Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family time at the Zoo

This past Sunday, Andy and I took Lailah to the Zoo. We were fortunate to see the Dinosaurs as part of the Zoorasic Park Exhibit, and Lailah thought that was pretty rad being a huge fan of dino’s. She has a Triceratops, a Velociraptor, and a Stegosaurus and she absolutely knows which one is which. It was quite entertaining to see children about 5 years her senior screaming and crying hysterically around them while little Lailah in her stroller looked at up them like whazup, and looked at the children like what the hell is your problem.

Her animal recognition blows my mind. We could be in the living room and the TV could be on, and say they mention a Zebra, or better yet, they don’t even mention or show a Zebra but show a white and black stripe pattern similar to that of a zebra - she will high step it out of the room, into her room and emerge with a stuffed zebra. She does this on a near daily basis; I really need to get video of it. Off the top of my head the animals I can think of that she recognizes include; bears (polar, brown and panda), flamingo, crocodile, hamster, giraffe, goat, pig, rhinoceros, horse, duck, cow, owl, birds (various species), gazelle, ladybug, turtle, elephant, whale, fish, tiger, lion, frog, jaguar, cat, dog, et al. These are just some of the ones that she has, if you throw them in a giant pile and name one, she will find it, never fails. And she learns things just from saying it once, it’s amazing.

Anyway enough of tooting the ol’ horn, here are a few pics of the day:

Some other new things:
  • She points to the Moon in the morning and says moon – I then ask her “where’s Venus?” and she points to it
  • The other day she sing-songly said Grrraaanndmmaa – but god forbid if Andy and I can get her to say it again
  • She’s got the ‘no’ head shake down to a T – but we are still working on the ‘yes’ head shake
  • When she’s eating she’s now hell bent on using utensils; she’s getting it, but it’s an arduous clean-up process after dinner these days
  • She’s learned to tip-toe and ‘fly away like a bird’
  • She’s started saying Wwoooww in a deep long drawn-out cadence that immediately immerses me in a bout of laughter
  • She picks her nose – well her right nostril anyway, it’s lovely
  • She’s truly a land bound aquatic animal, and I am convinced that if possible she would live her life in the water - she thinks the bathtub is one of life’s greatest gifts… I can’t wait to show her the sea someday
  • Her top teeth continue to come in, and the gap in between them warms my heart
  • She’s started grabbing my hand and pulling me along to wherever…aw mon amour
  • She’s full of jibber jabber, her conversations consist of something along the lines of; yub dab dub dub, si si sha, dab a, sen sen, na na nie nie, neh.
  • She is the BEST ignorer on the face of the planet!!!
  • She has started walking backwards and she loves to twirl and twirl and twirl and twirl…you get the idea
  • When outside she makes a determined march to the tomato plants where she finds a juicy tomato that’s ripe and red and bites into likes it’s an apple, spits out the skin and continues to devour the inside – seeds and juice all down the front of her, check it out:

She is simply the best.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fridays with Lailah Episode 5 – Red Butte Gardens

This ‘Friday with Lailah’ we headed up to Red Butte Gardens early in the day, hoping to beat the heat, or at least escape the smog that is blanketing the valley. We didn’t beat the heat, but it was beautiful just the same. A vast array of flowers painting the terra firma, with bees taking to their nectar – fuzzy and yellowed from their electrostatic charge; a low sung buzz permeating the air.

Lailah sang along with the apis mellifera, scrunched her nose and smelled the flowers, even if from afar, and pointed to and fro - often with that distant wisdom bestowed upon her face, as if she’s trying to figure it all out, or better yet, that she in fact has figured it all out and is simply admiring it. Sometimes I really wonder where she goes in her mind, a wise little soul she has. 

It wasn’t until we came upon the children’s area that Lailah turned all kid, gesturing frantically to the water features and looking at me as to say “hey ma, is it okay if I go check it out?” I urged her on and for over an hour watched her move about daintily from water spout to water spout, meticulously choosing various plant remnants from the ground and placing them in the water, pulling them back out and gazing over them searching for signs of change, back and forth back and forth. I’m sure if she had her way, we would still be there…4 days later. Ah, my little Lailah...
Alis volat propriis - lux mentis lux orbis.
(She flies with her own wings – light of the mind, light of the world)

 Until next time...Bless bless.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Water Baby

My little tadpole short and stout
swims with the minnow swims with the trout.
With water on her brow and a smile upon her face
she transfers me to the happiest place.
Squiggling and wriggling through drops of dew,
alas my small child the day is through.
Rest your head upon your pillow
beneath the weeping willow;
for the day is done and you’ve had your fun -
but tomorrow will bring back the golden sun.
Another day for which to play
forever in my heart you’ll stay.

~Michelle Kawahara 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pumpkin Patch...

The pumpkin patch is growing like crazy. There are lots of promising pumpkins this year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday's with Lailah - Episode 4

I've been plagued with cramps and a headache for 4 days, so this Friday Lailah and I stayed home and hung out, which I have to say is sometimes really fun and much needed. We watched lots of NickJr and Sprout, ate snacks, laughed, danced, and just had a good time. I didn't even take out my camera; I thought about it, but instead I just enjoyed her company sans lens.

But fear not, I have been practicing Photoshop as of late and thought I would post a cute little picture I painted of her. So without further adieu...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friday's with Lailah - Episode 3

This Friday Lailah and I went to Wheeler Farm; I had never been before and it was a fun little place, and for free you really can’t go wrong. We wandered around to the goats and little animals throughout the farm and Lailah started to get sick of being in her stroller (I have a feeling this is soon going to become an issue), she wants to walk around, collect rocks, push the stroller, and be free to go do whatever she feels.

So having not been prepared we had to go back to the car and get her shoes, why I didn’t put them in the stroller to begin with, I really don’t know, snacks – check, camera – check, water – check, sunscreen – check…I guess with a child it’s easy to forget something. So we headed back into the farm and strolled to a quiet little place under a shady tree where she was able to roam about, gather rocks and miscellaneous debris, attempt to pick up a giant tree stump, and just be. I love watching her methodically pick things off the ground and arrange them in carefully chosen places, truly examining each thing with an eerily wise look in her eyes. Friday’s with Lailah is the best day of the week.

 Rooster See, Rooster Do.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ode to Sprinklers...

I find myself living vicariously through this ray of sunshine. Watching her play in the sprinkler and gather pine-cones; neatly stacking them for a brief moment, back and forth, back and forth, paying no care to the world around her and more than content with the smallest of things. A tiny living reminder to enjoy life to the fullest, for it is fleeting and fragile.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Friday’s with Lailah – Episode 2

This week for “our Friday” we headed to Tracy Aviary. Lailah has a fascination with birds, as do I.

Every morning on our way out the door, we stop and take a moment to look to the sky, and say Hi to all those who fly over. We wave and say “have a good flight”; one of my favorite parts of the day…I will be sad when it’s cold outside again and the birds will have taken flight to warmer zip codes.

There was a lot more to see at the aviary than I remember from going as a kid. They have built many more exhibits and are in the process of building a new visitor center…good thing since the current visitor center is nothing more than a single wide trailer.

Right as we walked in we were greeted with Pelicans and various ducks, and Lailah was mesmerized. She got to watch them be fed fish and just sat there entranced. Then it was on to King Vultures and Golden Eagles, Andean Condors, Sandhill Cranes, Southern Ground Hornbills, and all sorts of other creatures. There are peafowl wondering the grounds and they walk right past you as you are walking through the park. There are also several exhibits that you enter and are right up close with the birds, they fly over your head and make all sorts of noises, it’s pretty neat. It’s much cooler when there isn’t a fence obstructing your view. 

I was not only amazed at the variety of birds, but the gorgeous flowers that surround the park. There are plants I have never seen before, lots of pretty colors and interesting shapes.

This little duck seemed interested in escaping, but instead stood on tippy-toe flinging his wings with all his might while remaining completely stationary. Maybe he was just performing.

And this little duck was too cute with a little feather on his nose. Me: "Lailah, look that little duck needs to blow his nose" Lailah: demonstrating how to do so.
We tried to see a bird show, but Lailah just wanted to make friends. She thought it was pretty amazing being so close to little people. She sat with a smile on her face looking left and right at the people around her…and then started to get peeved when we wouldn’t let her mingle anymore. Talk about an independent spirit radiating from this little one, she has decided that she is her own person and quite often waves you off or blocks you with a swift arm to keep from taking her away from whatever she has her mind set on. So, we didn’t see the bird show, instead we made our way to the indoor South America exhibit where she got a snack and something to drink. It was evident she was starting to get tired and she wasn’t having as much fun as when we started; que whining, ugh. So we made our way through the rest of the park and with a cracker in each hand she seemed a bit more content.  Past the Chilean flamingos and up close with the Guira Cuckoo, Scarlet Ibis and squawking Sun Conure’s we made our way out of the park. 

But, not before Lailah made out like a bandit with new stuffed animals to add to her collection to include; a Downy Woodpecker, a Brown Pelican, a Snowy Owl, a Falcon, a Baby Mallard Duckling, and a Chipping Sparrow. The woodpecker, duckling and sparrow all make their cute little sounds when you give them a squeeze, and she is already learning the differences between all of them. Stuffed animals have been one of the best learning tools; she knows everything from a Zebra to an Elephant, from a Horsey to a Hamster, and she’s very choosy in the morning about which friend she is going to carry around for the day. Sometimes I take on the load of multiple creatures and a 24 pound child, arms so full I can’t see where I am going, it’s probably not really recommended, but come hell or high water Lailah insists on which guest she is going to entertain during her day – today it was her Brown Pelican. She picked him up, held him close to her neck, and patted him on the back. Priceless.