It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I don't know about everyone else, but I had a great day:

1. There was very little traffic this morning.
2. I got a free lunch.
3. During that free lunch, I saw a Furry walking around Downtown Pittsburgh. In fact, I saw this Furry:

4. I learned that the Furries are coming back to Pittsburgh again next year for the big convention. I didn't get to go hunting this year, but you better believe I'm marking my calendar for the next time around. How about the fact that it was around 90 degrees all weekend and yet the group wants to keep coming back to Pittsburgh? Man, if I were wearing a big hot fur suit (which I never, ever, ever would), I would want to be in Alaska or something. Not in Pittsburgh in July.
5. Alexis was in a great mood when I picked her up from school.
6. Alexis' teacher commented that she was talking way more today than she was before vacation.
7. At some point, Alexis learned to recognize the grocery store. She started signing "car" in the parking lot. Usually that means she wants to briefly touch down in one of the car carts. This time it meant "Although I know the fun carts are more difficult for you to maneuver, I would love to hang out in one as you casually peruse all that the grocery store has to offer." We were there over 30 minutes and Alexis didn't fuss one time. Not even when I accidentally rammed the cart into a pole or when I nearly ran over an old lady when I was trying to turn a corner.
8. Alexis stayed in a good mood all evening.
9. She told me all the animal names and signs that she knows again.
10. When I was showing her pictures on the computer (she's a narcissist and loves looking at herself) she knew who Grandpa was when we looked at this picture. She signed and said Grandpa.

11. The blog is finally posting to the url I have been trying to use for WEEKS. GoDaddy support sucks, but a creative and diligent Mommy will always prevail.
12. There were no arguments from the Kinnley Bear regarding bedtime.
13. The slide of wonders continues to provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment. Now the fun even includes Bear.


If Only Daddy and I had been so Productive

I think I mentioned that Alexis watched entirely too much Signing Time during vacation. Not only did she watch it in the car throughout both seven hour drives, but she was able to fix the TV at Grandma's so that it would show her buddy Rachel. Now that we're back, I've cut her off cold turkey. There's just no reason for a 17-month old to watch hours and hours of TV.

But one side effect of all that Signing Time has become evident . . . Alexis clearly learned a whole bunch of new signs. I'm choosing to focus on her newfound vocabulary and ignore the part where she probably killed a few brain cells staring at the TV all the time.

Some of her new words became obvious earlier today when she made it all the way through her book "In the Jungle" and was able to sign every single animal. I just turned the pages and she pointed and signed what was on the page. We had lion (that one comes complete with the "Roooaar"), zebra, monkey, spider, crocodile, gorilla, butterfly, elephant, giraffe (I'm taking her word for it on giraffe and elephant, I don't actually know the signs myself), fish, tiger, rhino, snake (which, of course, comes with a "Ssssss"), bat, hippo, bird, leopard (Rachel hasn't taught us that word yet, so Alexis went for "kitty"), and frog.

She surprised the heck out of me, but I would be a lot more impressed if she would figure out that she should sign and say "potty" BEFORE she goes in her diaper. She loves the word "potty" and I would love if she would figure out how to use it.


Catch Up Time

I fell behind on posting pictures, so here are a few from the Children's Museum in Indy.

You can tell Alexis wasn't feeling like herself because she went within fifty feet of the sand table. Thinking back on it, I don't know that she ever actually touched any sand. She used the rake to push it around, but I don't think her pristine fingers came in contact with any actual grains of nasty sand.

I give the Museum a C+ overall. We haven't made it to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum yet, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but there seemed to be some things that were not thoroughly thought out. Like the whole maze thing. If you're going to do huge mazes, do them right and don't make them look like a bunch of voting booths.

Also contributing to the enjoyment level of the Museum was the fact that Alexis was in a wickedly evil mood. She was doing a whole lot of hair yanking and had a belly full of crab salad. That kid has a heck of a mean streak when she's in the mood for it.