Mirah says "mama!"


photo shoot


This might be the cutest picture I've taken of you, yet! Thanks for helping me practice this morning, Bella.


Happy 9 Months, Sweet Pea!!


Well, pumpkin, you are now 9 months old. And what a busy past month this has been. Here's an update:

1. Crawling at record speeds! You are so fast that I think we might need to post speed limit signs around here! You crawl from room to room now and require constant supervision. Sometimes in the mornings it's like Dad and I are playing Mirah-tag about who's turn it is to keep an eye on you. "You're it. watch her. I need to do this or that." Which leads me to my next point...

2. YOU LOVE ELECTRICAL CORDS, OUTLETS, AND ANYTHING POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS. I don't know maybe you just like to live on the edge, but you definitely are drawn to danger. I hope you grow out of this before you start liking boys. I really don't want to have to have the "you are not allowed to date a motorcycle driving 20 year old when you are only 16" talk. Oh please, Mirah, don't do that to Mommy.

3. You learned the art of protest. I am not talking political protest here. Nope. Just your regular day-to-day "I don't want to do that, mom" protest. First of all, I was under the impression you would not discover this manner of communication until you were a toddler. Wrong. It started with getting into the car seat. When I go to put you in your whole body gets tense and you scream in protest. Ugh. Sometimes I desperately hand you something to distract you just so I can get you buckled in. One problem.... your favorite distraction is my car keys. This would not be a problem if I didn't need them to drive the car (the whole reason you have to get in the car seat in the first place). I might have to get you your own set of keys to the car. I've already tried giving you toys keys. You are not fooled.

4. You are experimenting with volume. I love this one. No, I really do. Sometimes when we are out and about you engage in a very boisterous conversation with yourself. It's really loud and gets everyone's attention. I love it because you always have this look on your face like you are making some big proclamation. People stop and take notice. You are very effective.

5. You are practicing standing alone. Just this week you have been very much interested in pulling yourself up to standing. On a few occasions you have even let go for a few seconds. Dad thinks you are getting too big, too fast, and you should hold on just a little bit longer!

6. You have been saying "Dada" for a few weeks now and you know who gets REALLY excited about it and jumps up and down and points at himself when you say it. I admit, I am excited too. The other day we did a little experiment with you. I was playing with you in your play area across from the living room. Dad was in the living room. As you played with your toys I asked you, "where's dada?" And you immediately looked across the room at dad. Very cool. Being college graduates, we knew that we could not conclude anything based on that one instance. Therefore, we aimed to replicate the experiment and you, my dear, looked at Daddy every time I asked you "where's dada." Genius, pure genius.

7. You are branching out with food. Now you will eat and sometimes even enjoy bananas and avocados! Yay! I am happy about this because these two foods were the ones that turned you against ALL food for a week back when you were around 6 months. The most recent and exciting discovery has been cheerios. Not the honey nut kind that Uncle Mike and Grandpa Bill eat EVERY morning, but the plain kind. I am not sure how many you actually eat, but you love to pick them up and bring them your mouth.

8. You are sleeping better now because your two top teeth are now IN! Whew! You still get up once a night, but that is a honeymoon compared to what you were doing when they were coming in. Maybe you could just stop at 4 teeth. I think that's enough, right?

Well, sweetie pie, you are 3/4 of a year old and you have now been on the outside as long as you were on the inside. I hope you like it out here. I think you do. Somedays when I am really tired I think back to when you were just moving around inside my tummy and I laugh because I had no idea what work it would take to be a parent, but then again, I had no idea what joy your little laugh would bring to me, either.

I love you, Mirah.



Dearest Mirah,

Sometime over the course of your education you will learn the names of all the American presidents. I think I can still recite the first fifteen or so and then maybe the last ten. Last night, while you slept, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. This was a big move for our country. Millions of Americans came together and voted for change, for something new. They voted with HOPE instead of fear. This election was particularly special because we, as a country, agreed to put an African American man into the highest position in the land. What a proud moment for a country whose history has been tainted with the ugliness of racism.

So, Mirah, I just want you to know that this was a big one. Hopefully by the time you get to vote we won't be talking about race or gender anymore. Hopefully by then, it will be the norm for people of all colors and for both women and men to be in positions of power. Hey, maybe you will be president someday? (Mommy would vote for you, for sure!)

I wanted to include these two photographs because they poetically illustrate two things very important to me... In the first one, humility. And in the second, dedicated love.
photograph and caption by - Callie Shell
Waiting: Obama listens from a back stairwell as he is introduced in Muscatine, Iowa. It was his second or third speech of the day. Unlike many of the politicians I have photographed in the past, I find it is easy to get a photograph of Obama alone. He lets his staff do their jobs and not fuss over him. Nov. 7, 2007.
photograph and caption by - Callie Shell
It was primary morning in New Hampshire. Barack and Michelle Obama had been campaigning separately all week. In the first few months of 2008 their private time seemed to consist of a few crossover moments in back hallways before rallies. This moment was rare and you could tell they just loved being able to sit together. Jan. 8, 2008.


This morning the three of us walked over to our local polling place and cast our vote for a new President! I was all smiles as I have been waiting 4 years for this. On the way to the polling place I saw a man who also had a little hop in his step as he walked along. "I bet he's going to vote, too, I told Dad." He looked over at us and we exchanged smiles. That's democracy at its best, my girl.


Happy 1 Kailani!

Today is Kailani Dove's First Birthday!!!!! We went to Tiverton, RI to celebrate this past weekend. The weather was beautiful. Mirah got to meet her Great Aunt Karen and Great Uncle Jeff. It was a wonderful day and we are very happy that we were able to celebrate with Kailani!!!

Happy Halloween!

Mirah had a great Halloween week! IMG_3769
We carved pumpkins
IMG_5791 IMG_5772
went to 2 Halloween parties,
and went trick-or-treating.

Mirah, you were such a cute octopus!!! It was the best Halloween Mom and Dad have had in years!!!!
Thanks for that.