Thursday, June 30, 2011

our big girl

Not content with her success at learning to crawl, Liesl has started pulling up to standing. She is constantly standing up, especially when we try to put her down to sleep in her crib, but really anywhere she can. She'll use furniture, bathtubs, people's legs - she really just wants to stand. She's not nearly as skilled at sitting back down, of course, and so there have been some head bonks recently. She's even trying out cruising, from one piece of furniture to another, and pushing a small chair in front of her and following it. It's been a big month for movement - four weeks ago she was totally stationary, and now she's breaking out all over.

She is also quickly developing and demonstrating her personality. Courtenay at daycare has described her as a "social butterfly", who immediately crawls over to the largest group of children to see what they're doing and play with them. She also isn't afraid of any of them, and will steal toys from the bigger kids. Alysa at daycare declares that she is "strong-willed" and "stubborn", refusing to take any milk from any bottle or sippy cup, and immediately standing up to play when they put her down to sleep. They have to have a wrestling match and pin her down in order to get her to take a nap. She falls over and doesn't cry, but if you thwart her attempts to roll over and stand up, or take away something she wants, she'll wail.

Around here, we have started calling her an assortment of affectionate nicknames - the monster, the menace, and the wrecker. She wants to play with whatever Sebastian is playing with, and will wreck his neat lines of cars, his carefully set up train tracks, his puzzles. Diaper changes are a full-on wrestling match - I put her down and she immediately flips over and tries to crawl away. We had a playdate with our friends Marci, Matthew and Sarah, and Mattie called our baby "Diesel", which we really liked. It sort of encapsulates her current no-holds-barred approach to the world.

It is so funny to have a baby like this, so different in every way from Sebastian. Seb was shy at daycare, cautious around the other kids and not terribly interested in interacting with them. He wouldn't sleep for us at home, but slept easily at daycare right from the start. He ate absolutely everything, and Liesl is much picker. Seb is an observer still, and often afraid of new experiences and new people, whereas Liesl is always beaming her biggest smile at random strangers. It's such fun. I think she's going to be a terror for years to come. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011


Sebastian recently discovered that cars have names and has become obsessed with identifying every car that we pass. It began with our visit to Popo and Grandpa, who have named their car Rocinante (Rosy, for short). He doesn't realize that Rosy is just their name for their particular car, and thus calls all Lexus SUV's Rosy-cars. Then he wanted to know the name of our car - a Honda Civic. And it has mushroomed from there, such that every drive we take is a constant, never-ending stream of car identifications from the backseat. In a sense, this is just the logical extension of his earlier monologues identifying city buses, school buses, tour buses, garbage trucks, dump trucks, street cleaners, cement trucks, delivery trucks, and car-carriers.

He's pretty good at recognizing the car types, even at some distance and at speed. He has some trouble with pronunciation, though, which makes the whole thing really cute. He can't say Honda Civic - it comes out more like "Pondasiffic". He's got the CRV down and can even distinguish between newer model CRVs and older ones (which have a spare tire on the back). He calls the Rav-4 "Four-Rav, like Uncle Carl has". He knows Minis, Smart cars, and Beetles. There's "Nathan's car", which is a Chevy SUV, "Lydia and Sadie's car", a Toyota Camry. And then there's the Toyota Corolla, which he calls the "Corolla Torolla".

It's made our daily trip to and from daycare very interactive - he is constantly pointing out and naming cars and asking to be taught new car names - "what's that car named, mommy?"

He's said a couple of other memorably funny things lately - when we were visiting Grandpa and Popo, he didn't really like the anadama bread that Grandpa had baked and took to asking for "the bread that nobody made". It's so much more evocative than "store-bought bread". He watched me getting dressed the other day and said, in reference to my bra, "What's that for?" While I was sifting through possible answers, he said, "Is it to keep your milk in?" And I said Yes, yes it is. Perfect.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

watch out world!

I left Liesl on the floor in Sebastian's room this afternoon while I went to wash my hands and get a drink. When I went back to get her, she'd made it across half the room! She's on the move!

I've posted two short videos (click on them to see), in which I tried to capture her unique style of crawling.

From June 2011

From June 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Liesl update

I can't believe I only managed two blog posts for the entire month of May. We were busy at the beginning of the month with various things, and preparing to go on vacation, and then we were in White Rock for 2 1/2 weeks, and there was little time in the family chaos for blogging. So I've been retroactively filling in some pictures and updates.

It's been a momentous month for our baby girl. Maybe momentous is too strong a word. But she's changed and grown a lot and is clearly no longer a newborn. She seems much more alert and aware - turning her head to keep up with the action, smiling at games we play, attempting to communicate with her hands and body. She reaches out for us, and grabs on when she wants to stay close. If she's happy to see one of us, she does this adorable full-body wriggle, while smiling and waving her arms around. If you're holding her and she wants to go somewhere, she'll kick and move her legs as though she's walking through the air. She has decided opinions about toys, and if you try to take away something she's currently playing with, she'll squawk loudly in protest. She likes shiny things and electronics - a little magpie.

She is trying hard to both crawl and stand. Watching her older cousin Roxy (10 months) crawl around my parents' place definitely gave her ideas, especially since Roxy would crawl over, steal a toy, and crawl away with it. :) Liesl sits and leans way way forward, balancing onto her arms, and rocks onto her knees. She's learned to get onto her belly somewhat gracefully instead of flopping face-first onto the ground. She can turn herself around and manages to move a bit, either by scootching on her bum, or pushing backwards on her belly. I don't think her arms are yet strong enough to hold her up for crawling, but she's trying hard. It's fun to contrast her crawling attempts with those of Sebastian at this age - he started off on his belly, pulling himself forward with his arms alone - commando-style.

She has developed a lot more enthusiasm for solid foods, and I've been rapidly expanding her repertoire. So far, my initial impression has continued: she likes fruit, and everything else is just okay. Even when I try to mask the veggies by combining them with fruit, she is noticeably less engaged in the whole thing. But she loves finger foods most of all. She loved eating crackers with Roxy. The other night I gave her a stick of asparagus and a peapod and she gummed both very happily. She seems both more interested in feeding herself and more capable of doing so than Sebastian at a similar age. She's definitely demonstrating more dexterity with her pincer grip than he did, which allows her to grab those tiny Cheerios with ease.

And last, but not least, she has her first tooth! It arrived at some point in the last week, on the bottom gum, and my best guess is that the next teeth are following close behind.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

end of maternity leave

Today was my first day back at work. I can't believe that the seven months went by so quickly! I feel like it just flew past, even faster than after Sebastian was born. I'm sad, of course, and feeling anxious about Liesl's adjustment to daycare and my readjustment to work life. On the one hand, I'm so thankful that I got to stay home for seven months with her - far longer than most mothers in this country. On the other hand, I wish I could stay home for a full year, which is what I would be able to do if I lived in any other industrialized country.

My biggest concern about Liesl and daycare is her liquid intake - she'll eat food, but so far she has not taken to the bottle at all. I don't know how she's going to get milk. But she's a friendly creature and definitely likes other children, so I think she's going to enjoy being with the other babies at Happy Harbor. We'll see about naps - she's used to a pretty quiet and dark environment, which she's not going to get.

She's at such a cute stage right now - all dimpled elbows and chubby cheeks - and she's starting to babble, and to move around. It's really hard to leave her. My sweet baby girl.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

pictures from White Rock

We had a terrific 2 weeks in White Rock, with my family. It was great to see my mom and dad and explore their home, and it was terrific to be with my brother's family. It was a touch chaotic, with six adults, two preschoolers, and two babies - it took us forever to get out of the house, and our adventures were not as extensive as on past vacations together. But the babies got to meet, and Danica and Sebastian got to renew their close friendship, and it was fun. There are hundreds of pictures posted in my web album.

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