Friday, April 28, 2017

J. was making up delightful puns last night. My favorite: Q: Why did the ENT retire? A: Who knows? The one I could must was: Q: What do you call a bunch of dancing rabbits moving off stage? A: Receding hare line.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I've been meaning to write this post for weeks and feel bad I haven't done it sooner since M changes so rapidly and since we're so tired and frazzled that we can't keep track in our memory of what happens when. By 15 months - may be even a bit earlier -- M was saying what was probably her first word: "Boh!", meaning "ball." She's had an interesting relationship with "mama" and "dada." Early on -- may be at around 9 or 10 months (?), she started saying "mama," and it sometimes referred to me, but sometimes not, and seemed to mean smth like "I need smth" or "Take care of me." Then everything and everyone became "dada." In the last couple of weeks or may be week, she seems to have fairly firmly understood that I'm "mama," and J is "dada," though these meanings are not still totally consistent, and sometimes when we're together, we also get things like "dama", which is a totally sensible way of saying "parents." One adorable thing M did even before she started saying words was point with delight any time she heard a plane in the sky - and it was shocking of how aware of their presence she was (or how unaware we are). That happened for a few weeks and now is old hat, so M doesn't point out airplanes anymore. One of her first words was "cah!" (uttered with utmost enthusiasm and a desire to make us LOOK! CAR!!! We do live in LA, after all, and she is yet to grow tired of pointing out cars. Another early word was "apple"; also, "kah-ka" -- cracker. A real feat of wrestling with homophones came with "ice" and "eyes" -- M can say both and knows which is which. She can also say "clock" -- she picked that up from J in early March while I was on a trip -- though I don't think she has any sense of what a clock does. Same with "shadow" -- a word she really enjoyed learning to say this last weekend - shadows are complex to grasp, but she has been able to waive at hers several times; and "turtle," which she said very distinctly (and adorably) today. Her passive vocabulary is quite large and at least partially bilingual. She's also starting to learn animal sounds (which, of course, she has learned from us rather than any actual farm animals) -- she gamely attempt "kukareku" for rooster and does some rapid air blowing in an attempt to "moo." She also recognizes what birds are and has attempted "ptitsa," though that's a tough one. She has at times said "eshche," but has in the last couple of weeks consistently switched to "more," which she clearly understands how to use to achieve the desired result. What she doesn't really understand how to use is "no," but she's started experimenting with saying it in the last week and seems to find it very funny. She seems to have become a toddler quite early, by around 15 months, which means she's also discovered the power of tantrums, but much of the time she's a pure delight and a ball of tireless energy.

Friday, December 30, 2016

In the last couple of weeks, M seems to have developed a greater interest in being read to, and yesterday evening she let me read two full board books to her and the beginning of a third. She definitely has aesthetic preferences -- I think she likes less busy line illustrations more than the eye-popping and visually overloaded illustrations of much children's literature. Which actually makes a lot of sense to me. What was also really neat is that as I was finishing reading "Dog Wants to Play" to her -- which is about a dog that wants to find a partner to play with a ball -- Maya looked from the ball drawn on the page to her own (very similar-looking) ball and pointed at it -- it really seemed like she made the connection between object and representation. And my art historian's heart rejoiced!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

I was leaving the core when I overhear an (African-American) educator leading a group of young kids on a tour (they're in the history of migration part of the exhibition) saying, "Let's pack our things and schlep to Russia," and my first thought was, "Let's not and say we did."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

M. is about a week over 11 months, and it seems like in the last week or so, there's been some major breakthroughs -- she can comfortably take a few steps at a time and walk longer when supported, she is starting to show passive understanding of individual words (although that's still inconsistent, but she's getting interested in language), she's been "singing" back to us, she can point at things using just one finger, and she's realize the power of pointing at the thing you want. It's really remarkable to interact with her as she becomes more and more like a person...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tonight's parenting milestone: feeding the 9.5-month old Agoo Baba goat brie cheese on sprouted tortilla for dinner and having her first true dance party (where she was clearly moving to the music) to "Gangam Style." A night to remember!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Also, Ali Wong is SO right -- I don't want to lean in; I want to lie down!
A PSA: It's self-defeating to eat a super healthy kale salad for lunch if the taste of kale makes you feel that you urgently need to get a chocolate chip muffin for dessert...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A testament to Maya's desire to stand -- I brought down an empty plastic bin, but was tinkering with the lid, so Maya couldn't use it to rest her weight. So she pulls the bin down and I think was working on putting the bin down so the solid bottom would be up -- I helped her out with that. She proceeded to stand up with the support of the upside down bin. She's also started saying "ama" and "mama" in the last week pretty consistently as a way of indicating that she wants help or to be held.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Exactly a month after we'd started trying to alter M's sleeping and eating routines, it seems like (knock on everything!!!) things might finally get a little bit easier at night -- April has been really rough in so many ways, and the sleep deprivation and disagreements about sleep-related issues were really not helping.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A new campaign slogan: "A plant-centered diet is a planet-centered diet!" It's catchy (right?!) AND true!

Monday, April 18, 2016

And just like that, the dream towards which I've worked for the last 16 years got crushed like a bug, the carapace making a crunching noise that will likely reverberate in my ears for a while.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I'm dealing with the fact that as far as I know, Russian doesn't even have a commonly understood term for "boundaries" -- a lexical gap that reveals the gaping void in comprehension that I'm facing...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

At three and a half months, the Big Boopa is now truly big, more than double her birth weight. Her skills change all the time. Right now, she's starting to grasp things with her hands consistently -- and shoving them in her mouth. She loves music -- being sung to, having musical instruments be played to her. She gives these big happy smiles when we sing to her. Her neck has gotten really strong, and tummy time is getting longer. She's been in the same place for a while in terms of experimenting with sounds -- mostly vowels, an occasional aga or agoo. She wakes up a couple of times a night, which feels almost manageable compared to the beginning. She loves to kick and being stood up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I wrote this 2 or 3 weeks ago (hard to keep track of time) and didn't post cause ran out of time. M. is smiling now and cooing, which is amazing. She clearly likes being talked to and tries to "talk" back. This is the earlier post: Our little peanut is six weeks old -- which sounds short but feels very long, it's hard to remember what our lives were like before she came. She's growing so rapidly, her face and body change every few days -- get covered up with fat and then elongate and thin out again as she gets longer and longer; she's going to be tall, I think. Last night, she grabbed and held the bottom of her bottle in a way that suggests she'll be starting to grab objects soon. She is starting to smile and has the loveliest smile that lights up our faces. She focuses her eyes on us intently, and you really want to impress her when she's looking at you -- or at least I do. She is still remarkably chill much of the time. She feeds like a shark during feeding frenzy, often constantly throughout the day (when there are no discreet "feedings" punctuated by long sleep), especially at night -- I started to marvel last night how big her stomach has to be now to fit in as many bottles as she had in sequence one right after another, with only small breaks. But she has also started to sleep for longer stretches at night -- over 4 hrs last night! - which is exciting. She makes the cutest noises and is starting to experiment with vowels, especially "ah." She's still spitting up a lot -- not sure when her pyloric sphincter will mature. She has diaper rash, but neither the rash nor the spit up seem to bother her, though gassiness does quite a bit. She started to like baths (except for being cold afterwards) as soon as she got a real one. She definitely notices and responds to music, and I think she's starting to recognize J. and me. Yesterday was also our 5th smoochaversary -- we got snowed in by the massive storm. Five years and a baby later, I'm still recognizably the same person with the same struggles, as is J. Twice over the course of a few days we got into big fights while attempting to celebrate our anniversary. The second fight was bad enough that I switched therapists and am slowly coming to recognize how often I get unmanageably angry and displace that anger onto J. Better late than never...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I wish I could've blogged and documented this last week - it's been the most emotionally intense of my life. One thought -- nothing can prepare you for dealing with the chaos of life like trying to stay calm while facing a screaming infant. A skill I'm very hard from mastering.