Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Walking and Singing

I apologize for the lack of updates around here, but now that the um, joyful, time of Christmas is over, I should be able to get back on track here.

Both girls got quite a nice stash over the holidays. Fiona loved all her of her favorites is this plastic glow-in-the-dark skeleton that you put together. She carries him around everywhere (along with her friend "Backpack" that looks just like the one on Dora...sigh...that was a pick-up from Claire's a few weeks before Christmas...). He falls apart, of course, because he's a puzzle, so I am always putting those hip bones back on.

She also got this Hello Kitty camera (thank you Auntie Maggie!), which she loves. We love it, too. Imagine having paparazzi in your home. It's like that. We tell her to at least make sure her subjects have all of their clothes on. All of them. It's a "film" camera (she keeps calling the canisters "batteries") so we have two rolls, nearly three, to develop soon.

Sophia has taken two unassisted steps!! She has been "walking" now with our hands for a little while. She has also been keeping me up a lot at night and is so so oh so grumpy in the morning. I hope there is a molar for all of this misery.

On the last day of school before her week of vacation, her school had a Holiday Party. It was at the library in the storytime room, which has a bit of a stage in front of the windows. And there was our girl, right in the middle, belting out all of the songs (with added expressive arm movements). There were a gaggle of grandparents and parents there, so the kids were a bit in the spotlight. Many of them did not sing (I sure wouldn't have...) at first, but mostly everyone warmed up after a bit. I got a lot of comments afterwards of the ilk of "she's going to be an actress when she grows up!" or "she sure isn't shy!" or "she knows what she wants" get the idea. When watching her interact with the other kids, I get a bit of "She sure knows how to stand up for herself!". All the parents also got a CD of the kids singing at school...and one can clearly pin point Fiona's angelic voice in the crowd (there are 11 other students).

Sophia got these two Signing Time DVDs (thank you Auntie Alex and Auntie Maggie!), which I am not able to watch all the time (Mommy hides in the Special Room, don't you know), so Fiona has been teaching me the colors. Sophia's favorite sign is "food". She has done "milk" once. "More" is another big favorite.

Fiona can now also write her name (after months of "John"--which she now has a letterset of--thank you, Auntie Alex! and a few days of her best bud "Max"). She can clearly recognize some words and is asking how to spell, well, everything. She will read words and spell them out and ask what they say...sometimes she will try to sound them out.

I hope everyone had a great Winter Holiday, and may 2006 be even better. Like maybe Bush will resign...Cheney goes to jail...something of that nature would have us dancing in the streets!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Naptime Zen

My daily challenge during the week (well one of) is to get both girls down for a nap. Quite by accident, I found the key to this without any arguing, wailing, or angst...

The key is to tell Fiona that we have to put Sophia down for a nap---which is totally true---and when she asks if we can "skip nap" (meaning her nap, of course) is essential to say yes. So far (and all of this could change any time) this means we eat lunch, we read a few books, we snuggle in bed---Fiona wrapped around my back---and Fiona is asleep instantly (although sometimes I have to urge her to "pretend" to sleep so Sophia copies us). Sophia is full of energy after nursing and screeches and laughs and bonks into me affectionately (I pretend to sleep with one or both arms over my face) and babbles and plays. Sophia will do this from 15 to 45 minutes. Fiona sleeps on. I am not tired; I can not nap even though I frequently have insomnia in the middle of the night. Sophia bonking around makes me crazy if I don't practice thinking of something else or concentrating on my breathing, or something. Usually, as soon as I stop noticing her activity...she is snuggled into my head (nothing like baby butt in your face) sucking her thumb. She typically sleeps about 1 hour max...sometimes less, sometimes more...if I am lucky, I can get to her before she finds Fiona (who is usually still sound asleep)...if I am not lucky, well, you know.

So one hour to do correspondence, bills, phone calls, cleaning, laundry.

Or watch some Desperate Housewives. You know--whatever has priority that day...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Still here

Sorry for the lack of's that time of year!

School is going well for Fiona, Sophia is full of personality and is not yet walking, but has a look in her eye...

We have a completely unadorned tree waiting for decoration. I have wrapped what presents I've gotten so far, but what is sucking up all my time are the edible things I make for Christmas, which I'm hoping to mail to family before Christmas...not to mention the photo Christmas cards...

Fiona has started really expressing an interest in spelling. She will sit there looking at a sign or a book and try to spell and sound out the words. Her teacher has even noticed this and is encouraging her but not pushing her (you can't really push Fiona anyway). I think we are perhaps at the threshold of reading and I can't think of anything more exciting than finally being able to read!