Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grandma and Opa's

Always playing and having fun at Gramma and Opa's house....I call this picture "Angel Hair"...she sure it getting a lot of it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Danta! Danta!"

Tonight we took Willow downtown to see Santa at the City Hall. Now that it gets dark so early, it was nice to be out with all the lights and kids and families. The excitement mounted and she got to see Santa...he even waved at her and said "HO!HO!HO!" Now Willow seems to think that Santa is all about waving....she always waves excitedly whenever she sees Santa in a shop or Santa lights on a house. It is very sweet. Later, she had a great chance to run around the Esplanade and play with her little buddy Milah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mummy and Willow

Having some fun with the camera on Mummy's computer...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Willow is 16 Months Old!

Willow Willow Willow. She continues to be the light of my life and my biggest source of happiness, learning, challenge and complete and utter joy. I missed writing her 15 month update last month...these have been manic times. We made several trips out of town to see Baba in hospital and then to attend her funeral, and to visit Opa while he was doing radiation in Calgary. I know that Willow doesn't understand these life happenings but she is indeed a precious part of them. When we went to the hospital to visit Baba, she took a good long look, with her clear, wide blue eyes standing at the doorway to her room before exclaiming "Baba!" and running in towards her. It was pure magic and it was just her being. That is the gift of watching this little one grow in this world. At Baba's internment, everybody wanted to hold her for a little bit, her innocence and powerful life vigor offered comfort just through a squeeze or a cuddle. Of course I am pleased that she is so well loved from so many directions but it can be hard to let go of her and share her in those moments when I feel like I want to hold onto her. We spend every moment together throughout our days and weeks, I can feel almost naked when she isn't with me.....but at other times it is such a great relief to just feel like my 'old' self again....a relief to know that 'Nikki' is still inside me, underneath all these layers of Mama-love somewhere....
The changes that I have seen in Willow over the past two months have been nothing short of phenomenal. All of a sudden this little person is communicating to me and others in a whole new way. Up to 15 months she was using so many signs, both ones we had taught her and ones she had developed on her own and 'words' some of which maybe only the people closest to her could understand. Sure she had the basics, Mama and Dada and Ga-mo (grandma) and O-pa, hi, bye.....but she was now assigning sounds and syllables to most of the objects in her world. Some of them could be understood easily: moooooon (moon), a-bowl (apple), dose (nose), malf (mouth), iiiii (eye) some of them where more challenging to interpret: meow (cat) who-who (owl) ah-ah with chest pounding (monkey), uff-uff (dog) unger (yogurt) bum-bum (pumpkin). But as she learned that we could understand her, and this could actually lead to more communication she began to devour any information about language she could get her hands on, watching our lips carefully to see how we made our words and looking at piles of books. She loves to sit by herself or with Adam or me looking at the kind of word books that have a photograph of an object and the word for the object. If she is fussy or grouchy, this is actually the most soothing thing for her, sitting on our lap and learning words. This month it is incredible to see her whipping through these, repeating every word, or coming up with her own words. She is certainly becoming great at hearing the sounds and re-creating them. Her most recent ones have more than just one syllable: Dee-llow (Willow) and pee-llow (pillow)...once she got that 'L' sound, she just loves it. It is truly beautiful to see her look at herself in the mirror, point to herself and with a big smile say, "Dillow!" So the words now are too numerous to record and everyday there seems to be new ones. When handed the phone she will say in the sweetest voice "Hi". Now I have seen her putting two words together, to create a more complex concept such as "Mum Up" or yesterday I heard her saying "down up down up". I encourage her to use these when she is frustrated, instead of screeching. Like when she wants to get out of her highchair, if she is squealing, I say "mum down", she repeats it and bingo, she gets what she wants and needs. It is great. She has also been saying in a very cute, very definitive way,"Nooo" and I have been teaching her "yes" which she is also seeming to understand. But by far the most heart melting thing that she has been sing-songing lately is "mum-meeee". She will say it over and over again, "mum-meee, mum-mee, mum-meeee" and it really is like music to my ears. My beautiful little girl....More changes recently have been her shift into one nap per day. For the past 5 days she has been going down mid-day for about 2 hours or so. I like this as it is a lot easier to plan around than 2 naps and it gives me a bigger chunk of time to do Nikki things (such as update my Willow blog...wait, does that count as a nikki-thing???) She is still nursing on demand, day and night but a couple months ago ( I wish for record keeping purposes I had recorded exactly when this was..oh well...)I did move her bed into her own room which is working out well. She sleeps about half the night by herself, on a double mattress on the floor surrounded by pillows and when she cries out I go in there and nurse her and sleep there for the second half of the night. She nurses quite a bit in the mornings but still we manage to sleep in until at least 8 am or later, which makes me very happy. I am not a good early morning person. So, some people might say that this is the 'lazy mom' method, or she is controlling me, but I am happy to have half the night to myself with Adam and share the other half with her, if it means we all get some decent sleep and get to wake at a respectable hour. I suspect that she has graduated right into the toddler bed stage, completely skipping the crib, which suits us just fine. I am pleased that our breast feeding relationship has been going so well and I plan to continue it for as long as we can both hang in there. It is demanding work, but the rewards are great and to see how healthy, smart and happy she is is all the payback I need right now. Wee Willow, you aren't so wee anymore, but my love for you has grown a thousandfold since the day you were born.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Walking...

A Beautiful walk in the park together