November 26, 2006

We are home, and just in time, because it’s been snowing all freaking evening long and if we had driven back from Oregon today like we had originally planned…oh man. We would be stuck on I-5 so long we’d eventually earn squatter’s rights and own a little chunk of freeway just north of Olympia. That’s after being forced to devour each other to survive, of course.

I posted a bunch of photos from our trip here, but these are my favorites:

Jetty at Bandon beach.

Lurking rocks on the Bandon coastline.

Driftwood with jetty in the background.

Shore Acres park, with some startlingly blue sky that only hung around for a few minutes before turning grey and imposing.

The family at Shore Acres, squinting into the sun.

Poised for turkey, just before our holiday dinner, moments before Riley demanded DOWN OMG LET ME DOWN NOW FOR REAL I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING, etc.

The boy and his tiny throne.

It’s hard to tell here, but at the bottom of the photo is a red spot from a laser pointer, which turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining method of scaring our young child. Muah ha ha ha!

Lastly, the boy wearing a teeny plaid shirt, like the world’s runtiest grunge rocker.

November 21, 2006

Riley has been talking, talking, talking lately. He seems to have many important things to say, judging by the expansive arm gestures that accompany his nonstop monologue, but I can’t understand a bit of it. He continues to occasionally speak the recognizable word, like duck, dog, baby, and backpack (and, of course, of course, because he is a rotten little anklebiter who has played favorites from the time he could focus more than two inches in front of his head, Dada), but the majority of his language is an indecipherable mishmash that rises and falls like water burbling through a brook.

He’ll come up to me, toy outstretched, and chatter excitedly like a ground squirrel, and I find myself responding like I’m awkwardly trying to communicate with someone from another country: “Well! Is that…is that for me? Well thank – wait, no? It’s not for me? Do you want me to – no? I? Oh, you’re leaving. Okay, bye!”

Oh, and he is walking, walking, walking. Gone is the tentative Frankenbaby who made his teetering way a few feet at a time, he’s a bustling little penguin now, scurrying to and fro at top speed. Every now and then he lands on the floor with a startling crash, then pulls himself together and sets off again.

We put cabinet locks in the kitchen and I cannot make myself remember their existence for love or money, I yank on the cabinets every single goddamn time and go, oh yeah.

He does this thing where he suddenly stops mid-gambol and lets out this grinning, perfectly crazy, delighted “Aahhhhh!”. He shakes his head and stomps his feet a little while he’s doing it. It reminds me of how when Dog is really excited, she shakes herself all over like she’s wet, just a quick brisk shake and maybe a sneeze at the end, with her big happy dog mouth open and smiling. It’s like there’s just too much joy and happiness and it can’t be contained, it must be let loose into the world so that other people can absorb it.

That’s what I like to think, anyway.

JB has been chasing Riley lately, arms outstretched while saying, “I’m gonna getchoo!” and Riley gets all shrieky with laughter and his penguin-steps get all discombobulated and often as not he falls down in a giggling splat of toddler.

The rollercoaster is in an upswing, I feel like we’re in the high loops. It’s whooshy and there is a lot of laughter and and I am crossing my fingers all molars and viruses stay at bay for just a little while longer, because I like it up here, I love it up here.

So, I thought I would ask you, as the holiday approaches (we are driving down to Oregon today after work, which is either genius because the boy is more likely to sleep or it’s fucking insane because it will be dark and awful and exhausting and hey, there’s no guarantees the boy will sleep), what are you thankful for right now? I know it’s kind of a cheesy question but I also know I will love reading your answers over the next few days.

Me, I’m grateful for the upswing. I’m also grateful as hell for my son in general and my family and everyone’s health and for having work that interests me and I’m grateful for Diet Coke and Eclipse gum and pumpkin cheesecake and the fact that Aimee Mann has a holiday album, but FOR REAL: thank you, gods of toddler mercurialness, for this smashingly enjoyable time we’ve been having.

Talk to you later, alligators. I hope you have a wonderful week, whatever your plans may be.

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