Astrid Astrid Astrid

Wow, six months have passed! We've been so busy!

Spring was rapid. Astrid was born, Luca graduated Kindergarten, and we were off to summer in the blink of an eye.

Summer was INSANE. Once Kyra started work again, I had to drop off everyone else at three different locations, resulting in 2-2.5 hours of driving time every day except Tuesday. And I work from home! First we dropped Kyra off at work, then Luca at summer camp (which was a lot of fun), and finally Astrid at her daycare. There wasn't an opening at Kyra's new work - a daycare - so we had to wait until September until Astrid could go to school with her. This summer was a small taste of what many families must do every day, and we've been lucky to avoid such huge hassles.

Fall has slowed down a bit, but we're still breathless from the rapid summer season. It's November, and I'm trying to catch up on posting photos and videos from the summer. I haven't written anything about Luca's graduation or the start of 1st grade, the start of Astrid's new day care, or Luca's 7th birthday.

Astrid has been growing quite a bit! She's already learning the prerequisites to crawling and walking, like getting up on her hands and knees from tummy time and pulling herself up on things (with a bit of help). She's eating lots of different food, including some regular solids. For example, she seems to like bread! She's babbling a lot, and just like Luca, she says "Baba" quite well ("daddy" in Chinese). There are times when we think she may just mean it, too!

Here's a photo album with a few of the highlights:

Astrid in her Take-Home Outfit

Luca and Astrid

The Whole Family!

Tummy Time

Learning to Sit

Two Goons in a Chair

Flower Girls

Laundry Girl

Jumping Girl

Reading with Brother

Halloween Costume (Take-Home Redux)

Eating Bread
I'll be catching up with the photos and videos soon, along with some new (professional) family photos for the website. Stay tuned! (What does that even mean nowadays??)

Per Ardua, Ad Astrid

My favorite nick name for you right now is Dolly.

Your father wasn't especially keen on the name right away. "She isn't a doll!" he protested. But I promise that's not how I think of you. Already you assert your own independent, wonderful personality.

I love to call you Dolly because it was your great-grandmother's nickname for me. It was also the last thing she ever said to me.

Maybe when you're older I'll tell you how hard the year before you were born was for our family. Your foster sister left, we put our first family pet to sleep, destroyed the odd friendship or two along the way. And I lost both my Tutu and my Grammie.

I can't wait until you are old enough to tell you about the amazing women that came before you. Tutu was Hawaiian, worked at Pearl Harbor as a teenager, and got a degree in piano performance. She loved music, the same way your father loves music. She was always singing, always playing something, and always, always smiling. Her picture sits on our piano now. Your father put it there, one pianist's tribute to another.

Grammie was the survivor. She grew up an Iowa farm girl during the depression. She survived a tornado, breast cancer (twice), colon cancer, skin cancer, and a broken back. She survived everything but the Alzheimer's that ended her life just shy of her 91st birthday. Her picture sits on my desk, reminding me that I can make it through anything, just like she did.

Just before you were born I lost both these amazing women. But then I got you.

My Dolly. My Astrid.

I can already see parts of Grammie and Tutu in you. You love to talk, and have so many opinions, just like Grammie. And you love music just like Tutu, especially when Baba plays piano. And you are so strong! At just three months old you are bound and determined to sit up. I think you want to get big fast, to keep up with that crazy big brother of yours.

I hope when you page through our blog someday you don't feel slighted. I did write far more about him than I have thus far about you. It isn't that I was any less excited for your arrival. But with him, I had ten months at home to love and enjoy him. With you I had just over two months of maternity leave, and I wanted to spend every possible minute loving you. Who wants to blog when you have a baby to snuggle? That's why its only after a month back at work that I've managed to find the time to sit down and write. Even now you're laying right beside me, talking to me.

But before I leave to take you for a walk, to snuggle you, and talk to you some more, I just want you to know how special, how loved you are. Your brother may have created the family you were born into, but you, my dolly, completed it. You have an amazing life ahead of you, and like the women who came before you, you can do anything.


We've developed some nicknames for our little cutie, Astrid.

Oh really? I'm listening!
Here are a few:
  • Asteroid
  • Asterism (part of a constellation, like the Big Dipper)
  • Squeaker (she made lots of squeaky sounds early on)
  • Beautiful
  • Lovely Lady
  • Peanut
  • Little Bean
  • Booger (more specifically, "My Booger" spoken exclusively by Kyra)
  • Stink-topus (another name by Kyra)
  • Id (Aster-Id, you know, since she's an Id...)
I must mention that I find it awesome that she shares part of her name with part of the name of one of my favorite fields in science: Astronomy! And all sorts of related things! Like Asteroids!

I'm not sure if the name Astrid and the root word aster- are related, but aster- means "star" (reference), which is close to the meaning of the name Astrid, "divine strength" or more paganly "heavenly strength". As noted on Wiktionary, Astrid is derived from an Old Norse name, Ástríðr. The name has two parts, either ást ("love, joy") or áss ("deity") and fríðr ("beautiful").

Astrid certainly is a "beautiful joy", that's for sure, no matter what we call her!

For a trip down memory lane, here's the same topic about Luca: Luca's Nicknames.

Dear Astrid, Letter 1

Dear Astrid,

We had our first dances today. You were entranced by the silly music on the clock. I thought it would help you overcome your hiccups, or at least distract you while they went away.

As we danced, you laid your head on my chest. I hope we have many more dances just like that. I love you!

-- Chris

Happy Birthday, Petunia

We miss you, and we love you. Hope you have a good day!