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!