21 December 2005

Tilda is very determined to teach herself how to swim lately. Once she learned how to keep her eyes open under water, she started submerging and wiggling around for as long as she could hold her breath. After 2 hours in the pool on Sunday - and very red eyes - she agreed that maybe it might be time to try her goggles. Her stroke currently looks like she's running under water, although today she got her legs behind her rather than underneath her and it looked much more like swimming.

Prodded by over-eager parents, she's started doing arithmetic on her fingers. She can do addition but hasn't quite understood subtraction - if she has 5 cookies and Mommy eats 2, she somehow still ends up with 5 cookies. She hasn't been as interested in writing lately, besides signing her name.

She's learned how to swing herself, which comes as a great relief to me!

I recently got her to imagine what would happen if Hi-5 came to visit her school, and I don't think she's ever been so excited.

I'm pretty sure she's better than I am at memory games like Concentration. Which is a bit depressing for me.

13 October 2005

Tilda is now Three And A Half, and her mother hasn't updated this for a very long time!

We went to the health nurse this morning and Tilda was weighed and measured and poked and prodded. She's 15.3 kg (slightly above average), 96.6 cm (slightly below average again - argh!), and her head is 52 cm in circumference (larger than the 97th percentile, i.e. melon-sized.) Her vision is fine and she can draw a face, stack blocks, stand on one foot, and do various other age-appropriate things. She can sing a song and stay in the same key, unlike the health nurse.

Tilda is in her last term of 3 year-old kinder, and she really enjoys it now, after a somewhat rocky start. She's made enough friends to have been invited to an inconvenient number of birthday parties. She'll have to start all over again next year as she's repeating 3YO kinder, only next year she'll be among the oldest - this year she's the youngest by about 4 months.

She's currently headed for a career in policing or diplomacy. If two other children are fighting (well, okay, it's usually Elena and Phoebe), Tilda always gets in there to try to sort things out. Generally the three of them play together quite well now, and can disappear behind closed doors for extended periods of time without anyone screaming.

She's recently become quite interested in letters. She can write her own name, and can write other people's names if I spell them for her (and if I demonstrate tricky letters like G and R.) She's always asking me what letter different words start with, but as of yet she is nowhere near figuring that out for herself. I haven't seen her "read" anything yet. She occasionally writes from right to left, and the letters usually end up backwards then too.

Her most important skill at the moment is getting out of bed by herself in the morning and amusing herself by drawing pictures or watching tv. She knows not to rouse me until Dora the Explorer comes on.

She's quite good at using the computer, and can navigate around the Playhouse Disney website herself. She always finishes by returning to my home page.

She's a bit of a racist and often states her preference for white women and not brown women. We've been referring to Elena as "brown", so that Tilda can hopefully realize that brown people are nice too. Today she theorized that the reason a guinea pig was calmer on her lap than on Elena's was that she was white.

One of the big changes this year occurred in May, when Brad and I separated (and sorry to anyone who's learning about this here.) She went through a clingy phase for a couple of months (not wanting to be left at school, sleeping while holding onto some part of me), and also got quite afraid of men (but not Brad!) She seems much happier now, loves going to school, and even enjoys talking to other people's daddies.

The other big change happened in April, when we got George the dog. He's a Great Dane mix, and he's big. It didn't take long before Tilda figured out how to deal with him - turn and face him if he starts chasing her, yell at him if he's bothering her, and generally boss him around. He's like a brother and is toughening her up. We're slowly working on toughening up her friends.

20 March 2005

Tilda had her third birthday yesterday. She was quite adamant that she was still 2, until well after her party was over. She also said that if we sang Happy Birthday she might get mad and throw up (she didn't). Later on I reminded her of the Belle-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast toothbrush that she wasn't allowed to use until she was 3, and she decided that she was 3.

Tilda has started 3 year-old kindergarten. After the first couple times, she was quite adamant that she didn't like Sofi (her teacher), but after the third session she announced that she liked Sofi. Which is a relief, as Sofi will be her teacher for the next 3 years. Tilda will have her first session there without me tomorrow, as she's just turned 3.

On a very twisty section of the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Apollo Bay, we discovered that Tilda can get carsick!

Tilda understands opposites. I know this because she said she had "do a poo because it's the opposite". So I asked "Opposite of what?" and she said "Pee!" According to her, the opposite of "Mommy" is "Tilda".

She says "grint" for "drink".

We tried to give up on diapers altogether, as I finally went out and got waterproof mattress protectors. She'd woken up with dry diapers for a month, but somehow for the week she went without diapers at night she had several accidents. So we're back to the (dry) diapers at night.

She spends a lot of time saying "That's okay, Mommy", "That's okay, Daddy", "That's okay, Elena", etc. etc., in a very soothing voice. She just wants everyone to calm down.

She's also started saying, when offered something she likes, "I love that! Thank you so much!"

Tilda and Phoebe have started having occasional physical battles, which can involve grabbing, pinching, and slapping, and which are inevitably accompanied by some very fierce grimaces.

18 January 2005

Tilda had a very good Christmas. She had 38 gifts to open, which was a somewhat ridiculous number, but she managed. She quickly learned to toss clothing to the side and concentrate on the toys.

One of the gifts she received was the bike that had been ill-advisedly purchased 6 months ago. She picked it up very quickly, considering that she'd never really pedalled anything before - on the first day she was completely hopeless, on the second she was starting to pedal, and on the third she was steering around corners and through doorways. We've happy we have an uncarpeted hallway.

After Christmas we got a digital piano. I'm certainly enjoying it, and Tilda has fun with it too. Her favourite "voice" is Church Organ.

Her toilet training skills have progressed, so it's not really an issue for us any more, and she doesn't generally need to go every 5 minutes. I can't remember when she last had an accident, so she must be doing well. We have had a few terrible sessions where she insists that she needs to do something that she doesn't actually need to do, and she'll stay on the toilet for roughly forever (an hour, anyway), crying and screaming if you try to take her off. We're hoping this will go away.

She's learned how to draw faces!

She's looking forward to being 3, because when she's 3 ("in March") she'll be able to go to school and use her new Belle toothbrush.

In addition to making imaginary phone calls, she now sends imaginary text message.

Her favourite word is "bummy", and she and Brad spend a lot of time talking about farts and poo.

She would prefer to subsist on processed meat. Just hot dogs, salami, and sausages would be enough for her.

She's started saying things are "yucky" without us saying that they're "yucky" first.

She thinks she can get away with things (specifically, chewing toilet paper) if she covers her eyes. I think this is at least partly because I've been known to cover my eyes and hope loudly that she wasn't chewing toilet paper. She was also covering her eyes in IKEA yesterday when she was cornered by strangers (who weren't paying any attention to her, merely looking at furniture, but were blocking her immediate access to me.)

One of her favourite things to do now is jump off of things. She's recently progressed to jumping off our bed onto the ground.

19 December 2004

Fortunately, the camera was repaired while still under warranty.

Tilda is now toilet-trained, at least while she's awake (and her diapers are usually dry after naps, and sometimes dry in the morning.) It happened very suddenly a few weeks ago, the day after we'd been to the playground with Phoebe and Phoebe's potty. In one day, Tilda went from never doing anything on the potty, to going pee in the potty, to announcing that she had to pee and going to the potty, to telling me that she'd gone pee in the potty and had emptied it herself, to telling me that she'd peed in the toilet. She goes poo in the toilet as well (at least, she does now that I've hidden the potty so that I don't have to clean poo out of it any more.) We need to pack extra clothes with us when we leave the house, but she's generally fine away from home too. As I just told Brad when he tried to put her in a diaper to take her Christmas shopping.

She's started asking "What are you doing?" incessantly.

Tilda and I spent our first night in separate beds. She got bored with trying to fall asleep with me one night, and went out to visit Brad who was watching tv. He put Nick Jr. on (a big feature of our new digital cable - preschool programming 24 hours a day) and folded out the futon, and they slept out there together. Now we just have to keep Tilda from acquiring Brad's habit of falling asleep in front of the tv.

I was reading a book to her yesterday, not a particular favourite or anything, and decided to see what would happen if I only read the beginning of each sentence. She knew the end every time. It makes my brain feel very tired.

29 October 2004

Tilda's current favourite food is hot dogs. Although she doesn't actually need the bread, so I guess her favourite food is weiners.

Most depraved sentence heard recently: "Hey guys, I need to watch Sex and the City."

In related news, last night she suddenly appeared with no clothes on. This was a big advance, given that she's generally been too lazy to remove any of her clothes by herself.

And she's just dropped my camera, which now doesn't seem to be working ...

13 October 2004

The biggest news is that Tilda has finally stopped breastfeeding. On September 19, her two-and-a-half birthday, we had some candles in a piece of banana bread, sang Happy Birthday, opened a present (a Bob the Builder tool set), and then went to bed without any milk, as agreed to the day before. Tilda coped amazingly well, and didn't ask for milk. For the first few days, she needed something pressed into her face to go to sleep (sometimes it was my face), but now she sleeps like a regular person, albeit still in bed with mommy. And she pretty much doesn't wake up in the middle of the night any more.

I didn't give her too many reasons for why we were stopping, apart from that it was her half-birthday, so she came up with some on her own. "Mommy's boobies is private" was her first one, and then "Mommy's boobies is sore" (I said they were just tired, actually.) A couple of nights later she came up with "When Mommy's boobies is better ... can me have some milk?" Which was her most complicated sentence construction so far, and it took her a while to figure out how to say it. She still occasionally hints about what might happen when they're "better", but doesn't seem too upset when told that she's all done. She's very fond of tell you how big and strong and clever she is now - "me bigger!".

For the first few days after weaning, I was able to get her to nap very quickly, but lately I've had absolutely no success - she gets up and does a puzzle quietly while I pretend to sleep. She still falls asleep in the car if we're driving around in the late afternoon, and will stay asleep when carried into the house, so she gets naps about half the time, and goes to bed earlier about half the time. One particularly admirable sleep was from 9 PM to 10:30 AM, but we don't get that lucky every day.

I spend a lot of time thinking how delightful she is. And when she doesn't seem delightful, it's usually because I'm tired and cranky.

She's much better at talking on the phone now.

She's started dancing more, when she's listening to music.

Still absolutely no progress on toilet training, although she tried on some of her new underpants and thought they were pretty cool.

3 September 2004

Tilda had a great time visiting family and friends in Canada. She was quite sociable, considering her basic nature, and her grandmothers could look after her without any problems. Which was great for me! Tilda absolutely worshipped her 7 year-old cousin Sam, and was constantly imitating him. She was a bit more open to trying new foods (particularly if Sam was eating them), so she ate her first donuts (Timbits, actually) and candy (gummy something-or-others.) She slept surprisingly well, considering all the new beds and time zones, and since we got home she's been going to bed about an hour earlier than she used to.

She was quite good on the flights, and the only time we wanted to pretend she wasn't ours was when we flew from Toronto to LA - she was overtired, apparently, as she conked out for the last 2 hours of that one. She slept about 10 hours from LA to Melbourne, which was much easier than on the way over when she only napped for 2.5 hours.

She's still breastfeeding at naps and bedtime, but I'm finally getting a bit tired of it. Lately I've managed to say "all done" in the middle of the night and have her fall asleep without protest.

She is no longer allowed to put any paper product in her mouth. She's not too bad about that one, but she has learned how to be sneaky, so sometimes she askes for a big hug so that she can turn her head and put toilet paper in her mouth.

She's started to assign everyone new identities, so sometimes she's baby Owyn, I'm Melissa, and Brad is "Uncle Hoo".

Her memory has demonstrably surpassed mine.

We took her to see Shrek 2 a couple weeks ago, and she sat quietly through the whole movie.

9 July 2004

We had a somewhat traumatic week. Last Tuesday, Tilda went from breastfeeding many times a day (and night) to not breastfeeding at all. Initially I thought it was because of a blocked nose, but after a couple days I managed to see a very large canker sore under her tongue, which would rub against her teeth when she sucked.

I was much more upset by this than Tilda was. She would still occasionally ask for milk, and then assume the position, but then wouldn't suck, often with a mischievous look on her face. There were a few times when she was sleeping that she did manage to latch on, but she wouldn't even try when she was awake. I did a lot of crying.

Surprisingly, considering that she has breastfed to sleep since the day she was born, getting her to sleep wasn't difficult, and in fact it was faster.

Then last night, after 9 mostly milk-free days, she asked for milk again, and actually tried some. She pronounced it "yummy" several times, and kept going. So she seems to be unweaned. Of course, I've got over my initial despair about weaning and have realized all the advantages - I can sit in a chair without having her in my lap every 15 minutes, for example. And I got a lot more cuddles, and she ate a lot more food.

For now I think I'll try to restrict the breastfeeding to before naps and before bed, and keep the overnight feeding to a minimum, now that I know I can get her back to sleep in other ways.

Meanwhile, I'm just about healed up from having hand, foot, and mouth disease, which filled my mouth with sores, in addition to giving me blisters on my hands and feet and knees and elbows. I've assumed that I got it from Tilda, who had a much less visible case.

20 June 2004

Tilda is just getting over a big cold. At least she's learned to cough in her sleep and stay asleep - sometimes.

Occasional care is going better and better. She still cries when I drop her off, but this week I thought her crying was a bit half-hearted. Apparently she's fine for the 3 hours.

She seems to be developing an Australian accent, which is a bit distressing. We notice it in her long "i" sounds, which sometimes come out like "oi". Then again, she will often put "dare" ("there") at the end of sentences, which makes her sound like a maritimer.

Lately she's been helping me do the dishes. She stands on her stool and rinses dishes and then puts them in the rack. This works much better with light plastic dishes and silverware than with heavy ceramic dishes. When I'm finished, she gets bored and takes the dishes off the rack and puts them back in the water.

She's reached the age where she likes to carry stuffed animals around everywhere. Her favourite is Winnie-the-Pooh ("Daddy Winnie", to distinguish him from Baby Winnie-the-Pooh), but she's amenable to substitutions.

The cloth/paper sucking and chewing has decreased a lot lately, which is great.

She's started counting to 3 reliably (i.e. she doesn't just keep going until she gets to 5.)

She can get dvds in and out of the dvd player, usually without injuring the dvd or the dvd player. She still can't work the remote to get the movie playing, though.

30 May 2004

Tilda can tell when there's been a goal in the footy (Aussie Rules), and she yells "Goal!" and does the hand gesture of the goal umpire.

Her sentences have become quite complex - she says things like "Put this there, just in case I need it." And our recent favourite, "I smell like Mommy's bum!" She will also babble nonsensically for long periods of time.

She's learned how to climb up slides at the playground.

Still not much progress on the potty training, although she went pee in it a couple times. But that was a few weeks ago. Now she just says "No pee today!"

We got a child seat for my bike, so she's been for a few bike rides. She enjoys it, but I don't seem to have any leg muscles any more.

Tonight she had a few sips of cow's milk, which was unusual. I attribute her suspicion of cow's milk to all those unsuccessful bottle-feeding experiences. If she can see the milk, she doesn't want to drink it. On the other hand, she managed to steal a good quantity of Daddy's wine at a restaurant on Friday night, before anyone noticed.

She's been enjoying playing with Duplo lately. And she likes drawing and colouring (i.e. scribbling in the general vicinity of pictures.) And painting, when I can stand the mess.

She says "thank you" (or a casual "thanks") quite a bit without being prompted.

She really likes butter.

12 April 2004

Tilda was weighed and measured a few weeks ago. She was 11.37 kg (just below average) and 87 cm long (just above average!), with a 50 cm head circumference (just plain big). Not only did she not cry during her checkup, she burst into song - a lovely rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

She's finally happy at occasional care, now that she's decided to trust her teachers. I can leave her quickly, and if she's a bit upset they're able to comfort her. She plays for a couple hours, and then is in no rush to leave when I get back. I'm glad we perservered, although as soon as we got her settled in it was time for 2 weeks of Easter school holidays.

A couple nights ago she was playing with a bottle lid with a bit of water in it, and was rubbing the water around her eyes. We eventually figured out that she was putting her contact lenses in.

Since I bought Finding Nemo yoghurt, she's been eating a lot of yoghurt. Today she had some strawberry-flavoured Dory. We need some Finding Nemo broccoli.

She lets me brush her teeth now, as long as I sing while I do it.

19 March 2004

Tilda is now 2! In fact, as someone once put it, she is very, very 2.

She's started screaming with frustration occasionally, although the screaming doesn't last very long. I'm very glad that she's as verbal as she is and can tell me what's the matter, as long as she's not completely apoplectic.

She's decided that the driver's seat is the place to be, so it's usually a struggle to get her into her car seat.

She thinks farting is hilarious.

She wanted nothing to do with her birthday cake. She doesn't generally like sweet things (she spit out ice cream a couple days ago), although she'll eat quite a bit of fruit if she's in the right mood. She's started eating outside the bread/cracker/cheese food group occasionally, again if she's in the right mood. She's discovered the joys of dipping one food in another food.

Brad went and bought the Pixar boxed set, so now Tilda has 5 computer-animated movies to choose from. The first time she saw Monsters, Inc. she got quite upset at the opening scene ("Movie bye bye?!"), but she's over that now, and enjoys seeing the monster fall on his bum.

She uses a lot of sentences, and also does a lot more babbling in sentence form while making absolutely no sense. She refers to herself as "I" quite a bit, but is still confused about possessive pronouns, and refers to Brad as "your daddy".

She sings songs which are occasionally recognizable, and can sometimes join in with songs that others are singing, although usually she only catches up by the end of each phrase. I noticed today that she can understand and follow instructions (like "touch your head") in songs, even if she hasn't heard them before.

She's started counting things on her own, and sometimes even finishes on a number that isn't 5. She always gets 2 right, and sometimes even 3, but anything larger and it's likely to end on 5.

Her time at occasional care is getting better, although it's a slow process. I usually go for half an hour, leave for an hour, and then come back for the rest of the session. She's reportedly quite a bit calmer when I'm away (although not exactly cheerful), and she can now have her diaper changed by someone else without tears, at least while I'm standing there watching. She's definitely the slowest in the group to accept being left there.

While she doesn't really interact with any of the kids at occasional care, she's started doing a lot of hugging and kissing of her close toddler friends. Fortunately they're into that phase too.

She's aware of when she's sleepy, and tells me that she wants to go to bed. Lately we don't read very many stories in bed before she tells me she wants the light off.

She's still breastfeeding. Lots and lots. And co-sleeping. And absolutely nowhere near toilet training.

She can run pretty quickly.

25 February 2004

Tilda has watched Finding Nemo approximately a zillion times.

We had a very nice holiday a couple weeks ago, with our friends Jon and Linda from Canberra, and their son James, who is almost 18 months old. We did our best to coordinate sleeping schedules, so Tilda was falling asleep at about 10:30 at night and James was waking up at 5:30 or so, and the two of them were only out of sync by about 2 hours. We mostly did a lot of swimming, both in the pool and at the beach in Tathra.

It was a long drive to Tathra (about 7 hours), so we broke it up by staying overnight in Lakes Entrance, which is about halfway between Melbourne and Tathra. I'm glad we decided to do that, since Tilda slept very little in the car.

Introducing Tilda to occasional care ("school") on Friday mornings hasn't been a roaring success so far. She let me leave without tears the first time, but then once she got upset at school (probably thanks to somebody else getting upset) she was very difficult to console, so I had to come early to get her. She definitely didn't want to be left there the second time. We're going to try a gentler introduction this week, with me staying for a while until she's settled (and until everybody else has stopped crying.)

Of course, right now she's crying that she wants to go to school.

She's started swimming lessons again, and she likes them a lot more this year than at this time last year. She'll now jump in the pool from the edge, and she doesn't object very strenuously if she's dunked. Going swimming 3 times a day in Tathra probably helped a lot! She also pours water on her head when she's in the tub.

She's much more interested now in "playing house". She likes smaller versions of household items, rather than wanting to play with our stuff. She also likes putting dolls in beds, high chairs, and strollers. We've bought her a tea set for her birthday, but don't tell her.

She likes to walk backwards down the hall.

She started saying "no" differently in the last week - it sounds more like "now" (or maybe it's just an Australian accent?), and it's much more emphatic. I think this is the phase where she says no for the sake of saying no.

She knows when a tv program is over - "Mommy Daddy movie all done?"

22 January 2004

Tilda's just keeps talking more and more. We've started to hear some verbs, and she's used "I" a few times, mostly to say "I see...". She also hears everything, which is disconcerting, so we theoretically have to watch our language. We were surprised recently when singing the catchy TV1 network jingle to her ("It's a big, it's a big, it's a big cool summer") to hear her reply "TV1!", just like they do in the ad.

Her counting has improved - she can usually make it to ten, and has started to actually count things rather than just reciting the numbers. She tends to not stop when she runs out of things to count, though, as she likes to end on five.

She likes when we sing songs to her, and when we're done she asks for more, giving the songs her own names - "More Baby Luga Deep?", "More E-I-E-I-O?" She's developed a rising inflection for questions that just rises and rises and rises to ultrasonic ranges.

She starts occasional care in a few weeks - just a few hours on Friday mornings. We've had a lot of discussions about how she's going to go to school with the boys and the girls, and the teachers will take care of her and give her water and snacks and change her diaper, and then Mommy will come to get her and we'll go to Tilda's house. She knows the spiel by heart, but we'll see how well we can put it into practise.

She still does a lot of sucking and chewing on cloth, and on toilet paper or kleenex if that's available (it was getting out of control, so we kept the bathroom door closed for a few days.) I stood still too long today and she started chewing on my shorts.

I bought Finding Nemo on dvd yesterday, and she's already a big fan of Dory. As am I, so that's good.

She's learned to climb ladders.

23 December 2003

Well, Tilda can now pretty much talk. About a month ago she started adding a few words to her vocabulary every day, and in the last week she's started using sentences, although they do tend to lack verbs.

I wouldn't say she's excited about Christmas, but she does like the Christmas tree. She can recognize Santa, even though we haven't gone into that whole thing. We happened to be in a department store where zillions of kids were lined up to see Santa, but all we saw was a human-sized Peter Rabbit walking by, and that will be her big Christmas memory. We hear a lot about the "Big Rabby" at the store with all the "Boys! Girls!".

We went back to Cape Otway last week, and she enjoyed it, although we didn't appreciate that she hardly slept driving there or back. We took her to the beach every day, and she largely got over her dislike of sand. The first day we tried to put her barefoot in the sand and she screamed, so she wore socks for a couple days, but after that she was fine. She didn't really swim in the ocean, but she got in up to the knee. And we learned that, should we wish to accelerate weaning, I just have to go swimming in salt water every day.

She's learning some letters, and can read the M in Macdonalds. (She can also say cock-a-doodle-doo when we pass Red Rooster.) She tries spelling her name, but usually it's something like "A-T-Tilda!"

She's discovered television, since I started turning on the Disney Channel in the morning. She already knows an incredibly amount about Winnie and his friends, and has started singing "Wih da Pooh, Wih da Pooh" (along with the first couple lines of the Postman Pat theme song, but only because we saw it one day on vacation and Brad and I couldn't stop singing the theme.) She will also sit on the couch and stare at the stereo when I play one of her cds.

9 November 2003

Tilda is now approaching 20 months old.

She's much more likely to try to say one-syllable words. Today she wore her jean jacket, and kept saying "jean". She's also just started to put two words together - "bye-bye Daddy", "mommy duck".

She's starting to have clothing preferences, which is why she was wearing the jean jacket instead of the cardigan.

She's become more sociable, and was successfully babysat by Nana for a few nights when she was here. I think she'd be ready to be babysat by someone she sees fairly frequently, as she's willing to let them (gasp!) touch her now. She says "hello" and "bye-bye" to a lot of strangers. She still enjoys saying "bye-bye" enough to get us out of playgrounds without tears.

She likes feeding herself with a spoon or fork, although she does better feeding herself yoghurt than spiral pasta. In the last few days she's been much more willing to eat a variety of solids. Last night she discovered sausages! We all recently discovered that we really like mangoes, so we're looking forward to them getting a lot cheaper over the summer.

She's very interested in who owns what, and will point to something and name who owns it. We live in Tilda's house. She's also interested in mommy-baby pairs, like the mommy and baby hippos and ducks she has.

She likes the new house a lot, it seems, particularly having a bit more room and more uncarpeted floors to stomp around on.

We got her a little stool for the bathroom so that she could stand at the sink, which led to a few days of obsessive hand-washing. We also bought a toilet seat adaptor as a fun experiment, but haven't got anywhere with it yet. She's happy to sit on it fully clothed (for a short period of time) but isn't comfortable on it with her diaper off. So what has happened twice is that I put her on it briefly, she wants off, and then she pees on her socks. I think we'll have to try a little potty on the floor.

5 October 2003

Tilda is now 18.5 months old.

She's picked up a lot more spoken words, and I've become lazy about teaching her new sign language. She says things like "pizza", "whee" (for playground), "bath", "ball", "nose", "knee", "toe", "pee", "poo" (while pointing to bum), "tickle", "up", and "anemone" (?). Just in the last couple days, "mama" has become "mommy".

Nana has been visiting for 2.5 weeks now, and Tilda is almost ready to tolerate being picked up by Nana. She's very keen on Nana from a sufficient distance, and has said "Nana" in her sleep a few times. According to Nana, Tilda sings a lot.

We went to the beach for a few days last week, and Tilda is now willing to tolerate sand, and isn't afraid of waves.

She's become much more opinionated lately. Diaper changes have also become more challenging.

8 September 2003

Tilda has been making a stab at more spoken language lately. She's added "mole", "snow", and "chicken" to her spoken vocabulary. Her favourite new signs are "train", "tiger", and "sleeping".

Fortunately she already knew how to sign "hurt", as she's certainly been going to great lengths to injure herself the last few days. She acquired 2 impressive bruises on either side of her face, and then today she slid down the front steps on her face.

Last night she was pretending to pour spaghetti out of a can into a pot. Which may not sound that impressive, but it's the first time she's done something like that.

She has been able (although not always willing) to kiss us for a while. She can also kiss her toys, and make her toys kiss each other.

She likes to help putting laundry into the basket or pulling it out of the dryer. She also carries her rolled-up diaper to the garbage.

We're almost at the stage where we're going to have problems ending activities or leaving places. We're saved by the fact that she likes to say "bye-bye". Getting her out of the refrigerator can sometimes be accomplished by asking her to shut the door.

19 August 2003

Tilda has started saying "baby" and not just signing it. This is reassuring. Since she can make these sounds, she can also say "bubble" and "bye-bye". They all sound a bit alike so far. A slight variant means "Phoebe".

She's also a bit more willing to try to imitate what we say. Our favourites lately are "pelican" and "I love you".

She's discovered the friendly cat that lives across the street, so sometimes she goes to the front door and signs "cat".

Now that we finally have a set bedtime routine (she and I are shut in the bedroom with a pile of books), she's started to indicate that she wants to go to bed, often before I'm ready.

She enjoys piling things up around herself. Usually it's clothes she's pulled off a shelf.

In addition to pretending to blow her nose if you give her a kleenex, she will also pretend to wipe her bum, a result of our open-bathroom-door policy, I guess. In related news, she'll try to put a diaper on a teddy but doesn't get very far.

Her fears at the moment are related to sounds. She doesn't like the toy we bought her at the zoo (a tube that makes a whooping noise when you tilt it) or the harmonica.

Her favourite song to sing for the last couple months has been "daaaa daaaa da da da", over and over again. We do have a children's song on a cd with that rhythm, although I'm not sure if that's where she got it.

She does a lot more walking for herself these days, particularly with Brad who has the patience to walk at her speed.

25 July 2003

We have concluded The Great Dog Experiment, without success. We had Henry, a retired racing greyhound, with us for 3 weeks. His reaction to Tilda went from indifferent to worried, and even with close supervision she was too much for him. After a bad week that started with Henry impaling his chest on a branch (15 cm deep, poor dog, but fortunately parallel to the ribcage rather than through it), he bit her arm hard enough to leave a bruise. So it was off to another family for Henry, who would be a great dog for grown-ups. We'll miss him, but paying off the vet bills will keep him in our memory. No dogs for us until we're finished having toddlers, I think.

Tilda has started to communicate more using both spoken and sign language (and animal sounds), rather than just repeating after us. She points out a lot of babies. She now says "daddy" very meaningfully. Her favourite word is "yeah", which makes her very agreeable. She is no longer absolutely silent when someone talks to her on the phone.

Using sign language, she can say milk, water, doll, cat, flower, stars, moon, baby, teddy/bear, cracker, all done, more, spider, book, bird, phone, and bath. (The precision varies, but at least her vocabulary is so limited that if she makes a sign we can usually figure out which word she means.) She uses animal sounds to say dog, lion, cow, horse, and rooster. She actually says yeah, daddy, mommy, Henry, banana, Nana, hat, hot, ouch, "ck" for clicker or truck, and a consonant-less "hello" that sounds like how you answer the phone.

Tilda's (roughly measured) height is now almost average!

She is addicted to sucking on wet cloths. If the cloth is dry, she'll suck on it until it's wet. She can be pacified for hours if you give her a diaper wipe to chew on.

Her favourite food seems to be the cheesy toast at Richmond Hill Cafe (not surprisingly, since it's pretty much our favourite food too.) Now she claps when it arrives. She will eat fruits and vegetables, but prefers to concentrate on cheese, bread, pasta, and potatoes. Unfortunately she's developed a fondness for red wine.

She can reach much higher than we think, and has started standing on low tables. On the positive side, she usually keeps her head from hitting the ground when she falls. She wants to sit inside things, including overturned footstools and tiny chairs from a dollhouse.

25 June 2003

Tilda is now much better at imitating, and we've made quite a bit of progress at sign language in the last week. She used the sign for "baby" when we were reading a book, which was the first time she used a sign without me doing it first. Now she can say "teddy", "baby", "bath", "milk", "book", "bird", "water", and "all done", and she might know "moon" too. Although, to be honest, the same sign works for both "teddy" and "baby", and the "milk" sign is also used for "bird" and "all done".

As for spoken language, her two current favourite words are "ouch" and "hot". Both have 2 syllables, for some reason. And sound a lot alike.

She can now run and walk backwards. Both skills can be useful evasive manoeuvres.

After months and months with 6 teeth, she's finally acquired a 7th, and it looks like she'll soon get an 8th. They are her upper first molars. This is the first time I've seen crankiness that seems related to teething.

She can climb into our armchairs, but still can't make it onto the couch.

Not only does she recognize potato chips, she recognizes the bowls we usually eat them out of.

7 June 2003

The spatial part of Tilda's brain seems to have taken a great step forward lately. She can now stack blocks, fit Duplo together (well, sometimes), and put the blocks through the right-shaped holes. She also tries to fit herself into any available container, including diaper boxes and upside-down footstools. We got her a little foam couch and she likes sitting in it, or else piling a whole bunch of stuff into it.

She's starting to retain some of the words she uses. "Daddy" disappeared from her vocabulary for a while, but it seems to be back, and used more consistently. She has a very nice "Mama", but I think it still means milk, or a general "more" of whatever she wants. Rather than saying "dog", she uses her version of a bark. She has a very cute and fairly accurate answer to "what does a rooster say?" Favourite things without words are fans and trams.

She really enjoys scribbling, so we've had to become pretty vigilant about keeping an eye on pens and pencils. She's always fascinated when she gets ink on her hands. She has a fancy Megasketcher (a cross between an etch-a-sketch and those old drawing pads with the film over the black background), but she keeps wanting to walk or sit on it.

Stuffed animals are starting to be more popular, and she's good at cuddling them.

She's quite good at blowing her nose.

26 May 2003

Tilda can hug her teddy bear, but she still hasn't quite figured out how to kiss. She's got as far as licking.

We went away on a holiday, and I was worried about the wood stove. We put up the fire screen around it as a first line of defense, and she left it alone after she was told to. I was a bit shocked. Brad can definitely say "no" more effectively, although I don't think I try very hard.

She can almost get off the couch safely, so we may be okay when she eventually figures out how to get on the couch. She loves sitting up there. I guess it must get uncomfortable sitting on the floor all the time.

She's started pointing out trams.

She ate a whole piece of cheesy toast at Richmond Hill Cafe. This is kind of bad, since we don't like to share.

9 May 2003

Tilda loves sitting in her "nest" (the nursing pillow on the floor), and she also loves sitting in my lap when I'm sitting on the floor. She will attempt to sit in the lap of anyone who's sitting on the floor, including other toddlers.

Tilda had the quintessential Australian baby experience yesterday, when she put kangaroo poo in her mouth. I imagine Oscar had told her how tasty it is.

She can now make the sign for "water" (well, kind of, and she adds her own sound effects), but only signs "water" and "milk" when I ask her to, rather than when she wants something to drink.

We started a Kindermusik class this week. I tend to tune out when anything about brain development is mentioned, but Tilda enjoyed it anyway. And she particularly likes the big empty church hall it's held in.

25 April 2003

Tilda will now do the sign for "milk", but not usually to ask for it. Mostly while she's actually drinking it.

I gave her her first goose-egg on her head today, as she and I didn't quite fit through a doorway.

She brings us books to read to her, and will often sit through the whole thing. Her favourite is "Good Dog, Carl". In other dog-related news, we're pretty sure she said "Oscar" when she saw a Weimaraner across the park.

She enjoys playgrounds, and is much more of a thrill-seeker than she was just a while ago. She's started "playing" with other kids her own age, although it mostly consists of chasing them and banging them on the head if they'll sit still long enough.

She's become almost impossible to diaper.

She understands a lot more than she did a couple weeks ago.

We had a difficult period when she was terribly cranky and didn't want to ride in a stroller or backpack, which had me worried that that was the end of walking briskly for a few years. But then we discovered that she had another ear infection. I spent the next couple days (post-antibiotics) blissfully aware of how happy she usually is, and how well she sleeps.

On the other hand, we have started seeing things that could possibly be described as eensy-weensy mini-tantrums.

8 April 2003

Tilda was weighed and measured last week. She continues to be shorter than average, of roughly average weight, and with a giant head. When I projected her height along her current growth curve, I was shocked to discover that she could end up 5'3" tall. I didn't know they made people that small.

Tilda's becoming a better parrot every day. She can imitate what you say (well, occasionally), although the new vocabulary doesn't generally stick.

After using a bit of sign language with her since she was born, pretty much, I'm hoping that she might be about to start using some of it. She can now imitate me doing the sign for "milk", and she understands the sign for "milk", so you'd think it wouldn't be long before she would use the sign to ask for milk. You'd think. Not that she's really having any difficulty getting it anyway.

She's spending a bit more time eating solid food these days, and not all of it comes out again after a thorough chewing.

She can say something like "woof" when a dog barks.

She loves walking around in public.

After extensive tutoring, she can finally clap.

31 March 2003

Tilda seems to be particularly cute these days.

After it was pointed out to me that Tilda was actually using a lot of real words and that I was just bad at hearing them, I have come to acknowledge that she says "daddy", "teddy", "cat", "dog", and "truck", or reasonable facsimiles thereof. She will also occasionally pick up a word very briefly - she was doing a very good job of saying "Oscar" (well, "okka") a few days ago, but she seems to have lost it.

She's starting to be able to point to parts of her body. She's fascinated by things to do with her head, like hats and hairbrushes.

She really wishes we had stairs at our house. She's quite good at going up them, but only just starting to get a clue about going down them in ways that don't involve walking into a void.

She's figured out that she can be put in the sling if she can find it to point to.

We borrowed a pop-up toy from the toy library, and she's figured out one of the buttons, but I don't know if she'll master all 4 before we have to return it. Poor pop-up-toy-deprived child.

She just barely fits walking under the desk. I predict that we have a difficult few weeks ahead.

20 March 2003

Tilda's first birthday was yesterday. She understands opening presents more than she did at Christmas, but it doesn't take too many before she loses interest. She tried some chocolate cake, and didn't seem too impressed. Which is not to say that she won't like junk food - she likes potato chips and shortbread cookies so much that it's hard for us to eat them in front of her.

She hardly ever crawls any more, as she prefers to walk everywhere.

Still no real words (unless you count "mmmmmm" for nursing), but she understands a lot. Lately she's become very good at pointing at teddies, babies, oranges, cats, dogs, birds, and clocks.

Her fifth tooth appeared yesterday, which probably explains why the mommy-biting has been worse lately.

14 March 2003

Tilda has started kissing. Very open-mouthed.

Yesterday she brushed her friend Katie's hair, which surprised me and didn't entirely please Katie.

She has started dancing, or at least bouncing. Her walking has improved, and she practises a lot.

She's started putting things on her head, including food.

She really likes dogs.

5 March 2003

Tilda officially started walking last night, at 11.5 months old! She suddenly figured it out, after a few days of a few tiny little steps and not going anywhere.

She had her first go-to-the-doctor illness this week - a virus which caused gooey eyes and which led to ear infections. She's feeling much better now, although we still have to fight to administer antibiotics for another few days.

I finally put the crib mattress beside our futon mattress, in the hope that she would sleep on that and we'd have more room. She did sleep there for a few hours the first night, and I slept with the covers up to my chin for the first time in a year. Since then she's been following me around the bed.

24 February 2003

Tilda has learned to grind her 4 teeth together. I'm doing my best to completely ignore it, but Oh. My. God.

When Brad got back from a week away, Tilda went into overdrive with all the things she's been working on recently. She's walking laps of the tv room. She will now take 2 or 3 steps on her own, and she can stand up from the ground without anything to hold on to.

Yesterday's swimming lesson was an accomplishment - not only were there no tears at all, but she did everything in the lesson, including the dunking. She was also lying on her back in the water in such a relaxed state that I thought she was going to fall asleep. The substitute instructor, who hadn't seen her cry through most of her first lesson 4 weeks ago, said something about how it's good when babies start lessons young, because they're so accepting.

20 February 2003

Apparently Tilda hasn't done anything dramatic in the last two weeks. She also heads immediately for the video camera when it's turned on her, which makes it difficult to capture spontaneous action.

She started swimming lessons a few weeks ago, whereupon we learned that she hated having water dumped on her face. We promptly got rid of the reclining bath chair that we'd been using, so now she sits in the tub and gets water in her face when her hair is washed, which she's gradually accepted. Last week she managed to be submerged up to about eyeball level at the pool without crying - any deeper than that is still a problem. And of course handing her off to the instructor for swirling, sliding, dunking etc. is unacceptable.

Meanwhile, now that she's free in the tub she finds bathtime much more fun, so baths are taking quite a bit longer.

She's learned to scrunch up her nose, which is very cute.

Her favourite activities include walking behind her wagon, sucking on a wet facecloth, turning pages, ripping kleenex into tiny pieces, waving, throwing herself around in the dog crate, playing peekaboo, and eating crackers.

5 February 2003

Tilda still had only 1 tooth a couple days ago, and now she has almost 4 - the left bottom incisor finally showed up, and the 2 top incisors are coming out at the same time. I've already noticed that her bites are more painful!

29 January 2003

Tilda has started standing unsupported, usually when she lets go of something and doesn't realize that she's unsupported. At least once, it's looked like she was about to walk away. Which didn't actually work, of course. Meanwhile, she's figured out how to "cruise" around furniture while standing up and holding on, and she really enjoys having us hold her hands while she walks around. She still lacks the necessary forward momentum to keep her wagon going forwards at all times, rather than tipping back onto her, but she's getting better.

She really likes turning the pages of books, and concentrates hard at it.

Lately when she comes crawling toward me for milk she's been saying "mammammammamm". I'm not sure whether that will turn into "mom" or "milk".

She's now very proficient with the sippy cup.

Over the weekend it seemed like she was trying to switch from 2 naps a day to just one. That was working pretty well until yesterday, when for some reason the people across the street started letting their dog bark at 7:30 in the morning (i.e. about 3 hours before Tilda had been waking up.) So we've been back to 2 naps.

24 January 2003

Tilda recognizes the Will & Grace theme.

She's definitely figured out waving.

She's getting pretty close to standing without support. She certainly getting cavalier about holding on to things when she's standing.

After waking up one night and finding her in the hall (still half-asleep), we've started sleeping with the bedroom door closed.

Last weekend she had her first splash in the ocean. She was plunked down naked in the water at the dog beach.

She loves crackers.

At 10 months, she weighs 8.5 kg (about the 50th percentile) and is 70 cm long (somewhere between 10th and 50th percentile, but much better than last time when she hit the 10th percentile.)

14 January 2003

Tilda likes overhead lights, and especially the string that hangs from our bedroom ceiling that operates the light. If you ask her "where's the light?" or "where's the string?", her head tips backward, regardless of whether there's a light or a string to be seen (or if you're talking about some other kind of string.)

She can now play peekaboo herself.

Yesterday was the first time I got a reaction to the Raffi cd. She was definitely mesmerized. Which was nice, because she needs to be picked up a lot these days, particularly when I'm in the kitchen, and this way I could do the dishes.

8 January 2003

Tilda has started to occasionally do something which we choose to describe as waving.

She's become very good at standing up and holding on, although sometimes she forgets about the holding on part. She can also walk behind the wagon she got for Christmas.

Oscar is finding it harder to have an undisturbed nap.

I tried again to feed her using a spoon, and she was much more receptive to the idea. While she needs to help hold the spoon, she can sometimes hold the handle of the spoon rather than holding on to where the food is. On the other hand, when trying to get her to drink from a cup she now insists on sticking her hand all the way in and splashing around. She looks very much like a raccoon washing its food.

She's started to seem like she's trying to use words for things, although at this point most of the words sound like "dat".

28 December 2002

Tilda's first Christmas went pretty much as expected - she was distracted by the first gift she opened, so she didn't pay attention to anything after that; she received about 10 times as many gifts as her parents did; and she's spent most of her time playing with the box that one of her gifts came in. At least she didn't end up needing a nap in the middle of the gift-opening process.

She's started trying to put things in our mouths, with varying degrees of force. She also put a piece of bread she was eating into Oscar's mouth, and he didn't take it (good dog!)

Tilda can now point at birds!

24 December 2002

Tilda has entered a high-injury phase of her childhood. She's very keen on pulling up (or pushing up, on shorter things), so now she can fall from greater heights. She has a fading bruise on her forehead.

She's not quite pointing yet, but she often has her hand ready to point at something.

The baby gate offends and angers her.

She had her first Vegemite (on toast) today. Her parents won't touch the stuff, but she seemed to like it.

17 December 2002

After such great success with putting Tilda to bed, we had a setback: she has learned how to roll from her back to her front in bed. Which means that, if she doesn't want to be breastfed to sleep, she can just roll over and crawl away. I know this is what cribs are for, but we aren't that desperate yet.

As of today, she hasn't realized that she can roll from her back to her front when she tips over on, say, the living room floor. Until I lie down beside her, and FLOP over she goes.

I just saw her pull herself to a stand on a fireplace grate. Which is not necessarily the safest place to be practising these things, but it's a convenient height.

Her current favourite book is Clifford's Puppy Days.

13 December 2002

Tilda's cries have started to be somewhat less indicative of how upset she is. Or else she's noisier generally. Or else she soothes herself really quickly. In any event, she can go from distraught to babbling instantly.

The last couple nights I've put her to bed at 9:30, and she has remained in bed for more than 12 hours. This is a very positive (luxurious, even) development.

9 December 2002

Tilda has her first tooth - the bottom right incisor. You can still feel it more than see it (although fortunately she hasn't been trying it out yet.)

We went to Canberra for a few days, and she found the other baby very interesting. Not surprisingly, Tilda was not happy sitting on Santa's lap for a picture. I do kind of wish I'd had a picture of her extreme unhappiness, though.

She's started to really enjoy banging things, a day after I told the nurse that no, I hadn't noticed her banging things.

She got weighed and measured last week. She was 7.89 kg (~30th percentile), 66.5 cm (10th percentile), and has a 46 cm head (97th percentile). I think we know whose genes she got. On the other hand, James, who features in all those pictures, is 3 months old - he's a Big Baby.

She's become very single-minded when it comes to what she wants to get to, so distracting her from something is not a permanent solution. Cords are her favourite thing, so there's been a lot of rearranging of furniture so that we don't need as many extension cords. She also likes leashes and shoelaces.

She had her first french fry today. She really liked it!

29 November 2002

Tilda seems like a different baby. Now that she can crawl, she's very very busy, if not crawling then playing with toys. Her crawling ability has improved quickly - I think I expected that she'd crawl, then forget how to crawl, then remember, but she definitely never forgot.

Last night I got her undressed for her bath and put her on the floor, nekkid. She headed straight for the tub. It was so cute and I'm very sorry that I didn't have the video camera.

24 November 2002

She's definitely been crawling today.

22 November 2002

Last night Tilda spent a long time on a piece of broccoli, and today she did well with some kiwi fruit. It helps to have her sitting out of her high chair, so that she can pick food up if it falls. Today we had a picnic in the back yard. She's even getting substantial amounts of food in her mouth occasionally without gagging.

21 November 2002

At 8 months, Tilda kind of crawls. She will move her hands and knees in the appropriate way, and progress two or three "steps", but usually then she'll sit back, thereby negating any forward progress. She's also starting to get up on her feet rather than her knees - maybe she will stand up before she has perfected crawling.

Not much progress on the solids front. She really doesn't like anyone coming at her with a spoon, so in an effort to avoid unnecessary battles we're going to try finger foods for a while. She will take a teething biscuit, an orange slice, a piece of banana, and a piece of broccoli, and occasionally a negligible amount of food will actually end up in her mouth before the piece of food has landed on the floor enough times that I deem it inedible. Don't ask me how I know that she ate some broccoli (although evidently she didn't get a lot of nutrition out of it!)

10 November 2002

Tilda has started moving her hands forward while in the crawling position, so if you give her feet something to push against she makes a bit of forward progress before bellyflopping. The rare knee movement has also been seen. A big achievement has been the ability to back up into a sit after it looks like she's committed herself to going forward - she doesn't need to be repositioned by her parents quite so often.

I've been putting her in the bed for afternoon naps for the last couple days, and she's slept 1.5-2 hours without waking. Which seems incredibly luxurious, particularly since I've been sitting out in the backyard in the lovely weather during part of her naps. She's been sleeping until after 10 in the mornings too, which wins her many popularity contests.

So far, she definitely understands "milk", "sit up", "where's Daddy?", and "where's Oscar?". "Where's Mommy?" works sometimes.

4 November 2002

Tilda's nose has been too stuffy to eat (or sleep) a few times recently. She doesn't care for the wiping, squirting, or suctioning we've used to remedy the stuffiness.

At 7.5 months, Tilda rolled from back to front for the first time on Saturday, in full view of both parents.

31 October 2002

Tilda has her first cold. So far her nose hasn't been too stuffy to eat, but it sounds awful and she's been rubbing at it.

She's been going after things today. If she could crawl, she'd be zooming, but as it is she goes from sitting to on her tummy and then gets stuck.

30 October 2002

During our trip to Canada, Tilda:

4 October 2002

Tilda has been making very pretty, musical sounds lately. Also some quite horrifying sounds.

There's a tiny white spot showing through her bottom gum today - perhaps a tooth!

3 October 2002

We went to the nurse this morning. Tilda was overdue for a nap, and had just fallen asleep in the stroller on the way over, so she presented as a bit of a zombie (it was worse on the walk back - she was staring into space so non-reactively that I actually touched her face to make sure she wasn't dead). She weighs 7.090 kg (15 lb 9 oz, ), is 64.5 cm long (25.6 in), and has a head circumference of 44 cm. Still roughly 50th centile for height and weight, and 90th for her melon head.

I've been putting her in her high chair to play with toys, which works well because she likes to sit but she can't quite sit on the floor without toppling over occasionally, and setting her upright can get quite repetitive. This way I just have to pick toys off the floor.

After a couple weeks of whacking her right arm around, she's started whacking her left arm around. She's also started reaching out to touch mirrors.

1 October 2002

Tilda's evacuation habits seem to have returned to normal. We are all relieved. The shrieking persists, though.

I got to call the 24-hour Maternal and Child Health line for the first time, last night at midnight. Tilda had about 5 projectile vomits (which mostly hit me), and I remembered something about how those could be an indicator of serious illness. After being on hold for a stressful period of time, I spoke to the nurse, who guessed that Tilda was coming down with gastro. She also predicted that we'd all be awake all night. Fortunately, Tilda stopped vomiting as soon as I picked up the phone, and we all slept. Perhaps she just ate too fast - I'd been at rehearsal, and she'd refused the cereal that Brad offered.

30 September 2002

Tilda has added a high-pitched tone to her vocabulary. When she adds it to her cry, it's extremely grating. We look forward to sharing this with our fellow trans-Pacific air travellers.

On the messier side of things, what Tilda used to do 2-3 times a week, she has been doing 2-3 times a day for the last few days, if you know what I mean. And she takes great offense when she's placed somewhere besides her own changing table, too.

On the more positive side, she understands when I ask her if she wants some milk. She usually responds very enthusiastically in the affirmative.

22 September 2002

Tilda didn't care for her first taste of avocado, and she isn't too keen on the mush any more, either. We may give up on this for a bit. She likes spoons, though!

I used to think that Tilda resembled Paul Guilfoyle. Now I see a resemblance to George W. Bush.

She's started whacking her arm about while she eats. Not painful yet.

19 September 2002

I had a rehearsal on Monday night, and Brad got to feed Tilda some mush. I guess she was hungry, because she was expressing her enthusiasm by opening and closing her mouth while he loaded the spoon, lining herself up with the spoon and then lunging. She hasn't been as keen while I've been around.

We tried to give her some mushed-up banana last night. She was not impressed.

15 September 2002

Tilda got her first solid food yesterday (rice/corn cereal, the Australian version of Pablum.) For some reason I expected protest, but there was pretty casual acceptance instead, and hardly any funny faces. Brad is pleased that he can now feed her some other way when I'm out, since she'll still have nothing to do with bottles.

She's figuring out self-serve on her other food source, too, so I occasionally have slobber marks on my shirt where she's launched herself at me, open-mouthed.

She can now sit up and play with things. After watching her be incapable of doing anything she wanted for so long, it's a bit of a shock to see her pick up one toy, put it in her mouth, drop it, and then pick up another.

7 September 2002

I tried to cut Tilda's nails while she was awake, since her little grabby hands were leaving a lot of cuts on my hands. I cut one of her thumbnails too short. She didn't complain immediately, but a few minutes later she was very upset. Plus there was blood everywhere.

6 September 2002

Tilda has become quite grabby. She really likes sticking paper in her mouth; this morning she ended up with a very inky face while Brad was reading the sports section. To make things even more fun, she's started to complain when we take things away from her.

4 September 2002

Yesterday Tilda fell asleep in her stroller, just like a normal baby.

We've stopped using cloth diapers, so she's in disposables all the time instead of just at night. She sits a couple inches lower in the Baby Bjorn as a result.

When I sat up in bed yesterday, Tilda laughed at my hair. And so the decades of mocking begin.

29 August 2002

Brad's been taking care of Tilda during the evenings this week, since I have 6 straight nights of singing. This morning she cried when he left the room!

Tilda was weighed and measured today - 6585 g (14 lb 8 oz) and 64 cm (25 inches). Still right on the 50th percentile, and showing no signs of zooming off into my 99th percentile territory.

Tilda saw her first celebrity yesterday. Matt Damon arrived at a premiere at the Rivoli, just as Brad, Tilda, and Oscar were walking by.

26 August 2002

We've discovered that taking Tilda out for dinner is not currently a viable option. Not her best time of day.

Tilda started sucking her thumb today. Usually she's been chewing on an index finger instead.

22 August 2002

Tilda now has a borrowed Jolly Jumper. She is a big fan.

She fell asleep last night just as we were about to take Oscar for a walk. I managed to get her in the stroller without completely waking her up (!); she then slept through most of the walk, and woke up placidly near the end.

20 August 2002

Tilda is 5 months and 1 day old. She's starting to be able to sit for a few minutes at a time without toppling over. If she could figure out how to hold on to things for balance, she could stand for quite a long time - she seems happiest while standing. She's quite happy on her tummy; sometimes she ends up moving backwards, and often she pivots around (clockwise yesterday, but I think she can go either way.) She occasionally rolls from tummy to back by accident, and then looks quite surprised. She's using her hands more and more (rather than frantically wiggling them at her side when she wants something). She's started grabbing her feet when she's getting her diaper changed.

Since she's getting heavier, I've been wearing her less around the house - I try to get her to play on the floor while I'm doing dishes, for example. I've been letting her sit in her not-much-used stroller sometimes, and yesterday she rode in the stroller to Safeway and back without making a peep (she seemed to be in a somewhat vegetative state, actually), which surprised me since we haven't had any happy stroller trips since she was 6 weeks old.

She's sleeping pretty well - falls asleep on my lap at 10-ish, wakes up to eat when I take her in to bed at midnight, then starts stirring for snacks at 7-ish but doesn't actually wake up until after 9 (knock wood - we had a scary few days last week when she was waking up before 8). When she wakes up, her eyes open, she immediately starts making happy noises, and often her legs go straight up in the air. Sometimes I pretend I'm asleep.

She's still eating nothing but breastmilk. She's watching us eat, but no more intently than she watches us do anything else. Brad still has trouble getting her to take a bottle when I'm out at rehearsals, but she gives in eventually and eats a bit.