Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Joy of Teething

So I defrosted the frozen teething ring and Astrid seems to like it much better at room temperature.
There are little grooves in the plastic (i.e., lines, spirals, triangles, crisscrosses, curvy lines) for tactile fun.

Astrid's two bottom teeth are coming in nicely.

Hurricane Katrina

The photos and news coverage I've been seeing of the wreckage caused by Hurricane Katrina look like the apocalypse. It's being touted as the nation's "deadliest natural disaster since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake."

According to the news reports, 80% of the city of New Orleans is currently underwater. The mayor of New Orleans has called for a total evacuation of the city and they estimate that power won't return to the city for another 3 months.

Wow, an entire city with over half a million people abandoned and all those poor people with out homes who are now refugees.

Uwe and I were watching the news last night and immediately we thought about what it would be like in that situation with a baby. When you have a lack of power, food, clean water, medication, plus a breakdown of law and order going on in the city outside, it's definitely a crisis situation for adults; but when you have a baby you also have to think about what you would do with out formula, diapers, etc. and it really becomes a dire life and death situation.

I found this photo of a one week old baby sleeping in his bassinet surrounded by refugees camped out in a hotel in New Orleans and it broke my heart.

Jordan Barnes, a 1-week-old, sleeps with residents and visitors in an exhibition center at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 29, 2005. The hotel had a mandatory evacuation of all rooms due to windows breaking because of the hurricane. Barnes staying at the hotel with his parents, Martin and Nektar Barnes, and brother Martin Jr., 2, all from New Orleans. (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Gary Coronado)

How nice of George Bush to cut his vacation short today to finally acknowledge this emergency. So they flew him back to Washington for a press conference to be held later this afternoon. At least in this instance he won't have to use the word "nuclear". Let's see how his speech writers tackle the "global warming" issue and how it relates to the hurricane.

My Little Sweetheart


Astrid's Pushups

We've done away with tummy time. Thank goodness! It felt more like torture time since Astrid hated tummy time. But now she rolls over onto her tummy at will and it's a lot more enjoyable for her. She can lift up her head so well and push up with her arms. It looks like she's doing little baby pushups.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Feeding Time


Astrid's Favorite Pastime

Astrid's favorite pastime is sucking/chewing on her bib. She goes through about 5 bibs a day now.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Astrid's Godmother Jill

Here's Astrid with her Godmother Jill. I'm so glad Astrid has a Godmother like Jill who enjoys spending time with her and who takes great care of her (so her parents can venture out to concerts and movies from time to time knowing that she's in good hands), and we can share the joy of our little one together.

Tonight they got to enjoy bath time fun together while Uwe and I were at the Hollywood Bowl.

Jill said that Astrid fell right to sleep after her last feeding, so the bath, bottle, bed routine is working. Yeah!

Chinese Eyes










Years ago a 4 year old girl once told me that when I laugh I have "Chinese eyes". At first I was kind of offended. But like they say...truth from the mouths of babes. I realized what she meant was that my whole face laughs when I laugh, including my eyes which squinch up because my cheeks move too when I laugh. Astrid has this too. Her whole face lights up when she laughs. Her eyes, cheeks, mouth, and even her button nose. That's my girl. She may not look like me, but she has her mother's Chinese eyes when she laughs.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Saturday Brunch

Astrid's First Chompers

A little over a week ago I bought Astrid a teething toy thinking I would be proactive and be prepared when she started teething. Little did I know that she was ALREADY teething. She had been sucking on her bib a lot, chewing on her toys, and drooling. On Friday she also had a slight fever as well. All signs of teething. Uwe noticed them for the first time today. Astrid's new teeth! She has 2 bottom teeth coming in. We both could hardly believe it. She just turned 4 months old! Good news is that she didn't seem to have any fussiness or teething pain. I gave her a frozen teething ring today but Astrid didn't seem to like the cold. I'm going to defrost it and see if she prefers chewing on it when it's at room temperature with just water inside it.

Wow...teeth already! I still can hardly believe it. Now I've gotta start researching the proper hygiene to care for baby teeth so that she'll have healthy, strong, and pretty chompers.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another Scorcher & Day of Errands

Today was another scorcher in LA. The barometer was pushing up to 100 degrees for most of the day.

It was primarily a day of errands. We took the car in to get an oil change, went to Costco, went to Whole Foods, and yes we even went to the mall for the air conditioning and ended up buying some new onsies for Astrid. Her size 3 month onsies are getting a bit short/tight so now I'm buying the 6-9 month ones for her so she won't outgrow them so fast.

In the evening we had some friends over for dinner (Aaron, Leslie, and their 3 year old son Beck). Later on our friend John also joined us. We all sat out on our balcony and the evening temperature was perfect.

There's something to say about sitting outside at night and feeling perfectly comfortable in shorts and short sleeves, sitting out on the balcony enjoying the view and summer night sky, and spending time with friends.

Okay if I'm not careful I may break into the "Summer Nights" song from Grease. Let's just hope the days get a little cooler, but we can still sit outside and enjoy the summer nights with friends. Before you know it another summer will be over.

Nostalgia

I can't believe:
1) Kellogg's used to make a cereal called "Sugar Smacks"
2) Someone authorized using a frog wearing a shirt that says "Dig Em" who gives high fives also known as "smacks" as their trademark in a commercial
and
3) That I used to eat this stuff when I was a kid.

Watch the commercial.

Where does nostalgia stem from?

There's also the Kool-Aid commercial with literally a guy dressed up as a pitcher filled with red punch. If I really think back this stuff was 99.99 percent sugar and so bad for us, but I still enjoyed watching the commercial and remembering how I loved watching the Kool-Aid Man crash through walls to the kids on the the other side all drinking Kool-Aid.

Will I look back fondly on all the kookiness in the world in the 2000's? Will rewatching something or talking about something that happened in 2005 bring a warm wave of nostalgia and a smile to my face?

Everything has a way of going back to Astrid now doesn't it?...

Uwe and I were looking at digital photos of Astrid the other day. We went back and viewed photos taken on the day she was born and the first few months of her life. We almost can't believe she was that tiny. She looks so different now in terms of features and size. It's only been 4 months but Uwe and I both already look back at our experience with fondness. Thinking back, that warm wave of nostalgia just washed right over us and brought smiles to our faces.

What is Life?

The makers of Brooks running shoes has a cute 90 second cartoon depicting "life". (Life of a runner of course.) Creative advertising.
Click here to watch the cartoon

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mommy & Me Bath Time

For Astrid's evening bath, we both took a plunge in the tub. Instead of a chore..."I have to bathe Astrid tonight"...it turned into some nice bonding time between us.I noticed our reflection in the bathtub drain lever, so I took some photos. All the droplets of water you see are from Astrid splashing.

Our extra deep Kohler bathtub is like a swimming pool for Astrid. She splashes and kicks her legs out like a little frog. It's adorable to watch.

Now that she can hold her head up it's much easier for me to hold her securely and maneuver around with her.

I think Astrid will really enjoy the "Mommy & Me" swimming classes. The minimum age requirement for the classes is 6 months so we have to wait 2 more months.


Astrid's all clean and ready for dinner and then off to Lala Land.

Magazine Cover

Flickr has a feature for creating a magazine cover from a photo.
Create your own Magazine Cover

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Clean & Happy

Here's Astrid clean and happy on her changing table after her evening bath. For the first time tonight I bathed her right before feeding her and putting her to bed. Normally we bathe her in the afternoon because of the summer heat, but bathing her right before I put her down to sleep in the evening will establish more of a sleeping routine. First bath, then bottle, then bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dental Visit & Griffith Park

Here is a photo of Astrid waiting patiently in the dentist's office waiting room. She doesn't have any teeth to be cleaned yet, but at least she got to meet her future dentist Dr. Shamsian.

Following our dentist's recommendation to give Astrid fluoridated water for healthy chompers, we started ordering fluoridated bottled water from Sparkletts soon after Astrid was born. Weird thing is that it's the same price as their regular water, but you have to "request" the fluoridated water.
Afterwards we went to Griffith Park and headed straight for the playground. This time I had my camera and got some fun photos of Astrid on the swing.

At first Astrid wasn't too sure about the swing. She'd look to me for reassurance as if to ask "Is this supposed to be fun?" before she started smiling and enjoying herself.

As you can see it didn't take too long for Astrid to catch on..."Alright! I like this swinging business mommy!" I like these baby swings. They offer more support for babies. Astrid can even lay back and the swing cradles her little body. "Weeeee!" Do you see Astrid's big smile? What you can't see is the even bigger smile on my face. It was a lot of fun pushing Astrid on the swing and sharing her excitement. The playground was packed with families. During the summer since we have longer daylight, parents can take their kids to the park after work and still enjoy the day.

Astrid and I were happy that Uwe got to enjoy some time with us at the park. Fifi and Fido...too cute.

We'd had enough sun so we headed for the carousel. This time since Uwe was with us, we bought tickets (Astrid was free) and all went for a ride. Here is a photo of Uwe and Astrid standing in front of the carousel's organ. The ceramic dolls move.

We all sat in a sleigh on the carousel and even though the organ music was pretty loud, Astrid did really well sitting on my lap and we all enjoyed the ride. When the carousel started slowing down Uwe, a kid at heart, exclaimed, "Awww...it's over already?!"

Having a kid gives you an excuse to play and to relive your childhood. Although you don't get much sleep as a parent and it might give you some gray hairs, living in the moment and sharing the joy of your child keeps you young at heart.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Walk Around the Rose Bowl

Here is Astrid all dressed up and ready for our walk around the Rose Bowl today. Even though it was a hot summer afternoon I dressed Astrid in pants and matching socks (check them out...instead of polka dots, they have polka squares...total baby socks. When she gets older she's going to say, "I can't believe my mom dressed me up in those funky clown socks." But hey, when can she ever wear socks like these? Or ever let me dress her up in them? So take advantage while we can!), so that she won't get a sunburn.

I was aghast in seeing that she already has tan lines. (Although I can't show them to you with out posting a photo of her cute, white, baby bottom. Maybe I'll take a few just for family consumption.) We're so good about staying out of the sun but she must have gotten them while sitting in her car seat with the sun streaming through the backseat window.

The window is tinted but I have been wanting to get one of those sun screens to attach to the window for extra sun protection. The ones we've seen so far have had kooky kid prints on them and Uwe refuses to drive around with Elmo or Barney attached to his car. Very uncool, even if you are a new dad. (We keep all the ugly, gaudy kid print stuff hidden inside the house. We try our best to buy stuff with out the gaudy print but it seems almost all the "kid/baby" stuff has it. Have you checked out Graco baby products? They have great products but everything is covered with this gawd awful kitschy print. It gives you a headache just looking at all that plaid or country kitsch. Then there are the other companies that think "baby" means putting every color imaginable and covering every inch with pictures of characters/animals, etc. Uwe and I discussed that baby companies should invest in providing a "cool" line of prints. Monochromatic, modern, minimalistic. I'm sure there's a huge demand for it but because currently we don't have that option, parents just buy what's available.) For now I just put a receiving blanket over Astrid's legs when she's riding in her car seat.

The Rose Bowl is located in Pasadena, California. Although it's known mainly for the New Year's Day football game, it's also the home to UCLA football and has also hosted five NFL Super Bowl Games, the 1994 Men's World Cup, and the 1999 Women's World Cup, and has a Fourth of July fireworks celebration each year, and a bi-monthly flea market. There's also a country club located adjacent to it with an exclusive golf course. The 3 mile plus walking path around the bowl and golf course is always bustling with people walking, running, rollerblading, and bicycling.

During our walk Astrid kept pulling on her left sock. If you look at this photo you can see her left sock is a lot bigger than her right sock. That's because her sock is all stretched out. She ate her lunch on the golf course across from the 16th hole, in the shade, under a large sycamore tree.
The golf course has a fence around it but has lots of gates that are open for golf carts to zoom in and out. One open gate had two benches next to a tree in the shade. That's the spot I picked to feed Astrid. She ate while I watched the golfers.

Uwe and I took golf lessons and played for a bit but I never really caught the golf bug. I mean it can be fun but you have to walk in the hot sun and chase this little ball around and just keep hitting it. I always feel like, "How many holes are left? Let's hurry up so we can go." But today as I was watching those golf carts zoom by I thought to myself, "Now there's a way to play a game of golf." One old guy had a large cooler attached to the back of his cart. It was one of those coolers you see the football players pour onto their coaches, loaded with Gaterade, after winning a Superbowl championship. Nice. He saw me feeding Astrid and stopped to asked me, "Would you like a glass of ice water?" And then there were the 2 couples each driving around in their own golf cart laughing and drinking cocktails between holes. I may have to try that and see if that makes the game of golf a lot more enjoyable.

The squirrels were also out in full force today. It was sweet to see them chasing one another and barking. I kept pointing them out to Astrid and saying "squirrel." But of course she was preoccupied with pulling on her polka square clown sock, so she may not have been paying attention.

Speaking of squirrels...

When I was 5 months pregnant Uwe and I went to New York. We both wanted to be in a city where it snowed for Christmas and what better place than New York? So one day we went to Central Park and it was the first time I had seen the lake frozen into ice and there was an ice rink. I had visions of "Love Story" in my mind and I really wanted to go ice skating but the line was ridiculous. It was like a 2 hour wait. So instead we walked around the park and I got a pretzel and started feeding the squirrels. They are so friendly and all you have to do is hold out food and they come to you and eat right out of your hand. I had a big chunk of pretzel left and it became the running joke. Uwe kept trying to get me to throw it away but I kept it in case I saw another squirrel. Well wouldn't you know that after our trip and flight back to LA I reached in my jacket pocket and guess what I felt? Yep, that pretzel piece. It was hard as a rock. I couldn't resist. I turned to Uwe and held it out to him and asked, "Would you like a piece of pretzel?"

Getting back to our walk around the Rose Bowl...

Astrid enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells and of course pulling on her sock, while I broke a sweat and got a nice workout pushing the stroller arond the Bowl for 3 miles.