August 19, 2013
Last summer (I can't believe it's been a year!), I said to the Beaner, "it's time for music lessons. Would you like to do piano, guitar, or vocals?" He replied, "I want to play the drums." This I found interesting, as I, too, had wanted to play the drums as a child. Well, actually I wanted to play the flute when we were offered the opportunity to choose band instruments in fourth grade, but back in the olden days,...
February 20, 2012
The Beaner came with me to work this morning (holiday, hockey practice tonight that required babysitting, yadda yadda yadda), and Shawna picked him up at about 11:45. In the late afternoon, I noticed that he'd left something on my door:...
October 9, 2011
The Beaner has always had a healthy appetite, and from about 6 months on ate a wide variety of foods. He's still fond of fruit and avocado sushi rolls, but lately his plates have seemed somewhat monochromatic—with heavy emphasis on macaroni & cheese and white rice....
September 12, 2011
We made a couple friends while waiting in line to register the Beaner for first grade, and the son of two of those new friends ended up in the Beaner's class. They're super nice; can't wait to have them over for a weekend dinner or invite them to go apple picking or something similarly family-oriented (they also have a daughter)....
September 11, 2011
The first week of first grade went off with only one hitch (a mixup having to do with who would be picking the Beaner up after school) that was sorted fairly quickly by Shawna. The morning drop-offs went smoothly even though the weather sucked most days; on Friday, when I asked the Beaner if he wanted me to wait with him until he lined up with his class or leave right away, he replied, "either way. You can go...
September 6, 2011
So... Long story short (for those of you for whom the sight of a semicolon evokes TL;DR, this first sentence probably tells you all you need to know, and you can stop after it), after a year of stress and a night of braving the elements, we got the Beaner into our neighborhood public school, and he started first grade today. Weirdly, my stress level did not go down after we were told he was in—nor did it drop...
September 12, 2010
I sat down to write a post about why one of the UX people on my team is also the best tester, but when I opened my "temp" file (the one I use to write posts in offline, so I don't have to type into a Movable Type form, and so I don't accidentally lose everything I've written if there's a connection problem), it contained a post I wrote back in December of last year about what the Beaner...
May 18, 2010
At dinner tonight, the Beaner says, "You know, Apple's making a lot of 'i' products now."...
April 30, 2010
Due to a schedule change with our nanny, Al and I are now responsible for picking the Beaner up from school on the days when he gets out at noon. We split duties, each taking a different day....
January 17, 2010
At breakfast the other morning, the Beaner held up a book with an orange cover (yes, we allow books and magazines at the table, though I sweep them away if I notice he's not eating) and announced, "Mom, it just occurred to me what Green Eggs and Ham is about."...
January 13, 2010
OK, so obviously I fell off the NaBloPoMo wagon. I found that I just didn't have enough material to write about every day—at least at length. I have things on my mind, but that doesn't mean I want to sit down and expound upon them anymore, apparently....
January 4, 2010
Shawna gave the Beaner an enormous marble run as a combined birthday/Christmas gift, and I finally got to see it in action the other day. It took up the whole play table, involved two conveyor belts, and had innumerable tubes, chutes, flaps, lights, and whistles. Very cool....
December 22, 2009
The Beaner's been talking a lot lately about getting a little sister. (He projects with his Mickey and Minnie dolls; Mickey—or the Beaner—is the big brother, and Minnie is the little sister.)...
December 13, 2009
I've been thinking lately about how little I've been blogging, especially on the parenthood front. It's bumming me out that I'm going to have little or no record of what age 4 was like... but obviously not enough to make me sit down and write. The impetus to do so now comes from seeing my friend (and the Beaner's former nanny) Jess and her 11 week-old baby today. It really brought home how little I remembered of the early...
October 14, 2009
The Beaner, at Weaver's Orchard last Saturday: "I want to get some Golden Delicious apples. [pause] You know, there's a singer; his name's Mike Doughty? He has a...[here he struggled to find the right word, since the concept of "album" is unknown to him, and yet he knew "song" wasn't right]...he has a thing called Golden Delicious. I have a song from it on my iPod: I Got The Drop on You."...
August 10, 2009
Let me state clearly right up front: I do not want another kid. I have no desire to return to diapers and sleepless nights, and the one kid I have, though easy by practically any measure, is still plenty challenging for me. That's not to say that I don't remember with extreme fondness moments like this one:...
July 26, 2009
I've got to remind myself to say "yes" and not "just as soon as I'm done [whatever]" when the Beaner asks me to play with him. It's so easy to do these days; all you really have to do is sit there while he gives you the setup and your lines (if any), look away when he says, "don't look!', watch when he says "watch!", and say your lines when cued. It's not necessary to come up with something...
June 8, 2009
On Sunday I Twittered the following: The Beaner drew a picture, then took a photo of it, showed it to me, and said, "look! It's me saying 'YO'!" Will post later. :-) 10:57 AM Jun 6th from Tweetie...
May 31, 2009
Before I get to a couple conversations I've had with the Beaner over that past few days and weeks, I wanted to acknowledge the woman who said out a car window in the parking lot of the Supreme Food Market in University City today, "I read your blog!"...
May 27, 2009
This past weekend we visited my grandmother in Hunter, NY, and while up there we also got to see my cousin Sarah's new baby, who was born on Thursday. The Beaner had a peek, didn't think she looked very interesting, and went to play outside....
April 6, 2009
OK, so obviously I'm not able to blog daily right now. That's no reason not to continue the NaBloPoMo theme of Growing (Up), or to blog as often as possible. So, without further ado, two things that the Beaner can do now that he's almost four and a half:...
March 23, 2009
The Beaner, upon waking up and climbing the stairs to the loft sleeping area of our bi-level hotel room: "I have good news."...
March 18, 2009
The Beaner has his own film camera (a cheap-o model purchased at Walgreens for about $8, which includes a free film refill every time we bring in a roll from it for developing), and I've given him disposables to shoot with, too. As for digital cameras, he has two or three toy ones, all of which produce images of perfectly horrible quality (the ones I'm able to download off of, anyway; one refuses to connect to any computer we...
February 12, 2009
The other day we had a childcare emergency—nothing huge in the grand scheme of things, but enough to disrupt our regular schedule. I happened to be working at Indy Hall that day, so there was a bit of frantic communication from me to the nanny to Al to me via phone and text. In the process, a couple wires got crossed, and I ended up leaving Indy Hall for home when backup childcare had already been arranged, and... yadda...
February 10, 2009
This morning the Beaner came down about an hour earlier than he should have (I heard Al say, "your clock's not green yet"), but Al let him into our bed anyway. Both of us were too tired to force him back upstairs, and doing so would have meant waking up fully....
January 30, 2009
I don't think I've written here since my role changed at work (to something I wanted to do, that I think I'm naturally good at, and that was needed on the team). Since the change I've been busy with meetings and planning and process (and a trip to California for all three), and I can honestly say I've been having a great time. I just haven't made much time for blogging, as evidenced by the "Yesterday vs. 2008" Blog...
January 7, 2009
Just wanted to record something—I'm not sure whether to call it a development, so I'll just call it something that happened this week. On Monday morning, instead of coming down between 7 and 7:30, hopping in bed with us, and demanding a pillow, the Beaner bopped into the room at roughly 7:35 fully dressed....
December 11, 2008
The last two mornings I've had to go up and wake the Beaner after 8:15am and then rush to get him ready for school. This morning was more normal in the sense that he came into our room at about the same time my alarm was telling me to get up and exercise, you lazy dork. I didn't hear him come in (probably because I was busy fumbling for the alarm), but a minute or two later I heard...
November 28, 2008
Al and I are visiting the new Please Touch Museum for the first time today. The Beaner's been here several times already and loves it. I'm really enjoying it, too; where the old place was almost claustrophobic, the new space has large rooms and soaring ceilings. It reminds me of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, which we loved when we visited last Christmas....
November 23, 2008
The Beaner's birthday isn't until next Sunday, but as that is Thanksgiving weekend, we had his birthday party today. It was a joint party with a classmate whose birthday is on Thanksgiving Day; we figured that since both kids wanted to have their parties at the same place, and they'd invite all the same classmates plus maybe one or two out-of-school friends, we might as well kill two birds with one stone....
November 10, 2008
I've been informed that the kid clinginess I've been experiencing is not because a new phase is approaching—it's because I don't spend enough time with my son. Apparently I don't snuggle him enough, play with him enough, talk to him enough. Good to know!...
November 9, 2008
The Beaner has been such a gem since school started at the beginning of September. I've given credit to the Feingold Diet for this golden behavior, but I probably haven't given enough credit to his new nanny, Shawna. They have a great relationship, and he really seems to be blooming under her care—not least because the two of them talk to each other all day long. It sounds simple and obvious, but she talks to him. She doesn't scold...
November 6, 2008
On Monday morning, Al and I went to the Beaner's school for our first classroom observation of the year. As parents of a returning student, this year we would be allowed into the classroom after 10 minutes. (Last year we spent all 20 minutes looking in through the window.) We lucked out for the outside-the-classroom part: The Beaner was in the front of the classroom, looking for a map....
November 2, 2008
At 2:40am on Saturday morning, Al and I were awoken by about six twentysomethings chatting loudly outside our hotel room. Despite two frustrated SHHHes from me and a "dudes! I'm serious! My kid is asleep in here," they didn't shut up until they'd all piled into the room across the hall and gone to sleep themselves....
October 30, 2008
I know I moaned and groaned and gnashed my teeth and pulled my hair when we were going through that awful teenage phase with the Beaner a while back, but have I mentioned that he's been an absolute gem lately? I think I did, because I remember mentioning that I thought his change in diet was a factor. That, and the normal ups and downs of the human development process. In short, things are good....
October 10, 2008
It appears that my son has inherited my love of hats. It was his idea to stop in Hats in the Belfry on South Street last weekend, where he tried on a variety of styles. So did I, though I didn't find any that I liked as well as the one I was wearing....
September 29, 2008
<riiiing>...
August 26, 2008
The other night the Beaner and I were driving to Costco, and I was struck by how quiet and well-behaved he was there in the back seat. He didn't beg to watch DVDs, he didn't ask me to turn of NPR and let him listen to his music, he didn't drive me nuts with questions while I was trying to make a difficult merge. It was so pleasantly quiet that I almost felt guilty....
August 21, 2008
Wanted to give a quick Beaner update before this stage passes completely, and I don't remember it....
July 16, 2008
While on the plane to SF today, I was reading a PDF regarding a work project on my iPhone and found myself needing to make some notes. I pulled out my Moleskine notebook to jot my questions down, but I was distracted by the Polaroid of Val and the Beaner I'd taken in Maine and stuck in the book but never retrieved. I was further distracted by all the Beaner-related conversations/stories I'd recorded in there since last September. The...
July 13, 2008
Last night, after a long discussion and a negotiation inspired by Al's experience living in a frat house, Al and I made a list of all the household chores that need to get done on a daily or weekly basis, and we divided them up between us....
July 12, 2008
Things have mostly been going swimmingly on the parenting front lately, except for one recent development: A marked propensity for telling us what to do—and refusing to do what we ask or tell him to do....
July 11, 2008
One resolution down, more to go:...
July 8, 2008
On his own and apropos of nothing we could discern at the time, the Beaner asked me to define "rude" today. Yesterday, he asked me to define "non-fiction." The latter was relatively easy; the former, not so much. I need to get my explanations to fit within a 3.5 year-old's attention span, which is to say, 15 words or fewer. There's nothing so frustrating as finally hitting on the perfect explanation and realizing that you lost your audience 5...
June 16, 2008
Between Beaner duty in the mornings, long working hours, and other family obligations, as well as upcoming vacation plans, June's obviously going to be a light posting month. Thus every post I do squeeze in will likely have some variation on the word "random" in its title. Sorry about the spewing, but I want to record a few observations and happenings before I forget them. As I've mentioned many times before, this blog is the best resource I have...
June 10, 2008
I'm on Day 2 of 7 where I'm responsible for watching the Beaner from 8:30-11:15am, then working from 11:15 to 7:15 as well as for my usual hour or so after he goes to bed. In order to fit my trip to the gym in and get back and showered before Al has to leave for work, I have to get up at 6:30am....
May 28, 2008
I finally got the roll of film that was in the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim back, and thus I was able to finish off my My Every Day set on Flickr last night. I then stayed up past midnight clicking through each and every photograph in the set, reading the copious notes under some of them, wondering at the choices I made to represent certain days when there were 20 or 30 or 100 photos to choose from,...
May 23, 2008
I have a bunch of Beaner anecdotes to relate, but I'm blogging from my iPhone, so this will be brief. We seem to have moved from the stage where the Beaner was immune to my "hey Beaner" prompts to get him to look at the camera, to one where he's so hyper-aware that he's being photographed that he'll freeze a pose to make sure I get the shot....
May 19, 2008
Beaner: Let's play hockey!...
May 18, 2008
May 14, 2008
My cheerful, encouraging note to the Beaner this morning (I left for the gym before he woke up) did not have its intended effect. He was sent to the hall again today, and "doesn't remember" why....
May 13, 2008
The Beaner has a habit of focusing on the negative. We can have had a fabulous day together, and he'll focus on the toy I just told him he couldn't buy, or the fact that he has to take a bath when he doesn't waaaaaaaaaaant to. Usually I try to snap him out of the downward spiral by building a ladder out of all the good things that happened that day. (It's sort of a variation on the "mommy...
May 12, 2008
One summer Sunday when I was about 8 years old, our friends Anne and Peggy and their two kids, Lee and John, came over to our house. I'm not sure what the adults were doing—sitting in the house or the yard talking or cooking, probably—but the four of us kids were playing outside. We had a GMC pickup truck with a cap on the back at the time, and my father had tricked it out with carpet remnants and...
May 11, 2008
Short summary of today: golf lessons for Cousin H and the Beaner (the latter's first, and he loved it), a shopping walk for me (woo, three pairs of workout pants from Gap Body!) that ended in a migraine (OW!), a lunch of leftovers from Graciela's (yum!), a nap for Al (so he'd be awake enough to drive home) and for me (so the icepicks in my left eyebrow would relent a bit), a tantrum by the Beaner when we...
May 10, 2008
I'm writing this longhand (because blogging from my iPhone when the post is longer than a Twitter entry is tedious) and will post it when I get home tomorrow night. We're in NYC visiting Al's brother's family for the weekend; Cousin H's school fair was this afternoon, and we drove up to join in the fun. The roasted corn was tasty, the fishing in the Little Mermaid blow-up pool was fruitful, the cupcake decorating was a sparkly, sugary hit,...
May 9, 2008
Today was Grandparents & Special Friends Day at the Beaner's school, so both Al's parents and my mom drove up to attend (my dad had to work). It's also my mom's 61st birthday today, so after school the Beaner, Grandma, and I walked/bused to More Than Just Ice Cream for a birthday lunch....
May 8, 2008
We had a rough lunchtime today. Well, lunchtime itself wasn't rough—we played at the playground, sat down to eat together, shared some yogurt, read a book twice. It was when I got up to go back to work that things got bad....
May 7, 2008
A sure sign that we're actually paying more attention to the Beaner now: I'm getting irritated when someone interrupts my lunchtime conversations with the Beaner, and Al's getting irritated when I try to talk to him while he's having playtime with the Beaner. Ah yes, I remember this!...
May 6, 2008
I mentioned a few days ago that we were trying to rearrange our daily schedule, and that I intended to get input from the Beaner about it. In the end there was really only one option that worked, so he was not consulted. He was informed, however, and though it wouldn't be his choice—his choice would be for Mommy to do everything... except when he wants Daddy to do it—he's adapted pretty well. Al's now in charge of the...
May 4, 2008
Despite my reluctance to discuss the details of the current parenting nightmare, I've apparently been clear enough here that the Beaner's been on a Bad Behavior tear lately that it prompted my sister to call and offer her sympathies today. And with that opening I proceeded to write four paragraphs on the Beaner's behavior... only to decide against publishing them. It's too complicated, with too many threads leading into dangerous places, to talk about in detail publicly. Instead I...
May 2, 2008
Today's post will be a short one, mainly to report that after two atrocious days at school (where sending the Beaner home was considered but rejected because it would be seen as a reward, because Mommy works at home) and a slightly longer stretch of disrespect, defiance, distraction, and disruptive behavior at home, the Beaner had a better day today. As Mrs. Bennett once said in reference to Mr. Collins' marriage, "I only hope it will last." Unlike Mrs....
April 10, 2008
The longer I wait to write about these random conversations I've had with the Beaner recently, the more likely I am to forget every damn one of them. Not even the notes I've been leaving myself on napkins and in my iPhone will help; "discussion of whether Thom Yorke is a Radiohead" is enough to make me recall him asking, but I can't remember the actual discussion, which is a shame....
April 9, 2008
I have two posts I've been writing in my head for a while now; hopefully last night's adventures in sleeplessness haven't driven them out. For a synopsis of the adventures, I offer my Twitter stream and one of the grainy photos I took out my window:...
March 18, 2008
On Sunday morning we walked (or rather, I walked, and the Beaner rode his new bike*) to Trader Joe's to buy flour and buttermilk for pancakes, and on the way we talked about having tea with breakfast. I suggested that we each have our own teapots. "But I don't like tea," said the Beaner....
March 12, 2008
After a couple (three? four?) months of going to bed on his own after a story or two, the Beaner in the last few weeks has decided that he DOES NOT WANT TO BE ALONE. (I could swear I'd mentioned this in a post before, but I can't find any evidence of it; maybe I just told all my friends?) The story I thought I'd told happened several weeks ago, when I discovered that the Beaner knew what manipulation...
March 11, 2008
We've noticed that the Beaner has started singing on key, and he's also got a bit of rhythm. Not sure if it's just the fact that he's getting older, or whether the music and movement classes he has at school each week (movement twice a week, music once) are helping, but he'll sometimes catch a tune playing in a store or at the house and spontaneously break it down....
I have a gazillion little videos of the Beaner doing his thing (whatever that thing happens to be at any given moment), and I'm waaaay behind in uploading them all. (I also have a bunch of hockey videos to upload, but that's a topic for the other blog. Here's a Beaner video from February 20, the day he and Aura baked pumpkin chocolate muffins together (enter the name of this site as the password to view):...
February 29, 2008
Sorry for the loooong silence. Busy busy busy, sick, busy, hockey, busy, snow, blah blah blah. Some Beaner things I've jotted down over the past week or so:...
February 21, 2008
The Beaner approaches with his sneakers on his hands, clapping them together....
February 20, 2008
Overheard from downstairs, while I was making lunch for myself in the kitchen (yes, it's 3:27pm, I know):...
January 29, 2008
We've been telling the Beaner that when he goes to the dentist, he'll get a new toothbrush (because that's what happens when we go :-). He didn't seem particularly afraid to go—he was calmer about it than I was, actually—and whenever we mentioned it, he'd say, "and I'll get a new toothbrush?"...
January 22, 2008
The Beaner is downstairs wailing because he wanted me to stay down there with him, and instead I climbed the stairs to my office after feeding him lunch. I have a meeting in 7 minutes for which I have not prepared because I couldn't get him off me....
January 18, 2008
I read the whole Helping a Toddler Do it Himself post from the beginning today (something I didn't do before posting it—a mistake, given that it took me over a week to write the thing), and I realized I'd left out the section on Helping with Chores. I added that today, in case you're interested....
January 17, 2008
One morning a couple months ago we went to a parent thing at the Beaner's Montessori school (was it a new parent orientation? I can't remember for sure, but that sounds right), and the subject of independence came up. We started talking about ways that our 3 year-olds could do things for themselves around the house. A couple parents expressed disbelief that their about-to-turn-3s or just-turned-3s could make their own beds or get their own breakfast; others shared some...
January 15, 2008
Hey, want to see me making a total fool out of myself? I knew you would! Al, the Beaner, and I played several games of Dora on Sunday morning, with the Beaner assigning us various roles ("ok, this time I will be Swiper and Daddy will be Dora and Mommy will be Boots") and the three of us acting out Beaner-defined adventures. Here's me in the role of Dora, after Swiper (the Beaner) stole my toy Lexus that Boots...
I wrote this down at the time because I thought it was funny, but because I only wrote keywords and not the whole conversation, I can't remember how it came about. Let's just pick up where it gets odd, shall we?...
I've been working on a long post for days now, and it's holding back a flood of smaller items. I've decided just to let loose with the small stuff, and get the longer post up as soon as I can....
January 11, 2008
I want to stress up front that what follows is NOT the description of a dream, but rather a real (if surreal) conversation the Beaner and I had at lunch today. I remember thinking in the middle of it that I wished I had a tape recorder, because there was no way I was going to remember EVERYTHING he said and how he said it, and it seemed really important to remember. This is the gist of what I...
January 7, 2008
Pittsburgh might seem an odd place to visit over the holidays, especially given that we have no family there, but visit Pittsburgh (or Pittspoop, as the Beaner calls it, not because he didn't like it, but because "poop" is the funniest word in the world to him right now) is exactly what we did for the last weekend of our holiday break. Why? Well, several reasons: (1) Al's very good friends Craig & Nico and their three kids were...
January 4, 2008
The Beaner and I played a little game at lunch today. He's forever picking up pasta, straws, crayons, pencils, etc.—anything relatively straight—and making capital Ts out of them. Today when he did it with his flaxseed fusili, he said, "T is for Tamago." I got out some paper and started by saying, "A is for...". He filled in the blanks....
January 3, 2008
Lori's I Hab A Code entry from last week (which I just read a few minutes ago; I'm so far behind on my RSS feed reading that I'm considering clicking the Mark All as Read button and starting fresh) reminded me of this exchange, which happened, now that I think of it, on the same day Lori wrote her entry....
January 2, 2008
By Al, who shot this video. I password-protected the clip it to keep the average ninny from viewing it on Vimeo; if you see a password field next to the lock icon below, enter the name of this blog into it. If you see a light blue/white play button, just click that. And if you see the video itself... well, you know what to do....
December 19, 2007
Beaner, to me: "Where's my macaroni and cheese? Where's my corn?" Me, to Al: "All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."...
December 14, 2007
The Beaner woke up with a giant zit in the middle of his chin the other morning, most likely from not wiping his face after dribbling toothpaste (he likes to look at himself in the mirror while spitting, which is not conducive to getting the spit into the sink) and then sleeping on a somewhat scratchy pillowcase. (He loves the design of the case, but actually complained about the scratchiness after acquiring the zit. Why they make kids' sheets...
November 13, 2007
I found this New York Times article, Bad Behavior Does Not Doom Pupils, Studies Say, interesting, not so much because of any implications it might have for the Beaner's school career, but because it highlighted something I'd already been thinking about: emotional maturity. The quote that stuck out for me:...
November 6, 2007
I mentioned in an earlier post that my friend Kristin came to visit a couple weeks ago, and she brought the Beaner a bunch of cool! presents! One was a motorized squid that Beaner could not *wait* to try in the tub. (He won't take a bath without it now, actually.) I shot this video the night the gift was given, but my lazy ass just uploaded it tonight. I offer it for your amusement, though you may not...
November 4, 2007
Let's not talk about how I forgot to blog yesterday, shall we?...
November 1, 2007
Y'all, he did it. He went to sleep on his own....
I was trying to think of a name for this post before I started writing it (sometimes a good idea, but just as often it's better to wait until I'm finished), and Fat Boy Slim's "Won't Talk About It" is playing on my iPod at the moment, so there you go. I was worried about signing up for NaBloPoMo this year, especially with my full plate and the still-trying-to-keep-myself-on-the-upward-spiral situation (I've been mostly successful in, if not exactly staying...
I was planning to write a basically cheery post about how the Beaner woke up happy this morning, as is usual after a meltdown the previous evening, but then his teacher called. We knew he'd been taken out of the classroom a few weeks ago because he was having "body control issues," but when Al asked about it, no details were given. When his teacher called to ask that we reinforce this at home, I said that I needed...
October 31, 2007
Oy, we just had a royal meltdown here. Over snuggling....
October 29, 2007
For those of you wondering what happened at Target on Friday—did we get party hats? did we get presents?—an update. It was not necessary to buy presents at Target because when I came down to the kitchen at the (early) end of my workday, I found a bag from the AT&T store sitting on the counter. I tracked Al down and said, "did you buy me an iPhone?" He smiled and nodded....
October 26, 2007
Last night when I put the Beaner to bed I told him that tomorrow would be my birthday, so when I came in to wake him up in the morning, I'd say, "good morning, sunshine!", and he could reply, "happy birthday, Mommy!"...
We are all doing better over here. The Beaner is adjusting to the school routine, I am coping better, and Al isn't having to work such crazy hours anymore. I think we're all feeding off each other; as one of us improves, so do the others. It's a nice trend, spiraling upward rather than downward....
September 18, 2007
I still need to go around the house collecting all the random bits of paper and notebooks on/in which I've scribbled the hilarious things the Beaner's said lately, but one that I haven't written down yet just occurred to me thanks to Julie's post about Schmooieisms....
September 11, 2007
Yes, yes, I know, I haven't written the school post yet. I'm totally overloaded with writing a spec for my feature and two presentations for MAX, plus life in general. So why am I pausing to write this post now? Because it'll be quick (unlike the school post, which requires some more organized thinking), because I haven't written here in a long time, because I know you're all dying for some Beaner news, and because he's been dishing up...
September 5, 2007
On Monday morning, before leaving Lancaster (yeah, I know, I never announced that we'd be spending Labor Day weekend in Lancaster, PA, but the evidence that we did is on Flickr), I requested to be dropped off at the Borders Outlet for a while. I was still in a "need soothing" mode, and a wander around a bookstore with my Favorite Early Music playlist seemed like just the ticket. It wasn't, really; outlets aren't the same as real bookstores...
August 27, 2007
A colleague asked me the other day, "how did we find stuff without the web? Seriously, I can't remember." I couldn't remember either. We're so used to Googling and just typing in whateverbusinessname.com and even checking the weather forecast and our bank balances online, it's hard to remember how we did those things before. I do remember using the phone for the last two, and the yellow pages for the first two, but the best I could come up...
August 26, 2007
Just a quick post tonight (because school starts on Wednesday, and we're preparing for the new routine—which involves an earlier start in the morning—by going to bed a bit earlier, and according to my schedule I should have been in bed two minutes ago) to say that we went to Dutch Wonderland this weekend, and I've posted photos of the outing to Flickr....
August 21, 2007
Tonight my best friend (and the Beaner's godmom) is coming to visit. We've been talking about Godmommy Sandy coming for a while, so the Beaner knows exactly whom we're picking up at the airport tonight. He's just not so clear on where she's flying in from....
August 19, 2007
I got out the camera after the Beaner played a marvelous little ditty on his harmonica, but of course once he saw the camera he was more interested in watching the videos I took than playing another song, and so he only tooted out a few half-hearted notes. After several attempts to capture the harmonica playing I said I was giving up...at which point he want back into play mode and did this, hardly aware that the camera was...
August 16, 2007
I was reading through my archives the other day (invariably I go to look something up, and I end up lost in there, reading sequentially, until the phone or an IM ping bring me back to reality), and I happened upon this post from January 2005, in which I described a dream:...
It'll become obvious in a minute, when your RSS feeds get flodded with posts, that I'm in the process of clearing out the blogjam I'd intended to clear out last week. Yay for moving Tuesday's drama off the front page with more frivolous things!...
The Beaner's been saying "don't forget for me!" a lot lately. He says it whenever we leave the room, go up or down the stairs, or even turn away from him. He wants to be included, dammit! Don't forget for him! Other variations: "Can I come wit you?" (yeah, it seems he's getting a bit of the Philly accent :-/) and "Can I come TOO?" The answer is usually sure... as long as we don't move at this weird...
August 14, 2007
My company has an awesome benefit that started this year: Backup Care. We get 100 hours a year of home or child-center care at highly subsidized rates from local providers, for use when our regular child-care arrangements fall through for whatever reason (a nanny's vacation, a holiday week at the pre-school, etc.). I've used it before when Jess was away and Aura wasn't available (or vice versa), and Al needed it when I was in Germany in June and...
August 7, 2007
I think I mentioned somewhere (though I can't find it now, so maybe it was just verbally to Al or a friend) that I was dying to see what the Beaner would draw next, but that I didn't want to influence him at all by suggesting that he draw. I especially didn't want to say, "let's draw" and then have him copy what I did; I wanted to see what he'd come up with on his own....
Here I am with a long list of things to blog about, and Lori just reminded me of another one by commenting on the Flickr photo below....
July 30, 2007
The Beaner drew this in his handy-dandy notebook (a small, square notepad he picked out at Staples, rather than an official Blues Clues branded one) last night:...
This photo makes me so happy:...
July 28, 2007
Al just remarked how funny it was that our first baby gate is likely to be our last. He's right: Since he took the gate off the doorway to the Beaner's bedroom (we've been leaving it open for a couple months now at least) this morning, the gates around the staircase in the living room and entrance hall were dismantled months ago, and I remember putting the basement playroom gate out for freecycling when it was snowing, we're now...
July 15, 2007
Conversation tonight with the Beaner, as I was putting lotion on him:...
July 2, 2007
After a long layover in a smoky, under-construction terminal at Frankfurt airport and a 90-minute flight delay, I finally made it back to Philadelphia on Friday evening. I arrived home to a startled Beaner, who gasped, "Mommy!" when he saw me, but then froze on the spot. I scooped him up and snuggled him, so he'd realize it was really me....
June 14, 2007
June 10, 2007
I took several photos of the Beaner yesterday, and I didn't end up posting a couple of them because although they were cute, they weren't particularly flattering. He looked kind of... chubby. Is this awful of me?...
June 6, 2007
Until we find swimming lessons (thanks, Marisa, for the tip about the Christian Street Y!) or a regular pool to visit (does anyone have information regarding rumors I've heard that some Center City hotels offer pool memberships to locals?), there's always the plastic baby pool that we picked up at Babies 'R Us for like five bucks. It was a total impulse buy; we sort of just shrugged and figured if the Beaner used it once, we'd have gotten...
June 5, 2007
I pretty much abandoned the Beaner updates around the time said Beaner turned two, and I've kinda regretted that. I've said it before, but this blog, in addition to being my place to rant about random political/news/media issues and rhapsodize about food, is our baby book. It's where most of the milestones have been recorded—with context that's often missing in an actual baby book. Partly I stopped with the updates because between work, hockey, and the actual raising of...
I've been waffling about posting the videos Al took of me and the Beaner in the hotel pool because in most of them I am so obviously giving Al a horrified look..and then giving my body an even more horrified once-over. I seem to be saying, entirely with my eyes/facial expression, "Jesus Christ, I'm in my bathing suit!" and "good lord, is anything incriminating hanging out?" The swimming videos are worse than the jumping-in-the-pool video, so I'll start with...
June 3, 2007
Al likes to give the Beaner some room to roam, but he has a mental line that causes him to call, "that's too far, buddy!" I think it seems gentler to him to say "that's too far" than to shout, "{Beaner}, come back here!" as many a panicked parent would (and I sometimes) do....
June 2, 2007
Between hockey and the Beaner, I have about a gazillion videos (and some audio, too) to share with y'all. Most of Beaner videos are a few weeks old, though if I get completely caught up, I'll have some from today to post, too. This first one is from the weekend that my mom and dad came up; my dad left on Sunday, but my mom stayed until Tuesday morning so she could fill in for a vacationing nanny on...
May 31, 2007
We're back from an orientation at the preschool the Beaner will be attending in the fall, where we learned about the drop off and pick up procedures, what goes on during the school day, some the Montessori materials, that parents are expected to participate on the board and on committees, etc. I'm sitting at my desk, attempting to stuff an egg salad sandwich past the world's largest canker sore (thanks to a savagely bitten lip), and Al is going...
May 30, 2007
The Beaner has always been what people call "a good eater". We don't have standoffs over what he will and won't eat, he's never gone on an all-white diet or a hunger strike, and the biggest food problem we've ever had is running out of his favorite fruit of the moment. (He doesn't seem to understand that we're not just denying him when we say "there is no more mango, honey.") He's a healthy, strapping, active boy who's at...
May 9, 2007
Interesting article in the NYT today: Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus. Totally brought back memories of my own pregnancy, and the discussions preceeding it....
April 28, 2007
Apologies in advance to anyone visiting on a slow connection; the video that follows is 5.2MB and may take a while to download. It features my very cute 29 month-old, however, so I firmly believe the wait is worth it. Really....
April 27, 2007
I mentioned in one of my bathroom progress updates yesterday that the Beaner has a teddy bear, and that he thinks of it as a her. My sister and my niece got the bear for the Beaner for his first birthday, but he didn't show much interest in it until his second. Anyway, it's a Build-A-Bear, so naturally my sister and my niece got a couple outfits for it (that's the whole point of Build-A-Bears—the clothing and accessories that...
April 11, 2007
I've been complaining about the Beaner's shaggy mop for a while now; my last attempt to cut it just made him look like a cross between Keith Richards and an early Beatle, and it didn't do much to get rid of most of the bulk. Several times I threatened to whip out my Wahl clippers if Al didn't take him to a proper barber, and over the weekend I actually got the box of clippers (I have two) and...
April 9, 2007
I feel like I've been slacking off on the parenthood posts lately. I've abandoned the monthly updates—which is probably a bad thing, as they help remind me when things happen and how we got where we are now—and I don't blog most of the funny stuff the Beaner does these days. To assuage this guilt, here's something that happened tonight:...
March 25, 2007
While Al and I were in the kitchen cleaning out the refrigerator in preparation for Trash Night, the Beaner turned to his toy drawer to amuse himself. He pulled out his little Fisher-Price phone, held the receiver to his ear, and said, "Hi! My name is {Beaner}. What's your name?" Next he held the receiver out to me and said, "Do you wanna talk to the li'l boy?"...
March 22, 2007
Two unrelated items:...
March 20, 2007
When we took the Beaner in for his two-year checkup last Friday, our pediatrician was half giddy, half amazed as his verbal and cognitive abilities. I tend to discount any assertions that the Beaner is smart, precocious, advanced for his age, etc. because really, who cares? If he's any of those things, the only reason to be glad of it is because it makes him a better conversationalist and more fun to be around on a daily basis. It's...
March 15, 2007
While we were waiting to see the doctor on Tuesday evening, I taught the Beaner how to chew gum. I did it mainly because his breath smelled so foul I couldn't stand it anymore (something I need to ask the dentist about when I finally get around to making his first dental appointment). Although we brush his teeth at least once a day (and sometimes twice), we're obviously missing something, and I figured maybe some sugarless gum would have...
March 14, 2007
Note: Excuse the flurry of out-of-order postings and whatnot. I've got a bunch of half-written posts on a variety of topics that I'm trying to finish up, and some have more blocking issues associated with them than others. There will also be more photos from Hawaii posted later today (or tomorrow, given that I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, and I'm barely functional at the moment)....
5:45pm pediatrician's appointments that end up encroaching on bedtime, that's what. Especially when you wait 90 minutes to see a doctor who pooh-poohs everything you say, does nothing except tell you to do what you're already doing, and then makes you wait another 15 minutes for your paperwork. I'm convinced that last wait would have been longer if the Beaner and I hadn't exited the exam room and plunked ourselves in front of the nurses' station, in full view...
February 21, 2007
The Beaner is a total ham who, like all kids his age, is very aware of the camera. He's particularly fond of the Finepix and its large LCD screen (the Canon 10D is a little less interesting because there's nothing to see until after you're done shooting—which suits me just fine), and I think he appreciates the Finepix most for the same reason we do: it takes great little videos....
February 18, 2007
You know the pilot episode of Lucky Louie that Mrs. Kennedy wrote about (transcribed, actually) way back in July? We saw that episode (or at least that opening scene) when it aired, and neither Al nor I found it funny. We found it annoying. Well, guess what? THAT SCENE IS NOW MY LIFE. The Beaner's favorite phrase used to be "what happened?", which could be annoying enough when repeated. But while "what happened" is still in rotation, it's been...
February 15, 2007
Just wanted to let anyone who was holding their breath in suspense know that the Beaner was accepted at the Montessori school for this fall. We are still trying to figure out all the things we need to commit to/pay for/sign in the coming days, but we're thrilled. I really think he's going to love it....
Al and I cannot stand the local news. We do not want to hear the gory details of all the murders, rapes, drive-by shootings, hit-and-run accidents, and drug transactions that afflict Philadelphia. We hate the hyperbole, the non-news, the on-location reporting when being on-location adds absolutely nothing (look, here's a shot of the street where the water main broke! you can't see anything now, but a few hours ago there was water here!)....
February 9, 2007
Overheard from downstairs just this moment: "I found my black Jeep, Aura!"...
It was not a fluke. The Beaner fell asleep at 9pm last night, slept until about 8:20 this morning, and upon waking, got out of bed and waited patiently at the gate until his dad heard the metallic clunk of his little Jeep against the bars and went to get him....
February 8, 2007
The Beaner had his interview at the Montessori school around the corner on Saturday, and I have now gone from "whatever happens, happens" to "god, I hope he gets in." He so obviously LOVED it that I think I'll be disappointed if they don't take him. The good news is that I got a book on homeschooling Montessori-style and am in the process of formulating a backup plan for schooling him in the mornings before starting work should the...
February 5, 2007
Did y'all know that Daylight Saving Time is being extended this year? Instead of starting on the first Sunday in April and ending on the last Sunday in October, it'll now start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. In other words, DST will start on March 11 this year instead of April 1, and it'll end on November 4 instead of October 28....
February 1, 2007
Have I mentioned that I'm in the process of replacing my entire stock of tops (shirts, sweaters, etc.) with offerings from Gap Tall? I'm doing this because now that I have three shirts whose sleeves reach my wrists, I WANT MORE. Suddenly all the shirts and sweaters that have always been a little short in the torso and the arms look even more ridiculous than they did before, because now I know that there's an alternative....
The Beaner turned 26 months old yesterday. I celebrated by giving him a haircut and putting him in underpants. He spent all day Saturday in underpants with only one notable accident, and after staying dry in his Pull-Up all day Sunday (when we went on a 3-hour car trip) and Monday, I decided he was ready for daily underpants. As on Saturday we had one notable accident, but other than that it went *really* well. We still have a...
January 25, 2007
In my last big boy bed update, I mentioned that the Beaner woke up screaming on nights two and three, and that Al was the designated soother for night four. Well, of course the Beaner didn't wake up on night four... and, in fact, has slept through every night since then until Monday....
January 22, 2007
Since I haven't been particularly good about posting developmental milestones in the past couple months, I wanted to write about a couple small things now, before I forget....
January 18, 2007
I read the blogs of other parents on a daily basis, and despite knowing the favorite foods, least favorite activities, sleep patterns, and even the bathroom habits of many of the children of those parents (not to mention the parents themselves), I realized the other day that with a couple exceptions, I know very little about how these parents organize their days. Are they stay-at-home moms or dads? Do they go to offices during the day, every day? Only...
January 11, 2007
I didn't write a 25-month update on December 30th mainly because I hadn't written the 24-month/2-year update yet, and I haven't written the 24-month/2-year update for a few reasons. One is that privacy thing I first brought up back in September. Another is that his 24th month happened to coincide with NaBloPoMo, so I feel like that month got covered better than most others anyway. But for all I said here, there's so much more I didn't say, and...
January 10, 2007
Remember how I said that the Beaner slept through the night in his big boy bed the first night? Not so the second or the third night. On Tuesday morning he woke up at 4:50am, crying from his bed. I proposed that we let him cry for a few minutes and see if he went back to sleep, but alas, it was not to be. I went up there and got into the bed with him....
January 8, 2007
We've been talking about moving the Beaner out of his crib and into a bed for a while now, but this weekend we finally did it. After many discussions about whether to buy him a twin mattress and just try that out on the floor, or whether to just use the crib mattress for a little while to see how it went, on Friday or Saturday night I came up with a better idea: Why not take the relatively unused...
January 6, 2007
When we were in Napa in the fall, we went to a great little toy store downtown to see if we could find something for Tony and Maria's son P and John and Kathy's son S. I asked about Huggy Buggies, the squishy little cars that Craig and Nico introduced us to long before we had a kid, that we'd bought for the Beaner's cousin when he was little, and which the Beaner now owns thanks to hand-me-downs. I...
January 5, 2007
Al and I noticed last week that The Beaner has started using the past tense properly. I'm never sure whether we notice it the first time he does it, or whether he's been doing it for a while and it finally sinks in with us, but in any case, he's now saying things like "I already ate," or "I saw grandma yesterday."...
December 22, 2006
I think I've mentioned here before that The Beaner's favorite Christmas tune is Sleigh Ride (also known as "look at the show"), though he's also fond of Jingle Bells ("jingle all da way"), Let It Snow ("weather outside"), and The Little Drummer Boy ("parum pa pa pum"). He's been singing a few selections at the top of his lungs lately; listening to a song 30 or 40 times in a row is apparently paying off when it comes to...
December 19, 2006
I have a reputation in this household for always being right. Not in a "because I said so" way; no, it's more that I either know what I'm talking about or guess accurately most of the time. This reputation was shot all to hell (at least in my own mind) when we went shopping on Saturday, and The Beaner had to poop....
December 12, 2006
I can't believe how fast I slipped back into my usual mode of having tons of things to write about, but not making the time to write about them. (Notice I said making the time and not having the time; I obviously made the time in November.) Before the backlog becomes crushing and I stop writing for weeks on end (er, too late), I wanted to write about three really great evenings we had last week. When you read...
December 1, 2006
I turned in The Beaner's application to the nearby Montessori pre-school yesterday. (Long story about odds of him getting in; I'll probably explain in more detail at a later date.) Two of the questions on the Child Profile were "At what age did your child start speaking?", and the follow-up "Does s/he speak in 2-3 word phrases or sentences?"...
November 28, 2006
Is it a good thing or a bad thing for Clingy Toddler Syndrome that I work at home? On the one hand, it means that The Beaner has access to me if he really needs it. On the other hand, when he needs it often, it totally interferes with my work. And then there are moments like right now, when he really needs my attention, and I need to be in a meeting. Thank god I have a headset...
November 27, 2006
Yesterday The Beaner and I had a lovely day together. We walked (or rather, I walked, he rode in the black stroller) to the bakery to buy some bread, and then we trekked down to the Italian Market to buy some more panettone cups from Fantes (I need them for muffin baking). On the way back we stopped at Seeger playground and played on the little toddler gym for a while (I'll post video tomorrow if any of the...
November 25, 2006
We celebrated The Beaner's 2nd birthday with both sets of grandparents today. I'll have photos to post tomorrow (both of the cake eating/present opening and of other events of the past few days—I brought my work computer with me to my in-laws', and I can't download photos with it). In the meantime, I'll mention three things that occurred to me today:...
November 24, 2006
It's 8:18pm, and I'm exhausted. I had a shower at 6:30pm and was ready for bed shortly after that, but I still had The Beaner to wrangle. (He went down about 15 minutes ago, the earliest he's gone to bed in weeks.) I've been Beaner wrangling all day, actually, though it wasn't quite as bad as it sounds. I think the fact that it's Black Friday had primed me for going with the flow; my expectations of getting anything...
November 23, 2006
3:28pm We're at my in-laws' house in Vienna, Virginia. The Safeway "Thanksgiving in a box" turkey is in the oven (and thank god it was fully cooked before it went in, because when we arrived it had been "thawing" on the kitchen counter for two hours, despite the fact that it hadn't been frozen when it was picked up this morning). We brought some yukon gold potatoes, some wild-caught king salmon, a bunch of asparagus, various vegetarian stuffings and...
November 20, 2006
I'm going to write about this because it's bothering me, and because I want to record that it's bothering me. I'm turning off comments; feel free to judge me, but please don't let me know you're judging me. I'm also really not looking for support; I think telling me "it's OK, you're not a bad parent" would almost be worse than telling me how awful I am. So for now, please don't e-mail me about this or comment on...
November 17, 2006
Last night Al and The Beaner were playing one of The Beaner's favorite bathtime games: He hands a cup of bathwater to Al, who pretends to drink it and get grossed out. This game developed because The Beaner noticed he got a reaction—namely, ewwww!—when he drank the bathwater, and suggesting that he give the water to Daddy keeps The Beaner from drinking it himself....
November 13, 2006
The Beaner is not a clingy kid. There are times when he doesn't want me or Al to leave him (for example, when I go to play hockey; for some reason, he loves to tell me and everyone else "Mommy play hockey!", but he doesn't actually want me to leave the house to play hockey), and he's been known to melt down if I try to run an errand in the car without him, but when I go up...
November 11, 2006
After my hockey game tonight I came home to collect The Beaner and then walked with him down to the Cherry Street Tavern to have a beer with my teammates. We got there before anyone else, so we went across the street to Coxe Park to play for a few minutes while we waited for everyone to show up....
November 10, 2006
I was all set to write about the new coffeehouse that opened up in the former art gallery space next to the Please Touch Museum recently—I even had photos!—but we ended up taking Hannah out for dinner tonight after work, and I feel like writing about that now instead....
November 9, 2006
Oh, it's movie central around here these days, isn't it? This afternoon's movie is courtesy of Hannah, who, as I mentioned in my last post, took The Beaner to the zoo today. Somehow, she managed to capture The Beaner in all his glory in only 17 seconds (whereas I took like 5 minutes to record the train movie earlier today). The Beaner helped, of course; sometimes he just summarizes his entire personality, as well as recent developmental strides, in...
I mentioned a few weeks ago, I think, that Hannah would be leaving us soon. She went to a 3-days-a-week schedule in October (The Beaner goes to sharecare the other two days), and gave us notice that she'd be quitting entirely at the end of December. With her blessing, we started our search for a new nanny when Hannah went part time....
November 5, 2006
The day before I left for MAX, after dropping The Beaner off at sharecare, I went to the local CBOP Photo store and asked to look at point-and-shoot cameras that were small enough to carry in a pocket, that had image stabilization, and had the shortest shutter delay possible. I was shown three cameras: the Nikon Coolpix S7c, I think one from Casio, and the Fujifilm Finepix F30. I had also wanted to look at the Sony DSC-T9, but...
November 3, 2006
The Beaner turned 23 months old on Monday, which means he's approaching the age I've been telling everyone he already is. I often refer to him as "my two year-old", and I find it easier to say "almost two" when people ask how old he is, rather than saying "22 and a half months" or "23 months". It saves them some mental calculations. Still, when I stop to think about it, it's darn hard to believe that eleven months...
November 2, 2006
I know I'm totally getting ahead of myself here—I haven't even written the 23-month update yet—but I have to write this down before I forget that it happened today. In the car on the way back from King of Pizza tonight, The Beaner said the entire alphabet all at once....
Thank god for NaBloPoMo, or the Halloween update probably wouldn't be happening until next week....
October 30, 2006
...And hopefully there will be an update on all the cool stuff he's doing now that he wasn't doing a month ago tomorrow. There will be apple picking photos and complete sentences and singing. And possibly video, if I can figure out how to upload it....
October 27, 2006
I left for MAX2006 in Las Vegas early Tuesday morning, before The Beaner woke up, and returned last night a little before midnight, long after he went to bed. While at the conference, I attended a few CSS sessions; talked to a lot of customers (something I realized I hadn't done—face-to-face, anyway—in three or four years); took lots of notes and filed a few bugs based on what I saw and heard; battled a cold, dehydration, and noxious clouds...
October 12, 2006
Al, The Beaner, and I had a lovely weekend in California... and I'm still a bit heart-heavy about it. Truly, we had a wonderful, wonderful time: We got to see friends we don't see often, The Beaner got to play with new friends P and S, the weather was wonderful, my dress worked out great, The Beaner was more talkative than ever and used several new phrases, we got to eat great food, a good friend finally met and...
October 1, 2006
The Beaner turned 22 months old yesterday. Honestly, he feels so much like he's two already that by the time his actual birthday rolls around, it'll probably be greeted with a shrug. He's still pointing out cars like he's on a mission, and he's describing them in more detail ("gray Mini, blue Mini. Two Minis!", "wet Lolota, wet Baab, wet Mitsubishi. It's raining!", "oh Mommy, look, anunna VW!"). He asks to "go walking and looking more Baabs, more Jeeps" on...
September 26, 2006
We've been shouting "APPLE PICKING!" at each other for about a week and a half now. At first it was in anticipation of the event—the first of two we hope to complete this season—which was scheduled for this past Saturday in Stow, MA. Ever since we got back, it's been to remind ourselves what a great time we had, and how many wonderful apples are taking up all the space in our fridge. (By the way, The Beaner learned...
September 21, 2006
I have become very conscious lately that The Beaner is growing up and becoming a real person, a person who deserves privacy. Something Heather Armstrong said at a BlogHer panel on this subject really struck me, and I've been mulling it over ever since. She said, in reply to a question about whether she worried about her daughter hating her later, when Leta realized how much of her life was on the Internet, "I've already begun censoring what I...
September 19, 2006
Whatever could have possessed me to brag to my allergist that I hadn't used my rescue inhaler more than twice since I'd last seen him (3 months before), and that I'd stopped taking the Advair entirely—especially on the eve of the fall allergy season? Not two days after that visit, I started having trouble breathing, even though I followed his suggestion to start up the Advair again. Al thought it might be *because* of the Advair, which seemed a...
September 16, 2006
This morning when I heard The Beaner howl, I poked Al, as I normally do, and mumbled, "he's up." Al responded with dreadful news: "It's 1:30."...
September 14, 2006
I have a little list of things I've been wanting to write about, but which I haven't had time to address as of yet (and yes, I'm still behind on my e-mail—if I owe you one, hopefully you'll hear from me soon). Part of the problem—which isn't really a problem at all, given that usually we're homebodies who don't do much of anything—is that we're too busy DOING THINGS and HAVING FUN for me to keep up with, well,...
September 12, 2006
Today's adventures in audio include the Beaner singing the alphabet song with me and following my lead as I count to ten, and the Beaner and I pretending to talk to each other on the phone. That's how I ended up getting a pretty good recording of his speech: I started out by trying to record him chatting on the hotel phone (he picked it up and started gabbling away while we were in the sitting area of the...
September 11, 2006
This audio clip should require no captions. It's enough to know that the name of the file is "giggleboy"....
September 9, 2006
I know I haven't blogged since a week ago Friday; consequently, I have a bunch of stuff I want to talk about clogging up my brain... and keeping me from blogging. (Funny how that works.) Since I'm writing from the car on Al's Blackberry, I'll probably limit my remarks to what happened most recently—which also happens to be the cure for blogclog writer's block (i.e., start from where you are, not from the beginning)....
August 30, 2006
Even if I hadn't skipped the 20 month update, there'd be a lot to write about this month. It hardly seems like the first week of August and the last have anything in common development-wise; if I'd written this update two weeks ago, everything would have been different. When we started this month, for example, the Beaner was still calling milk "mama". Now he says something that sounds more like the Swedish word for milk than the English one,...
The Beaner turns 21 months old today, and there WILL be an update later. I'm throwing down the gauntlet right now and declaring that I will not go to bed without posting one. (That's some incentive, because I seem to running on a sleep deficit that rivals the early days of parenthood. Well, maybe not THAT bad, but boy, is my ass dragging.)...
August 25, 2006
Here it is, my first attempt in years (seriously, like 10 years) to create multimedia. I used my cell phone to record a voice memo of the Beaner watching Prairie Dawn introduce the Letter of the Day to Cookie Monster (CM: "Mmmm, cookie!" PD: "No, that is not a cookie, it's the letter of the day." CM: "But that look like cookie." PD: "Well, yes, yes it does." Prim Prairie Dawn is one of my favorite characters. :), and...
August 14, 2006
Earlier this week, when I heard from the Weather Channel that it was supposed to be cooler and drier this weekend—and cooler and drier still in New England—I proposed that we drive to Connecticut to enjoy the weather and restock my supply of Decaf Chocolate Truffle coffee. (I mix it 3:4 with Starbucks Decaf Verona for a rich iced coffee treat, in case you're curious.) My original idea was that we'd stay overnight and then drive back on Sunday...
August 11, 2006
Yes, I know I never did a 20 month update for the Beaner, and I'll probably regret it later when I have no record of the fact that the 20th month was the one in which he learned to say "please" out loud (or rather, "peeeeeezh!"), and that it was the month in which I suddenly realized why they always say the alphabet sooooo slooooowly on Sesame Street: It's so little kids can repeat the letters out loud (something...
August 2, 2006
I've got so many half-written posts queued up that by the time I publish them all, they won't even appear on the front page anymore. I didn't want serious writer's block on all things BlogHer to impede my posting on the heat (which is now up to 93°, with a heat index of 103° at 11:55am) and on Austen's latest clinginess, however, so I'm jumping in here with a kid update....
July 27, 2006
I can't believe I'm functional right now. I said to Al when I set my alarm for 4am last night, "watch, this'll be the night that the Boopster wakes up screaming in the middle of the night instead of sleeping until 6 or 7." Sure enough, at 3am, we heard him cry. Usually we let him settle down on his own, but within minutes his screams turned frantic, so Al went up and got him. The irony, of course,...
July 25, 2006
So as I mentioned in the previous post, we had a busy weekend. I probably should have spent the weekend doing laundry and cleaning the house and bleaching my hair and making packing lists in preparation for BlogHer (I only remembered last night that I'd be IN THE OFFICE on Thursday and not calling into meetings, and that I'd need to have everything washed and ready to be packed on Wednesday in preparation for the 6:20am flight on Thursday), but...
July 18, 2006
One of Austen's favorite songs (or rather, one of my favorite songs to sing to Austen, and one which he tolerates) is Let's Call The Whole Thing Off. You know, the "you say eether, I say iither" song. This weekend Al suggested that we could make up new lyrics to it based on Austen's current manglings of the English language, and I related this suggestion to Hannah this morning. The version we came up with went something like this:...
July 11, 2006
I'm feeling a little guilty today because I hid the loves of Austen's life: his two blue shoes. He walked around the bedroom this morning calling "yoooos! yoooooos!", and he removed every single item from the white wire basket into which we usually toss the shoes at night, saying "no yooo" as each item was laid aside. It about broke my heart, and more than once I considered retrieving the blue shoes from the top of my closet, but...
July 6, 2006
My friend Jean, who has a daughter three months older than Austen, and I were talking recently about how much fun our kids have become as they've gotten older. Matthew Baldwin described this stage as going from pet to person, and I think that's about right. It's a battle of wills sometimes (especially now that Austen has a very clear will and is not shy about exerting it), but the fact that he understands so much more means he...
June 30, 2006
It hasn't escaped my notice that Austen turned 19 months old today. Hopefully I'll have time to write an update later tonight (but first I need to collect all the little notes I've left around the house about what he's been up to for the past month—the ones that say things like "fork" and "highchair" and "talkative"). There'll be a whole mess of photos, too....
June 23, 2006
Right as I was clicking the Save button on the Time Out post last night, Austen said the magic word. I went in and got him, and we sat together in the chair for a few minutes talking about what happened. I wanted to make sure he understood the reason for the time out, though who knows what actually sunk in on that front....
June 22, 2006
I am listening to Austen scream and wretch through his first real time out right now, waiting for the magic word. An hour ago, that word would have been "sorry". He pinched my neck, hard—something he knows not to do—when I told him he couldn't have a second cookie, and when he refused to let go, I pried his fingers off. That's when he hit me....
Hannah and Austen are down in the basement playroom watching the U.S. play Ghana in World Cup soccer. I keep hearing Hannah gasping, "oooh! oh! errrg!" and both of them yelling "yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" I see the score at the moment is 2-1 Ghana; I'm hoping the U.S. can score at least one more so I can hear Austen shout "gooooaaaaaaal"!...
June 20, 2006
Al asked me yesterday morning, "have you written in your blog that Austen picks his shoes out now?", which made me smile. Al has never really understood the desire (or need) to blog, though for the most part he's very supportive of mine. Over the past 12-18 months, however, he's started to see this site as an important record, if not of my growth and development, at least of Austen's....
June 18, 2006
I got up with Austen this morning to give Al a chance to sleep in, so even though I'm not usually a napper, I felt the need to conk out while watching the U.S. Open on TV this afternoon. We were all watching in the living room (or rather, Al and I were watching, and Austen was alternately sitting with us on the couch and running around the room playing with various toys), so I announced my intentions, put...
June 10, 2006
There's a lot going on in Austen's world, and I haven't written much about him in the past week, so I have some catching up to do. First, a recap of our two weeks with Jess and Mira. Overall, the experience was outstanding—about as good as you could hope for when your regular and beloved nanny goes on vacation. Al and I made a quick list of the pros and cons of the arrangement last night, and here's what...
June 7, 2006
I made these bibs on CafePress a long time ago, but every time I tried to order one, they were backordered. They're in stock now, so get 'em while they're hot! (Full disclosure: They're cotton and do not have a plastic backing, so for this cantaloupe-eating session I put a cheaper—and shorter—plastic-backed bib underneath the blog fodder one. This bib would definitely be the one I'd choose for meals that involve avocados, chocolate chips, or anything else non-drippy that...
June 6, 2006
Jess (the nanny who's watching Austen this week while Hannah's away) called yesterday afternoon with some bad news: apparently Austen had thrown a shoe overboard while they were walking back from Seeger playground, and she didn't notice until she pulled him out of the stroller near Fitler Square. It's not surprising that she didn't notice; I usually don't unless I hear the clunk of his sippy cup hitting the ground or I trip over whatever it is he's dropped,...
June 3, 2006
We're visiting family this weekend; we drove here from Philly, and another part of the family drove from farther away. With our shorter drive and our earlier departure time, we arrived first, of course. When the rest of the family arrived a few hours later, Austen, who'd already been having a great time playing with the older relatives, was thrilled to see a playmate his size—his almost 4 year-old cousin, whom I'll call C—come through the door....
May 31, 2006
Austen turned 18 months old yesterday. It's hard to believe he's one and a half already, and yet 12 months seems so long ago. He's such a different kid now. He talks, for one thing, sounding like nothing so much as a miniature surfer dude with his "whooaaa"s and "oh yeaaaaaaaah"s. We don't have complete sentences yet, but it's not that difficult to have a conversation with him....
May 29, 2006
I'm on my way home now, between flights at Chicago O'Hare. I'm waiting to see if Orbitz' "air traffic advisor" is right about late-afternoon flights being delayed by 45 minutes or more. So far, no posted delays on my flight to Philadelphia....
May 26, 2006
Well, I made it to Denver—40 minutes late, but with a 5-hour layover, who cares? The wireless access I paid for in Philadelphia is good here too (yay!), so I've been able to do some website maintenance-type stuff while I'm waiting... like putting ads on my hockey blog. We'll see how that flies. I'm not sure I want them here at avocado8; there's plenty of stuff already on the main page, and I don't want to clutter it up...
Al just called: Austen's running a fever. The first time I leave my kid, and he gets sick. Is the universe trying to tell me something? I tell ya, if this flight gets cancelled, I'm just going home....
I was planning on catching up on all my e-mail on the plane and then sending the messages once I got to the hotel in Vancouver, but as you all know, plans change. My flight to Chicago at 8:30 was cancelled due to mechanical problems with the plane, and after many tears, several phone calls, and lots of running back and forth between United in Terminal D and USAir in Terminal C, I got rebooked on a USAir flight...
May 24, 2006
The knob on my butt: is getting bigger, not smaller. has turned black at the bottom. is very tender. still looks like I'm trying to grow a third ass cheek....
May 23, 2006
I'm doing two builds at once right now and can't get any debugging done, so I'm using the time to update my sorely-neglected blog. Depending on how long the builds take, there MAY BE MORE, so stay tuned! Some highlights from the last sparsely-blogged month or so:...
There's been a lot of walking going on here at Casa Hylan-Cho. It started a couple weeks ago, when I finally figured out how to work some exercise into my day: go to bed earlier. (Duh! Although, as you've probably noticed, going to bed earlier means less blogging.) I now get up when Al and Austen do, put on my exercise clothes, and go out for a walk/jog/hop/whatever. Usually I end my route at a Starbucks, where I purchase...
May 16, 2006
I was planning on writing an entry this morning about how Austen doesn't just say "yes" and "no" anymore; instead he says "oh yeah yeah" and "no no no". I assumed that he'd gotten the "no no no" from a recent visit to Al's parents' house because that's what Al's dad said almost constantly when he was watching Austen: "no no no, no no no, no no no". (Actually, it sounded more like "nuh nuh nuh, nuh nuh nuh,...
May 15, 2006
I'm upstairs getting in a couple more hours of work while Al watches Austen. Al just whipped open the bedroom door and called up the stairs, "when he brushes his teeth, have you ever seen him spit before?" Me: "No." Al: "He's spitting now."...
May 13, 2006
On Monday, while Austen and I were at the Wal-Mart over on route 38 getting an impromptu oil change and buying diapers and wipes, I spotted two more Sesame Street bibs like the Cookie Monster one we got him about a month ago (and which we are washing constantly because it's become our favorite). One had a pink background and Big Bird on it, and the other a yellow background with Elmo. Austen seemed to like them both, so...
May 12, 2006
I'm not sure why I have enough time to read through my old blogger archives, buy a new webcam, revive (and redesign) the webcam archives (formerly "the gallery of silly faces," now dubbed "a history of hair", though there are plenty of silly faces still in there), and otherwise procrastinate, but I don't have time to write about all the new words Austen has learned, the fact that my upper back is ABSOLUTELY KILLING ME, the list of things...
May 8, 2006
Austen is getting his molars. We noticed the little white prongs sticking up when he opened his mouth (probably to laugh) about a week ago, and they've been coming in fast ever since. At least one on either side of his mouth is totally above the surface now. We don't know if the molars are the reason Austen's been waking up screaming at 5:45 lately (instead of 6:00, 6:15, or 6:45, as usual); it might also be the extra...
May 5, 2006
It's been a busy week here, both workwise and familywise; I can barely keep up with my personal e-mail, and I obviously haven't had time to write here. If I owe you an e-mail response, please sit tight (or send me a reminder). I'm going to use the time I would have otherwise spent on answering an e-mail or two to give an update here before I forget all the things I wanted to say. Be warned: this is...
April 28, 2006
We mostly let Austen choose what he wants to eat*, and last night he chose a jar of Earth's Best prunes and oatmeal (stocked in case of constipation, which is a rare but painful occurance for Austen) and half a large tub of watermelon from Whole Foods. Lest you think we don't feed him proper, balanced meals, he also ate some popcorn and half a piece of shrimp....
April 25, 2006
I just got a text message from Hannah:...
April 23, 2006
I was just sitting down to write this post when I saw Josie had commented on the last one. Her comment is directly relevant to this post, so I'll quote part of it here. Regarding toddlers beginning to talk, she wrote:...
April 20, 2006
Austen's been saying—and, more often, signing—individual words for a long time now, but recently I've noticed him actively trying to acquire vocabulary. A couple weeks ago he started pointing out trees to me: He wouldn't say anything other than an "eh!" to get my attention, but he'd stand under a tree and point up. "Tree," I'd say. He'd nod thoughtfully; you could see him filing it away....
April 17, 2006
1. One of Austen's favorite things to do is stand on the counter in front of the spice cabinet and shake the spice jars. On Sunday morning, Al was the one making sure he didn't fall off the counter when Austen leaned his head back to open the cabinet door... and bonked Al in the face. "Uh oh!" said Austen, and he turned to kiss Al and make it better....
April 14, 2006
Austen went in for another well-baby visit today (I can't remember which one it was supposed to be—maybe 15 months?). Dr. Everly pronounced him "still perfect" and pretty much on target with all the milestones and growth charts. At 26 lbs. 14 oz. and 32 1/4", he's now in the 75th percentile for both weight and height (and head circumference, too, though I can't remember what that measurement was)....
April 11, 2006
I realized last week that Austen turned 16 months on March 30, and I let the milestone blow by without an update. Every day since then that I've failed to produce an update I've regretted it more, because the developments of last month are quickly being overwhelmed by current cirumstances. I can no longer remember what happened for the first time in March; I only know for sure what's happening now....
Austen is obsessed with my neck. I'm not sure why, but he loves to knead his fists in the little divot where my collarbones come together, and he loves to pat from my shoulders to my jaw with his palms. He gets upset if I have on a fleece that zips up to my chin, and of course lately upset = whine, then cry, then full-on meltdown. It feels almost cheap of me to unzip just to get him...
April 8, 2006
I am standing in the bathroom, dabbing Neosporin on the bloody patch where my teeth scraped a layer of skin off my lip. Miraculously, this is the first time Austen's managed to draw blood with one of his heat-butts; surprisingly, this is one of the few times he didn't draw tears. I knew the skin was gone immediately, and it hurt immediately—though the sting is just starting to build up steam now—and yet I calmly said to Al, seconds...
April 3, 2006
Although I've taken my bike into the shop twice since moving to Philadelphia—once to get a tune-up and once to get a child-seat installed—up until yesterday I'd yet to actually ride my bike here. Consequently, Austen had never been on a bike ride, either. Yesterday that all changed when Al, Austen, and I braved the incredibly crowded bike path along Boathouse Row (hello, people: KEEP RIGHT!)....
April 1, 2006
Al wanted a night off from cleaning the kitchen, so tonight we had dinner at King of Pizza in New Jersey. We left at 6:45pm, knowing that (a) Austen would probably not get to bed until after 8pm, and (b) that the clocks roll forward tonight, so 8pm really meant 9pm. As I buckled Austen into the car seat, I told him where we were going, as always. "We're going to eat pizza!" I said....
March 24, 2006
Austen, Hannah, and I are all in San Francisco this week. I'm here working, and Hannah and Austen are busy climbing hills, chasing pigeons, admiring the views, and taking public transit all over the place....
March 17, 2006
Al usually preceeds me home from work (that's what we call it, even though I work from home; if I don't come down within about 10 minutes of Hannah leaving, Al will shout up the stairs, "honey, when are you coming home?"), so it's Al who gets the scoop from Hannah about what she and Austen did that day....
One of the bummers about working full-time is that I don't get to witness all of Austen's new behaviors firsthand. Luckily Hannah gives me regular reports (and sometimes Austen even re-enacts the behavior as she's describing it), so I don't feel totally out of the loop, but it does still mean that I write less about new developments....
March 12, 2006
I keep remembering new behaviors that Austen exhibited for the first time during his 15th month of life which I neglected to mention in my 15 month update (or anywhere else—I haven't been writing in my little bedside journal regularly lately, either). I figure I'd better record them somewhere before I forget, and here seems as good a place as any. The main three that have come to mind in the past 24 hours:...
March 11, 2006
So shortly after I posted the 15 month update, Austen acquired a new behavior: a slow, exaggerated nod that means "YES". He now signs "please" about half as much (i.e., only when he's asking for something, not answering a question about whether he wants something), but we can always teach him to put "yes" and "please" together later. For now it's just really gratifying to see him nod unambiguously when I ask him if he wants some yogurt or...
March 10, 2006
It's kinda too late for Austen (although the sleep telemetry might still be interesting), but the Trixie Tracker has FINALLY launched. If you're about to have a baby and you're (a) anal, (b) technophilic, (c) a fan of Edward Tufte, or (d) all of the above, get yourself over there and sign up. It's way better than writing everything on little index cards!...
March 6, 2006
I think I'll remember month 15 as the one in which Austen learned to sign "please" and say "no". These two additions to his vocabulary have made a tremendous difference in his ability to communicate his wants and needs; when he points up at the kitchen counter and says, "uhhn," we can now hold up any items in the area one at a time (me: "sippy cup?" A: "no." me: "banana?" A: "no." me: "glass of water?" A: "no."...
February 19, 2006
So I didn't mention that we were going on vacation before we left for a couple reasons, but now that we're back it's probably safe to say that we were in Hawaii with both my parents and Al's. Al's parents go every year for a couple months (they're retired), but my parents had never been. Whenever we mentioned it, my mom would say that Hawaii was a place they'd go "someday."...
February 5, 2006
When I left the house for my usual weekend-morning walk with the Beaner, he was wearing a bib. Sadly, not the Korean bunny bib with the two snaps that he can't get off, but a disposable Pampers bib on which it's frustratingly easy for a toddler to pop the velcro. It wasn't until he started begging for the cream-cheese brownie I'd bought at the Metropolitan Bakery just south of Rittenhouse Square that I noticed that the bib was missing....
February 2, 2006
Austen just had a total meltdown, both literally and figuratively, over a chocolate pretzel. Hannah got us some at Maron Chocolates, and I'd just pulled one out of the bag when Austen grabbed it and ran off. I chased him, because that pretzel was NOT A TOY, and I didn't want it to melt all over the place....
January 31, 2006
Avid fans of Sesame Street will recognize the title of this post as the line that the Count sings to the Countess after the number 14, which makes it appropriate for a summary of Austen's 14th month of being. (It's also, incidentally, the title of a Cole Porter song.)...
January 30, 2006
Austen turns 14 months old today, but in the interest of being able to spend some quality time with my husband before we both collapse from exhaustion, I will be writing the update tomorrow. See you then....
January 27, 2006
Recently I ordered Austen a copy of Songs from the Street, and it arrived yesterday. I popped Disc One into the Mac and pressed play in iTunes... and Austen kinda freaked out. He knows that when he sees the iTunes interface that he's about to hear some music, but this music usually means that there's a big yellow bird, some kids, some blocks, and Central Park up on the screen. WHERE THE HELL WAS BIG BIRD?...
January 23, 2006
From about 9pm to 1am last night, I was plagued with what I can only assume was food poisoning. I'm guessing—but cannot prove—that the culprit was a Brazilian Shrimp Burrito from Whole Foods; I got a bad one once before and almost swore off them completely back then. I *will* be swearing off them completely from now on. I was worried that I might never be able to eat another orange as well after last night's drama—an orange being...
January 21, 2006
As promised, here are the before and after photos from Austen and Lori's Haircut Adventure. The cut I got is very similar to the one I got in May, only with shorter bangs and the part on the opposite side. (I kinda wish she'd left the bangs a bit longer, but I think she did it this way to even them up—they were shorter on the right than the left.) Austen got his cut while sitting on my lap...
January 20, 2006
We are all sick here at Casa Hylan-Cho. Austen has been sick almost continuously since he caught the cold I had at Christmas, and I have been sick off and on with various chest and sinus afflictions since before that. At the moment, Al's the sickest of us all; he's been home from work for a couple days now. I've been washing my hands like a maniac, but as I've said to Al, that doesn't help so much when...
January 17, 2006
Ann, the babysitter who worked with us this summer (and who was filling in with us yesterday), noticed that Austen was a BIG fan of typing on my laptop (and of prying off the keys—yesterday he got the F key, and on Friday he'd gotten the spacebar) and recommended kneebouncers.com as a site Austen might like to visit. It's a site designed by a group of creative dads who noticed that there's not much on the web for really...
January 16, 2006
I remember being in the car with my mom one time, back when I was in college, when she expressed surprise at some detail or other I'd just related about my life. This intrigued me, and I asked her what else about me surprised her. She responded, "well, if the list were very long I'd have to say I didn't know you very well." I wonder if more about me would surprise her now, or whether I've become more...
January 10, 2006
I feel like monthly updates are just not frequent enough to document Austen's development anymore. Perhaps they never have been, and I've just convinced myself over the past few months that I have to save everything up for the end of the month. Well, no more: I can't let another minute go by without detailing some of the amazing things I've seen in the past couple days. (Of course, they will be amazing to no one else, but I...
January 4, 2006
I got hooked on a little pregnant back when I was, well, pregnant. Julie was due exactly two months after me, and it was fun and interesting to follow her pregnancy as I lived and wrote about my own. Needless to say, I was shocked when her son Charlie was born three days before Austen instead of two months after him....
January 1, 2006
It's just starting to sink in that it's 2006 already, and especially that it's January now, not December. We returned from a family-friendly New Year's Eve gathering at Matt and Shannon's house at around 10pm last night and were in bed, asleep, by 11:20pm, which is probably why we failed to notice the turn of the year. Today we drove down to Maryland for the day to play a game of Trivial Pursuit with my parents and our good...
December 30, 2005
Austen finally turns 13 months old today. I say "finally" because there've been so many developments and hilarious moments since the twelve-month update that I've been dying to write this one for at least two weeks. I wish now that I had started writing earlier—I have so much to say that it'll be a race to get this post in by midnight. (Thank god for back-dating!) I'll put the best news up front: This month has been infinitely easier...
December 27, 2005
We actually managed to fill our digital camera's memory card this weekend, which made me realize that I should have asked for a second card (and a second battery, for that matter, since the current one doesn't hold a charge very well anymore) for Christmas. D'oh! I guess we can look for cards and batteries at the after-Christmas sales this week (if we ever make it to the mall)....
December 15, 2005
Does the fact that I'm an idiot make it more likely or less likely that I'll be picked for a jury today? I ask because I'm leaving for the courthouse in 10 minutes, and I need to know whether to arrange for backup childcare....
December 13, 2005
Yes, I know—I still need to post about Austen's birthday. Unfortunately, the photos that go with that post are on the Mac, and I'm here in the dining room writing Christmas cards next to the PC laptop, so updates are of the Random Thoughts variety until all the cards are finished....
December 12, 2005
So I'm now 100% positive that the reason for Austen's cranky night—and the two 12+ hour nights on either side of it—was that he was having a growth spurt. When I tried to dress Austen on Friday, I had trouble getting his sweater over his head. We thought it was a fluke, that maybe the sweater had shrunk, but after three days of *every* shirt and sweater getting stuck, his pants and pajamas unsnapping whenever he moves, and his...
December 7, 2005
I was planning to dash off a quick post last night to let regular readers of this blog know that I was feeling better, but I ended up using my hour or so of after-dinner computer time to read blogs from my Bookmarks list and noodle with my Fantasy Football lineup. I had planned to write a few lines about how ratphooey's short but pithy remark on my One post had really struck a chord and made me realize...
November 30, 2005
Today isn't just a yearly milestone for Austen; it's also a monthly one. And this month, it's been all about the walking. It's hard to remember a time when Austen *wasn't* walking, but it was only at the end of October that he first put three or four steps in a row together, and the second week of November (the 11th, to be exact) when he really took off. I knew we had reached the point of no return...
One
Austen turns one today. At 3:36pm, to be exact. The Thanksgiving weekend brought back memories of this time last year, when I was debating whether to run errands or sit on the couch, but now that Austen's birthday is finally here, it's difficult to connect it with November 30 of last year. I was awakened at 5:30am this morning just as I was last year, but this time it was by a hungry Austen rather than my alarm clock....
November 29, 2005
My favorite phonecam photo from yesterday's trip to the Please Touch Museum. It looks like an action shot you'd see accompanied by a news article about an approaching snowstorm....
November 21, 2005
I'm thinking about going back to work—traditional, for-pay, intellectually-stimulating work, as opposed to the heavy manual labor I do at home for free. At the moment I'm feeling too mentally and physically exhausted after a difficult day with Austen to explain how I came to this decision (or maybe I just did :), but suffice to say it's something I've been thinking about for a while. I think I'm finally at the point where I want to describe publicly...
In three weeks, Austen has gone from three or four steps in a row to a walking MACHINE. He crosses rooms with confidence and without a specific destination in mind, swerves around obstacles, carries precious objects with him, and is unfazed when he trips. I could sit and watch him run circles around the living room all day....
November 18, 2005
Today, as it was yesterday, it is cold here in Philadelphia. On Tuesday (which was decidedly warm) I had taken my bicycle in to Trophy Bikes on Walnut to get a baby seat installed on the back, knowing full well that doing so would cause a cold snap that would mean the end of bicycling season. Ah well, at least I'll be ready for spring. Anyway, having taken Austen out in the frigid weather yesterday, I knew it was...
November 11, 2005
Austen and I returned, along with Al (who flew up to Hartford to meet us on Sunday), from Maine on Monday. We had great weather every day except Sunday (which was foggy and drizzly), and especially on Saturday, when the air was brisk but not cold, the sun was warm but not roasty, and the wind was cool but not frigid. Perfect Dreamweaver fleece weather. Val, Austen, and I started the day with a hike around Mackworth Island just...
November 5, 2005
Austen and I left Lexington, Massachusetts for Portland, Maine at roughly 8:45am yesterday. The tree colors as we traveled north moved more to the orange-umber end of the scale, with an occasional shockingly white birch trunk sticking out like an exclamation mark amid the brittle-looking browns. We made it to Portland at about 11am and headed straight for the Eastern Promenade (Valerie's "nice day" suggestion). Sadly, the nice weather only lasted long enough for me to get Austen out...
I had intended to blog about each day of our trip in the evenings after Austen went to sleep, but I've been too tired to keep it up. I've found that the toughest thing about this trip is not the driving—that's the easiest part, in fact—but being the only parent on duty for the other 21 hours a day. How do single parents do it???...
November 1, 2005
I still have some half-written entries to publish to the all hallow's eve blog, which by and large was not a great success this year. Between the mobs of kids who all came together and having a hungry toddler in a shark suit to manage, I had a hard time keeping track of the parade of costumes, the candy choices, and the funny kid quotes....
October 30, 2005
Austen turns 11 months old today. He took his first real steps on Friday, getting bolder with each run between the ottomans and the couch (a run that got longer each time because the babysitter kept moving the ottomans :). Sometimes he'd sort of plunge forward, and other times he'd really get the hang of walking completely upright, taking full, confident, heel-to-toe steps. It's hard to believe that this time last year, he had his head, feet, and hands...
October 24, 2005
I've been trying to get a good shot of the Beaner's teeth with the 10-D, but it's difficult—he'll only display the chompers when I'm not hiding behind the camera. Today I got lucky with the cameraphone, though: A missed headshot while the Beaner was swinging resulted in a closeup of all three of his bottom teeth....
October 11, 2005
I almost called this a gratuitous baby photo post (a phrase stolen from ratphooey), but really it's more of a gratuitous site plug that just happens to be on a baby....
October 10, 2005
I was saying in an e-mail to Valerie tonight that I only seem to have time these days to write about Austen's milestones OR mine, not both. (Hopefully our new twice-a-week babysitter will help me remedy that, though part of the reason I searched for a sitter in the first place—so I could attend open hockey sessions at UPenn during the day—will also generate more hockey blog material with which to keep up.) In any case, since Al is...
October 6, 2005
I'm going to try this: Instead of writing in the little book beside my bed each night what we did that day, I'm going to write what we did tomorrow!...
In the time it took me to put on my makeup this morning (i.e., about 4 minutes), the Beaner:...
October 4, 2005
If the fucking UPS man doesn't show up in the next five fucking minutes, I'm going to go round the FUCKING BEND. I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE....
October 3, 2005
When I went down to see Allison and her 6 week-old, Nora, a couple weeks ago, I was struck by how tiny Nora was. It was odd thinking that Austen was ever that small, but of course he was born even smaller. When Austen hit 10 lbs., I remember worrying that I wouldn't be able to lift him at all if he got any heavier, but I could hold 10-pound Nora in one arm. (Obviously, my body has adapted...
September 30, 2005
So yesterday it was Ten Things, and today it's ten months: Austen turns ten months old today. Such a sweet kid he is, too. He's gotten really good at going to bed in the past month; I nurse him for a little while, and whether he falls asleep with the nipple in his mouth or ends the session by rolling onto his hands and knees and giving me a big grin, he knows that when I pick him up...
September 27, 2005
Austen called me "mama" yesterday. He's been saying "mamamama", "dadadada", and "babababa" for a while now, but yesterday he clearly associated "mama" and its variations with me. When he woke up from his nap, he called "mamamama" instead of crying. While playing, he'd pat my knee and say "mamama". And when we were at the ice rink watching a practice last night, he leaned out of Al's arms, reached for me, and yelled "MA!" several times....
September 23, 2005
Yes, I *am* going to write about all the stuff I've got jotted down on pieces of paper around the house, but I thought of something else I wanted to mention first: Austen managed to pry the Ctrl key off my laptop keyboard the other day (and of course promptly stuck it in his mouth). After 20 minutes of fiddling with it I managed to wedge it back on, but it's not quite as functional as it used to...
September 21, 2005
I have so many things I want to blog about that there's a sort of logjam in my brain. It's kind of like how when I have a ton of things to do, I often get completely overwhelmed with the length of my To Do list and end up doing nothing. In college I combatted this tendency to become overwhelmed and just go back to bed by scheduling my days in 15-minute increments so I could see that it...
August 30, 2005
After nine months of pregnancy, I'd started to believe that I was going to be pregnant forever. Now I can hardly remember being pregnant at all... but I'm starting to believe that Austen's going to be around for a while. What's hard to believe is that he has now been on the outside roughly the same amount of time that he was on the inside. Some observations from Austen's ninth month:...
August 29, 2005
The very day that Michele commented about Quaker schools on my Independent Study post, and I responded that the nearby Friends Select School would be at the top of our list, cost permitting, I noticed that the cover story in this month's Philadelphia Magazine was a ranking of the area's top public and private schools. (This is probably no coincidence; what better time of year to write stories about education?) Since I'd failed to find any mention of tuition...
August 24, 2005
Whenever I think I'm not going to be able to make it through the day, Austen gives me the gift of a two-hour nap. Funny how a nap can improve one's outlook, even when someone else is doing the sleeping....
August 22, 2005
Believe it or not, the Beaner already has some new behaviors to report on since the Eight Months post—and I intend to post about them as soon as I have a chance. In the meantime, here's a shot taken yesterday that shows him looking more like a little boy and less like a baby....
August 13, 2005
The Beaner finally outgrew his second pair of doggie Robeez. I resisted the urge to buy another identical pair in size 12-18 months and instead got these charming goldfish. Aren't they (or at least, the one you can see) cute?...
August 7, 2005
When the Beaner was only a couple months old, it was hard to imagine a day when he would be big enough or coordinated enough to ride in the front of a grocery cart. It's weird to think that he'll be talking before long, and walking probably even sooner. (He's already standing up against the furniture and indicating that he wants to get down and walk around by diving toward the floor when someone's holding him.) He's now eating...
August 3, 2005
The Beaner has a Pooh bear that sings (why is it that in-laws always buy NOISY toys for your kids? at least this one is cute...) a catchy little tune about bees: "The BEES in my shirt are shining brightly" — and here Pooh's shirt lights up with little bee outlines — "oh so LIGHTLY! shining BRIGHTLY! The BEES in my shirt are shining brightly, oh my twinkle BEES." Then Pooh says something like, "bees, bees, silly bees," followed...
July 29, 2005
Our babysitter (whom the Beaner and I really, really like) was on vacation. Our Mac Mini had a serious hard drive error that prevented it from starting up, that required a three-hour visit to the Apple store just to get most of the data backed up, and that required a complete reformat of the hard drive. Luckily, almost all of the photos I've taken over the past 8 months were salvaged, as was all the iTunes music. We'll be...
July 23, 2005
Austen found his voice recently—and it's very shrill. Sometimes he babbles pleasantly, saying things like "ay ya ya ya ya ya" and "hey da da da da da", and it's super cute. Other times, he SHRIEKS. Loudly, shrilly, earsplittingly. It's annoying enough at home, but in public it's stressful in the extreme. I'm horrified and embarrassed that I might be bothering other hotel guests, restaurant patrons, and driving range golfers, and that I can't get him to stop. I...
July 20, 2005
This whole nanny blog thing just creeps me out. (The nanny in question's actual blog is here.) Possibly because I had a dodgy babysitter experience; possibly because another potential babysitter happened to include her blog link in e-mail correspondence, and I had to fight not to be unnerved by what I read; or possibly because I myself am a regular blogger (and I've posted about the vomitous feeling the dodgy babysitter inspired), I've been thinking a lot about the...
July 14, 2005
July 13, 2005
All kinds of food items to share today, from the gastronomical delights of our last hours in New York this weekend to local Philadelphia finds. First, New York: Al and I got up early again on Sunday (though not quite as early as on Saturday) and made it out for another morning walk, this time with Al's brother Carl for company. We walked down Broadway to the Starbucks at 81st, where I ordered a cappucino and (as usual) got...
July 9, 2005
I'm not sure if I explained properly yesterday why a downpour in New York was the nightmare scenario, so let me address that omission before I talk about what we did today: Basically, a downpour meant that I was trapped—with Austen, and without any of the tools for entertaining him or giving my arms a break that I'd have at home. Being wet as well just made things even less comfortable. Today dawned better and brighter (and cooler and...
July 8, 2005
So as I was saying, it's pouring here in New York, and pouring rain wasn't part of the plan. I am wearing a skirt and neoprene flipflops. I suppose as raingear goes, these choices aren't so bad; the skirt material doesn't absorb water, and neoprene is what wetsuits are made of, so that's something. At first I was a little weirded out by walking through NYC puddles in almost-bare feet, but when the curb cuts disappeared under 2' wide,...
Greetings from the Internet Lounge at Flash Forward in NYC. Al is giving a presentation in about an hour, and the plan was for me to visit my favorite New York spots while he got ready. I'd watch the preso (if Austen cooperated), and then we'd all go up to his brother's apartment in the evening and spend the weekend. The plan did not include rain. Rain, however, is what NYC is getting right now, in torrents. Oops, and...
July 6, 2005
Last night I thought of like five different things I wanted to blog about (some parenthood-related, some politics/media/news-related), but I figured rather than trying to type while holding the baby, I'd wait until I had both hands free today to blog. Of course, now I can't remember what I was going to say.... Random results of the Google search I'm running on my brain in the background: We found a new babysitter on Friday, and she started today. So...
June 22, 2005
I think it's a little hard to understand while I feel literally, physically sick about the babysitter situation without knowing me—and, more importantly, without knowing all the details. I just can't bring myself to go through them all here, however; suffice it to say that there's more than irresponsibility involved on the babysitter's part, and a painful history of being made a fool of on my part. The best antidote for the gnawing nausea is my amazing husband, followed...
June 21, 2005
Well, I'm gratified to know that my instincts are spot-on. What I'm nauseated about is that I don't follow them. I want to get this whole sordid story out of my system, mainly because I think that vomiting it up will make me feel better, but all I can muster right now are a few bullet points: The babysitter quit last night, via e-mail. Stated reason: The internship she interviewed for on Friday unexpectedly started this week. I've had...
June 15, 2005
It's another hot day in Philadelphia, and I woke up wondering how Austen and I would spend the 10 hours or so until Al got home without overheating or going bonkers. My usual diversion, a nice long walk with Austen in the stroller, didn't seem prudent in the heat, and I didn't want to spend the whole day trying to work while fighting to keep Austen's little hands away from the trackpad buttons. (He's on my lap at the moment,...
June 7, 2005
A friend sent me a link to a New York Times article called 'Lactivists' Taking Their Cause, and Their Babies, to the Streets (free subscription required to view), and it made me realize how lucky I am—and how nonchalant I've become—when it comes to breastfeeding in public. The list of places I've fed Austen is probably shorter than the list of places I haven't, with the former including at least four different airports; several restaurants; random benches at the...
June 4, 2005
Al and I went to see the last Star Wars movie tonight. I'll spare you my review (I enjoyed parts of the movie very much, others not so much, but as it's been analyzed to death in newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere by now, I'm sure I'd be adding nothing new) and instead say a few words about what it was like to see it with Austen. Overall he was very well behaved, and, except for the time he...
May 24, 2005
Remember how I said Austen's first food was paper? It's also been his second, third, fourth, and so on: If he's in the Bjorn when I'm opening the mail, he'll grab it and stuff it into his mouth with stunning quickness and force. (It reminds me a bit of a shark attack: one minute he's eyeing a solicitation from Capital One calmly, the next minute he's ripped it out of my hand and shoved it down his maw.) He...
May 20, 2005
On the day I went off the pill last year, I started a private blog about our quest for a kid (it's not online at the moment; I never reconstructed it after the rm -r debacle). The "baby blog" was the outlet for all my fears, anxieties, and excitement about the prospect of becoming a parent, a place where I could say I'M PREGNANT! before I could really tell anyone besides Al. And because only Al and I were...
May 11, 2005
Austen and I spent a little fresh-air time on a park bench in Rittenhouse Square earlier this afternoon....
May 9, 2005
We were planning to start Austen on solid foods when he turned 6 months, which is at the end of this month. I was thinking we'd try avocado, since it's mushy and nutritious and he didn't seem to mind the little taste of it I gave him when we were in California. If avocado didn't go over well, I figured we'd try sweet potato. (I was planning to avoid rice cereal; too conventional.) I liked ratphooey's choice of gelato...
I could easily write a lengthy post on this topic (well, if I had enough time with two hands free), but since Austen will likely only amuse himself in the exersaucer for another five minutes or so, allow me to summarize: Both boobs leaked more milk than the coussinets could absorb last night, and I woke up at 3am with a completely saturated bra (luckily, I was on my back, so I didn't soak through my shirt and the...
May 6, 2005
I think of Mother's Day as my mother's day, probably because her birthday (May 9) often falls on Mother's Day, and even when it doesn't we usually celebrate the two occasions together. But since ratphooey just IMed (while I was in the kitchen doing dishes and not in front of the computer, sadly) to wish me an early Happy Mother's Day, I figured I'd acknowledge that ping here and say a few words about what it's like for me...
May 5, 2005
Austen went for his 5-month checkup today. The weight over/under was 21 lbs., with our specific guesses being 20 lbs. 6 oz. (me) and 22 lbs. even (Al). I usually get killed by going under, but this time I won handily. At first the nurse declared that he weighed 17 lbs. 8 oz, but both of us said, "that can't be right!", so she weighed him again (much to his dismay—he screamed loudly and peed all over the place...
April 27, 2005
Thanks to our new babysitter, I was able to spend time with Austen yesterday *and* get a full day's work in. It felt like a revelation. Today ratphooey and Alexander came over, so I got an extra dose of cute baby, some stimulating conversation, and an excuse to buy (and consume) yummy baked goods. And although last night was a rough one, Austen and I got to sleep in this morning—which meant I had the energy to cook a...
April 23, 2005
I'm risking carsickness by blogging, but ever since I discovered I could blog from the labor and delivery floor on Nov. 30th, I can't resist the temptation to do it whenever Al hands me his Blackberry. We're on our way to NYC to celebrate Al's dad's 70th birthday, and we'll stay overnight at Al's brother's place. Technically this will be the second time Austen has met his cousin Henry, but it'll be the first time he'll get to interact with...
April 20, 2005
My friend Shannon and her baby, Madison, came over for a visit yesterday. It was a lovely day to be outside, so after chatting a bit and feeding up the kids, we grabbed some cool and refreshing chow at the Pad Thai Shack and headed to Rittenhouse Square. It was great to catch up on all the goings on in our respective households; since Madison is exactly 6 weeks younger than Austen, Shannon and I do a lot of...
April 17, 2005
After spending a week in San Francisco with friends I dearly miss (many of whom also now have babies Austen's age), I've been having fantasies about moving back there. Upon landing at PHL, however, I learned that Philadelphia had a plan to win me over with the same weather we had in SF (upper 50s and low 60s, bright sunshine, low humidity), lower gas and food prices, and a house we love. Of course, then I did our taxes...
April 13, 2005
The Loews Theater inside the Metreon, which is a block away from our hotel, is a Reel Moms venue, and since today is Tuesday, I decided to go to the movies. The film was actually one I was curious to see—Fever Pitch—since I saw the original British version recently, and I like Nick Hornby's novels. The original was really only a 2-star movie, but I figured that left room for improvement, and making it about the Boston Red Sox...
April 11, 2005
Had a lovely day walking around San Francisco, eating incredibly yummy chocolate pudding from Cafe Tartine, soaking up the sun in Dolores Park, drinking cappucino at Squat 'N Gobble, and just generally enjoying spending time with Kristin yesterday. I had less fun trying to get Austen to nurse properly at practically every place we stopped, but I got him fed and calm eventually. Everyone (including us) thought the long plane ride would be the hard part about traveling, but...
I'll write more about what we did today in the morning, but I wanted to post a quick photo from the hour or so Kristin, Austen, and I spent in Dolores Park. Aren't they cute?...
April 10, 2005
As I mentioned at the end of yesterday morning's post, we headed down to the Embarcadero to see the farmer's market at the Ferry Building and to have some more sweet potato fries at Taylor's. Austen was great through lunch, but afterwards he got grumpy, and his mood rubbed off on me. (Add to that the fact that I had to pee, and the lines were so long at the Ferry Building bathrooms that it wasn't practical to wait...
April 9, 2005
Yesterday was a weird day weatherwise: It alternated between partly sunny and incredibly rainy. The valets/bellstaff at our hotel ushered me down to the garage to get into the car in the morning so I wouldn't have to load the baby and the stroller in a downpour (so nice!), so the only time I got wet was when I had to get Austen out of the car at Sally's. The rest of the day I managed to be outside...
April 8, 2005
Had a lovely time visiting with Morrisa and Miranda (and nj, who was there for a few minutes before he had to leave for work) yesterday. It's so interesting for me to catch up and compare notes with my friends who've become parents in the past year or two (and there are so many of us!). I was so shocked to see Miranda walking and talking! Last I saw her she was only a little older than Austen is...
April 7, 2005
We were hoping that somehow flying six hours across three time zones wouldn't affect Austen's body clock, but of course that was a totally ridiculous notion. The poor boopster is still sleeping at the moment, probably convinced that it's the middle of the night. He woke up at 3:30am screaming; Al hypothesized that he was just waking up at his normal 6:30am ET, but as the person he was sleeping closest to (he kept pursuing the boobs with such...
April 6, 2005
The car is being repaired, the house is being watched, and we have made it through airport security (no mean feat with an infant, a stroller, two carry-ons, and two laptops). All that remains is to get on the plane. Austen is being even more talkative than he was yesterday, which was a new high water mark. I can't tell whether everyone's staring at us because they're trying to gauge how awful it would be to sit next to...
April 5, 2005
We leave for San Francisco tomorrow at 6:45am. Part of me is happy/excited, and the other part is anxious because I have so many little things to do before we go. The big things have mostly been done: laundry, packing, taking Austen to the doctor to make sure the hacking cough and snarffle-y nose he got from me weren't serious (they aren't). I still have to take a shower, clear off the camera's memory card and charge its battery,...
March 30, 2005
I've talked at length about how the new stroller handles, how easy/difficult is to push, etc., and after all that, I realized we didn't have any photos of Austen *in* the stroller. To rectify that oversight, I took the following photo of Austen, who is 4 months old today, on our way back from meeting Al for lunch....
March 27, 2005
I took the new stroller out to King of Prussia Mall on Thursday—which means I also tested the new car seat. Austen still hates being strapped into anything, but he seemed to prefer the more upright ride of the convertible car seat to the infant carrier. I was a little unnerved by the fact that his head flopped forward onto his chest when he fell asleep on the way to the mall, but he didn't seem to mind. I've...
March 23, 2005
I took the new stroller out for the first time today—in a driving rainstorm. I was so impressed with its performance! As light and maneuverable as the Snap 'n Go was, the Zooper was more so. It handled rough curb cuts and potholes so much better—no lifting of the front wheels necessary, no loss of steering control. And boy, was the ride smoooooth. I think some of the improvement in handling can be accounted for by the shift in...
March 21, 2005
I think we might have discovered the reason for Austen's run of sleepless nights last week: Somewhere during that time he grew another 2", give or take a hair. That means he's roughly 26" long now, the limit of the infant car seat that we've also been using as a stroller bassinet. Consequently, Al and I spent Saturday afternoon stroller and convertible car seat shopping. (Last night my friend Jean pointed out that as long as Austen doesn't mind...
March 16, 2005
The thing I've been fearing would happen just happened: I fell down the stairs while wearing the Baby Bjorn. (Actually, my worst fear was falling down the stairs while carrying Austen in my arms, but this was almost as scary.) Luckily I only fell down the last two, and I seem to have instinctively twisted onto my side to protect Austen, who was unhurt. He seemed startled and puzzled, but he didn't cry, even when it took me a...
March 15, 2005
Austen's body clock got a little messed up last night. For the past couple weeks it's been taking us 3 to 5 tries to get him down for the night, but once he finally conks out for good, he sleeps until at least 6:30am. Last night he fell asleep while nursing at 8:30, so I put him down... and he stayed down. We went to bed around 10:45, congratulating ourselves on a baby well managed and looking forward to...
March 11, 2005
It's been a busy week for Austen and me. In addition to contracting for a couple hours a day for my old company, I've also managed to get out to the endocrinologist, the Philadelphia Flower Show, and the King of Prussia Mall, in addition to my regular haunts. Meanwhile, Austen has exhibited a bundle of new behaviors this week. Although he's been grabbing my thumb with one hand while digging his fingernails into my boob with the other every...
March 8, 2005
Instead of driving over to Cherry Hill to see a Reel Moms movie I'm only vaguely curious about, I decided to attend a screening at a venue that also has a changing table set up, baby-friendly lighting and volume, popcorn, and—unlike the Loews Theater—really good hot chocolate and a Boppy to support my arms while nursing. Yep, I decided to avoid the icky weather and stay home. The rain changed to snow earlier than predicted, and the wind is...
March 4, 2005
Austen just vomited up the entire contents of his stomach while facing me in the Baby Bjorn. I was so stunned a first that I froze, but when I heard the splat, splat of curdled milk dripping onto the kitchen floor through the legholes, I sprang into action and dashed upstairs. I got Austen out of the Bjorn and his sleeper suit (luckily the vomit hadn't soaked through his onesie), tried unsuccessfully to rinse the giant splotches of spew...
March 3, 2005
Austen went to the doctor for his latest well-baby visit—the first one involving shots—this morning. The over/under for his weight was 15 1/2 pounds (it was going to be 16, but both Al and I voted under, so we backed it up to a point where one of us was under, and one of us was over). Technically Al won again, though we were both so far off that I'd say there was no winner this time. I guessed...
February 27, 2005
The title of this post is what I say to Austen when he babbles at me while getting his diaper changed: "Are you giving me the news from Babyland? Well, what's the scoop? Give me the dish!" Here's what's been going on: A sign that perhaps I should dial back the junk food consumption Al, while changing Austen's diaper: "There's a little spot of poop on Austen's onesie. Do you think I should change it? Me: "Nah, not if...
February 15, 2005
When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, we'd always look forward to the day when you could finally go outside without your coat after a long winter. Usually that day would be in the 50s, a temperature that would cause you to don your coat in fall but that in spring felt wonderfully warm. Today was that day here in Philadelphia. I managed to get outside for no less than *three* walks today, which probably accounts for...
February 9, 2005
I now understand why mothers are always talking about eating their babies—noshing on chubby thighs, swallowing cute little cheeks whole, nibbling on tiny ears. It's because BABIES SMELL SO DARN TASTY....
February 8, 2005
When Austen was born, he was a very average newborn size—and next to me and Al, he was downright tiny. We could hold him in one arm with no trouble whatsoever. He wore Newborn size diapers and Newborn size clothes. Many of his 0-3 month sleeper suits were too big. At six days old, his head circumference was in the 10th—the 10th!—percentile, news that almost made me wish I'd been able to have a vaginal birth. His height and...
February 7, 2005
To those of you who started visiting avocado8 during the pregnancy (or the election; they were going on at the same time)—and also to those who've been reading this blog for years—I want to apologize. Not for all the broken links, but for blogging about all the broken links. Just because they're tormenting me doesn't mean they should be tormenting you....
Austen slept for 7 hours straight on Saturday night (and I didn't soak the sheets with breastmilk!). It was lovely, for a couple reasons: (1) I also got to sleep for 7 hours straight, and (2) I didn't end up lying awake in bed at 4:30 in the morning thinking about missing files. This morning Austen woke after only 4 hours, and after an only partially-successful attempt at feeding him in the side-lying position, I found myself awake—with pasty...
January 30, 2005
Whenever the subject of breastfeeding comes up, my mom likes to tell about how when I was a baby, every time I cried milk would shoot out of her breasts in response. As horrified as I'd been by the prospect of projectile breastmilk, I tried to prepare for the possibility. (I'm happy to report that as of last Sunday, when I originally started writing this post, it had never happened to me.) What I hadn't prepared for was the...
January 27, 2005
I mentioned in a previous post that if we didn't get out of the house at least once each day, Austen would want to nurse practically non-stop. (This is the main reason I've been going so nuts with the snow-in.) If we can't get out (or in between outings, if we can), I spend all my time either nursing him until he conks out or trying to make him think of something other than nursing. It occurred to me...
January 26, 2005
I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I LOVE THE MALL!! Our trip there today totally changed my outlook on life. I went from feeling insanely sleep deprived, cooped up, cranky, and just plain insane to feeling cheerful and productive. It's probably because the baby slept almost the entire time we were out—even through a diaper change. He woke up to nurse and to smile at me periodically, but there was no crying. Amazing how the absence...
I managed to get the car out of our snow- and ice-covered alley driveway, so I'm able to send greetings from the Apple Store at the King of Prussia Mall. If you count double strollers as two instead of one, there are more strollers in the mall than people. Is it always like this? I'd never noticed before. Anyway, I can't get anyone to help me at the moment (apparently Macs and iPods are in high, high demand), so...
January 24, 2005
I have two rather long blog posts half-written; I'll post them as soon as I get enough free time (and free hands) to finish 'em up. At the moment a blizzard has trapped me indoors with the kid for the second day in a row (although yesterday Al was here to relieve me). Today we are enjoying the view out the window and seeing who can cry louder....
January 21, 2005
January 20, 2005
In the past week, I have dreamed the following: I met Dooce. I knocked on her door, asked, "are you Heather?", introduced myself, and the next thing I knew, we were going on a girls' night out with some other women. Dooce was pregnant again and looked great. I was surprised that she'd decided to have another baby so soon, but I didn't say anything (except that she looked great). I was lying in bed one morning, with Austen...
January 16, 2005
I'm excited to report that Austen, while still mainly an eating, sleeping, and screaming machine, has lately become much more interactive. He sits in my or Al's lap for 20 or 30 minutes at a time, several times a day, and stares, smiles, makes faces, and coos at us. It's captivating....
January 15, 2005
On the advice of a coomenter, and because I'm willing to try just about any solution that costs less than $40, I went out and got a NoJo BabySling. Oh, how I hate that fucking sling. It's supposed to be SO WONDERFUL for the baby that on top of feeling thoroughly frustrated by my inability to get the damn thing on and him in it at all, much less without hurting my back and shoulder, I also end up...
January 11, 2005
Today I have two observations on parenthood: one from me, and one from Al. See if you can guess which one is which: Observation #1: Austen is like the Borg. Not in that he's trying to assimilate everything and everyone, but in the way that once you use a weapon against the Borg, it adapts, and that weapon is never effective again. This accurately describes our experiences in trying to get Austen to sleep each night. There's not much...
January 5, 2005
It's a brand new year, and 2005 brings a brand new life (and lifestyle) to the Hylan-Cho household. It mostly involves getting by on less sleep, eating with one hand, and lots of baby-calming trips up and down I-95 for Al and walks around town with the stroller for me. In fact, I find I can function without a daily nap, but I can't function without a daily walk. Why? Because if I didn't distract Austen with a walk,...
December 31, 2004
Al and I were talking over the past couple days about the baby clothing and supplies that we've found most useful (and that we've wanted more of), so I decided to share our list. Your mileage may vary, of course; a few of the things we've liked best were specifically dismissed as useless by Baby Bargains, the pediatrician who spoke at our childbirth class, and relatives. Likewise, a few recommended items have gotten almost no use at all. Remember...
December 30, 2004
Dear Friends: After one month, I can tell you that parenthood is fine; it is pretty much what I anticipated. The best news is that Austen is both cute and relatively healthy. (The worst is that I now understand what my friend Michele meant when she said that after her son Owen was born, she would fantasize about going to a hotel so she could get some sleep.) I have adjusted, however, and am very busy. My world is...
December 25, 2004
Merry Christmas from Lori (l), Austen (r), and Al (photographer)....
December 20, 2004
Breastfeeding is both painful and wonderful. As soon as the baby latches on, you will have to pee. It's easier to change a diaper than to change the sheets. As soon as the guy from Sears leaves, the washer will start to smell like it's burning up. When you finally get a chance to sleep—and you MUST SLEEP—you won't be able to. Even if you go to bed at 6pm, you won't actually put your head on the pillow...
December 19, 2004
I'm obviously behind on the blogging; there's one more installment of The Gory Details to post, some more recent photos of Austen are in order, and I have some bathroom reviews waiting in the wings (the reviews will now include an assessment of the changing facilities as well as the paper goods). I hope to rejoin the Washington Post- and New York Times-reading public in the near future, and to resume commenting on politics, government, and Philadelphia soon. Right...
December 11, 2004
Things I can do this Saturday that I could not do last Saturday, the day we were discharged from the hospital: Ride in a car on pothole-infested Philly streets without crying. Distinguish my ankles and the tendons in my feet (and, it follows, fit into my shoes). Get on and off the toilet without assistance. Climb stairs one leg per step without relying heavily on the handrail to pull myself up. Get up from my chair while holding the...
December 8, 2004
I can't believe I just got down on my hands and bare knees on a hard wood floor, with my exposed right breast hanging dangerously close to the dust bunnies and old Wall Street Journals that I never got around to reading this summer, just to fish the tube of Lansinoh out from under the bed....
December 7, 2004
I'll continue with the Gory Details posts shortly, but I wanted to give a quick real-time update first. Austen turns one week old in less than an hour on this, his original due date as calculated by the LNMP method. So far, so good. I am regularly violating the "sleep when the baby sleeps" rule—apparently I value time to myself far too much—so Al has proposed that I limit my computer use to one session a day without the...
December 4, 2004
Austen November 30, 2004 3:36pm 7 lb. 2 oz. ~ 20 inches Mom: Swollen, sore, covered in bruises from failed attempts to place an IV, and completely ecstatic. Dad: Already a stunningly good diaper changer and swaddler, and quite possibly even happier than mom. Gory details to follow when everyone's had more sleep....
November 22, 2004
So I don't remember if I mentioned this here or not, but a couple weeks ago, our washing machine broke. (A week to the day, incidentally, after our dryer had been repaired. Why, oh why, couldn't they have both broken—and been repaired—on the same day? I mean, they were obviously scheduled to break after four years, right? How hard would it have been to make sure that they broke on the same day?) I'd been washing the second and...