Monday, November 28, 2011

The Beach

A few weekends back we spent a couple of nights at the beach with friends.

Linden took some time off from work, we rented a house, and lucked out on the weather!

Winter beach weekends can be beautiful! The kids ran barefoot all around the dunes of Manzanita.

The friends are a family we know from our co-op preschool.

Highlights of the weekend: hiding in the grass, ice cream, forts in the couch, smoked fish, box wine, sleeping in bunk beds, and failed beach fires.

We love "getting away" with friends. Kids get time to be kids, families all mush in together, and we get to spend time with other parents in the act of parenting. There is a nice intimacy that comes with sharing a big house for a few nights that we just don't get anywhere else! Parenting can be very isolating, and little vacations like this one can bring new insights, tools, and inspiration.

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Monday, November 14, 2011


We borrowed a book from the library last week about Ling and Ting, twin girls who are Not Exactly The Same.  Jude is loving this book, especially the chapter on making dumplings.  Ling makes smooth Dump-Lings and Ting makes fat Dump-Tings...:)  He has been asking to make dumplings for a few days now, so last night we broke out the pelmeni recipe and went to work.

Jude enjoyed playing with the dough and smooshing it together.

Ada's job was putting the assembled pelmeni on the tray.

I made most of them.

Here is the finished product.  Note the little dough-balls in the corners courtesy of Jude and Ada.

Here's a short video to give you a taste of the dumpling-making scene...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

See Doctor Jack!

I took Ada in for her 18M appointment with Dr. Jack yesterday.  Here are her stats:
  • Weight: 24 pounds, 6 ounces (51st percentile)
  • Height: 33.75 inches (94th percentile)
Ada charmed everyone in the doctor's office, starting with the pharmaceutical rep who rode up the escalators with us.  She helped me "draw" on the autism assessment, played with the kids in the waiting room, and insisted on reading every book in the play area.  When they called us back to the office, I said "It's time to go see Dr. Jack!", and Ada marched back to the exam room chanting "See Doctor Jack! See Doctor Jack!".  There were a lot of affectionate smiles directed her way.

Ada was once again a little bit wary of Dr. Jack, and didn't display her full range of communication skills, but he still seemed pretty impressed by her verbal abilities and insistence on eye contact at all times.  I had Ada up on the table, with my head turned towards the doctor while we were talking, and Ada several times reached over and turned my head so that I was facing her and looking at her.  She really likes to look people in the eye whenever possible.  Not surprisingly, she passed her autism screen with flying colors.

In general, we think Ada is doing really well and don't have any concerns about her.  The only thing that seems a little bit out-of-the-ordinary is that the second toe on each of her feet tends to cross over and lie on top of the big toe instead of touching the ground.  Dr. Jack said that there's really nothing to do about that, and it doesn't seem to be affecting her ability to move, run, or do anything, but we'll keep an eye on it to see what happens as she gets bigger.

Dr. Jack did recommend that we wean her from bottles sooner rather than later, for the sake of her teeth.  I admitted that we're mostly just lazy and that she'd probably be fine with the switch to cups, and he said that this is common with the last child in a family.  She's our baby, so we're not all that eager to push her through the milestones, but this one is pretty important.  We also need to make sure to brush her teeth before bedtime.

Ada has been exposed to chickenpox recently, so we decided to give her the second chickenpox vaccine as well as a few others.  She did not like the shots at all, but recovered pretty quickly and was happy to pick out a few stickers as a reward for a job well done.  She was also very upset by the mouth examination once again.  I think we need to start looking at her teeth a little more often so that she isn't so insulted when the doctor or dentist does it.

It turns out that there is actually one photo of the kids dressed up for Halloween this year.  Our neighbors up the street snapped this photo after giving Jude two full-sized candy bars ("I need one for me and one for my mom").  No wonder his smile is so big!

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