Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Favorite Show

We watched a bit of Little Einsteins on PBS this morning before Brad woke up and I've got to say... I've never seen Halle so taken by a cartoon before. She sat right on the spot I placed her for a long time!* I'll have to find some Little Einstein DVDs soon. I can tell Halle** is getting tired of the same old Sesame Street videos.

It's an interactive show, meaning the characters awkwardly wait for your child to respond to the show. For an interactive show, though, it's muuuuch more tolerable than oh say, Blues Clues!

*Baby Central Time (a long time = five or ten minutes)
**and by Halle, I mean me.

For Maddie

I've been reading a blog about Maddie Spohr, a toddler not much older than Halle who recently passed away. I decided to dedicate a post in her honor. I know it's a small token to let someone who's greiving know that they are in your thoughts and prayers, but they are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am truly sorry for their loss and am humbled at this opportunity to cherish every moment I have with Halle.

Maddie's Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rae + The Ghost Baby

It's a blessing that Halle's grandparents live no more than two blocks away. On beautiful days, I leave work as early as possible (just kidding. Kinda.) so that I can stroll Halle home. Taking her on walks is in my Top Ten list of Most Thoroughly Pacifying Things To Do - right up there with bodysurfing and making echoes in large, quiet places.

There is something slightly awkward about half of the walk though: pushing an empty stroller.

It used to be a lot more awkward. These days I try not to care whilst scheming obnoxious ways I could mess with the people that give me weird looks. As of today, I have resisted the urge to:

1) Put an empty bottle of vodka in the cupholder

2) Cross my eyes, drool and sing "Rockabye Baby" all mumbly.

3) Put a doll in the seat and pretend I'm babynapping it.

4) Park on the curb, look into the sewer and yell, "It's not funny anymore!"

Why? Because I could. But I'm not gonna. 'Cause that would really be crazy.

Heather Hedley "I Wish"

I know I've posted twice already today, but I couldn't help it! I had to post this before I forgot about this forever. From Heather Hedley's website, with lyrics to her song, "I Wish":

This may take a few sentences, so indulge me. Our Aunt Mary Jo loves to forward mass email. She sends us forwards at least twice a week. Now, I hate forwarding! I try not to send them, and I hate them crowding my mailboxes. But somehow, I’ve always read Aunt Mary Jo’s - - I have no idea why.

Anyhow, I came across a forward she sent me about a mom who had a terminal disease. The mom was at the airport saying goodbye to her daughter, who was unaware of her medical status. The mom knew that there was a possibility that she could die during the time the girl was gone. So she tells her goodbye, but does so by wishing her a few things. She wishes her night, with the hope that it will allow her to appreciate the miracle of the sunrise; she wishes her times of want, so she could understand how fortunate it is to live on the other side of that, and so on and so on.

I thought it was such a beautiful sentiment that when I sat down with Keith and my brother (who was working with us that day), I had to work on it. It’s become one of my favorite songs, and it was done for all the precious children in my life - and the ones yet to come.

Thanks for the forward Aunt Mary Jo! I’m making room for the others.

I’d give you the moon
But you’d never feel the warmth of the sunshine
I’d give you the world
But exactly what would that do
I’d promise you wings to fly
But how would you ever learn to run
So I wish you all you need
To be than I could be
This is what I wish for you

I wish you rainy days
So you can know the beauty of a clear blue sky
I wish you falling leaves
So you understand that seasons change
And if I gave you the mountains
Would you learn to climb?
I pray you’ll always see
The forest through the trees
This is what I wish for you

If I could I’d say the word
And chase your fears away
And I’d stay right by your side
And point the way that you should take
But this is your life
This is your story
And when all is done and said
Say you lived with no regret

I wish you ocean breeze
And rivers that bring you everything you need
I wish the air you breathe
Is all that you’ll ever need
And I wish you nights of love
And days of joy
And shoulders when you cry
And just enough hellos
To get you through goodbye
This is what I wish for you

I pray one day you’ll have a home
With arms that open wide
And you’ll have someone who loves you
Always by your side
And when you lose your will to try
I wish you wings to fly

I wish you everything you need

This is what I wish for you

*sniff sniff* So sweet!

Photo Parade

Halle's Pacifier Tasting!
Started with two pacis, pink and roundish green.
Hmm, rubbery. A hint of dish soap. Perhaps a touch of Vienna Sausage sneaking in there?
A third paci somehow enters the equation. It's probably for the best that I didn't let her stick it in her mouth.
Hurricane Halle!!!! (Behind her is a photo board which needs YOUR photos! So far, we have Uncle Robbie, Grommy, Mommy's senior portrait, and the dogs. We need to fill it up with ALL of you guys!)
After turning to the "smell the flowers" page in Pat the Bunny, Halle knew to smell the page. She turned to look at me afterward, as if to say, "Look what I did!" Note that her eyebrow is ever so slightly raised. This is becoming her trademark. I like to think of it as a mix of intrigue, good humor and cynicism.
An unintentionally artistic shot. Pretty nice for a camera phone, eh?

Can you believe this baby is seven months old?

I think it's the hair that sets her apart. What an adorable little girl - and an amazing snapshot!

There are more photos of this cute little one on her Mommy's blog - Crafty Rachel.

Pictures and more to come later tonight. I've got to go back to work now! Someone please go and enjoy this gorgeous day for me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Great Orations of H.S. Dickerson

A true observer of all things, especially with odd sort of people and interior lighting, Halle is beginning to dazzle us with her philosophy - and it's way, way over our heads. I wish I had the English edition!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Go Go Gadget Camera!

This is what I have in common with Inspector Gadget: initial confidence in our comprehension of technology, then failure. I've never understood digital cameras and I don't suppose I'll ever really like them that much... Maybe that's due to my own camera-shy nature and the family curse of seemingly drunkenness in photos. No matter - I didn't buy the camera for me.

The short version of the last paragraph = I just bought a digital camera! Whee! And I'm not a great at taking pictures, so Halle has a lot of work to do to be cute enough to make up for her clumsy photographer!
And we're off to a grrrrreat start folks!

Halle climbing almost successfully onto the Ottoman. Recognize it, Papa Fred & Grandma Jo?
Halle chit-chatting on her toy cell phone.

Picking out a DVD - this week she brought her DVD of choice to me and sat it in my lap. Her little way of saying, "Mom, I'm tiring of your boring t.v. shows - how about we learn sign language with Marlee Matlin?". I'm starting to wonder if her head-slapping is a sign she learned but has trouble expressing. C'mon, of course I'm going to look for signs of true genius in her!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This just in!

This may be the cutest thing ever.

*This is NOT Halle. This baby has five times the hair Halle has. *


During American Idol last night, Brad was predicting who was safe and who was going into the bottom three. When Kris Allen stood up, Brad exclaimed, "He's safe! There's no way he's going home tonight."
I said, "You're probably right. He's a little pretty boy."

Brad said, "He IS a pretty boy! That bastard."

When you see him, tell Brad he's pretty.

Today, Halle met her first caterpillar. She tried to pet it. The poor thing froze in horror.

And now... PICTURES! Courtesy of Papa Paparazzi! (her grandpa) Click on the pix for the full effect.

Halle in her Easter Dress:

Halle among the flowers at Max & Lukie's birthday party:

Where's your head?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Be Still My Heart!

Sometimes Halle does the most adorable and affectionate things. Really, she almost made my mom cry in the middle of Fresh Market after a tight neck hug. Halle was especially clingy last night and ended up pinching me too hard. I yelped "OW!" and Halle hugged me tighter, probably scared of the noise I made.

Then she blew me several kisses.


Also, Halle can now climb up on and down from the couch all by herself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sophistocated (Little) Liebchen

Halle's vocabulary consists of words like Da Da, Ma Ma, Ba Ba, Na Na (no). As of this morning, she surprised us with this word: garden. She doesn't know what it means yet, but she can say it as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger can. That's right, I said it. Ahnold, your pronunciation skills are as accomplished as my thirteen month old baby's. In his defense (not that I'm generally inclined) she does pronounce it the same way. gah-DNN.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today's post will be a quick one, more of an announcement, really. Halle has met an important milestone recently: she is mastering the art of whining. She is learning how sometimes whining is effective and sometimes futile and with whom. I'm typically a sucker. So's Brad. And her grandparents? Forget it! If anyone was created specifically to gladly spoil a child, it's a grandparent. Please note that I have no qualms with that. I will gladly spoil my own one day.

In equal proportions, Halle is learning to whine and I am learning to say no. Thank GOODNESS I don't have to learn anything about discipline just yet - but what will Halle have learned by the time I do?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


A fifth generation Fedora
This picture was taken a month ago at least, but it's cuteness ratio with my lack-of-digital-camera ratio (er...) deemed it postworthy.

Speaking of peekaboo, Halle's favorite and dearest game, it's interesting to note that it teaches object permanence. Well, okay, that's obvious as rain is wet. I guess what's really interesting is that researchers have received grants to test and run experiments of Peekaboo. That's got to be the best job in the world. And this is the man who had? has? that job, Jerome Bruner:

Conducted pivotal, revolutionary studies in developmental psychology. Also, (bless his heart) the scariest man to play Peekaboo with.

Halle's Peekaboo technique doesn't necessarily involve object permanence so much anymore. It's all about posture these days. She'll slouch down and her eyes will flash with mischief and mystery. Then, all of the sudden, she'll stand up STRAIGHT AS CAN BE with a smile and a hearty chuckle. We play upwards of 20 games of Peekaboo everyday, and sometimes while Brad and I aren't aware, I suspect. Chances are that when she's giggling, looking at you and standing up straight and proud as a little bird, she's cliffhanging to hear you say "Peekaboo" or "Peep-Eye!"

Where did "Peep-eye" come from? It sounds like an evil cartoon villain eyeball.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You're Just a Pack of Cards

... said the termite swarm to the house. Our house. Oh boy.

The more and more I read about termites, the more I feel outsmarted by them. From Wikipedia:

termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals. They are a prime example of decentralised, self-organised systems using swarm intelligence and use this cooperation to exploit food sources and environments that could not be available to any single insect acting alone. A typical colony contains nymphs (semi-mature young), workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both genders, sometimes containing several egg-laying queens.

This very moment, the floor of Halle's nursery is spangled with the dead kings and queens that were pushed out of the swarm to form their own colonies. Enterprising little freaks. The US Department of Energy is researching ways to harvest the hydrogen produced by termites as an alternative power source through metagenomics. I don't care. I still don't want this anywhere near my baby's face:
(I didn't actually take this photo. I don't wanna know what the house looks like underneath, thank you!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Climb Every Mountain

... and please don't become a nun. Unless that's what you really want to do and it makes you happy. In which case I'm TOTALLY* there for you and will come to visit you and your school children in Calcutta.

Our record number of steps to date is THIRTEEN! It doesn't take many steps to figure out what one is capable of. She's already figured out that flying is not an option, but climbing? Maybe one day, just not the book shelf. Can we agree on that?
This girl is going places!**

* but really, please don't become a nun. I do so want grandchildren one day.
**If I don't say so myself. And not the nunnery, unless you absolutely must.

***How did this post become about nuns?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One small step for man...

... two small steps for Halle! Houston, we have a walker!

The night before last, Halle took TWO STEPS! Brad wasn't nearly as impressed OR he responded as nonchalantly as possible in sheer DREAD at the thought of our baby, his adorable little daughter, is growing up and becoming a toddler in new ways every day. Even though she crawled the rest of the day and hasn't taken more than a single step since, in Webster's eyes she has indeed WALKED! We'll enjoy the slower pace until she's at a full-on canter.

v. walked, walk·ing, walks

v. intr.
  1. To move over a surface by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run: a baby learning to walk; a horse walking around a riding ring.