Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The final 1

Today is the last day that Danny is one. I decided to take the opportunity to document a day in the life of the Danimal, and started off like gangbusters. Then, not two hours into my day, I dropped my camera at Little Gym, and it broke. Not cool. It was at that moment that I realized I'm truly a blogging addict, because it was unfathomable to me that I would go through the next few hours, let alone days, without a camera. Tim will be so proud (relieved is perhaps the better word), because upon some reflection (translation: frantic phone calls to a camera-wise friend), I chose the judicious path and actually left my camera at a repair shop for an estimate, instead of screeching over to Best Buy. Of course, I only opted for this route because Crystal, the aforementioned friend, has kindly offered the loan of her camera. Sure, I know I sound obsessive, but tomorrow is Danny's birthday, and on Saturday we're going to Chattanooga to ride Thomas the Train, so these are major photo ops that I'd be missing!

Anyway, here is what I captured of Danny before the camera crisis.

The morning started with Danny in his pjs (which he loves to point out to us every morning, as in "I've got penguins!") watching "Steins," a.k.a. Little Einsteins. This show makes him happier than almost anything, with the exception of golf.
After getting dressed he played quick game of soccer - he plays this half a dozen times daily, in between basketball shots, football throws, and golf swings. His sports obsession is hard to exaggerate.
A brief round of tackle/dancing/general harassment of Clare, which takes place every time she puts on her shoes.
Greeting Brooke for carpool by telling her, "I like your shirt!"
Hydrating for what he evidently believes will be an intense Little Gym class. Danny looks forward to Little Gym so much that he starts asking for it on Monday, two days before our class. He also likes to practice his teacher's name, which is Miss Tamiko. She likes hearing him say it, so it's win-win.
Working out with a hoop during gym.

At this point you are probably relieved that my camera broke. I like to think I would have edited somewhat if I had more to work with, but it's easy for me to say that now, isn't it?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Danny date day

I frequently joke about the shoddy parenting Danny occasionally gets from us as the second child. Clearly he's not suffering (broken arm aside), but it's definitely different for him. In many ways I think it's better - I don't feel the need to amuse him all the time, and as a result he's gotten fairly proficient, for a two-year-old, at entertaining himself. On the other hand, he doesn't get to experience very much independent of his big sister. So, today I opted to take him to the aquarium while Clare was at school. (It worked in my favor that my little geek loves school so much that she didn't see this as a huge inequity.) We invited Crystal and Kylie to join us and had a merry morning. The age of two really gets such a bad rap. Sure, there are terrible moments (last night's dinner preparation comes to mind). But there are also so many hilarious and heart-warming times, because this is when their personalities really begin to evolve. I so enjoyed going through each exhibit at Danny's "look at that!" pace, and listening to every word he uttered about the creatures, as opposed to getting sidetracked by Clare's imaginative interpretations. At the same time, it was fun for him to have Kylie there to buddy around with. They definitely engaged each other at different points, each encouraging the other to notice their surroundings. Who knows how many more years Danny will be willing to have his mommy tag along on his dates?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clare's big day

Happily, the forecasts were wrong and the rain stayed away. Clare donned her beautiful costume, plus her silver ballet slipper necklace and a lovely new ballet bracelet that Aunt Cat gave her, then directed me to "wear something elegant and pretty." We were ready. Clare and her fellow ballerinas took the stage at the Smyrna Jonquil Festival (which was a much more happening scene than we would have imagined) for her first-ever ballet recital. It was, as I predicted, somewhat hilarious, but also very cute. Unfortunately, I let Tim man the camera, and he doesn't fully understand its video function, so we only have spurts of video. But the video clip here did manage to capture Clare's funniest move of the day, so I'm not complaining. It did not get her GIANT yawn in the midst of it all, sadly. She had probably worn herself out: the program cited each dancer's best attribute after her name, and Clare's read "hardest worker." Tim says that's code for "has no talent." We'll let you - and perhaps time - be the judge.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bend it like Baryshnikov

Despite the gloom -and-doom forecast for rain tomorrow, which would postpone the main event, we are getting into ballet recital mode around here. After this morning's display, I'm concerned that we won't be able to keep Danny off the stage. (I've finally posted a video - something I've been eager to do ever since Cynthia upped the East Gate blog ante!) Hopefully he's too young to have his Man Card revoked.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Those who can

Today was Future Day at Clare's preschool. This entailed the kids dressing up as what they want to be when they grow up (plus banana splits; I'm still unclear as to how those fit into the "future" theme, but who am I to question?). Clare dressed up as an art teacher, which she declared over a year ago as her future career. She was very excited about this, might I add. She wore a paint-splattered apron and a beret. (Props - ha! - to Amy for that touch, which really made the outfit. Danny later decided it made an excellent golfing cap, surprise, surprise.) She also brought a bag filled with what she deemed essential art supplies, which boiled down to chalk, ink stamps, and a pencil. Obviously we have many years before we see if her plan comes to fruition, but let's recall that each year on Halloween she decides what she will be the following year, and has stuck to those resolutions two years in a row.

One of the things that I find coolest about Clare's proposed career is that it's a blend of her two grandmothers, one a teacher and the other an artist. I was also intrigued that Clare was not the only teacher in the bunch. Her best buddy Nya came as a ballet teacher, and her carpool pal Brooke was a "regular" teacher. Of course, there was also a rock star, astronaut, princess mommy (aren't we all?) and more among the group. But at least 25% of the crew opted to be a teacher, which just highlights the enormous influence they have over children. Thank you Donna, Sara, and all of you wonderful educators out there!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Paolo Nutini was right

Put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right! After a trip to the ice cream store - Clare had her five-year check-up at the doctor today and endured four shots, so ice cream was her reward (or bribe - hey, potato/potahto) - we went to the store for new Crocs for Danny. This was prompted partially by the indentations that his old ones had begun to leave on his feet, but primarily by the horrific odor that has emanated from them these past few weeks. My original intent was to trade his old red ones for new red ones in the next size, but it turns out that he's really in between sizes. So these spiffy green ones have stretchy fabric that keep them in place. We knew they were winners when we asked Danny to take them off so that I could pay for them, and he refused - this after trying on several other pairs that he didn't mind removing in the least. I must say, I feel so blessed - I have two children who love to shop for shoes! Just work harder, Tim.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prom dress, part deux

Does something in this picture look familiar? While all the grandkids were gathered at Grammy and Grampy's house for the weekend (sans parents - woo hoo!), the bin of bridesmaid and prom dresses was unearthed, much to the delight of Clare, Katy and Nicki. I don't know if they had more fun putting the dresses on or discovering the history behind each dress...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Simple pleasures

I have jet lag, a still-packed suitcase, and several hours' worth of work ahead of me. So, here I am blogging! (At least the cats have finally gotten enough affection from me to get off of the keyboard.) There are any number of pictures that I could have posted from our recent visit to San Diego - all four of us enjoyed ourselves immensely. But this moment was so spontaneous and fun. We were on the National Rental Car shuttle bus, en route to the airport. Apparently inspired by the freedom of his seat and the fairly fast movement of the bus, Danny burst into an infectious round of giggles, sweeping Clare right along with him. This went on for the entire ride! Let's hope Thomas the Train can live up to the shuttle bus next month.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Amen Corner (the junior version)

Danny is officially obsessed. Of his own volition, he has taken to swinging every club-like object known to man, so Grampy took it upon himself to get the boy some toy clubs. Little did he know what he was about to unleash! Danny spent no less than FIVE HOURS yesterday swinging his clubs and making solid contact with the ball far more often than not. He maintains a very serious, thoughtful face while he does this, and what amazes all of us is that he stays with it for so long. He never gets frustrated and gives up, but will instead self-correct until he gets it right and hits the ball. Let's hope Tim has similar stamina at Torrey Pines tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rawk, chalk, Jayhawk!

This one is for Dad, Grandpa, Dan Harkins and the other rabid Jayhawks in our lives. Cheers to KU for the "instant classic" win! While he was in bed for the actual victory, Danny was an active viewer with Grampy early on - in between taking his own shots, of course. We're still angling for ND, Class of 2028, of course, but KU wouldn't be too bad, either...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kindred spirits

I'm on vacation at my parents' house in Southern California, and I came across this picture of my dad when he was 16 months old. I had to scan it in, because I see a strong resemblance to Danny. Plus, I think my dad was so darn cute as a baby! Clare may be ALL Seymour, but the Danimal definitely has some Morlan in him.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Danny, can you say, "antagonize?"

I've lost count of the number of people who have pronounced Danny as "all boy." He is new territory to my side of the family, given that my parents had two daughters and three granddaughters before his arrival. He's also new territory to Tim and me, because Clare is a girly-girl, and (for the most part) exceptionally obedient. Now, I'm not saying that he never listens to us, but I am baffled by his propensity to hit and throw. He has a compulsion to have a stick in his hands 90% of the time, and if a ball is within a square mile of him, he is determined to get his hands on it. Most recently, while I thought he was playing peacefully by himself in the playroom, he was really dining on the eraser at the end of a pencil (better that than the other end, I suppose). Add to all of this his new-found answer to every reprimand: "Why, Mommy?" So I engage in the age-old answer": "Because I said so!" Then he flashes his crinkle-nosed smile, my straight face melts, and all disciplinary hope is lost!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Strike a pose

What is it about costumes that brings out the glee in life? Clare had a dress rehearsal for her ballet recital today, and as you can see she was delighted to preen and pose for me. Tim and I hardly recognize this ham, compared with the toddler who used to shriek, "NO!" and either scowl at or run from the camera.