Monday, March 29, 2010

Winter in North Conway

A few weekends ago - okay well back at the beginning of March - we went up to North Conway for a nice little long weekend with some of our Somerville friends. There were 3 families: 6 adults, 4 little girls and 2 baby boys. We stayed in a really great condo situated very close to town.

The weather was awesome and we had a great time. The guys got in one full day of skiing at Bretton Woods, the little girls got to do lots of playing outside and even tried out cross-country skiing, the moms got to tool around on snowmobiles for a couple of hours and the babies had fun checking each other out and getting lots of attention.

The only disappointment was that the hot tub wasn't working. We drowned our sorrows about that in champagne and limoncello after the kiddies were all tucked in to bed. A great time was had by all and my belief in the "fun family vacation with children under 5" was renewed. It was such fun that I'm even looking forward to maybe getting on downhill skis next year so I can ski with Lily. And if you know me at all - and my aversion to winter sports - you know that's really saying something.

Gordon - as usual - did a great job photographing, and catering, the weekend. Here are some of my favorite shots.
Bedtime Stories

Baby Wyatt

Daddy and Lily Skiing

Ella and Zoe getting a ride

Intrepid Explorers, Surly Baby, Unflappable Dad

Ella and Lily ham it up

Oh AND a video of Lily doing the cross-country thing. I was at home with Quinn, Kristi and Wyatt so I was extra glad that Gordon caught her in action for me. I'm so proud of how she falls, gets up all by herself and keeps on going. LOVE IT!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quinn: 10 Months

Boy did this tenth month go by fast - and TEN MONTHS! WHAT??? I'm still marveling at the fact that there's a baby in our house and you know what - he's hardly a baby anymore! It seems like a LOT has happened for our little Q this month. It's been a big one in terms of milestones and personality.

He's completely and totally on the go now. I can't take my eyes away for a minute and have him not be into something. He pulls books off shelves,carries around a toy pan banging it noisily against anything in sight, turns over wastebaskets, empties wipes containers, dumps toys all over the floor. He is army-crawling, hands-and-knees crawling, standing, cruising - whatever it takes to get him over to that thing that caught his eye fastest. He is busy.

Too busy for pictures

He's chatty. He has a ton to say. He's got this really cute voice that he uses sometimes - usually when he's trying to get to more food. He really seems to be mimicking words. I swear I've heard him say "hi", "yes", "yeah" - not in context, but just after I say it. He says "Dada" and "mamamamama" He babbles consonants in all the ways that Lily never really did - she just wasn't a babbler. He yells to get our attention. He laughs easily and often and it's contagious.

Meet my friend Wyatt

One of his favorite games is to call out to get my attention when he's done nursing and I'm busy writing an email, reading a blog or checking facebook. When he succeeds in distracting me I look down at him and make the same sound back. It totally cracks him up and then I crack up too - and that just makes him laugh more. He also likes playing the "thank you" game. He has an object, he gives it to me, I say "THANK YOU!" and then give it back to him. Repeat. A lot.

He loves to eat and is in that awesome stage when he eats everything in sight. It's so satisfying to give him food and watch him devour it gleefully. He eats: hummus, broccoli, cauliflower, pasta, pork, beef, duck, waffles, cheerios, pancakes, yogurt, blueberries, grapes, pear. I'm sure this is not a complete list. I'm also sure he won't eat half of that in another year's time (although I hold out hope).

nom nom nom broccoli!

He loves oranges - LOVES ORANGES. The first time he had one was in Chinatown at our Chinese New Year dinner. He accidentally dropped it and then did that thing that babies do when they hold their breaths before crying. But he held his a LONG time -his lips started turning blue. It was nuts. I've only seen babies do that when they're physically HURT. Not Q - he pulls out all the stops over a damn orange. He pulled the same stunt a couple of weeks later at home when he found that he had eaten all of his orange and there was no more.

Don't mess with my orange

He loves to be outside. He likes the wind and enjoys cool air. He loves the swing. He throws up his arm and laughs and laughs while he's swinging.

or think about taking me out of this swing

I think he's devastatingly adorable. He's got me totally wrapped around his finger. I love his open-mouthed kisses on my face after work. I love how he tries to play past bedtime - standing up in his crib and calling out to me happily. I love how he won't stay still for a diaper change, choosing to stand on the table instead and grab onto my hair yelling triumphantly (okay this also frustrates the heck out of me - but I can't stay annoyed very long). I love how happy he seems all the time. I love watching him with Lily - watching him adore her. I love listening to him talk to her or laugh when she's being silly. I love how well he's growing into his place in our family. It's hard to believe that he's only been here for ten short months, hard to imagine our lives before he was a part of them.

Happy 10-Month-Day Baby Boy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Safe Keeping

About eight years ago boy met girl, fell in love, and moved out of fancy Back Bay apartment to live in run-down MIT housing with girl, a large number of college undergraduates and some rather large cockroaches.  As boy and girl transitioned from living alone to living together it became apparent that the couple had one major difference to contend with:  boy had the "stinky towel gene" and girl did not.  It turned out that boy has a superior sense of smell and knew when a towel or facecloth or discloth had been used one too many times.  Girl was oblivious.  She simply rotated her towels and such every so often and that was that.  Her wash schedule was firmly based on the calendar and not reliant on any olfactory input.  The couple went through an adjustment period, but eventually they worked it out, found a way for nose to complement calendar, and got married.    Shortly after they had a baby girl and started a blog.


Gordon and I joke about this "stinky towel gene" and the famous superior sense of smell.  It seems his brother Gabe has it as well.  He's an ear, nose and throat surgeon and has been able to tell where a diagnosis will go simply from the smell of a patient's breath.  I'll admit to sometimes just humoring him on the smell thing  - "oh sure honey if you say the towel is dirty I'll just wash it", while internally thinking "really? again? are you sure you're not making this up?". 

So sometime last summer, maybe - I'm not really sure.  Gordon starts telling me that Lily's nose smells.  Maybe she has an infection, he says.  Don't you think we should check with her doctor? It's really stinky!  And I just look at him like - ummm no - she's fine.  I don't smell anything.  I told him that *he* could call the pediatrician and take her in if he wanted to, but she seemed fine to me.  Eventually there was a doctor's appointment for something or other (maybe a flu shot?) and G took her and asked about the nose smell.  Our doctor didn't smell anything and said she seemed fine.  I listened smugly to the news - certain that we had more important things to worry about.

Then it's Christmas and we head to New Jersey for our yearly visit (which yeah, there are pictures of that - and maybe, just maybe I'll post some one day).  While we're there Gabe brings home his doctor's bag of tricks one night to take a look at Q's ears.  Quinn had been acting cranky and not sleeping well and I was desperate to blame it on something.  Our pediatrician couldn't really see into his ears very well, so we asked Gabe to take a look.  Apparently Quinn's ears are waxy and um.. hairy - so yeah - great.

At some point in the visit Gabe commented to us that Lily's nose was "so stinky he could hardly stand being too close to her".  I rolled my eyes internally while Gordon shouted "yeah! I know right?? Will you take a look".  So after Q was done getting his ears checked, Lily hopped up into Gordon's lap (OK maybe she needed a ton of coaxing, but whatever).  Gabe starts looking around.  I ask Gabe what could cause a bad smell and he tells me it could be a really bad chronic sinus infection or ..... a foreign body.  And let me tell you - the thought of "foreign body" had NEVER entered my head once during all the olfactory feedback discussions.  Suddenly I have a feeling of foreboding.

Next thing I know Gabe tells us that yeah, he thinks he sees something up there.  But it's really really far up there and he's not totally sure.  After a little one-on-one discussion with Lily, we all get in the car and head to Gabe's office where he's got all of the necessary equipment.  Lily and I hop up on the table and Gabe hands Gordon this bottle with a bulb contraption on the end and tells him to "squirt this up her nose".   It's some kind of numbing agent and Gabe wants Gordon to do it so that Lily won't be pissed at Gabe when it's time for him to go hunting.  So Gordon squirts and we sit and wait. 

Then Gabe dons a little head lamp type deal, pulls out some nose-tong type instrument and heads for Lily's nostril.  Literally seconds later he's standing there triumphantly holding something between the tongs.  I'm totally shocked because 1) OMG he just pulled something out of her nose and 2) wow that was FAST and 3) OMG is that ELMO??  And yes, it was Elmo:

So there you have it.  In less than two years Lily went from a toddler who was terrified of Elmo and put him in his place to a pre-schooler who shoved him in her nose for safe keeping.  The scary thing to me is that we have no idea WHEN she put the sticker there.  It could have been up there for months for all we know.  Imagine that we didn't have an ENT in the family.  Would this sticker just have lived up her nose forever?

The good news is that we DID find the sticker (OK well Gabe gets most of the credit here) and Lily's nose is totally back to normal, unobstructed, operation.  In fact  her nose is working a little TOO well.  The other day we were getting ready for a walk in the stroller and I was a bit worn out from the effort of getting the two of them out of the house. So I made a dash back to the kitchen to jam some M&M's in my mouth before we took off (both to make up for the lunch I never got to eat and to soothe my battered psyche).  I came back to the stroller and went to fix Lily's straps.  She immediate sat up straight and said to me: "Mommy, I smell something..  I smell... CHOCLATE!"  Busted.

I'm pretty sure she's inherited her sense of smell from her father's side.   Also - I can never, ever question G's superior sense of smell again.  I believe that I have been served.  I see a whole lot of towel washing in my future.

Monday, March 8, 2010

On The Move

[yeah so I know today is Q's 10-month-day, but as usual I am behind.  So don't worry Q, I haven't forgotten - it's coming....]

Well Quinn is officially on the move - and boy is he ever.  I can't say exactly when it started - his transition from stationary to "OMG all over the place" was kind of gradual.  He started out army crawling and got really really good at that.  Now he's mixing it up with some traditional "hands and knees" crawling, but still seems to prefer the on-belly method.  I don't know if it's our hardwood floors or the lack of traction from his clothes, but he can really move faster on his stomach.  It looks like he's swimming through our condo. 

I do however happen to have video (complete with annoying commentary from me) from the first day we saw him "hand and knees" crawl for any suspended length of time.  The video comes courtesy of Auntie Lindsay, because she is MUCH better at this whole "actually having a camera on hand to capture this stuff" thing.

But then somehow, over the past week or so he's left behind the baby who can kind of move when he wants and has become a baby who is everywhere all the time.  He pulls up to standing now effortlessly.  Diaper changes are a full-contact sport.  The minute I put him down on his back to change him he begins protesting loudly, turns over and stands up on the changing table, using my hair to steady him on his way up.  Then he sort of throws his arms around my head and laughs maniacally triumphantly.  Seriously, it's really hard to change him - in a way I don't recall having experienced with his sister.  When I dress him I generally have to put him on the floor and sort of follow him around with the pieces of his outfit in my hands hoping to catch an arm, a leg, a head. 

Just today he seems to have discovered how much fun it is to "undo".  He gets in the playroom, pulls himself up at the shelves and just starts emptying the of all their contents.  He got into the bookshelves today as well.  I caught him looking through our binder of wedding proofs with great interest. 

And hey - here's something that's even more fun than a mobile, active baby - a mobile, active, baby who is still spitting up fairly often!  Now when he spits up I have to do my best to keep him from crawling through it while I run to get the wipes.  Then once I have the wipes the game is to wipe up the spit-up before he crawls through it on his way to pulling all of the wipes out of the container. 

Also  - I fished three - THREE - rocks out of his mouth today at the playground.  Because he still wants to eat everything and now that he can GET to everything - the world is literally his oyster - no horseradish necessary, but he'll take it if you have it.

Seriously, I'm exhausted just looking at him, or thinking about it, or writing this post.   So now I'm off to bed.  Anyone want to take bets on weather or not we have to childproof more thoroughly than we did with Lily?