Thursday, January 31, 2008

Like a Kid in a Candy Store ...

Now I've heard that phrase before and generally understood what it meant--but, friends, there's a big difference between hearing a concept and seeing it in action. Part of my inability to grasp the full context of this punchy phrase is that candy stores are about as common as gas prices lower than $2.50 a gallon. However, we found one at Bown Crossing, this throwback neighborhood community reminiscent of Beaver Cleaver's old stomping grounds.

As soon as we walked into this place, I was overcome with a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tune (the ORIGINAL movie, not the recent remade creepfest with Johnny Depp). It made me want to buy a Willy Wonka chocolate bar and see if I won the final golden ticket. But before I could indulge in such delicious childhood fantasies, little Faith was off and running.

Now, I still have no idea what Faith is going to be when she grows up, but if she wound up as an accountant or some other job where re-organization is a necessity, I would not be surprised. She constantly moves toys from one place to another ... and then back again. For those of you who know me (Jason), you know she didn't inherit such qualities from me, the master at utilizing every last inch of cubic space in my closet by cramming it inside and quickly securing the door.

So by the time I caught up with Faith, she was reorganizing the candy buckets. I can only imagine what was going on in her brain: Sugar Daddies? In the Smarties basket? What two-year-old thinks this sick joke is funny? Everyone knows the Sugar Daddies go in this bucket and the Smarties go in this one!

What made the situation even more comical was that I was trying to control Faith, more like contain her ("You can't stop him; you can only hope to contain him!" ... classic Dan Patrick), while Janel swilled small scoops of ice cream in her mouth trying to decide which gelato flavor would suit her pregnant fancy.

Meanwhile, Janel's college friend Sharon, who was in town visiting us, just laughed at the situation. After all, what could you do? It was a kid in a candy store. Who could contain themselves? I couldn't, getting suckered to the tune of nine bucks and some change. But this Sugar Daddy I'm eating is worth it--I may think otherwise when I'm flossing later, but for now it's a perfect memory. Hope you enjoy the video!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Bird on the Hand Is Worth Two ...

Familiarity may breed contempt, but familiarity also has a way of slowly wringing the awe and wonder out of life. Just leave it to a toddler to make it all fresh and anew.

While Janel was busy with some of her other responsibilities (She's now a published author--check out her latest article on Pilates), Faith and I spent the day together doing the mundane (running errands) and the not-so-mundane (getting within inches of the fastest moving animal on the planet -- a Peregrine Falcon.) When we approached the first bird (a Hawk shown above) at a local park, Faith was a little scared. The poor bird handler in the picture above thought it was him. But since Faith has never met a person she didn't like, I knew better. After a moment, Faith warmed up to the bird.

Then, we moved along to check out the Peregrine Falcon. By this time, Faith was so comfortable with the birds that her inhibition began to fade. I could see the little wheels turning in her brain as she thought the Falcon's eyes looked like her little baby doll's eyes ... which she likes to poke with her index finger. In a flash, I had a terrifying vision of the Falcon snatching Faith with his talons while Faith did the sign for "bird." I quickly stepped backward to avert disaster, resulting in a displeasing whimper from Faith.

The temperature soared to a scorching 41 degrees that afternoon, so we decided to cap off our adventure with birds by taking a walk in the snow-covered woods surrounding the park, much to Faith's delight. She loves to stomp on all clumps of snow in the parking lot, which left her indecisive about which direction to go in the woods as it was a wonderland of clumps. Here she is above surveying which clump to attack next.

Now that Faith preferred mode of transportation is walking, she has no qualms about grabbing any pair of jean legs she can find when she wants to take a break. When she first began doing this, I thought it was because she couldn't decipher my jeans from anyone else's. But now I realize that just doesn't care whose legs occupy the jeans as long as she can steady herself to catch her breath. Here she is using my legs for a pit stop.

All in all, we had a pretty fun day ... except for the resistance I met while trying to pose Faith in the snow for some of the pictures I took below.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Faith's fun pictures!

Faith is doing so many fun things this month. Here is a recap of the last few weeks. Not only does she feed her Baby in her highchair, Faith can feed herself with a spoon also!

The next picture is of Faith trying out a new hairstyle--pigtails before we go to sunny FL in Feb.

Here she is, doing one of her most favorite things this month....begging and crying and pulling on Momma's leg so Momma will pick her "up".

She is helping Mommy research the Beatles for a story Mommy is writing. She seems very interested in their lives:)

Mommy and Faith cuddling--one of our favorite things to do!!!

Miss daredevil!

Lastly, we made some home made playdo! It was fun and very easy to do and turned out great. Here Faith and Baby are playing with it and all of the utensils!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Walking & Talking

Faith has gone into warp drive with both her motor skills and her motor mouth. Here's a taste of what we've been experiencing over the past week. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Ride Home

Many of you have asked about my bike ride home each day from the office and what it's like. So, I have heard the masses and want to satiate your desires to see what I see on a daily basis (well, almost every day--sometimes, it's just too cold). I've also included a picture of Bronco Stadium's blue turf that isn't so blue from my lens--more like a blanket of white.

I hope you enjoy this visual montage through my stunning photography! (OK, just kidding about the stunning photography--it's just a few snapshots.)

Last but not least, the cross at the top of the hill near where we live--it's what guides me home each day. I love it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Poor little Faith. I must admit that "Take Your Daughter to Work" days for her must seem less like a reward and more like punishment. Instead of getting to watch her father do something exciting, she gets to crawl around in a 15 x 10 area and watch me talk on the phone (to which she signs the word "phone" repeatedly). Or she gets to watch me type--wow, how exciting. Daddy typing on the computer! Who knows what passions are already stirring in that little heart of hers, but I can tell you that "publisher" almost certainly isn't at the top of the list.

However, there are some fun things Faith enjoys about coming to work with me--or at least staying with me while mommy goes to the dentist. She's just learning to talk--and she likes to put to use every word she knows repeatedly. Therefore, coming to work with me means she gets to point and say one of her new favorite words: box. Now, this may seem like an odd word for a little girl to learn, but it makes good sense for two reasons.

First, Faith's favorite toy isn't the little bear that sings 12 different songs or the pig that laughs when you push its nose (although they're both a close second)--it's a box. Yes, a giant Pampers box. She tries to crawl in and begs me to push her down the hall, which I do until my either my back gives way or she giggles so hard that she can't laugh any more. Second, she's decided that she will learn all "b" sounding words first. "Baby" is another "b" word she likes to say until those four letters begin to lose their meaning.

So, my work is an emporium of boxes and books (another "b" word which she hasn't said yet but signs all the time). I couldn't resist the opportunity of snapping a few photos of her sitting on some of the boxes reading one of her new favorite books.

Today, we went outside for a few moments and I had one of those teachable moments with her at such a young age. There was a big pile of snow outside the door, which she instinctively grabbed and began putting in her mouth. I grabbed her hand before anything disastrous happened and brushed the snow away. "Never eat brown snow," I told her. Oh, the things you learn at work with your dad.

Friday, January 4, 2008

80s Fashion, Faith Style

Every once in a while when Janel edges near stir crazy after being cooped up in the apartment all week, I get the opportunity to give her a break by staying home with little Faith. I must admit that my time with her probably is borderline Will Ferrell comedyesque. We see just how many stupid and silly things we can do in the two hours Janel spends on her never-ending quest to find a new pair of pants.

One of Faith's newest obsessions is sliding her arms through these "building blocks" and wearing them as bracelets. Our conversation goes something like this:

Me: "Faith, put the triangle in the block like this." (followed by a visual demonstration)

Faith: (tosses triangle aside as I hand it to her) "Let's see if my arm is the same shape as a triangle."

OK, she doesn't really say that, but if her vocabulary was that big, I guarantee you that's what she would be saying. Within seconds, she lodges them well up her arm -- which would be permanently were it not for my presence in the room to respond to her squealing grunts within a few minutes to remove them. (Yes, I'm learning toddler as a foreign language, and I've deduced that squealing grunts by a toddler with two building blocks firmly lodged on her arm means she's either frustrated that she can't get the blocks off her arm or frustrated because she can't suck her thumb due to the girth of the blocks.)

I had to get a few extra pictures of her, too, with her newly discovered accessories.

While Faith's newfound fad is cute, it is strangely reminiscent of the terrible fashion era of the 1980s.

I just hope jams never come back in. Those flower print shorts were hideous and were my only outlet for escaping the warm spring days in the South when my principal decided it would be fun to designate every Friday as "Jam Day." "Shorts Day" would've been much easier, plus it would've prevented me from having to beg my mom to waste some of our family's precious money on the most hideous fashion statements since leisure suits. People made fun of my chicken legs enough already--why torture my classmates by topping off my chicken legs with a Hawaiian fruit basket print that turned my lower torso into a hideous pineapple with frail appendages. No wonder the girls wouldn't talk to me? But I digress.

In preparation for the arrival of her new sibling, Faith has started practicing her big sister skills on "baby." Yes, that's the imaginative name we came up with for her newest baby doll. However, it's one Faith can actually say. And she says it over and over and over. Here's a picture of Faith tending to "baby."

I've been warned by other parents that we're now entering the deliciously cute stage of little Faith's life--and I couldn't agree more. I'm just hoping her sense of style improves by the time she's five.