Vital statistics:

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  • Age: 18 months [b. 8 Apr 96]

  • Height: 31+1/2 inches

  • Weight: 27 pounds, 10 ounces

  • Sizing: 24 months, some 2Ts

  • Old home page [out of date; oops!]

  • Favorite activities:

    Reading her books, being sung to, riding her truck, playing with alphabet blocks, swinging in the park, reading her books, visiting other kids in the "Mom's Club" play group, taking baths, staying up too late, reading her books, ...

  • Latest favorite books:

    • the Ant and Bee series, by Angela Banner;
    Time for Bed by Mem Fox & Jane Dyer;
    • baby photography by Anne Geddes;
    The Mitten and The Owl and the Pussycat, illustrated by Jan Brett.

Development and recent events [really: proud Daddy bragging]

  • Standing up, not quite walking

    We had a bit of a scare recently when some doctors (including Freya's new pediatrician here in Salem and Fritz's brother-in-law, Seward) became concerned about a combination of factors: Freya's head circumference, her still-open fontanel (the "soft spot" on the top of the head) and the fact that she wasn't walking. In particular, Seward was worried about hydrocephalus, which can be quite serious if not caught early. Luckily, some data on her Daddy's own fat head, a sonogram, and recent progress toward walking have largely allayed our fears.

    She's still not quite walking on her own yet, but she's standing up while holding on and also "cruising" a bit. The fact that her progress improved so much after the scare (and our subsequent reactions) seems to indicate that our indulging her (by picking her up, etc.) had been at least part of the problem.

  • Reading and counting

    Freya's become quite the parrot recently, repeating almost everything we say. She's also gotten very good at memorizing books ... and no wonder, it's the first thing she wants in the morning (she crawls into her room and starts pulling the books from her shelf right after she wakes up). Putting her books up on a shelf in the living room worked tremendously to get her to start standing (thanks to my Department chair, Jim Levenick, for this suggestion).

    As an example, she can go through her entire Ant and Bee alphabet book, calling out the 26 "letter words" that are highlighted as part of the story, even without the book in front of her (i.e., in response to someone just reciting the story). And she recognizes the letters on her blocks, other books, street signs, etc. Probably her first sign of progress in this direction was learning to spell her name, which she picked up from song (see below) and from the blocks carved in letter shapes on her step stool. She also recognizes the numbers up to 10 (she has some trouble with "9") and can count in sequence ("One duck!"; "Two ducks!"; "Three ducks!"; etc. up to ten, with pauses. Any mention by us of any number of anythings will usually set her off like this).

    She's not just memorizing, either, but picking up on semantics, too. The other day when she said "Car!" and "Truck!" during a diaper change, I asked her what else had wheels, and she responded "Bus!". Finally, she's also getting the hang of some pragmatic issues of conversation: last weekend she implored "Read to me, Daddy!" (who can resist a requst like that?). In another incident, after asking for and receiving her "F" block ("F, pease!"), she responded "Thank you!". Let's just hope these manners stick through the toddler years ...

  • Singing songs

    Another recent interest is song. Mostly this is a matter of her asking for songs from us, usually in contexts where she's bored for lack of any books or play distractions (e.g., in the car or in the high chair). It started with her requesting just "Sing!", but she now asks for specific songs by name. We also play games where we sing verses based on her choices (e.g., she chooses animals or objects for "Old MacDonald"). She also sings some songs herself, though not many. This started with "F-R-E-Y-A" (sung to the tune of "B-I-N-G-O"), which she latched onto about the time she started spelling her name. Now she'll start singing it whenever we pass a "Fred Meyer" sign (a local retailer), presumably because the letters look like her name.

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