Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 53

Here's the little goober trying on Tom's shoes. He thinks it's pretty funny.

Tom & Soren came out to my riding lesson with me yesterday afternoon. Soren had a fine time meowing at the giant kitties and trying to eat rocks in the driveway. After all the excitement, he passed right out in the car on the way home.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 52

A slow Friday, spent goofing around, mostly. We went to the grocery store in the afternoon, on our way to pick up Tom from the train, and it started absolutely pouring once we were inside. It had mostly stopped by the time we were checked out and ready to leave, but we had to go through a huge puddle in the parking lot on our way back to the car (the pavement was bone dry on our way in). Ah, weather. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 51

Sometimes Soren looks like he's got a pretty major cross-bite going on. But when his jaw is relaxed everything's lined up pretty much correctly. He just likes holding his face crooked, I guess.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 50

Well, well, just when you thought he could be no cuter...

We had a fun little photo session yesterday. He was really hamming it up for the camera (more than usual, if you can believe it). Here he is hugging Yoda. His hugs are accompanied by a little "Hmm" sigh thing; I'm pretty sure Tom taught him that. In any event, it's freaking adorable.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 49

Just a short photo shoot yesterday, trying to take advantage of the not-great-but-not-terrible light and shoot without the flash. Soren was more interested in trying to put the lens cap back on (and take it off, and put it on, and take it off again...) than in posing or playing with the toys I'd gotten out for him. Oh well.

I made a pretty tasty soup in the crock pot yesterday. Contents: yellow squash, zucchini squash, sweet onion, sweet potato, corn, crushed tomatoes, crushed garlic, chicken broth. It was actually one of the more flavorful things I've made in the crock pot so far.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 48

I almost forgot to photograph him again yesterday, so here's a last-minute, blurry shot of the boy asleep in his big boy bed. He hasn't made it through a whole night in his own room since that first night, but he's done quite well, spending at least half the night there. Last night he woke up a bit before 1am, and just as I was getting ready to put him back down, the thunderstorm we were supposed to get yesterday evening started up. So I brought him back to our room and stuck him in the little crib, not sure how intense the storm was going to get and not wanting him to be startled awake so badly later that it put him off sleeping in his room. But he was a good boy and spent the rest of the night in the little crib (and not in our bed). He's been back to a more regular nap schedule during the day, too. Huzzah for a return to the good sleep habits!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 47

Tom bought some clippers a couple of weeks back, which I used for the first time yesterday to give Soren another haircut. They worked quite well, even on Sir Squirms-a-lot. ;) This picture doesn't do the best job of showing said haircut, but if you click on through, there are some better ones on Flickr.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 46

I forgot to take a picture on Friday (Day 45). Boo on me!

Yesterday was the start of the nice long weekend. It's the first 3-day weekend Tom's had since he started this new job, and unlike when he was still at Caltech, he actually gets to have the holiday off! It's a nice change of pace. We don't have any big plans for the weekend; might go grab a meal with friends at some point but that's about it.

Here's a picture of Soren demonstrating his ever-expanding knowledge of anatomy. To date, he can identify nose, ear, mouth, teeth, and chin pretty reliably, and eye and hair some of the time. His vocabulary's expanding too. Words he says fairly regularly (aside from body parts): food, more and dada (with accompanying signs), mama, ball, bear, book, 'nana, cheese, kitty ("tee"), shoe, sock ("ka"), hat ("dta"), cool, no (usually "nono" with an accompanying head shake), and the big impressive two-syllable ones - hello and diaper ("bye-puh" at this point, though it's gone through several iterations). He waves "hi" and "bye-bye" but usually doesn't say anything along with the wave. And he still only signs for milk without using any accompanying verbalization. He can also go fetch his ball or teddy bear when asked ("Where's your ball/bear?"). Not bad for a thirteen-and-a-half month old!

Hehehe. Right now he's walking back & forth across the living room between me & Tom, carrying his little stuffed Yoda. He's bringing Yoda to us for hugs & kisses, and then giving him hugs & kisses too. It's incredibly cute.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 44

We both had a lazy day yesterday.

Day 43

In order to give the lad a bit more freedom without, say, losing him on a metro car, I picked up one of these "harness buddy" things for him. Now he's not relegated to the stroller when we go places, and we're not stuck holding him the whole time either. He seems to like it so far.

Here he is holding a can of cat food he snatched from the kitchen, meowing as loud as he can. The goof. ;)

Wednesday was also our anniversary. Some days it's hard to believe it's been 3 whole years since our wedding. Other days it's hard to believe it's only been three. Time's funny like that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 42

It took me a full hour to get him down for his nap yesterday, but I was persistent. He's lucky he's so darned cute.

Day 41

So, on Monday, I let Soren have a little "spoon practice" at breakfast time. He did a pretty good job, for the most part.

But he managed to get oatmeal all over his shirt. Not a huge surprise. I stripped it off him and let him run around shirtless for a little while.

Man, shirtless little kids are cute and funny.

The little stinker woke up before Tom even left for work, then proceeded to stay awake (and smiley, not even showing any signs of eye-rubbing or crabbiness) for EIGHT HOURS. Then he took a 2 hour nap. Hehe. He was kind of a bear to get to go to sleep that night (too much energy) but at least it was happy energy and there was minimal screaming involved. Really it's just the screaming I could do without.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Artistic endeavors

In an effort to better learn Photoshop - and become a better photographer in general - I joined the crazies over at Digital Photo Challenge and have spent the last six or so months alternately embarrassing myself in photo contests and having a grand old time playing in the non-competitive monthly "side challenges." The theme for one of the side challenges for May is Topaz, which is a plugin (sort of a cooperative software program) for Photoshop. I have had so much fun with this, this month. I've been playing mostly with photos I've taken around DC (with a couple of Soren shots thrown in for good measure). You can go here to see everything I've done so far this month, but here are a few of my favorites.

Before ---------------------- After

Before ---------------------- After





Missed haiku

Oops, wrote this last week but never got around to posting it. Here you go.

leo's found a new
napping spot, which soren is
quite happy to share

Day 40

I was trying to get a cute picture of him with just the seahorse lighting his face, but he was having none of it. Hehe. Took for-freaking-ever to get him to fall asleep again last night, and he had some good naps during the day. Maybe his naps were too good? Ugh. We both seem to have picked up a cold (probably from our last playdate, though none of the other kids seemed sickly); my throat's sore and he's a little frog king with the runniest nose you ever did see. (Froggy baby voices are equally adorable and heartbreaking, by the way.) Again, ugh. Hope this passes quickly!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 39

Just a couple of quick shots for yesterday, goofing around before bed. The boys had a good time while I was gone at my riding lesson yesterday afternoon, playing outside until they got chased in by a cloudburst. Soren's still been kind of a bear to get to sleep, even though we've tried to get him winding down in plenty of time. Ugh. He'll quit being so crazy someday, right?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 38

Yesterday we went into the city to meet up with Mrs. Cachew, who is here visiting family. We had a nice walk around, checked out one of the art museums, took a bunch more pictures. It was super warm and muggy, even going so far as to spit rain on us a few times as the humidity maxed out. It was a fine outing though.

Day 37

We had a playdate this afternoon. Several of the moms commented that Soren looks so much older & more advanced than the other 13-15 month olds. He's certainly the tallest of the bunch and has been walking the longest. And he's definitely a smarty-pants. Once we got home we were playing around with one of my baseball caps. He can't quite say "hat"...he actually kind of says it backward ("dtah"). It's pretty funny.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Special Delivery!

Some friends of ours back in L.A. have farmshares; you buy in a share (or half-share) at a CSA farm (that's Community Supported Agriculture), and in return you get a portion of the harvest. They can be set up a lot of different ways. Sometimes you get a delivery (weekly, biweekly, etc), sometimes your food is there waiting for you in a box at the farm, sometimes there's a "come help out" requirement, sometimes there's a "u-pick berries & fruit" option, whatever. They have these things all over the place and they're a good way to support local farmers, cut down on all the long-distance transportation of food, etc. So when we were getting ready to move out here, we wanted to get involved in something like this.

Unfortunately, once we got here and settled, most of the local CSAs were sold out for the spring/summer growing season. Figured we were out of luck until at least the fall. Then one of the moms in my moms' group posted something on the message board about Washington's Green Grocer. They're not a CSA, but they do source mostly local produce (along with dairy and some other items), a lot of it organic, and deliver all around the DC metro area once a week. So we signed up. For $30 (about what we'd spend on groceries in a week anyway) we get a nice-sized box of stuff.

The first week we had: spinach, grape tomatoes, oranges, bananas, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, mango, asparagus, sweet onion & cantaloupe. Not bad!

This week's box contained: asparagus, bananas, butter lettuce, broccoli, yellow squash, portabello mushrooms, kiwis, apples, grape tomatoes, tangelos, mango, and green bell peppers. We also ordered (extra) a dozen eggs and a quart of yogurt. Pretty sweet!

We're really happy with the service so far. Not all of the produce we get every week is local (the mangoes have been from Mexico, and this week there were a few items from GA) but it's better than the situation in a grocery store. Maybe next year we'll try to get signed up early for a farmshare, but for now, this'll do quite nicely. :)

Day 36

Now that he's tall enough to fish things out of all the drawers in the kitchen except the top one, Soren can sometimes be seen wandering around with some sort of plastic or wooden utensil. Yesterday he very happily carried this spoon around for a couple of hours, looking like he was ready to lead a marching band. He was also happy to find a foil ball to play with (because clearly he's a poor deprived child with no toys of his own...uh huh).

And for the record, that's pizza sauce on the corner of his mouth, not blood. I let him have a few bites of my lunch. ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 35

"Damn right I'm a maniac!"

Before Mr. Molar came along and crashed the party, Soren was doing really well with eating lots of solids, napping at the same time every day, even sleeping for six or seven hours at a stretch at night! Amazing what a consistent pre-bedtime routine can do, or at least help accomplish. It's really counter-intuitive, but apparently the best way to get a baby to sleep more is to...make them sleep more. When he gets two full naps of an hour or more each during the day, he then sleeps better at night. When we start winding him down for the evening at 8:00, he's usually out by 9:00 or 9:30, not to wake the first time until well after midnight. When his daytime naps are curbed, or he decides he's not going to take one at all (extra fun!), he's extra crabby and restless. And when, like last night, our own evening routine gets extended such that we don't start getting him ready for bed until 9:30 or so, he's an absolute bear to settle before about 11:00, and he sleeps a lot more fitfully.

(The above photograph was taken last night a bit after 9:00. Hyper much, ya think?)

The molar definitely threw us off our game. It made him sore, feverish, generally uncomfortable, unable to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time, and put him pretty firmly off solid foods for a good one and a half or two weeks. No pun intended...getting him to eat anything close to his usual portion was like...pulling teeth. He didn't want to nap during the day, he wasn't sleeping well at night; in short, he was an absolute joy to be around. Don't get me wrong, I was fully sympathetic to his plight, but man, it was glaringly obvious how closely sleeping and eating and general disposition are linked.

So here we are, a couple of weeks later. His appetite is returning. He is once again capable of napping in his crib (rather than only in the car). Last night his belly was all gurgly, so he did a lot of flailing about and waking himself up, but the night before last he slept for at least one 4-hour stretch. Now we just need to get back to our good, consistent, pre-bed routine, and hopefully that'll help us get back to where we were.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 34

After all the fun we had with the glasses photo shoot, I thought we'd try one with these swim goggles. He's not thrilled about them, kept wanting to rip them off, but I did manage to catch two cute shots with him actually wearing them.

As my friend pointed out on Flickr, he's perfectly posed here for some creative Photoshopping. Who could resist?

And then there's the obligatory comic book style...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 33

He's getting better at drinking out of cups, but there is still sometimes the occasional drooling incident. Needless to say, he needed a new pj shirt before bed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 32

I didn't get pictures of any of the exciting things yesterday. Aside from the very photo-worthy pool excursion, apparently when I was at my riding lesson Leo jumped in Soren's crib and was curled up napping with him. Aw. Instead, here's a cute shot quickly snapped before bedtime.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Day of Firsts

For me:

First time back on a horse* in three-and-a-half years! I found a place up in Maryland where I can start taking riding lessons again. It takes about an hour to get there, but it's totally going to be worth it to get a horsey fix a couple of times a month. And as Tom pointed out, Soren's little mind might explode with joy getting to see Mommy ride a kitty. Since everything in the world is a kitty as far as he's concerned. ("Wow-woooow!")

For Soren:

First time going swimming! This afternoon the 3 of us went down to the indoor pool for a little swim. The water was chillier than usual, and Soren was not at all sure about the whole thing at first, but it didn't take too long for him to decide it was great fun. Sorry, no pictures this time, but I'll bring the waterproof camera down with us next time we go.

*Yes, I know this isn't a first in the "never before" sense of the word, but whatever.

Day 31

Bought a golf club yesterday so we could play in the indoor driving range here at our apartment complex. Soren was fascinated (as he is with all stick-like objects) so I took him outside for a photo shoot. He had a grand old time tromping around in the grass.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Day 30

Taken during the 20-or-so total minutes of napping he did yesterday. He then went on to stay awake until almost 11:00. On the bright side, his appetite seems to have fully returned.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Indoor Soccer

Finally edited together some video I took a couple of weeks ago of Tom & Soren playing some soccer. Here you go!

Day 29

We've gotten into a routine of reading some books before bedtime. Last night Soren wanted to hold them himself, which was fine since I hadn't gotten around to taking any pictures of him yet for the day. Eh, so what if he doesn't hold them right side up all the time?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Day 28

During our daily photo-taking session yesterday he snatched my glasses off my face and started playing with them. I ended up getting a lot of cute shots of him being a goof. Click on the picture and scroll through my Flickr photostream to see the rest of them!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ode* to a dishwasher

It's funny. We've only been without a dishwasher for about 4 years, as the last 2 apartments we had were lacking one. But it felt like we'd been washing our dishes by hand forever. It was especially unpleasant when I was hugely pregnant in our last apartment, which had a weird stucco-like treatment of the counters and a sink that was set back from the edge a little ways; got to the point I had to have Tom do the dishes because I simply couldn't manage without (a) seriously straining my back, (b) scraping my overstretched belly against the stucco and (c) stopping to rest and stretch after every third or fourth dish. I tried washing dishes in heels a couple of times in order to at least get my belly up above the counter, but that didn't work too well either (see previous item a). Even after Soren was born, dishes were such a massive chore that we almost invariably put it off until the weekend, and then there would be a huge pile of stuff to wash that would take a couple of hours to get through. It was dreadful.

When we started looking for places to live in preparation for our move, a dishwasher quickly became one of our must-have amenities. No dishwasher, not interested! Fortunately, people out here seem to agree with us; there really weren't all that many listings for places that didn't have dishwashers. So we've been here in the new apartment for almost 2 months now, and I have to say, those four dishwasher-free years have instilled in me not only a healthy respect for the appliance, but no small amount of admiration.

O dishwasher,
elderly though you may be,
with your push button settings
and your almost certain lack of water conservation,
and the leak we discovered last night
(don't worry, we'll get someone to fix you right up),
you are a god (or goddess) among appliances.
You transform a sink full of dishes
from a dreaded chore into a minor task,
fifteen minutes, maybe, of rinsing and loading,
less than that to unload when finished,
dampening my brow perhaps with steam from your opened door
but nevermore with sweat.
Dishwasher, I salute you,
I appreciate you,
I am grateful for you,
and I look forward to a long and happy partnership.

*Not a real ode, as I haven't really got the slightest clue about the required format. But whatever.

Day 27

sometimes he gets sad
or mad or frustrated and
there are a few tears

Monday, May 04, 2009

Day 26

We gave him my old phone to play with (battery removed, of course). He loves pretending to talk on it. (He's in the middle of saying "Hellooooo?" here.) Yesterday afternoon while I was swimming, Tom & Soren went out into the damp & chilly world to do some shopping, hence the cozy sweater.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Day 25

If there's one thing Soren likes, it's playing with sticks. Broom handles, paint rollers, dowels, sticks at the playground...he'll take 'em all. Yesterday he was having a grand old time flailing around this dowel. (Don't worry, I kept a close eye on him so as to be sure he wouldn't impale himself.) Caught him here sporting a bit of an attitude (ya think?).

Here's this alternate photo, all Photoshopped to smithereens, comic book-style.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Day 24

Wearing his new (to him) overalls yesterday, it would have been nearly impossible for me not to catch an adorable picture of him. I thought the one of him sleeping in the stroller was going to be the winner of the day. But then he started carrying around my shoes, and suddenly there was a new winner.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Herb gardener

Well, Tom was not so impressed with my Photoshopped Soren picture. I believe the word he used was "horrifying." So here's a post to move it down the page a little. ;)

I started an herb garden! A little one, on the balcony. There's just one planter box so far, but I will probably add another (or two) in the coming weeks. For starters, though, we've got:



and basil.

See? Pretty maids all in a row.

I'm totally impressed that they're all sprouting and growing and everything. Before too long we'll have the makings for some tasty pesto!

Day 23

I was not a very good mamarazzo yesterday; only took 2 pictures, and they were fairly compositionally boring. I mean, how many pictures do I already have of Soren in his high chair? (Answer: a bunch) So I played around with this one in Photoshop, using an interesting plug-in called Topaz Adjust. The end result is a little different from my usual fare, but what the heck?