19 December, 2013

Happy Wiggle Belly

We signed a lease on an apartment and picked up keys today.  There's no place like home for the holidays, and now we have one.  These are busy times.

The Grub, just so you know, is progressing right on schedule with her turning over on her side, increased dexterity, and attempts to giggle.  Unfortunately for her, the expectations are high because she's every bit the size of a six-month old.

The Bug has been all over the place.  I'd be hard pressed to say the only time she's still or quiet is when she's sleeping.  That's not entirely true.  As most two-year olds, her quietest moments are the most concerning.  In her better attempts to get away with something she knows she oughtn't do, she tells us to go somewhere out of sight and busy ourselves with some task, such as packing a box.

She likes to sing.  Either by merit of poor memory or hypercreativity, she often adapts songs on the fly.  Our favorite (and quite possibly hers) is, "If you're happy and you know it."  Her version goes something like, "Happy clap hands.  Happy clap hands.  Biiiiiiiig happy clap hands."  From there it can continue along the lines of the tradition lyrics, but at some point becomes a form of toddler Simon Says.

"Happy... bonk a head.  Happy... bang da hammer.  Happy... play Poh-Dough.  Happy... do this."  The cutest may have been, "Happy... wiggle belly."  We've found that the imperative nature of the song doesn't work both ways.  Whereas we may be repeatedly encouraged to demonstrate our elation by hopping like a froggy, the game comes to an abrupt halt with such well-intended suggestions as, "Happy... eat your dinner." or "Happy... use the potty."

06 November, 2013

The Coinslinger

Hard to believe almost a month has passed since my last post. Busy times. The Grub is a couple months old and the size of babies twice her age. (I like to say it that way.)

The Bug has a new game that I really would like to know how she started. It involves her picking an imaginary coin out of a nonexistent pocket and throwing it at the recipient with a forceful flick of the wrist.

Impressively, she can perform this feat with ambidextrous rapid succession. The recipient is expected (rather obligated) to pretend to catch the coin. Hearty congratulations all around for games well played.

09 October, 2013

Whistle Bug

Small children capture attention. The Bug and the Grub have a bit of a competition going. More of a conscious effort on the Bug's part.

A recent, and endearing, pay-attention-to-me-now technique involves sticking the tip of her finger in her mouth and making a little scream. The toddler whistle. Hard to ignore.

Without going into details, a more daddy directed effort centers around her saying "chocolate cake." The expectation is that I take off running to another room and she can control me. When I exercise my independence, she throws her arms up and yells, "Biiiig chocolate cake!" I laugh, but I don't move.

Attention is a good thing to give children. Positive reinforcement helps with behavioral progress. Such as the Bug's first sucessful use of her frog potty.

All things considered, the Grub's attention getters reign supreme. All around the clock.

24 September, 2013

Call Time

All the practice the Bug has put in on fake phones (remote controls, video game controllers, shoes, etc.) finally paid off. Recently, we had an actual conversation on the phone, as opposed to the usual silence of her nodding and waving.

Sure. The conversation mainly concerned the monkey and dolly having two eyes, going to play in the dark room, waiting for the light to warm up, and what play was about to transpire and with whom. Still, the lack of previous warm ups made it a tad overwhelming.

05 September, 2013

The Bug and the Grub

Last week, our family grew by nine pounds, ten ounces, and twenty one and a half inches. And I am quite outnumbered in the boy-girl ratio.

So far, the Grub eats like a heavy baby and sleeps like a newborn.

Granny has been helping with the house and the Bug while I am working long hours. The bug is rather fond of her little sister and tolerant of having to share her mom (as long as she's well rested). Which also helps.

The Bug likes to help by pointing out, "baby crying." She enjoys checking on the Grub with an, "Oh, kewt!"

24 August, 2013

Counting by Hours

This is the last post with the Bug as an only child. The next post will be about the arrival of her little sister.

Exciting and busy times. A partial excuse for the month-long delay in posting.

The last several weeks can be summed up best with the Bug's latest habitual send-off, "Have a good week!"

Granny, my mother, has flown in to provide assistance where needed, as well as where it's appreciated. All things considered, we're having a great time.

24 July, 2013

Draw Playdough

Like so many toddlers, the Bug has taken a keen interest in art. A past time well encouraged by readily available crayons, pens, finger paints, coloring books, and markers that only work on special paper.

She does request that her mom or I make a specific project from time to time. (Tiny circle, big frog, worm, or doggie) However, she can happily spend her own time letting her imagination run all over the canvas. It's just more fun having a helpful audience.

In other news, she just learned how to lock the house. With her mom taking the trash outside. Until she learns how to unlock the door, we're going to need a plan...

16 July, 2013

A Little Help

The past few weeks have provided a wealth of post-worthy anecdotes about the Bug. Now that she is officially a two-year old, I would like to focus on one specific and flattering aspect of her budding personality.

The bug is very help conscious. She'll ask for it, but more so, she'll offer it. From taking cats bowls of wet food for their dinner to helping pull me up off the floor. She really does love to help.

That is especially good now that I'm working all week away from home and Wifey is quickly entering her last month of pregnancy. The Bug can, and often will, fetch items or simply pluck them from the ground and hold them at more comfortable grabbing height.

Can she help more? Yes, of course. C'mon, she's two. But, when it comes to laundry, dishes, cats, toys, plants, and trash, any help can make a difference.

20 June, 2013


This Father's Day, the Bug and I got some quality father-daughter time in at the local zoo. She had been one time before almost a year ago. I doubt she remembered much of it, but I have no doubt that she thoroughly enjoyed it this time.

We've entered the lovely phase of repetition where whole conversations can be held with no more than one phrase or sentence. A little off topic, but noteworthy, one conversation was going on far too long and getting frustrating over the phrase, "esmickame." The Bug even jumped into her usual viewing spot chanting it. After it dawned on me that she was asking to watch "Despicable Me," the conversation continued to repeat itself until Gru made the balloon dog.

At the zoo, most conversations involved "more monkeys," " more feed the animals," "biiiiiig peacock," or "goat walk beside Daddy, baby." The most meaningful conversation came about an hour later as we left the playground area. I explained why we weren't going to play, play, play anymore and she would counter with why she thought she should.

We were hardly halfway through the zoo when she seemed about ready to sleepwalk in with the miniature horses. Tired and hungry rarely mix well and I thought we should make our way to the exits. Never underestimate the distracting power of wild animals.

Seeing me crouch down to check her eye-level and pick a better vantage point, the Bug installed herself at each animal by crouching down in the same way, somewhat defeating my purpose.

She almost fell asleep as I carried her to the car. So, not surprisingly, she was sound asleep before we made it out of the parking lot. And by "sound," I mean snoring.

04 June, 2013

And We All Fall Down

We found the best dress for the Bug's second birthday (coming later this month) and decided to put it on her a try it out. Several times.

The first time as we oooed and ahhhed she swayed and watched how the dress flared out and twisted, much to her delight. The progression (or some might say digression) of the Bug's dress antics have culminated in endless spinning.

It's pretty much like -- put dress on, watch daughter twirl, get asked to twirl, get ordered to twirl, try to catch daughter before she hits the floor.

Someday, hopefully her birthday or before, she'll understand that wearing a dress does not necessitate dizziness. At least she's happy, I guess.

You may not be surprised to know that Ring Around the Rosie is one of the Bug's favorite games. More power to you if you try to sit one out.

28 May, 2013

Father-Daughter Week

For the last week, Wifey has been out in California for her mother's memorial service. The Bug and I wound up having to stay behind. Frightening thought, I know -- two kids home alone...

But, with the help of awesome neighbors, perseverance of youthful idealism, absorbency of Viva paper towels, and therapeutic charm of children's song and dance, we made it! Well, one day to go. Then we set out during the witching hour to scoop Wifey up at the airport.

I thought I had figured out all of the Bug's hiding places and idiosyncratic names for things until I hit a few roadblocks these past few days. We were down to only two pacifiers whose whereabouts were known, until I looked at a pile of them outside of the the cat door in the back. Apparently, out of arm's reach.

And it was only after having a plastic toy monkey shoved in my face by a toddler screaming "Monkey mayonnaise" over and over again, that I found out she had started calling bananas, "mayonnaise." I blame that vowel song about liking to oat, oat, oat opplos and bononos.

We still have some bugs to work out, but we're doing fine.

22 May, 2013

Li'l Miss Mess Police

The Bug's recognition of "icky trash" has escalated to new levels. "Messy" now means icky trash that requires immediate attention, and is often met with an undue amount of condescension and/or outrage. Especially when the one expelling such vitriol is the one who made the mess.

Any spills or detritus with enough audacity to place themselves upon the Bug's person cause such insult as to release a titan of a tantrum. "It's only water," comes provides no comfort to the afflicted.

Oddly enough, the following substances are not considered messy or icky trash: pesto, white cheddar powder, sand, and "big boogies."

Even more curious is the Bug's fondness for Curious George, hardly a neat freak.

07 May, 2013

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Yes. I am nearsighted. No. I do not always wear my glasses.

The other day, I was helping the Bug get some tunes going on Pandora. Not a big deal. It just involved looking back and forth between the remote and the TV to type and make menu selections.

As the station was loading, I look over to see the bug, with another remote inches from her face, squinting her eyes just about shut and raising her upper lip enough to expose her top row of teeth while she slowly pressed buttons with her thumb. My vision isn't that bad.

Another fun thing to do is say "big daddy." Not just say it once, or even ten times, but to repeat it on a loop measured best by minutes. "Big" must often be emphasized by volume, duration, and fully extended arms.

30 April, 2013


We've reached that happy stage where not only does the bug recognize when we've arrived at one of her favorite play destinations, but she also reacts with flailing limbs and high-volume chants.

"Okayyy! Play, play, playyy! Yayyy! Okay, play, playyy! I see play, play!"

And so on.

We're starting to teach the fine line between being really happy and being really loud. The former is much more socially acceptable as we age. The latter has limited acceptance inside enclosed places such as cars. For now, it's still kinda cute.

23 April, 2013

Another Bug's Treasure

Over the last month or so, the Bug has been using the phrase "Icky trash" to describe a wide variety of discoveries. Now she has wifey and I saying it, too.

Oddly enough, icky trash can be used to describe something that must be played with immediately. Such as a patch of sand on the sidewalk. Nevertheless, she uses her phrase to call attention to something that doesn't belong where it is and she hasn't learned the word for it yet.

At home, she knows where icky trash goes and will put the item in the closest trash can. Unless we have asked her to throw something away, it's a good idea to double check that the disposed of item really is trash.

16 April, 2013

Ankh You, Daddy. Ankh You.

At first, I thought the Bug was saying her version of "Here you go." Context and expression helped put it all together.

I gave her some pesto tortellini, "Ankh you, daddy. Ankh you."

I helped her climb on to the couch, "Ankh you, daddy. Ankh you."

I watched one of her favorite movies with her, "Ankh you, daddy. Ankh you."

I found her pacifier when it was obvious she was still too tired after waking up from her first tent camping experience, "Ankh you, daddy. Ankh you."

You're welcome.

09 April, 2013

Cat Callin'

The Bug has been in exceptional form this week, giving her mom and I plenty to smile and laugh about.

Not the least of which has been her new random trend of walking around with her little hand cupped to her mouth, yelling "Kitty! Kitty! Where are you?" Neither Wifey nor I ever call the cats in such a way. So where the Bug picked it up is beyond us.

More so, when she carries a food bowl as she calls them, or even a single bit of kibble, and adds the word food to her calls, we are as perplexed as amused. (These cats don't need calling to feeding time.)

Noticing our amusement, the Bug will even call out "Mommy!" Or "Daddy! Where are you?" With us probably standing six steps away from her and trying to get her to pick something up.

02 April, 2013

Goodbye, Grandma

Easter morning, Grandma, Wifey's mother, passed away after a year of enduring cancer.

Hospice took her for four days last week while I was working out of the state to give Wifey some time to get a handle on the Bug's illnesses. After she was situated back at home, the Bug climbed up on Grandma's bed and cuddled silently for the longest time.

It's been a relief for me that as we deal with our emotions and duties, the Bug continues on in her usual way at full speed, providing light and levity.

19 March, 2013

Blue Frosting

The Bug is increasingly comfortable with each visit to day care. Comfortable enough to have a mini-meltdown after being dropped off now. But, when it fails to keep the parent in the room, she settles in to toddler play.

For the most part, we have kept the Bug off of sugar. A special occasion/treat kinda thing. Well, her social calendar has had a healthy helping of special lately.

She and I had an overnight away from home for cousin Hulk's second birthday. Cupcakes resplendent with Pocoyo blue frosting were had with breakfast... and lunch.

Then there was the great blue frosting cake of her little friend Sunhair's park birthday party. And there was much rejoicing.

Most recently, the Bug's next-door friend, Giggles had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed second birthday party. A good change for red frosting. (Too much blue frosting makes an interesting green poop.)

And then Easter rarely passes without candy consumption. And then Wifey's birthday... We can count the weeks by sugar.

05 March, 2013

Daddy Bonk Head

In the Bug's frequent attempts at communication, she includes a lot of gesticulation. Amusingly, most of the pantomime accompanies what words she does know and not the Korean Hindi that makes us the bulk of her point. (Some can say the same about me.)

To request her lastest favorite game to play with me, she points in a direction when she says "away," pumps her arms to "run, run, run," and typically finishes with a hand tapping her head saying, "daddy bonk head." So, yeah. I hear all I need to know. And her eyes let me know there's no getting out of it without a fight.

Off I go. Flailing into some wall or door, bouncing off, and then fake-screaming as I pick a comfortable landing in a room of my choosing. Preferably somewhere I can easily get back up from for another bonk.

In a unrelated note, we have been quite fortunate not to have any medical concerns with the Bug over the last twenty months. Now she has a cold. She's doing a bang-up job feeding it and staying hydrated. On the get-more-rest front... well... aren't these things supposed to slow them down?

26 February, 2013

Drop-in Bug Care

A few good and noteworthy firsts for the Bug this week. She sat on the toilet and kept saying "potty" (now we should probably get her her own). Her first sentence using only English longer than a couple words: "I see mommy daddy hug."
But the biggest was her first drop-in daycare experience. She did really well (for a first timer) with some extra attention and a little boy who took it upon himself to be her personal guide. She ate well at dinner and even offered her "guide" a bite.
When she finally noticed we were there to pick her up, she pointed us out, identified us, and ran right over. Apparently her "guide" kept track of how many words she said, but I never did get clarification of whether or not those six words included "mommy" and "daddy" at the end.

14 February, 2013

Bug Kisses

As the Bug admired the inside of her Elmo Valentine's card from Grandma, she gave the appropriate awws and ooos. And that pretty much wrapped up our Valentine's day.

Kisses, hugs, and affectionate playacting with toys have been a staple for the Bug for weeks. But this week adds the extra special touch of hearing her say, "I love you." Granted, it sounds more like a chorus of Old MacDonald, but the heart-crushing sweetness can not be understated.

We are plunging headlong into the terrific twos.

05 February, 2013

Snug in a Rug

The top five things I'm not talking about in this post:

5: The Bug talking to her reflection in drawer knobs
4: Her first see-saw experience where she kept telling the boy on the other end, "Boat! Rocking!"
3: The fact that she can easily reach doorknobs... to close doors.
2: When we're not responding fast enough, she's started clapping one hand on the other and clicking her tongue.
1: Whenever we walk up to the grocery store, she points, says "cookie," and then signs "eat."

I am going to talk about the Bug's new favorite daddy game. It starts with pulling up a side of Grandma's rug and repeating, "Daddy? Cozy?" After I've scooted myself under the rug, she instructs me to lie on my back.

Once I have been satisfactorily positioned, she holds a finger to her mouth and shushes the room. This is the start of the "game."

She makes makeshift slides from the slopes of the rug and climbs and rolls and carries on with all the appropriate sounds. I just watch and wonder how I ended up a rug-covered playground.

29 January, 2013

Number 1

We've made some progress in the Bug's repertoire for counting.  No longer is every number "two."  She can now officially count to two.  "One, two.  One, two.  One, two."  Two still does reign supreme as her favorite number.  She likes to have two snack cups, two drinking cups, etc.  After all, if there are two of something, they can hug, kiss, feed each other, stack, and perform a myriad of activities impossible to achieve with only one.

I feel a bit overwhelmed trying to update at this time.  We are in that delightful period of development where I could find a post-worthy anecdote every day.  I may decide to post more frequently in the future.  For now, it makes more sense to get back on a weekly track.