February 28, 2007

In which I love my dog

You guys, I love my dog.


She is such a pal. I would like to pay tribute to her tonight, as I near the end of my little sojourn as a single parent, and as I do the nightly ritual of trying to figure out how to take her out in a way that lets her stretch her legs without endangering (or waking) Elliot. By far the hardest part of the last couple of weeks has been trying to balance the conflicting needs of Elliot and Ada, especially when it's been really cold. It is awfully hard to get her enough exercise while still taking care of the boy, and she misses Brandon awfully and is more trouble than usual--she's become a terrible terrible thief of bath toys (today she actually jumped into the bathtub to steal a little rubber dolphin) and, due to the lack of exercise, is more antsy and less responsive to commands when she actually does get a walk.

But really, despite all the difficulty, I don't know what I would do without her. Not only has she become one of Elliot's favorite things to look at, she is just such good company. She's nice, and social, and she and I have good talks after Elliot has gone to sleep. And she makes me get out, and take care of myself a little too.

So, I love her. Petting her makes both Elliot and I smile.

pleasure dome with pooch

(note Ada giving Elliot a little kiss. she's a kindly pooch.)

February 24, 2007

Today's Sad

Our good friend Matt is moving to London today. This is great for him, and it's exciting for us to have a friend to visit in London, but we are so sorry to see him go.


One thing about having a son is that you start to value, even more than usual, the presence of good men in your life. And Matt is just great. He's principled, and purposeful, and kind. And he is such a friend to Elliot. I'm sad for myself that Matt's going, but mostly I'm sad the Elliot won't get to hang out with Matt as much. Who else will teach him to be so cool in such a relaxed way? Who else will hold him during the superbowl? Who else will bring him little finger puppets made out of recyled fabric fibers? Who?

Anyway, Matt: we send you all our best! Much love from us all.

Elliot says goodbye

February 23, 2007


Elliot can SIT UP.

video evidence to follow: it's poor quality because he can only sit up for about 10 or 20 seconds at a time, so I always have to have a hand ready to catch him. At the end of this the camera veers alarmingly, but don't be alarmed. It's just me paying more attention to le bebe than the cinematography.

February 17, 2007

Sound Medley

some sweet, some shriek. a bit of death monkey thrown in for good measure.

February 15, 2007

Some Landmarks

Just real quick, cuz it's late:

In the last week, Elliot has:

*Outgrown the blue sleepsack that Steffie gave him and and which he's worn almost every night of his life, since he outgrew the yellow sleepsack that Steffie gave him. (Thanks, Steffie!!!)

*Started to sleep in his own room

*Started to use cloth diapers, sometimes, when we feel up to it. Though these are swanky chic cloth diapers (they're called Fuzzibunz) and they are not really very much extra work. But sort of they tire me out, just conceptually.

*Discovered Ada! This is huge, people. I mean, Elliot had been vaguely aware previously that some big fuzzy thing would come around periodically and lick his face, but last Saturday was the first time that Elliot discovered that Ada is AWESOME. He just watched her and laughed, and it was so wonderful. I love them both, my sweet creatures.

*Eaten some rice cereal, with banana mashed in (which I tasted and which tastes pretty good, like banan bread)

*Eaten some pureed peas (which I didn't taste, because they looked so nasty. Elliot really liked them, though.)

Each one of these things could probably be it's own post, but we're getting a little behind on things, so I wanted to put it out there. Also, Brandon just left today to go to India (where? oh, INDIA) for a whopping TWO WHOLE WEEKS and I am not sure what single parenthood is going to do for my blogging. So if we seem a little MIA, we are just here by ourselves, trying to get enough sleep and clean the pea puree off the counter.

New Favorite Toy

One of the most important material objects in my life these days is my water bottle, which Brandon bought for me right after Elliot was born.* Now Elliot has decided that he loves it, too.

I love my water bottle because it: holds a ton of water; has a built in straw; has a built in lid for the straw; can be carried dangling from one finger; is blue. I don't know why Elliot loves it, but he really does. It will keep him entertained for huge swaths of time and he will choose it over and above any number of shiny baby things which you might wag in his face. Lately he has taken to actually holding the straw part in his mouth; he can't actually suck on it effectively, but it's still looks sort of charming and adult.


*This was actually my big post-birth present, which was an idea--the post-birth present--that we got from our pals who were pregnant the same time as us. One of them somehow acquired the notion that it is only fair that, upon the completion of pushing a baby from her body, a woman deserves a present. The other mama and I found this a little retro, but very charming, especially since it meant...a present. Which is great! We called it the "vagina present." For my vagina present, I got, as I said, my water bottle. My friend got diamond earrings. Here's what I have to say about that: she deserves those earrings, and my water bottle is the only thing that got me through the first two months of middle-of-the night feedings, and so things are A-OK. Except now Elliot keeps trying to steal my water bottle. Which is unfair, because what did he do to deserve a vagina present? That's what I'd like to know.

February 12, 2007


If there's been a lack of posting in the last few days, it's because we chicago mesle/harveys have been REALLY BUSY doing our little bits for Barack Obama. Because we love him. I'm so attached that I actually spent all Tuesday morning making phone calls on his behalf, and as those who know me know, I do hate to make phone calls. Mark and Abbey were actually much more involved than me, being not only volunteers but "volunteer captains" for Sunday's rally here in Chicago.

I had been all gung-ho to volunteer for the rally, too, but I realized that the new reality of my life as a mama is that I can only do volunteering that fits in around my nursing schedule. Which was sort of weird to realize--I'm up for spending long days with Elliot happily with his dad while i'm off making posters and herding crowds, but I just can't do that this time around. It is not the time in my life where I can do the glamor volunteering, and part of me is rather sad about that.

But! The good news is that since I could not volunteer for the rally, I got to go to the rally. And due to the VIP tickets scored by Mark and Abbey for their special volunteering, I got to be rather close to the man himself. The video footage I took was from a weird angle and not great (weirdly truncated, due to battery issues, into 30 second chunks; not good for sound bites)--but maybe it can convey the sense of how exciting it was to be there.

I do not have footage of the part where I SHOOK OBAMA'S HAND, because I realized I could either shake his hand or take a picture, and I opted for the experience rather than the documentation of the experience. But friends! I totally shook his hand! I did! Just quickly, and in the rush of a crowd. But as he reached my hand--he was shaking someone else's too--I called out to him, "Better Angels, Barack! Better Angels!" Which, if you are a fan of 19th century speechifying, as (ahem) both Barack and I are, you know is a reference to Lincoln's first inaugural address. And friends, let me tell you: Barack smiled. Yes he did.

"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
--Abraham Lincoln, 1861

February 06, 2007

Elliot eats some banana.

He didn't think he wanted to eat the banana; he thought he just wanted to eat the spoon. But then the banana got in the way, and he discovered he kinda liked it.

I should say here, by way of a viewer advisory,that this video is not for the faint of heart. It involves some weird looking globules of mashed bananas. And also, it's on the long side...but I thought the various grandfolk would like it.


February 05, 2007

An honest question about the poop

The question is: how does it do that? How does poo, heading south from my baby's bumhole, end up so far north, out of the diaper, well nigh reaching his infant armpits? HOW????? Does it somehow ricochet off the soft surface of his diaper? Does it have special thermodynamic properties due to its milk-only compostion? Does it plan its exit strategy before departure, knowing better than our president that you have to maximize the force of your attack? Or, reversing that awkward martial metaphor, is the poo more like (say) the aptly-named shiite insurgents, who realize that a decentralized eruption is the most efficient mode of resistance?

Anyway, it's messy over here this afternoon. Don't come over unless you're willing to help with the laundry.


I was just talking with B, who might have his own thoughts to add here, but he brought up another poo dynamic which baffles us: the most mysterious poops of all: the poops which leave the bumhole and then miss the bumcheeks entirely and then land squarely on le bebe's back. I think these poops must fly.

February 01, 2007

Your Sound Alternative

So, Elliot likes to make noises. He discovers a new one every few days, and makes it...all the time. Constantly. Until he discovers something new, and moves on. It's really charming, except for the two days when he discovered how to make this weird and horrible death monkey noise, but we're over that now.

Anyway, over New Year's Elliot learned how to blow raspberries; we've mentioned this before. But then he stopped making them entirely, until today when he discovered how to blow a newer, wetter version. Here's a little video of him incorporating the raspberries into his normal "one-man band" bouncy chair routine.

Note: it's hard to believe, but Elliot is doing all the raspberry noises here, even when it sounds like there are two noises happening at once. He's making both sounds with his mouth, like one of those Tuvan throat singers who can harmonize with themselves.