Monday, December 30, 2013

Recent Shots

Three recent photos.

One: My neighbor had her son's name tattooed on her back in Hebrew. This picture was taken in her living room with side light coming in a window. I think I was holding Grace and her son was tugging on my pant leg.

Two: I'm involved with a local nonprofit. They wanted a picture of their kids holding a "Thank You" sign to send out to major donors. To get genuine smiles out of these two, I had them say "poo poo pee pee" over and over.

And the best shot last: Grace and her cousin, Lilianna, opening a gift on Christmas morning. So sweet. So innocent.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Grace - 10 Months Old

Grace will be 10 months old on the 26th, so I am putting this post up early because I know that if I try to do it the day after Christmas, it'll never happen!

It is impossible to put this sweet, snuggly, curious, gentle creature into words, but I will do my best.

8 months old

Grace hard at play. I love me some chubby baby thighs!
Most exciting development first: Grace has started talking! Her first word was "bubble." Grace started linking concepts to words a little when she was seven and eight months old, but she wasn't very consistent. My favorite moments during this stretch were when she mixed up the syllables in "Daddy" and called Michael "dee-dee-dah." Then, one day during Grace's evening bath, I showed her how to blow bubbles into a cup of water. She blew bubbles herself and said, "buh-buh." Over the next few days, she said "buh-buh" and "buh-bow" every time we blew bubbles. That's when we were convinced that she was talking.

Now, I listen closely to her all day to try to pick out words from that English-like babbling she does. So far, the only other consistent word besides bubble is up ("pupupup") -- a very fitting second word since she wants to be held all the time.

Toward the end of November, she started to say "Oh, wow!" I had a hunch that she didn't know what it meant. Sure enough, she gave out a hearty "WOOOW!" during our pastor's benediction one Sunday. Nothing wrong with our pastor and his benedictions, they just aren't something that has the wow factor for a baby.

Grace's most interesting nap position ever.
After we took the picture, we unfolded her so we could feel like competent parents.
When she was eight months old, she was hit with a whole new level of separation anxiety and fear. For a couple of nights, she woke up scared and screaming, wondering where "mama" and "dee-da" were. We employed the good old "cry it out" method and she began to sleep well again. The silver lining of all the separation anxiety is how much she likes to snuggle into me. I savor those sweet moments.

9 months old

When Grace was nine months old, she learned to crawl. She's now quite mobile, but because of her slow-paced, observant nature, we haven't had to baby proof much because she isn't motivated to get into everything (yet).

What are some of Grace's favorite things at this point?
  • Chewing on an orange slice and and trying to eat the box that the "Pat the Bunny" book came in. She throws a mini temper tantrum if I take either away.
  • When we blow our noses, breathe loudly through our noses at her, or snort at her.
  • Books. Especially "Are You My Mother?," "Hop on Pop," and "Oh the Thinks You Can Think." We read at least ten books a day! The first command she followed was "turn the page."
  • Music. Grace "sings" along in church, she likes it when "dee-dee-dada" plays the guitar, and she stands at the piano stretching as tall as she can to play the keys. She hits our djembe, blows into my penny whistle, and shakes our egg shakers.
  • A lot of kids have a comfort object like a blanket or toy at this age that helps them transition to being apart from parents. The only thing that comes close to being a comfort object for her is a song called "Cello from Portland" by a folksy rap group. The song has taken her from crying to asleep a few times.
  • Rockets. To entertain Grace, Michael flies some candles we own around the house like rockets. She makes the rocket sound along with him and sometimes even flies her hand or her vitamin D bottle like rockets.
  • Food. I cannot believe how much this tiny child eats. She's in the 50th percentile for weight and the 60th percentile for height, but she eats as if she's shooting to be Jabba the Hutt. For instance, last Saturday I bought a half gallon of yogurt just for Grace to eat for breakfast and her pre-bedtime snack. It was gone in five days.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happiness Is

A twenty pound turkey transformed into turkey soup, turkey enchiladas, and turkey ka-prao. And a twenty pound baby to help us eat it all.

The anticipation of baby's first Christmas.

The anticipation of my first Christmas with a baby.

Weather chilly enough to light the gas fireplace every night.

Pulling out the good ol' crooked Christmas tree and leaving the bottom three feet bare to keep our tiny human from eating ornaments and hooks.

Reading the lyrics of Christmas songs out of an old, green hymnal and reveling in the forgotten third and fourth verses.

A full home. Michael, Jen, Jen's boyfriend, my law partner, and our intern all work from our home at different points during the week. It's much better than Grace and me alone rattling around in a big house.

Reading Anne of Green Gables for the billionth time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

High Five

Last week was one of those weeks.

Last Sunday, Grace vomited a few times and had a fever. She seemed to be getting better on Monday.

On Monday night, I woke up a little before midnight and immediately knew the inevitable was coming. I spent a lot of that night moaning and hugging the toilet. Although Michael was almost as sick as me, he valiantly took care of Grace all the next day while I laid around. By Wednesday, we were mostly better.

On Monday, that little golden window when Grace was getting better and I hadn't gotten sick yet, I taught her how to give high fives. She took a few days to learn how to wave goodbye, but she mastered high fives in about five minutes! Here's the movie. Too bad it's sideways! I can't figure out how to flip videos taken with my phone.

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