Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yes! Michigan

We spent our long weekend in Michigan visiting Jeff's family and some friends. Overall we had a great time. In truly un-Grand Rapidian fashion, the weather was full-on sunny almost every day and actually hot. We spent a lot of time outside with Charlotte, playing in Grandpa and Grandma's yard.

I wanted to write a post about Charlotte's lakeshore adventures, and how much she loved the water, how she strained against my grip, trying to run into the waves. I wanted to write about how she learned so many new words this weekend (uncle, walk, and Mindi among them). I wanted to write about how she now requests to "walk" everywhere, holding the hands of one or two people as she barrels ahead.

But I have to admit to being totally preoccupied with my concerns about Charlotte's recent injury, too much so to take the time to do any of those topics justice. In brief, Charlotte and Jeff took a tumble down the stairs yesterday. Charlotte is mysteriously injured, or uninjured and just traumatized...we can't tell. She seemed to have hurt her left foot. She didn't want to walk, and would scream and cry when she put weight on her feet. She briefly had a bruise on the sole of her foot. Now there's no bruise, no swelling, no visible evidence of injury, but she's not walking normally. She doesn't want to stand up. She kind of drags her feet.

We went to the doctor today, but didn't really get any answers. We can go for an x-ray if we want. I don' t know. I really hope we wake up tomorrow and she's back to normal again.

One of my greatest fears as a parent is that something will happen to my daughter. I try not to think too much about all the terrible things that could go wrong on a daily basis, of the bugs she could catch or the tumbles she could take or the bad people lurking, waiting to hurt her. To have something like this happen makes it more difficult for me to keep these fears at bay.

It's hard to think about much else when my mind is preoccupied with (probably needless) worrying. I hope it's needless. I really do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This One's Broken!

Charlotte loves to play on our bed. She'll flop around, lean back on the pillows, smile and laugh. Yesterday when I was at school, Jeff was letting Charlotte crawl around our bed (closely supervised, of course...our bed's really high off the floor).

She crawled over to the foot of the bed, where she was sitting up, smacking the mattress and saying, "Nuh! Nuh!"

When Charlotte wants to nurse, she taps my chest and says "Nuh!"

As she continued to hit the bed and shout, Jeff leaned over to see what was going on. Lying on top of the covers was one of my bras.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lucky Thirteen

Today is Charlotte's 13-month birthday, as well as my friend Mindi's 348-month birthday. (Happy birthday, Min!) I have to say that this last month has been TOTALLY AWESOME and I am not in any way exaggerating. Carla on the television show Scrubs said about having a baby: "Dr. Cox says it's like having a dog that slowly learns how to talk." And that's true, except that Charlotte would never jump up on you and hardly sheds. But the talking! It's amazing!

For example: when I get up in the morning in response to Charlotte's groaning siren call over the baby monitor, I'm usually pretty tired still. Sometimes I am a bit, shall we say, crabby? Not terribly chipper at any rate. But when I walk into her room these days, she usually greets me with a high-pitched, breathy "Hiiiii!" Lately she's also been saying "Morning!" in response to my good morning greetings. It sounds a bit like "Mooooheee," but I get the picture.

In addition to Charlotte's effusive greetings, her repertoire of animal sounds, her exclamations (uh-oh, oh dada, ooooh wow, among them) and her attempts to repeat what Jeff and I say. But she's more than just mimicking--she's actually learning that words mean things. "Haaa-tuh" she'll utter whenever she catches sight of one of the dozens of baseball caps Jeff has scattered around the house. "Aapuh" is her word for any vaguely apple-ish fruit. And an "ehbuh" is found in the middle of your arm while "neeeeee"s take up residence mid-leg. We're still working on "aaah-pituh," the less polite name for underarm.

When Charlotte isn't I.D.ing body parts, she's calling out the gender of the various children we meet. Whether you're a "guhl" or a "boooiuh," Charlotte will make a determination and announce it when ready.

She loves music. She loves to dance. She reads books to herself in her crazy, sing-songy baby language. She plays with her toys. She plays! Just a year ago we were applauding her first real smile. Now I see that wide, toothy grin every day as she expresses her general excitement over this amazing world she has to discover.

Happy 13-month birthday, Charlotte!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Should I be concerned?

For the last few quarters, I've closed out whatever course I was teaching with a pizza party for my students. The last couple of times, I've also invited Jeff and Charlotte to attend. And by "invited," I mean, "strongly encouraged." Okay, "forced." I enjoyed allowing my students to see my non-academic side, and, of course, to meet my adorable daughter and almost as cute husband. (Sorry Jeff).

Today was the last day of class for the summer session I taught. Charlotte really turned on the charm, happily demonstrating all of her animal sounds (which include monkey, crocodile, elephant, and a very gentle tiger) and she even ate a little pizza. While my students were writing their final journal entry, I was helping Charlotte walk through the room. She took a circuitous course, wanting to visit each and every student. As we wove our way back to the front, she paused by one student's desk, looked directly at him, and said, "Hiii, baby!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Double-Video Monday!

Two new Charlotte videos up at youtube. The first one features Charlotte rocking out. The second is all about walking.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer Fun

I'm taking a brief break from my Spanish homework (which takes, on average, three hours every night). So I thought I'd share a recent photo of Charlotte enjoying the baby pool and her Swimways luxury baby liner (not its real name). We've gotten to the pool at least once a week since summer began, and she really loves it. I think it's appropriate that her first word was "duck" because she's taken to the pool like a duck to...well, to water.

Today the temperature topped out at 95 degrees. The air conditioning in Ellis Hall (where my office and classroom are) was on the fritz, so my classroom was also approximately 95 degrees. Not too conducive to persuading juniors to discuss rhetorical strategies. A trip to the pool was just what the doctor ordered.

Relaxing in the shallow end of the baby pool while Charlotte motored around, bumping her little boat up against random strangers (she's very social), I realized that my summer is almost halfway over. I'd better enjoy this summer fun while it lasts.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Simpselaars
Our family as Simpsons characters. Why are my arms so short? I don't know. I also don't know why I'm wearing mom jeans.