Thursday, December 31, 2009

solo for the president

Okay, okay, I've now got all the Annie references out of my system.

What I meant was, Happy New Year, again!

santa claus -- what's that? who's he?

We tempered all that optimism by adding Hard Knock Life to the loop, so now I'm a little bummed about all the well-choreographed scrubbing that needs to be done. Luckily daycare also introduced Dylan to movies this month (a classroom favorite is the moment the grinch's small heart grew three sizes -- the "now he's bad! now he's good!" appeals to the three-year-old crowd) so we blew her mind by playing her some scenes from the movie. I have to say, I'm ready to knock a little of that spunk out of Annie.

Speaking of Annie, Daddy Warbucks is featured for about five minutes at the end of the last Bourne movie. I know because we watched all three of them in a row the other night because Tommy got them in blueray. So much HD violence.

Ollie has been sleeping in 5 or 6 hour stretches when it suits his fickle, fickle fancy. Sadly, he is doing the same reflux thing that Dylan did, which takes significant chunks out of all of our sleep and probably will for months to come. He's still cute though, and enormous.

We're going out for yummy dinner tonight for New Year's, and are thus spending the day drooling in anticipation. Happy New Year from my elfin family. Best wishes that you, too, are drooling in anticipation. [photo credit: Dylan, for the one of me and Ollie]

Sunday, December 27, 2009

so ya gotta hang on

Dylan managed to keep her head from exploding on Christmas. She actually held it together pretty well, given that she thought she was getting a laptop based on a list generated at, and possibly by, daycare (Aaron, when she brought the list home: Do you even know what a laptop is? Dylan: No). She did get a cool dollhouse that is far fancier than our actual house, with "a wind turbine, a solar panel with electrical inverter for generating electricity, a rain barrel for collecting rain, a biofacade which uses plant growth which helps control the appropriate temperature of the house, and a shade canopy that can be pulled down or lifted up to allow the right amount of sunlight and air circulation to come through."

Luckily our spirits have been buoyed from post-holiday letdown by putting Tomorrow on a loop for the past three days, per Dylan's request. I defy you to hang on to your bottom dollar after the fifth repetition. It just wears you down.

Speaking of dollars, which are not involved in the following anecdote, there are only four people left in survivor football. If San Fransisco loses to Detroit I will win the pool, which I would estimate is equal to $700 worth of joy to me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

sees you when you're sleeping etc.

Daycare has spent the last month brainwashing the children about christmas, which they use both as a source of constant craft ideas and as an ever-present behavioral threat. In the middle of hanukkah Dylan wasn't doing what I was asking when it was time to go home, and the teacher apologized to me that she didn't know how to use the holiday to threaten Dylan to listen to me (no santa to call and whatnot). I was going to take it easy on the santa stuff, but that wasn't an option as Dylan came home knowing every detail of every ritual and all the words to all the songs. We did have fun this evening as we put out the cookies and such, although it took her a good hour and a half to fall asleep. I am hoping she doesn't pop out of bed at 3am ready to open presents.

We are on our annual end of December Tour de Upstate road trip. Ollie has already logged one two-hour car ride in which he stayed asleep the whole time. Dylan has literally never done that in her entire life. It really had not occurred to me that some of the stuff that was really hard with dylan (you may recall: the bottle, the spitting up, the starting daycare, the cessation of sleep at 4 months of age, the screaming in the car seat) might actually be easier with this one, so any of those things that is not a nightmare will feel like we won the baby lottery. I'm sure he'll come up with something of his own to throw us for a loop. So far though he's been a rather reasonable baby, although I know I still have a bunch of months of scurrying to bed right after he does to hedge my bets. On that note, he's asleep now so to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Many Moods of the One Month Old

Slight Distaste

Bemused Fatigue

Grim Determination


Tempered Optimism

Tired of Holding Up This Noggin

Irrational Exuberance


Ollie is one month today.

To celebrate he has been grinning like a fool for the first time, revealing a hint of dimples.

To celebrate I am applying an antifungal cream to his armpits, where he has a yeast infection due to growing so fast he has "fat folds other babies don't have," to quote his pediatrician. [current weight: 11lbs 2oz, up ~2.5lbs since leaving the hospital]

I am so disoriented it feels like I have simultaneously been here taking care of this baby forever and that he was born about an hour ago. The last month has been a nonstop party, with people visiting every weekend and some weekdays and Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (not to mention survivor football, where I am one of five people left out of an original 70, with of course no money at all at stake as that would be illegal. or something). We have literally not eaten this much takeout in our entire previous 6.5 years here.


Dylan is back to her old self, with a few modifications, including 1) lingering suspicion of my mom, who watched her while we went to the hospital, 2) an extra dose of evil in all her doings, and 3) a requirement of reassurance that she is toilet trained. Her version of a toileting regression has been to not actually have an accident, but to worry about having one all the time. She is nothing if not fastidious.

Anyone remember how I spent the whole year after having Dylan muttering about being relieved that I was no longer pregnant? I feel the same way, only more so this time, both because I was getting so alarmed about Ollie's size and because I was moderately ill the last few weeks of pregnancy but was holding off on taking antibiotics until he was born. An added bonus this time is that Dylan is right there with me. It turns out she had been cataloging every single thing I said I couldn't do when I was pregnant. Now each day she cheerfully mentions something I can do, such as Ride a Bike! Eat Treats! Pick Me Up (For a Little While)! Not Test Your Blood! Drink Beer! Have a Lap! Can't argue there.

She still hasn't figured out to resent Ollie and really likes having him around. The rest of us do too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a random sleep

Is an "I'm busy with a newborn" post boring? It is, I know it. Plus I imagine it has a slightly hysterical tone from sleep deprivation. And yet, that's what I've got for you today.

Ollie has had a stuffy nose for infinity days now (sometimes I lose perspective, with the babies), and hasn't allowed me to put him down to sleep since Saturday. Thus I have not had two free hands or any decent sleep since that time. If it looks like there might be a chance I could get him to sleep without being quite so personally involved I find myself daydreaming about my next three moves, usually involving personal hygiene. Then I get through half of whatever I want to do first and he's up and there goes personal hygiene and that explains a lot, doesn't it?

I feel a lot less caught up with the details this time around. Last time would think, she slept X amount last night and I ate this for dinner and changed her diaper at Y time and WHAT IS THE PATTERN TO IT ALL? This time I feel more like there is some sort of baby broadcast signal driving his actions and I can't receive those signals and I have no control anyway. I remember that the peak of crying is supposed to be 6 weeks and babies aren't very good at digesting until 12 weeks and there is no rhyme or reason to it beyond that. My main misconception last time was that the sleep would continually get better and then it wouldn't be something we would have to worry about. Which is true, but it happened over a two year time frame instead of the four to six months I had imagined and Dylan could still wake up crying at 4am on any given night even though she usually chooses not to. So: I have no hope of routinely getting decent sleep for at least a year and a half. I am appreciative that at least right now I have time to devote myself to napping and resting, assuming I can avoid Dylan and her mortal opposition to anyone in the house taking a nap. She is relatively tolerant of Ollie sleeping, but usually still notes that she wishes she could play with him. I guess for her "giving up the nap" means all of us, recent convert and all that. She's been doing great this week, though, in terms of the exorcism.

One pattern I have identified is that all those days I got to the gym were days that Aaron was home. Now he is working and Ollie can't go to the gym daycare until he's 6 weeks, so there goes personal fitness also.

I'm off to stop pushing my luck and go to bed since Ollie seems to actually be down for the moment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And The Winner Is

That's right folks, get your Baby Pool results right here.

To recap, 19 of you submitted guesses as to the baby's birth date, time, weight, and sex. In the scoring, I weighted the date most heavily, followed by weight and time, and a bit of Who's Line Is It Anyway-style point granting.

The correct answers were:
9lbs 3oz

Here is the blow-by-blow:

Four people got the date correct. Two of them, Aaron and Annabelle, were disqualified for late entries. Aaron in addition receives some kind of bad karma for entering as we were leaving for the hospital, while Annabelle gets extra points for entertaining Dylan for a full weekend since Ollie was born. The third was Anne, which is notable because she was the winner of Dylan's baby pool and must be weirdly in tune with my birthing arrangements. The fourth was me, but it must be noted that I entered on time and in the end had relatively little control over what day things got going. Had it been up to me it would have been the 19th, which is about when I started panicking about the largeness of the Ollie. Unfortunately, the kind commenters who guessed on the early side were the farthest off, and populated the bottom of the scoreboard. I thought the turkey baby guess was going to be way late, but it turned out to be reasonably close. Guesses that crept into December were, as Dylan might say, Not Nice.


You all were pretty evenly spread out throughout the day, with late afternoon a popular time. Eerily, Vanessa and Adam both guessed within 15 minutes of the correct time.

Again those kind entrants who guessed smaller weights were rewarded with worse scores. Sarah M and Zach B were both within one ounce of the actual weight, and sadly, Sarah was the only one to guess too high. So thank you all for your optimistic thinking in that regard. As was noted earlier, Alana somehow knew the baby's weight on the day the ultrasound was taken, so bonus points for that. Also, extra points to both Sarah and Alana for providing us with weddings to attend in the next year. It's all about us, you know. (congratulations!)

Everyone said it would be a boy, although Dr. Borus gets extra points for feeling the need to distinguish between sex and gender, and Sarah gets still more points for wondering, correctly, whether cookie monsters have a gender.

In summary
Aaron got the best score, but was disqualified for his lack of a moral compass. He may or may not get the lick the bowl. I got the second best score (anyone see The Office episode with the employee of the month?), but I bake things for myself all the time so there is no need to have me win a contest for such a purpose. So the actual winner is...ERICA. This is well deserved, as she is the only one of all of you who stopped by our house last weekend to bring us a treat actually called bonbons, thus allowing me to spend the last two days sitting around eating bonbons. Honorable Mention and a baked good of her choosing will also go to Sarah M for all those extra points and for being off by only 1 day and 1 ounce. Dylan gets to lick the bowl, and will likely be conscripted to help with the baking. Ollie is really not pulling his weight yet for this purpose.

Options For Baked Goods
Cookies we all know my compulsion for cookie-making
Apple Pie this tends to involve tears and rending of garments when I'm working with the crust
Pumpkin Pie cream-based, and thus delicious, even to non-pumpkin pie eaters
Also open to suggestions

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Three Weeks, second time around

I'm having a lot of fun trolling around in the archives to see what we were up to when Dylan was the same age as Ollie. It appears that last time I was just starting to be able to walk at this point. This time I was done with the sitting around taking it easy a few days ago and now I've gone to the gym four days in a row. I feel a lot better, but did you know that on the treadmill you CAN go uphill both ways?

Ollie took a couple days off from sleep of any kind in favor of resolving some digestive issues, but has now resumed his former schedule. Otherwise he doesn't cry very much, although he also seems to hate the car seat. We've had him out a lot because the alternative is often remaining cooped up in the house with a restless Dylan. She's slowly getting back to her usual self, but still, bored three-year-olds are no fun. We now have snippets of both Dylan and Snuffy popping up in most baby pictures.

He seems like he wants to use his arms better and I swear he's on the verge of smiling but hasn't quite figured it out yet. He does the bonk thing also when he's hungry, sometimes rather violently. He mostly hangs out gazing up at me when he's awake. Perhaps Aaron and Dylan could learn from his example. Actually I sit around all day gazing at him too, so we are REALLY boring to hang out with.
Oh, and this one? Will be taking a bottle. Starting now.

Curious George: A Template

1) George was a good little monkey, and curious.

2) George and The Man With The Yellow Hat ("The Man") leave the house.

3) The Man fails to provide adequate supervision.

4) George slips away.

5) George causes all sorts of mayhem.

6) George partially alleviates the mayhem he has caused.

7) George receives effusive praise for his actions from [the entire village][the shopkeep][the animals][concerned onlookers].

8) George and The Man return home.


Friday, December 11, 2009

rats. or mice. or something.

When Aaron found the shoes filled with dog food in the basement this morning, our first thought was...Dylan. That was our second, third, and fourth thought too, given her penchant for stashing the remote in her kitchen set and the gps in her tote bag. I was looking for my school ID last night and digging through her stashes of stuff seemed as reasonable a thing to do as checking my backpack. But then the questions started. How did she get that much dog food into the basement? When was the last time she was even in the basement, anyway? And has she ever been down there unsupervised?

I suggested that Aaron check if the bags of food we store down there were okay. No, no they were not. One had been...compromised. This is especially unfortunate given the astronomical cost of Snuffy's food and the amount of effort required to obtain it (I know what day of the week the shipment arrives at the store, if that tells you anything)(It's Tuesday). But that is another issue. Given our recent acquisition of Ollie, we were not in the market for any extra creatures in the house. Several hours later the nice man from the exterminator was in our home taking care of business. Aaron noted that it is a little embarrassing to have the PEST CONTROL truck in one's driveway. It's just as well though, given the increasing effort we were having to exert to ignore the scurrying in the wall behind the fireplace. Well, not ignoring, per se, but passively waiting for the other member of the marriage to figure out which exterminator to call.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

checking in

Hi, hi.

Dylan would please like to express how she feels about life at the moment. Thank you.

Today her existence has been especially taxing owing to a stomach bug. She has moved from her perch on the couch only for potty breaks and naptime.
Note the new couch. The trusty old blue one, rest its soul, did not survive Thanksgiving.
[confidential exhibit A:
Given my current frequent nighttime couch usage (ahem, OLLIE) we deemed it urgent to obtain a seating arrangement with some kind of structural integrity. There was an unfortunate one week period without ANY couch due to the inability of the couch store to accurately gauge when their inventory will arrive (estimates ranged from December 2nd to the 18th, with four different dates given). But! We finally wrestled it in the house (Hi Zach and Kate! Thank you for sticking around for the Unpleasantness) last night and have all camped out there ever since. Snuffy has been reluctant to try it out, which is just as well since he would blend in rather well and we might lose him.


On an unrelated note, I declare it unpossible to get a decent picture of both children at once. This is the best I could do so far, and really, no one looks their best in either one.

Friday, December 04, 2009

quick notes from the field

Ollie still sleeps ALL THE TIME. Dylan definitely never did anything like this. She also never caused anything like the amount of laundry he has generated. I don't think the diapers we have are designed for his body shape, if you know what I'm saying. He's slowed down with the eating a bit and is looking less like a cute little troll than he did the first week.

Dylan has gone from a somewhat alarming level of clinginess to what I would imagine is a more typical reaction of switching to her Pure Evil setting a lot more often. It's actually a lot easier to take. Her teacher noted that "this is a new side of Dylan I'm seeing." I think this teacher has been great with Dylan while she's been having a hard time, although Dylan did come home today saying "[Teacher] said she would have to call santa because someone made poor choices." Heh.