Nine

Mookie at nine minutes:

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Mookie at nine days:

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Guidemother Darcey’s son Nick takes responsibility for introducing the newcomer to books

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Sleeping with a blissful Mami

Mookie at nine weeks:

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Already laughing

Mookie at nine months:

Mookie at nine years:

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A birthday present she can open again and again

Happy birthday, big girl! We love you more than words can say.

Holiday tradition

We have developed an annual tradition of reading The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (Lemony Snicket, illustrations by Lisa Brown) aloud at Hanukah, even though it is subtitled “A Christmas Story.” This is the first year that Mookie was solely responsible for the reading. She read with great flair for a crowd, and showed us the pictures and cued us to scream “AAAAAAAAAH!” at the right times. Even The Donald was rapt.

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Photos: Pam Gehrke. Thank you, Pam!

Transfiguration

Behold, an innocent young piñata . . .

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. . . transfigured into Professor Dolores Umbridge for Mookie’s Harry Potter-themed birthday party, which is tomorrow.

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I hope enough of the kids know the books to appreciate the joy of giving her a good smack.

One thing’s certain: no one in this house puts as much time into styling her own hair as Joy just put into curling Umbridge’s. I’m also very impressed by Mookie’s care to show the twists in the “ribbon” bow.

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More photos of ping-pong-ball Quidditch, Pin the Tail on Dudley, wand-making, and guests in costume after the gala.

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Peru

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When I asked Mookie to grab a jacket this morning, she chose the poncho her guidemother Darcey made her. Ever since then, she’s been from Peru. She’s chattering in Spanish, quite fluidly, about how much she likes to climb the mountains of Peru, and chatting in English with her invisible llama, whose name is Aunt Verpa. (“As in vapor.”)

Dance like nobody is watching

Mookie jumped up on a table at a London playground and started dancing. Naturally, as soon as I got out the camera, she shifted from dancing to posing. But the utter un-self-consciousness was still there.

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I hope she always approaches life with such abandon. I hope I can re-acquire 1/10 of the self-confidence that she has and that I’ve lost.

Mi animal favurito.

Mookie has been coming up to us and asking things like, “Can we make Llena Luna’s middle name?” (“Luna Llena” is a song we sing to the cat often, since her name is Luna.) “How do you spell meow in Spanish?” The project: a description of Luna, in Spanish. Here it is, as spelled by Mookie.

Mi animal favurito.

Mi animal favurito es una gata. Mi gata tiene pulgas. Mi gata una naris negro. Mi gata tiene cuatro patas. Mi gata es real. Mi gata es anadanjado. Mi gata sellama Luna Llena [ourlastname]. Mi gata es muy suave. Mi data dice miau. Mi gata es muy bonita.

Luna, age 10 months, with Mookie, age 22 months

Luna, age 10 months, with Mookie, age 22 months


My favorite animal.

My favorite animal is a cat. My cat has fleas. My cat a black nose. My cat has four paws. My cat is real. My cat is orange. My cat is named Luna Llena (“Full Moon”) [ourlastname]. My cat is very soft. My cat says meow. My cat is very beautiful.

Six years of Mookie

From her first hour, in 2007 . . .

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. . . through six years . . .

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. . . to her sixth birthday . . .

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. . . . this little munchkin has made our lives immeasurably more interesting, fun, challenging, and filled with cuteness. And our big little girl clocks in at 42.5 inches on her birthday. Happy happy, sweetheart!