Monday, June 15, 2009

Tipping the Scale

The day after we brought Calder home from the hospital he weighed six pounds. Last Wednesday, at his seven-week checkup, he was a little over twelve pounds. That’s almost a pound a week. I’m hoping he won’t keep growing at this rate, because Zoe already likes playing ‘Two Baby’s’, in which I have to walk around holding both her and Calder, and Zoe weighs close to thirty pounds. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that he is putting on so much weight, even if there are similarities between him a Jabba the Hutt. It’s really no surprise that he’s getting so big. He eats constantly. If he were on to solid foods I’d be tossing him whole roasted chickens. His favorite toy is a baked ham. He can’t even roll over yet, but I’ve seen him open the fridge from his bouncy chair. You get the idea. The kid likes to eat.

I’m happy to report that there is far less vomit (known in the baby world as spit up) happening in our house. Not that Calder has stopped completely. A few minutes ago he threw up down my back and all over the chair I was sitting on. He was getting back at me for trying to calm him down without getting off my butt (he prefers us to be standing when he’s fussy). I told him I was writing his blog, and he just responded that he was giving me something to write about. I thanked him then tossed him in his bouncy chair. Baby’s can only see a short distance, but their eyes form a bull’s-eye on any cloth within vomit range. I think Calder, and possibly all baby’s, have a unique radar that alerts them to dry-clean only sweaters, cloth-covered furniture, and any clothing worn by a person who is running late for anything. I’m going to try wrapping myself in aluminum foil to see if I can throw off his radar.

And lastly, I am especially happy to report that Calder seems to be less fussy at dinnertime. Like the vomit radar, Calder (and again, probably all baby’s) seems to know when you are seconds from sitting down to eat. Personally I like to eat. And I, like Calder, get a bit fussy when I’m hungry. So I find myself getting a bit short-tempered when I have to walk around the living room while my dinner sits so tantalizingly close. I have already started docking future earnings on his allowance for his unruliness, so I think he got the message.

All the photos of Calder can be found here and here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Big Beds and Other Developments

This has been an exciting week for us. On Wednesday, we were at Calder’s doctor appointment, and as the medical assistant was getting us settled into the exam room he asked Zoe her name, and Zoe said, “Zoe.” What makes this unusual is that Zoe had never, ever said her name before. Maybe it was her recent and frequent exposer to the Sesame Street character named Zoe, or maybe it was the fact that we say her name a hundred times a day, but whatever it was it took only eight hundred twenty six days for Zoe to say her own name. We’re now working on having her memorize all forty-four presidents.

Zoe also acknowledged that there is a ‘three’ and a ‘four’ on the way to five. Previously she would count one, two five. And sometimes skip the one. Two has always been her unofficial favorite number, and one could almost always count on it as a response. Ask how many cookies she wanted and she would always answer ‘two’. If we ran into someone on the street and they asked her how old she was, she could always be counted on to answer correctly. And if I asked her to tell this someone what the square root of four is, bam, she would nail it first time. Anyway, we’re now counting to five.

Thursday Zoe got her first bloody nose. I don’t think I was completely at fault, but I did contribute. See, she was riding on her shopping carriage, which, as its name might infer, is not really a riding toy. In fact, I suspect that the packaging came laden with warnings against such an activity. Anyway, she climbs on and says, “Push, Daddy.” So I give her a push around the room. Then I thought it would be a good idea to tickle her exposed back. I get the expect reaction of her arching her back, but that upset the equilibrium and the whole kit and caboodle (kit being the carriage and the caboodle being her) toppled as if it were on a pivot. It happened so fast her hands never made it out in front of her. Lots of crying, ice and Elmo videos later she seemed to recover. I’m not sure I’ve recovered yet.

But the really big news for the week is that Zoe is now sleeping in a real bed (aka, big girl bed). For months we have been rearranging the bedrooms and had set up a new bedroom for Zoe. Whenever we walked by we would tell her it was her new room. When the new bed arrived we would take our naps there and, more importantly, jump on it at every opportunity. But when, during a recent doctors visit, it came out that Zoe was able to climb into her crib with ease we were pretty much ordered to move her to her new bed immediately. Last night was the fourth night in a row in her new bed. We have not, however, been able to break her of the habit of calling for us in the morning, instead of just climbing off her bed and walking into our room. We haven’t decided if this is a good or bad thing.

I got a little behind on photos in Picasa, but I am getting caught up. Check in at to see recent photos of Zoe and Calder.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Six Weeks Old

I have done a lot for Zoe in terms of posterity. There are the wildly successful Life with Zoe books, volumes one and two. Together they have sold upwards of half a dozen copies. There is the popular weekly blog, that has a dozen readers around the globe. Every year there is a Zoe calendar sent out to the grandparents. And of course there are the two thousand four hundred (and counting) photos of Zoe. It’s a little early to know if Calder will get the same treatment—I’m already behind on the photos and the blog—but I really want to defy all those second children out there (Alison and myself included) who complain that there are hundreds of photos of their siblings, the first born) and a only a couple dozen of them. As I said, I am already behind on this blog, but to be fair I did not post my first Zoe blog until five and a half weeks in. And I really did forget how difficult these first weeks could be. Not only am I sleep deprived, but now I am balancing the needs of two children, neither of whom approve of me sitting quietly in a corner working on a blog, even if it is all about them. Also, for at least the first few weeks there is really little to write about. All he does is eat, sleep, vomit and poop (all in equal distribution, except the sleeping). I guess I could write about the symphony of noises that come from him. He seems to squeak, gurgle, burp, groan, cry, moan grunt, fart, gasp, sob, wail, whimper, murmur, burble, peep, squeal, tweet, rasp and groan as much as he wiggles, squirms, twists, flops, arches and twists. Or I could write about the unnatural quantity of poop he produces (but I’d rather not even think about that, never mind write about it). And I don’t suppose anybody wants to hear me whine about how little sleep we are getting (we’re not getting much) or the fact that he inevitably throws up just to the left of the burp cloth. So unless he starts speaking at three months, or learns to juggle before he is walking, I guess I will simply have to fill these pages with witty asides (a.k.a. useless clutter) and steal content from the early days of

Today Calder turns six weeks, and he is not yet talking or walking (or even crawling). But his head is beginning to get some control, so he is no longer as floppy as Zoe’s Minnie Mouse stuffed toy. And he is plumping up like a turkey in September. Special skills, you ask? Well, on one occasion I was trying to make him smile by making funny faces at him while he was lying on his back, and he managed to throw up up into my face. He is also skilled at denuding my chest of hairs by pulling them out by the fistful. But skills aside, the biggest event in our house has been the arrival of the vibrating, musical bouncy chair. It seems to be the only thing that calms Calder (other than us holding him, which gets tiresome after a few hours). Honestly, if I could fit into the chair I’m sure I would also find it relaxing. Or I would just follow Calder’s example and throw up.

Check out the few photos of Calder I have taken at