Thursday, February 26, 2009

How could I forget?

The same Saturday that we spent the day with Alice's cousins was the day Alice got her first tooth! I was carrying Alice on my hip through the parking lot after lunch while she chewed on my fingers. Suddenly I felt a sharp little ridge in her gumline. She pushed through her first tooth on my hand ya'll. It was magical. Also it made her stop screaming about jaw pain.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There's a star

That's for you Brad.

Alice and Byron

See if you can guess from this picture how the cat feels about the baby.

It is partially the cat's fault. He insists on cuddling up to Alice, not for affection, but so that she will pull on him and he will get my attention when I scream "Get away from the baby!"

It is partially my fault for being so angry at the cat all day for pulling this stunt. The most he gets from me most days is an angry glare or resentful game of "catch the string".

It is not really Alice's fault as she is a blameless infant, and has refrained from pulling his tail 7 times out of 10 (good track record for an 8 month old baby). However, there are times when his puffy tail is too much to ignore and she feels the need to grab him when Mommy is looking the other way.

So Byron spends much of his day enjoying the upstairs rooms of our house so that I don't murder him. In fact for Lent I have resolved to keep my temper around the cat. This sounds like a small promise but he makes me insane these days and I don't want Alice to pick up my bad habit of swearing at small animals. Also, I consider this good practice for her terrible twos.

To be fair I should relate that when I bring Alice home asleep in her carseat I am greeted by a silent cat who lets the baby nap in peace while I grab some lunch from the kitchen. A dog would never grant me this small favor. Good kitty...I guess.

Baby Destiny

Tony's cousin David was joking recently about having a Korean style 1st birthday ceremony for his youngest son, where parents line objects up for the baby to chose and the one they grab has special significance. As in, if the baby picks rice he will never grow hungry, or if he picks up a pencil he will be a scholar. David was thinking of lining up things like the keys to a Zamboni or a pint of whiskey.

Alice has developed a version of this ceremony of her own accord. She did this by pulling herself up to standing on the bookcase.

Once there Alice pulled down these books in this order:
1. The Simpsons and Philosophy
2. The Portable Dante
3. Derek Walcott, Collected Poems
4. Faulkner: Go Down Moses (she put Faulkner back on the shelf three times before finally dropping it).
5. Merriam Webster's, Encyclopedia of Literature
6. Sam Shepard, Seven Plays
7. Life with the Navajos in Chaco Canyon

I attribute meaning to both the order and the selection. I haven't landed on the specifics but I know it was meaningful!

Tony and I have a new rule that when Alice pulls a book off the shelves we have to read her a passage from that book. This way we will slowly get through all the books we intended to read at some point in our lives.

good times

We had visitors this weekend from Houston.
My Brother/Sister-in-law, our niece Marilyn, and nephew Andy all came to visit. We hit the Children's Museum after a breakfast of dinosaur pancakes. Then we headed to "Freddy's" which is a restaurant that encourages people to bring their dogs and kids to romp around in the sunshine. We got the coveted table on the playground so we could enjoy watching Andy and the other kids without getting up.

Tony had a run-in with a twelve year old who was a bit long in the tooth for the playground. This kid insisted on picking up a bigwheel truck and throwing it at the other children. One of the tosses landed uncomfortably close to Alice's highchair so Tony told the kid he had to be careful around the baby. The kid affected an insufferable mimicking whine and repeated, "Be careful around the Baaaaaby". Tony and I exchanged a glance wherein we came to a joint decision not to rip the kid a new one, as we were entertaining guests.

Don't worry, a few seconds later the little charmer actually tossed the truck into another boy his age and was mortified when a table full of parents and grandparents turned on him. Where his family was, I couldn't say.

Anywho, after lunch we headed back to the homestead for playtime:

Here is a picture of the girls gently getting to know each other:

This video shows more interaction. Notice that I tell Tony to stop Alice from accidentally choking her cousin via Marilyn's bib. Tony said he heard me but wanted to see what would happen. Notice also the wooden toy in Marilyn's hand. A few seconds after this video stops Alice takes the toy and uses it to smack Marilyn across the chops. Sigh.

Alice's Aunt Karen and Uncle Toby were very understanding and assured us that babies don't know what they are doing and nobody cried so all was well.

Still, you hate to have your kid pummeling other children. Least you think I am overreacting, Andy was punched with a metal toy car a few minuets later. That got a big laugh from everybody. Including Andy, who is a good sport and sweet little boy.

Andy was in fact the biggest hit of the day. Both Alice and Marilyn love to play with him because he engages with them and lets them play with his toys. He even let them claw at his face, though we all try to discourage that. While Alice was delighted by Andy, Marilyn is his biggest fan. In fact she is using the word "brother" pretty often when she sees him. Here is a video of what Marilyn did when she saw Andy playing in the backyard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hope you had a happy V-day

For Valentines Day Tony gave me five hours to myself. It was so sweet. I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" at the Alamo where people brought me food and no one talked during the movie. Little kid torture in the film notwithstanding, it was bliss.

Then we ate pizza and cupcakes as a family. Movie, pizza, sugar, and some time to be alone. My tastes haven't changed in 23 years. Tony knows this, which makes him the best husband in creation!

Artsy Fartsy

Sometimes I strive for fancy pants artistry with my cell phone camera. I strive to be the Annie Leibovitz of the Razor phone set. Alice is often roped into my low-pixel picture shenanigans. She is a sweet patient kid.

Jeff & Nathan (not pictured)

I just recently figured out how to get JPEGs off my phone via bluetooth so I now have access to 2 years of pictures!

For instance, here is the photographic evidence of our first visit in Austin with our buddies Jeff and Nathan who were in town for business. Well, Nathan was doing business and Jeff was enjoying an excellent vacation! We were at "Freddies" which is a dog and kid friendly burger joint. Nathan was so sweet to treat us to lunch when we were the ones trying to show them Austin. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Alice and her Grandma Nancy

We were in Dallas this weekend because Tony had business and Alumni Board duties. We also got the chance to visit my Aunt, Grandparents, and cousin AND Tony's parents, brother, and sister.

The picture above is of Alice with Tony's Mom the very last second we were in Dallas before driving back to Austin. Now that she is seven months old Alice has a strong case of separation anxiety. It seems most acute when I am in the room and she has the option of going to Mom. All of our family members were given a dose of freaked out baby this weekend and were all very nice about it. The picture is evidence that if you are very patient (like Grandma Nancy) and also let Alice tug/drool on your hair, you will be rewarded with some Alice fun time.

My sweet grandfather was screamed at multiple times and still gave a donation to Alice's college fund. As soon as she knows what college is, I am sure Alice will be very grateful!

Update: Today at Postnatal Yoga Alice crawled right over to the instructor, who's name is Jessica, and sat underneath Jessica during a demonstration of downward dog. So much for separation anxiety.

Alice is picking Aunt Becky hair out of her teeth.

Or would be if she had teeth...

Aunt Becky joined us for Mass and Brunch two weekends ago. Alice has gone full force into hair pulling. Aunt Becky has the most glorious red hair and Alice is smitten with the idea of tearing it all out at the roots. In fact, after brunch I found Alice pinning Becky to the ground by the hair. I tried to rescue Becky but she insisted that it was cool.
Becky and Alice are pretty chill with each other- see the evidence:
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