"star. eatit [she can't say -ing]. mouth. six four four six." [eating all of Stella's star puffs the other day]
"Desta. chew. hurt. cry." [this was one of her first conversations with me a couple months ago after Stella choked a bit on her dry cereal. Vera brings this up at least every other day.]
"all-clea(n). sharp. dang(er)ous." [cheese grater on the floor]
"yucky bug. table. clean. auntie." [she brings this one up a lot too. there was a cockroach in a restaurant in NYC - they need to clean. auntie J was there.]
"bye! store. church" [she's always pretending to go bye-bye. church, store and park are the places she knows to go.]
"ba ba ba ba, elmo [i think she was singing elmo's world here]. piglet. mommy. bag, coat." [I have nooo idea]
At just 2 months short of a year, Vera knows all her colors, is going through a picky-eater stage where I'm always a little nervous if she'll eat what I put in front of her [unless it's yogurt, a popsicle, ice cream or strawberries], can say her abc's up to d :) and can identify a handful of letters like C for cat, M for Mommy, D for Daddy, A for apple & Amelia, , etc. She loves rainbows, baby ducks+geese, dogs, coloring, cooking and helping in the yard. She is napping again at least an hour every day - yay! and sleeps really well at night. I'd say this is an extra fun stage, especially being able to have mini-conversations :)
Just the other day I tried to teach her her full name [your 2 were too cute, jenny :)]. In the car this morning out of the blue she started saying it - so cute. She even put together "Mommy Cater" on her own, though she seems to have already forgotten:
Vera was a little star - going to bed super late, surviving on mostly milk, ice cream and yogurt, skipping naps [making her tired enough to sleep through diaper/PJ changes!!] and all the while happy and easy-going and so excited to be with her auntie, uncles and Lola + Poppop [still not sure what she'll eventually call him...]. Really it is so fun now how she knows who people are and can anticipate things. The very first morning she raised her head and seeing Lola and Matty through the door lit up in the sweetest, biggest smile. Throughout the day she'd go up to Ben's mom and just say "Hi Lola!" - it was so cute.
Anyway, some highlights. I wish my pictures were better, but you get the idea [maybe Matty can send me some of his always amazing shots?]:
...walking, one of my favorite things about a big city:
...Central Park - to always hear so much about it and finally get to experience it:
...Metropolitan Museum of Art. I couldn't believe how well little V behaved herself. She spent most of her time with Mike and Rosie and apparently she loved pointing out all the horseys. My favorites were the Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and whatever you call it post-Modern pieces by Jackson Pollock (sp), Lichtenstein, etc. I love seeing things that I remember learning about in my one college art history class. I also loved the whole medieval armor/swords. You kind of come to think they were just a fabrication of Monty Python or The Sword and the Stone, but they're not!
The food! We had some delicious meals, always so much fun with Ben's family [well mine too], as they all know and love to eat good food and share a meal together. We had Argentinean, Greek, Jewish deli fare and an extra special Italian meal at L'Artusi - tho' I still wish I ordered what Ben did :)
...and I didn't get any pictures on my camera, but... seeing Jessie graduate from such a prestigious, demanding program at Columbia!!
My Grandpa JohnD would have been 100 tomorrow. He passed away a few years ago and it still makes me teary remembering him. Living near him and my Grandma was an extremely special and I think formative part of my childhood. I took these pictures [of pictures] last time I was home - they are just exactly how I remember him... always with his cowboy hat and boots, dusty jeans and pearl snap buttons. I loved riding with him in the old yellow Scout, and later the succession of F150s, down to the fields or corral - I still vividly remember the dusty sagebrush smell and the scratchy seat covers, the tic-tacs in the glove compartment, making conversation about the horses or the river or stories from before. For some reason I always remember too how he would wiggle his ears and when you came close to see he'd give a little jump and scare the bejezus out of you :)
I was able to see him just a week before he died. He had been fairly invalid for a while, with Alzheimer's and then cancer. My mom and I stood by his bed - still at home looking out over the beautiful valley - and just held his hand. My mom told him he was a wonderful father and grandfather, and I remember a look of lucidity crossed his face and he said in his familiar voice, "why I didn't know that!" - makes me cry just thinking of it now. Anyway, we miss you Grandpa! I will make sure my children know their Grandparents like I did.
..so proud and happy to help with the tent..
..we were laughing at what a dusty little raggamuffin she was here and then as I took the picture she let out a big belch. lovely..
We've been spending a lot of time outdoors as well - explains my lack of posting here [feels good to be away from the internet and tv!]. We go to the park about 3 times a day to go on the slide [she is a regular-grown-up little kid now - all by herself!] and look for the ducklings and goslings [babies, where arrrre you? we call :)] pick flowers in the backyard, fetch parsley and cilantro for dinner, water the pansies and tomatoes, pick weeds, etc. Vera knows which are the weeds and loves to throw them out to the street or into the lawn. She also loves to blow dandelion seeds.. this slows down our walks considerably as we always have to have a 'new' one in hand. So that's what we're up to lately!
Also in case you're wondering, Ben passed his exams!! He is now a doctoral candidate - done with all the schooling and ready to start researching and writing his dissertation. We're not going anywhere for a while :)
Wooden ring stacker thing: As simple as this is, she still likes to put it together often. The wood makes such a satisfying sound as it plunks down. The smaller ones also serve as pretend panqueques :) I bought ours at Ikea for $6!
Chicco car shape sorter: This one has held her attention since before she could even army-crawl! First she'd play with the shapes, then she could push the car around, then she'd sort the shapes with my help [I loved it when I first noticed how she'd mimic finding the right slot "no, no, no, no, yes!"], and now she can do it really easily on her own and can identify the colors and stars/circles, etc. My sister handed this one down :)
Tea set: She loves her tea set! I try to remember to keep it put away in her little cupboards or she'd be asking me to fill it with water all day long. She's quite adept at pouring us each a cup now - though it's usually coffee, not tea now that she pours.
Push wagon/stroller: We were going to get her a beautiful Haba one for Christmas, but it didn't work out [gifter please see forthcoming email]. I got her this one at a garage sale for 3$. It's definitely not as cute as the Haba one but, it works great and is used all throughout the day [a little lesson for me in snobbery?].
Dragon push toy: She literally laughed out loud when she first opened this one at Christmas and has continued to play with it since [sometimes Dragon is used more like a baseball bat and is therefore taken away :)]. Both Stella and our neighbors' little guy laugh out loud at him as well - this one is cute and wooden and probably German - and worth it :)
*meaning to write about this for a long time. in fact we've lost the contents on two laptops while I gathered pictures for this post! so I just gave some links...