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August 31, 2008

Movie: Homey

The garden is also a somewhat more informal environment, so as long as he keeps his head warm we really don't care what he wears.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:44 PM

August 30, 2008

Movie: Punishing Felix

Sometimes Felix is bad. And when he is bad, especially when he is bad and KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL he is being bad, then he needs to be punished. But how to do it in a way that convincingly conveys our message? I'll take away his hands, I thought, surely something that will count as punishment for such an active boy.

The first few times it worked beautifully: he noticed, was frustrated, and seemed to realize it was the price he was paying for his mischief. But then he realized that in the end he can always wait me out. I still take away his hands when he's bad, but I do so with a decreasing sense of conviction. New punishment ideas, anyone?

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:49 PM

August 24, 2008

Movie: Working in the garden

In addition to eating strawberries, sometimes while at the garden we work. Felix, you will not be surprised to hear, is often an obstruction in these endeavors and some tasks are simply impossible with him around (trying to lay an even patio comes to mind), but if you can find a way to harness his energies then the results can be quite good, sometimes even a bit astounding. The load he is pushing here is every bit as heavy as it looks: I put it in that cart because I could hardly carry it myself.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:21 PM

August 22, 2008

Movie: Little Dutch boy

Another garden tip: wear clogs. No joke, it's what the Dutch do, famously so, but less well known is that this is the perfect footwear for the soggy Dutch environment. So we're trying to train Felix. Train him to wear clogs, train him about what's "ouch" and what's not, train him on who's mama and who's dada. I'd say he's about equally good at all three of these things.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:46 PM

August 21, 2008

Movie: Jungle gym agility training

This jungle gym is in the main common field at our garden complex. When we first moved there this summer, FM needed help at every step of the way. Not an easy task as the ground beneath is lined with stinging nettles or some other prickly weed.

After a few weeks though FM is sure footed and playful.


Posted by talia at 5:29 AM

August 19, 2008

Month 18

Dear Felix,

Today you turn a year and a half. Time moves both very slowly and very quickly. Last week your new friend Chloe was born and she was so small, which I point out only to reference how much you've grown since you were merely a week old. There are so many things you can do and so many things you have already done. And with everyday you are more and more wonderful. And heavy. Yes, more wonderful and more heavy.

These past two months brought on a bunch of changes in your life which you have taken in stride. Not that it's all been smooth sailing and some has come with quite a bit of heart ache on my part but i guess that's what motherhood is all about. Heartache. And Worry.

You have, after nearly two months, allowed me to leave you at day care without any fuss at all. Thank you. You are near the top of the age range in your group, which I'm not crazy about because that blossoming I was anticipating hasn't really materialized. However, you generally seem to like it there and make a point to peek through the window of the door to the room to wave bye bye to all the kids again after I pick you up. The bike ride home is spent sharing your thoughts on the day which always include lots of gesturing. Last Friday on our ride home you were going on and on pointing and saying things in beats of three as in "put that down" "close the door" "the cat meows".

While you still don't have any words, you are really good with mimicking the beat and the tone of the words and sounds you hear. You father thinks you might have perfect pitch. No words, but you have a great deal of understanding of what is being said around you and to you. You can when asked, for example, bring the dust pan in from the other room. Which convinces me that you can actually "come here Felix" or "don't rattle the gate Felix" when I ask, it's just that you choose not to. What you are bursting with FM is personality and one which is constantly exploring so at times you don't obey. You know, sshhhh, don't tell anyone, I think that's ok. You seem to have a keen sense of when I really mean it or when I merely suggest it.

You love dressing up. You are learning about your shoes and arms through sleeves. You love wearing hats or hoods and your most brightly colored clothing. You respond to other peoples reactions and I think deep down aim to please and to entertain which is perhaps why you love wearing the outfits that garner the most ooohs and ahhhs.

You continue to love books and insist that I point out what the various things on the page are by taking my hand and moving it around the page. Once it's certain to you, like ball, you will point it out yourself each time we turn the page. I get the sense you remember the story and have distinct desires to hear this or that one given a particular mood.

You still have only 8 teeth. You have never had meat for this reason. Although, I'm tempted by now to give you a bite of my hamburger or the roasted chicken. I'm finding the separate meals a bit tedious. Well, the separate meals is perhaps more of a result of your early bed time.

For the past two weeks we've been living at the garden house. I love living there with you. It's small, safe, green, and very cozy. You help with the raking of the grass clipping and filling the bucket with things for the compost. You also enjoy helping me sweep the floors daily. You LOVE plucking the black berries and somehow had a knack for picking the ripe ones, though your lust for eating them is quicker than the ripening process and you have moved on to unripe ones. You know not to get tangled in the prickly vines of the raspberry bush and call for me to pluck a ripe one that is out of reach. You can run the course to the jungle gym in the play ground unassisted which is particularly impressive as many of the bars are set pretty far apart. I also love let you snuggle in bed with us which at home we can't do because of loft.

You are slowly but surely learning the body parts and can fairly reliably point out ears, nose, mouth, eyes. You have added a few moves to your Dancing Felix repetoire and are learning, inspired by Emmett, the shoulder shimmy which you can't at all do you but you try every time I say shoulder shimmy and sometimes also when you hear your last name, Shuldiner.

I don't know FM, there is really so much more. You really all that and I super love you and I really hope I do right by you. And I happen to know that your dad super loves you too because the other day he said he was going to give up eating potato chips since he was worried you would become a junk food freak. FM, if that's not love, I don't know what is.


Posted by talia at 1:35 PM | Comments (3)

August 18, 2008

Movie: Definitely not made of sugar

This short film illustrates one of the keys to living happily in our little garden house for these past six rainy weeks (also key to enjoying a rainy camping trip). The boy, as Talia puts it, is not made of sugar.

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:41 PM

Movie: Mightyungrip

The reverse of the Mightygrip!

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:48 PM

August 14, 2008

Movie: Eating strawberries

We're living in our little garden house now. And what, you might ask, do we do all day long there? We eat strawberries.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:15 PM

August 8, 2008

Movie: Blowing Kisses

Here's a short but sweet one. Now tell me, who's more excited by this newly learned skill?

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:14 PM

August 7, 2008

Movie: Sharing a walk and a yogurt

Here's another camping video (obviously). Felix is a good campmate and a fine fellow with whom to share a walk and a yogurt.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:39 PM

Movie: Hard rain

As you probably know, Felix is not famed for his sleeping abilities. Yes, good about going to bed, but easily awoken, that about sums it up. I guess it's something about the fresh air, but I was amazed he could sleep in the tent (we've been camping for a week) despite the thunderous rain. In general, he was much less put out by the rain than most of the rest of us.

I should note, by the way, that sleepingwise things have been going a lot better. He is now apt to go from 8 until 5, then with a bottle and a move to our bed (we're at the garden, he can sleep with us without fear that one of the family will fall out of the loft) he's good for another couple of hours. That's a little too simple: he is likely to spend some time between bottle and return to sleep playing with your eyebrows (I like to play with my own eyebrows, but not those of others; is his interest in these things inherited thus, or a leftover from his stitched brow?) or otherwise disturbing your attempts to return to sleep. But it's a lot better than where we were a few months ago.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:31 PM

Movie: Eating spaghetti

Not the prettiest picture, but I just love that fat hand clutching all those strands....

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:27 PM