Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Skills

Sometimes photos just don't capture the essence of it all. So here are a couple of videos for you.

Ellie has been enjoying the scooter she received for her birthday. "Kick and coast" is the rule, along with "Look where you're going!" Crystal found a really nice Swiss-designed model that intuitively steers wherever you want to go. (Even through puddles....) The detail you don't want to miss is at the end, after the dismount, when she gives the brake a little press — I guess just to make sure she's stopped, or maybe to set the parking brake!

Isla has been learning her signs. She's got four of them down for sure: Milk, Eat, Sleep, and Cheese. She also signs All Done, but its meaning is a little dubious. (I've always thought that this one is too ambiguous, since we use it both for The Food Is All Gone and I'm Full Stop Feeding Me!) One more is Bird, which Crystal taught her by pointing to all of the birds in a picture book. But now she refers to every picture everywhere as Bird.

One subtlety in here is that right after she asks for more food, she sticks her finger in her mouth and blows. That means Please Blow On My Food To Cool It Off, or possibly, I Think Mummy Does Funny Things Like This Sometimes. One is never quite sure.... Also, don't miss the sleight-of-hand at the end where it looks like she's eating that bean, but she slyly drops it into her chair for snacking on later. I'm not kidding.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Birthday Girls

'Tis the season for birthdays in the Barrett house. Isla reached the milestone of her first year and Ellie will proudly tell you that she is now four. As you can see, Isla had no problem diving into her cake with gusto. She was also thrilled with her Bobby car, especially the horn!

Along with becoming one comes some other new abilities. She's happily signing away with her own style and flair. Here's "more", which is usually in the context of food, so is largely superceded by "eat". One of her favorite signs recently is "sleep", which she has been doing lots of. Instead of calmly placing her hand on one side of her head and leaning to that side, she just grabs her head with both hands in a classic "Oh no!" look. But we know what she means.

The other thing that goes with turning one is going vertical. Isla is now the pull-up queen -- anything that will hold still for a few seconds is a viable candidate for pulling up on. Fortunately, she's now mastered the art of getting back down, which makes for a bit less frustration.

Ellie is bursting with personality, creativity, and chattiness these days. She wants to know why? and how? about everything. Some of my favorites are in the theological domain, including such things as: "When God makes people, does he have a bunch of eyes and arms and things that he puts together?"; "If God made Adam out of mud, what does he make peach (i.e. Caucasian) people out of?"; and one night around Easter time when I had prayed that God would bring Mummy home safely from her German class, Ellie said, "God will bring Mummy back safely because that's what he does -- he brought Jesus back from the dead!" Sure 'nuff, Ellie.

Bursting with creativity and opinions can also pose challenges. Ellie drew a picture of her birthday cake a few weeks back and then explained to Crystal that this is what she wanted it to look like. It's on a green plate, with pink cake, yellow frosting, and red candles. Hmmm....ok, where to find a green plate? The pink cake was made with a couple of pounds of strawberry puree. It was a definite hit.

I know I'm biased, but I think our two birthday girls are amazingly beautiful.