Aïcha and Brioni, June 07
When I took the girls outside one sunny afternoon, I took my camera, and so Aïcha wanted to use her camera (our old, broken one) too.

It’s a bit hard to know whether a day is going to be nice or not, so sometimes I end up staying home while the weather turns beautiful. I am walking into town several times a week, usually just to get minor things from the grocery store. However, we have had some quite cool weather, with the wind blowing off the snowy mountains to our east, so lately I’ve been keeping the girls inside and warm.

The girls have started rough-housing together — really cute to watch. Brioni climbs onto Aïcha and they roll around a bit, pulling at each other and laughing. I try not to watch too closely or supervise too much lest I spoil the fun.

Brioni has also started “somersaulting” in imitation of her older sister. While on all fours, she puts her forehead down on the carpet and then rolls to the side. If I’m close by, I’ll flip her over properly.

Brioni, 10 months old, July 07
Brioni's latest fascination is opening doors, and she likes to see just how far she can explore. And yes, she's playing with a lightbulb(!) in this shot. I didn't notice what she was holding until I took the picture, and I substituted it for a onion as soon as I put the camera away.

Apart from the small set of toys I brought, Aïcha likes to play with a pencil, which she wraps up in a tissue. She plays with the pencil, the tissues and a babydoll (borrowed from the church’s toy collection) for hours. I’m not really sure what a pencil with a wadded tissue on it is supposed to be, but every now and again, Aïcha brings it to me to wrap up again.

And we’re reading lots of books. I can check out ten at a time from the library, and I change them every week, if not sooner. I’m amazed at the way the old favourites strike a chord. After I read “We’re going on a bear hunt” to Aïcha for the first time, her games involved putting the babydoll on her shoulders and announcing, “We’re going on a bear hunt”.

When speaking about herself, Aïcha has dropped the use of her name and now uses “my” as the pronoun subject: “My do it” and “My want to read a book.” Brioni is babbling more and more. I heard her say “mama” very clearly when I cuddled her, but despite the sounds being right, I don’t think the meaning was significant.