Saturday, January 12, 2008

Noises & Expressions

From her trademark "Oooooo," she has moved on to a multitude of noises. She coughs like a consumptive Garbo (for attention), screeches like a teradactyl (for food), growls like a tiger (for daddy), and then there's that sound one makes by sustaining a note and using your finger to vibrate your lips (bububububububub) -- except she uses the back of her hand or sometimes sticks her finger IN her mouth, to the same effect. That noise she does for the neighborhood girls, who taught her the trick. They also deserve credit for "Uh Oh," which debuted at 9 or 10 months but hasn't been heard much since 11 months.

She giggles if you blow on her hair. She laughs when she pats her tummy, or yours. She will sing if you sing (warm-up scales). She enjoys zipping and unzipping things. She likes to feed the dogs food from their bowl one kibble at a time (and splashing in their water).

She plays piano, guitar, dances and bebops to any tune, even the "hold" muzak on the telephone. She chortles if you squeal when she bites you. She still grabs my glasses off my face (she's been doing that since we got her), and if I put them up on my head, she pulls my hair to get me to lower my head. She has quite a grip and we have to keep her nails trimmed in self-defense.

Out: Vavavava, Mamamama, Bababababa
In: Dah! (the perennial favorite, dog, which she uses for Reese), Ta (Talley, the other dog), Cah (for Skotty, the neighbor dog), MamMam and Ma (for the grandmothers), Yeah!, Ha (Hi), Guhgah (Good girl, with a British accent courtesy of Donna from England), Uh (Up), and "oh!" -- she has said that for months, accompanied by a brief look of joyful surprise.

We are hoping she branches out in to other vowels in the coming months, such as the very useful "ee" and equally useful "i."

She enjoys looking in her training potty every 4 seconds to see if she's produced anything, and just today reached back to flush it. In case we forget some day, she has always known what to do on the potty. The only impediment we had to potty training was first, getting her to crawl (and walk) so she could get to the potty. The next will be clothing -- they just don't make pull-up diapers in so small a size! (She still doesn't crack 20 lbs so we have the car seat in the rear-facing position.)

Since her first birthday, she has been doing a lot of walking. She will still drop and crawl periodically but her walking has been more frequent. She walks like a penguin or a chafed cowpoke after one too many sarsparillas. She races up the stairs and is doing a pretty good job of reversing the action to get down, although it requires a lot of spotting by her climbing partner.

She no longer kisses like the dogs (licks) but I am sure she is studying them for tips and other tricks.

Illegal Alien

No, not Grace. She has her certificate of citizenship.

Most of you have heard by now that G's daddy found a stow-away from China in Grace's diaper: Ascaris lumbricoides , AKA a roundworm. Round, and long -- 5 inches long. After a week to identify it (no thanks to Labcorps, who had to ship it to three states and as many labs to get a definitive ID) and another 4 days to have the meds shipped here, we will finally be able to rid her of this parasite that has been sharing her yogurt and goldfish crackers since China and who knows for how long before we joined her.

Poor baby -- our little wiggle worm, we used to call her! All the restless nights may have been a symptom. I'll never look at ramen noodles the same way again...

For those who are wondering, it's extremely unlikely to be passed along to others unless there are some exceptionally unhygienic diaper changes. There's lots of hand washing going on Chez Grace. Further, dogs don't give it and dogs don't get it (not this variety, anyway). It is common in warm climates where human waste is used as fertilizer. Yummy. The good news is that it's a quick treatment and she should be A-OK in 24-48 hours.

I would post a picture but we couldn't figure out which end of the worm was the smiling end.

Say "Cheese"

Exiting the grocery store, I gave Grace a mesh bag of little baby gouda cheeses to hold to entertain her. I clicked her into her car seat, got behind the wheel and headed out. Upon arriving at home, I opened the back door and reached toward Grace's hands to extract her from the seat. That's when I noticed the half eaten gouda. Half a round of cheese, half the wax casing, half of the plastic wrapper. Full grin.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ready to Catch XueFlakes...

Or any stray ice cream cones.

Notes on the previous posts...

In the pictures that follow, you'll see a series called "misc." and some others that look like Xmas photos (elfish outfit; blue room). These were staged a few days before Grace's actual birthday, in her party dress and in her Christmas elf outfit, in case the actual days would end up too hectic to think about photos. Nice plan, but even this foresight didn't anticipate her crabby mood (not enough napping that morning) or the flat, grey light that enveloped the house and outdoors. It was cool out; too cool to stage a party dress in the grass shot for a multi-baby pic (I know two other babes from China from the R. Queen blog -- they live across the nation but are roughly the same age and we all coincidentally bought the same dress so we are trying to photoshop the girls together) -- more artifice!

Grace was not satisfied with the horse, the penguin snow globe (which Mom dropped a day or two later...oops), the phone, or any other object besides the one she really coveted -- never let your daughter play with the camera just prior to a photo shoot and then expect her to happily relinquish the camera....

Another mystery revealed/insider tidbit -- see the shot on Christmas Day where Grace is surrounded by a green tin of unshelled nuts and Reese? I gave her the tin while I
worked to finish a turkey in the oven that started out as a well-intentioned effort by Daddy to deep fry it -- a pinhole leak in the frying pot made us turn quickly to Plan B. Anyhow, Grace tipped over the bucket of nuts and instantly both dogs dashed in for almonds and ran away; gargantuan squirrels that they are. (Did I mention that Reese cried every night last year until I would crack an almond for her? Weird dog.). After crunching into the nuts and getting half shell/half nutmeat, the dogs gave up. Reese lurked around waiting for nuts to fall out of their shells and Talley disappeared. Fast-forward 12 hours later...late Christmas vomit on the carpet in the room where the birthday party is to be held just a scant 20 hours later...No telling which dog left the birthday present...See the shots of Grace with curly balloon ribbons in her hand? She is sitting/standing in the very spot! Ah, the exciting life this little star leads. Tune in later for more behind-the-scenes scoop.


Cake, the series continued....

The Big Move

Moving in for the Kill (cake)...

Birthday Girl Turns One!!!

Grace didn't quite know what to make of the cake. A fistful in each hand, she leaned forward, mouth open, to reach what she could no longer it all on video! She enjoyed visiting with the other kids and picked up some great habits -- began walking more after they left. She's very impressionable. I plan to drop her at the nearest physics lab to see what else she can pick up! Even so, she is still mostly crawling; you can tell by the knees of her pants and the tips of her shoes. Favorite present (mom and dad's favorite, that is) -- "Walter the Farting Dog." It's a book. (Thank goodness, as we have enough live farting dogs in this household already!) Thanks, Sarah!!
Hair is straggling. She is having a bad hair month. Latest new "words" are "good girl" and "again," although it's really just tonal mimicking rather than any real pronunciation. Still, we think she's brilliant. Loving our baby on her first birthday celebration. Pics follow:

More from Xmas

The First Noel!

Gracie was great. Very cheerful. Biggest hit of the day -- no, not the paper or the boxes -- it was a big green jingle bell someone put in with a present. Later, we tied it to her birthday balloon. See pics of Christmas Day below: