The Week In Bean

Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Never turn your back on a stomach virus. Just when you think the kid seems chipper, and prepared to handle some bland oatmeal cooked in water, three hours later that stuff will come back at you with a vengance. Seriously. It was like action painting with gruel. 25% of the living room was coated.


Now that it’s out of her system, she seems a lot happier, and there’s no fever, but if she’s no better tomorrow, back to the doctor for us.


The Week In Bean: Week 52

I know it’s still raw in the Northeastern US, but the weather on the island this week has turned towards more light and warmth at last. Over the weekend we celebrated the birthdays of Eve’s paternal grandparents (both 70) and were pleased to be able to share with them lovely photos taken by a professional photographer Simon knew of. For instance, this one:

the family

Good Lord, I need a haircut.

Photos of the Family Foz were taken as well, but some retouching was required, viz.:

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The Week In Bean: Week 51

51 weeks. This time last year, I was chugging castor oil and logging miles and miles on the treadmill and eating curry and pineapple and driving my mother and husband nuts waiting for Bean. I was so sure it would be February 21st. I was worried about Mom having to fly back to the US without getting to cuddle her granddaughter.

This morning, I stuck my finger in the kidlet’s mouth while playing on the floor, and felt her third tooth. She grooved to some music, tore up some paper, and stood up for a bit with one finger on my knee as her only support.  I am back in the jeans I was wearing before my pregnancy, and we are one happy little family.

And then there’s this:

Eve, 51 Weeks

I, for one, welcome our new cute overlord

The year is almost over. It’s flashed by. I think it’s only going to get worse, in terms of time-passed vs. perception-of-time-passed. In terms of Bean enjoyment, of course, it’ll just get better and better.

Especially when she gets her toy piano next week (shhhh!).

Baby Labs Service Upgrade – Now Available!

Baby Labs, Inc., is pleased to announce new expansions of its Thing-classification services! As promised, we have been working throughout the fall and winter of 2009 to bring you a mobile Baby Labs probe. Beta testing is now complete on the most recent wetware upgrades, and we are now able to offer you even more thorough out-checkings of Things via our NEW Tetrapod Ecosphere Explorer  – Home Environment Edition (TEE-HEE).

The TEE-HEE probe navigates all varieties of interior surfaces at speeds of up to 1 meter per second. Its unique, low-profile operation allows for minute inspection of carpets, tile floors, baseboards, and those cabinets you forgot to lock. TEE-HEE can also boost itself to standing position to survey the tops of furniture and fittings to a height of approximately 30″.

Advanced mobility in the TEE-HEE’s forward probes allows for greater, more specified manipulation of found objects. In addition to banging and slapping, the TEE-HEE probe can now

  • Shred
  • Scratch
  • Pull apart
  • Flick
  • Poke
  • Pinch

Finally, TEE-HEE is equipped with a sensitive SlobberMatic Input/Output with new “teeth” that enable it to “chew” Things it finds in your environment, meaning it can now classify many Things as food/not-food. TEE-HEE can also provide polyphonic audio feedback via the SlobberMatic to indicate:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Screaminess
  • Whether or not something is or represents a cat (“GAT!!!!”)
  • Identity of current caretaker (“Dehdeh” or “Mumumumumumma”)

If Things are going unclassified in your home, don’t wait– book your BabyLabs visit NOW!

This Month in Bean: It’s All Happening Fast


Bean October 26th

"Let me explain it to you."

So Bean’s eight months old now. We took her for her 8-month check-up last week (before she was officially eight months, but whatever), and were told that everything is going according to schedule except for those legs of hers, on which she can already stand up with support and will “walk” if you hold her hands. Earlier this evening she even maintained her balance without support for a few seconds. She is also starting to pull herself up to sitting and kneeling. This is a kid who wants to go places.


Eve October 19th

"Oh hey. I was just about to eat my socks. Want some?"

Today she started to wave “Hello!” at people (also cats) without prompting and with little hesitation, so it’s time to bust out the Baby Signs. We have been using “cat” and “milk” since she was about four months old, but not very consistently.  We know that she is already frustrated by not being able to explain herself, so adding the odd sign here and there should help her tell us what’s going on in that pretty head of hers.

Her babbling is starting to become more expressive, and she does say “Da Da!” when Trev saunters into the room, or leaves it. Unfortunately, she also says it when she sees me. This is most likely because “Ma” is a bit tough for her to say at the moment. We sit her on our laps and say “Mama, Mama, Ma-ma,” very clearly. She squints at us– knows something is being communicated, and tries again: “Dada.”


Eve October 15th

It's that tongue again.

Never mind. Soon enough I will be answering to high-pitched squeals of “MUUUUUUUUUUUM!” so I’m in no rush.


A Very Merry Half-Birthday

SOMEone is six months old today. That’s right, it is already six months since I woke up catheterized and sweating on a hospital ward, imagining there were squirrels all over the bed, and that Bean would be safe if I could pick her up without making any sudden moves.

Opiates and hormones: they don’t mix.

Just as a reminder, here is Miss Ladyface shortly after birth:

She is wearing this shirt right now!

She is wearing this shirt right now!

And here she is two days ago:

Sawin' toothpicks.

Sawin' toothpicks.

That’s 18 pounds of pure cute, right there.

There is a lot to say, there’s not much to say. She’s a baby, a tiny human, and we adore her. It is wonderful to take her for walks and notice an interesting plant and get close to it so she can look at it and touch it and talk to it. It is also wonderful to realize that, without Bean, we would not have stopped to look at interesting plants. Trev and I have always been a lovey-dovey couple (it is five years ago last week that we met in person for the first time), but in the last six months we have daily reasons to say “thank you” to one another. “Thank you,” as in, “Thank you for my baby.”

Enough of that. Here are six videos in honor of Bean’s six months:

1) Very short, but: baby in sunglasses! (Thanks, Greg and Lizzy, for sending them back to us.)

2) Another Trev Komedy Klassic:

3) I think he must have said something very insulting:

4) She totally gets mirrors now:

5) Lower your speakers. She does The Shriek during this:

6) Bean eating a “rusk”. This is basically a biscuit that has the consistency of merengue.

This Month In Bean: 3 April – 3 May 2009

I’ve seen a lot of sunrises in the last two months. I have also seen the small human living with me go from this:

To this:

A lot has happened in nine weeks, although that isn’t always obvious. Much of our day with Bean doesn’t make for riveting writing– there are plenty of parent and mommy blogs out there on the Internet anyway. But having a child has made me finally understand that the simple passing of time is very precious, that there are no ordinary moments: something is always happening, growing, becoming new. Something is always lost, too.

I know I think too much, but I already miss the tiny, six-days-old creature in the first video above: her smell, her first small sounds, her strange underwater hand motions. And I know that this time next month, I will miss the more robust lady in the second video. She has blue-maybe-green-sometimes-brown eyes. She has a wonderful slow-breaking sideways smile. She is figuring out this business of making noises (hear her practicing “hellos” after Trev asks if she has anything to add), and watches us talking to her intensely, trying to mimic what we do with our mouths. And she’s only nine weeks old. I didn’t realize it was possible to feel so strongly connected to someone who’s not even entirely aware of her feet yet.


"This would be more fun if I could reach the toys."

"This would be more fun if I could reach the toys."

On to Week Nine: we are starting to establish a nice cozy routine– or we were, before yesterday, when Baby’s First Cold began emerging (more about that in another post)– morning coffee, diary, housework after the 6:00 feed, then some fresh air followed by baby grooming before I sit down to work at 9:30. Bean sleeps or bashes at a dangling toy or talks to me while I work, and then when Dad comes home, she spends time with him downstairs. Sometimes she also talks to the bumpers on the cradle. Yesterday she also tried to grab them, which was amusing, watching her become very annoyed and confused.


Never too sleepy to smile.

Never too sleepy to smile.

She is spending more time outside the cradle on her play mat (thanks, Aunt Steph and Uncle Simon!), and continues to enjoy checking stuff out from Mum’s-Eye-View via the Sleepy Wrap. On Saturday, we took advantage of the nice weather and drove out to the Wye Valley on the border with Wales. We ambled along the river for about four hours, covering eight miles and (in Mum and Dad’s case) getting our first sunburns of 2009. Bean, protected by her lovely pink hat, slept a lot but also watched the countryside go by. I am sure much of it was  a green-and-blue blur for her, but she clearly was riveted by the sight of a swan on green grass, and sometimes was so intent on looking at things that she would crane herself out at an alarming angle.  Among the creatures worthy of Bean’s attention:

  • Ducks and geese
  • Grouses (greeses? grice?)
  • Deer, including fawns
  • Horses
  • Sheep
  • Cows and calves

If you can catch balmy weather, Great Britain in May is one of the most blessed and beautiful spots on the earth, even if you’re stuck in a town. We weren’t, and so we feasted on views like these:


Wye River at Goodrich Castle

Wye River at Goodrich Castle

A good portion of the walk passed through woodlands. We heard deer calling to one another, and found drifts of bluebells everywhere on the ground. Trev thought it was the best walk we had done so far (we have been using books from the Pathfinder Guides series), though I still prefer the walk we did with Mom and Dad last year above Llanthony Priory. Bean was still baking at that point, benefiting from my getting some exercise. This time she was able to enjoy our excursion more directly:


The Lady of Leisure

The Lady of Leisure

That’s enough for now: I’ll be up at sunrise again tomorrow.