Category Archives: Family

2 Years!

Dear Silvie,
You are two! Two! Which you signal by holding your index finger up on both hands and wiggling them alongside your chubby cheeks.

I am so in love with this stage of you. You are learning words at exponential speed and generating original sentences all the time. You still have lots of articulation errors so it’s sometimes a bit of a guessing game to figure out what you’re saying, but you are daily sounding a little less “Nell” (Chicka, chicka, chickabee) and more little girl.

Given how rain is the bane of our existence here in Portland (and also your middle name), we had a rain themed birthday party for you.  It was great fun especially the coloring wall and the play dough.  Your favorite gifts included a stroller for your baby dolls and a wooden barn with farm animals.   Actually you were delighted by all of your gifts except for the scooter bike that your Papa and I bought you.  It’s still a little big for you and are scared of it.  Maybe you’ll warm up to it later this summer.




One of our favorite things about your right now is how you are  using polite language.  When you are given something you now say, “Thank you, mama” with no prompting.  You’re still trying to figure out when it’s ok to say “no thank you” and when you are really just supposed to do what you are asked to do.  And you’re working on saying, “May I have ___ please?” when asking for something.  You know how to do it but it takes some thought and each word comes out a bit labored and short.  Thank you, Miss Naomi, for teaching you to be so polite.

Things that make you cry:  loud noises of any kind, clowns at the library, and wind in your face.  Things that make you laugh your deep down belly laugh:  playing chase around the house with Papa and Mae and going down the big slide “all by myse’f on my belly button”.



For part of spring break we went to Manzanita on the Oregon coast.  We rented a house a couple of blocks for the beach and had a relaxing time.  Our friend Amy (your “Aunt ‘Mi’Mi”) stayed one night and had a great time playing on the beach with you.  Your Papa had been working a lot of extra hours and it was good to see him relaxed and in a playful mood with you.  You spent a lot of time gathering up sticks and pine cones.


Like most toddlers you really like sticks.  This week we walked the three blocks down to the library and back to return some books.  It took 45 minutes.  Not because you walk slowly, but because we had to stop frequently to pick up sticks, “draw” with the sticks on the sidewalk, climb up into the neighbors’ yards, look at every single flower and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s good for me to slow down to toddler time and enjoy the sunshine with you.


Your Mama


23 Months

Dear Silvie,

I have to say that January and early February were pretty tough because you got a whole string of cold viruses and were miserable most of the time.  Now that you are feeling better you are much more pleasant to deal with and you are growing by leaps and bounds.  Your 2T shirts are already too short.  You outgrew some of your pants, and you are stringing words together into semi-intelligible sentences.
The other day we had a rare (and unnecessary) snow day off.  This was the first snow in your memory and you were thrilled.  You were outside making a snowman with your Papa by 7:30 a.m.  Good thing too, since the snow melted by noon.  Anyhow, you very clearly were upset when you came to me and said, “Mama, my mitten fall off!”
You are working so hard to establish your own independence in multiple ways.  You undress yourself nearly every evening when we get home from work, just because you can.  We had to draw the line at taking your diaper off without permission after cleaning up one too many accidents.  At the dinner table tonight you were not so enchanted with the main course, so I offered you a choice of yogurt or an orange for dessert.  You stated, “Orange, peel it all by myself!”  While half the sounds are still missing from these words, the meaning was abundantly clear. You want to do it yourself!

And you did manage to peel it most of the way until some citric acid got into a hang nail on your little finger and you were overwhelmed by pain and suffering and had to have a complete meltdown to express your distress.  Your negative emotions are expressed just as intensely as your positive emotions.
Miss Naomi, the Super Sitter, reports that you are an excellent mama to the baby dolls at her house.  You feed them and wrap them up in blankets.  You now have three baby dolls at home–two larger dolls and a smaller doll.  You insist on having “Mama Baby, Papa Baby and Baby Baby” in the crib with you when you go to bed at night.

Every night I pray that you will grow up to be a woman who is strong and wise and true.  And I pray that I’ll be strong and wise and true in my parenting of you.


Your Mama

21 and 22 Months

Dear Silvie,

Here are some things I love about you right now:

-Tonight we were driving in the car and I was listening to NPR.  The commentator was talking about how Barack Obama is carefully preparing for the State of the Union address tomorrow night.  From the back seat I hear a cheerful, “B’ock O’mama!!!  Yayyy!”  Ummm, we may have practiced saying that a few times in the past but this was the first spontaneous political act from you.  I love you, kid.

-For the last two months you’ve worn red, rubber rainboots and only red, rubber rainboots.  Fortunately, that’s a pretty good choice given the weather here in Stumptown so it’s worked for you.  You refused to even let me try other shoes on you.  Until today.  Today you chose the most hideous sparkly pink pair of “dancing shoes” in the shoe basket and wore them out to dinner.  You even did a little tap dance routine on our front porch.  I was prepared to hit the pink sparkly age around four, but certainly not before your second birthday.  Guess I was wrong.

-You are obsessed with identifying every living creature as a “mama”, “papa” or “baby”.  For example, if you see a picture of two cows, you point and say “mama cow, baby cow”.  If you see three of anything, they are automatically mama, papa and baby.  If you see an obvious male, it is a “papa”.  Today you even named the bike store we drive past as “mama bike”.

-You have an intense love/hate relationship with our little housemate, Mae.  You say “Mae ‘ome?  Cawa ‘ome?” every afternoon as we drive home from work.  If they are not home, you are very sad.  And when they come home, you exclaim, “Mae Cawa ‘ome!”  Mae is only a few months younger than you and she looks up to you and wants to be exactly like you and wants whatever toy you are playing with.  She also wants to get right next to you in your personal space.  Your initial reaction is to shriek and shove her out of your space.  Sigh.  We have worked a lot on sharing and using your words.  In the last week though, I have seen you turn to Mae and give her a hug instead of shoving her away.  I’ve also seen each of you rush to the other’s rescue when one falls and cries.  You try to help each other up.  Usually this is not actually helpful since you grab on and won’t let go, but it’s nice to see that you care about each other.

-Miss Naomi informs me that you are very motivated by food right now.  Each morning around 10:00 you announce to her that it is time for “‘nack!” and she says, “Silvie, you can have your snack after you pick up the toys.”  She says you zoom around the living room putting all the toys away in no time flat so you can have your ‘nack.

-You love “meat”.  You eat lunch meat (thin sliced turkey breast, ham, Canadian bacon and the like) with gusto.  You also have an unabated love affair with cookies.  Over Christmas break you woke me up one morning at 5:30 a.m. demanding a cookie.  Usually we keep fig newton breakfast bars on hand to feed you.  Unfortunately, that day we were out and you had a total meltdown at 5:30 a.m. for your cookie.  Sigh.

-You’ve started singing quite a bit.  I can recognize “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “Rockabye Baby”.  Generally you launch into “Rockabye Baby” right after we talk about B’0ck O’mama. (Barackabye Baby!)


Your Mama

Happy Christmas from the Pacific Northwest!



Waiting to open presents on Christmas morning.


Reading the book Grandma Rose wrote for Silvie about the Little Girl Who Loved Shoes.


Helping Papa build the IKEA play kitchen.


We had a mostly happy (except for a few toddler temper tantrums) and relaxing Christmas day at home this year.  Here are a few of our favorite photos but there are more on Flickr for the grandparents and the curious.

Love across the miles,

Deb, Nathan and Silvie

Thanksgiving Weekend

Here are a few photos from Thanksgiving break….



We had the traditional Thanksgiving feast with housemate Cara and little housemate, the Cub.  Then the toddlers napped.  After Silvie woke up from her nap we attempted our one and only Thanksgiving tradition, a quick hike up Mount Tabor.  To see past Thanksgivings look here and here and here (oh my goodness, look how little Silvie was last year!)  By the time Silvie had woken up from her nap, it was starting to get dark so it was a very quick dash up to  our favorite tree and an attempt to get a photo before it was too dark.  The dogs, the girl, the weather, all were not cooperating very well.  So this is the 2010 picture on our favorite tree.

On Sunday we went downtown to see the Christmas tree in Pioneer Square.   Silvie was more enchanted by all the stairs around the square and the MAX trains (“choo-choo”), than the tree.  Every time the MAX would stop, pick up passengers, and take off again, Silvie would let loose with a string of “bye-bye, choo-choo!  bye-bye, choo-choo!  bye-bye, choo-choo!”  I finally heard myself saying, “All right, that’s enough” after about the fiftieth utterance.IMG_8259_edited-1

After a chilly morning in Pioneer Square we had to go get some coffee.  Silvie bellied up to the bar for a croissant.  Although we’re pretty relaxed parents, let me reassure you that the espresso cup is actually empty and she’s just working on sucking down the frothed milk foam left over from Nate’s espresso.  Only a tiny bit of caffeine, I’m sure.  She’s a true Portlander, she is.

Shoe Girl

I’ve been trying to document Silvie’s shoe fascination.  Here are a few photos and there are more on Flickr.


18 Months

Dear Silvie,

September was a tough month. You shifted from taking two naps a day to one at the same time as the school year began. You were also pushing your two-year molars. That means that most evenings by the time we all made it home for dinner, you were already exhausted and sad and teary. It wasn’t very much fun. We let you watch a lot more Caillou and “Foo-Foo” (Choo-Choo– Thomas) than I ever thought I’d let a toddler watch , so that you could sit quietly and relax while we made dinner.

On the other hand, there have been fun moments too. It’s fun to watch you continue to develop your own personality. You LOVE shoes. You change shoes at least three times a day. Your red, rubber rainboots are the ones you can put on most easily so you can often be found clunking around the house in them. Your father brought back some cowboy boots from a business trip to Colorado for you so we’ve been having fun dressing you up in them. You also have other shoes in frequent rotation: little Keen sandals, black and white Converse all-stars, and some shiny hot pink high-tops to name a few.


This month you learned to kiss for real…not the open mouthed, slobbery baby kiss, but the pursed lip smacking sound kind of kiss.  Probably because you’ve felt so dreadful, you were really snuggly this month.  There was lots of hugging and kissing.

Well, I’d better get this post published because by the time I get it posted you’ll actually be 19 months old.


Your Mama (who can not keep up with you)