Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home

We're back from road trip #2. I think Natalie may go nuts if we ever take her near her carseat again, but she was as patient as one could expect a 15-month-old to be with the summer of long drives. A brief summary of our trip:
  • We visited Shelli, Narda, and Malka on our way to Cape Cod. This was the first visit where Natalie and Malka were using the same means of locomotion, and it was fun to see how that affected their interactions. They were really able to follow each other around and get into things together in new ways. Future visits are definitely necessary.
  • The house Jen's mom rented on the Cape was on a pond. As in, the backyard was a little beach. Natalie was in heaven, and spent much time in the water or playing in the sand.
  • We were able to go up to P-Town to experience a little bit of Family Week. We met up with a few internet friends, and spent an interesting afternoon being thwarted in various plans by toddlers who needed to sleep. At totally different times, of course. We did, however, take a nice stroll through Provincetown, buy a hammock, and have a lovely time visiting and laughing at the antics of our children.
  • Shortly after sending encouraging words to a friend about baby poop and cloth diapers, we ditched the cloth and bought disposables for out of control, unmanageable in places not our home, diarrhea.
  • The day after P-Town, Natalie came down with a cold, which she promptly passed on to us. I still sound like I swallowed a frog.
  • A few days later, after a mostly sleepless night of wailing and coughing and wheezing, we took Natalie to a local walk-in clinic, where she was diagnosed with a double ear infection and sinus infection. Now that she's doing better, we wonder if she was fighting something for longer than we realized. The picky eating, impossible sleep in NY, unusual moments of crankiness, and ongoing intestinal grossness may not have been teething or travel-induced as we had assumed. She even let me put her hair in pigtails with nary a complaint today. Apparently it was extra-painful before. Good mommies, eh?
  • Despite illness, Natalie learned several new tricks, which are keeping us laughing.
    • After seeing Malka jump, and spending much time jumping in the water, Natalie is convinced she can jump. She bends her knees, then straightens up, picking up her right foot and stomping it. This is also an acceptable form of dancing, as far as she is concerned.
    • She says her own name. If we point to her and ask, "who's this?" she says "Na-Na." This also works with pictures of herself.
    • She has learned to say "YEAH!" with a sort of gleeful enthusiasm. This is her response to most questions these days, unless the answer is clearly NO. "Natalie, do you want to play with your ball?" "YEAH!" "Should we go outside?" "YEAH!" "Where are you going?" "YEAH!" "Will you give us your first million dollars?" "YEAH!"
    • However, she is quick to reject things that do not meet her standards. Singing to her has become a challenge, because she only wants certain songs, and if we are not singing those, she will vehemently shake her head and say "uh-uh." She was also panicked when I tried to put her new buckwheat pillow into a pillowcase, and howled "OUT! OUTOUTOUTOUTOUT!" until I removed it.
    • She has developed a fascination with bags. She picks up anything with a handle (even if it's so big she has to drag it), waves at us, says "Bah!" (bye) and walks away. She returns after a minute or so with a cheerful "Hi!"
  • After leaving the Cape, we stopped in Boston to visit a good friend who has recently relocated. To keep me from totally losing it as we drove away, Jen and I began making a list of Natalie's words and signs, as she has picked up many new ones on each of our trips. We were astonished at the results.
  • There really is no place like home. That, or we've become totally stodgy old farts. Either is possible, based on how happy we were to get back to our own shower, our own washing machine, our own filtered water*, and our beds. Yep. Spoiled old yuppie farts, Jen thinks. However, Natalie was also quite happy to get home, and rocketed from one toy to the next, saying "Yay! Yay! Yay!"
And now we return to real life. Jen goes back to work tomorrow. I go back in a week. Bah Humbug.

*At least there's a reason for this one besides general paranoia. Turns out while we were out of town, the Environmental Working Group released the results of their analysis of DC tap water. Our home was one of the test sites and it fared badly (look for "residence with infant") so it's a damn good thing we filter our water. Oh, hey, while you're there, fill out their survey on children's personal care products if it's relevant to you.
** Many more cute pictures are in the Cape Cod set on flickr. It's friends only, though, due to skinny dipping pics. If you're not already friended, send us an email.

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