Monday, October 24, 2011


I know everyone has their quirks, but sometimes Marla is downright weird. Her latest fascination is with stuffing odd things in her mouth and letting them hang there while she goes about her business. I'm choosing to think of it as multi-tasking, rather than mimicking the dog.

Maybe this is where they came up with the phrase "put a sock in it"?

Last night she crawled around for about 20 minutes with her toothbrush hanging out of her mouth. "Hey Mom! Don't mind me, I'm just brushing my teeth while I head toward the power strip."

After much manuevering underneath the table, she reached her destination, where I was forced to intervene. She screeched in protest, which I took to mean, "You're no fun and you don't understand me at all!" I can only imagine what we're in store for when she's a teenager. 

Our bookworm

Marla has always liked books, but lately she just can't get enough of them. In fact, she bypasses all her other toys to get a hold of one. She turns them over in her hands, flips through them, talks to them, bangs them together, and of course chews on them. I think most parents want their kids to like books, but as an English major, it makes me absolutely ecstatic.

The only time she sits still is when we're reading to her, so we do it a lot. She seems to have a few favorite books and definitely a few less-than-favorites. She figured out how to turn the pages on her own, which has made reading with her feel much more interactive. Here we are reading "How Do I Love you?" (We read this book about six times a day. I could recite it in my sleep.) 

This morning I caught her "reading" one of her books by herself, turning pages and jabbering at each one. I'm amazed by the way she seems to be absorbing the whole process. She GETS it!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

For Grandpa

My Grandpa, Joseph James Martodam, passed away two weeks ago. He lived a long, full, healthy life. He was 85 years old. He was tough and proud, but still teared up when he said goodbye to his family before leaving for a winter in Texas. He was stubborn, with a gruff demeanor, but quick to smile and wink mischievously. He was a veteran and an athlete, and the only grandparent brave enough to jump on our trampoline with us when we were younger.

He worked for the DNR for years. He loved working in his yard and his shop. He was a fisherman, hunter, and jack-of-all-trades.

He was a loyal and loving husband, married to my grandma for 64 years. Joe and Marcella's wedding, October, 1947:

At our wedding, June 2006:

He was a father to five, grandfather to ten, and great-grandfather to six:

He was a strong Catholic and a faithful Christian. He was a good person, who loved and was loved by many.

I'll end this post the way Grandpa used to begin every evening meal, with the blessing that will always, always make me think of him:

Bless us, oh Lord,
And these thy gifts which
we are about to receive from thy bounty,
through Christ, our Lord.

Rest in peace, Grandpa. We love you, we will miss you, and we will not forget you.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Risky business

As soon as she learns how to slide across the floor in those socks, we're shipping her off to Hollywood to earn some money for her college fund.

Nine months

My Marla is three quarters of a year old! How??

Her latest stats:

Weight - 17 lbs, 10 oz (27%)
Height - 27.75 in (56%)
Head - 44.5 cm (65%)

Her growth rate has slowed a bit, which the doctor says is normal for breastfed babies. She's surpassed her bunny in size, which makes it easier for her to tackle him.

She's gotten a couple of colds in the past month, probably the result of being in daycare full-time. They've slowed her down, but she's maintained a positive attitude for the most part.

She's still just rockin' the two teeth, but continues to gnaw on just about everything. The rest can't be too far off.

She's gotten really good at feeding herself and her lack of teeth hasn't stopped her from eating all sorts of things. Like spaghetti.

She loves the sippy cup and recently discovered an unusual method of drinking from it. What a monkey.

She can get into a sitting position on her own, which has made life a little more interesting, to say the least. Here's a shot of the video monitor during what was *supposed* to be a nap.

Play time with Dad!

She started crawling last week. Watching her master this skill has been entertaining. This video was taken on her first day of crawling. As you can see, she hadn't quite figured the whole thing out.