February 2008

Big Boy SeatToday Walker is 8 months old. He’s such a very big boy and he graduated from his bucket car seat to his big boy (and let me emphasize BIG) seat. The thing is HUGE but he seems to like sitting up straight. There are so many straps and pads and folds — it’s a bit intimidating and it is taking us a little while to get used to getting him in and out. The ordeal started out taking 5 minutes or so but we’re getting it down to half the time now. Walker is trying to be patient with us but he’s wondering how smart his mother is if she’s stumped by his seatbelt.

Poor little guy has an ear infection, although, on the bright side, he really likes his medicine. He takes his anitbiotics through a syringe and you can see a light in his little eye when he sees the bright pink liquid. He smacks his lips in anticipation and when he’s finished, he looks around for some more.

This past week was a bit of a trial. Sofiya called me a few times and I could hear Walker in the background, voicing his displeasure — not sure about what but he certainly wasn’t happy. Thursday was the worst and I went to pick him up. Walker was a perfect angel when I got there so I took him to work. He was so very polite when sitting in meetings with me. He sat on the couch and played quietly while in a meeting with my team and my boss, and rolled around on the floor while I conducted a phone interview. He’s been to work a few times so perhaps I should contact HR and get him put on the payroll. (Friday he was wonderful so I have high hopes for this coming week.)

Walker has forsaken his bottle this week. Not sure why — because of his infection or because he’s just done with them — and not sure if he’s planning on going back. Poor Sofiya didn’t know what to do. She gave him jar after jar of food (he LOVES squash) because he would only chew on the bottle rather than actually suck anything down. On Friday, Sofiya resorted to delivering two full servings of milk through a syringe — 2ml at a time. The patience of a saint! Obviously this is an unsustainable milk delivery system (and I’m not willing to supplement with feedings all night since Walker has not forsaken milk directly from the tap…) so Larry and I went out and purchased faster flow nipples and every type of sippy cup possible. Walker is attracted to an Avent sippy nipple-and-handles attachment we can put on his bottle. He’s also trying his sippy straw cup. It’s shocking how excited Larry and I get over a few small sips of water.

In addition to the sippy cup shopping, we had a very busy weekend. There was a big comic convention called WonderCon at Moscone so many of our friends were in town. Adam, a great friend of ours, came to stay and was very understanding about Walker’s late night antics and the germ factory we call “home.” While healthy when he arrived, Adam left with a sniffle or two… Larry has known Adam as long as he’s known me so he’s really family — a quirky and hysterical brother. As Adam makes his living writing for comics and animation, I never know what’s going to come out of his mouth but generally, it makes me giggle. The three of us tend to build the comedy pyramid together, often riffing on obscure entertainment of some kind, but shortly, Larry and Adam leave me in the dust while I sit back and enjoy the comedy. Both of them are so darn funny. With Walker now in the mix, the comedy topics changed slightly — this weekend they were riffing off “Old MacDonald.” I guess you had to be there. But take my word for it — it was knee-slappingly funny.

We didn’t spend any time at the convention because, speaking of knees, Larry hurt his. Poor guy was bested by our spiral staircase on Friday night. He was moving very slowly on Saturday so we just went to the show long enough to pick up our friend and lawyer, Ken Levin, for a nice lunch. Walker was very well-behaved, eating a whole jar of squash, and banging his spoon on the table. It wasn’t until an hour later when he signaled his desire to get the show on the road with a few ear-piercing squeals. The folks behind us were not amused (but they were cranky comics pros who didn’t appreciate the musing of a future comics fan).

I’ve forgotten to mention that Walker has lost his shoe and sock privileges at Sofiya’s. He’s figured out how to remove all shoe types — Robeez moccasins (advertised as “stay-on”), boots tied with double knots, and loafers secured with velcro. So, he’s had to wear his footed jammies every day. It’s so sad to have all these adorable outfits stay in a drawer while he outgrows them. Each weekend I put him in regular clothes and see how often Walker gets out of his shoes. This weekend he didn’t get out of them once so we’ll try some overalls tomorrow (and of course, pack a few pairs of jammies just in case…)

I have a cold again so I’m going to get some shut eye and fight off these nasty germs.


Gettin' a Surf Super SandwichIt’s been a long time since last I updated you. Pesky work got in the way with presentations and reviews due and all but that is behind me and I have a few things to share. I’ll work my way back.

This weekend we went up to Sea Ranch for a weekend alone. Granddaddy went to SoCal to play golf with some of the men from The Cutler Group — a loose association of businessmen who convene to do absolutely nothing terribly productive. Walker got to pet wonderful kitty Rosie Nose a lot. Apparently she was so excited to have some folks at home that she wasn’t too scared of small hands hitting her (or pulling on her ear). Daddy got a really cool baby backpack for Valentine’s Day and we thought we’d try it out on a hike to the Gualala Point. Of course, whenever at Sea Ranch, we need to have a HUGE sandwich from the Surf Supermarket and we figured we could take these on our hike for a nice beach picnic. (Walker and Daddy posed for a photo by the Deli counter and they look alarmingly like Luke and Yoda.)

Still Snoozin'We bundled Walker up and set out on our walk. Flat Frog really wanted to come along for the ride because he figured that he accompanies Walker on stroller rides. Why wouldn’t he come on a backpack hike? Walker appreciated it and chomped on his head for much of the walk. He found it exhilarating to have so much fresh air. He fell asleep. And slept very, very well. He continued to sleep even after Larry removed the backpack and placed it atop the table where we spread out our lunch and had a pleasant picnic.

Walker is enjoying being mobile. He’s rolling around more on the floor and is even starting to get his little knees under himself when he’s on his tummy. He gets quite frustrated when lying on the floor and he’s not moving around. He hasn’t quite realized he has control over his own mobility but I’m not pushing it. I figure once he gets moving, there will be no stopping him (if all the kicking he does is any indication). He’s also eating a lot. I’ve been taking to making him yummy food — tonight I made jars of butternut squash, apple/blueberry, and avocado. He’s eating more fruits and veggies than we are.

Last weekend we went down to El Granada to hang out with our friends Betsy, Jeff, Panna, and Wes. The kids are really great with Walker and think he’s a lot of fun. Betsy and I get along really well and I’m always surprised how similar Betsy and Larry are (which makes me fairly similar to Jeff). Larry and Betsy ended up chatting for quite some time about what was happening on “Lost” and, much to Betsy’s joy, Larry was able to share with her all the geeky plotlines and theories about the show on spoiler websites.

Big boy swings are FUN too! Wes tells Walker everything is A-OK

The Warrens took us to a little park by their house. It was an incredible day — clear and warm. Walker was very pleased to have his first ride on a big-boy swing. He was thrilled. He flew through the air (ok, not really by our standards but he’s a small guy and swinging a little bit does make a big impression). Wes is four and he thought it was pretty cool that he had a smaller guy to show the ropes.

I LOVE MY JUMPY CHAIRWalker is also big enough to enjoy his jumpy chair. It’s the most amazing feat of engineering — a small chair you can put in any doorway that your kid can sit in and jump to his heart’s content. Walker LOVES it. The first time he tried it, he requested he wear his space jammies just in case he jumped so high that he left the atmosphere. He managed to keep his feet (mostly) on the floor but he squealed in delight. He took ducky with him and ensured he squealed his delight as he jumped, jumped, jumped. We have taken to jumping in the bathroom doorway while Mommy takes a shower in the morning.

Larry was entertaining Walker one evening while I was waylaid at work. Walker was a tad, shall we say, fussy. (He appears to be teething again — those top teeth are on their way.) They were playing with all Walker’s treasures on the floor and nothing seemed to distract him. So, Daddy started singing “This Old Man” which caught Walker’s attention. Daddy knows a good thing when he experiences it so he continued the song past ten. I’m so proud of him rhyming the following:

“This old man, he played sixteen. He played the drums with Bruce Springsteen” and “This old man, he played nineteen. He went to the polls with Diane Feinstein.” OK. Not perfect but it did the job.

And last, but not least, is a bath story. Walker appears to have an “off” switch. We don’t know where it is or how to use it on demand, but he most certainly has one. A few weeks ago, Walker was having a bath. He was having a wonderful evening, very chipper, engaged, and energetic. At the normal time, we put him in his bath and he played and kicked like normal. He decided to drink some water so turned his head, and keeping his eyes open, drank a few gulps of water. He turns to look at me and blinks a few times to get the water out. He continues to blink a few times but each blink is longer and longer until the eyes stay shut and his little arms begin to float. It was a bit disconcerting until I heard a tiny little baby snore. He just fell asleep in the bath. We woke him up and put the groggy little guy to bed. He did something similar a few days later in his crib at bedtime. One minute he was “on” and then, without warning, “off” he goes. We’re hoping we can figure out the formula as it could come in handy.

It’s 11pm and Walker is having a tough time going back to sleep. Off I go to see if I can flip the “off” switch.

I Voted!

Walker went to go vote today.

He was quite excited to learn all about the process and what it means for someone to cast a ballot. He had a bunch of squash to prepare for the activity, got dressed in his best sweat suit, and headed out the door. He was intrigued by the people, the little polling pods and the big machine that eats the ballots. However, the highlight of the morning were the big red stickers he and Flat Frog received for their participation.

He’s been quickly progressing in his eating. On Saturday he had REAL FOOD — a few bites of a fresh banana. He understood it was food and gummed it a little before swallowing. It was not the easiest to get down so we gave him something to drink — in his SIPPY CUP. And he’s been practicing his pincer grasp with some little sweet potato puffs for babies. He’s learning to grab them and they go toward his mouth but he’s not always successful in putting them in the maw. Often they end up on the floor.

Walker has also been learning to sleep a bit better. While he’s still waking up at night, it’s not as frequent as recent history. We’ve implemented a no-food rule from midnight to 5am which he didn’t like at first, expressing his displeasure by waking every hour until he ate. Now he wakes up on a fairly predictable pattern and each night it seems to be a bit easier to get him back to sleep. I’m hoping he’ll soon forget to wake up at 3am. I’ll let you know how it goes.