Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Any Bigger And I'll Be Paying Oversize Baggage Charges*

Margaret and I have once again gone to Washington, and I have to say that the current temperature is very, very nice.  It is sunny and clear out, but it's only about 60 degrees.  Margaret is wearing pants for the first time in months.  I'm wearing jeans.  There were sweaters involved in our lives earlier today.  It was marvelous.

Before we left, though, there was the issue of packing.  You may recall that the last time we came, there was some discussion of Margaret's status as personal item.  The solution that I proposed to this was to get a bigger suitcase, and since we were flying American instead of Southwest (with baggage charges)** I did indeed get a bigger suitcase, instead of carrying two bags.

Unfortunately, she's like a fish.

Also, she seemed relatively unexcited by the trip.

Or possibly she was just annoyed about this series of pictures in the suitcase.  Maybe she knows all about suitcases, and was not pleased at the prospect of being checked luggage.  You can see her point of view.

She cheered up, though, when she saw the shoe-bag (toiletries?  At any rate, some additional bag) at the end of the suitcase.

She then proceeded to try to stick her head inside it, which meant that the photo shoot had to stop.

Anyway, we're in sunny, cool Washington state, and one of us at least is very happy with the gate agent for American, who gave us an extra seat yesterday.  Margaret got to travel in style, like a real person.  It was very, very nice.

*Also, anyone who refers to my infant as an oversized baggage will be ON MY LIST (which is not the nice one that involves Christmas presents and letters and other good things, but rather the one that I intend to use when I am made Lord High Executioner and it happens that a victim must be found).

**See the first note and tread VERY CAREFULLY.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exotic Foodstuffs

I read an article last week suggesting that the way we introduce solids to babies - bland, boring rice cereal first, followed by boiled pureed vegetables, etc - creates a legion of fussy, boring eaters.  It notes that in other cultures, babies are introduced to highly spiced foods early on, and they don't seem to suffer too much from it.

Margaret apparently read the same article, listened to Leo and I talk about ethnic food, and made her own moves.  Unfortunately, she failed to reckon with the possibility of the homophone, and so her attempt to eat Thai food became, sadly, an excursion into eating Tie food.

First, you stalk the wild tie.

Then you seize on it, surprising its proprietor.

Then, before he has had time to properly react, you stuff it in your mouth and enjoy it.

I'm pretty sure that it wasn't as peanutty as she expected from all the hype she'd been hearing.  I imagine, actually, that a tie is almost as bland as rice cereal, though perhaps a bit more substantial. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Said What I Meant And I Meant What I Said

Margaret is on a pretty good schedule these days: up at 6-6:30, 2-3 hour nap at 9, 2-3 hour nap (usually shorter than the morning) at 3, asleep by 8:30 and one wake-up around 4.

And then there are mornings like this morning, when she gets up at 5:30.  It's a small thing, but I have to remember it, otherwise we get cute photo-ops.

Anyway, this morning we had to take Leo into the office (he's working on Very Important Things and the computer ate some of it), and on the way back (at about 8:15) Margaret nodded off.  I thought that it was just boredom - we'd stopped to get coffee, and so she'd been in the car for a half an hour or so - and when we got in, I thought she might put in the time before naptime in supervising me while I did the dishes.  She's done this before, and it has worked quite nicely.  This morning, however, I should have listened to what she was telling me in the car.

There I was, washing dishes, keeping up a nice stream of inconsequential chatter about what the weather was like, what we were going to do today, the phenomenally gluey substance left on bowls by rice cereal, ways that the kitchen could be remodeled to make it less purgatorial.  And M was banging Mortimer the Moose on the tray every so often in agreement.  And then there were a few quiet minutes, and I turned around and found this:

I had bored her to sleep.  And that's not her rubbing her eye - she was completely still.  Her hand was resting on the Moose, and her head on her hand.

I don't think the dishes are that exciting either.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Suicide Attempt

Don't worry, it was unsuccessful.

As I mentioned, we built this massive baby play area in half of our dining room - cleared it of furniture, put down a giant blanket, festooned it with pillows (particularly one pillow which is designed to make it comfy for adults to sit on the floor, clever pillow), and littered it with toys.  Margaret seems to like it.  She's got a 10 foot run or so for her rolling, before she hits the table, and Leo and I both spend a good bit of time on the floor with her.  With the pillows, we can actually make the floor a nice place to hang out, so we sit there with our computers or kindles or books or whatever and make sure she doesn't kill herself.

Yesterday I wrote several blog posts while hanging out on the floor, and foolishly left the detritus of that operation on the edge of the baby's blanket kingdom.

She found it this morning.

 And, of course, felt that it needed closer investigation, which involved twining the cord around her little person.

 And then pulling the cord tight so that it drew her arms together.

 She then rolled onto her back, the better to gum the thing to death.

And tried to wrap the cord around her neck, which was where I intervened and brought her little game to an end.

According to Margaret - and she, I suppose, would be the only person qualified to have an opinion on the subject - my cruelty, as a mother, knows no equal, and I routinely take THE ONLY TOY SHE WANTS AT ALL away from her to satisfy my inscrutable whims.  Some days, life in our house is VERY HARD.  As we are, however, moments away from embarking on midmorning snack and nap, her opinion of me may change.  Possibly.  Or she may just tolerate me long enough to get what she wants.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keep Your Friends Close

And your enemies on your feet.

Early in Margaret's life, we were given some socks with rattly animals on the toes which help the baby figure out where her feet are.  When Margaret was in the business of finding her feet - well, really she didn't give any indication that she was there.  One day, she was placidly indifferent to her feet (when you said "feet" she looked at you politely and vaguely as if you were speaking Turkish) and the next, she had her foot in her hand and hasn't let go of it since - anyway, where was I?  Yes, quite.  When Margaret was in the business of finding her feet, I forgot to put them on her feet.  But tonight, I thought that she might enjoy trying them out.

She thought that they were VERY SUSPICIOUS.

When I put them on she kicked and kicked and kicked, and lifted her head and looked at her feet like they weren't her feet.  She got one off and then began worrying the other one.  The legs flailed.

And then she realized it was her foot, and grabbed hold of it.

She pulled it off, and proceeded to dispose of it as she deemed best.

I stopped her before she ate it entirely.  But you better believe that firefly has learned its lesson.

Giraffes I Have Known

This, I think, would be a good title for Margaret's* memoir.  (Of course she's contemplating writing a memoir - it's been almost six months.  The slightly tricky part is that she can't write.  Or read.  Or talk.  So she'll need a ghost writer, but these are little, piddling details that can be worked out by underlings in due course.  Her people will talk to someone's people and so forth.  Things will be arranged.)

When you think about it, there's been Slightly Terrifying Giraffe, who watched over tummy time with his frighteningly slow head turns.

(See, there's his nose, just in the front of the picture.  Any more, and we'd all run screaming).

There has also been the nice teak (I think) giraffe Leo's cousin Julie sent Margaret after one of her periodic jaunts to Africa.  The one that made Margaret learn to roll over.

And not we have Regrettably Needy Onesie Giraffe.***

A onesie giraffe ought to have more self-respect, don't you think?  I mean, I'm sure that we all would love him once we got to know him, but he's just pathetically begging for us to love him.  Poor giraffe.  His parents should have done a better job.

*I think that she has become Margaret.  She just is Margaret, not any of the nicknames,** and I've just accepted that.  Although this typing out of Margaret is going to substantially increase the amount of time I have to spend writing these things. 

**Well, she is some nicknames, but I don't think that I'm going to start writing about her as Honey (which is actually, when I say it, written Hunny) or the frequently used diminutive of Hunny, Hunlet.  This one I like because it conjures up small, century-old Germans out to destroy civilization.  Very cute.

***For those of you playing at home, this is the second incarnation of RNOG.  He comes in a multi-pack of safari-themed onesies, and M has had them in several sizes by now.

Sleep Houdini

We've gone back to swaddling the baby, for all the good it does us.  She's very adept at escaping her bonds.  But it takes her an hour or so in the morning, and . . . well, no time out of the swaddle I put her in for naps.  In fact, she can get out of that one with both arms tied behind her back (obviously) and in her sleep.


So she got her arms out before I started taking pictures, but look at this scheming look on her face.

 And then she started pulling at it more and more, probably to get her legs free, the clever little person.

All without waking up.

So maybe I need to  get rid of the swaddle.  But it makes me feel so much better.  Like I've done everything I can to make M sleep, and if she doesn't, it's her fault.*

*Not that fault is really a thing for her.  It's more that it's not my fault.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Like It Hot

WARNING: This blog post contains no cross-dressing and no Marilyn Monroe, so if that's what you came for, you might as well turn around and try again.

There, now, those of you that are left can congratulate yourselves on your tenacity. 

Finished?  Good.

Anyway, this post is more about pease porridge than Billy Wilder films.  It's not porridge per se, but yesterday we introduced M to peas (it's all about expanding her horizons, you know). 

It was moderately successful.  When I stuck the spoon into her mouth, and she got peas (unsweetened, boiled, pureed peas) instead of the slightly sweet rice cereal she's learned to expect from her spoon experiences, she gave me a look.  And then proceeded to make a very screwed up grimacing sort of face and do things with her tongue. 

Doesn't she look like someone has betrayed her trust?

At no point, however, did she spit the peas out.

She is, in fact, a very tidy eater, who got on board with the peas idea very quickly, and seems to be indicating that she would appreciate it if I would put the camera down and get back to my job, which is conveying peas to her mouth.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's A Learning Process

Although M's original mad excitement about rolling over has abated - when she first figured out the back to front roll, she refused to stay on her back at all - she is still exploring its uses as a form of transportation.  In fact, I think she's figured out that it is a form of transportation.  Today, she saw something she wanted in the distance, and quite deliberately rolled to it.

She began in the middle of her quilt (we've set up a baby floor arena in our dining room).  Notice the diaper bag in the lower left corner of the picture.

She ended up in across the room, a distance of feet.  Probably four feet, though possibly five, and when you're a VERY SMALL* person whose only means of locomotion is rolling or scootching, that's quite a distance.

She also managed to overcome the obstacle of the discarded onesie.  Well, overcome in that she picked it up and took it with her.

Also, sadly, when she arrived at her destination, she realized that she had not reckoned with the walls, and was rather annoyed, though she did seem to like kicking at the whole structure until the crossmembers fell and she twined her little legs through them.

Also, notice the diaper bag in the lower right corner of this picture.  It gives you an idea of scale.

*Compared to full-size people.  Compared to people her own age, she's a galumphing great person.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

That Stuffed Animal MOVES

Actually, I don't know that M really knows that much about stuffed animals, though I think we're getting to the point where we can give them to her and trust her not to kill herself.  This morning, however, she began to take much more notice of the not-stuffed* animal in our midst.

It started off as a simple photo op:  Hi Mom!  Look at me, sitting up.  And grabbing my toes.  That's called multi-tasking, that is.  I'll just turn my head and -- what is THAT THING?

Just going to take a closer look . . .

closer . . . closer . . .

Too close.

Well, maybe I'll move my head a little further back.

That's better.  Nope, I'm going in again.

The cat was tolerably patient, though he did stretch his claws toward the end, which is why he photo session came to a speedy halt.  I need to let her talons grow if they're really going to have a showdown.
*He's lost some weight.  No jokes please.

Playing Is Very Hard Work

Though we've gone back to swaddling her, for the most part (she's still kind of afraid of her hands, and I would be too - she's got a mean right jab) M does sometimes sleep unswaddled, particularly on days like today when her internal clock gets shifted an hour and she gets up at 5 instead of 6, and so is tired before her nap time.

Sometimes all that playing and being happy just gets to be too much, and then only thing to do is just go to sleep where you are.

It is, in this event, important to keep a good grip on your toys, as you'll never know when you might want them.

Also, if your mother thinks that you are particularly cute in this posture, she may come and take a picture of you with a camera that has a flash.  You may wake up a little and rub your eyes.

Soon, however, you will be back to sleep.

And then, as your mother is writing a blog post about how adorable you are when you fall asleep mid-play, your father wakes up and opens doors and walks around and it's just TOO MUCH.

Life is VERY HARD some mornings.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Margaret's First Typing

M was sitting on Leo's lap this morning with his computer (it's called a laptop - we wouldn't want it to get a complex, now would we?) and she decided to type.

Leo saved what she wrote, and with the magic of the internet, you can all print it out and display it on your refrigerators.  No?  Well, fine, then.  That tells me something.


..................////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////p7jl98oklj.pko....r  fdxvc/ (emphasis added)

I'm not sure what it means, but I'm sure it's very clever.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mobility, Phase 5

The end is near.

M has crept.  Briefly, and only one small bit, but it seems that from here on out, she will be moving more and more.  Luckily, I was recording at the time, so I've saved it, and my response, for posterity.  I hope posterity is properly grateful.  And because I can't figure out how to edit, you can see that I absentmindedly let my finger drift into the frame, and I let her fuss for 15 WHOLE SECONDS in case she wanted to go another scootch further.

(Also, let's see if the video works.  It's an adventure!)

Toga! Toga!

I'm not really suggesting that M is drunk, but she does appear to have rolled in from a toga party and passed out in her bouncy chair.

I admit, we should have gotten her a swaddle that was white with a purple border to really make the connection, but strangely most stores don't sell those.

Seriously, can't you see her, once she wakes up and removes the pacifier, addressing the senate on matters of great importance?

Naked Lunch

M has started eating her rice cereal with regularity, and although I'm not sure that she cares for it much - the first bite always gets a "what did you just put in my mouth" look - she chomps it down.  She's actually a remarkably tidy eater, and quite likes her high chair.

Also, I stuck the bottle there to have the hands to take the picture, and by the time I put the camera down, she had that thing out of the strap and in her mouth.  Clever baby.

She takes eating very seriously.  Very seriously.

Also reaching.  Though without the bowl, this would look like she was trying to strangle me for the duck face comment.  And she may well be. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mobility, Phase 4

So M's not exactly moving forward.  Well, sometimes a bit, but not exactly purposefully.  But she's getting more and more mobile every day.  Not in any directed fashion, but she's learning to twist and turn.

I took these shots this morning.  I didn't move, but she sure did.

She began by showing off her toe grabbing skills, but soon moved on to trying to sit up.  Who needs arms?

Then I put out a toy to encourage her to roll towards her right hand, which she doesn't like doing.

The toy seemed interesting.  Unfortunately, she was holding herself back by the gums.

But she reached it eventually, though it seems to be in competition with the toe.  Toes are so exciting, you know?

And then she flipped all the way over, but took the toy with her.

And seemed to feel that I could back off and give her some space while she gave the toy what it had coming to it.

Though she soon decided that she could be smiley again.

She then rotated herself another quarter turn just by wiggling and half-rolling.

These next few shots, she will probably be annoyed at me for putting on the internet, but it shows her maneuvering herself around.

And then slightly more to the right.

Slightly more . . .

And then the final push to a three quarter turn total.  And then she got annoyed, and picked her up, because the whole thing had taken about 15 minutes of wobbling and turning.  No wonder she looks exhausted.

And then this afternoon, she lifted her upper body all the way off the floor with her arms (which she doesn't do often), overbalanced, and bonked her head.  Poor baby.  The world is a tough place.