Blog o' Graysmiths

Silly Hat and Sibling Love March 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — graysmiths @ 2:56 pm



Happy Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — graysmiths @ 2:52 pm

A month or so ago, while changing Rosemary’s diaper, I discovered she was ticklish. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to capture her laughing on video. Usually though, I didn’t have the camera nearby, or as soon as she would see the camera she would stop laughing and stare at it. Recently, I managed to capture her laugh (due to the dancing and bouncing efforts of Atticus), so here it is!


Book Report No. 3: Books for Babies March 12, 2008

Filed under: Book Reports — graysmiths @ 12:31 am

Being the second child, Rosemary hasn’t had much opportunity to look at baby books. Mostly she gets to listen to whatever we are reading to Atticus. This past weekend, she finally got to “read” a few baby books. Atticus was visiting his grandparents and so I decided to pull out some books designed especially for babies. Two of my favorites are Black on White and White on Black by Tana Hoban. According to the “baby experts” (just type “what can my baby see” into Google and you’ll see what I mean), items with 100% contrast, black/white, are easiest for infants to see. They can, however, by Rosemary’s age (4 months) see most anything, including colors. Babies do tend to be attracted to high contrast drawings, which is on reason why I like Tana Hoban’s simple designs. Here are some of my other favorite baby books/types of books:

  • Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober’s Mini Masters series: each of these books focuses on a different artist, pairing simple prose with their pictures.
  • Books with pictures of people faces: babies love to look at faces!
  • Any of Tana Hoban’s books of photographs – they are all wonderful and most are probably available at your local library
  • Touchy-feely books – books that have different textures for babies to feel.
  • More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera Williams
  • Spring is Here by Taro Gomi
  • Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
  • The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle – all of his books for children are wonderful, but I think babies like the music at the end of this one.
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

As always, I would love suggestions!


Developmental Milestones March 11, 2008

Filed under: Growing Up — graysmiths @ 12:32 am

From the start, Rosemary has been a much stronger baby than Atticus. She held her head up around two weeks and everywhere we went that first month or two, people would remark at her strength. Perhaps she gets it from my sister, who scared my maternal grandmother (for whom Rosemary gets her middle name, Ella) by raising her head when my grandmother went to the hospital nursery to visit after she was born. I like to call Rosemary my little Pilates baby since her core is so strong. She constantly does these little baby crunches, raising her head to ready herself for crawling.

For all of their differences, however, Atticus and Rosemary made their first developmental milestone at the same age – four years, one day. Exactly one day after the doctor’s appointment where they mark on the developmental chart “rolled over.” With Atticus, I remember that I almost wanted to call his doctor and say “he did it – you can now mark him down as “normal!” With Rosemary, I am just hoping that this means she won’t be crawling anytime soon. Atticus waited to crawl until he was ten months old, and those extra months that I didn’t have to worry about what he was getting into were wonderful. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping we make it to ten months without any movement on her part!


It’s all coming back to me…

Filed under: Growing Up — graysmiths @ 12:24 am

For the past two weeks, Rosemary has been pawing at her ear, specifically her left ear. If she were older, I would suspect an ear infection. Since we were at the pediatrician’s office last week anyway, I asked him to check, and her ear was fine, as I had suspected. It is merely her way of saying “what is this thing on the side of my head” over and over again. Until she started this behavior, I had completely forgotten that Atticus also did this, around the same time. It made me wonder about how many other things I am going to forget. I guess this is one good reason to have a blog 😉


Rosemary Update March 9, 2008

Filed under: Growing Up — graysmiths @ 2:39 pm

Rosemary was four months old on Thursday. We headed to the doctor’s office for her checkup, and I thought I would post her stats for your enjoyment:

25 1/4 inches tall (95%)

13 lbs, 6 ounces (50%)

She has stayed on the same growth curve for both height and weight since her 2 month check up and is doing wonderful.


Book Report No. 2: Early Readers March 4, 2008

Filed under: Book Reports — graysmiths @ 11:38 pm

Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear, published in 1957, was the first book in the “I Can Read” series, which includes such wonderful books as the Frog and Toad series, Grasshopper on the Road and Mouse Soup, all by Arnold Lobel, and A Bargain for Frances, by Russell Hoban. Often called “easy readers” or “early readers,” the books serve different purposes depending on whether you are reading aloud to your child or whether your child is actively learning to read (I say “actively” because I believe that being read to is one of the many ways children learn to read). For children who are being read to, they serve as a bridge between Picture Books, which typically have fewer words and more pictures, and Chapter Books, which, logically enough, are the opposite. For children actively learning to read, they can serve as first books, because they typically have short easy-to-read words in them. The words are carefully chosen for early readers and they are often easier to read than picture books which may have more complicated words.

I had many early readers in hardcover as a child and due to the efforts of my parents, they remain in great condition. We started reading them aloud to Atticus a little over a year ago, and he immediately fell in love with Little Bear. The great thing about early readers for read-aloud is that they have a picture on each page, so there is something for children who can’t read yet to focus on while you are reading. The illustrations for Little Bear are by Maurice Sendak, and as you can imagine, are a delight for both children and adults. Atticus went through a period of several months where he asked to hear one of the books in the series every day. His favorites at that time were the story told by Grandfather Bear in Little Bear’s Visit about a little goblin who was scared of his own shoes, “Birthday Soup” from Little Bear about how Little Bear cooks up Birthday Soup for his friends, and “Hiccups” from Father Bear Comes Home about how Father Bear helps Little Bear get rid of his hiccups. I look forward to the time when Atticus is able to read these to Rosemary while she looks at the pictures.

More recently, we’ve been reading the Frog and Toad series. On his fourth birthday, he received a copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends (thank you Nonna and Granddaddy!) on CD and was so excited that I ordered the CD collection of Little Bear, told by Sigourney Weaver. It came in this week and once he discovered it, insisted on playing it on his cd player. He sat in his room for the entire CD (she reads all five stories), looking out the window and listening, completely enthralled.

A quick update on the chapter book search. After Stuart Little, I’ve decided we will read The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo. I read this several years ago and it seems like such a wonderful modern fairy tale. Now I need to go and find Stuart Little for bedtime reading…
– Nicole