Sunday, March 26, 2006

Check out this beautiful family...

This is what I've been working on the past week. Actually more than the past week. I've been editing photos, but I got sick, and then Kate got sick, and everything ended up taking a lot longer than it should have.

I took these pictures for Ross and Cathryn (owners of the Jerusalem mural) back in October. They were going to order some for Christmas, but I never got the final word from them (I was insanely busy, anyway, what with the drawing and Barb's wedding and all). Then a couple of weeks ago Cathryn found an email in her draft box that she thought she had sent to me back in December, with the list of pictures they wanted. So, I've been editing.

Some of these were posed and some were just spur-of-the-moment candids (and hence not too well focused). You can see the mural in the background on those last two. We'd been taking pictures outside, but it was getting cold, so we went in and were just hanging out in the living room. One of the girls was looking at a book by the lamp, and I just loved the way the light fell on her, so I started taking pictures. Then we had to get the other girls in too.

This was one of my favorites--Cathryn didn't order any of this one, but I had to post it anyway because it's so cute. They're such a sweet family.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Testing 1-2-3

Blogger has been doing weird things since I posted yesterday. *smack!*smack!*

Friday, March 17, 2006

Have a ball

The purchase of this ball was a result of two recent incidents, and led to a rather unfortunate adventure.

Tuesday night we were at the church for Young Men/Young Women (the girls were, ironically, scrapbooking, but I hadn't gotten anything together to work on with them). Kate kept wanting to go run around in the gym, so we spent a lot of time in there. Then a guy came in with a basketball to shoot some hoops. Kate wanted that basketball. Wanted it bad. She wailed and wept and carried on for what seemed like a good 10-15 minutes. (It was very sad, and probably annoying for everyone else, I imagine, but I couldn't help laughing--I mean, who would have thought that a basketball would be such an object of desire?) When the guy took a break Kate got to have the ball for a while, and was just as pleased as punch. She has played with basketballs before--we were using one for an activity a couple of weeks ago, and during the Bishop's spiritual thought in opening exercises Kate was up at the front of the room, pushing the ball around and yelling "Wheee!" So this didn't completely come out of nowhere. We were just surprised by the strength of her reaction.

We have a couple of folding crates that we've been using for laundry baskets. A few days ago, Doug got the bright idea of pulling Kate around in one. This means that we've spent a lot of time hunched over, dragging her around the house while she signs "More!"

So, Wednesday afternoon, I borrowed a little red wagon from a friend in the complex. I put the laundry basket in the wagon and it just barely fit, so I pulled Kate around in that. She was having such a good time that I thought we'd take a walk up to Kmart, which is about 3½ blocks away. She likes looking at the stuffed animals and things. We played with the big plastic balls for a while and I picked one out for her. (Hey, three bucks!) The guy who checked us out tried to put it in a bag, but he didn't have one big enough. I said I'd manage somehow. I ended up holding the ball in one arm while I pulled the wagon with the other.

Shortly after we left the Kmart parking lot, on our way back home, it started to rain. It was a light sprinkle at first, but got progressively harder. By the time we were about a block from home, it was really pouring. Then a sudden gust of wind whisked the ball out of my arm and tossed it down the street, back the way we had come. We stood there in the rain, watching the ball dance away, performing graceful, gravity-defying leaps like an actor on wires in a martial arts movie. I was laughing. I seem to recall Kate pointing after it and exclaiming in surprise. ("Ball!")

In retrospect, I should have just left the ball and gotten Kate home. But we went after it. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I left the wagon at the side of the road and picked up Kate and hurried. We found the ball back up at the edge of the Kmart parking lot. Brother Smith from church was standing out in front of his house with an umbrella (I didn't even know they lived over there) and he walked us and the ball back home.

Kate was soaked and shivering when we got home, and looking a little blue in the extremities. I tried giving her a nice warm bath, but she wasn't going for it, just hunching over and crying, so I got her all towelled off and into a nice warm sleeper, and then we spent a good long while snuggled up and nursing. I called the doctor to see if there was anything I should be looking out for. I figured Kate would go to bed early after all that, but she didn't.

Kate seems none the worse for wear, and has been enjoying playing with her ball. This morning she even dragged the laundry basket over to me and then went and pointed at the front door. But we aren't going outside right now. It's raining.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If I could talk to the animals

Kate was laughing in her sleep the other night. Doug said, "She's probably dreaming about doggies!"

Kate loves doggies. If we're outside for a walk and she hears one in the distance, she'll stop and look around and say "Woof!"

We've been reading lots of books with animal sounds. Terry Pratchett's Where's My Cow? is a current favorite. I must have read that one seven or eight times the other day. (Doug and I are both big Discworld fans, so we're starting Kate off young.) One of her other books has a turkey and a dolphin, which are both great fun. Kate has been quite amused by her silly parents' turkey impressions.

Someone posted these on Two Peas: Talking Dogs and Talking Cats. We have been watching them over and over (and over and over and over), with Kate signing "More! More!" before we even get to the end. That last cat just cracks us up.

This Funny Cats clip is also getting a lot of runtime, though it contains no talking.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I went to a baby sign class back in January, and I'd been sort of inconsistently trying to do a few signs with Kate. Then when she started copying my "The crocodile goes snap! snap!" when reading one of her little board books, I figured she would be able to learn some. We've been doing "more" and "milk," and I think she's got "change" figured out too.

Today we all went down to Olympia so Doug could drop off a job application at South Puget Sound Community College. After a brief visit to campus we went to a couple of parks. While I was taking pictures of some crocuses (ah, Spring!) Kate was having fun stomping on metal plates in the ground. One of them was a little bit loose, and Doug was jiggling it with his foot. Kate complained when he stopped. He said, "You want some more?" and she signed "more!" (She doesn't do it quite right, but we know what she means!)

One fish, two fish

In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday yesterday, I wore my One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish shirt. (It came from a T-shirt shop in Victoria, BC.) Kate was fascinated by the shirt and kept pointing to the words and the fish. We have the book, too, and she was able to make the connection. "Hey, that's the same thing!" When we were getting ready for bed I put the shirt on her, and she had fun walking around in it. (I hitched it up with a twisty-tie in the back, but it was still dragging on the floor!)