Friday, July 28, 2006

Fourteen Months Old

It is high summer now. The sun comes up blazing and the air vibrates with cicada song. Pearl is fourteen months old and we've been having lots of fun doing warm weather things.

Summer Girl

We've been to the lake a few times now. Pearl enjoys splashing and walking in the water a lot, and after a while will even relax her body and let it float. I enjoy it too, seeing her learn to play in the water, her delight in such a large amount of water to try to lick up.

Walking in the Water

We got to a playgroup at a local park on Thursday mornings, and Pearl loves toddling after the older kids, climbing on the jungle gyms, digging in the sand, and of course swinging before it gets too hot. We go to the park in the evening with Daddy some days, too.

Toes in the Sand

So we have been having fun, but this was not as idyllic a month as last month was. Part of this is because Pearl has cut not one, but two new teeth this month, bringing the total to a whopping six chompers. Teething always interferes with her sleep and makes life a little harder for her in various ways (and me, by proxy).

The other reason this fourteenth month has been a trying one is that Pearl has really begun communicating her will, and also communicating her displeasure when she isn't met with what she wants. She will come to me with a book and cry when I do not read it to her, or react similarly when something she isn't supposed to have is taken away from her. Now that her wants are no longer necessarily what she needs, it is more difficult for me to know how to respond. Is it ok if I don't respond to her the same way every time? Is it best? Should I comfort her when she cries over things not going her way, or just distract her? I do not want to give her the impression that she can have whatever she wants when she wants it; nor to I want her to think that her attempts to communicate her desires are pointless. I don't know what I'm doing. I feel like I'm stuck at sea without a map, but I'm not really sure I need a map. Maybe I just need to pick a direction and go.

This new development marks a change in our relationship. For months, once she was an older baby, I felt like we were a single unit as we shared sleep, food, the activities we did throughout the day. I could read her well and she was in tune with me too. That is all still pretty much true, but it's subtly different now. Less oneness, leaning more toward togetherness.


So that is the cloud in our sky this month.

It amuses me to no end to see her imitating us do everyday things - scrub at her belly with a washcloth in the shower, look in her mirror and brush her hair, try to put a shirt on, clumsily bring a spoon to her mouth. She loves to brush her teeth and insists upon it every time she is in the bathroom.

We have a bedtime routine that she has really taken to. We change her into a tee shirt and night time diaper, then there are usually a few books read. Then I nurse her in bed. Sometimes that puts her right to sleep, if she's really tired, but most nights she stops nursing and reaches her arms out for Daddy to bounce her in his arms, then rock in the rocking chair, and she is out like a light. She has a similar routine for falling asleep for her one nap a day, though without the Daddy, and she is more likely to fall asleep during nursing then.

She has nursed a ton this month! She is eating more solid food too, but I was surprised at the increase in milk intake. She still shows signs of reflux when I eat dairy so I avoid that still, though she doesn't scream in pain like she did in her early days.

She knows a few more signs now: fan, bite, and she's almost got airplane down. She'll present her face for a kiss if I ask, then say her approximation of "kiss". She also brings her stuffed toys over for a kiss, too. When she's happy she'll do this really funny little fake laugh. It's cute.

Pearl is very cute in general. It's fun to have a little baby toddler wandering around with me from room to room with me as we go about our day, delightful to hear her voice run through a string of unintelligible sounds. I often have to scoop her up and cover her little face with smooches. She's pretty much irresistible!

Most Recent Spaghetti Face, Complete with Hairdo

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pearl Took a Tumble

Not an unusual occurance for one who has only been walking for a few months, but check out the huge goose egg on the poor girl's cheek:

She Took a Tumble

She refuses to sit idly in the stroller while we take our evening walks in the park these days, and insists instead upon walking, preferably without holding on to a parent's hand. The asphalt of the downhill path was unforgiving, and she landed right on her cheek. After some tears and cuddling she was determined to walk some more, all by herself. So we led her onto the grass and there she took some more tumbles, with softer landings.

More tumbling can be found at Mama Says Om this week.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

A Quote to Share

"When we adults think of children there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life, childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live, a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question, "What are you going to be?"

Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face, would say, "I'm not going to be anything; I already am." We adults would be shocked by such an insolent remark for we have forgotten, if indeed we ever knew, that a child is an active participating and contributing member of society from the time he is born.

Childhood isn't a time when he is molded into a human who will then live life; he is a human who is living life. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied him by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation.

How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize the child as a partner with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing him as an apprentice. How much we would teach each other...adults with the experience and children with the freshness.

How full both our lives could be. A little child may not lead us, but at least we ought to discuss the trip with him for, after all, life is his and her journey, too."

-- Professor T. Ripaldi

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Playing with a prefold (clean, of course!) in her carseat last night.Peekaboo

Popping up above the bed circa eight months.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Tie-Dyes for Sale

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am slow to getting around to mentioning this, and you all probably know about it already, but Mama C-ta has opened a fabulous baby shop called Urban Baby Runway!

She is carrying some of my tie-dyes for sale there in sizes from 0-3 months to 24 months, so go check them out! They are one-of-a-kind and very cute!

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


Today after Pearl and I ventured to the farmer's market for zucchini and onions, we went to the independent used bookstore I've been wanting to visit since I moved to this town. It was as wonderful as I could have hoped, and I found a beautiful book to read to Pearl, but that was not my treat.

My treat was returning to the store later in the afternoon, after I'd gotten Pearl down for her nap - ALL BY MYSELF! I left her in the care of my husband and spent an hour and a half wandering through small, multi-leveled rooms full of stacks and shelves of every sort of book under the sun. I'd forgotten my cell phone at home and realized it on the way there. I debated going back for it but reminded myself that my husband was perfectly capable of caring for our baby and so I continued on, and therefore was uninterrupted by phone calls. No monkey swatting at piles of books from her seat on the mei tai, squawking protests when I leaned over. Just me, and a multitude of books.

Along the the chipmunk book I bought on my first trip, I bought Pearl two board books, two Roald Dahl books that I loved as a child and I hope she will, too (got to cross them off her wish list, hooray!), and for myself I bought The Lost World of the Kalahari, by Laurens van Der Post, who is a great author. All for $15!

~*~*~~~ for Mama Says Om's theme this week, "Treat" ~~~*~*~

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Afternoon at the Lake

Yesterday I went to the dentist and got a cavity filled. It wasn't very fun but it was a lot better than even thinking about the two root canals I learned that I need last week.

Anyway, my husband took the afternoon off to watch Pearl while I went to the dentist and afterwards we took a trip to a nearby lake. It was a lovely day, hot enough to swim but cool and breezy enough to be pleasant in the shade. We spread a sheet out and brought snacks and water and I slathered myself and Pearl up with sunscreen and took her for her first swim while my husband manned the camera. Click the picture below for more photos, the first few were taken by me but the rest are all him:

Going In!

Pearl had a blast, splashing and wading. In the shallowest water she'd sit and leg her toes float to the top. In the deeper water where she couldn't touch, she alternated between seeming like she wanted to let go and swim away, and trying to climb on top of my head. She inhaled and swallowed a lot of lake water, there was much spluttering and coughing as she experimented. She seemed pretty pleased with the fact that there was so much water and she did a lot of licking the lake's surface.

I enjoyed swimming too. I handed Pearl off to Mr. Peach a few times and floated on my back. I'd forgotten how nice that is, hearing only my own pulse and whatever sound the water carries, rocking gently on tiny waves, feeling the sunlight warm on my face and seeing it red through my closed eyes. I love to swim. I guess that was the first time I've gone since I was pregnant, in Cozumel.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What My Fourth of July Looked Like

Musicians (with Elaina somehow sleeping in the background)

Skilled Hands

Great-Grandma Lucy and Elaina

Kent Dancing

Scott Got Stung by a Bee

Geoff on Guitar

My creation

Music on my mother-in-law's back porch ~ husband and wife playing guitar and fiddle, respectively ~ Pearl sleeping in her great-grandmother's arms ~ a family friend dancing ~ my husband playing an Irish drum with a bee-stung face ~ my brother-in-law on guitar ~ fireworks viewed through the trees from my patio.

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