Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Many Faces of Tor

Halloween has involved Tor styling his actual Halloween costume (a Hansen original!)...

...and rooting through the costume box at day care.

A melancholy bunny

"Party on, Garth."

The lost Marley brother

Ashamed of his muggle roots

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Month in Review

Phew. Tor has finally shut the door behind his billions of unwelcome virus guests, and he slept through the night again last night. We needed that. The illness wasn't a total loss, though: he ended up exponentially better at drinking from a cup (vs. a sippy cup), since his mouth hurt too much to suck on anything. We're now setting about plumping him back up, given that since Monday, he'd eaten exactly two liters of apple juice, a half gallon of Carnation Instant Breakfast, and eighteen tubes of Gogurt (I counted every sticky one). So this blog can return to its regularly scheduled programming, which was supposed to involve some highlights of October thus far.

Given Tor's penchant for baking imaginary pizzas, Lars wanted to grill the real deal so that Tor could form and decorate his own dough. The dough-forming part went fine, but then we took it away to cook and he almost had conniptions. Fortunately, pizza grills fast.

Many hands making light work

Dendro with the photo-bomb

The only thing missing is company!

We're starting to get out the cozy fall clothes in the early mornings, although they're not really necessary yet, and to close the window to keep Tor warm in the bath.
"I don't always wear blankets. But when I do,
I'm smug about it."
Bubbles make every bath does a mohawk

It's still plenty warm enough for us to traipse around the Bay Area's bouldering sites, though. We checked out Castle Rock State Park two weeks ago and found this tree elf.
 A notoriously camera-shy species

The weekend following, we drove up to Tahoe to visit Norm and Charmaine (slash Pakka and Aah-Bee--who can say why?). Tor reveled in his role--and his costume--as the littlest sous chef. He also got introduced to animal crackers.
Moonwalking so smoothly that the camera couldn't handle it

The real Pandora's Box, it turns out
Bear two ways
Lars and I imposed on his parents' generosity to sneak away for a morning and climb Haystack Crack at Lover's Leap, a classic three-pitch 5.8. What a treat.

Topped out by 11:30

This last weekend, our family checked out the annual harvest festival at the Ardenwood Historical Farm in Newark. The gimmick is, you get to pick all the Indian corn and popcorn you want--but you have to put half of it in their corn cribs. Also, they try to sell you $12 pumpkins. We weren't biting.
Aboard a traditional early American truck

A hearty lunch before heading into the fields

"Handful of bees, Mother?"

Diving in with sleeves rolled up

Time Tor would take to harvest the entire field:
> 1 year

Preparing the harvest decor for hanging...

...and the popcorn for popping

Finally, we have developments on the big-boy front! First off, Tor is TOTALLY WEANED. It's been a long time coming, and he still has quite a few moments where he only wants to be held by me (as indicated by a tearful "UP WITH MAMA!"), but it's a move toward independence (and now Lars can put him to bed regularly!). Second, Tor is practicing using a tiny red toilet. He likes to sit on it and read Potty Time with Elmo over and over and over again until something happens. We can see some effort there, too, so hopefully sphincter control is not too far behind...

Third, here's Tor showing off some color knowledge for ya. We're getting red, blue, yellow, pink, purple, white, and orange fairly consistently, but green and black are proving bugbears for some reason.

And he'll play you out:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tor vs. Hand-Foot-Mouth

I'd hoped to fashion a long, newsy post this week, but all activities in our house have been put on hold while Mr. T suffers through the self-limiting scourge of hand-foot-mouth disease. He had a fever Monday, and we learned from day care that another girl had come down with the virus. By Tuesday morning he was refusing to eat anything because of the blisters inside his mouth and throat (and ugh--the breath! the breath!). So he's been subsisting on chocolate milk, melted ice cream, and painkillers for the last day and a half. Doctor's orders. Today his hand and foot vesicles are in bloom too, so we hope that in another two days he'll be on the mend.

I'd hoped to use our new Halloween cookie cutters with him today, but since virus cookies are right under smallpox blankets on the list of presents that turn your friends into enemies, we'll wait.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Few Tricks

Tor is now surprising me on a regular basis. This is probably pretty standard for kids who are rounding the curve on two, but it's a new feeling for me to be autopiloting along, expecting him to respond in a certain way, and then to realize he's thinking either along parallel lines or on a completely different plane.

Example: Yesterday he was looking at the back cover of his Elmo coloring book (of helmet fame) includes a folksy portrait of all the Sesame Street regulars in front of Hooper's Store. The past 87 times I asked him what he saw in that picture, he recited all their names in order: Oscar, Ernie, Bert, Zoe, Elmo, Abby, Cookie, Bert, [Big] Bird, Super Grover, and Count (although less intelligibly than my spelling represents). This time, when I asked him the same question, he went down the line and pointed to everyone's feet, saying, "No shoes. Shoes. Shoes. No shoes" and so on. What?

Example: A week back, we got the cutest birth announcement introducing baby Greta, the latest addition to the Burnett family. Tor pointed at it and said, "Baby!" I told him, "That's Madeline's sister," knowing full well he has little or no idea what a sister is. Flash forward to today, when Tor passed by Greta's picture on the fridge. I said, "Look at the baby!" and he exclaimed, "Madeline sister!" Just once was enough. Cool.

So I feel like he's on the cusp of synthesizing not only his burgeoning vocabulary, but ideas and observations, to tell stories about the world. And isn't that what makes humans unique?

Tor enjoyed Oma and Opa's company last weekend, as did Lars and I. (Have you ever had house guests who wash their own sheets, mind your toddler, and cook you dinner every night? Then you know how stoked we were.)
New signage for the bedroom door

The question of Oscar's shoddedness remains open

Cooking as Team Hansen is a rare treat these days

Obviously the center of the universe

We busted out the keyboard from the garage and recalled, to our horror, that it plays Livin' La Vida Loca at the touch of a demo button. But by then the genie was out of the bottle.
"I require MORE LA LA!!"

Last Wednesday, one of my Tor-minding days, the kid and I drove 45 minutes north to visit Mormor (and also got to see Erik and Heather--bonus!). Tor tested the mettle of my nerves with some trampoline antics, then worked out the rest of his crazies in the park before going to a highly successful lunch.
The bib is to sop up his face when he goes through the springs

I need lessons from Mormor in maintaining poise and dignity while child-wrangling


In day care news, he came home with a fever on Thursday but still managed to play in the sprinkler earlier that morning.
"Must...keep it together...for agua"
And we bummed around the house and park for the rest of the week. Tor's favorite imagination game right now is making pizza: he pretends to turn on an oven, we spread out pretend dough and put on cheese and meat, he mimes putting it in the oven, and I set his invisible watch and make it "Ding!" Then--you guessed it--he takes the fake pizza out and we fake smelling and eating it. It's an involved process, which is why I'm so glad he wants to bake eight pizzas a day, minimum.
Turning on the "oven"
The pop-up house didn't stand a chance once Disembodied Bird Beak came to call

Just in case

Representing his roots

Naptime for "Big Elmo"