Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gestures of All Kinds

I really enjoy taking Grace places and that's so the opposite of what I thought I'd say before she was born. Part of the reason is she's so dang sociable and chatty. So much so that it's hard for us to figure out when/if her first words have/had happened. Usually it's the parents that are trying to convince others that their kid's said his/her first word. But in our case, others have been trying to convince us. I finally got a library card at the Menomonie library and while I was filing out a form Grace looked at one of the librarians and made a "hi" sound. The librarian looked at me, and asked, "Did she just say hi to me?" I said, "Maybe." The librarian was convinced after Grace repeated the word a few more times and told me, "I'm going with it. She said hi." Then the next evening we had company and she seemingly said hi to our friends. They did a double-take and had the same reaction as the librarian, again convinced that Grace had just said hi.

Along with the "hi" is often a wave. She has two styles of waving right now. One is a graspy, grabby wave and the other is more of your homecoming queen-on-a-float wave. The first gesture that she learned though was from our nanny. The ever-popular "so big" with arms stretched over her head in a touchdown motion. She does it if we ask: "How big is Gracie?" (She also sometimes does it when I ask: "What do the Vikings never get?" Hee.)

My two proudest teachings so far are doggy related. Grace was initially grabby when it came to interactions with Ella, but I always would show her how to pet a dog nicely and I would say "nice pet" in a soft tone. So now Grace does smooth petting motions and says "Nice." Well not really. She says some sort of "word" in a soft tone though and it's super cute and an especially good lesson for her to have learned. Grace is quite the dog person already and loves to crawl after Ella. Poor pug who's used to napping 20 hours a day gets exhausted with all of this activity sometimes. The expressions on the faces of both of our girls in this photo really says it all. Gracie says: "C'mon, lets play!" Ella says: "Where's the off button on this kid!"

The other dog-related teaching occurred through me pointing at dogs in her books and pointing at Ella and saying "doggy" and then panting like a dog. Grace will now mimic that. Very cute, not very practical. Practicality can wait.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Little Things

I got up in the middle of the night one night last week ... well not in the middle of the night since it was quarter to 4 ... anyway Grace woke up. Since she goes to bed before 8 p.m., if she gets herself awake after 2 a.m. or so, she's going to be hungry. She only does this once a month or so, so I don't mind getting up too much. We are usually not totally sure why she wakes up. It could be that she gets herself into an awkward position, although she has the ability to fall asleep in the weirdest poses -- in fact, we call her yoga baby when we see her in the monitor sometimes. Then we were thinking that we may need to turn the heat up a bit. (She might have her mom's preconditioned coldness.) But after a few ornery evenings and naptimes we think it's just that she's getting a plethora of teeth. So on this fine evening/morning, I got a bottle made and went in. She was wimpery and I popped the bottle in her mouth. She grabbed the side of the bottle with one hand and held the bottle up. One hand. This was the first time she ever truely held her own bottle. After a few seconds she started to use the other hand too. As I sat there and watched, I was thinking that it was highly likley she needed a diaper change, as it had been about 8 hours. So I thought I'd tempt fate and put her down on the changing table. She kept holding her bottle througout the change. I was so proud. Proudness over "little" things -- noises, movements, looks, interactions. Those little things add up so quickly these days and are in fact a big deal.

Speaking of big deals. We've had trouble with our laptop computer lately and it just so happens that we download all photos of Gracie onto that computer. I save them on to disks in three-month increments so this was the weekend I was planning on doing just that. But last Sunday the computer locked up and wouldn't let us get our documents. At first I was ornery about it and mad at myself for not saving them more frequently. Then I was sad that we may lose all the photos we had of Grace from ages 6 months to 9 months. (Her Halloween pumpkin photo was taken after the computer meltdown.) The missing photos would be especially noticable because I'd purchased a little photo album thing which had a separate book for each of these quarterly increments of photos. Then I became OK with it. I figured it'd be just a story we'd tell Grace when she was older. "Back in 2008 we used this thing called a laptop computer where we stored digital photos of you ..." Jay was ultimately able to recover the images, but we've learned our lesson and are asking for an external hard drive for Christmas (hint hint). This will not be happening again ...