Tuesday, March 30, 2010

For the record

We're back, we're tired. All that hanging around in 12 inches of water wears a girl out.

I can't seem to muster the presence of mind to string words together in an entertaining way. I'll settle for stringing words together. So, for the record:

-It is now clear who Ollie looks the most like: Dylan. With like 80% less hair.

-I started feeding him oatmeal yesterday. He was like, I don't know what you're doing, but I like it.

-At four months he is routinely sleeping 7-9 hours in a row, starting between 11pm to 1am. He's still uncomfortably gassy and screamy a lot in the evening, so I'm not sure if he'll sleep so well at night when he stops wearing himself out from all the yelling. Maybe I just don't trust him since Dylan was an unpredictable sleeper until she turned two.

-I'm still having trouble getting him to nap in a bed even once a day, but it's getting a little better and some days he'll hang out with my happily while I try to do stuff around the house. He likes the jogging stroller so when all else fails at least I can get some exercise.

-He screeches A LOT. He sounds like a yipping puppy sometimes. Per blog history Dylan did the same thing.

-I am now up on many many tv shows that I don't really want to be knowledgeable about (see: bedtime, Ollie's; Olympics, ending of). There is a little girl on Parenthood who more or less IS Dylan.

-Dylan is more fun than ever and more crazy and complicated than ever. Three-year-olds: are nuts.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Current Status

Dylan: Asleep
Ollie: Eating feet
Aaron: Stuffing his face with his brothers and mother
Kate: Blogging, watching tv, planning next year's schedule

A,D,K,O--Disney Lite
Snuffy--Camp Ithaca

Scene one hour ago:
Dylan, frolicking happily in her dream setting, a giant 12-inch deep water play area.
Melanie, wading intrepidly around after Dylan.
Aaron, Josh, and Zach, going down a large, steep water slide, resulting in being counted in an attempt to break the guinness record for most people going down a water slide in 24 hours. Guess that means the water park is open all night.
Kate, Ollie, trying to figure out how to nurse in a bathing suit.

Plans for tomorrow: Water play, possibly leaving hotel.

Current plan: Feed baby something other than feet.

End dispatch.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Morning at the BleisenHaus

"Dylan. Put on your underwear."

"No! I will be naked all day!"

"But it's cold and raining! You'll be very cold."

"Well, I will wear a jacket."


Go Cornell! The weatherman here was wearing his Cornell basketball shirt yesterday.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The White House website has a Q&A about the health care legislation. It features such questions as "Will the government take my choice of doctor away?" ("No.") and "What are you going to do about all the confusing forms I have to fill out?" ("Make it simple.")

If we're going down this road, I have a few questions for you also, White House. "At what point will the government finally take action on the light bulb in the dining room that burned out in a burst of flames several weeks ago?" "Why does the carbon monoxide detector continue to make alarming noises, even while denying the presence of carbon monoxide?" "When will you, the White House, come up with a fix for getting the four-month-old to nap, an issue that has not been adequately addressed either by the government safety net or the private market?"

Now I am off to tackle the burning question of how to make some yummy trail mix while holding an interfering infant.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Purple Thunder

Once we have thought of something that needs to be purchased we don't mess around. Dylan is now the proud owner of this, but in purple:

No actual pictures of the child on the bike have been taken yet since I haven't had my hands free of baby in several days, but it's like a real kid on a real bike. Uh, here.
She LOVES it and the first thing she asked when she woke up this morning was if she could go to the garage to look at it. I always thought training wheels were unstable and terrifying, but she hasn't figured that out yet. Once Ollie can sit in the bike seat we can all go out together.

We're going to see Peter Pan this afternoon with Dylan lest she think all plays are about singing dancing children with no parents around, having been taken to see Oliver a couple weeks ago. Oh. I see. We've been cramming this week with the disney version in preparation. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


We set about to wear Dylan out Sunday so should would still be able to go to bed at 7pm, which was really 6pm, and while we're at it why not try for 4:30pm? We did our work a little too well (family hike, garden expo [dylan was sad because she thought "garden show" would involve singing and dancing], playtime at the Y [we are very into the Y]), and by 4:30 she was a molten puddle of exhaustion. It's been that was every day this week because it's been the first sunny spring week. Rochester residents are thus compelled to spend every possible minute outside, which wears a person out at some point, you know? We need to get that kid a real bike, she looks a little silly on the toddler one now.


Ollie has dialed down the gas-related screaming in the past few days, but not before an ill-fated trip to Wegmans. Usually I don't mind taking either kid to Wegmans because they think it's fun, although both at once is a bit much and Dylan is less fun now that she wants to walk all the time yet has no awareness at all about the mean mean people at our Wegmans who would just as soon mow her down because one less person to grow up and block their access to the fancy cheeses for an intolerable 20 seconds. Anyway, Ollie was having a little episode in the baby carrier that was like--you know those super-powered mosquito death machines in the airmall that attracts mosquitoes not just from your own yard but from a half mile radius? Yeah, it was like that, but with a crying baby as bait and every older woman in the store playing the role of mosquito. Oh? You have to feed babies? I...I hadn't realized. Someone asked me if it was my first baby, mid-screamfest.

Plus, PLUS there was a press conference. In the produce section. I was flailing around and trying to get to the bathroom so I could spread out a bit and tend to him better, but the bathroom is right next to the entrance to the store, which was entirely taken up by a large cadre of people advocating for wine to be sold in grocery stores. Ollie takes issue with the threat to small local businesses, and was hell bent on getting his point across despite my attempts to muffle him. I watched the local news that evening, but I couldn't actually hear him in the background. Luckily his penmanship is not good enough to put together a little baby protest sign.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

time time time

At this time next year we will be finding out where we're going next. We'll also be signing Dylan up for kindergarten (did you know there are outward bound schools? that's the kind of school I would make up if it were up to me). Ollie will have just started toddling around, if he's anything like Dylan (that is, on the late side, with the walking). And Aaron will be almost out of prison! March 2011 will be a big month around here. Daddy's coming home, kids!

Aaaaaand judging by the past few years we may not remember a whole lot of what happens in the interim. Aaron and I both realized the other day that we don't remember large chunks of the time since Dylan was born. For example, I have NO IDEA what it's like to live with a one-year-old, despite having one year's worth of training. Luckily the blog archives have been helpful in jogging my memory. I was just wondering whether to move Ollie up to the next size diapers, and yep, Dylan abruptly outgrew this size at this age, which required a special trip out to buy more while we were on a marathon road trip. Oh, we read to the last baby at this age? It had not occurred to me to read to this one. It seems so...futile. I mean, we've been reading to the big one for 3.5 years now and where has it gotten us? I see no gainful employment, nor any but the vaguest nod towards the existence of phonics. But I gave it a try this evening and he seemed to slobber on the book with particular enthusiasm.

With Dylan I was so focused on everything she did, everything was so intense. With Ollie there's so much going on I have to look away a lot more, and it's really fun to look back sometimes and winder, hey, when did you learn how to do that? Look back. I'm on a horse. But really, I think there is something to be said for having a baby and then going about your business to a certain extent.

Speaking of 3.5 years, Dylan has made it more than halfway to her next birthday! When someone asks about her birthday every single day of the year one just assumes that there will never be any progress at all in getting closer to the actual birthday.

I also went digging around in the archives to see how daycare was going for Dylan at the age when Ollie will be starting this summer. At this point with Dylan we were already neck deep in non-bottle-taking, non-sleeping, and screaming there. By the time she was 7 or 8 months it had settled out quite a bit. I can see how this would be a tough age to start having someone else take care of him. For one thing I don't seem to have the most easygoing of children. And we just went three weeks without a single day where Ollie took a nap in a crib, I think because he was uncomfortable from his system getting all out of whack from the...digestive issues. But even aside from that he gets bored really quickly and wants to be entertained but can't move or even sit up to facilitate the entertainment process. Which leaves met to do it. And Dylan, who is much better at it. I remember thinking things would be a lot better for her when she could crawl, but really it was even just being able to sit up on her own that helped.

So anyway, I was mucking about in the archives and realized I was looking at today's date from three years ago. Cute picture of Dylan in a highchair, one of about 30 similar ones from that month, blah blah blah. So much hair on that child.

And then I realized Ollie was in the same outfit today. Sort of cool, no? I take what I can get in terms of entertainment these days.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stuff I Like

For Ollie
Now that he has grabby action, toys are fun. This one is nice because he can really get a good grip on it, rattle it, and gnaw on it.

I like this one because I remember having the same one when Tommy was a baby. Endlessly satisfying.

The moby wrap I didn't have with Dylan, but I wish I had. It's certainly more ergonomic than either of my pregnancies. Ollie likes it because he can burrow his little head into it to sleep. It also goes nicely with rafflesia.

I didn't have these vitamin D drops with Dylan either, but they're much nicer than the usual nasty kind that stains everything and tastes horrible, at least judging by the expression on Dylan's face every time I ever gave it to her.We got this bath pillow after a friend mentioned having one, and it's been great. We've been able to bathe both kids in the tub at once since bringing Ollie home.

For Dylan
Plugging Dylan into a movie or music in the car has been great for all our travels, but none of our headphones fit her. We got these kids' ones that work much better, leading to less whining all around.
For Me
I got a sweater from Urban Outfitters when I was pregnant in a style that I highly recommend to anyone who is pregnant or nursing. I bought it more than 15 minutes ago so they don't have it anymore, but it's the same style as this one. It doesn't connect or close in the front at all, so it works well no matter how big your gut gets, then it's great to drape over the baby's head while nursing in public, having neglected to bring a diaper bag or blanket, as is generally the case for me.

The iPod. Yes, it's a charming little discovery I've made. Aaron was like the earliest adopter possible for ipods--back in the day before Apple Stores I remember scouting around in sketchy little electronics stores in Manhattan trying to get the first one when it came out. I was never too interested until recently. Now that it has the Internet and apps and movies and everything it's really helpful, especially since it's so small and I always have one, sometimes two, baby-occupied hands. Although Grabby McHands is showing some interest so I may be in trouble.

For Me in the Kitchen
I've been trying to get most of the plastic stuff out of our house, and I finally replaced our elderly plastic storage things with pyrex. I love it and use it for everything. The tops and the seethroughness and the being able to go in the dishwasher and microwave without fear of everyone growing extra eyeballs are nice. Although maybe an extra eyeball would be nice too.

Once upon a time we got a kitchenaid saute pan for free with some other kitchen appliance. It is only 8 inches, but it cooks so well that I use it constantly for anything I can cram into it. This is the modern version, as far as I can tell. I want a 12 inch version, which doesn't seem to exist on the internet but was glimpsed at target the other day.

For Aaron
His New Guns, From the Gym

For Snuffy
For the first time ever, I've successfully gotten Snuffy onto 50% nonprescription food. I won't even tell you the unit of measure by which I define success, if you know what I'm saying. Canidae makes this grain-free kind, which is what I think he needs. A lot of the fancy dog food brands have started making more hypoallergenic kinds of foods since we first got Snuffy, but a lot of them still have stuff I think he's sensitive to. They're all expensive by regular standards, but still half as much as the prescription food.

And now back to not spending money due to not making any money at the moment.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Travelogue: Canada I

We're back from the Third Annual Toronto In March Trip: For Suckers Who Go North In Winter. It was warmer there, 50 degrees and sunny the whole time. Who's laughing now, Upstate New York? Eh?

The first order of business was to confine the children one way or another.

That accomplished, we were off to gawk at fancy celebrities...

...and their children! The blogs want to know, who is young Ollie wearing this evening?

There were narrow escapes from bats,

Joe the Camel-a-Saurus,

and rafflesia, of the rotting flesh odor (ref: Kate's report on same, circa 1991).

Go team! Stay tobacco free!

Dylan got to see Disney on ice. She was pleased.

Minnie is sort of high maintenance though. Always fussing unless someone is holding her.

There was this guy, now will full use of his hands, if full use is considered enough control to meddle in all things. The meddling! I just want a drink of water! You can start eating in a few weeks. Patience, please. Background: Canadian TV, which is somehow far better.

The Bathrobians, all robed up and nowhere to go. Except the pool. Which they did go to. The treadmills overlook the pool (so...hot) so they got to watch me turn from pink to red to purple as I ran.

And there was tea. The children's version was labeled "Mad Hatter's Tea Party," although the connection was unclear. There were supposed to be door prizes for the kids. We figured Dylan was a shoo-in as there were no other children in evidence (we were prepared to take action had there been), but we left empty handed. Although! Full of cake and scones. Did you know that "having tea" actually means stuffing your face with dessert, mid-afternoon? I don't even like tea! But I like "tea." Oh yes.

There was a window next to our table overlooking the street. I couldn't see Dylan standing in the window from where I was sitting, but I could see all the passers-by start grinning as they saw her. I hope they were smiling because of the cute little girl, not because of the little girl making obscene gestures, or some such.

We inexplicably have two more trips to Canada scheduled in the next couple months, so stay tuned for Canada II: the Canadaing and Canada III: Canadian Bacon Gone Wild.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The camera, she does not smile on these two

We're off to a good start, with everyone looking at the camera. Although Dylan may be hissing a stream of obscenities behind that smile.

Things soon take a sinister turn, when "looking" shifts to "boring holes with their eyes."

Dylan can no longer hide her archfiend parentage. Ollie has moved on to better things, mentally.

Ollie makes plans to take up residence under the nearest bridge. Dylan tries again, unsuccessfully, to mask her inner evil.

Ollie: Why are you still there, woman? Dylan: Channels a beagle.

Tandem Roundhouse

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

baby poop

Ollie has had about the worst week ever. He writhes around uncomfortably all day, even when I'm holding him. There's been standing water in his diaper a couple times. I haven't had my hands free even for a couple minutes for days on end. I was gearing up for another wacko elimination diet to figure out what terrible thing I've eaten to do this when it occurred to me--maybe he just has diarrhea, and is not manning up, as Aaron suggested he do. I was surprised because he'd already had a few weeks where it seemed like he had outgrown the worst of the food sensitivity, and I'd gotten his eczema to clear up just by cutting back on dairy a bit. Then, unlikely though it seems, I continued thinking--wait a minute, he got that rotavirus vaccine by mouth last Monday, and has been irritable with yucky diapers since about 24 hours later. Maybe all this searching around for an acceptable vegan dessert (I ate a baked apple stuffed with sugar and cinnamon last night...okay, but even sugared fruit is not dessert) is unnecessary. I looked it up and they do say the vaccine can cause mild diarrhea. I think he's getting better now, but is still uncomfortable. He's supposed to get another dose in 5 weeks. Awesome. They weren't even giving this vaccine when Dylan was a baby.


Dylan was just about the age Ollie is now when we plopped her in the exersaucer and she commenced to eat it.

Encouraged (Put the baby in the seat and come play with me Mommy!), and photographed, by Dylan, we tried Ollie in it this weekend.

He knew what to do.

Ollie signaled with his existence that he would like Dylan's help.

Happy to oblige, sir. Might I steer you toward something less tasty?

Things soon took an ugly turn.

MOOOOOOM! The puppet's eating Ollie.

We figure he's in a better place now. One with no diarrhea.