Chairman Mao sent us a framed Certificate of Achievement “For Unstinting Meritorious and Successful Achievement in the Glorious Effort to Preserve and Protect the Existence of a Human Child over a Period of no Less than One Year”. This is the third electronic communication channel through which I’ve sent the words “Chairman Mao” today, so I expect a visit from the FBI or the CIA or something any time now.

KrisDi and I have managed to keep Chilkat alive for one trip around the sun and 365+ trips around Earth’s rotational axis. Hopefully many more to go. Judging by the state of her face, no guarantees.

Poor little monster appears to have the ol’ double eye infection going on right now. First signs were at her birthday party on Sunday (little gum in the corners, some swelling and redness around the eyes), and it was probably agitated by getting cake and frosting all up in there. It got a little worse Monday, but when KrisDi got her up this morning to feed her before work, both eyes were completely gummed shut. Of course, trying to clean off the gum was an incredibly traumatic experience for all three participants. I’m staying home today because day cares are not fond of children with eye infections. She has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. She’ll get about five vaccinations (that’ll be fun), and hopefully the doctor will have something we can do for her eyes. All things considered, I think she’s doing incredibly well. She’s sleeping right now, which is why I was able to clean up a little after Sunday’s party and start blogging this here blog. I don’t expect her to sleep long enough to complete this without interruption.

—– Several hours pass —–

And that was as far as I got without interruption. It is now about 10 hours later. We’ve been to the doctor and back, and had dinner, and run errands, and administered the first dose of Vigamox. She has double pink eye. KrisDi will have to stay home with her tomorrow, because day care won’t let her back until she’s been on medication for 24 hours. She’s also gotten a couple vaccinations and been weighed and measured: they claim 19lb 8oz, 29 1/2″ tall, 18 1/3″ head circumference, but I think they mismeasured the head. Incidentally, this is nearly as large as GirlAndi’s second daughter was at 6 months.

Birthday party. Pictures say most of what there is to say: KrisDi made 30 cupcakes, 6 Big Birds, 6 Grovers, 6 Oscars, 6 Cookie Monsters, and 6 Elmos. She ordered a bunch of cake pops of the same characters. She made cookies and a red velvet cake. We brought in two varieties of fudge. She made Italian Beef sandwiches and ordered fried chicken from Ezell’s. She got cole slaw and made potato salad, jalapeno popper dip, and spicy sausage dip. She also made mac & cheese and deviled eggs, and also served cheese and crackers. This is what KrisDi calls “keeping it simple.” We had about 15 friends and family show up. The False Alarm family couldn’t make it because they spent the preceding night luxuriating in the hospital with a daughter whose temperature peaked at 104.9 degrees. What an overachiever.

Aside from that…it looks like I’m going to Japan in late May and Chicago in early May. Tufty and Ska Yo-Yo may visit in April some time for their 10th anniversary. Northwood and his special lady friend may travel out to North Dakota while we’re there for Tom’s wedding so they can see Chilkat. We may meet up with Wilmbo’s parents in Arizona when we’re there for KrisDi’s cousin’s wedding. E Dubs and Pixel Chick bought a house and P Dubs bought their townhome (both deals still in progress), but I’ll talk about that next time I post.

Behaviorally, Chilkat is becoming more of a mimic. She “cooks” — she’ll stir anything with anything. She’s more interested in feeding herself. She wants to sweep when she sees KrisDi do it. She’s picking up new stuff like saying “boo” for peek a boo, she’s getting sick of some of the old Sesame Street videos that she’s been watching a lot (C is for Cookie). She’s really starting to get the concept of blowing kisses, which is adorable (she was blowing kisses at the doctor today). She’s figuring things out at an alarming rate — today she grabbed the web cam and demanded that it be put on a lap top and then was very upset that the computer wasn’t talking to her.

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Almost one year

Chilkat is currently 356 days old. She’s also sleeping, and working on her eighth tooth. We haven’t killed her yet, or by negligence allowed her to be killed. So, we’re apparently doing a smash-up job of this parenting thing. Go us!

The little monster is now employing walking as her primary means of self-propulsion, with occasional regressions to crawling and rare nerve-wracking attempts at running. She still likes to be carried around (primarily by KrisDi).  She has learned that dogs say “Woofwoofwoofwoofwoof.” She really likes my hat. She’s remarkably good at delivering my hat. Once, as she was walking by me neurotically searching for her mom, I said, “Hey, can you bring me my hat?” And she looked up at me, turned around, went and found my hat, and then brought it to me. And then went neurotically searching for her mom.

At day care, she’s halfway through the transition to the toddler room. It’s a big change: stricter schedule, less attention, no Mom food or breast milk. This is the part that blows my mind: She’s already napping (in a cot) on command. Since she started this transition, she’s been a much better napper at home. What the hell did they do to our formerly sleepless daughter?

She eats off our plates a lot now. She loves cheese and onions. And pickles. She says “Hi” and “Bye” more appropriately and more often than before.

The False Alarm baby, M, turned one not too long ago (her birthday, surprisingly, falls one day after the anniversary of the False Alarm). We went to visit for the party and the toddlers had a good time playing together, especially pushing each other in M’s new doll stroller (which specifically and clearly and in all caps says not to put real children in the fake stroller).

We got “macro tubes” for the camera and took lots of pictures that we think are interesting (but most people probably think are boring).

We spent some money recently. We got a nice new liquor cabinet. Now we have more room for appliances in the pantry since we removed the liquor, more room for closety stuff in the closet since we removed the beer, and no bottles of wine Chilkat can attempt to steal or smash against herself or the house.

We got Chilkat a little bookshelf for little Chilkat books to be shelved upon.

We also got me a car. It’s a 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP, with about 7000 miles when I bought it. It has the Corvette engine (6.2 liter V8) and a six speed manual transmission. But it’s also a four door with waaaay more room than the Saturn and a lot more features (including safety features like traction control, antilock brakes, and fancier airbags). Driving it is a bit different than driving the Saturn. For instance, it gets only a little bit better than half the gas mileage the Saturn got, and it can go from 0-60 in under five seconds.

Grandma turned 95. That’s old. KrisDi made her a super simple no-bake-cake and we went up to visit. It was nice. She was pretty excited to see Chilkat, and she endured the rest of us.


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We actually don’t have any plans this weekend. That’s kind of nice. KrisDi was trapped in the house Tuesday through Friday afternoon. Her work was closed Wednesday, late start with work-from-home and mandatory no-more-work at noon on Thursday, regular work-from-home on Friday with a four hour late start. Me? I worked from home Wednesday, had two hour late starts Wednesday-Friday. Why? A few inches of snow. Catastrophic…for these pussies.

Of course, I’m being melodramatic. I love to talk shit about Seattle drivers and snow, but there remains one blatant fact: Here there are hills. Unfortunately, here there are also fearful, inexperienced, frankly incompetent drivers. Or, as I refer to them, “obstacles” and “hazards”.

The snow started Tuesday night. Then we got some pretty serious icy rain. Then we got a little more snow. Then it all melted into slush. It’s basically gone now. Our power was out for about twenty minutes the other day, it has flashed a number of times. Cable (and therefore internet) was out for about 12 hours on Wednesday. It was horrible.

The ice was thick and heavy enough that we could just sit and listen to branches breaking and falling under the weight. I went for a 30 minute walk through our greenbelt, and actually saw two significant branch collapses, and heard another six or eight. We heard two thunderous crashes from our couches, but never figured out exactly where they came from. I wonder where birds and squirrels hide in this kind of weather. When it warmed up, ice and twigs and branches were showering our back yard, enough that KrisDi was scared to go outside.

Chilkat turned 11 months old yesterday. She started walking again yesterday, too. She’s getting good at waving and saying good bye, she’ll hug and kiss us (and stuffed animals and inanimate objects) incredibly cutely, and sometimes she’ll blow kisses. She likes to wave good bye when KrisDi’s carrying her up the stairs, and sometimes she’ll kiss the banister when I’m trying to get her to blow me a kiss. It’s interesting to see her learn specific things. Like:

  1. One step per stair. Even if the stairs come up to your chest (her gigantic strides are hilarious).
  2. No double dipping. Take a chip out of the bag, dip it in the guacamole, eat the guacamole, put the chip on your plate, and get a new chip out of the bag.
  3. Wash your blackberries before you eat them, one at a time.
  4. Say “ahhhh” after you have a drink of water.
  5. Dental hygiene is very important. Don’t worry about which end of the toothbrush you use.
  6. Wave hello and good bye to everyone, even if they can’t see you.
  7. She knows how to work an iPhone. If you press the button, a really cute picture of you comes up.

She’s interested in stacking things, putting things inside of things, putting the lids on things (although sometimes she’s doesn’t get them right side up), opening and closing things. Hats are still hilarious, and she knows what my hat is — she grabbed it and brought it to me when I asked her to. She always seems like she’s trying to figure things out, based on the way she shuts up and stares at new or unfamiliar things. She’s enjoying her new-found ability to communicate, telling KrisDi when she wants to nurse (probably quite a bit more often than she really wants to, but it’s so gratifying to make Mom do what you want).

She’s fake crying now. She’ll put her head down and make totally fake sobbing noises, and she’ll laugh as soon as you call her on it. She probably picked that up from KrisDi, who fake cries to try and teach Chilkat that certain things (like face-clawing, slapping, or clubbing) hurt.

She suddenly has a greatly increased appetite for solids. Sunday, she ate half a piece of pizza. She can eat a whole pierogi or half a banana pretty easily. She likes raw onions more than most apples (Granny Smith are the exception), and she likes onions pickled with jalapenos. Speaking of which, KrisDi pickled some jalapenos, onions, and carrots.



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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Since the 22nd of December last year? First post of 2012!

Chilkat remains a very mobile baby. She still demands that we walk her around on our fingers, although she can walk now. We have a video of her doing it — essentially, Christmas day was the first time. She’d taken isolated steps prior, but on Christmas day, she took up to ten steps at a time about a dozen different times. And then she decided she didn’t want to do it any more, so she hasn’t really done it since then. Yesterday, the false alarm family came to visit. Their daughter, M, who is three weeks older than Chilkat, walks pretty well, and nearly inspired Chilkat to follow along behind her.

She has pretty good dexterity. She likes turning lights on and off. She can throw things. She “steers” us when we’re holding her. She’ll point in the direction of where she wants to go. She kind of knows her way around the house. She knows she can reach the power button on the TV in the guest room, so she likes to go in there. She knows that if I’m upstairs with her, KrisDi is usually in the bathroom, so she’ll go look there. She loves the half bath downstairs and will steer us there (or walk us there) quite frequently.

She’s communicating better and better — she says “all done” and tugs on her bib when she’s done eating. She also babbles way more with a greater variety of noises. She seems to understand that “ow” is associated with bumping your head, and “uh oh” is associated with dropping things on the floor where she can’t reach it. She seems to get the waving goodbye idea. In fact, when the false alarm family was leaving after a visit one day, she waved and said “Bye!” Which was adorable, and we all stopped and were waving and laughing and saying “Bye!” and whatnot…and then Chilkat pointed at the door and yelled “Out!”

She likes raw onions, but not apples. Obviously my daughter, right?  Right now she’s eating an entire piece of bread. I think she’s trying to jam the whole thing in at once. Sometimes she likes to make her food dance.

We had a nice family holiday thing on Christmas Eve. P Dubs, E Dubs and Pixel Chick, Les and D, and Mom came down for Polish dinner and present exchange. Chilkat, as you might guess, got a buttload of toys (like a walker thing and a circus tent) and clothes. I got some clothes, some tools, some whiskey stones. KrisDi got some earrings, a necklace, and a mini double dip crock pot. We got a couple light scoops and a fancy flash for our camera. We also got several Baby’s First Christmas ornaments and Chilkat coffee mugs. Pretty good haul, overall.

Christmas was mild, except for the exciting walking experience described above. We lounged around and ate leftovers and watched a little football. The rest of the break was pretty similar, really.

New Year’s Eve, we went to Dr. K’s place. Chilkat stayed up late. Our parentalness was snootily disdained by someone who thought it was inappropriate for a baby Chilkat’s age to be up that late (Guess what! She frequently keeps us up that late!). We brought a ridiculous plethora of desserts, including toffee, peanut butter cup cookies, caramel pecan apple cheesecake pie, and Mom’s caramel (which is ridiculously good), plus a bunch of beer. It was fun.

New Year’s Day was of course exhausted. Plus, Chilkat took a faceplant into the coffee table, resulting in her first genuine self-inflicted injury (which traumatized KrisDi far more than it traumatized Chilkat). Since then, she’s been staying up late, might have a cold, might have an ear infection. No fever last night, though, which is nice.

We’ve gone back to work and day care (as appropriate). Chilkat’s nearing one year of age, of course, which means moving to the next room at day care. KrisDi and I are doing our “smaller portions and fewer desserts” diet again, and suffering through the “portions that are much smaller than appetites” phase.



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So, today is my first day off for Christmas vacation. The in-laws arrived last night, and are buzzing around the house sweeping and scrubbing and hiding things from the regular occupants. This is very kind of them, since I’m sitting on my ass playing with photos and posting on my lame-o blog or manhandling my beautiful daughter.

Chilkat has survived her first ear infection. I hope she gets no more. She just finished her amoxicillin (aka “pink crack”) yesterday.

She’s 10 months old now. She free stands, although somewhat reluctantly. She still hasn’t really tried stepping forward at all. She’ll walk while only holding on to something with one hand (usually her left). She likes to be pushed or pulled around in a box (and once she gave cookie monster a ride, too). She throws temper tantrums, complete with kicking feet. It’s cute and annoying at the same time. She babbles a lot, and sometimes quite loudly. She’s mostly figured out how to get down off the couch without going face first. She loves to play rodeo with me — I put her on my shoulders and and buck around. She grabs onto my hair for dear life and squeals with delight.

She’s becoming more focused and determined. I was holding her the other day, and she pissed off and wanted something but I wasn’t paying much attention to her. She grabbed my face and turned it in the direction of the fridge and pointed at the duck, and then she was satisfied.

Christmas is around the corner. Tree is up, lit, decorated, and surrounded by presents. Stocking are on the mantle. We have a couple wreaths hanging around. That’s the extent of our holiday-ness. We didn’t light the tree.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m missing lots of stuff, but I’m quitting and showing you pictures. We’ve been screwing around with the camera a lot, and we have more non-Chilkat pictures than usual. Here you go.

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