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!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Photo Retrospective: Months 4-7

Four Months Old

Five Months Old

Six Months Old

Seven Months Old

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo retrospective 1: First Three Months (aka the "Fourth Trimester"!)

Brand New

One Month Old

Two Months Old

Three Months Old

This Time Last Year...

Get ready for a photo-post extravaganza, counting down the days until Valerie is ONE YEAR OLD!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

I never knew I could love someone so much.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I'm getting nervous about the oral exam next week. Caffeine is making me jumpy. Chocolate is the best antidote to brain freeze. I'm feeling a little ADD right now. When did ADD become an adjective? Hoping that spilling these thoughts into the blogosphere will make them dissipate so I can concentrate. Ooh, that rhymes! Ok back to work.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


"Both child and adult are engaged, shaped, and reshaped in an ongoing interplay – a continuous process, a continuum of existence within the everyday world. Both are shaped by mutual actions and reactions, utterances and replies, verbal and nonverbal cues, modifying and being modified at each interactional, affect-laden node."

~ Norma Gonzalez, I Am My Language: Discourses Of Women and Children In the Borderlands. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, p. 62.

Monday, May 04, 2009


My how my life has changed - 7 a.m. at the grocery store!
We like to go to the infant story time at the library on Tuesdays - after books, play time!
Val was getting a wee bit tired on the trip to Ithaca...
These awesomely cute clothes were all inherited from 5-year-old Ada!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

In Ithaca

We're back in Ithaca! Tired, sleepy, ready to go to bed. Not even 9 p.m. Happy that we got Valerie to sleep within spitting distance of her actual bedtime. She did really well on the drive, although she did NOT SLEEP like I thought/hoped she would... I deliberately planned the trip so we'd cover both her nap times and she could sleep in the car. Well, those days seem to be over. She didn't take her first nap until noon (normal time is 9 a.m.) and she only slept 40 minutes or so (normal is at least 1 hour). She was obviously tired, kept wanting to nurse, but wouldn't quite drift off... In the afternoon, she and I were both so tired that Terry stopped the car at a nice rest area and napped her in an armchair while I rested in the car. That lasted about an hour. Normal would be around 2 hours. But she was only really cranky for the last leg after the second nap, about an hour and a half. Even then she was pretty easy to entertain with an inflated globe (the new favorite toy) and peek-a-boo. Too bad Mom got bored long before she did...!

Terry and I were reminiscing about all the traveling our parents did with us when we were little. We have a new-found admiration for how they managed it all!