Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Such A Help

You may be surprised to learn that in Lilly’s eleven months, she has learned how to help quite a bit around the house.  Aside from resetting our home page on the computer to “http://dwww%20,/” which surprisingly fails to upload every time we start the Internet and introducing us to her technological innovations, Lilly helps with many of the day-to-day occurrences.  For example, whenever one of us is vacuuming, Lilly is 1 inch behind the vacuum at all times, waving at it and trying to climb on it.  She is not deterred by its loud noise; instead, she is intrigued, making the whole vacuuming process 20 minutes longer than necessary.  

When she hears the dishwasher open, she takes off in a full sprint crawl (and believe me, she’s fast!) to make it to the dishwasher before we close it.  She likes to pull out dirty knives and forks, and then tries to climb into the dishwasher.  She loves the fridge almost as much, and I think if we let her, she would stand at the open fridge, touching all the food, for a good 30 minutes.  When I’m putting on the laundry, she stands at the dryer, trying to eat the lint out of the lint trap and pulling out all the clothes as I put them in.  And then when it comes to folding the clothes, Lilly meticulously removes each piece of folded clothing from its pile, shakes it to make sure it’s fully unfolded and then tosses it to the side. 

So now, Jim has two of us working against him and his need for cleanliness and order (or as I like to say, his OCD).  Jim can walk around the house straightening things up and Lilly follows, pulling things out of her diaper bag, her toy basket, her book basket…as long as Jim has put it away, Lilly will take it out.  And she’s 11 months old.  She’s not destructive; she just thinks it’s a game.  Eventually, one is going to wear the other down.  Either Jim will give up and stop trying to put everything away while Lilly is awake or Lilly will learn that when Jim puts something away, she should leave it there.  Maybe they’ll meet in the middle.  I’m interested to see who will give in first but in the meantime, it is entertaining to watch.   

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lilly vs. The Keyboard

I’ve wanted to start a blog for years now.  When Jim and I got engaged in 2006, I thought a blog would help me to remember the journey to our wedding.  I didn’t start one then.  After Jim and I got married in April 2007, I swore I’d start a blog because I wanted to write down every memory of our wedding weekend so I wouldn’t forget a thing.  I didn’t start one then.  When we started training for the Ironman, a blog would have been a perfect way to reflect on training and the long road ahead.  Still no blog.  After we did the Ironman in June 2008, I decided this was a good time to start one…to write down all the emotions I felt during the race because it was a day I didn’t want to forget.  I didn’t start one then.  When I found out I was pregnant, in August 2008, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to capture this journey, and still, I didn’t start one.  I think the main thing holding me back has been the fact that I don’t have the “perfect” topic to write about.  In my mind, my life isn’t crazy or over the top exciting.  But, I’ve always wanted a place to write down the thoughts that are constantly going through my mind so that one day, I will be able to look back and remember.  Over Christmas, I decided that 2010 was the year I’d start a blog.  Dad helped me understand that I don’t need a specific topic to write about.  Instead, I need to just start writing.  Anything at all.  Whatever comes to mind that day.  So, here I am, at the end of March, and I’m finally starting my blog.  There may not be a perfect time to start writing, but as Lilly’s first birthday is approaching, this is as good a time as any.

Every day, Lilly does something that makes Jim and me stop and look at each other and just laugh.  Sometimes, we shake our heads in disbelief.  Other times, we hysterically laugh.  Whatever the reason, we are constantly amazed by this little person who came into our lives eleven and a half months ago.  

We are quickly realizing that she is a child of the 21st century.  Her favorite spot in our house is in front of the computer.  When we turn our backs, we find her pounding away on the keyboard, trying to pull the mouse out and babbling away.  As we talk to our families on Skype almost daily, she often crawls by the computer and waves, thinking that someone is there to talk to her.  When the computer hasn’t been used for a minute or two, a slideshow of pictures from the past 10 years starts playing, and Lilly often stops and watches the slideshow, waving to her uncles, aunts and grandparents and laughing when she sees a picture of Henry or Tess as dogs seem to excite her more than anything else. She especially loves looking at pictures of herself (of which there are thousands), and better still, watching videos of herself.  One of my friends recently told me about the Fisher Price website, which actually has games for infants.  So of course, knowing how much Lilly loves computers I had to try it out.  It became an instant hit; the “laugh and learn peek-a-boo game” in particular.  Lilly can hit any key on the keyboard, and an animal jumps out at her and says “peek-a-boo.”  A very simple concept, yet one that entertains her endlessly.  She cracks herself up and laughs at these animals every time!  If you're looking for something to pass the hours, this might not be it, but you should give it a shot anyway: http://www.fisher-price.com/us/playtime/games/infantGames_B_BS.asp  She loves the game so much that she expects it to be there whenever she goes to the computer now.  It is amazing how quickly she learns something.  Computer games at eleven months?  What will the technological world be like for Lilly when she is in high school?  I can’t even begin to imagine.

Edward got to experience Lilly’s computer skills first hand.  An unknowing victim, actually.  I sent Edward a message on skype the other day, and then went into the kitchen to finish getting dinner ready.  I heard the little “ding” from the computer, alerting me to the fact that messages were coming through, so I assumed that Edward was replying.  When Lilly hears that noise, she goes flying over to the computer, knowing that someone is there to wave to, so I went over to give Edward a call.  When I came back into the living room, I found Lilly in front of the computer, pounding away on the keys, having the following conversation with Edward: 

Amelia and Jim Clark: brother?!
Ed Stephens: hey sister!
Amelia and Jim Clark: hey!  care to say hi to your goddaughter?!
Amelia and Jim Clark: 2
Ed Stephens: 2?
Amelia and Jim Clark: 022222222222220022222222.
Amelia and Jim Clark: 36666
Amelia and Jim Clark: .80.3
Amelia and Jim Clark:: 087777777777
Amelia and Jim Clark: 4=33333388.0333080
Ed Stephens: Lilly?
Amelia and Jim Clark: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!  I was in the kitchen and lilly was sending messages!

And later that day…

Amelia and Jim Clark: ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; lk kl,,,,,mmm    mmmmm lklll  kl   kl     lk    kl kllllllllll lk ,lk00.;;;.0
Amelia and Jim Clark: ¿˘/"/"'?????/  (Notice the upside down question mark?!?)
Ed Stephens: Lilly!
Amelia and Jim Clark: /"
Ed Stephens: you are becoming quite the typist

So, yes, Lilly will be touch typing in no time.  She mentioned that she's going to start her first screen play momentarily so Edward, you've got some competition.  She even got the upside down question mark in there.  Apparently she’s learning Spanish to communicate with her Godmother!  Lilly’s most recent demonstration of her computer mastery displayed itself when I went to put on music this morning, and my “Sunday morning” playlist had been renamed: .3.  It took me a few minutes to find it, and when I realized what had happened, I decided that .3. is a much more appropriate name for the playlist anyway. 

This was one of those times where Jim and I shook our heads in disbelief and were once again amazed by our daughter.  When Lilly takes on the keyboard, she always wins.