Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perhaps a Bigger Suitcase?

I've been spending my morning alternately prepping for a job interview and trying to pack for our trip to Washington which starts tomorrow. M's new interest in toys has been quite helpful, but I'm afraid I'm going to give my interview in the cadence of her bouncy seat's easy listening jungle reggae for babies under 25 pounds.

While trying to figure out what to take - luckily, all the people who gave us 6-9 month clothes to wear this fall will be able to feel that their gift wasn't entirely wasted - I came to the conclusion that M wasn't going to fit in the overhead bin.

So I guess she's my personal item.

Also, I think I'm preparing her for a long and glorious career as a mime.

Help, I'm stuck in a box.  No really, get me out of here.  Also, while I was typing this, she obligingly nodded off for that nap she was due for (for which she was due, rather), so now I can go and some slightly more focused preparation.

But first, I need to loosed that death grip on the moose, so I can wrap her arms up and make certain that she stays asleep.


Insofar as this is a record of M's development (see what I did there?  I just kept using M even though at the moment Meg is leading in the polls), it should be noted that this is the week where she became really interested in reaching out and touching things, including toys.  She has enjoyed Crinkly Lion and Jacques the Peacock and Mortimer the Moose, and has begun to get quite excited by the toy bar on her bouncy seat.

She has begun to bat at the hanging elephant (and a bit at the hippo, but he's on the left side, and she's showing a bit of a right-hand bias.  To think that I could have a child who was part of the right-handed majority!)


And a slightly turtle-ish face, apparently.  But it is ultimately Very Exciting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In the upper right-hand corner of the blog, there is a poll asking what we should call M on a day-to-day basis.  Leo has read that by four and a half months or something, babies can recognize their name, and we're realizing that we should perhaps develop something other than "Chunky Monkey" (pronounced, by the way, "Chunk-a-Monk."  We're using the British system of pronunciation, whereby "Cholmondeley" ends up being pronounced "Chumly" and "Marjoribanks" as "Marshbanks").

Anyway, if you have an opinion, feel free to voice it, and if you want to explain your rationale - or make an argument for your choice or for a nickname not represented in the poll - feel free to leave a comment.

EDIT: Also, just because it's too good to leave out, "Featherstonehaugh" is pronounced "Fanshaw."  So Chunk-a-Monk is pretty normal, really.

This Is Love

M has started playing with toys, which is great, because she can entertain herself for 5 minutes or so while I make a sandwich.

She's branched out from Slightly Terrifying Giraffe, and enjoys the odd round with Crinkly Lion (he is a lion, and his tummy crinkles when squeezed and his feet are useful to chew on when teething).  Mostly, she just shoves whatever bit of him is nearest in her mouth.

But I think that that's her way of showing affection.  Also, she is very fond of pretty much everything that comes within the reach of her arms.

Seriously, it's impressive the way she's started using her hands to grasp things, including sweatshirt strings, which the chews on while the wearer of the sweatshirt is unaware that their shirt is being chewed.*

*She's also learned to grab the neck of my shirt, which is a potential liability, but I suppose it's all part of growing up and learning to do things with her hands.  And I suppose that learning to do things with her hands is important to her future happiness.

Large Baby Is Large

Look at this.

1) She's holding herself up.

2) She's wearing 2-piece pajamas.

3) She's LONG.

So She's Mine

I took M to a bookstore the other afternoon, as Leo wanted to pick some stuff up at his office and M does love being taken to where she can see all the people.  We got a copy of The Poky Little Puppy, which she tried to put in her mouth.  Perhaps she's not quite old enough to hang onto the books on her own.

But she did seem appropriately impressed by her surroundings, exhibiting a proper feeling for the bookstore, no matter if Leo does say that paper books will be a thing of the past by the time she's old enough to pay attention.*

*Also, he's wrong on this front.  Absolutely wrong.  WronG.  Because there's no way we're going to lose paper books in the next three years, and I have scribbles on my copy of Winnie-the-Pooh to prove that people can be very interested in books at age three.  And I can date the scribbles, because they come from before I went to the preschool I went to when I was 4, because I have written my name with the capital B on its side, a habit I dropped once people made a concerted effort to teach me how the alphabet works.

Anyway, M agrees with me.  This skeptical look is no doubt for Leo's opinion.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mmmmm . . . Finger Food

M has taken to chewing on fingers.  I'm hoping that this doesn't mean she's about to get teeth, because I could do without her having teeth just yet, cute though they will be.

She noshed on Leo's finger this morning.

Does she look slightly guilty?

Nope, just cute.

Terrorist Baby

We've been trying to teach M to do the terrorist fist bump since she before she was born.  This meant that it looked like Leo was punching me in the stomach, but really he was congratulating our daughter on her kicking.

It seems to be finally sinking in.

But it seems that she's aware that it's the sort of thing that her parents think is cool and really isn't.

So she's worried that she allowed herself to be photographed doing it.

Yep, this goes in the file of photos to show the prom date.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

So That Explains It

I've made plenty of jokes about the suicidal nature of babies, and the assumption that, whaile sleeping, they will attempt to suffocate themselves with anything that's not nailed down.

Apparently this is true.

Or she has taught herself to play peek-a-boo.

Incidentally, no babies were harmed during this nap.  In fact, the baby in question emerged from the nap a happy and slightly smug little person.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Apparently I'm Very Comfy

M is adept at taking naps where they find her (and nowhere else, thank you, so unless you thought ahead and swaddled me on the off chance that I might take a nap, Mom, don't even think about putting me down EVEN IF THERE ARE SHOOTING PAINS IN YOUR WRIST.)  She's very cute, but I think my arm is going to fall off.  When she woke up from this sleep session, I had the clear imprint of an ear on my forearm.

But the cheeks are so rosy.

And chubby.  And without me, she'd probably suffocate on a pillow.  Also, I don't have a picture, because when she woke up, we were heading out the door to get Leo, but she got ger first sleeping on corduroy lines on her face.  They were adorable.

Mobility, Phase 2

This morning, M rolled over (front to back) for Leo (he saw it!  I'm not crazy!)

And now she's working on back to front, although I imagine when she accomplishes it and realizes that she's managed to get herself onto her stomach, where she really doesn't entirely enjoy being, her pacifier will turn to ashes in her mouth, and there will be weeping and wailing.


We begin with a slight head and shoulder turn.

Which becomes more pronounced.

And soon becomes a full side shift.

We were wondering, though, does it count as a developmental milestone when she manages to roll back to front, but as part of a front to back to front roll?  She picked up quite a bit of momentum, and she is completely spherical, so she just kept rolling.  Somehow, I think it doesn't check off that little box on her developmental chart.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Later, We'll Put Her In My Hood

I walked in the hooding ceremony for my PhD this morning, and M came to cheer me along.  Apparently, she likes the large screens in the arena, so we're going to be keeping her away from the television for a while.

Oh, yeah, Leo came too.

That's More Like It

I think M is beginning to see Slightly Terrifying Giraffe for what he (she?) really is.*

*Do all giraffes have horns, or just the males?  Ah, according to Wikipedia,** both sexes have horns, but the males have bald horns and the females tufty ones.  The evidence of STG's horns is inconclusive.

**Also, I just typed "giraffe sex" into Google.  Luckily, the search results page was not as frightening as one might imagine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slightly Terrifying Giraffe Hath Charms to Soothe the Savage Breast

M and I have a difference of opinion re: Slightly Terrifying Giraffe.*  Her opinion, however, is the one that really matters, since I only rarely go off on crying jags.  Today she did tummy time happily, under the watchful eye of STG.

See her again with STG in frame.

Also, the waggling of both M's and STG's heads brought their noses into proximity.

M was quite astonished.

Anyway, it appears that Slightly Terrifying Giraffe has won this round, but I've got my eye on him.

*Also, we have been being amused that this toy probably won't retain its charms to the point that M is naming her own toys, so it may be forever named Slightly Terrifying Giraffe.  As it deserves.

Smart Baby

I'm not keeping a baby book (I figure that M has this blog, which ought to be enough for any decent baby.  Besides, two memorials to the fact that I have more time with M than I will with subsequent babies would be excessive).  But that means that although I record some milestones, I haven't necessarily been doing all of them.

One thing is consonant sounds.  She's definitely got c and g.  And she can make an f sound, which I figure gives her f, g, h, and p.*

Her most common combination is "a-goo" or "a-gaa."  Either she's discussing swamp diseases** or she's telling us she's thirsty and she speaks Spanish.***

We all knew she was a smart baby.

And she's polite, too.  Look at her tipping her cap to her readers.

*Think enough and telephone



Sitting Up

M is developing her sitting muscles, and has decided that really, she would prefer not to lie down if she can sit.

So she likes the bumbo (which is a very silly name, honestly).

And behaves sometimes as if she's both happy and plotting world domination.

M also works out by sitting up supported only by someone holding her hands.

And mostly she likes it.

But sometimes it all gets to be too much.

And then it's nice to have somewhere to lie down.

And someone to play with one's feet.

On the Not-Stoop*

 It's been raining a bit lately, leaving the ground somewhat spongy, and foreclosing the possibility of evening yard-sitting.

So last night, we sat on the front . . . thing with the bouncy chair and watched the world go by.

The cat dealt well with the transition.

*I'm not sure if Tom McCabe reads this, but I want to preserve my contention that stoops are covered.

Sisters and Cousins and Aunts

Because we needed someone to provide the chorus in Indianapolis.  M proved a good traveler, and very thoughtfully woke up at midnight so I didn't miss a moment of my first Mother's Day.  Also, she thought that the hotel beds were nice places to hang out with the luggage.

She also did pretty well with being passed from pillar to post.*

*Which I use as a figure of speech, and should in no way be taken to suggest that anyone resembles either a pillar or a post.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Houdini Baby

When we consider M's possible careers, we need to add escape artist to the list.  I am constantly impressed by her ability to escape her baby straightjacket, since I myself have been known to get hopelessly tangled in regular blankets.  Yesterday, I swaddled her before her noon feeding, and after she dropped off to sleep, put her down.*

When I got out of the shower a scant 7 minutes later, this is what I found.  Notice the slightly guilty look.

Followed by pride, because escaping from that thing is a matter of skill.

Also, check out that upper body twisting in an attempt to get out of the chair.  Mobility, here we come!

*This is an exciting innovation from this week.  We had not been swaddling her during the day because we were wanting to highlight the differences between day and night, but she seems to have a pretty good handle on nights, and the exciting thing about the noon swaddle is that she goes to sleep and has a good nap without being held.  When I put her down unswaddled, she startles herself awake, and wants to be picked up again.  So by swaddling her at noon, it means that I can get her to sleep and then EAT LUNCH WITH BOTH HANDS.  Which wouldn't seem to be the height of excitement, perhaps, but is pretty cool when you're me and haven't done that in months.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

M and the Slightly Terrifying Giraffe

M has been much more interactive with the world in the last couple of days (again, I think she gets up in the night and reads the child development books to figure out what she's meant to be doing).  And one of the things that she's started really liking is toys.  We have one of which she is particularly fond which combines music and brightly-colored soft fluffiness.

She will reach for it and grasp it and she smiles when the music starts.

But here's the problem.  I think it's creepy.  It moves its head slowly from side to side, and I think it looks like something from a horror movie.  Like it has come to life and is just waiting for us to go to sleep so it can go on a murderous rampage.  Because it doesn't move fast - you have to really be watching to see it, which makes it seem sneaky.  Very sneaky.

Thumb Sucking Update

We think we;ve identified M's first volitional, non-necessary to sustaining life, voluntarily repeatable action.  (They've got a page for that in most baby books, right?  That's a common milestone people look for, isn't it?)

She can get her fists up to (and often into) her mouth.

But sometimes she looks like she's trying to figure out exactly what the constituent parts of her hands are, and if there's  some better hand/mouth arrangement than the one she currently employs.

And, as a friend of mine pointed out, if one just shoves the whole fist into the mouth, one is bound to get the the thumb.