Wednesday, December 23, 2009

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10!

Sebastian counted to ten! The whole way! We were so proud, and so was he.
(What did he count? Trains, of course...)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

things I've been meaning to blog about...

My brother Carl just had this same title for a blog post, and it was so perfect for my laundry list of things that I had to steal it. Thanks, bro!

For the last two weeks, Sebastian has only taken showers. Every night, we ask him if he wants a bath or a shower, and he always picks shower. I'm not sure if it's the novelty, or because mommy and daddy shower and he wants to be like us, or if it's because he gets to take the shower with us, or just that he prefers to have choices, but he loves it. And so do we, as it's removed a source of daily conflict (the screaming as we dragged him into the tub...). He has also learned to wash himself - I rub some soap on him and then he uses his hands to scrub himself down. He names his various body parts as he cleans them, which is really cute.

We had our first snow of the season a few weeks ago, and it was magical to take Sebastian out in it. It's clear he doesn't remember it from last year, so he was amazed to see these big white flakes falling from the sky. We wandered around outside for a while, talking about how cold and wet it was. :) It's also been even more fun to read him books about snow, now that he's seen it. I can't wait until it sticks and we can go sledding and angel-making.

Seebastian and Pipe: Seb is still struggling with the short i sound. So big is beeeg, for example. But he's recently been trying to say his whole name, not just the latter two-thirds, and of course it comes out as Seeebastian. (Our Seabass...) To add insult to injury, his doll's name is Pippin, or Pip, and he can't say that either - he calls him Pipe.

One of Seb's favorite friends at daycare is Nathan. They call each other Nay-nay and Bas, which I just adore. At dropoff the other day, we peered into the room and didn't see anyone (they were down the hall in the infants' room). Sebastian said, "Where'd all the friends go?"

I had to replace Sebastian's shoes the other day - they'd been feeling a bit tight when we put them on, so we went to measure his feet at the shoe store. I was once again mortified to discover that I'd been putting him into shoes that were decidedly too small. He jumped from size 7 to 8.5. But he hates the shoe store, hates new shoes, and hates trying on new shoes. He fussed and cried and threw himself on the floor. So I bought the shoes he's been wearing - the exact same ones - in a bigger size, and just replaced them at home. He didn't notice a thing. I don't know what we'll do next time if we can't find the same ones again.

And finally, Sebastian has discovered the joy of tickling. We tickle him, and he comes after and tickles us (usually at the instigation of the other parent). He'll try to creep up on you and say "Tick-tick-tick!!" while burrowing his little fingers into your belly. It's awesome.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

pee in the potty!

I think the subject line says it all.
Our big boy.


On Sunday we decided to go on our annual Christmas tree-hunting expedition to Wilkens Farm, where you pick your own from the field and have it cut down. Sadly, our car had other ideas, and got a flat tire (we were fortunately still close to home). Steve changed the tire, putting the spare on, and we limped home. We decided not to take the car on the Taconic Parkway up to Wilkens Farm and instead went to a local tree-seller. We played up the idea of the tree to Sebastian and got him very excited about getting a tree.

Tree! Beeg tree! from B. Avery on Vimeo.

The stockings were hung by the chimney/bookcase with care!
Sebastian was very interested in the decorations, particularly the ball baubles. He did a good job of trying to hang them.
Our boy, the next morning, with our fully decorated Christmas tree! (Mama and Daddy finished it up after he'd gone to bed - his interest flagged after 30 minutes or so.)

Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday in NYC!

We spent Sunday in the city - a gorgeous, crisp day - we had a very fancy breakfast at Norma's, at the Parker Meridien. Sebastian drank the amuse-bouche smoothie, ate blueberry pancakes and french toast, and generally behaved very well. Then we wandered down 5th Avenue, looking in the department store windows at all the Christmas decorations. (Okay, so I looked, and Sebastian kept up a steady stream of commentary about the many buses and taxis and trucks that were going by.) We visited Rockefeller Center, where we watched the ice skating and saw the enormous soon-to-be-decorated and lit Christmas tree. Then we got on a city bus and went for a joy ride, all the way down to Soho. Sebastian loved it. After that, we walked around Soho a bit and then rode the subway back up to Bryant Park. Sebastian loved that too. :) At Bryant Park, I took advantage of the free ice skating to do a couple of laps while the boys watched, and then we took Sebastian on the little carousel for some spins. We finished with a taxi ride back to our car, making our boy's happiness complete. Buses and subways and taxis, oh my!

Skating at Bryant Park! Sebastian was very interested in watching mama wear these crazy blue shoes and go gliding around. And I felt such joy at being on the ice again, despite the overcrowded conditions and terrible rental skates. Ah, Canada.

My boys.

On the carousel at Bryant Park.

Posted by Picasa

more word updates

This is one of those blog entries which is entirely for myself, to be able to look back in a few years and remember. My memory is like a sieve, and if it isn't written down I know I'll quickly forget some of these things that currently melt us.

Sebastian's pronunciation of various sounds is gradually improving, and with that comes the disappearance of some of my favorite mistakes.

teetee has become the more recognizable taxi
wa-wa to water
choo choo to train
mama to mommy and dada to daddy (this was the biggest surprise, as we have always gone along with him and called ourselves mama and dada - must be something he got from daycare)

There are still a lot of mispronunciations, of course, including my current favorite: beeeg. That short i sound escapes him entirely.

He is making enormous strides in learning his letters. All are associated with a person or thing: S for Sebastian; C for car; B for bus; N for Nathan, J for Jack; P for Presley; T for train, truck, and taxi; M for mama; D for daddy; and the lower-case e.

His newest phrase: Oh, okay. It cracks me up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

birthday party

The Raab family came over to celebrate Sebastian's 2nd birthday. I made pumpkin apple bread, lasagna, and an apple/beet/mozzarella mesclun salad.

Our boy is two!

Our ice cream cake.

Sebastian's favorite present: the bag that auntie Mary brought her gift in. Typical. :)
Lots and lots more pictures of present opening, car racing, and jumping in the gallery.
Posted by Picasa

phrases and other random things

A short list of Sebastian's current phrases (the really cute ones):

I try again - this is one of my favorites. So cute.
I wait - generally for buses or trains
I found it!
My turn! - obviously daycare has taught him a very useful skill and phrase
Two hugs - he likes to hug both mama and daddy simultaneously, and always says "two hugs!" to prompt us into action
I boo mama - meaning, I scared mama.
turning - when we're watching the trains go away from us, turning the corner
Come on! or I'm coming! - again, usually in reference to buses or trains

tree hugs - that's right, he's already a tree hugger. Except he takes it very literally, and will hug any tree that takes his fancy.
tickling - he's really into tickling and being tickled. He even tries to tickle other people, like his friend Sonya, and Grandpa and Grandma.

books - He's started reading along with some of his books, including a Duck and Goose Opposites book - so he knows sad and happy, loud and quiet, near and far, clean and dirty

the Boynton dance book - he loves this book and asks for it by name, and insists on everyone dancing with him.

letters: Seb has learned his first letter. O! And he sometimes knows e, s, and b for bus
colors: for the longest time, everything was blue. But now he seems to know and be able to say most colors - red, green, black, purple, yellow (sometimes), orange.
numbers: So far everything more than one is two. Or if it's really a lot, five.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Posted by Picasa

Our boy turned two on Wednesday. It's hard to believe. I stayed home for the day and we had a lovely time - we watched trains, we went to our usual Weds dance class, we wandered around outside in the leaves, and Daddy came home early.

After dinner, Sebastian got to open some presents - a book and vehicle-themed stamps from Popo and Grandpa, Sesame St. software from cousin Danica, and some stackers from Mama and Daddy (our big present - the kitchen - has been set up for a week already). We'll have cake on Sunday when the family comes to visit.

I've been meaning to write a longer post about Sebastian's new words and phrases, new fascinations, new tricks and traits, but work has been extremely busy for both of us, and there hasn't been time. I have a long list of blogging to-writes...

play kitchen

Mama and Daddy's birthday present to Sebastian: a play kitchen. He loves it. Especially the microwave.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

new video

This video belongs with an earlier post - our leafy visit to Rockefeller Park on the 23rd.
My favorite aspect of this video is that it really starts out as one thing and then becomes another.

Babe in the woods from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Is he a bear? A dog? A lamb? It was billed as a bear costume, but given our boy's shyness and the soft fleeciness of the costume, we think he most resembled a lamb.

Friday afternoon party at our Happy Harbor daycare - this is Jack (the dragon) and Nathan (the U Mich fan), two of Sebastian's favorite friends. (We ask him how daycare was - if it was fun - and he says "Nae-nae, and Jack, and Pesley", aka Nathan, Jack, and Presley.)

On Halloween day, some pre-dinner wandering around town with Sonya, checking out the street decorations, playing with the leaves, and testing out the idea of trick or treating. It took a little while to convince Seb to step out with Sonya, but he finally got the hang of it.

And later on Halloween night, Sebastian really got into the trick or treat ritual, going up to houses along with other kids, staring at strangers and trying to say "trick or treat", grabbing a candy from the bowl to put in his bag, and saying thank you. Given Sebastian's fear of strangers, this was truly amazing. We had such a fun time seeing all of the children out and letting Sebastian experience his first real Halloween.

More pictures in the October gallery.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wilkens Farm pumpkin patch

Sebastian and I went to Wilkens Farm on Sunday morning to pick some apples and visit the pumpkin patch. It was a gorgeous sunny day, the perfect temperature for wandering outside and eating cider donuts. Our friends Rachel, Gui, and Sonya joined us, which made it especially fun!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 23, 2009

fall leaves at Rockefeller State Park

My apple-cheeked apple muncher.

Dropping the leaves over the side of the bridge into the water below.

I buried him up to his waist in this pile of leaves so that he could have the joy of wading and stomping out. Such fun. We did it again and again.

Sebastian trying to catch the leaves as the wind blows them down from the trees.
There are more pictures from our afternoon at the park in the October gallery.
Posted by Picasa

pajama'd boys

Sebastian has had a cold for the last week or so, and yesterday woke up with goopy eyes as well. Off to the doctor to get a prescription for eye drops (he hates the doctor's office, and started crying as soon as I pulled into the parking lot). We have to put one drop in each eye three times a day. Needless to say, he really, really doesn't like the drops. Last night I pinned him down while Steve put the drops in, while Seb thrashed like mad and screamed bloody murder. When we finished and let him up, he ran away from us and stood in the corner of his bedroom, sniffling, crying, and glaring at his tormenters/betrayers. It was sad, of course, but also really funny. He didn't know what to do with himself and his upset, since running to one of us for comfort was clearly out of the question.

The pictures are unrelated - just my boys in their stripey pjs, giggling together.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 22, 2009


At the age of almost 2, our boy can finally say his own name!! We were teasing him at lunch today - who's the baby? Are you the bean? Are you the Raabit? What's your name? - and then when we were both turned away, out it came, "Bastian!" We danced, we cheered, we applauded, we were utter fools. He said it again and again, and jumped in happiness between takes. :)

He now understands that the camera takes pictures and video that he can re-watch, and loves to watch himself on the screen. He knew I was filming him here and was eager to see the results.

Bastian! from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Mis-take from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Bastian II from B. Avery on Vimeo.