The Spud Update

Claire Delenn vonRoeschlaub

Born August 2nd, 2000 at 6:35AM EST
8lbs 6oz (3.86 kg), 21 in. (51.5 cm)

Newer Updates

October 29th, 2001

So, isn't that a cute picture? It's a few weeks old, but Claire still looks mostly like that.

This weekend Claire got to show off her new costume: Tickety-Tock from Blue's Clues. Everyone loves the costume. I modified a mouse costume to use the correct colors, then stuffed the ears and made the front patch round. Diana cut out hands and numbers and the sewed them on the face. It is really cute, if a bit big still.

We went to teh pumpkin patch and took a huge number of pictures, so I will post any good ones as soon as we have them developed.

October 27th, 2001

Wow, I didn't realize how far behind I had fallen with this log. So, what has happened in the last month?

Claire has gone from a stumbling walk to nearly running. She outright refuses to crawl anymore, and loves to carry things around, especially Diana's pocketbooks. We spent last monday at the mall we lat Claire wander about a bit and she just ran, peeked in doors and windows, and enjoyed herself immensly. She just loves her shoues, too, and tries to put them on whenever she finds them.

As far as eating, she feeds herself quite a bit. In fact, last night she managed to use a spoon correctly for the first time. She used to dip the spoon in the food, then lick off whatever stuck to it. Four times she managed to scoop food and keep it piled on the spoon until it arrived at her mouth. From her face it was clear she knew she did it right, and I cheered her on to reinforce it. For the record, twice with the left hand, then twice with the right.

She has also become more sophisticated with her toys. She can stack blocks and put two Legos together, and she even avoids knocking down the little structurs I build. This morning she actually fixed a fallen block from teh top of a tower I made when she accidentally knocked it loose.

September 24th, 2001

Today I got to watch Claire while mom ran off to scrapbooking. Well, sort of. Actually I picked Claire up at the Landmark where Diana had been teaching a class on baby sign language. I let Claire wander about with her walker for an hour or so and she would occasionally abondon the walker and take one, two, and once five steps to examine somthing that looked interesting. It was fun, but Claire really did not want to go to sleep, and stayed up until past nine.

September 23rd, 2001

Claire had her first taste of coke today. I was drinking from a glass as Claire touched the ice cubes floating in it gingerly. I said "cold" and gave the sign for it. Claire smiled, said "code," and plunged her arm to the bottom of the glass. After her hand was extricated I showed her how it was a drink and she wanted a taste. I know she drools a lot when drinking from a glass, but I let her have a sip. Her face turned from delight to horror as she stuck out her tounge and tried to wipe the soda off it.

September 22nd, 2001

Today we went to the Rennaisance Festival in town. Claire enjoyed it quite a bit. She rode on my back in the backpack/stroller we purchased for France. From it she watched a singer, a juggler, and two knights jousting. She also insisted on wearing a jester cap.

September 11th, 2001

What a rough day.

When I woke up this morning, the day was like any other. Claire wanted to be held, I showered and dressed quickly so my wife could go through her morning routine, and Claire ate her favorite beakfast: vanilla yogurt. I made my lunch and left the house a little late.

Fortunately I had luck with the lights and made it to the office early. As I was pulling into the office parking lot the radio anounced that there was a fire at the World Trade Center. The report said some people claimed it was a plane crash. I smiled at how silly that was, planes have been forbidden to fly over manhattan since a bomber crashed into the Empire State Building during WWII. I still mentioned it to Anita when we met in the lot on our way to the office door.

It wasn't long afterwards that my officemate came in and told me of the second plane. That's when we knew it was terrorists. Nobody could get any real work done. Even when I concentrated on the task at hand what seemed like just a minute ended up being an hour. We kept finding ourselves getting together and wondering what had just happened.

My wife called to let me know the towers had collapsed. I couldn't find out anything. All the news websites were blocked by heavy traffic and the cable TV was disconnected over a year ago. There wasn't even an antenna. Nobody has a radio since the building was originally constructed for the Department of Defence and was shielded against radio waves.

By three in the afternoon it was clear any more time spent here would just be wasting money, so I went home. Besides, with all major roads on the island shut down rush hour would be a disaster, even if I do reverse commute.

The drive home was rough. Many drivers were still in shock and drove at 10 MPH. All I wanted to do was get home and see my wife and child. When I reached route 107, still ten miles from home, 25A had been shut down, so I had to take the back roads from there.

It's seems strange, but even though I was only 14 miles from Manhattan I couldn't see anything. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized what was wrong with that. Usually I can see the tops of the twin towers over Great Neck as I go down Shore Road. Not any more.

When I got home I found that over the last few months we had managed to run out of alcohol. I don't drink much, but I was still in shock and needed something. We made a family trip out of our visit to the liquor store: Malibu rum, vodka, tequila, and a nice white wine. Don't get me wrong, the goal was not to get drunk. Buisness there was brisk, and quite a few people outside demonstrated they weren't waiting to get home.

My mother-in-law passed us on our way home and she spent the evening with us eating pizza and watching the news. Funny, we watched for four hours and there was not a single commercial break. I don't know why that stands out, but it does.

Claire had a pretty hard time going to sleep. I think she was affected by the tension we all felt, and by nine we just put her down and let her cry it out. None of us had a good night. Diana woke up some time during the night, even she doesn't remember when, and when I woke at 4 AM I couldn't go back to sleep.

August 26th, 2001

Claire just took her first steps. Well, step. She had been walking behind the stroller we purchased here (a "pusette" in French) and she let go and took one step to Diana without holding on to anything. Later she repeated the performance for me and my mother. She looked very proud of herself.

August 19th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Took Claire with us to France. She was wonderful on the flight, and slept almost the entire time. Part of the reson was because we had to switch planes (a broken radio) and Claire spent the two hour wait crawling back and forth across the terminal. Her hands and legs were filthy.

The plane was packed with people, and Claire had to ride on our laps. I was worried about what we would do when she fell asleep, but my wife had a brilliant idea. She put down the tray tables and laid out blankets for a makshift crib. Claire did wake up at three in the morning, but that was because it was sunny outside. We landed an hour later.

Claire loves France and spent the entire bus trip to the apartment staring out the window going "ooh, ahh." I don't know where she learned to make those sounds, but it was very funny.

August 9th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Making a major update. The last update was erased by the server, so I'm doing this one locally so there will be a backup if it happens again.

August 6th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire stood up for the first time, as far as anyone has seen, all by herself. I was lying in the kitchen doorway playing blocker for the changing room, and Claire was by the fridge. For no reason I was able to discern she just stood up unfolding exactly the opposite way she sits down. She looke dvery pleased with herself for a second ro two and then sat down.

August 4th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire's birthday party. It was nice to have some people come over for a visit and a little party. Well, Diana was involved, so there was nothing little about the party. We filled the St. Cecilia room at the church and decked it out with plenty of food and decorations. Whew, had to clean up a bit afterwards too. If even a speck of dust had been left behind someone would have noticed and complained, so I can say with absolute confidence the room was even cleaner when we left than when we came in. And it only took a few hours to accomplish!

Seriously, it was nice having everyone there and Claire had such a wonderful time. I'm going to have Diana do a nice write-up of the event and I'll put it here.

August 2nd, 2001

Kurt jr.:Claire's Birthday!! One year old today. Wow, one whole year. The Bandfield branch of the family came over tonight and we we able to have a little fun before it was time to go. Claire was so excited we couldn't get her to sleep until after everyone left, two hours later than her normal bedtime.

June 8th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Just a little update to post a more recent picture. Yes, it is still a bit old but Claire looks so cute in those bunny ears. And yes, she is trying to eat her foot.

June 7th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire seems to have taken a short break from physical advancement to mental progress. This morning when Diana and I came in to get her after she awoke, Claire said "I love you." Well, she said "Ah wo wuu," but that is close enough to be recognizable since we say it to her so often.

So add that to her list of mama, dada, buh (book), and ubah (up) as well as a few names (Tuesday night she said "an ra-ra" for the third time). I have to admit I'm very happy that she is fond enough of books to group it with being picked up in things worth knowing how to say.

June 4th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire started crawling last Thursday, and now she is already cruising. For those that don't have children, cruising is walking while holding on to things. Basically, she can't stand on her own still, but she does understand the concept of walking enough to make her feet move correctly. This is usually just a "standing on their own" level away from walking which will officially turn her into a toddler.

Damn, they sure grow up fast.

June 2nd, 2001

Kurt jr.: This thursday Claire took her first few tentative steps at crawling. By Friday she would crawl when coaxed. Now, Saturday, she zips across the room with such speed we can no longer take our eyes off her for even a second. That means baby proofing the house.

Now all these little baby-proofing items are pretty inexpensive when taken singly. Unfortunately, since she is already standing with assistance, we had to go from none to complete baby-proofing in one single step. That meant an outlay of about $300 (well, that does include the diapers and baby-wipe refils, but still . . .).

We have turned the "eat-in" part of our kitchen into a safe harbor by putting up a gate and carpeting and sticking bumpers and locks on the radiator and cabinet. I have to make some sort of skirt for the rocker to keep her from getting her fingers caught, but most reasonable dangers are allayed enough that we can put her in there for a few moments when we need to.

May 29th, 2001

Kurt jr.: This weekend Claire had her first road trip. It was a five hour drive up to Ed Gegan's wedding in Canistota, but Claire had hardly any trouble. In fact, it wasn't until the return trip after we dropped Tony off and got within a few miles of home that she started crying at all.

The wedding was wonderful, and even if it did rain most of the time, it was sunny when it counted. A great Memorial Day weekend. Diana got to spend time with many of her High School friends (obviously not much with Ed, but he was busy elsewhere). I watched Claire as much as I could so Diana was free to stay up with her friends.

Claire did enjoy the wedding reception (I had to rush her out of the ceremony when she decided it was a good time to practice talking) and despite the presence of Child care spent most of the time with us. She loved the dancing and, towards the end, when both of us were pooping out, she fell asleep on my arm while I fell asleep myself in the lobby. Out cold might be a better way of phrasing it.

May 17th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire is starting to find a new sleep pattern, and unfortunately it involves less actual sleep.

It all started Tuesday night when Claire, obviously tired, still took over an hour to put down. Since it was Diana's night out I had to do this on my own. Claire then awoke at four in the morning and, since Diana had a job interview at noon, again I had to take care of it. This involved a change, feeding, and playing for an hour and a half until she started rubbing her eyes. When I went to put her down she cried so loud it woke Diana (the monitor was off). And took about another hour. Diana let me sleep late and I barely made it to work on time, but I'm grateful for the recovery time.

Last night we thought she was over it. We had a walk, gave her a bath, then put her in her crib and ten minutes on her own with a bottle and she was fast asleep. Until she woke us up again at three. I took a peek into the room and Claire had managed to pull herself into a standing position but couldn't get back down. I guess she was afraid to fall, so she couldn't let go, and didn't have the dexterity to let herself down slowly. She went back to sleep rather quickly once I helped her down.

Unfortunately the shortage of sleep has left me a bit disoriented.

May 13th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire went to see her Great-Grandma for Mother's Day. We had a wonderful time and claire enjoyed all the attention she got and all the new things to look at. She was in a remarkably good mood all day, she even napped for two and a half hours during the day. Unfortunately, even though she fell asleep in the car on the way home when we woke her up changing her into a sleeper she just wouldn't go back to sleep.

May 10th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Wow, what a busy time I've had. I still don't have much time for a real update, but here is a quick synopsis of some of what has happened since the last update.

While in Georgia Claire said "Bah bah" (bye bye) at the appropriate time. Well, since then she has done it more and more often. She has also said "hi" and "nani" and will often repeat the last few syllables of what she just heard.

Claire also progressed quite quickly from getting from lying to the sitting position, getting from sitting to on her knees, and finally pulling herself up to standing. She still can't crawl, but she can scoot about on her butt while sitting, and has mastered the "lie down, try to reach what I want, sit up, repeat" method of getting things quite a distance away (each time, sitting up moves her about a foot closer).

Finally, Claire now feeds herself Cheerios with gusto. She doesn't seem to particularly like them, but the novelty of putting food in her mouth herself hasn't worn off, so she keeps doing it anyway. She also insists on holding her bottle when we put her to sleep, witch is just fine with us since that means we can leave her be and about half the time she manages to go to sleep on her own as a result.

April 8th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire is down here in Waycross, Georgia with the relatives. She flew on her first airplane and was very good about it. We kept passing her back and forth but she only cried when we started our descent because we couldn't get her to drink from her bottle, she had already eaten as much as she could stand during takeoff.

When we landed Aunt June and Aunt Carolyn were waiting for us at the gate and after a very long wait for a renatl car we headed up to Waycross. There we met Aunt Jackie, Uncle Mack, Uncle Bill, Cousin Sharon, and Second cousin Misty.

April 7th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Diana's birthday today. And we go to Georgia tomorrow. Daina is looking forward to showing off Claire to all the relatives.

April 1st, 2001

Kurt jr.: Today Claire got to meet Ray Harryhausen, well, sort of. He gave a lecture and, while showing some clips from his movies the noise became too much for Claire so I took her into the hall (I've seen them all anyway). While out there Mr. Harryhausen came out into the hall to compain about the poor quality of the video equipment (everything was red).

March 27th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Okay, I have a little rant. Claire has this toy that I like to refer to as a "stuffed ball of evil." It is actually a small toy rabbit with a button in it's belly. Even a slight contact with the rabbit causes it to light up and play "nature sounds." Apparently cell phones ringing in a Model-T that needs a tune-up is considered a natural sound nowadays. Oh, and it also overlays that noise with what sounds like Pee-Wee Herman laughing.

Last night Claire was only just starting to drift off to sleep when an errant sweep of the arm gently caressed the thing. It started making it's hideous hell-noise and Claire began to wake up. Did I mention there is no off switch? You have to wait for it to time out which apparently takes several eon. Every time the cell phone noise rang it sounded like the stupid thing was getting louder and I was convinced the neighbors would be calling asking me to turn it down. I eventually stuffed it under a blanket in the closet where it was only annoying.

This morning I did notice Diana had returned it to the crib. Damn.

March 25th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire is just advancing too fast. She has been trying to pull herself up on the crib railing for some time now. This is impressively intuitive considering she had to figure out that pulling yourself up concept on her own . . . it isn't like Diana and I stand up by grabbing a nearby object and hauling ourselves off the floor.

Anyway, today she managed to pull her head over the railing enough to look down at the floor. I ducked down next to the crib and played a sort of reverse peek-a-boo with her where she was in control, pulling herself up to look down at me and being so surprised she would let go and fall back to the sitting position.

March 18th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire has two new teeth, both up top. One just poked through and the other is so close on it's heels we noticed them both at the same time. For those keeping score, the total is now four, two on top and two on bottom. This has made her bite a rather nasty prospect. Fortunately, due to either her fear of hurting us or, more likely, the fact that it feels wierd, Claire has hesitated from chomping down too hard when we reach in her mouth (this happens more often than someone without a small child would suspect).

March 12th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire had her first taste of meat today. I purchased some flounder on the way home pretty much just for this purpose. After broiling the fish we strapped Claire in her high chair and I filmed as Diana mashed the food as much as she could and fed Claire a bit on her spoon.

Claire took it happily, but as soon as she got a taste she made the kind of unhappy face only a baby can do properly. This is all on video and I have to purchase a video capture board so I can post it. It is so cute to see her absolutely miserable yet continuing to eat because she doesn't know how to spit the food out.

After she started to choke on a piece (even mashed to a pulp it was more lumpy than anything she normally eats) we gave up and I fed her applesauce. Fortunately she trusted me enough to try it and, since it is one of her favorites, ate the whole jar.

March 11th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Today Claire waved bye-bye for the first time. Diana had taken Claire to visit Shelly while I rested up from a somewhat tiring weekend (it's nice to just spend a little time relaxing at home with nobody to interrupt you). As Diana was leaving Shelly waved goodbye to Claire and, for the first time, Claire responded with a wave of her own.

March 6th, 2001

Kurt jr.: I took the whole day off because of the "storm of the century" that was coming. I am annoyed for two reasons, one because the century is only a few months old so just about any storm could earn that title, and two it never actually got so bad that I would have been in trouble had I gone to work.

That aside, it was nice to spend a little time with Claire. She ended up napping much of the day anyway, and therefore didn't sleep well come night. Ah well.

February 25th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Rachel set up a surprise party for my parent's wedding anniversary. It was absolutely incredible, and I feel rather guilty that my main contribution was a few restored wedding photos and having them watch Claire as a distraction.

February 24th, 2001

Kurt jr.: When I came in to Claire's room this morning Claire looked at me and said "dada." Of course, Diana had the camera ready and explained she had been saying "dada" all morning. It was still pretty nice.

February 22nd, 2001

Kurt jr.: Claire got her first tooth today. The bottom left (or right, we are still debating its relative position).

February 21st, 2001

Kurt jr.: Yes, the video below does work (confirmed by a few people) it just isn't all that exciting. It will probably go before long just to make room for other things, so enjoy it while it's here.

This weekend Claire started "singing" although one might argue she was just trying different way of saying "dai" at different notes. It's still very cute.

February 18th, 2001

Aunt Rachel: I miss my little Claire bear because I haven't seen her in 5 days! Last time I baby sat, Claire pretended to cough. Instead of coughing back I stuck out my tongue and did a rasberry. I kept doing this until she stopped coughing and gave me a rasberry back. Sorry Kurt and Diana! :)

February 17th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Nothing really new to report, just thought I'd post this video of claire sitting up in her crib. trying out the extra Logitech QuickCam that my father gave me when he purchased his new computer.

February 16th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Well, exciting news. Claire has learned to sit up on her own. This is really amazing since she couldn't do it at all just a few days before. We are realy excited since this means she can play with her toys on her own now. Of course, her favorite toy is still a piece of paper.

We also had a bit of a scare when Diana rushed off to the doctor with Claire worried she had dislocated her right shoulder. After examining it for a while and having another doctor come in and check it out they concluded that it was just a childhood thing and she should grow out of it.

Nonnie aka Priscilla von Roeschlaub: A big first and I saw it!

While at the doctors, Claire was smart enough to show off by sitting up all by herself so she could tear the paper on the examining table. Unfortunately once she falls over she still requires assistance to sit up again; a need I'm sure she'll be demanding for a while.

And I was there with her Mommy to see it!

February 14th, 2001

Kurt jr.: Well, I'm just testing this out. It's an automatic spud update updater. I am doing this so that people in the family can update the spud update when they have something to say about Claire while babysitting her or whatever.

I'd love to make it available to everyone, but I think I need to make sure it works properly first.

It should be fun to see how this works.

February 9th, 2001

I have to stay at home and watch Claire today. Claire and anyone who could watch her are sick. Fortunately she had her six month checkup today. Weighing in at 19lbs 7oz she is still just a tad over the 95th percentile in height and weight, and at the 98th percentile in head size. She's a big baby, and only nine ounces from outgrowing her car seat.

I'm trying something out which will make the updates easier and more frequent.

February 7th, 2001

Poor Claire seems to be sick. In the middle of feeding she threw up all over me (hey, it goes with the territory) and it took a while to clean up. Good thing she woke up so early or I would have been late.

Well, tonight, after spending all day with Chesta and my mom she hardly ate anything, so when we fed her for nighttime it was the first solid meal she had all day (can't count the one she left on the floor that morning). Unfortunately she lost it again, this time on Diana.

So much nervous pacing and calling of pediatricians ensued, but in the middle of this we put her in her crib, where she cried quite well. I walked in to comfort her but she wasn't having anything to do with it. Instead she called out "muhmuhmuhmuh" and kept doing it until Diana arrived. She didn't stop crying until she was picked up, but she stopped calling "muhmuhmuhmuh" right away.

I think we might have a winner for Claire's "first word."

February 4th, 2001

When I woke up this morning I went in to check on Claire and she was wide awake holding on to her doll (a little stuffed thing that vaguely resembles Raggedy Ann). As soon as she saw me she dropped the doll and held both hands up towards me. A very rewarding moment for a daddy.

February 2nd, 2001

Diana and my fifth year engageversary. Five years ago on Groundhog's day I proposed to Diana at the 56th Fighter Group, a rather fancy place. This was the first time the anniversary fell on a Friday, so it was the first time we saw a real crowd there.

Claire spent the time with my mother and sister who watched her until the next day, giving us some nice time as a couple again. Because of the crowds service was a bit slow and we stayed there a rather long time. I was so tired I have to admit I nearly fell asleep on the drive home.

January 27th, 2001

In Chicago with Mike for B-Fest, a 24 hour B-Movie marathon. It's a bit hard going a weekend without seeing Claire. Add to that the lingering cold and no bed . . . I should be miserable. Instead I'm having a hell of a time. Go figure.

January 1st, 2001

Claire joined us for the midnight wait, but while she was not ready for sleep as the new year rolled around, we most definately were. After an exciting time at the resturant (including Claire deciding a cup of hot tea was a good plaything and spilling it in daddy's lap) we went to a wonderful party that we had to beg out of before midnight rolled around. Fortunately Claire fell asleep in the car on the drive home since I doubt I could have stayed up a minute longer.

December 25th, 2000

Claire in her Christining gown Yay! I made out great with a Playstation (not that I get much of a chance to play video games, but with a PS1 I have increased those opportunities significantly by not requiring the computer. I also gave Diana her big presents which were a GameBoy (and associated Pokemon paraphenelia) and the Fantasia collectors set on DVD, one of her favorite Disney films.

Claire made out well, but since it was mostly clothing I think it's for the best that she's still too young to appreciate the holiday, she won't be putting up with cute pullovers in a few years. Rachel did provide an awsome painting of Blue (where to hang it is the big question).

To the left is a christening picture of Claire that Diana had professionally done. It was given as a gift to a number of family members, and I carry a copy in my wallet now. I wish I could take shots like that. of course B&W photos always come out better then color for some reason.

December 24th, 2000

Well, a big day at church, and the first time Claire has given us any trouble there. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, but up until now the service was just too interesting for her to be bothered about minor trivialities like how we were not holding her or entertaining her much. It looks like she may have to start visiting the nursery soon.

December 15th, 2000

After several days with no ill effects we decided Claire is not allergic to apples. Yesterday we moved on to rice.

Now, Gerber makes this powdered rice flake stuff that is to real rice what instant potato flakes are to a baked potato, but it liquifies nicely so that's what she gets. We mixed it with her neocate instead of water, and used the maximum amount of liquid, which made it look like slightly curdled formula. At first Diana gave her a few spoonfulls, but Claire just didn't know how to properly swallow them, so it ended up dribbling down her chin as she cried because she could taste the food, but it wasn't going to her tummy.

In the end we just put the rice in a bottle, poked a meat fork through the nipple to widen the hole, and fed it to her that way. The confused look on her face as the noticably lumpy consistency encountered her palate was priceless. She looked like someone who just bit into an apple and found it tasted like chicken. It isn't gross, just confusing.

This morning we tried it again, this time with two tablespoons of rice (which corresponds to four fluid ounces in the bottle) and she downed it without question faster than the formula ever dissapeared. Maybe the novelty of the slight taste change (hey, it's still neocate, and rice doesn't have that much flavor) inspired her to eat more.

We'll be watching to see how she handles it digestion-wise.

December 12th, 2000

No, it's not that nothing happened. Lot's has happened in the last two weeks, but most of it involves the aggravation of not having enough time between the tight project schedule and all sorts of things that have to be done at home. I'm still not getting enough free time to do much here right now, but I'm going to try to get some of the new pictures of Claire up as soon as possible.

Last Friday Claire had her four month checkup and she scored a 95. She is in the 95th percentile for height, weight, and head size. That means she is properly proportioned, but very big. As in bigger then 95% of all bebies her age. She's 16 lbs 6 oz, though normally a girl is not supposed to give out her weight.

Last night, though, Claire had he first solid food. Well, if you consider apple sauce to be solid, that is. She liked it, though it was clear she didn't have a full grasp of the whole "move it to the back of your throat before swallowing" thing. We'll keep an eye on her for a few days and if nothing untoward happens "apples" will be listed under the approved foods for Claire.

November 26th, 2000

Claire's baptism went smoothly, she hardly even cried except when she got hungry just before the sermon. Lots of people had gathered for the party afterwards, no need to have worried about leftovers (except half of a five pound ham). Most of the people attending were family, with only a few friends because of the crowding.

I didn't get to spend much time with people at the party as I would have wanted, especially since there were so many of them I wanted to spend time with. Add to that how Diana and I had been working overtime since Thanksgiving to get everything ready, and I wanted to give Diana a small semblance of a break by caring for Claire as much as I could, and it isn't hard to imagine how I felt when the whole thing was over and I was able to crawl into bed at home.

November 25th, 2000

Since Chesta has been working on Claire's christening gown for a few days now she stayed with Claire while we went shopping for her Baptism food. Boy, the Costco lot sure gets crowded (and those bargain hunters are mean drivers, and not mean in a good way). This place is a dieter's paradise. Nothing made me less hungry for candy than seeing a huge wall of chocolate treats. I know that it should be a kid's daydream, but it's something a friend from college called "The Rockette Principle."

You see, a long legged woman in a short skirt kicking up her legs does a great job of catching your attention (well, if you are a guy). But when you have forty of them standing in a line it's just a bizarre overload and you find the whole spectacle rather unappealing.

Of course, that didn't stop us from buying a cartload of juice, meat, and baked goods. God help us if this doesn't all get eaten.

November 23rd, 2000

Today we went to the George Washington Manor for Thanksgiving. Normally we eat at my parent's house, but with my sister visiting Jim's family, and my parents setting up for Claire's baptism it is just easier this way.

Claire handled her fine dining experience very well. She didn't cry and only became a bit fussy at the start of dinner. Fortunately it was a buffet, so my mother walked her while we ate and then I, being the fastest eater, walked her while my mother ate. She fell asleep while I was carrying her about. This seems to be something of a habit with her and is greatly inflating my ego.

November 17th, 2000

It's been quite a while since the last update, and they have to be short because of the deadlines at work. Here's a quick one.

Last weekend Diana and I dropped Claire off at my parents so we could rearrange the furnature in the livingroom. It's not ideal, but it is much better than it was with the couches out in the middle of the room. We may lose them again, though. They were damaged during delivery and I'm not sure if we can get them fixed, even if there is a seven year warranty.

Claire has also managed to catch a cold, and given it to both Diana and I. Fortunately I'm only just starting to feel the symptoms now, so hopefully I can get over it during the weekend.

November 8th, 2000

The couches arrived yesterday. We had a little problem getting them in the house since our door is 28 inches wide and the couches are 29 inches wide. But once in I found that I had goofed big time.

When we purchased our couches I rested in the assurance that couches are a uniform standard seat length, and since our old couches had such wide arms the new ones at worst would be the same size. I was right about that. What I failed to take into account was that the new couches are a full foot deeper than the old ones, meaning they don't fit.

Nope, not even a little.

So we are due for a bit of redecorating, and have to come up with a new layout for the living room. Considering the tightness this has to be planned very carefully ahead of time.

Speaking of tightness, Diana and I went out to vote last night. I took Claire with me into the booth for her first election. She was very good up until then, but I don't know if it was the enclosed space or that she didn't like who I was voting for because she immediately started crying when the curtain closed. I ended up rushing and I think I only cast six votes for the State Supreme Court as a result (there were eight openings).

November 6th, 2000

Whew, it's been a busy week and, unfortunately, I have had almost no time to update the website. So what has happened? A lot, actually. Here are some of the highlights:

Claire is standing, sort of. If I hold her under her armpits and slowly lower her she will hold out her legs and bear her entire weight on them. She quickly gets board and bends her legs, though. But she is starting to learn about that cool thing called gravity.

On Saturday morning, during a particularly vocal moment of hers, we recorded her talking (for posterity, I'll try to get a sound file up soon). When I rewound it and played it back to make sure the recording worked, Claire clearly recognized her own voice and began laughing. This is especially surprising considering I don't recognize my own voice, and I doubt she just remembered what she had been saying.

On Sunday Claire went to church again and, despite falling asleep during the sermon, managed to last the whole service without crying or causing a fuss. She seemed to enjoy the music, even if it was a bit loud.

Today Claire goes in for her three month checkup. Diana hasn't called me and it's well after five, so I'm guessing everything went fine.

October 30th, 2000

Yesterday Claire left the state of New York for the first time. She went to visit her cousins in New Jersey for Caitlin's confirmation (or some Lutheran equivalent). It was pretty exciting a trip, and more than a little nerve wracking since the Cross Bronx Expressway is pretty harrowing a drive even when you aren't carting a twelve week old child in the back seat.

Fortunately everything went fairly well, and Claire had a reasonably good time. She even made it on the trip home, when a light snowfall had turned the parkway into a parking lot. It took an hour and a half just to get back to the Throg's Neck Bridge. Ugh. And I couldn't drive agressively with a baby in the car, so everyone and his SUV decided it was a good time to cut me off.

When we finally arrived home I was beat, but Claire wasn't. So Diana and I had to trade watching her while the other tried to settle in. Claire has been talking quite a bit lately and I have been repeating everything she says, but last night (and again for a moment this morning) she seemed to almost realize what was going on. She said "gah" about five times, with a bigger smile every time I repeated it. She also made a raspberry a few times, and strung together several different noises, actually laughing when I did all three or four when she finished. Then, just as I thought "maybe she understands what's going on" she suddenly lost interest.

October 25th, 2000

Claire in her chair Last night the whole family went up to eat at my parents. Claire has been pretty good about not fussing when there are interesting things for her to see, so propped up in her chair on the kitchen table she was quite happy to just watch us eat and talk while she drooled.

CLaire is drooling quite a bit now. Diana thinks she's starting to teeth. She does seem a little more interested on chewing on things even when she isn't hungry, but I had been told babies don't sleep through the night when they are teething, and that does not apply to Claire. Lat night she slept from 8:30 PM to 6:30 AM. I can't sleep that long.

October 23rd, 2000

Claire appeared in Church for the first time yesterday. It was delayed twice, once because she had a cold, and once because my parents were out of town and they wanted to be there for her "unveiling."

It was a lot of fun, even if I had to serve and was therefore not able to sit with her. She was very good during the service, not a peep (but Diana sat in the back just to be safe). It was pretty emotional when Diana brought her up for communion.

During coffee hour everyone wanted to hold Claire. The service was a Rite 13 ceremony, a sort of replacement for confirmation now that the Bishop has all but eliminated it (I can't even remember the last time we had a confirmation). Well, one of the girls from the service nearly had a nervous breakdown when we let her hold Claire, but she recovered quickly and it was soon hard to separate them.

Work is still pretty tight, and I don't think I'm going to get the opportunity to upload this today. Sorry.

Note: Yep, it's Tuesday and I still haven't found the time. Argh.

October 20th, 2000

Claire slept through the night again, sort of. Since yesterday was our wedding anniversary we dropped Claire off with my very obliging mother for a night out to dinner. We went to the same resturaunt we went to on our first date, Spasso, which has since added valet parking (we both dislike valet parking).

After dinner we stopped by a bookstore to settle disagreement. You see, according to this web page the fourth year anniversary is fruit and/or flowers, but Emily Post says it is silk, and the Vanderbilt book of etiquette lists books as the official fourth year gift. Since all three agree for other years, I'm a bit puzzled why no two agree on year four, but there it is.

Anyway, when we got home Claire was asleep, and did not wake up as we took her home and put her in her bassinet (which she is quickly outgrowing). My mom said she slept since we dropped her off at 7:30, but I suspect she was awake for at least a little time because she ate two and a half ounces while there. Despite her early nap time, she still managed to sleep until 5 AM.

So I say "sort-of" because she woke up fairly early. But if you take into consideration how early she went to sleep she got very close to "morning."

October 19th, 2000

Claire has been getting steadily better with her cold, and is almost back to normal, getting stuffy only if left on her back for extended periods. She also almost slept through the night a second time last night. She was up at 3:30 AM, but since she went to sleep at the unusually early time of 7:30 PM instead of her usual 9 PM that was nearly a full night's sleep.

This morning she, as usual, was in a great mood and decided to join in ont he conversation. I don't know if the trying to talk is normal at this early an age (11 weeks) but I'm confident her large vocabulary is unusual. No, she doesn't know any words (or at least, use them consistently) but she does know an awful lot of syllables. Just this morning she said "kuh," "dah," "meh," and "yah" within a few minutes of each other. I always repeat what she said when she does that, just to try and encourage her that her attempts to talk are getting though.

Like I said, I don't know what "normal" is, but that she has achieved a level of dexterity to make such a wide variety of sounds impresses the hell out of me. I am afraid that once she does start talking it may be hard to quiet her down again, though.

October 17th, 2000

It's been a while since I updated, but the main cause for that is deadline-itis. A common affliction for those that have to complete work that's on a strict timetable. Urgh.

But, nontheless, it has been eventful with Claire these last few days. She smiling at everyone and everything, mostly in the morning -- she takes after me and is a morning person. She also is practicing her head-holding and can now actually turn it about without losing control and doing a nosedive into whatever is in front of her.

Last week we purchased a new sofa, which will make many people happy. The springs in our current couch are so bad people have been sinking into it like the LeBrae tar pits. Many guests end up resting their chin on their knees the seats have gone so soft. Hopefully the new one will solve this, and hopefully it will be paid off before the deadline next year (it's like financing a car).

This weekend we got a new glider, which has made rocking Claire much easier. Since this will save enormously on Chiroprachtic bills we will eventually make up for the cost. I don't think I've spent this much in one month since we purchased the car.

But all this is overshadowed by the most exciting news of the week. Last night, for the first time, Claire slept. That's right, she went to bed at 9PM and stayed there until 5AM in peacful oblivion. Well, she does tend to make a bit of noise in her sleep, but that only prevented Diana and I from sleeping through the night, she handled it fine.

October 12th, 2000

Claire went to the doctor's yesterday and his careful analysis is that, surprisingly, she has a cold. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Last night her cough got worse, enough to wake me up and that takes some doing, so we are trying to be careful with her.

In case you haven't noticed, the picture below is of Claire in the arms of her great grandmother. She's my grandmother, and Claire's only surviving great grandparent. Claire is also her only great grandchild so we are happy the meeting, no matter how sleepy Claire was, took place (and look forward to some more). Grandma was so excited she could hardly talk.

October 11th, 2000

Claire's great grandma Okay, it's been a while since I updated and you may ask "what's going on?" Well, too much and not much. I'm on a rather difficult project which keeps me pretty busy during office hours, and I usually have to rush home right away to help Diana with Claire, so updates are a little more difficult.

Claire is still sick, and Diana is arranging for an appointment with the doctor: two weeks is just too long to have a cold. It can't be allergies since we have used an electrostatic filter to remove every particle of dust from the air in our apartment.

To make matters more difficult, Claire has reached the "incredibly fussy" stage. She actually wakes up when she isn't hungry, doesn't need a change, and has no interest in burping. This is pretty difficult because there are only so many ways to entertain a two month old child, and feeding, changing, and burping are the big three. We use the Lamaze mobile and Baby Mozart but she's starting to get bored of them. Besides, she's picking up a bad habit from Baby Mozart.

One of the scenes on the video has a lizard handpuppet come out, look left and right, then open its mouth and letting it's tongue hang out accopanied by a "bleh" sound. Well, now Claire does it too. The first time I thought I imagined it, but no, every now and then she opens her mouth, sticks her tiny toungue out, and goes "bleh."

It's cute, but kinda scary. Now I know why all those parents protest TV shows.

October 2nd, 2000

Claire is now two months old. We taped the event as soon as she woke up, and she was in a very good mood. And she should be, she actually slept from about 11 PM to 7:30 AM with only one nighttime feeding. This is great since she is now just a little bit away from sleeping through the night.

We certainly are enjoying her, and with her vaccines scheduled for tomorrow she will finally be safe for public consumption (or rather the public will be safe for her). She has already made a few select appearances for private audiences, but next week we hope to be able to take her to church.

September 27th, 2000

Caitlin with Claire Sean with Claire Claire went to see the doctor yesterday and she's up to 10 lbs 2 oz, which is about a pound more than she was two weeks ago after returning from the hospital. This seems right on track with what she should be doing.

While visiting the doctor Diana found out there has been a veritable epidemic of babies with a protein allergy. Hopefully the cause will be discovered soon.

Meanwhile, here are two new pictures for the collection. Caitlin and Sean are Claire's cousins on Diana's side. I'm sure Claire is going to have a lot of fun with them when she gets a little older.

September 25th, 2000

This morning marks a new point in Claire's life. It's hard to believe how fast she is growing. This morning the last of the newborn diapers (5-10 lbs) was used. She is now a stage-1 baby (8-15 lbs).

We had the stage-1 diapers for a while, but they always leaked before. Now it's the newborn size that leaks. It isn't too small to fit, but it just doesn't hold enough fluid. Claire is eating five to six ounces every feeding now, and all that liquid has to go somewhere . . .

September 24th, 2000

This morning we were able to return to Church for the first time since Claire was born. Chesta watched Claire and we had a nice time meeting everyone we had been missing for the last two months. Claire, however, sensing we were going to be going somewhere in the morning, decided that she shouldn't go to sleep, so we were both pretty exhausted.

Fortunately we were able to geta nap in the afternoon when my mom and Rachel decided to take Claire for a walk. By the time I woke up they had returned, left, and Diana had already done another feeding.

Poor Claire, however, was not well. She had a stuffy nose that required us to use a nasal asperator. See, babies don't understand the words "blow your nose" so you have to blow them yourself with what looks like a miniature turkey baster.

Claire doesn't like that.

We don't think she has a cold, we've been pretty good about avoiding getting her sick. It may just be the dust which, with all the cloth items that have been flooding in lately, may be hard to avoid. So I spent an hour or so cleaning every item in the bedroom as thoroughly as possible to eliminate any dust.

September 23rd, 2000

Claire has been smiling for a while, and occasionally I get one, but this weekend she went that next big step. While waiting for Diana to get out of the shower I was faced with the task of entertaining our daughter while she sat on the changing table. I had downloaded a few tunes on the computer so I started playing a kawaii J-Pop tune called Catch You, Catch Me (3.45 MB), the original theme to a TV show we sometimes catch.

Well, Claire seemed to like it, staring at the speakers and looking at me, so I started to dance and she loved it. Apparently watching a 34 year old guy bop to a silly tune is extremely amusing to a seven week old. I didn't care, as I danced her smile got bigger, encouraging me to dance even harder. After the third time playing the song Claire started making little squeals and then danced herself. Well, she wiggled her arms and legs to the music, obviously she couldn't stand so there wasn't going to be much vertical dancing.

It was a magic moment and Diana was able to catch it on film after her shower was over.

If you don't have an mp3 player, or your connection isn't fast enough, Diana described the song as "Rick Astley like."

September 17th, 2000

I moved the updates from last month and earlier to a separate page linked to at the bottom of this one. That way the older updates are there, but the page loads much faster.

Claire had a rough weekend. Unfortunately the neocate causes rather bad gas. She now burps pretty load and it doesn't take much coaxing to get a good one out of her during feeding. unfortunately it also means gas pains which have been making her rather fussy, to say the least. Today as I was watching her and Diana got some much needed sleep the gas pains set in and she cried in pain for an hour and a half. Daddy was not happy.

On the bright side I finally managed to assemble a blanket using the teddy bear fleece we purchased months ago. Diana had picked up a nice beige silk ribbon and I learned just how hard it is to sew on trim when you have to get the edge (no little flaps for baby finger to pry at). It came out rather nicely, even if it is oversewn. then again, I know the trim isn't coming off any time soon.

September 15th, 2000

The family Claire is still doing fine. Oxford has agreed to pick up the tab (for the most part) on her neocate. I suspect a the fact that the last time she didn't use it resulted in a hospital stay had something to do with it, but Barney insists Oxford is just good about that sort of thing.

This morning Claire gave her daddy (that's me) a great big smile. She's been giving her mom smiles for a while now, so it seemed like I had to pay for my trips to work by loosing out on some quality time. But this morning she decided to give me a big smile right after I returned from my morning walk (gotta keep the heart in shape). Life is good.

September 12th, 2000

Claire in her crib We are starting to get back into a routine with Claire. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon. I got to watch her right after work for a while since Diana had some errands to run, so I fed her until she fell asleep then turned on the TV and watched a DVD with the Japanese language track active.

One of the things people learn while very young is how to hear. You see, most of what people say tends to get slurred or mispronounced, so our brain starts reducing the complexity of the noises by making them equivalent based on patterns it hears. That's why it is sometimes difficult to hear foreign languages, because our brain is automatically editing them to match the English phonemes. Of course the reverse is true for non-English speakers, the most famous example being the Chinese R/L confusion.

Because of this I want Claire to be exposed to lots of foreign languages not because I expect her to learn them, but to ensure her brain isn't going to edit too much and make it difficult to learn these languages when she is an adult. We'll see if this works.

One of the problems we still face is that, unless she is completely exhausted, Claire wakes up the second you put her down. At least she doesn't immediately start crying anymore, which was probably because last week every time she was put down someone would stick her with a needle.

September 11th, 2000

Claire finally went in for her post-hospital checkup. All the tests had come back negative, indicating that her only problem was a milk allergy. Granted it was a pretty bad allergy, and she is going to be on neocate until she is eating solid food, but at least there were no diseases involved and, except for keeping her away from milk for a year she is now considered a healthy baby.

This weekend was pretty difficult since Claire is quite aware of just how bad neocate is. At first any more than two ounces and she was not hungry enought to hold it down. But now she takes three, and occasionally more, ounces of it without much of a problem. She does burp more than normal though (Satuday morning she let out such a loud one she actually woke up Diana in the next room).

I finally got up enough nerve to try the formula myself yesterday and it tastes like salt-free sweat. Not at all pleasant. I'm not sure how we will ever feed her another bottle of it once she gets a chance to taste some solid food. We may have to mix the neocate in with her mashed bananas just so she thinks everything tastes like that.

September 7th, 2000

This afternoon Claire was finally able to come home from the hospital. She's not quite out of the woods yet. We have to keep an eye on her to make sure the neocate is actually working. And we can't give her too much because neocate is quite possibly the most disgusting "food" ever invented (and yes, that includes haggis). If we give her too much she isn't hungry enough to keep it down and we end up back at square one.

So, we have to keep poor Claire on the running edge of hungry constantly, which is not fun for her or us. But it is more fun than going back to the hospital dehydrated for another round of IV insertions.

How bad is neocate? Well, have you ever been to a swamp? Not those little muddy areas we end up calling "wetlands," I mean a real rotting vegitation, scummy water, where-the-hell-are-we area miles from civilization? If you've been there, you have a sense of what it smells like diluted. Neither Diana nor I have had the courage to actually taste it (yes, we did taste the others). The only thing that smells worse than neocate meant for consumption is neocate post-consumption.

With the cans costing $30 each and smelling like concentrated swamp water, and so gross that even an infant who doesn't know any better can't keep down more than two ounces, one has to wonder why we need to provide the insurance company with a letter of necessity. It's not like people do this for fun.

September 6th, 2000

Quick update below

Sorry for the long delay between updates, but it was not without reason: Claire is in the hospital.

We have had her eating Alimentum, a pre-digested formula, since Wednsday, but instead of getting better she had been progressivly getting worse. On Monday my father urged us to call the doctor and make sure everything was okay. Up until then no doctor in the practice had seen Claire twice, so after asking for it the doctor told us to go to the hospital for a checkup.

Oxford (the insurance company) will probably give us lots of trouble since we didn't wait until she was on death's doorstep, but Claire did need to go in. She was severly dehydrated and had lost three ounces since her checkup. After doing a blood test (which required three tries to draw) she was put on an IV. After five tries to insert the needle for that they called in an expert from pediatrics and he got it on the first try.

Claire spent the night in the hospital, and so did Diana and I. Unfortunately the poor child in the room with us missed his parents (both worked) and, since he couldn't talk or even really control his movements (CP) much he just howled at the top of his lungs every few minutes. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep and Diana didn't get any.

The next day (yesterday) the family came to visit. Doctors kept showing up to let us know what was going on, but we didn't get any real help. Shortly after Diana went home for some much needed sleep a doctor showed up to draw blood. As we went to the special room set aside for this he also told me he needed a urine sample and would use a catheter. After setting up we took off Claire's diaper and she provided the sample for the doctor right away. I know the doctors aren't trying to make her life miserable, but it did somehow make me feel better to know she got this small revenge on one of her tormentors. Of course I got soaked pretty bad too, but I had a change of clothes.

Diana was pretty unhappy about them springing the catheter on us (even if it didn't get used) and returned to the hospital. She hadn't slept for three days at that point, but things started to go better. They finally moved us to another room and, since I had to work today, I left Diana with Claire.

When I left she had just started taking a new formula even less alergenic than the Alimentum. She spat up her first dose, but we aren't sure if it was more allergies, or just that she had gone a day and a half without food and her stomach wasn't ready. She seems to be okay with it in small doses.

Today they are doing more blood tests and will be mapping her intestine with barium in the afternoon. Please keep her in your prayers.


Diana just called to let me know that a new blood sample was drawn. The nurse recommended a doctor I'm sure is quite good, but after the experience we've had (three successes out of thirteen tries) Diana insisted on the expert who inserted the IV on Sunday. He was available, they called him in and he worked his magic again, getting it on the first try.

Hopefully they have all the blood they need for a while. Of course, now we have to get Claire that pony we promised her.

August 31st, 2000

Emily looking at Claire Poor Claire had a pretty bad night. Diana and I sat up with her and she was such a good baby. She only cried while she was having a bowel movement, and considering the blood in her stool she had every right to cry.

This morning Diana decided to call the doctor and have her checked again. Of course it is too soon to expect her to be getting better, but she was clearly getting worse.

Diana called me at work after visiting the doctor to let me know that he carefully examined her and, while concerned about her state, was confident she would be fine. We are going to have to watch her closely for a while, and she has a follow-up visit on Tuesday, but it's much easier to relax when we know the problem is going away.

On a happier note (almost any note would be happier for me, though) I picked up some more pictures we had developed. To the right is a wonderful picture of Emily (2 1/2) peeking over the edge of the bassinet to look at Claire during her visit last week. Yes, I did make some adjustments, but they were just to reduce the shadows from the flash and to remove the fish chain which distracted from the composition.

August 30th, 2000

This morning Claire went in for her one month checkup. Since it was early in the morning I was able to drive with them and be there to comfort Diana and Claire when she (Claire, not Diana) got her first vaccination: Hepatitis-B.

Poor Claire cried for a few minutes, even with dad holding her. She didn't really quiet down until mom held her for a while. It was really distressing for all three of us, but it's an important vaccine to have and it's better to spread out the vaccinations than try to give her several shots in one visit later.

The most upsetting part came when the doctor analized Claire's stool she so helpfully provided in the middle of her checkup. Claire has a milk allergy (of sorts). This is why she has been so uncomfortable when having a bowel movement, and why she has been getting more and more fussy.

Years ago the doctor would probably have just said "colic" and told us to ignore it. The good news is that now we can get a kind of "pre-digested" formula. The doctor said in a week she will be less cranky, but it's hard to imagine a baby much less cranky than Claire already is.

August 28th, 2000

Fast asleep There, a picture of Claire sleeping in her bassinet. Happy now?

Honesty forces me to admit that some touch-up work was done on the picture. Yeah, that's right, I'm touching up my daughter's baby photos. Well, sort of. You see Genovese, the people who developed the photos, don't make prints from the negatives. Instead they scan the negatives, adjust the color balance on the computer, and then print the photos, which is why the photos look so bad when you get them.

In the future I hope to get a negative scanner and bypass the whole problem (obviously the negatives contain the full resolution and color information of the original picture because . . . well, because they are the original picture). As long as I'm being honest, click here or on the picture to see what I did.

August 24th, 2000

Okay, I thought my daughter was a genious but I was wrong, she's a super genious. Last night we set her in the crib next to the musical mirror again. I was trying to get a blanket over the window to block the afternoon light in the room so I started the mirror up by spinning the roller on the bottom. She's seen me do this dozens of times now but she still started wiggling and screaming when the music started.

I've never been clear on when she's happy and when she's sad, but this was an especially confusing time, so I let the mirror wind down and didn't restart it.

Well, it stopped and she started screaming even more and finally turned the wheel herself. I thought maybe it was just an accident, but she had turned the wheel with her left hand, despite the mirror being on her right. This means she had to nearly roll over and then bring her hand across her body to spin it. It wasn't a good spin, but it was enough to start the music.

After a few seconds of being quiet she started screaming again, then waving her hands when the music stopped. I couldn't bear to see her screaming, so I spun the wheel for her. When it stopped the second time she spun the wheel herself again.

She seemed to have trouble doing it (and got very frustrated very quickly) but out of about ten spins she managed to do four of them herself. I consider four times spinning the wheel after the music stopped to be enough of a coincidence that it seems reasonable to conclude she knew what she was doing.

What amazes me is that the first one seemed so deliberate. I think she knew to spin the wheel just from watching Diana and I do it.

Aunt Rachel called me to let me know that commentary is nice and all, but more pictures would be much nicer. I'll get some on line.

August 23rd, 2000

This night (or rather last night since I'm entering this on the 24th) Diana and I had a nice night as a couple, the first since Claire was born. Up until now it's been Diana eating dinner while I hold Claire, then Diana taking Claire while I eat dinner. Then we both spend the rest of the evening trying to figure out why she is so fussy and put her to bed.

Well, tonight Diana and I finished dinner and Claire was already mostly asleep. We put on Singin' In The Rain, one of Diana's favorite movies. It had just arrived in the mail and she had been wanting to see it for some time (that's why I ordered it). Well, Claire managed to sleep through almost the entire thing. There was a slight bout of fussiness at the point where Debbie Reynolds pretends she never saw one of Gene Kelly's movies before, but she did remarkably well (Claire, not Debbie Reynolds).

With any luck this is a sign of a new stage in her development where she understands the difference between day and night.

August 22nd, 2000

We are now officially out of formula. Fortunately we have a stockpile of the powdered stuff that should last until she's on solid food, but we need more of the liquid formula since that is better (or so the people who price these things say).

Also, the announcements are back from the printer so we will be sending them out as soon as they are all cut and the envelopes stuffed.

August 20th, 2000

On Friday I met up with my friend Edd (for the first time since Claire was born) to see Godzilla 2000. He dropped by to see Claire and deliver some presents. One of them was a mirror that, when touched, palyed music and flashed lights. We hung it in Claire's crib so she would have something to look at and placed her on the other side of the crib.

Well, I pressed the mirror so she could see the flashing lights and she started squealing and wiggling. I'm not sure how or when she learned this trick, but she managed to wiggle towards the mirror a full four inches (hey it looked like a long distance to me) so that she could reach out and smack the lights.

I think she liked it.

August 19th, 2000

Claire had her first big outing today. Taken to my Aunt Gail's house, one of the most child-friendly environments there is thanks to copious grandchildren. It was a going away party for my cousin Christina who's moving to Florida, but it also gave several family members a chance to meet Claire for the first time.

August 17th, 2000

It's not a rip-off, it's an homage.

A small child is born into a family that may need more help than she does.

Something to watch for:
  • August 15th, 2000

    I go back to work tomorrow, so the updates will be a little more frequent since the connection is much easier to make. Meanwhile we still haven't got a picture that can be used for the announcments. Argh.

    August 13th, 2000

    Claire lost her umbilical cord today. We briefly considered saving it, but decided a dessicated piece of flesh is not a momento. Probably a good call.

    August 11th, 2000

    My sister yelled at me for waiting so long to update, so at least one person is still reading this. It's a little early in the day, but Claire did something so amazing we had to call my mother and have her bring over the video camera.

    Sleeping with the chain. While watching her not sleeping at seven this morning I noticed she was staring at a plastic chain of fishes we had carefully sterilized yesterday and hung in the bassinet. She was wiggling around the way infants do when her hand hit the fish chain and it shook. Since she had been looking at it she saw it moved and stopped.

    After a few seconds she started wiggling again and hit it a second time. Again she saw it move and stopped. Somehow, weeks before she technically should be able to do this, she put the two things together. For the next half hour I watched as she would repeatedly move her hand until it hit the plastic, then drag the hand back and forth until the chain caught (usually on a hooked finger) then she would pull and squeal as the chain wobbled under her efforts until her hand came loose.

    August 9th, 2000

    Well, two birthdays today. Claire has officially reached one week, and I am the geriatric thirty four. For my birthday my wife gave me a number of wonderful presents, probably the best being a late sleep and some sausage with breakfast. Claire gave her daddy a box of gumballs for his gumball machine that has been sitting empty since February (well, they were given in Claire's name, anyway).

    Claire manages to stay awake for about two hours at a stretch now. Unfortunately, one of those stretches runs from 1:00 A.M. to 3:00 A.M. so we need to shift her sleeping habits a bit.

    August 6th, 2000

    Today was Diana's due date. Obviously little Claire was already born, but as a consolation prize she was able to come home today. After thoroughly cleaning the house and making sure everything was ready I headed off to the hospital, forgetting to shave or eat breakfast. Well, at least I remembered to boil the bottles.

    The dismissal took a while as our pediatrician gave us last minute advice, then the cleaning staff took away the bassinet before the nurses collected the data sheets stashed in it, so I got the car while they ran about looking for the rogue transport.

    Eventually Diana showed up in her wheelchair and the nurse confirmed we had a carseat (New York State Law) and even helped us put Claire in it. Wouldn't you know it, but I managed to actually break the carseat and had to take it into the lobby where a helpful security guard provided the pliers needed to get it working again.

    Once home we put her in a bassinet and Diana got a short nap before half the family showed up to celebrate. We watched all the videos we made at the hospital, copying them to a VHS tape.

    Claire has shown the amazing ability to get hiccups whenever she want's to upset me (not exactly the most useful mutant power). Big loud ones too. I am never sure what to do but gently pat her for the ten minutes or so it takes for them to go away. It is reassuring to know that, while they are loud enough to be heard from the other room, she doesn't seem to find them painful so much as confusing.

    Well, now Claire is sleeping under my watch as Diana catches more much needed shuteye. Our baby is listening to Mozart and John Jarvis. An eclectic mix she might as well learn to like if she's going to be hanging around with this family.

    August 4th, 2000

    Sleeping like a baby Well, I finally get all the digital camera equipment working and when I get home I can't locate the software. So I spent this morning downloading the latest TWAIN drivers from the Casio web site (much better than the original software anyway) and was able to load the picture at right. Sorry about the pixelation, but considering our camera is about to turn four it's holding up remarkably well.

    This is at one day old. Experience has told me that whoever invented the phrase "sleeping like a baby" was either being sarcastic or meant the opposite of what we mean when we say it now. Fortunately she did sleep pretty consistantly yesterday, even if she is proving to follow in her father's footsteps when it comes to feeding. I may be thin now, but that was hard-earned after being a baby who not so much crawled as rolled about the floor.

    For those asking, I checked fingers and toes and there are ten of each. I think every father may publicly declare they love their baby no matter what, but still checks to make sure all the parts are there when nobody's looking (yes I would have loved her if some were out of place, but nothing has lept out so far). She has my long toes, but lets hope she gets her mother's tiny feet. She has my mouth and her mother's ears, but the rest is still pretty much up in the air since the nose and eyes will take a while to find their shape.

    August 3rd, 2000

    Six hours old We only had one photo of Claire at this point, at three minutes old. Despite my totally unbiased opinion that she was the most beautiful three minute old ever, like most three minute olds she was rather wet and not entirely happy. Okay, she was pretty damn upset. So despite the fact that some helpful photo lab assistant managed to remove her purple tint and leave her a nice pink (I swear I had nothing to do with it) the picture has been replaced with this much better photo of a six hour old Claire.

    Original Text:
    [The original] photo was the only photo to survive the first day as the flash didn't work on one camera, and the tape ran out in the camcorder. Not exactly the best documented birth, but we'll get some good shots, trust me.

    August 2nd, 2000

    As I am writing this I have basically gone 38 hours without sleep and under special circumstances (explained below) so if the narrative gets a little confused please forgive. Little doubt the morning will bring a clearer head and lots of edits.

    Life has a way of suprising us. Assured that my wife had not dropped, had not suffered any contractions, and had not demonstrated a bit of inclination to give birth before next week, I had been treating the impending birth rather nonchalontly. Well, as nonchalont as you can get when you know you will soon be a father.

    Because of the stress, my shoulder strain acting up again, and that I had not slept well the previous night, I had -- future sitcom writers take note -- consumed two Tylenol PM tablets just before going to bed last night. I think, therefore, I can be excused that, an hour after crawling into bed the full effect of the sedatives taking hold, when my wife woke me to say her water had broken I merely slurred "Oh?" and went back to sleep.

    Fortunately she was persistent and I dragged myself out of bed ready to do whatever was appropriate, as soon as my lethargic mind could recall what I was supposed to do. While waiting for the doctor to return our call I spent my time rereading the textbook section on broken water to see if maybe this time it would make sense, pacing about furiously trying to locate what should be put in the hospital bag (despite having packed it two weeks earlier), and for some reason turning on my computer with a vague notion of getting some work done.

    When the doctor did return our call (delayed because she had been at the hospital delivering another baby) she told us to get to the hospital immediately, meaning in the race out the door I left behind half the things we had so carefully sorted out as necessary (this was to become our theme, by the way).

    Don't think it was a race to the hospital. I am probably on record as the slowest expectant father to ever drive his laboring wife during low traffic ever. With such a precious cargo and my brain still half addled I didn't dare take any chances, something my wife was still able to appreciate, even if she managed to have four contractions during a five mile trip.

    I arrived at the hospital, dropped off my wife, and parked the car. Running back to the hospital I caught up with her at Admissions and strolled along side as she was wheeled up to labor room 12. Once she was hooked up to an IV and some monitoring equipment I called my sister who decided, though she didn't need to, to come to the hospital immediately (okay, so perhaps I forgot to tell her she didn't need to rush). This was quite possibly the best mistake we made as she helped immesurably.

    Rachel (the aforementioned sister) arrived just as Diana got her first dose of pain reliever. While it managed to send her to happy place normally reserved for pink elephants, it didn't actually lessen the pain, just made her care less between contractions. Rachel suggested I take a nap while she took the first shift, so I would be there when Diana needed me most.

    I went to the waiting area and fell asleep on one of the couches, but barely slept since every time I started to dream I could hear Diana calling out for me in pain (not literally, there were two fireprrof doors and a hundred feet of corridor between us). After an hour I woke up, returned to the car for breath mints (at that point I could have accidentally killed a nurse with my breath) and went to see how Diana was doing.

    Diana was just getting her epidural when I arrived and she looked relieved. Rachel assured me it was a good thing I wasn't there as I tend to be overly sympathetic to my partners suffering and, when she finally broke down and begged for an epidural the only doctor allowed to administer it was busy with another mother. She had to suffer through forty five minutes of contractions so painful even the normal pain relievers couldn't make them bearable before he finally showed up.

    Relieving Rachel now that my wife was happy it was hardly half an hour before the doctor announced that she had "never seen a baby with these numbers born vaginally." Well, Diana wasn't going to be the first and they preped her for c-section. I ran out to tell Rachel and have her call our parents and let them know the baby is imminent.

    When I got back the doctor had me get some scrubs from a vending machine and dragged me off to a semi-clean room to change. I had a little trouble figuring out what some of the parts were for, but eventually worked out that based on their shape the only appendage they fit on was my feet. I was then forced to wait for what seemed like an infinite amount of time while they built a cloth wall blocking the parents view of what would eventually be a gaping hole in my wife's stomach.

    When they brought me in a seat had already been prepared and my wife's hand was strapped at convenient grasping distance, so I did. There was alot of wincing, even an epidural doesn't block all the pain from cutting seven layers to get to the baby, but eventually the doctor announced it: we had a baby girl.

    Since the cleaning table was not blocked by the walls of Jerico I was the first to see our baby. She was big, and a very bright purple. Like Violet as she was rolled out of Willy Wonka's factory by oompa-loompas purple. She cried a little, but not much despite being poked and prodded quite a bit. Two quick pictures (one of which will appear here shortly since we used the digital camera) and then off to testing.

    I was taken back to the semi-clean room for disrobing and then asked to sit alone for half an hour while they repaired my wife. A pretty good idea since at that point I was an emotional wreck. I'm fairly certain I was suffering from shock, which surprises me a bit since I knew what was coming.

    I spent some time with Diana in recovery trying to recompose myself and then went out to the visiting area to tell my parents and Rachel (Diana's mother hadn't showed up yet, understandable since she has been sick in bed for the last four days). We tromped over to the nursery where we saw little Claire (no longer spud) and later dragged Diana's mom along when she arrived.

    It was four hours before Diana got a room, and another two before she got to see the baby again, but she has decided it has my mouth. Poor kid :-)

    July 31st, 2000

    Diana's mom has been sick this weekend so I drove her to the hospital for her tests this morning. She had a great non-stress test, spud was moving quite a bit. Unfortunately when the sonogram was done the measurements indicated spud was 9lbs 1oz. Since it has been two weeks since spud was estimated to be 8lbs 12oz it's very unlikely both measurements are correct: the baby should be putting on one pound every week.

    By the time I dropped her off at the doctor's and headed to work we already suspected what was to come. Without a firm number the doctor doesn't want to do anything, so the cesarean has been cancelled. It may still come to that, but the doctor doesn't want to try anything before the due date. As a consolation it may be rescheduled for the 9th, which is my birthday!

    Diana was understandably dissapointed that we have to wait another week, but at least I was there when the news arrived, and she spent time with Shelly who picked her up at the doctors. We spent the evening filling in the baby memory book (at least as much as we know so far) and we both feel a little better about it now.

    Oh, and I'm getting better at reading Fox In Socks.

    July 26th, 2000

    Diana just visited the doctor for her weekly checkup and the scheduled hospital visit has been moved to August 3rd. That's a week from tomorrow. Eeek.

    I updated the countdown clock to reflect this change.

    July 24th, 2000

    This fog is getting thicker, and Leon is getting larger!

    Okay, 99% of you have no idea where that comes from, but I was reminded of it this weekend. Spud is getting larger as we speak, and Diana swears it gained five pounds last night. Perhaps that's a bit of an overstatement, but when combined with the summer cold she's had since last week she really wants the baby out soon.

    It may not be arriving before the due date, but we do have a definate cut-off point. Worried about how big the baby is getting, the doctor scheduled Diana at the hospital on the 7th of August if spud doesn't arrive naturally before then. Diana was hoping for an earilier date, but that is the soonest they can do. It's only one day after the due date anyway (and two days before my birthday).

    Oh, and take this opportunity to email spud at Diana is collecting all the emails spud gets so when spud is born she can print them out and put them in the baby memory book. Someday spud will be reading them.

    July 12th, 2000

    Diana stopped by the doctor's for the weekly checkup, and this included a sonogram at the hospital. On the right is the baby's face scanned there. Nice, and the scans are in color too. As you can see I did rotate the face so it is upright. Also keep in mind that with sonograms the light areas are the dense spots and the dark areas are hollow. Since the eyes are full of fluid and the nose is soft cartilage those areas are darker. The little stuff to the left of spud's chin is the fingers (or rather the finger bones). Kind of cute once you get used to the way sonograms work.

    The doctor's determined that Diana was nowhere near ready to deliver, but the baby is already over 8 1/2 pounds. This is going to be a big baby.

    July 11th, 2000

    Yesterday we stopped by Babies "R" Us and turned in the duplicate items off the registry and went to get the stroller, one of those big items you pretty much need. Unfortunately, they didn't have it. Grrr. It was discontinued because some parents were too busy to read the manual and put coffee in the cup-holder. Next time they went over a bump, some of the coffee could spill onto the baby. It's kind of crazy they blame this on the stroller instead of the people who didn't bother to read the instructions, but it doesn't change the fact that the stroller was gone and it was the best one that fit our carseat.

    Fortunately we did get the travel set (a playpen/changing table/crib that folds into a suitcase -- how did our parents survive without these things?) and the bottle warmer.

    Well, today I thought "They didn't do a recall, they just stopped production, so maybe I can find our stroller online." Good thinking because not only was it there, but it had free shipping and was $50 cheaper!

    July 9th, 2000

    Diana had the baby shower today. She was worried that spud might arrive before the party, but fortunately spud has decided to wait until we are a little closer to the due date.

    What an amazing party it was, too. I only dropped by at four to see the aftermath (it was nice just relaxing at home) and help haul the "loot" back to the house. It's a good thing the Maxima has so much trunk space. Rachel helped with carrying stuff into the house and piling it up along the wall. We had managed to finally get our house completely clean and all our "stuff" in storage the day before, now we are back to square one. But it is worth it.

    We went over all of the things Diana got, and a few made us cry. Who says just the mother gets emotional during the pregnancy? Between the adorable clothing, beautiful books, and wonderful accessories we have almost everything we need. The registry system did mess up a bit and we got some doubles of a few items. We think all of them together should make up for the needed items we are missing, so everything works out great.

    June 24th, 2000

    Whew, a busy day. I could simply say that we built the crib, but that really isn't a fair representation of what had to be done. It would be more accurate to say that I dissasembled all three computers, reassembling the new HP as our only unit, but with all the peripherals on the same desk, moved the shelves out of the study, moved the desk across the study, cleaned up the rather apalling mess the birds left as a surprise behind the desk (and we wondered why they were giving me breathing trouble), moved the filing cabinet, moved it back when we realized it caused more problems than it solved, assembled most of the crib before realizing we were missing four parts, called Diana's brother about the missing four parts, found the four missing parts in the trunk of the Maxima, finished assembling the crib, and then put the sheets and bumpers on it.

    That would be more accurate, but still skip the shopping for screws and the assembly of shelves in the kitchen. Our house now looks like another house is being stored inside it.

    On the bright side, this means we have done almost everything on the to-do list with four weekends to spare. Until Diana makes a new to-do list.

    June 14th, 2000

    It's been almost a month since the last update. We have a crib, even if it isn't set up, and started our Lamaze classes today. My sister Rachel is the assisting coach and the opening speech about what exactly happens during childbirth seems to have stopped any biological clock ticking that may have been going on. Halfway through Rachel, in a worried voice, exclaimed "Uh, I think I'll just adopt."

    I also added the countdown clock at the top of the page. Kind of makes me nervous just looking at it, though.

    Well, off to practice breathing. He he he he he . . .

    May 17th, 2000

    Dan Howard Picked up the photos from "Alice In Wonderland" today. In the first roll was also a picture of Diana doing a Dan Howard model impersonation. It's there on the left.

    Diana is also getting some panic attacks related to how unprepared the house is for spud. That is very understandable, and I suspect I'm going to be doing a bit of work this weekend to fix it.

    May 8, 2000

    Well, our house is a total wreck, and it will take us another week to clean up the mess, but the play has started and it was a complete success. Now that all the costume making is over (for now) we can concentrate on getting the house ready for spud's arrival.

    Poor Diana has been nesting for several weeks now, but the process of turning our apartment into a sweatshop (quite literally when the temperature rose to 93 degrees) undid all her work. At least she has something to keep her busy.

    May 1, 2000

    Diana's test results arrived today and they were "inconclusive." This means she has to go through the entire procedure again. Well, it is better than finding out she has Gestational Diabetes, but it would have been nice to know for certain.

    April 26, 2000

    It has been a while since the last update, but there isn't much to report. Yesterday Diana went in for her Diabetes test. We won't get the results for a while, unfortunately. The test seemed to go well, and Diana only gained another pound. That's a four pounds total, pretty amazing considering she is starting to look like the Dan Howard logo. She finally consented to some pictures, so I'll put them up as soon as they are developed.

    April 15, 2000

    Friday Diana had her first baby shower. Well, the first one where she was the showeree. It's a little early, but the shower made us realize that we needed to make a few decisions about what we want for the baby.

    Wow, who would have known a baby needed so much stuff. Today we went to Babys "R" Us, a kind of warehouse baby supply store, to register for the shower. Aside from what felt like cubic yards of bottle warmers, burping bibs, and daiper bags we ended up spending nearly an hour debating between the Harmony pattern (whales at night) or the Silver Lining (clouds and stars) pattern. We settled on Harmony, despite the greener tint which is making us rethink our color scheme.

    Something tells me we are putting too much thought into this.

    April 13, 2000

    Last night I put my ear to Diana's belly to see if I could hear the baby. Okay, I know it's not like it's talking, but I just wanted to listen. After a few seconds I called out "Hello spud." Boot to the head.

    I was rather startled, and waited a little while to see if spud would kick again. When nothing happened I called out again "Hello spud." Boot to the head.

    Diana and I laughed about it and I placed my ear against her again. I waited, nothing. "Hello Spud." Boot to the head.

    So, either spud is studying Tai-Qwan Leep or recognizes my voice. Yay.

    April 10, 2000

    Diana went in for her sonogram today. I wish I could have been there, but work kept me busy and I needed to leave at 2:30 to get there on time. So my mother went with her instead.

    Sonogram This is our third sonogram, and the first one where we were given a copy of to take home. We scanned it in and I adjusted the levels to improve the contrast (thermal paper doesn't scan well). As you can see, spud has a raised left arm and the right hand is pushed up to the neck. At the extreme right of the picture the umbilical cord can just be seen.

    According to Diana, while they were scanning the face spud suddenly stuck out a toungue at the viewers. It later turned out spud was just trying to get the hand in the mouth and the tounge went along for the ride.

    The doctor's official conclusion based on the scan: our baby is perfect.

    April 5, 2000

    Spud has been kicking away for some time now, and there have been a few cases where I might have felt it (or it may have been indegestion). But Last night I definately felt two strong kicks. It seems spud kicks harder when I talk, so I'm hoping that is a sign of recognition, not irritation.

    Also, while I am happy so many people are eager to vote for potential names for spud, please don't abuse the form. There were 20 votes for "Brian Jeremy," all from the same person (the vote form tells me when the vote was made). I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I removed the ballot stuffing from the record.

    March 18, 2000

    Well, we had quite a scare yesterday. Diana took the hamsters home from school and while putting them in the house her allergies suddenly started acting up. By the time she called me at work she could hardly breathe. She called her doctor and was told to get to the hospital.

    Since I was at least an hour away (still at work) she got a ride from Pam Meadows while I raced home to clear out the hamsters and air out the house. When I finally got to the emergency room, Diana was on an oxygen feed, but everything had calmed down.

    Diana is now taking claritin and will have to see her doctor on Monday, but spud seems to have come through this with no problems.

    March 17, 2000

    Well, spud has decided to take this week to practice punting. Diana had been feeling things for a while, but spud had gone a few weeks with almost no activity. This week spud made up for the inactivity. Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to feel anything myself, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before spud gets strong enough to be felt outside.

    Sorry about how the voting form below wasn't working. I seem to have it functioning now, so let us know what you think.

    March 11, 2000

    We are starting to second guess our choice of names. If spud is a boy we had been planning to go with "Richard Warren vonRoeschlaub" after the grandparents. The problem is that the name is a little cumbersome for such a long last name and we were looking for something a little more wieldy.

    As a result we considered the idea of a poll. Let us know which of the names below sound best to you.

    Richard Warren vonRoeschlaub
    David Mott vonRoeschlaub
    Lucas Ford vonRoeschlaub
    Avery Stuart vonRoeschlaub
    Brian Jeremey vonRoeschlaub
    Other name
           View Results

    February 28, 2000

    It's official. The doctor has gone over our test results and says we are right on track with a healthy baby. We declined to find out the gender - what's life without a little mystery?

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