Saturday, December 30, 2006

First Sentence?!

This evening I made a Mexican feast for Mark, Agatha, and Auntie Angeli. While I was still bustling around, rounding everything up so we could eat, Agatha took Angeli over to the bedroom where Proton was snoozing on the bed and asked, quite clearly, "Want to see the cat?"

It was probably just a fluke, but what a fluke! I could hear her from the kitchen, and it sounded fairly well enunciated even with that distance. We're all impressed!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Imagination is free (thank God!)

Gaz has some fun new games she's playing.

First, as Nana Cel pointed out, there is a shelf in our bedroom that Gaz likes to stand next to and tap with her fingers in clear imitation of me standing at my laptop, typing away. (We've got a box on top of our short file cabinet where I often have my laptop set up so I can check work email during the day without giving Gaz the opportunity to pull any more keys off my keyboard.) She does have a little kid laptop that she will be receiving soon from Auntie Lis, but she'll be getting nothing more techonologically advanced from us for a few years yet. We've still got our old computer that she can have when she's old enough to demand computer games. I know it can't be too much longer.

The next cool thing is that she's now playing the piano. By "playing" I mean doing the finger tap thing while singing "doo doo dah doo," and by "piano" I mean the marble slab we've got sitting on top of my old TV that serves as a stand for the space heater in our bedroom. She squats down next to the Zenith and taps away on the marble, singing something vaguely music-like. It's adorable and I have no idea why she's doing that instead of playing with her Leap Frog musical table thing, but hey, she's using her brain to imagine things and we all know that that is not a bad skill to have.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Christmas with the Mitchells was a smashing success. The best present Gaz got was days of constant playing with her cousins. This is not to say that she didn't receive completely awesome material gifts, but the highlight for her was definitely playing with The Goils. It was a raucous house of little blonde girls, and when we weren't all running after them to keep an eye out for Polly Pocket shoes in toddler mouths, we were happily (if wearily) enjoying the fact that all our girls were truly enjoying themselves, and not destroying property.

When we went to church on Sunday, the older girls were persuaded to stay with Gaz in the nursery during the service. When we first got there, Gaz looked around a bit unsure. The two ladies who minded the nursery were the only other ones there apart from us. Then Brynn got out a toy grill and Gaz noticed that there were a couple of plastic drawers full of toys. She never looked back to see me after that. This was a bittersweet moment for me--proud of my girl for being so independent and sure of herself, but a bit sad that our time of being a mama-and-baby unit is slowing winding down. I know it's not a lightswitch and she still needs me quite a lot, but it sometimes seems to be daily and not so much hourly now.

But as I was thinking on this last night in the shower, Mark and Gaz came in to join me. She'd woken up and cried and cried when Mark tried to get her to calm back down and go back to sleep. She still needs me just enough.

Weaning is a process for both moms and babies, I think. We both want the same thing, but it's going to take us both a while to ease into our new roles. While we haven't begun any actual weaning, I feel confident letting Gaz set the pace.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mixed Bag

Well, she's got another rash, but no other frustrating symptoms to go along with it, so we're waiting it out. It looks much less angry now than it did Monday at bathtime. We're pretty sure this is a new rash, as Nana and Papa didn't notice any rashiness during their visit. Best guess? Another vaccine reaction. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today Gaz figured out how to unlock one of the doors on her animal hospital toy (which we specifically sought out to transfer her key fixation away from my keys), but there was also plenty of her trying to beat the doors into submission too. Since it only came with three animals to fill the six kennels, today I added two little monkeys in pajamas and a mummy. Gaz seemed amused.

We're kinda ready for Christmas. I've got to pack tomorrow because I opted to clean the kitchen this evening. It's easier to get the packing done with Gaz awake than it is to do a whole lotta dishes with her either tearing up the kitchen or complaining from the dining room that she can't see me. I've been wiped out all week (still recovering from Gaz being sick?) so I hope that a few good nights of rest and a peaceful visit to the wilds of central Indiana will fix me up.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Life Day to y'all!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Is a little girl who has no rash, fever, or cold, and who suddenly wants to sleep for 12-13 hours overnight.

Insert sigh of profound contentment here.

She's been a very happy girl the past few days. Part of it is no doubt the visit from her Nana and Papa, and I attribute the rest to getting back to a good sleep schedule and the general lack of illness. Nothing like a couple of bad weeks to make the good ones seem that much better!

Now we're looking forward to visiting Mark's family this weekend for actual Christmas. Hooray! It's going to be an insane cousin hoedown--three rambunctious girls and one adorable baby! Wooo!

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that I'm running late on getting Christmas cards out. I swear they will get to you eventually, on one holiday or another. You aren't being ignored, I just can't prioritize well lately. :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All Better, and Inventory

The rash is almost gone, and she's in really good spirits. Her apetite has also returned with a vengeance, and once again peas reign supreme after a long dry spell of peahating.

Now for the word inventory I've been meaning to put together (before it exceeds my ability to remember all of it): hi, bye (includes bye-bye), good, cat, dog, kitty, up, down, book, key, eye, nose, toes, uh-oh, oh me!, wow, woah, home, ham, hug, car, ear, papa, dada, mama, more, Elmo, shoe, okay, yeah, no, snow, cool, cold, cow, moo, mrow (like Proton does, not like a normal cat), bok, ow, cheese, numnum, and chichi.

Signs: more, please, bath, book, telephone, cold, good, book, and sporadic others depending on when we last watched Baby Wordsworth.

Today she used "Elmo" to refer to the Netflix movies we got, I assume because the envelopes are red. Mark also insists that I point out that her signing (and for that matter some of her words) are "approximate." I doubt there are many 16 month olds who speak and sign perfectly. At any rate, her vocabulary grows daily (kitty is new as of yesterday, book new as of ten minutes ago) and I am sure that I will lose track of it soon.

The amount of words she understands is truly staggering. The safe bet is to assume that she understands everything you say, because she will surprise you with what directions she can follow and what she can infer from an off-hand comment about going o-u-t-s-i-d-e. The other day I said something about "when Daddy gets home" and she went over to the door and jiggled the doorknob yelling "Hi Dada!"

Other fun things to do are imaginary eating, nose blowing, trying to unlock doors with the wrong keys, and coloring. She's really good with the cat these last few days. I don't know how much of that is related to her not feeling 100%, but she and the cat sniff each other in turn, and she's really in love with rubbing her face on his after he's done that. Too cute.

But now, it's bath time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Better, Worse, Better Again

Monday Gaz broke out in a rash everywhere. I called the doctor's office again and was told to bring Gaz in during walk-in hours the next day, as I had been a fool and not called earlier because she was still in a pretty good mood. The good mood didn't last (and had been preceeded by her screaming and crying all the previous night) and we've been a big mess the past few days.

The doctor yesterday confirmed that the rash and fever were a reaction to the MMR vaccine she got last Monday, and also said that it looks like she has a little cold. If the rash is still here in a week we have to go back again and get re-evaluated, but already today she looks a little better.

Monday night we kicked Mark out of bed to sleep in Gaz's room, and Gaz and I got some almost good sleep. I gave her Tylenol every four hours, because she would wake up crying every four hours, but this time she settled back down relatively easily. Last night she woke up only once at 1:00 AM-ish, and that was the last Tylenol I gave her. Today she woke up cheerful and has only fussed when I changed her diaper and when I put the baby gate up so that she could not invade the kitchen and bathroom.

She's been very happily--and nondestructively--playing with the computer while I type this. I have been so frazzled dealing with the contstant crying, I don't know what to do with myself while she's in such a good mood. I'm inclined to think this improvement is for real, as she got out all her balls and threw around the big red one for a while this morning. It's been almost a week since she got any toys out and played with them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


The fever that is. The cranky continues, but with scattered patches of cheerful. We're slowly getting our girl back!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Feels Like Forever

It feels like she's had this fever FOREVER, although I know it's only been two days. Poor gal. It took two stops this evening to find the Vicks adhesive thermometer things (which are fabulous), but after these two days of pinning Gaz to the couch in order to take her temperature, I couldn't come home without them. Although, to illustrate how lousy she feels, while she still howls when the thermometer comes near her, she hasn't been struggling near as much as she has previously.

So lots of nursing, with breaks for fitful naps, temperature taking, Tylenol administrating; lather, rinse, repeat. Last night she was waking up every hour until about three, when I tried unsuccessfully to suction her nose. Between the vaccine reaction and the dry cold air at night, we've got no end of problems.

Think restful thoughts for Miss Gaz, and keep your fingers crossed that this reaction won't go on much longer.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Sickly Gaz

She's apparently having a reaction to the vaccines she got on Monday, because today she's listliss and feverish. She has refused to eat a decent meal and has only picked at a piece of pasta and a little bit of cheese and half a cucumber slice. She's been laying on the couch most of the day, neglecting her toys and alternately snoozing and whining.

I feel terrible with my girl so out of sorts. We're watching Pride & Prejudice because that's what I always do when I'm sick.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Just when I thought she was significantly more coordinated and well balanced (in a movement sense), today happened!

She somehow slipped while climbing onto one of the dining room chairs and smacked her face right on the edge of the table. She's got this nice little gash just under her lip (it's oozing still a bit in this picture; it's much more linear) and two little marks inside her lip where here teeth dug into, but did not break the skin of, her lower lip. She looks all pouty all the time. The initial blood was distressing to me, but Gaz was mostly upset by the pain of course.

Freezer teethers helped greatly, as did my not dabbing at her lip after a while. Tonight she surprised me by asking (with grunting and pointing) for Tylenol at bedtime. We're hoping for a much less exciting day tomorrow.