Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Choices

Children love the oddest things- our friend's daughter, Lily, crawled for the first time towards a Netflix envelope; another friend's son, Henry, loves his Daddy's smelly socks. For Sophie, it's our TV remote. And I mean LOVE. With an all-consuming "take it away from her and she'll cry" passion. I have cleaned that thing more times than I have cleaned any of her toys just because she grabs for it so often and puts it straight in her mouth. We've given up trying to keep her away from it.

But we've turned this love affair to our advantage and have used the remote to get Sophie to do more crawling- we'd put it in different places in the living room to lure her to crawl around just so she gets enough crawl-time within the otherwise limited confines of our living room. Sometimes, if we're cruel enough, we can get her to crawl in circles for the remote. That's how much she loves that thing.

Which is why I was so completely tickled-- but not totally surprised-- that when faced with the choice of crawling either to the remote or to two of her favorite puff snacks, our daughter proves irrevocably that she is indeed spawned from our gene pool by giving in to the pull of food. There is a moment where you can see just a flicker of indecision, a split second when you think her resolve might be wavering. But nope, she is her parents' daughter- food always comes first, styrofoam-esque wholegrain organic wheat-lactose-additive-free (a.k.a. tasteless) rice puffs or not...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Up!



I hesitated to post this video because I sound like a hysterical harpy. But then I thought, who cares??!! Our daughter pulled herself up! Like standing! Since she had only started crawling for about a week, I wasn't expecting her to pull herself for a while more. But I guess Sophie's eager to grow up and wasn't about to waste any time. I love the effort she put into the whole thing, sticking her tongue out and approaching the crib bars from different angles before settling on the right corner :)

Before we know it, she's going to be standing up on her own. And then walking. And you know the video for *that* is going to have me squealing off the charts... ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonder

As I watch Sophie hit all her developmental milestones like crawling, pulling herself up, jabbering syllabus, and understanding and expressing the concept of possession (you just try taking away that mail order catalog she was chewing on... watch her go all Kiri Te Kanawa on you), together with a fierce maternal pride is also a profound sense of wonder and amazement at this thing called Development. How did our teeny, vulnerable 5lb 12oz peanut turn into the fearless crawling machine zipping across our living room? Every time I watch her accomplish something new, I imagine the neurons and synapses in her tiny, powerful brain firing away, with new and wondrous connections being made every minute. She's understanding things like how moving her arms and legs in synchronicity will take her one direction or the other, or that if she drops the TV remote on the floor, it makes a sound, or when she reaches out to pick up a puff with her thumb and index finger, she can then move it into her mouth and taste it. Mobility, cause and effect, feeding ourselves- these are all things we as adults take for granted. But for Sophie, it's a new discovery each time. And each time, another piece of this huge complex and beautiful puzzle called Growing Up snaps into place...

Oh how wonderful :)

And just because no post is complete without a random photo of Sophie, here she is trying to pull herself up on the high chairs in school yesterday :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Off she goes!



And there we have it. Sophie is crawling.

She can no longer be contained. She is mobile. She will be freaking her parents out 50 times a day trying to get up, on top of, into, and out of every nook and cranny this house has.

There goes our furniture, any sense of order, and our peace of minds...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our happy baby

Even after three months of putting Sophie in daycare, we still miss her when she's not with us. And picking her up at 5.00 is always such a joy- watching that gummy grin break out across her face when she sees us and her arms flapping away, beckoning us to carry her :) What I love even more is the hour or two we have with her between coming home and putting her to bed. If the weather's nice, we take her for a walk around the neighborhood and spend some time on the swing, or if it's chilly like tonight, we let her loose on the floor at home and just watch her work on her scooting/ crawling/ standing.

I like to think that she misses us too because she's always in such a good mood-- teething or not-- and today, she made us so happy by... well, being happy :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is NOT how Sophie looked like over the weekend

Sophie's teething. Like for real. Not the false alarm that was 2 months ago when Jude wasn't around. We're talking a runny nose, an epic amount of drooling (which is not helping her eczema), a low-grade fever on Saturday (which she got over in a jiffy), not eating well (imagine, our daughter refusing food... unheard of), general fussiness in the day, and rough nights. Especially last night. In the day, I think we do enough with her to distract her from whatever discomfort she must be feeling, but nights are a whole other story. She falls asleep fitfully and a couple of hours later, she's up crying every half hour.

We gave her a dose of Tylenol before bed, applied some Orajel hoping to soothe her gums, and I basically cuddled her to sleep all night on our bed. Her poor Daddy had to sleep in the study but I think Sophie really needed to be close to one of us last night. A lot of TLC, it would seem, is the most important thing babies need through their whole teething adventure. She finally fell into a deep slumber by midnight and slept fairly well considering the circumstances. Our poor baby- every time she's in any discomfort, my heart always breaks a little. We tried looking to see if the teeth are any where close to showing themselves, but short of two small translucent slits where the teeth are, it looks like it might be a little while more before they break through.

We are bracing ourselves...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I can watch her do this all day...



I love the look of pride and delight when she realizes that she had put the puff in her mouth all my herself :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bye

It was sad having to say goodbye to Chicago, but even sadder having to say goodbye to my sis and Piao. As if the city isn't already so special to us, it's now even more special because we got to share it with them- whether it's stuffing our faces silly with signature Chicago foods (Al's Italian Beef, Hot Doug's, & La Pasadita) or just the neighborhoods and architecture that we have come to love so much over the years (see Andersonville and the historical buildings along Michigan Avenue), it was just awesome spending time with people we love in our most favorite city.

Plus the fact that Sophie clearly had a whale of a time throughout the vacation- she was all wide-eyed and curious, just soaking in all the new sights and novel sounds, and oohing and aahing a lot in the process. We're convinced her senses were on overload from just standing in the middle of Michigan Avenue. And to top it off, [deliberate alliteration warning!], Sophie chose going to Chicago to commence crawling! She doesn't quite have all her limbs working in coordination yet but she's definitely got the crawling mojo working. I suspect sometime this week, our daughter's going to be launching herself across the room...

We're all going to miss my sis and Piao- the past 10 days with them has been so precious in the most wonderful way-- real morning breakfasts (as opposed to scarfing cereal while standing over the kitchen sink), seeing Ann Arbor afresh through the eyes of visitors, having lovely photos of Sophie taken, and just solid quality Sophie cuddling/snuggling time-- and it's going to be hard having to wait till December to see them again... :(

Friday, April 02, 2010

Love letter to my Daddy

I love my Daddy very much. He gives me the best snuggles:




He always makes me laugh:




And most importantly, he loves me very, very, very much too.


Daddy, I never want to let go of your hand... Please don't let go of mine.


Love,
Sophie

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Living up to her name


1. Snuggling with Yiyi, 2. Daddy love, 3. Sophie loves the swing!, 4. Baby you can drive my car, 5. I want the balloon AND the chocolate bar, 6. Zingerman's happiness, 7. Yiyi snuggles, 8. Playing dress-up at Grow With Me, 9. At the Farmer's Market

I don't think Sophie's ever been this happy, or at least until lately, she's not been able to show us how happy she is. With all the extra attention she's been getting from her Yiyi Erer and Uncle Piao, it's like our little punkin's blossoming right in front of our eyes into even more of an absolute delight- not that she wasn't before, but I think the combination of development, daycare, and having people around her all the time is really turning her into a true social being :) She gives nothing but smiles all day, chuckles and gurgles when she's thrilled, and will engage with any stranger who gives her the time of day. Like my sister observed, it's amazing to see how babies just seem to know instinctively when/ how to smile when they're in a good mood.

I have to admit when Sophie was about 10 weeks old and going through the peak of her newborn fussiness, it felt like she would never grow out of it. We had almost resigned ourselves to the fact that our firstborn was going to be high-strung, demanding fuss-pot. But now, at a cool 35 weeks, Sophie's as easy-going as they come and just a regular ball of sunshine :) Which makes you realize that when it comes to children, you just never know. Change is the only constant and they have more magical surprises up their teeny sleeves than us seemingly all-knowing adults can ever fathom. We can only love them with every fibre of our being and just trust that the profound wisdom that makes them tick will take care of the rest... :)