Monday, June 30, 2008

Outside is Nice

We went outside so I could check out the veggie garden. Tomatoes are doing fine, since you asked.

Someone asked if my basil is organic. Duh. What do I look like to you?

This is my campaign poster for when I run for president:

Don't I look serious and intellectual?

Here, on the other hand, I'm thinking about how long I have to wait before I can have ice cream.

Hangin' with Dad

Dad was messing with the camera, trying to help "Mom" take pictures without flash. He took this shot of me.

Obviously, he then wanted a closeup, because I'm so handsome. Here it is.

NO Whining

We're having some technical difficulties with the camera and the blog. New photographs have been taken, but at the moment will not load.

All those in the peanut gallery, please stand by.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dr. Who?

Time travel presents scientists with the following conundrum: if you could go back in time, and kill your parents - wouldn't you cease to exist? And if so, then you can't go back in time to kill you parents,'s kind of confusing.

Somehow, I think the controversy about time travel will live beyond this article, which argues that quantum mechanical rules prevent the combination of time travel/changing the past. But not so fast!

Here is an exception big enough to drive a fuel-efficient Prius through:

"If we don't know your father is alive right now - if there is only a 90% chance that he is alive right now, then there is a chance that you can go back and kill him.

"But if you know he is alive, there is no chance you can kill him."

Professor Dan Greenberger, of the City University of New York, US, told the BBC News website.

BMW V8 Outperforms Prius on Gas Mileage

For those of you unfamiliar, Top Gear is good entertainment. For those few global warning deniers out there, this bit is (mostly) for you:

Thursday, June 26, 2008


25 inches long.

So that's 90th percentile for height, 83rd for weight, and the 40th combined (which is to say: he's thin-ish for his height).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Almost Smile

And here's another photo, just for kicks.

Baby Gymnasium

Iain has really taken to the baby "gymnasium" that John and Sarah passed on to us. He's especially taken with the purple elephant today. Yesterday, it was the giraffe.

Meanwhile, I tried to take these pictures in full daylight, in our sunroom. But, as you may already know (because I complain about it constantly), I cannot figure out how to turn off the flash and still get a photograph that's focused.

The one above looks like Iain is some kind of convict, caught playing illicitly. The one below is interesting, but only because it's out of focus. I'd really, really like to figure this out.

But when I say "really, really," what I mean is sort of the same thing as a student who says, "I'll do anything for a better grade." Oh? Would you...STUDY?

Certainly not! And neither will I read the manual.

Instead, I push buttons and play with settings, trying to stumble on the right answer. Today, I stumbled on the setting for "Japanese." Suddenly, the entire camera was working in Japanese, and I couldn't read the screen and thus could not correct my mistake. I had to email Charles (upstairs) and ask him to fix it. So humiliating.

Lo Rez Iain

Here is some seriously low resolution video of Iain.

As you see above, he has found his hands. Oh, you wanted to see that up close? Here you go.

Nom nom nom.

The Economist covers research regarding male circumcision

This article is not necessarily for the faint of the heart and is clearly slanted against circumcision. It also discusses more dramatic "male-genital mutilation." However, it is also the first article I've seen that approaches the topic from an evolutionary biology perspective. The Economist article summarizes and discusses research from Christopher Wilson, a neurobiologist at Cornell University. Without judgment, here is the link: The Economist

Sunday, June 22, 2008


In the last two days, Iain has developed some exciting new skills.

1. He can now put his own fist in his mouth on purpose, and suck on it. He produces disgusting noises, to his evident satisfaction.

2. He can now see objects intended for his entertainment. For example, he received a hand-me-down baby gymnasium (essentially a blanket on the floor with criss-crossing poles that arc above the baby's head and dangle interesting toys in front of him.), and he can see the toys above him and has some interest in them.

3. He can reach for stuff on purpose, even though his version of reaching for something is mostly about batting at it with his (enormous) paws. So when you lay him down on the baby gymnasium, he sort of waggles his fists toward the thing that he wants. Today he was swatting at the feet of a giraffe, making it jiggle and swing.

4. He smiles without first being smiled at. This means that sometimes you turn and look at him and he's already smiling. It's not a lot, but a week ago you had to smile until your cheeks hurt and then he would sort of smile back at you - probably he just thought it would make you go away and leave him alone. This week, he's smiling because he wants to.

5. He's vocalizing a lot. Not in the ChrisBrayMyBaby'sLungsReallyWork kind of way, but more in the cooing, squawking, gurgling kind of way.

So that's a lot of progress for a few days. I think he'll take the next week off, consolidate his skills, and recharge his batteries. Week 12 is the one when his sleepy hormones should start taking off, so that'll be a big week.

Gotta go...somebody's got junk in his trunk.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Welcome! Wonderful Wee Winifred!

We're so delighted to learn that our friends Sara and Brian have had their second baby, Winifred (to be known, henceforth, as Freddie). They say that all went well and Sara and Freddie are good.

No one is as good as little Graham, though, who Brian tells us is saying "baby" and giving a thumbs-up sign.

Welcome to the world, Freddie. You couldn't have a better family - just wait till you taste your mother's broiled pears with coarse sugar and mascarpone! Just wait till your dad infects you with his succulent obsession (totally Not My Fault, even though it was me who turned him on to California Cactus in Pasadena). Just wait till Graham shows you how to be a movie star (you'll need to start picking out your background music ASAP).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tummy Time nice. Just laying here in the sunroom, sucking on my passy, feeling the warmth on my enormous head.

Yes, my head is large. Stop looking at it.

This is me as Top Gun. You will respect my authoritii.

This Did Not Work Out As Expected

I don't think Iain likes this outfit. Perhaps if he could wear it for his weekly canasta game in Florida? Perhaps if his name was Maury and he was retired from Riverdale? Oh, well.
And hey - guess what? That's right: it's almost too small. It's the 6 month size.

Holy Crap, I'm a Moose!

13.8 pounds, kids. Which, according to the CDC charts, puts Iain squarely back in the 95th percentile for weight. Way to go.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Before we left for Charleston, Iain was basically sleeping through the night. He'd fall asleep around 11:30 and sleep until about 6. Some mornings it was 5:50, other mornings 6:30, and on one memorable occasion he slept until 7:50.

He'd been doing this for 1.5 weeks, which doesn't sound like much until you consider that a week and a half was about 1/6 of his life. Also, he was totally consistent. Once he started sleeping all night, he did it every single night.

Obviously, I was spoiled. When people leaned in, brought their eyebrows together, and asked me "are you getting any sleep?" I'd reply, "Oh, yeah! He sleeps from midnight 'till dawn every night!" Smug, smug, oh so smug.

I guess I needed a set-down, and who better to deliver it than Iain? When we got to Charleston, he rejected the crib Aunt Barbara loaned Mother. He rejected his bouncy seat (purchased especially for him! It even vibrated!). He refused to sleep for more than 2.5 hours anywhere, and he fussed and fussed. I returned to Snippyville, Population: 1.

Finally, after 3 nights of misery, I decided to lay him down in my bed (on a towel - I'm not an idiot) (ok, I tried it without and he projectile vomited on the sheets at 4:23am, so I slept on the top sheet with the [handmade by me] quilt as covers. But at least I learned my lesson.). There was no reason to think he'd sleep any better on the bed than in the crib or bouncy seat.

He's never slept flat on his back because he's always had nasal congestion. It's apparently very common in newborns, and he made noises the likes of which would shock Archie Bunker. He sat up to sleep because he sat up to breathe. So I figured sleeping in the bed would never work, but I was willing to try it. At the very least, I'd sleep a little laying next to him or I could retrieve his pacifier without getting up.

But, lo and behold, he slept five hours. The next night, six. Fascinating.

Normally, he kicks off anything on his feet, then his feet get cold, then he wakes up. Bad times. He's so huge that I can't put him in sleepers anymore (outfits with feet built in), because he's too long - his legs can't fully extend in a sleeper that fits the rest of his body. So it's a cycle: cold feet, wake up, cover feet, fall asleep, kick off blanket, cold feet, wake up...

So I laid him down on his towel, tucked the heavy quilt over his feet, and prepared for failure. But the quilt was warm and heavy enough to stay on and thus he remained asleep and All God's Children rejoiced.

But the gift kept giving. We returned from Charleston Monday night and I wondered whether he would consent to sleep in his own bed. So last night we tried him out. Amazingly, he laid flat on the crib mattress and drifted off...11:30 until 6:45. Whee!!! He ate, fell asleep until 9:20, ate, and slept again until 10:45.

So: sleeping on his back in his crib. Next stop: college admission.

Monday, June 16, 2008

In a Nutshell

Here's a taste of Iain's visit to Charleston:

Ding-Dong! Oh, it's Aunt Barbara! Wonderful!
Ring! It's Patty. She'll come over in half an hour.
Ding-Dong! It's Florence!
Ring! It's Allison. She'll be here between 3 and 3:30 with Clara and little Matthias.
Ding-Dong! It's Carl, and Ella, and Vicky and Jim and and and
Fire up the car! We've got to visit Anna and Bryan and Cheryl and Lisa and Cezanne and Mary and Dr. Jessica and and and

Whew! Iain's pooped from all the attention. Honestly, I think it's hard work to field a stream of compliments ("precious" "darling" "a miracle" "beautiful" etc. plus, from Grannypants: "he's a moose!"). And you can't just projectile vomit on people who are bringing you gifts. You can't.

It was some visit, and aside from the sleep deprivation (for Mommy and Grannypants), a great success. More details to follow as Iain's Personal Secretary restores her sleep deficit.

Monday, June 09, 2008

OMG, Stop Taking My Picture, I'm Tiiiiired.

Honestly, I don't know how Tyra does it. All day, they're snapping your picture, making you pose, getting all up in your face.

It's so tiresome. And tiring! I just had to have a nap after ten, maybe fifteen minutes of getting my photos done. It's a rough life, modeling, but I guess someone has to step up for the team.

Listen, I'll be in my swing - if anyone needs me.

Senor McSmilersons

Senor McSmilersons does not wish to be photographed. He will produce a slight smile for you, but only after extended begging. Do not push your luck.

If you move swiftly, you can capture a partial smile with your cell phone. But only partial.

Whose Baby is That?

Uh...let's see. Navy blue top. Khaki pants (no jokes from the Brit contingent).

Whose grandchild could that be??? I Just Don't Know.

Rocking Chair Hiccups

Iain just can't seem to avoid the hiccups . . . .

Friday, June 06, 2008

Iain vs. Kudzu

Kudzu is a vine that sometimes "grows" in the South. And when I write "grows" what I mean is "appears, eats your house, and has to be beaten back with surface-to-air missiles." Kudzu can grow a foot in one day, and can reach 100 feet in length per plant. Also, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, its leaflets are "pubescent underneath with hairy margins." I don't know what that means, but it sounds scary.

Iain has a similar growth habit. Starting at 9 lbs, 15 ounces, he is now (at 7 weeks): 12 pounds 11 ounces, 23 3/4 inches long, and...


[don't get too excited - he's smiled about 4 times.]

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

For All You Doubters Out There...

This morning:

10:45 am: wet Elmo diaper changed to a dry, clean Cookie Monster diaper.

[Green and grey striped onesie, khaki overalls]
[Vomit on onesie]
[White, blue, and green striped onesie and khaki overalls]
[Vomit on onesie and overalls]

10:50 am: poopy Cookie Monster exchanged for a dry, clean Big Bird diaper.

11:00 am: wet, poopy Big Bird exchanged for a dry, clean Big Bird diaper (downstairs).

Noon: Too tired from trying to get an Elmo diaper to go on. Fall asleep from the effort.

1:34 pm: restless, wiggling, soon-to-wake.

Will Iain get his Elmo diaper? Do you doubt it?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Yeah, I'm pretty cute. I don't like to brag, but I'm certainly the cutest baby in my house. No contest, really. And I'm single, ladies. That's right - SWM, lives at home, likes long walks in his stroller, vibrating seats, eating every 2 hours, and bright lights. You: quick to clean a diaper, willing to hold me close (and jiggle a little), available to cater to my every need.

Would you like a close-up? OK.

To Mom and Dad, From Iain

This is the kind of diaper I want. Elmo.
Elmo, Elmo, Elmo.

Not this kind of diaper:

Or this kind:

Elmo only. ONLY.

Let me put it this way. You may have noticed that whenever I get a diaper that isn't one of the two Elmo designs I immediately produce either a fountain of pee or a huge poo. Huge. With sound effects.

This is no accident.

Every time you give me a Big Bird or an Ernie, or (God forbid!) a Cookie Monster - be advised that I am going to sully it.

It's Elmo, kids, or nothing.

You have been warned.