Archive for January, 2007

Quick! A post before month’s end.

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 22:35

I found a chair on craigslist, and it’s become the seat of choice in our home.Tephra enjoying the new reading chair Tephra nestles in when the boy is asleep or outside. Our occasional nanny, Courtney (“Kiki” in Sylvanese), spends some hard-earned minutes reading there when Sylvan is napping. And I can sit in the chair with my legs outstretched and have only my ankles and feet hang off. And the best part is that the pillow Mom made for us last year was obviously created just for this chair, which happens to be of reupholstered Barnes and Noble vintage. I’ve rarely spent $25 so well.

I convinced Chris that we needed to play in the snow last weekend, so we rented a cabin in Lapine State Park from Friday to Sunday. All the “deluxe” cabins were taken, which is a boon for the park but a bummer for procrastinators. Okay, it’s not so bad; the “rustic” cabins have lights, heat, and two full beds – not exactly rustic, except when compared with the bathrooms complete with showers; kitchens with sinks and refrigerators; two rooms; and big TVs with DVD players in the deluxe cabins. All for just $10 more a night than the rustics. Honestly, I prefer the rustic cabins. Really. Otherwise, I’d feel like going home was roughing it. I would have preferred to have two rooms, though. With Sylvan’s schedule a tad off, he screamed and said, unhappily, “Dad-dy” or “Mom” into the darkness a bit too much for my taste.

On Sylvan, bundled up at Odell LakeSaturday, we cross-country skied at Swampy Lakes Sno-Park. I gained new respect for Chris’s skiing abilities and lack of fear of falling on our child. It hasn’t snowed in weeks, so the trails were slick and bumpy, and we’d chosen those conditions for our first ski with baby on back trial. My adrenaline junkies both loved it. Sylvan especially enjoyed the last descent, a teeth-chattering trail chewed up by weeks of skiers and snowshoers that tilted slightly to the right. I’m buying a sled for Sylvan so that I don’t have to ski behind them, just hoping that Chris doesn’t lose control and squash the boy.

Sylvan spent the weekend asking to go outside so he could crunch in the snow. That’s exactly the type of behavior I’m trying to encourage.

On Sunday, we stoppedSnow with surface hoar on the way home to snowshoe at Willamette Pass. The clear, cold conditions allowed a feathery layer of surface hoar frost to grow in areas protected from the wind. I’m no avalanche expert, but these gorgeous, light crystals, when buried, become a weak point in the snowpack, and Pacific Northwest avalanches often occur when heavy layers above just slough off the hoar frost layer. (Click on the photo to see the frost more closely)

Odell Lake frozen overThe mountains were out all weekend: Diamond Peak, Bachelor, South Sister, Broken Top, Maiden Peak. This is Odell Lake from the west end, the spot to which Tom, Chris’s Dad, skied (snowshoed?) with us a few years back; that’s Odell Butte, a little over 7000 feet, beyond the lake. We’ve never seen Odell Lake so frozen; snow has collected in the ice’s waves, and past icy shorelines are visible throughout the lake. I shouldn’t be surprised that the lake is almost completely frozen, since, currently, at 10:24 p.m., it’s 18 degrees Fahrenheit at Willamette Pass, and it’s been like this for weeks: no rain, no snow, just stars and cold air. I love it. As much as I love Eugene, I’m hankerin’ for Rockies weather.

Sylvan vocabulary update

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 20:08

This is probably the last time we’ll be able to do this, because Sylvan’s vocabulary is growing every day (literally; he’s picking up two or three new words a day).

This weekend, Julie and I wrote down all of the words that Sylvan uses without being prompted or reminded. These are words that he will either use spontaneously or use correctly when asked “Sylvan, what’s that?”

We were prompted to do this because at his 16-month check-up visit, Sylvan’s doctor asked if he had any words. Julie was a bit taken aback, and replied something like “Sure, lots.” When the doctor asked how many, Julie didn’t know, but she guessed about 50. When she got home and told me this story, I thought it might be closer to 100. So we made a list. Here they are:

another, apple, avocado, backpack, backwards, bag, ball, balloon, bath, bear, bib, bike, bird, book, boot, bottle, bowl, bubble, buckle, burp, button, cardinal, cat, cheerio, cheese, clapping, cookie, daddy, dancing, diaper, dog, door, down, duck, ear, eat, egg, food, giraffe, girl, hat, helmet, hot, jogger, knock, light, lion, magazine, milk, mitten, mom, moon, more, nap, no, nose, off, on, owl, pen, phone, plane, potty, raisin, rock, rocking, rubber, shoe, shower, slipper, snow, sock, spoon, squirrel, stop, teeth, tiger, tongue, top, trousers, truck, tub, under, up, vroom, walking, wall, water, wheel, yucky, zipper

That was the list, 91 words, as of Saturday. He has learned another five or ten words since then. It’s amazing. We really have to watch what we say, because he’s absorbing all of it and repeating most of it.

The words are mostly nouns, as are most of the best words in English, but he has his share of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.