And maybe he's eating more heartily now, because he has caught Mister Washburn Foo's predatory eyes. Diego must be eager to put on some mass, look larger, less vulnerable.
And, Jennifer, I had to order the book you suggested. I was happy to notice in the customer reviews a discussion about the original book vs. the newest edition, which apparently has been edited. I made sure to order a copy of the original Hitty, Her First Hundred Years. Thank you for the recommendation!
Now, my formulating plan is to save the book for Maria's birthday, and to order her her very own Penny Wooden Doll. "Technically," Aya is my doll. Maria asks to hold her, and very carefully admires her. I love that she is a bit awestruck by her, and takes such special care of her, and I think the longing for one of her own will make for a sweet birthday surprise. Also, it will make a perfect pairing with her other birthday present: her first pocket knife. She has been waiting to turn nine, so she can have her very own pocket knife, and Alex has begun her safety and handling lessons. It is bittersweet, realizing that nine years old is the beginning of being in-between make-believe and growing up, but these are the lines I like to blur.