Recently in Family Category

Fina is walking

| |

Sarafina spent the whole day wandering around the house, clutching a Curious George stuffed doll. She pushed up against walls and hung onto the edges of tables when she could, but she spent a lot of time right out in the open, shuffling along and grinning at us.

It's amazing how fast that happens. She's been standing for some weeks now, but a few first real steps happened just a couple of days ago and now it's not even worth counting, she's on her feet so much.

Zoe and the ambulance


Zoe is really into finding things recently. Somewhere along the way she picked up the phrase, "you found it!" which she uses for all sorts of things. If she asks for a glass of water and it takes me a minute to get it to her, she'll say, "you found it!" when I get it to her. She uses it when she finds toys, or when we're looking for Amy at the grocery store. It's adorable.

Another of Zoe's favorite things these days is recognizing emergency vehicles when we are out driving. This is probably because they are so distinct from the rest of the cars and trucks on the road. (She also loves "bid tucks," which she also names by color: "Da. Dada. Da. Da. Da. Bid Tuck. Red bid tuck.")

She also knows them by sound. Once in a while, when she's hanging out with her mom, she'll say "a-ance" (ambulance) because she hears the siren. Amy, who has a hard time hearing low pitches, especially at distance, often cannot hear them at first, though they usually come in range quickly. Or she stops what she's doing and listens, and she hears the siren.

Today she said it, and Amy (as usual) didn't hear anything. But she listened hard, and still didn't hear anything. "I don't hear anything, Zoe," she said.

About 10 minutes later, both of them heard a siren, and Zoe looked up at Amy and said, "you found it!"

She's getting it!

| 1 Comment

Zoe, it's July

| 1 Comment

Dearest Zoe,

post-nap thoughtfulness It's July, and you've been walking for over a month now. You've been toddling around the house like the little person you are. Also, all of that walking has taken the baby fat right off of your bones. You keep on getting bigger, but you're getting thinner, too. With the genes you inherited from your mom and dad, you'll probably be thin as a rail for the first 30 years of your life. That was hard to imagine even two months ago because you were such a cute little roll of baby fat, but these days you're starting to look like you are your parents' daughter.

Last night when I got home from work, you came bobbling over to me and grabbed me around my neck. Once in a while (this is the second time) you just can't get enough of Daddy, which I think is just about the best thing that ever happened. If I put you down, you followed me around with your arms in the air, moaning like a baby elephant until I picked you up again. I spent a good part of the evening trying to do my part as a member of the Varo-Haub household while holding you with one arm.

bookworm For the last several weeks, it seems like you learn a new word every day. You've been calling your socks "sschhccs" for about three weeks now. Every animal in the world is a "tat" (and to be fair, the two largest animals in your house are cats, so you're right a good percentage of the time). The other day you said something that sounded like "pants" when I was changing you and then you laughed your little head off.

Today you started calling Bella, "bellabellabellabella." You chased her around the house for at least an hour doing that. I can't tell you how cute it is.

Your mom really likes letting you feed yourself. I feel very good about this idea in principle, but in reality, you make the biggest, craziest messes. The animals pace below your high chair, waiting for the detrius of the dinner experience, fighting over the scraps that seem to fly in all directions at once.

ZoMohican Fortunately, you get a bath every night, where you love use your little plastic watering can. You dunk it until the bubbles stop, then holding it tightly around the spout like it's a baseball bat, you lift it up in the air and giggle while the water pours directly out of the holes in the bottom of the spout.

You're starting to climb up on top of things, which is scary but also wonderful. It just means that we follow you everywhere you go in the house.

You are precious, and don't ever forget how much we love you, mi querida Zoe.

walking . . . almost

| 1 Comment

She's seriously right on the verge. Last night she took 15 steps. I can't capture that many on video, because she gets more interested in the camera than in walking. But this is a rough approximation of what it looks like:

Zoe walks! from varohaub on Vimeo

Zoe, it's February


Dearest Zoe,

Squash FaceIt's February, and you've started to crawl around the house on your belly like a little infantry-woman. Last week I put you on your blanket to play with your toys while I finished up a phone call, and 10 seconds after I put you down and turned to walk into the kitchen you scooted between my legs.

The kitchen got remodeled last month. Actually, scratch that. The remodeling started last month. It's still underway a bit, but at least we have a working kitchen now. For a week there, there was dust everywhere and there were strange people in and out of the house every day.

You and I spent a lot of time that week hanging out on the bed, me with a book to read and you with toys to toss around. Usually all of the animals ended up on the bed with us, and you would try to climb over me every thirty seconds so you could pull Jota's tail. Not that she cares. You freak her out a bit, but she seems to like you, too. That's pretty good for a cat.

Auntie SarahYour auntie Sarah came to visit in January. It's a long trip for her, coming all the way from Portland, but you were both really glad to finaly meet each other. It was a full-time party for you from the moment she arrived. It's fun when there's always someone to play with!

She took you hiking (whatever that means in South Florida . . . it was pretty fun, but it certainly doesn't hold a candle to the part of the world your father is from) and she read you books, and you played with her nose the same way you play with mine. It was definitely a family thing. Now that she's been out, you've met all of the aunts and uncles, and all of the cousins. It's hard that they're all so far away from us, in Kentucky, Portland, and L.A., but don't ever forget that they all love you very much.

You're really getting to be an expert on "Mama" and "Dada," though I told your mother that I think you have decided that "Mama" means "give me food" or "let me sleep" and "Dada" means "thanks for waking me up" or "I want to play." Someday those will morph into names for the two of us, but for now, we'll take whatever you give us.

First trip to the beachYou also made your first trip to the beach last month. You loved it! It took a lot of work to get lotion all over you to protect you from the sun, and when we got settled, you fell asleep under a towel. It wasn't until later that you got to laugh at the sound of the ocean, and stare at the waves moving in and out, around your mom's feet.

It was my kind of day at the beach: windy with just a bit of chill in the air once the sun went down. Mi querida Zoe, you should know this about your parents: I can't stand the heat, and your mother can't live without it. We're like Jack Sprat and his wife. Except that we aren't fat and lean—we're hot and freezing.

Zoe, it's December

| 1 Comment

Dearest Zoe,

zoe 6moIt's December, and even though you haven't said it since, for two days you said, "dadadadadadadada," a syllabic masterpiece that is still echoing around in the deepest corners of my heart.

Nowadays, you're working on "babababababa," and "puh," and "gggggggah." It wouldn't surprise me if you turned to me and said, "Papa, hand me that stuffed bear" tomorrow. I don't think you will, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

I love feeding you solid food, because the first bite is always an adventure for you. You grab my arm and pull it hard so you can shove the spoon in your mouth, and then you always make this horrible face. I guess you're expecting something besides First Pears or Apples and Blueberries. But it doesn't take more than three beats of your heart and you're ready for more. It wasn't what you thought you were going to get, but it sure turns out to be good!

Life can be like that a lot. The truth is, before you were born, I never knew what to expect from you. I mean, what was I supposed to think? There were a thousand possibilities, and none of the ones that occured to me were anything like you. But once you arrived—as a matter of fact, from the first moment I saw you—the truth is, it didn't even take a single beat of my heart to know how right you are.

A few winks in the afternoon.You've taken to falling asleep on my chest when it's time to nap, sucking on your thumb and pressing your ear into my heart.

I spent my last semester in college knocking around the British Isles with a bunch of other students as part of a study tour. I can remember sitting on my bed the first night in Ireland, staring out the window at the streets of this little town called Ennis, convinced that it was all going to blow by too fast for me to absorb it. And in some ways it did. Those were three of the best months of my life, and though the time went by at the same pace it's ticking by now, it feels like I woke up the next morning with you napping on my belly.

So I'm trying to make sure that I remember what it means to hold you, to walk with you from room to room, talking through the mundane ordinariness of my day. I don't ever want to forget the way you grip my lower jaw with your hands and giggle when I pretend I'm going to bite off your fingers.

Mom crochets a new hat for the buttonnose beast.I've got no illusions about time, though. I know that even though the earth will continue to spin at its mindboggling pace, there will be days when tomorrow can't come soon enough, and after all of it is said and done, you'll be standing next to me in your house somewhere and we'll be laughing about all of the things I used to do to embarrass you when you were young.

Your mother made you a hat for Christmas. She's worried that you'll be cold in Kentucky. Me? I can't wait to see what you think of snow.

Zoe, it's November


Fresh ZoeDearest Zoe,

It's November, and in just a few weeks you'll be six months old. It's hard to believe how fast you are growing, how much new stuff you take on every day like a brave little explorer, discovering the animals in your house, new ways to make noise, and new ways to use your hands.

You started eating solid food this month—your mother smooshed up some fresh bananas and fed them to you from the end of her finger. You grabbed her hand and wouldn't let it go so you could absorb every last molecule of goodness.

Amy went out and bought you some organic baby food, two little containers of bananas and two little containers of sweet potatoes. Both were a big hit, though you do tend to spit up a good bit, and the sweet potatoes color everything orange, even after they've spent some time in your adorable belly.

You've been talking a lot, same as ever, but you've added some new sounds to your repertoire: there's a "gggggaaaa," a "duuuh," and I'm pretty sure you've said "mmmmmmmmmmmm" a thousand times.

A friend of ours loaned us her walker because her third and fourth children are just too old and still too young (respectively) to use it, and as a result, you've been inching yourself around the living room for the last two days. I think you love how independent it makes you feel, but there's definitely a moment when you recognize that no adult is holding you, and I think you miss wrapping your arm around my shoulder and chewing on my shirt.

You've been coughing a lot the last few weeks, too, which worried us at first, but the books say that babies who are teething tend to cough up a lot. And while teeth still haven't shown up, you are a living, breathing fountain of drool, which is a good sign that teeth are coming soon.

Fresh ZoeYou are a huge baby—not fat or anything, just tall and healthy. You started wearing some of the clothes that say "12 mos" last month, when you were just five months old. It's a bit disconcerting, since there are many beautiful pieces of clothing in your drawers that you will never be able to wear again, unless you like wearing a onesie as a winter hat.

In the morning when I come to wake you up, I like to bend down over the crib to kiss you on the nose and on the cheeks. You grab my face with your hands and hold me there with our noses almost touching and you say things to me that I still can't understand. I can't wait to ask you what you were thinking about.

You've done your fair share of laughing these last few months, too. The dog is particularly funny. She chases the cats from room to room, and you grin at her and laugh. One day last month we were in the car and you started laughing at your mother. Something about the way she looked at you must have been hilarious, because you laughed for miles, mi querida Zoe.

Zoe sits!


About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Family category.

Everyday is the previous category.

Fina is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.3-en