Saturday, January 27, 2007


Jeff just came back downstairs from getting Charlotte back to sleep. (Only the second visit; tonight was a good night). He said, and I quote: "I can't believe I wasn't more eager to have a kid before this."

This is from the man I thought would postpone becoming a parent until we were both moving into the Warm Friend rest home in downtown Holland. (Seriously. The Warm Friend. I kinda want to retire there.) It just goes to show you that often the anticipation of the event is more frightening than its realization.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Night Live

The latest installment in the Charlotte video series:

Charlotte's First Music Video


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Seven Months

Charlotte's not too sure how she feels about attaining the ripe old age of seven months. Here she's contemplating her age while playing with her favorite toy, the lid to mommy's water bottle. Not available in stores!

This month has brought a lot of fantastic new developments, not the least of which is Charlotte's new habit of sleeping through the night. I know! I can't believe it either. What was that you asked about naps? I didn't hear you. Let's move on.

Charlotte goes to sleep around 8 p.m. and wakes up around 8 a.m. every day. She'll sometimes decide she needs a late-night snack, but other than that she's sleeping through. And when she wakes up she's cheerful, smiling and ready for a new day.

Charlotte's not crawling, but she is scooting around backward more quickly and effectively. I wonder if she'll be one of those babies that doesn't ever really crawl. She's also rolling over to get places now, sometimes rolling front to back to front to back all the way across the room. Funny.

Her repertoire of sounds is broadening. In addition to her reduplicated babbling (ma ma ma ma, da da da da, etc.) Charlotte is mixin' it up with some variegated babbling (a ba da la, ma ma da ba, etc.) She's also discovered the joy of blowing raspberries, especially when she has a mouthful of baby food. (By the way, did you know that the term "raspberry" for a Bronx cheer originates in Cockney rhyming slang [raspberry tart:fart]? Now you do!)

Speaking of food, Miss C. Tig can't get enough of that stuff, as long as it is fruit or orange veggies. We're sneaking some greens in there by mixing her green beans with sweet potatoes or butternut squash or carrots. But she's always a little suspicious about that green-colored food. Sweet tooth? She must be my kid.

And the three-times-a-day baby food habit has ushered in an entirely new world of diapers. I won't get into details, but let's just say we're talking about solids in, solids out.

I think the best development this month is the way Charlotte seems to be interacting with her environment. She notices things: my digital clock on the bedside table, pencils and pens on the desk, things mama and daddy are eating, the sounds her wooden blocks make when she pounds them together, the way she can splash water out of her little tub when she kicks her legs... One other thing she notices is when I leave in the mornings for school. This has made the already-rough part of my day even more difficult. It's fine when I'm at school, studying or in class or teaching and busy, but getting out that door is tough.

But the reaction I get when I arrive home--wide open eyes and wide excited smiling mouth, squealing and arm-flapping--makes my day. Why can't Jeff react like that when I get home? Maybe if I brought Jim Leyland with me he would.

Anyway, happy seven-month birthday, little girl! Thanks for such a fun month.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I edited the post below to contain a link to the video of Charlotte instead of the video itself, just to save space on the page. Let me know if you have any problems with the link!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Okay, I've never tried this before, but I was looking for a simple way to share video more readily. It's not a terribly exciting video, but if it works I can promise more thrilling Charlotte footage in the future!

Daddy Comes Home: A Short Film

Enjoy! And let me know if it works!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Charlotte's latest stats: 19 lb. 6 oz., 26 5/8 in.

As you can see from the above picture, girlfriend LOVES to eat. And to wear her food as well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte*

Yes, yes...another sleep post. Fortunately, I have good news this time. Since Saturday night, Charlotte has been going to sleep around 8:30 p.m. and sleeping until 8 a.m., waking up only once during the night. This is a vast improvement (I can't emphasize how vast) over how Charlotte was sleeping just a month ago. She'd fuss and fight sleep until late in the night, sometimes not going to bed until close to midnight. Then she'd wake again at around 2. And again around 4:30 or 5. And again at 7.

It was fortunate that this happened when I was on break from school because I would likely have run mad otherwise. Now, with this new, wonderful schedule, I occasionally wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested!

This is all relative, however. Every once in a while I realize that I haven't had an uninterrupted eight-hour stretch of sleep since last June. Once I've stopped crying, and I really think about it, I realize that sleep, while wonderful and recharging and oh-so-glorious, is less of a necessity than I had previously realized. One really can survive on only four or five pieced-together hours a night.

Survival is different than thriving, however. And that's why I'm so glad Charlotte's sleeping better.

*see here

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It's a strange coincidence that Jeff and I both have brothers with a birthday on January 7. Today my brother Scott turns 26; Jeff's youngest brother Mark turns 23.

I can't speak for Jeff, but I know that my brother is the reason I someday want to have another child. Growing up with a little brother meant I had many things: a constant intruder, a confidante, someone who could sympathize about how weird our parents are, a conveniently close enemy if I needed to fight and blow off some steam, someone to fake sumo wrestle with, someone to watch MST3K with, someone that maybe even sometimes looked up to me and made me feel like I should try to be a good example.

One of my greatest hopes is that someday Charlotte will get to experience the indescribable relationship (at times unbearable, at times so much fun) that occurs between siblings.

Happy birthday, brothers!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Week One: Done and Done

Well, my first "week" of school is under my belt. All in all, I think it went well. My grad classes seem interesting, although I'm sure the reading load will present some challenges. (This from a speed-reader; that's what having a busy, curious six-month-old will do to you). I think I'll really enjoy the class I'm teaching. It's a pleasant change to be teaching juniors rather than timid, tremulous freshmen.

And it was much easier to leave Charlotte again than I thought it would be. I'm sure that's because I know she's safe and well-loved at home with her dad. But boy, is coming home ever fun now. She's so excited when I walk through the door. It's a big confidence-booster. No one has ever shrieked with joy to see me after a few hours apart.

I'm not too thrilled to be resuming my relationship with the breast pump. I actually glared at it when I got it out on Wednesday morning. Stupid breast pump. (Apologies to my father, father-in-law, brother, and brothers-in-law).

Highlight of today: I had my students answer some questions about their reading and writing abilities and concerns for the course in their journals. One of my students wrote that his only concern was "having too much fun!!" Awesome. I'll see to it that doesn't happen, heh heh.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Charlotte and her grandparents
Two weeks with the grandparents (one week with each set) spoiled not only Charlotte, but Jeff and I as well. What will we do without our parents, eager to hold and play with Charlotte while we work or read or shower?
We miss you guys...and Charlotte does too!