Does the pendulum REALLY have to swing this far?





Unfortunately, this is what democracy looks like. I'm afraid to see what the failure-in-chief fails at next.



7, 8, 9, 10, 11!

Here we are at 11 months old. It's a long way from six months... Way back in July we took a road trip to Cambridge, MA, which was our first "long" car ride. We visited David and Ellen and Stella and Ben and Bob and Mary and saw Casey Afflek in a park and visited museums and ate delicious foodstuffs.
Val & Viv looking at the glass plants @ Harvard Museum of Natural History
Then in August we took a trip to Minnesota, which was Viv's first plane ride. We visited relatives and other babies and took stroller walks and ate delicious foodstuffs.
Val & Viv on Viv's first plane ride
Then, back in CT, we survived Hurricane Irene and 5 days of no electricity at our house. Not a real problem for Viv, as she is on a pretty reliable sunup to sundown schedule.
A downed tree on campus
In September, we took yet another, even longer road trip to Virginia, to visit Stef and Brad and Oliver and Burt, and to see Rebecca and Mike get married.
The Happy Couple
Another happy couple
September, which some of you already know was a crazy month for us. By this point in our summer Val had applied for, interviewed for, was offered, and accepted a new job at Duke University, and we were preparing to move back to North Carolina. Our plan was to be there by the first week in October, so Val would have some time to settle in before starting work. We did hire movers this time, to pack up our things and load the truck, then drive the truck, then unload the truck for us. Lessons were learned about this process, but it was worth it and I don't know how we would have gotten it done otherwise. Another post another time about moving. In the meantime, Viv has been eating more and more foodstuffs...
...learning to crawl and stand...
...and generally being helpful around the house.
We have had several adventures around the Triangle already, and it's great to be back around so many good friends in such a great area. Viv is getting a few more teeth, catching the cats more often, and generally in great spirits no matter what situation she finds herself in, and we are looking forward to the holidays, followed by Viv's first birthday in January.
I hope to get this blog back in order, but it seems blogger and flickr are conspiring against me to make it much more cumbersome to easily throw together text and photos to create a post. I'm not sure if I should give up on blogger for blogging, flickr for online image storing, or both. There has to be a better way. Stay tuned. Or check in every six months or so, same difference!


Six Months

Viver-Liver @ six months

Viv (and the rest of us) reached her six month birthday last week, and we decided to begin some solid food feedings. So far we have done oatmeal and avocados with adorable, if not nutritive, results.

YouTube Video

She really seems to enjoy the activity of eating, and she occasionally holds the spoon and manages to not poke her eyes out with it. Next foodstuff will be banana, with, I assume, similar results.

We continue to go to work three days a week, and the car rides have been even more of a grab bag of emotions than before, which is good, actually. We were going through a stretch of always ending up upset by the end of the ride, but now she's just as likely to be asleep, upset, or awake and amused. That's progress, right?

Later this month we will be taking her on a longer car trip up to Boston, but that is a manageable 2 hours or so. The real transportation challenge will be her first airplane trip next month, going to MN to meet her cousins and all the other friends and family. I don't think it'll be too bad, but that is the attitude I have tried to apply to everything involving Viv, and so far we've been really lucky. We've had her out and about a lot more in the last month or so, and she has been great, very happy and social for the most part, even outlasting some other infant and toddler meltdowns at a picnic party that pushed her late into the evening. She is a really happy baby, and we are still shocked and grateful everyday.


So is life.

So, working with baby, which I do 3 days a week, has been an interesting experience.

The commute, which is anywhere from 30-45 minutes on a good day, and over an hour on bad days due to weather and/or traffic, has helped erode any fears I had about driving with baby on board. Not a problem anymore, even when Viv is screaming and or pooping at 70 mph. There is lots of singing songs to soothe the savage beast, and even just talking to her can calm her down. My greatest fears now involve leaving the house without enough bottles or diapers in the bag.

Once we get to work, usually around 10 am, Viv is either ready for a bottle or a nap, sometimes both, which works out well for me. (She takes 30-60 minute naps throughout the day when we're not at home, and can nap for an hour or two at home in the crib.) I generally have time to get settled, check email and do some work before she wakes up from her first nap in the carseat stroller.

Post-naps, the bouncy seat is our first change of scenery, and I usually can place her on the nearest counter where I can interact with her while I work, or where coworkers walking by will automatically entertain her. She almost always has a big smile for them, and she seems to entertain them as well.

My boss even brought in a mobile to help with the entertainment. When we experience bouncy/mobile fatigue, we sometimes use the Björn frontpack, or I just carry her around the shop. Viv sits in my lap for a while pretty contentedly too.

After about four or five hours of the eat/sleep/entertain cycle, we are both tired of being at work, so we pack it up and head home. Timing of pre-commute feedings and diaper changes are crucial, especially since Viv has largely given up sleeping in the car. If all goes well, we can often stop for essential provisions on the ride home without a fuss.

I was hoping to work from home a little more and go in less and less, but three part-time days per week really isn't too bad, and I really like leaving work at work. Viv does exceptionally well most days, and I am thankful I was even able to consider rearranging my schedule to do things this way and be with her every day. We have pretty good times together.