Sunday, July 29, 2007

And another good car trip

Brandt with his great-grandfather's book about his namesake
I think this is a fluke and not a trend, but Brandt slept the whole ride home, too! We hit the road at 11:00 so I didn't expect a stop-free trip, but he snoozed away and traffic was fine and it took less than three and a half hours to get back home. OK, I cheated a little bit...he started mousing around in his sleep a couple times so I blasted his radio station (all static, all the time) and cracked his window and the little angel never awoke. We were planning to fly next time, but maybe we'll drive in Dan's car so we can buy bigger stuff at Ikea...I've got my eye on a dresser.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

LA take 2

This is my "Dad, take the picture already!" face
I don't know what I was thinking braving a long car trip after last time...and this time without Dan along to help. But I was smarter this time and left the house at 4am and Brandt slept the entire trip! I was willing him to wake up in Barstow because I had to pee, but he kept right on sleeping and there was no way I was going to poke the bear. I just need to get one good trip under my belt and then I'll let my bladder call the shots. A little over three and a half hours from leaving Vegas, we'd arrived and were awake and ready to party! And by party, I mean shop at Ikea with my bro. I miss Ikea. But that's just one thing on a long long list of stuff I miss about California.
After Ikea we checked out the Silverlake Farmers' Market where we learned that fresh raw sugar cane juice (Antioxidants! Probiotic!) tastes icky. Then we met up with my dad and walked around Pacific Palisades Park, and since that wasn't quite dirty enough, headed over to Venice Beach (yeah, I don't know what I was thinking suggesting Venice...that is no place for a baby).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bird is the word

Brandt in his "birdiest" outfit
Actually, bird was the whole *sentence* today. After half an hour of Crazy Bettie freaking out and barking at the door this afternoon, I finally looked out the peep hole to see a couple neighborhood kids screwing around. OK, the kids were just standing on the sidewalk, but everyone knows neighborhood teenagers are always up to no good. So I threw the door open to put an end to their evildoing.
Turns out they were trying to figure out what to do about some orphaned baby birds and when I opened the door they all ran in! (The birds, not the kids--I tried my best to lure the kids in to help wrangle birds, but only got five minutes of help from one of 'em). I sequested Bettie in the bathroom, Lyle in Dan's office, and Brandt in his swing and set about tearing up the house.

Bye bye birdies
Two of the five birds (the kids counted five outside, anyhow) and I chased each other around the living room for a while. I was scared to touch them and they didn't want to hop in the box on their own so I gave up and retreated to the bedroom to look for the rest of the flock. After tearing up the bedroom I was reasonably sure there was nowhere for a half-inch-long baby bird to hide and closed the door to keep it birdless. When I got back to the living room the count was up to three baby birds and I got serious about wrangling. I caught the first one in Dan's shoe and the next two in a small box. Phew! I checked all over the house for the other two with no luck, but before long, the chirps from the three in the big box lured out the fourth. I figure he must have been hiding in Dan's other shoe all along because I looked EVERYWHERE! The fifth bird never materialized so I'm fairly sure he never came in the house.
I learned from the Wild Wing Project Web site that the birdies should be fine on their own so when Dan got home a few minutes later we took them outside. We poured them out of the box and into the neighbor's hedge (aimed away from our door). A mama bird was hanging out in a driveway across the street chirping away, but didn't come over in the short time we were outside. She was probably hoping we'd babysit a bit longer.
Now I look at the house with new eyes: "Where could baby birds hide?" I guess it's a good first step in childproofing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kangaroo conversationalist

Tastes pretty good
Our birth class instructor, Anne, won her court case and will soon get her placenta back, so today we met up with a bunch of people to celebrate. Anne's Maxanne is three days older than Brandt and apparently won't chill in her sling in cradle carry (the only one I know how to do) anymore so we got to see snuggle hold up close. When we got home I practiced snuggle hold and kangaroo carry and Brandt seems to like them both. And I don't know if Maxanne said something to Brandt, but he doesn't seem so keen on cradle carry anymore either.
Friday evening I went to a babywearing class and came home with a mei tai, so we gave that a whirl today, too. I was curious to see how it fit and Brandt was curious to see how it tasted. We're both happy with it, but I think we'll do more practicing at home before we brave it in the outside world.
For a week or so now, our new game is conversing. Brandt's side of the conversation consists of squeeks and squawks and "ai-yai!"s, and my side is "Really?" "And then what happened?" He likes to stretch his arms out to the sides while he's talking so then I pretend he's just come back from a fishing trip and telling me how big his catch was. "That's some big walleye!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pirate for a day

Yo ho ho
...if not longer. Brandt gave himself his best scratch yet sometime last night...and right on his little nose! So I figured today was the perfect day to wear his "Captain Naartjie and the Pi-rats" onesie. Bettie was Smee to Brandt's Hook and hung out on the bed with us, but there will be no photos of her for a while. She does look more like a rat/pi-rat than normal due to the most unfortunate haircut (more blad spots than fur spots) I gave a week ago, but I don't want to remember it in pictures.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Looks better than it tastes
The other day I weeded through all the Brandt clothes. I packed up the stuff he's outgrown and washed the next round of clothing so we'd be ready for it in a few months...or not! I'd almost waited too long because he's almost too long for some of this bigger stuff. Yeah, some of it says "3 months" but I didn't think my skinny dude would fit them yet.
Before today, the only full outfit Brandt's worn is his mini Danny ensemble (and that only for a quick picture), but after sticking him in overalls today I've realized the error of my ways! I cannot believe I've been sticking him in only onesies or t-shirts and ignoring the world of mini pants and shirts.
Dan had to spend his first night (actually, two nights) away from the mouse and when he got home last night he exclaimed Brandt is noticeably bigger. I weighed him yesterday at the new mommy mixer, but he's about the same as last week: 12.06 pounds. However, I thought I may have cheated last week because he'd just eaten and his bladder was full, whereas this week I weighed him at the beginning of the meeting and he hadn't eaten and had recently peed. Either way, he's definitely heftier than the chihuahuas now.

Monday, July 16, 2007

This is how I roll...not

This ride needs no pimpin'
After three months, I've finally used our stroller! I had been feeling a little silly about getting the matching car set/stroller travel system. The only action the stroller sees is when I wheel it from the guest room to our room during family visits. Oh, and it functions as a toy receptacle, too.
But two weeks ago at the chiropractor, she mentioned it's not so great for my back when I tote Brandt around in the car seat. I only do this for quick stops, like the bank, or at the chiropractors, since I can't hold him there, but that's plenty to mess with my back. So I bit the bullet and practiced a bit at home and pretty much got the hang of it (locking in and removing the car seat, collapsing and righting the stroller).
When I arrived at the chiropractor's office this morning she said, "Wow, you're really getting the hang of this mom thing!" Little does she know. The stroller is now safely stashed in the trunk of my car and I predict it will stay there for quite a whle.
In the picture, Brandt's staring at the ceiling fan in the chiropractor's office. He likes them at home, too. Finally something more exciting than the window blinds!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Three month D/B comparison

Dan at three months

Brandt at three months

Time for another Danny/Brandt matchup! Baby Danny is still sporting lots of wonderful hair. I don't think Brandt's hair has changed at all since day one. Baby Danny also looks a bit chunkier, but other than that, the two look pretty similar...well, ignoring the fact that Baby Danny doesn't seem to share Brandt's passion for snacking on his own paw.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bonne Bastille

Je suis fatigué
I dragged the family to Paris Casino today, assuming they'd be doing something special for Bastille Day. Turns out I was wrong, but we did make it up the Eiffel Tower finally. It's much better than the real one--all elevators, no stairs. Brandt wasn't too happy about being extracted from the sling and woken up for photos at the top. He doesn't have a French outfit so I stuck him in one of his Dutch onesies (close enough, right?) courtesy of my cousin, Marijn. Anyway, we recently learned he shares his name with a French appliance company and that's plenty Francophilish.
Yesterday we went to the weekly new mommy mixer and I weighed Brandt there--he's now 12.05 pounds (5.47 kilograms)! He was very smiley and flirted with all the other mamas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Man or astro-man?

Take me to your leader
My baby is from a different planet. Finally, a logical explanation for Brandt's not looking like me nor Dan. Had he been born in a hospital, I may have accused them of giving us the wrong baby (though I probably would have kept mum and kept Brandt because he's just too cute to exchange for the right baby). Brandt obviously comes from a planet with a 48-hour day.
The evidence: lately Brandt has been alternating days of happiness and fussiness. He's also been [TMI alert] pooing every other day. Clearly, he's keeping to his alien clock's schedule. Fortunately, babies on his home planet sleep twice a day and that jives nicely with our bedtime here on Earth.
I've found it's easiest to keep the mouse naked when it's his fussy/spitty half of the alien day. The best part is that this yields more cute butt pictures. Hopefully he won't grow into a vengeful alien and hold a grudge over all the naked photos.
OK, there's also the teeniest sliver of a chance that this is all due to a food allergy or sensitivity so we're examining that angle as well. I first tried two weeks with no milk. Then I learned that babies sensitive to cow's milk are often also sensitive to soy milk so oops, I wasted two weeks, and ditched the soy, too. After a week of that I removed wheat as well. Now I'm off seven of "the big eight." You're probably assuming I added cheese back in, but nope--I've decided to keep with fish for now and am avoiding milk, egg, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. But when this doesn't work after two weeks, I expect everyone to accept my alien baby theory.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Plan C

Upsy daisy
Our grand plan was to visit Mt. Charleston and do some hiking today. I started out the day on the right foot...Brandt and I woke up at 5:30 and took the dogs for a big walk. This does not mean I'm getting used to the heat, but it didn't feel too bad at *only* 95F/35C.
Later in the morning I decided I didn't like the idea of the hour-long drive to the mountain so I suggested Plan B, a walk around the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip. After a while I felt too lazy for that, too, so Plan C it was: walk every aisle of Whole Foods and do some grocery shopping. I think that still counts as exercise. WF carries Bobux shoes so I was able to show Dan what I'll apparently spend all our money on before long.
Le Tour de France update: Today was a stage for the sprinters, but our favorite sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi, has been banned from the tour because his asthma medication made him register positive in a drug test. Normally Brandt would have watched this stage in his Team Milarm Blue gpants, but instead he watched commando in protest.
Afterwards, Dan went outside to futz around with the lawn sprinklers, but we ambushed him and made him play with us.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dan the Man and Brandt the Mandt

I'm seeing double!
For lucky 7/7/7 we put Brandt in his mini-Danny outfit (thanks, Copperman and Jamie!) and he rocked it...and looked just like a miniature Dan.
I really wanted to take the dapper duo out for a walk, but rather than brave the 111 degree heat outside I had the bright idea to hit the mall. I'm now reminded why I hate malls, but at least we got some good walking in. If I'm feeling the need for a walk tomorrow we'll either drive the hour to Mt. Charleston or check out the fancy Fashion Show Mall where we can at least people-watch the tourists or cross the street to Wynn if it's too full of mall rats.
Yesterday Brandt and I made it to the new mommy mixer. I noticed halfway through that all the boy babies had ended up on one side of the room and all the girl babies on the other--I thought that didn't start until school dances! So Brandt's "Hello-oo-o Ladies!" onesie was wasted on his neighbors (well, the moms dug it). Brandt was again by far the cutest and smartest baby in the bunch. Since he was happily snoozing in his sling and I didn't have the heart to wake him, I didn't weigh him at the end of the meeting, but I did measure him once we got home and he's now 23.25 inches (59 centimeters) long.
Developmentally, we're working on mommy-assisted rolling over this week. He sometimes rolls over on his own, but I think it's accidental since it tends to piss him off. He's also started giggling, but only a little bit so far.
Le Tour de France update: yippee, the Tour started today and Brandt wore his Team Astana Blue gpants all day (OK, normally they're called Global Blue gpants) in honor of Alexander Vinokourov, his pick to win the Tour. Go Vino!

Monday, July 2, 2007

A visit to the Kwik-E-Mart

I just heard about the 7-11/Kwik-E-Mart rebranding and wouldn't you know it, one's in town! The store and attached gas station were both completely Simpsonsized and full of people taking pictures. Brandt is going to be so upset in eight years when he realizes he slept through the whole thing.

Outside with Comic Book Guy

Outside with Marge

In other news, I've finally started reading the Vanity Fair Renae left behind at the end of May. It contains an excerpt from Reagan's diaries (I really don't think it's fair to call it an "excerpt" when it's half a millllllllion pages long!). Anyhow, the Gipper was all about abbreviations and apparently even used ampersands in the middle of words containing the letters a-n-d. I haven't seen evidence of this in the excerpt yet, but I've still got a thousand pages to go. But it has yielded Brandt's new h&le: Br&t. Thanks, Ronnie!

The only Kwik-E-Mart with slot machines

KrustyO's and Buzz Cola with Ralphie