Friday, February 29, 2008

Mark this down in the baby book.

Noah didn't cry when I dropped him off at Ms. D's this morning! He gave her a big hug when I handed him off, he thought about fussing (for all of about 5 seconds) when I said goodbye, and he watched me walk away without so much as a peep. I could hear them playing before I walked out the door.

Happy Leap Day!

A DJ on the radio last night was asking listeners to call in and answer: "How often do we have a leap year?" Derrr...

The prize: a $25 gift certificate to Brake Check. Not even enough for a crappy brake job, if you happened to need one.

Hmmm... I don't know which was more lame, the question or the prize.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Who would have ever thought that identifying new teeth could be so challenging?!? With the help of an extra set of pediatrician hands and a nifty tongue depressor, I'm 99% sure I saw more than one. How many? I couldn't tell you. Don't even think about asking me to post a photograph of his pearly whites!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Note to Prius owners: When the car says "Add Fuel," do it. When the car says, "no really, add fuel now, dummy (exclamation point)" it's no longer about whether or not you can make it to the gas station before the car stalls. Apparently, even if you make it to the gas station in time and fill up the car, it still might decide not to turn back on until it has an appointment with the Toyota Doctor. As we found out on Sunday.

the "no, really" lights

It seems like everyone wants to know the question, "what happens when a hybrid runs out of gas?" so I wasn't surprised to find several personal anecdotes on the internet. Some tell tales that you can run the car on battery power and coast into the gas station on fumes, but this doesn't seem to be the norm. I read somewhere that this is a safety feature, designed to keep you from destroying the car by running it into the ground on the electric engine/battery alone. I also read that if you manage to keep the car running and fill the tank, then reboot, the warning lights should go away after 50 miles. Or just don't let it get that low. Especially not on a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


...with an emphasis on the question mark. Wednesday evening last week I noticed a "hole" (for lack of a better word) on Noah's lower right gum. Not in the center, where I might expect a tooth to pop through, but off near the canine area. It wasn't red and it wasn't white, and it didn't look remotely toothy. The "hole" closed up a little and became less noticeable over the weekend, but if you run a finger over his gum, you can feel the little serrations of toothiness. As of today, I still can't see anything white, his gum just looks different.

And we wonder why he's fussy at daycare. No, seriously, we've been taking this all into consideration all along.

We have a tooth!


Monday, February 25, 2008

The Best Medicine

It seems that Monday went well at Ms. D's. She reported that she heard Noah laugh, which can only be a sign that things are getting better. We're still keeping our fingers crossed and accepting any thoughts and prayers you can muster! At least I can tell she wants it to work out as much as we do. Plus, I don't think that she'll be able to let him go now that she's had a taste of his laughter... go watch that video again if you're not convinced!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We'll deal.

Dave and I have had some good conversations this weekend about the Noah/daycare mini-crisis. We feel optimistic about things getting better with Ms. D, and we feel good about our backup plan. We just can't tell Noah about the backup, or he's likely to bomb next week on purpose!

Friday, February 22, 2008

So much for that post...

I've waited all day to post the daycare verdict of the week. Things had been getting steadily better and better at Ms. D's, and I was excited to share the great news. He went from mostly fussy, to playing independently as long as the older kids were napping, to playing with the big kids here and there, to napping (granted, in the swing) and taking a bottle... I was feeling so good that I wanted to post mid-day, but I was afraid to jinx anything by celebrating before the day was done. So sure that we were ending the week on a great note, I had butterflies in my stomach as I drove to pick Noah up this afternoon. And then the schtuff hit the fan. It seems Ms. D had the worst day imaginable, bad enough to taint all the progress Noah had made on Wednesday and Thursday. The verdict of the week took a nose-dive: if things don't get a lot better really soon, she's not going to be able to keep him. I was totally caught off-guard! WHA?!? I'm sure he did have a miserably fussy afternoon (I've seen those before) and I have to say I understand where she's coming from. It's stressful to listen to him cry and not be able to fix it, it's a pain in the neck (and back and shoulders) to hold him nonstop, and it's not fair to the other kids in her care.

But the real question is: what next? What if this really doesn't work out? I had such a good feeling about it, it's hard to accept that my intuition might have been flat-out wrong. And, above all, it's heartbreaking to think about how hard this all is on sweet Noah.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gettin' our Groove on.

(No, no, not that!)
Call it a conflict of instincts, but my parenting philosophy holds two very different things near and dear. One, I subscribe to the infant-led, attachment parenting school of thought, in which (up until some age) babies' needs and their wants go hand-in-hand, and fulfilling these needs leads to a secure and happy baby that is better able to focus on the important things like growing and learning. Two, I think babies (and people in general) thrive in a structured environment, on some semblance of a schedule, where they know what they can expect here and there.

So one of the most surprising things to me, as a new parent, is how seemingly impossible it is to find our groove. I often feel like every day of Noah's life has brought new surprises and challenges. When every day holds something new, how are we ever supposed to find order and routine in our lives?

Recently it seems like every day's "new" thing provides yet another excuse why we can't get Noah to nap in his crib, or nap period.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I couldn't figure out why Dave kept calling Noah "Jellybean" last night, until I overheard him explaining to the little one that PoPo (Dave's mom) used to tell him he looked "slick as a jellybean" when he got his hair cut as a kid. Here's a pic of our slick little jellybean with his new 'do, during and after:

I was a little afraid that his first haircut would make me sad, but the new look is growing on me quickly. He's just so darn cute!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day!

For reasons totally related to my recent posts (but nothing I feel like talking about now), I didn't feel much like "celebrating" Valentine's Day yesterday. But it didn't go by completely unobserved. Somebody at work stopped me in the hallway to say "this will be Noah's first Valentine's, won't it? Oh, how fun!!!" Please tell me, how is [the Hallmark holiday about flowers and chocolate and romance] a fun holiday for babies?

Never mind that. Noah DID get a Valentine yesterday. To an 8-month old from his newly acquired 3-month old daycare buddy: a bag with M&M's and Twix and a lollipop. I had to laugh at the age-appropriateness*, but I won't say it wasn't appreciated! Certainly Noah can appreciate the thoughtful gesture while his daddy and I appreciate the SUGAR RUSH! The fringe benefits of parenthood -- reaping the spoils of Noah's candy holidays for many years to come!

*Who care's if that's not a word? It's Friday; cut me some slack!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On Separation Anxiety

Of course, a big factor complicating this daycare stuff is the fact that Noah is eight months old. Why didn't somebody tell me you can't start daycare at the height of separation anxiety? I read in my favorite parenting book that separation anxiety is triggered by a baby's newfound independence and mobility, as if their bodies want to take them away from home base, but their minds are programmed to check back in, and check in often. Basically it's nature's way of making sure babies don't crawl off into the sunset. With his early crawling, it should be no surprise that Noah is suffering from a major case of it. He actually has very little stranger anxiety, unless the stranger wants to separate him more than 3 inches (3 feet on a good day) from his mommy or daddy. He even has separation anxiety if one of us is holding him and the other one walks away. We have learned that if he's playing happily on the floor, and we need to move away from him, it helps if we crawl. So now, yes, we often crawl from room to room. He's training us well.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This is what happens...

... when you try to feed a sleepy baby:

From the bowl to the spoon to the mouth to the hand to the eye. Honestly, sometimes we skip the mouth step. Especially when he's sleepy!


Driving Noah to Ms. D's today, I had a thought. (Hold the presses! She thinks!) He's done fairly well when I've dropped him off so far, but today is probably the day that the realization sets in: when Mommy hands him over, she's leaving and he's staying to play for several hours until Daddy comes to get him. And then I went one hopelessly optimistic thought further. If he DOESN'T wail, then that means Ms. D truly is a miracle-worker and all will be right in the world.

No surprise, he wailed. Luckily, my background in formal logic still allows for the possibility that Ms. D may be a miracle-worker and all may still be right in the world, even if at that moment it sure didn't seem like it.

If it seems like my emotional state is hinged around daycare these days, this is a lot better than last month, when my world revolved around daycare on top of multiple nasty ear infections!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Still better.

I confess. I'm the mom who hesitates to call and check on her kid because I don't know what to do or say or feel if the caregiver says he's not doing well and I'm not in a position to fix it. But I tossed that aside and called to check on Noah today at Ms. D's, and she said he is doing great: playing, eating, drinking, and she almost got him down for a nap. In fact, I could hear him in the background making his little "ah?" noises, so I know she was being honest. And then she told him she was talking to mommy on the phone, and I heard "WAAAHHH!" Yup! Sounds like my boy!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Vroom, Vroom!

Ridin' around in my automobile,
My baby beside me at the wheel,
Cruisin' and playin' the radio,
with no particular place to go.

Noah is right at home in his new convertible. From the get-go, he sat up tall, started steering the little wheel, and even plunked his pacifier down in the cupholder.

Gung Hay Fat Choi!


"Rats are perfectionists. They communicate extremely well, are quick-witted, level headed and always alert. They choose their friends carefully and dote on children. Rats are great strategists and make good politicians, but most importantly, their intuition enables them to suss out the enemy quite early in the game. Rats are shrewd and know how to amass wealth. They'll gladly spend on their loved ones while outsiders will find them miserly. Their adaptability and clever maneuvring will see them thumbing their nose at even the tightest spot. But they can be quick-tempered and overly critical, making them edgy, nervous and a downright nag with things don't go their way. They have an opportunistic trait that will see them wheeling and dealing in exploiting situations for self-benefit."

Hmmmm.... who do we know that's a Rat? Not me!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It just feels better.

Noah started with a new daycare provider today. The last place was a brand-name baby factory with a good reputation, a 10:2 baby:sitter ratio, and apparently, some pretty drug-resistant germs! His new sitter Ms. D. is a registered in-home lady who cares for 3 other infant/toddlers, has been in the business for 20-odd years, and came uber-highly-recommended by a colleague of Dave's. It's been less than a week since she was referred to us, and even though we weren't actively looking for a new arrangement, it just feels right. Things fell into place rather quickly. Noah was out sick for a week, we got this lady's name and interviewed her, and just hours before he was ready to go back to the big baby factory, his spot opened up. Sometimes the stars line up just so!

Things are working out so nicely that I hope it's a sign good things to come. We decided to eat the dual payments over our two-week cancellation period and switch Noah over as soon as possible. Mom was able to come yesterday on a moment's notice (thanks, Grandma!!!) so that we didn't have to take Noah back to germ-city for even one day; the new lady offered to start him on Monday, with a trial run today; and (wonder of wonders) the big baby factory let us off the hook without even paying for this week of unused childcare.

On the way to the new place today, we stopped by the old one to pay our last respects (i.e. pick up Noah's stuff and square away the bills). Noah was quiet the whole time we were there, but he gave me the biggest smile ever on our way out the door! And he chattered away on the drive from there to the new place. The best part is that when I dropped Noah off this afternoon, he smiled at me from Ms. D's arms as we said bye-bye. Okay, so he was crying by the time I hit the door, but I'll take what I can get!

Please, please, please let this work out!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Eight-Month Milestones

Friends here and here have encouraged me to think about Noah's milestones, so here's the list I've come up with. I'm sure I've left plenty off.
  • Rolls FtB, BtF, crawl to sit, sit to crawl, etc.
  • Crawls on all 4's (creeps) faster than we can
  • Follows us from room to room and comes when coaxed
  • Carries toys with him from room to room and sometimes brings things when asked
  • Goes looking for things he remembers that are now out of sight
  • Pulls to stand, and sits back down gently
  • Lets go when standing for several seconds at a time
  • Cruises around the furniture when on a mission (but doesn't walk just for fun)
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Throws a mean curveball, though sometimes backwards. Plays catch with Daddy.
  • Speaks a totally unrecognizable language, complete with unidentifiable consonents
  • Opens bottom drawers (yikes!)
  • Has mastered pincer grasp, especially on nipples (rubber or flesh -- ouch!)
  • Bats away a spoon with ninja-like agility
  • Clenches jaw and lips closed for food or medicine
  • Gives hugs and kisses, smiles and belly laughs.

What he doesn't do so well yet is:

  • wave bye-bye or sign
  • say mama, dada, or anything else
  • have teeth
  • eat puffies, cheerios or things with texture
  • hold his own bottle/sippy at a drinking angle
  • sleep through the night
  • play with babysitters.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Tired of videos yet? This one is fairly long, but we couldn't help ourselves. After a long weekend of daily antibiotic shots, Noah's in a good mood again. He can't wait for the SuperBowl to start, so he's killing time by playing catch with Daddy. Seriously!

Click for Video

(That's Grandma on the phone with Aunt Shirley in the background.)