Tag Archives: Baby

Home Movies: Vintage Isobel Plays Peekaboo

13 Aug

This video kills me every time. Especially because you can see her struggling with curtain mechanics at a few points. Hilarious. She’s about eleven months here.

Your Baby Can Read

25 Apr

As a parent and a librarian, imagine how excited I was to find the Your Baby Can Read! Early Reading System. Despite the claims by child development “experts” that this system was basically  “snake oil”, you can just tell the system works by that very intelligent-looking baby on the cover. I mean, look at that hat! I decided to partner with this company to bring you a few more titles to boost the skills of  your baby’s early child development.

Reading is just the beginning. Give your baby a leg up on all those other snooty kids by teaching them hieroglyphics! Nothing says “my mommy loves me more than your mommy loves you” than a kid who’s familiar with a preliterate artistic tradition of an ancient people.

Act now, and in addition to learning ideograms, buy Your Baby Can Read… Palms! It won’t help her achieve when it comes to standardized testing, but she’ll be great fun at parties. (At least, I’m guessing she will be, just look at that Fame Line!)

And parents who really love their children aren’t going to leave without also purchasing Your Baby Can Read! Minds! This video is the most riveting of the set, consisting of nothing but a three-hours of Hyponotoad.

Parenting is hard work, you guys, but you can make your investment pay for yourself by teaching your baby to count… cards! No really, we can get rich off this. Some say it’s risky, but what Vegas casino is going to suspect a baby?

To succeed in this fast-paced world, your baby is going to need all the help they can get. So it’s a good thing we’re here for you.

Baby Bell

3 Apr

Toddler Photography

27 Mar

This is what most of my shots look like when I’m trying to photograph toddlers. It’s why I insist on taking so many shots..




1 Mar

Normally when I pull my camera out and say cheese to coax a smile from Isobel she doesn’t pay attention. Usually she doesn’t even bother to look my way. So of course when she decides to say cheese and smile all prettily back is when we are loading her into the car seat. Not exactly something I want to frame and put on the wall.

It starts here, with her holding back a smile all cute-like.

Then she lets loose with the full-on cheeser grin.

Cheese! I’m going to get a hot dog!

Sometimes Isobel is such a stinker. In addition to exercising her right to refuse food, she now wants nothing to do with the bath. She used to love bath time. Adore it. Sing songs about it. Cry when we wouldn’t bathe her more than once a day. Now, however, she wants nothing to do with the tub and will tell us the water is “too hot” even as it verges on the cusp of frigid. It’s just a lovely new quirk of hers, and her Grandmas have taken to sponge-bathing her, while Anthony once gave her a bath while she screamed heartily for the duration.

Isobel spent a day last week at Grandma Juani’s, who also cares for Isobel’s older cousin Serena. It was bath time for Serena, who gladly stripped down, grabbed her toys, and hopped in the tub. Isobel sat on the bathroom floor, next to the tub, playing with Serena while Grandma soaped up her hair.

When Grandma left to throw something in the hamper just outside the bathroom she heard Serena scream GRANDMA, THE BABY’S IN THE TUB! THE BABY’S IN THE TUB! Isobel had climbed in, fully dressed, still wearing her socks and shoes, in order to more easily enjoy Serena’s company.

Last night she displayed Terrible Two behavior in perfect form while we were shopping at Target. When she wasn’t shouting obscenities or melting down, she was wandering thorugh the aisles shouting TOYS! TOYS! WHERE ARE YOU, TOYS?

It’s hard to stay mad at her when she calls me “honey,” in a direct imitation of myself. She recognizes and says “octopus.” She sings the entirety of “London Bridges Falling Down” without any prompting. She knows all the letters of the alphabet and can count to ten – in English and Spanish. The Terrible Twos are worth it.

Baby-Led Weaning

29 Nov

I’d like to preface this post by saying that things aren’t the same for every baby. In fact, the reason Isobel took to the baby-led weaning approach so well is because she already had 8 teeth by her first birthday. Some babies only have two. This would really affect how long a baby might be interested in mushy foods.  There’s no way to predict how any future children will react, but we’re going to play it by ear and listen to our baby’s preferences when the time comes. I have no desire to prescribe directions as to how other parents should feed their children. Rather, this is a log of our experience with Isobel.


When I was pregnant and nesting I read all kinds of books and searched website after website on how to make your own baby food. I was inspired by the thought of making baby food. I was excited by books such as this one that had gorgeous photos of pureed goodness inside. I happily contemplated roasting lamb and cooking up barely and pureeing a compote of dried prunes every night. My daughter will eat like a queen, I thought.

I went so far as to ask my family for a Beaba Babycook as a combined birthday and Christmas present. And I got it.

It’s still in the box.

At six months I dutifully tried coaxing her into eating rice cereal. Isobel showed a marked dislike for it and often refused to even open her mouth. To say she was not interested was an understatement. Each night I’d get home from work and when she was hungry I mixed up a bit of cereal for her that she angrily rejected.

Originally my plan was to get her acclimated to rice cereal before we tried anything else. I thought it would keep her feeling full longer and help her learn to eat. But I never willingly got her to eat a bite. I did manage to give her an impressive beard, though.

A coworker gave me a ton of jarred baby food that her child grew out of, and since it was the special organic kind I thought I’d give it a try before making my own. You know, find out what flavors Isobel preferred. I got Isobel to eat jarred carrots a grand total of once but that was it. After that she refused to eat any of the jarred food we offered. I ended up donating rest of the food to a shelter.

Eventually I found out that grandma and great grandma had been secretly feeding her refried black beans, a Guatemalan favorite, for a few weeks and she had been eating them with gusto. She also showed a marked preference for avocado. And strawberries. And whatever it was you happened to be eating, could she try some of that, too please? She wanted nothing to do with food in jars but everything to do with whatever that was on your plate.

She loves it when I give her a cup of Greek yogurt. She calls it "Yo-yo."

So I let go of my dreams of becoming the Baby Food Making Queen of the Western Hemisphere. We started feeding her what was on our plate, as long as it was safe in size, texture and developmentally appropriate content. Basically, she would eat anything as long as it looked like you wanted it.

This became the way we had our meals, and I often roasted a sweet potato for my dinner in order to mush up a bunch to feed her. She loves broccoli, and carrots, but can’t abide the stickiness of rice. She’s fond of tofu in soup, and very early on adored raw onions.

Raw. Onions.

For awhile the height of haute cuisine for her was a Ritz cracker but she soon moved on to the more sophisticated flavors of Wheat Thins and Triscuits. Cheerios are as popular with her as they are with her Mama. She is crazy about her Grandpa Doug’s ribs and enjoys a fiercely spicy taco truck burrito with her Dad. (You know, the kind that is too hot for Mama? She loves them.) When grandma gave her a lime she scrunched her face up hilariously but then immediately requested more. She’s noshed on fried octopus, and coconut shrimp and happily digs into the chicken my Mom brings over for her lunch. She loves cheese and clam chowder and lettuce leaves and apples. She eats bread and otter pops and potatoes and hamburgers.

The girl eats anything but baby food.

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with that Babycook.

Halloween Transformation, Phase I

30 Oct

It began with this dress, purchased from etsy seller faithworks4u. Faith is extremely talented,  sweet, and accommodating to boot.

I can say it’s a Handmade Halloween even if I didn’t make the whole thing myself, can’t I?

More to come.

Home Movies: Buddha Baby

24 Oct

Isobel has the uncanny ability to locate statues of Buddhas no matter where we go or what we are doing. Most recently she’s been obsessing over the Buddha statues on my patio. She refers to them as “baby” and she loves talking to them and waving at them.

Possibly trying to fly?

My in laws took us to dinner the other night at a Chinese restaurant a couple towns over, and Isobel zeroed in on a rotund, happy, “laughing” Buddha statue. This one really did resemble a baby and she became quite fond of it. She talked to it, waved at it and blew kisses. I think they are pen pals now.

I happened to have my flip camera with me and I took this video of her and the “baby.” She points out his eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hair.

Buddha Baby

14 Sep

I am incredibly proud to say that I’ve been working on my patio. I know! I didn’t think it would happen either! It came about accidentally, of course, because I’ve been “planning” to do stuff outside for years and it hasn’t happened. In fact, when Anthony read the post that said each year I had planned to work on the patio and he said, “Really? I never knew that.” What can I say? Clearly I have excellent planning and  follow through skills.

It started last week. Isobel wanted to go outside, and the weather had cooled to the point that I was glad to take her. I realized while we were out there that I had the capacity to make myself useful. I could sweep! And do plant-related chores! A revelation. Isobel’s favorite things to do outside include filling a bucket with water and then dumping it out, stomping ar0und in her pool, and playing with birdseed—all things she likes to do independently anyway.

Probably the most wonderful part about hanging out outside together is that she is so entertained she never asks to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. TV-free entertainment! There’s nothing more frustrating than traying to spend Quality Time with your daughter after a long work only to have her constantly request “Babba! Babba!” I’M TRYING TO ENRICH YOUR LIFE WITH QUALITY TIME, CHILD.

In between trying to resuscitate my herb garden and creating some new terrariums, I was also kept busy killing black widow spider eggs and teaching Isobel the basics of plant maintenance. I’m slowly working on trying to salvage some of my plants and get things in order.

Isobel especially loves to watch me water the plants. I need to somehow get a video of this but the other night while she was watering them she made kissing noises over them.


Although what I really want is to fill my garden with gnomes someday, right now it’s full of Buddhas. I enjoy a garden Buddha or three. So does Isobel. When she saw them she referred to them as “baby” and wanted to play with and talk to all the “babies” I had in the garden. Please add this to your “too cute to be real” and “is she lying?”collection of stories.

I am not lying. I could never make anything this cute up.

Oh, and one more thing—remember our pond? Well, due to extenuating circumstances, we’re taking it out. Actually, our neighbor is taking it out. We’ve worked out a trade: in return for taking out our pond he’ll get to keep the equipment for building a pond in his own yard. Win-win. He’s actually talked about converting the giant pond into a small water-feature consisting of just the waterfall and the bubbler. I would love that because I love the sound of the water and a smaller feature would be safer for the baby and easier to block off.

The pond doesn’t look so good right now though. It looks like a biohazard.

The previous owners put it in and it’s illegally deep. Pond breadth and depth are regulated and this pond is too deep for its overall size (according to our neighbor). Basically it’s an accident waiting to happen. We loved having it and we loved having fish but it’s a bitch to maintain, very expensive, and because things are always going wrong we’re constantly having to refill it to keep the fish alive. Water is going to  be metered here soon and we just can’t afford it.

The bigger reason, of course, is Isobel. We’ve been talking about taking it out ever since the little stick I peed on revealed a plus sign. I would never just let her run around the yard without supervision, but since we have a pond I never even let her get a certain distance away from me. The pond is not exactly easy to fence off, either. I can’t wait till we have this land back.

Hopefully soon it will be scaled back to a modest water feature and I can fill this whole area with plants and a tiny orchard. And more Buddha Babies.

Home Movies: Wow

12 Sep

Before Isobel could talk she used to spend all day saying “wow” over and over and over. No one minded because it was pretty freaking adorable.

I really took Isobel’s “Wow” phase for granted. Probably because I was waiting anxiously for her to say real words. Now she says real words all the time and I dearly miss the constant stream of “wow!” that used to make up the babble of her daily conversation. I keep waiting anxiously for the next milestone, the next achievement, and then suddenly I realize she doesn’t want to sit in my lap and cuddle all day and she won’t let me put silly hats on her any more. Boo.