Sunday, August 5, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
One of the incredible treasures of having Sara Bela in my life is that she transforms days that might have slipped by unnoticed, immersed as I can be in my routine of work or the everyday, into joyful, revelatory days full of awe. Yesterday was a demoralizing day at work, as I had been furiously working to achieve a not-entirely-reasonable deadline on a project that I had hoped would go differently. I came home, drained, to witness that Sara Bela was sitting upright on her own! And with that, a day I was looking forward to coming to an end became a day I savored and for which I was thankful. It was shocking, as for the last few months she could sit upright for a few moments on her own, but would topple over as soon as she was distracted by something to right and left. She could "tripod" herself in a sitting position, with her arms on the ground or on something to support herself -- and sometimes I would nestle her between cushions so she could have both hands free to explore (and, of course, suck on) various objects that she is fascinated with. It's been a good position for her, as she could drop whatever it was she was playing with without it falling too far out of reach. It somehow felt sudden, a sudden leap forward (I wanted to write 'great leap forward', oy vey), even though in retrospect she's been building up to it. But I had never seen her use her arms, held out from her body, to balance herself. And she was staying up for longer than I would have expected! The one thing I wish I wrote about more was the joy she gives me. Not just when she has learned something new, but how fun it is to be with her -- engaged, interested, always learning and working so hard to figure out what's going on with the world, her body, and the people around her. Hannah and I like to say that we like fun, and Sara Bela most definitely likes fun -- when she's in the mood to play, she laughs gleefully at new games (making sounds, repeated patterns of bouncing, kisses, dancing, etc.) or songs. And I can't express how wonderful it is when she smiles so broadly when she first sees us after we're away or when she wakes up in the morning. When she's well-rested, she is so engaged and present in every moment that it inspires me to be right there with her -- I feel like she's not just a great baby (she is quite excellent at being a great baby) but a great person that I am so glad to spend time with.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
We just had an absolutely magical moment with Sara Bela. On Saturday, my Dad found another way to deeply entertain Sara Bela -- he's been pulling out all the stops with his knowledge of linguistics and baby brains. He made three "buh" sounds and then a "puh". She loved it! And they kept it up for a while! Hannah taped the last part of it, which is lovely, although SB had calmed down a bit by then. This evening, we were lying in our bed with Sara Bela, it was time for her to go sleep, and she was nursing. But she was playing the first-nurse-then-turn-and-look-at-dad-and-smile-and-then-look-at-mom-and-smile-and-then-repeat game and so we started talking to her. I tried out the game my Dad started -- the buh buh buh PUH -- and Sara Bela was pleased, and then said, clearly, "puh". We were stunned! And while she makes a lot of noises and consonant sounds ... I don't remember her making a "puh" sound before. (Hannah had heard her make the sound.) We were delighted and she was happy. I tried again ... buh buh buh puh ... and she made another "puh" sound in response, after a pause, although this time quieter. I did it again, and she responded again, again quietly. At that point she started looking at the lamp and was distracted from the whole game. Amazingness! It's always hard to know what is a response and what is experimentation, but this was the first time I made a noise and she so clearly repeated it. Wonderful, wonderful.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Sara Bela, we've been taking hundreds of photos and sending email updates about your progress in Babyness to many friends and family, but we've neglected to update your blog. Let's talk about some of your most amazing accomplishments in the last month.
1) Rolling. You have become adept at rolling over from your back to your belly -- and as of this post you've just begun belly to back.
2) Bouncing. Local Philly friends Beth and her daughter Ida gave us a bouncy chair that hangs from the doorway of the kitchen to the living room. You delight in bouncing in it. The first time we put you in there, you stood with your legs touching the floor -- and suddenly an expression of utter glee overtook your face. You could stand! Turn! Look at stuff -- in any direction you chose! Even -- dare I say it -- BOUNCE. You are now an adept bouncer who will happily party in her chair while Mom makes oatmeal. You even, especially with your dad, will bend your knees and smile -- noting to him that you'd like him to provide manual bouncing until his arms fall asleep/fall off. That was actually your first bouncing experience!
3) Talking. Ta ta ta! Ba! Da da da da, pa pa pa, pttthhhffftttt. AoOoOooOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo--ah!
4) Grabbing. Oh look! A refrigerator magnet. A matchbook. Your nose. Fun to grab!
5) Tasting. Oh look! A refrigerator magnet. A matchbook. Your nose. Delicious!
6) Being friends with peeps. It took you a little bit, but (knock wood) you now are really excited to spend time every day with your amazing team of caregivers -- your Safta Sue, Rachel, Shy, and Smoot. We're so grateful that so many people love you (even when you vomit/poop all over a carefully chosen super hip outfit).
Sara Bela, we love you and can't wait to watch you grow more. Snuggling with you and singing with you and loving you are why we get up in the morning (or the middle of the night), and we are so excited to be sharing your ever-expanding world with you.