Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gramma & Tex... in 3D!

Daniel has been to Texas multiple times during his life... but this week, Texas came to him!

My folks drove out from Central Texas to celebrate Daniel's birthday, his party, and a few days of quality time. It was an amazing visit... there is nothing like watching your own parents delight in your child. It's a kind of gratification that's hard to explain. (The nerves that accompany the visit are unique too... wanting desperately for them to approve of your parenting, and for your own kid to love your parents like you do.)

They played for hours, then took us all on a special outing: The Science Center! It's one of the coolest spots for kids in Phoenix. We explored each room and even talked Mom into riding the tethered bicycle that is suspended three stories high. (She's such a champ).

Maybe my favorite moment was watching Daniel's first 3-D movie together. Just the sight of him with those giant 1970's glasses on was enough to make anyone's day. And he did get scared during the opening credits (which came flying at your face much too fast, in my opinion). But once we talked him into putting the glasses BACK on, he was mesmerized. He tried to grab the fish... he ooed and aahed over each new scene... he exclaimed (loudly) "Wow - look at DAT!" And during the closing credits, he tried to pop all the bubbles that filled the screen. It was priceless.

Gramma will be visiting again this Summer, and we'll all be heading towards Texas for a late Summer family get together.

Every minute together is something to cherish.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's a Blonde Birthday

Daniel turned three today... and for some reason this one is harder for me to process than his previous birthdays. Having a three year old son feels different - so much older! My brain cannot process/accept that this much time has gone by.

We had a birthday party at our house this year - the first one we hosted at our home. We live in a wonderful, charming home - I love it - but it is SMALL. So once we started the headcounts for who all should be invited, it quickly became a laughing matter.

We settled on only inviting Daniel's best buds, their families, and our immediate families. Daniel's Gramma and Tex even drove in from Texas for the occasion!

But the funny part started when we made our guest list of Daniel's friends from school... and as it turns out, his best friends are four blonde girls. No lie. I'm thinking we might have an issue later in life with this kid.

The party was fun, in spite of the freak rainstorm that blew in that morning. We were unable to use the bouncies in the back at all, but the kids loved playing on the new playset in the backyard (even in the rain), eating fun snacks, playing rock band, and sharing a BLUE cake (Daniel's request - the whole party was themed "blue"). I think my favorite moment of the day was right aftering we sang to him, Daniel and Ava began arguing about who would blow the candles out, and little Maddie leaned forward and blew them all out in one swoop. So precious.

He is so like his dad when it comes to the birthday scene - he loves having people gathered around him, singing to him and celebrating him. I need to remember this, and not let my own ideas about birthdays (and dislike of the big party scene) affect what we do for future years of parties for Daniel.

Happy Birthday, little man!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrill Seeker

Every day on the way out of the house, Daniel likes to pretend he's lifting the garage door as it automatically opens - saying "muscles!" and acting like he's lifting it up.

Yesterday he ran over to do just that as I loaded our work/school things into the car. A few seconds later I heard a panicked whimpering noise and turned to see one of the funniest and scariest things I have ever seen.

Daniel had grabbed on and ridden the door to the ceiling.

Still clinging tightly to the garage door, he had kept his grip all the way to the ceiling. By the time I grabbed his hips, his head was way above mine. Those are some strong little arms and shoulders! All that "playing wheelbarrow"at home has apparently paid off.

My initial reaction was to scold him. My secondary reaction was to fawn all over him. My third reaction was to ask if he was ok. His eyes were wide and he just nodded, terrified and shaking.

All the way to school he repeated, "No want to be scared - no touching the big door."

My little reluctant thrill-seeker. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Built In Valentine

Daniel and Ava are still joined at the hip... for better, for worse. They fight like champs and they love each other like siblings. I actually wonder if they think they ARE siblings.

In honor of Valentine's Day, here are a few recent shots of the little love birds.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Endearing Syllables

I love Daniel's voice. It's pure and high. It's the definition of sweet. And best of all, his pronunciation is far from perfect.

He's only two, so there are many, many words he says incorrectly. But I have realized recently that I don't want him to correct a lot of them - I'm actually sad when he fixes one of his longstanding mispronunciations.

Yesterday, for example, he said "orange" for the first time. For months (years?) it has been "OH-jun." I was surprised at how sad I felt - shouldn't I be excited for him to be making phonetic advances? And yet the sentimentalist in me always wins out. (I was also sad when green stopped being "ree-gee" last year.)

So, as a tribute of sorts to the wrong words I so love, here they are. Not all the words he doesn't quite have nailed, just a few of the ones that will make me sad the day he corrects them.

Elephant -> EPP-a-tent
Please -> Pwease
Candy -> Canny
Violet -> Fiolet
Booty -> Boo-Dee (over-enunciated)
Chocolate -> CHWAH-kit
Undies -> Unnies
Ethiopia -> E-Fee-O-P-Ah (all syllables yelled)
Together -> To-GEH-der
Quito -> Key-Doh (over-enunciated)
Daniel Amaro -> Dano Maro