Friday, December 31, 2004

a new trick, on the eve of a new year

As I sat here in the comfy chair, focused on Quark and e-mail, Jacqui played with Geoff inside the baby-corral in front of me. He went into the kitchen for something, and she started complaining a little. I glanced up; she was standing against the plastic fence, calling for assistance.

Geoff came out of the kitchen: "I didn't stand her up right there."

"You DIDN'T?!"

"Nope ... I gotta call and tell my mom!"

Even in self-portraits, my eyes are closed. There's no winning.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

continuing apace

Our little family spent time with many of my local relatives this holiday season. Jacqui did well with nearly all of it -- she's starting to experience some stranger-anxiety, which many people assure me will get much worse before it gets better. Thanks for the encouragement, says I.

It's good that we didn't buy Jacqui toys for Christmas, as everyone else (mostly my grandmother) more than made up for our lack. She's not reading this, but if she were I would tell her -- Thank you AGAIN! :D Jacqui could SWIM in all her new toys.

In fact, speaking of that, tomorrow she'll probably wear her new swimsuit for the first time when we take her to the pool. She had just been wearing a baby-tank top and her swim diaper, because when I signed her up for swim-lessons it somehow never occurred to me that she'd need a swimsuit. (I don't know where The Brain was that day, but it wasn't in MY head.) So I finally found her one, just in time for her 6 weeks of lessons to end.

Part of the problem with the lessons was that they happened at 10am on Sundays. NONE of us were awake for them -- especially not that baby. She'd float around, letting us do all the work while she dozed. We'd propel her toward the bright yellow rubber ducky and sometimes she'd grab at it. Mostly she ignored it. Sometimes she'd grab it and hold it to her chest, like her Long Lost Pal, and then eat its head. We'd kick her legs up and down, and she'd make the face that says, "Rub my back when you're done with that -- oh, and freshen my drink." She didn't mind any of it, but she never really got excited about it.

Tonight in the bathtub, she turned herself over on her bath-pillow and started KICKING. She splashed water EVERYWHERE! It was great! If the tub had actually been the Atlantic Ocean, she could've propelled herself all the way to Greenland! And she'd have met some Greenlander and said, "It's rather chilly here. Have you seen my yellow rubber ducky?"

But wait! Let's back up to this morning, shall we? Because I almost forgot to tell you that when I came downstairs this morning at 11:30, after my Wonderful Geoffrey let me have a few extra hours of sleep because he was working from home and it had been That Kind of Night (it seems to be a day for Meaningful Capitalization), Jacqui smiled so hugely from where she was standing propped against her baby-corral, and Geoff carried her over to me and held her up at my eye-level, and she reached out both of her hands, held my face between them, and gave me the biggest, slobberiest nose-kisses you could ever imagine. It was WONDERFUL.

Tonight on the floor in the family room, she crawled over to where I was laying -- we were watching "Goodbye, Lenin!" -- and kissed my face AGAIN. I think when she's 20 years old and kisses me hello, I'll still get this excited about it. It's just so sweetly affectionate; I just wanted to grab her and hold her forever, but first I had to mop the drool off my chin. 'Cause -- EW.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

a merry little elf

Saturday, December 25, 2004

warmest wishes on a cold night

Every tree needs a bird, and every bird needs a nest.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


recipe for a happy baby lunch:

One banana
Three or four peach slices
A spoonful or two of whole-milk yogurt


Invest in bigger spoons -- this disappears QUICK. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

bubble baby

I'm posting this from my mom's house, where she and I and Jacqui have been playing on the living room floor. And if I don't write this down now, as good as my intentions are, I'll forget.

But first, a question. That noise you make by blowing air on someone's belly -- do you refer to it as raspberries? Zerberts? Something else?

Well. That's what she did. She found my tummy, and had the best time blowing bubbles against it. She even looked up, to see my reaction after she did it.

She has so much fun. :)

Yeah, I ought to be asleep.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

state of the baby

height: 28" (50th %)
weight: 20 lbs (75th %)
head: 18" (90th %)

She's entirely healthy and as happy as she can be. Her ears, nose, and throat look good. She's reached all of her 9-month milestones, and apparently gone a little further; the doctor says that pointing, peek-a-boo, giving hugs and kisses, and that thing where you say AAAHHH and pat your mouth with your open palm (does that noise have a name?) are all supposed to happen between 12-18 months. Oh, and using her pointer-finger and thumb to pick up objects (like those not-really-Cheerios) is a later-on thing, too.

So she just keeps matching her clothing-size. I think that's fair. :)

The doctor was very pleased with the food report, and says we can start giving her little bits of American cheese, or similarly-textured cheese, as well as overcooked pasta and other mushy table-food. I intended to mention this baby's vegetarian future, but I got distracted; we'll bring it up at her next visit, which will happen on March 22.

AFTER her first birthday.

How can it possibly be that close??

Monday, December 20, 2004

My Nine Month Old Girl

She has her own mind and knows what she wants -- yesterday I held her on my lap, facing outward. She pushed herself forward, down my legs (I held onto her hips so she didn't SPLAT on the floor), and crawled across the floor to her Daddy. He picked her up and she grinned SO BIG.

She's been outside of me for as long as she was inside of me. She was an explorer even when she was Inside -- her little crawly fingers traveled the length and breadth of my uterus, when she wasn't busy pumelling my bladder. Now she sees something she wants and she GOES.

I like to hold her hand ... she likes to hold MY hand. See the difference? My hand can't be on top; she'll pull away and put HER hand on top. I'm trying hard not to draw any conclusions from this.

She eats everything she's given. Last night we offered her not-really-Cheerios for the first time, and she was enthralled with their tiny roundness.

She still has some trouble falling asleep on her own; she still is working, sporadically, on that third tooth. But she's giving real hugs and kisses now -- two days ago Geoff handed her to me, and she aimed her open mouth right at my nose. And I said, "Baby, this is so adorable, but if you bite me I am going to be SO unhappy!" She didn't bite though -- she just gave me a baby-kiss on the nose and then pulled her face back to smile at me.

And even though she'll always be my baby, there's no one she loves better than her Daddy.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Share my cookie!

She'll be taking shortcuts through DC any day now.

Jacqui's friend Rebekka gave her this toy. So far, Jacqui can't open the little doors by herself, but she can close all of them. She can close them individually, by pushing them down, and she can also close them all at once by flipping the toy over and leaning on it. She much prefers the second method.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Rainy day girl.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oh look! Something shiny!

Monday, December 13, 2004

fallout from this weekend's holiday shopping

Back when Jacqui was tiny, I made l337 b4b33 stuff for her because it was cute.

This afternoon, I made Not A BOY clothes for her. And I'm about to place my order.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

swept away for a moment by chance

Jacqui dances. For a long time now when she gets excited she's waved her arms around in a fabulous impression of Kermit the Frog. Now she bounces and waves and grins, and when she's really happy she emits a mighty SQUEAK!

She is the most wonderful thing to behold.

Tonight we ate at Boston Market, and Jacqui had lentils and rice -- which sadly are not offered on Boston Market's menu; we brought the jar of baby food from home. She ate almost the entire 4 ounces, and when she was nearly finished she squealed and laughed and danced her baby dance and the world was a beautiful place. Everyone in the restaurant -- workers and patrons -- laughed because my baby was laughing.

When we got home, it was pajama time. So there was a naked baby in a crib, and if you can resist a naked baby tummy, you are a better man than I. I had to give her many many kisses on her tummy, and for the first time ever, she didn't make the "I put up with this because I love you" face. This time, she laughed and laughed and she was so happy that her face sort of froze in this huge grin, just for a moment or two.

Bedtime happened, and she fell asleep with very little fuss and only a small amount of resistance. It took about ten minutes all told, from the time I put her back into bed (in her purple footie sleeper this time) until she relaxed into slumber.

And now that's where I'm headed, sans footie sleeper.

Monday, December 06, 2004

stand in the place where you live ...

Sunday, December 05, 2004

forgive me, for I omit.

I tend to only write the happy things in here -- those are the times I want to share; those are the times I want to remember. But that means that if there's nothing overwhelmingly happy to offset the pain and frustration of that third tooth, then there's just nothing to write.

For the past two nights, sleep has been hard-won. Geoff has a cold, Jacqui is miserable and teething, and I don't handle frustration well at all. It's a weakness; at least I'm getting practice.

And now, at nearly noon on a Sunday, I have to go wake my daughter from the most consecutive hours of rest she's gotten in two days. I've been putting it off since 11.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

as long as it's not December yet, it's still Autumn.

Starbucks baby, in her Punkin outfit for the very last time, I think. (We took this on November 26.)