Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Joseph's Alphabet

a, b, c, d, f, g, j, h, k, lmnop! q, r, s, u, v, y, and z! Now I know my ABCs! Next time you will sing with me!

My dislike of noisy, electronic toys is no secret, so I refuse to credit any of this knowledge with Joseph's obsessive use of the "Phonics Bus" while we were in New York. Robyn tried to send us home with it, but I was afraid we might drive off the road if we heard one more electronic child sing the alphabet.

Joseph is getting into singing all kinds of songs and we often hear him practicing some of our recent favorites when he's playing on his own: "I've Been Working on the Railroad," "The Sidewalks of New York," and "The S.S. Bathtub." Also, "Papagena/Papageno" from Mozart's Magic Flute.

He is also 1/26 of the way to reading. He unfailingly picks out the letter "O".

Okay, enough bragging. He's also scattering his play dough all over the floor in between scientific attempts at making pancakes.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Our little gymnast

This boppy is so boring.
Hey . . . what's this behind me? A garbage truck!

Wait, forget about this garbage truck--what's all this back here?

As soon as mom gets out of here with that camera, I'll pull myself up onto this chair . . .

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Joseph's physical therapist arrived this morning with a special surprise--a mobile stander. Shannon (the therapist) has been working with Joseph in his standing frame, which is totally stationery. She saw that Joseph was clearly ready to be moving--a standing frame is pretty boring for a two-year-old! Equipment is expensive and time-consuming to order, so Shannon found this mobile stander to loan to us until we leave Washington or Joseph grows out of it. It comes with all the physical benefits of standing--improved circulation, respiration, digestion; developmentally appropriate--and has the major added benefit of being fairly easy to move around.

The stander has lots of disadvantages compared to a wheelchair. It's much heavier and therefore harder to push, especially on our carpet. It's not as portable--it won't collapse and Joseph can't be moved while in it, so it probably won't leave the apartment much. It's also not custom-built for Joseph, so the height of the wheels is just slightly too low.

Despite all that, Joseph took to it right away. He would be glad to stay in all day, but that's not actually very healthy, so we've had to remove a very sad boy twice already. Eric's trying to get Joseph to nap a bit now.

Joseph, while excited, is pretty overwhelmed by it. The wheelchair has loomed large in his imagination for a long time and especially since he was fitted for his in early December. We expect it to arrive in a few weeks, and the stander should be a good distraction in the interim.

It's extra fun for Mommy and Daddy, too, on this day of penance. Joseph learned pretty quickly how to turn around and get around obstacles and, of course, wants to be able to wheel into every room in our small apartment. We want that, too, so we have to rearrange pretty much all of our furniture to make that happen. Should be interesting. We may start the pre-move downsizing sooner than planned! Anyone want a table? Couch? Bed? (Just kidding about the bed).

Saturday, February 17, 2007

New York

Okay, I didn't actually take this picture, but it does illustrate our trip to New York this week. We stayed with our friends Dave and Robyn
and their son, Andrew in their apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Bay Ridge is the neighborhood just over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (pictured above). We spent many snowed-in hours this week looking at that bridge out their windows. Despite the weather keeping us cooped-up inside a one-bedroom apartment, we did have a great week. We checked out neighborhoods--one in Queens and many in Brooklyn. In the end, we liked Bay Ridge the best. It has a great neighborhood feel, but is also urban enough for our tastes. There is a great church in the neighborhood, and a quick subway line to Manhattan. Eric was able to drop off three applications and meet with one contact in the city and has several new leads on job possibilities.

Dave and Robyn are planning to stay in the neighborhood, at least for the short-term and we're working on becoming neighbors so that Robyn can teach me how to be a competent homemaker and I can teach her . . . um . . . well, at least Joseph will be able to play with Andrew, his new best friend.

We still can't say for sure that we'll move to New York. We sure want to, but Eric does have to find a job. We're done at ASP in May and our replacements arrive August 1, so somewhere in between we'll relocate somewhere (Grandma's house?). We're confident that doors will continue to open.

In the meantime, it is really good to be home. We are giving up traveling for Lent. We haven't had a normal week since before Christmas and it's definitely time to get back to our routines and settle down for a bit. I hope that also means more blog postings for all of my devoted blog-followers!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I don't have any really great pictures to show off the great trip to Florida (which was actually last week). I'm a terrible photographer, and the weather was actually not so great. But, we did get to the beach one day--this is our friend Rene carrying Joseph on her back. She helped him find a couple shells and we all saw dolphins frolicking off the coast--very cool.

A family vacation to Florida is definitely not our style. Normally we'd prefer a historical destination with lots of good coffee shops and used book stores. But, Eric had to go to a conference in Naples and our friend, Rene (an alum of Gordon and ASP), figured out how we could all go for the price of Eric flying alone direct to Naples. It was a pretty relaxing week for me. Rene's boss was out of town and offered his bayside mansion in Tampa for us to stay in. I was very tempted to take pictures of the house, but I thought that would be tacky. Suffice it to say that Joseph's favorite features were the courtyard fountain, the boat, and the kitchen island big enough to crawl around on. Rene is pretty much my hero right now (and I'm not just saying that because she reads this blog) because she graciously carried Joseph all over the place for four days straight. She is Joseph's new best friend.

Eric had a great conference and, I think, has a clearer sense of where he'd like to be professionally next year. We're headed to New York next week to explore living and working possibilities.

Oh, by the way, we ended up needing the whole suitcase for clothes and books and toys, so we let Margaret spend the flight on our laps.

Monday, February 5, 2007