Thursday, March 27, 2008

. . . Easter and her first PEZ

Baby-adorable did not see the Easter Bunny this year, except briefly in passing as we made our way from our favorite store to Dillards one Saturday afternoon. She paid the vest-wearing impostor no mind as we strolled by, and was instead, completely focused on the tiny-voiced conversation she was having with everyone and no one in particular during her stoller ride through the mall. And since baby-can't-be-fooled-by-fake-fur was uninterested this year, Babymama is thinking that we should continue to avoid the long lines and general scariness of the whole mall-bunny tradition.

However, baby-adorable would not be deprived of all the holiday traditions, and on Easter day, after demanding to be removed from her Reformed perch so she could chat with the pigeons, (this action itself potentially saving Babydaddy from a swift and sharp retaliation), that pastel-dressed Easter baby did have a chance to experience the joy of the Easter basket.

Baby-sweetest had a grand time pulling everything, including the edible grass (green apple flavored, y'all) out of her little yellow pail. Along with her first chocolate bunny, she found a series of sparkly eggs, a Reeses-filled carrot,some jelly beans, bath-tub crayons and her very first PEZ dispenser - a cute little lamb. Baby-healthy doesn't really like sugar, so she donated her candy to Babymama & daddy who're happy to oblige by taking it off her hands.

Although there was no ham (the main Easter meal this year did include bacon), baby-sweetheart made the day a perfect one - with lots of smiles. Check out this one, and her growing line-up of pearly whites.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

. . . a systematic means of
communicating by the use of sounds

Do what?

Yep, that's right, baby-smartest is starting to talk. A little bit. And mostly, it's very difficult to understand, but still. She's talking! Babymama & daddy, of course are ever so pleased and more than proud.

For months we've had some sneaking feelings that somehow, as parents, we weren't doing quite enough to feed the brain of a growing baby-adorable. Sure, we read to her (thanks much to A and T for helping us discover one of our favorite authors), and we expose her to lots of music (most recently we've purchased this), and we try to only buy learning toys and we go over her Spanish/English flash cards, but, still. Shouldn't we be doing more to teach her? So she doesn't fall behind? And what about that super-smart 18-month-old reading baby? How are we gonna rock that in less than 6 months?

Babymama's been keeping an eye out, watching the other babies, (some of whom are already walking) in baby-sweetest's class, listening as they shout out garbled phrases as their parents pick them up. Prompting, cajoling, trying desperately to get a little language out of our cute girl. Ok, yes. She said ma-ma and da-da a long time ago. But who's to say that she really knew what those words meant? Babymama's been looking for something in context. And finally . . . it happened!

It started one morning in the recent past. As reference, each of baby-adorable's days begins with the same ritual:

  • Babymama begins falling off the bed and wakes just in time to catch herself, thanks to the soft, but insistent sounds of baby-hungry, who is lying perpendicular in between mama and daddy (this is a story for another day).

  • Then, the least disoriented parent makes his/her way to the kitchen to heat up a bottle - a feat which suddenly takes much longer than it did previously, largely due to our recent transition to whole milk.

  • Said parent returns to the bed with warm bottle, where baby-adorable wrests it from her parent's hands and plugs it quickly into her mouth. Both parents snuggle back into bed and doze to the happy sounds of the baby with her bottle.

  • A very few minutes later, baby-sweetest is full, and she pushes her bottle out of her mouth and away from her. If there's any milk left, Babymama tries to give it back. If baby is hungry, she takes it, smiles and finishes the rest. If baby is full, she pushes the bottle away, and Babymama says 'All done! Thank you' and takes the bottle.

  • Then, Babydaddy picks up baby-sweetheart and gives her a big hug while saying, 'Hi Averie!' He takes her over to the changer and says, 'Hi, Mama!'. Usually, Averie turns her head toward mama and waves, and mama waves back and says 'Hi Averie!'.

  • After a diaper change, the family heads out for coffee and Clifford.

That's how it goes . . . how it's been . . . nearly every morning for months. Except for the other morning, when baby-smartest surprised us with a very clear and audible 'Hi Da-da' as she patted her Daddy on the back. What?!? We both heard it, realized it had really happened, burst into laughter . . . and were promptly joined by the cutest little laughter from our baby girl.

Since then, 'Hi' is a regular expression, along with others including 'maooow' (meow), 'Dar' (darlin' the cat), 'wrah?' (always accompanied by a questioning look, so we're guessing this is some interrogatory expression) and the latest, just yesterday morning as she took her last bite of breakfast banana, 'Ahh done' (all done). Outstanding, says Babymama.

Talking is tough work, though, and all that smartness can really wear a girl out. Here's what our talking baby looks like after a long day of babbling . . .

Sunday, March 2, 2008

. . . her first birthday

The days, 365 of them, and all the milestones in between the first and last of that number, came and went faster than baby-adorable's parents imagined. Maybe it was our still-sleep deprived brains that couldn't process the speedy countdown of days, maybe some of those weeks were magically gobbled up by the black hole that exists inside the diaper genie . . . babymama does not really know how it happened, but the truth is that time really did move faster (just like other parents promised it would) in the minutes, hours, days, weeks and months of the last year. And suddenly, our baby-sweetheart is one.

Of course, one comes with many accomplishments. Baby-smartest is learning more and more everyday, (how to quickly empty a kleenex box, how to circumvent babydaddy's improvised baby gates, how to remove handfuls of fur of the back of the 'meow').

An athlete as well as a scholar, she crawls faster than any adult can navigate the labryinth of her toys, and pulls up on anything that appears stationary. She loves to walk when babymama and daddy are holding her hands, and will randomly throw caution to the wind and let go - though it must be said that both her forward motion and vertical stance end at that moment.

Like all other special events in life, 'One' deserves a celebration, and baby-grown-up had 2 of her very own: One small one with babymama & daddy and her very own birthday cake, and a second, larger one with more children, balloons, and an even larger (and, babymama will say it, better) cake.

Baby-social partied hard and as guests were leaving, she promptly fell asleep.