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.