Thursday, February 28, 2008

All Right, Simmer Down

I have received a great many complaints recently about the lack of updates on the blog. To which I say: bah. Most of you update your blogs so infrequently that it is quite sad, really, if you even have blogs at all, and I do have two young children and one of them is growing teeth like a piranha and the other one has developed some anti-sisterly feelings lately that require constant vigilance, and Lost has been really good this season, so I have been busy. Plus, our camera is currently having battery issues, and our last batch of pictures was of highly questionable quality, so I have been content-challenged, as well. Demand being what it is, however, I bow to public pressure and bring you the pictures from my friend Sarah's recent visit, which was much lovelier than the pictures make it seem.

Sarah and I are that kind of friends that has lasted so long and survived so much adolescent turbulence that we are really more like family. This bond, while keenly felt by both of us, does not manifest itself biologically, and I was amused by Sarah whenever she held Max or Maggie. Sarah, as you can see, is quite small, which Max and Maggie are not. Sarah almost looked like she was holding a whole different species of being. More importantly, however, you should note:

Maggie and Sarah's matching Uggs.

This was the best picture we got all weekend, and I think we can agree that none of us come off looking, you know, awesome. Ian looks like he's trying to simultaneously sell the photographer something and avoid touching anyone else on the couch, I look like I am trying to maintain my hold on a slippery baby while smiling cheerfully (which is not a deceptive look -- Maggie was slippery), Sarah looks like someone is goosing her, and Sarah's boyfriend Brian appears to have fallen asleep. Only Max comes out looking snazzy in this shot, and even he might be somewhat embarrassed by the fact that he is wearing rather snug-fitting footy pajamas that make him look like a wayward sprite in an improv dance interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I saved the very worst for last, though, and I posted it so that you could see and understand why I have spent a week with bloggy writer's block. And this is post-photoshop. It's actually almost impressive. You know how, every now and then, you happen to capture the perfect, tenderest, most beautiful moment in a picture, with the best lighting and the most flattering angle and the most symmetrical framing? This is the exact opposite of that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feeding Time At The Zoo

Introducing Maggie to solid foods has been a slow process. We have tried five or six different kinds of baby food so far, and Maggie has outright rejected at least four of them. Even sweet potatoes, which were a favorite of Max's, and which I pureed by hand despite the fact that they ick me out, were categorically refused. Even the things that Maggie has liked (apples, pears, cherries) have mostly ended up on her chin rather than in her digestive tract. During dinner last night, Max watched me poke food at Maggie's stubbornly closed maw for awhile, and then asked if he could try feeding her. Hoping to capitalize on Maggie's adoration of Max, I agreed.

It may have been the cutest moment I have ever witnessed between Max and Maggie. Max kept tenderly offering Maggie the spoon, crooning, "Here you go, Maggie. Is it yummy? More, Maggie?" He even made the baby sign for 'more', which we have been working with Maggie on lately. (She has never made the sign for 'more', by the way. She has, however, mastered the sign for 'milk'.) Oh, man, it was cute.

Sadly, Maggie's love of all things Max did not yield him noticable success in the feeding department. Maggie giggled at Max, wriggled with glee, and she and Max together managed to smear pears and cherries on the majority of the western hemisphere, but I would be surprised if she actually consumed even a teaspoonful.

According to Max, however, the experiment was an unqualified triumph. When we praised him for his stellar big-brotherliness, he wholeheartedly joined in the cheering. Self-esteem is not something I worry about too much in regards to Max.

And, of course, we rounded out the evening with a giant scrub-down. Maggie had food in her ears, up her nose, in the folds of her neck, in her armpits, in the webbing of her fingers and toes, and in her hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. Maybe, instead of getting her to chew and swallow, we should just coat her with food and let her absorb it through the skin. It's worth experimenting with.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Max's impression of adulthood seems to be that you drink a lot of coffee and tea, you get a lot of mail, and you do a lot of cooking. I am not sure what this says about Ian and I, other than the fact that we are quite tragically boring. And caffine-addicted. And apparently on some sort of list that incorrectly indicates that we love junk mail. But whatever. We do like to cook, and Ian in particular has developed a real flair for presentation. Max admires and imitates this, resulting in some inedible but meticulously organized dishes of food.

Here, Max demonstrates the dual-handed spoon technique. Sure, he is only offering you air, but he is offering it with a flourish, people.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Special Features

Your Maggie Action Figure now comes with an added bonus feature, kids.

That's right -- Maggie can play peek-a-boo. Just give her a piece of cloth and watch her go!

Get yours today, before we run out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Maggie is teething STOP she wants to be held and nursed constantly STOP she has four teeth with more coming STOP I have begun to fear that she is growing a double row like a shark STOP She has not slept for two nights STOP

Send help STOP I repeat: send help STOP

Friday, February 15, 2008

The First Sentence Spoken In Our House This Morning Was:

"My jammies are wet, Mama! My hair, too!" And it was true. Max had peed beyond his diaper's ability to protect and serve, and he had the sweatiest, fuzziest, most outrageously stand-upiest case of bedhead in the history of hair. Luckily, Max followed this up with, "I love you, Mama! I love you so so much! It's a big day today!" How can you resent a wet bed change after that? Even if it takes place way too early in the morning?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Strolling Through The Park One Day

We haven't been to the park for a month or so, because it has been rainy and/or freezing. (Listen, everyone! Did you hear that? That was each and every Canadian relative I have scoffing in tandem at my definition of 'freezing'. Soft, California living thins the blood, I guess.) February has been curiously mild so far, however (thank you, Global Warming!), and so we took advantage of it and journeyed parkward with Granny and Gramps last weekend.

I am sort of amazed at how much both kids have developed since our last park adventure. It doesn't feel like that long since we were last there, and yet it was a completely different experience from the last time. Max can now climb everything climbable in the playground with ease. He has names and definitions for each rock, twig, blade of grass, and letter on the 'Welcome' sign. Granny and Gramps brought some activities (bubbles, small wooden airplane, chalk), and Max was so excited by everything that I thought he was going to start whistling like a tea kettle.

Whenever we threw the airplane, Max chased after it, exuberantly shouting, "I got it! I got it!" The fact that he never once caught it dented neither his enthusiasm nor his confidence.

We may have lost some of our Canadian heartiness, but we haven't forgotten our roots. Look out, Canada. Maggie's coming for ya. (You know, in the summer. When the weather is nice. She's not crazy.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Magical Maggie

Maggie fascinates me. One of my fears, when I was pregnant with her, was that I would not find her as interesting as I did Max, because I had already experienced parenting and the novelty might have worn off. Luckily, Maggie is so uniquely and wonderfully herself that parenting her has never yet been boring. She is extraordinarily vocal now, and continues to keep us guessing with her word-like babbles. Is she talking? Is she just a strangely precise babbler? Is she speaking full sentences, but in fluent martian rather than english? Every day is a mystery, people. (Speaking of which, Max just poked his head in the door and informed me authoritatively, "Books live in the snow, Mama." Then he went back to playing in the sandbox. If this is some sort of military code informing me of iminent disaster, please let me know.)
Linguistics aside, I think that the best and most surprising thing about Maggie is her disposition. I know that I'm her mum, and maybe not the most objective, but she is just so very jolly and charming. She loves to listen to music (techno is still, sadly, a favorite) and to dance. She loves to laugh, and she is so very beautiful when she smiles and giggles, it takes my breath away. I have decided that she is my very favorite girl-baby in the entire universe.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Question Of The Day: Do Robots Wear Diapers?

Answer: Under certain circumstances, you bet they do.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I Am Outnumbered, But I Soldier On

This pretty much sums up Max and Maggie's interactions of late: Maggie, delighted by Max and trying desperately to dive through the screen door in order to get closer; Max, testing blockades for strength and shooting at Maggie with the closest thing to a gun he can find. I have found my preschool training coming in handy lately, as we have had many talks about 'gentle hands' and 'using words'. Max is going through this phase right now where he wants to build elaborate works of art out of legoes or blocks (last week he asked me to help him make a water fountain with a fish out of duplos. I pawed feebly at the duplos until he gave up on me in disgust.). This has unfortunately coincided with Maggie going through a phase where she likes to break apart or crawl on top of elaborate works of art and then eat the pieces. Somewhat understandably, Max has been irritated at her a lot. We are working on helping him channel his irritation in ways that do not include violence or pteradactyl-like shrieks of rage. I can see that it is going to be an ongoing project. Pray for me.