Sunday, March 30, 2014

Malcolm at Two

Sometimes it's hard to believe that Malcolm is two already as I revel in his cuteness. Other times, of course, I'm just counting down the days until he's a less annoying age.

One of the cute moments - giving Gareth a hug
I decided we should actually be social and invite some people to our house for Malcolm's birthday. Nothing big, just some snacks and brownies. There are a couple other families with almost-two-year-olds on our street, so we invited them, as well as a couple who moved in a few months ago (she happens to be my second cousin's husband's cousin...or something like that). I didn't remember to take pictures, but Malcolm pretty much just ate the frosting off his brownie this year and then wanted to get back to the important food: the strawberries. The kids played and the adults talked. I think the little party went well and the kids seemed to have fun playing. I was surprised at how well the two year olds all got along, and the 3.5 year olds enjoyed playing with Gareth.

Here's a bit of Malcolm at two:
  • He loves to scream. If he's happy/excited, he screams. If he's angry, he screams. Loud, high-pitched, ear-piercing shrieks. Some days my ears ache by the end of the day. Thanks for the hearing loss, kid.
  • Cars and balls are some of his favorite toys, though he also adores stuffed animals.
  • He likes to read. I started trying to be more consistent about reading him a bedtime story and usually he seems to enjoy it. He has also started requesting books to "read" while we're driving in the car. Gareth reads in the car all the time, so Malcolm must follow suit I guess.
    Wishing he were ready to read this book
  • When he decides to speak, rather than scream, he's quite good at using phrases. He started using phrases earlier than Gareth did. Some common ones are: "Where's uh ball?", "Izza [insert item name here - poop, ball, shoe, etc]", and "Dee dah doo" or something like that. It means "I got you" but is very similar to his "peek-a-boo". 
  • He will name items he doesn't know the real name for by who he sees using them. So if we're doing laundry, a shirt of Ryan's will be "izza daddy" and something of Gareth's will be "izza dehs". There are lots of things that are daddy in our house - the speaker, the shower, various clothes, the drumset/sticks, the computer.
  • He loves going downstairs because then he can sneak in some banging on daddy's drumset.
  • He loves being outside and will often request to go out, rain or shine.
  • He loves dogs and cats and is also terrified of them. Every time he sees a dog he desperately wants to touch it, but if it so much as twitches he starts screaming in terror. If a cat is out while we're walking he will try to stay close to it, but if it moves suddenly then he'll run and hide behind me and scream.
I forgot to take him to his 2-year appointment so had to reschedule for a few months from now. I guess scheduling an appointment the week of finals wasn't such a great idea. I pretty much mentally skipped from "prep Malcolm's party" to "study for chemistry final". But this way I can get him and Gareth done all at once, so it actually worked out okay. So, growth stats will come in a few months. One last picture - discovering the marble run:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Little Musician

Malcolm found the recorder while digging through some stored toys the yesterday. We brought it upstairs while waiting for Gareth to finish getting ready for school and he immediately walked over to my music stand and said, "elp! elp!". So I opened up my orchestra folder and pulled out some music for him to play. The result was very cute, though as soon as I tried to take a picture he stopped looking at the music.

He played on the recorder for a bit and when he paused I asked him if he had played the music. "Yeah", then it was back to playing. This morning the recorder wasn't at hand, so he treated us to a piece played on the toy screwdriver instead, with him humming the pitches he thought it should be making while holding it in his mouth like a recorder.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dino Day at the Burke

I was able to take Gareth to the Dino Day at the Burke Museum a couple weekends ago, courtesy of the membership my brother and sister-in-law gave us for Christmas. I could've taken him regardless, I guess, but I probably wouldn't have even known about it otherwise and membership gets you in an hour early, which made it so the timing worked out for us to get there and be back in time for Ryan to still make his drum lesson.

This was an outing for just Gareth and myself - Malcolm stayed home with Ryan - and it was so refreshing to get out and do something with just Gareth. No worries about him losing himself, or melting down because of hunger/exhaustion, or needing to take a break for a diaper change. And I could focus entirely on him and what he was wanting to do and telling me. It was so nice that I actually experienced a twinge of regret; if we hadn't had Malcolm we could do this kind of stuff with Gareth so much more often! But that didn't last long, and it'll be just a couple more years and then outings like this will be much easier with Malcolm along. Until then I'm hoping that Ryan and I can take him out one on one for things like this a little more often.

Anyway, at Dino Day they have bunches of fossils set out for people to look at and scientists there to talk about them and answer questions. Even being there an hour early it was quite crowded around these tables, so Gareth and I only looked at a few before heading over to the cases where they have crystals so he could admire those for a bit. Then we headed downstairs where they had a "dig pit" set up:

The kids got to "dig up" a fish fossil. I can never remember the names, sorry. It was entertaining to watch how they'd just brush the dirt in whatever direction, often covering up a portion that they'd just finished uncovering in their effort to unearth a different section.

They also had the mammoth tusk that was recently found at South Lake Union there on display. There was a line for that and Gareth didn't want to wait, so we never did get to see it up close, though I saw it from a few feet away. It's still mostly encased in plaster because it needs to be able to dry. But I thought it was pretty cool that they had it out for people to see, and cool to be able to see it, even if it was from a bit of a distance.

I had hoped we'd get around to the tusk before we had to leave, but Gareth got very engrossed in the dress-up area and playing dinosaur, so we spent our last half hour or so there.

Balloon Love

Malcolm got a balloon when we bought new shoes the other day, and refused to let it go. He kept it in his hand while eating lunch, napping, going to pick up Gareth, playing on the playground (kinda hard to play and explore with one hand holding a balloon), going to the grocery store, and eating dinner. Occasionally, if you really, really needed him to, he'd switch it from one hand to another. But he would not let go of it for anything - I had to pry it out of his hands before putting him in bed. About 8.5 hours he held that thing, and would've loved to take it to bed with him.

Anyway, I had to wake him from his nap so we could pick up Gareth and at that time was shocked to see him still clutching the balloon. He didn't wake up when I went in, so I was able to get a couple pictures of him sleeping with the balloon in his hand.

This balloon wouldn't float by the next day, but just a couple days later Gareth went to a birthday party and the mom gave Malcolm one of the birthday balloons. That balloon is still floating almost two weeks later - and Malcolm is napping with it in hand as I type.