Archive for July, 2005


Monday, July 25th, 2005

Today is Toby’s 2 1/2 birthday, hooray for him and us. I got the monthly update from, which as usual seems very odd when it comes to language development milestones. Regular readers will know that Toby chats away and has reasonably complex sentences (with a couple of opportunities for improvement – for example for past tense it’s always “I did run” rather than “I ran” and he’s not very good at using feminine pronouns). So it’s interesting to see what babycenter had to say:

By now your child should be able to name about six body parts [Toby can name lots of body parts on him or on animals]. She might also be able to identify one color [Toby knows pretty much all his basic colors and has done for about 10 months now]. She might be able to identify one friend by name [Toby knows all his friends at daycare and nursery at church, and will talk about them at home. Actually this morning he told us that he had a dream that he was playing with Lauren and Sam last night]. You can help build your toddler’s verbal skills by expanding on what she says. For instance, if she says “Car go,” you might say “Yes, that red car is going down the street very quickly.” [Toby will say "Daddy look at the car going down the street. It is very fast just like a fire truck"]

By these comments please don’t think that I’m boasting – some of Toby’s friends in his class are quite verbally proficient too. It just seems to me that the info that babycenter is giving seems not very realistic.

sleep, anyone?

Sunday, July 24th, 2005

I thought we’d totally worn Toby out this weekend, especially today. We had a kind of early start and took him to the zoo, where we stayed until about 1:30. On the way home Em and I thought that we should get him a new toy or two – it is after all his 2 1/2 birthday tomorrow – so we popped by IKEA to look for a toy kitchen set, which we were both pretty sure they sold. However they seemed to have changed the selection, so no luck. Also he’d had a wardrobe malfunction so after a dash to the restrooms we had to leave because his shorts were wet. So Emma then nipped into Babies R Us to get him some new legwear, and then we went to the toy shop where we found an awesome barbecue set, with lots of foods for him to make. He totally loves his coffee maker set and we thought he’d like to make food for us too. We were correct – he played with it in a very focused way for a good couple of hours, and seemed to love it. Also for dinner I got him to help us make french bread pizza – I prepared all the toppings in little bowls, and got him to stand on a step by the counter so that he could put them on the pizzas. However getting him off to sleep seems to be not as easy as we’d hoped (same as last night actually). Emma’s been up there for about 45 minutes and he’s still not out. Maybe it’s the muggy weather or something, but it’s a little irritating as Em and I were hoping to hang out over a bottle of wine.

ar hardy nos

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

I think that’s the Welsh name of the hymn “All through the night”. Quoted because Toby for the second time this week slept right through the night in his own room last night. Makes a very big difference to us all. I hope that he’s going to start a good sleeping phase.

For a couple of months now he’s been pretty good at spotting and naming letters, and he’s starting to be good at knowing what they’re for. We watched the Sesame Street DVD “Learning about letters” last night, which he really enjoys. There’s one section where there’s kind of 70s muzak playing while they zoom in on letters in typical New York scenes – letters on signs, licence plates, plaques – right through the alphabet. Toby can name all of them as they go by, and last night when D came by he said “D – for you, daddy!”, “E for elephant”, and delightedly when T came up “T – for ME!”. A few days ago in the car we stopped behind a bus which had an ad for one of our more unpleasant commercial radio stations, 92 KQRS. The ad is just some letters on a black background, saying “92 KQRS” – how inventive. Toby said “look at those letters Daddy” so I asked him what they were. Interestingly he said “PQRS” which suggests to me that context is beginning to be more important to him than the specific letters themselves, maybe a step towards recognizing words.


Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Actually it’s not too late, only 9:30, but it feels late. Work is insanely busy at the moment, although in a good and exciting way but it’s kind of taking it out of me, and when I got home Emma had to go out so I’ve been having Toby time. This is a good thing in itself but it felt long – making dinner, tidying up, playing, tidying up, running around, tidying up, changing two poopy diapers, tidying up, and off to bed for stories.

One amusing thing of the evening was that Toby was walking around singing the same thing again and again: “Untski marchy tooby too hwaaw hwaaw” which it took me a few repeats to realize was “The ants go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah”.

more day you were born

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

Readers may remember a couple of months ago that Toby had a bad dream involving the dayyouwereborn character, who is in one of his favorite books, which is about how the earth welcomes you on the day you were born. There is a simply drawn character who dances through the book, which Toby thinks is actually called Dayyouwereborn – if you look at this picture you’ll see dayyouwereborn in the middle of the world. So yesterday we were down at Lake Calhoun, where incidentally Toby ran at considerable speed for over half a mile non-stop, and dayyouwereborn made an appearance. Not in person, but Toby saw some signs for the handicap parking spaces in the parking lot outside the grocery store, and said “Look, dayyouwereborn in the chair is looking at the grocery store.”


Monday, July 18th, 2005

There was a picnic lunch at Toby’s daycare today. Fun to see him racing around and having fun with his friends. He didn’t seem to excited to see us though – he did hang out for a bit but then ran off, shouting over his shoulder, “I’m just going to check something, bye”. So that was that.

new photos

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

This weekend we are finally the height of cool. Not in a style way or anything like that, obviously, but we just got central air conditioning installed in our house. It’s quite remarkable – makes such a huge huge difference to our comfort. Especially as we are in the 9th day in a row of highs being over 90F with high humidity. It’s been a bit crazy, but it’s much better inside now.

Anyway, the point of this post: lots of new photos of Toby. Enjoy.

mr toby

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

For ages now I’ve sometimes called Toby “Mr Toby”, as in “Let’s get going, Mr Toby”. Over the weekend for the first time he called me “Mr Daddy” which we both thought was really funny. So now whenever it’s time to get him out of his car seat he says “OK, let’s go, Mr Daddy!”.

The house is currently very unpleasantly hot due to hot and humid weather. Sleep and comfort are not coming easily to our family. However we’re getting central air conditioning installed at medium cost on Thursday so hopefully only two days of nastiness to go.

the darkness of hearts

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Maybe it’s because I don’t know them personally but this “interview” in W magazine with Katie Holmes, and her Scientology “handler”, is just strange, strange, strange. And skin-crawlingly strange. I feel like I need to go and wash my hands having read it. Eeeurgh.

after all that

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

So things were seeming quite euphoric in Britain – the success of Live8, the mostly calm start of the G8 conference at Gleneagles, and the announcement that the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. But now this horror. What kind of evil bastards would do this I have no idea, but I hope that they get what’s due to them.