Thursday, October 29, 2009

Look at this rocker. Is it not amazing? It was handmade and gifted to us by Jen's father in exchange for building him a website . I feel like the work we did pales in comparison to this beautifully hand-crafted piece with wave details and solid bent wood. It's an instant heirloom.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rummaging through her sock and hat bin may have been the most fun that Maggie's had in a while. She was absolutely captivated with this activity for what seemed like a good hour. It also gave us the chance to model the adorable little cap that Paba made which was gifted as her "coming home from the hospital" hat. Ten months later, it finally fits.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Well, I think we officially have a first word! There have been a many times were she has mimic'd a word or sound back to us (which is wonderful and adorable on its own) but suddenly she has a very complete comprehension of the word "cat"! She seems to know exactly what it refers to and can pronounce it at will. She has pointed to our cats to say it, identified cats in books, and carries around a little tiger figurine at her Nanna's house, saying it. She definitely reserves the word for when a cat is actually in sight... except for one occasion where she was falling asleep in my arms and staring into space, when out of nowhere came a very loud and pronounced... CAT!!!

It's a bit hard to hear, but we're so glad we could preserve this on video. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's been a weekend of birthdays, including Graham and two of our nephews. We spent Saturday afternoon celebrating Kyle turning two and it was so much fun to see Maggie among the other kids. She has had very few opportunities for this and it was a pleasant surprise to see that she had no reservations about getting into the mix. We found her foraging in the toy box with older kids, chasing after candy that had fallen from the pinata, and even sharing Pop Pop's lap as he read to her and another little boy.

The poor thing was exhausted by the end of it and took a nice big nap with her dad when she got home. All that fun can wear a girl out!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I found a new blog, last night, that inspired me to break out the sewing machine. (Check out Katie Did and her beautiful sewing projects.) This post got me thinking about a headband for Maggie and with some scraps of felt, crimping shears, and a bit of elastic she has new fall accessory.

It felt good to sew again. Wishing I had more time for it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our friend, Ryan, recommended a great book called The Read Aloud Handbook that gave us a lot of motivation to read more with Maggie. We had already been incorporating books, here and there, but it was great to get a little guidance on the types of books that are best for her, now, and which books we may want to set aside for later. So, at the moment we've been reading lots of books with rhythmic and rhyming language and throwing in some other oddballs to break it up (like identification books and those with small story lines). I loved the explanation for incorporating lots of rhythm and rhyme... as the author of the handbook puts it, language is so new and complex to her. These books bring sense and order to what must be a very complicated world. Not to mention the joy and pleasure they bring to hearing spoken words.

Something that I grapple with in the handbook is that the motivation the author uses to get parents reading is to give lots of data and real-life examples of children who have excelled in school, thanks to reading at a young age. The types of examples are not just "A" students, but kids who skip multiple grades, win national spelling bees, and have to leave regular schooling because they are just too advanced to stay stimulated.

Reading this has made me think a lot about what I want for Maggie and the expectations that I want to have as she grows older. I think what I've decided is that all I really want (in regards to schooling) is for Maggie to love learning. Whether she's in the lowest groups or highest groups, I just want her to be happy with where she is and who she is. If she has confidence to ask questions, the thoughtfulness to offer ideas, and a big smile on her face when she steps off the bus... then I'll know we've accomplished something great, regardless of the letters on her report card.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today we celebrated three years of wedded bliss. (Love that expression...)

It was a really great little anniversary. Graham prepared a beautiful meal that incorporated both of our favorites: mussels (for me) and steak (for him) and we spent quite a long time at the dinner table eating, talking, and goofing off with Maggie as she whizzed by in her walker. In typical Graham fashion, he decided to pull out the china and dress Maggie in her Sunday best. (It's a good thing he's around because I'm far too practical to think of those sorts of things.)

I have to say that my favorite part of the evening, though, was taking turns dancing with Maggie while the other picked music. Bill Withers, the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel...

I'm a lucky girl.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maggie took a big-girl bath, tonight. Up until now we had been using one of those smaller basins that sits in the tub and I have no idea why we hadn't moved on from it sooner. I guess we were just short-sighted as to what she's capable of. (This has been a recurring theme, lately.)

Our other revelation is that she's actually – despite my earlier complaints – totally capable of sleeping through the night. We discovered this after coming to our wit's end with night wakings and sleep deprivation and deciding to try the old "cry-it-out" technique again. We talked about this at length; how we felt about, how long we could stand the crying, at what point we would cave... but decided that anything was worth trying. To our very pleasant surprise, Maggie made it easy on us.

The plan was to put her in bed – awake but drowsey – and allow her to cry. We would come in at intervals to scratch her back and let her know we still existed, but the rest was up to her. This, of course, was hell and my guilt was increasing with every passing minute, but then... gasp!...silence. She actually fell asleep!

It was very humbling to realize that while she may want us at bed time, she doesn't need us. The following nights have gotten better and better. The tears are brief and she's sleeping more and more soundly. I feel absolutely spoiled with how much of my own sleep I've been able to catch up on!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I got a little scissor-happy during Maggie's haircut. This is her before and after.

My family would classify these as "katie-bangs". (Long story.)