" or "Please take that out of your mouth" are actually the correct ways of helping her understand what is OK to do. Or maybe she knows already that we've got no idea what we're doing.

Check it out.


I once heard that puppies like to chew on shoes because they have the most intense "essence," let's say, of the people that they love the best. I don't know if that's why Olivia is obsessed with shoes as well, but I'll go with that.

The other day, dear Cousin Amy came to babysit while I got caught up on some work. When Olivia went after her shoe, Amy swiftly saved the poor tiny baby from the disgusting germs that inhabit our street, where the shoes had previously been walking. Amy will make a wonderful mother.

Compare that to my reactions:
--Yell "Stinky! Stinkpoo!" over and over in an effort to make baby laugh.
--Record on digital while baby rubs contaminants all over her face.

But it shore is funny to watch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Friends

All summer long, Olivia and Noema, her slightly younger friend (by three months), have been enjoying two multi-hour play dates a week while each of their two mommies has been working, reading, resting, dancing . . . and now they are best friends! They share blankies! They hug heads! They practice "gentle!
(They're still working on that one though.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cash wraps + "HI-EEE!"

Olivia's longest focus time involves emptying coin wraps from a root beer mug. I'm sure that that activity doesn't sound at all exciting to watch (especially in two videos: Coin Wrap I and Coin Wrap, The Sequel), but there is something mystical, almost Zen, about her concentration. That is, until she notes the arrival of a new spectator, at which point her concentration breaks into her exuberant greeting. (She says "HI-EE!" to everything from cats to plants to doll babies. Today, I'm pretty sure that she said "HI-EEE, Tee-tee!" while eating rice and strawberries. Translation: "How-de-do, there, kittycat?")

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cousin Cameryn: Olivia's Idol

Olivia loves her older cousin Cameryn. They read books together past both their bedtimes, Olivia explores the inside of Cameryn's mouth and then feeds her Kix . . . and what's not to love? Cameryn does a mean Hannah Montana onstage number, complete with microphone switch-hand tricks and bending to sing to her fawning audience members. That's advanced for Olivia, but I'm sure that she's working on it in her crib at night. Pretty soon they'll BOTH be singing to crowds and posing for Vanity Fair.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Book, bee, BANZAI!

In this video Daddy is trying very hard to have a positive literary interaction with Olivia. She returns the gesture for about ten focused seconds, and then moves on to other living room pursuits. Not to be rebuffed, Daddy comes back strong in the form of a bee. No dice. Both the look back over the shoulder and the victory whoop upon snatching a cattail have become signature Olivia moves. I hope you enjoy watching this epic feature starring Olivia's two favorite redheads.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Naughty has entered the building.

Olivia is testing out Naughty. It goes like this: 1) Conceptualize the act (climb stairs, mount cat, pull everything out of the bottle drawer risking fingersmashing in the process) 2) Ensure that Mommy or Daddy is looking. Grin with anticipation. 3) Crawl at full speed toward target, chortling. 4) Invest all energy in finalizing the act, shrieking with delight as Mommy says "Olivia, noooo" and then removes Naughty Baby from target. 5) Start over again from removal landing point.

In this video, the victim is a poor miniature palm. It's been under double attack recently---from above by Bella who has confused it for a conveniently located place to relieve herself, and from below by Olivia who hopes to unroot it by yanking violently on its long, tempting leaves.

Sadly, my discipline techniques--laughing and videotaping--are not likely to win me any parenting awards. I laugh every time Olivia perpetrates something because I get such a kick out of her emergent chutzpah. My friend, Kristin, a mother of two "energetic" boys, asserted very emphatically over a wine lunch today that I really need to develop a better long-term discipline strategy, however, since giggling along with the Plant Bandit will not cultivate a respect for green life or potted things.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Serious work: eating.

You've seen Olivia's giggly side, but these videos are testimony of her radical focus when it comes to eating--a trait that will come as no surprise to anyone who knows Mama or Grampy Turner. Olivia concentrates especially hard on meals with bizarro twin components like black beans and blueberries, which only makes sense--how's a baby to know, exactly, what each pincer grab will yield?

Equally serious is the END of a meal, which Olivia signals by summarily removing her bib. Evidence of both seriousnesses appear here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Twofer (crawl + climb)

Our lives have officially gotten 100x more complicated. Olivia is not only scooting around to get into who-all knows what (well, the cats always seem to know--she's chasing them, splashing in their water bowls, eating a nugget of ossified tofu, pinching a shrunken cheerio, sampling a dried-out leaf), but now she's pulling up to standing . . . thereby increasing the distance between her head and the floor. And they've met, many times already. It's harrowing, but the epic climbs of tables and chairs is pretty amazing to watch. She exercises every last finger muscle, strategizes about where to put her hands, registers joy at the top of the ascent . . . it's lovely. But lord help us when the walking comes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

In the morning, in the evening . . .

. . . ain't we got fun?
Olivia is the only member of our family that wakes up cheery. In this video, she celebrates the day in her Mexican Baby Corral with one Jay Bird, who is always game for a baby flyby. In the second video, Daddy attempts to video while also tickling a baby on the verge of being desperately tired . . . you can tell by the tone of the giggle that it's getting near the witching hour, where Olivia characteristically chews on our hair and noses. (I guess that the evening is when our faces taste best to her.)

Hola bebe.

This month Olivia made her first international voyage, along with many other firsts: first bikini, first pool swim, first ocean dip, first taste of Mexican cuisine. We soon discovered, however, that for Olivia, vacation is wherever Mom and Dad are--she even managed to have a good time as her harried parents watched their flight departure time slip away while they waited in a United Airways line.
Yes, this baby knows how to have fun, as you'll see in these two brief clips of pool splashies and the fiesta (where Olivia makes a first showing of her new Mexican ladybug dress).

Friday, June 27, 2008


Yesterday Olivia found the cat fishing toy on the floor, and gave it a munch. (Oh, how far I've come from the days when I disinfected everything within a quarter-mile radius of my precious daughter.) When she saw that Earl was paying attention to what she was doing, she realized that the implement had much more use value than taste value, and proceeded to employ it for its intended purpose. Next she tested it on on subject #2, with modest results. Tests complete, she returned to the initial (oral) exploration of the cat fisher.


Olivia loves swinging, but she loves Jay just as much. Here you will see how those two loves merge into a swinging bubble of glee. I hope it makes you laugh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hot Tomato vs. Baby

In this episode of Livvyland, Olivia spends some quality time with Baby, whose only rival these days is Jay in terms of popularity. Olivia perches in her tabletop chair, taking time out from a lovely degustation de puree (peas + potatoes) to chat up her plastic-headed friend. She has been experimenting with new sounds and facial expressions (my favorites are the "serious delivery of news" and the "chuckling at my own joke"). Sometimes she sits and tells little stories to Baby or Jay. Here, Baby appears not to be listening that closely, and suffers the consequences of her inattention.

Poor Baby. Her only real crimes are bad fashion sense -- note pink perma-headband -- radical baldness and an unfortunate mouth that begs constantly for a thumb.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Now that we've moved on to crawling, pulling up from crawling to sitting, and the introduction of syllable "ba" to our ever-expanding vocabulary (all of which will appear here soon, don't you worry), pattycake seems like old times. But watching ten seconds of it is still very satisfying for people who just can't resist a a baby who pats cakes. This video was taken almost exactly a month ago, when Olivia was 8 months old.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lauching Livvy

Oh so many videos have languished on my camera and in my iMovie files awaiting the day when they might be shared with the world. Well, that moment is now . . . iHope. Prepare yourselves for an exhaustive catalog of every mirror sit, cat hunt, babble string, and other babe-tastic minutia moment.

Consider this first video a test, however, since I'm waiting for a tutoring session on iMovie (see for my idol Damon's primo chronicle of Hunter's adventures). On this, my first attempt, I've uploaded an AVI file, and who the heck knows who can see that? If you manage to turn a trick or two to make it play you'll be rewarded for your efforts: Patient Bella lies perfectly still throughout Olivia's not-so-gentle display of affection, after which said baby unabashedly relishes the fine taste of fur in the morning.

This video is from mid-May -- when O was roughly 7 months old. More recent crawling and babbling hijinks (and yes, those wonderful archives) to follow.