Thursday, September 30, 2010

Margaret's New Smile

Margaret has been working on a new facial expression.  Or rather, altering her smile so it's something more like a "scrunch up the entire face and snort." 

See?


Or, to put it another way, see?



The reason she's smiling is that we're playing a game where she tries to eat whatever I have in my hand.  You know, like a camera.



But sometimes she lets me get a good picture of her, so it's all fine.  And sometimes I let her chew on the camera.


Also, Leo would like it clarified that what he found particularly hip-hop about the outfit yesterday was not the hood, but the thing on the front that said "2 cute."


I think that it looks a bit hip-hop written out like that, but not on the outfit.  Besides, it still doesn't trump the trying to bite the heads off of ducks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leo Says Hip-Hop, I Say Rock

Leo is of the opinion that the outfit that Margaret wore yesterday looked a little hip-hop.


I"m pretty sure that it's the hood that leads him to this conclusion.  I, however, hold that even if the outfit on its own looked hip-hop, nothing looks particularly hip-hop when she gets into it.  Besides, given her desire to chew the heads off poultry, she's far more rock than hip-hop.


There's a duck in her right hand, though you can't see it.  And it was duly chewed.  She hasn't gotten the head off, but I am sure that once she has teeth on both the top and the bottom, she will do her very best.  She has also decided that her duckies need to come out of the bath, because she likes them so much.


Although the cell phone still holds first place in her heart.  She looked cute, lured me in for a picture, and then grabbed with the hand that has moved out of frame.  She's awfully clever in her search for cell phones.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bathtime And Its Aftermath

I admit that that makes it sound like there's some sort of terrible catastrophe -- you know, something of international importance, like soap in the eyes -- but there wasn't.  Just a couple of very soggy parents and a forsaken duck, lying lonely and forgotten in the tub while Margaret carried the cup that we use to pour water on her head away instead.


Margaret has been really enjoying her baths without her baby tub.  I think that the wide-open spaces of the real bathtub offer more scope for her kicking. 

video

Of course, this video doesn't really give you a good sense of the kicking, but does show that she really wants to roll over in the tub, and bathing her is a two-handed job.

After the bath, she had another first -- her first hair comb. 



She doesn't seem to be all that excited about it.  More astonished.



And it didn't make a bit of difference, because two minutes after, it was sticking up again.



I'm taking that to mean that at some level, it has body.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Food For Thought

We've been slowly introducing fruits and vegetables into Margaret's diet, and it seems to be going well.  We haven't added meat, for the very simple fact that we think that pureed meat sounds terrible.*

Well, it does.

Anyway, this morning Leo was eating an apple, and Margaret got very interested.  She got a few chunks out of it.


The small tooth scar near the bottom is hers; Leo took the bigger bites, but it's not as exciting when he does it.

She seemed to really enjoy it.

video


*Some people who will not be named did try to give her a piece of steak last night, but it was intercepted before she got her little gums around it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Which Margaret Does Obligatory Baby Things

There are days when I think that Margaret does things out of a sense of obligation. 


It's just so cliched -- the baby, the wooden spoon, the banging -- and I'm sure that she's watching herself do it with a well-developed sense of ironic distance.

Here, you can watch her too:

video

Even if it is her comment on the banality of infant existence, it's still cute. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Butter Wouldn't Melt In Her Mouth

Though she'd sure as heck like a chance to try it, because butter is GROWN-UP FOOD AND WHEN WE SEE IT WE WANT IT.*

Seriously, I can get her to eat her baby food by taking a bite of it myself, and then suddenly it is the thing to have.  Of course, that means that I have to eat baby food, which is kind of** icky.

But sometimes, she - idiomatically - looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.


And other times she looks like she's trying to melt plastic in her mouth, and would do very well, thank you, if people would keep their interfering noses out of her business which she can manage all very well on her own.






 *The technical writing textbook I'm teaching out of - freshman comp for engineers.  You have no idea the pain and the screaming and the clawing of the eyes - suggests that I warn students that using all caps is bad netiquette.  Which meant that I had to explain what etiquette was.  And what a portmanteau word was.  And what a portmanteau was.  It is exhausting.  But the only way to express how Margaret feels about things that OTHER PEOPLE PUT IN THEIR MOUTHS is to use all caps.

**When it's peas, it's REALLY icky.  And that one was all me, but the way I feel about unseasoned pureed peas from a jar can really only be expressed in all caps.

She'll Eat Her Hat

I should first apologize for the scandalous gap in my blogging.  It's really that my camera has gotten some sort of schmutz internally, and has to be sent off to the manufacturer to be replaced, as per warranty.  Of course, I got said camera in Port Angeles, after Margaret's attempted suicide* and the paperwork didn't migrate with me.  So I had to get a proof of purchase replacement (which I now have) and will be visiting the camera store this afternoon to send it off.

Which means that we are stuck with cell phone pictures for a while.

Anyway, even though it is unseasonably warm in St. Louis (which takes some doing, I can tell you) we went to the Botanical Garden this morning because . . . actually, I'm not sure why, but we did.  Probably because we kept saying, on all the cool and crisp days, that it would be nice, and then we chose remarkably badly.

Since it is still sunny here, Margaret wore one of her hats.  On reflection, I think it's the hat that she ALWAYS wears when going to the Botanical Garden.**



She sat in her stroller without her infant seat, so felt very grown up.


You can tell by the way that she's looking at the snack and drink holders on her stroller in a questioning sort of way.

Her hat has a habit of sliding into a rakish angle.


Which causes her to look around to see if someone can do something.


When we failed, she took matters into her own hands (and mouth) and dealt with her hat all by herself.


What a resourceful baby.

*Yes, that's how I'm remembering it.  Nothing to do with my clumsiness AT ALL.

**We went once before and she wore the same hat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Descriptive Clothing

As you all know, I have issues with clothes that ventriloquize the baby.  I don't want Margaret running around (scootching?) in a shirt that says "I Love Mommy" without her express permission for such a shirt.  After all, perhaps all she feels for me is mild affection.  I want her to be able to decide what she feels comfortable telling the world.

Of course, she has these really cute monkey pants, which came with a set that has just such a shirt.  Seriously, the monkey on the rear of a crawling baby?  Too cute.


And so I let her wear the shirt with which I was somewhat uncomfortable, because heaven forbid that she NOT MATCH.


It says "Bananas Over Mommy," and that smudge is something to do with the camera, not the baby.

Anyway, apparently she can read, but is somewhat literalist in her interpretations, because when I fed her her dinner, she got bananas not only over me, but over herself and everything else she could reach.


Notice the banana in her hair.  It was a first for her, and we're all very proud, because it means that she can get her arm up that far.  Yay for the beginnings of proportionality!


Anyway, as it is a purely descriptive shirt, she can keep wearing it.

Meet Albert

This is Albert.


You may notice that he looks a good deal like Margaret.  In fact, so much so that you can't tell them apart.


Albert is our cover story when Margaret is dressed in masculine clothes.  We decided on this on our way back from Cape Cod when people were assuming that she was a boy even in a pink sweater.



Notice how hurt she is (and we'd taken the sweater off to go through security.  And her shoes, because my baby is clearly a DANGEROUS TERRORIST).

So we invented Albert.  He's named after my grandfather, who was named after George VI.*  We call him Bertie.

We thought you'd like to meet him.

*He wasn't, but when you're making up a lie, why not go whole hog?  My grandfathers were in fact named Robert and Vernor.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mmmmm . . . Pack N Play

Margaret is a tall baby, and she is developing leg strength daily.  She loves to be pulled up to a sitting position, and then to standing.  And she does a good deal of the pulling herself with those little arms.  One of my favorite things she does is tugs my arms into position by the thumbs, pulls herself up to sitting, moves my hands up and tugs on my arms until I lock them, and then pulls herself up to standing.

Anyway, I am realizing that maybe I need to drop the mattress in the crib.


Next step: escape!

Or possibly a nap.


Yes, definitely a nap.  Naps are so peaceful.



And books make phenomenal pillows.

 

Haute Couture

We went to Molly and Ken's wedding last weekend (hi guys!  It was beautiful) and Margaret dressed to the nines, whatever those are.  In fact, I think it possible that she dressed to the tens or elevens, but the dials don't go that high, so it didn't register.

We have a team of grandmothers handmaking her clothes, you know.

Anyway, my mom made two absolutely gorgeous outfits for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding itself.  Here is the rehearsal dinner one.


And here's the wedding.


As day turned to night and things got colder, she swapped her coat for a sweater, and added some somewhat less coordinated legwarmers.


Oh, and she succeeded in taking off her shoes, which she regarded with a good deal of skepticism right from the start.

The outfit for brunch, made my Leo's mom, can be viewed here.

Anyway, over the course of the weekend, it became clear that Margaret was a baby with a hat for any occasion.  It's a horrible reputation to have.  What happens now if there's an occasion for which she lacks an appropriate hat?

The pressure is just too much.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Her Uncle Ron Is More Daring Than Mine; Or Margaret Tries Cinéma Vérité*

I know that I promised pictures of the wedding, but there have been various technical difficulties involving the theft of my camera cord by the same Ron mentioned in the above paean to his superb uncle-ing and my computer's power cable deciding to go walkabout while I went to Cape Cod, no doubt feeling that it deserved a vacation, and should thus take one.

Since, however, I imagine that you have all been experiencing extreme Margaret withdrawals (except, perhaps, those of you who were actually at the wedding and so got to see her in the flesh and without my running commentary) I have here a little of her experimental cinema.


video

I would like especially to draw your attention to the haunting incidental music provided by Slightly Terrifying Giraffe.  I think that it is his malign influence that has led my daughter down this path.

*Please see this description.  I draw your attention especially to the first paragraph, which identifies cinéma vérité as
a style of documentary filmmaking, combining naturalistic techniques with stylized cinematic devices of editing and camerawork, staged set-ups, and the use of the camera to provoke subjects. It is also known for taking a provocative stance toward its topics.
I feel that this exactly describes the following video (especially the part about using the camera to provoke subjects).  Also, filming and editing credit go to Margaret's uncle Ron.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

gon out, backson, bisy, backson, e.h.

We're leaving to go to Leo's cousin's wedding, and I'm not taking my computer.  Lots of pictures promised for Monday, though.

Here is Margaret trying on her coat for the wedding.


And her bonnet.


I can see that we're going to have trouble with that ribbon.  Perhaps we can convince her to keep it on for the pictures.

(There are other component parts of the outfit - a dress, for example - but no pictures yet.  That's why you have to come and look Monday afternoon).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hard At Work

Margaret, having discovered that she can move, doesn't want to stop.  Ever.  She is now possibly the squirmiest lap guest I have ever encountered.

But just now, she fell asleep mid-crawl.


Because life is just super-busy and tiring, you know?

Margaret the Mighty

We have an activity bar that clips/screws on to Margaret's car seat, and provides her with entertainment as we travel.  She likes the many things to look at and smack and occasionally chew.

It looks, when attached, like this:


Yet today, when I went to get Margaret out of the car, I found a sad and mangled activity bar.


Perhaps she had a premonition that I was going to take a picture, and wanted to let me get her face.*

But look at what she did to the poor toy.


 Completely turned around and taught a lesson.

*There's a certain circularity in this, since I wouldn't have taken a picture if she hadn't manhandled the bar out of the way, but you can't expect a 7-month-old to indulge in particularly clear thinking, can you?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Margaret's Cunning Plan

Margaret just attempted to escape from her corral (or "the pokey" as I like to call it) cleverly disguised as a blanket.  I think that she asked someone to wander around saying "Tut, tut, it looks like cold" in order to put me off track.

Of course, as with most of her endeavors, she got distracted at some point, and veered away from the hole in the fence.   But it is a really good disguise; you can't deny it.


video

Forbidden Fruit

Occasionally, I do something really cruel.  I don't mean to, because I haven't thought things through from Margaret's perspective, but then I realize that what I have done is just plain mean, and I feel bad.

Take, for example, my behavior the other night.  It was a nice evening, and so we decided to eat our dinner in the backyard.  I brought out a number of things stored in my pockets (I was carrying Margaret, and trying not to drop her down the back steps).  I put her down on the blanket and emptied them out.


 All so exciting, and none of them is she allowed to have.  The sadness.

And the stuffed giraffe DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR THE CRUELTY OF TAKING AWAY THE ONLY THINGS SHE EVER WANTED, THE BEER AND THE CELL PHONE AND THE FORK, she mentioned politely.

Poor Margaret.

Hint Hint

Next week we're going to Massachusetts for Leo's cousin Molly's wedding.

We're going on Friday and coming back on Sunday, and there isn't going to be much free time.

But Margaret seems to be suggesting that she wants to get out on the water.


She also seems to want us to put some beer in her bottle.


Her ways of communicating are rudimentary at best.  But look at this conspiratorial little look.


I feel like here she's got a used car to sell me.

Standing On Her Own Two Feet

Not content with blasting through milestones like sitting and teeth and crawling all in one two-week period, Margaret has developed a love affair with standing.  She can't really do it on her own (though more later on that) but she's working hard at it.

She practiced at the zoo.  Notice how she's checking with her grandmother to make sure she's doing it right.


And then this morning, she was sitting with Leo on the couch, and she accomplished this all by her own unaided efforts.  Notice that his arms are not involved.





I means, she's getting a good bit of support from the couch, but she still hefted herself up. 

And since she's figured out that she can move and maneuver, she has had little interest in sitting still.  I'm so looking forward to taking her on the plane to Molly's wedding next week.  Why, Molly, why couldn't you have gotten married last week?  It would have been so much easier on me.