Dec 7, 2009

Picture Time

Okay, it's time for a major picture update. First, though, let's see what's happened in the last couple of weeks:
  • Kate hits sixteen weeks old today. We haven't been counting by weeks, but it's fun to do the calculations every now and then, so I don't have to say she'll be four months old in ten days.
  • Kate rolled over for the first time on Saturday. She was in the middle of tummy time and decided she had enough....and over she went. Unfortunately I was in the shower at the time, and she wouldn't repeat the feat for Danielle to get a video. She remembers that she did it once and wants to do it again, but can't seem to get her limbs working together again in the right way.
  • Kate's been sleeping really well, which we are very happy about. She usually goes to bed around 8pm....sometimes sooner, depending on how tired she is. And for the last couple of weeks, she's slept straight through until 6 or 7am, without getting up even once to eat. Being a night person makes the 6am a little difficult, but we're excited she's sleeping at all.
  • Kate is addicted to television. We haven't been allowing her to watch it, but any time that it's on and she's in range, her head swivels like it's being drawn by a magnet. Then we have to pause the TV or turn her around. We have a video that we will post at some point.
Let's get to the pictures before I put this off any longer. I've started a couple of new photo albums, one for more recent photos (since she turned three months old) and one for pictures of Kate with her adoring fans. Here are the three albums: (no new additions since the last post) (the most recent pictures) (people holding Kate)

Here are a few shots from the 3 month album.

Kate loves her little bouncy chair (for about 20 minutes at a time). There are three little animals with rings to grab hanging from the overhead bar. In the span of a few days, she went from being completely bewildered by it to being able to reach up and grab any of the three.

We wanted to take pictures for a Christmas card, so we set up a little photo area and put Kate in this "Baby's First Christmas" outfit. Some of them came out okay, but I'm not sure if any are worthy of a Christmas card.

This picture makes me think of her as a belligerent baseball fan, yelling at an umpire. In reality, I think she was just yawning.

I love this picture. We had just come in from the cold, and Kate was laughing and smiling like crazy. Believe it or not, I actually missed her cutest smile, but this one is still really great.

Nov 18, 2009

Three Months

Yesterday was Kate's three month birthday, so I figured it was time for an update. We don't have any new and ridiculously large measurements, as we don't have another pediatrician's appointment until four months....that said, we think she's about 17 pounds and 25.5/26 inches.

I've uploaded some new pictures, but I think this is it for the first album. After this, I'm going to start a new album for the upcoming months, as I've already posted enough pictures from her first three months (251) to make it hard to manage.

Coincidentally, Kate has a sour look on her face (or at least a disinterested one) in many of the most recent pictures. This is a bit misleading, because she's been more alert, happy, and interested than ever. She's smiling quite a bit, and even laughing a little....she's just starting to add the vocalization part of an obviously laughing expression. She's also noticing everything around her, including Willow, toys, and TV.

I've been crazy busy with work, and D is back at school every other's made for very little sleep and some interesting schedules. Fortunately we've had help from both our moms, especially on days when we both need to work. And considering that one of those days will be starting in an hour and a half (did I mention very little sleep?), let me get right to the pictures.

Newspaper day was a couple of weeks ago....D has to go into school and help the students get the paper published. This time I stopped by with Kate, who is now the official Lancer Express mascot. When the paper was finally printed, D made sure to take plenty of pictures with her first issue.

Kate has a great disposition most (95%) of the time, and fortunately that has extended to bath time. As long as we don't get too much water in her eyes and the water is sufficiently warm, she doesn't mind it a whole lot. Plus, look how cute she is when she gets out!

You can see the additional alertness in her eyes. When propped up, she'll sit up and look around at everything in a room, taking it all in.

She's also been much better at tummy time. She still doesn't last that long - her head slowly sags until she is face-down on the floor - but it's a little longer every time and she doesn't seem to mind it as much. We've also been working on rolling over. She hasn't done it completely on her own, but she's getting more comfortable with the process.

Nov 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

This first photo isn't exactly Halloween related, though she does look like a scary cannibal.

Kate was a ladybug for Halloween, though she was a little hot when we first put it on. She wriggled and squirmed until we got outside where it was cooler.

We went to a neighbor's place for a soup-themed open house...I plan to go back today and ask for their jambalaya recipe. Then we set up shop in our driveway with a cute little ladybug and two big bowls of candy. We had a lot of trick-or-treaters, though not as many as you'd think from a neighborhood where there are 32 kids on our street alone.

Kate enjoyed being out and about, but eventually crashed in her stroller while we were talking to some of the neighbors. When we came back in, she was out like a light....and much easier to take pictures of. In this one, she's smiling about her very successful first Halloween.

Hope everyone had a nice night! There are a few more pictures, including Kate's impression of Dr. Evil, on the photo site.

Oct 30, 2009


Last weekend provided an opportunity for some traditions, both old and new. First, on Saturday we went to Nate's Butt Farm....I mean, Bates Nut pick a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch. We got a few pumpkins and tried to take some pictures, but Kate was asleep most of the time. When we woke her up for picture time, she was either half-asleep or the sun was too bright....she basically laid there like a lump. We also weren't the only ones with the same idea, so most of our pictures had crowds of people walking around behind the pumpkins. I don't know that it was worth the drive to Valley Center, but I think a trip with Kate to some pumpkin patch is definitely going to be a tradition.

On Sunday, we went to the annual Hallowiener Picnic in Balboa Park. There are four dachshund picnics every year, organized by the San Diego Dachshund Club, but this is the only one at which the dogs wear costumes. There were a couple hundred doxies, and we had a fun time looking at all the cute puppies. We've been going to these picnics since Willow was young, but this was Kate's first multiple-dog experience. She was definitely curious, and started looking around a little more than normal. Willow also behaved really well....I was worried that she would get defensive around so many dogs, now that she's blind, but there was nothing to worry about.

Kate wore a special onesie for the occasion. Everyone knew who she was with. The outfit was actually a gift for Andrew from K&K, but we're happy she got to wear it.

The weather turned cold a couple of days ago, dropping almost thirty degrees in a single day. We went from needing the air conditioner to being all bundled up, which gave Kate the opportunity to get snuggly as well. I love the hood!

We haven't been getting Kate enough tummy time as we should, mostly because she doesn't really enjoy it. She was happy when lying on our chests, but she didn't appreciate being flat on the floor. Yesterday D decided to flip her over while she was on the couch, and all of a sudden she pushed up and looked around like she'd been doing it forever. It was by far the most she'd ever done while on her tummy.....looks like we've had a breakthrough.

A lot has happened since I posted last, so there are lots of new pictures....32 to be exact. Take a look, because there are some nice family shots and some from Kate's first attempt at a jumperoo. Plus lots of smiles!

Oct 26, 2009

While you wait...

I've got cute pictures and stories from this weekend, but I'm very tired and have to drive up to LA tomorrow, I'll just mention a couple of unrelated subjects and save the good stuff for later.

First, I realized after my last post how crazy Kate's growth has been....I wrote the numbers, but didn't really think about what they meant.  She initially lost weight after birth, so by August 21 she was down to 8 pounds, 2 ounces.  When she was measured at the pediatrician's on October 21, she came out at 15 pounds, 12 ounces....we then estimated at 15 pounds 8 ounces since she was wearing a (clean) diaper and a shirt.  That means that in exactly two months, she has almost doubled in weight.  Looking back at pictures, I can see the progression, but it's really difficult to see the incremental growth when you're with her every day.

Second, a belated thank you for all the birthday wishes.  I got to eat some yummy dim sum and hang out with the family....then we went and bought a new couch.  The two events were completely unrelated, but it's a sign of 31's relative unimportance.  I actually feel older than I did last year....I didn't mind 30, but this one kind of sucks.

And, last but not least, today is the anniversary of when D and I started dating.  It's since been replaced by the anniversary of our wedding, so we're not really celebrating, but it's still a great milestone because it's the "big" number.  We have been dating since October 26, 1997 - that's 12 years!  Good and bad, we've gone through them all together, but the last year has definitely been one of the best.  It started with us living in a small condo and trying desperately to get pregnant.  It has ended with a beautiful new baby in a big, fantastic new house.  Here's hoping the next year will bring the same kind of joy.

Oct 21, 2009

Long Overdue

I've got a lot of updates, so let's get right to it. First, the pictures. There aren't a lot, but they include the first picture of Kate actually smiling. Most of her cutest moments are either while I'm holding her, when it's hard to snap a pic, or while Mommy's holding her, when I don't want to intrude.

Kate's recently taken her longest-ever trips, first to Orange County for lunch, then to the Bay Area for a long weekend....she handled both beautifully. She slept in the car to and from the OC, and got to visit friends and relatives while we ate. Then last weekend, we drove up to Danville and stayed with Kate's great-aunt and great-uncle (ha!). We took a side trip to Calistoga to visit Kate's aunt and uncle on Friday. Kate practiced her winemaking (see the picture below), we got a great little tour of Napa, and we had a really enjoyable time. On Saturday we went to my cousin V's soccer game and had a great family/friend get-together afterward. On Sunday we drove into San Fran to watch the Nike Women's Marathon and cheer on our close family friend. She did a great job and Kate slept almost the entire time. That actually seemed to be a theme....she slept on the five hour trip to Danville, she slept to and from Napa, she slept through the marathon, she slept through the seven hour drive home (aside from a dinner stop). Of course, with all that sleeping, she was a little more active at night. All in all, though, she was a great baby all weekend.

On Wednesday Kate had her two-month checkup with the pediatrician, though Saturday was the actual milestone. She got her first big set of vaccinations and handled it like a trouper. After a big injection in each thigh, she cried for about twenty seconds and then recovered quickly. She was a little cranky last night, but a dose of Infant Tylenol did the trick. The pediatrician was happy with her progress in all other areas, and her measurements were particularly noteworthy. She's now 25 inches long, which is in the 99th percentile. It's a good thing she's long, because she's also 15.5 pounds, which is in the 100th percentile. Her head circumference is in the 98th percentile, giving her the big girl trifecta.

Aside from objective measurements, Kate's also come a long way in the two weeks since my last post. She's hit some great milestones, but most don't show up in pictures.
  • She can now hold her head up's still a tiny bit wobbly, but it makes it much easier to carry her around.
  • She's also smiling, and the difference between gas smiles and real smiles are now very obvious....I think the gas smiles are still a little bit cuter.
  • She still doesn't enjoy "tummy time" that much, but she's pushing a lot and bearing weight on her's like she's going to walk before she crawls.
  • She's not very vocal, but she can make some basic non-cry vowel sounds, which is all that's really expected at her age.
  • She's discovered her hands, and will routinely suck on her fist, swing her arms around, and (gently) hit anything in range, including herself.
  • She'll hold onto anything within reach, including blankets, pacifiers, and our shirts.
  • She can roll from her back onto her side, but she hasn't made it all the way over onto her tummy.
She really changes from day to day. We never know what she's going to do next, but we're looking forward to finding out.

Isn't this outfit awesome? She looks like a dramatic New York retiree, but she's darn cute. She's also demonstrating how she can sit up (when propped against something) without needing her head supported.

While in Napa, we stopped by and checked on the next batch of the family wine. Kate's learning how to do punch downs so she can help the next time she visits.

Here's the family at V's soccer game...Kate slept through most of that as well.

This is one of the first real smiles I've captured on camera. They get cuter, and she's getting better at it by the day, but it's nice to have photographic evidence.

Oct 8, 2009


Diapers- Though we do have the occasional blowout, overall I'm very impressed with how dependable they've been.  I've seen what comes out of this little girl, and it's incredible that every diaper isn't a blowout.  Between the force of expulsion and her constant squirming, I'm amazed the diaper can hold it in.

Hiccups- I know that it'll be awful the first time Kate gets sick, and heartwrenching the first time she hurts herself, but right now the thing that bothers me most is hiccups.  She gets them all the time, and I hate it.  I know she's not as bothered by them as I am, but I can't help putting myself in her position...empathy sucks.  Her whole little body gets into the hiccup, and I find myself counting the minutes until they go away.

Fussy- Kate's been a little fussy the last two days.  Her morning grumpiness has turned into morning-noon-afternoon grumpiness, and she's been restless every time we put her down to sleep.  We think we may have it diagnosed (the Internet is a wonderful thing) and it's nothing to worry about.  Aside from the grumpiness, she's perfectly fine, but it's made for an extra-tired Mommy and Daddy.

TV- There's a lot of new TV almost overwhelming amount.  I'm trying to narrow down the shows that will be DVR regulars.  A few have already made the cut, and some others have gotten the axe.  The rest will get at least a second chance before I make a final decision.  "the forgotten" and NCIS: LA have gotten the thumbs-down, with Hank soon to follow; Modern Family, Community, and Glee (among others) have gotten the thumbs-up.  Still on the bubble: FlashForward and Eastwick.

Oct 6, 2009

Cuties in Booties

Several more pictures here, and a few below. Not much to report, and I'm very tired (early mornings and no naps), so I'll keep it to pictures tonight.

First, a very intelligent look directly into the camera.

It's been cooling off a bit, so now we can try out all the outfits with booties.

Willow likes to stay involved, even when it means sleeping in uncomfortable positions.

Kate's the only one getting plenty of sleep in this household, and even she's yawning.

Sep 29, 2009

At Last

Sorry it's been a while since my last update. I haven't been taking as many pictures recently, and the work/baby combination takes up quite a bit of time. My schedule's only going to be more packed during the next few weeks, so lower your expectations on posting volume a bit. We've done lots of fun things in the last couple of weeks, but lack of sleep is making them blur together in my brain. A few highlights were a wedding and related activities, visitors with and without other babies, and some quick trips to local restaurants/stores.

Kate's gone from sleeping constantly to having more periods of awake and alert time. Unfortunately, the first of these each day usually comes around 7am. We start putting her to sleep sometime between 8 and 10 each night. She then sleeps for 3-4 hours, and D feeds her before we go to bed (around 1am). Another few hours of sleep is followed by a 4am feeding, then she's back to sleep until 7am. For the last five or six days, she has then woken up and won't go back to sleep. Both of us are completely wiped out by that point (D because of the late-night feedings, me because of the early hour). It results in some half-asleep conversations with the baby, in which we probably make as much sense as she does.

During the day, Kate has been staying awake and interacting much more than before, and sleeping pretty well when it's convenient - like when she's in her car seat while we're out and about. She usually takes a good nap after each feeding, so we can head out as soon as she's done eating and have 3-4 hours of time to work with.

Developmentally, there have been a few advancements, though they're hard to quantify. Her neck muscles are getting a lot stronger, so she can lift her head off our shoulders, turn from side to side, and look around. She's definitely paying more attention to people and making eye contact, and seems to follow us with her eyes when we get up and walk around the room. She still doesn't love tummy time, but she tolerates it, and when we sit her up she gets a lot less grumpy than she used to. We think she's starting to smile, but it's hard to tell the difference between that and the very genuine-looking pseudo-smiles she's given since birth. The pacifier has continued to do wonders, and overall she's a very mellow baby.

There are 17 more pictures on the photo site, and a few below.

Here's the outfit Kate wore to Auntie JJ's wedding. I think her headband looks like a bridal garter, but I don't think the bride minded that she was also wearing white.

When I took this picture, the music was blaring and everyone was dancing up a storm....Kate didn't seem to mind.

This is an odd view, but you can see Kate holding up her head on her own. She looks totally different (mostly skinnier) when we're not holding her up....she actually has a neck!

Kate's trying out her new bows (and loving that pacifier!).

She enjoyed her last bath much more than she had previously. No crying, no fussing....though the pacifier probably helped.

Sep 22, 2009


It's funny how infant milestones are measured in so many different units. When you're our age, the only thing that really matters is years....I'm thirty years old, but I might let someone know when I turn thirty-one. Once you hit forty or fifty (or sixty, depending on your self-confidence), you start counting milestones in decades. Of course, once you get past a hundred, then you start counting by years again....just ask Al Roker and Willard Scott on The Today Show. But when you're an infant, it starts at hours and goes up from there.

On August 18, we were counting up the hours to twenty-four. Then we started counting days, up to about two weeks. I think weeks will stick around for about two months. For instance, Kate turned four weeks old last Monday, and five weeks old today. And though four weeks sounds like a month, we also counted last Thursday as her one-month birthday. One month also means that we went to the pediatrician for her one month check-up.

Kate's check-up went really well. She got a clean bill of health, plus her second was a shot in her thigh, and she only cried for about five seconds. She also had the all-important (though I'm not sure why) weigh-in. We knew she had been growing, but it was cool to get an official reading. She's now 22 and 3/4 inches long, which puts her in the 95th percentile for height. She weighs 11 pounds, 12 ounces, which puts her in the 98th percentile for weight. She was also in the 93rd percentile for head circumference, but again I'm not sure why that's important.

There are some more pictures up at the photo are a few:

A fun outfit and a not-so-fun face.

Yes, she looks like a monkey. Big cheeks, big ears...

Sweet close-up.

She looks entirely different when she sits up.

More to come soon, including wedding stories, more pictures, and the "People Holding Kate" blog entry.

Sep 16, 2009

Catching Up

I've been working a lot more, and we've continued to have visitors staying with us, so I haven't gotten around to much blogging. I haven't taken many pictures either, but I've got at least 12 new ones posted at the photo site. A few of them are below.

Kate's been doing well, eating a ton and gaining weight. We'll get the official measurement from the pediatrician on Thursday, but our unofficial measurement has her over 11 pounds. Let's hope her height is keeping up with her weight.

She's really been impressing me with her neck strength. When she's laying on my chest, she can lift her head off my chest, hold it up, and turn it from side to side to look at me. I can tell that she's getting stronger every day.

She's also paying a lot more attention to specific people and objects while she's awake. I can tell things are starting to click a little more in her brain, and it makes me look forward to the next couple of months.

We've done a lot of reading about sleeping/feeding/etc, and I've read that the technical definition of "sleeping through the night" is five uninterrupted hours of sleep. I'm not sure for whom five hours is a full night, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Given that definition, Kate slept through the night about a week ago. Since then, she's had at least one four- or five-hour-long period of sleep every day, but it hasn't always been at night. Unfortunately, she's sometimes mixed up on her days and nights, so we've had a few sleepless ones. We're working on it.

Here's a shot of Daddy and Kate resting peacefully.

Tummy time quickly turned into nap time.

Still sleeping. Are you sensing a theme here?

Today she slept through an entire trip to the zoo. Check out the other site for a picture of Kate being stalked by a jaguar.

Sep 14, 2009

Sand Art

I try to avoid writing blog entries that are just links to other sites, especially publicly-available web videos that are being forwarded around like wildfire.  However, I wanted to make an exception for this video, because I haven't seen it making the rounds.  Not only did it open my eyes to the entire concept of sand art, it is also an incredibly (and unexpectedly) moving performance.  It's from Ukraine's version of America's Got Talent, and it's a sand-art interpretation of the invasion of Ukraine by Hitler during World War II.  I know it sounds heavy, but it's really cool.  Here it is.


It's funny to me that as soon as you have a baby, you're supposed to go through and replace all your detergents and soaps with mild, hypo-allergenic, fabric-friendly products.  I know this is supposed to protect the baby's skin from chemicals, dyes, and other unnatural ingredients, but I'm pretty sure it's a conspiracy cooked up by the baby clothing industry.  After seeing some of the things that come out of both ends of our baby, what they really need to recommend is extra-strength, heavy-duty, quintuple-concentrated, bleach-filled, stain-fighting super-detergent.....the kind of stuff used in hotels to clean the sheets after a rock band has been through.

Kate had one incident the other day where her diaper leaked out the back.  The blanket she was wrapped in has now been washed once in Dreft (the baby-friendly detergent), once in color-safe bleach, and once in Oxi-Clean, and has also been through a couple of spot treatments.  And yet, there's still a big orange stain that won't go away....what's up with that?

Sep 11, 2009


We've made a wonderful discovery in the last couple of days.  After a few days of trying a pacifier that worked occasionally but still left us with an occasionally very cranky baby, D tried a different brand.  It seems to have done the trick, and Kate's non-sleeping, non-eating moments have become much more calm.  Pacifier to the rescue!

Other than that, I don't have much to share, as I haven't taken many pictures in the last few days.  I was out all day yesterday at work (in LA and SD) and I've been doing a lot more from home as well.  We had a fun, productive weekend, and now we have more visitors staying at the house (with two more kids!).  It's fun seeing where Kate will be (developmentally) in five months and twenty months, and great to catch up with our friends.  We're looking forward to Kate's first formal event (a wedding!) in just over a week, and a pediatrician's appointment on Thursday for a length/weight update.

Sorry for the lack of excitement....I'll try to take some more pictures this weekend.

Sep 9, 2009

Big Baby

We went to a lactation consultant today for a potential solution to some discomfort D's been having.  She tracked down the problem and there's a pretty simple fix, so we're hoping that will save some pain.

While we were there, they weighed Kate to see how much she had been gaining over the last two weeks.  She weighed eight pounds, eight ounces exactly two weeks ago.  As of today, she weighs about ten pounds, two ounces (six ounces with clothes).  That means she's gained almost two ounces a day....we were shocked!  I'm not sure where she puts it, but I'm assuming she's also gotten longer....she definitely doesn't look 20% fatter.

On the way back home, we stopped by the NICU to show off our take-home baby.  Some of our favorite nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists were there, so they all got to see Kate.  It was a one-way viewing, however, as Kate slept the entire time we were there.  It was nice to visit, and not as sad as I thought it would be.  I felt a little guilty as grieving parents walked by to visit their sick kids while we were enjoying ourselves in the entryway, but we did our time and I'm sure they'll all be better off two years from now.  I thought it was funny that the commentary from the NICU staff mostly revolved around how healthy she looked....a ten-pound three-week-old baby is pretty rare in a ward that cares for preemies and other sick kids.  When Kate explosively dirtied a diaper and we had to change her in the trunk in the parking lot, I was heartened by the fact that she screamed the whole time and never turned blue.

I haven't taken many pictures in the last couple of days, so a photo update might take a little while.  Until then, cross your fingers for a happy (and tired at night) baby.

Sep 8, 2009

Very tired

In the last two days, Kate has decided that she wants to eat every 1.5-2 hours, and that she'll be pretty inconsolable otherwise. Feeding her works to calm her down, but that's it. Did I mention that this also occurs almost entirely at night?

We're both pretty tired and I don't have a whole lot else to say, so let's just jump into the pictures. As always, there are more pictures here.

This is what "tummy time" quickly turned into....she was more comfortable on her side.

Having a little snack.

My busy little bee.

Cuteness, at repose.

Sep 4, 2009

Picture Update

More pictures at the usual site, but not much time for commentary. She's pretty much just being a baby.....eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, crying, etc. She manages to make it all darn cute, butit's hard to really get across unless you see it in person.....h alf of it is inappropriate for pictures anyway. However, more and more friends and family members can testify to her cuteness every day. Next week I'll post a "people holding Kate" entry....until then, she's flying solo.

I thought girls only learned this look as teenagers?

Look how long she is when all stretched out....

I imagine if we took her to a professional photographer, he would try to pose her with her hand on her chin. Fortunately, she did this on her own for free.

Using the word "cute" yet again to describe my daughter would be a cliche, but what else can I say?

Sep 3, 2009


Lots of family/friends in the house, plus a baby that wants to eat every hour or two, plus a bunch of work to do after hours makes for a long night.  I've fallen asleep a few times on the couch while trying to finish emails for work.  Fortunately, I'm now awake enough to finish them and send them off.  Unfortunately, I'm not awake enough to stay up another 20 minutes and put together Kate pictures for the blog.  I'll have some really cute ones tomorrow, stay tuned.

Aug 31, 2009

Bath time

We spent a long, exhausting day at D's school today, getting everything ready for the sub, making sure her room was arranged appropriately, and meeting with the newspaper editors. I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I was zonked by the middle of the day. I managed to take a little nap on the couch in the journalism classroom, with Kate hanging out on my chest. It was a nice nap, but it's still been a long's been really hot and we can't seem to cool down the house without blasting the air conditioner. It was all worth it, though....D got a lot accomplished, and it was our longest outing since Kate was born.

Since her umbilical cord is gone, we can theoretically give Kate a bath now, but it's still a little raw in her bellybutton. So, we gave her another sponge bath tonight, though we did use our baby bathtub (to hold her) this time. Here is the little Yoda outfit (a towel with a head covering in the corner) that she wore after the bath.

We've got more visitors coming into town tomorrow (until Sunday) and I'll also be working, so I don't know what my blog volume will be like this week. I'll keep trying to take pictures and post when I have time.


Not much to report, and I'm headed to bed. I'll leave you with a couple of cute pictures.