|I see skies of blue and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night,
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
– Louis Armstrong
Dear friends and family,
Hello, and how are you? Twelve months ago today we were preparing to visit South Africa with three-month old Tau! A year later, we have no idea where the time has gone.
We spent the month of January with Sue’s family in Pretoria and Durban (see pics). During our time there we visited two game reserves, enjoyed some good restaurants and did quite a bit of shopping, but with a nursing baby found that we couldn’t get in as much as we had in previous trips. Still, we were glad to have the opportunity to introduce Tau to his grandparents and it found it hard to come home. And strangely, the trip made it poignant this year to watch Tau grow, knowing that our families don’t get to see him change every day as we do.
In February, Sue returned to work and Tau started in full-time daycare. Daycare has been a positive experience for us. Throughout the year, we’ve watched Tau grow into an mischievious, happy, well-socialized toddler, and we credit his dedicated teachers for that. We go to work knowing that he is well cared for and come home renewed and ready to give him the best hours of our day. He is now old enough to sit at the table with us in the evenings and recently learned to toast with his juice cup, “tinging” it against our wine glasses.
The summer went by so quickly. Our highlight was definitely celebrating Dave’s 40th by spending five days with 20 or so of the Walsh clan up in BC wine country at Naramata. Here is more about our visit and a link to our Naramata pictures.
Work has been rewarding for both of us this year. Dave is working on interesting, viable projects, and Sue is now doing more varied work and was recently promoted! Our companies continue to move towards sustained profitability.
In the fall, we celebrated Tau’s first birthday, definitely a time to reflect on the rollercoaster first year that had passed. Now, at 15 months, we can tell you a bit more than we did in this very early post:
- Tau is walking those plodding first steps and each day brings stronger legs, longer distances and additional speed. If you put him behind his Fisher Price walker, he pretty much tears up the floor, threatening furniture, bottles on the wine rack and any toes that happen to be in the way.
- The vocab is growing by the day: Dada, dad-dee, dah, mama, ma, mum-mum, Tau-Tau, more!, more-muh! (more milk), no! (various forms of that), doh (dog), pig and piggy, raaaahrrr! (lion), baby (everything with arms and legs that’s not a dog, a pig, or a lion qualifies as a baby), boh (ball), zeese (teeth), uhbuh (up), muh! (mine!), and ziss! (this — everything new he sees, or is surprised by, gets a “ziss”).
- Tau is now eating table food, mostly with his hands but he does like trying with a fork or spoon. Favorites include butternut, salmon, banana, mandarin oranges, pasta of any shape, frozen mixed veg, cheddar crackers, various cheeses, yoghurt and milk.
- Little dude is also a good sleeper. He goes down at around eight p.m. and will be out for ten hours straight if he is not teething or sick. At daycare, he is now in the toddler room where he and his buddies sleep for around three hours in the afternoons on little cots.
- Apart from da and mama, music is probably the biggest deal in his life. We often see him dancing or bopping his head and then realize there is music coming from a passing car or over the speakers in a store. Current favorites are UB40, Bob Marley and Bedouin Soundclash — in fact anything reggae or with a ska beat.
What these details don’t capture is the pleasure of watching Tau’s mind and emotions evolve throughout the year: I can tickle Dad and make him laugh like crazy. I can hug Lion just like Mom hugs me. I can throw food on the floor and make them both freak right out! We catch glimpses of the terrible twos coming, and they are not far off.
This Fall, we took a week’s vacation and drove up the California Central Coast. We spent four days at Paso Robles tasting Rhone-style red wines and a few days at the small beach town of Cayucos. Since then, we have all had the winter sniffles. Hopefully we can get over them between Christmas and New Year. We’ll be spending the holidays at home, just the three of us, relaxing and getting a few things done around the house.
We hope this finds you all well and that you’ve had a good holiday season with family and friends. Thanks to those of you who sent Christmas cards — we do enjoy hearing your news.
In closing, we’d like to welcome you to our family blog. You can visit us here any time during the year. In the right column, you will find links to our Yahoo and Flickr albums, as well as video clips on our You Tube Channel, so please bookmark the main page: https://nobaddays.wordpress.com
All the best for the holidays and the year ahead!
Dave, Sue and Tau