Monday, January 31, 2011

Flying with Baby Six Months vs. Nine

I was completely floored by how well the baby did on our airplane flights to South Africa.  She slept for much of the trip, and when she was awake, she was cheerful and easily amused.  We got compliments from other passengers.  That was at six months old.  Now that we are nine months, things have changed. 

Our trip to LA was only just under three hours, but for that short time, it was much tougher to manage Delphinium.  She is so much stronger now that just keeping her in the seat and not on the other passengers was a challenge.  She wanted to explore and investigate EVERYTHING.  Can I chew the seat in front?  Can I kick it?  Can I take the things out of the back pocket?  Can I chew them?  Can I chew our seat?  What about the man next to us?  I can't say she wasn't good-natured because she was, but it was still far more exhausting.  I can understand why some parents just give up and let them run wild.  Maybe we can just drive everywhere until she's six or seven. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cute Baby Bits #8543

While in her walker, Delphinium likes to steal the dish towels off the rail of the oven door.  Sometimes you'll find her festooned with three or four of them to the point where she can hardly see where she's going.  However, removal of said towels is cause for much indignation.  I've found it best just to let her have her fun even if it does mean she's cruising around at approximately 800mph with zero visibility.  The only thing she can really injure is unsuspecting grown-up feet. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Loves Picasso

Recently we were lucky enough (thanks M for organizing) to see the visiting Picasso exhibition at our local art museum.  We went because we wanted to see the work, and we thought the baby wouldn't mind tagging along.  There was a fair amount of waiting in line and crowding involved, and I started to worry that Delphinium would not enjoy herself at all, but it turns out there is a lot for a baby to look at in an art museum. 

She observed many paintings and sculptures without comment, but showed some preference for one or two pieces (mostly featuring naked bosoms surprise surprise) with waving hands.  Then, near the end of the collection, we came upon this painting.  Delphinium went wild.  She waved her arms and legs like mad, and then she started chattering away.  I don't know why she loved it so much, but we tested it out more than once, taking her away to view similar work (no response) and then back again to her favorite (huge enthusiasm).  I don't know if we should buy her a print or not.  Being eight feet tall may have been a part of the appeal.  I wonder what she'd think of Monet...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vacation Silence

I'm afraid I've been a very bad mommy blogger of late.  Ten days without a post is pretty shocking I admit.  We've been away on vacation for the last many days, and unfortunatley I didn't save up anything to post while I was gone.  Nonetheless, I have many cute stories (Disneyland!) from our trip plus a few other things I've been meaning to write up.  Baby willing we should be up and running soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crawling Part 2

Well that didn't take long!  We enjoyed about one week of Delphinium being contained to the living room with her crawling.  It was nice to be able to leave her in there while we ran to the bathroom or got the laundry going.  We can't do that any more because last night she figured out the trick to getting up the one step into the rest of the house.  I'm not sure exactly how she did it, but some combination of wriggling and squiggling got those knees up on the higher level. 

After successfully summiting the step, our girl made a grand tour of all those rooms she hasn't been able to visit before.  Who knew that the bathroom, hallway, and laundry could be so interesting?  Also, the family room is a whole different place when you aren't hampered by your huge walker.  It was an especially impressive feat given that she was crawling on the smooth laminate floors which takes a lot more work than the nice grippy carpet.  Luckily, she didn't seem to notice the stairs, but I'm sure that will also be coming right up.

M and I just sat on the floor and watched her cruise around.  She was incredibly proud of herself for the accomplishment, and I think she would have crawled around all night if we'd let her.  It was one of those smack you in the heart moments where you realize just how much your little noodle baby has grown up.  Is it just me or does it seem like the first year is nothing but those kinds of moments? 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Walker

While in South Africa, the baby made the acquaintance of that wonderful invention known as the walker. Not the kind your grandmother used in her later years, but the ring with wheels and a seat for babies who are too young to walk on their own. She was a little hesitant at first getting her feet under her and learning to push off. For one who afternoon she could only go backwards and very, very slowly at that. Soon enough she was exploring granny's house and patio and generally having a ball with all that new-found independence. When we left that thing behind (it was only borrowed) it was with more than one backward glance.

That is why, when we got home again, I knew we had to get our own walker. At first I thought we might not be able to get one at all since I knew they were frowned upon by the medical establishment (it seems that some people do not realize the damage a baby can do if they go over an edge). However, we soon spotted one in our favorite baby store, and I was happy to see that it was not a relic from the '80's. It seems that walkers are still sold in the U.S. with just a few modifications to make them safer.

Once we got the thing home I did have a quiver of doubt. The fixed back wheels made it purposefully clunky so that babies are not as maneuverable as they were in the old version which moved like a nimble office chair. I shouldn't have worried. Within a very short time Delphinium was racing around our family room (properly cordoned off so she won't escape) with all the finesse of a racing driver. Not only is she fast, but she can avoid obstacles, correct her course before she gets stuck, and even reverse on a dime.

Now she chases us around. When I'm cooking she often comes into the kitchen to see what I'm doing. She does not hesitate to roll right over your toes in her desire to get right up to the action. On more than one occasion she's run up behind me and grabbed the ties on my apron as a means of getting my attention. She also likes to "help" with unloading the dishwasher. Luckily there are many fascinating things for a baby to do when she's so mobile, so she often has to race off and inspect the kitty or wave at herself in the glass door of the oven. I'm not sure how long the joy of the walker can last, but it stays fun for a while yet.

Monday, January 10, 2011

P.C. Run Amok?

Perhaps the Christmas season brings it out in people, but questions about being politically correct seem all-pervasive these days.  Lately I've even been accused of being overly sensitive about some things.  It's true that I have suffered through quite a large number of "sensitivity" classes during my time as a teacher (No! no! not as a punishment for bad behavior!).  Let me explain the situations, and you can be the judge.

It all started back around Thanksgiving.  I noticed that those so-bad-they're-good pilgrim candles from our childhoods are back on the shelves as centerpieces.  The only difference is that they now include some "natives" (their words not mine) with the puritans.  Now it just seems to me that this is an uncomfortable Thanksgiving theme given that the indigenous people went on to suffer so much at the hands of the invaders.  Should we include even the pilgrims on our table? Others maintain that being inclusive is always better than being exclusive.  Hmmm.

Next came the book I picked up for Delphinium.  It's a cute little counting book featuring a black family who make dinner together.  Only when I got it home and looked closely did I realize that the family is cooking fried chicken, collard greens, and other traditional (stereotypical?) foods.  I think this is in poor taste, but other say it is simply a celebration of cultural heritage.  Hmmm

Last comes the naming of a new road in our community.  The road is there solely to serve as a feeder for the new Catholic high school.  The name of this new road?  Crusader Way!  I do not think this is appropriate at all given the tragic nature of the crusades and the dubious-at-best reputation of the "crusaders."  Some say these are simply historical figures and therefore a fine source for school pride and the city grid.  Hmmm.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


When we put up the Christmas tree, I was able to set the baby on a blanket so she could watch us and play with her toys if she wanted.  We had a wonderful time showing her the ornaments and listening to her cute sounds of amazement when the tree first appeared and the lights first came on.  Now we are in the process of taking down the tree, and the baby is crawling (CRAWLING!) up to help out.  I actually caught her stretching up as far as she could to try and grab one of the lower branches in her mouth (luckily I'm faster than she is). 

I just can't believe how quickly this has happened.  She's been up on all fours for some time now, but just a few weeks ago she started rocking, and that seemed to be the final piece.  Now she's working on coordination, but she can zip across the room faster than you'd believe.  Now that the world is her oyster, she is no longer satisfied by the toys on her blanket.  She'd rather enjoy some computer cables, a magazine, or the kitty instead.  At least our fat old kitties are getting some exercise this way! 

The next step?  She's working on getting up the single step so she can leave the living room and explore the rest of the rooms.   Of course this means we need to redouble our child-proofing efforts.  Very, very soon she's going to be discovering the stairs, and then there will be trouble if they aren't gated.  I get the feeling that life is never going to be the same. 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year's Resolutions '11

Looking back on previous years it seems that I usually focus fairly heavily on resolutions involving work.  That means this year is a whole new game.  One of the hardest parts about losing your working identity to stay at home is that you can no longer talk about what you do without sounding trivial.  Don't get me wrong, I know my mommy job is extremely important, but the component pieces don't exactly sound that way.  Therefore, forgive me if these resolutions seem a bit small scale:

1. Exercise at least three times a week (Isn't this one perennial?)
2. Write at least three cards or letters per month
3. Divide house into seven parts and clean one part each day
4. Cook more foods/meals from scratch (I used to be able to do this, and I know I can again)
5. Eat less sugar
6. Get more news (I've been really bad about this since the baby arrived)
7. Do fun outings for Baby
8. Be patient
9. Judge less
10. Go on dates with M.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year '11

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman