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.