Don’t call us, we’ll call you

September 15, 2012

Video for the Weekend: Shoulder dance!

Filed under: Family, Pictures for the Weekend, Videos — Tags: , , — llcall @ 1:14 am

Even though I accomplished my goal of learning to post video online this year, I have an abominable record of actually doing so. Lately Neal has been picking up the slack, and this week he posted his three favorite dancing videos of Addison. I’m just crazy about this third video — I’ve watched it an embarrassing number of times in the last two days. But dang, that shoulder action just kills me! (Neal’s right, it’s exactly the same movement she makes when she’s trying to avoid physical affection.)

(The only thing I’m not crazy about is my terrible camera work. I seem to be perpetually at sea while shooting video. Maybe improved photography skills should be my goal for next year . . .)


March 28, 2012


Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — Tags: — llcall @ 5:55 pm

Neal and I had different ideas about the key purposes of our move to California.  He thought we should come so that Addison could grow up close to her cousins (perhaps in lieu of siblings).  But I was sure we were coming so that we could more easily have another baby.  I am willing to concede that he was more right than I was.  And it appears his plan is working since Addison saw this picture a few days ago and sweetly proclaimed:


Although we live a good two and half hours away from her two little cousins, she is clearly growing attached.  These two videos probably say it all . . .

I love watching Addison’s face in that second video.  She is just constantly thrilled to be playing with Ayda and Evie!  Which is all the more reason to be thrilled that . . .

Cousin #3 will join us in September!!!

Chris and Rish are hoping for a boy this time around, but how fun would it be to add to this gaggle of girls?!  Ultimately, I’m with Ayda, who is praying for “six baby boys and six baby girls.”

March 23, 2012

Pictures (and video) for the Weekend: Potty training

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Pictures for the Weekend, Videos — Tags: , — llcall @ 7:29 pm

I mean, dancing.

Apparently, this is what she does when we’re not looking.  Maybe if we actually started potty training her, as she has repeatedly requested, she wouldn’t feel the need to sneak off and dance.

February 24, 2012

Baby update: 2 years

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 11:55 pm

A two-year update while she’s still two.  Miraculous!


25 pounds, 13 ounces (she was 23 pounds, 3 ounces at 18 months)

31.5 inches standing up, 33 inches laying down (she was 31.25 at 18 months)

She’s holding steady at about the 40th percentile for weight, but her height gave our new pediatrician pause.  In fact, he had her remeasured a total of 5 times in different positions just to sort out whether he should really be concerned.  Apparently two years is the point that they start measuring kids standing up, but he said that can be misleading because it assumes that a child is standing up straight.  In any event, 33 inches is probably more accurate, which puts her in the 25th percentile, but 31.5 inches may more accurately reflect how tall she looks — still shrimpy — which puts her in the 5th percentile.  At this rate, she may end up as tall as 5′ 3″ (according to the Baby Center calculator), but perhaps still look 4′ 11″ 🙂


(Since it seems like she’s past the “Firsts” stages and her “Likes” and “Dislikes” are so many and varied, even from day to day, I think I’ll just record some anecdotes to illustrate where our girl is at.)

Doctors and “bandys”

I remember when I was researching vaccines and deciding what we wanted to do about them, one nurse said (in an off-handed way), “Oh, it’s so much easier the younger they are.  When they’re young, it’s just a brief pain, but the older they get the more wounded they are by it.”  Well, at her two-year check-up, I saw firsthand what the nurse was referring to.  Addison had to get a finger prick for a couple of blood tests.  She sat on Neal’s lap completely serene, just watching what was happening.  She could see the blood and the nurse asked what color it was, and she calmly replied, “Red.”  But the minute the nurse released the pressure and grabbed for the bandage, it was like the end of life as we know it.  Addison was distraught.  Inconsolable.  Deeply wounded.

On a daily basis she asks for a “bandy” (ever since a cut about a month ago), but holy cow, she did NOT want the nurse to put a band-aid on her today!  And now her bandaged middle finger is completely useless.  During lunch I handed her a cup of prune juice and said, “Two hands,” as I always do, and she looked at me with real pain and murmured, “Bandy.”  A few minutes later I thoughtlessly put her cup on the right side of her tray, near her bandaged hand, and again she looked up at me, held up her hand, and said, “Bandy.”  Nothing would do but to move her cup to the other side of her tray since it would obviously be impossible to use her wounded hand.  I could tell that we needed to debrief this trauma, and so I asked her if she got hurt at the doctor.  She replied:

Hurty.  Tears.  Sad.

Complete with her signature earnest head-tilt.

The earnest head-tilt

Speaking of her earnest head-tilt, I probably need to explain this one for posterity — we see it about 20 times a day.  Like any good toddler (oh shucks, Baby Center now officially terms her a preschooler — I’m not sure I’m ready for that!), Addison always wants one more of whatever it is that she wants.  If we tell her one peanut or one cookie or one bite, it’s always an immediate, “Two!”  Unless she’s really serious about it, then she busts out the earnest head-tilt, raises a finger, and gently says, “One more.  One more,” as she shakes her head.  The earnest head-tilt is her unspoken way of pleading: No guys, seriously, this means A LOT to me.  And I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty darn persuasive at times.  Especially for her daddy — a total softie!

Wired to learn

Sometimes I’m completely surprised by the things she is understanding about the world, and how she picks up things I’m trying to teach her so quickly.  When I was taking my graduate human development class (oh I miss that class and its hours-long philosophical discussions!), I remember us using the phrase “wired to learn” so often — that children’s brains are wired to learn so many, many things in such a short amount of time.  But to watch it in action is still astounding.  Here are some examples from the last couple of months:

  • One day Neal came home and he was wearing a hat.  He was headed up to take a shower and Addison sort of looked at me with a queer, almost-chuckle and said, “Daddy shower.  Hat off.”  It was so fun to see how her little brain was working — she knew something wasn’t right!
  • Neal witnessed another interesting breakthrough just the other day.  Addison had the broom (sweeping is fun; here’s hoping this attitude lasts to teenagehood!), but she was intent on getting something else.  She kept pointing at a cupboard.  Neal thought she was saying pan, and got the dustpan out.  But she was still unsatisfied.  She kept saying a word, but he couldn’t decode it.  Finally, she stopped and said, “Baby,” and gestured at the broom.  He finally put the pieces together: she wanted a little miniature broom that is usually attached to the dustpan.  Recounting the story probably makes it sound far less exciting, but the point is that instead of escalating to anger because she could not communicate what she wanted, she went down a different path to try to explain and describe what she was after.  Music to a parent’s ear, no?
  • I’m never really sure when she is capable of learning certain concepts.  But one day when she was mixing up her singulars and plurals (e.g., “one books”), I stopped to explain.  I thought it would be the first of many explanations and that over a period of months, she would correct her usage.  But lo and behold, right after I explained it, she said, “One eye.  Two eyes.  One book.  Two books.”  And she’s basically had that plural form down ever since.  (Other plural forms still need work like child/children or woman/women.)
  • I’m still a little bit stunned at how fast she seems to be picking up her letters — I thought that would take another year or so at least.  She can identify A, B, C, F, G, H, I, J consistently and has started to sing her own version of the alphabet song. (Note to self: must find sneaky way to get this on film, since she usually gives me a no when I specifically request to film something. )  And then today in the car, seemingly out of nowhere, she spelled her name: A-A-A-S-O-N (or how her name would be spelled if her name were Aaason, which is pretty cool too, right?).
  • One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I hate being whined at — NOTHING pushes my buttons more quickly.  I realized I just had to start nipping it in the bud now.  So what I started to do was to mimic her whining: this is how you’re saying it and this is how you say it without whining.  (By the way, I learned quickly that some people find whining at your kids quite disturbing after doing this in public.)  We wanted to teach her to say, “Help please, Mommy/Daddy.” Overall, we’re seeing some good results from it.  After a few days of relentless reminding, she finally started saying, “Help please, Mommy” before whining.  Hallelujah!  (The next step is to teach her about relative urgency, since she often uses the same frantic “help please, help please” for I need you to draw me a cat and Something’s gone wrong because I’ve suddenly unzipped my pajamas and am holding my diaper in my hand.)
  • Even though we taught her a few basic signs, she had long since stopped using them.  But somewhere along the line, she seems to have realized that (1) her signing is adorable and heart-melting and (2) she might be able to get things she wants if she strategically busts out the signs.  So now, on occasion, in addition to the aforementioned earnest head-tilt, she’ll slowly rub her tummy and say, “Pleeease.”  I’m kind of the stickler in the house so it doesn’t really phase me too much, but Neal (the softie) and my mom (the how-can-you-not-give-her-what-she-wants, she’s-so-cute Grammy) will often yield to these adorable pleadings.
  • She is so totally aware of her routines that she’ll immediately halt the proceedings if we miss a step.  One day I forgot to turn on the rainstorm [her bedtime white noise] and by the time I went back in, not even 30 seconds later, she was already standing up, furiously pointing at the boombox.
  • Speaking of routines, she is even serious about her play routines.  When Neal asks her, “Does Addison need to be tickled?”  She says, “Yeah,” while quickly laying down, completely motionless on the floor — apparently, this is tickle position.
  • A week or two before her birthday, I was trying to teach her how old she was going to be.  After explaining it, I asked, “How old are you?”  To which she replied, “Two olds.”
  • Addison has begun to tell simple stories.  Well, one anyway.  We hear about it at least ten times a day, a testament to her love of Buzz Lightyear and Woody: “Buzz fall.  Arm broke.  Woody help.”  (She is describing a scene from the first Toy Story in case you haven’t seen it 40 times like Neal has.)
  • I love that we’re starting to have conversations not just about what she sees but what she thinks about, like this recent one during a diaper change:

A: Rhino!

L: Did you see a rhino?

A: Nope.

L: Did you just think of a rhino?

A: Yep.

Words and phrases

In early January, Neal started to compile a list of Addison’s words.  I had obviously been keeping some haphazard lists in my previous baby updates, but since he is working on his own daddy blog, he wanted to keep a real master list. About five days later, he abandoned that cause — she was just learning too many words too quickly!  We can definitively date back to 9 January when suddenly she could repeat back pretty much any word she heard (although it took a couple more weeks to conquer the missing three).  But these are some of our latest favorite words and phrases:

  • Nice — Neal taught her to say this with a certain expression so I’ll have to capture it on film for full effect.  But she now attaches it to many things: “Nice mommy” (that’s my favorite); in response to me lining up some canned goods in our grocery cart: “Nice!”; “Darth Vader nice” (someday she’ll learn the truth about nice, not nice, and eventual redemption).
  • Ome on (for come on, usually accompanied by a tug of our hands) — I love it when she drops her consonants a la the final scene of Waiting for Guffman
  • Ninny (for naked/nakey) — she’s really cute ninny, especially when she’s running around yelling, “Ninny!”
  • Lax Lax (for relax) — at this stage, I start to realize what I really say to her because she repeats it right back.  This is apparently my refrain as I put her to bed.
  • Own lip tuff — she’s kind of obsessed with “lip stuff” as we call it around here.  So imagine her delight at getting her own Buzz and Woody lip stuff for her birthday (hopefully, this will reduce the frequency with which I find chunks missing from my lip stuff).
  • Sowy — sometimes I worry that we make her say sorry too much (mostly when she accidentally drops her spoon or falls down and apologizes for it) but having her acknowledge the reality of other people’s feelings is one of my highest priorities.  Some days she struggles with it, embarrassed to look at someone and say sorry.  But sometimes she gives the sweetest, sincerest apologies I’ve ever seen, like once when she said, “Sowy, Daddy” while stroking his hair and face.


What she did on her actual birthday — tried on Daddy and Mommy’s clothes!

This picture just kills me -- she looks sooo old. Please tell me it's because she's wearing a man's shirt?!

(Her now infamous help pleases on full display.)

A sneak peek at her birthday celebration:

February 19, 2012

Pictures for the Weekend: Valentine/birthday dress

Filed under: Family, Personal, Pictures for the Weekend, Videos — llcall @ 2:28 am

You guys have hung with me through A LOT of wordiness the last couple of weeks.  Here is your photographic reward!


I see a distant light . . .

It's so bright . . . it burns.

Interpretive dance interlude

(I tried to capture the interpretive dance interlude on video, but was simply and gently rebuffed.)

Thank you, Papa and Nena!

(I’m not sure why she sounds so forlorn in this clip, but rest assured, she loves the dress.)

February 15, 2012

She’s missing something . . .

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 3:29 pm

“One.  Two.  Four.  Five.  Six.”

“One. Two.  Four.”

“One. Two.  Four.  Five.  Six.  Seven.  Eight.  Nine.”

Three’s not that important anyway, right?

The funny thing is that for months she has not only skipped three when she is counting on her own, but she has also refused to repeat it back.  It’s like there’s a mental block there.  We can get her to repeat back rhinoceros.  And awesome-sauce.  And today I got an okely-dokely, neighbor.  But three, don’t be ridiculous!


This story is going to creep my brother out, but it must be documented.  Addison is quite accustomed to being in the bathroom with both me and Neal (not at the same time — wait, maybe that didn’t come out right?).  We don’t exactly live in a baby-proofed place, so it’s either she joins us in the bathroom or my Dad’s computer network gets a toddler rearrangement on a daily basis.  (Obviously, the Neal part of the equation is what weirds my brother out, but when the opposite-gender parent takes care of the little tyke for 50% of the day, what are you supposed to do?).

Addison never seemed to take much notice, other than wanting to look in the toilet afterward, so we didn’t worry too much about it.  Until one funny day, I went in to use the bathroom and as I was turning away from the toilet, she got a tad upset.  She said, “NO.  That way!  That way!,” and started turning me toward the toilet.  It could have been a teachable moment (Mommy and Addison go to the potty this way . . . ), if I hadn’t started laughing so hard.

Afterward, it made me think about some recent articles I’d read about parents and schools trying minimize or eliminate gender.  How do they deal with the peeing issue, I wonder . . .


Also sleep.  She’s missing a lot of that.  As in, seemingly overnight, she went from taking two-hour naps to zero-hour naps.  How does that even happen?

We’re not giving up on quiet time.  I usually make her stay in her crib for at least 1.5 hours before she can get up, but after several weeks, we’re starting to be convinced that our little lady does not need as much sleep as Baby Center says she does.

Despite not sleeping, she still greets me with an ecstatic “Wake!  Wake!” when I finally go in to release her from her little prison.  Often she greets me with more than that — like furniture, stuffed animal, and clothing rearrangement:

But at least she’s honest about what she’s been up to.

January 31, 2012

Speaking of . . .

Filed under: Family, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 3:00 pm

Her cute talking:

January 23, 2012

Baby update: One year (it seems absurd, I know)

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 7:09 pm

So it turns out I’m really bad at these baby updates (though I feel strongly about writing them, I think it is a testament to the fact that this blog is mostly an outlet for my developmental process rather than hers).  But since she’s not even two and certain memories are already hazy, I wanted to go back and finish this post I started months and months ago.


20 pounds, 7 ounces (she was 18 pounds, 5 ounces at 9 months)

27.75 inches (she was 26.25 inches at 9 months)

From 9 months to 12 months, she stayed in the 40th percentile for weight but she inched her way up to the 13th percentile for height (from the 11th).  Way to go, baby!

It’s kind of crazy to think that we ever talked about her cankles.  She’s thinned out so much, I can barely remember the glory of her fat-roll days.  Gone are the height and weight-related nicknames (Shrimp, Rudy McCankles, etc.).  Now Neal most often calls her Scabies and Monkey Bones, while I usually call her Sneaky Trickerson or Sweetness, depending on (surprise!) whether she’s being sneaky or sweet.


At 12 months, it was all about walking.  Neal mentioned it in his guest post, that on her first birthday she strung together 8 steps to reach him — and really, she never looked back.  She had a few weeks of drunk walking, but by 14 months, she was full on sprinting.  And I haven’t caught up since . . .

Her verbal repertoire was also growing, though she still relied on her expressive mannerisms, gestures, and facial expressions for a lot of her communication.  I did manage to keep this partial list of the words/sounds she was consistently making at the one-year mark (usage notes or pronunciation in parentheses):

  • dog barking
  • annoying laughs (not that they were actually annoying to us, but we were trying to get her to mimic annoying sounds a la “the most annoying sound in the world” from Dumb and Dumber — she was pretty good too)
  • douche (she used this one A LOT for a host of things, including her parents and Jesus — should I admit that?)
  • dog (pronounced: “do”)
  • kitty (screamed)
  • eye
  • hi
  • hello
  • strawberries (pronounced: “baba”)
  • apple (pronounced: “ba pa”)
  • mama
  • dada
  • no (she got MUCH better at this one over the next several months; now it is definitely one of her greatest hits, but mostly like this now: “NO, NO, NO!”)
  • nien
  • socks
  • shoes
  • keys (pronounced: “e”)
  • teeth (pronounced: “tee”)
  • baby (this sounded the most like the actual word)
  • glasses (minus the gl — oops!)
  • more (pronounced: “mom”)
  • Grandpa (pronounced: “bah pa”)
  • cheese (pronounced: “hee”)
  • cup (pronounced: “up”)
  • MINE! (it was always exclaimed)

Two anecdotes from that time period that I never posted but actually recorded:

We’re all about dental hygiene around here, so we started with the teeth brushing as soon as Addison had teeth.  She got into quite a routine with it — a freaking weird routine.  When Neal says, “Ready to brush your teeth?” Addison says, “Ah,” turns to the mirror, and licks her reflection. It’s the only time she does that.  Ever.

By the time Addison was in that 14-month-old, running-everywhere mode, church was getting to be quite a headache.  Sometimes if I got to Relief Society late, the only seats left were in the very front, which meant my failure to keep up with her was on full display.  She would be in people’s purses (she’s all about the touch-screen phones; I’m pretty sure more than one sister was horrified to see her iPhone/iPad in Addison’s hot, little hands), other kids’ boxes of Teddy Grahams, and running up the aisles before I knew what hit me.  But this one particular day really took the cake.  We were sitting at the front when Addison bolted away, up the aisle, and straight out of the room.  But when I followed her path out, she was nowhere to be seen.  I quickly looked down all three nearby hallways and couldn’t find her.  Thinking she must still be in the Relief Society room, I walked back in and looked around.  Still no sight of her.  I asked a friend sitting by the door where she went and she said she went into the hallway, but when I went back out, I still couldn’t see her.

At this point, I was getting worried.  There was an outside door nearby; surely she was not strong enough to get it open on her own, but maybe someone walked in at the wrong moment.  When I started walking toward the door, I finally caught a glimpse of her — sitting completely still in a corner with her arms at her sides, as if she was a statue.  When our eyes met, she started laughing like she was the funniest person that ever lived.  The whole experience was shocking for me on so many levels:  How could she run so fast?  How could she find such a great hiding spot so quickly?  How could she hold so perfectly still for at least two or three minutes when in most of our daily life, she couldn’t do it for three seconds???  There’s a reason she earned the name Sneaky Trickerson so early in life!

And for sticking with me through all that, even though it’s hopelessly late, you get some pictures.  Can you believe I didn’t manage to take a single picture on her actual first birthday?  (If that’s not coming up in therapy in 20 years, I don’t know what is . . .)

But I did capture some shots of her day-after-birthday lollipop, courtesy of Grandpa and Grandma Horton.  Since we were pretty strict about sweets, my sweet-toothed Grandpa waited a long time for this moment!

A few days after Addison’s birthday, my friend Kirsten came to stay while Neal went on a business trip and we made Kirst’s favorite dessert — lemon jello cheesecake.  We pretended that we made the cheesecake for Addison’s birthday and got the obligatory messy-baby photos:

This picture says it all -- her daddy did not teach her to get her hands dirty!

I took a bunch of video in between these shots that somewhat explains the transition to messiness below (spoiler alert: she was assisted by her mom).  But the videos are too long to upload in a reasonable amount of time, and shot sideways with no hope of turning them (I’m an amateur), and in the background I’m talking to/berating Neal about wasting time on his business trip (you can’t hear Neal’s responses, but at one point I say, “What do mean by ‘doing nothing’?”), so no video here.

Addison wasn’t that in to the dessert — she maybe took two licks — but that meant more for us.  Cute pictures/video + more dessert for the grown-ups = success!

And if you’re still with me, you get my second video posting ever.  Some of her early walking, taken the day after her birthday:

That’s it for one-year-old Addison.

Bye, now!

January 5, 2012

2012 Goal #1: Done.

Filed under: Personal, Videos — Tags: , — llcall @ 7:48 pm

And my 2012 doesn’t even start for two more months — see how ahead of the game I am!

I told myself that this year I would finally figure out how to post pictures on my blog/youtube.  And voila! I think I figured it out in my last post.

But you’ll have to help me out: Did it work?  Can you actually can see the video?  Any other helpful youtube/wordpress/video tips I should know?

Regular/Fancy days

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal, Videos — llcall @ 4:00 pm

Upon further reflection, I was super fun for just three days in December.  Huh.  It seemed like more at the time . . .

But I did manage to document what we do to have fun around here most days.

First, we get fancy with some bling (a gift from Papa and Nena on our recent Alabama trip):

Then, we take a chair out on to the front porch:

Then mama sits down to watch, while Addison practices her silly walks:

Occasionally — I mean, about every 25 seconds — she gets too far away from the porch and is instructed to come back.

And if she won’t comply . . . well, then there’s just one thing to do:

Who’s silly-walking now, sister?

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