Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carnivore

Paige now has five, count em', five teeth! And a sixth one on the way, maybe more! With all these teeth, however, some rather particular eating habits have developed. The little one will not be spoon-fed, with the exception of breakfast, when she's much too tired to feed herself and must be fed porridge promptly before she collapses for her morning nap.
Moreover, Miss Paige has informed us that she does not like carrots or broccoli or spinach or zucchini or squash, even though she used to eat them all without complaint. She only wants fruit, potatoes, rice cakes, and muffins, thank you. And while we're on the subject, meals could be served much faster because she's half-starved...until you strap her in her highchair and she can drop food off the side of the tray.
I went to feed Paige an orange the other day since dinner was running a bit slow. The orange had been zested earlier in the day though, so it wasn't peeling very easily. I handed the orange to Paige while I looked for a knife and a bib, but apparently was too slow.

She yelled at me when I tried to take it away to cut it, so I just let her be. At least she stayed in the kitchen.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For Ansley

My friend called me up this morning to tell me there was a playgroup meeting at a park in north London in an hour and I should come! It was a pretty day, so we took some pictures on the way from the tube station to the park.

You probably can't see where we are in this picture, so I'll show you from a different angle:

I'll give you another hint, just in case. I didn't have a pen on me, or I would have written something:

If you haven't guessed, Abbey Road just happened to be on the way to the park, so we made a little detour and walked by. It was kind of cool...and kind of just a crowded crosswalk. The church across the street was my favorite part. Make sure to look close and read the sign.


The playgroup itself was really fun. Paige got to chase bubbles, steal apples, and hang out on the swings with her BFF Hazel. What cuties.

I sure love this girl.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quick Shots

I heard Jeff gasp, and I scrambled for the camera.
video

video

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Because it's never too early to start learning life skills

Paige decided that it would be a good idea to wake up at 5:45 this morning, so I suddenly find myself with an hour or two to kill. And as I sat looking around our tiny little living room I thought to myself: "self, you know what you haven' t done for a while? Blogged. You've spent the last month writing papers on 'occult historiography' and the 'the strength and weaknesses of the sociology of scientific knowledge' and it's about time that you wrote something that someone will actually want to read." So, here goes.

When you're a new parent every day brings with it the potential for surprise. In moments of reflection, such as now, this is a amazing thing - as you can pause, paste everything together into a neat little story and recognize that your baby girl is growing up right before your eyes. Sometimes this can be a little sad.

I've always had a bad 'visual' memory. No matter how hard I try I can't seem to remember pictures and images as anything more than vague impressions. Ask me to describe my mother's face and I'm not sure I could do it. Ask me to describe my own face and I doubt I would get past 'big, crooked nose.' Because of this I am especially bad at noting the subtle physical changes that sneak up on us over time - in my mind, people have always looked just as they do when I see them. The face of the present becomes the face of the past - to use a Foucaltian turn-of-phrase. You would think that this incapacity would be diminished somewhat with respect to babies, seeing as how they change so fast, but when I look as Paige it's still almost impossible for me to imagine her looking any different than she does now.

But sometimes it hits you. Like last week, when I sat watching Paige while Rebecca did something responsible. In pursuit of an idle thought I opened up my library of family photos and Paige and I sat and stared at ourselves for the better part of a half-hour. Over and over again I marveled at just how different my little girl had become during the short ten months of her life. She still has the same bald head and the same twinkly eyes - but that head isn't quite so...squishy any more, and those eyes have a 'knowingness' about them that you can't find in her earlier face. Sometimes I wonder if the little girl who used to fall asleep on my chest is already gone....

But, of course, Paige is at a wonderfully active stage in her development right now, and most moments -no matter how ephemeral- are just so exciting that you have no choice but to get excited right alongside her. Whereas Rebecca and I used to have to guess at Paige's thoughts, we can now sit and watch her stare at the ducks and know that she's thinking "how am I going to get those things into my mouth?" She's so obviously wondering at, and figuring out and puzzling over things that you can't help but smile when you catch her pointing at an egg in a picture book and gleefully clapping her hands . And just when you think she can't get any sweeter she'll surprise you by doing something totally, and unexpectedly new. Like the other day, when Rebecca and I awoke in the morning to find Paige standing in her crib and staring at us, as she does most everyday. I lay in the bed, stretching my legs, while Rebecca sits up and gives an enthusiastic 'hi!' to our daughter, who, in reply, very distinctly waves at her mother and says 'hi!' back. Dumbfounded, I sit up on my elbows and look at Paige to make sure I heard correctly. Rebecca, just as dumbfounded, looks a me asks, "Did you...?! Did she...?! ...What?!" Paige, in the meantime, continues to wave at us with a big, goofy grin on her face.

Moments like that make the hard parts of this job not so hard (in retrospect).

So, as you can see, I'm split. While I am at once a little saddened by my inability to hang on to the tiny baby in the pictures, I am, at the same time, ensorcelled by this adorable, little girl who is just so happy to be alive. What a wonderful life.


By way of a send off I'll leave you with two pictures that I think do a good job capturing the 'Paigeiness' of Paige. If you look closely you can see in both pictures the hint of two teeth coming in at the top of her mouth.



I discovered yesterday that Paige can sit and play with my cheap cellphone for upwards of twenty minutes. She gets this huge smile on her face when I give it to her and will crawl around the living room waving it around cheerfully and banging it on everything she passes. Ominous hints of things to come? I think so. *shudder*

This is Paige pulling her most quintessential face: eyes crinkled, mouth smiling, tongue stuck out to the side. If she were waving in this picture then it would be an accurate representation of the look she gives me every time she notices me staring at her. Is it any wonder I'm in love?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Soo Big!

The last few days have been sunny, so we've spent quite a bit of time enjoying the park. Getting a forward-facing swing picture was surprisingly difficult--Paige just stared at all the other little kids. This trip also spawned a sunhat to cover her tow head.


Paige has been trying really hard to talk lately. She says "mama" and "dada" the most, but every once in a while she'll say "hi" and I think that yesterday she was trying to say "yummy" and "banana," but I could be imagining that. She's constantly talk or singing to herself. We have a video, but Blogger won't load it. Crumbs.
She's also learning to play interactive games like "how big is Paige," peek-a-boo, simple hide-and-seek, and whack-a-mom's-hand. It's pretty awesome.
In an unrelated note, tuberculosis is a much bigger concern here than it is in the States, so the BCG (TB) shot is required for children under a year. Paige got hers in February. They warned us to expect a red, swollen patch that would grow, flake, burst, scab, and then heal over a couple weeks. Fun huh? Here's Paige's. We were all a bit surprised at how big and nasty it looked. It burst the other day, so now there's a little scab in the middle. It makes me sad, but it's way better than TB.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Really, it's just a ploy to get five comments

I saw this post today on a blog by a sweet Japanese fashion designer on "Pay it Forward 2011," where the first five people to comment get a handmade gift! The catch is you then have to do the same. And I was torn. I'm a sucker for real mail, and I really wanted to enter, but shipping overseas is really expensive.
So here's the deal: leave me a comment and I will send you a letter or pictures or a card or something. And if I'm going to see you when we come back to the States, I will make something for you then (plus the letter)!
Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we walked down to the palace to see the queen, and take some cute pictures of my baby. She makes the stuff I make look good. I giggled at my little dinosaur storming the castle.