Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Clementine's Halloween

I wrote this entry in early November but never got around to editing and posting it until now.
---

I've really been wanting to post about Clementine and her Halloween, but there's so much cuteness to write about that I've felt too overwhelmed to begin. It was her third Halloween, and just like the other two Halloweens, she came to my work to trick or treat. She remembered last year, when she dressed as Tinkerbell and walked around the office getting treats from my coworkers. That year, she was just over one year old, so I planted healthy treats in advance.  Instead of her picking up candy which she wouldn't be allowed to eat, I left grapes, Goldfish crackers, and little cookies. She had a blast.

This year however, her pallet is more advanced and her standards all the more higher -  in other words. she wants candy! Anyhow, she was really looking forward to coming in. We bought her an Elmo outfit, but in the end she went with the Bumblebee "fairy" costume which was handed down to her by her friend Miranda. (Allie also found a bumble bee doll costume and put it on Clementine's favorite fairy Vidia - you can see her in the photo) That day was cold and grey so Allie quickly crocheted a yellow and black striped hat Clementine could wear with her costume. She and Allie showed up at the office at 3:30. When I met them at the reception desk Cleme had already grabbed a peanut butter cup and was chowing down, doing her yummy food moan/mantra. For the rest of trick or treating, she remember that candy saying, "I like the orange ones."

We trick or treated all over the 14th, 15th, and first half of the 16th floor before Clementine got too tired to continue. She doesn't really nap anymore and this visit came in the midst of her daily down period. She was so much less shy than last year and did a great job telling everyone "trick or treat" and "thank you." She very carefully picked out her candy from each person. At first she just grabbed sucker after sucker. Then she branched into more colorful candies, collecting pixies sticks and fruit vines. Midway through, we all shared a three pack of Whoppers, and then she started collecting those. She was learning on the fly about candy.

Once, we got home, Cleme and Allie took a detour to trick or treat at a neighbors house. I went on ahead to get rid of all of our bags. As soon as Cleme was home, she insisted on pouring out her bag of candy onto the red living room chair. She started sorting it, caressing it, ogling it. Allie pushed some candy back into the pile from the edge of the chair and Cleme snatched at her hand and opened it up, to make sure Allie hadn't palmed any candies. She was very possessive over her candy, telling us it was "hers." Clementine has never been a grabby, possessive, or "mine" type child so it was really a trip to see her hoarding her candy. She's also never been allowed to eat much candy (this was surely the most candy she's ever seen in one place) so she doesn't whine too much for it. I got the impression that she really felt that she earned it and it was hers. Normally when we have sweets, we are sharing with her and she gratefully accepts what we give her.

We thought it would be fun to go back out and visit a few friend and neighbors for trick or treating. We asked Cleme, "Do you want to visit the house with chickens?" Do you want to visit Miranda? Do you want to visit Graham and Tracy? Do you want to go for a stroller ride?" Every time the answer was, "no." We asked, do you want to get more candy, and she said, "no, I already have enough" as she pawed through her pile. We really wanted to go out, so on a hunch I said, "do you want to go out and bring your candy with us?" She was into it - she just hadn't wanted to leave her precious stash of candy. We loaded up and headed out. We visited our neighbors behind us and our friends down the street. It was so adorable watching her trick or treat, hitting the door lightly with her open hand.

Ever since that day, Cleme's candy pile has been one or her main toys. She usually wants to sleep with it in her crib so we put the bag on the chair beside her. She feeds it to her fairies. She pours her it into her fairy nest. My parents visited last weekend and gave her a few candies they got at their hotel (a box of pink nerds, a box of purple nerds, a three pack of gobstoppers - which she will not get to eat). Days later, she would dig out those candies and tell me "Grandma gave me the pink one and the purple one and the rainbow one." She likes the sound of the Nerds boxes rattling and had the idea to pick them both up and put them to her ears. She told me they were "candy ears."

Days later, she started obsessing over walruses. She kept telling Allie how much she loved them. Allie was befuddled because we haven't read much or talked much about walruses with her. FInally she picked up some candy and showed it to Allie. She had been talking about whoppers the whole time, but had misremembered their name. We didn't bother to correct her.

Baby Jokes

Clementine has gained an appreciation for potty humor, though thankfully she doesn't use it too much. These days she mainly goes "Pssss. I am pretending to pee on the bed" or what have you. Last month she was cuddling one morning in bed with Allie and after a long silence said, "Kitty poop. Puppy poop" and thought it was the funniest joke ever,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daily Cute 11-02-13

We went to the wedding of my cousin Luke last month. There were lots of little kids there. For the ceremony, we sat in the back, in case Clementine got restless or loud. She did pretty well, holding her two favorite fairy dolls and climbing on and off the bench. At her noisiest point, she was holding a scented bag of dried, purple, lavender flowers. She kept huffing it and somewhat loudly saying, "It smells like onions!" This was a great moment of toddler logic based on the fact that in our back yard at home, we have a chive plant. The chive flowers are purple, which Cleme has spent a lot of time picking, don't look too different from the crushed lavender flowers. And of course, the chive flowers do smell kind of like onions.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Daily Cute 10-25-13

Allie told me a funny story. Clementine and her were out in the garage yesterday, organizing our overflow. Clementine was mainly helping by taking stuff from the garage into the kitchen, for her fairies to use, or by sitting on the treadmill, thumbing through food magazines and commenting on how yummy all the food looked. Suddenly she heard a noise, "What dat noise??" Allie hadn't noticed and asked her to describe it. "It sound like Papa's toothbrush." I think it was probably the ice machine.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Daily Cute 10-24-13 - Bargain Shopper

The other night Clementine and I were playing on the bed. She had previously dug into Allie's coupon folder and stuffed her little fairy purse full of coupons. She brought the purse on the bed and started pouring it out, saying, "Here's a coupon for you. Here's a coupon for you." I asked her what the coupon was for, she looked on the wrong side and saw a cropped photo of a drink and said, "a straw." She started tossing more and more coupons, "here's an interes'ing coupon for you." She picked up and considered each coupon in turn, judged them as "inters'ing" (incidentally, this was the first time I had heard her use the word interesting) and handed them off to me. I asked her what we do with coupons and she said, "Take 'em to the store and buy food!"

Clementine also spent time picking up coupons and telling me they were for "scientific research" a reference to the "rain" fairy movie she likes to watch, in which a little girl keeps papers and drawing for studying nature. Cleme had so much fun playing with the coupons that we almost had to tear her away to go to bed.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Daily Cute 10-07-13

Allie told me a good story last week. I think this happened last Tuesday or so. Allie and Clementine were coming home from an outing and Cleme busted out a new word, "I have a parents." You have parents? Who are your parents? "I have a parents. His name is Papa!"

Music 10-07-13

Ever since my days as a lonely teenager, before the internet made it all so much easier, I've loved to research and hunt out music, comics, movies, books. I would learn about new artists by reading every article and review I could find and following every incidental fact and reference like they were a my own private treasure map. One of the pleasures of this sort of search is coming across the various connections and coincidences that can create common ground between different bands (or movies or whatever else). For instance, when I was living in Spain without much to do except listen to music, do homework, shoot the shit with my roommates, and listen to music, I found a used copy of the out of print and obscure Billy Nichols album Would You Believe.



I had never heard of it, but a sticker on the front assured me it was a lost Pet Sounds (which was and is my favorite album, natch) plus it also had a green and yellow cover. I bought and loved the thing and later found out the backing band on the album was Small Faces, another band I had recently gotten into.

I've been obsessing over the various online garage sales my favorite record label, Sundazed has been having. On a hunch, I purchased the album Western Union, by a band I had never heard of the "Five Americans. The album was produced by an old rockabilly guy Dale Hawkins.



I f*cking love that song "Western Union." I play it all the time and when it comes on try and get Clementine to dance with me. The whole album is superb, full of originals plus a few choice covers. It's fairly bubblegum, but has a garage rock edge, interesting arrangements, and rad vocals. One of the band members played organ, which you don't hear enough in '60s pop outside of the Doors.

Simultaneously, while my order was getting shipped to me, I raided the dollar CD section of one of my favorite local stores. I bought Chronicle 1  by Creedence Clearwater Revival, featuring their early hit "Suzie Q" written by the same Dale Hawkins. Both albums also featured excellent covers of "I Put a Spell on You" by Screaming Jay Hawkins (no relation to Dale), one of my all time favorite songs.



I was once interviewed about our comic book store (it was never published) and asked my top favorite songs. Limiting myself to one song from each artists, I came up with 1. Surf's Up by the Beach Boys, 2. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright by Bob Dylan, 3. Transmission by Joy Division and 4. I Put a Spell on You by Screamin' Jay.

The Sundazed garage sale is still going on. I just ordered two more Five Americans albums, plus Solomon Burke, Davie Allan & the Arrows, and the Gestures. It's amazing and thrilling how rich our musical culture is. I am not one of those curmudgeons that think modern music stinks, but we certainly do have a wealth of great rock and pop music from the '50s on, much of which it's impossible to top.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Daily Cute 09-26-13

As a big eater and  a lover of food Clementine will often pull out food requests, sometimes asking for food she hasn't had in weeks or months. The last few days she's been requesting "coo coo" - couscous. Allie finally made her some today. Her most popular request of course is "chocolake."

Baby Jokes 09-26-13

Clementine has been rewatching a new Fairie movie. There's this scene at the beginning where Tinkerbell pulls a lever to see what it does. It ends up squirting water out of a hose, right into Vidia (you know, the Fast-Flying Fairy). Tinkerbell see Vidia all sopping wet and says in surprise, "You're all wet!" Apparently, this is the funniest scene ever because Clementine talks about it constantly, sometimes a dozen times a day. She will tell us out of the blue, "She says, 'Are you all wet?'" And if you repeat it back to her she'll start cracking up. Sometimes, she'll also reenact the scene, mimicking Tinkerbell's posture when she says the line, hunching over and bending her knees. She'll look up at you to make sure you are watching and will say "She go like this."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Daily Cute 09-20-13

Somehow, Clementine has become a huge fan of the Disney Fairies. When she watches her shows and the Disney logo (with the Disneyland castle) comes up she says, "It's the big house. Where Tinkerbell lives." Allie treated her to a new doll last week, Vidia, the fast-flying fairie. Clementine took it all over the store, making it fly and making wooshing sound affects. For some reason she won't say the name Vidia, but just calls the doll Fast-Flying Fairie.

Clementine sees her friend Cora every Monday, and the weekend she got her new fairie she said, "I'm going to show Cora my fast-flying fairie."

She's also been saying, "Cora's my best friend!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Daily Cute 9-15-13

Allie told me a hilarious story. Clementine loves the show Yo Gabba Gabba and for quite a while she has had DJ Lance, Brobee, and Foofa toys. For her birthday, we ordered her a Muno doll. She sleeps every night with her Gabba dolls (and her Sesame Street dolls, and Sammy the Squirrell). She still needs two more characters characters -- Toodee and Plex.

A while back, Clementine was playing with her friend Cora, who she has converted into a Yo Gabba fan. Cora, asked "where's Toodee?" and Allie later told Cleme maybe she could get it for Christmas.

Well yesterday, Clementine followed up on this. She was sitting on the couch with Allie and said, "Toodee's hard to find. I find her at Christmas, when I wake up in my crib."

Music 09/13/13

I was really impressed with this animation/video for Fiona Apple covering "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I've never even seen the original movie but the song is one of my all time classic earworms, where I just find myself singing it. This cover is awesome, Fiona is one of my favorites and actually leads my best of 2012 mix (zine still not finished, possibly never will be).

I love how this cover goes from eerie sounding to triumphant, perfectly complimenting the video. One minute she sings about imagination over images of human engineering gone haywire and the music inspires chills. Later she sins about imagination and the production has brightened and we see images of the best of human ingenuity. A great song arrangement.


The Daily Cute for 09/09/13

We had a pretty good garage sale last Sunday and Clementine did her best helping. She pulled down all of her toys we were trying to sell and shared with a toddler who visited. She kept running in and out, from the house to the gated part of the front yard. Allie was mainly watching Cleme while I was mainly watching the sake.

I was helping some customers when Clementine came out to say, "I went poo poo papa." She said it again and added, "it was giant."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Baby Signs

We learned and practice sign language with Clementine before she could talk. It was a super fun and rewarding experience and I highly recommend it to all new parents. I had been compiling a master list of all of the sign Clementine demonstrated but I could never get it complete, could never remember every sign she used. I figured I would post the list though for posterity, since as much as anything this blog is a record for ourselves. These days Clementine has phased out almost all of her signing, but sometimes I will sign to her and see if she remembers.


1.       Hi/Bye
2.       Mama
3.       Papa
4.       Grandma
5.       More
6.       Eat
7.       Drink
8.       Milk
9.       Apple
10.   Banana
11.   Pear
12.   Monkey
13.   Change
14.   Time
15.   Baby
16.   Cat
17.   Dog
18.   Frog
19.   Bird
20.   Pig
21.   Horse
22.   Shoes
23.   Bath
24.   Potty
25.   Water
26.   Bed
27.   Sleep
28.   Book
29.   Brush teeth
30.   Thank You
31.   Tree
32.   Bear
33.   Hat
34.   Car
35.   Wash hands
36.   Cold
37.   Hot
38.   Flowers
39.   Butterfly
40.   Please
41.   Stop

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Daily Cute 09/05/13

Clementine is starting to learn about time and days of the week. This weekend we were in our room and she pointed at the digital clock on the shelf and said "It's a clock!"

For some reason, she has come up with "twenty-four o'clock" as the main way she tells time. When I got home from work today, I asked her if she had a good night's sleep and she said, "I sleep in to twenty-four o'clock papa!"

Music 9/4/13

It's been a quiet time for me music wise. I haven't bought or listened to any new CDs, in part because I was busy spending all my money on amazing concerts. In the span of two weeks I saw The Monkees, The Zombies, and The Breeders. The latter concert was a special date night with Allie -- our first show together in over two years (since before the baby was born).

I recently bought two records (Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense and a collection of 1935 Django Reinhardt recordings) but I have been too busy and/or lazy to get my broken record player fixed. Boo hoo!

I did get caught in a loop last week at the Onion AV Club site and just love this cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Down In It" by Kurt Vile.
Kurt Vile covers Nine Inch Nails I love the white noise guitar soloing over the beats! I listened to about half of the covers and the only other one that really impressed me was the cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days"by Basia Bulat. It's a beautiful cover and I love watching her play that pianoette aka hammered harp.


The Daily Cute 9/3/13

Monday night Clementine was having lots of fun reading her Sandra Boynton books with us right before bed. She really gets hooked on them because on the back cover there are pictures of other Sandra Boynton books. After reading one, she will point at the back cover for the next one she wants to read.

Eventually we read the promised LAST book of the night. It had been a long day with no nap and she obviously needed to sleep. She insisted on one more (One Two Three) and we told her no. She started whining and crying about it and, as we do so much, we thought up a way to distract her. I told her she could bring the book with her to her crib and read it to herself in bed. This seemed like a fair deal to her so she climbed off our bed and walked into her room for sleep, carrying the book with her. Allie put her in the crib, sang her a couple of songs and left. Not much later, we looked on our video monitor and saw little Cleme, fast asleep on her back. Covering her face was her open book. She passed out reading One Two Three. Allie crept quietly into Clementine's room and pulled the book off of her face. She had made it two pages in!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Daily Cute #5

Clementine has had a cheap, toddler hula hoop that she's been enjoying trying to operate. Allie bought a weighted grown-up hula hoop the other day so they could hoop together. I tried out my hula hoop skills in the living room while the ladies watched on the couch. I was really getting my groove on, jerking my body back and forth. Clementine was cracking up and got so excited that she lost her balance and fell headfirst off of the couch. She landed on her forehead as we held our breaths. She stood up immediately and with a slightly freaked expression on her face climbed back on the couch saying, "I'm okay!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Daily Cute #4

I came home from work yesterday to find Clementine sitting naked on the living room couch. She was holding an inflatable pink guitar and when she saw me come in, she started singing and 'playing' her song "Twinkle Twinkle Clementine/I'm so glad that you are mine." This was followed by a rendition of "Little Boxes" which we play together often on my real guitar. This version had a bunch of extra colors thrown in: "there's a pink one and a blue one and a pink one and a yellow one and a red one..."

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Daily Cute #3

We went down to Eugene to stay with my parents this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Staying there always leads to novel sleeping arrangements. This time, Allie slept on a small single bed, while Cleme and I shared a double air mattress on the floor, pushed up against the bed.

It's pretty sweet sharing the bed with Clementine, which we don't do at home. But she still tends to move around 360 degrees throughout the night. She'll flop against you, kick you on accident, and take up the majority of the bed by placing her body perpendicular to yours.

One morning we were all laying there. Allie was checking her kindle and I was waiting for my grogginess to dissipate. We didn't realize Clementine was awake until she suddenly said, "I farted."

Baby Jokes #2

I told Cleme to eat her "Taters" last night. She understood I meant potatoes, but followed up with "tater-totter."

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby Jokes

I can't always tell if Clementine misunderstands things when she uses double-meanings and puns or if it's just part of her burgeoning sense of humor. But I am pretty sure she know what she is doing at least most of the time.

Like a couple months ago when we were talking about polka-dots and looking at pictures of them. She poked me in the ribs with her fingers and laughed saying "Polka dots."

Now when we build towers and I tell her to knock them over, as she loves to do, she knocks on them like a door with her little fist until they fall over. She used to just push them over. Pun or confusion? I'm not sure on this one.

Last week, she was wearing an outfit Allie's mom (Nanna) sent her for her upcoming birthday. Allie said, "Remember who gave you that outfit?" Clementine answered "Nanna chips" as in the dried bannana chips she likes to eat as snacks. Joke!

Music! #1

I've found a ton of great music this year but it's all old stuff. Most of the new CDs by my fave bands have been underwhelming (Bonnie Prince Billy, Atoms for Peace, James Blake) and no brand new artists have inspired me.

Finally the dull streak is over though. Wow - I love this, I can't believe this kid!!! He's the 18-19 year old red head in the video. All of his jams, that I can find, are great, but this might be my fave. I'm really looking forward now to his debut album ocming out later this month.

The Daily Cute #2

Yesterday, Allie and Cleme went to New Seasons with Miranda and Charmaine and helped themselves to the sample. Allie had a little cup of Kombucha. Clementine snatched it and said "I take the cup from Momma" and drank it with gusto. She liked it so much, Allie promised they could make some at home some day.

That evening, when Allie was telling me about this, Clementine interrupted her playing and ran over to us to say "I make kambucha at home!" which Allie thought was her cutest sentence ever.

The Daily Cute #1

Clementine had a playdate with her older friend (3 years +) Orlena on Wednseday. We've been borrowing a car so Allie and Cleme actually drove out there to Orlena's house, which hardly ever happens because they live in a non-bus-accessible area of the west hills. Usually Orlena comes our way. As Clementine was set to go, she had to "bring fairies for Orlena!" Even though the two haven't played for a few weeks, she remembered Orlena's favorite toys. Once they were out the door, she remembered another - "Corn Pop!" Clementine's little kitten, which Orlena loves to play with. Clementine will be two this weekend and watching her develop is so amazing. When she shows off her ever-improving memory, her growing logical faculties, and her ability to look outside herself, as in this case, I am totally blown away! Every day, she pulls out some new trick.