Anya Finds Herself

Filed under: baby's progress,funny,video — by Lex on September 30th, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

If you’re like me, you’re a big fan of Anya Haley Friedman. And if that sounds like you, you’re going to love this latest video.

I was simply trying to capture video of Anya’s always-hilarious dancing. As she often does, Ani caught me filming and became much more interested in my laptop than in performing. But perform she did — as she discovered that the baby she saw in live video preview on my laptop… was Anya herself!

Our day at the beach

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on @ 5:36 pm

Yesterday our friends Lisa, Craig, and their daughter Alexis invited us to go with them on an impromptu outing to the beach.  It was such a beautiful day that we couldn’t say no.  We went to Pier Village in Long Branch, and it was Anya’s first time at the beach.  Well, technically she was at the beach when she was 3 months old when we went to Santa Monica on business with Lex, but we only walked across the street from the beach, not on it, and she was asleep the whole time, so it doesn’t really count.  Anya was absolutely captivated by the ocean yesterday.  She was pointing and exclaiming “Ooooh!” the whole time, and several times she signed and said “water.”  Anya was also a big fan of the seagulls and the other people there.  She liked squishing her toes into the sand, but didn’t particularly like when I cleaned her feet later.  Click on the picture to see more photos!

Anya at the beach!

Every mom thinks her baby is a genius…

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on September 27th, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

…and here are some of the reasons why I think Anya is as brilliant as her grandma has claimed her to be since birth:

-Anya can identify several parts of her body. Aside from her nose and teeth, she also knows her tongue, feet, toes, head, and belly. She generally tries to say nose, teeth, toes, feet, and belly when pointing to them. To show her tongue, she usually clicks it and then sticks it out. She loves to point to other people’s noses and teeth, and she thinks it’s hysterical to tickle my feet.

-Anya can tell you what a cow, a sheep, a monkey, and a horse say, and she’s putting the finishing touches on her duck and dog impressions. Lex is trying to teach her that a bird says “Tweet tweet.”

-Anya loves to pretend. A favorite game of hers is to “make soup” – she takes the spoon and bowl that go with her toy kitchen, mixes the “soup” with the spoon, and then pretends to eat it. When I ask her to give her baby doll some soup, she puts the spoon right up to its mouth. We had friends over today, and she kept trying to feed them soup, too (quite forcefully, actually). She also loves to hold a phone up to her ear and say “Hello” over and over again. Every now and then she’ll even do this with something phone shaped. That’s some pretty decent symbolic play.

Not too shabby for a not-even-11-1/2-month-old, huh? Maybe all of this is just what babies her age are supposed to do, but I still think it’s incredible that my baby can do these things.  Less than a year ago, all she could do was lie there!

In other exciting news, we’re raising a very polite child – Anya says and signs “Please!” It comes out as “Peeeeeaaaseee.”  She knows she’s supposed to do it when she wants something, and she gives the most wheedling smile I’ve ever seen when she does it. A few times, she’s said it after being told “no,” and it’s very hard not to give in to that. Speaking of “no,” it has become a newly frequent Anya-ism. It usually comes in threes – “No no no!” – and is accompanied by head shaking. I hear it most often when she’s about to do something she’s not supposed to do (such as grab papers off the couch or poke at my earrings), but she’ll also say it when she doesn’t want something (like the banana I wanted her to eat at breakfast this morning).

Also, I think Anya is on her way to standing without holding onto something. I’ve been working on balance with her by only holding one hand when she wants to walk around the room. When she seems steady, I’ll try to let go, and though she won’t stay standing, she’s able to control her body enough to squat down to a sitting position instead of falling. She’s actually had that down for awhile. However, we had playdates at our house yesterday and today, and on both occasions she pulled up on a toy, let go, and stood for about 5 seconds before grabbing it again or sitting down. This is a very sudden gain for her! Before yesterday, she really couldn’t stand at all. She’s got a long way to go before being ready to walk, and I still don’t think she’ll walk before her first birthday, but this is some great progress!

11 months update

Filed under: baby's progress,photos,video — by Lauren on September 19th, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

11 Months (oh boy!) bear picture

When Anya was a newborn, she acquired skills slowly, something new every few weeks. Now we just can’t keep up. She surprises us constantly, and it’s wonderful.

More words! Anya says “up” and points when we are at the bottom of the stairs, “Elmo” when we look at her Sesame Street books, “nose” when she’s pointing to someone’s nose (including her own)…we hear something new every day. She repeats her name, and we’ve been teaching her to lift her hands and say “Touchdown!” since football season has begun. The other day I asked her if she wanted to have an apple for breakfast, and she looked up at me and said “Apple!” It was awesome. She fully understands what “Bye-bye” means and says it in appropriate situations unprompted. There are more, but we’ve lost track of how many words she knows now. She’s got about 7 signs that she uses regularly, and we’re working on several others.

This month Anya decided that breastmilk is only good directly from the source, so we are done with bottles. She won’t drink it from a cup either, but she does love drinking water from her sippy. Also, we introduced broccoli, unsuccessfully at first. She had no interest in eating the steamed stuff, whether plain, with cheese, or even pureed with peas, cheese, and garlic.  What finally won her over was giving it to her raw – turns out she likes it much better that way, just like her mom. Last night I gave her a whole “tree” to gnaw on and she had a fabulous time. (Lex referred to it as “broccoli ice cream.”) Now that she can handle almost any finger food and doesn’t really need baby food, she’s finally decided that eating from a spoon is acceptable and has even eaten a whole jar at one meal more than once! Very silly.

I still maintain my initial prediction that Anya won’t walk before her first birthday. She’s a crawling and cruising machine, but hasn’t gotten the hang of standing on her own for more than a second or two, and that’s only if we stand her up and place her feet in the right place. You know what? I could write a lot more about what Anya’s up to, but it’s much more fun to watch:

Update from Lex: In case you’re not up on your American Sign Language, you’ll see Anya sign “cereal” (which is our symbol for Cheerios) by essentially making the “OK” sign. She raises her arm up as she does it. A little later on in the video, she signs “book” by putting her hands together with a little clap.)

Day care is going much better. Yesterday was the first time she didn’t cry when I dropped her off! I’m not quite sure how big she is now. We don’t go to the doctor again until she’s 1… Oh my gosh, she’s going to be ONE!

I “lovey” you

Filed under: baby's progress,thoughts — by Lauren on September 15th, 2007 @ 12:42 am

We’ve been trying to foster a relationship between Anya and one of her stuffed animals. The hope is that if she can find comfort in her bear she’ll stop standing up in her crib screaming for us she wakes up at 3 am. She doesn’t do that every night, but it’s been a lot more frequent in the past few weeks (since she started day care…coincidence?). We’ve been trying to rock her until she falls asleep again and lets us put her down, but many nights she ends up in our bed, and though she sleeps fairly well, I can’t say the same for us. I’m not quite sure how a munchkin like her manages to monopolize our king-size bed, but she’s very good at it.

Last night she got up and Lex went in to her to try to get her to go back to sleep. If he held her, she slept, but when he’d try to put her back in the crib she’d immediately pull herself up and start screaming again. Eventually he gave up and came back without her, saying we had to let her try to work it out herself.

She was not thrilled.

Anya stood and cried for a long time. She’d sit down, stand again, sit again. Amazingly, she managed to keep her paci in her mouth through much of this. Suddenly, after about 20 minutes she sat down, picked up her bear, and gave it a huge hug (we were watching on the video monitor, not using our x-ray vision, by the way). She held it for a bit, then leaned against one of her crib toys and fell asleep sitting up! She had the bear clutched to her chest, and at one point she sat up again and then put the bear in between her head and the toy. I think she eventually lay down, though I can’t be sure since she was standing again when she woke up at 6:30.

It was very difficult to watch her go through this last night. I still can’t stand letting Anya cry. We really don’t let her cry too often, only when nothing else seems to work. Lex was psyched that she ultimately picked up the bear and used it to comfort herself – that’s the point, I suppose – but I found it very sad to see her rocking that bear the way I rock her. I do want her to learn good sleep habits, and I do appreciate getting a full night’s sleep myself, but I felt so guilty.

More words and better day care

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on September 8th, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

We’ve got more words to add to Anya’s list! She says “cheese,” “baby,” and “belly” (and she’ll sometimes pat her belly when she says it). She tries to say “Cheerios,” but that’s a tough one. She signs “book” and usually says “doo!” to indicate she wants a book (but she says “doo” for a lot of things so I don’t consider that a word). “More” has returned to its original splendor, and her sign for “eat” has gotten noticeably clearer. She also attempts to repeat “stop” when I say it to her (I use “stop” instead of “no” because she thinks “no” is a fun game). Lex is excited that it’s getting hard to keep track of her vocabulary.

(FOLLOW UP:  I forgot to mention that she also says “more” while signing “eat.”  Very cool!)

Day care is getting easier for Anya. Dropping her off is still heart-wrenching because as soon as I try to put her down she gets hysterical and clings to me like a vise. The teachers report that after I leave she cries for a while and only wants to be held, but after she stops crying they’ve been putting her down and letting her fuss a bit. Then she calms down and is willing to play. This week when I arrived to pick her up, she gave me a big smile instead of crying – a huge improvement – although as soon as she was in my arms she began waving and saying “bye-bye” to the teachers, as if to make sure I knew that she was coming with me this time!