Archive for August, 2010

Elena is already 2!

Posted by julie on Monday, 23 August 2010, 11:33
Almost two, waiting in a basket.

Almost two, waiting in a basket.

On her first birthday, August 15, 2009.

Dearest Elena,

A week ago Sunday, you turned TWO! While I finished up a course in the Wallowas–eating cinnamon rolls baked over a fire while laughing with college students–your Dad gave you the greatest gift anyone can have on her birthday: freedom to choose! When asked where you’d like to have dinner, you said “beach.” So you, Sylvan, and Daddy packed up the van and headed to Florence to build a boat out of sand and eat fish and chips. Yumm, good choice. You even made it back to have brownie-flavored mini-cupcakes for dessert with Avi and Noah.

Does this really need a caption?

Elena on an E, Spokane, July 2010.

Every day, you are different from the day before. Really. What you do right now:

  • Imitate any word you hear, often with amusing results. Somehow, when you say Sylvan, it sounds like “doh-doh.” Likewise, when you say turtle, it sounds like “doh-doh.” The other day, when I asked you to say “Sylvan’s turtles,” you knew how silly it sounded: “doh-doh-doh-doh.” You couldn’t stop laughing.
  • Speak, knowing that you will be understood by someone. Just after I said to a friend, “My older child translate for my younger? No. I understand her, too,” your vocabulary exploded in early July. I often don’t understand you, but between Sylvan’s knack and your patience, you’re bringing me up to speed.
  • Play with play-dough. You like to cut it up, put it in containers, and smush different colors together.
  • Climb anything.
  • Play independently, often with messy results: sleeping bag piles, drawers full of rubber band/twist-tie nests, book explosions. But, hey, you’re taking care of yourself. I think that, sometime this year, you and your brother can take on breakfast by yourself. You have the will, and he has the skills. You’ll be a cereal-eating team!
  • Say “Yes, please” (“Yes, pease”) when asked if you’d like milk or blueberries or cashews. So polite I just want to squeeze you.
  • Love dolls, and you’re learning to count them; one is for one, two is for anything more than one. This morning, though, you used the word three–for only two dolls, but you know it’s related to those counting words.
  • Joke and laugh. You say “Noooo” with that head tilt that means “I’m not sure if I mean no or not.”
  • Have very definite opinions about things. I’m sorry if you sometimes get squashed in the melee of family life. You can commiserate with Aunt Jenny, another second baby.

A rare moment of sadness. Cute, huh?

Two years ago, one of the best things in my life happened to me. You are a burst of positive energy, and we can use that in a family prone to the grumpies. You are full of joy and wonder and independence. I want so badly to be a great Mommy for you.

You told me you loved me on the phone the other night, when I was in eastern Washington. I love you, too, Elena.


Somebody’s been listening

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 13 August 2010, 21:07

The scene: almost finished eating dinner, at a going-away party for some friends.

Sylvan: “Dad, when can I have a treat?”

Elena: “Doo. Minn-ditz.” (Two minutes.)

Mmm, trampoline popsicles

Nothing says summer like being nearly naked and eating popsicles on a trampoline.

He just keeps on giving

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 11 August 2010, 20:29

What would we do without Tyson in our lives?

No, the *other* Gay.

Needs more metadata

Diamond Peak – My second volcano of the season

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 3 August 2010, 23:14

Diamond Peak, briefly.

Leslie, Wendy, and I on the summit of Diamond Peak

Leslie, Wendy, and I on the summit of Diamond Peak

In case you were curious about the location, date, or elevation...

If you’ve been following along, you may remember that this is part of a set (not currently as pregnant as the first belly shot [and will never be again, thank goodness] and nowhere near as chiseled as the second). And, yes, those are thunderheads behind me. About 12 minutes after this photo was taken, I mumbled something like, “F&*#!” as I skittered down a snowfield, on the way off the ridge.

Ground squirrel asking for peanuts, in vain

Isn’t Leslie’s gaiter nicely in focus? This little guy liked her gaiter straps. He stood up for us, wondering how much chocolate he’d find in our packs if he gave all three of us patellar puncture wounds.

Summit Lake (mosquito heaven) and the ridge to the south, our exit route

We walked up on the snow, and you can see our tracks. This is my third time on the mountain in July, and the first time I’ve ever encountered snow on the walk in. We brought ice axes to glissade down the eastern side, but it’s steep, so we ridgewalked back down. I couldn’t have asked for a better pair of hiking buddies (tough, good conversationalists, not whiney, appreciative, good chocolate), but maybe next time Chris will join us to offer just enough testosterone to push me off the eastern slopes.

Boot-skiing down the southern snowfields

Still, we boot-skied down hundreds of feet of the southern side of Diamond Peak. Fun!

I don’t know what it is about this mountain, but I can’t think of a better way to spend my four-year Stroke-iversary.