Thursday, April 29, 2010

DIY baby care

It has become clear why Ollie has not been interested in gaining weight, or digesting, or pooping more than once a week, or sleeping particularly well. He has instead chosen to devote himself entirely to: mobility. He does that rocking up on all fours thing babies do before they crawl. He flipped over from back to front earlier this week. He can scoot around backwards all over the living room, and between flipping and scooting he can go from safely near a wall to edge of the bed in 0.3 seconds. Aaron likens him to a remote control car that can either turn (he pivots on his belly) or move forwards, but not both at once. Dylan did none of these things for at least another 6 weeks, and was never interested in hurling herself anywhere in any case.


I would say about 15% of the time it is now easier to have two of them. Dylan loves to do Ollie-care type things, and Ollie will watch her all day. Sometimes she jams the pacifier in his mouth with a little too much enthusiasm, or starts tucking his breathing holes under the blankie a little too thoroughly, but usually I don't worry too much about her with him. He was howling in his crib yesterday and was suddenly silent. I went to check on him and it was because Dylan was slipping him books through the slats and paging through them with him. She also likes to play "pumping." That's a good one.


In other milestone news I think we're done with pullups at night for the big one. I told her she could wear underwear if she kept them dry for a week. She pretty much couldn't ever do it, so logically I put her in underwear anyway and she does fine 3 out of 4 nights. She sometimes wakes up wailing because she will have an accident if she doesn't go to the bathroom, so that's neurotic for you, but tidy.


I am using my archives as a parenting manual. When do we switch car seats? When do we get all the big baby stuff out of the living room? What should I feed the baby when? All answered in my tediously recorded baby how-to guide of approximately three years ago.


PST ahoy

We're leaving tomorrow on what will be our longest trip away from home since having kids, besides trips around New York State to see family. We should have internet most of the time so I'll check in as we go. We've been keeping Dylan up late all week to get her on west coast time. But tomorrow, first stop: Toronto.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010


My mom got an iPad for her birthday. She left it in our care one evening. Little did we know...how much it would end up caring for us.

It started when we learned it would read books, out loud, to Dylan.We soon realized if it could do such a good job with her, why not the others?

We pushed our luck when we encouraged it to make a complicated soup for dinner.
Things went south for a while.

But everything worked out in the end.
iPad gets tucked into bed after a full day's work.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Of green beans

Dylan went through some kind of wild developmental...thing last week. She was inexplicably grumpy, exhausted, and hungry for a few days. Then Friday she and Aaron hopped on a plane to Boston to visit Uncle Ducky, where she was reportedly tolerable to be around. When I saw her again Sunday she was cheerful, and was talking in a noticeably more sophisticated way. She can now pump on the swings, which she couldn't do with any amount of explaining just a few weeks ago. And today she was not only cheerful, but exceedingly pleasant. "Thank you Mommy, for making burritos for dinner! I love them! And I love the watermelon! And I love you! Daddy, Mommy's water glass is empty, could you fill it up for her? I ate all my food at lunch today, it was delicious! But I didn't eat my green beans because no one asked me to take a no thank you bite, but if they did I would have." I told her Aaron and I would eat all our green beans next time I make them. "If you just make me one then I will eat them all up too!" And then, this evening, "Mommy, I'm tired. I would like to go upstairs and get ready for bed now."

Monday, April 19, 2010

this, that

The opening scene of The Simpsons last night was Marge and the kids arriving at a birthday party and trying (you know unsuccessfully) to figure out if the birthday child, Dylan, was a boy or a girl.


I mentioned my allergic sun reaction to my dermatologist. She said I was probably right about what it is. There are two treatment choices. One is topical steroids. Or, OR, they have a machine that can go ahead and give me a sunburn to toughen me up (perhaps it's called: the Sun? I hope it's at least solar powered). Aaron enjoyed this line of reasoning and suggested that if I'm concerned about breaking my arm he's got Billy out back with a baseball bat. And! Maybe if I take Ollie to, like, India before our trip then I won't have to worry about him getting measles in Canada.


Ollie waggles his eyebrows at me when he wants me to pay attention to him. Here he is having taken up residence in Aaron's armpit. I could not figure out how to get all three of them in focus at once.


Here's Dylan at the same age Ollie is now. They have the same face but she has like three more necks. Do you think her eyes were starting to turn a little darker in these pictures? I can't remember exactly when that happened. Ollie's are still really blue, but I think it's too early to know where they'll end up.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

plague, death, destruction

1) Snuffy

There was an Incident involving Snuffy and a wee baby bunny. Animal control was involved. The bunny is...no longer with us. I've been glaring at him (dog, not dead bunny) for several days. In the mornings I like to make suggestions about what other small helpless creatures we could maim in a day. Baby seals? Chicks? Small children? The sky's the limit when we use our imaginations. Right, Snuffy?

2) Ollie

There's a measles outbreak in Vancouver, from all the international travelers during the Olympics. This is an issue because some of us are not old enough to have an immune response to the vaccine. We spent Friday calling the pediatrician, polling Aaron's coworkers and reading the World Wide Internet trying to decide what to do. In the end I pulled him out of the conference daycare. That was a proposition with a low probability of success anyway, so now I'll just keep him attached to my person, which will only make me more popular with the pediatrician crowd at the conference anyway.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just to clarify

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ollie, 4.something months

Height: 26 in, 71st percentile
Weight: 13 lbs 6 oz, 10th percentile
Head: 42 (no measurement noted, but I'm hoping this is not inches), 27th percentile
List of foods we are feeding him: prunes. You know it.

He is tall and scrawny, as above. But why do we measure these things? If someone, for example, is born in at the very high end of the weight range and works their way down to the 10th percentile in the first four months and we don't bat an eye then why are we even weighing him? Although my thinking is of the eh, he seems fine variety, it still seems a little odd.

I had this very thing happen to me when I mentioned that he had had diarrhea just exactly one incubation period after being given the live diarrhea vaccine and his doctor was like, no, that doesn't happen. It is perfectly plausible, in fact likely, that that is what happened. I don't see what the harm in placating me with a "maybe that's possible" would be.

He can hurl himself around in a way that Dylan was never interested in, had she even been able to with all the chub. I think he could probably sit up by himself, but being put in that position is an invitation to throw himself towards his delicious toes, so he never stays upright long. From there he can kick his feet out from under himself and seems to think he should be able to crawl away. He does look like he's about to push up on all fours at any second. At this age Dylan was occasionally rolling over, when the feeling struck her. This one has some serious muscle tone and would rather allow himself to be lifted up, elbows clenched, than unbend his arms for "so big." He is, by the way, so big.

I remember 5-6 months being pretty transformative with Dylan, and I think we're getting there. He's going down for naps a lot easier, he's handling his digestion (slightly) better, and he's awake and playful for a lot longer. Plus the screeching and yapping, that I do remember. You know how newborn babies seem a little wise and all-knowing? Slightly older babies who spend their days trying to shove both fists in their mouths, they do not seem so wise.

Dylan still seems happy to have him around. She likes to have company all the time, so one more person works for her. She pushes the stroller, picks out his bib, helps me feed him and change his diaper, she bounces his car seat when he fusses in the car and begs to have him in the bath with her. She walks and feeds her baby at the same time I do. She explains to him that "Mommy is singing to you" in a tone that indicates it would thus be reasonable to stop crying. He's very popular in her preschool class, and he loves to hang out in there and watch the kids.

She took this picture of him. I think you can see why I call him Goober. Really. What a goober.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

numbered, yet in no particular order

  1. Excellent (and long) Paul Krugman article on climate change. I tried to read the rest of the news afterwards and nothing else seemed all that important.
  2. That said, I will now go on to detail a number of observations of minor importance. Hm, I think I'll make that my new tagline.
  3. Google Chrome. I like it. I didn't think I cared enough to change browsers and there are a few things here and there that don't work on it, but it's definitely better.
  4. Ollie is just starting to go down in his bed for a catnap here or there, which has happened very rarely for the past 6 weeks. It is such a different world having even 45 minutes in a day where neither one of us is actively taking care of him. I've been staring at the calendar for days (six, to be exact), wanting to change it to April, but I never have my hands free to do it. There, I'm seizing the moment and making it happen right now. Bleisenblog: a call to action.
  5. In the past couple weeks I have: forgotten to go to a dermatologist appointment, forgotten to turn in my schedule for next year before the computer system locked me out, forgotten to have the Easter bunny come in a timely manner ("Uh, Dylan, I think I hear thumping downstairs. Why don't you hang out up here with Daddy for a couple more minutes before we go down for breakfast"), and not dried the dyed eggs adequately such that they had to be hidden wrapped in paper towels. Days and weeks are sort of a blur. I'm not even that sleep deprived, I'm just tired.
  6. My favorite paper from my dissertation was accepted into one of my favorite journals!
  7. Ollie and I have been doing some major cleaning around here. The problem I run into is, in a word, Aaron. It goes like this: clean, sort, give away, oh no! the rest of this huge pile is all Aaron's stuff and he is deeply emotionally attached to every little piece of it and maybe I should go find something else to do now. "Get Aaron to clear out his stuff" is a much different project than "clean the attic." Plus if I show him stuff I'm trying to get rid of he's like "oh, I've always thought that was cute, are you sure?" Actually he's a lot better than he used to be about this, but it's still funny.
  8. I am having an allergic reaction to the sun! The itching! Have I been wrong not to pay any attention to the vampire books and movies of late? I think it's this, for you medical types. I am religious about using good sunblock, but I think I'll switch to a burka or some such next time.
  9. Dylan: "What would you like to eat?" Kate: "What would you recommend?" Dylan: "No, I asked you what you want." Kate: "But sometimes in restaurants people ask the waitress what she likes. So what do you think is good?" Dylan: "Oh, I don't like the food here."
  10. In Toronto, in the elevator, Dylan hit the call button. I can confirm--there IS someone there.
  11. Blumkin Out.

Aaron Combines His Love of Cleaning Out the Attic with His Love of Modeling