Dinah is past her one year birthday now and she’s beginning to show more and more individuality. She’s a bit more physically cautious than Garrison was at the same age so it’s taken her a couple of weeks longer than him to get her mind around the idea of walking. The past couple of days, however, she’s been walking up a storm. She still holds her arms over her head or in front of her when she walks, I supposed to catch herself when she falls. Fortunately, she’s a tough one and she doesn’t cry when she falls while walking.

She’s also come up with names for everyone in the family. Sarah is “ma-ma”; I’m “da-da”. Garrison is “ba-ba” which we think is her word for “brother”. Dalla is “al-la”, which is curious because she used to go on and on with “da-la-la-la-la” when she was younger. Dinah isn’t nearly as vocal as Garrison is, so it’s something of an event when she goes on one of her long rambling speeches. We have no idea what she’s saying but she’s not going to be denied the saying of it.

We had Dinah’s birthday party on the Sunday before her birthday due to numerous conflicts on Monday (curling for Sarah and a day care potluck for the rest of us), Tuesday (curling for me), and Wednesday (Halloween) nights. My mom, and my sister were able to attend. For dessert Sarah had made a cake (by herself) and decorated it (with Garrison’s assistance). Dinah seemed ambivalent about the cake. She ate some but didn’t seem blown away by it.

We served pasta with garlic and oil for her birthday which seems to be one of her favorite dishes. She’s still very much a top predator when it comes to food selection. She prefers chicken, fish, sausage, pork, and beef over vegetables. She’ll eat some steamed broccoli or a carrot stick occasionally, but that’s about it for veggies. We keep presenting them and she keeps trying them, but she always spits the offending vegetable out almost as soon as it hits her tongue. Fortunately she does enjoy fruit so we don’t have to worry about regularity.

Dinah’s birthday was an interesting day. I had to get up early to get into work early so that I could get to a 16:30 curling match. As soon as the game was over I left to get home and try and spend some time with Dinah on her birthday. I got home, and ate a quick snack for dinner. Both kids were really tired (neither had slept well at day care) so we started to herd them to bed a bit earlier than usual. Dinah seemed particularly done as she was a crying, wailing mess. I got her to drink a bottle and into her PJs. Then I rocked her and sang to her and she started to calm down. As we were rocking in her room I noticed that her chest muscles were doing some sort of weird spasming. I doubted that she could sleep with all that going on but at least she had calmed down and stopped crying. We rocked back and forth for about ten minutes like that, me singing, her silent but with weird muscle spasms. All of a sudden she sat up and vomited all over me. That was certainly a surprise but it did explain the chest muscle spasms. After she vomited she certainly felt better, so that was good, but the nasty mess all over the chair, the rug, the floor, and me was a bit unfortunate.

So, I’ve got one parenting achievement unlocked: both my offspring have vomited on me at one time or another. Good times, let me assure you.

Garrison is still three and one-half going on four. It seems like he’s been that age forever. He’s also been really interested in testing when the rules might or might not apply. All. The. Time. Some days are noticeably worse than others and the last couple of have been full of lowlights.

On the plus side, he’s a great eater. For some reason he’s been fantastically interested in eating brussel sprouts this fall. I can’t stand them so I don’t make or eat them, but Garrison will eat a huge serving and ask for more. He’s decided that he doesn’t like peppers, tomatoes, or onions (and I can’t blame him because I didn’t like those as a kid either and I still don’t like onions and peppers much) but he’ll eat most other vegetables. He’s got no problems with squash, carrots, kohlrabi, corn, potatoes, beets, and sweet potatoes which gives us a nice range of things we can serve to him.

He’s still super active physically. He is always on the go. He’s also super loud most of the time. You can’t get him to stop talking for five minutes to save his life. There is no filter between his brain and his mouth. To the introverts among us, living with an extremely active and loud extrovert can be trying at times, but he’s not likely to change any time soon and neither am I so I just try to go along to get along. Sometimes that strategy is more successful than others.

Garrison has been taking swimming lessons for the past year or so and he’s getting pretty good at that, too. He can backfloat for a respectable amount of time and he’s definitely mastered the cannonball dive.

For Halloween, Sarah made Garrison a clown costume. She sewed him a suit and made him a hat to go with it. Garrison loves Halloween, or maybe more precisely, he loves getting candy on Halloween. He got a pretty decent haul this year and when he got home he poured it out onto the floor and proceeded to roll around in it. He had no idea what more than half the stuff he got was, but he was still glad to have it. For the next couple of days he made a game out of dumping out his candy all over the floor while pretending that he was breaking open a pinata. Like I said earlier, he’s already super active so he certainly didn’t need a whole bunch of candy to fuel his twitchy little self, so I made him an offer I was hoping he couldn’t refuse. I’d buy him a brand-new digger from the toy store in exchange for all his candy. He thought about it for a minute and agreed to the deal. We went to the toy store that night. He doesn’t seem to miss his candy as he’s never mentioned it and he was super excited to get the digger at the time.

We don’t let Garrison watch all that much TV so when he does get to watch it he’s always excited to do so. One of his favorites is “Road Construction 2”. It’s a movie where the building of a road is documented from start to finish. He got it last year from his Grandma Bogen for Christmas and he’s already managed to watch it so many times I can’t even be in the room when it’s on. I’ve tried watching some football games with him, but the game itself seems to be beyond him so he’s mainly watching for the commercials. In fact, he’s even said, “When are more commercials going to be on, Daddy?” So, since he’s so interested in construction I’ve tried to get into the habit of watching This Old House on PBS with him. He seems interested in that, I enjoy watching the show, and it isn’t laden start-to-finish with advertising so we’ll see how that works.

Sarah had to take a year off of curling because of Dinah’s pregnancy but she’s back on the ice this year. I’m in my tenth year (hard to believe we’ve lived here that long already) on the ice and am now the vice skip for my team. Garrison has seen some curling and in his vague understanding of the game there are people who yell and point, people who slide the stones, and people who sweep. So, as a vice skip, I sweep four stones, deliver two, and stand in the house and yell and point for two.