Monday, December 28, 2009

21 months

Azadeh, you are a real character. Today on the train to San Francisco, you looked around and loudly said "How are you today, people?" Everywhere we go, people are charmed by you, partly because you are intentionally charming -- you smile, cock your head coyly to one side, say "Hi!" and "How are you today?" and "What's your name?"

You learned lots of words in Spanish at your Spanish class. Now we can ask "Donde esta los ojos?" and you'll point right to your eyes. You know several animals and some other facial features and some of the months and a few other things, too.

You still love ArtBeast (in fact, I think I'm going to get you a 1-year pass), and you also love the zoo and the park and, since Grant's 2nd birthday, BounceTown. In fact, practically every time we leave the house you announce that we're on our way to BounceTown.

You make little jokes. Your favorite is "One two boobies!" (You counted them once, carefully, while pointing at them, and it made me laugh, so now you do it all the time. If I don't laugh, you say "Mama, laugh!")

Christmas is over now, and you really enjoyed it. You got lots of new books and toys and some clothes. Your favorite, I think, is the doll stroller, which you load up with whichever doll or animal is handy and roll around and around the house. You got three dolls. One of them, I asked what you wanted to name it, and I was being silly. "Brunhilda?" "Noooo." "Esmerelda?" "Noooo." "Hepzibah?" "Pepzibah!!" So we called her Pepzibah. Then you got a prairie girl doll from me and I threw out some flower names. "Rose?" "No." "Daisy?" "No." "Iris?" "Iris!" So her name is Iris. Then the third doll we named, from your Auntie Maryam, was a small cloth one with curly blond yarn hair. I decided to go with Greek names, and I started with Calliope. You loved that one right away. There was no more discussion. You also named your pig "Pigoboto," which cracks me up. Today we were singing "Mr. Roboto" with the lyrics changed to be about ham.

Possibly the biggest news right now is that you are potty training. Yep, one day at Grandma's, you just were dry every time she checked, and she asked if you wanted to use the potty, and you said yes every time. And you used it. It happened for two days in a row, so I tried it at home on the weekend, and you were still into it. You can't tell us before you poop, so you're still pooping in your panties or diaper, and we have been putting you in diapers when we go out and at night and naptime, but still, that's pretty good for a girl who's not even two! You have Elmo panties, Dora, Hello Kitty, and some other Sesame Street ones, and you do like to wear them. It seems like you're growing up so fast!

Daddy had a lot of time off this month, and you've been spending a lot more time with him. You two have a nice time together. He takes you to the park, takes you to get chicken nuggets, and you go on walks. In addition to it being so fun for both of you, it's a nice change for me, because I don't have to take you absolutely everywhere or hear you yelling "MAMA NO GO BYE-BYE!" when I leave the house.

Another wonderful thing that's changed is bedtime. We had gotten into a bad habit of me laying down with you to nurse you to sleep, then falling asleep with you. Then I would sneak back to my own bed, and in the middle of the night, if you'd cry again (which you did most nights), I would go lay down with you again. Neither one of us was getting enough sleep. So about three weeks ago, we told you the boobies went night-night, and started a very standard bedtime routine. We brush teeth and talk about your day. Then we read "I Love You as Much." Then we have hugs and kisses. Finally, I say "I love you little, I love you big, I love you like a little pig. Good night, sleep tight, and help Sweetpea get to sleep." Then I take off. For three nights, you really cried, but you slept through the night. Since then, you pretty much crash out as soon as I turn the light off, and you sleep all through the night almost every night. It's fantastic.

Okay, I'm tired. All for now. Today for the first time I told someone "She'll be two in three months."

Monday, November 30, 2009

20 months

It's the holiday season, so I'm pressed for time, but here's a short update:

I'm going to have to stop counting the words in your sentences, as they just get longer and longer. The other day you said "Zadie reads a book while I change your diaper." Okay, you didn't have the pronouns quite right, but that's a subordinate clause! Also, you tell little stories. Like the other day, you said, "I was born in a hospital. I had a thingie in my nose."

You are also really into nursery rhymes, and can say parts of many of them. You really like Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and a few others. You also really understand stories. The other day, we were reading a Frog and Toad story, and Toad was gathering things to go help Frog. He opened the door and you yelled "Frog! I'm coming to help you!"

You have this little trick -- it's a rhetorical trick that is very effective. You know how parents tend to expand on what their kids say? For example, a kid would say "diaper" and the parent would say "Oh, you need your diaper changed?" Well, you have completely tricked me several times. You'll say "Grapes." I'll say "Oh, you want to eat some grapes?" And you'll say "okay!" I was just clarifying, but you act as if I've offered. It's very sneaky.

You have the funniest little devil laugh. It's a really deep, throaty laugh. I have a phone game that allows you to record your voice and play it back at high speed so it sounds like a chipmunk. You LOVE this, and will play for a long time, but usually you start out speaking ("Daddy is sleeping") and end up just laughing and laughing.

You can finally jump and get air. Also, you saw a girl in a ballet outfit and decided you like ballet. You dragged out two books about ballerinas, and I bought you the Nutcracker DVD. You have also declared that not only do you paint, but you are "an artist." You play the piano and say that it is "beautiful music." You're a real renaissance girl.

You exclusively sleep in your big girl bed. In fact, we have Christmas presents stored in the crib.

Your favorite food right now is eggs, and you would eat them at every meal if you could. The other day I made you THREE scrambled eggs, and you ate them all.

I also have to add, you get the colors right about 75% of the time now, you consistently count from one to thirteen, and you can say the entire alphabet without prompting. When we give you a crayon or pen, you scribble, then point at it, saying "I writed my name!" You have also said "I'm drawing Mommy."

When people ask "How are you?" you sometimes answer "Fine, how are you?" but more often than not, you say "I'm wearing socks!" or some other non sequitur.

The other night you had some nightmares, and when I asked you what they had been about, you said, among other things "My coat fell" and "fuzzy rocks."

Okay, lots of things to do, but you're great fun, and I love you more than ever.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

19 months

Hi, my sugar plum fairy.

Tomorrow you will be 19 months old. At this point, I think we start to drop the months and call you "a year and a half." You are so amazing. A few months ago, I think I wrote about how it was great that you could talk so well because I was really getting to know your personality. I had no idea then how much we would learn about you as you got even more verbal! Back then it was all peanut butter vs. hummus. Now I know what you find funny, what you love, and what you want to do. You ask to go swimming, to go to ArtBeast, to go to the playground, to see Dylan... You told me that Daddy was funny, that Boompah is funny, that you like my teddy bear, and he's funny because he sticks his tongue out... You like to tell us that the rooms in the house are beautiful, that the park is beautiful, that Mommy is beautiful... Yesterday for the first time you said "I love music." You are very proud of yourself when you paint, and you tell us how beautiful your paintings are.

You also talk almost constantly. People comment on it all the time, even though you are often shy in public compared to at home. Yesterday a grocery clerk asked how you were, and you said "Fine, how are you?" You also speak clearly. There are a few words that sound a little funny, though, and I thought I'd record them here. For example, I think when you hear "Hip hip hooray," you think the "P" is attached to "Hooray," so when you're excited, you say "Pooray!" You also love to ask for ArtBeast, but you call it Arse Beat, which makes your daddy and me laugh.

Today at ArtBeast, you were in the play room and another dad and 21 month old boy were there. For about five minutes, you went on like this: "Zadie standing! Zadie upside-down. I'm walking. I'm bouncing. Boom on the butt. I'm okay. I'm crawling." Finally, the other dad asked me how old you were, and said you were a good talker. For five more minutes, you said "Micky Mouse, Donald Duck, high, high, high... Elmo kisses the baby every day. I'm bouncing. I'm booming. Mama's a woman." Then the dad looked at his kid, who had been silent the whole time, and said "Jordan, do you have anything to say?" He didn't.

You eat like a mighty beast. Some days it seems like you never stop eating, from breakfast, to snacks, to lunch, to snacks, to dinner... The other day Grandma made you two scrambled eggs with cheese, then left the room for a minute. When she came back, she asked Boompah "What happened to her eggs?" What happened was you had eaten them!

You are not a big fan of other kids sometimes, but you are usually kind to them. For example, when you are alone on the playground, if another kid approaches you'll say "No! I don't! I don't! No touch Zadie!" I'll assure you that no one will touch you if you don't want them to, and then you'll often go back to playing. Yesterday you rode the airplane with another little boy, and afterwards you said "We shared, we shared!"

You helped me decorate Halloween cookies today. That is absolutely one of the things I had most looked forward to about having a child, and I have to say, I loved it as much as I thought I would. Being there in the kitchen together, working together on a product, making you feel like you are helping (which you love), and then sampling our cookies and giving them to other people... it was just a very nice experience. We'll have to do more of it.

You still love nursing. You ask (loudly) for "booby time!" which sometimes gets shortened to "boo-time!" I am still thinking that we'll stop when you're ready, but you aren't really showing signs of being ready yet. It will be bittersweet when we stop. It's been nice to have our close cuddle-time several times a day, especially before bed. I can't imagine you will consent to get cuddled for half an hour at a time after you stop nursing.

That's about all for now. I could go on and on about you, and sometimes I do.

I love you tremendously,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A year and a half!

Wow, Zadie; in two days you'll be a year and a half old. You're SO smart. That's the theme of this post.

Language: Not only are you now mastering four-syllable words (like iridescent), you are getting the hang of tenses and pronouns. I mean, wow! If we say "Did Zadie eat cake?" you'll reply "Zadie ate cake." Or "Grandma walks" becomes "Grandma walking." And we're working on "she" and "he" and who you use them with. You can have whole conversations about what you did during the day, or a birthday party you went to. You also love to ask "who's that?" You point to people or to Sesame Street characters and say "who's that? Who's that? Who's that?" You still love reading books, too.

Letters: You absolutely love the alphabet song and ask for it all the time. You can sing parts of it along with me. You love to look at printed words and guess what letters they say. Today you had my "irony" bracelet and said "D - O - X." You had the "O" right, anyway. You actually do recognize Os, Xs, and Cs at the very least. We can ask you to push the "C" button on your duck toy, and you will. If you get a pen, the first thing you do is say "E!" You want us to make Es all the time.

Shapes: We're getting there. You recognize circles, though you occasionally mix them up with squares. You've got triangles pretty much down pat, and you love to say "oval."

Colors: You get the colors right some of the time. You can say them all clearly, and last night I pointed to a red dot and said red, a blue dot and said blue, then I pointed to a green dot and YOU said green before I could.

Numbers: Last weekend I was talking to myself as I did chores and said "One, two, three, four, five" and then a minute later, "One, two, three, four." You supplied the "five." If I say "One," you'll say "two" and then we trade off up to five.

I guess that's about it. You have your 18 month appointment on Friday, and I imagine that everything is well. You are actually a little sick tonight. It might be related to teething, but you did throw up. If you are sick, it's the first time. I think it's wonderful that you've been such a healthy baby (milk allergy and reflux aside).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

17 months

Dear Zadie,

I've been feeling a little guilty that I didn't write you one of these last month. We were in Chicago and I had a slow internet connection, and since we've been home it has been on my mind, but you and I have been very busy. I've been trying to make sure we have all kinds of fun before I have to go back to work. To that end, we've been to the zoo, ArtBeast, Old Sacramento, the wading pool, the park, on bicycle rides, to Grandpa John's house, out to breakfast... I know you'll never remember any of this when you're older, but it is important to me.

On to you! You are just amazing. You speak in sentences most of the time now. Sure, mostly it's simple subject-verb sentences, like "baby eat," "baby walk," "mama sit," "daddy read the book," and so on, but you're communicating very effectively. And you certainly make longer sentences as well. "Baby can drive the car!" and "Baby fall down, go boom on butt" and "Mommy, tickle my tummy" are among the more impressive sentences you've said lately. You have a full vocabulary with many three-syllable words. You clearly pronounce flamingo, Chicago, bicycle, koala, Odwalla, and domo arigato (which we taught you for fun).

One of the big changes this last month has been your ability to really make choices. Now that you can speak so well, I can ask "hummus or peanut butter?" and you'll answer (it was hummus, for the record). Or the other day, I asked you if you preferred to go to Old Sacramento or ArtBeast, and you quickly chose ArtBeast. It's fun to see you making decisions and taking a little control over your own life.

You are so energetic, and you really love many activities, but the things you like to do most are read books, walk up and down the street, dance, eat snacks (blueberries rank very high), watch Yo Gabba Gabba, play peek-a-boo, sing songs with me (you usually request Kimya Dawson's "Bobby-O," which you can sing along to), play with your magnetic letters on the fridge, color with crayons (and sometimes you even stay on the paper!), drum, and riffle through my purse.

You love trucks and trains and drumming, but you are for the most part REALLY into girly stuff. You clap and yell "Yay, shopping!" when we pull into a store parking lot. You request that we put lipstick on you, you want pink sparkly shoes, you want to put jewelry on (particularly earrings, but I don't have any clip-ons for you), and you love barrettes and headbands. After we put any of these items on you, you request "see mirror!"

You would love to drive the car or ride a bike. I think I'll get you a bike (with no pedals -- a training-type bike) for Christmas, because you ask about them all the time. Just this morning, you saw our neighbors getting out their bikes and clapped and said "Yay, bicycle!" Then you asked several times "Mama ride a bicycle? Baby ride the bicycle?" You also could spend hours in the driver's seat of the car just standing holding the wheel and pretending. You ask to be seat-belted in, too, which makes me smile. Your other favorite pretend game is talking on the phone. You grab my cell phone or your play phone, hold it to your ear and laugh like someone has told you a joke. Lately you've told us that you're talking to Elmo, Big Bird, Grandma, Boompah, Grandpa,Grandma Jan, Jenny and Aunt Maryam.

When other babies cry, it freaks you out a little, so I've been teaching you that when babies cry, we just pat them and say "It's okay." You have extended this to other people, too. The other day, you demanded that I cry, so I faked crying, and you patted me on the shoulder and said "It's okay." At the wading pool on Friday, I met an old high school friend and her baby briefly cried. You were too nervous to pat the baby, so you patted yourself on the arm and said "It's okay." Speaking of the wading pool, you seem to enjoy being there, but you don't really want to go in the water. You prefer to stand on the edge and throw things in. If I put you in the water, you cling to my legs and bury your face in my lap. You will NOT walk in the water, even if I hold your hand.

You have become quite a helper. You can bring me shoes, put books back on the shelf, and put small toys away. When we take showers together, you say "clean mommy" and rub my chest as if to help me wash. If I ask you to clean yourself, you will. It makes me laugh to ask you to clean your butt and watch you say "clean butt" and rub your booty.

You probably don't want this preserved on the internet, but you are also kind of weird. About once a week, we have the poop-eating discussion. "Baby eat poop?" "No, yuck-o! We don't eat poop." "Mama eat the poop?" "No, that's yucky." Long pause. "Baby eat poop?" And so forth... You have also asked if you can take your hair off, if you can eat the cat, and if I can take my boobies off.

You love you ride on your little zebra, and have recently discovered that you can stand on the saddle. You also can climb onto the kitchen table. Long gone are the days when I could put you somewhere and expect you to stay there!

A few other tidbits -- you have an Elmo doll you're pretty attached to. Sometimes you insist that he nurses, too. Other times you throw him violently to the floor, then pick him up, rock him, and tell him "It's okay." You love Dylan from down the street. Whenever you're both outside, you follow him all around. If we walk past his house and he's not outside, you look at me and ask "Dy-an?" with your palms up. Your memory surprises me -- A month ago, we saw cousin Cristin and baby Grant. He ran into a table, hit his head, and was crying. Just a few days ago, you saw a picture of Grant and said "Grant. Baby cry." You also regularly ask for Naia, a little girl we met on the airplane last month. In June, we met my step-brother's kids at Grandpa John's house. One of them is named Audrey, and she was playing in the hot tub. Several weeks later, we went back and you pointed at the hot tub and said "Audrey?"

We went to the doctor a few weeks ago for a check-up, and you're above average in height and weight, and way advanced for your age in terms of vocabulary. We still nurse, but we don't use the SNS anymore. Now I try to get you to drink milk from a cup. You don't drink as much as you're supposed to just yet, but I'm hoping that will improve.

Now you're on my lap begging to see pictures of yourself, so I'd better go. I love you tremendously.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

15 months

You are amazing, spectacular, beautiful, a genius... Honey, I can't believe how much you keep learning. Every day you say new things. Seriously, when I read you a book, you sometimes repeat the last work on every page. You can speak in short sentences, like "Mommy cook" and "baby sit." You use many of these. You also sometimes say three-or four word phrases like "sit on mommy" or, most recently, "up in the sky." (Okay, it sounds like "up in kye," but I know what you mean.) You also say "I see a Mommy," "I see a baby," "I see a Mina," "I see a ball," "I see water," etc. I'm not 100% sure you know what you're saying, but I'm impressed nonetheless.

You can climb steps, scoot yourself down a slide, dance (your moves include stomping, head-nodding, turning around, and clapping), climb down from couches and beds, and you're starting to run a little (or at least walk fast). You can give high fives, you are learning to shake hands, you wave very well, and you blow raspberries regularly (usually just when someone has complimented you).

You can point to your eye, mouth, nose, ear, head, hand, arm, leg, knee, foot, cheek, chin, and tummy. When we went to Oregon, your grandma asked to see your tummy and you came running over and lifted your shirt. You can take something like a ball and follow instructions to put it in, on, under, on, and off other things, like a chair or bowl.

We have been taking swim lessons, which are more focused on getting you comfortable in the water than anything, but they seem to be effective. Today we put you in Grandpa John's pool, and it was the first time you'd been in a big, cold-water pool, and you were totally cool with it.

It is finally summertime. The very first thing we did when I got out of school was go to Oregon to visit our family. You had a wonderful time playing with your cousins and aunties especially.

Your hair has grown a lot since your first birthday. It's still noticeably copper-colored, but I think it's coming in a little lighter. My favorite thing is that at the back of your head, there are some crazy little ringlets. I suspect you're going to have very curly hair.

You are very sweet. You give kisses and hugs, and even though you are frequently on the go, you still like to be held or sit on our laps and have stories read to you. I just can't get enough Zadie time.

I love you very much,


Saturday, May 9, 2009

over 13 months

Well, I'm a slacker! I was trying to update this once a month. Ah, well.

You are so much fun right now. Everywhere we go, you insist on "walk walk walk!" We let you walk up and down the sidewalk, all over the house (which can be trouble, as two of your favorite things to get into are the diaper pail and the cat's food), and wherever else we think it's safe to let you walk. The other day you went face-first into the concrete of our neighbor's driveway. You can really get around and get into everything! I had to get locks for some of the cabinets. Everywhere we look around the house are pieces of Tupperware, lone shoes, purses, junk mail...

Grandma and I have been working on potty training you. At first we had a lot of luck -- we were catching you just at the right moment and you were peeing in the potty and having dry diapers. By the end of the week, you had even pooped in the potty three times. But since then, you had an upset stomach one week and we haven't been as lucky, so we're still having a mix of potty and diaper. Still, it's progress! You're rather young for potty training anyway, so anywhere we get is a bonus.

You can say "book" now, and you chant it while bringing us books to read. You recognize that letters are a particular kind of shape, but for the moment, you think they're all "e."

You still love drinking water, and you'll eat almost any kind of food. We've been getting you your own sandwich at Corti Brothers for dinner on Wednesday.

You are learning to dance. Grandma has been taking you to a music class on Mondays, and they stomp, turn around, put their hands in the air, and shake their hips. She's taught you the first three. Last night at Maalouf's, we were the only ones in the restaurant, so I let you walk around, and you showed everyone your dance skills. Abdul said he might put you on the schedule of belly dancers.

You are still obsessed with the cat. You call every cat you see "Mee-ah" and when we're at home, you always want to pet her. I have to say "gentle, gentle!" and take your hand, because you can be a little rough. You also like to kiss her on the face, which she is not wild about, so I monitor that carefully.

As we speak, you're getting into something, so I'd better go! I'm having a blast running after you, my curious dumpling.

I love you more every day,


Friday, April 3, 2009

More words and signs

Time to update the list with words and signs she's added! The doctor was very impressed with her language skills at her one-year visit.

all done
yummy (nummy)
Grandma (sounds like Gee-aw)

wash hands

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Darling! You're almost a year old. One year ago right now I was in labor at the hospital. You were born at 3:07 on the 25th. It seems like a distant dream, and at the same time I can remember flashes of it with perfect clarity.

You are amazing. You started walking a week and a half ago, and now you are fearless and love walking, no matter how many times you fall on your bottom. If you're in a real hurry, you still crawl sometimes, because you are a super-fast crawler.

You say so many words now and make so many signs. You've added "all done," squirrel, back, alley, whoo (owl noise), and many others. I swear I'm not being biased when I say I think you are very advanced in your vocabulary.

You are also very energetic, curious, and loving. You give hugs and kisses now, and you give GREAT hugs. A visual of you I will probably always remember is you, in your stroller, leaning forward and kicking your legs, which is how you almost always ride. You never just sit back and relax.

You love to be taken around the house to see everything. You want to look at everything on the mantle, all the fridge magnets, my Alice in Wonderland figures, etc. You also like to walk around and try to pull things off tables and out of bags and drawers and shelves. If you can reach it, it will be in your hands soon.

You still love to cuddle and nurse, and you also eat pretty much any food we give you.

I love you so much, and this year has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for being my sweet baby.

I love you more than I thought I ever could (and I was pretty sure it was a lot).


Monday, February 16, 2009

Milestones - almost 11 months

We've had many milestones this month, sweetpea. Your grandma and I were just adding up all the words and signs you say, and came up with a list of about fifteen of each.

bow wow wow

all done
hi & bye

You also put together two sentences. You said "Bye Daddy" one morning just after your dad left for work. You also signed "birds eat" when you saw seagulls eating on campus at Kit Carson.

Tonight you took one step on your own. You can walk anywhere if you're holding on to our fingers, but until tonight you haven't taken any steps on your own. But tonight you were standing, and your dad said "You should walk after the cat." As if taking his suggestion, you took one step!

You love your books, and you often bring them to us to read. You also give kisses to your dolls with a little encouragement. You play peekaboo and pattycake. You bounce when music comes on, and lately you've been trying to sing along. You have been pretending to blow your nose -- you don't really know how, but you put paper towels to your face and blow with your lips. You say "Mmmm" whenever you see apples, whether in pictures or in person. You can point at eyes, noses, mouths, ears, and hair when asked, not always perfectly accurately, but most of the time. When we see a bear or lion picture, we growl, and you growl back. You love to be chased around by Daddy, and you laugh hysterically when he chases you.

When you see Boompah in the computer room, you scoot over to him and signal to get up so he can show you videos on YouTube. You also like the BabySigns videos, and you watched the Muppets at your Grandpa's house. (You signed "frog" at the picture of Kermit.)

I can't believe you'll be one in just over a month! You're getting to be such a big, smart, sweet girl. I love you very much.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ten months!

Hello, my beautiful, sweet, perfect daughter. You are now ten months old. I'm starting to think about first birthday parties, even. You aren't walking yet, but you are standing competently and confidently. You eat damn near anything. You laugh a lot. One of your favorite things is sticking your index finger out like E.T., and when someone touches it with their index finger, you laugh your ass off, particularly if they say something like "Bzzz" or pretend to be electrocuted. You are crazy for peekaboo, and laugh when someone hides behind something and then pops out. You love eating out at restaurants, and can gnaw through a piece of bread, no matter how crusty. You're good natured, although you want to do whatever you like. You want, for example, to throw everything from the table onto the floor and do not want to be prevented from it.

You're a pretty good sleeper now, and usually can be put down at night without any fuss. You are resistant to naps this last week, though. You love birds, and whenever you see them you flap your arms and say "Caw!" You're going to Babysigns class again starting tomorrow, so hopefully you'll pick up some more signs. Now you do approximations of eat, more, nurse, milk, bird, and you do hat really well. You're also working on water.

You have picked up a few more words, including clock, and you now make a "vroom" noise when playing with your car. Your favorite noise is "MMMM," which you say whenever you see, smell, or taste food you like. The other day at the coffee shop, you apparently made "MMMM" noises at a family eating muffins, but they ignored you.

You have four teeth, and I think your hair may be getting a little darker. It's not filling in a heck of a lot, though. The little bit at the back is longer and curls up in a funny way.

This morning you crawled into the shower in your jammies while your dad was in there with the water on. You're funny like that.

Okay, that's all.

I love you,