Saturday, December 29, 2007

Run Maggie Run!

Back in the good old days, I could go into another room, leaving Maggie in the living room on a blanket, and she would still be on that blanket when I returned, mad at me, but helpless to stop my reign of terror and abandonment. Now, however, Maggie can (and does) use her curiously advanced mobility to follow me around, calling to me in her baby voice, tugging on my pant legs, and generally requesting a more Maggie-centric focus from me. My only remaining refuge is the kitchen, where a baby gate separates and protects me from invading troops. The baby gate angers Maggie deeply. It is her new sworn arch-nemesis. So far, she has attempted to burrow under it, to climb over it, to push it down, and to chew through it with her single half-tooth. When these tactics failed her, she began simply standing at the gate, looking at me beseechingly and saying, "Mamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamamama" until I feel guilty and pick her up. My daughter, ladies and gentlemen, is the current chief executive officer of the department of defense: psychological warfare division. Enemies of the state: beware.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Merry Max Mayhem

Max got this shirt for Christmas, and I couldn't quite fit it into yesterday's narrative, and yet I couldn't quite leave it out altogether, either. First of all, everyone loves a shirt that offers up a big Canadian shout out. And secondly, for some reason, Max thought that this shirt had long sleeves until he put it on, and he was confused by its inability to cover his elbows. He said, "Shirt broken. I don't like it shirt," while trying to pull the sleeves down, and his reproachful face has been captured on film for the world to enjoy. So, enjoy, World! With this particular expression on his face, he reminds me deeply of my mum when I was young and she was unhappy with me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So, Just What Did The Tillmans Do With Their Christmas?

Merry Two Days After Christmas! I have been lectured harshly, by a number of sources, about my lateness in documenting our Christmas experience, and I am sorry (Granny). We did a lot, and we got a lot of presents, and so we were tired and busy. Anyway, here is what we did, and how we looked doing it:

We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house, and my mum was very excited about having Max sleep in their room with them. She set up a little bed for him, and we talked extensively about spending the night with Granny and Gramps in the days leading up to Christmas. Max went to sleep in his little camp bed relatively easily, and he was very excited about the prospect of sleeping with Granny and Gramps. He did wake up about midway through the night and freak out a little, not knowing where he was or where I was, so he spent about half the night in bed with Ian and I. My mum has designed a rigorous training program, the goal of which is to get Max comfortable spending the night with them so that she can steal him from us and keep him with her always. We will now be frisking her before and after all visits.

Maggie could care less what bed she sleeps in, as long as food is accessible at all hours. She celebrated her first Christmas by popping out her first visible tooth (lower left front, to be exact), and pooping in three new fleece outfits, one right after another. I almost gave her her first solid foods for Christmas dinner, but I backed out at the last minute. I have been so loving the nursing thing, I am reluctant to introduce other foods yet. With the tooth, and the growing, and the obvious wish to explore the world of chewing, I will have to do it soon, but I am putting it off as long as possible.

Santa came! I am pretty sure that he threw his back out delivering all Max and Maggie's loot. Poor Santa.

We took a break from present opening to eat breakfast.

Gramps made pancakes, which, as you can see from Max's expression, required serious and undivided focus.

Maggie did not eat pancakes (see above: selfish mother represses child), but she sat at the table and banged on toys while we ate.

And then, back to the presents.

Max got an electronic drum set from my Uncle Chris and Aunt Robin. I have not yet decided on the appropriate vengeance.

Maggie was a bit baffled by the gifts. They were crinkly, which was kind of fun, but none of them made milk, and so her interest quickly waned.

Yeah, yeah, thanks for the socks. Now, how about if we all quit acting crazy and make with the milk!?!

So, how was your Christmas? Or holiday of choice? Or non-denominational Tuesday? Or whatever?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays from The Tillmans 4!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Can You Defy The Laws Of Physics In Your Sleep? Max Can.

Yes, despite the fact that this position seems to defy both comfort and gravity, Max is really, truly asleep in this picture. No, I am not joking.

He seemed as confused as I was as to how such a thing could happen. When he woke up I said, "Hey, how was your sleep?" and he said groggily, "Sleep? Max sleep bench?" I agreed that this was how it had gone down, and he blinked at me in quiet bafflement for several long moments before requesting milk.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quoth The Maggie

Maggie said her first word yesterday. I was in the kitchen, and Maggie followed me over, found her way blocked by the baby gate, and piteously cried, "Mama! Mamamamama!" I know that babies start babbling around this age, and an argument could be made that Maggie does not realize what these particular syllables mean. I know better, though. She says "Mama" all the time now, but only when she wants me or wants to be picked up by me. Sadly, the cuteness of her baby voice saying 'mama' is such that I am now utterly under her spell, and will be doing whatever she wants until the wonder of it wears off. Which, in my experience with Max, happens around the age of Never.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Strength Of Titans

Who says I can't stand myself up?

There! That'll show all you naysayers!

Anybody else want to challenge me? Huh? Huh?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

To celebrate my completion of the beginners' running class, I went with one of my coaches yesterday and ran a 5K race in Sacramento. This was the first organized sporting event I have ever participated in (unless you count PE in Jr. High School, and I don't), and I was really nervous. I finished the race in about forty minutes, and at the finish line, I saw my parents, Ian, Max and Maggie ready to cheer for me. Max was grinning from ear to ear, and his little face was the brightest thing for miles around in the fog. As we were walking back to the car to go home, Max smiled inscrutably and whispered, "Yay, Mama!" Apparently, my parents had been coaching him to say it as I crossed the finish line, but as usual, Max set his own timetable. I didn't mind.
After the race, we were all kind of tired. (Why was everyone tired if you are the only one that ran, Chelsa? Good question, and the answer is: the race was sort of early in the morning, and it required everyone to be up and moving in the freezing cold much earlier than they would have liked. And by they, I mean Ian. So it was tiring for everyone, although I naturally claimed highest priority complaining rights.) Maggie took advantage of my inertness by nursing continually for each and every minute of the hours that I spent sitting like a bump on a log. Win-win, we call that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paternal Instincts

After we decorated our tree on Sunday, we watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas and drank hot chocolate to celebrate (the old cartoon Grinch, not the more recent live action abomination with Jim Carey -- we are a people of firm moral principles). The Grinch is a very big deal in my family -- we have watched it at least once every year since I was a baby, and I think that all of us could quote the entire movie with frightening accuracy. We watched it last year, and my mum got Max stuffed animal representations of the Grinch and his dog (who is also named Max) last Christmas, but Max was too little to really embrace the tradition. This year, the movie made a much larger impression. In the days since our viewing, Max has earnestly discussed with me: the Grinch's initial meanness, his redemption at the end, the way he slithers through the room stealing presents, the fact that he is green, and the troubling question of whether or not he is naked (Max tends to favor the theory that he is, in fact, naked, despite my feeble explanation that he has fur and therefore doesn't need pants.) These literary details aside, Max is delighted by the fact that the Grinch's dog shares his name. He has been playing with the stuffed dog Max quite a bit, and today he decided that Dog Max was a baby, that Boy Max was his Dada, and Dog Max was treated to an outpouring of paternal attention.

Dog Max was tenderly fed a jam sandwich made of duplos, washed down with some imaginary milk out of a hand-crafted lego bottle.

Dog Max was then carefully dressed in a diaper (borrowed from his Auntie Maggie's stash), an orange onesie (also borrowed from Maggie), and then swaddled in a warm blanket.

Boy Max is evidently a parent who subscribes to the school of co-sleeping, because after Dog Max was put to bed, Boy Max declared authoritatively, "He crying. I hold him", lay down next to his canine offspring, and then, in a high-pitched croon, sing-songed, "Night night Max. Love you", while patting his back.

Cutest. Boy. Ever.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boys II Men

Max to Mama: I climbing, Mama!
Mama: Yeah, you're climbing, all right. Can you get off the kitchen table, please?
Max: Okay, Mama. (Doesn't move) Climbing class, Mama? Boys and girls?
Mama (removing Max from table): Boys and girls go to climbing class with you, don't they? Are you a boy who goes to climbing class?
Max: NO. No, I don't like it boy.
Mama: You're not a boy who goes to climbing class?
Max: No no boy, Mama. I man. Man! (laughs)

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot More Like Christmas

We have finally finished our Christmasification. We got our tree last night, after an epic journey around the world in search of the perfect one. I allowed sense to overcome romance, and we opted for a little tree, but a bigger and better little tree than last year's model. Max was thrilled with every part of the tree decorating process. Thrilled. One of the best things about this Christmas is Max's ability to really respond and participate. Ian and I are getting to pass on our traditions, and rediscover the excitement and magic of this time of year. I sound like a cheesy Hallmark card now, so I think I'll stop, but Christmas is just a really nice time of year to have young children around.

Maggie is not quite as cognisant of all the goings-on, but she was fascinated by the tree. She touched it and stared at it for at least 30 seconds before trying to eat it.

Max kept reminding Maggie "No touch tree, Maggie!", despite having difficulty living by this rule, himself.

These pictures make me kind of teary-eyed. These two beautiful people are ours! It is so strange to think that last year at this time, Maggie wasn't even here yet. I can't imagine what our family did without her.

The finished product. Although Max apparently didn't think it was quite finished, because if you look in the lower left-hand corner of this picture, you can see his hand, cheerfully violating his own "No touch tree!" rule. Hypocrite.

Hi, Ian. I'll be seeing you soon!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Intellectual Pursuits

Maggie heard that they were making a movie based on The Golden Compass, and she decided to hurry and read it before the film version came out.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Uncle Josh!

We all hope your celebrations are marred only by our usual but regrettable absence. Happy Birthday! And, to quote from Max, "Josh and Joey? More swimming? Max? Happy?" I think that that says it all.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ... Well, Sort Of Like ... Christmas

We are far, far behind on the Christmas decorating, which is sad, because I really like the Christmas decorating and because this is the first year that Max can actually take a participatory role in the festivities. I must plead illness (thankfully now gone), and business (busy-ness, not like mind your own business). Ian had a bunch of work training stuff to get through (which he finished today! Cheers!), I had to finish off my running class (with distinction -- I got a certificate and everything), and Max and Maggie had a lot of projects associated with being two and six months, respectively. The smoke has now cleared, as much as it ever does, and Max and I have been hard at work jolly-ifying our abode.

I have been going back and forth about the Christmas tree size issue for months now. On the one hand, I LOVE a nice big tree, and we got a little one last year and it was spiky and not very many ornaments fit on it and it kind of died halfway through December and I hated it. On the other hand, Maggie is crawling and pulling herself into a standing position and I do not want to be on America's Funniest Home Videos. ("Freakishly strong baby climbs Christmas tree, pulls it down on top of her, and eats all the ornaments off! Tonight on Fox!") And then there is Max's aforementioned enthusiasm for this year's festivities. As seen here, the few decorations we have managed to put out have all been arranged, rearranged, thrown, stacked, hidden, licked, given to Maggie, taken from Maggie, and rearranged again.

So, you know, Little Tree, ahoy! Next Up: The Tillmans finish decorating, choose a treelet, and Chelsa puts Frosty somewhere unexpected in order to torment Ian! Stay tuned! Tonight on Fox!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brain Atrophy Continues Apace

I have not been quite my usual formidable presence in the blogosphere recently. The four of us have been a feverish combination of busy and sickly since before Thanksgiving. It's an awesome combination, by the way. I highly recommend it.
I felt obligated to post a little something, despite my many obstacles, so I was taking some pictures of my little beauties this morning. And it is only now, as I upload the pictures to the blog, that I realize the following interesting fact (and I only realize it at all because Max just pointed it out to me): Totally accidentally, and with no attempt to be cute or precious or whatever, I seem to have dressed Max in orange pants and a green shirt, and Maggie in green pants and an orange shirt. I am not sure what the significance of this is, but I plan to ponder it deeply.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

6 Month Roundup

In which Maggie gets high on baby Tylenol and then parties late into the night

Maggie has traditionally reacted poorly to vaccinations-- fever, irritability, sleeplessness, digestive issues, and an intense lack of desire to be put down for even one second and who cares if you have to go pee you betrayed me and let evil people stick needles in me so don't even think about it Mama. Assuming that the six-month shots would be equally bad if not worse (since Maggie now crawls and sits, and might therefore be further frustrated by not being able to put weight on her tender legs), I readied the entire household for the day of the doctor visit as if we were preparing for a long, epic siege. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner set to go, and easy to serve and eat one-handed. We had videos and games for Max. We had diapers timed and laid out for quick and efficient changes. I was ready to tenderly carry Maggie's tragic, be-vaccinated figure all day, to the ends of the earth and back. And then ... she was fine. No fever. No sleeplessness. No irritability. I wrote an entire blog post congratulating us all on the surprising ease of the whole experience, and then I was promptly punished for my hubris when Maggie finally developed a fever around 5:30 in the evening. I gave her some Tylenol, which seemed to help, because she crawled around cackling and crowing like a mad woman until 11 pm. Sometimes, if you are unaware of this, baby Tylenol causes excitability. It says so in small print on the bottle, and I am here to testify to the truth of it.

Now, for the highlights of our visit:
Weight:19 lbs (91st %)
Height: 28 3/4" (98th %)
Head Circumference: 44 cm (80th %)
Shots Administered: 3
Overall Mood After Shots: Surprisingly Upbeat, if somewhat hysterical
Best Quote From Doctor (after hearing that Maggie can sit up, crawl, and pull to stand already): Tell her she needs to save something for the 9 month appointment!
Overall Health And Happiness: Perfect, if not better

Monday, December 03, 2007

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow

Happy Birthday, Joey! We love you tremendously, and we can't wait to see you take on the twos. Eat an extra piece of cake for us!

Joey meeting Max March 2006

Learning to share May 2006

Pool Party July 2006

At Great Grandma and Grandpa's House Oct 2006

Crystal Cove Vacation Nov 2006

A whole new cousin! July 2007

Cousins On The Couch July 2007

Joey Is The Greatest! Sept 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mr. Oneful

Max to Mama this morning: I crabby, Mama!
Mama to Max: Why are you crabby?
Max: I need muffin! I hungry, Mama!
Mama: Okay, Max. I'll get you a muffin.
Max: Treat, too? Cookie, Mama? Cake?
Mama: Don't push your luck, Little Son.
Max: Okay, Mama. I looovvvee youuu!
Mama: I love you, too, Max. I think you are wonderful.
Max: Mmm hmm. Yep. Max is oneful, Mama. Yep. Cookie is oneful. Cake. Yummy and good.

Parental Checklist For The Day:
Teach Max to express feelings

Teach Max to use flattery to achieve goals and receive treats

Instill positive self esteem in Max