Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 612: The Song Stylings of Miss Ruth & The Moms



Ruth sings "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."



Ruth and Mom sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."

More Favorite Charities

Melissa forgot to tell me that she'd promised I'd update this with some of my own favorite charities.

First, a classic: Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). I don't know what I can add to what most people already know about MSF - if I was smarter and gutsier, I'd be doing something worthwhile with my life like working for them. They go into dangerous places and give people medical care. That's pretty bad-ass.

I've also given money to Apopo, the mine-clearing-rats place that Melissa mentioned in her last post.

One that bears special mention, I think, is Catholic Relief Services. I don't agree with everything they stand for, but they do a lot of very good work and they're my go-to charity when I'm thinking about my Catholic family. We're not going to agree on abortion any time soon, but CRS instantiates what I think is the noblest part of the Catholic doctrine: concern for the poor and marginalized.

I also feel like I should mention one that works directly with people here in my own community, which has problems of its own. Project Plase helps homeless people in Baltimore transition from the streets.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Favorite Charities

A terrific blogger, Alias Mother, is doing a blog-link-y thing where she's writing about her favorite charities and encouraging readers to do the same.

So, in the spirit of holiday giving I'm writing up two of my favorites. I suspect Daniel will do the same when he returns from Kigali, Rwanda next week.

Apopo
Apopo was founded in the 1990s and it works with rats. Special rats. Rats that detect land mines. Following the long civil war, many areas of Mozambique were virtually uninhabitable due to heavy mining -- children cannot play in open areas for fear they will lose a limb or worse.

The rats find the landmines (they find scent from the TNT) but aren't heavy enough to set off the mine. The mine then can be removed or detonated. And, just in case you think this sounds...odd...keep in mind that the rats passed official licensing tests according to IMAS standards under supervision of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).

You can watch a great video about the rats from PBS/Frontline here (sorry, can't embed).

Uniject

PATH, a non-profit with offices in Seattle and DC/MD, is devoted to improving the lives of women worldwide. To that end, they created Uniject.

Uniject can be used my minimally-trained people to deliver vaccines (Hep B, mostly) and drugs to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. It is single use, so helps lessen the worry about proper sterilization and transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Again, a great video is here.

We're tremendously lucky that Ruth will never have to run a gauntlet of land mines to attend school. And while childbirth carries risk, the likelihood that I or any woman in the first world would die from postpartum hemorrhage is infinitesimal compared to women in the developing world. And we won't lose Ruth to neonatal tetanus, a major killer in areas without access to vaccines.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

For Daniel

She didn't want to get off. We took three rides and I had to pry her off (with a minor meltdown as she said "More! More horse!")



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Words and Actions

She has somewhere north of 150 total words we've heard her use correctly (not 100% of the time) and with some regularity.

People/Names
mama or ma-mee
dada or da-dee
baby
girl
boy
man
O ivia (Olivia, one of her favorite books)
Ernie
Cookie (Cookie Monster, usually followed by “Num Num Num”)
Bert
Ooo eee (Zoe)
Elmo
Pooh
A-ya (Asia) and Kiss-tn (Christian), friends at daycare. Christian is sometimes "Err-kee" for reasons we can't fathom.

Food
Milk
Water
Coffee (not that we let her drink it!) - usually followed by "MMMMM!"
Banana
Cheese
Turkey
Ham
Juice
Toast
Egg
Waffle
Apple
Bread
Berry
Cookie
Peach
Fig
Peas
Dinner
Gurt (yogurt)
Pizza (never asks, but points in book)
"Eat eat!"

Toys/Objects/Clothing
Book
Toy
Key
Gate
Door
Ball
Doll
Chair
Bath
Bed
Light
Blanket
Earring
Ide (Slide)
Swing
Cup
Bottle
Flower
Car
Truck
Shoe
Sock
Shirt
Pants
Dress
Gas-says (Glasses)
Hat
Jack-it (Jacket)
Bike
Bubble
Park
Gas (grass)
Potty
Side (outside)
Stairs
Fork
Spoon
Diaper
Brush (toothbrush)
Paste (toothpaste)
Bowl
Stick
Tree
Wheel
Adio (Radio)
But oh (Button)
Shower
Porch
Soap

Animals
Kitty or cat (and says “meow” when asked what they say)
Dog (“woof”)
Bird ("teet" "teet" sometimes)
Lion (“roar”)
Tiger (“roar”)
Bear (“roar”)
Bunny
Duck (“quack”)
Cow ("moo" sometimes)
Chicken (sometime “cuk” sometimes “cuk doo” like a rooster)
Horse (“neigh”)
Pig (“Livia!” because of the children’s book)
Fish
Shark
Id (Squid)
Sheep (sometimes with “ba”)
Goose
Bug
Frog
Crab
Monkey
Rilla (Gorilla, with chest thumping)
Mouse (“peep”)
Phant (elephant)

Directions/Actions
hi (with wave)
buh-bye (with wave, also will say it unprompted if you walk her to the front door)
Uh oh (if she drops something or seems a picture of someone who has fallen)
Sit
Walk
Run
Up
Down
Updown (upside down)
Please (sometimes with prompting)
Thank you (sometimes with, sometimes without prompting)
Cuse me (excuse me; new, only with prompting)
No (with head shake)
Yes (v rarely says word but will shake head)
More
Fast (“vroom”)
Hot (sometimes confused with cold)
Cold (sometimes confused with hot)
Shhh (when someone is sleeping in a book or when you ask her about the library)
Will drape a blanket over her baby (or Dad) and say “night” or “shhh”
Ahhh (after drinking something, sometimes)
bess uuu (bless you, after someone sneezes)
Boo (Peek-a-Boo)
Color (when she wants crayons)
Dirty/trash (will put things in trash can)
eye e eye oh (when she wants the "Old MacDonald Had Farm Book")
All done
Help
Clap (and does)
Yay (at end of book or song)
She tries to jump but sort of bounces
Dance (sort of bounces with arms raised)
Off
Op-sits (opposites, usually asking for her book)

Self
Belly
Belly but (button)
Eye
Nose
Mouth
Hair
Head
Arm
Leg
Chin
Hand
Toe
Foot
Butt
Vulva
Teeth
Tongue
Poop
Pee
Ear
Back
Knee (unreliable)
Neck
Can shrug shoulders when asked but hasn’t said the word
Can twist waist when asked but hasn’t said the word
Can flap elbows along with book but hasn't said the word

Colors
red
el-ow (yellow)
buuu (blue)
geen (green; colors used correctly on occasion)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Words and Actions

mama or ma-mee
dada or da-dee
bay-be (baby)
book
kiii (kitty)
key (and tries to open the door with them)
duh (door)
ball
doll
chair
ide (slide)
cup
fou-wah (flower)
cah (car)
tuck (truck)
hi (with wave)
buh-bye (with wave, also will say it unprompted if you walk her to the front door)
shoe (will try to put it on her foot and will try to wear other people's shoes)
sock
hat
uh oh (if she drops something)
sit
dog
bel (belly)
bel bo (belly button, will lift her shirt to show you if asked sometimes; will point out your belly button if your shirt rides up)
eye
head
hay-r (hair)
toe
feet
nose (will point to body parts listed above, plus mouth, but hasn't said those words)
buh-bul (bubble, a big hit from grammy)
up
daooo (down, sometimes pointing)
peaz (please)
tank ooo (thank you, sometimes, with prompting)
no (with headshake)
nana (banana)
ju (juice)
bir (bird)
ba oo (balloon, and man keeping her away from ones in front of the house for sale is a challenge)
spoo (spoon)
di-pa (diaper)
peace (peach)
milk
more (usually ma-more)
cheese
waff (waffle)
egg
boy
girl
fast
hah (hot)
red
el-ow (yellow)
red
buuu (blue)
geen (green; colors used correctly on occasion)
ahhh (after drinking something)
ssshhh (when she sees someone sleeping in a book)
weeeee (going down the slide)
bess uuu (bless you, after someone sneezes)
pay-pa (paper)
bed
boo (plays peek-a-boo)
teef (teeth)
melmo (Elmo)
dir-y (dirty)
wah (water)
wed (wet)
poop
bun-e (bunny)
beh-r (bear)
bowl
ee-bra (zebra)
dum (drum)
ig (fig, accompanied by pointing and wailing if none are ripe on our backyard tree)
yay (usually with clapping, at the end of a song)
eye e eye oh (when she wants the "Old MacDonald Had Farm Book")
stahs (stairs)
all dun (all done)
fis

Ruth is understanding more and more of what we say. She nods yes and no (with some degree of reliability), will point at things if asked (e.g., "Where are the flowers on your shirt?"). She sings a bit now, and imitates the first sounds of "ABC" and "Twinkle, Twinkle."

Her musical tastes are varied -- the tinny sound from the ice cream truck always gets her clapping/dancing but she seems to like They Might Be Giants and Queensryche (really) too. She colors on paper and still enjoys reading.

If asked, she'll wash her hands, brush her teeth, brush her hair, and wash her face. If you ask if she wants to go outside, she'll run to the nearest door (and if we're outside in our yard, will ask for an "ig" - fig - from the tree; she LOVES them).

She is a high-energy kid and seems bored with us over the weekend, sometimes. We usually go to the park after the farmer's market and sometimes to a different park in the afternoon.

We went to the Maryland State Fair this past weekend. Seeing as how she likes all her animal books, we thought she'd love the chance to pet cows, pigs, etc. Instead, she seemed quite afraid of the cows and upset at them eating hay. For reasons that remain totally unclear to us, dogs eating/sniffing grass also elicits a strong "Nooooo!" She did like the tiny piglet and ducklings. And mommy's lamb BBQ sandwich.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Daughter's Impeccable Comedic Timing

(Ruth and Melissa are coloring)

MELISSA: That's brown!
RUTH: Bown.
MELISSA: Are you becoming a little mimic?
RUTH: ...
MELISSA: It would have been funny if you'd said "mimic."
RUTH: Funne.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 495 - Hanging Out at Great-Grammy's Place



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Day 494 - Ruth Likes to Help Push, But is Easily Distracted


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Day 494 - At the waterfront with Great-Grammy

This summer, again, we brought Ruth out to visit my grandmother in LA (her great-grandmother). While we'd been dreading the trip a bit, she did pretty well on the flight over for such a little one, and did excellently well on the flight back (the crayons were a good choice - she sat on the floor in front of the seat and colored for a while), even if our daycare did have cause to regret the kidney beans (she LOVES kidney beans) we let her snack on on the way home.

My aunt and uncle were nice enough to let us stay with them, and though Great-Grammy was feeling a bit under the weather (get well soon), we got to see her most afternoons. One day, I made a big brunch to celebrate (belatedly, but jointly) Ruth and Great-Grammy's 4/17 birthday, and then the next we went out to the marina to walk along the water.



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Days 489 & 490 - tomatoes!

Ruth really likes tomatoes. She will eat them whole, like apples. Witness her destroying a waspanimapandoimdm peach, and then a costiluto fiorentino from our garden.




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Day 486 - Paint

In preparation for the flight out to see great-grammy, I bought Ruth some crayons and paper for the plane. But, since there was a buy-two-get-one-free deal on coloring stuff, I also picked her up some little crayola auto-filling paint brushes. We figured they were too messy for the plane, so we let her go at them at home, with predictable results.



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Day 479 - Park

Though we live nearby, and I head up there to work out on a (err... semi-) regular basis, we'd never actually been to the YMCA's playground before. It's quite nice (even though there is zero shade), and even has the cool springy surfacing that the place up in NJ near Connie and Sharon had.

Ruth, of course, was mostly in it for the climbing and swinging.


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Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 466 - More Sitting in Chairs (and Reading)

 
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Day 459 - More Artscape!

Lest you think that Artscape is all about the puppets (we didn't make it to the dancers b/c of the crowds), rest assured that it also offers many other hilariously fun family activities, such as eating corn and sitting on chairs.

 
 
 

(She sat on chairs while Mom and Dad listened to Ellen Cherry, so we all got to do something fun)
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Day 459 - Marionettes!


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Day 453 - Drum


Ruth with the drum I brought her home from Ghana. She seems to think that it is about equally bang-on-able as, well, pretty much anything else. I hope she'll be more into it when she's older. Hey, uncle David, if she follows in our footsteps and goes to McGill, she's totally all set for bongo park!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ruth Update: Words and Actions

Because my memory is getting more sieve-like with each passing day, a list of Ruth's words at 15 months:

mama or ma-mee
dada or da-dee
baby
book
kiii (kitty)
key (and tries to open the door with them)
daaaw (door)
ball
ba or ba-lll (bottle, usually with pointing)
fou-wah (flower)
cah (car)
hi (with wave)
buh-bye (with wave, also will say it unprompted if you walk her to the front door)
shoe (will try to put it on her foot and will try to wear other people's shoes)
oh (if she drops something)
daw (dog, usually with excited squeals)
bel bo (belly button, will lift her shirt to show you if asked sometimes; will point out your belly button if your shirt rides up)
eye (will point to it, sometimes)
ba bll (bubbles, a big hit from grammy)
uhhh (up, with arms raised)
daooo (down, sometimes pointing)
cup
ta-oo (thank you, sometimes with prompting)
no (with headshake)
nana (banana)
ju (juice)
bir (bird)
ba oo (balloon, and man keeping her away from ones in front of the house for sale is a challenge)\
spoo (spoon)
Maybe diaper
Maybe yellow
Maybe bowl
Maybe drum
Maybe zebra
Maybe please (peaz)
(All the maybes are sounds she repeats but are sort of vague and not consistent)

If you ask her to wash her hands she will; she can point to her nose and mouth. If she has a toothbrush, she'll brush her teeth. She can bounce, if you ask her, when you read about bunnies or tiggers. She thumps her chest and stomps her feet when we read books about gorillas or elephants -- thanks to Eric Carle. She roars when show her a picture of a lion most of the time. She can understand some simple commands like "Roll the ball to daddy" or "Where's your baby?" She seems to be understanding "nice" and "gentle" since we use them to refer to petting the cat and other objects (the marionettes, see below).

She dances to music and will clap her hands along, sometimes. She danced to Ellen Cherry at Artscape this past weekend. Also, marionettes were a HUGE hit (pictures soon). She can climb onto some chairs (depends on height), in and out of her stroller, up stairs, and onto any low bed. Going down stairs remains an issue -- she is fearless and we have to be watchful or she'll launch herself off the top step at full speed.

She eats almost everything: milk, juice, water, sausages, hamburgers, corn, beans, peas, peaches, plums, pineapple, cottage cheese (really, cheese of any sort), peanut butter, pasta, granola, eggs, persimmons, dates, onions, kabobs at Artscape and she LOVES blueberries and corn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ghana Travel

The first installment of pictures and story from my trip to Ghana is now up at my personal journal.

All the installments will eventually be available by following the 'ghana09' tag.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 424(2) - Frogpole!

I've never actually seen a tadpole this far along in development. Neither photo is great, but it's the best I could do...

 
 
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