Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nearing the end of 2009

I haven't posted in almost a month. A few things have happened since then of course. Leah turned 22 months a few weeks ago. We celebrated Hanukkah. Leah's vocabulary and grammar and such increase daily. It's really amazing the things she says and the words she puts together. She will now point to a picture and say, "Who's that?" Today she started saying "mine" and "yours."

Shafi returned today from 2.5 weeks in Bangladesh. In the middle of his trip, Leah and I spent 9 days in Fort Worth with my parents. We weren't sure how Leah would view Shafi's absence. She did ask for him daily, but she seemed pretty content with the answer that "Baba is in Bangladesh visiting Dada and Dadima, and he'll be back soon." Not sure what she actually thought of all that of course, but if you asked her, "Where is Baba?" she would tell you "Bong-jesh" - which of course was very cute. She did get a bit upset when we returned from Texas and got home and Baba wasn't here. I had told her that it would be a few more days before he came back, but obviously that hadn't quite sunk in. But she only cried for a minute and then was easily distracted as we put on her coat and shoes and went out to dinner. Then I did a countdown for her - Baba will be home in 4 days - Baba will be home in 3 days - Baba will be home in 2 days - Baba will be home tomorrow. Again, we're not sure what concept she has of the passing of time, so I don't know if she even understood yesterday when I said "tomorrow" but I think putting a time frame on it was probably helpful to keep her understanding that Baba was coming home soon.

This morning when Shafi did come home, Leah and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast. She looked up as he walked in the door and said, "I eating oatmeal. I have own spoon." She continued to describe her breakfast as he gave her a kiss and told her he missed her. Once breakfast was over, she was glad to hug and kiss and cuddle with Shafi, of course. The rest of our day continued fairly normally - she seemed to have little reaction to his having been away or having come back.

We had a nice trip to Texas. Leah was sick for a few days at the beginning, which was a bummer, but she stayed in pretty good spirits, as usual. Once she was feeling better, we had fun going to the zoo, feeding ducks, going to McDonald's (Leah's first time), and going to the science museum. She also had fun singing with Grandpa while he played guitar - Bim Bam, Sim Shalom, Taxi song, Dragon (Puff the Magic, of course), Twinkle Twinkle, and ABCs.

Leah was pretty good on the plane both directions. I got a portable DVD player and some Sesame Street DVDs - all worth every penny. She pretty much just watched Sesame Street and snacked the whole time both directions.

Leah got lots of Hanukkah presents from Grandpa and Grandpa and had a good time playing with them at their house. The zoo might have been the highlight of the trip for Leah, though. This was the first time she seemed to really watch all the animals. The zoo is small enough that you only have to go a few steps from one to the next. She yelled excitedly each time she saw one - "zebras!" "elephant!" "monkey!" Feeding the ducks at a small lake was also a lot of fun. We were able to get right down to the water's edge, close enough that Leah could throw the bread into the water. She was mesmerized by the many quacking ducks and geese just feet away.

But after over a week away and lots of fun with Grandma & Grandpa, it was also nice to come home. And now she's been enjoying playing with her new toys, reading her new books, drawing with her new crayons, and using lots of stickers.

We lucked out and had an empty seat next to our assigned seat for Leah to occupy. She curled up, cuddled with puppy and watched Sesame Street. This was the way to Texas, but the way home didn't look much different:

Leah loves zoos. She wasn't actually all that keen on holding the birds, but she did hold the stick with a bird on it for a minute - long enough to get a great picture:

I love the way Leah looks in this picture...but it doesn't quite portray Leah's focus on throwing the bread to the ducks in the lake:

The McDonald's Playland was lots of fun...and sitting on Ronald McDonald's lap was too:

Back at home, Leah has been particularly fond of bath time, playing with her new Sesame Street bath toys and pretending to swim in the tub:

Back to the usual routine, asking Baba to read book after book, Leah was definitely happy to have him home:

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