Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Again with the links

Actually, I did not highlight the most expensive stuffed animal in the catalog, which I will do for you now. There is also one $80,000 item, should you need to burn through your $100,000 gift card.

We went to the birthday party of another one-year-old last night. There were a lot of the people I started MD/PhD school with, so that was nice. The massive amounts of homemade ice cream and other desserts were also nice. What was not so nice was that the birthday girl had it in for Dylan. She's a few weeks younger than Dylan, but has an older brother and sister who are three and four so she's been toughened up on the mean streets of Younger Siblingville. She threw hard toys at her head twice and yanked her hair countless times. Dylan was mostly astonished, but did cry a couple of times and spent most of the party curled up with Aaron instead of bouncing from person to person. Then the other kids went to bed and she had the run of the place, although by that time she was so tired when she tried to take a step she would miss and fall on her face. She sat and drew on a magnadoodle for a long time so we ran out and got her one of her own.

Also, we practically had a guest appearance on The Office.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lots O' Links

Woohoo! The Office tonight! Aaron figured out how to hook up our TV to get the networks just in time. I am not one to watch much TV, but so much good stuff right now. Well, not good per se, more like, "trashy shows Kate inexplicably can't resist." Yes, that's it.

I got caught out in a heavy rain storm with Dylan and Snuffy. It was not entirely unexpected because it was starting as we went down the driveway, but the beasts and I don't mind a little rain. Dylan was on her tricycle, which she greatly prefers to the stroller. Lesson of the day: people are deeply alarmed by a baby in the rain. Once it really got going strangers started pouring (so to speak) out of their houses to offer us umbrellas and shelter. In fact, babies are waterproof. It was raining so hard that each drop made a big splash on the sidewalk. Snuffy felt the need to personally investigate each one. Later on I took Snuffy running and he tried very hard to run after a skunk, which I was luckily able to nix. Speaking of skunks, we have a book that has a scratch-and-sniff skunk sticker. Weird, right? Sort of like foul-tasting jelly beans. Who would ever buy and encourage others to eat those?

I call this "Portrait of a Dirty Snuff on Clean Laundry"
Aaron and I were paging through the FAO Schwartz catalog because that's the kind of thing we do for fun, and we noticed the section advertising gift certificates. They come in many denominations, for example: $5 (this couldn't purchase a single thing in the catalog), $50 (fair enough, that's how much a lot of stuff costs in there), $1000 (hmmm, that's getting pricey, but some of the things even cost that much), $50,000 (holy crap), and $100,000 (?!!!!). They do have some excellent, if inordinately expensive, stuffed animals though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Baby jabber

I've noticed that Dylan has been able to articulate more sounds lately. They said at daycare that she jabbered the entire day and was able to copy "big bird" eerily closely. I also suspect she has a few words that I haven't quite caught onto yet. They also said some of the other babies can get up to standing without pulling up on anything first, so Dylan decided she REALLY wanted to do it and was able to after a while. She has never had any inclination to do anything like that at home. She is walking a few steps at a time more often now, although she still doesn't seem to like it that much. She can identify her nose and her feet and give high fives. She is also having little baby tantrums when thwarted and tired where I have to put her down somewhere soft, usually the dog bed, and let her flail around.

Here is a nice article that questions most of epidemiology. I'll go get working on that dissertation now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Unbiased recommendation

Want to know what College Man is up to? Is sleep cramping your style? Then this link is for you. Actually there's a podcast if you want to listen at a time that isn't 2:00am. Let me know if you want instructions.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three Separate Things

Overheard at the undergrad gym:

Guy 1: Man, that yoga session was like two hours!

Guy 2: Yeah, that was like 20 sun salutations in a row!

Guy 1: I know, that pissed me off.


I am sure I have telekinetic powers because the minute the thought crosses my mind that Dylan seems to be in bed nice and early tonight, what a nice few hours to myself this will be, she starts whimpering. Also, what's us with the still only having four teeth? It's been months since she got a new one. Maybe she's focusing all her energy on making those two front ones ever larger.


We went to the grand opening of an Eastern Mountain Sports store a couple days ago. They were making a big production out of it with prizes and big comfy chairs, popcorn, and a movie set up in the middle of the store. When we got home from Tully today there was a message on the machine that I had won a prize. Some of the prizes were $1,000 cash or a car GPS unit, but this is what I managed to win. Aaron says now we have to buy a kayak.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Go Class of 2002!

AND the baby's going to be called Nita, so that makes sense.

If you are, for example, one of my younger siblings, you have heard your share of Aaron and me making dire proclamations about how hard it is to find employment after graduation. This should provide some context (from the most recent Princeton alumni magazine):


And here's another one to file under: this house is really a psychology experiment or possibly a reality tv show.

Kate: How come you aren't excited about the milk in a glass bottle? I got it as a special treat for you!

Aaron: blank stare

Aaron: blank stare

Kate: You don't remember that you think that's a special treat, do you?

Aaron: blank stare

Aaron: rifling through fridge

Aaron: Okay, where is it then?

Kate: in corner drinking milk from glass bottle.


Now I would like to receive some kind of cosmic credit for all the things I have done this morning before Aaron gets up:
  • Ran three miles with Dylan AND Snuffy
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Watered the new grass
  • Provided breakfast for Dylan and Snuffy
  • Vacuumed
  • Cleaned the fish's water
  • Posted here, you lucky ducks

Friday, September 21, 2007

Every 5,000 Miles

I am declaring Dylan's brief and tempestuous fling with bottles officially over. No More Pumping.

They said she is going to be moved up to the next room in October or November. That is sure to be traumatic for all. One of her teachers told me she knows Dylan so well she can tell her poop from all the other babies by the smell. (hmmm, to me that means she probably isn't digesting something she's eating that well if it has such a distinctive smell) I forgot to tell them that she has been saying and signing "book" until today and they were like, ah, so that's what she was doing. I think she is less interested in walking since she realized it is work (ahem Aaron, your kid I believe), although in the long run she may find it to be less work than crawling everywhere like an enormous crawling doofus. I'm pretty sure if she wanted to she could just start running around.

The car repair place at the end of our block takes forever, has terrible service, and I can only assume overcharges us...but the "at the end of the block" part is so hard to resist that we keep ending up there anyway. Today our interactions went thusly:

Kate drops off car for oil change at lunch

"Can I bring my other car in for an oil change also when my husband gets home from work at 4:30 or 5:00?"

"No. That's way too late. You'll have to call Monday."

Kate calls at 4:30pm to see if car is ready

"No, he's working on it now."

"So, can you call when it's done?"

"Oh...you want us to call you?"

"Okay then, what time should I come by?"

"Oh...well...why don't you just call back in twenty minutes?"

Ten minutes later: the phone rings

"Okay, it's done. You can bring your other car in now."

I guess in the end it worked out well and the cars are appropriately serviced, but the mind games made it feel a little surreal.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lots of Different Things; or, In Which We Score Some Ski Equipment

First off, congrats to Cousin Nick and Jill on their Brand New Baby! Great-Grandma Nita is four for four as far as girl babies go.

Remember how we don't have a door on the pantry? And it took us a while to rearrange so Snuffy couldn't cause constant destruction? Perhaps it's time to consider another rearrangement:

We have been talking for a long time about getting cross country ski stuff for those lazy kinds of days when the city doesn't get around to plowing our street. We lucked out yesterday because a ski store in town is going out of business and we were able to get all the equipment we need for half price. Now all we need is a harness so Snuffy can pull Dylan as we go.

Dylan is still napping better at daycare now that she has taken to sleeping with the blanket pulled over her head.

I know it's not good to complain about others on the Internet, but I just have to share one thing. I went to a conference in an unnamed city on Tuesday about refugee and immigrant health. I was actually looking forward to the 2-plus-hour-each-way drive because I took out a bunch of interesting audiobooks from the library and I thought it would be a nice break from my regular work. I ended up with a passenger who wanted to carpool to the conference. At the beginning of the drive in the morning I asked if CarMate would prefer to listen to the books or music or the radio. CarMate responded, oh no, let's just talk. And by "let's" CM did not mean "us." That was a fun one, I'll tell you what.

Just as we got Dylan onto Aaron's insurance with his new job they announce that they'll be restructuring the whole health insurance program so that it's all more like car insurance with deductibles instead of copays. One thing I noticed is that deductibles are two orders of magnitude bigger than copays.

Fair warning to those who will be seeing us this weekend for Yom Kippur: Aaron has recently adopted this book as his mantra.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Aaron says I am infantile because I have taken to calling Snuffy "woof woof woof." Whatever, Dylan does it. Actually she calls hims DAW!, as she does all creatures. Now there are two of them who get all excited about the freaking squirrels.

When I went to get Dylan at daycare today she was sleeping on the cot with her blanket pulled all the way up over her head, which looks pretty funny. Her teacher had folded it down just a few minutes earlier, but quickly found it back up again. She's been sleeping a little longer lately, so I wonder if that helps? If so I think it is clear that she has inherited Aaron's penchant for sleeping in the face of all obstacles.

I got up at 5:45am today. My first moment to myself was 8:57pm. That was a long one.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Queen of No Pants

Aaron diagnosed himself with caffeine withdrawal. He has agreed to remain adequately caffeinated lest he find himself garroted with his mp3-playing headphones.

Hello, cracker. Well met.

Now, meet your destiny!
Dylan took a noticeably long time to fall asleep for one of her naps today. When I went to check on her after she has been asleep for a while I realized she had wriggled out of her pants. Well done, child.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Go on, you try to entice the baby to walk while operating the video camera.

Dylan and I had a nice day today. I'm not sure if the same can be said for Aaron, who ate a quarter-pound chocolate bar and took to his bed for much of the day Although now that I think of it, that may actually be a dream day for him.

It abruptly became fall here and the days have been gorgeous. We went to a corn maze but were stymied by rain and cold. I'd like to try again though, it looks really cool.

I've again had people warning me about the end being nigh and whatnot with the imminent walking, but I'm not sure that's true. Rather than trying to walk Dylan has spent the last month perfecting her crawling (she's on what, month five of crawling now?), so she is REALLY fast. She can also pull up on most things, so there isn't a lot that she can't already reach. I guess when she can stand unaided she will be able to cause destruction with two hands at once, so that will be more efficient for her. Her favorite activity right now is unrolling the floss. It really keeps her busy, so I've been thinking of carrying some with me in case we get stuck in traffic or something.

Speaking of traffic, she is just shy of the 20 pounds necessary to turn the car seat around. I have heard it is a lot safer to keep it rear facing, which I don't think she will actually outgrow for at least another 6-12 months. However, that will have to be balanced with her rapidly growing hatred of the car seat, which I think wouldn't be so bad if we turned her around. It currently takes quick maneuvering and some muscle to get her in as she twists and fights, mostly trying to turn around so she can hang over the top of the seat and see out the front.

Friday, September 14, 2007


We are living in some kind of alternate universe where if the baby is tired and it is explained to the baby that it is time to go to sleep she just...goes to sleep. Without even any of her usual thrashing and yammering. She just stays put, closes her eyes, and drifts off. The explaining part is key, especially in the middle of the night, which is so odd to me since she doesn't demonstrate real understanding beyond her standard tricks all that often.

Today we had all been playing on the floor in her room. Dylan took off for parts unknown while Aaron and I were slow to get up from where we had beached ourselves on the rug. I mentioned that I thought Snuffy's water dish might still be on the ground, ripe for the flipping, and sure enough a few seconds later we heard gleeful splashing. Alas, it was from the toilet.

Dylan's teachers told me today they think Dylan is more aware of what's going on than kids usually are at this age. One of the factors leading to this determination is that she will sit there and yell at the other babies and move their hands when they try to, for example, rattle the cabinet handles when she feels it is still her time to stand there rattling away. Knowing what's going on may be a good thing in the long run, but I think, as with Snuffy, that for someone who has little control over what happens to them it is probably going to make a lot of things more frustrating and difficult than they would be otherwise. Like, perhaps, starting daycare.

Remember Aaron's classic post from his job orientation a couple months ago? They had a retreat today so I'm hoping to get a little reprise out of him over the weekend. The job is working out wonderfully though, so that's cool.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It was picture day at daycare today. It felt like they had just had picture day. Which, in fact, they had because it was late in the school year last year and early this year. Yes, it's odd that daycare for babies follows the academic calendar. I actually got to take her to get the picture taken. They had some ridiculous fall scene with fake apples and leaves scattered around. She's got a throwing arm, I'll tell you what.

Another daycare tidbit: the napping area is separated by a waist-high (for some, for others, overhead) gate with a sliding deadbolt lock that Dylan has figured out how to open. That's what they get for having her sleep on a cot.

We tricked her into walking a bit today. We were passing her around at the farmer's market with some friends. One person would walk her while another caught her. The person walking her would let go a little early and she would lurch into the other person's arms. One time she went five steps. We'll try to get a video over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lazy picture post

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We knew them when

Check it out, Snuffy's girlfriend's parents are famous!

We are having a spectacular thunderstorm right now. We just had to sprint around and close all the windows.

In between closing all the windows we watched Wordplay. I usually don't have the patience for a full movie, but we couldn't stop watching it. I've been a Will Shortz fan since I was a little kid.

Monday, September 10, 2007

BabyFatReport 9.10.07

Head circumference: 45.5cm = 50th percentile
Height: 30.5in = 88th percentile
Weight: 19lbs, 11oz = 28th percentile (approx 17lbs Thigh, 2.75lbs Other)

All is well. She's pointing at the ceiling at a 15-month level. We're so proud.

The dark circles under her eyes (I don't know if anyone else has ever noticed them) are probably related to a dairy allergy. Everyone likes to start pouring cow's milk into babies once they turn one, but I've had enough suspicions about Dylan's relationship with dairy that I haven't done it yet. She won't drink it anyway so they give her soy milk at daycare. I may try eliminating most dairy to see if I can get the circles to go away, but that is going to be tough because it's our main source of protein and it's in everything anyway.

As long as this is serving as the baby book, here is some stuff Dylan does right now. 10 days in, year 2 is way better than year 1.

  • Eats effectively with a spoon (?!) when the mood strikes. This is good since she hasn't let me feed her anything in months

  • Stands on her own for a few seconds until she realizes what's happening (Wile E. Coyote style)

  • Climbs up stairs easily, but not down

  • Signs more, thirsty (it's been a while since she did this one), book (she's not good at this, but she tries and she also tries to say it). She also has some signs she made up herself for various things that she apparently thinks we should understand.

  • Says dog, bottle, and dada appropriately (also inappropriately). Says mama meaning food (we're pretty sure about that)

  • Pats Snuffy nicely

  • Unrolls the toilet paper and floss at every opportunity

  • Helps get her arms through the arm-holes, finally, hallelujah

  • Barks whenever she sees any animal of any kind, or in response to "What does a doggie say?"

  • Points and gets excited every time she sees or hears a plane, which is a lot because we're near the airport and REALLY near the hospital's helicopter pad

  • Will no longer do "So Big" or point to her nose on command except very occasionally. Those are so 11 months and she's not your circus monkey. However, I often wake up to her cheerfully and emphatically identifying my nose when we've given up on getting her back to sleep and are just letting her play between us in the bed at 3AM while we doze.

  • Goes to sleep on her own easily every night between 7 and 8pm

  • Fails to stay asleep, but usually goes back down pretty easily

  • Will not sleep well anywhere but in her own crib

  • Snuggles any stuffed animal within reach

I know everything is a stage, but she is SO EASY right now. She is happy all the time, sleeping reasonably well (last night excepted), too young for things like discipline and opinions (other than I WANT THAT CELL PHONE/DOG FOOD/TOILET BOWL CLEANER/BLEACH NOW) but old enough to entertain herself and be really fun to play with. Also, cute.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


We have managed to extend not only the Dylan birthday celebration but also our anniversary celebration for yet another week. Dylan has been going to bed unfathomably early and easily lately. Dan and Ben were up for the weekend so last night the minute her yammering stopped Aaron and I stealthily made our way out to dinner at a new place in town (thanks Dan and Ben, in case you noticed we were gone). We saw some friends who had gotten there earlier (one of whom is also a Kate and was wearing the same skirt as me, so that was just mortifying) so we got inside information on what to order.

We got some rain here for what feels like the first time in months. I wonder if that is a sign we should get a Dylan-sized raincoat? Also, shoes.Actually that was this morning and later in the day we did go buy shoes because of: raining out. Dylan is not used to wearing shoes or socks because I haven't put them on her all summer and she meanwhile outgrow the ones I had gotten for her. Now that she wants to hold our hands and tromp around everywhere we go it seemed like a good idea. I am finding them adorable. We also identified a strong candidate for her Halloween costume. I can't find a picture of it on the old world wide web, but I will give you a hint that it is a kangaroo.

And the fun in a box never ends:

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Doggie playgroup got raided today. Aaron took Snuffy to the park and was gone for almost an hour, so while I toiled in the garden I thought about how nice it was that he (Snuffy, although maybe Aaron also?) was having a good long romp. But no, Aaron stopped by and no one was there but a police car so he went to the bakery and came back to the park afterwards. The police car was still there and two of the regulars were standing sadly on the sidewalk holding their dogs on leashes. We don't know if anyone actually got a ticket but sometimes there are like 20 dogs there so it's possible. It seems like the inevitable result of having playgroup at such a predictable time and place, so it seems a guerrilla playgroup is in order. There is NOWHERE public in Rochester where it is legal to have dogs off leash, and enforcement is sporadic and arbitrary. Snuffy is characteristically pouting on the couch. He doesn't deal well with disappointment.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Radio Free Rochester

I'm sorry for not giving you any closure regarding the postcards from around the world series. In fact my parents are back in the country. And here is the real closure, our new Moroccan rugs that resulted from the trip:
Our local public radio call-in show has a program each month where they assemble a panel of experts who do a sort of radio Antiques Roadshow. As you might imagine, this is painful on many levels, which I will now detail for you. First, people call in and describe in exquisite detail the odd things they have around their houses, I presume in piles interspersed with years of newspapers and kitty litter. Things like tobacco tins, bar pins, Civil War memorabilia, and machine tools. Actually the guy who called in with the machine tools said they were only 5-10 years old, for which the group recommended craigslist. E-bay and Google are also frequently prescribed. At one point they were pretty much just hawking the Internet and counseled an elderly woman about how helpful the nice librarians are with the computers. Then the women complained about all the kiiiiiiiiids at the library. If the Internet is not the answer they ask a series of questions along the lines of "Is that made of one kind of metal, or two?" "Now would you describe the color as aquamarine, teal, or blue-green?" "If you look three millimeters in from the left side do you see a ritualistic engraving of a sheep horn" and so on. Perhaps the problem is mine as I am always excited to hear that this particular program is on.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

She's like a mime but in a real box

Every time I see my dermatologist he 1) tells me the number of patients with melanoma he's seen in the past two weeks ("I see so many people sometimes I wonder why I do this...but it's saving lives, that's why"), 2) badgers me about how important it is for me to come in routinely (I'm ALWAYS THERE LEAVE ME ALONE), and 3) offers to do various procedures to my face. My dermatologist is not that cool.

In response to comments on the last post: 1) Bryn, thanks for the ravioli, 2) this is our second anniversary, 3) otherwise we would have gotten married 12 days after Dylan was due, 4) no, we did not get professional pictures done, 5) that is a wedding picture, 6) thanks mom, I feel great too.

The consensus is that Dylan's moves resemble nothing so much as those dancing flowers. Sometimes she doesn't even seem to enjoy it but must...keep...dancing. Several people have commented that she's actually always on beat. Today she danced to the vacuum cleaner. She is still enjoying a musical birthday card from Nana.Daycare is started to send home artwork. I don't have to keep this, right?This is my Dylan in a Box series

And a bonus picture. Not a Moment of Zen per se, but something along those lines: