Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back on the mainland

We arrived back home early this morning. The flight was awesome--Brandt didn't make one peep the whole way! He slept through the entire flight, including take-off and landing. I tried to sleep, but the well-meaning lady in the window seat of my row had the flight attendant wake me up 30 minutes into my nap because she thought I was squishing the baby. Geez. He was in the sling on my lap and I was resting my head on my tray table--nowhere near crushing him. I wasn't able to fall back asleep after that, but oh well. I still want to fly a ton while the mouse is still so little and manageable.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Turtle snack
Today we went to Laniakea, "the best place in the world to see marine turtles up close." A couple honu were basking on the beach and tons of them were hanging out in the shallow water. I'm pretty sure one was chasing Tammie and Hannah. Tammie and Hannah were also chased by three japanese girls in coordinating dresses (one covered in red hibiscus, one in orange, and one in yellow--too cute!) who took more pictures of T & H than of the honu.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hanauma Bay

More better on shore
Brandt got his first taste of ocean swimming today, in Hanauma Bay. One more baby step in his introduction to swimming. He likes taking baths (he recently switched from sucking on the side of the tub to grinning and cooing and kicking his legs non-stop), but he's not into showers or pools (and now bays) just yet. He didn't dislike wading in the bay, but he wasn't anywhere close to enjoying it, either.
After Hanauma Bay we rushed to Sansai in Waikiki for half-price locals discount on sushi and seafood. Yummy! Brandt slept the whole time, apparently tuckered out from the bay. He didn't even wake up to help me choose a ukulele lesson book. I just read an article about women who play the ukulele and decided Brandt would appreciate some ukulele plucking to drown out my singing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I can has ear? K mahalo
Brandt took his first flight yesterday and it wasn't a measly one hour hop to Cali--it was a hard core six hour trek to Hawaii to visit Tammie and family. The flight went very well. Brandt cried a couple times for a minute or two, but compared to the toddler a few rows up who cried a lot, he was a star. Brandt was last here in my belly, just over a year ago so this visit was much more exciting for him. Baby Hannah is six months old and she and her future husband Brandt are getting along swimmingly.
It's so nice to be out of the dry heat. Normally I'd find the humidity icky, but it's way better than too-dry Vegas. Lost is looking for a blonde or bald blue-eyed baby weighing between 8 and 15 pounds. If Brandt's eyes hadn't started turning green in the last few days we may have had to cancel our return ticket and send for Dan and the dogs!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Carlson cubed
The three generations of Carlson men painted the town radio flyer red today. Except for Brandt getting kicked out of a bar, it was fun fun fun. We walked and shopped Paris, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace. Brandt has slept the majority of the time for previous Strip visits, but he was awake and alert this time around. Paris was probably his favorite since we saw the most babies there. I'm hardly one to speak, but I don't understand why people vacation in Vegas with little kids. When we went to the Rio a guy scolded me that I shouldn't take my baby to the casino and I gotta say, he's got a great point. This was minutes before a cocktail waitress grabbed his little hand to coo at him and as soon as she was out of sight I freaked out and rubbed that paw raw with a dozen baby wipes.
But back to today...the boys did lots of bonding. And Grammy was awesome at calming down Brandt with Irish lullabies--not that he needed much calming down. And we had a great dinner at Mon Ami Gaby while watching the Bellagio fountains.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baby's first bling

Dude, I'm fly
My itty bitty baby is already teething! I wasn't the one to realize this, of course. Pop-pop and Grammy are visiting from DC and were tipped off by the drooling and paw sucking. So Brandt is now sporting his amber teething necklace 24/7 which should alleviate any pain.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oh my, My Gym

Brandt in his Tinkerbell party hat
This morning I dragged the boys to the Whole Family Faire. I was mainly excited to pick up my new sling from SlingsbySarah (this one has plastic rings so hopefully I can keep it on through security at the airport next week), but I was also eager to get some board books for Brandt to read (well, chew on) and listen to the preventing and healing earaches lecture. Brandt spent most of the time at the faire sleeping with his head thrown back and his mouth hanging open--it was too cute!
After the faire, we hit Alexa's 4th birthday party at My Gym Children's Fitness Center. I am scared for Brandt to be four--the place was crazy! I don't know if it's so loud and action-packed during Alexa's regular Saturday visits; I think today was special princess party super-duper day.

Football friends
I was beat after My Gym, but not too beat to visit the grand opening of the new Trader Joe's and retrieve our complimentary reusable bag--yay for free bags! Now we only have to drive two miles to get to TJ's...before today we had to go five. Once we finally made it home from our busy day, Dan taught Brandt how to watch football and Brandt taught Dan how to chew on his tasty paw.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Avec tante Emilie et oncle Alex
Aunt Emilie just returned to LA from her visit home to France so we headed over to say bonjour. If you're keeping count, this was Brandt's third LA trip. The trip was a success--Brandt slept the entire ride there and only woke up once on the way back! He's turning into a great little traveller. I feel silly basing the success of the trip on whether or not Brandt has a bad drive, but at this point it feels important.
We started the day with a tasty brunch at Square One, right across the street from my dad's birthplace (the Church of Scientology International Celebrity Center was a hospital 300 years ago). And no, Brandt did not pop in for a free stress test. While we were waiting for a table to open up, I noticed a sweaty guy inside sneaking ice cubes into his messenger bag. Odd, but if he wants to steal ice cubes, who am I to judge? After watching the dude for a couple minutes, a damp kitten tried to claw its way out of the bag. Only in LA! Turns out he just found the kitten last night so brunching with kitty isn't a thing he normally does. He'd already found someone to adopt the little guy so I guess this was their farewell meal. Hopefully he'll take his next stray somewhere with air conditioning.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Bumbo baby
Today was supposed to be MRI day, but I couldn't go through with it. I just didn't have the heart to starve Brandt all morning, while keeping him awake and cranky and, then have him drugged. We saw a dermatologist on Tuesday and he basically said, "What the hell are you bothering with all this for?" He wouldn't go so far as to say the MRI was a waste of time, but he said a couple times, "they won't find anything." Our normal doctor gets back from vacation in a week so we'll check in with him and see what he thinks.
In better news, Brandt has doubled his birth weight! I weighed him at the new mommy mixer and he's 13 pounds, 4 ounces (5.9 kilograms).
And in silly news: I tried to go swimming last night, but after 600 yards, I freaked out and rushed back home. I've left Brandt home with Dan a couple times to go to the store for an hour or so, but that was back when he was new--before he could smile or produce tears. I'll try again next week.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Picnic in the mountains

Hey Boo Boo, let's go get some pic-a-nic baskets!
Today we left the 100+ degree heat and drove to Mt. Charleston for a picnic and hike (OK, there wasn't much hiking...OK OK OK, I personally didn't hike at all) with several families from a local parent/baby group. It was wonderful--it was cold! Even Dan with his tough Duluth ancestry wished he'd brought along a sweatshirt. The shade was freezing and when the wind picked up, even the sunny spots were cold. We bundled Brandt up in some jammies as best we could...I didn't realize he's already too long for all his jammies so I crammed him in and snapped what snaps I could.

Picnic nap
One of the mamas brought her Bumbo Baby Seat and let us try it. It's so cool! Brandt seemed to like it just fine and it'd perfect for those times he's not in the mood for tummy time during laundry folding/chihuahua hair cutting/baby bird wrangling/you name it! After the Bumbo excitement, Brandt spent a good hour snoozing in Dan's arms while he ate and chatted with the other papas. Note: the other dads all wore their babies in various carriers so maybe Dan will see the light soon, too. Our free manly black ERGO is on the might just be the carrier to do the trick!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pool party

Protective papa
Today was our inaugural family visit to the pool. Even more fun than seeing Brandt experience the pool for the first time was seeing how nervous and overprotective Dan was! He only let me hold the baby and wade around a little bit, and I had to stay right next to the wall and far away from any splashing kids. We spent the majority of the time sitting on the steps with Dan clutching Brandt to his chest, checking for hypothermia. I had lots of fun, Brandt had a little fun, and I think next time Dan might have fun, too.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

First scary

Reading Brandt's mind
Our visit to the doctor on Tuesday was both to give Brandt the ol' once-over, but also to get a little bruise on the side of his nose, right next to his eye looked at. I thought he'd punched himself in the eye (he's punched me in the eye and he's strong!), but the "bruise" hasn't gone away for a month. The doctor called it a Hemangioma and it doesn't sound like that big a deal, but we were referred to a dermatologist and for an ultrasound. The ultrasound is to make sure the Hemangioma isn't very vascular and too close to important eye stuff, in which case he would probably get a little steroid shot.

Enough already!
The woman who called to confirm today's ultrasound appointment called it an encephalogram, but that sounds scarier so we're going to keep referring to it as ultrasound. The diagnostic center was at Sunrise Hospital, where we've been once with a demonstration, and speaking of which--Anne finally got her placenta back yesterday! The facility was very mellow (no screaming kids) and the technician was sweet to Brandt. Brandt was a very willing little patient, until near the end when he got impatient. Even with the crying at the end, the tech said Brandt was a wonderful patient. He also said, "I usually use the goop to style their hair in an interesting 'do, but..." Poor bald Brandt! I told the tech about the antenna, but he didn't seem impressed. In a sense we were here just in the nick of time. The ultrasound is taken through the fontanel (soft spot) and Brandt's is almost closed up already. So we can start dropping stuff on his head soon! ;)
Now for the frustrating part: we got the results later in the day: "Everything looked great. However, that doesn't rule everything out so he'll get an MRI next Friday." Grr. I had assumed good results meant the end of this. And the MRI won't be nearly as easy--Brandt can't eat for four hours beforehand, plus I'm supposed to keep him awake all morning so he's ready to snooze once we get there. Talk about a recipe for a grumpy baby! I think many people wouldn't bother with any of this testing, but it's hard not to think "better safe than sorry" even knowing that the odds of this Hemangioma being dangerous are extremely low.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Brandt's antenna

Splish splash
What's the use of having a baby if you're not gonna take the obligatory bath in the sink picture? For the record, squirting in lots of baby wash to make for a sudsy picture is more slippery trouble than it's worth. But hey, Brandt had fun and looked cute doing so. He even had a moment with the rubber ducky--he grabbed it a few times and then stared at it until he got distracted by his tasty paw. This was his first sign of interest in toys. Lately he's been grabbing the nearest burp cloth or blankie to chew on so I figured it was just a matter of time.
Turns out I've been reading the baby scale incorrectly. Last Friday at the New Mommy Mixer Brandt weighed 12.12.06, which I assumed meant 12.12 pounds (5.5 kilograms), but we had a checkup with the doctor yesterday and Brandt is 12 pounds 13 ounces (5.8 kilograms). Length-wise he is up to 25 inches (63.5 centimeters), so he's still a tall and skinny bundle of joy.
Brandt's hair is thinning, but just on the top so he's starting to look like a little old man. However, last Friday I found one two inch-long hair above his right temple. My first thought was the trim the hair, but I came to my senses and named it "the antenna" and have grown quite fond of it. I can tell Dan wants to pluck it out so I watch him like a hawk when he's holding the baby and constantly remind him he's not allowed to remove Brandt's only link to his alien family.