11 Month Comparison Photos


Yes, each of our kids have had successively less hair.

Alex finally figured out how to shake his head “no” and suddenly he has opinions on EVERYTHING. He’s really off like a rocket on this communication thing and enjoying the tyranny it brings, like every good almost-1-year-old should. He thinks he should have the ultimate say in what he eats, where you carry him, and what books you read him, often slapping books out of your hand with an imperious shake of his head. “No no no!” he’ll calmly say, as you try to feed him anything other than sweet potatoes or bananas.

He hasn’t quite figured out “yes” in the same way. In order to demonstrate, Sara put her hand on the back of his head and moved it up and down. So now Alex thinks he’s supposed to put his hand on the back of his own head in order to shake it “yes”. Eventually he got tired of doing that, so he shortened it to just slapping himself in the side of the head twice.

There are a lot of things you don’t understand until you’re a parent, and accepting two slaps on the head for “yes” is one of them.

Billy Elliot Wrap Up

Speaking of Billy Elliot, I meant to do a Billy Elliot wrap up post, but I never quite got around to it. Suffice it to say it was a fantastic show, with a fantastic cast, and Evelyn had the time of her life. Thank you to everybody who came to see the show. It was a tremendous amount of work driving out there all the time, but totally worth it.

In case you missed the show, please enjoy these pictures of Evelyn (Photos by Sally Norlie).









Billy Elliot Fan Art

Obviously Evelyn’s play has really stuck with Oliver, because he has taken to drawing some extremely elaborate pictures of some of the scenes.

For example:

What you see here are striking miners and police (plies). The miners are holding signs like “not enough $”, “not enough protection”, and, of course “not a naf brts”.

I said, “Not enough birds?” (you get pretty good at guessing these things after you’ve seen enough of it). Ollie said, “When the birds die, the miners know it’s not safe. So I guess that one is the same as ‘not enough protection’.”

Not enough birds indeed.

The bottom is the lyrics of the song accompanying that scene:

solidarity, solidarity
solidarity for ever
all for one, one for all
solidarity forever

I had forgotten about that picture altogether, when I came across this one a week or so later:


My first guess was (naturally) someone killing a zombie, but then I followed the arrow and flipped the picture over…


And you can OBVIOUSLY SEE it is not a zombie who has been shot in the head coming to terrorize frightened children, but rather Tony, his face bloodied by a run in with the cops, accidentally frightening the ballet girls, who run to Mrs. Wilkinson for comfort. And of course the miners are chanting, “Scab! Scab! Scab!” at those who chose to cross the picket line.

Ollie did see the show twice, but even so I’m kind of surprised at how much some of these images have stuck with him. These are definitely specific scenes from the show, and it’s interesting which parts call to him. He doesn’t, for example, draw Billy’s triumphant dream sequence dance. No, it’s all bloody miners and police brutality.

I do kind of wish he wouldn’t draw them at school, though.

Quote Monday does whatever it wants

::Ollie and I walking singlefile to avoid a car::
Me: “Okay, there are no more cars are coming; now we can do whatever we want.”
Ollie: “Let’s suck on our thumbs like babies and smoke cigarettes!”

::discussing cell towers::
Evie: “What if they listened in on you phone calls and you were calling your lover, and you were like ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ That would be embarrassing.”

Ollie: “Do you think those trees will be old when my kids are grown up?”
Me, changing the subject: “When you have kids do you think they’ll go to [your] school?”
Ollie, not changing the subject: “No. Trees can’t move.”

My fault for not specifying who “they” were…

Alex update – A long time overdue!

I have been meaning to write this post for so long that some things that Alex does have already come and gone. A week is such a long time in a baby’s life, much less a month and a half!

So let’s see, what is Alex up to these days?

Well first off, he can stand up for long time without holding on to anything. Like maybe 30 seconds or more? And he can raise and lower himself a little bit as well. He’s a really fast crawler and he *loves* getting into trouble. You can just see from the twinkle in his eye and the grin on his face that he’s going to do something he knows is naughty. He very clearly understands when you tell him “no”, and you can tell because he pauses, looks back at you and grins, and then does it anyway.

He does pretty good with sign language. He signs train, milk, more, book, water, eat, and waves bye bye. But mostly what he does is point at things.

He’s basically always pointing at things, mostly to direct you which way to go. But if you ask him he can point to things like clocks (“tick-tock”), earrings, doors, lights, fans, the piano, books, watch, ring, nose, ears, and of course Evie (EE), Ollie, mama, dada, and nala. Even more impressive, if you hold up a picture book he can point to things like flower,  ball, and dog.

He can give you a kiss, give you a “bonk” (smashing his head into yours), lay his head down for “night-night”, and he does this adorable thing where he kisses each page of the book when you’re reading Sam Loves Kisses. Also, if you ask him where your nose is, he bites it. I do not know why.


He has been able to say a few words for a while, but it’s not always clear that he means them more than just a string of syllables. You can never really be sure…he never does it when you’re trying to show someone else. So with the other kids they had a very definite “first word”, but I’m not sure what Alex’s first word was. I think it was “door”.

He very definitely says “mama” and “dada” and means us. Aside from that he says, “nala”, “book”, “tick tock”, and “nana” (banana).

He still cries himself to sleep every night, for at least a few seconds, but we’ve just sort of gotten used to it I guess. He just seems to be one of those kids who needs to cry a little bit to fully relax. I never thought he would still be crying every night at this point, but I guess it is what it is.

He LOVES to eat solids, and usually cries if you’re not shoveling fast enough. He seems like he’s not going to be a picky eater. However, recently he has discovered that he has a lot of power, so he likes to reject food (mostly by slapping it away from him) and point to other things on the table that he’d like better.

The one thing he loves above all else is hearing books. I read him 20 in a row the other day and he was still furiously signing “book”. He clearly has his favorites (and will throw other ones on the floor to get to the ones he wants). In fact, if you ask him to get individual books he will go over to the shelf and pick them out and hand them to you.

Some of his favorites are: Moo Baa La La La, Trucks Roll, The Big Red Barn, Peekaboo Morning, Baby Faces, So Big (Elmo), Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? / Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and May There Always Be Sunshine (although truthfully I could go on listing these for a long time…he has a lot of favorites!)

::whew::! I think that catches us all up!

Of course his big sis and big brother are good helpers to keep him occupied, and keep up with his steady diet of books. I should tell you what a good reader Ollie is becoming, but that’s a topic for a different day.


Where’s Waldo

So, at work they take the Halloween costume contest *pretty* seriously. This year, our office decided to go all in, and went full on Where’s Waldo mode in downtown Chicago.

If you want to play along, you can download a hi-res version of the photo here, and you can see the full cast of characters to look for here (and if you really can’t find one of us, you can find the cheat-sheet here).

I will tell you that I am a bit difficult to find, but not because I found a particularly sneaky place to hide. It happened to be VERY WINDY that day, so at the time the picture was taken my cape was about 6 feet over my head, my beard was covering my face, and I was laughing like a lunatic.

See, the thing is, we had to take this picture about a week before Halloween. While I’m sure it would have been awkward walking around the streets of Chicago in a wizard costume on Halloween, it certainly added a little something to be doing it NOT on Halloween. It was all “Ha ha, look at that guy dressed like a wizard!” on the way across the bridge, but suddenly it turns into “AAAHHHH WTF” when someone comes around the corner and discovers a random wizard with his beard up his nose laughing like a lunatic. At least one person saw me, turned around, and noped on out of there.

In fact, the day of the photo shoot I had just gotten into my costume when I realized I had a web-meeting with people in California. “Uh, why are you dressed like a wizard?” one of the guys said when I sat down. “Casual Monday,” I replied, and it was never brought up again for the rest of the meeting.

I guess they really have gotten to know me around the office.


10 Month Comparison Photos


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