Wednesday, November 14, 2007

tiny mother

sparrow is having lots of fun in role play these days--being a mom, that is.

the other day, i noticed she was telling her elephant "lie down!" so she could diaper him. but then she must have realized she was still in the kitchen, and so she took her elephant and toddled down the hallway, and thomas and i snuck behind her all the way into the diaper room. once there, she put her elephant down on the changing pad and said, things like "poopy diaper" and "wipe wipe" (when she got the wipes out and wiped his blue elephant bottom). she even found a new diaper, and finally thomas and i helped her put it on him because she was getting frustrated with the dimensions of the project, but the diaper enveloped the elephant's entire torso. so we took it and put it on her purple teddy bear, which is much bigger. just now she decided bear must have a poopy diaper, and laid him on the counter, opened it, and pointed inside, saying "poopy diaper." she is so insightful. hahahahaha!

holly took her to the zoo today with samuel and hope and camille. sparrow got so excited by this adventure that she didn't even end up taking a nap at all today. i swear i nursed her for about an hour and a half, and she kept letting go and looking up at me with her big round eyes and saying things like "fishies!" and "mow-key! one, two, mow-key!" (monkey.) one time she told me, "long neck--holly--long neck." what? holly has a long neck? ok. ...OH! you saw the "long necks" with holly! (sparrow refers to giraffes as "long neck;" i think it's because she can't pronounce giraffe yet.)

she has so much fun with samuel and hope, she gets really excited every time we are driving to their house. i have to sing her songs all the way there like "there's a jason and a samuel and a hope and a holly on a bump on a log in the hole in the middle of the sea!" and "deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, lalala la. this the time to go be jolly, falalalalalalalala. you will get to play with hope, falalalalalala la la, while mama goes to help rod cope, fa la la la la, lalalala!"

today when i picked her up i gave her a piece of bagel to eat in the car. pretty soon i heard "moe? moe?" and i said, "sparrow, more!? you still have a huge chunk of bagel in your hand!" pause, pause, then she says, "moe--hope!" hahahaha! she must love having baby hope around. holly tells me that whenever hope is taking her nap, sparrow will walk around for long periods of time saying "hope, night-night. hope, night-night."

something else funny the other night was when i had her on the floor to change her diaper. my foot was right by her head, and she looked over at it, and then said, "duddy--foot." (dirty.) it's true!!!!! i rarely get down to scrubbing my feet. saying "duddy" is a pretty common one now. she eagerly points into her book of farm animals and says, "duddy piggy!"

she likes to run around with a sleeping baby doll that i found in one of my old trunks, from when we were kids. she had been seeing dolls in books and already had the word "baby doll" down perfectly, so i thought i should get her a baby doll soon, but then i found this one. even better! she got really upset today when she was trying to put a diaper on this baby doll and it was way too huge. but her absolute favorite thing to do with the baby doll is to say "nu-nu baby doll!" and put her up to me as if she is nursing. she absolutely LOVES watching that! and she does it with her bear too.

sparrow is correctly identifying colors! today she looked at this muti-colored script on the back of a book, and pointing at the tiny individually colored letters, correctly pointed out green, blue, pink, and orange! i am so proud of her for that.

Friday, November 2, 2007

she speaks sentences!

last night, driving home from the reeves, little sparrow in her car seat suddenly says, "oh no! dark outside!" oh my gosh it killed me. i didn't even realize she knew what "dark" was, much less how to use it in a sentence!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


i love the way sparrow pronounces things. she sits on the bed, for example, bounces up and down, and says, "bowncy? bowncy?" then, "mama--bowncy? bowncy?" "hahaha, sparrow i can't bounce with you! i am sooo tired!" she is undeterred. "Daddy--bowncy? bowncy?" she always does it when i am trying to get her to nap, too, so i can nap, and it doesn't help her being so cute because she makes me laugh so hard when she does that that i can't even properly discipline her to come back and fall asleep...

another one of her favorite things is to pat her bottom when she is getting her diaper changed. Thomas actually taught her to say "booty" instead of "bottom," and it kills me because she will twist and say "boody! pawo (sparrow) boody!" then follows the inevitable, "mama boody!" whence she is not satisfied until i, too, have patted my own boody.

i couldn't get what she was saying at first, but we were in the car the other day and she kept saying "toway! toway!" finally i realized she was pointing out the window at the trees. tree! toway! that is a new development! tree for her used to sound just like "wee."

i can't believe all the things she is saying! may-doe! (tomato) twacca (tractor) baby-dah! (baby doll) it is precious. what else... oh yes! she says "neiba--wady!" (neighbor-lady!) can you believe it? when she hears the neighbor lady work on her porch or walk up the stairs! now that's amazing! this morning we were on our way to samuel's house, and we stopped at a red light, when suddenly she cried out, "WED!" what? wed? ...oh, RED! red! she is astounding! she can also point out yellow for sure, but colors are still a bit mixed.

since her hair has gotten to an unfortunate mullet-like stage, i try to put her hair in pigtails every day. when we do her hair, we tell her to lie still, then take the brush and start working on it, counting. recently she has been finding the little rubber bands or her hair brush and attempting the process herself, counting faithfully along. she can definitely count to four, i don't know about any further.

we have taught her to drink out of a glass, a thick little blue flower-pot-shaped glass without a lid. i wanted her to become independent of sippy cups at an early age for several reasons: the plastic chemical contamination, also the impossibility of clearing sippy-cup crevices of mold, and also because i plain didn't want her to still be dependent on a sippy cup when she was seven. the sooner she learns to handle a glass and not to spill it, the better. she is simply addicted to (rice) milk. she cries for "maauk!" loudly several times a day, and devours it, with her cute little hands cupping the glass, one pinky sticking out. if she spills, i give her a towel and she has to wipe the spill. if she starts playing with the milk, i take it away.

the other day it came quite in handy because we were at the co-op and they had out samples of hazelnut milk. sparrow is always a challenge a the co-op because she doesn't sit happily in the cart for long, and jumps out on me, and then to let her down amongst all those bulk bins that she so desperately wants to dig her fingers into becomes quite the hawking experience for me. anyways, thank God for almond milk samples, because it kept her happy for another 15 seconds while i was trying to pay and get outta there, and she could drink it all by herself, straight out of the sample cup. i don't have to take an extra cup for her everywhere we go.

however, when her sample was gone, she loudly cried out for more milk. i wasn't going to just keep feeding her the co-ops milk samples! we were about to go to trader joe's so i told her she could have more milk there. she threw a bit of a fit, i'm afraid. still haven't quite figured out how to command immediate and unprotesting obedience in the store! she wailed and wailed and cried for milk almost all the way to trader joe's. at first i kept telling her she was going to get more. then i told her to stop whining, and subsequently ignored her. she got a lot more cheerful toward the end. once in tj's, i got a little sample cup and then opened a box of rice milk and she devoured almost 3 cups of it while we were shopping! but what a convenient thing it is to have her be able to drink it like that in a shopping cart!

sparrow does a million cute things, like say "okay!" and "alright!" and "whoa," and she keeps asking us to pray over and over again, throughout our dinner time. she stretches out both her hands to us and says, "pway? pway?" in the middle of church on sunday, jacob was teaching, and sparrow suddenly said "jay-bup!...jay-cub!" i couldn't believe she just pulled his name out of her memory like that! she has a thing for names. she knows all the lomelinos, and the other day we were playing in the reeves' yard (they weren't even there), and suddenly she said, "asha!" asher!? i thought she only paid attention to goldie! she also repeats "dowis!" if she hears anyone say my name.

she sits in a tiny blue chair at a coffee table in the kitchen. every time i give her toast or crackers to eat there, she settles in, then pulls out another little gray chair next to her and says, "mama?--mama?" wanting me to come sit with her. LOVE that!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ready for calculus

apparently my baby can count. of course she can recite a few numbers. she knows one, two, three, and possibly four after that, and she can copy us in saying them all up to twelve or something. she can also correctly place seven after six and eight after seven. we count when we set her on a swing, before we give her a big push! and we count in the morning when we put her hair in those adorable pigtails. nowadays she walks around with her hairbrush in hand, saying, "one, two, three..."

however, i was pretty sure that she was not exactly sure what the point of counting is or what it means, necessarily. about a month ago she was looking at the cover of her good night moon book and said "two--moon." sure enough, in the illustration there is one moon in the window and another in the picture on the wall. but i kind of thought it was just a fluke that she'd said that. however, tonight we were reading one of her favorite duck books, and she noticed a frog on one of the pages, and then another one on the same page. she pointed them both out and then said to me, "two frogs." she even put an S on the end of the frog! i think she's already surpassed me in intelligence. i mean, next month she'll be doing calculus!

a little sick bout

on monday sparow woke up with a stuffy, runny nose. oh no!! i couldn't send her to holly's this way, what with samuel and hope there, and sparrow's tendency to commandeer everyone's sippy cup! so i would have to take a day off work. this situation could not drag on. i would take the day off work, but i was going to make dang sure that she was better in the morning! first thing i did was give her a little of my amazing detox tea to flush her system. she gets the effects through my breast milk already, but i thought this situation called for extra.

she also had two doses of natural cold/virus medicine that day, and an extra vitamin. (she LOOOOOOOVES her vitamins because they are in gummy-bear format, and she calls it "minamin!" she asks for them all day, and whenever she gets one she gets this huge grin on her face--when you put it into her grubby, eager little hand, she laughs.)

that night, i remembered a garlic poultice for combatting sickness that kim told me about. it involved some sort of crushed garlic possibly folded into a warm, moist paper towel and placed on the child's skin or even in their sock overnight. the garlic seeps through and gets into the bloodstream through the skin and fights the virus. well i didn't think sparrow would keep a garlic sock on, as she is not used to sleeping with socks on anyways, so at the last minute i decided to put it in her diaper before bed time. however, i ditched the paper towel because i needed quick action, and i thought it might block the effects. plus i was just doing this from memory of something kim told me from something she found on the internet. anyways, sparrow ended up with raw garlic in her diaper. i told her all along what i was doing: "we are gonna put garlic in your diaper and make you feel all better..." i was slightly nervous and felt that i should go look up the kosher-ness of leaving it raw in her diaper, or if it was "caustic" and would irritate or something. but an hour later she had already woken up crying heavily and i immediately changed her diaper and took out the garlic just in case. later i read that one needs to be careful not to get raw garlic on children's skin. oops! but voila! it had already done its job! the next morning she woke up happy and far less stuffy and was well enough to go to holly's so i could go make up my lost day at work.

the next 2 times i changed her diaper after the garlic episode, she replaced her usual "sparrow--booty! mama--booty!" chant with this: "gaeec! gaeec!" i finally realized she was saying "garlic!" remembering from last night! isn't that amazing?


sparrow has become increasingly fascinated with exercise! first of all, she can say the word, which is more than most 2-year-olds can boast. she handed me the "going to bed" book the other day and said excitedly, "ecacike! ecacike!" i thought for 2 seconds... ecacike? oh exercise!!! "and when the moon is on the rise, they all go up to EXERCISE!" she loves it that there is a dancing hippo on that page, and always says, "hippo--dance."

about a week ago, i was contemplating doing a pilates session in the eve. while thomas was gone. i asked melissa if she had any pilates tapes, and then said to sparrow--"hey, do you wanna do some pilates with me?" i was totally blown away when the girl immediately started doing leg lifts and breathing pilates-breath!: "wh-wh" it was soooooo cute, and i couldn't think where she had picked that up except that nicole and i had been discussing and kidding around with pilates one evening, at least three weeks ago! crazy how she remembers things.

here's one i am really baffled as to how she picked it up: i was trying to change her diaper the other eve. and she was goofing off a bit, but as i was about to get annoyed, i tuned in to what she was doing, and she was doing SITUPS. she was putting her hands on her head, lifting up a little, and counting "one, two..." baffling! but i'll take it!hahahahaha!

she is well into doing her plies whenever prompted; she gets this verschminzt little look on her face--a slightly self-conscious smile, and bends her knees--down, up. thomas has been letting her watch dance videos on tv quite a bit. old ones of his performances, or fernando bujones in class or whatever. she LOVES it. she just stands in front of the TV and dances along and it is hilarious. i have to post a video of it asap. whenever she sees anyone dancing on the screen now, she thinks it's "daddy!" and if it's a performance video, and she hears people clapping, she starts clapping and exclaims, "Yay!"

Monday, September 24, 2007

sounds like butterball!

lots of little new stories to recount for the record of sparrow's little diary.

thomas went out of town for the weekend and we were desolated without him! he took the car and we felt a bit odd stuck in the house saturday morning, so i decided to take sparrow on "adventures" and ride the bus into IV. i would have liked to go even further (peets comes to mind), but it is always a push to get out the door in time and then be back for the nap... besides, we were just learning how to ride the bus and where to catch it and when--we nearly missed our first opportunity, and they only come once every hour! i wanted to go to the co-op for some tidbits, and so we alighted at ucsb and i had brought the little stroller to make a nice morning of it. i had to stop and get a coffee at a place swarming with flies, where the staff took no pains to be in a hurry to serve you, and the coffee tasted burnt, but not too bad once you added some steamed soy. i was tired enough, that is, that i was content with whatever was available. still a little luxury. anyways, we stopped at a playground on our way back to the stop, and i gave sparrow dried fruits that we had purchased. then i realized the bus was coming in a few minutes, and we ran and ran, but missed it by about one minute! so we found a little spot a ways away to play for the next hour. i read a paper while sparrow splashed in puddles. it got a little crazy when she started licking the puddle water off her hands like she does at home in the sink. finally the next bus arrived. i had us all set: sparrow in the stroller, all the groceries underneath, the diaper bag over my shoulder, and the money in my hand. i pushed up to roll the stroller onto the bus, when the big white bus driver said loudly "UH-UH-NO-NO-NO-nonono, you have to clap that thing together." i gave him a pissed/exasperated face despite my well-knowing that i should just be cheerful and compliant, and cried, "i have a bunch of bags in here--how am i supposed to carry it all!" (and keep sparrow under control and with me the whole time) i wanted to say--what if you have someone in a wheelchair come in here--do you make THEM clap their wheels together? the other busdriver hadn't been so cruel! oh but then again--he was mexican. the mean busdriver obviously had never had a child. (whereas mexican men are well-known to give birth all the time.) anyways it was great getting home and later i borrowed ander's car to go to trader joe's, and then aya came over to keep us company and make delicious thai food. in fact, i quite neglected aya in the kitchen for the good part of an hour, because sparrow and i went out searching for lime leaves for the soup, since she said the asian market had been out of them. i could have sworn there was a lime tree nearby... i ended up rushing around the darkening neighborhood for close to 40 minutes with everything yielding nothing but lemons and oranges. when i got back to the house with many exasperated apologies, i found a lime in our fruit basket, leaves still attached, that thomas had picked the other day.

sparrow stayed up late and played with alan and melissa for quite some time and kept saying "aya!" what a fun one to say. aya and i stayed up til... 3? i don't even know, because i told her i didn't want to know the time, when we finally retired, but now... now i want to know the time.

the next morning sparrow ran to the office door and knocked and said "dada!" when we woke up. sigh! she missed him! we filled up our day again with walks and playgrounds and songs. what an emptiness it is without the husband around to laugh with and make dinner for though! sparrow barely took a nap which made me so sad following my late late night that i had to make a second cup of coffee in the afternoon. getting tired and grumpy by dinnertime, i had just sat down to eat, sparrow next to me, and taken a big huge bite. suddenly i tuned in to sparrow, who was saying, "bay! bay! bay!" i am thinking--what is she---oh my gosh, she is saying "pray!" i forgot to pray outloud for my dinner! so i chewed and chewed, telling her, ok, we will pray, hang on, and finally swallowed my bite and we folded our hands and prayed. when i was done, i said the usual, "in jesus' name..." and waited for her to finish, but she did not say amen. oh well, i said it myself and was about to resume eating, when she started up again: "bay! bay! bay!" what!? she really wanted to pray some more! she was holding her hands out to me to grasp them! so i grasped them and we prayed some more, and following this prayer, the same thing happened again! by that time i told her we'd pray some more before bedtime and continued eating in astonishment that i had been spiritually put to shame by a one-year-old.

this morning, thomas was back, and i asked sparrow, "guess who came back to see you?" she says, "sisi? ander?" "nooo, daddy!" i say. first thing she does is look around in the bed to see if he is there. not there! already in the office! then she says wistfully, "daddy--rough" and rubs her cheek. he's been showing her his rough cheeks lately, compared to her smooth ones.

i have also noticed that she can sing 'the wheels on the bus' quite well, after only 2 times of hearing it from me! she sings "ound and ound" with almost the right tune, and tries to cram all the verses into one: "waa!--shh--down!"

the other day she said "vegetables" for the 1st time-- she eats them every night, and she was pretty excited about it, and repeated it when i told her they were almost ready. it sounded just like "butterball!" i was so delighted.

i have been calling nursing "nu-nus" forever, i think reece's son christian started it, and it stuck with me. so whenever i try to get her to focus on or get ready for nursing, i say, "nu-nu time!" she has been saying it, too, but it used to sound like "nu-nu mime." now she can say it perfectly, and the other day i was trying to get her to come with me to the stroller and home, from the playground. she was chasing a flock of crows around a field and kept pursuing them at full running speed. i hollered, "come on, sparrow," and she began running around even faster, with all her might, yelling, "NU-NU TIME!"

i've been teaching her recently, "what's daddy's name? tom-tom!" this morning, i asked her, and she said, "papum!" what a great nickname it will make!

i unfortunately taught her to lick. she now randomly tries to lick my face and it gets really funny--licking wars with a baby. what have i done? she never ceases to be amused by it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

a little girl in pigtails

yes, the day has arrived: she is wearing her hair up in pigtails. i had noticed that her hair was getting to be quite a mullet, but she is still a haircut virgin so i didn't want to flippantly cut off the back. besides, cutting off the back won't make the sides longer, will it. then she will have short hair all around. at least she has a little long hair! and i finally figured out how to make the mullet look great: put the back in pigtails! oooooooooh it is to die for. tiny short little pigtails that stick pretty much straight out of the back of her head. i have to get her to hold still for the installation process, though, which can be a challenge. but she's been pretty good so far. i just tell her, "you are going to look so cute! almost done! ok, go look at bookie in the mirror! cute!" and she says "cute!" and runs to see the effect in the mirror. i have to work on emphasizing other qualities besides cuteness, though. i hate it when kids are cute and they know it. it ruins their cuteness altogether. what was that passage in the bible about your cuteness not coming from the wearing of braids or pigtails... her inner cuteness must shine forth!

i am extremely interested in her artistic development lately. i read a great book from goleta library called "young at art," and in it i learned an immense amount of surprising information about how to assist the young artist in the best way to develop their artistic expression. for example, i didn't know that it is harmful to their a.d. (artistic development) if you draw on their paper, draw cute pictures for them, or try to show them "how" to draw. i didn't know that it is detrimental to try to relate their drawings to real objects, like: that looks like a whale! or even to say "what is it?" apparently, if it's just a scribble then it's just a scribble and parents should leave it at that. it is not even recommended to say "i like that," or "that's pretty," because this puts subjective values onto the child's personal artistic expression. it is better to simply describe the physical quality of the work they are doing, such as "that is a long, crooked line." or, "i see you made some thin straight lines!" HOW important all these little things are i'm not exactly sure, but i want to stick to them as much as possible, just in case she is meant to be a great artist. evidently kids need to be allowed to free-scribble in big sheets of paper for about 3 years or so before they begin to even make shapes, and then it varies as to when they come upon the idea to draw a human. these milestones should NOT be pushed. apparently the child's mind stays a lot more free and creative if caregivers allow the progression to happen naturally. eventually the toddler will draw what is known as a "mandela" shape, which involves either a circle with lines sticking out of it, or a ladder-type structure. it is the child's first attempt at organization of lines, basically. from this the natural step to the human depiction. this is exactly why toddler pictures of people don't have separate heads and torsos. their human figures are derived from the mandela shape, and they simply add eyes and mouth, and the lines sticking out become of course, limbs.

at any rate, all that to say that i went overboard on this month's budget because i couldn't resist buying sparrow a big newsprint pad at michaels and the cheap one-dollar markers as well. these are skinny little affairs which are not as easily "washable" as expected, and look not that great on big pieces of newsprint. however, sparrow certainly loves them. i try to limit her colors per art session, but she knows there is a whole pack of all the colors and insists on having the rest also. i let her because i think it is better that she is having a good art experience that interests her (even if it's just playing with markers) than doing all the projects and book-suggestions word for word. i have an "art blanket" that i put down every time i let her draw, as a sort of a drop cloth to protect the floor. i have been teling her since the beginning that the crayons and markers have to stay "on the blanket!" when she forgets and walks off the blanket holding a marker, i always say " this has to stay on the blanket!" and toss the marker back onto the cloth. haha, well--she caught on to that one really quick. now whenever i tell her, "this has to stay on the blanket!" she thinks it is her duty to throw the marker away from her, instead of just putting it back on the blanket. she thinks the object is to throw the crayon, not where the crayon lands. pretty funny. the blanket is also spattered with some paint that i have let her use before. a few weeks ago she was wandering on the cloth, pointing out all the paint drips and saying, "art!" but like an english person: "aahht!" she sounds a bit british when she asks for water, too, and it is soooooooo sweet!

she has started saying her first short phrases: "bye bye daddy," and "alan--sleeping!" as well as "all gone fishies!" when she is done with her gold fish. i notice, too, that she retains information for quite some time as she remembers something that occurred previously. there is a huge wolf spider, for example, that sits in the passageway downstairs at our apt. complex quite often. we have pointed it out to her a few times when it has been there. today, as we were walking through the passageway, she said, "spider!" another spider illustration, from tonight: i was changing her diaper when i noticed a sort of menacing-looking spider come out from a cranny somewhere, beelining straight for her head. i picked her up and tried to be calm as i said, "we've gotta take care of that spider, sparrow, come up here and mama will get it." i looked around me and found one of her changing pads lying nearby. "ok, now we just have to aim, and--squish it! then squeeze!" and the thing crunched under the changing pad. having no immediate way to dispose of it, i laid the changing pad next to the rocking chair, smushed spider-side up. "ok, all gone spider! good job." a few mins. later as i was trying to read her a book, she was still squirming in the rocking chair, trying to see the spider and sayin "by-dou! by-dou!" so i pointed out where it was on the floor, and said, "all gone, spider! bye bye! spider is sleeping!" a full 20 mins. later, while she was already on her bed, thomas came in, and the 1st thing sparrow did was try to tell him the spider story. she eagerly told him, "by-dou! all gone!" over a few times, til o told him she was trying to tell him a story, and filled in the gaps for her. i was also quite impressed yesterday because she proved to remember certain people associated with certain other people. we were going over to the lomelino's to return something. i told her, "we're going to go see samuel!" and then kept asking her at random intervals who we were going to so see. she accurately would say, "myu-myu!" (samuel) but then i asked her when we were almost there, and she said, "hope!" wow! so surprised! she remembered without me mentioning it, that hope lives there too! amazing.

she has started walking around on her tippy toes the past 2 days. who taught her that? anyways, it's pretty fun to see her do that. as if she's a real, normal person or something!

tonight i thought she was brilliant because she turned her book upside down to properly see the picture of the boy doing a flip into the water. the boy is pictured upside down in mid-air. she deliberately turned her book all the way around, stared at the boy for awhile in this position, and flipped it back right-side up again to continue to read.

Monday, September 10, 2007

sparrow and doris' DAY OF FUN!

one of my main birthday wishes was: to go camping. i hadn't been in FOREVER! since before i was married, i think. there is only so long i can go without the grand outdoor pleasures of roasting marshmallows on a fire and sleeping on rocky ground and getting all my stuff to smell like smoke. besides that, summer is my favorite season, and camping is an active celebration of summer, in my book. gotta get it before it merges into the cold and crisp and pumpkinny-ness of fall! my birthday was on labor day weekend and therefore i thought it would not be wise to attempt a camping outing at the time. however, the weekend after that, tara and camille made it happen. i kept telling her the two days before we left: "we are going to go outside--all weekend long! you're gonna love it!" since she continually desires to go outside. this would be perfect. i even splurged and bought some wine and marshmallows for the occasion. not that she got any of those.

bright and early saturday morning, tara picked up sparrow and me at our house, and we headed north to the great beauty of big sur. it was quite the decision, i daresay, to take sparrow up the infernally curvy highway 1 again, after hating that drive so much in july, but if that's where we were camping, it had to be done.

we stopped in SLO to get some wood, which we were calling wooo'd (rhymes with food) and getting sparrow to start saying it too. she even helped us to load the firewood into the suv.

when we got to the much-talked-up andrew molera state campgrounds, tara and i were immensely pleased to find that there were spots open. (it is her favorite campsite in big sur.) then the ranger said, "you know there's no fires allowed here, right?" what. "no fires!" i exclaimed, "we have a professional chef coming in!" hahaha. well it's true. camille was bringing fish and sausage and eggs and multiple other heat-needy items. we spent the next hour or more trying to get things re-situated: finding a private campground with fire allowance, attempting to get a hold of camille somehow without service on our cell phones, driving back and forth, eating burritos, figuring out how/when to change sparrow's poopy diaper. baby was extremely restless in the car at this point. when we stopped at the general store to get burritos, she was so excited that i couldn't keep her from bee-lining straight for the creek. tara went to get us a campsite while sparrow and i waited for camille, and i took sparrow's clothes off and let her play in the water. the stream had rustic-looking comfy wicker chairs in little groups sitting right in the water. the effect was completely magical; i felt like i had walked into another world, a mark-twainish fantasyland where people sat in chairs in the middle of streams under dappled sunlight, reading newspapers. the water was (obviously) very shallow and clear and gorgeous, with clean-looking pebbles and rocks. little goosepimpled, barefoot sparrow found a bigger rock to sit her little diapered bottom onto, then, shivering, would reach into the water and grab handfuls of rocks and pebbles and gleefully say, "one, too...WEE," on "wee" throwing the rock with a splash and being completely delighted every time. this is the beautiful state in which tara found us when she returned to collect us again. we were a bit worried about camille, but by some fluke she received a text message that tara had sent, and arrived at the new campsite right as we did! and not only had she brought fish and sausage, but she also brought kimberly lumm. a double bonus, since kimberly can spout "you've got mail" quotes with the best of us. this was going to be fun.

the rest of the afternoon was spent setting things up, eating (of course), and hanging out by the creek. the new campsite, you see, was right on the river, and would have been quite beautiful if it weren't for the fact that the camping spaces were the size of parking spots and there were tents, cabins, and cars everywhere! didn't feel that much like nature(and i had to keep a sharp eye on sparrow at all times). in fact, there was a huge cabin looming over our campsite; we were right in the "front yard," as if we were the serfs in some lord's kingdom. we had also spent $50 for this campsite instead of the $10 charge at andrew molera. but we knew it would be well worth it when we smelled what camille was cooking. camille and i agree that camping is all about the food. well, ok, it's about nature too, tara, and getting away from the demands of everyday life, but back to the food. first we had tasty sandwiches in the afternoon, plus chips and home made salsa. then we decided to take a little nap to sleep it off so we would be hungry for dinner. hahaha.

then camille made tasty green salad, artichokes with aioli sauce, eggplant with a garlic wine sauce and fish. all over a campfire with lighting help from tara's car head lights. soooooooo good! then of course we got to roast marshmallows. sparrow had taken a nap in the tent, but that night she would not go to sleep alone in there. even when i was sure she was fast asleep, and lay her down, she would sense it and wake up and so she stayed up as late as we did. then we snuggled up in the tent together, with tara, and were super cozy and toasty in the morning.

breakfast consisted of several kinds of sausage, high-quality bacon, toast with butter and jam, fruit, scrambled eggs, sauteed vegetables, and my favorite: coffee. a bit tricky to make it in nature, but still possible. and my half and half had kept, even though i hadn't had it in a cooler for the whole ride up. whew!

we packed up the tents and everything and headed back to andrew molera state park when we were done eating. there was beach access there, and kim and camille were going to stay there for an extra night despite no fire, as tara and i drove home later. we hiked over to the beach and found out that you actually have to wade through a fairly deep pool in order to even reach the beach. for some reason i was super uptight about getting my underwear all wet. not wanting a cold wet bottom, i suppose. watched camille and tara go through the cold water up to their boobs. they even took sparrow across for me, who cried and clung to camille and nearly struggled her down in the middle of the deep part! kim and i walked up the cliff to see if there was another way. but there wasn't. i would rather have gone in naked than get my underwear wet at that point. but there were other people around, so it looked like that was going to be a very rude an awkward thing to do. anyways, we were about to brave it, when i saw another man wade in, and come out on the other side without even getting his shorts wet! HEY! there must be a shallower route! kim and i found it, and i am happy to report that my underwear came through unscathed.

why was i still wearing my underwear and not a bathing suit to the beach, you ask? it's fairly complicated, but truly for me the beach is about lying around in the sun. i just wasn't expecting to get wet.

and that's what we did: lay around in the sun. eating chips and carrots and playing scrabble, just sitting on a blanket for about six hours. it was perfect for sparrow. normally she attempts to run right into the waves when we are at the beach, so i have to keep a close eye on her and don't get to just loll about. this beach, however, had a big strip of rocks in front of the water, so she couldn't really get to it by herself. hurrah! there were shallower pools that she could play in, and did, but i was soooo pleased that she basically just toodled around for the whole day and entertained herself with sand, sticks, and seaweed. the girls and i got pretty seared in the long sun-exposure, but it was the most relaxing time! my body is now in the process of shedding the sunburned layer in big disturbing pieces. i don't like to look at me at the moment. WHY did i neglect my berries/spirulina-chlorella regimen? grrr. sparrow, i am pleased to tell you, did not get sunburned. i had clothes and/or hat on her part-time but she also went naked, and honestly, this was all day. i only ever take her out to the beach for an hour, max 2. it was incredible. she obviously has a much better skin-shielding diet than i, what with her kale/broccoli-eating ways.

in the late afternoon we trudged warm and happy back to the car and got ready to go. tara and i had to get another burrito for the road of course. we thought sparrow would be out cold in no time, since she hadn't had a nap. but she ended up screaming her head off for the first part of the trip, upset that she was in a car seat instead of a bed, evidently, and wanting to be home. i drank my green tea, unnerved that she might have gotten sunstroke or similar. she finally settled down when i put my hand back toward her. she grabbed my whole forearm like a teddy bear and fell asleep clutching it. and was perfectly fine after all. babies just need extra love when traveling away from home.

and that, my friends, is the story of sparrow's first camping experience.

From sept. 07

Thursday, August 30, 2007

super genius

not only does sparrow point at the splatters on her art-drip blanket and say "art" in an english accent ("aaht"), today she said her own name for the first time!!

she recognized herself in a picture.

one of her favorite activities is to go through my phone pictures and look at all the ones i have of her and daddy. she says "daddy!" "baby!" there is one of her and liz, and she now knows it's liz and says "sisi!" (auntie sissy). then today she totally blew me out of the water and said, "sisi! aewo!" and i gasped and said "what!? who's that?" again, she said "aewo!" sparrow! woohoo!

she is saying so many new things that i can barely keep up. she is particularly good at copying us when we say something, so i am not quite sure if she gets and knows what she is saying all the time. my favorite thing recently has been her amen. she started doing it a month and a half ago, but now it is soooo funny. you bow your head to pray and she is doing really goofy and cheesy faces the whole time and totally just being funny; you don't think she is paying attention at all, but then the second you say "in jesus' name," she right-on-cue says "amen!" which is promptly followed by "bite?!" like, feed me already!

Monday, August 20, 2007

new hilarities

haha, let me tell you about sparrow's listening skills. she pretends a LOT that she doesn't know what we are saying to her, and yet, we can be praying this long elaborate prayer, and she is listening so well that as soon as we say "in jesus' name," she says, "amen" right on cue! every time! crazy.

sparrow can say one, two, three! in sequence, and when she hears someone say "one," she usually concludes with "wee!" (three) and then starts again, "one...wee!" she thinks this is great fun because it usually comes with getting daddy to jump around or toss her around or lift her up to fly. she also walks around humming "A B D, A B D," which is of course abc, slightly mispronounced.

today i took her to farmer's market as usual, and we have been eating a lot of berries lately. well she was already stained red all over by the time i put her in the car; i wanted her to eat something a little lighter in color for the ride home, and she always wants to eat in the car. anyway, i decided on a yellow plum-thing and started biting bits off to hand back to her. she ate one piece, but mistrustingly, and when i tried to give her another piece she said loudly, "no! ...beiiyy!" (berry) wow. making her feelings quite clear. oh well. more plum for me! she will stick with the strawberries, thank you!

one of the coolest things she's learned in the past week or two is to take her dirty diaper once we are done changing her, and put it in the bucket in the bathroom. it is such a nice thing. and she has never even tried to throw it into the adjoining toilet either! at this rate, she really will be fully earning her place in the household by the time she is seven!

another one of her recently acquired skills is walking backward. she has been working on this for a few weeks (something thomas taught her), but has just recently gotten pretty good at it. she gets this little taut smile on her face and mischevious eyes, and starts taking little marching steps-in-place while saying "back back back back..." and moves backward, usually landing with her butt on her mattress and then bouncing up and down for a few moments with her short little wispy hair flying upward. it was really funny when she was first learning the backward thing because when she would get under pressure, like when we would ask her to demonstrate it for us, she would get too excited and end up always going forward with her little marching steps, instead of back.

the other day thomas and sparrow found a discarded kiddie-doll stroller on one of their walks. sparrow loved it sooooo much that thomas at last acquiesced and brought it home. he cleaned it up, and now she plays with it all the time, pushing it around and sitting in it and playing with the little buckle. the evening after she first got it, i had set her stuffed piggy that liz gave her into the stroller and we buckled him in. then i asked her, "are you going to take piggy for a walk around the block?" immediately she pushed piggy away and...straight to her box of blocks! i was baffled by her confidence and sincerity at which she followed my suggestion! not only that, but she picked out all the colored blocks from the stash and put them in piggy's lap. so nice!

on wednesday we went sailing with dave and danielle. i was BUSHED from the drammamine i had taken, and completely nauseous the whole time on top of it! would i have been less sick-feeling, or more, if i hadn't taken the medicine? sparrow LOVED it. she kept pointing and saying "wa-du! wa-du!" and wanting to stand right on the edge of the boat looking over. luckily we had borrowed a kid life jacket from the reeves and had stuffed her into it the minute we got on the boat. about halfway through the fun, she got so tired that she fell asleep on me, and of course, slept like a baby until we got back to land. she has experienced so much already, in her short little life! my first time sailing--almost 26 years old. her first time sailing--not yet 16 months. she's been to at least ten weddings already, too, and four countries.

HAAAAHAAHaaaa, do i have a treasure of a video to share with you today! thomas taught sparrow the greatest move ever! i laughed my head off at the dinner table.
i hope this link works.

Monday, July 9, 2007

sparrow's new words

i have to keep a list of the new ones she acquires, at least for awhile, because it is fascinating to me.

july 9th--

rock (she said it walking all the way back home from brandon school, and insisted on touching every rock in a little stone wall and saying "ock" as she pointed to each one.)

july 10--


weekend of july 13-16

amen (she interrupted our prayer by saying "amen!")
bite! (every time she sees us eating something she wants)

july 17--


july 20--


july 21-28th--

book (not just the sign but the real word now!)

july 29th--


july 30th--

avocado (abcoco)
cookie (kickee!)

july 31st--


aug. 2nd--


aug. 3rd--

hug (she started saying this awhile ago, actually, don't remember exactly)
dog (for real--not just panting or barking or "du". she says "dogk"
glasses (started awhile ago too.)

aug 5th--

(this was completely amazing because she was just sitting eating lunch and she kept staring out the window at the tree waving vigorously outside. suddenly she pointed out and looked at me and said, "wind!" her dad teaches her well.)

she also now walks backwards in tiny little steps with this pleased, excited, mischevious look on her face, saying "back back back back" as she does so. haha!

it seems like she ditches the signs for things as soon as she has the word down. kind of a sad loss, but her talking is so cute that it's worth it!

aug. 6th thru 19th--

hot dog
duck (full-fledged!)
airplane (using 2 syllables now and is understandable as such)
train (she hears a train hooting in the distance and perks up and says "wain!")
spanking (beng-keng)
butterfly (she has this elaborate sign for it and says "vwy!")

aug. 20th--


she also said "rice" and "bus" today, but i don't know if i should officially include them, because she was copying us, and i don't know if she really knows what these words mean by themselves. all the other words i have up, she could say without prompting when she saw the object or action in question.

aug. 20th to sept. 19th--

hungry (she refers to the fridge as "ungy!")
bear (real word)
necklace (real word)
cow (real word)
piggy (real word)
fishy (real word)
bunny (real word)
peekaboo (bookeego!)
flower (r.w.)
gentle (r.w.)
bee (r.w.)
frog (r.w.)
animal (aminau)
vegetable (sounds like "butterball!")

Thursday, July 5, 2007

sparrow's words

i want to start keeping a record of words sparrow adds to her vocabulary. i should have been doing this all along. what counts as a baby's first word anyhow? their first correctly-pronounced word, or their first recognizable attempt at a word? her first recognizable attempt at a word came at seven months, shortly after she had learned to crawl, i believe, which happened just before she turned 7 mos. i was showing her a rubber ducky, and doing the duckbill sign, hoping she'd catch on to the sign soon, as i knew she loved her duckies. but instead of signing, it, she just started saying "du-du!" one day. i was amazed. i was so amazed that i thought it was just a fluke, but when she kept doing it every time i would bring out the duck and speak and sign it, she would continue saying "du-du!" and to this day she still says it "duh!" words she can now say are:

duck (duh)
dog (duh)(sign too)
owl (ow-a)
banana (nana)
no (sign too)
bunny (nanna) (sign too)
moon (nun)(sign too)
hat (sign too) (she pronounced it "ta" for a long time but how it's "hat")
hot (sign too)
button (don)
balloon (noon)
boo! (bo)
poopee (poopa) (sign too)
airplane (nana) (sign too)
octopus (ahpo) (sign too)
bed (ba) (sign too)
baby (bay bay)
clown (doun) (sign too)
sky (gy)

the last 11 or more were just acqquired within the last 2 weeks. she is saying a new one every day now.

and she has sounds or signs for at least 2 dozen other things:
fishy (fishface)
i love you
sheep (she goes "heheheh!" for "baaaa" so cute. she sits there and 'laughs' at her book with all the sheep in it)

of course she can identify a bunch of other things such as: her nose, eyes, hair, ears, mouth, toes, shoes, porridge, sandwich, cereal, blanket, spoon, bath, door, window, etc. and knows pat-a-cake. she can do a bunch of faces on command: her first and most famous was "tigerface," at about 8 or 9 months, then came fishface around 10 months, and roller coaster face (my favorite) around one year. she also nods her head vigorously when we say "yes, mama!" or "rock n roll!" and knows what it is to go upside down and dance and bounce.if i say "pick up the crayon and put it on the blanket," she knows what to do. also "go give this to daddy."

anyways i don't know what they are supposed to be saying/signing at this stage at ALL. no idea. but i do think she is a genius.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

mama's sewing corner

i have been using our sewing machine and my precious evening hours of late to sew clothes for the baby... ok, ok, i wasn't really sewing clothes per se. not in the 1950s gingham dress-sewing sense. but a cape can count as clothes, too, right? can i win an industrious housewife award? yes. i was making sparrow a princess cape. it can even be attached to her onesie with snaps to prevent choking accidents. i had noticed a few times that sparrow was wrapping her blankie around her shoulders and traipsing about the house that way, but not only that: my pants, shirts, even my victoria's secret underwear were on different occasions worn by her as a "cape."

so---it was time to make her a cape, of course. i made it a bit too long, and not wide enough as it should have been--she can't really wrap it--so i'll have to make another one. but for now it still looks pretty dang amazing when she runs around trader joes in nothing but her onesie, cape, and huge sandals. sigh. so cute.

also, we had a heeeeelarious potty training incident this morning: sitting on couch in kitchen, sparrow pats her diaper and says "poopa!" i say, "we'd better take her; maybe she has to go pee again...?" (she says poopa for both functions.) thomas says, "you have to go to the toilet?" and we rush her to the bathroom. when we get her diaper off, thomas looks in her diaper and says, "hm, it's already wet, and...look, there's a little bit of poop in it..." well little sparrow is still standing there next to the toilet, and while he's analyzing it, she lets the rest of the poop out onto the floor! hahahaha, thomas was so shocked. so you see, young potty trainers out there, one MUST put the baby on the toilet immediately after removing the diaper! analyzing diaper contents can wait til later. baby bowels can't.

i think the hardest part about potty training is having the energy to consistently run the baby to the toilet every time they give their cue. because sparrow doesn't quite know yet, i think, that she is only supposed to say the cue before she actually needs to go. not just for fun or whenever she thinks about it or when she hears a toilet flushing. so i would seriously be putting her onto the toilet 20 times a day at this point. any advice from the veterans? i haven't read any books, just prayed about it, and it seems to be working alright. we don't even have her own potty for her, so maybe we should get us one of them and that way we can just buy pull-ups and she can take herself to the potty.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

you will notice that i am actually quite scientific

here i will share with you how i have organized my summer with a simple formula:

day off work + sunny morning = one hour at the beach

this means we are going two or three times a week nowadays, since the gray days have mercifully been less frequent. today was a GORGEOUS day at bacara; we were able to arrive there by 10 am (i like to go in the mornings before my shower and before the big heat and crowds of the day). it was seriously perfect: pristine, practically tar-free, amazing smooth round rocks scattered about, the perfect tidal level, the perfect amount of haze in the sky, and the perfect temperature: breezy, yet warm in the sun. and no one else to be seen. it made me sooooooooooo glad that we still live in santa barbara, despite the craziness of rent. i had my travel mug of fresh gourmet coffee with me, which improved my outlook even more. sparrow was great the whole time and played in the sand without insisting on going down to get tumbled in the water. although she does have quite the affinity for tossing sand onto the blanket... we went on a walk down the beach, we picked up some interesting shells, she face-planted in the sand, she laid on top of me as i was getting my vitamin-d intake, she played with dogs running by, she knocked beach rocks together, she tried to pick up boulders, she gave me sweet little kisses under her ladybug hat, she destroyed all the sand towers i made... sparrow is perfectly content when she is outside. once i figured this out, i decided to make my life a whole lot easier and developed the summer formula given above.

it also helped that i became free of sunscreen: yes, i don't believe in it anymore, and it has sure made it a lot easier and funner (and better-smelling) to go down to the beach. it is crazy enough trying to get everything ready for a baby to hit the sands without having to add to it the sunscreen burden. she's become quite the little brownie, but i am telling you: we have been to the beach for an hour each at least 4 or 5 times without sunscreen now, and she has NOT gotten a sunburn. she must have really good nutrition to build up that natural internal sunscreen mike adams talks about on i have started taking spirulina and chlorella for this purpose, but i still got sunburned the other day cause the nutrition takes a month to kick in. (side note: i tell thomas we are naming our first set of twin girls spirulina and chlorella. sounds like evil stepsisters.) sparrow on the other hand eats either kale or broccoli every single day, not to mention super porridge and fruits and carrots and most everything organic. i love feeling great about the sun. i love basking in it and tangibly noticing that it's doing my body so much good. that the vitamin d is sinking in to fight cancers and lots of other potential ills. i even had a cold the other week and all i did was drink loads of water and lie in the sun. the throat ache lasted not one day longer after that.

barnaby told me today: "well they say that even one bad sunburn can increase your risk of cancer." right. A) i think pop tarts, croutons, and boxed soups increase your risk of cancer. B) who are "they" and WHY are they not ALSO telling people that using frikn sunscreen increases your risk of cancer too!? HMMMMMM? got a hunch that these "sun causes cancer" studies are being SPONSORED by the sunscreen industry... in my book, the vitamin d obtained from the sun exposure probably more than cancels out the increased cancer risk but no one is going to mention that. more formulas i've come up with to illustrate the dang truth of the matter:

sun expossure = vitamin d
vitamin d = cancer risk plummeting!
sunburn = cancer risk slightly increasing
plummeting + slightly increasing = still remains significantly decreased!
sunscreen use = cancer risk greatly increasing
sunscreen + probably getting sunburned anyways = cancer risk extremely high!

and oh yes, once the twin sisters nutrition boost sets in, it looks like this:

sun exposure + spirulina + chlorella - sunscreen = no sunrelated cancer risk + decreased risks of all kinds of other cancers too, due to vitamin d!

now i have to say something about people who wear spf 8. if you're gonna smear a cancer-causing chemicals on your largest (absorbent!) organ, you might as well use spf 45 and at least take the SLIGHT decrease of cancer risk by avoiding sunburn for sure. they know deep down that they DO want the sun to get to them, but are paying their token homage to the all-powerful sunscreen industry ANYWAYS, sooo.... it takes slightly longer for them to get their desired tan, but they feel good about themselves for at least putting on SOME sunscreen. and in my opinion they are worse than an unbeliever cause they're getting free cancer over here, AND actually PAYING for cancer over there! cancer over here + cancer over there = stupid people. ok maybe just misled, brainwashed, ignorant... as i was once myself. sigh.

i have become so anti-parabens that i even made my own shampoo and conditioner today. so ambitious, yet it left my hair oily and stringy, much like on days when i don't wash my hair at all, but perhaps even oilier and stringier. must have been that oil i put in it. hahaha hehe. i still use "california baby" brand shampoo on sparrow, as i have from the day she was born (johnson's "no tears yet i cause multiple other ills" shampoo has never touched her) but i cannot justify spending $10 for a shampoo bottle for my own use, since with my hair i would use up the lot of it in 2 weeks... i will just have to keep experimenting with food products until i get a good FORMULA which i will subsequently share with the world!


the most amazing thing happened, well really i shouldn't be so surprised, since God is good and cares about these things: i have been praying that we would be able to get sparrow potty-trained in the next 2 weeks, and... then yesterday this happened: she wakes up in the morning and starts playing a little. she looks at us and pats her diaper with her little "huh?" noise which i love so well. i say, "does that mean she wants to go pee? what if it means she wants to go pee? oh well, let's try it!" so i walk her to the toilet, take diaper off, set her on it, and she pees a pee! and her diaper was even completely DRY through the night! so i think she's a veritable genius. nevermind that that's the only time that's happened successfully. she tried to indicate when she was pooping too, but we didn't get to the toilet in time. most of the time, actually, i can tell when she is wanting to poop, and it sort of happens around the same-ish times every day, too. but she has this funny habit of running away when she poops! the other day i came home from work and was so excited to see her, i told her "come to mama and get kisses!" and she was coming toward me, but then she did a 180 and ran into the corner! thomas and i were like, what was that about? but he said, "maybe she's pooping." how did he know? cause sure enough, when she emerged she was very fragrant! but it's apparent that she doesn't like wearing diapers anymore. whenever she is in nothing but a diaper she always pulls on it and tries (sometimes successfully!) to take it off. i have been talking to her a lot about poo and pee and toilets and showing her flushing and telling her every time i am going. confession: i have not been using the decided-upon "turtle" word for her poos. i've just been saying "poopee." it works and it is intuitive and won't make her confused about turtles, which are really a sweet animal.

other things she has been amusing me with lately: she is really dang good at saying "uh-oh!" and "bye bye" now. she started saying bye bye about a week or 2 ago; so cute and so clear. she says uh-oh every time she falls down; or she makes a dramatic crying scene but i usu. don't give her much sympathy. thomas has always reacted to her head-bumping and falling in a dramatic way, a LOT more than me. i keep telling him he should temper his reactions, but he can't help himself! but she learned somehow to react dramatically when she falls! cause i know she really doesn't care a whit, because it usu. doesn't even hurt. when she bumps her head, thomas always shows her what she bumped it on. then he knocks on the item (edge of counter, or whatever it was) and says, "look baby, it's very hard, watch your head! very hard!" as he pats on it firmly to illustrate. she picked that up pretty fast! now whenever she bumps herself on ANYTHING, including his arm or my leg or anything, she will knock on it and make the "huh?" noise to indicate that "this is very hard!" sadly enough, my legs are definitely NOT hard... quite soft, i told her, but maybe someday when we start doing ballet together...

speaking of ballet, we took her to thomas' wed. night ballet that he teaches in goleta, and she was FULLY trying to to tendus and plies, and even working her arms! when she was watching lily's dance recital on video the other week, she was also moving quite accurately to mimic. so perhaps she will want to get into it, even though thomas is super adamant about not pushing her. whenever someone asks him if she's gonna be a dancer, he says, "or maybe she'll want to play soccer!" but for the record, valerie huston (great ballet teacher at ucsb) did herself confirm the beauty of her dance-able feet when she was a mere six weeks old.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

motorcycles, bees... turtle?

my baby is obsessed with motorcycles. it is super hilarious. she gets these big eyes and says: "dadda! vrrrm vrrrrm." and yesterday we showed her how to rev her wrist while she says "vrrrm vrrrm" so she is doing that now too and it is soooooooooooooo cute. cute cute cute. i want to eat her. here's this little downy-haired cherub-faced baby child with sparkly barrettes in her hair, and she is saying "vrrrrm vrrrm! and revving her wrists a couple of times every hour. especially when she hears her dad, thinks of her dad, or sees/hears a motorcycle or any other loud vehicle. also when she sees motorcycle helmets. speaking of helmets, yesterday we were hanging out with auntie sissy out at the calle real center. a guy drove up and parked his motorcycle and headed toward one of the shops. sparrow got soooooooo excited when she saw him and started going toward him, saying "dadda! dadda!" until the guy took off his helmet. then--i wish i could have filmed the progression of looks that crossed her face. she stopped in her tracks, and looked first taken aback, then she did a double take, and then she looked extremely confused for a few moments before furrowing her little brow and looking in the end as if she were slightly mad that he had stolen her dad's identity. the guy was being really sweet to her the whole time and talking to her and saying hi. liz had called over to him, "her daddy rides motorcycles!" anyway, motorcycles are her favorite thing right now.

motorcycles and bees. she does the bee sign/sound every couple of hours too and so far, the animals that she thinks are bees include: 1) actual bees 2) flies 3) ladybugs and 4) this little winnie-the-pooh face printed on a pair of thomas' thrift store sweats. for some reason, every time she sees that beary face she starts doing the bee thing! maybe cause it's black and yellow?

thursday there was a big buzzing fly in the house and she got really exited about it and vigorously performed her buzzing and flying like a bee, and for the rest of the day she would do it whenever she looked toward the window. she thought that fly was sooooooo cool! how did we get so lucky as to have a real bee in our house? i don't really know what to do if she mistakes something like that. should i assume that she could understand the difference between a bee and a fly? i just think she's doing so good to even think it's a bee that i want to encourage her, not discourage. so when a ladybug landed on her yesterday i told her it was a ladybug, but then i immediately said, "it's kinda like a bee!" and focused on the bee thing more as we played with the ladybug. she didn't really get it at first and just wanted to roll it between her thumb and forefinger, but then it finally flew off and she lit up and did "the bee." then tonight, she saw a cellophane sheet that had ladybug drawings printed all over it, and she went right up to it and did the bee, and i was so amazed! had she recognized it from yesterday, or was she just thinking that up on her own since she could tell it was a bug with black on it so it must be a bee? i don't know. but i think i need to challenge her and tell her all the right names from now on.

i decided that maybe i should try to potty train her. apparently, if she can do faces on command (tigerface, fishface, roller coaster face!) she can also poop on command. it would be nice to save money on diapers. now i must 1)attune myself to her pooping prep mannerisms so i can tell whenever she is gonna poo, 2) have a word or a sound that i always make when i can see she is starting to do it, and 3) set her on the pot. anyways, liz and lisi and i decided that the word of choice is "turtle," which prompted much laughter and discussion yesterday. it is perfect! my one concern is that she will have issues with turtles--the animal--in the future if she forever associates that word with pushing out a poop. my other alternative is to say "doodoo" or "doodee" but i think i am more of a turtle mom than a doodee mom. savvy?

Saturday, June 9, 2007


oh sparrow. she is such a baby. a girl. a girl and a baby rolled into one. i got her some kiddie sunglasses at the toystore today. she looks amazing in them. and also some little colorful hair clips. when she saw her image in the mirror, she reached up to her head to take the clips out! is it just me, or is she not supposed to realize yet that the person in the mirror is actually her? i mean, wasn't it just last week that she was checking behind the mirror to find and touch that baby on the other side of the glass? but in az at 12 mos. she was also taking bows out of her hair when she glimpsed her reflection in the sliding door. so she must have already had some associateion of that image to herself.

last wednesday (june 6th i believe) we all went to thomas' wed. night ballet that he teaches at the rec center. sparrow loved being in the studio and was even dancing along, attempting to do plies and port-du-bras. she was great. so maybe she will want to be a dancer after all, even though thomas is determined not to try to sway her toward it unfairly. the girl's life of ballet can be a social and physical torture. and i don't see myself wanting to be like the other ballet moms, elbowing for parts for their girls and jealousy and false pride and spite and ambition and living vicariously and all that crap. but for now it is still fun admiring her feet and her aptitude and the fun she has when dancing around. i dance around with her to music in the evening sometimes; she shows me some pretty cool moves.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

un-frazzle stage!


ah my little one! her canines are coming in like painful little whiteheads, and she is hurting, i can tell! what did she do today that i thought 'i MUST write this down'?...

well, she can do a little sign for "bees" nowadays. she puts her thumb and forefinger together (tries) and goes 'bzzzzz bzzzzz,' or at least that's how i say it. with her it comes out like a "thhhh! thhhhh!" and she shakes her entire arm vigorously back and forth with her little pincer sign. also, she recently learned that cows say "moo," from a little farm animal book that mel's mom sent us before she was even born. but it's really funny when the cow page comes up because she's not perfect in her pronunciation of the "moo" quite yet, and basically makes a loud low grunty sound that starts with an n. but she makes good and sure that it is really loud. i love it. and i can also recognize her trying to say "cockadoodle doo!" but it is as of yet pretty irregular and garbled. but she knows that she is supposed to say SOMETHING complicated on that page!

today i taught her how to sign "diaper," because yesterday it seemed like she was holding her diaper to try to tell me to change it. the sign involves putting your fists near the front of each hip and rotating them as if you were undoing diaper tabs. i had shown her how to do it earlier, and then i said at some point, "sparrow, how do you say 'diaper'?" she knew. and she seriously kept on rotating those little wrists with a serious expression on her face for over 30 seconds. it made me laugh so hard.

i have begun to read a book called "to train up a child." the philosophy behind it is really amazing and smart. hear this:

"In the infant and young child, we do not deal with their "selfishness" as sin, but we are aware of where it is
headed. Drives, which are not in themselves evil, nonetheless form the occasion to all sin. Our training must
take into consideration the evil that a self-willed spirit will eventually bring.

We parents cannot impart righteousness to our children, but we can develop in them a firm commitment to
righteousness. We cannot write the law on their hearts, but we can write the law and gospel on their

and it is really hard because you have to "train" your child consistently and this from an early age, and it involves self-discipline on your part, and expecting your child to obey and not giving in to them. wow, it was really hard for me when sparrow discovered scotch tape today and kept tearing looooooooong strips of tape off of it. it was kinda cute and i wanted her to be able to learn about stickiness, but a) we can't waste tape and b) i wanted to use it as an opportunity to train her to obey. before today, i would have simply taken it away from her and put it somewhere where she couldn't find it. but not today. armed with my newly acquired parental wisdom, i tried the new methods, and was surprised to see she took to it, and learned to give me the tape!

it was also a blessed relief, i tell you, to sit down to my dinner--with her on my lap--and realize that i didn't have to awkwardly eat all my food at arm's length while wrestling her to try to keep it out of her reach. i was the parent, and her will was trainable. i did not move my salad bowl OR my cup of tea away from the edge of the table. i was fully in awe. i felt so free! after dinner, i even felt free to do the dishes! lately she's just been hanging on my legs and whining so much whenever i try to do anything in the kitchen, that i don't wash up til she's asleep and feel like i have to hurry through all my essential kitchen tasks when she is awake. seriously, it was such a burden off to feel like i was a parent in control of my own household. i felt so orderly and right. but my goodness, i do love her little dickens face when she is staring up at me with her tiny set jaw...

one more hilarious quote by the author of my new favorite book... they like to tell anecdotes about certain kids/parents they've observed in situations. he tells the story of a particularly horrible (untrained) child, and then says,
"It was enough to make you believe the Devil started out as an infant. I am just thankful that one-year-olds don't
weigh two-hundred pounds, or a lot more mothers would be victims of homicide." hahahahahahahaaaaa. ha. i laughed pretty hard at that one.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

frazzle stage

sparrow is making me crazy these days. though i still watch all her frazzle-causing activities with much love and amusement. and also sighing, for it is bittersweet. so much growing up and changing. she is teething all kinds right now, for one thing, plus she is getting really good at walking and wants to do nothing but walk. and be outside. and walk. outside. and climb stairs. outside. i have not cooked a meal all week. we have resorted to eating pre-bagged salads and freezer pizzas. the child is getting fearsome independent, too; she won't let me hold her hand, a lot of times, when we are walking outside, and pulls her hand away and says, "naw." i thought this sort of behavior would not begin until age 2 or so...
she hangs at my pants all day and screws up her face and throws her head back and makes this sound: "HEEEEAIIIIIIIIIIGH!" i try to tell her to use her nice voice. and say please. these requests rarely sink in, and i really don't know how to discipline a child this young for a tone of voice. do i spank her for that? will she understand? her patience is so short with me these days; i feel like i am annoying her all the time. today we were at the playground and she wanted help getting up onto one of the play structures. she made her loud whiny sound, and i asked her to ask nicely and say please. she began to use a softer voice but absolutely could not get herself to do the "please" sign, and therefore she began to shriek again, but decided to give up on me and go find a place where she could get up herself. and she did it, too. forget mom! i feel like i a getting a small taste of what it's like to have a teenager in the house.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

sleep training is the worst!

sleep training is the worst!
i have been like a zombie lately, and sparrow grumpy too because a full-size bed is just too small for three people! she tries to roll over and hits either me or the pillow and this wakes her up several times per night and she's all irritated and then tired during the day. something has to be done. thomas barely notices, even though he is teetering on the edge of the bed through it all. he doesn't wake up. but i have had my fill of this and since we can't afford a king-size bed, which is what i really want, ...sparrow will have to learn to sleep alone. (getting a bigger bed would only postpone the inevitable anyways...)
we let her scream in her bed for one nap session and did not give in even though we were shaking with the forbearance. she was puffy-eyed and desperately shrieking at us and stretching out her pale little trembling fingers in agony. (we checked on her twice and it took her 40 mins to fall asleep, after which she only slept for 30, and was still totally sad and mad when she woke up.) after that i decided that i need to help her build skills to fall asleep on her own a little more deliberately and gently before we just leave her by herself again. so for the past few nights i've been cutting off her night nursing session a little early so that she's still awake when she falls asleep. i lay her on our bed and lie down with her and don't nurse her again and try to ignore her except for the occasional, "go to sleep, sparrow. lay your head down." i have also made sure to give her her doggy every night during bedtime so that she can begin to associate that as a comfort thing for sleeping. recently she's become obsessed with trying to eat the doggy's eyes... anyway, she likes to horse around on the bed, so she usually ends up throwing herself around for 30 to 45 minutes, knowing she's supposed to lie down, but then not being able to keep still very well. i get kicked and head-butted a lot during this interval. she also does funny things like straddle the body pillow and try to play with my belly button. today was the best. she stuck her mouth on the side of my bare tummy and said "dla-dla." it tickled so much and was so funny that i laughed a little despite trying to ignore her. she liked that i laughed, and laughed too. then i laughed because her laugh is so cute and she knows she's funny. so she laughed again, force-imitating me. which made me laugh even more. so we were pretty much lying there laughing for at least 2 minutes. have i mentioned i love her? then she fell right to sleep after that. i usually have to let her crawl on me to fall asleep. last night i determined that i wouldn't let her fall asleep on my chest, so i lay on my tummy. but she ended up crawling onto my back and lying down on me anyways, trying to situate her head between my poky spine and shoulder blade! i have been getting a little more sleep this week because i usu. end up falling asleep while i'm lying there with her to get her to fall asleep. and i may or may not wake up again... it's probably a good thing.

also, a little p.s.--today mitchell and liz and i took her to the zoo, and as we were relaxing on a grassy hill, she crawled off to explore. but the hill was a little steep, so she went feet -first, and she ended up crawling backward down the whole big hill--soooo cute!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

kissing and too hot

today thomas and i were kissing in the living room and sparrow was playing on the floor. she absolutely would not let us make out in peace! she got really excited and would come over immediately and start pulling our hair really hard! of course wanting to participate in the kissing action, and we definitely don't mind bestowing love upon her...

last month she was really grasping the "hot" concept. well, she was grasping the sign anyways, and would use it in a wide range of situations. for example. not only does she do the sign (blowing on her hand) when i have a mug of hot coffee, but she eagerly does it when i say under my breath, "it's really hot in here!" or "your daddy is hot!" then one time she touched a cup of ice water and also responded with the hot symbol. but generally, i would tell her, "don't touch--that's hot!" and it was so sweet one day when she was getting into the trash can or something and i said, "don't touch!" and immediately she started blowing on her hand, because usually it is followed with--hot! of course. she learns and associates things waaay faster than i give her credit for. now she has started to "hot" even things that are only mildly warm, such as her bath water, and the word has become therefore slightly useless as a danger alarm to her... oh... well.

hahaha, ps- today (may 20) i was waving my hands over her really hot noodles and blowing on them one by one, and she made sure she was helping by waving her hands wildly about and also blowing on each noodle before eating it. sigh.

international symbol for...

today sparrow said, "i love you." well, she signed it, anyways, as she imitated me signing it. i cross my arms over my chest and twist back and forth a little and say, "i love you!" i have folded her arms a few times and shown her how to do it. tonight she imitated me of her own accord for the first time, except it was not quite right. intead of folding her arms across her chest, she folded her hands across her throat, and it totally looked like the international choking symbol. i was sooooooo proud!

imagine all the things you could do to mess with your child, like show them the choking symbol and tell them it means "i love you." or tell them from babyhood on that the color red is "blue," and the color green is "purple." when they get to kindergarten, they will be sooooo confused. he. hehe. all funny in theory. but wait. we all do this on a small scale, don't we? i mean, liz tells sparrow that micah the parrot is "duck!" and, well, i tell her that the rumpelstilzkin in her book is "mitchell." the guy has red hair! it is far more interesting to her to have personalized the characters instead of hearing me read the book all word for word in german. i have to bring it down to her one-year-old level. her little familiar world. and therefore i get to be the queen, and she gets to be the baby, and mitchell gets to be rumpelstilzkin. it all works out!

later (may 20)-- to be fair: it looks like this personalizing her storybook characters has gotten a bit out of hand; the other night we were reading one of her new books and on one page you pull out this full-on skeleton picture from a hospital scene; it's an x-ray. well, she pulls out the picture and pipes up, pointing cheerfully with recognition: "ma-ma!" i guess i deserve it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

cig butts, bathroom, and other short stories

ok, i have way too many episodes to catch up on... naps have been all over the place lately, sometimes not happening, bedtimes also all over the place, my poor nipples (sorry for talking about my nipples) getting super sore and calloused for some reason--totally painful whenever she nurses which is still 5 times per day... hahaha. at least my nipples aren't all over the place.

but all worth it, oh yes. i guess it's just an excuse for how scattered this episode may be.

she sees things one time and imitates. sooo hilarious. for several weeks now she's been imitating hairbrushing. then she tried to put her socks on the other day! and she was trying to put my enormous flip flops on her feet. one of the cutest things is that she imitates us when we hiccup or sneeze, and she is imitating "no no" now, shaking her head with a serious expression on her face and saying, "naw, naw," as i try to give her more bananas. (i am now trying to teach her to say "yes, mama!") yesterday i was licking something sticky off my thumb, and the next thing i knew, she was licking her fingers! i was totally flattered.

thomas always plays hide-and-seek/ peekaboo style games with her; he hides under blankets or behind the bed and pops out, going "haaaaaaah!" in a sort of gravelly voice. it is one of her favorite sounds now. she especially likes to pop her head over our (low) counter and 'scare' us with her little "haaaaaah!" and a huge smile on her face. can't stand it. i wonder if i'll still feel like eating her cheeks when she's fifty, because every single thing she does is so frickin cute.

sometimes we just ride along in the car exchanging noises. basically she says something like "hn hn," and i do it, too, and she does it back, or changes it a little, and it's this sweet little wordless duet but it has so much comfort and meaning in it because we are communicating that we are there, we hear each other, and it's love.

i got her these non-toxic wooden blocks with birthday money people gave her; i spent hours obsessing over it online, staying up way too late, researching the very best, and the best for my money. i found this set of 50 (brio) natural wood blocks for 17.99 on oompa toys. com, and also got her these cool colorful HABA discovery blocks. i even had enough money left over to buy her a soft stuffed puppy, since she is obsessed with dogs. funny stories about her obsession with dogs: about a month ago, we were riding in the car someplace, and it was hot and she was not happy in her car seat. she began to cry and was sitting there bawling. we were driving through a residential area with the window open. all of a sudden she heard a dog barking in the distance, and immediately stopped crying, to say "wu-wuv!" excitedly, like, "hey mom, there's a dog somewhere!" i hadn't even noticed the dog barking until she did that. then, the other day, we were in traffic on our way to trader joe's. her car seat is forward-facing now, and she can see what's in front of us finally, thank God. suddenly again she pointed and said "daw!...wuv-wuv!" and i looked to where she was pointing, and--the van in front of us had a little decal of a koala on its window. i was laughing and praising her at the same time for being so observant. it's true. she notices everything... beware of saying or doing anything you don't want to show up in her repertoire...

her puppy is the recipient of some of her most affectionate moves lately. she hugs it and rocks it and pats its bum! what? where did she pick that up?

abby taught her to headbang her head when you say "rock and roll!" one of her top tricks right now. also, she is learning "cat," "bunny," and she knows how to squeak like a mouse. and sticks her tongue out for "frog." my favorite is bunny, because you have to do the bunny-ears sign with your fingers. and her fingers are still slightly uncoordinated, so she ends up doing a slightly twitching three-fingered claw-type shape. oh my belly. i want her to try to do the bunny sign all day long.
funny story: the other day i was at the koppa's, and Bunny walked by. i said, "oh, look, there's grandma bunny!" and she immediately started concentrating to do her pronged, crooked bunny fingers. sigh.

well thomas started teaching her when she was 8 or 9 months old to get off of elevated things backward and feet-first; i think i've blogged on this before. the other day we were at the park, and there was a little cement border between the grass and the footpath. it was only about 1/2 inch high, but the sweet baby! in order to get off the grass she made good and sure that she was going feet first! and speaking of getting off the grass, she kept ON wanting to get on the path and eat the rocks. why? i don't know. they are not tasty, nor do they have a delightful texture. the only things they have to recommend themselves: they are a) a new thing to eat, b) can be found on the ground, and c) are forbidden. but lots of things are also new items, found on the ground, and could be forbidden--such as clover blooms! was she eating the clover blooms? no. just rocks. and tiny little hard green peaches that had fallen on the path. anyway, she would 1) find a rock. 2) hold it in her hand til she thought we weren't looking. 3) pop it in her mouth. 4) sit there on the gravel path with a blank expression on her face, sure that we could not tell there was a rock in her mouth. little munchkin! where did she learn to be so sly!? then thomas went over to supervise her a little more closely, and since she was walk-crawling all over sand and gravel, her little blue dress was getting way dusty and tattered. thomas decided it would be best to take the dress off. so there she was in the sun in nothing but her little blue shorts, and her round belly was beaming, and she is soooo funny when she can touch her belly--she starts to rub it sensuously, and it's highly amusing to watch. note that once we did get her to stay on the grass for a little while, she found the only cigarette butt on the entire lawn and nearly consumed it. gross!

i never cease to be amused. my life is really a domestic bliss punctuated by social events. but this baby is way better than any other form of entertainment i've ever been presented with. yah. i am making dinner or pureeing kale or something and kind of letting her crawl about the kitchen. she is entertaining herself with her cupboard toys and what-not. pretty soon i look down and see her crawling around with a yellow dish towel over her head. and she is just going around like that playing as if it's quite normal to have a dish towel on one's head as one goes about one's business. hah. haaaaaa....

also, "aunt" naomi (our roommate) came home the other day and was playing with sparrow for a bit while i did stuff in the kitchen. they went to the office or somewhere for awhile, then naomi brought sparrow back and went into the office to do work. i didn't notice that she had dropped sparrow off, and thought that they had just gone back off together. after awhile, i noticed that sparrow had been making shouting and crying noises from the back for quite some time, and suddenly i thought, "naomi wouldn't be letting her cry like that!" i rushed down the hall, opening doors, and found sparrow in the bathroom--she had shut herself in and then couldn't get out! at the same time, naomi had come out of the office, thinking, "doris wouldn't be letting her cry like that!" hehehe, poor little mischevious baby!

i have also come to realize that my baby is somewhat kamikaze. we have taken her to local public playgrounds a few times, and she doesn't even hesitate to dive head-first down the slide. she is pretty smart about it, like she knows what she's doing: she scoots forward on her belly and then pushes off. and then tries to turn around and crawl back up the slide, of course.

i took her to the beach the other day, and it wasn't 2 minutes before i had to take off her really cute bikini top and shorts, because she had already soaked them with water and tar. i could barely bring her back to smear sunscreen on top of the gritty mud on her limbs and face. she ended up stark naked, of course. it wasn't even that hot of a day, and the water is freezing, but it wasn't long before she discovered playing in the waves. she would have crawled off into the ocean and gotten swept away, no doubt, had i not run after her and conceded to holding her hand as she tried to attack the waves and then shrieked and kicked ecstatically. personally i hate the waves. and the cold water. but blue and shivering as she might be, she did not want to come out of the water! i would bring her back to the blanket every now and then, but that was almost worse, cause her hands were all sandy and tarry and wet, and she would reach for everything and smear it--her cereal, the carrots, my cellphone... back to the water we go! whew. no more soft little baby that lies sweetly on a blanket while i read a book or something. no. now i have stark-naked, six-packed, wave-attacking, shrieking baby, going 100 miles an hour, who ends up with sand in every imaginable orifice. i didn't quite know how to debrief myself after that little excursion... maybe i'll bring her in a bird cage next time.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

tiny little one-year-old

i really should be updating this every day because of how much sparrow learns and does daily. not that it will ever be as amazing to anyone else to read all about how she can shake her head now or how she laughs when she knocks over the tower of blocks. but indeed this journal of her babyhood is more for her (and well, me) than anyone else so that's who i should be thinking about when i write these posts.

for now, let it be sufficient to say that she is walking shakily about the living room and she always gets herself amped and starts shrieking before she does it, like "here we go! i can do this, i know i can!" she began doing little steps around her birthday, i believe the first observed instance happened on tuesday the 17th of april at the graham's house in AZ. the first time i saw it was on the 19th in lauren's living room when we were all at na's bridal shower. sparrow had just received a birthday present from na: these adorable, hilarious, turkish pointy pom-pom slippers, and was standing at the couch playing with them. i had the camera and came up behind her to take a pic. she turned around and saw me and smiled soooo big and happy that it just made her start taking little steps toward me! but i think i messed her up for life cause at that point i wasn't wanting her to walk. no walking until thomas gets back from china! i didn't even think and freaked out a little, like "not now! get down!" and poor girl was like, "what? what did i do wrong?" but got back on the floor and was afraid to even try for the next week and a half. bad mama!!!!!

sequence of pics:

i didn't even get the actual walking part. just the before and after.

oh well. she is getting pretty good at it now. check out this adorable video. adorable beyond adorable.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

banana dreams do come true

tucson, AZ

yesterday our little baby turned one year old. she must not be so little anymore, but to tell the truth, i still see her as so small, because her learning-growth outweighs her physical growth, and compared to a tiny blob that does not much at all, suddenly she is this slightly less-tiny blob that does sooooooo many things that big huge people do! mitchell, liz' boyfriend, calls her "midget" sometimes, and that seems very appropriate for the view i have of her. although i realized a little bit recently how much not-midget she really is for her size: we are in arizona for the week, staying with one of my best childhood friends, whose baby danielle is three weeks older than sparrow, and is much smaller in size. when we first met up, i was marvelling greatly about how huge sparrow suddenly seemed, particularly her head. but nevermind, was this supposed to be a blog about her birthday or what?!

sparrow's birthday started off with her daddy calling us from china at 7:30 to sing to her with the whole dance company through the speakerphone. yes, he had to be in china even though her birthday was smack in the middle of the tour. he told me he had a dream the other night that she was falling over and he tried to run and catch her in time, but couldn't reach and she fell on her butt and he went over and picked her up and comforted her... "i think the message is that i really need to be there," he said. it's not as though he's been particularly absent during her life or development. but i'm glad he has the sentiment nonetheless. sparrow is so in love with him that she's pretty much over me if he comes into the room. the other day i made her some wallet-sized, laminated pictures of him to put into this wallet that we have given her as a toy. once the idea came to me i was like a woman obsessed until the project was finished, and am quite pleased with the results, as she can bend and chew the pictures as much as she wants, and she can get all the daddy-cards out now and gush over them. i am quite satisfied that she won't get all confused and forlorn about it, like she did on the ireland trip when she began to point to every picture of any man and say "dadda!"

anyhow, birthday, birthday. she got to spend most of the day playing with danielle and watching me stress over making her cake and getting everything done in time for the party, which was to be held at 6 pm. i was making a whole-grain carrot cake that was to be sweetened with raisins and apple juice. the frosting would be buttercream, and from my experience at reece's son's 1st birthday, i had decided i was NOT going to try crazy shapes or do ANY piping of words or designs. i was going to stick rubber duckies and flowers on the cake and that would be that. the cake turned out amazing, though it did take lots more time to make than anticipated, partly because i was in an unfamiliar kitchen. contact me for the recipe--it was super moist and yummy.

we went downtown in the afternoon with omi, danielle, and emi, to get balloons and flowers and things, and sparrow got so excited when she saw the balloons and even more excited when she saw the little plastic doggies in the party store. but she wasn't getting one of those. needless to say, the girl blew up our 12 helium balloons way too full, and not only was it so windy that omi almost blew away with all of them tangling around her, but the second we got them all in the trunk and closed it, two of them immediately popped, with more following suit every few minutes. after our wal-mart stop, there were so few left that i had to get a new boquet altogether... sparrow loves riding in the car with a buddy next to her. she kept reaching over and flapping her hand about to touch danielle. also, when danielle droned her sleepytime "song," sparrow caught on quickly and soon they were both droning away.

6:00 rolled around, and i was still in omi's kitchen putting frosting on the cake and washing flowers. and we still had to decorate the auditorium! not all too worried, though, because everyone was basically on wycliffe-time, which meant they would be even later than me. and they were. sparrow was in a beautiful, fluffy pink dress, and lovely shoes and bow in her hair, and had a fabulous time lolling about on the floor with the balloons and kicking her legs around, also playing peek-a-boo with the tablecloth and generally hanging out under the table. the dress had to come off for the eating of the cake, which was actually preceded by the eating of bananas, or shall we say "the squishing of bananas."

this was an event generated by sparrow's contiuous attempts previously to get her hands on bananas, not just to eat them, but mainly to squish them, and bite into the peel. one day in a bit of a fluster about it, i had said, "sparrow--look. on your birthday i will let you squish bananas and eat the peel... and you will be naked." and then i realized that her birthday was actually in 2 days and i would have to be true to my word and fulfill her banana dreams if i was any semblance of a good person. she wasn't naked, however. for this event she was wearing a nice new pink onesie that may never get clean again. (currently soaking in sink.) i had made a mess-safe area by covering everything nearby with plastic trash bags, and we'd brought danielle's booster chair and set her securely in it. then we let it all happen and she mashed them between her fists for quite some time. little danielle crawled onto the banana-droppings area excitedly, signed "please?" to her mum, and with the go-ahead, began squishing and devouring the leftovers. two happy babies.

this was followed by the squishing and devouring of a mini-birthday cake with a little duckie on it and everything, but was still somewhat anti-climactic, i think, compared to the banana thing. then she was thoroughly wiped down, onesie off, and dress eventually back on as i tried to get her interested in the presents. reece and christian had brought quite the plethora of baby gifts and i was myself very excited about the finger-animal books etc. but sparrow mainly wanted to crawl up and down the stairs and climb behind things to get into non-baby-safe areas. she and danielle were having quite the meltdowns by the time we got out of there at nine-ish, for she had not had her afternoon nap that day! but i think she had still generally had a good time.

video: hahaha... kinda long, but all the details are great. like notice, for example, how even when i give her the birthday cake, she is still more interested in the bananas and ends up putting some on top of the cake for decor. she was SUPER tired at her party. i'm hoping to get her more animated at her local shindig...