March 2008


I'm cool Walker has been outside as long as he was inside. He’s growing up to be quite a nice boy. It’s funny to think about the time before we knew him. And when I think about his personality now, I realize it is similar to how he was inside (just a bit more pronounced). During the first 40 weeks he was very fidgety. He’d kick and move so much it would become distracting. I remember more than once I’d be in a meeting presenting or expressing a thought and WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! The train my thought was on was derailed by little feet and hands and head and butt. Today he’s always on the move and one of his favorite pastimes is to flap his arms and kick kick kick his little legs. He kicks so much in his bathtub I’m sure he would have made it to Hawaii and back if he’d been in the ocean (which we know from Florida, he’d like to avoid for the time being). When he was inside, he’d calm down when I would rub one of the unidentifiable bulges despite the fact Daddy would say in a small baby voice “Mommy, stop pressing my HEAD!” Today he loves it when I rub his head or stroke his cheeks — especially when he’s super upset, he’ll calm right down. I love that little boy and if he stays on the same trajectory, he will be a sweet, sensitive, constantly moving little boy.

We went for his 9 month check up and Dr. Mimi (no, I’ve not given myself additional credentials, our pediatrician is named Michelle but friends call her Mimi) made note of how much Walker looks more like a little boy than a little baby. We’ve thought the same thing but it’s great to hear from someone who sees hundreds of little babies. Of course, she probably tells everyone similar things. Anyway, here are his stats:

On the move

Height: 28 inches
Weight: 20lbs 10 oz
Head circumference: 45.3 cm

He is squarely in the 50% for each measurement. It’s nice because he was tracking in the 75% for his weight and 50% for the others which made him a VERY Chunky Cheesecake. Now he’s just a REGULAR Chunky Cheesecake.

Walker’s favorite color is RED. Yes, we can tell and I’ve done some tests to confirm the hypothesis. We have these colorful stacking disks Walker likes to hold and bang together. He always reaches for the big red one even when it’s under the other disks. He holds it over his head and is so proud to show us. I bought him a new toy that makes noise and it has four pieces — red, blue, green, yellow. Guess which one he reaches for first. Yes, the RED one. He like to take the red disk and hit the red toy with it. He likes his RED truck. Call me crazy but I think we’re seeing a preference.

Walker likes to make noise. Sofiya let him have a tambourine and a maraca and he loves to bang them together. He’s a one man sitting band. (He hasn’t figured out how to march yet). The above mentioned toy I got is really cool. One piece is like a tamborine, one is a collection of bells, one is like a maraca and one is like a castanet. He can play with them individually or in one big fantastic noise-making square. And now he’s clapping at just about everything. Yesterday morning he woke up and started clapping. YEAH! HOORAY! I’m AWAKE! (and then GRINNED a big toothy GRIN.)

I’m spending a lot of time reading about sleep. Funny that I’m staying up to read about how to keep Walker’s eyes closed for longer than 3.5 hours at a stretch. Probably not the last time I’ll find something about parenting ironic. I’m finding that giving him some water in a sippy cup helps. I can hear his little voice, “Mommy, I’m THIRSTY! Can I have some water?” so I oblige. He’s still not drinking too much from his bottle. Today Sofiya said that he drank very well from his bottle when she put some formula in there. Yes, it was the first time he had more than a taste of formula — many months ago we tried to give him some but he didn’t like it. However, I’m sure the formula tastes better than some of the veggie mush he eats.

'Sup?

On a completely separate note, my iPod crashed and after trying to reset it, I got the sad iPod picture. Now, this has happened before and the “Genius” at the Apple store told me I would have to spend $150 to get it fixed. But then I looked on the web and there were some instructions on how to take off the back and reconnect the cable to the hard drive and then reassemble the iPod. It’s actually very easy. And I’ve had to do this more than once. And it works. And I didn’t have to spend any money. But today, I just didn’t feel like doing that again so I looked on the Internet and I found a site recommending “shaking it like it owes you money.” And I did. And you know what? It worked. So, if your iPod ceases operation, bang the top of it a few times on the plam of your hand and there you go.

Time for bed. No reading about sleep tonight. I’ll just dream about sleep. Is that possible?

(And thanks to Grammy Jane for the great photos of Walker at Dubose Park)

Walker loves his keyboard. And today, he played his keyboard like he has done so many times before. But today, yes today, he added clapping! Hooray! He clapped on his very own. I’ve been trying to teach him for so long. We’ve been playing patty cake and we clap when we make “all gone” with our food, and when we sing “There was a Walker had a cat and Moxie is her name-o”. He’s never joined me in the clapping. But today, yes today, he showed me he was paying attention. And he clapped. A very happy Mommy and Daddy made sure we captured the moment forever and now you can see it for yourself. (Thank you so much Betsy for the fantastic keyboard! We couldn’t have had clapping without you!)

We were so excited about the video we called Gigi on Skype and sent her the link to the video. We got to watch her reaction as she saw it for the first time and it was so ADORABLE how she talked to Walker and clapped for him as he played. (She watched it 3 times.)

As a computer professional, I learn a lot from watching Gigi use her computer. This evening, she did something that was very cute. She was talking away on Skype and all of a sudden her monitor went dark. I told her to hit her “enter” key and the screen went alive again. I explained to her that the screen went to sleep and she replied, “Oh, I BORED it to sleep!” I gotta say, sometimes I find her as adorable as Walker.

I’ve been pondering our recent vacation and I realized “vacations” are actually different than they used to be. I did not expect this. It’s no small task to get everyone packed up, moving in the proper direction on the chosen form of transportation, and then settled at the destination. Once there, it’s a lot like being at home. Every few hours we’re either eating or napping so whatever we want to accomplish, it must be done between the priority tasks. Going to visit Gigi was a perfect first vacation. Given I’ve been visiting Boca for the last 30 years, there’s nothing I HAD to do or see. This was good because it took almost 5 days for us to get it together enough to go to the beach and even then, we only spent 30 minutes in the sun, waves, and sand. I can’t imagine if we had tried to go someplace we’ve never visited. I know I would have tortured the family trying to get through another attraction or event. I think vacations, at least for the near future, are now taking a day off work, sending Walker to see Sofiya, and sneaking out to a movie! (Indiana Jones 4 is coming out on MY BIRTHDAY. Sounds like a vacation to me!)

And finally, I must relate a story. A few weeks ago, I bustled about the kitchen as I do every morning before work. I had put a bunch of frozen milk and food in a bag for Walker, made his breakfast, fed him, got my lunch together, chatted with Larry and got all the bags together to leave. But as I walked across the floor, I realized there was a strange cold spot. I got on my hands and knees and felt around. The floor was so cold that you could see where my hand had been. I called Larry upstairs. He went to the garage to see if there was a cold water pipe that may have burst. After about 10 minutes, we still couldn’t figure it out. The floor remained cold. We’d had unexplained happenings in the house before. The only logical conclusion was that our Ghosty was playing a trick on us. So, Larry and I continued to get ready for work. It was about 5 minutes later that it dawned on me — I had put the bag of frozen milk and food on the floor, right in the cold spot. Gosh. What does it say about us that it was more logical to blame it on Ghosty than to continue to seek a scientific explaination? I guess we’re just big fans of the X-Files.

A few weeks ago was Moxie’s birthday and I thought she turned 14. Turns out she’s 15. Happy Birthday Moxie! You’re looking good for such an old lady. And it’s only 94 days until Walker’s first birthday!

Happy Purim. Happy Easter.

Walker took Mommy and Daddy on a vacation to see Gigi in Boca Raton, Florida.

Vacation Gigi

Joe Cool Ptah

We had a wonderful time and Gigi went gaga over Walker. We arrived on Saturday night in Miami. Walker was amazing on the flight out. We received all the standard advice but the best thing someone told us was to bring a pillow on the flight for Walker to sit on. It was perfect. We created a little nest for him and he curled up and snoozed. He only yelled once when he was falling off to sleep. That was the most fantastic way to begin the vacation.

When we arrived (after waiting more than an hour for our luggage — we were afraid our bags had gone MIA in Miami — heh) Gigi had a beautiful dinner prepared. We put Walker to bed at around midnight Eastern and at 1am we sat down to begin our vacation eat-a-thon with shrimp, tuna and chicken salad, and pita chips.

I planned on keeping Walker on Pacific time. I figured since he’s sleep-challenged, messing with his little internal clock would be bad news. Add “spring forward” to the equation and he’d be four hours off. I figured even if we migrated to Central or Mountain time, it would still be better than moving all the way to Eastern. Plus, Gigi had a party planned for Wednesday between 5-7pm Eastern and it was critical for Walker to be chipper. Much to everyone’s surprise, we were able to maintain California time throughout the week. It wasn’t terribly difficult as Gigi generally goes to sleep between 1 and 4am and awakes between 10 and 11am.

On Sunday, the baby bomb exploded in Gigi’s beautiful apartment. Walker and I awoke first and we hung out in the living room with all our treasures. We then moved into the den where I checked out Gigi’s computer set up (my first exposure to MS Vista — not sure what all the hubub was about…) Walker played quietly on the couch and was pleased to see Gigi sneak in. She parked herself on the floor in front of him and started to make faces and play with him like she was 60 years younger. At one point she was even rolling around on the floor and kicking her feet in the air to imitate Walker’s favorite moves.

Whenever Mommy visits Gigi, she gets spoiled and pampered. I got a massage, pedicure, and a facial. Daddy and Walker took a great walk around the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort. We’re no longer members but who would stop a man and baby with such cool sunglasses?

Plane Ride Lake Boca

Wednesday was a BIG day. It was Gigi’s 85th birthday and to commemorate the occasion, she invited over 40 of her friends to come meet Walker. We spent the morning (and by morning, I mean afternoon Eastern) preparing, answering the birthday phone calls, and accepting the flowers and packages that kept arriving at the door. (Gigi was overwhelmed at how many people adore her although we don’t know why given how generous, funny, and kind she is.) Walker gave her the best gift of all — he was a perfect angel during the party. We were afraid he’d be frightened by all the people coming over and talking to him at once. He’s gotten very shy and has a new maneuver when someone comes to talk to him — he drops his chin to his chest and then slowly, very slowly, he cocks his head to the side to catch a glimpse of the person in front of him. It’s very coy. He must have sensed this was a special occasion because he cheerfully accepted all the attention with smiles and giggles. He took a quick nap in his stroller during the hubub and refreshed, continued to be adored. It was really fantastic sharing him with all Gigi’s friends including Phyllis and Bob Levinson — the couple who prompted Gigi to propose to me to marry Larry but that’s a story for a different time. Walker’s top teeth also finally made an appearance. Welcome Mr. Toothy!

The Atlantic Walker and Bob

The next day was beach day. Walker donned his spiffy bathing suit, Gigi gave him a pail and shovel, and we headed out to Deerfield Beach. He got sunscreen slathered all over his transparent skin and enjoyed banging the shovel on the bucket and feeling the sand under his little feet. After many photos, it was time to brave the waves of the Atlantic. Walker stood in the wet sand and buried his toes. A small wave covered his feet — and that was OK. So many people walked by and watched him enjoy his first ocean experience. Another wave came up and it was a might bigger. It came up to his shins and got his bathing suit wet. He crinkled up his nose and waited one…two…three…and WAILED! Poor little guy. I’m sure he’ll grow to like the ocean as much as Mommy and Daddy.

That afternoon (and by afternoon, I mean evening), we went to Gigi’s favorite toy store and Walker picked out a toy for himself — a big green dragon he grabbed and chewed on. We figured he wanted it so it became his. He’s not going to be spoiled or anything. Then we had a nice dinner with cousin Jory who goes to college in Boca. Mommy and Daddy remember college and we’re glad we’re not there anymore. It’s too much work to keep such a busy social calendar (and oh yeah, do some studying in between).

The next morning (and by morning, I mean the middle of the night Pacific time), we awoke at 4am Eastern and were on the road to Miami for our flight home. We all got an hour or two of sleep, kissed Gigi goodbye and had a relaxing trip to the airport. As we checked our bags, I realized we forgot a very important carry on which included our taxes, computer and diaper bag. At least we didn’t forget the baby and some guy invented FedEx so we were covered. We did, however, have to buy diapers at the airport which apparently are coated in gold explaining the sky high cost. Walker was a bit less cheerful on the way home but he was easily calmed when he walked up and down the isles attached to Mommy in the Baby Bjorn. He received many compliments from fellow travellers on how well behaved he was so I guess he was better than I feared.

We got home at noon Pacific and we settled back in with the kitties, unpacked and as I did so, I kicked the ottoman not once but three times. I just didn’t learn to walk around the furniture. My poor little toe is all black and blue but at least it looks good with the orange polish.

Tomorrow Granddaddy (heretofore referred to as “Pops”) will come down to pay homage to the little guy. Lots of family. Lots of love. Good vacation.