Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shout-out, updated

I just posted photos from when Terry cleaned the kitchen.

Growing Girl

All of a sudden, she can reach shelves she couldn't reach before. Her 9-month pants are short, and scarcely cover her bottom (no, sweetie, you can't worry about fashion yet!). She wants to climb on the furniture. And she's becoming more strong-willed. If I don't let her play with my phone, she cries! If I don't take her next door to visit the doggie Kai, she fusses! If the babysitter tries to take away power cords, she tries to bite her!!! Yes! She has tried to bite me too when I don't let her have her way!
It used to be just food, milk, and sleep that she would make demands about. Now it's all sorts of things. I used to be able to distract her easily from something I didn't want her to have, now she will insist. Oh boy. The teen years are going to be FUN.
We scored some awesomely cute outfits from Holly last week - this is one of my favorites:

Left to Right,
top to bottom:
1) Karaoke night with Ter-Bear!
2) Yes we can!
3) 'Splorin'...
4) Reach for it!

Sock it to me

File this under "life lessons I learned from knitting."

Any knitting pattern begins with a very important row: the set-up row. This is where you establish the pattern that you carry through for the rest of the knitted object. Some knitted objects, particularly those that have three-dimensional shape, require multiple steps where a new pattern is introduced and established midway through your project. Like socks. For the most part, a sock is just a tube closed at one end, but the heel shaping is what makes it anatomically correct and infinitely more comfortable to wear. Except for the afterthought heel, every kind of sock heel requires a change in pattern midway through the knitting.

So. This pair of socks was supposed to be done by Christmas. Unfortunately, all Vern got was a ball of yarn. My next goal was to finish them by his birthday (March 13). I was way ahead of schedule, all set to finish the pair by the end of January... when Babycakes got into the yarn and created a snarl unlike any I have seen before. It took me six weeks to unravel what she accomplished in 5 minutes... there's another life lesson there, but that's another story.

Ok. Thanks to my mom and sister, the yarn was duly untangled and rewound into a ball by March 3, and I happily finished the second sock, with only this much yarn left over:

All was well with the world. Just before kitchener stitching the toe shut, I tried on the socks just to admire them, and to my horror, I noticed this:

So... um, can you see the problem? The cable pattern on the side is on the same side for both socks. I knit two right socks...

After some weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, I decided there was nothing to do but unravel the second sock up to the beginning of the heel and re-knit it on the opposite side. Folks, this was heartbreaking. Despite having overcome the setback of the tangled yarn, I was poised to meet my deadline... to no avail. One moment of inattention while establishing the heel pattern led to this.

So the "life lesson" here is: pay attention to your set-up row. Establishing your pattern right at the start will save you much pain and anguish* later on down the road.

*I am exaggerating slightly for dramatic effect

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not much to say

I've been kind of taking it easy this week, recovering from last week. It wasn't so much the exam itself as combining exam time with Terry doing a midnight webinar all week. We both were recovering this week. Fine time for Val to start with the night waking again. Teething? Too much mommy coming in to soothe her at night? Hunger? Who knows. Last night she did manage a 5-hour stretch at least. But the night before it was every hour. And the night before that, it included a 1.5-hour stretch of wakefulness. Neither feeding her nor putting orajel on her gums prevented continued waking. Not sure what our next steps will be.

I think she's been saying "baw" for ball! Most of the time she just whispers it, when she sees me kick or throw a ball, she'll go "baw - baw - baw."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

10 Months Old!

Little Val-val! You are ten months old today! I was struck dumb this afternoon while swooping you up into the air, when I looked into your laughing mouth I saw the nubs of two new teeth coming in on top, and that was only on one side! I didn't get a good look at the other side, but I can only imagine there's at least one coming in there too. And I know there are several on the bottom pressing in as well. No wonder you are having trouble sleeping at night! I gave you some Orajel last night, but only on the bottom - I never dreamed you were already getting new top teeth too!


And I'm calling it: YOUR FIRST WORD. Yes, agua! You say it all the time, and mostly for "water." You have also learned, from your babysitter, to say "Uh-oh!" Although you don't always quite know when to quit - you see something fall, and you'll go "Uh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!" It's very cute.

You love to stand, and are just beginning to learn to balance on two feet without holding on to anything - but only for a second or two. You continue to have a healthy appetite and are willing to try all kinds of different foods. I swear you've gained a pound this past week. But there's nothing I love more than your delicious little toes, to whit:

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Happy Birthday to me!

Just popping in to chronicle baby cuteness: yesterday I was folding laundry on the living room floor, and Valerie picked up one of Terry's shirts and pulled it up, covering her face. Then she threw her arms down with a big grin - peekaboo! (She didn't say it, but the intention was clear!) I was so tickled! She did it over and over again, and every time I'd say "wheeeere's Baby? There she is!" It was awesome.

In the bath last night, I was squirting a steady stream of water from one of her bath toys, and she kept trying to grab the stream with her little pincher grasp, with both hands. Soooo cute.

I almost thought we had a first word - she's been saying "awa" (agua = water in Spanish) at appropriate times - when grabbing her water bottle, when getting in the bath, when watching water pour in the washing machine. But then she started saying it apparently at random, so I'm not sure. I'm also trying to figure out whether her little pinchy-finger movement sometimes means she wants cheerios? It's very similar to the sign for "duck" in our baby animal signs book, but she doesn't seem to associate it with her rubber ducks.

Anyway, that was it for my break - back to the exam! TTFN...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

blogging will resume on or around May 14

This is my "gone fishing" sign. (You know, I've only ever been fishing twice? Once we tried to catch piranhas in Lake Yarinacocha using raw liver for bait, and the other time we caught a bucket full of sunnies (?) at "Sheila's" lake using cigarette butts for bait. Oh, wait! Then there was that time in the Chumbakiwi creek with Ariela, using a net! We caught a little catfish, I think. But I digress.) I'm not really going fishing, though. I'm starting my first A-exam on Monday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Photo Phrenzy

Just got back from Savannah - we walked into a freezing cold house (well, not technically freezing, but 40 degrees cold) - turns out some gadget thingy (sorry to confuse you with all the technical jargone there) busted. They fixed it pretty quickly though. It's now a toasty 55 degrees in here.

But never mind about all that, here are pictures!!!