Da da da da

Da da da da is a happy sound that we hear amidst playing and babbling. Ma ma ma ma is a crying sound. Ma ma ma wahhh ma ma wahhh! Sometimes life is so unfair.

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Caleb has had a lovely da da da da’s day. Or so I think because I’m so tired from all the baby playing. But Daddy deserves some credit these days. He came up with an awesome idea recently, have baby eat dinner at the same time as we do. This has saved our dinners which used to have Leo crying up at us from the playpen until one of us picked him up. Now we sit him in his high chair with some finger food, none of which he eats, but tonight for example, he was able to smear his body with sweet potatoes while we ate our pork chops in peace.

I’m somewhat scared of finger food and paranoid that Leo will choke. The first night when he was eating extra boiled green beans I sat on the edge of my chair waiting for the choking that never happed. Then yesterday I was cutting kiwi for Leo’s dinner, but the chunks weren’t small enough yet. Anyway Caleb brought the baby over to have a try, to which my anti-choking motherly instinct kicked in. So I started shooing Leo’s hand away with a sharp knife. Caleb’s don’t wave a kitchen knife at your baby instinct kicked in and he intervened, so Leo neither choked nor got his fingers chopped off. This is why it is so lucky to have two parents.

We also have a renewed focus on bedtime. We were cheating and letting the boy fall asleep at the breast. Well no more. No he eats a full 30 minutes before bedtime so he will learn to sleep without the aid of my boobs. Tonight this led to 45 minutes of crying which has just ended. Phew.

Retiring the little parasite

You may have noticed that our blog recently lost the title “mostly pictures of Johanna’s cute little parasite”. This was Caleb’s doing. He didn’t even ask me. So is Leo not cute anymore? Not little? I guess parasite may be pushing it as a description for a seven month old, but he does often still suck the life out of us.

Boston

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Sometimes on these blog posts I just don’t know whether to fish or cut bait. Every day since we’ve been back from Boston something new happens with the baby, but I still have this Boston post hanging over my head.

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I can tell some quick anecdotes about our quick trip to Boston. Cheryl and Matt came down to visit on Sunday. Cheryl came looking like a racoon which is why she is hiding her face for the picture. Ok, she’s just playing with Leo, not hiding her face, but she has been working in the sun so she had big sunglasses eyes. You may have noticed that every picture with Auntie Chebba Leo has a big smile, so we think he likes her a little bit. Matt brought down a trout he caught, but didn’t want to eat because he only likes catching and not eating fish.

My parents have been remodeling for the last 30 years but this past year and a half or so they have picked up the pace. They tore out the kitchen and have added new baths and a new entryway. The house is looking pretty neat, although not done just yet. One really great thing about the bathrooms is that my parents put a lot of careful thought into where the toilet paper holders should go. This is just one of those little details that makes life so much nicer. I, of course, took this in stride and didn’t notice. But Caleb who is always complaining about our own toilet paper holder noticed that the ones at my parents house were in just the right spot. This is an example of the kind of attention to detail that my dad pays when doing woodworking/remodeling. Of course, there are other details that he pays no attention to, like installing doors on the bathrooms. So there are two beautiful new bathrooms at my parents house with no doors.

Anyway the remodeling is pretty cool. The house is looking totally different and better! Here is the proud carpenter and his grandson.

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Leo Loves New York

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We took the baby to New York. This meant lots of new things like planes and hotels and daycares. (some cool hotel features)

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We’ve never left Leo with a babysitter except his grandparents and his aunt each one time for dinner. But since we were taking the baby to New York we thought we might as well jump right in and we plopped the kid in day care so we could enjoy the days with no baby around. In my case that meant going to work and for Caleb that meant seeing friends and the Richard Serra exhibit at the Moma. Apparently this was a life changing exhibit. Caleb thinks there is something wrong with me to have decided to spend Saturday at my college reunion rather than at the museum.

You may ask what is wrong with us to abandon the kid for his first day care in such a big cold city but basically we found that Leo loves the day care workers just as much as he loves us. Caleb went to visit for lunch and could barely grab the baby’s attention. One day, however, Caleb said to me, “the day care is good but i think they let him chew on a black pen. He’s got black stuff on the corner of his mouth”. Looking a little closer it seemed like it was a bruise. Leo seems to think that his mouth is just as much of a weight bearing limb as his arms when pulling up to a standing position we imagined that he must have been using his mouth to balance on and then fallen. Of course, we could always think the worst of the daycare, maybe Nicole who seemed so nice popped him one right in the kisser, but that is really hard to imagine when it seems like such a nice place and the folks there so on the ball. Anyway the bruise was gone within a day, and Leo didn’t cry when he showed up the next day, so we’ll go with harmless accident. Anyway our Dr. says we will need to start getting used to many more bumps and bruises.

We stayed in midtown on the east side and walked many places. One thing about midtown is it is probably the least pleasant place in the city, all businesses or tourists, making it a bit of a rip off. One day Caleb went out to buy a 6-pack of Heineken, which cost perhaps more than double its expected price at $15. Fifteen dollars for a six pack of beer , you say, you guys must be suckers. Well it’s worse than that. When we got back to the hotel it turned out one of the beers had already been drunk and the cap just smooshed back on so it was really $15 of a 5-pack.

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Basically, it was just really wonderful being back in the city. We saw lots of friends. Walked around in the muggy new york summer nights which we love so much because you don’t have to wear a sweater when the sun goes down. Leo played in central park and on the lawn in front of the math building at Columbia. We had a little math class reunion with Shani, Cherith and Professor Friedman. Leo met Maya, Shani’s daughter, and like with all little kid’s Leo liked to grab on Maya’s face. Then just as all parents do we discussed our children’s percentiles. The doctor told Shani that it was normal that her daughter was in the 20th percentile for weight, but since this was a *math* class reunion we all laughed about how that couldn’t be true. Those silly doctors. Anyway, you’ve all been missing my breast pump digests, and so here we are again. Shani tells me that she doesn’t pump anymore and feeds Maya only formula during the day. And so now, I, too, have quit pumping. After all Shani did it. Who am I kidding anyway. I used to strap my breastpump to my bicycle every morning and then never use it but then feel really guilty. But now I don’t even strap it on and I feel free as the wind when I head off in the morning.

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It was fun to see Professor Friedman too who could now talk to Cherith about their shared work in the New York City public schools.

I would say more on our wonderful visits with friends but I’m long winded tonight and a picture is worth a thousand words. Next stop on the blog is Boston.

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More often than not, students are asked to write a reflective essay on some past experience of their life. So, what are the things you should be ready to write in a reflective essay? The whole purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the importance of that particular event and your understanding about it from different perspectives. More specifically, writers have to present their own views about a social situation or event.

My mom is so 70s

Looking at our baby pictures maybe you think that Leo has two Dads. But no, my mom is one of those ladies who had a child in the 70s and wanted her children to know no gender stereotypes. You all pretty much guessed who was who, but this is why Leo’s mommy is the baby is in the train engineer overalls playing with trucks. I don’t think Caleb’s parents were as liberal so that doesn’t explain why the daddy is looking coyly up at the camera. Anyway my mom is the kind of mom who not only wants her child to know no gender stereotypes, but expects the whole world to agree. Here is a story she always tells about how crazy the world was and how sane she is.

When you were little I used to dress you in blue because I think it’s crazy that girls can’t wear blue. Then I’d give you toy trucks to play with. Then people on the street would say things like, “what a cute little boy you have” and I’d say “she’s a girl” and they’d say “well you should dress her in pink or people will make this mistake”

I paraphrase this story like this: my mom hung a sign on me that said “I’m a boy” and then was shocked that people thought I was a boy. How dare they?!

In my mom’s defense I think her parenting strategy worked out just fine. I’m doing ok.

More soon about our lovely trips to NY and Boston. We took Leo on the plane and have lived to tell about it. Or lived anyway, as you can see I’m not telling you anything right now.