Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Looky what we learned today

Our former roommate Laurel took this on her phone last night. The tongue thing was unplanned. I guess Fern & I are sort of similar!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Sinister Look

Sinister look

Hey, everybody! I couldn't resist posting this cute little photo of Fern looking a little sinister. In the picture, she's chewing on a pencil topper that a grandfather (who shall remain nameless, but it's the one who's a priest) got for her. Let's just say... she's a lot of fun with everything she does these days!

There are a couple milestones to report, too.

Fern set pen to paper for the first time and entered the "Craft Age": the picture at right was her first creation! Now we just have to make sure that the crafts remain on paper, and not the newly-painted walls!

To complete the dental saga, I should let you know that Fern's final first molar came in with hardly a complaint. She's now got 12 teeth, and although it's hard to predict, her canines will probably come in about four to six months, then the final set of molars in about a year.

Finally, Fern is very excited about the birth last month of her new Minneapolis cousin, Tanner!

Sorry I've been so lax about posting lately -- I'll do my best to fill in the gaps this month!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dear Fern (Part XV)

Our Easter Trip

Dear Fern,

You're fifteen months old today. Fifteen. A teen-month-ager. And you're not unlike a teenager in a lot of ways: you're newly capable, excited by life, and immersed in daily discoveries.

You're turning into a little linguist. You enjoy knowing the names of things, whether in English or sign language. You can name things as diverse as your belly button ("bewi-buh"), oatmeal ("ohmaol"), and your pet Roomba ("Wilbur"). You've also moved on from nouns and verbs to feelings: you can tell me you're tired now, and your mom has taught you "I love you" in sign, and "please" and "thank you," too.

You're so clued in that we're discovering that we have to be very careful what we talk about. Both of us have become adept at s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g things out. We read in our Karp that we can use this to our advantage, by "gossiping": praising positive behaviors to another adult rather than directly to you. Apparently, there's research to show that you pay more attention to what I'm saying when I'm talking to mommy than when I'm talking directly to you. In fact, Karp suggests that I can gossip with the cat or even some handy inanimate object.

"Hey, stove, don't you like it when Fern tells me what she needs so nicely?"

"Why, yes, Graham, the microwave and I agree!"

At least it gives me someone else to talk to.

We got to see a lot of family this month both here and in our Easter trip to Virginia. You're very engaged, and seem perfectly willing to play with anyone who wants to play, including your grandparents but also, amazingly, your rather physical older cousins. Since your best friend is 2½, I suppose you're getting used to a little rough-and-tumble, but I was amazed at how you thrived on the onslaught of holding, running, walking, picture-taking, singing, tumbling, and dancing the older kids brought on.

We've gotten you out to restaurants a few times, including your Uncle Steve & Aunt Julie's place in Virginia Beach. Eating is a lustily physical experience for you now. You don't want to be fed anymore -- you want to feed yourself and you love new textures between your fingers: rice cakes, mushrooms, smoked salmon, or, as was the case at Ribley's, a nice barbecue pork sandwich!

You've also expanded your animal experience. We got to meet lambs ("baaaas"), sheep, guineas, horses, and, as always, many new bugs this month, and you seemed to enjoy them all. It's not so easy to get a city girl like you out to see nature, but you enjoy every minute! The zoo is a pretty intense experience: you've got just enough language to express yourself in a really beautiful way. When your mom took you there last weekend, you were fascinated by an anteater: your joint spoken-signed word for it was "nose-cat," which I thought was pretty apt. At the same enclosure, you impressed a peacock sufficiently with your cries of delight that he displayed his feathers for you. (I realize that it's not entirely complimentary to say that you sound like a peacock, but there you go. Let's just say that your enthusiasm is... magnificent. And voluminous.)

You're doing a lot of learning these days, Miss Fern, and we feel honored to be along for the ride!

As always,

Much love,

Mommy & Daddy