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?