Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nine Months

Dylan is suspiciously close to saying a word or two. She crawls desperately after me all the time going mamamamamamamama. It is unclear whether she is actually refering to me, but it's starting to seem like it sometimes, especially when she switches to dadadadadadada when chasing after Aaron. She is getting quick with the crawling and its attendent potential for self destruction. When she sees something she wants she gets this fixated googly eyed look.

She often crawls directly under Snuffy, who looks down like, how did you get there, and then gingerly steps away. They got in their first fight today when Dylan kept trying to take his rawhide. She also likes to take his water.

She is really starting to understand a lot. She waves all the time and tried to do the itsy-bitsy spider today. She can feed herself a fair amount, although she still seems sort of intolerant to some of the things I try with her. Her second bottom tooth cut through in the past day or two, which explains a lot. She has been pulling up to her knees for a couple of weeks, but has only starting pulling up to her feet in the past two days.

Playing with her now is so much fun. Also fun is that she plays by herself while we do other things nearby. Our house has a nice setup downstairs for her to scuttle around in. It is fairly safe, although complete babyproofing seems like a myth. We had just stopped having to gate Snuffy in. I daydream about getting the kind of gate that can swing open like a door because that's the kind of excitement I like to have in my life.

Also, our home has been infested with a single enormous rodent:

And a single evil imp:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I live to serve

Although I will not actually be required to serve. After postponing my Civic Duty twice (Time 1: Nine Months Pregnant; Time 2: Three Months After Pregnant) I finally got myself down to the Hall of Justice, resigned to a ten-day Grand Jury adventure, which I choose to think of as a reality show. I made it through the parking lot (not reimbursable), security (do not let your toes cross the yellow line before you are called), and last-minute opportunities to postpone again (so tempting), only to be eliminated by a good old raffle-style drawing. Yes, the Commissioner of Jurors stood at the front of the room and drew names out of a box. I sat there debating (on the inside, thanks for your faith in my sanity) whether I wanted to be called or not, which as it turns out has no bearing on what actually happens. I was one of six people from my group who didn't get called, while twenty-three people did. Grand Juries are not the kind of things you can get out of by spewing bigotry or pleading incontinence, because they didn't ask anyone any questions before they got picked. Because I didn't beg off yet again I got credit for serving this time, despite my lack of actual service. I am officially off the jury selection market for the next six years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekly Planner

Monday: Memorial Day; try to do work without daycare
Tuesday: One and only work day this week; try to do work despite
sadly fractured sleep the night before
Wednesday: Grand Jury I
Thursday: Grand Jury II
Friday: To New Jersey (jealous, aren't you?)(NJ jokes: too easy to

And a preview of the rest of June:
Grand Jury days III - X
Aaron does France
Uncle Tommy graduates from high school
My birthday! Month-long festivities

Monday, May 28, 2007

Testing testing

Oh crap.

Dylan suddenly resembles a sentient being. A sentient being who doesn't go to bed before 10pm. We had our first extended experience at home with her this weekend since she learned how to really motor around. It was more labor intensive than it has been in a long time, except last time she was this much work she didn't have such strong opinions about everything. Much like Snuffy at this age, she is interested only in chewing plastic bags and power cords. Also like Snuffy, she seems to have some minor digestive issues. And does not know the go find something else to do command.

Aaron's interpretation of "Can you watch the baby so I can walk Snuffy?"

Dylan's time out spot:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dylan wears board shorts

And helps with the laundry:

I'm trying to teach Snuffy the command go find something else to do. This command would be useful in any number of situations. For example, he is currently standing next to me. Just staring.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day at the Beach

While I was in nursing Dylan in the new room, one of the teachers was doing an activity with the babies. Or, more accurately, she had given herself an activity: stop the babies from eating the bite-sized pieces of tissue paper she had given them.

The past two days have been really hot and muggy. A barbeque and picnic at Lake Ontario (now with 50% more algae!) seemed like a reasonable reaction to the heat. Except that the minute we got there it dropped 15 degrees and the wind picked up and the law showed up. After a dog romp and swim the barbeque got relocated to our driveway, where it started raining. Luckily at vegetarian barbeques everything cooks in like three minutes.

We took the Subaru, the car with the trusty, yet-to-malfunction turn signals, in for some brake work yesterday. I'm not even going to guess at how much we are averaging per week on car repairs, but it's substantially more than our dream of zero dollars I'll tell you what.

Dylan's wardrobe has recently expanded quite dramatically. Lesson of the week: despite her chunky limbs and fat cheeks, some pieces may actually look cuter off the baby than on due to their table cloth-like appearance:

Also, the Itsy-Bisty Spider: how funny is that?

The majestic beast grazes on the open plains:

The majestic beast needs a tummy rub:

Friday, May 25, 2007


My black lung disease is finally clearing up. I tried to run a couple days ago and my lungs just laughed at me, which I guess is why they were too busy to breathe.

Our (somewhat frail, possibly elderly, but hard to tell exactly how elderly because of the frail) neighbor had his driveway redone last week and as far as we can tell has spent the entire time since then outside staring at it. I wouldn't say admiring it necessarily, just staring. Yesterday his brother and sister-in-law visited to support him briefly in the staring. We have to chat with him every time we walk by. When Aaron never came back after taking Snuffy outside I had to go rescue him.

Dylan did okay at daycare today. Her sleep has still been nuts, which makes our collective quality of life take a steep nosedive.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Room

Dylan has been alternating between doing okay in the new room and sending her new teachers into the depths despair. She's been cranky (Cranky 2.0: now with added violent back-arching and a shudder-inducing guttural noise!) at home since we got back from the trip. I don't know if all the travel threw her or what. I am ready to throw her myself. I think the idea of a gradual transition between classrooms is not implemented quite as described ("Teachers from the new classroom will come visit your child in his/her current classroom. Your child's teacher will take him/her to visit the new classroom to play for a little while with a familiar face nearby.") and not working that well anyway since she cries when they take her our of the old room.

But in general this is going to be great for her once she gets used to it. One of the teachers in particular is AWESOME. She has been so communicative and concerned to make sure she is doing everything to make the change easier. She checked to make sure she was saying Blumkin correctly because she had been using it to rhyme with pumpkin in the lyrics of a song she had made up to cheer Dylan up. The teachers in the old room never even figured out (or, I suppose, listened to me tell them) how much she likes music. The babies in the new room are 9 to 18 months. It's a lot more fun to visit the room because the older babies understand a lot and toddle around everywhere.

Next week she'll only be there three days, so that will throw her, so I'm guessing she doesn't settle in very well for a few weeks still.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

boys boys boys

Yesterday I brought neither lunch nor lunch money to school. The precipitating cause was my turnip-like brain functioning. Background causes included my ongoing noble battle against phthisis and Dylan's flatulent 4-hour bender starting at 10pm the previous night.

In a possibly related turn of events, Dylan had a rough morning at daycare yesterday. They were apparently just joking about starting her room transition last week because when I got there to feed her today they said she had lost it after a while in the other room, where they had just started brining her. She did okay in the afternoon though. It's a lot of the same kids who were in her room when she first started, all of whom are boys. They had been dying for a girl when she first started, but I think they lived to regret that idea. It's weird because I hadn't seen most of them since they had moved up and now they're all standing and sporting actual hair.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Trip Highlights: Photo Edition

Dylan can't pass up a continental breakfast and was so eager to get there that she got up before 6am.

Lest you forget what school is for (Josh is just underneath the banner)

And the diploma granting. I figure this deserves a picture because Dylan tried to take all the attention all weekend.

I wouldn't mess with this crowd.

Dylan talks cooking with Ben

David could no longer resist fat baby drumstick

Not pictured: the FOUR flights of beer ordered by members of our lunch party.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trip Highlights

My conference call on the way to Albany was lengthy, yet inaudible. It wasn't actually a conference call, it was a real life conference, but just I wasn't there. I can only assume that the conference attendees thoughts of me as Charlie on Charlie's Angels.

We had a good time at Uncle Josh's graduation. Such a good time, in fact, that the graduate got jealous looking up into the stands. There were a lot of people pacing with babies at the periphery of the auditorium. Dylan made friends with a 15-month-old who tried to push her away in the stroller. The other baby was with her grandmother, who didn't speak much English, but she could say "Grandmother...tired."

The graduation speaker started off by saying how graduation speeches usually look toward the future with an uplifting message, in apparent contrast to the message she wished to deliver: great civilizations have been brought down before by changes in climate. Seize the day!

The car rides generally went pretty well, with the notable exception of one solid hour of screaming when some of us couldn't fall asleep (luckily not Aaron, who was driving).

Aaron's whole family was there, including three out of Dylan's four grandfathers, so that was a lot of fun. We hadn't been to Albany since we moved away four years ago. I don't know where Aaron and I picked up our respective plague/TB problems, but I apologize to everyone who had to be around us during our zombie-like period over the weekend.

We had to swing by Ithaca to get Snuffy from Camp Eisenberg. My brother kept saying "It smells like updog." Aaron, my mom, and I all belligerently asked what he was talking about until he lamented to his friend (via the internet on his headset, if you need a nerdy visual) that we wouldn't ask "what's updog?"

Just before we got home we saw a bumper sticker that said "Revolutionary War Vet." Discuss.

Pictures to come.


I seem to have a touch of consumption. Aaron has contracted a wee bit of plague. Dylan doesn't sleep when we travel. We are a fun bunch right now, let me tell you. If I have the time and mental fortitude later today I'll give you a weekend report.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Treasure ahoy

I woke up the other day and thought, "I wish there were some version of a treasure hunt for grownups." I suppose geocaching counts, but I was thinking of something else. I live an odd life. Then, two days later, I see in the paper that just such a thing is coming to town. I was SO EXCITED until I realized we'll be out of town. Anyone want to make a treasure hunt for me?

Dylan seems to be ready to learn some signs. I think my next project will be teaching her jazz hands.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Past my bedtime

We Bleisenblogs are mourning the end of Gilmore Girls. Yes, we know it went downhill after the first few years, but by the time we realized it we had gotten sucked in too far to escape. Please think of us at this difficult time.

Remember how the inspection had expired by a long time on one of our cars? That turns out to have been true of both of our cars. Who knew? Although the nonfunctional turn signals probably posed a more imminent danger to public health.

I have been dragging all the rest of the furry family along running with me a lot of days. Aaron alternates between running and walking, and this has worked well because Snuffy sprints between the two of us and gets a lot of exercise. Today he just stuck with Aaron the whole time, then was really restless the rest of the day. To the glue factory with him.

We're going to Albany tomorrow for Unkie Herb's graduation. I am supposed to be on a conference call at the same time we're driving there.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Better trained than the dog

She also waves whenever anyone says bye-bye.

Here's a more self-indulgent one that's 2.5 minutes of Dylan hanging out in the living room:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Talk about puppy dog eyes

Mother's Day card Dylan's grandmas got, along with gifts from

Dylan really started crawling everywhere over the weekend. She is getting into a lot of stuff now, which is fairly manageable, except that she gets VERY ANGRY when she is removed from the stuff. She spends her whole bath trying to crawl over to suck on the drain stopper lever, which is right below the very sharp faucet. I've started keeping the water level at like two inches so she doesn't end it all with the crawling.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fun with Government

Part the First. Last month we were lured in by glossy brochures at the post office advertising "Passports, GET your passports here." We thought, Dylan doesn't have a passport! That could be us using that service. We soon put together the paperwork proving we were her parents (fingerprinting, DNA testing, that sort of thing) and trotted on down with our checkbook (for the state department part of the fee) and credit card (for the part of the fee that takes credit cards) in hand. They laughed at us, ha, for we had no appointment and it would be another month before we could get one. Last weekend, finally, all our dreams culminated in our appointment at the post office. Where we walked up to the counter, handed the woman our paperwork, and were done in less time than it took the man next to us to pick out stamps. And I didn't even mention the part where we spent an hour and a half at Walmart because it was the only place we could figure out that takes passport pictures.

Part the Second. We got a notice in the mail a few weeks ago that our house was being reappraised, and someone was to be at home at 10am on some random Tuesday. I don't know how other people who have real jobs deal with stuff like that, but luckily none of us do (Snuffy! make yourself useful, dog) so it's not a problem. Apparently it was supposed to be done right after we bought the house because the appraiser kept asking Aaron about things like the sale price and taxes and Aaron would reply, huh, so he finally asked when we had moved in and Aaron told him it had been almost four years and that cleared things up, except for why it took four years for the county to find us. I think it was the invisibility cloak I got for the yard.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Three Dog Weekend

Aaron on why three dogs are more rambunctious than two:
"See, if there's three of them, it's like, do you want to play with me? No, you don't want to play. Well then you want to play. Play play play play play! play! play! play play."

Another treat from the Lilac Festival: a DanceHeads booth (motto: no talent required). It is a bizarre world out there.

Daycare sent home a framed Dylan footprint with a poem on it for Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Mom-in-Law. We made and ate our favorite weekend breakfast to celebrate, fried potatoes with pepper and onion, scrambled eggs with tomato, toast, oj, and hot chocolate. Anyone who stays with us is free to request this breakfast, along with complimentary toiletries and use of the shower. Our Mother's Day card (it's all about us, you know):

Kate (while holding diaper bag on shoulder): "Where is the diaper bag?"


Later that day, the view from the couch:

And Aaron's view:

Their numbers mushroomed to four (five?) at one point:

Dylan enjoyed the show from her stroller,

But would like to be kept apprised of who is pushing her, please.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mood Swing

We went to the Lilac Festival yesterday. Dylan was cranky on the way there because she did not take a nap the entire time she was at daycare. However, once she realized we had taken her to what amounted to a great big party she was all smiles. It's like being with a local politician when she's like that because we can't walk more than two feet without someone stopping to chat with her.