Sunday, May 29, 2011

Easter Bunny 2011

I was going to skip Easter for the babies this year (just like last year) because I thought they'd be too young to gather eggs. But then Jadwiga from my new Las Madres Cupertino 2009 playgroup (that's a mouthful) invited us to her house on April 16th for a Spring Party. I like any excuse to dress the babies up and stick a bow on Julia, so away we went.

Bow time!

The babies in attendance were all, I think, 16-18 months. Here's the baby line-up:

(top, l to r) David, Isaac, Ashlyn
(bottom) Kaian, Kayleigh

Their yearbook superlatives would go something like this:
David - Most sensitive (he's so sweet he cries whenever anyone leaves his house)
Isaac - Fastest crawler
Ashlyn - Cutest pigtails
Kaian - Best dancer
Kayleigh - Most impressive head of hair (Note to self: Julia is the same age. Where is her hair???)

First the babies hung out with other babies and played with dump trucks. Kathy may have accidentally clocked James with her camera.

James gets a cool look by putting product in his hair. And that product is food.

Way to disprove gender stereotypes, Julia! (Although last time you were here you did spend a long time playing with the shopping cart in the kitchen...)

James plays with Kayleigh while she lets her bib send a none-too-subtle message.

Jadwiga dressed in an Easter Bunny costume that she rented (!) and hid eggs in her yard, while all the babies watched from the window.

The Easter Bunny has an audience while (s)he hides eggs.

Then the babies went outside with their baskets to collect eggs. Well, by "collect eggs" I mean that we planted James and Julia on the grass and we put some eggs in front of them. Julia liked her eggs but James was more interested in slapping the cement.

V-E Day (E = Easter)

Cement slapping time!

And then Jadwiga suffered through pictures wearing her sweltering costume.

David, Julia, Kaian, Kayleigh, and James sit with the Easter Bunny.

"Easter Bunny! Easter Bunny! Question over here!"

The Easter Bunny might want to visit a thyroid specialist.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nicknames for My Little Ones

Here are nicknames for the babies that we’ve had since they were born. The person who coined or called them that name is in parentheses.

J u l i a

One Sock Off (Papa) - Papa has a penchant for removing one of Julia’s socks and then claiming she did it. Her nickname also sounds like Mark’s last name.

If you look carefully you'll see a foot without a sock.

Butternut Squash (Papa) - Because I’m my dad’s Punkin, he has decided that Julia is his Butternut Squash, and her daughter one day will be called Zucchini.

Julia the Dentist (me?, Grandma?) - Like James she loves playing with our faces, particularly our teeth. However, unlike James she isn’t particularly gentle and will attack our mouths and let out a devilish squeal while we say, “Gentle! Gentle!”

Julia performing a check-up: "I don't need to give you an x-ray. I have my fingers."

Drool-ia (me) - I thought of this before she started drooling from teething and was really excited for when I could start using the nickname.

Dracula (me) - This is Julia's newest nickname. She came over to me to cuddle in my lap, looked at me with a devilish grin and then bit me! After giving her a stern "No!" and "Ouch!" she surveyed the rest of my leg as though to find the fleshiest part, and chomped again. Mark and James are her other casualties.

Julia "Dracula" Pilloff showing off her fangs while looking for another victim.

Oh no! Not Bunny!

Watch out Big Red Ball!

Bear Trap (me) - When hungry, Julia would start mouthing her own arm like she was caught in a bear trap.

Horse Math (Mark) - Julia stomped her feet like a horse doing math.

Little Plum Girl (Papa) - Papa called her this when Julia wore her plum kimono.

Little Plum Girl is still trying to figure out this bearded Papa person.

Sad Face (Mark) - Julia was often sad her first few months.

Sad Face at 2 months.

Sad Face at 5 months.

Mrs. Chomp (Mark) - When James outgrew his “chomp” outfit (an outfit with an alligator that said "chomp"), Julia started wearing it.

James punches Julia for taking his "chomp" outfit.

Houdini (me) - Julia was adept at getting out of swaddling.

Julia breaks out of swaddling to threaten James.

Try and break out of this Hannibal Lecter, er... I mean Julia.

Weirdo (Mark)

This picture might help explain how Julia got the "weirdo" moniker.

J a m e s

Little Plow (Papa) - My dad called James this because James would crawl/plow along the floor, no matter what (or who) was in his way.

"I'll just plow over Daddy."

Giggles (me) - James has a tendency to giggle uncontrollably and adorably as seen here.

Garbage Disposal (Papa) - He'll eat everything... Except baby borscht. Or baby dal.

Is he Giggles?

Or the Garbage Disposal?

The Garbage Disposal appears to be blocked up.

Moldy Pumpkin Face (me) - This is based on James's cry face.

Which one's James and which one's a moldy pumpkin?

Orange Juice (Mark) - Mark was convinced James didn't know his own name (he did) and he claimed that James was equally likely to look up if we said "orange juice" or "James." And then Mark started calling him Orange Juice.

My Little Monkey (me) - Starting at 15 ½ months, when I would carry James he would hold onto me with his legs too, and seemed like he was going to climb up me. This was especially true when he'd see his bath and get scared.

As soon as James sees his bath he'll be up me like a monkey up a tree.

My Little Lion (Papa) - James was the Cowardly Lion for Halloween and since then Papa has adopted this nickname for him. James also makes a sound resembling a lion's roar... or a possessed frog.

Cute lion.

ary lion. "Grrr! It's good I'm in my cage or I'd devour you!"

Bruiser (me?) - James got called this after he got a bruise under one eye and a scratch under the other in the same day.

James is the toughest 7 1/2 month old around. Too bad the dog on his shirt doesn't have a shiner on the opposite eye to match James's.

Heartbreaker (me) - I thought James was one of the only cute newborns I'd ever seen, and I started calling him this a few days after he was born.

My first time seeing my Heartbreaker in the NICU.

My little Heartbreaker on Valentine's Day.

The Nuzzler (me) - James sometimes puts his head close to the neck of the person holding him and will sometimes mouth it. Once he tickled Mark doing this. I decided this would be the worst Batman villain ever.

Grandma is The Nuzzler's latest victim.

Warning: the next part will be interesting only to the babies one day and the grandparents so bail out now.

Other Nicknames for Julia

Squirmy - Julia can’t stay still when we’re fastening her diaper.

Littlest One - Julia and James are my Little Ones but only Julia is my Littlest One. (Yes, since there's two of them technically she should be "Littler One" but I say "Littlest One.")
Funny Girl
Popeye - Her forearms made her look like a body builder.
My Timekeeper - Julia always seems to know when it's mealtime, and if you're away from home a few minutes before dinner she starts getting very upset.
MiniMark (coined by Rachel R.) - Julia looks a lot like her daddy.
Pretty Pixie
Squirmy Worm
Slugger - For awhile she liked to slug us in the arm
Magoo - Her side profile looked like Mr. Magoo.
Tiger - My mom's dad called me Tiger. I called Julia that because of the ferocious way she’d go for her pacifier.
Suck Monster - I called Julia this when she nursed.
Margaret Latcher - See above.
Lady Latch-a-Lot - See above.

Prettiest Girl in Her Age Group
Snorta - She used to snort when hungry.

Miss Sunshine
Little Girl (also used by me)
Julia McGee - Julia got called this when she did something "bad" - sort of like her Mr. Hyde persona.

Princess Pumpkin - It's a combination of the two names my mom calls me.
Princess (also used by me)

My Jewel - Papa’s called her this since he met her on day two.
Blowtorch - Holding babies makes Papa warm.

Other Nicknames for James

Smiley/Smiley Cyrus - James is a smiley boy.
Little Guy - Marge Simpson and I both call our boys this name, though Marge says "Special Little Guy."
Crazy - James would giggle and do silly things on the changing table, and when I'd say "Are you crazy?" he'd giggle more.

Squeaky Wheel - James would cry when I stopped feeding him for a moment in order to feed Julia, or when he wanted a bottle or anything else. Because Julia didn't complain as much, he drew more attention.
Sweetpea - He reminded me of Sweetpea from Popeye. It was a coincidence that we called Julia "Popeye."

Edward R. Furrow

Sweet Peach
James MacDougal - James got called this when he did something "bad" - sort of like his Mr. Hyde persona. (also the name of a Whitewater figure)

The Lug - This name and the next were ones Grandma used for Uncle Michael as well.
Winston - Grandma thought James resembled Winston Churchill.
Butch - Grandma noted James's resemblance to Butch from The Little Rascals when he'd get his cry face.

Sunshine - Papa says his smile brings him sunshine. Papa also sings to James “You Are My Sunshine.”
Blast Furnace - Holding babies makes Papa warm.
JB - This is short for James Benjamin.
Ox - James is a strong boy.
- See above.

Other Nicknames for Both

Little One

Mixmaster Julia/James - Sometimes they hit buttons over and over on a musical or speaking toy so you only hear a repeated sound or letter, much like a mixed-up DJ track.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meet James AND Julia at 6-12 Months, Part II

Mutual Likes
Books with flip-up parts
Cruising back and forth underfoot along the changing table while their sibling is being changed
Playing with our faces
Mirrors (and for James, sliding the mirrored door back and forth, too)
Emptying the changing table of diapers

Julia wears her giant bow in the Exersaucer. (7 1/2 months)

James sees Mommy in the mirror of the Exersaucer. (8 months)

James is pro-blinding, but he's still gentler than Julia. (8 months)

Julia "helpfully" removes all the diapers from the diaper basket. (12 1/2 months)

Blankie square
Camera toy
Music Table ($5 at garage sale!)

Julia and James play with the Music Table for the first time with their pal, Ronan. (8 1/2 months) (Thanks, Stacy, for the picture!)

Pouty Julia at the Music Table. (8 1/2 months) (Thanks again, Stacy!)

Tails (James likes to attack the swish-swish-swish tail)
Who Loves You Baby?
Hoppity Hop Peekaboo!
Where Is Baby's Belly Button?
You're My Little Love Bug

Roll Out the Barrel (Grandma puts a baby on her lap and rotates and claps their feet to this song)
Julia/James Pendulum (to burp them I would sort of swing them out in front of me like a clock pendulum and sing "Julia/James Pendulum... bong!")
"Julia, Meet James"/"James, Meet Julia" (I would swing Julia out to James and sing "Julia, meet James. She just wanted to say `hello.' Julia, meet James. She just wants to say `hi.'")
Near/Far in front of mirror (like Grover)
Being thrown in the air by Daddy
Being pretend-dropped by Daddy
Rolling them back and forth while they lay on me while I lay on the ground
Blowing on their bellybuttons ("Did you leave your bellybutton unguarded? Did you leave your BELLYBUTTON unguarded?" )
This Little Piggy
How Big Is Julia/James? (Answer (with arms in the air): "So Big!")
Flying (I lay on the ground and lift them straight over me)

"Fever, schmever. Throw me in the air again, Daddy!" (12 months and in the hospital with a high fever)

James is such a belly button tease when he wears this outfit. It's like he's asking for his belly button to be blown on. (6 months)

Julia and James "flying." (6 months)

Words James and Julia Definitely Know
Book (and understand sign)
Milk (and understand sign)
Patty cake, clap
Bunny/Pink Bunny/Bunny Rabbit
Doggy/Puppy Dog
Belly button

Words James and Julia Can Say