Wednesday, August 27, 2008

4 Month Stats

Ruth went to the pediatrician today. She weighed in at 14 lbs., 8oz and measured 25.75 inches in length. Her head was 16.25 inches.

She is between the 50th and 75th percentile for head size and weight. She is topping the charts in length though -- 90th to 95th percentile. The pediatrician thought she was doing very well, and like everyone we meet, commented on her alertness and strength.

She also had her second round of vaccinations.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Day 128 - This is a fun game. Bump Ruth in the face with her (clean) diaper. Yank it away. Repeat until tired. Babies laughing is awesome.
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Worst. $50. Ever. Spent.

Day 128 - Dad and Ruth get ready for their jog. As I think Melissa mentioned earlier in this space, there's a nice little consignment store for baby stuff up in one of the tony neighborhoods. And, as I'll mention to most anyone who will listen, I'm trying to get un-fat. So, I figured that I'd head up the other day and see if I could find a bike trailer and/or a jogging stroller - that way I could do some exercise times I'm hanging out with Ruth. They didn't have a trailer in, but they did have a jogging stroller, which you can see me about to push around to your left. The tires needed some air, and the wheels are all out of true (natch), but it works fine and managed to get a good price on it since it had been unsold all summer (unsurprisingly, not many people are like me and decide that pushing their kid around in circles at moderately high speeds is fun or a good idea).

We're at Lake Montebello, a 1.3 mile loop not too far from our house. I managed to do the first loop entirely at a jog, and only walk a little bit on the second loop. I feel a bit fat and pathetic about the walking still, but I remind myself that six years ago, even a mile at a jog would have been well beyond my abilities, let alone pushing a stroller.

Of course, that doesn't make me suck any less wind at the end of the second loop. I tell myself it will get better, and hey, now I've got the stroller, so I'm committed.

As usual for her adventures, Ruth is asleep.

And yes, I am rocking an old-school Bran Van 3000 T-shirt. Gotta represent for Mount Real.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 127 - Cool Stuff We See on the Way to Miss Tyra's

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Multimedia Update, Part II

As I mentioned earlier, while we were in LA I recorded my grandmother talking a bit about her life. You can find the recordings here and part 2 here.

Be warned that the files are large.

I still have audio and video tape of my other grandparents, one done in 8th grade and one done a few years back, but I need to look into transferring them to more modern media.

Multimedia Update, Part I

As reported earlier in this space, Ruth is a big fan of music. Since she's been old enough to be a bit interactive, we've mostly been singing half-remembered childhood songs to her (along with "You are My Sunshine," which is a favorite of hers).

But, I wanted to see if she still liked the louder stuff that seemed to make her happy when she was even littler (or, at least, sleep). So we experimented with bouncing around the kitchen the other day. Like her dad, she gets tired after a couple songs, but she really seemed to like it, especially being spun around and bouncing.

Her taste is questionable, though - Anti-Flag are pretty awesome, but they're still not as good as Bad Religion. Granted, I happened to have songs lined up from a lesser BR album at the time (New Maps of Hell). I'll have to try her with All Ages later.

Anyway, here's her favorite so far. The actual music starts about 0:56 - but this was recorded on the same tour that was her first in utero concert:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 118 - First Day at Daycare

Ruth started daycare yesterday. She'll be going three days a week most weeks, then spending Mondays with me and Fridays with Melissa. For the first couple days, we've been working from home (just me today) in case there are any problems - but there haven't been. Yesterday, by all reports, she did fine - they were even able to get her to take a bottle more easily than I was (::sniff::).

The place she's going is a daycare that Melissa found over in Waverly called "Little Scholars" and we like it a lot (yes, grandparents and great-grandparents, they're licensed and insured). Tyra (left), the woman who runs it, is super-nice, and everyone there seems to really like Ruth (and she seems to like them). I was told this morning that she's even getting the other kids interested in books - they're all fascinated by how happy she looks when Miss Tyra reads her one of the books we brought for her.

We're starting to settle into a kind of nice routine. Days we're both working downtown, Melissa is going to leave the house early, which means that I get a little bit of one-on-one time with Ruth (this morning, we read Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs again and had some songs and attempts to crawl - the kid can't reliably roll all the way over yet, but she's intent on crawling), and then I walk her over (it's about 25 minutes) in the mei tai and drop her off. Melissa will go pick her up in the early afternoon, since she'll be able to come home a bit early since she's going in early.

At the daycare, she gets stories, and held, and to sit outside and look at the trees. She's still waking up a bit more at night, needing reassurance that we're still there (we tell her that sometimes Mom and Dad have to go away, but we always come back), but she seems to be settling in. I hope.
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Last Weekend of Melissa's Leave

Day 116 - Me trying to look tough in Patterson Park. This past weekend, we went down to FestAfrica in Patterson Park. It was... sparse. We'd gone pretty early on Sunday, and apparently Saturday had been the hopping day (plus, apparently more people came later in the evening). Still, we listened to some decent music (and saw the shortest swing performance ever) and had some yummy Tanzanian food (goat + green bananas, piri-piri, fish cakes, greens, mmmmm). There was less art and colorful cloth than we'd hoped for Ruth to look at. But we walked around the park, too, and saw some ducks and a goose (mmmmm) and some little sunfish. Ruth slept through most of it, of course.

Day 116 - A moment with mommy after everyone had lunch.

Day 117 - Ruth likes being dried off from the bath!
Monday was Melissa's first day back at work (and my first day taking care of Ruth all day). We had a big problem with the first bottle of the day - she screamed and fought it. The second full bottle went better, though she would occasionally pull off and scream at me, as if to register her protest, even though she was hungry enough to eat. The third full bottle she demanded right at 5PM, as Melissa was heading home from the train station, and she sucked it right down without complaint. I had a lot of angst about trying to take care of her on my own, especially given the bond that she clearly has with Melissa. We're still not quite into a good rhythm for "Dad Days" (Mondays are Dad Days, Fridays are Mom Days, is the current plan), since we spent a lot of time working on the basics (eating, not screaming at me all the time). But we played a bit, read her Dinosaurs book, did the laundry, took a trip down to Red Emma's for me to get lunch, and got a frame for her robot picture (unsurprisingly, I picked that one out). Nobody died (though I did get lots of unsolicited advice when she started screaming on a street corner on our way home). It wasn't so bad. I think she still loves Melissa more, though. This is from when Melissa gave her a bath after she got home.

Day 117 - Kisses for Mommy! Ruth was, of course, very glad to have Mom home.
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Day 110 - Transcontinental Adventure, Day 3

We spent most of our last full day in LA hanging out at Great-Grammy Levine's apartment, getting lunch, hanging out, meeting Great-Grammy's friends, and I spent some time recording some of her stories (link soon).

I'm not sure about this spoon.

[+1 Geek Caption: There is no spoon]

Talking with Great-Grammy Levine.

Hanging out in the lovely courtyard of Great-Grammy's building
. In general, Melissa and I aren't big LA people. But we would totally move there for the weather.
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The flight home was a bit harder than the flight over, probably because Ruth was already pretty strung out on the time change and the schedule disruptions (so were Mom and Dad). But, we survived, and we got home safe and sound.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ruth's Transcontinental Adventure!!!

This weekend, we're in sunny LA, the city of fallen angels, tinseltown, the boulevard of broken dreams, home of In-n-Out Burger (and, of course Big Kahuna Burger if your pop-culture sense is the same vintage as mine) so that Ruth can meet her great-Grammy Levine (thereby completing the set). Great-Grammy is 94 and sharp as a tack, but it's hard for her to travel East (she came for our wedding, though!).

The plane trip was much-dreaded but really not so bad. Ruth fussed a bit (who wouldn't?) but was mostly pretty chill and even slept a bit. Her sleep schedule is completely wonky with the trip and the newness and the time change, and we're basically just going to roll with it and get her back on a schedule when we hit Charm City again. She even got a "first flight" certificate! (No little wings pin like Delta used to give when I was a kid, but hey)

But, of course, you come to this blog for the cute baby pictures. And we shall oblige, don't worry. For the non-tech savvy, remember you can click on these to embiggen them.

Yesterday (Day 108, for your record-keeping mavens out there), we mostly met up with family at my Aunt Sandy's house and hung out/slept (Melissa and Ruth).

The left-coast family: Grammy Levine, Aunt Sandy, Cousins Brian and Jessica

Grammy Levine and Ruth seemed happy to meet each other.

Three generations. Well, via two families.

Cousin Jessica is known as the "purty one."

Today (that's day 109), we took a walk over to see Grammy Levine's new place, and then went down to Venice beach.

On the way to Grammy's. USA! USA! USA!

Grammy's apartment. My grandmother is still very active and totally on the ball. But she'd fallen a few times in her old place, and even with my Aunt Sandy living nearby, she (and we) were a bit worried that something might happen and no one would get to her in time. So she's moved into a very nice retirement hotel (NOT "assisted living") where she has her own apartment, but has access to medical care on call, and now has a twice/week bridge group right in the building. When I am in a retirement village, I plan to get a twice/week D&D group together. We'll see how that goes.

At Venice Beach, they were having a Hare Krishna festival. It was crowded, but pretty cool.

Lots of pretty colors on the big Hare Krishna wagon.

We couldn't get Ruth to wear the garland. She liked trying to put flowers in her mouth, though. And kicking them out of the stroller.

Hmm. I think that the Jesus Saves guys may be at the wrong festival. They fit with the color scheme, though.

Grammy was happy to wear the garland (it was originally given to her, anyway...).

We also went down the beach so that Ruth could dip her feet in the ocean for the first time.

I don't know, Dad, it looks like a whole lot of water out there.

I like this photo; It makes me look protective.

Still skeptical. Maybe the Atlantic will be more her style.

Misc. Recent

Day 105 - I find my daughter zonked out endlessly cute.

Day 105 - Just after we'd finally gotten her to take the bottle from me. She rarely sleeps on me anymore like she used to. It was kind of nice. Let's just hope that this "taking the bottle from dad" thing can become a regular occurrence. Mom would like to get out of the house for more than the three hours between feedings.

Day 107 - This is not my bed.
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