Friday, October 16, 2009

Look Who's Sittin' Now

So far, the developmental milestones have been kind of underwhelming. I mean, yes, it's cool that he can track things with his eyes, hold his head up, and not root at the slightest provocation, but those aren't exactly the kinds of things that seem important to anyone but the pediatrician. Rolling over had its momentary thrill and I still love watching him reach for anything you happen to put in front of him (which has signalled the end of cooking with him on my hip), but all the biggies (talking, walking, pooping in the right place...) still seem like they are a ways away and Eames doesn't seem in a hurry to do grown-up things any time soon. In fact, he was rolling every which way for a while, but now it appears that rolling over is passe and he happily stays wherever you lay him down.

Anyway, it occurred to me that we should be getting to the point where he's at least trying to sit. He has a 6 month check-up in a few weeks and he needs to stay firmly in the average range (no deviations here). High time we start practicing. So, I set him down on the play mat in front of the toy Aunt Patty got him and guess what? Eames has already mastered that shit:

What I'd forgotten is that Eames doesn't like to approach his new skills slowly. He's an all-or-nothing kind of little guy. When he decided to roll over, he did so by rolling across the living room floor; up to that point, he'd never shown the slightest inclination and then, boom!, look at me rolling toward the front door! Catch me if you can! And, while he's using the toy to stay up in this video, he's already given that up as well.* Clearly, like his mother, he doesn't believe in practice. I fully expect that one of these days, out of the blue, he's just going to look at me and say, "Don't use your rhetoric on me, mother. I'm not interested." I would not be at all surprised.

*I posted the short video, since blogspot wasn't really digging the 5 minute sitting video.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dial E for Eames

Since he was born, Eames has had a prodigious chin and, if I'm to be honest, cheeks to match; in fact, I periodically do the finger sweep test to make sure he's not packing anything in those cheeks of his--like he's gained the manual dexterity and mobility to sneak a few cat toys into his mouth while I'm not watching. Hell, sometimes it even looks like he might have a whole cat in there (Pasha or Simi clearly, since Nico is obviously too big).

While discussing the possibility that his cheeks might need their own zip code the other day, Josh mentioned that Eames bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain famous director and TV show host. Pat Sajak came to mind for a minute, but he, to my knowledge, has never directed a film and he's far too tan. Josh was, of course, referring to Alfred Hitchcock.

How did I ever not see that Eames is the spitting image of the master of suspense? The gravity-prone jowls. An extra chin. Melancholy eyes. A fuzzy pate. This kid will be sicking birds on an unwitting population in no time or throwing people off of bell towers or spying on our neighbors...

And I will definitely have to rethink leaving him in the doorway jumper while I take a shower.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Commie Leanings

In old country I cosmonaut space sheep.
Zen I dreenk Vodka.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's this? What's this?

Part of me is appalled that two weeks have passed and I haven't posted anything; but, another part of me is appalled that I feel compelled to detail the minutiae of Eames's constantly evolving world. He seems to be changing every day. He looks at things differently, discusses them earnestly, and continues to grow and grow and grow. However, I also know that I'm probably the only one interested in the amount of drool that comes out of this kid or the new sound that he's obsessed with.
What's this?
So, when he discovered his hand, I kept quiet even though watching him stare at his hand as he slowly turned it and inspected it from different angles before finally deciding that, yes, this too belonged in his mouth was the better part of my day for a solid week. In fact, everything at this point belongs in his mouth, so when he recently discovered that, like the hands that grace the ends of his arms, he has feet on the ends of his legs, I was curious to see what he would do given the my particular genetic limitation.
I can't believe my eyes!
Turns out that in true Luedtke fashion, feet are things to be touched (kind of) but will never, ever make it to the mouth. I've got to give Eames some credit, though. For one of us, he is surprisingly limber, especially with the bulk of his diaper impeding his range of motion. I'm pretty sure he can thank his father for that.
Wake up, Eames, this isn't fair!
So, while finding your feet might be a little thing, I'm with Eames on this's completely enthralling and worthy of contemplating from as many different angles as our flexibility (or lack thereof) allows.

Lyrics (captions) courtesy of Danny Elfman.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My First Trip to the Zoo: A Photo Essay

"I don't see any lions..."
"Lions are notoriously secretive creatures, my dear. Indeed, during my many travels to the savannah..."
"...I have only once managed a glimpse of the elusive King of the Jungle."
"However, Madam, should we see such a majestic beast, I must insist that you stand back. They are very dangerous creatures and you must avoid direct eye--"
"Look! I see one!"
"That kitty is cute!""I do declare...that lion looks a bit dodgy, but well, erm, I need a closer look.
Right... I think I left my binoculars in the car...Cheerio."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Liitle Things

Because sometimes, even in the fetid darkness of the compost bin, there are little moments of beauty.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blowing Bubbles

I love Josh. A lot. More than I ever thought I could love someone who isn't related to me. But that doesn't mean he doesn't do things that make me shake my head in wonder. Bewildered wonder. For instance, when Josh is deep in thought, reading The Nation or Slashdot or engaging in his bromance with his bearded doppelgangers, he blows bubbles. You know, the kind of bubbles where you gently part your lips forming a perfect, soft bubble that gently billows out catching the light just so....The kind of bubbles that usually catch a dirty look from me as well, because, yes, Josh blows spit bubbles.

Well, it seems that the apple doesn't far fall from the tree:
Introducing Sir Droolz-A-Lot!!!
While there don't seem to be any teeth in sight, the drool is coming on strong. And with it, the bubbles. Eames's clothes are often soaked through from the neckline to the belly button. The 'wet spot' has taken on new meaning. Specifically, it is now the spot that graces the shoulder of anyones who has dares to hold Eames for 12 seconds or longer; also, it is the spot that appears after you have picked him up off the bed/ground/blanket, etc. Indeed, it is concrete evidence that Eames has been in the vicinity.
The side view is even more impressive...

No number of dirty looks or long-suffering sighs will deter him. I've given up on changing his clothes every hour or two. Instead, I let him air dry during naps.

In the battle of nature vs. nurture, well, chalk one up to genetics in this round.

Chowing Down

From the beginning, our relationship revolved around food. Given our veganism, I suppose that's not all that surprising, but we spent a lot of time eating food and prepping it and sometimes going out to get it. Within a short period of time, we ate dinner together every night and now we sit down at the dining room table to do so. As a result, it's become extremely important to me; I value the time we spend sitting down, discussing our day, and actually consciously enjoying our food and each other's company. More than anything else, it is our space and our time. I've been excitedly waiting to add Eames to the ritual.

Therefore, one of the first things we bought was a high chair--even though I knew we wouldn't need it for quite some time. When I was about 5 months along, we plunked down a significant amount of money for a trendy, over-priced, Scandinavian-style high chair. It's true that we could've saved a lot of money with the very affordable Ikea Antilop high chair or even some run-of-the-mill high chair with a tray. But, it was important to me that he be able to sit at the table with us (not off on his own in a free-standing chair) and I was sold by the fact that the Stokke high chair becomes a regular chair that grows with him over time.

Tonight was one of those nights that made it all worthwhile. Even though he's not eating actual food yet (and still has 6-7 weeks to go before we start that adventure), he is capable of sitting in his chair with us while we eat. So, tonight, while we ate taco salad, Eames got to sit in his chair and play with his toy and keep us entertained.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Many Looks of Eames

I'll admit it: I really really wanted a girl. Not only are boys dirty and prone to breaking things--usually a part of their body--but, honestly, well...boys stuff kind of sucks. The toys are pretty much limited to dinosaurs and trucks. The clothes are pretty much limited to dinosaurs and trucks. In fact, with the exception of the occasional motorcycle or astronaut, you'd think that little boys had no interest outside of these two things. On top of that, they told me I was having a girl so I collected all kinds of cute graphic a-line tops with matching undies, flowered tanks, and striped dresses. Two baby showers later, I was pretty much set for girls clothes. I was ready.

But, that's all old news. The reason I bring it up now is that the huge biannual Lafaeytte kids consignment sale is this weekend. Six months ago we came home with two bags full of girls stuff for 70 bucks. This time around I decided I was going to consign most of the girl's stuff I've collected. In order to do so, I had to go through all the stuff that I shoved into an extra closet and sort through Eames's outgrown stuff as well. Despite the limitations on little boys fashion, I've managed to collect some pretty cute outfits for my boy. He and I enjoy the fashion game as much as a little girl might. And, to honor our love of all things fashion, I thought I'd put together a fashion show, "Eames's Greatest Fashion Hits."

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the many looks of Eames!!!:

Classic Eames Onesie (Courtesy of Suzanne)
Kartoons Kataloons Outfit
Zutano Jumper
Baby Susu Cat Shirt
Baby Gap Jumper (Courtesy of Haeja)
Bicycle Onesie (Courtesy of Patty) with Neon Band-aids
Arms Are for Hugging Tee (Courtesy of Nanny)
Question Authority Onesie
Old Navy Striped Tee
Baby Nay Jumper (Courtesy of Haeja)
Wait...What the...?!?!?
Ok, girls do have cuter clothes...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Early Bird Catches a Crapload of Worms

The writing has been plugging along. Slowly. I'm just starting to find a rhythm and have been able to write at least an hour a day. Unfortunately, an hour of writing doesn't quite produce what it used to. I suspect that producing children actually dries up your writing supply and makes you overuse the word 'however' and think that maybe this whole doctorate thing is overrated.

However, today, I got up at 6:00, met a friend for coffee (to workshop her conference presentation and part of my chapter), wrote some at home, made a tofu scramble, baked an experimental batch of carrot cookies, washed the bed linens, made a leek and zucchini fritatta, cooked and froze batches of chickpeas, made a doctor's appointment for Eames, washed the diapers, gave Eames a shower, wrote a blog, watched 24 with Josh and The Bachelorette after he left, and listened to Josh read There's a Wocket in my Pocket to Eames as he leaned against my legs and smiled adoringly at his dad. All in all, it was a productive day, which I guess is what happens when you get up at the ass crack of dawn and Josh offers to wrangle Eames for the day.

What did those boys do you ask?:
Notice those books at the top of the picture? Those are mine. Because I was tucked into the very corner of the bed behind my pile of books and a computer screen desperately trying to think of something smart to say while those boys sprawled out across the sheetless bed dreaming of large-breasted women. While I was tempted to join them in their synchronized napping, I persisted and eventually found an intelligent word or two, which surprised Eames, to say the least:
As far as he's concerned, I'm the funny one in the family:
I needed a day like today. There are always more things to do and more words to write...But, with the semester fast approaching, it's nice to know I can get a few things done and not miss moments like this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Sadly, I've always had very fine, very thin hair. My ponytails were often mocked (usually by my mother) for their slim profile (I use the rubberbands meant for bracelets to pull my hair back) and my hair never does much more than stick to my head and hang straight as straight can possibly be without a lot of intervention. The optimist in me has to note that full luxurious hair would make my already large head too big to adequately make it through doorways, but I've always wished to have just a little bend at the very least. The last time I tried to make my hair conform to my wishes, however, I ended up with a very expensive perm that lasted a few weeks then fell out to the very ends so it looked like I had pompoms stuck to the ends of my hair.

The good news is that pregnancy makes me love my hair--if only for a little while. It doesn't make it curl or even give it the slightest bend, but it does feel like I have about twice as much of it. So I've spent the last 10 months or so caressing my own head lovingly, enjoying every damn second of it. Until the last week or two. Now, when I hands through my hair, I come away with strands of it intertwined through my fingers. I'm once again constantly pulling dozens of hairs off my shirt, out of Eames's fingers and his mouth, brushing it off my face, and trying vainly to get that one that's stuck to my back and tickling the back of my arm.

And I'm not the only one. Eames was born with a full head of hair. It was even curly:
And much to our general amazement, it was also bright orange. I'll admit I was jealous of his curls, but I was also desperately hoping that--should he keep this notable hair--he'd more closely resemble Eric Stoltz than Carrot Top.

Now, however, Eames is 12 weeks old...and he has male pattern baldness:
That's right. Where once he had gloriously orange, flaming curls, he now has blond fuzz. And until those blond locks decide to make their appearance, he looks like a 83 year old man.

I'm just hoping he gets Josh's golden curls instead of my flat flaxen strands...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tom Sawyer Paints a Fence Day

Our First Date...

I had planned on having a small get together to celebrate Independence Day/Tom Sawyer Paints a Fence Day/Our 2nd Anniversary, but, instead, Josh planned a punk show at Community Cycles that he, as the planner, needed to attend and I, as the mom of a 2 month old, could not (sensitive baby ears and all that). So, Josh went to the show while I stayed home and watched Law & Order reruns with Eames.
One Year...

Sometime around 10:00, when we were tucking ourselves into bed, Josh called. I could barely hear him through the background noise, but he asked me to listen. I pictured him holding out his phone and vaguely familiar music floated haltingly through the receiver, clearly too loud for our cheap phones. I told him it sounded familiar but I couldn't place it. It's Waves of Mutilation, he said. Awesome. Later that night, he told me he gave us a shout-out:

"Two years ago today, I watched a movie with a girl with that song in it. Today we have a 9 week old."
Two Years...

And that, in short, is our story. Part of me wished I had been there to hear it myself, that acknowledgment of our history, our life, our love...But, knowing he was thinking about us and about that first night we met when we bonded over a love of television and he agreed to watch Pump Up the Volume (which I own) with me because he too loves it, made me almost as happy as being there. And lying in bed playing with Eames while I listened to those garbled notes on my cell phone made me glad I wasn't. This is a good life.
And 9 Weeks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trekking to the Movies

While my future is obviously full of "baby's first ______," and I will undoubtedly forget to record most of them, I did want to take note of two that happened in the past month: Eames's first movie and his first smile.

The weekend before last, we decided to go see the new Star Trek. We thought ourselves quite clever; it was the third weekend the movie had been out and we went to a 2:00 show and expected that we'd have the theatre mostly to ourselves in case our wonderfully good-natured child decided to suddenly become the sleepless beast that everyone expects an infant to be. Despite our careful planning, we ended up craning our necks and scanning the width of the screen trying to take in the details of the movie from about 8 feet away. In other words, the place was packed. We hadn't counted on the fact that it was a holiday weekend and one of the rare rainy days Boulder gets during the year. But, Eames did fabulous; he slept through the first half of the movie, woke up hungry, ate, and fell back asleep for the rest of it. In fact, the bigger problem was that I forgot to turn off my cellphone. So, not only did I walk in the theatre with a newborn, I was the asshole whose phone rang about 30 minutes in and couldn't find it in the dark.

In addition to indoctrinating the poor lad into Star Trek culture, we went to the Denver Botanical Gardens on Sunday, followed by a wonderful veggie brunch at Watercourse. It was at Watercourse that Eames flashed me his first smile. Josh and I spent the next two days cooing and clapping and talking and making faces and generally making asses of ourselves in front of our little lump o' baby before Eames finally gave into our pathetic demands and repeated his performance. Now my goal is to catch that elusive gummy grin on, pixel. Don't expect to see it for yourself any time soon.
Posing in front of the Aspens and wishing our Aspen was here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Well, That's a Surprise.

Doctor: There's the head, she's head down, and her hand...
Josh: Is that her spine?
Doctor: Yes...and there's a leg. Everything looks good. Did you say they told you this is a girl?
Dalyn: Yes. WHY?
Doctor: Then what's that?
Dalyn: ...
Doctor: That looked like a penis and those look like testicles. Let's take another look. It could just be swollen labia...
Josh: Um, I've seen bathroom drawings less graphic than that.
Doctor: Well, I have 3 boys and I'm 99% sure that's a boy....I was really sad when my third wasn't a girl...But, well, what does that look like to you?
Dalyn: Really big balls.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baby Crap: A Registry in Progress

UPDATE: Because this is an unconventional registry, tracking what gets bought is slightly problematic. Therefore, I've assigned a mediator. If you purchase something on the registry, please email Jo (see sidebar) to let her know and she will strike it off the list. Thanks. We're trying to maintain some kind of mystery around here...

So, for several months, I've been attempting to start registries at a couple different stores. Unsurprisingly, I have been overwhelmed and dismayed at the sheer amount of crap (in the sense of abundance and lack of quality) that seems to be part and parcel of this experience. Needless to say, that after one visit to BabiesRHell to look at a crib, I knew I couldn't register there. Target seemed like the next most viable and affordable option and I did manage to find some stuff, which you can see here. Yes, I picked out nearly every organic thing they carry, along with a couple of other necessities. But, after hours spent pouring over their website, I couldn't bring myself to add more stuff that I didn't really want and wouldn't use. Next, I even tried the local hipster baby store, Real Baby, whose stuff is cute but ludicrously expensive--no dice.

But, since loyalty has never been my strongest character trait anyway and--as we all know--I'm a picky bastard, I decided to largely forgo the store registry and come up with my own in the form of a blog. One of the advantages of working on a dissertation is that I have spent countless hours researching baby products, looking for the best deals, and drooling over products that are ridiculously cool and laughably wasteful. What I've compiled here is a list of those efforts (I'm not promising I've found the best prices on the internet and sales end, but it should be damn close).

While we've begun collecting things from thrift stores, craigslist, and sales, we still have relatively little as far as the basic baby props go. I've tried, whenever possible and reasonable, to pick out organic products or ones made from sustainable materials. While I'm well aware that we were all exposed to dangerous chemicals and a lack of seatbelts in our youth, Josh and I have managed to make out lives more and more sustainable despite my consumerist leanings and inherent dismay over used products (I don't even want to discuss the thoughts that go through my head when I think about composting and cloth diapering--I just put head down and do it...well, with the diapering I'm going to give it the old college try anyway). I'd like to continue such efforts even in the face of cuter-than-I-can-stand baby products.

So, without further ado, here is the (un)official Luedtke/Brown registry:

MEALTIME: We love food 'round these parts, so mealtime is first on the list.
1. I'm going to need all the help I can get in this department, so we'll see how helpful My Best Friend really is.
2. Somehow, it just ended up that Josh and I eat dinner together every night--at the table. So, we got a high chair that would allow us to continue the tradition together. But, since I'm worried the little bugger will ruin my table, I think we need the Skip Hop Mate.
3. A Modern Sippy Cup
4. God knows, I have enough kitchen equipment to make my own baby food, but I'm still smitten with this little all-in-one: Beaba Babycook.
5. Because you can never have too many snack choices: Snack Storage.

CRAP: The literal manifestation.
6. Faced with the choice of cloth or disposable, I was unpleased with both. Luckily, gdiapers are the one of the coolest new baby-related inventions and the covers work with cloth diapers too: Small 'little g' Pants, Medium 'little g' Pants, and Refills.
7. Infant 12 pack Unbleached DSQ Prefolded Diapers
8. Baby 12 pack Unbleached DSQ Prefolded Diapers
9. All in ones
10. Is it too early to be thinking about potty training? I think not.

FUN STUFF: Because girls just want to have fun.
11. You gotta love anything called a Blabla
12. The Boon Ladybug Pod
13. Night Lights
14. A giraffe to chew on.
15. A Piggy Bank
16. Because I wish this stuff came in my size.
17. The colors, the cut, the fun. If these dresses came in pregnant-size, I might buy one myself.
18. Baby leg warmers!

19. Aspen loved it. We'll see how it goes this time: A Plug!
20. A sooped-up umbrella stroller. We never used a stroller with Aspen, but I wasn't committed to public transportation in those days...
21. They may be forced to release inmates in California, but we have no such problems in Colorado: Baby Prison.
22. While fire retardant will never be organic, I still think the big hunk o' latex this kid is going to be (hopefully) sleeping her early months away on should be an Organic Crib Mattress.
23. Organic cotton sheets.
24. Awesome art in awesome colors.
25. A simple quilt for a little girl.

THE BIG ONE: For those who'd like to avoid baby shopping altogether...
We've purchased all the typical big ticket items like a crib and bookcases and what not, but the one thing we are still working on is a bike trailer. Since our bikes serve as our primary means of transportation (besides public transit), we're not pulling any punches here. Nothing but the best for our bikes (not surprising for a Luedtke, I know)! We've already got a line on one, but if you'd like to contribute to our quest for this beauty, we'd greatly appreciate it. Otherwise, this is our back-up plan:
Stay tuned for more baby buying (you know, baby stuff, not actual baby buying) extravaganza updates...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Still Alive and Kicking. Barely.

I'll admit it: I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Much like the last time I did this 13 years ago, this pregnancy was going as smooth as possible. I can't say I felt any different than I did when I was 20...until this week. Last weekend, I came down with a cold that I was sure was the worst ever had by any human being ever. Never mind the fact that the flu has killed bazillions of people throughout history, this seemed like it must be worse than all that. I felt like I got hit by a truck and then backed over once or twice. I ended up with heat rash across my chest, congestion, and an exploding head. Apparently, though, you can't actually have the flu unless you spike a fever, which I somehow managed to avoid even with chills and sweats. Who knew?

However, the cold--despite it's kick-ass nature--was a mere inconvenience. What's worse is that results of my glucose test from the previous week came in and it appeared that it was possible that I have gestational diabetes. WTF?!?!?!?!? So, after suffering from the cold, I managed to drag my sorry butt back to Kaiser for a more extensive diabetes screening on Thursday.

The 3 hour glucose test is the worst test I have ever taken in my life. SAT? Piece of cake. GRE? Did it in my sleep. Comps? Stressful, but no problem. Random drug tests? Pfft. 3 hour Glucose? I will never, ever put myself through that again.

The short version of it goes a little something like this: avoid food and water after midnight, head to lab at 8:00, 1st blood draw to establish fasting glucose, drink cup o' the sweetest, foulest most disgusting Sprite ever imagined, start sweating, feel nauseous, stumble to restroom to splash water on face, stumble into stall for worse, try not to throw up (throwing up means automatic repeat of test), assure random strangers in bathroom that you are not dying or in labor, stumble back to lab for 2nd blood draw, get stuck, roll eyes back in head as you mumble something like "I.I.I. think erjisuefnkjwn..", have 90 pound lab tech try to keep you from passing out on to the floor, move to 'baby room" for rest while lab calls nurse, pass out, mumble something to nurse about being "fine, fine, arghjabfieufb...,"wake up for 3rd blood draw, pass out in baby room again, wake up for final draw, and call neighbor who is lovely enough to pick you up with a steaming thermos full of minestrone soup.

Call me intuitive, but I figured my lousy reaction to some sugar water probably meant that I failed. This, however, concerned me less than I expected. I'm not sure I've ever failed a test in my life, so it does suck that this had to be the first. But, part of me was more exasperated than defeated. I mean, I've gained 14 pounds in 30 weeks; I walk a couple of miles everyday; and, my diet consists of 90% whole organic foods, not to mention being vegan which is suggested to curb diabetes. I'm not sure what else I could do. In fact, all this makes me wonder if my natural aversion to sweets isn't some kind of innate life-saving strategy my body has developed to help me make it through 33 years. Who knows what would've happened to me somewhere along the line if I actually liked chocolate or ice cream...

The good news is that I'm feeling a lot better than I was 2-3 days ago and I even managed to leave the house this weekend:
30 Weeks and Counting...