Thursday, January 31, 2013


I don't generally link to other blogs here -- it's not really my thing -- but the accuracy of the following article was so frightening I actually cried with laughter:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Governor's Inaugural Ball

As is now our every-four-year tradition, we attended the Governor's Inaugural Ball last night. That's us with Jay Inslee (the governor) above. You can see all the photos I took, or check out smaller photo galleries from The Seattle Times and The Tacoma News-Tribune. In at least four of the photos we were standing either behind the governor, or just outside the frame. In this photo:

we're somewhere behind and just to the left of the governor. If I had more resolution I might be able to tell if perhaps that's one of our heads. Anyway, the food was excellent, and we managed to carry on our tradition of getting an autograph from the Secretary of State (the newly elected Kim Wyman); we asked for the embossed seal that we had received from the previous Secretary, and she made us one; it turns out it was her first-ever (and she actually made the first one sideways, so we got to keep the second-ever one). The food was excellent; she had her own unofficial buffet in her office which started us off (and was a heartier meal -- with ravioli and meatballs -- than the super-fancy but smaller hors d'oeuvres which we didn't actually manage to get to until near the end of the evening). Top it off with all-you-can-drink inauguration wine (with even a Riesling varietal available!) and a splendid time was had by all.

(The middle photo was clearly taken by one of the photographers with the yellow press stripes in the lower right of the bottom photo, if that helps you look for us in the middle photo.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas 2012

Vivian opening presents.

Theo opening presents.

See all the photos.

Christmas this year took place twice -- once in the Polish tradition of opening presents on the evening of the 24th, and once on Christmas morning. We often didn't know who sent what present ahead of time, so we picked roughly half for the 24th. Our original plan was to wrap two presents for each kid, then leave the rest in boxes; Vivian doesn't care and Theo very much enjoys opening boxes. However, he had so much fun opening the wrapped presents (and some of the presents inside the boxes were also wrapped!) that we ended up wrapping some more for the 25th. One really cute thing that happened while waiting for the presents on the 24th: Theo learned the words "Death Star". The way you know Santa has brought presents to open, since you're awake and everything, is you go out and look for the first star in the sky that's visible. We told Theo he had to look for a star, and he found a moon. I said "that's no moon" but Sarah didn't place the quote, so I finished it (technically the quote ends "it's a space station", but I said "that's a death star" which Theo immediately picked up on).

Here's an unedited video of the 24th:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vivian's Weigh In

Vivian tipped the scales at 16 lbs and 2.5 oz at the doctor's office this morning. That means she crossed two percentile lines back up and the doctor was very pleased with her results. Her mother was satisfied but not as enthusiastic about that number. Vivian moves back into the 28th/32nd percentiles on the CDC/WHO charts. On both she crossed the 10th and 25th percentile lines which puts her almost precisely back where she was before she stopped gaining weight.

Her height of 27.5 inches puts her right at the 80th percentiles on both charts, and her head circumference is in the 40 some odd percent at 44.5 cm.

She is still chipper and smiled at the doctor but did not like the look of the nurse, giving the nurse a forehead crease whenever she made an appearance. She did love grabbing the protective paper on the exam table and ripping it into edible bites.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vivian at Seven Months

I haven't been intentionally waiting to post Vivian's seven month update. But I'm just now getting around to it. We took her seven month giraffe photos right on time after the holidays. And I've even gotten those photos uploaded (see the end of the gallery for the most recent of my photos) too. Now I'm just behind on posting the photos on the blog.

In the meantime, enjoy this brief update on Ms. Vivian, who continues to delight everyone she meets. She's still got a pretty easy temperament, but beware removing something from her grasp without giving her an upgrade. She can screech just like her bigger brother. She adores the box of balls and will spend lots of time sitting on the floor and playing with the contents, taking one ball out after another until they all get away from her. Then she wiggles until she flops over and gets stuck and the fun starts all over again. She is also still in love with her bunny block. She knows the exact sound it makes and will spin in her exersaucer or rotate until she sees it. She often drops it shortly after but every time it makes a comeback she is just as thrilled to see it again.

Another sound that Vivian has identified and responds to every time is the sound of o's hitting her high chair tray. She loves picking up food and eating it. So far o's are her main source of finger food, although we have started peas and occasionally tiny bits of apple as well. Her diet also includes avocado, oatmeal, bananas (still her favorite), sweet potato, applesauce, pears, yogurt, mango, cottage cheese, and rice is next on the list. She's totally ready for crackers and teething biscuits except that she hasn't been introduced to all the necessary ingredients. She can catch o's between her thumb and finger now, and even can shove three (or more) in at once if she gets them all in her hand. The second and third ones are incidental but she appears pleased with the results. If she's hungry, she can eat an entire banana in one of her three daily meals no problem. If she isn't into eating, I lay out a few o's and squeeze bits in as she picks up an o and opens her mouth to insert it. She's also started formula, but she isn't super enthused about it. She will take a bottle of anything (breastmilk or formula) only if it's about hot as it can get without burning, she's in her room in the dark with the noise machine on and she's wrapped up in a swaddle, with bouncing and shushing. Under those exact circumstances it's fine. Otherwise she will fight or play with the bottle but heaven forbid she eat from it.

As of yesterday we aren't swaddling her for sleep anymore. She had gotten to be an expert at removing herself and I got tired of trying to contain her. We left one arm out for about a week and then I switched over to the sleep sack. It hasn't affected her sleep any, which is to say it didn't get any worse. She goes down between 7 and 8 at night and will sleep up to four hours in that first segment of the night, although two to three is much more common. After that she is up every two hours or as often as every forty minutes for a snack. She's been getting up much earlier too, as early as 5:35 and 5:45 a.m. I blamed those early wakings on soaking wet diapers from all the overnight nursing. She's currently sleeping in a disposable at night until we get the go ahead to start weaning her off night feedings. That has gotten her to 6:45 or so, and sometimes as late as 8 a.m. to start the day. She can make it on two naps per day, one in the morning and one midday, but still does better if she had the third nap in the late afternoon or early evening, usually around 4:30 or 5 o'clock. She can and will skip the final nap if we are out and about. And earlier naps will be shortened to about twenty or thirty minutes tops if she is not at home in the crib. At home a nap is usually at least an hour, and can go as long as two hours every once in a while.

Oh, and she has a crib in our room now, having graduated from the bassinet. She's still up much too often at night for me to consider putting her in with her bigger brother. She didn't seem to notice that transition either, and still spends more of the night than I would like in the bed with me anyway.

Vivian has some good consonant noises now like b and d, and still loves to babble. She will talk to just about anything but is also completely content to play on her own. She adored both the ribbons and the wrapping paper from the holidays. She preferred to eat the paper and would do so every time anyone turned their back on her. When she Skypes with relatives, she looks around at the doors waiting for them to come in when she hears them. Otherwise she isn't much interested in the computer. But other electronics look very promising if only she could get her hands on them. She has been exposed to TV at other houses and only seems to notice when football is playing.

Vivian sits quite nicely on her own now. The main dangers to her stability are her older brother and when she reaches, leans, or twists to acquire an object that's out of reach. She doesn't show much interest in rolling as she does not like to be on her tummy. She is okay resting on her back but won't roll onto her stomach, only onto her side to retrieve something and then return to her back. If placed on her tummy, she rolls ones to correct the situation. Vivian loves to stand up. She particularly enjoys being placed in front of a sofa or a coffee table as there are always interesting things on those pieces of furniture for her to enjoy. She definitely loves the Johnny Jump Up, and will spend a good deal of time in it if allowed as well.

Vivian has decided that baths are not all bad. We started putting her in the tub with Theo. For the first time, she didn't cry when she went in. On all other bath occasions, she has cried for a bit before realizing that baths, bath toys, and big brothers can be fun. Now she seems to remember that baths are fun. And her memory is excellent. If you take her into the bedroom where the noise machine is on, she just starts crying. She can be consoled once she realizes it's just a diaper change or something else, but she makes it clear she does not enjoy being put down in there alone.

Vivian has, as far as we can tell, no teeth and no signs of teeth at seven months. She has another checkup with the doctor at the end of this week, so he can give us his professional opinion on that. Expect to hear more about that in Vivian's next post.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Weather

If you read this blog directly on the web (and not using an RSS reader), then a few days after Christmas, you might have noticed a new weather report on the left hand side of the page. If you do use an RSS reader, here it is:

This is the result of one of the coolest Christmas presents I received this year (and I received a lot of very cool presents -- thank you!): the Ambient Weather WS-2080 Wireless Home Weather Station. It is super awesome, because you can see the weather history at our house, not just the general Seattle area. I was careful to mount it on the roof, so the wind speed and direction should be accurate (though I worry that being only a foot or two off the roof will artificially inflate the temperature during the summer). We also get this awesome set of graphs:

All of this is available because I hooked the station receiver up to my computer and downloaded some software which is configured to send the data to and to Both of these show the same data, in slightly different ways. The rainfall rate is particularly neat; there's a self-dumping rain guage which allows the graphs to show how heavily it's raining, and to compute hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rainfall totals. And the software keeps track of records of all types, including longest dry streak and longest west streak.

As an aside, if you read a lot of blogs and aren't using an RSS reader: well, you should. The one I personally use is Google Reader. Just click the red subscribe button and punch in the URL of the blog you'd like to follow, and it will keep track of any new unread posts. Very useful if you read a bunch of blogs on a daily basis which don't always have new content -- you can go to one place and see all the new stuff that people have posted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 from our happy girl and all of us!