Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Here we are! The Phelps/Jantzi/Lukawitski family. Clockwise from top left: Terry, Grandpa Conrad, David, Anita, Solana, Lotus, Grandma Irma, Valerie, and me.

Note the serene expressions on the men's faces; the strangely contorted looks on the women, and the dazed/confused expressions on the kids. I have a new-found respect for professional photographers who do family portraits! Getting this shot took planning, strategizing, manipulation, split-second timing, and even a few downright white lies. We learned the hard way, after the Christmas Day fiasco with the adorable matching dresses my mom had sewed for the three girls. You'll just have to imagine how completely adorable they would have looked, lined up like little dolls on the couch in front of the tree. What with non-synchronized naps (all three of them), a fever (Solana), and a screaming hissy fit about the sleeves on the dress (Valerie), it was just not in the cards this year. Maybe when they're all old enough to be bribed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Wow. I have been neglecting the poor blog, eh? Eventually I hope to update this post later with some photos from Christmas Day.

We survived the 8-hour drive to Savannah after postponing our trip for two days due to a massive snowfall (photos of that pending as well...). We tried to leave town the day after 20 or so inches got dumped on us, but it was not to be. Traffic on 81 was at a standstill, and the secondary roads were covered with a thick layer of ice and packed snow. Our friends who left town a little before us reported that they traveled 10 miles in an hour and a half. So we called it quits for the day.

It's been great hanging out with my parents and my sister's family here, Savannah is a beautiful city and the weather is of course much milder here. This is our last time together as a family before my parents head back to Peru next week-ish so that makes it an extra-special time.

Christmas was mainly for the kids this year. Valerie didn't really grasp the whole gift-opening concept, though; in fact, my little introvert wandered off from the wrapping-ripping extravaganza into Solana's room, where she played happily by herself with all the books and toys there (the whole "sharing" thing has also been a challenge for her here). Her favorite gift so far has been the magnetic drawing pad from Aunt Anita that she scribbles on for long stretches at a time.

I hope all my readers had a lovely day yesterday and are enjoying a happy holiday weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Feeling much better now

Good appointment with chiropractor; massage tomorrow; 2-hour nap today...

Poor Terry, though, has got a man cold. :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

19 months

Already??? I feel like I just wrote the 18-month post!

So the big thing that happened for us this past month was that I went to a conference in Philadelphia, and was away from her for two nights and the better part of three days. I was incredibly apprehensive going into it, but we all weathered the separation pretty well and from the vantage point of two weeks, it seems like so not a big deal. I might not have even considered it except that Val's sitter did a weekend trip away from her 16-month-old (at the time) and they survived. It was seeing how happy little E. was when B. came back that sealed the deal for me: nobody was traumatized for life.

So we did it! I left on a Wednesday; Grandma D. pitched in for an all-day Valerie-watching marathon on Thursday while Terry taught classes all day, and on Friday he and V. drove up to Philly to meet me. We all drove back together.

The worst part was actually getting on the train in DC to Philly. It was like going past the point of no return. I actually teared up a bit; it felt wrenching.

The best part, of course, was opening the hotel room door and seeing her face light up in a big smile and hearing her little voice say "Mama!" as we ran to each other with our arms out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bloodied and Bruised

Sunday morning I took a tumble on our front steps, luckily NOT while holding Valerie, as I thought the wet sheen was just rainwater rather than, as it turned out to be, ice. (I was running out to the car to fetch a toy we'd left there the day before.)


My upper left arm and left butt-cheek are both bruised and sore, and my neck feels out of whack. I'm going to see the chiropractor tomorrow.

And then my baby's been beating up on me: she bit me really hard on my left forearm yesterday, to the point where it hurts just having my sweater sleeve brush against it. She was mad because I was taking pictures of my finished socks instead of paying attention to her - but she got a time-out regardless!

Then last night she was thrashing around in bed while I was trying to put her down, and she whomped me on the lip with her head, cutting it against my lower incisor. Not only did I get a mouthful of blood, but I now have a huge swollen and blackened lump on my lip - not very pretty!

I call these the red and blue badges of parenthood!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nearly 19

Although Val is nearly 19 months old, we just had her 18-month check-up today. She is still a skinny minnie, at only 23.8 lbs. (we were surprised, she feels heavier than that!) which puts her in the 25th percentile for weight, and 33 inches long - 75th percentile. So following the same growth curve since she was tiny.

It's funny to me that some of the charming, amazing things she does turn out to be run-of-the-mill developmental milestones to be ticked off the nurse's checklist. To whit, walking backwards. For ages she's been backing up to sit on low surfaces, like the bottom step, or her little chair, or the stomach of an adult lying on the floor. But recently she's been very deliberately and consciously walking backwards. By this I mean, she'll pause in what she's doing, then very deliberately walk forwards about 5-6 steps, in a posture that shouts "Now I'm walking forwards," then stop, and just as deliberately walk backwards in a "Now I'm walking backwards!" kind of way until she bumps into something. Then she'll do it again. It's so incredibly cute! She's not walking to or from anything, she's just walking because she can! And I'm really no less charmed by it, knowing that it's something apparently all toddlers do. I'm just resentful that the entire world isn't as charmed and amazed as I am.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

Rather than try to make a comprehensive list of everything I'm thankful for, or even a top 10 list, I the top 3 best moments of Thanksgiving Day, 2009:

3) Collard greens. Holy YUM, Batman!!! That Brian Diener knows his way around a pot of collard greens. Most delicious dish of the day and that's saying a lot!

2) Watching Valerie figure out how to connect the magnetic pieces of the Music Train together, after MONTHS of playing with this toy, and then watching her spend a good 45 minutes connecting and disconnecting the pieces to her heart's content!

1) Last night at 1 a.m., Valerie slid off my lap and held her arms up to Daddy saying "A" -- in a word, asking for him to sing her to sleep again. The previous three nights she was up for 3-4 hours between midnight at 5 a.m., rolling around and asking for food. Last night, she faked us out by only being awake for half an hour before going down again! The best sound ever was hearing Terry start to snore lightly (he wants you to know he doesn't actually snore) after she fell asleep.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grammy and Grandma

The grandmas had a few things to add to my last post:

From Grandma Irma: "Algo que no has mencionado es que reconoce los símbolos de los números
y también de las notas musicales que para ella representa la música y el cantar, algo que seguro la mayoría de los bebes de su edad no saben distinguir!!!" Something you didn't mention is that she recognizes numerical signs and also musical notes, which represent to her music and singing, something that surely the majority of babies her age don't distinguish!!!"

This is true. In her books at home and in the hymnal at church, she points to musical notes and makes her sign for music - waving one hand like a conductor's baton. At church she does this very insistently every time people stop singing to talk. If it were up to her, church would be all singing!

From Grammy Dot:
"She's been clapping and doing more of the motions with the songs on the tape. She also gets this grin on her face and looks to me expectantly to see if I'm doing them, especially the "wheels on the bus". She's also remembered some of the things that I did with the can of blocks for the Here we go Round the Mullberry Bush for the phrases "this is the way we....." using one for sweeping, one for painting, round one for rolling bread, etc. She anticipates that song and goes for the blocks, but she's also been pulling them out for things in other songs. She's a delight!"

I know for a fact now that she recognizes that capital E and I, as she has called them out in new situations (the DELI sign at the store) without me prompting her first.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Doot *updated with photo

I missed an important new word in your lexicon - dirt! Or, as you like to say, "doot!" I'm still mystified where you learned this word. I usually (I think?) say "Basura" (Spanish for garbage) instead of dirt. Your babysitter says she hasn't made a point of talking about dirt, and Grammy says the same. However, at some point in time a few months ago you became fascinated by the broom and dustpan. One of your favorite things to do is to run to where I keep it next to the fridge, and try to pull it out, saying insistently "Mam! Mam! Doot! Doot!" You're not content until I get out the broom, unhook the dustpan and hand it to you, sweep up the crumbs from under the table or from the kitchen floor, sweep them into the dustpan, and then throw them away.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

18 months today!

Little Valerie, 18 months old today! A year and a half. Six months until you are TWO! Two years of happiness with our little one.

You are growing so much, in so many ways. "Milestones" are nice benchmarks, but really right now what I see happening before my wondering eyes is just so much development - you are getting better and better at doing the things you love to do. Your hands are becoming more dextrous at opening and closing things; your feet trip you up less and less. You are losing your fear of our big blue exercise ball - you've always been fascinated by it, now you are brave enough to run up and give it a big push to watch it roll across the basement floor. You have no trouble at all now putting together your puzzle, or shoving the plastic shapes into their respective holes in the play workbench-with-hammer set. You easily slide the wooden stacking blocks onto their pegs.

And, my genius baby, you now know almost half the alphabet!!! You can consistently identify A, H (which you call "hat"), I, K (which prompts you to lean in for a kiss), M, N, O, S, T (which you call "turtle"), U, and V (for Valerie!). Some of your new words include:

- "am-m" (album)
- "tr-tr" (turtle)
- "dow" (down)

You're still more of an animal person than a people-person. I've realized there's a real, strong cultural preference for babies and toddlers to be sociable and extraverted. People generally like to see babies and small children, especially if the little ones respond to them with smiles and friendliness and like to be held. Well, not this baby! You continue to be very wary of strangers, slow to warm up to our friends, and suspicious of other little ones. That's ok - I think both your parents were probably the same way when we were small (and maybe still are!). You can only be yourself.

But you LOVE animals. Real ones, toy ones, pictures in books, on videos - it doesn't matter. You always offer them a snack (and then eat it yourself) and imitate their sounds. The cutest ones you do are the elephant and the rooster sounds which are unfortunately un-transcribable.

You have short legs, long feet, a long torso, and intelligent forehead :-). Your hair is growing long, with cute little curls when it's damp. You still have your "Mongolian spot." You have two or four new teeth (I'm losing count!).

This month you weaned yourself, which still amazes me. You just decided you were done, didn't want any more, and that was it.

I love you so much and can't wait to see how much you learn and grown in the next six months!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Writer's Block

Because I'm stuck on the turn of a phrase, here are pics from Terry's and my hike last weekend. Gorgeous day, great conversation, fun times.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Again with the Sleep (or lack thereof)

I have some great shots of the hike Terry and I did over the weekend (nothing major, just to Hone Quarry - and yes, that's correct - it was only the 2 of us enjoying some long, uninterrupted adult conversation!) but I haven't downloaded them yet so you'll just have to wait.

Meanwhile, more sleep drama, as always. My poor cousin Sachiko has THREE little ones who not only don't sleep well but all have H1N1 as well. Please keep her in your thoughts!

As for me and my household, we were lulled into unwarranted optimism when, for four nights in a row, V. not only fell asleep in under 10 minutes of putting her to bed, but went on to sleep for TWELVE uninterrupted HOURS. And then? Monday night, she slept for THIRTEEN HOURS STRAIGHT. And that was after a THREE-HOUR NAP!!! I woke up on Tuesday morning having slept myself for TEN (10) hours straight - a first since May 15, 2008!

At that point, however, everything went to pieces. Tuesday night she went down quickly but then was up for about 3 hours in the middle of the night. And in the nights that have followed since then, it has taken at least 2 hours to get her to fall asleep. Oh yes - and naps are also becoming a huge battleground. That loud noise you hear is my banging my head against the wall.

I think part of the problem is the head cold that she and I both have (and apparently passed on to Grammy). I don't know about V., but I had a wicked raw sore throat for about 36 hours followed by total sinus stuffiness that is still working its way out of my system. I also had a very light fever Tuesday evening (99.8).

I just hope this is a phase, and that she will go back to that blissful state we had achieved over the weekend. Tonight I spent about half an hour rocking her in my arms and listening to her swallow the mucus that was draining from her sinuses. (This was after Terry had spent over an hour trying to get her to go to sleep.) It was another 20 minutes after that before she fell asleep though.

Coming soon: more of the cute things she is doing, less of the drama, at least I hope so!!!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

See you soon!

My mom and dad left today; as evidence of how spoiled I got while they were here, I didn't prepare or eat lunch for myself until 3 p.m. when I finally boiled some pasta and threw shredded cheese on it. A far cry from the daily menu of stir-fries and steak we've been having around here!

Valerie cried and cried this morning when they left.

Here are some photos of our excursion to the Arboretum on Saturday (where she also nursed for, apparently, the last time...!)

Monday, November 02, 2009


So... Valerie has QUIT NURSING. Pretty close to cold turkey. Since Friday morning she has only nursed once - Saturday at the Arboretum. I have no idea why, she just doesn't want it anymore!

I'm both elated and sad!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Misc Family

So Terry has been back for 5 days now, and Valerie has settled back into her normal nighttime routine. It took that long. But we're all getting a little more sleep around here now and it feels GREAT.

We're really enjoying having Grandma Irma and Grandpa Conrad in town, helping out in a thousand different ways (playing with V., cooking 3 hot meals a day, scanning slides of Terry's babyhood, running to the post office...). I haven't downloaded photos yet but will have those up soon. Ish.

Yesterday was my beautiful sister Anita's birthday! Happy birthday, P! I love you!

Friday, October 23, 2009


As a fledgling anthropologist, this thought struck a chord with me - Pam writes about the commodification of "traditional" or "native" cultural practices:

"I have to believe that the difference between exploration and exploitation is the heart that we bring to the experience, the knowledge and respect."

You can read the full post on her blog, Blood Signs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flying Solo

Terry left for the airport at 3 a.m., headed out to do some workshops on international development in Colombia. The house feels really empty.

Maybe because his clothes aren't piled all over the couch anymore :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

17 Months!

Top two photos were taken at the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale, and the bottom two at church (nursery and library)

17 months old today! I uploaded my pictures, and I noticed how much harder it's getting to get a good face shot. For one thing, she won't hold still! For another, every time she sees the camera she wants to look at the pictures on the back display.
I'm happy to report that the sores on her tongue are gone, and her gums look better. Phew! We should be back to normal by the weekend, according to Dr. Google.
Here are some 17-month markers:
Favorite song: still "Old MacDonald," which she requests by hooting "Ooo! Ooo!" in a very high-pitched voice.
Favorite food: green peas
Favorite activity: going to the Children's Museum
Favorite toy: hmm.... probably the bath toy that Lorie P. gave us recently!
New words:
- boat (see above)
- church (though it comes out more like "T-ch"
- hot
Things that make her smile:
- playing peek-a-boo
- being flipped upside down
- "If I Were A Butterfly"
- dogs
- Daddy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So the nurse says it is stomatitis (I had her spell it for me), and it should go away on its own in 5-7 days, although the web site says 10. Looking back, I remember now that I noticed a little red granule on V's tongue maybe 5-6 days ago, which has since developed into what looks like a double canker sore. Poor little thing - I'm glad she's eating as well as she is, all things considered. Tonight she ate a lot of green peas, and some applesauce with pureed spinach mixed into it. Thankfully she's been drinking plenty of water. The nurse said the main thing is to head off the dehydration. And she's still nursing plenty. So we just have to wait it out.


This morning I noticed that V's gums around her top and bottom front teeth were all inflamed and red. I took a toothbrush to her teeth and INSTANT BLOOD - oh so sad! I googled "toddler bleeding gums" and it came up all about gingivitis and taking her to to the dentist. But B. thinks it's all about the teething. She (V) also has two cold sores on the tip of her tongue.


No wonder all she wants to eat is yoghurt, applesauce, mushy peas, oatmeal, and mama's milk. And her usual morning egg yolks (hard boiled).

I feel so bad about nursing her to sleep and not brushing her teeth better. She is getting two new bottom teeth and we've been putting Orajel on them, which has definitely helped her sleep better since Saturday. I'm pretty sure the redness/bleeding is new as of this morning. So maybe it will pass quickly as well.

Anyone else have experience with this?

Friday, October 09, 2009


Here we are in early October. Today is the deadline for a small grant that I was eligible to apply for, but I wasn't paying attention and missed the e-mail announcement when I still had time to apply. I maybe could have pulled it off, but for one reason and then another I procrastinated and then it became too late.

I'm frustrated with myself - it was a small amount of money, and Terry didn't think it was worth the effort of applying for it, but I still feel like I should have. I enjoy writing, and I'm good at it, but it seems like the logistical details of the grant process trip me up every time. I'm not particularly good at multi-tasking (although I've been hearing a lot on NPR that recent research shows nobody really is, they just think they are), which was one reason I left my last two jobs. Juggling a lot of little details is also what I find most difficult about parenting.

It's a beautiful fall day today, and I would love to stare out the window and daydream all morning. But I'm paying someone else to mother my child so I can do my academic work.

Monday, October 05, 2009


If you scroll back through previous months' posts, you'll notice a sudden sharp drop in the number of pictures posted here, starting around the end of July. This is because my camera battery charger has vanished. I have been taking pictures on my cell phone camera, however, so that V's young life might not go wholly undocumented. I finally got around to uploading them onto my laptop. Here are a few favorites from August and September!
This one was taken at the Harrisonburg Children's Museum quite recently:This one is at our neighbor's sandbox, where we spend a lot of our free time:This is one of her favorite activities, which she requests by leaning towards the car door going "Bvvvvv!"This is right before I trimmed her bangs a couple weeks ago:
She is getting so big! The 18-month onesies are already too small - although the 12-month pants fit just right!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Genius baby

This noon while eating lunch, Valerie was looking at the cover of her "My First 100 Words in Spanish" book. Lately she's been pointing at all the letters and asking me (with her sign for "sing," which is to brush her hands together) to recite the Dr. Seuss rhyme that goes with each one.

So today I decided to test her a little bit, and asked here "Where is the T?" and she pointed straight at it.

She can correctly identify, at least on this book cover, T, W, and S. And sometimes M.

Also, when I sing the alphabet for her, she'll chime in at the correct time with "M."

Another cute thing she did this morning took place when we were looking at the church directory at all the pictures of babies. I showed her our family picture, pointed to her dad, and said "who's that?" She immediately lay down on the floor, curled up against me, and said "A!" - because this is how her dad sings her to sleep every night (singing the ABCs). It was adorable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

new first

When I dropped V. off at B's house, no tears! Just a little "mama!" as I walked out the door. The window was open so as I walked away I clearly heard nothing but crickets chirping.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sixteen months!

Valerie is sixteen months today! Since I recently did a "milestones" post, maybe I can just do a "day in the life" post.

This is our new routine.

Valerie wakes up sometime around 6 a.m. Since Daddy is on night duty, he brings her up to me and I either nurse her in our bed or take her back downstairs to nurse. Daddy goes back to bed for 1-2 more hours of shut-eye.

After nursing, Valerie goes straight for her books - she pulls them off the shelf and I groggily read a few of them to her. I change her diaper while singing a song (usually "The Wheels on the Bus," with our own added verses, e.g. "the tractors on the bus go brrrm brrrm brrrm!") and then go play in the living room while I make breakfast.

For breakfast she eats two egg yolks, some of my oatmeal, and a piece of fruit - as much as she wants. Often we watch youtube videos of farm animals, or read books while eating breakfast. Then we play in the living room while I get dressed, put pants and shoes on her (she sleeps in a clean onesie, which is then what she wears for the next day), and get her bag ready for the babysitter. If we have time and if she cooperates I might wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, or knit a little bit.

She likes to play with her electronic keyboard that plays "Old MacDonald" when you stick a certain block on it. Another current favorite is the Princess puzzle from Aunt Anita, or the Lego dinosaur with Lego cavemen that ride on its back, from Grandma Irma. She's getting quite good at the puzzle! Some days we go outside and watch the neighbor boys ride off to school on their bikes, or sit in the neighbor's gazebo and play in their sandbox. We have great neighbors. :-) She also likes to feed their dog a snack, and even if we have no treat for him, will extend her hand towards him and make smacking noises with her lips. She does the same thing with her toy animals - tries to feed them books, even!

A little before 9 we head out to B's house, where I drop her off for the morning. During the drive she likes to look at her Baby Einstein lift-a-flap book that has musical buttons as well. Actually pretty much any lift-a-flap book will do - she LOVES them right now.

After I drop her off I drive away crying and try not to think about how much I miss her.

At noonish I go pick her up and hear a report of how the morning went. She's been doing great over there! She's playing well with baby E. and yesterday got all rambunctious with the two dogs! They are very gentle dogs although full of energy. Evidently she would deliberately run into them, fall down, and laugh her head off!

We go home, have lunch (often not much because by this time she's very tired), and then nap for a couple hours.

Yes, she is down to one nap a day!

Sometimes I nap too, sometimes I do other stuff. Like blog. Like right now. :-)

After nap we go do something fun, sometimes with Daddy, sometimes just us, depending on if he has class or meetings. On Mondays, she goes to Grandma Dot's for a few hours and I get even MORE stuff done!

Then supper around 6, then bed.

Since she went to one nap, she's been falling asleep a little earlier, within a half hour of 8:00, and I think sleeping in a little later - say 6:30ish. Although, she's also been waking for about an hour every night as well. So I'm not sure what her total hours of sleep are in any given 24 hour period, but I'm SURE it is less than average. Oh well.

Speaking of sleep... I think I'm going to go try and grab some right now myself, while I have the chance!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It's all good news today: even though Valerie woke up at 5 this morning, she went back to sleep at 6 for another TWO HOURS! Since she went down at 8 last night, that gave her a total of 11 hours of sleep! Fantastic! So even though we had to rush to get to the babysitter's on time before my 10 a.m. meeting, I was glad.

And she had a great day with B. and baby E. I'm so happy. She cried and clung to me when I left, but soon calmed down, B says, and was fine the rest of the 3 hours I left her there. She was happy to see me at noon, and wanted to nurse immediately, but that's normal for her - she does the same thing when I leave her with Grandma. Yay! She was happy and content all the way home and ate a good lunch, and is now napping. Again, yay!

I think she is feeling better from the cold that she's had since Friday, which came immediately after a bout with roseola. All this on top of cutting her first-year molars. She's had a rough couple of weeks.

I have incredible piles of housework to catch up on, and grocery shopping. Hopefully we can get through some of that this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

one more cute thing

Tonight when I was nursing Valerie to sleep, she sat up and made (her version of) the sign for "butterfly"... because she wanted to nurse on "the other side"... Maybe it's coincidence, but maybe she's really using homophones to communicate! Through signs!

I know, I know, nap when the baby naps

I know I should be trying to catch some shut-eye while Valerie naps here, but there are so many cute little things she is doing these days that I can't let them go undocumented much longer or they'll be lost in the grand scheme of things.

She's making connections: when she sees a picture of an animal she knows, she will run to find more pictures of it in other books or on her puzzle pieces - cows, especially - maybe because of the distinctive black and white markings on most pictures of cows. She also recognized a picture of an owl on a wooden block, and made her own sign for spider (tips of pointer fingers together, trying to do the move from "Itsy Bitsy Spider") when she saw a picture of a ladybug that had particularly long legs. She identifies the coffee shop by the sign for "gorilla," because in the one we frequent most often there are some children's drawings on the wall of "wild hair guys" that apparently look to her like gorillas. They're not even the same color, but something about them evokes gorillas for her. Which is weird because she also signs "gorilla" when she sees something black, even if it's a dog (and she knows what dogs are!).

Physically, she's climbing more and more. She also likes to back up and sit on anything that's the right height for her - even Grandpa, when he's lying on his back on the floor! That was pretty funny.

Her favorite music right now is a Putumayo reggae cd that we have. At first she just wanted to look at the pictures in the liner notes, which are printed like a little booklet inside the cover, but when I played it for her she really enjoyed it - especially if I hold her and dance around.

The funniest thing she did, though, was when I was reading her a book that included the line, "nine nimble bugs a nibbling," she started going "pbpbpbpbpbpbp" - you know, the sound it makes when you sort of twang your lower lip with one finger? Every time I get to that line, she does it - it's hilarious - it really does sound similar!

Other sounds she makes: for sheep, she says "M-m-m-m" with a little stop between "M"s, and for pigs she says "shhhhssssss" - I guess that's what the snore/grunt noise I make for pigs sounds like to her. She has a respectable "moo," and a very cute "eee-e-eee-eeee" for roosters crowing.

It's really funny - she always says "Mama" (or, often, "Mamamam") in a high-pitched little coo, but almost everything else is in a normal tone of voice, including "da[dd]y." One exception is the "ba" she says for cat, I guess because their meow is also high-pitched.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Check-up Stats

Yesterday was Valerie's 15-month checkup. She is still 75th percentile for height (now 31.5 inches), 24th for weight (22.6 lbs) with a head circumference of 18 inches (hat knitters take note) :-) She endured 3 shots and a general look-see with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. As long as she didn't have to be up on the table she was fine, but any movement towards it and she went ballistic. Poor little thing.

We took along some of her current favorite toys - the book that we refer to as the "ha ha bunny" book, a plastic donkey she likes to chew on, and a lift-the-flap book about a Christmas snowman. These kept her happy while we sat around waiting for the next thing to happen.

For some reason she has come to hate baths, I don't know why. So nowadays I stand her in the tub and give her a quick wipe-down. With the cooler weather we also don't have to wash her hair as often.

Right now she is at B's house, the new babysitter. B has a daugher, E., who is just a month younger than Val. Again with the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth this morning when I left. It's so hard. Terry keeps saying she'll get used to it, and I know she will, but how long will it take?

Monday, August 31, 2009

15.5 months

So I missed the 15 month update post, but as you've probably noticed my blogging in general slowed waaaay down this month. Not sure why exactly; I just never felt like it, whenever I sat down at the computer (which, granted, wasn't often). It's just... August.

But today marked the beginning of Fall for me; the weather dawned cool and clear, and Valerie and I had our first day with her new child care person. I'm so content with her - a fellow mom who goes to our church, her little one is exactly a month younger than V. They live in an old farmhouse out in the country with two friendly, gentle dogs. V. had a great time running around the toddler-friendly house, snacking on yoghurt and grapes, playing with the wooden blocks and warily eyeing the other toddler. Tomorrow I'm going to try leaving her for about 45 minutes, and then maybe 2 hours the next day. I was pleased with how quickly she took to the new environment there.

Today marks four days straight that V. is down to one nap a day. She had flirted with this arrangement a few times in the past month or so, but it's starting to feel more like a pattern now. This reeeally frees up our mornings - we actually all went to church yesterday! Three days out of the four, she went down at 12:20 - although length of nap has varied quite a bit - from just over an hour, to three hours.

Right now, she is asleep in her car seat, which I brought into the house. I know I should be napping too (I tried! Really I did!) but I'm a bit on hyper-alert in case she wakes up and wants to get into bed.

So, other updates/milestones? Hmmm.... well, her favorite book right now is "Corduroy," and consequently she is very interested in buttons. She beats on her chest to signify "gorilla" or (inexplicably) "dinosaur," or anything that is black (like the gorilla) - even her dad's black T-shirt. Speaking of dad... she's getting very attached to "Da-ee" and even cried a little this morning when he left for work... And she will take "no" for an answer when she wants to keep nursing but I'm ready to stop.

She just seems to looooove being able to walk and run, to be self-propelled, to get where she wants to go on her own two legs. Ever since she took off walking her overall affect has been markedly happier, more laughs and giggles. She does this thing now where something will tickle her fancy and she'll say "hahahahahaha!" with a big grin on her face. Another thing she loves to do is pretend to feed the neighbor's dog, her toys, or even pictures in books with whatever she is holding in her hand (a rock, a cheerio, another toy) - she'll hold it to the other's mouth and make smacking noises. It is too cute.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quick Pic

Trek Camping 2009:
Probably the funniest moment was when Terry was in our tent changing V's diaper, and she jumped up and ran out without a stitch on... the little grin on her face was very cute. She looooved watching the ducks that kept wandering in and out of the campsite. She was not such a big fan of her fan club - the two 6-year-old girls who just wanted to sit next to her and pat her arm and touch her hair and tickle her and talk to her... a bit much for our little introvert!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

We had back-to-back family reunions in July; here are a few pictures of Valerie with her cousin Lotus.
But I find this picture below particularly hilarious because of the way the forced perspective messes with the viewer's perception of the relative sizes of the two kids:
It will be so fun to show the girls these pictures when they are older!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Bad Blogger, NO BISCUIT!

Summertime = relaxed schedules = no babysitter (other than Grandma of course) = drastically reduced computer time. Hence lack of posting lately. That, plus the back-to-back family reunions last month and subsequent exhaustion. Last week I said to Terry, "I MUST get some work done soon," so we arranged a schedule that gave me 3 afternoons this week to work. And I made enough progress to feel ok about taking time to download pictures from the past three or four weeks, I'm not sure exactly how long... but...

Yes! Full-on walking! July 27, she took off after a book and never looked back.
Also... she RECOGNIZES LETTERS. My baby may be a late walker, but I reckon she'll be an early reader. We were playing with alphabet blocks, and suddenly something clicked in her little head and she said "A!" From that moment forward she consistently and 98% of the time correctly identifies all writing as "A." Granted, she's not actually reading, but she recognizes this abstraction known as the "alphabet" as a visual pattern, and it has a name: A. She gets a huge kick (probably because of the lavish praise we give her when she does it) out of identifying letters everywhere we go - on storefront posters, road signs, T-shirts, stickers, and of course books. She loves to watch the youtube video of Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing the "African Alphabet" song (she points to the laptop and says, what else? "A"). Occasionally she will mis-identify something as "A" that is not a letter - e.g. a diamond pattern on a toy she has, or the picture of a lightning bolt in a book. But pretty nearly all the time she is right.
So here I offer pictures of the walking baby, taking off after her alphabet book:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Viva el Peru!

In Peru, everyone is celebrating the Veintiocho de Julio - 28th of July, Independence Day.
Lima, near the Plaza de Armas

Cusco, Plaza de Armas

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Peekaboo at the Farmer's Market

14 months old today!

And what a day it was ...

Actually it was a pretty normal day, up until bedtime.

V. woke up around 5 with a poopy diaper, didn't go back to sleep despite Terry's most soothing efforts. He brought her to me a little before 6. We nursed, played, had breakfast (egg yolks, blueberries, and bread for her) and then went to the playground for about an hour until naptime.

On the walk back we stopped to watch the neighbors tearing shingles off their roof, to admire another neighbor's wind chimes, to smell the flowers, and to look for bees in our coneflowers. Also to pick and eat a cherry tomato ripe from the vine. *happy sigh*... summer!

While V. napped, I dug a splinter out of my heel and then took a nap myself!

After naps, we dropped her off at Grandma Dot's and then ran around trying to do a zillion things on the to-do list. Mine all got done! Plus I packed for our upcoming trip to Lancaster for the Jantzi family reunion. Side note: I have found that I am a MUCH better mom (more patient, understanding, kind, and happy) when I have a few hours to myself in the middle of the day. It makes a huge difference later during the 4-7 p.m. lead-up to bedtime.

Picked up Val, came home, fed her supper (sweet potato, spinach, cheese, bread, mandarin orange slices), played some more, then moved into bedtime mode. That was all pretty much routine until I tried to lay her in her crib - she popped right up again, crying. I went through the usual routine we have to soothe her back down again (letting cry for short periods of time, checking in at 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5, 7, etc.) but in the middle of the 3-minute period she made gagging noises... I went in and she was throwing up.

Oh dear.

Terry cleaned up the crib and floor while I put her in the bath again, where she asked to have her teeth brushed again (I would have too!) and played happily for a good 15 minutes. Just as we went to lift her out - she pooped in the tub! Fortunately we're still using the baby tub and could dump the dirty water straight into the toilet. Terry did that (clean-up guy again!) while I wiped, dried, diapered, and dressed her again for bed.

She finally fell asleep at around 9:45.

I had been planning to go to bed early tonight...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

365th Post

Valerie has taken a few more unassisted steps, but mostly she likes to walk around while hanging onto someone's hands. We've been going to the park playground every morning around 8, and that's been a lot of fun - we swing, we go down the slide, we play "uh-oh" (throw stuff off the picnic table and then peer through the cracks while Mom picks it up), we look at birds and grass and trees and flowers and bees. She loves watching bees - she points to the flowers and goes "Bvvvvvvvv!"

Other new words:
"ow" = owl (mural on the side of our shed)
"Ayish" = Alex (the boy next door)
"esh" = eggs (favorite food)
"babbo" = bubbles
"da-ee" = daddy
"mama" = yours truly

I think "bvvvv" counts as a word, too!

edited to add:
"edz" = edge (usually in reference to stairs)
"jish" = this

I also have to add that she used to call the green tomatoes in our garden "eggs," but now has been calling them "owl" - I think she got confused because the mural is right next to the garden, and I would point out the owl whenever we went past it towards the tomatoes. She loooves to eat the little cherry tomatoes the minute they get ripe enough!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

So I'm Told

Valerie walked 6 steps unassisted today at Grandma Dot's house!!!! Of course I missed it, while out to lunch (literally, not figuratively, I hope) with a friend.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July

Memorial wreath for David Sparks (veteran)

Friday, July 03, 2009

New Blog Title

So... you may have noticed the new blog title - punny, eh? :-) For those who don't know me in real life, "Phantzi" is a melding of my last name and my husband's. And "yarns," of course, can refer to the knitting kind or the narrative kind.

On this light note, I list here three new games Valerie has initiated:
  • Bonk. Not for the thin-skulled, the primary object of this game is to provoke hilarity by bumping your forehead against someone else's (if you are V., that would be mine). Laugh, repeat. And again. Game ends with a nose rub.
  • Feet. Alternately known as "Happy Feet." Sit in Lazy Boy. Hand mom your pink bunny or the toy known as "green guy" (kind of a dragon-ish thing, with little mirrors on its feet) and brush your hands together to signal "do it again." Mom flips bunny or Green Guy over twice, then holds out his feet saying "feetfeetfeetfeetfeet!" You hold up either one foot or both feet, then laugh and giggle while she tickles your soles with the toy's feet!
  • Where is Valerie? Edition 2.0. Unlike the prototypical cloth-over-face version, this more sophisticated version of the game involves standing behind mom's back, sometimes gripping her shirt for support but sometimes unsupported! Stay very still while mom swivels her head back and forth looking for you. Then slowly leeeeaaaaaan over to one side where she can see you. Mom cries, "There she is!" and grabs you for a hug.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Christmas 2006, Cuzco, Peru

Happy Canada Day to all you Canucks out there, but especially to Valerie's one and only Uncle David!

Thanksgiving 2008, Savannah, GA

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In Memoriam

I had thought about what I wanted to say at the memorial service, but they closed the open mic sooner than I expected, and I was left with words unsaid. So I thought I would post them here. I know I will repeat things other people have said, but I guess that's not really actually a problem - anyway, this is how I remember Dave Sparks.

My earliest memories of uncle Dave are a child's memories; awareness of a strong and gentle presence in the background there among the adults; a deep and resonant voice, and a feeling of safety. When I came to the US for college, the whole family kind of moved into a surrogate parental role while my parents were still in Peru. I remember Dave including me on a trip to Darien Lake for Max's 6th birthday, simply as part of the family. When I was in the Black Hills taking science classes, Dave sent me not only the biggest care package I've ever received, but certainly the biggest care package anyone at the science center received that summer! The enormous box held clothes, snacks, and camping gear enough for three people. I shared the snacks with my roommates all summer long, and to this day I still have some of the clothes. Dave was one of the most generous people I've ever met. The last time I saw him, he was still loading our car with drinks and snacks, as much as we could carry.

He loved to look after Grandma. Another memory I have of Dave is the hours and hours and hours he would spend fixing things for her, replacing fixtures in the house, and so on. I actually still have some of the clothes that he bought for her, too.

The last thing Dave told me before I went to Bolivia as a volunteer with the Mennonite Central Committee was "now don't you come back with a Mennonite boyfriend!" (this was due to, shall we say, "issues" he had with his neighbor who happened to be Mennonite). Ironically, I came back with the one Mennonite guy I met who most resembled Dave in temperament and personality! At first Terry and Dave locked horns over US foreign policy, but later on they bonded while yelling at the airline people when the Sparks were bumped from their Cuzco-Lima flight after visiting my parents one Christmas (classic Dave line: "Call the embassy! They're bumping Americans!"). They also share a disdain for bad/inconsiderate/annoying drivers on the highway, and an enjoyment of big meals and honking at golfers.

As much as Dave has meant to all of us, I know he has meant the world to Wendy. As long as I can remember, it's always been Wendy&Dave, like peanut butter and chocolate, like stars and stripes. He leaves a big absence. It is you we'll be thinking of in the weeks and months to come, holding you in our hearts, trying to match the measure of love that Dave put into his family, into the world.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Honor Of

Happy Father's Day, Big T!

Check out Millenium Hand and Shrimp for a photo retrospective of Terry's first year of fatherhood. The pictures say it all - naps, walkies, babywearing, diaper changing, webinars, and the great outdoors. Great job, honey!

Love you, EEP

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Terry has taken over the night parenting again, and last night she slept 8 hours straight! This is a formula that works for us.

I like Rosanne's line of blog title suggestions - my top two possibilities are:
- Baby Yarns (except she's moving into toddlerhood)
- Yarns of LOO (LOO is Tia Ros's acronym for our nickname for her, "Little One-One")

Terry is resisting the change however!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


About the sleep, I may have spoken too soon - or even jinxed it. Last night Valerie and I were up and down and up and down and up and down again from 11:45 to 2:30 a.m. I made myself a bed on the living room floor (we moved our bedroom upstairs and I got tired of going up and down creaky stairs) and got some shut-eye until 6-ish. At that point she was throwing teddy bear and blankies out of the crib and stating "up!" in a very determined voice. But as soon as I picked her up to nurse, she fell asleep again, for another 40 minutes! I dozed off too, which was nice.

So we'll see what this evening brings. I think her 8th tooth (incoming) might have been bothering her. I put some orajel on it... but who knows, really???

Also, I'm thinking I might need to change the title of this blog (not the url, just the title). Any suggestions?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thirteen Months Old Today

I have decided that I am, more or less, on vacation. That means not trying to do any academic work at the moment. Since we got back from Dallas, it's been all about settling into our home and routine and spending lots and lots of time focused on Valerie. I mean really focused, not just meeting her daily needs from moment to moment, but sinking attention and energy into her like water on soil. Thankfully it's not just me - but Terry and Grandma Dot and Grandpa Vern and her babysitter Rhoda as well, and our circle of friends to varying degrees.

Sometime between Saturday and Sunday I felt her settling into our home and routine herself. It really took a full week. From the beginning of May, it's been a revolving door of change and readjustments, and she took it well overall. But it was beginning to wear on her, and by the tiem we got back from Dallas (after the week of immunization-fevers and allergy rash as well) she was pretty worn out, I think. Mostly this manifested through sleep issues (of course) - waking around 3 times every night, uneven napping, and restless sleep - at least once every night it would take around an hour to settle her back to sleep. As of last night, this is abating.

I have been nursing her down since our move to Ithaca, both for the initial going to sleep and for the night waking. During our first few weeks in Ithaca she was still mostly sleeping through the night, but little by little that eroded. And even then, she would never go to sleep without crying at least for a few minutes (although never more than a half an hour). Now, thankfully, we seem to have found our bedtime rhythm and she's been going down really smoothly. As of last night, she still woke up 3-4 times, but she didn't have that restlessness so I think we are on a good trajectory.

So what is she up to at 13 months?
  • Working on walking! Tara and Aaron generously gave us the little riding toy in the previous post's picture, and she LOOOOOOOOOVES it!! She pushes it around all over the place, and it really seems to be supporting her walking practice.
  • She is going to be an athlete, because she loves to play with balls! She has 8 now (I counted) of varying sizes and textures. She still loves the game my mom invented, where we put her in the Pack'n'Play and toss a ball into it and she throws it out again. She's getting better at throwing them too.
  • She is going to be a scholar, because she loves her books! The last time I counted a few days ago, she had 56. And that's not counting the mini Tonka books or the books at Grandma Dot's! Since then she was given a set of Little Golden Books but I'm not sure how many are in it.
  • She is babbling ever more distinctly and coherently. Her two all-purpose words right now are "Up" and "Ba," although she modifies the vowel sound following the B, depending on the word she means: ball, bird, balloon, banana, blueberry, bear, etc. "Up" means: up, down, take me over there. She also growls "rrrraaaa!" to indicate a bear or lion (toy or picture), and says "babababa" in a high-pitched voice to imitate a chicken squawk (copying the way I do it: "bok-bok-bok-bok-bok-AWK!")*
  • She is signing a lot: ball, hat, dog, duck, bye-bye, and the one she invented (derived from the "zoom zoom zoom" rhyme) where she brushes her hands together as though brushing off dirt, which means "sing me a song," "tell me a story," or "keep singing," or sometimes just "again." She also waves her hand like a conductor when I'm supposed to sing a song to go with one of her books. And she points expertly :-)
  • Today we invented a new game where I tossed all her stuffed toys into the crib, and then she would throw out the one I asked for: dog, cat, Superman, etc. It was so cool to learn which ones she was able to identify!
  • She is eating really well! This was another area of development that suffered with our latest trip; she went back to nursing 7-8 times a day (instead of 3-4 as previously) and ate very little solid food. Now she's really putting it away. She especially likes black beans, avocado, blueberries, salmon, applesauce, and hummus, but chicken made her throw up the other day. So no meat (other than salmon). She's also eating cottage cheese now, in small portions. She does NOT like her food warm, she definitely prefers it room temperature or cold. She also eats bananas, pears, apples, green beans, potatoes, and more I can't even list it all. She's a good eater.
  • She continues, overall, to be an active, curious, delight and joy to our hearts.

* Historical note: my first word was evidently "coco," which is what chickens say in Spanish (co-co-co-co-co)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beep Beep!

Last night in Singer's Glen:
And for comparison purposes, 11 months ago in Pennsylvania:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Thinking of you, Uncle Dave, in hospital.

Monday, June 08, 2009

what a week Valerie had

  1. 5/31/09: moved back to the Burg from Ithaca
  2. 6/1/09: 12-month checkup with shots
  3. Subsequently: fever from vaccinations
  4. 6/3/09: developed rash after eating acai berries in baby food
  5. 6/4/09: flew to Dallas (after Dr. inspection and approval, with Benadryl)
  6. 6/5/09: still rashy and itchy
  7. 6/6/09: my college room-mate's wedding! (Rash all gone)
  8. 6/7/09: few back to VA

Monday, June 01, 2009

1 Year Check-up

Valerie is a little under the weather, having caught the cold Terry brought back from Uganda. At least she had a milder version of it than either he or I had. She's been mostly herself, except for a runny nose and a little bit of a cough.

But she did NOT enjoy our little jaunt to the doctor's office today. Sometimes I wonder why we go through this every few months. She was tiiiiiiiiired, from the trip yesterday and not having slept quite enough last night or during her morning nap. It's just that everything here is so interesting! Toys! Books! Furniture! Stuff! It was tough today to get her to focus/slow down enough to eat. So anyway, our appointment was at 1:30, creeping into naptime. We had her tested for lead, which meant a finger prick, and she had two shots. That on top of the usual poking and prodding was just too much. My poor little one-one.

The lead test was fine; they also tested her iron, which was also fine. She's on track with her milestones. Terry's a little concerned because she's only gained 1 lb 10 oz. in 3 months, for a total of 19 and 10 - which puts her in the 25th percentile, where she was in the 40th before. She's still in the 75th for length, at 30 inches even. But she eats well and generally has a great appetite, so I'm not too worried.

She had a haaaaaard time falling asleep tonight, even though she was really tired. She had a good nap in the afternoon, at least. But I think she was just uncomfortable from the shots, and it looked like she might have had too much sun too (it wasn't even that much, just about 15 minutes while we waited for Terry to return the moving truck at around 1 p.m.). She drank a lot of water and just wanted to nurse and nurse. I really don't think she was feeling very well. But she's sleeping soundly now... hope it lasts all night!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


To a yard full of blooming daisies, a kitchen and bathroom so clean they seem to glow preternaturally, house plants putting out new growth, and... a living room fully of stuff... AGAIN!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Knitting

If you're wondering about the sweater Valerie is wearing in the the sulky picture at the bottom of the previous post, here is the story.

I started this sweater last summer. It's scrumptious sock yarn that Tara gave me, but I decided it was enough for a baby sweater and I was kind of tired of knitting socks (!!!!). So I cast on, aiming to finish a 6-month size sweater by December. Well, it languished.
At last I finished the main body (knit in one piece, no side seams) and measured it against her... only to realize that it was going to be too short. She outgrew it while it was still on the needles.
So I decided that instead of ripping back to where I started the armpits, I'd just (brilliant!) unravel the bottom edge (6 rows of moss stitch), pick up and knit another two inches, and then add the border again. I have done this before with hats.
What I didn't realize was how incredibly sticky this yarn is. Sorry, I've long ago lost the ball band so I can't tell you anything about it (except that it drapes beautifully and the colors are thrilling), but it took... welll... a couple months to do the unravelling. The knitting itself was short work, and I also added about 6 rows at the shoulders. (She grew so fast!)
Finally I was able to measure for sleeves, guesstimate a pattern shaping for them, block the whole thing (the day before we left VA). After I finished my exams and finally sewed on the sleeves and wove in the ends. Still needs a button.

But it really is gorgeous, and I'm so happy she got to wear it at least once while the weather is still cool enough! I love spring!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Words



Check it out!

My sister-in-law, Rosanne, has a new blog! I can't wait to get updates from Romania!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Graduation Sunday

I'm sitting in the dark, listening to the sound of Terry snoring over the noise of the dehumidifier in the next room. The teenagers upstairs had friends over for a BBQ, but have been generally pretty quiet. Valerie is sleeping soundly, and I expect that soon I will be too.

Strangely enough, I was mentally all prepared to slip into the sleeping bag on sofa cushions on the floor that has been my bed for the past two weeks while Terry was in Uganda and my parents were here. It was a mighty comfy little nest!

I feel a sense of accomplishment today. Our department had a little reception for this year's graduates, and I and two of my friends were awarded MAs in Anthropology. I had somehow forgotten that this happens when you finish your orals here. After all the work of the past 3 years, it's really nice to get a little recognition - something to show for it. It was so nice to have my parents here for the event. Sadly I forgot my camera, but will try to get some photos from a couple profs who were there documenting the ethnographic ritual!

It was a good day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

baby talk

Tonight while I was reading to Valerie I said, apropos of nothing, "Daddy is coming home tomorrow!" She looked up at me and said, very seriously and intently, "Da! Da!" pointing with one finger vaguely towards the room beyond the curtain that partitions off her little corner cubby where she sleeps. "Tomorrow," I said. "Not right now."

Her new way of asking for water is to smack her lips and put a finger to her mouth.

She has started signing as well as saying "Ball."

We visited my Aunt Wendy and Uncle Dave today, and saw real live sheep and chickens and a llama! She was kind of scared of the chickens, but fascinated by the ovine and cameloid species.

She learns and does new things literally every day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


  • New game: Cheerios tiddleywinks! Really and truly, I am not making this up!
  • Says "jish" for "more" or "again"
  • Says "up"
  • Tonight said "droosh" for "nurse" (I think)
  • Says "buh" for "bus"
  • When I said, the other night, "do you know what time it is?" (cue for bedtime) she pointed at her bathtub!
  • Makes "vroom" noise when playing with toy car (that used to belong to Willem)
  • Likes to hug trees
  • Recognizes Grandpa Conrad, and it sounds like she calls him "Baba"
  • Likes watching Granpa C and Mommy kick a half-deflated basketball around the backyard and also likes to try picking the ball up with her little hands!
  • Is outgrowing her shoes
  • Finds her toes
  • Will point to the nose of any stuffed animal or person on cue ("Where's Grandma's nose?" e.g.)
  • Waves her hand when she wants me to sing the song that goes with whatever book we're looking at
  • Likes watching the numbers count down on the microwave
  • When we get to the Humpty Dumpty page in her new Mother Goose book, she turns it around so he's right side up instead of upside down!
  • Points to the puck on every page of her "Z is for Zamboni" hockey alphabet book
  • Does the hand motions for "zoom zoom zoom" (game from library)
  • Will lean into the tissue to have her nose wiped

My big little girl!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Now She Is One!

I've been too tired to post anything, we had the party on Saturday and this afternoon I started to catch up on sleep! Valerie is teething again - her 7th and 8th teeth (lower incisors) are about to erupt. But generally she's the same happy, curious, active baby as usual. She loves taking walks down to Beebe Lake or the bus stop on Jessup road, and watching me and my dad kick a slightly deflated basketball around the yard. She likes to pick up the ball and throw it down again! She's eating much larger quantities of food than she was a month ago.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photo retrospective: Months 8-11

Eight Months Old
(wearing a sweater I knit, in outfit from cousin Heidi)

Nine Months Old

Ten Months Old

Eleven Months Old
(I never get tired of looking at this series!)