July 25th, 2008

I am busy today packing for our trip east, but Jeremy has recently posted two things that are especially worth checking out in the way of appreciating the Internet and what it—and Jeremy—can do:

Many Gs

Extra points for “butt”

Thank You for Letting Us Be Your F-WAKs, and Adventures

July 23rd, 2008

Hung out this weekend at two social events where Vibble was the only little one. Both events were filled with good food, good friends, and laughs. When we had a kid, I worried we’d lose some of our friends to the “we don’t have that much in common anymore” thing. But Violet has been welcomed, even adored, by our friends, and no one seems to mind having her along for the party. In my L.A. circles, I’m generally the only Friend With a Kid (F-WAK), and I appreciate that the people I love are cool with that. And I have to be honest: I especially appreciate that the friends who are such amazing cooks are cool with it.

Yesterday I woke up in a bit of a mope and stared at the crap on my desk that I need to do. Then I checked blogs, including Jeremedia, and I decided to change direction and take advantage of my freedom and Vibble’s portability and go to the Natural History Museum. The animatronic dinosaur isn’t there Mondays and Tuesdays it turns out, but I wasn’t disappointed. We had a great afternoon cruising the fantastic taxidermy, the Insect Zoo, the California history exhibit, and the butterfly garden. I also learned that margays can rotate their hind feet so that the claws point backwards. And I was fascinated to learn about the manroot. If any of my gardeny friends wants to grow one of these completely useless bad-boys, I’d pay to see it!

A Vibble Update

July 18th, 2008

At five months and a week or two, Vibble is turning out to be a seriously easy going baby. Things that make her happy include:

[1] breathin’

Well, really that covers it. She lights up when people talk to her in chirpy voices, lights up for her mom and dad, grins with pride when she rolls on the floor, grins and laughs in her doorway jumper. The only thing that makes her unhappy seems to be sleepiness. Ninety-nine percent of the times she fusses, we find we can calm her with a Nuk and a swaddle, which ease her into sleep.

She had more shots today and weighs not quite 15 pounds. The doctor says she’s growing well.

She’s smack in the middle of the slimy phase, the one where babies put everything in their mouths. We’re somewhat skeezed by this, but mostly proud to see her progress in the realm of coordination; for so long, she could yank out the Nuk but couldn’t do much in the way of putting it back except wham it at her face with frustration (and, I’m sure, a little pain). Now she can return the little cork to the bottle. THANK GOODNESS. I know pacifiers can be controversial, and there are arguments both for their use and for their avoidance. With Vibb there’s no question. MUST! HAVE! NUK! Our collection grows and shrinks as we purchase and purchase and lose the things all over town.

In addition to having pacifiers on hand at all times, we must also have the new interest: TOYS. She’s into the bright, shiny, squishy, rubbery little baby toys we’ve been amassing for months. It seems every piece of gear comes with some little toys, and she slime-soaks and chucks them all. Here there is constant washing of Nuks, smiley-faced rattles, soft-books, and teethers.

The final item we must have with us now at all times, without fail, is a well-stocked diaper bag. Poop, poop, and more poop, and at least 50 percent of the time, a new outfit is required. For each of us.

Yesterday Violet participated as a research subject at the UCLA Baby Lab. This entailed watching a short video in which her eye movements were tracked by a cool computer within the screen. Afterwards, the researcher showed me a graphic of the movements her eyes had made during the viewing. She was a trying subject, wouldn’t sit still. But it was an interesting experience.

I know I am behind on putting together videos, but I’m working on it. Meanwhile, here are a couple of short ones to tide you over. I recommend you click on “watch in high quality”:

Boing Boing

Slurp Splash Slurp

Violet’s first time with a non-family babysitter tomorrow. She will be fine, I might not. It’s just for two hours, mostly for my own easing into the process. Steve and I will go out to dinner. Maybe on the front stoop.

Conversation in Which Stevel Defends His Nuttiness

July 18th, 2008

Me, as Stevel removes his iPhone from his pocket: “Put it away!”

Stevel: “I’m just checking the time—”

Me: “I know you’re just checking the time, that is the sixth time you’ve checked the time in two minutes.”

Stevel: “It changes.”

QUORD to Yr Mutha

July 11th, 2008

I’m quite excited and proud to say my husband’s game is now available in the iPhone Apps store! It’s called QUORDY, it’s just $2.99, and you can buy it on your phone or via iTunes. It’s a word game, and you can play against friends. Please tell everyone you know who has an iPhone. I promise they won’t be annoyed with you, because this game is so much fun that those of us who have been testing it for Stevel are already addicted to it. :)

QUORDY in the iTunes application store

I Knew No One Would Believe Me

July 9th, 2008

That’s why I took this photo. Of the cat. Watching Baby Einstein. (Kitten Einstein?) So, your vote: Is she thinking …

(a) “Ah, finally! Baby Beethoven, excellent. I cannot believe they brought that Mozart tripe in here. That is not “music.” Beethoven—now that’s music. Ah! But Mozart, hmph. That cad. What kind of role model is he for this youngster?”


(b) “Mousey? Mooouuuseeeeeey? Mousey! Mousey mousey mousey!”

Looking Around

July 8th, 2008

It is now the intersection between “the middle of the night” and “the wee hours of the morning.” There are baskets of dirty laundry on every piece of furniture in the living room. And there is a used diaper in a little bundle on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter which one of us put it there this time. What matters is that none of you will ever eat at our house again. And that’s cool by me, because I don’t like to cook.

As many times a day as I wipe that counter with a Clorox wipe to sanitize it because there is a FRAGILE BABY in this house, that counter is now experiencing the equivalent status of a bathroom floor onto which a toilet has overflowed, and that fragile baby is the reason. But oh man is she ever forgiven.

Not Much to Say

July 6th, 2008

Just some new photos.

Steve’s Worst Nightmare

July 3rd, 2008

We would have to move away immediately and never look back.

Because Sarah-Novelist Likes the Term “Rocket Launcher”

July 3rd, 2008

Don’t worry, Mom, those stains will all come out with Zote; if I’d had a sliver of it in the diaper bag like I normally do, they would have been gone when I emerged from the restroom. And yeah, no changing table in the coffee shop, I guess they don’t hope for a lot of infant customers there. Now that Vibble can reach out and grab stuff and move around, the technique I’ve counted on so far with a cushion of paper towels under the waterproof mat (diaper for a pillow) is useless.

Since that post, yet another outfit took one for the team. We recently switched from Huggies to to SGs, and we like them better for so many reasons, but even they were no match for Vibb’s rocket launcher tonight. Poor kid wants to be on my lap so badly, but she had already been relegated to the bouncer, on account of the fact that she spent the afternoon teaching herself to SPIT and was spraying milky slime all over the keyboard. And now she’s in there naked. Stevel has promised to give her a bath when he awakes from an evening nap. A pressure-hose may be required.

Anyway, I need to be at my desk right now because Sarah-Novelist is introducing me to “So You Think You Can Dance” with strategic links to YouTube clips. Incidentally, she is weeping right now in her living room, watching these dancers.

I am reminded of two things: (1) the dance classes Cheri and I took as kids, which we were really only half-into, but into enough to keep going for a couple of years, and (2) the horrid routine to a version of “Cecelia” by a band called “X2″ that my friend Sarah Meny and I put together at her house in 7th grade. It was AWFUL. Thankfully, no one ever saw it. I know there was one part where a whistle blew in the song, and we pretended to blow whistles. My path NOT toward “So You Think You Can Dance” was laid out before me. Sigh.

Core Meltdown in Reactor Two

July 2nd, 2008

* Warning: The following content may not be suitable for Jeremy Roush.

So I finished my editing project and met this morning with two members of the group who had written the book. And an hour into the meeting Violet dropped a diaper bomb that was completely uncontained. I looked down to see the mustard running out of the bottom of her pantleg. It was an awkward interruption to our discussion. What followed was an impromptu bath for Vibble in the restroom. She did a lot of rolling around on the nasty restroom floor, and I could not seem to keep her in my paper-towel nest. Lucky for Baby, I had a spare outfit in her size. Sadly, I was not so lucky and had to accept my new role as human-wad-of-toilet-paper.

So that’s my baby poop story. What’s yours?

Ice Cream Soon?

July 2nd, 2008

This is my friend Emily, age 8. She lives in Penna. and is the daughter of my longest-time friend, Tracey. Emily is having her tonsils taken out today, and her mom is one nervous girl. Please send your positive energies in their direction.

When Steve first met Emily, at her house, he was with me, and she said to him, “Why are you so small?” He replied, “Look who’s talking.”

Also, if you’re feeling charitable, please go to this link and donate a few bucks to the fund for helping with medical costs for an acquaintance of ours from our Savannah days who was randomly shot at point-blank range by a stranger a few days ago: Why?

It Begins

July 1st, 2008

I did something today that I’m not that proud of. I sat my four-month old in front of the TV so I could get some things done. It’s even worse than it sounds. She wasn’t wearing any clothes, just a baby-blanket toga. See for yourself.

It was the No. 6 debut of a DVD called Baby Mozart, which was gifted to Violet by her grandma, and though I have never seen anything so inane, the kid loves it. She watched it repeatedly, giggling and gesturing toward the TV all the while. Thus, en route to No. 6 as of this afternoon: Baby Bach and Baby Beethoven.

Incidentally, if anyone with a video camera feels like getting rich, these things are $16 each and feature 30 minutes of footage primarily of toys, fruit, and a hand waving a sock puppet around. And were they available, I would immediately order Baby Petty, Baby Seger, and Baby Stones.

Violet’s initiation into TV-babysitting practices followed two days of her playing and sleeping next to me as I edited an exciting project about responsible land development. Here she is conked out by my laptop. It’s actually been a cozy work experience with this project, having my two girls (here’s my other girl) join me. And now that the evening has passed, and I’ve managed to bathe and even dress my child, it’s looking a little less like someone needs to call Family Welfare Services on me.

Meanwhile, Vibble seems perfectly happy with everything.