Wednesday, February 27, 2008

19 People, 8 Economists, 6 Kids, 1 Cabin


Over President's Day weekend, we had a mini-reunion of University of Texas Economic grad students. We all gathered in Albuquerque, the home of our friends John & Amy and Matias, and then drove up to Angel Fire, where we rented a giant cabin across the valley from a ski resort. We had a great time seeing old friends and their new children, relaxing in the hot tub, skiing (both Alpine and Nordic), sledding, and wrangling the unruly hoards of little tax deductions.

(Click here to see all the pictures)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And so it begins

My spy at daycare tells me that yesterday, Owen and Delaney were fighting over a book which resulted in Owen giving Delaney what could best be described as NOT a gentle touch. Ms. Tasha, Owen's teacher, reminded Owen that hitting is not allowed and that he needed to apologize. Owen, feeling penitent, offered the proverbial olive branch and took Delaney's hand.

A moment later, Ms. Tasha announced that they were going to go for a walk. Owen immediately looked for Sophia, who is his usual walking partner. But Sophia, having observed Owen holding hands with Delaney, and who is nobody's second choice, refused Owen's entreaties. Owen slunk back to Delaney and took her hand again. This angered Sophia further, as she was really just playing hard to get, and so she marched over to Owen and started demanding, "Hand! Hand!"

We've decided that it's probably a good thing that Owen will be far, far away for Valentine's Day. We just hope Mia and Matilda don't get burned at Angel Fire...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Toddler Gone Wild

Despite the fact that we walk a mile and a half home from the Department of Labor every day, the first thing Owen wants to so as soon as we get through the door is go "outsi-i-i-ide." His love of the great outdoors started during the Christmas season when we would admire our neighbors' light displays and has since evolved into running up and down the sidewalk, greeting neighborhood dogs, climbing stairs, pointing out cars and hugging the occassional tree. Allen and I have largely indulged him, weather permitting, because the alternative of Owen lying on the floor, crying while screaming, "Outside! Outside! Outside!" isn't nearly as much fun.

The other day, Owen and I were playing in the yard when a helicopter passed by. Owen watched excitedly until the helicopter moved out of range, at which point he became a bit distraught. He started crying and then began pulling his shirt off. He managed to get one arm out and was working on his head when I brought him back inside and explained that 1) the helicopter had to go somewhere but we'll see another one someday and 2) we can't be outside without clothes. I repositioned his shirt and we headed back outdoors, but the helicopter hadn't returned. Owen started crying and undressing himself again. We returned inside, adjusted Owen's shirt again, discussed that while it was unseasonably warm that day, we still needed to wear a shirt if we were going to be outside and noted that the helicopter had to go "bye-bye," before heading back outside, at which point Owen immediately started stripping off his clothes. I then made the executive call that we'd spend the rest of the evening inside, ignoring Owen's pleas to the contrary and finally distracted him via a marathon handwashing session.

For the life of me, I don't understand why Owen thought taking off his shirt would induce the helicopter to make a second pass. However, given his fondness for showing strangers his bellybutton unbidden, we may have the makings of "Naked Force: The Next Generation" in our midst.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Joke

video

Owen has made up another sign. Last time he made up a sign for banana, which was clearly useful for communicating his desire for one of his favorite foods. This time around his new sign appears to be some sort of joke. With his right index finger he points at his left palm and bursts into fits of laughter. When we make the sign he cracks up as if he can't believe we said something so silly.

We're still not sure where the banana sign came from, but we do have some wild theories about the origins of "the joke." Owen's sign for "more" is putting his two fists together, but alternate signs for "more" involve putting your fist against your palm or the tips of your fingers against your palm. Maybe, when Owen uses his "joke" sign, he thinks he's signing for "more" with a funny accent.

Alternatively, Owen has a new best friend at day care named Leo. We know they're best friends because Owen spends an inordinate amount of time during his evenings and weekends shouting "LEO!", and whenever they see each other at day care they both start giddily jumping up and down. Recently, Leo moved to the next classroom, which is separated from Owen's classroom by a small potty training bathroom with see through half doors. When Owen is feeling lonely, he'll climb up the door and hang over into the bathroom shouting, "LEO!" Leo in turn will start shouting, "OWEN!" and climb up the door on his side. I wouldn't put it past the two of them to have come up with their own little inside joke, pointing their fingers at their palms, with some hilarious hidden meaning that none of us outsiders could ever know.