Monday, November 30, 2009

Good stuff

Hope is doing good stuff, feeding herself cheese and cereal puffs and beginning to take her first steps with a bit of encouragement. But as you can see, it's a work in progress.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

San Diego fun

They're back safe, sound and happy. Good times in San Diego with Mo's sissies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bachelor days

Globe-trotting Hope is at it again, flying to San Diego early this morning with Mom and her Aunt Annie for five days with Aunt Molly -- or as I call her, Dirtbag. Lulu and I are holding down the fort, raking leaves, ripping apart the bathroom, eating frozen pizzas and generally having unsatisfying, one-sided conversations.

It's been about 13 hours and I already miss my ladies. It's terribly lame, but the cycle repeats itself: Count the days until sweet bachelor freedom; feel sad for at the airport, sing a song of emancipation and return home, look around, realize it's awfully quiet and begin to re-shingle the roof. If this keeps up, I may have the foundation of the house up on jacks tomorrow.

I probably sound like a dullard, but Hope has been even more of a joy lately. If something isn't bothering her -- and she lets us know when it is -- she's one happy kid. It's a cliche, but that's all we can ask. And her joy is infectious. It's hard to be in a bad mood around Hope.

Mo always dogs me for writing long and skimping on facts, so here are some:

  • To our surprise, Hope has done well with her new pink spectacles. She's much more engaged and only whips them off when something is bothering her or feeling neglected.

  • Hope took to a fancy, schmancy new gait trainer the Intermediate School District let us borrow. It had a long handle so we could help her steer without breaking our backs, like her current loaner. She made repeated circuits and giggled all the way, like her heifer won top prize at the county fair. That's the good news. The bad news is we had it for four days on loan to see if she liked it before ordering it through supplemental insurance. That could take three months. So it's back to the low-tech red walker and more Ben Gay for our backs.

  • We're switching cardiologists. We had to cancel Hope's annual check-up to monitor her narrow aorta because we were Up North. We like our cardiologist a lot, but are thinking about switching HMO networks to a children's hospital.
  • I'm going to try to be better with the blog. It's gotten away from us for a while, but I'm feeling recharged for the moment.

  • Thursday, November 5, 2009

    A new do at two

    Like others with CdLS, Hope has hair issues. Sure, her locks are adorable, but they don't always cooperate. For months last year, Hope sported a faux-hawk worthy of Glenn Danzig or other punkie poos. She gets her color from her mother's side and her fly-away, instant hat head from mine.

    Lately, we've tried to solve some of the issues with hair bows. But Hope likes to eat those. We've tried bands, pigtails and jaunty caps. Eventually, she tires of dress-up and yanks them off. Over the months, Mo has tried to trim Hope's hair with mixed success. Once, a friend from overseas did a do for Hope worthy of Oooh-La-La Sassoon.

    Mostly, though, we've washed it, combed it and hoped for the best. This week, we did what we should have done months ago: Taken her to a salon and done her up right.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Party people, unite

    With all due respect to those lucky kids born on Arbor Day or Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope still has you suckers beat. For our money, no birthday is more fun than Halloween, and we did it up again this weekend.

    Continuing a tradition of future humiliation that began last year when we dressed Hope up as a turkey, she was a ladybug this year. For the uninitiated, a ladybug costume is a lot like a turkey one, only it's a big red sack with red dots rather than a big brown sack with feathers.

    No matter, she the envy of the aphid colony, getting gussied up after a hard day of pumpkin carving. We had every good intention of trick or treating this year, but the weather was cold, the porch railing beckoned and Hope is accursed with lame parents. We had planned on hitting a few houses, but instead stuck to custom and sat on the porch and doled out Almond Joy, Baby Ruth and Big Boy coupons to all comers. We feel a bit guilty that we punked out, but rationalized that Hope couldn't eat any candy besides lollipops. Next year, we promised.

    Sunday we partied like Norse Gods, eating Elmo cake, ate ghoulishly themed food prepared by Mo (Mmm. Mmmm. I love me some Zombie Fingers, but wish I didn't have to pick around the green olives of the Eyeballs of the Undead) and played Mo's all-time favorite game, Pass the Pumpkin. It's a lot like Musical Chairs in that it involves music, flying elbows, bruised egos and lots of arguments. Somehow, the party acquired an Elmo theme. Like a lot of new-ish parents, our qualms about embracing rampant commercialism gave way to wanting to make happy our girl who loves the Tickle Me Kid.

    All in all, we whooped it up like we were at Greek Row in an archetypical Big 10 School. It's tough to believe sometimes that Hope is 2. Some days, it seems like forever. Others, it seems right. But it's a great milestone to chart progress. Last year, Hope wasn't even sitting up. Now, she's cruising like a big girl in a loaner walker and seems more like a toddler every day.

    Next year, we hope she's walking for real.