"Did she just....?"
Katrina points to her Luminou bear and says "bay!" juuust enough to make us think she's really trying to say "bear." She does it to other things too, but she still has about a 60% hit rate on her own bear. This might be her actual first word!
Actually, she's very very cute with most stuffed animals (bears in particular though), hugging them when she gets one, then lying on it and hugging it.
We got the news on the peanut test. The summary: a slight potential for developing a peanut allergy. Her number was 2.4, which is a level of IGE (allergic antibody), in nanograms, in her system. Under 15 means probably not peanut-allergic. But if there's a number at all, that indicates a potential to develop the allergy with exposure. She probably won't react to trace amounts of peanuts, but any exposures could bump that number up and push her into the allergic range.
So, net result: no peanuts until age 3, and try to even avoid foods that are labelled "May contain peanuts." Other nuts are OK.
Actually, Gabriel's peanut-free experience at CDC last summer got peanut butter off our staples list here (and regrettably replaced it with the far less nutritious cream cheese), so this won't be too hard. As for other things....well, looks like I'd better make an eye appointment and update my reading glasses, 'cause those label fonts are awfully small.
I added a new account on a Mac for Julian, and updated Gabriel's photo on his account, so had to take new face photos for the login screen. Gabriel took the task very seriously. Julian...not so much.
Julian is relentless now in supermarkets, accosting innocent bystanders with his announcements and stories. "My baby sister's name is Katrina!" "I crawled with her last night and didn't make her cry!" (a noteworthy event) "Gabriel goes to Collins CDC!" At one nearby supermarket, there's a good chance that whoever he targets is a kindly grandmotherly type who's thrilled to talk to this warm, cute little boy. But he also tries to talk to young delivery men who aren't quite so charmed, and also doesn't understand that in Cupertino, there's a very good chance that someone won't have sufficient command of English to make out the hurried and slightly garbled words of a 3-year-old. Julian's speech is excellent for his age, but he still is just 3.
(Speaking of age, I was shocked when he told someone that Katrina was "12 months" and that he was "almost 4." Usually he says "I don't know" and "3," respectively.)
Yesterday's Mercury News had an article advising new empty-nesters on how to fill their lives now that their children were grown and gone. I showed it to Dave for a chuckle, since it seems to us now that we'll never get to that stage, and even when (if?) we do, we won't have any trouble filling the time!
But the article still had some interesting insights, such as commenting that isolation can occur when a home loses the "vibrancy" that children bring to it. That word struck a chord for me, and I think it's really quite accurate. It sums up the subtle, visceral reasons I wanted children in my life, some sort of protection against getting old and losing touch with the young world. Indeed, I think of Gabriel and how strong and confident and self-sufficient he's getting -- his presence is absolutely vibrant, it injects energy and life and lifts everyone up. Most of the interaction with him is interesting and fun and increasingly rich and rewarding as he matures.
I can't say that about the other two yet. Katrina mostly drains my energy, as a 12-month-old should. I don't mean that badly, I just mean that by the nature of her age, she mostly uses my energy rather than infuses me with it. Julian, it's a wash -- his sweet and adorable side is pretty well balanced with obnoxious 3-year-old behavior. But it makes me look really forward to when they're all older. Gabriel is so wonderful to have in my life now, it's almost thrilling to imagine it will be times 3. (I'm choosing to ignore the teenager thing in this idyllic projection.)
It may well turn out in another 17 years that I'll have wished I saved the article for new empty-nesters after all. Meantime, we're still plugging along with the first word.