Family

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So…what’s been up since the 4th?

Nearly two weeks have passed. Chilkat is almost five months old, and she’s nearly crawling. She can get on all fours with her whole body (except the fours) up off the ground. She scoots around a bit. I’ve seen her scoot around in a complete (but tiny) circle. It won’t be long, and we’ll be babyproofing everything. I expect it’s going to be about as successful as waterproofing everything.

Chilkat has now flown on planes. Twice. We went to California for our softball coach’s wedding. Chilkat made distractingly loud (but generally joyful) noises in the airport before both the flight down and the flight up. On the flight down, she continued to be awake and somewhat noisy. I think she might have slept for about ten minutes. On the flight back, she was noisy and tearful for about ten minutes…and then collapsed and slept for about three solid blissful hours.

We flew into Long Beach, which is tiny. We rented a car (we got a white Jetta) and a carseat (four days cost as much as a new carseat). The carseat sucked ass, was filthy, and I basically had to disassemble it to undo all the ignorant monkeyfucking that had been perpetrated on the straps by previous renters (at night, in a parking lot, without a manual, with my daughter screaming nearby, on a carseat I had never seen before). And then it was barely sufficient. E-Dubs and Pixel Chick, if you’re out there, thank you so much for the awesome carseat you gave us. I was so happy to see it when we returned.

We stayed at Oxnard for a couple nights before the wedding, where Mr and Mrs Big J put us up (and put up with us). We got to meet their neat little kid Little J. He’s about 1, he’s walking, and apparently he’s terrified of Chilkat. Or white people. Or both. Lethargic Oleo also lives in the neighborhood, so we hung out with him as well. We all drank beer, and I got a hangover, just in time for the wedding on Saturday. Luckily, Big J had magic Powerade to cure my hangover. And Spudnuts. Which I kept down on the second try. We also got a chance to go out to lunch with some former coworkers, which was also good.

The wedding was nice. I understood very little of it, since the service was in Vietnamese. Chilkat probably got it pretty well, since her two main daycare ladies are VFL (Vietnamese as First Language). Perhaps that’s why she decided to practice yodeling during the service. And that’s how I discovered that the cry room is a hot, lonely prison.

The reception was on a boat. It was fun. We got to see some of our long-lost California friends, who are now (on average), approximately married and expecting. Chilkat was pretty good through this whole thing, and was taking a long, peaceful nap, when one of our less sober long-lost California friends plopped herself down next to Chilkat to joggle her head and proclaim her cuteness, abruptly (and not so peacefully) ending said nap.

The next day, we took the long drive up to Tehachapi to see MeiMei and Russ’s rustic mountain home. It’s pretty awesome. It’s a little older, it’s on a lot of land, requires a lot of maintenance, and it’s really cool. They’re in the process of doing a little remodeling to make it even cooler. They’re at a high enough elevation that the temperature is actually pretty comfortable, although you drive through hellish desert to get there. Thankfully, air conditioning (man’s greatest invention) made our trip comfortable.

While we were there, we had our first adventure in co-sleeping, because they had a spare king size mattress but nothing resembling a crib. We did first experiment with constructing walls on the mattress for Chilkat with suitcases and pillows. We all suck at co-sleeping. Chilkat took up more room than it is physically possible for her to occupy (a puzzle to pose to my physicist co-workers). She woke up in the middle of the night demanding to be fed, which KrisDi compliantly did. Then she wanted to snuggle. KrisDi pushed her away because she wanted to sleep. Several times. Some time after that, I woke up, and didn’t notice that Chilkat had nestled into my armpit. When I tried to roll to a more comfortable position, I smooshed Chilkat’s face into the mattress. This resulted in much theatrics.

Since then, we’ve been pretty much just around the house. I’ve been working from home in the evenings a bunch. It sucks.

Posted by snaotheus, 2 comments

Further Leaping and Bounding

Actually, most of the changes lately have been fairly incremental. But I’m way behind. She’s four months old.

My daughter continues to be supercute. She draws more attention than I’ve ever received in my conscious life. We are often stopped by strangers who cannot prevent themselves from assailing her with compliments. Occasionally we hear compliments whispered once we pass and are thought to be out of earshot. For example, from a cashier as we were leaving a Safeway, “Oh my God, that is seriously the cutest baby I’ve ever seen!”

Chilkat rolls over frequently now, but still primarily in one direction. She does it in her sleep now. The first time she did it, we woke up with her on her stomach and her leg sticking out of the side of the crib.

She requires even less assistance to stand. In fact, she’ll sometimes stand with only one hand supported, and she now will (with a little parental prompting) occasionally support herself on inanimate objects for 10+ seconds at a time. Sometimes I’m hard pressed to perform that feat.

Chilkat laughed for the first time, as KrisDi mentioned, which was totally awesome. Favorite part of parenting so far. But she hasn’t been cooperative about doing it again. She’s let out a little giggle here and there, but none of that awesome laughing since.

KrisDi’s birthday has come and gone. I made her chocolate cupcakes with a failed ganache as frosting. It refused to stand up (not even as well as Chilkat). So I added butter and powdered sugar until it had the consistency of grout. I should have made her a ganache/frosting sculpture. Unfortunately, I’m artless.

We had a mini-vacation to Portland. It was a nice weekend. We ate inhuman quantities of delicious food and spent most of our non-eating time in bars or. We went to the first annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival, which was a lot of fun. We had to rearrange our tiny hotel room to make space for all our baby stuff. We spent lots of time changing Chilkat in the trunk of the car. She had lots of blowouts. We found out she likes to grab my hair (but gently), which lead to me putting her on my shoulders for the first time.

We went to the Solstice Day Parade and the Fremont Fair, always an amusing (and sometimes unnerving) show. For my first Father’s Day, we went to the Washington Brewers Festival, which was fun and inebriating. I also got shoes, a card, and tickets to Sox/Mariners in August.

We have ultra busy July coming up. Northwood will hopefully visit us the weekend of July 4th, the following weekend we have a wedding in CA, nothing planned for the following weekend and then a flight to North Dakota, a drive to South Dakota, Eldest’s wedding, and a flight back.

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Leaps and Bounds

Chilkat has approximately three consonants in her arsenal now. She got ‘m’ down first, followed quickly by ‘n’. Yesterday she got ‘b’, and shortly afterward learned how to blow spit bubbles…”bbbbbbbbbbb”. Her vowels all seem to be an amalgamation…which is rather ingenuous. She has invented the Multi-Purpose Amalgamated Vowel Sound (TM). We’re trying to get her to build sentences with these building blocks. We’re also trying to figure out how to get rich off this invention.

“Mom, name me Mimi.”

“My main man may mine my money!”

“I’m no baby!”

We welcome more suggestions.

She pointedly ignores me every day when I visit her in day care. She doesn’t hesitate to give big giant smiles to Kim the infant day care lady. Today, Chilkat took our suggestion to poop at day care since we’re paying them big bucks anyway. In fact, she took this suggestion twice. Kim the infant day care lady marvels at how strong she is, and how advanced she is, and has clearly figured out how to ingratiate herself with parents: Praise their children.

When I visit her at day care, she reminds me of an aloof intellectual in a prison. She doesn’t participate in their mindless shenanigans. I’ve seen one baby start crying, setting off a chain reaction amongst the other babies, and Chilkat just looks around at them like they’re boring simpletons.

Chilkat is sleeping better than ever. She’s a champ. She seems to come home from day care exhausted. Yesterday, we put her to bed an hour early in a very exciting fashion: she fell asleep on KrisDi on the couch downstairs, we transferred her to me, I carried her upstairs, and put her down in the crib. She didn’t even stir. First time we’ve succeeded in such a hand-off, let alone an upstairs traversal without a long cool-down period. To top that off, we had to wake her up in the morning to feed her before day care, she fell asleep during her breakfast, she slept through me putting her into the car seat, the drive to work, and the bumpy walk up the stairs to day care. Then she woke up. Chilkat’s going to be late for school a lot.

She has rolled over twice now during separate tummy times. She gets frustrated less quickly by tummy time. She has not yet gotten on all fours. She likes the sit-up game: lie her on her back and pull her into a sitting position by her hands. Sometimes, rather than grabbing her hands, she’ll grab your fingers. She often likes to continue into the standing position. She also likes the pushy game: put her in a sitting position leaning against you and push against her feet so she can push back.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, 3 comments

Chilkat Returns!

Man, apparently I’ve been laxer than I thought I’d been.

Chilkat and KrisDi are napping cutely on the other couch. I’m drinking beer and watching the Sox. Currently, they’re winning. It’s a nice change of pace.

Chilkat seems fine with day care. I’m not sure she realizes her parents aren’t around, except that she doesn’t get constant personalized attention. She has a boyfriend named Mads (not a made up name, that’s actually the kid’s name) whom she ignores vigorously. It seems that the day care people feed her mechanically, regardless of whether she’s hungry or how hungry she is; she will eat four ounces every three hours (or sooner if she’s fussy). This is not terrible, I suppose, but I wish KrisDi could be at home to take care of Chilkat and KrisDi could be at work to retrieve the bacon. Chilkat is generally nonplussed to see me when I visit at lunch. We’ll see how things go. I’m told that when the kids are old enough to know a little bit about what’s going on, they think it’s time to go home when one of the parents visit.

Chilkat has been baptized and/or christened. It wasn’t a major ordeal or anything. We’re still eating the leftovers.

We went to the Seattle aquarium with the family that gave me the False Alarm. Their daughter, M, is three weeks older than Chilkat.

I guess I don’t have a lot to say, so here are the pictures. Enjoy!

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Remember?

I don’t feel like going through pictures today, or talking about big events.

I want to remember Chilkat being cranky, and eventually falling asleep on my shoulder, snuffling on my neck, getting snot all over me, and steaming up a spot on my shirt until I felt drenched.

I want to remember Chilkat being inconsolable by any means except handing her to her mom, and then quieting on contact.

I want to remember the look on Chilkat’s face the first time she felt grass on her feet. She lit up like heaven.

I want to remember how I felt the first time Chilkat smiled at something I did (rather than just randomly smiling). I want to find more ways to make her smile.

I want to remember the half-panic when I wake up in the middle of the night to absolute silence (is she OK?).

I want to remember the amazing blue eyes she has right now. I wonder if they’ll stay this color.

I ought to remember how poorly I handle frustration, especially under sleep deprivation, and how frustrating a screaming child can be.

I want to know what it feels like to feel like a good parent.

I want to know what fascinates Chilkat about the side of the pack-n-play.

I want to remember the naps in front of baseball games.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, 2 comments