Wednesday, November 30, 2005

traveler's rest

Home. It feels good. More than good, in fact. I walked in the front door after nearly two weeks of travel, and all I wanted to do was get in my own bed and take a nap. So I did. We've gotten to visit our families, and see lots of friends, so our trips were well worth it. But it's always so very nice to come home.

Ella was a good little traveler. I can tell she's exhausted, evidenced by her four naps yesterday. But she had a lot of fun seeing all her grandparents and aunts and uncles and playing her little heart out. Her love of the Johnny Jump-Up has reached a whole new level. The second you put her in there she starts shrieking with unbelievable delight. It's so fun!

She's reached some other levels, too. She's clapping now - her style is her right hand hitting her stationary left hand. Very cute. She waves as well. We're not sure if she knows she's doing it...but she's definitely looked at people and given them a little wave. So we like to think she does. The child's also going to be crawling any day. She gets on all fours and rocks back and forth. AND, she's started the ever-important babbling with consonants! hooray! it's sort of a cross between "blah blah blah" and "mlah mlah mlah."

That's about all the reports for now. When I've settled back into real life and reflect on just how many pieces of pumpkin pie and chocolate chessecake I had, I'm sure I'll be back.

Friday, November 04, 2005

anything for a smile

Isn't it amusing how most adults will make just about any kind of crazy face, or speak with an amazingly high-pitched voice, for the reward of a baby's smile? Rightfully so. Being a recipient of Any baby's smile is about the sweetest thing I can think of...but especially when it's my own.

For some reason Ella Loves it when I sing "Cruella DeVille" - the song made oh-so-popular by Disney's 101 Dalmations. I don't really know why I started singing it to her one day. Maybe because it has "ella" as part of the name. Which led me to hope that my own Ella isn't called that one day by her peers - especially if it's warrented. Anyway, back to the song. She loves it! And this week she's been experimenting with her tongue. As in, sticking it out as part of her smile. Not like a dog, or like Michael Jordan when going up for a dunk, or like a little kid being mean, but she sticks her tongue out between her lips as she's giving a big grin. If she gets extra excited, she purses her mouth, scrunches her nose, and closes her eyes. And on a very rare and wonderful occassion, she gives a little laugh.

The other song which (this one I Really don't know why) I have been singing is the "Happy Birthday" song, but the "Christian" version. I don't know where I learned it, or when I sang it, or why I started singing it to my child today, but I did. She likes it, too. She was playing in her ExerSaucer, and her eyes got really big, and she smiled and leaned forward in excitement. Then we had a sing-along, which consisted of me trying to figure out what she liked best about singing (as in, when she would smile and "sing" along) and discovered it was when I held a note out for a really long time and used extra vibrato. I am Very glad that no one came to the door during this time.

So now she's napping, which I Think is getting better. I can never tell if we're finding a pattern, or what makes some days better than others. But I do know that yesterday we rocked for a long time (we actually hadn't done that in a while) and I made use of the time by reading. I learned a new word, in a children's book of all places. Of course, this isn't your typical modern-day children's book. It's "The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge. One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. It's on Ella's bookshelf, so I thought I would re-read it. Anyway, I came across the word "salubrious." Maybe it's a common word that all children know, but I thought not. It means "conducive or favorable to health or well-being." Which makes perfect sense now in the story. Which everyone should read. Or at least one book by Elizabeth Goudge before they die. Because she's that wonderful. One day I will read her children's books to Ella, and then hopefully she'll want to read the rest when she's older. And I can almost promise they will make her smile.