Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

Catching up: Critter stats June 10, 2008

Filed under: development,family,home training — crittermama @ 7:24 pm

Howdy folks!

It’s hot. It’s Africa hot – and I should know. So we’re hunkered down inside, with the curtains drawn and fans running. The thunder has started to roll, so hopefully things means that the coming storm will bring some cooler weather.

So it’s time to catch up on some recent developments:

  • The boy hit the 9 month mark and is heading for 10 months
  • He’s upwards of 19 pounds now
  • He has a neverending ear infection – we’re on antibiotic #3 now. Sigh.
  • He recently discovered his tongue and is sticking it out all the time. He also loves to go bla blah blu blue bla balah all the time, tongue a-waggin’
  • He’s pulling up on everything, and laughing when it doesn’t go so well. We hope he’ll hang on to that particular personality quirk for a while.
  • As of the past 48 hours, he’s cruising. On Sunday, it took him 30 minutes to move one foot to his left. This morning, he was halfway around the coffee table within a few minutes.
  • He laughs ALL the time.
  • We’re heading to the beach in a couple of weeks and we can’t wait to see everyone on my side of the family. The Alaskan contingent now officially lives East of the Mississippi and South of the Mason-Dixon line and we’ll get to see them – hooray!!!


    Window shopping at the bookstore at Easter time March 20, 2008

    Filed under: development,health,home training — crittermama @ 9:03 am

    I stopped by Union Station this morning before coming to the office to get a coffee, and happened to walk by the bookstore. Easter displays were up front, of course, and I glanced at a few books to see what I might get for the Critter’s Easter basket. There were a few about the story of Easter and God’s love for us, and I’ll probably get one of those for the Critter.

    …And then there was The Velveteen Rabbit. And Puff the Magic Dragon. Oh my. I’m a big ol’ sap these days and am quick to emote, especially when babies, dogs, cats, wildlife or any other thing that doesn’t have the power that grown-ups do are involved. But MAN. Those stories just really get me. The rabbit is REAL. Little Jackie Paper doesn’t come back and Puff is LONELY. I had to leave the store lest I start boo-hooing in front of hundreds of commuters.

    On a happier note, the Critter got his second tooth yesterday! We could see it coming up, but it hadn’t broken through until yesterday morning. CHOMP.

    Here he is, exploring the cherry tree we planted for him last fall. It’ll be in full bloom within a couple of days!



    Critter Data March 6, 2008

    Filed under: development — starbuckonthepequod @ 12:04 pm

    Yesterday, our (still sick, apparently – everyone’s all, “oooh, yellow stuff coming out of the nose. Blech.”) boy saw his pediatrician for a “hey, you’re six months old! Let’s poke around a bit, maybe give you some shots, measure things, whatnot” visit. Two vaccinations per thigh, thanks, and an Rx for newer, badder antibiotics to rilly rilly kill that persistent ear infection.

    17.1 lbs.
    26.75 inches
    43.5 cm around that giant skull


    A Tooth! A tiny, tiny tooth in the front of the bottom row.



    Four Things January 24, 2008

    Filed under: development,friends — crittermama @ 8:39 pm

    I know there’s a 100 things about me meme out there, but since I don’t have time for that one, I’ll do this one:

    My office, Trader Joe’s, day care and Teaism (when I can finagle some time to get to Dupont Circle)

    B) FOUR PEOPLE WHO E-MAIL ME: (Regularly)
    Lynne, Rob & Anny, Natalie M, Lisa

    mangos, chocolate chip cookies (can’t eat this now), chinese chicken pizza (again, can’t eat this now), The Big Salad

    enjoying the view of Kilimanjaro from Moshi, Tanzania; running around my neighborhood lake; playing with the Critter at home; with Dave in San Francisco and Napa

    E) FOUR PEOPLE I THINK WILL RESPOND (when I post this to the blog):
    Rob, Allison, Melisa and Larson

    Raising Arizona, The Princess Bride, Ocean’s 11, The Breakfast Club

    Lots of developments on the Critter front, including a regular bedtime routine (and we no longer have to repeatedly run upstairs to calm him down after a 20-45 minute catnap), MUCH rolling over, and a definite love of having his hands in his mouth. I need to upload some more pictures – coming soon!


    More milestones January 16, 2008

    Filed under: development,home training — crittermama @ 9:52 am

    Today, January 16th, 2008, the Critter rolled over from back to front. Whoo! He may have done it at daycare already (and if he has, I don’t really want to know it) but it was the first time he did it at home for us. We’ve been putting toys next to him so that he’s got to roll to his side to get them, but he actually rolled all the way over onto his tummy.

    Pretty soon he’ll figure out that he can combine his rolling from front-to-back and back-to-front and then he’s going to use that to get places. Yikes!

    Here’s a recent picture of our little guy wearing his bunting outfit that Aunt Melisa gave him for Christmas:

    i love this picture so much


    Rolling! December 27, 2007

    Filed under: development,holidays — crittermama @ 1:58 pm

    So much to write about, but so little time. For now, just this: he’s ROLLING.


    HIM and The Mother December 2, 2007

    Filed under: development,family — crittermama @ 1:16 pm

    Three things I have to put out here at the beginning, so you’ll understand. One is that I watched The Cannonball Run many times as a child. Two is that I’ve seen LOTS of nature shows. Three is that I am haunted by my Psych 101 textbook.

    We’ve got a new member of the family here, and that has resulted in MANY changes. Not the least of which is that the husband and I talk about the critter a LOT. As do most parents, we rarely use our son’s given name, but rather use many nicknames, aliases and pseudonyms. The Critter, the boy, the young’un, YOUR son, a series of words that rhyme with his name, and “HIM” or “HE.” This is certainly not a biblical reference, but rather a simple pronoun. HOWEVER, because I’ve seen The Cannonball Run a million times a million years ago (and I’m fairly certain that Dave has not), I can’t have a conversation in which we refer to the critter as “HIM” without thinking of Captain Chaos, played by Dom Deluise – Dun dun DUNN!!!


    I’m sure that Dave is ashamed that I even admitted this, so we will speak of it NO MORE.

    Moving on…

    As I’m moving through my new daily life, I find myself thinking of my role as “The Mother.” Not as A mother, but as THE mother. This has to be a reflection of my educational history and the many nature shows I’ve watched. You know, as in, “For the first months of his life, the cub stays close to the mother,” and “When danger threatens her offspring, the mother chimp is ready to defend her baby,” and “The mother must provide for all of the baby elephant’s needs.” THE MOTHER seems more like a biological function sometimes than anything else. Depending on my mood, I’m either amused or tired by this observation.

    “To calm her infant, the mother replaces the pacifier in her crying baby’s mouth.”
    “The mother supplies breastmilk, nature’s perfect food, to her child 8-12 times a day.”
    “When diapers need changing, the mother provides entertainment as well as a clean diaper.”
    “The mother is the baby’s primary source of comfort, having carried her baby for nine months in the womb.”

    It’s the comforting function that I keep coming back to, and that I’m haunted by. Anyone who took Psych 101 in college has heard about the experiments performed on rhesus monkeys in which babies were separated from their real mothers and “raised” by cloth or wire “surrogates.” The experiments proved that infants needed not just warmth and food, but also gentle contact. But the process and outcomes make me want to weep for those babies. Without any contact from their real mothers – or any living creature – the babies were given a choice of a “mother” made of wire that had a feeding nipple on it, or a “mother” made of warm, soft terry cloth that provided no food. Invariably, when presented with both choices, the baby would choose the comforting mother. When the baby was hungry, however, it would feed from the wire “mother” and then return to the cloth “mother.”

    When these babies that were raised in insolation were then introduced to others, they couldn’t behave as they should have, since they were traumatized by lack of socialization and had not learned how to be rhesus monkeys. Much has been made of these studies in theories of attachment parenting and such, and I won’t get into all of that. But my heart breaks for both the babies and the mothers that were forced to go through these experiments, and I cling closer to our little guy.