April 30th, 2008

A few new Vibble pics here

I don’t know how to tell these cats that the amazingly comfy little cat curl-up and play stations all over the house are not for them. Mia has been hanging out under the play gym, where she enjoys hunting the rattle-toys, and Linus somehow heaved himself into the bassinet today.

We’ve been busy the last week spending time with friends, and Stevel’s been hard at work on his own programming projects. Okay, okay, and we acquired Mario Kart Wii with its cute little steering wheels and Gran Turismo with its more real-like steering wheel. (Yes, there are now multiple gamer steering wheels alongside the guitars and drums in our living room.) And the guys are getting into Grand Theft Auto IV. I know not everyone in “my readership” (Hi, Mom) agrees with the playing of video games that include violence, but having married someone in the programming/design of special-effects/gaming/other-stuff industry, I have developed an appreciation for aspects of video games that GTA-IV seems to have mastered. Plus, it’s very funny.

Violet had some stomach stuff going on this week. Lots of spitting up and diarrhea, including one batch that required an immediate bath in order to remove the poo from such crannies as her belly button. Man, was she feelin’ good once that explosion was out of her.

Stevel took off Friday to spend at home with her while I went into Otis for a meeting and to join in the portfolio reading panel. It was fun to interact with people as a “colleague,” although I really just wanted to be home with Violet the whole time. We’re so fortunate to be able to have me at home almost full-time. As Stevel says, he’ll bring home the bacon … and I’ll bring home the milk.

I Has a Bad

April 24th, 2008

I would say, “Just wait until your father gets home,” but Stevel is the one who MADE HIM THIS WAY:

[1] [2] [3]

The Butt Finger and Lamb Hands

April 23rd, 2008

Two Conversations:


During a weekend Web Chat with my sister and her girls, and following some jokes about pinky nail trimming, I began entertaining Dani (5) on the Web-cam while Cheri talked to Erica about something household-y, can’t remember what. Anyway, I was sticking up one finger at a time, overtly avoiding the middle finger, and Dani was responding by counting the fingers, in a calm volume with moderate giggling … UNTIL I raised my pinky, whence she SHOUTED:


Naturally, Cheri and Erica abruptly ended their conversation to join in the laughing.


Last night, after a dinner at PF Chang’s during which Stevel enjoyed spinach, wine, and some lamb dish, we were driving home with Vibble in the back seat when I detected a foul odor.

“Oh no,” I said, “Do you smell poop, too?”

Stevel: “Oh. No, that’s me. I have Lamb Hands.”


And here is your daily dose of Vibble.

The Newest Neighbor

April 22nd, 2008

Vibble attended the beginning of the homeowners’ meeting tonight. She was a bit of a distraction, even though she was quiet and wide-eyed. Her cuteness just sucks people in, you know? Later in the evening, she was very chatty. And now she’s asleep in the bouncer, which is being bounced by her dad. What a life.

New pics

The Purple Towel Ascends

April 21st, 2008

One of the side effects of Sarah-Architect’s second visit to the ER was that the purple towel finally reached its destined role as St. John’s medical waste.

Towards the end of Kristan’s pregnancy, we started considering things like trees falling in the forest and waters breaking in the car. With little-to-no direct tree-falling or water-breaking experience, we worked with the obvious: the forest is probably far enough away to be of little concern but broken water is probably pretty wet.

That’s when the purple towel took its place in the passenger seat of my car. Water never broke in the car as the towel remained dry and purposeless until tonsils broke for the second time.

Happy decay, purple towel.

(guest entry written by stevel in response to gentle-but-ongoing peer pressure)

I Was Even Wearing a Stylish Outfit

April 19th, 2008

And that was at 4 a.m., mind you, which I think merits applause. Still, the ER nurse said, “Oh, are you Sarah’s mother?”


Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful mothers I know (my own, Pauline, and others) in the age category implied by that assumption—but I am Sarah’s SAME AGE, for GOD’S SAKE! LORD! Come ON!!!!!

Anyway, that’s incidental. The real bloggable news here is that Sarah-Architect had to go to the ER again last night, for the same problem as before. This is such an unlikely scenario to have happen even once, her doctor assured her the last time he was confident there was no chance it would happen again. Steve played EMT once more, around 1 a.m. Our poor friend lost quite a bit of blood (she filled her bathroom sink with it) and had to have the scab site cauterized. Violet and I joined Steve and Silas in the waiting room around 4, and it was after 7 before Sarah could go home. She was wiped out. Silas said when he was back in the gurney area with her before the ENT showed up to cauterize she was very upset and panicked and just kept saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” She was still bleeding AND throwing up blood. Insanity. I don’t know what to do for her except make sure the Internet knows SHE HAS SUFFERED, and ask that you all send positive thoughts toward this spunky girl whose spunk has been stolen temporarily.

HMF: Animals on the Floor

April 19th, 2008

One of the beautiful gifts Vibble received was a large baby quilt handmade by her great Aunt Bonnie in Northern California. I almost hate to use it, it’s so gorgeous, but today Violet had some playtime and naptime on her fluffy, quilty animal friends in her room. Photos here. Oh and here’s another one.


April 18th, 2008

Today Violet played with her friends. First, Patricia was here. Toward the end of my pregnancy, when I couldn’t do anything, we hired Patricia to do housekeeping every other week. I feel guilty not keeping up with the cleaning myself, but there’s certainly enough of it for two of us. In fact, it’s about a full-time job keeping the laundry caught up, so leaving the actual cleaning-cleaning to someone else (someone professional who does a fabulously thorough job, I might add) is a great help. But I digress. My point is that Patricia and Vibble are friends, and they enjoyed some giggle time today. Then I mentioned on IM to Sarah-Architect that Patricia was here making tortillas from scratch. So Vibble got to play with her friend, Sarah, too (and I got to see firsthand that Sarah is on the mend and looking great).

After I was full of tortillas—God, YUM—I took Violet to Sony, where we walked with Stevel and Scot to get gelato. It was chilly out, so on top of her little outfit I added a purple sweatshirt and some red striped mittens. Apparently, this getup qualified her for the category of styling Stevel refers to as “The Hobo.” Today’s Hobo metaphor was extended to the carrier/car-seat/stroller, which has now become “The Boxcar.” You know, where hobos ride. Anyway, I didn’t get a shot of the whole hobo getup, but here’s Vibb sleepily showing off her sweatshirt.

Vibble’s First Visit to the ER

April 17th, 2008

… was just that, a visit—to see her friend, Sarah-Architect (the patient). Allow me to explain:

Sarah had her tonsils removed April 4. Tonsillectomy is more complicated in adults than in children for some reason, and Sarah was having a painful recovery. This was to be expected. Still, Sarah’s recovery was on the high end of the spectrum, difficulty-wise. She had a lot of pain and at one point last week, she woke up with her throat very swollen and had to go into the doctor for steroids.

Monday she was easing back into work, still very tired and in pain, but at ten days post-op, eager to get back into her life. Then, at 3:45 a.m. in the middle of Monday night, Steve answered a call from a very upset Sarah. She said she had woken up with blood pouring out of her mouth. Before you go thinking this was an exaggeration, when Steve arrived to drive her to the ER, he said she was holding a bath towel soaked in blood, and she was holding it like a bowl, which was full of blood.

At the ER, her bleeding stopped on its own. That’s good, since (a) if that doesn’t happen, they have to inject something into the bleed-site and cauterize, and (b) none of the doctors on duty in the ER that night knew this; they were stumped as to how they would handle it if the bleeding didn’t stop. By the time Violet and I arrived, Sarah was shaking but de-adrenalizing. There was blood spattered on her face, arms, and clothes. She said her bathroom looked like a crime scene.

I’m happy to report that everything turned out fine in the end, and her doctor assures her this is so rare it’s NOT going to happen again. Little consolation to someone who lost a night’s sleep and, says Sarah, “a really good towel.”

The St. John’s ER at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday morning was a surreal place to be. Sarah was the only patient. Nothing is locked anywhere, and there are no security guards out front or anything. Steve says that when he and Sarah arrived, they had to find someone to help them. In the waiting room, it was just the three of us and a homeless guy using the single-occupant restroom to take a crap. Eventually, they let all three of us (the homeless guy had left), plus Sarah’s boyfriend (he had to arrive from the other side of the city) hang out with Sarah back at the gurney where they were keeping an eye on her.

Sarah says that when she was taken back to the gurneys, the room suddenly filled with eager medical students assessing the situation: “What have we got?” “Tonsillectomy?” “Ten days post-op?” Um, yeah, we’re gonna need George Clooney to the ER. STAT.

Dude, Stop Doing That

April 16th, 2008

Vibble is in her swing. She is tired in a semi-cranky way. The pacifier makes her eyes start to roll back in her head nicely. Sleeeep. She WANTS the pacifier. So I put it in her mouth. She swings for a few seconds. Then she realizes again and again, like a goldfish encountering the plastic castle, that there are little plush critters rotating above her head, and her response to this is to open her mouth wide and go, “OOOAOOOWA.” Exit pacifier. Flash to active but uselessly uncontrollable infant-arms. CAN … NOT … RETRIEVE … PACIFIER. Begin sad crying.


I’ve now risen from the computer to re-cork that crying face 11 times. OK, make that 12. With all the gear available for babies these days, why isn’t there a pacifier with a band attached to it that goes around the kid’s head to hold the pacifier in her mouth? And while I’m asking questions, what the fuck ARE these rotating critters supposed to be?

Yogurt and the Many Ways Apple Products Make Our Lives Better

April 15th, 2008

For so many reasons, I’ve been advised from all fronts to eat yogurt every day. It helps prevent baby thrush, keeps you regular, etc. My doctor says, “No Yoplait. That’s not yogurt. Get the store brand or something—something with enough cultures to bother.” But I only really LIKE the kinds of yogurt that taste like pudding. So here I am trying to choke down a whole cup of yogurt. [Gag] I know there are yogurt drinks, but I can’t get past the mental block I have against drinking yogurt [ack]. Is there no pill I can take? They make pills so you don’t have to drink milk to get Calcium, why not yogurt-culture pills? The goal here is that eventually all nutrients can be tossed down in pill form, and I can eat cake exclusively.

Violet had a restless, fussy day. Mucus in her stomach as the cold drains and gas. Poor little Gassy. Here she is momentarily happy following the scariest projectile-vomiting episode I’ve ever witnessed. Spew shot four feet straight out from her mouth, and SO MUCH OF IT. Following this happy moment, she slept briefly. But then she would only sleep held on my shoulder. So I rented an old movie (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and settled in on the couch. I love Apple-TV.

Meanwhile, we said goodbye to Steve’s sister Debi after a truly fun visit. Also, Stevel got new glasses. We had picked them out last week at the very hip Positive Eye-Ons on Melrose, Stevel’s eyeglass place, and he picked them up on Saturday. The trouble with not being able to see without your glasses is that in order to pick out new glasses, you have to try on frames without being able to see what you look like wearing them. Enter the iPhone. It has a great little camera and a nice screen, so I just took quick snaps of Stevel wearing various frames, and then he put his glasses back on and looked at himself wearing the different options. The ladies working there weighed in, too. (Violet was too preoccupied with the wondrous magnificence of a big room full of mirrors and tiny lenses to assist.) Anyway, this pair got highest marks from the judges (P.S. Note Mia enjoying Vibble’s play-mat). What do you think?

Rocket Launchers and Needles Longer than My Arm

April 13th, 2008

It’s the question on everyone’s mind, and I can finally answer it: At a little over two months old, Violet weighs 10 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 21.75 inches long. On Thursday, she had her first round of inoculations. Here’s what it was like:

First, the three of us went into the tiny room where Dr. N. does his exams. He weighed and checked over the baby, and she cooed and was happy. We were all happy: The kid is very healthy (aside from her sad little cold), and it turns out making her poop when she waits a little too long is going to be as easy as, according to our old-school pediatrician, “cutting your pinky fingernail as low as you can and putting your pinky up there.” Happy, happy, happiness!

Then Dr. N.’s assistant came in, and the two of them held down our daughter and jammed three two-inch needles into the sweet, chubby muscles in her legs. These needles were fucking enormous. This betrayal elicited shrieks of pain from our baby and sobs from her mother. Fortunately, her dad was able to remain composed enough despite his anxiety to continue looking at her and talking to her throughout the ordeal. Now, though, he says he will forever be in her mind “the face of pain” by association. (Somehow, I doubt this, because he alone seems allowed to use the nose-vac without Vibble flailing her head; since, with her cold, this allows her to be able to breathe enough to eat, he is perhaps more key to her survival right now that I am, even with my boobs and everything.)

After the shots were over, Vibble recovered instantly, whereas I still require hourly doses of Valium. Steve and Violet debriefed with some Nuk-sucking time, and Violet completed her recovery with her favorite activity, lookin’ around. In this bath photo, you can see the blur of her Snoopy leg Band-Aids.

Speaking of poop, Stevel and I have made the realization that we bring up this subject way too much with our friends when they come over. Our friends are patient with us, but we seem unable to stop ourselves from talking about Vibble’s bowel movements as if they are the most interesting subject on Earth. We go on and on—When did she poop last? Was it a big one? When might she poop next?—and only clue in that it’s going on after our friends have been silent participants in the conversation for a long time. The reason we do this is because this really IS the most interesting thing on Earth—to US. It’s one of our primary discussion topics when we’re together, and we keep each other very up-to-date about it and even call each other to the changing table to witness extraordinary poops. I mean, we’re a couple; I wouldn’t want to selfishly hog such an event.

Anyway, I was thinking that for our friends’ sake, I could use this blog more often as an outlet for my need to discuss the subject. So, for your information, Violet’s last poop was more than 24 hours ago, and we’re entering Code Yellow status. Code Yellow does not require any pinky nail trimming (see Code Brown status). It simply means we’d really like to see some poop soon, because we know that at some point in the next 6 hours or so she will get grumpy about it. Also because it means Steve’s requests to Violet that she deliver batches of less poop, more often, are being ignored, and when it finally does come about, we can expect an explosive poo-bomb. I don’t know if this is common with babies or what, but when she poops, it’s a war-time, take-cover kind of event. She truly launches the mustard. The force drives poop outward to the edges of her diaper, and sometimes beyond—Containment Alert! Containment Alert! If the EPA and NASA get any free time, I’m convinced this is energy that could be harnessed to light and air-condition Los Angeles for years.

Meanwhile, I went to CVS with Vibb in her stroller just now, and this is relevant because it involves baby gas, an important indicator of BM schedule status. We’ve been using Burt’s Bees diaper ointment, which smells like patchouli. Since I associate patchouli-smell with pot for some reason, when I caught whiff of that scent in the candy aisle, my first thought was, ‘Oh my God, someone’s smoking pot at CVS!’ Then I realized it was just my baby’s ass. Anyway, maybe there will be a launch soon.

Meanwhile, Violet’s Aunt Debi is here from cold, rainy Corvallis. She’s enjoying the 100-plus degree weather today and hanging out with her niece. She took these family photos for us:

[1] [2] [3]

And now let the gushy grandparent comments begin …


April 7th, 2008

We spent a pretty chill weekend nursing our colds, drinking tea. My preference with congestion is Twinings peppermint. Note: this stuff does not taste good. Unfortunately.

We finished Season 1 of Dexter. Superb. We played some Rock Band, ran an errand or two, and otherwise took lots of naps. Observe:


Nap Nap

We are enjoying more and more cooey, happy baby awake time, too.

And now I need to send Stevel to bed and provide Vibble with her late-night dinner and dose of crime shows.

HMF and Swingin’

April 5th, 2008

Nana-Anne sent Vibble some hand-made blankies before she was even born. In the box was my personal favorite, The Ducky, and today it’s making for a snuggly swing ride.

A shout-out to Sarah-Architect today, who is having her tonsils taken out. Frankly, those tonsils were obnoxious, and I’m glad to see them go.

To Tide You Over

April 3rd, 2008

Stevel and I are finishing up the next Vibble movie, with latest photos and clips, etc. While you wait for it, here is a rougher movie of Violet sleeping, to tide you over. I threw this one together without Stevel, so the music and stuff aren’t refined, but it should hold you for a few days until the real movie is done.

This movie of Vibble sleeping is not to be confused with an earlier, Rickroll version of it. THAT movie can be found here.

Right Now at No. 6

April 3rd, 2008

It is shedding season, and I am not forgiven. By this one, either.

Crap Happy

April 2nd, 2008

Violet is becoming more and more expressive. The first few weeks, her cries were, of course, upsetting to us. Instinct said to heed the cry and correct the problem, and love said to ease whatever unappealing state of things led her to wail in the first place. But now? Now when she cries, she LOOKS SAD. Her little mouth quivers and turns down, and her cheeks rise up toward her eyes. This is not just a cry to communicate the need for correction of some problem. It’s a sad little girl who needs more than a clean diaper, more than some lunch—she needs comfort.

The expressiveness goes double for her happy state. I’ve noticed that these come most often after she drops a poo bomb. Thus I refer to this state as Crap Happy.

Right now Stevel is coding on his laptop, I am blogging, and Violet is swinging to some annoying sound supplied by the swing’s tricky sound-maker. Linus is in a silly mood, scampering around, and Mia is here at my desk in her desk chair (it used to be mine, but I gave up and got another). This is domestic bliss.