Sunday, December 4, 2011

The hilarious coaster

In my next life I will also find coasters hilarious, and conduct myself accordingly.

Jolly . . .

This kid loves jumping. I have no idea how to parlay that into a long-term life vision for Shepard, but hoo boy, if he's half as good at ANYTHING as he is at jumping, then he will live a happy life.

Cousin mermaids

This was what they had all been anticipating: the first trip to the pool in the Florida oasis, avec cousines. Lovely.

And now, a moment of Zak

All those guitar sessions my by brother has held with his kids is clearly paying off. Zak has these moments of such extreme lightness and musical swagger, I had to capture it. He obliged. Fun guy.

The outfit

Anticipating the trip to Florida, Olivia dons multiple hand-me-downs from idol, Cameryn (plus Mama's humongous scarf). The effect: breathtaking, as always.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Olivia sees me

I have been cooking up this post for a long time. Almost a year, to be exact. Hopefully you'll think it's worth it.

Last year, when I started working at Episcopal, things were a bit hectic. Not for me at my job, mind you--though that did sometimes happen--but for us as a family. I would get home very tired, especially at the beginning of the school year, when I was newly pregnant. This is how Olivia would encounter me most days: at the end of her day, when she was tired herself. Let's just say that hectic day + tired pregnant mom + tired whining child = a volatile combination. Much yelling resulted.

Which is why when I saw this picture of our family, I could only assume one thing:

Given the smiley-faced joy of Dada, and the dynamic, top position of Bella, I had to assume that the picture of me, with the "scribblescrabbles" obscuring my face in a grand gesture of craziness, was Olivia's honest reflection of her screaming, overwrought Mama.

Months later I asked her about the picture, and she explained it. In fact the crazy nest of crazy on my face was not me screaming, but rather, my hair. Boy, was I relieved.

So when picture #2 came along, I had a context for Olivia choosing a representative body feature to represent me. I'm not sure whether I am encouraged or dismayed by the fact that Daddy is essentially the embodiment of the smiley face, while I tend to be isolated parts. To wit:

Now don't be fooled by the little blue figure at the bottom right. That's Shepard. He seems to be the only person in our family that Olivia represents as a full person. But here's the kicker: what is that thing floating, multicolored and ominous, in the center of this drawing? I'll add that Olivia worked on this piece for *several days," cutting and pasting elements in addition to tricking out the floating central shape.

Answer: it's a breast.

"That's your nipple," she offered, pointing at the purple outcropping.

Given our summer, and how patiently she waited daily for our departure for the pool, for her play date, for the walk up the hill . . . I am not the least bit surprised.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bears eat meat (a scavenger hunt conversation)

Those of you who have had the pleasure of sharing a roof with Olivia know that she is some kind of early riser. So when we were in the Poconos, I was armed and ready for a morning activity: a lake road scavenger hunt. Well, more like an eye-spy hunt. Either way, we were the only ones out there, I guarantee it. Olivia's squeals--"AN AMERICAN FLAAAG!"--were surely the first thing that many people heard that morning. Certainly the first thing that those barking dogs heard. But that was OK--"barking dog" was on the list, and she earned a bonus for hearing two.

The Green Dinner

Olivia came home from a play date dressed as a fairy. Tinkerbell, to be exact. She had a poufy green dress and magic wand. Since cookery is my best mode at the end of a long day, I went with the "Do you want to eat a green dinner?" move. I added some gloppy Williams Sonoma "food gel" to her eggs, and voila. We discuss what's happening operetta-style, as is only fitting.

Dinner conversation (Shepard)

When Shepard sits on the table (I do mean on, not AT, the table), he often has a thing or two to share--especially after not seeing Mommy all day! Mostly he munches on his fist for sustenance between comments. Behold.

Angry Bird mall wrestling (Olivia wins)

Check this out: Olivia found these Angry Birds in a video store at the mall (they still have those??), and proceeded to wreak havoc on their beaky selves. I think you will agree who emerged as the victor. Dig on the Mall-Musak in the background--perfect backdrop to this epic battle.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Olivia: "What's it like to be a boy?"

August has been chock full of very deep thoughts.

Deep thought 1: "If God were bad, they'd lock him up."
Deep thought 2: "Only naughty people like mosquitos."

But today, the mindbuster happened. It was my favorite yet.

"Mommy, what's it like to be a boy?"
"Well . . . let's see. You would have a penis, so you'd have something hanging in the front. Also, if you were grown up, you would not have boobies."
"No, I mean, what's it like to be a boy inside your head?"

Now if there were ever a question I didn't have an answer for, that was it.

"Hm. I don't know because I've never been a boy. Also, I would imagine that different boys think different things. Probably the best thing you can do is ask daddy, because he is a boy."



"What? Is it angry inside boys' heads?"


"I don't think so. I don't know."

(more thinking. brief, flailing foray into some people have girl minds and boy bodies. and vice versa. who knows where my info squirrel is storing that right now. it is sure to haunt me later.)

"I want to be a boy."

"Hm. Why?"

(for some reason I can't remember her answer, but I will sure follow up, gently.)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lamenting the Phillies game cancellation

Olivia loves the Phillies, so when the game got rained out, we expected much sadness. As you'll see here, that's not what happened. She DID get concerned, though, at the prospect that her birthday cake might get rain-cancelled in September.

More giggles, coos, and general cuteness

Babies don't have to work hard to make you like them. Here is Shepard showing off his stuff at about 9 weeks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coos and such

Nature invented smiling, cooing and such, and scheduled them to emerge around Week 5 to ensure that the parents don't try to mail the baby somewhere in the middle of the night. With footage like this, who could post this guy?

She loves this guy.

Olivia, like many from the Turner family line, is no stranger to The Ham. But her emotion here toward her nearly sleeping brother is genuine. Also, the prospect that she might wake him up at any time: thrilling. Also: Olivia is crazy about rubbing her face on fuzzy things (blankie, Bella). So there is surely much real pleasure here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Big Sister

The expression says it all.

The Hangover

This kid is getting big. Like the blob that ate Manhattan. I'm so in love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Olivia rolls.

Olivia, giggling daredevil on wheels. "Watch out Daddy!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 4: Shepard's personality videos (including bonus smile!)

1. Sleepy

2. Ponderous.

3. Salty.

Days 1-3

Little man has landed! Welcome Shepard Elliot Thomas.

The pic. The video. That's Nanny talking on the side--she was here to welcome Shepard too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two dance modes: karate-inspired, Dora butterfly

Chronicled here: Olivia in two different dance modes. I like that her styles reflect the mood, the moment, and even the weather. Maybe also her outfits. Possibly the humidity and its effect on her hairdo.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Olivia tracks the Easter Bunny

This is the first Easter where Olivia must come down a set of stairs to discover what the EB has gotten up to. The architectural addition makes for great suspense in the beginning of this video. Also: the joy of so much candy in one place.

In my neighborhood growing up, the EB just brought a basket with candy--no presents. Preston said that where he grew up, the local EB affiliate did stuff differently. Hence the wrapped package, to which Olivia jumps swiftly once she gets up her momentum with unloading the basket.

Now we've got a cabinetful of lollipops. And for some reason, in spite of her initial reaction, she doesn't eat the chocolate bunnies. Ignores them much as she ignores the live bunnies when they're in their winter quarters (the basement).

Too bad. We'll have to find a home, somehow, for those chocolate ones.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bella's Birthday Celebration

Three days ago Olivia announced that it was Bella's birthday. We heard her singing to her pal in the other room. I decided to bring it to the next level by offering to make the cake for the event (and you will understand right away that I was primarily motivated by the prospect of eating homemade chocolate cake).

So we did. Olivia chose pink and purple as the frosting colors. The video, though, is classic for Olivia's impromptu addendum to "The Birthday Song," (did I mention that her school is religious?), as well as Bella's response to our regaling her.

Happy Birthday, Bella!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Valentine's Day, as explained by you-know-who

I'm sorry. I should not have kept this offline for over two weeks. It's a really good one. My favorite aspect is the intensity with which she eats the cupcake, of course. But the family loving sentiments are also pretty cool.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A lazy Saturday morning (with lions)

Olivia is 3 and 1/3 years old. She imagines invisible lions. Last night it was a lion that woke her up and drove her into our bedroom. Here she suggests warding off lions with a knife, even though, as she says, they only eat beets.

Normally on Saturdays we get up and go to music class. Olivia slept in very late this morning, so the second video portrays the creative/musical self that needed to rely on improvisation rather than structured lesson time today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tales of our Dinos

Nanny cooked up the FAO Schwartz Dinos in Rock Cave gift for Christmas this year, and then worried mightily when Olivia preferred to play with Baby Paityn rather than her gift. Luckily, Team Dino has emerged as a frontrunner in the Christmas Gift Popularity Sweepstakes, with herbivores and carnivores alike doing everything from fighting to kissing, getting married to drinking in harmony from a communal sippy cup. Oh, they are also having monkey babies.