Sunday, December 28, 2008

Waving, clapping, dancing, finger walking

Yep - Leah has become quite the active little girl. She's getting really good at all sorts of movement and imitation. She started waving about a week ago. She'd done it a little bit before but not very consistently and we were never sure whether she was really getting the concept or just moving her hand. But last Sunday she most definitely waved at Patsy (the housekeeper who comes twice a month). And since then she's been waving quite a lot - at us, at random people on the subway, at people at nearby tables at restaurants. It's really a great addition to her social skills.

She loves to dance and frequently breaks into dance any time music comes on - from the radio, from one of her toys, from someone singing. She used to really just bop up and down a little bit but within the last few days she's added arm movement - arms up and out to the sides and a little shimmy.

And suddely within the last couple of weeks she's started to show an increasing interest in finger walking. She's getting pretty good at it, but her balance is definitely not that good - so she's not ready for solo walking yet. She's added some new sounds to her repertoire as well. And no matter what the sound, she does like to be heard and can be very very loud.

Leah has been enjoying Hanukkah. She's gotten a gift from us each night and she got 5 gifts from Grandma and Grandpa - the last of each to be opened tonight.

Leah likes Miss Monkey - especially when they're wearing their matching sweaters:
She showed Grandma how to use her laptop:
Grandma made Hanukkah cookies for Leah - it's Leah's very first cookie - and she loves it:
Leah always loves banging on the drums in music class, so I got her very own set of bongos:
She's not so adept at walking her new doggy yet, but we can tell she'll love it when she's walking:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Leah's first night of Hanukkah

For her very first night of her very first Hanukkah, Leah helped light the candles and then picked and opened a present. She seemed interested in the candle lighting and blessings, but not exactly participatory. Then I let her pick her gift from the stack of 8 wrapped and waiting for her. She put her hand on one and I helped her open it.

She tore off a piece of the wrapping paper and was very excited to crinkle it and wave it around. And then she cried a little when I took it away from her and helped her to continue the unwrapping process. We went through that a couple more times until all the paper was off. Then of course she wanted to play with the box. That actually worked out well because the packaging on toys these days is so complicated it takes a few minutes to get the toy completely out of the box. She played with part of the box while I worked on the rest of it.

Then she actually got the toy...a v-tech baby laptop. It's very cute - it opens and closes like a laptop and has a little attached mouse that looks like a mouse (the animal kind). It has buttons where the keyboard would be that are different shapes and colors and it has pictures that light up where the screen would be. It has 3 different modes for learning and discovery and music. When you press the buttons it has different light patterns and sounds depending on the mode and how many times you press the button. Leah definitely took to it right away. She can open and close it herself and she can press the buttons.

All in all a very successful first night of Hanukkah...looking forward to the next 7.

Leah liked watching the candles burn:

And she picked out her present:

And successfully unwrapped it:
And had fun playing with the box:
And finally she got to play with the toy:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Leah's first stomach virus...

...seems to finally be over! Leah was stricken with some unpleasant running at both ends starting on Saturday night. And Shafi was unlucky enough to join her Sunday night...and I was unlucky enough to join them Monday night. So we've all been quarantined at home pretty much all week. It's been a rough go - taking care of ourselves and Leah while feeling ill and totally worn out.

But today we're all feeling better. We'll continue to take it easy for the weekend and make sure it's all gone, but thankfully I think we'll be able to pretty much return to normal next week.

I finally took some pictures yesterday and I realized that I didn't take any pictures for 4 days! That's the longest I've gone since Leah was born. But none of us were looking too cute this week.

Feeling better and eating some Cheerios:After 5 days cooped up in the apartment, Leah still likes her toys: Off to explore some more:
Just being silly:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Leah clapped today!

I've been pat-a-caking with her every morning. I pat-a-cake with her sitting on my lap facing me. Then I move her hands so she can pat-a-cake. She used to have her fists closed, but a couple weeks ago she started putting her hands out flat. She'd still let me clap her hands for her - not trying to do it herself - but she'd appear to be very proud that her hands were flat so that her palms slapped together and made noise.

This afternoon she was sitting on my lap and started "singing" - really just making a single "ahhhh" tone. Then she started clapping. Totally unprompted. Not exactly in time to the music playing on the stereo - but obviously she was trying to make her own music. And she was so proud of herself. I clapped and said "yay" and smiled - and she kept clapping and gave me a huge grin.

Then later on I kept trying to get her to clap - and of course she would not do it on cue. But she did clap on her own several more times - including once for Shafi while he was getting her ready for bed. So it's not just a fluke - Leah can now clap.

Next I'll have to find the version of pat-a-cake that teaches her to wave. :)

Yesterday I showed her that the ambulance driver fits in the little compartment on the music table and she had lots of fun putting him in and taking him back out all on her own:
Then she used Curious George to hide behind while playing peek-a-boo - she's become a real pro at peek-a-boo - and she really wishes she could play all day long:Her outfit today had a matching hat - and she didn't even mind wearing it:
After seeing how much she enjoyed her grilled cheese sandwich at the diner the other day - I made her one for lunch at home today - she was quite happy with that one too:
She was also very into sharing today - here she is giving me the ambulance driver:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Leah is 10 months old!

I can't believe it...time really flies...Leah is 10 months old today. We celebrated by heading to the upper east side for a playdate with our friends Alison and Angelo. Angelo is a week older and a lot bigger...he's a little shorter but weighs in at over 25 pounds. Those extra pounds appear in an adorable baby belly and round cheeks...and he's got a thick head of blonde hair and big bright blue eyes...quite a cutie.

We all went out to lunch. Leah and Angelo shared a grilled cheese sandwich. About half of it ended up on the floor...but they enjoyed the parts they ate.

Yesterday we had quite a full day. After Leah's afternoon nap we headed to Park Slope for Baby Loves Disco. It was lots of fun for the whole family. And then we hit our friends Dan, Erin and Isaac's holiday party. They had an open house and they live in Park Slope, so it worked out perfectly for us to stop by after Baby Loves Disco. We were having such a good time there that we let Leah stay up late. She had a great time crawling all over and having some snacks...then about 7:30 she suddenly started whining and it was time to go. She fussed a bit on the way home, but she went right to sleep without a problem.

In order to make it to Baby Loves Disco before it ended we had to wake Leah after an hour from her afternoon nap. She looked so adorable and peaceful clinging to her puppy:
Earlier in the day she had lots of fun jamming on her music table while wearing her disco dress:
She seemed to spend some time at lunch today contemplating her 10 month birthday:
She had lots of fun playing with Angelo despite his intense interest in things like a camera case:
Eventually she gave up on getting him to play with her, and then he started to show her some attention...but by that time she was intently focused on his toys:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Leah loves Curious George!

Leah's GG (Great Grandma) gave her a Curious George stuffed animal along with Curious George Goes to the Aquarium. She's not quite ready for the book - she'd just tear the pages - we have to stick to board books for now. But she loves Curious George.
She gives him kisses:
Lots of kisses:
She pokes him in the eye:
She hugs him:
Sometimes she kisses him very passionately:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Leah's first Thanksgiving

We went to Washington DC for the long Thanksgiving weekend. We stayed at my Uncle Howard's house. It was great - one bedroom for us and one bedroom for Leah - with a bathroom in between. We all slept well and it was especially nice that we were able to put Leah to bed when she needed to and then still be there to hang out with the family.

My parents and Grandmother were also there. And my brother and his wife joined us for dinner Saturday and brunch Sunday. It was nice for Leah to get to spend so much time with so much family, although sometimes she was a bit overwhelmed by all the attention.

And unfortunately Leah was sick for the whole weekend. She's still a pretty happy baby, even when she's sick. But she's clingier and a bit whinier and less smiley. Lucky for us she still slept well - extra well actually - she slept past 7 a.m. every day. We took her to the pediatrician when we got back and it looks like she has a bronchial virus (i.e. bronchitis). There's really nothing we can do for her other than Tylenol for her fever (101 in the evenings) and Aquaphor for the viral rash that seems to have developed along with it. She's got a nasty cough, but even when she does wake up coughing she just goes back to sleep, so it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much.

She did get lots of fun foods over the long weekend. On Thanksgiving we gave her a sampling of everything - turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry, and jello. She doesn't have a full appetite at the moment, so she didn't eat much of it, but she had a taste. And on the drive back we stopped at Cracker Barrel - our favorite road trip food. I gave her a taste of my sunrise sampler - grits, hashed browns, eggs, fried apples. She did seem to like the grits and the potatoes, but she wasn't too thrilled about the apples even though there were very sweet.

I tried to pack Leah in the suitcase, but she kept crawling out:
Leah wanted to drink Baba's beer: She loved petting Simba the cat:
She was looking super cute on Thanksgiving Day - and she enjoyed exploring the house:
She had lots of fun dancing with Grandpa: