Monday, August 29, 2011

18 months old

As Theo recently turned 18 months this month, I thought I would record 18 things about my little cutie. 
  1. According to his pediatrician, he is 34 inches tall (90%-ile), 33 pounds (>97%-ile), and has a 50 cm head circumference (90%-ile). 
  2. T has a mouth full of teeth!  He now has his lower canines, and the upper ones are in, as well as his first molars.  He has been extremely close to the "schedule" for all of his teeth.  Hopefully now he will get about a 6 month break until his second molars come in. 
  3. T loves his baby doll.  I realized recently that I should get him a doll to take care of, and he immediately took to her.  He puts her down for a nap, pushes her around on his little cart, hugs, kisses, and plays patty-cake with her.
  4. T gives lots of hugs, to people he knows, and kids he doesn't.  He's been giving them out left and right... mostly to his cousin Maci, but also to kids in the nursery at church, little girls at the creamery, anyone. 
  5. T dances!  It is way too cute.  See attached video...
6.  T loves to wear bracelets.  And watches.  He has cleaned out my jewelry boxes taking all the bandy bracelets that I have.

7.  T really loves copying us.  He tries to sweep the kitchen, walk the dog, and of course use our phones and computers.  Nowadays he's not content to just play on the phones, but actually wants us to call people so that he can babble at them.

8.  T continues to be in the "on/off" stage.  He loves climbing up on his toy box to turn the AC and lights on and off, open and close doors and the fridge, and buckling himself into his stroller and his car seat.

9.  T loves to go outside!  He has recently figured out how to open the door, and had a couple time-outs for going outside without us.  He still loves every chance he gets though.  He's very glad we have a dog that he gets to help walk, and have a playground in our complex so he can play easily everyday.

10.  T still loves bananas.  They may be his favorite food.  He is only a little picky now and then with vegetables, but if they are pureed he's still try anything. 
    11.  T. doesn't have a comfort object.  No binky, no special blanket or stuffed animal... I'm wondering if he will eventually pick something or not.
    12. T. still cries when we put him to sleep.  It's sad, but only lasts a couple minutes.  Last week I tried letting him listen to music, and it helped a little.  Johnny Cash "Hurt" worked one night.  And the last week we have been 7 for 7 for him not crying at nighttime!  Hopefully this keeps up.
    13.  T. is an excellent helper!  He has started carrying in groceries (little bags), picking the peppers, putting his books away at night, and tries to help daddy with his tools. 
    14.  T. is still a good little reader.  His nighttime routine is to bring us books in our bed that we read before putting him down.  Lately he has started "reading" back to us.  He also seems interested in "chapter books" as he likes to take our books out of the bookshelf and page through them.  Also, we have all decided that Leo Lionni books are a little strange.
    15.  T. really loves daddy's bike!  He loves spinning the wheels.  We bought a bike seat for him recently, and he was super excited to get to ride in it.  He picked out a trike at the bike strore already that he would really love to have, if his legs were a little longer.
    16.  T. also really likes plugging in and unplugging things-my phone, computer, etc.  It's a little annoying.
    17.  T. likes to steer.  Any wheel he can get his hands on!
    18.  T. has discovered the joys of "free" toys.  We have a huge pile of boxes for stacking, fort-building, and hiding in.  He also loves hiding under the sheets on the bed.


Our beautiful farmer's market has really inspired me to try new things with vegetables this year.  R.R. furnished the instructions for this tasty grilled succotash.

4 ears of corn, husked, brushed with oil
1 red bell pepper
3 zucchini (1 to 1 1/2 lbs), cut in half lengthwise, brushed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen edamame, thawed and shelled
salt & pepper, olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup snipped chives, in 1/2-inch lengths

Gather the veggies.

1.   Grill the corn and bell pepper, turning, until lightly charred on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes; let cool slightly.  Grill seasoned zucchini, turning once, until softened, about 10 minutes. 

Grill the veggies.

2.  Remove and discard the skin, stem, and seeds from the bell pepper and cut the pepper into strips.  Slice the corn kernels from the cobs.  Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch half-moons.  In a large bowl, combine the peppers, corn, zucchini, edamame, butter, and chives; season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm!

Mix them up!

We used the orange peppers that have been growing on our porch.  It's a lot more work to grill these little guys, but its worth it!  I used a little extra corn-feel free to add more of your favorites.

August was a fun month!

Theo got to revisit some of our favorite places this month, as we started looking toward another busy fall semester.  With the hurricane and earthquake added on, he had quite a few learning experiences this month!!  (DIRT Sundae!) (The tiger is back!)

The Pool! (sorry, no pics)

Kilby Cream (I love the glass milk jugs!) picking!)

And daddy's birthday!  (The last one where Theo has young parents!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Reading

So, I only got through about half of my summer reading list this year.  I got a little distracted, what with two of my favorite books coming out as movies ("Help" and Harry Potter-I felt the need to re-read both of them).  However, I did get through Sense & Sensibility (Brian thinks I am "meaner" while I am reading Jane Austen) and Ingrid Law's follow-up to "Savvy" the new book "Scumble".  I'm hopefully she keeps the series going, I think they are really unique, and great books for reluctant readers (it is a young adult book).  I also stumbled across James McBride's memoir "The Color of Water" while I was at home, and I'm still not sure how it wound up in my parent's house, but it was extremely interesting.  I'm about half way through Moll Flanders, and hope that I can squeeze in some time between taking care of Theo and grading papers to keep reading throughout the school year.

Theo is very excited by one of his new books,"Dear Zoo".  The board book version of this children's book has flaps that he can lift to find different zoo animals.  He LOVES it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

County Fairs.

We had a great time at the Huntington County 4-H Fair again this year.  It was HOT, and we got a little overheated a couple times, but it was a ton of fun.  Uncle Matthew had plenty of animals there to keep us busy the whole time.  This is the epitome of county fairs for us.  Theo got to enjoy the special foods this year, including milkshakes (at least one every day-and I never bought him one) and tenderloins!

After we got back, I decided I wanted to see what the fairs were like around here.  I went to the Delaware State Fair in years past, but it was already over, so I picked a few other local fairs to try out. 

The Salem County Fair was in New Jersey, and was similar to Huntington's in the fact that it was not focused around a big mid-way, as there were no rides to speak of.  There were some "pig races" and other entertainment, but most of the fair was traditional in being centered around the agricultural and homemaker traditions.  However, I didn't find a lot of 4-H'er exhibits, but there were lots of open class entries.

I noted how each species was different from what I'm used to in Indiana. In the rabbit barn, I noticed almost all the breeds were purely "fancy" breeds, those raised almost exclusively for pets. Being that Huntington has a huge meat show, it was very different in that way.  The poultry was similar, in there being lots of unique laying breeds, but few meat broilers. 
We then sat through the entire cattle show.  I did a really job judging the showmanship class (which is also judged on how well the animal is fit), and matched up with the judge very well.  There were then three classes of steers, shown not by breed, but by weight.  Eventually the judge picked the heavyweight steer as the champion, and then had a quick class of four heifers. 

We noticed a lot of differences in the sheep barn as well.  In Indiana, almost all the sheep are market sheep, but here there were all sorts of varieties raised for their wool!  They were really interesting to see.  This guy I think was a Jacob breed.

The goats were not so different, though there were a lot of Lamancha goats (the ones with tiny ears) that I haven't saw in a while, and less of the Boer goats.  There were not many swine entries to compare, but what were there ranged in weight from 150-300 pounds!  There was a lot of variety.
Theo also enjoyed the "miniature horses" that were at the fair, something he didn't see during the Huntington fair.

Next, we went west to the Queen Anne's County Fair in Maryland.  This one was a little more typically, in the food court and mid-way rides.  Some animals had already been released by the time we got there, but we still got a pretty good feel for the fair.  It was fairly similar to the NJ fair, but had a few differences.  There were probably a few more beef cattle, and meat sheep instead of wool sheep.  They seemed to have a lot more 4-H exhibits (like the sea shell collection below).  And they had a lot of horse and pony exhibits. 

 All in all, these fairs were both awesome places to take Theodore, and he enjoyed himself immensely.  They don't really compare to the fairs we're used to in the Midwest, but they did make me feel a little more at home, even out here on the East coast.