Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Better than Bumbo

Basket case
Went to the baby meetup at Saxby's today (they occur every other Wednesday). Brandt did a bunch of sitting up and pre-cruising (and drooling and chewing on toys), and it was nice to hear a couple of the other moms say how amazing it was to see his developmental progress since last meetup.
Jessica inserted baby Alyssa into a toy basket and it looked so fun that I did the same to Brandt. He was content to hang out in it for at least five minutes (I find Brandt and other babies don't tend to like doing any one thing for more than ten minutes so anything over five minutes equals a hit in my book).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tooth two

I first noticed it on Friday, but didn't quite believe it--tooth two is on the way already! It's the lower right one (tooth one was the lower left one if I didn't mention it before).
It's our last day in DC and Carter and Quinn have finally come around to liking the baby. They dug out a bunch of their old toys for him to play with. I think empty water bottles might still hold a place in Brandt's heart, but today was all about the colorful and musical *real* toys.


Friday, November 23, 2007


Swiffer baby
Brandt's been dragging himself along the floor for the last couple days. I don't think it's official cruising, the precursor to crawling, since he's not alternating arms (I don't know if that's a defining criterium of cruising, by the way). Uncle Jason has coined it pre-cruising.
Yesterday Brandt decided empty water bottles are the coolest toys in town. Placing one out of his reach is a foolproof way to get moving. He kinda humps along like an inch worm while saying "aah-ooh aah-ooh!"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Baby's first Thanksgiving

Snacking on goldfish and toes
Happy Thanksgiving! I have to admit I was looking forward to the chaos promised by an evening with kids outnumbering adults seven to six, but no one got rowdy. Last I saw them, Brennan and Sean were rambunctious toddlers (well, actually, they were black cauldron dragons) and they've grown into mild-mannered, sweet non-dragons. They were very gentle with Brandt and taught him how to give hugs.
I love Carter's smile in this picture. What is he thinking? Sheesh, you take as many photos as my mom! or One more click and you'll be sorry!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

East coast

Hanging with Quinn, Pop Pop, and Carter
We arrived in Virginia late last night and Brandt was great on the plane yet again. I worry that our luck won't last and he'll start acting like one of those monster babies we keep seeing on the plane, but so far so good! I was very excited for Brandt to meet his cousins, but they didn't do much interacting. Don't let this picture fool you--Carter and Quinn seemed a little scared of the baby and steered clear for the most part today. Brandt's not taking it personally and as long as they employ the same logic when it comes to dogs, I guess it's a good reaction to new little creatures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kerstin's stopover

Moments before discovering all that tasty blonde hair
Kerstin had a six hour stopover in Vegas on her way to Costa Rica (lucky chica!). I was hoping to have visited her in Portland by now, but at least Brandt got to meet her before that happens. We went to Bellagio to check out the latest fall flowers and took some pictures of Brandt perched on a huge pumpkin, but he wasn't too smiley about it.
I like this picture because Brandt looks deceptively chubby--I knew the horizontal stripes would eventually pay off! It is a good view of how big his head is getting. I'll have to be extra vigilant about zombies now that he's got even more tasty brains in that noggin.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Super sitter

Brandt is a real sitter upper now! Every day has brought marked improvements. Now he can look to the side without toppling over and look up without falling backwards. I won't be sitting him up on a hard surface anytime soon, but it's still way cool!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Exploration Peak Park

Playing on the big yellow snake
We attended a baby picnic at Exploration Peak Park at Mountain's Edge today. Talk about a cool park, but it's a bit far from home so I'm not sure how often we'll visit it. There are lots of new parks in our neighborhood, but they're all identical. It's kinda weird.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sitting up at seven months

B is for Bob and B is for balance
I took Brandt to a play date at his buddy TJ's house today. The other babies there have been sitting up for a while and Brandt finally figured it out, too! He tips over after a bit and it only works if I place a toy between his feet to get him focused straight ahead, but I'm still celebrating.
Brandt also got to see real-sized dogs for the first time--TJ's two dogs came inside at the end of the play date. One ran right up to Brandt and I thought Brandt would love it, but he shouted "WAH!" He recovered after a minute, but was happier to watch the doggies from a distance. Fortunately, he's still keen on itty bitty dogs and was happy to grab at Lyle and Bettie's tails and ears when we got back home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Man of leisure

Playing nice with Alyssa at Saxby's
Brandt and I have been have the most leisurely week! We've been playing all day long, and just leaving the house to do one thing a day so as to feel slightly productive. I'm justifying the laziness by telling myself doing nothing this first week will help it sink in faster that I'm unemployed.
Monday: walked to the WomensCare Center to see how long it takes (32 minutes door to door). While down that way, we hit Jamba Juice so I could get that smoothie I've been craving for two weeks and checked out the Children's Orchard resale store (nothing good).
Tuesday: met a friend for lunch. It doesn't sound big, but I haven't had time to meet a friend for lunch since I moved here, so it felt big to me. There was also a bit of excitement in the early evening, thanks to a sneaky Lyle. Usually when I get the leashes out, Lyle and Bettie both come running and let me buckle them in, but Lyle ran to the couch and pretended he didn't want to go. I threw open the front door, since that usually gets him in the mood, but he didn't budge. It's a pain to chase down a chihuahua while wearing a baby and tugging another chihuahua behind, but Lyle wasn't cooperating so the three of us tried to corner him by the couch, forgetting to close the door. Sure enough, he moved quicker than I've seen him move in years and darted out the door! Now, normally I'd shout "Lyle, you little f---er, stop!" and he'd roll on his back and wait for me to come fetch him, but I'm trying to refrain from shouting and swearing in front of the baby (I'm already fairly certain Brandt's first sentence will be "Bettie, no!"). So we followed behind Lyle for several blocks. In true escaped Lyle fashion, he'd let me get within a couple feet and then dart ahead half a block. I finally ran a few yards to capture him while he was distracted peeing on a tree. Phew! Every time I take the three babies out for a walk someone says, "Wow, you've sure got your hands full!" Now I agree. But the biggest excitement of the day was at 5:30 when I felt the first tooth! It's the bottom left one and sharp as hell.
Wednesday: went to a baby meetup at Saxby's Coffee House and stayed the whole time! It's been such a bummer in the past to finally have time to go to one of these things only to have to bail half-way through and rush back to work. He's wearing his "short fat" outfit in the picture, by the way. He's been getting so many comments on his long legs (not that it bugs me, but I don't want the other babies to be jealous) so the baggy pants with horizontal stripes and tight orange shirt seem to shorten and chubben him to normal proportions.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sixty to zero in 57,600,000 seconds

Pawing Uncle Mike
After eight years of CNET, the sixty- and seventy-hour work weeks (only the last several months) have finally taken their toll and I've quit!! I didn't know workaholics could burn out, but I guess anything is possible. I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I do know I'm not even going to think about "next" for a few weeks. Perfect timing, too--Brandt just discovered he likes helping on the computer, so now we don't have to share the keyboard.

Pawing Aunt Kathy
Dan's Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike were in town from Minnesota this weekend so as soon as we got back from LA, we took our first family trip to downtown Vegas to see 'em. I gotta say I love hearing Dan talk on the phone to them because he starts sounding all Duluth-y, doncha know.
Oh, the drive home from LA yesterday was pretty good, too. I had to stop for gas and then for a Brandt snack, but it still only took 3:50.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brandt's favorite person

I heart Dasha
Good news: Brandt was not mistaken for a girl today. A bit of attitude and a thoughtful outfit helped: polo shirt onesie featuring a dinosaur playing basketball and his skull and crossbone babylegs. M-a-n-l-y!
Brandt first met Dasha in Santa Barbara and he was completely smitten. She came over to Alex and Emilie's this morning and we all went to the Hollywood farmer's market and then met my dad and Victor at Square One for brunch. B & D are as tight as ever.
I felt a tooth this morning! It's his bottom left one and I can see it through the gum (unfortunately, I can only get a view of it when he's screaming) and if I press down on his gum, I can feel it. I have no idea how long it takes for it to cut its way through, but it can't be long now!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Big paws

Manos gigantes
Brandt and I drove to LA this morning (Dan's home working, poor guy). We left early enough to beat traffic and it only took 3:20! Thankfully, Brandt slept the entire way, although these days he's often fine in the car when awake. Even so, old habits die hard and I was willing him to stay asleep the last hour of the drive. I have to keep reminding myself that it's OK to use the carpool lane with Brandt. I'm so used to driving around with Lyle and not being allowed to use the diamond lane and he feels as much my baby as Brandt does.
We started the day with a walk around the reservoir and then had a coffee at Intelligentsia where Brandt was twice mistaken for a girl. What is up with that? I thought girls dressed in fancy frilly stuff and boys could wear whatever...apparently not. Brandt was wearing a cream-colored nijntje onesie with his manly sunhat, manly clay-colored babylegs, manly brown raccoon socks, not to mention his comment-inducing manly dark eyebrows. I guess Silver Lake is just too hip to conform to the usual gender stereotypes.
Lately Brandt's hands have been getting a lot of attention. Even in the Netherlands where they grow big kids, Brandt's hands seemed bigger than average. At a belated halloween party last weekend, one of the mamas asked, "Look at those hands--is your husband really really tall?" Do babies work like puppies? Do we have a Marmaduke in our midst?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bye bye, Bumbo

Preparing to blast off
I've been eagerly awaiting the sitting up milestone, and it's almost here. A lot of his buddies are already sitting up (maybe all his buddies), but I think Brandt is the beanstalky-est one of the bunch and it's gotta be hard to balance for the first time when you don't have a nice wide base. Unfortunately, the Bumbo is no longer useful because he's taken to launching himself up and over the side (he discovered this trick on the carpet, thank goodness).
We hit the scale at the WomensCare Center today and Brandt is now 14 pounds 13 ounces (6.7 kilograms).

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Step It Up

Hold up your green finger and say "Cheese!"
Brandt, the little activist, attended the Step It Up National Day of Climate Action today. He slept the entire time, but I had fun staying awake and hanging out with the other moms and eating the Sierra Club's free food.
To make up for not carpooling to the event, we instead combined trips and headed straight from Step It Up to the Vegas Valley Children's Book Festival. It was pretty hot at Centennial Plaza so we didn't stay long, but we did get a bunch of free books and met some local children book authors.