Sunday, April 20, 2008

If you know me IRL...

...Do me a favor and keep your eyes out for Foogo straw water bottles. They are tall skinny water bottles with a hard straw that pops out of the top, not a traditional sippy cup. Sophie does best with straws right now (the normal kind, not the kind the kid has to bite to draw water), and this fits the bill as well as being safe of toxic plastics. I hear they have them at Target but everywhere I've looked online is out of stock. If you see any, grab them and I will reimburse you! I'd take several! Blue or pink or both, whatever. I figure it's worth a shot to ask. Man, safe toddler cups are hard to come by these days! The Safe Sippy is out of stock everywhere, too. I figure at this rate Sophie will be drinking out of (lead-free, of course) crystal wine glasses before we get our hands on a good cup. I'm trying to decide if it's worth ordering some anyway, or if by May/June she'll be into something else? I think older kids go more toward straw tops rather than sippy tops, right? So... maybe! But thanks for letting me know if you spot any instock online or at your store!

Friday, April 18, 2008

5 Days and counting...

Ohhhhh I am SO gonna cry when we sing my girl Happy Birthday.

Hey, Nonna, are you ready to (gently) pull the birthday girl's ear one time for her turning one year old? That's the only Italian birthday tradition I can find so far!

It's crazy how she has become a KID all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong-- she'll go from playing and talking to suddenly signing to nurse and conking out and there's my baby all cuddled up again... but she's my BIG baby now :). She's be in at least 12 month old sizes for a while now, but she's wearing some 18 month old shirts, and 2T and 3T pants (that cloth diaper adds some good "learning to walk and fall down a lot" padding!). As she would sign, "So big!"

I've been thinking I need to finish off her baby book for the first year... I really need to go through and jot down all the firsts and fill in some of the blanks for "favorites" and the like, then put in some pictures. But luckily with blogs, pictures, and videocameras, we haven't forgotten when stuff happened!

I am getting some new pictures up as soon as I get another ten minutes on the downstairs computer. She's a beautiful, funny girl!

I have also been thinking I need to record the words/signs she has as of one year. I'm going to try to list them all here....

Words she uses/has said:
Dada (also signs)
Mama (also signs)
Ball (Baa! sometimes signs it)
Balloon (same as ball, and this can be for a small balloon or a hot air balloon, or even the moon!)
Bird (Biir!)
Fish (sssshhhhhh, while doing the sign)
Nonna (also can sign it--we think she's also trying to say grandma and grandpa, and she can sign them, too, but it's all a bit muddled, as it's kind of harder)
Baby (Dayday, while signing-- this often means she wants to watch Baby Signing Time)
Sign (Shiii, and she can sign it, which typically means Signing Time)
Cereal (sheer, and signs it)
More (Moar, and signs it)
Car (and signs it-- she also does this for all transportation, like bikes, altho she signs airplane and makes a cute airplane engine noise to go with it)
She used to say Hi but now only signs it, but she can say and sign Bye bye
Book (Booa, and signs it)
Water (Waaa and does her own version of the sign)
Duck (duh, and signs it like bird)
I think she might be saying "baa" for sheep right not
Shoes (shhhu, and only does the sign if holding her shoes in her hands! She will grab her foot for this and socks and feet and toes, too!)
I swear to god she's saying "What's that?" (whaDAaaa?) and has for months, plus she does this cute thing where she babbles like "where is it?" or "where'd it go?" and makes a gesture of shrugging and holding her palms up flat.
The other day she was playing peekaboo with herself in the mirror and said "AHboo" whenever she peeked at herself... so I guess that's "peekaboo" too.
She goes "mmm" (and sometimes signs/says more over and over) for music and signing.
"Shheee" for stars and sparkles right now, too...
Tetshh for teeth, and she signs it. She loves the brush your teeth song
Elbow "Bobo" (and points, and LAUGHS at Mama's elbow... hmmm) Actually she points at a lot of face parts/body parts, too... eye, ear, nose, hair... now we're trying to teach her "bum"! LOL
Knee (and point)

Words she signs:
She mostly just signs these, also she imitates so many sounds now too...
Horse (she also will say "neigh" sometimes too!)
Fan (also the same for pinwheel, altho she makes this fffff sound at the same time, too)
Airplane, with sound effects
Hot (three blows of air-- also for fireplaces in life and picture books!)
Eat (and she has her own little Uuhhn noise she makes that's very clearly "put food in my mouth"!)
Thank you
All done (altho right now she thinks this means the high chair or food, but often she still uses it to mean get me out of this chair, lol).
Bunny (her sign is just like her water sign but it hops faster!)
Light, of course!
Sleep/sleepy (I can't remember if she's kind of said this, too)
Wash hands
I think she started doing "bath" recently.

Sheesh, I can't remember anything else... not sure if this is definitive; I should check with Dashing Daddy. But WOW, little girl of mine, you are VERBAL! I hope Dashing Daddy's genes help you do better than your mama on the math section of the SAT (it's okay, they have TWO language based sections now, LOL). I love it because we can communicate, which is lovely in and of itself, but also because you can just let us know what you want quickly and happily, and we don't reduce you to tears with our boneheaded inability to tell that OF COURSE you want us to play "Lovesong" for a fifth time, or get you outta that chair, or feed you, or whatever! You just keep totally blowing away our expectations for how much you will learn, and we know you understand so much more than you can yet say. You're amazing! And we love you.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Birthday Girl Ideas

Dashing Daddy suggested to me that folks might want some specific tips in finding the Birthday Girl some treasures. Of course she doesn't expect anything, but if anyone was pondering how to find what she might like, and wishes it was easier, here are some ideas...

She LOVES books, and is still pretty much on board books but will probably do better with regular paper before too too long. She's starting to get into toys like shape sorters (or anything more "complex" like stackables, containers, puzzles, etc), cars/trucks/trains/planes/boats/etc, toys/cloth books with buttons/ties/zippers/other amazing things on them, musical instruments, balls, and dolls. Anything is full of wonder for her, really! Here are some places we like to shop (for ideas or actual toys!):

Oompa (great selection and different ways of searching)
The Magic Cabin
The Magical Child (local shopping, and the ladies who work there are very helpful in finding things)
Amazon wishlist, under her name (LOTS of books and some baby toys that have been on there a while...)
Guitar Hero 3 and 4

Okay, that last one seems odd. But I'm just following directions from Dashing Daddy!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Nearing a Year

I can't believe my baby's about to turn one year old. She's changed so much, and every day turns more and more into Sophie. Her Sophieness increases exponentially. And the girl's got personality.

We've been struggling with having introduced a wee bit of TV to her. She's seen (and ignored) sports and news (firestorm 2007!), but she was like a crack addict with Signing Time. She finally seems to be understanding when we say "Signing Time is sleeping now" that she can't watch it again. But there were a couple rough days there. Her ability to communicate, however, is growing so fast, it's hard to say it wasn't worth it. We're continuing to see which volumes we like best; the two Baby Signing Time DVDs are clearly the favorites. And I don't know if I appreciate certain ones teaching her "ice cream" and the like. Same issue with books sometimes, but it's easier to skip over the bad pages (or paste something over the offending image). But they've all been helping us all to learn the signs, and she's adding more and more to her regular usage each day. She clearly understands much more than she can say, too.

I can hardly imagine how much she'll keep changing even in the few weeks before her birthday, and in the coming months. Surely she'll be trying walking on her own a bit more. She seems interested in things on a new level... friends' big toy trucks are enticing, she's following emotions and plot in her storybooks more, and she's starting to put things together/back in bins/over the edge of the bathtub, instead of just throwing things off shelves/out of bins. We love it when she tossing something down/into a bin/over the edge and then says "Where is it?" (seriously, it sounds like this, and has for months and months just like her "What dat?"). I think it's time to get her the wooden shape sorter box toy thingy I saw at Magic Cabin. For now she's putting her ring stacker pieces back together (the tower and base parts).

Of course her big fascination continues to be bikes and other toys with wheels. She toddles over (with mama helping) to all the bikes and scooters at playgroup to study them. We got her her first bike! Of course it is a trike and has no pedals, but still. And then a cute baby helmet to go with it. Safety first! Of course she's a Davis girl by blood if not actual address, so a bike is appropriate. I've also had sweet grandmothers out in public tell me that was their first birthday gift to their now grown children as well, so it seems the thing to do.

She seems to be dropping down to one nap, very gradually, which makes our days quite hard to predict. And she's so up and down all the time that mama is going to be trying out a nice ring sling in the very near future, and a pouch that she'll probably wear all the time. You know those moments when you think you're just running into the other room for something and the next thing you know you've been holding your baby for 20 minutes and your arm is aching? Yeah, she's 20 pounds and we're going to work on core strength instead of that one poor arm muscle! Of course I'm still eying maybe one more ring sling in linen, for summer/fall, too, and some mei tai panels just for fun... but I think our carrier options are a good variety and functional for now. And the best part is, we've got it all down and ready to go for all our future kids, too. Thanks, Pancake Baby! Oh, dear. Well, you got undivided attention for a couple years, too, and you can go to Stanford and your little brother will settle for UCD, and your little whatever will be stuck with State, and any more will be apprenticed at 12 to local metalworkers or weavers, so it's a trade off.

Just trying to catch up on what's happening... we're probably going to head out for some outdoor time now that the haze has burned off. We're looking forward to seeing the family in just a few more weeks for the big birthday bash!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Look how cool I was when I was a kid.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Book: The Sweet Far Thing

Okay, I finished Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy last week, after racing through the last several hundred pages in the last day. Sophie was very obliging to let me read while she played and to nap extra long so I could finish the book in full "tears and sighs and heart thumping engagement" mode.

A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing comprise the trilogy, which takes place in Victorian England and focuses on Gemma Doyle and her friends as they explore the magical Realms and the dangerous real world... they live corseted lives and find freedom in magic, but danger in both worlds. Bray throws in some lovely poetic allusions (I especially loved all of the Paradise Lost bits, the fire-lined angel wings, etc., in the second book). She goes places I didn't expect, which is incredibly rare for any story. I can almost always figure what's coming, in a movie, TV show, or book, and I prize the authors who surprise me while still making it real and right. In the end I couldn't have loved these books more. They were full of incredibly empowering female images, while being an awesome, "grab you and don't let go til the last page" story. Incredibly moving, funny, mysterious, epic, and beautiful. I really did cry and get goosepimples, multiple times, and that's rare. And Bray is apparently very funny, as I've recently discovered in her blog, which you can check out to the right (I'll move it down to the other author's blogs before long). I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes the boarding school genre, fantasy, or female empowerment. There's not a lot about birth/babies but my earth mama and feminist elements were both satisfied. And that's pretty amazing!

If anyone reads these, let me know me know if you liked them. I used to have a copy of the first but it's gone to some former student who hopefully was swept up in it and loves it dearly.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More words and signs...

Sophie continues to amaze me with the parade of new signs, daily...

She's signing airplane, eat, sleepy, fan, more (and saying "mo, moooor"--so cute)... and of course "sign" which means "turn on signing time so I can learn more signs NOW darnit!" She mimicked "trash" today; she pointed out the trash can and I said "trash" and she repeated the exact sounds! Later we tried "tree" but all she does is TTTTtttttt! She's really trying to say things like that, tho-- altho mostly it's just the initial consonant that makes it out. Book is the sign for book plus "Boa" and water is "waaah." She's also regularly making our elephant sound, altho sometimes she still scampers into our laps when she sees the elephant dolls... it's a love-hate relationship because of the loud noise I think. She's similarly intrigued and scared by the door stopper. Ah, Sophie, so smart and still so much to learn (unless you know something I don't know about door stoppers?).