Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun in a Box

It is officially cold here. It's OK; it is late November, I'll allow it. It is also sunny today which made me think it was warmer outside. Faced with the almost freezing weather, I stayed inside, put on a fuzzy cardigan and thought of warmer days just a few weeks ago when we could play outside.

Here are some pics from Wiggle's first time in the sandbox at the park. He loved playing with the toys, the other kids, picking up and letting go of sand, trying to eat sand, and generally getting dirty. We also have a tiny sandbox in the backyard that he enjoys getting in and out of almost as much as he loves playing with the sand.

When we go back to the sandbox in the spring, he will probably be walking and talking (some). Weird.

Thanksgiving post to follow...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rub-a-Dub, Dub, Cute Boyo in the Tub

These pics are from the other night, after his time in the sand box at the park. It was the first time I put bubbles in the tub, and aside from his initial confusion as to where his toys kept going, I think he liked them.

His new stacking cups have drainage holes in the bottom, and C kept lifting them up high so Wiggle could see the water draining out.

He also tried eating the bubbles at one point. Although he did not seem to like them as much as the sausage pizza he kept stealing from me tonight, he wasn't as turned off by them as I thought he'd be. The palate of a 9-month-old is truly a mystery.

He also spends a good deal of time splashing the water and singing, as bathroom acoustics are his favorite - just ask any employee at the Target in the South Loop, I'm sure they've heard him.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Out and About

It's been an eventful week, as weeks go. Last Thursday, we went to the doctor where Wiggle received both of his flu shots, and not surprisingly, charmed a number of moms and kids in the waiting room.

This weekend, we made a trip out to a second-hand store to look for some more corduroys, a Bundle Me (stroller muff), and some new shoes. We left with more pants than we should have and a toy piano xylophone, but none of the other things we were looking for. Since we were in the neighborhood, we just had to stop and get a "Will's Special" sandwich from Riviera Italian Foods. This tweaked out Italian sub is so good, it has its own entry in Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood Sandwiches book. After chowing down in the car and giving Wiggle a few tastes of his first "ham" prosciutto, we stopped at Old Navy and Babies 'R' Us where we got some more two-piece, aka big boy, pajamas for the boyo.

On Monday, Wiggle and I went north to the Lincoln Park zoo for the first time. I don't have any pictures because I was holding him when we were outside and it was too dark inside most of the buildings. We saw the polar bear swim around and show off in the underwater window. We watched big cats pace around in their cages, looking alternately agitated and uber-bored. A pygmy hippo tried to swim through the glass to play with us, monkeys played with a basket on a pulley, and we were summarily ignored by all of the gorillas. At each exhibit, I would point at the animal in question and make the appropriate animal noise or wave to get its attention, and Wiggle would strain to look over my shoulder at the people behind us who were clearly more interesting than any meerkat or penguin could be.

After the zoo, we stopped at the conservatory which is perhaps the only humid place in the world that I like. Wiggle enjoyed the various orchids, and I want to move into the fern room. I had trouble finding a good picture on the web, but there is a little sign as you enter that says a small dinosaur would feel right at home there, and I would agree with that. You really feel like you are someplace exotic. For me the ferns make me think of sleep. They all look soft and cushiony, perfect to rest your head on. You can hear water running someplace, but is soft and murmuring. The light is diffuse, so even though you can see everything just fine, it's not too bright to close your eyes and take a nap. Just thinking about it is making me sleepy.

On our way home, we stopped at another resale shop, where I found a pair of the Robeez boots I had been looking for and a lightweight Bundle Me. I will still need a heavier duty one for winter, but this one will do well for the fall and spring and at resale shop prices, you really can't go wrong.

Yesterday, we went to the Hyde Park Parent Support Network playgroup for the first time. They have a nice room with a ton of cool toys, and a good number of people with kids stopped in during the hour we spent there. There were even two other 9-month-olds in the group, but Wiggle seemed more interested in the kids who were walking. I will definitely go back in the coming weeks, especially as the weather turns cold and we can't go to the park or play in the backyard.

Last week, we received some cool new toys from Grandma R, including a walker which Wiggle has already mastered. He can walk with it like a pro, and can even turn corners some of the time.

Here he is playing with the ubiquitous Fisher-Price Little People Play 'n Go Farm. A born carnivore, he loves eating the both cow and the sheep, but he likes playing with the little farmer and his tractor the most.

He often gets a crawling start with the walker. While holding the handle, he "walks" on his knees until he gets enough momentum, then he stands up and zooms around the house.

Alphabet blocks are good for eating, banging together, and knocking down. Sometimes he knocks a whole stack down at once, but sometimes he takes a stack apart one block at a time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Little Time Outside

I think we we still have a few nice days here and there, but we have officially entered "cold" here in Chicago. Yesterday, Wiggle and I played in the backyard during an unusually sunny and warmish hour, and I took advantage of the natural light to take some pics.

Our backyard has a swing set and a variety of communal use cars, balls, and other toys that are kept or have been left in the yard by the many kids who live or have lived here. We haven't ever spent much time in the yard with Wiggle because he really has only recently been able to do much with these types of toys. While he enjoys the baby swings at the park, the ones in our backyard do not have a strap to go through the legs, and if he arches his back he can fall out. And one thing he really likes to do is to arch his back, especially when you are trying to put him into a seat of any kind.

He likes going down the slide, but prefers to stand underneath it or play peek-a-boo with me through the ladder.

We also rolled a ball back and forth for a little while.

He kept taking his hat off, and I kept putting it back on when it got windy. At one point, we had a fairly quick temperature drop and he crawled over and grabbed his hat from me. I put it on him, and he kept it on! Score one for good communication.

We moved to another part of the yard to play with some fallen leaves and I hid behind a tree. This is a shot of him on his way to find me.

Do you see the totally awesome thing about this photo? Look carefully. He's standing on his own! Later in the day, he stood for an entire round of patty-cake and he even clapped along. He has also started doing hand clapping and arm raising at the appropriate cues for a song from music class. He really learns something every day. It's kind of crazy to watch.

Also, an update on the vacuum front - I went into the front hall closet, aka the home of the monster, to grab a coat and he crawled in, stood leaning on the vacuum, and talked to it. No fear.