Archive for July, 2010

Four Month Milestones

July 26, 2010

Blanche is now well into her fifth month, and her personality is really starting to solidify. There was a time when we were able to say, ‘Blanche, it’s time to sleep now,’ and she would. Our will was stronger than hers. Once, we could say, ‘Blanche, just hang out on your comfy bear blanket while I take a shower,’ and she would. The sound of flowing water still held her curiosity. We used to say, ‘Blanche, this bar is a great place to hang out,’ and she agreed. Bars were cool.

But now, now that she knows there are things to be seen, heard, felt and learned, she is ultra curious. And not in sleeping, listening to the shower’s rhythm or hanging out in dark, noisy bars. So, I call it personality, but in my mind I’m saying so the disobedience begins…how early is too early to medicate?

Daddy kids

Kidding. You know, tone is difficult on a blog. But Blanche knows when I kid. See! So what are we learning about Blanche? Well, she is generally one happy baby. Smiles are easy to induce these days, and she’s really begun to discover how fun it is to giggle. Kristie gets automatic giggles when she buries her face in Blanche’s belly, allowing Blanche to death grip some hair in the process. Blanche also loves when I scratch my five-day whiskers on her tummy, too. It seems the stomach is a ticklish place.

So, she’s hitting some fun milestones. She’s doing things a typical four-month old might do, such as:

Rolling over. She hates ‘tummy time,’ and I’ll be happy when I get to stop saying it, so it’s just better that we all move on. I expect her to have this mastered in the next couple weeks.

So tasty

 Bringing everything to her mouth. She hasn’t quite yet realized what her hands are and that they are the vessel by which these items make it to her mouth, but it’s only a matter of time. If you put something in her hand, or close by, it’s going to her mouth, as this delicious baby paper illustrates. Her grip is vice-like. But we’re still waiting for that lightbulb moment where she sees something, realizes these magical ‘hands’ are connected to her body, and grabs it. There’s no telling what that will lead to.

How does plastic taste?

Loving things that make music and light up. Who doesn’t. All of these things play classical music, which is lovely, but why are there no pop music mobiles or bouncies or hand held toys? I’m not talking about Justin Bieber. I sang her Beach Boys songs last night and she loved them! So if I had to choose four artists, I’d skip Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, and go with the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Radiohead. Hit all the decades.

7:10 is Twins time.

Watching the Twins. OK, I had a little something to do with this one. It just so happens, you see, that I’m often cooking or doing dishes around 7 o’clock, waiting for Kristie to get home from work, and the Twins magically appear on my television! And Blanche happens to be sitting right there in her Bumbo, perhaps too close to the TV, but we’ll have her identifying players by face when she’s two by golly! I can’t help it; the girl likes baseball. I figure it can be our thing together.

I have a giraffe and you don't

Strolling the aisles of Target. They’ve got her in their clutches already! I prove it: On the left we have B inside

But giraffes make me cranky

Target, loving it. On the right we see her seconds after leaving the store, crying in the parking lot. These pictures were taken on the same trip, not a minute apart. Oh Target. However, there’s one aisle in Target that Blanche, dad, and dad’s friend agree is the most boring in the store:




The Fourth at the Lake

July 8, 2010

It’s been a tradition for Kristie since her first year, and for me for a decade, but this was Blanche’s first 4th of July trip to the lake for which she was named. Though it wasn’t her first time there, it was a little extra special knowing that this annual week on this specific lake is 90% of the reason why our girl’s name is Blanche. I say 90% because I can’t imagine we’d name a girl Ottertail, the lake across the road from Blanche, even if we’d had the most wonderful memories there. We do like the name on its own.

Beach babe

B didn’t like getting into her swimsuit, but she was quite proud of how cute she looked once she was in it. And at only four months old (this Saturday!), she’s yet to develop a body image issue. Thus, the monster thigh rolls can be considered cute and not unfortunate. I’ve been told they stay cute for up to three years, and at that point a parent can officially start to worry. Or at least switch from fries to apple dippers with their happy meals.

Aside from the obvious cuteness, several things about this picture are indicative of where Blanche is these days. First, she can’t get enough standing. Loves loves loves it. If she’s sitting, she’ll try to hoist her body up. If you give her the slightest assistance, she stiffens her legs and wavers rigidly until you virtually force her legs to bend and butt to touch down. She’s obviously unstable at best, but is adept at using gentle guiding arms to counter-balance her swaying.

Next: it may be hard to see clearly, but Blanche is a little redhead these days! Not fire orange, but more of an auburn. Though there’s plenty of red in my extended family, neither Kristie nor I saw this one coming. It’s her third distinct hue, and I’m sure there are more to come. I was told by an 80-something man I’d just met, on our last trip up north, that redheads are either frustratingly feisty or surprisingly docile. His words, but I guess I wouldn’t check the ‘docile’ box on the day care “My child is…” questionnaire.

Finally, if there were any doubters, this picture confirms Blanche as my daughter. The square head, acceptable pudginess and facial arrangement provide a striking resemblance, though none of the specific features are identical. Kristie says that in a room of 100 men, any fool would pinpoint me as her daddy.

Blanche in Blanche

So, Fourth of July 2010 will be a memorable one. Blanche dipped her toes in her lake for the first of the thousands of times she’ll do so in her life. No need to be overdramatic, and it feels more significant now, looking back, but it certainly was one of those moments I’ve talked about. Kristie grew up with lakes and their activities as a large part of her life, and I did to some extent, but Blanche will be a water girl. Those stiff legs will be perfect for skiing. She’s already endured a two-hour paddleboat trip and even nursed on the ride! Is that legal? The life jacket was strapped to the seat…