Thursday, November 20, 2008


Yesterday my 10 3/4 month old daughter took her first step. Standing unsupported, she responded to my invitation by stepping forward with her left foot before lunging into the safety net of my arms.

"Does that count?" I asked CP, unsure whether a single-foot step qualified according the the International Academy of Baby Books, or whether a First Step had to be with both feet.

This morning, my doubts were erased when NS did it again. This time, each foot took a small bite of carpet before she fell into my jubilant, congratulatory hug.

As my sister GG (mother of two munchkins) reflected yesterday, the transformation of a baby from an immobile, uncoordinated bundle to a walking, talking person within the first twelve months is simply astounding.

Day 1 (held by Auntie H):

In the next picture, that's not NS. That's Cousin AG, trying strenuously to reach the "baby [newborn NS]!" They're just over a year apart in age. By the way, the green shirt AG's wearing looks suspiciously like one that NS wears these days:
NS in a self-initiated game of peekaboo with Papi just the other day:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Uncounted Chickens, Pre-Hatched

Don't get me wrong. I'm not counting my chickens yet. I'm just really, really hoping that the past several days' developments in NS' sleeping habits will stick.

After a distressing month or so of multiple, unpredictable night wakings, tearfully adamant refusals to fall asleep (or go back to sleep), and brief, sporadic napping only in a car seat, stroller, or carrier, this week, hope has dawned.

It's come in the form of bona fide, in-the-crib, morning-and-afternoon naps. (Granted, they're usually prefaced by lots of crying, but at least now I know how they end.) Other bright signposts include fewer, more predictable night wakings, a decrease in night feedings (down to one!), and increased ease of falling asleep (on NS' part, that is). It all adds up to greater feelings of well-being for yours truly, the type of person who's at her best with an average of eight hours' sleep (uninterrupted sleep--a tantalizing, dim memory from another life).

One thing I've learned in the past 10 1/2 months is that, mercifully, babies change so fast that no single phase lasts very long.

Oops. So much for imaginary chickens.

Sailor Hats, Coffeecakes and Fried Eggs

Last weekend we were blessed with a visit from Mom and Dad (a.k.a Grandma and Grandpa). This included fun hang-out time with my brother D and sister-in-law A. We all enjoyed a leisurely Saturday brunch at their place.

NS discovers Uncle D's sailor hat in the fun toy crate (the didgeridoo and magnetic fridge letters were also hot items):

A makes a mean apple coffeecake and D makes a tasty fried egg:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Look, Mom, No Hands!

The Burning Bush

Around every corner, November astonishes me with its still-smoldering palette--the hammered gold of maples floating impossibly and spilling across sidewalks, heaped embers in a Bradford pear, the scarlet-burning bush.

The burning bush, as seen from my back stoop:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Approximately once a year, three of my college girl friends and I reunite for a weekend of relaxing, fun-having, and heart-to-heart conversation. This year there were babies in attendance for the first time (three of us have children born in the last year). We sorely missed two of our number (KR and baby P) who were traveling elsewhere due to a death in the family.

Auntie KJ has fun with E and NS:

Besides taking care of and playing with babies, we spent most of our time talking and going for walks in the stunning autumn woods. That's NS on KJ's back. C carries her son, baby E:

Splish, Splash, Splish

(Note: Click on photos to enlarge.)

NS' ubiquitous bathroom companion, "SeƱor Patito", is gripped in hand:

On the Moooove

Among the many lovely hand-me-down clothes that NS has received, we found a costume that fits perfectly, and probably won't in another month or two. Although there was no occasion to justify it, I couldn't resist dressing her in it and snapping photos while she frolicked. At what other time in her life will she have the chance to play around in a Holstein suit?

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Glamour Shots

Just the other week, when I wasn't looking, NS crawled right past the 10-month mark. Her latest accomplishments include standing hands-free, imitating a dog's woof-woof/guau-guau (in the context of a picture book), waving bye-bye, using hand signs for "more" and "milk" and opening certain cupboard doors in the kitchen (we've got to get those fixed!).

When I saw her engrossed in A Guide to Familiar American Insects, I knew her reach had extended to the second shelf of the bookshelf:

En route to the local appearance of a presidential candidate (an unsuccessful venture due to long, long lines and bitter cold), NS took her first ride on a public transit bus with me and Auntie A:

Caught in a rare napping state: