Archive for December, 2008

Christmas Robin

Thursday, December 25th, 2008


Baby Tracks

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Sometimes, when Ronin is extra fussy I like get all Micheal Jackson on her and dangle her out the window. She calms right down. Hopefully she’s thinking “Ahhh, fresh air…. Ooooh look at the trees” and not simply comatose with fear. The tracks are from touching her feet in the snow while trying to teach her “cold.” It’s not working. Maybe because she can’t make any of those sounds and it’s impossible to do the sign while I’m holding her over the ledge.


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“Hot” she has down, or at least she knows that it has something to do with the things on the stove. This might be her first verbal word where it’s clear that she is attaching the right meaning to it. Probably due to lots of repetition during the making of the morning coffee.

Her other word is dog which comes out with only a hint of the g. She has always liked to watch the dogs in the park, but it was bumped up a notch after her encounter with Charlotte. Who introduced herself with an enthusiastic lick to the face. Ronin was stunned into silence. The second kiss made her cry and Charlotte was banished to the bedroom.


[Summer was only weeks ago in Napa]

It must have stuck in her mind though because she took it more or less in stride when Cody did the same thing a few days later. We expected Cody to stay well clear of Ronin but they turned out to be friends. The only tension occurred around the table when Cody seemed to think she might be competition for table scraps. And she might be. Even though she’s usually indifferent to food, put her in a room with a dog dish and she goes right for it and stuffs her mouth with little greasy nuggets.

I think we’re staying in for Christmas. We’d need chains (and a shovel) to even leave our parking spot. We haven’t tried too hard to buy any but I suspect that every place in Portland is sold out of chains anyway.


Snowed in

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Ro poses with a neighbor’s snowman. We have around six inches of snow with a hard frozen crust on the top. It started snowing again about an hour ago and is coming down pretty steadily and piling up again. I don’t think we could move our car if we tried. Mostly because if we were to manage to get past the frozen-shut doors, we would discover that the emergency brake is frozen in place (oops).

We walked to Laurelhurst park and watched the kids sledding down the hills. Ronin was pretty fascinated with the kids and dogs but was very suddenly done with the cold and we beat a hasty retreat. It’s hard to play with her in the snow because she doesn’t have the presence of mind to keep her clothes in place and would get cold way too fast.


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* WARNING! * Grandparents: NOT a video of Ronin.


Hot Potatoes

Friday, December 19th, 2008

As everyone might have heard on the news, it snowed here Sunday and then froze hard. We had three days of 26-degree highs and then Wednesday was a balmy 36 or so. Snowed on and off all day and is supposed to go back down to the mid 20s again these next few days. This is pretty crazy weather for our parts; only today have the streets melted down to the pavement but it should freeze up again tonight. One of the freeways was closed for a few hours during the first day because a truck carrying de-icing chemical slid on ice and flipped, spilling chemical (not on the road unfortunately). All kinds of good irony there.

After her initial enthusiasm for crawling, she is now deeply enamored with standing. She pulls up on whatever furniture or scattered apartment debris is closest at hand. We need to lower her crib mattress already to the lowest setting because she has also been trying to get a leg up. It’s not enough to stand up against the coffee table, now she needs to climb on top of it. Happily, so far, she has learned how to get back down and actually she does it very carefully, lowering herself to her knees and then taking off on all fours. This is not to say we don’t have a few head konks every day but they are generally slight konks.

[Ronin has her Crazy Face on here. Cashmere outfit designed for Ronin (and Old Navy) by our friend Shanti.]

She is at long last into books—the actual reading of books rather than the gnawing of their delicious cardboardy exteriors, although she still likes to do that too. She’ll pull all the books off the lower two shelves of our bookcase, then pick several to read. We generally go about 3/4s of the way through one before she decides to move on to the next. We get through a lot of books this way. She likes Goodnight Moon, as all babies do, and as soon as we turn to the first page, she says “mooo mooo.” This book she declares finished the moment we get to the “Goodnight room” page (presumably because she hates to go to bed and this page is the beginning of the end). One of her favorite books is one we got at the Goodwill as a sacrificial tear-apart book thinking maybe she could get her book eating/ripping energy spent on something we’re not sentimental over. And she does heap abuse upon this particular book; unfortunately she really likes it too and I fear it won’t last much longer. It is called Get off my tail little whale and features pull-outs and pop-ups. The pop-up at the end is of a big white splash (the whale’s spout) and Ronin is sort of afraid of it. Afraid of it yet kind of obsessed with it at the same time. If we’re reading the book with her, she is fine with the pop-up and makes a whispered “taaaaaaah” (a splash) sound when we get to the page, and we get to that page over and over and over and over… However, if she’s by herself flipping through the book and gets to the last page, she gets agitated and starts crying/yelling at the book, slapping at the pop-up with her hand. Another image that spooks her is an illustration of a hawk flying in the sky from her “Hello Desert Critters” book; it’s the same thing, if we are there with her she’s fine but if she happens upon the image by herself, she freaks.



I think she’s starting to get that ‘dada’ means Joshua. Not sure if she gets ‘mama’ yet although she says it all the time; mostly she refers to me by making the ‘milk’ sign. She just tonight started signing “hot” and making a “haa” sound at the stuff on the stove. The sign for hot is a pantomime sort of like you are taking a hot potato out of your mouth but Ronin’s version is more like she smacks her hand over her mouth then draws away [what remains of] her potato. Tonight I was ladling piping hot marmalade into jars while Joshua and Ronin watched and she was whacking herself in the face repeatedly and very enthusiastically saying the stuff was HOT. She’s repeating words we say, “bu” for “blue,” “moo” for “moon,” “ananana..” for banana, etc. It’s funny because we’ve just been talking to her like normal and reading the books and making the sounds for the animals or whatever and suddenly she is repeating it back at us. Pretty soon she’ll actually understand what is going on. Oh shit.

[This kept her busy for all of five minutes when she threw all of the spaghetti on the floor. She refused to put any of it (or allow it to be put) in her mouth, naturally.]

Eating has been trying as of late. Our theory was that she wants to nurse so much at night because she isn’t eating enough during the day. Cue Operation Stuff Baby To The Gills. We fed her everything we could for one day (at night there was no change in eating frequency) and the next day she refused to eat ANYTHING at all (except breastmilk). Already she has rejected all my nice homemade food in favor of the jarred stuff, which I find sort of shocking. She seems to dig the pudding-like texture. She does like our food for the most part: Thai, Indian, stir fry, ginger cookies, etc. Spicy foods don’t seem to phase her. I worry a bit about feeding her too much prepared food (that I didn’t prepare, I mean) because it is generally so salty but she does seem to like the more complex flavors and doesn’t even freak out over the textures. Maybe it’s the salt she digs.

Night sleep continues to be horrible most of the time. I’ll just leave it there.

Ronin has been sleeping record minimums lately. Plus her naps have gone to hell. Today she did not nap at all, despite hours of rocking/bouncing/singing. Every time we think she’s out and try to set her down, she lies inert for a moment before springing into action, yanking the pacifier out of her mouth, rolling over and sitting up all, “Ha ha, I’m really awake! Isn’t it wonderful?” I think this is the first time ever she has managed to get through the day without napping. We think she may be in the process of dropping a nap actually and going down to one-per-day. Don’t sprain your mousing finger in your haste to nominate us for the Award Of The Obvious.


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[By popular demand: More stacking!]


Very Cold

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008





We've been huddled around the furnace since Sunday morning. I think it's actually colder than it is in Maine. Luckily we haven’t had to resort to shoveling dogs yet.


Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell