Monday, December 29, 2008

Play With ME, Not The Computer!

Due to heavy snows (and media hype, and me believing it), I worked from home for almost two straight weeks this month.

It was fine when I wasn't too busy, or when Gary was able to watch Aurora while I worked, but at times she had to be patient and play by herself with her toys. Luckily she's very self-directed.

After awhile, though, a baby runs out of patience, and it starts to show.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Exercise, Baby!

Just a little photo (since it's blurry) of Smacky in her new exersaucer.

She got the exersaucer and three small toys from Santa. Then we went to my parents' and she gave them each a present and received several in return.

Today she and I braved the slush and walked the half mile to Billy's to check on Sylvia Snapper. She had caught a Christmas mouse and left it as a token of affection for Billy and Colleen. So thoughtful!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who Loves 38 Degree Weather?

Gary wondered if smacky likes the cold snap we're having, and then he saw her face.

Aw yeah.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorating with Chains

Gary and Arlo went out yesterday and brought home a sweet little tree for us, which we decorated mostly with homemade ornaments since Gary's were lost in his move and I only have three, having never had a tree of my own before.

I gave smacky part of a paper chain to play with and of course it went straight into her mouth. Isn't she festive in her new hat?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hello, Friend

Several weeks ago, my mom and I took smacky on a thrift shopping extravaganza. We visited Value Village in Milwaukie, Red White and Blue in Gladstone, and somewhere else that slips my mind.

At that point, Smacky was just starting to be interested in toys and her hands were getting strong and wily enough to hold small items. I found several bags of good toys (mostly Sassy and Lamaze), one of which contained this strange alien-like bug with tiny, scrunchy wings and an accoutrement attached to each of his (her?) legs. Most of these toys have a hook or clip on the top, allowing them to be attached to her swing, bouncy seat, carseat, etc and they've provided her with HOURS of entertainment.

The only drawback is when we think she's having fun but she's actually getting bored. Then the toys get the brunt of her frustration as she yells and hollers at them. It's funny until we realize that she's starting to get upset.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Le Pain, Madame?

Aurora always gets to hold the bread at the grocery store.

Lucky baby!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Not Too Cold for Tongues

Gary and Smacky did a lot of walking around outside yesterday. They went to Milwaukie's Ledding Library and visited the pond and nutria, and they walked to World of Sausages for bacon.

Little smacky was chilly (see weepy eyes) but still in good spirits. She's been sticking her tongue out a lot lately, and sometimes will even do it as a reaction to your tongue.

Very cute!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Growth, Finally

Aurora has a new office- a highchair given to us from David York's son Joseph. (Thank you, David!)

The graphic on the chair looks like a little hat, doesn't it?

Now she can see OVER the table instead of rooting around at our feet like a common swine. Way to move up in the world, baby!

Smile, Baby

I don't remember it, but apparently having sharp teeth move through your gums hurts like a mother.

Smacky has been having a hard time of it lately as a lone upper tooth fights its way through her tender, virgin gums. We have plenty of things she can chew on, homeopathic gum gel (which is much tastier than orajel, I tell you what), icy bottles and delicious cherry flavored children's tylenol (most of which she spits out).

Thanksgiving was her worst night yet. She awoke from a nap to find herself surrounded by strangers with mom nowhere in sight, mouth hurting, and groggy to boot. After everyone left for the night her pain increased and she spent several minutes screaming in Gary's lap before we thought to give her the tylenol.

This morning she was a little fussy but by the time I left for work, she was all smiles. Gary captured this photo in which she shows her team pride for one of those college football teams. (I forget which is which.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Onesies and Diapers and Bibs, Oh My!

Babies sure generate a lot of laundry, don't they?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This Hat Was Made For Walkin'

It's been in the 40s lately, but Gary and Aurora still take their daily walk on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Here is Smacky fresh from a walk to World of Sausages (I swear that's their name) to get some triple smoked bacon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

True to her Japanese roots, Aurora likes rice! She likes it in her mouth, on her chin, all over her bib and (of course) on her clothes.

She was quite curious at first. . .

Then she thought maybe she liked it. . .

Then she knew she liked it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carmen Penguina

Sometimes a baby goes straight from the shower to a meal, and sometimes she doesn't have her extra hair towel handy. Then she is forced to use her Halloween costume hat to keep those stray hairs in check.

You can kind of see the penguin's face all mashed up on the upper left. Nice work there, Granny!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nom Nom Nom

What a delightful (and delicious!) Saturday we had. Here is Smacky having a little nosh on her fist as she waits for breakfast to be served. Luckily she'll always have those little appetizers handy, although they're not very filling.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ready to go Golfing

This jaunty ensemble was put together by Gary, after a splashy bath he and Aurora took this morning.

She sure loves baths!

Hopefully she'll learn to swim young (it's an essential skill, I think) and we can go river and lake swimming when she's older. And blow-up boating, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reunited and I Feel So Sleepy

Smacky and I took a total of 8 hours of naps together this weekend.

Ah, what bliss! She sleeps so much better when I'm there in bed with her. I hope this doesn't come back to bite me in a couple of years. . .

Anyway, from my headache and sore throat I can only assume that my first week back was fruitful in more ways than one. Who knows where that cold virus came from! Perhaps a young child whose mother works at Regence (which is across the street from Kindercare)? Perhaps it came from a baby who lives in NE Portland and whose father is a stagehand at the Keller Auditorium? The possibilities are endless. I wonder if Smacky and I will catch more colds than when I worked the drive-through window at Coffee People. God forbid!

Here she is at 5:55 tonight (Sunday), conked out in the kitchen as I prepared bottles for nighttime and tomorrow. I love how when she sleeps during the day she sleeps so much better at night.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekend Bliss

Today was Smacky's first full day at the Daycare of Granny and Grandpa. It was a rousing success!

Granny made Smacky a little nest on her bed, where the sniffling, sneezing baby had several naps. (Kindercare yielded not only new human friends but new germ friends, too.)

Smacky and Granny went on a stroller ride, played on the davenport, produced and wiped up copious amounts of snot, and generally had a Good Time.

10 hours after I dropped her off, I returned (~insert choir of angels singing here~) and we all had dinner together. At least the grownups did- garlic mashed potatoes, fried shrimp, and green salad. Smacky thought Granny's mashed potatoes looked mighty tasty and she stared at them as long as they were visible.

Then Smacky fell asleep in my arms and we went home for two full days of being alone together, just like the Olden Days. What a relief. This being apart business isn't much fun.


Here is Smacky enjoying a cozy morning last week. She had her Big Dogs grey hoodie and her striped legwarmers on- such a stylish baby!

Her foot is blurry because she's kicking so fast- practicing for swimming in the bathtub, no doubt.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Day of Work

Well, my first day at work was a great success in some ways, somewhat sucky in other ways.

Smacky and I woke up together at 6:30 with smiles on her part and grogginess on mine. I deposited her with her daddy and got ready for work, then left around 7:30 with them still snuggling in bed.

My coworkers decorated my desk with many "Welcome Back, Katy!" signs, photos of Smacky hanging from curling ribbon from the ceiling, some really funny Chuck Norris photos (see 2nd and 3rd phots), and my stuffed animal toys spread out on my desk, waiting to greet me. What a happy surprise! People greeted me with warmth all day and I went to lunch with one of my best work friends. Yay!

After a dark and rainy drive home at 5 o'clock, I arrived at a warm house, an offer of dinner and a happy, babbling baby. She became slightly cranky as I removed her from the swing to hold her, and fell asleep after about 10 minutes of being in my arms. At least we get to sleep together tonight.

Gary said she had three naps today, which is a record (way to go, Gary!), and it was very nice not to have her melt down like she does when she hasn't slept enough.

The upside is that I have extra time to blog tonight!

On sadder note, my ex mother-in-law's beloved dog Ching-Ching passed away this week. She will be dearly missed by Linda and Jim and their remaining dog Sheba. Read about it and see Ching-Ching's photograph at Dusty Angels (link to the right). Rest in Peace, Ching-Ching.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Day at Daycare

Tomorrow I go back to work, and Smacky will have lots of time with Granny, Gary, and her new friends at Kindercare.

Monday Smacky and I did a dry run to Kindercare. She stayed there for several hours, getting to know the teachers and conversing with the stuffed lion attached to one of the chairs. I did see some tear tracks when I picked her up, but they said she had a great day and even took two naps, which is much more than she does at home. I think the day was harder for me than it was for her, but who really knows?

Here is a photo of Gary and Smacky getting ready to start the day. Aren't they cute?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Going Pro

What a genial baby.
I think we should use this as Aurora's professional acting/ singing/ tapdancing headshot.

Fun with Mirrors

Smacky and I were at my parents' the other day, and my dad suggested that we take the baby to the bathroom mirror and see if she liked her reflection.

Once Smacky started smiling, she couldn't stop smiling since the other baby was so smiley, too.

It was a vicious cycle of smiling!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cutest Penguin Ever

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aurora Smackerella Penguin

I occasionally get emails from The Picture People, a mall photography "studio" where people take their children to be photographed for cheap.

I decided to take Smacky for a quick session to record her first Halloween and we got some passable shots of Miss Penguin and some really nice shots with her smiling. Such a genial baby!

Once I figure out how to save my scans from my new scanner, I'll post some photos. Until now you'll just have to think about Smacky sucking on her bowtie as she waits to get her picture taken.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keep Smiling

Smacky and I have been making the most of our last days together before I go back to work. Tonight we had a fun bath with strawberry soap, floating, and swimming (practically!). I even managed to keep her from crying when the shower curtain fell down. Phew!

Today we went for a walk down Hawthorne to do a few errands, and in the morning we went to babies R us for diapering supplies with Granny.

Here is smacky lying across my chest on the couch, the place that we sit for pumping and noshing. Basically, the baby kitchen. Last week we had some work started on the house which left 3-4 inch holes surrounding the back door- brrr! The weather is in the 60s this week and today our handyman sprayed insulation into the cracks so smacky didn't have to wear her snowman fleece like in this picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Red Haired Smack

Just so I have evidence that I, a brown haired, brown-eyed, half Japanese woman had a baby with red hair, I took a photo.

Yes, it's the back of her head, but you've seen the top- she's bald!

And you can see her birthmark, too. I thought it was a scar from the internal monitoring device they used during her birth, but my midwife told me otherwise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Is that toy too close, do you think?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Smacky's Motto: Be Prepared

Smacky was ready for her soup in this shot, giving a shout-out to SF and prepared for the inevitable spills with a handy napkin. (Which didn't do the photograph any good but it saved her ducky onesie.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Swedish Sock Massage

Smacky had the opportunity to get one of those relaxing sock massages when we were in the bay area, so of course she took it.

I'm not sure, but I think it was even better than a deep tissue massage, which is my favorite.

Ah, the relaxing power of socks. (Gold Toe, even!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Too Hot, Mommy!

It's gotten down into the low fifties at night lately, but probably not cold enough during the day to warrant this cozy snowsuit.

Smacky lay on the pillow as I carried in the groceries this afternoon, too swaddled, as you can see, to move.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smacky Rides Bart

Smacky and I traveled yesterday to the mission district of San Francisco, over elevated platforms and through tunnels, up and down elevators and ending with her strapped to my chest and me carrying the stroller up a flight of stairs. (That stroller's heavy!) The BART (bay area rapid transit) is very organized, although if you don't know what you're doing, you could end up going the wrong way on the wrong train and almost being late for dinner.

Here is a photo of Aurora trying to suck her thumb on the BART headed to Oakland, which is the opposite of where we wanted to go. Luckily I realized in time and we got back on a train going the other way to Berkeley. Whew! Smacky did cry when she thought we were lost but got over it quickly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Even Babies Love Hotels

Well, life in California is similar to life in Oregon for babies- drink milk, have a bath, kick and punch the air for a few minutes and eventually pass out.

Smacky was so good at Tabitha and Laurie's wedding yesterday. It was held on a terrace at a place called the Brazil Room on a mountain in Berkeley, and it was very chilly. Smacky can't wear a jacket when she is in the baby bjorn carrier, so I piled blankets on top and breathed on her head to keep her warm. After the ceremony, she spent dinner strapped to my chest, drinking milk and dozing. Then dancing and music started. The music was too loud to sleep, she said, so we waited until the cakes were served (7 different cakes- delicious!) and then headed back to the hotel.

Smacky didn't get to sleep until after 11pm- such a late night for a baby! Here she is taking a nap yesterday afternoon in anticipation of the night's festivities.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let's Sail

Here is the most dreaded foe in America- Milkbeard the Pirate. Y'aaaar.

Here she is in the American Grill at our hotel yesterday. Isn't she tough? Her fist is approaching the camera with a quickness. Duck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Remote Baby

I'm blogging from Emeryville, California tonight. Smacky is asleep on the bed upstairs and my mom is keeping a watchful eye on her as she reads her magazine.

We're in the bay area for my best friend's wedding, which I'm sure will be more fun than the movie of the same name.

Congratulations, Tabitha and Laurie!

This was Smacky's first plane ride, and she did a great job. She slept for most of it, only cried for a tiny bit twice (once I caught her leg in the carrier- ow!) and had a good time with Granny. Tomorrow we might explore the city and check out Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.
I'd better get back to the room- my snacks are calling!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sleep, my Pretty!

Yikes! My baby's favorite way to fall asleep is with the bottle. I wonder if that's something babies can outgrow before they ruin their teeth, or only after?

Any advice, parents? It's like a magic elixir to get her to sleep, as shown here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not the Eyes!

I tried to capture Smacky's cross-eyed look here but the angle was wrong. I keep telling her that her eyes are going to stay that way (really it's just a fear, not a threat), but she persists.

Come on, eyes, get organized!

(My brother is hiding in the background- can you see part of his face?)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dimly Lit Dim Sum

Whoops, maybe the baby isn't ready for a front-facing carrier yet. Either that or she really likes the tiled ceiling.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Baby Suave

How YOU doin?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Power of Breastmilk

We brought Aurora home from the hospital when she was three days old, verbally wrestling her from the overly-helpful people at the Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center at OHSU. (Gary did that part.)

Hours after we arrived, after Gary convinced the on-call doctor that she WOULD get enough to eat and that we wouldn't inadvertently kill her with our bad parenting skills, we gently placed her in her carseat and buckled her in. Her little 5 pound, 12 ounce body was too small and the straps were loose. Too loose to leave, our nurse said regretfully.

So I drove to Babies R Us, anticipating having to buy a brand new carseat especially for preemies, which was a different brand from our hand-me-down one and which wouldn't fit either of our strollers or the two extra bases we had bought. Damnation!

Just as I was at the checkstand with two new carseats, Gary called. "The nurse who knows all about carseats found another adjustment and she fits now! Come back and let's take her home!"

I sped back downtown and up the hill and we gave Aurora her first car ride on that warm July day. Look how spindly her little arms were! (Above) She still had the wires from her monitoring devices on, too.

Yesterday (7 pounds later, right), I took this shot of her in her carseat, napping contentedly. What a good grower she is.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still Sleeping

Sorry, folks, but it feels like whenever I have time to shove a camera in the baby's face, it's always when she's sleeping. She was quite angelic this morning before the fussing started, wasn't she?

Monday, September 29, 2008

School Picture Day!

Not exactly, but doesn't it look like she's all dressed up in her white shirt and black vest, smiling her nicest school-picture smile?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Free Toy

I don't know what's normal, but ever since Smacky's birth, her belly button has stuck out. It makes a crackling sound when I push it in, which amuses me, but I'm a responsible grownup and I don't play with it very often. (Not more than 2-3 times a day, that is.)

Recently, upon the advice of my mom and a nurse I queried, we visited our doctor, who said that her belly button is, indeed, herniated.

Most of them right themselves within a couple of years, she said, and the crackling sound you hear is her intestines poking into her belly button.

Ew, I thought, and vowed to stop playing with my baby's intestines, even if they were a fun and accessible toy.

Above is a photograph of Smacky's protruding belly button, and, by proxy, her crying face. She's not crying because she's in pain, gentle reader; she's simply overly tired (it being 11am, and past time for her morning nap) and she's fighting it as valiantly as she fights any injustice that she takes up as her cause.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Polio, Pertussis and Tetanus, oh my!

Yesterday was the day that lives in moms' minds for a long time: baby's first vaccinations. (dun dun duhhhh)

Smacky has two little scabs on her soft left thigh where the nurse jabbed her. I held her hands to keep them from flailing and the nurse surprised me by getting her leg up on the table and sitting on Smacky's feet. Then two shots, about 10 seconds of screaming, and it was over. Phew! I wasn't sure if she would have a very bad reaction, but this fits with what I've seen so far of her personality- pain tolerant and easy going. What a great baby.

We went downtown to have lunch with Gary today and afterwards she was a little sad and fussy, so I put her down for another nap when we got home. Hopefully she's not feeling too sick because Gary's sister Laurie is in town this weekend and we're planning to spend some time with his family.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's another sleepy morning here at the Raymond Street house.

Smacky and I were up three times in the night, at 12:30, 3:30, and 5, so she's catching up now.

10:17am and counting.