Sunday, September 28, 2003


The world is now a better place. Why? Because Alias is back.

There's really only one person who's a more skillful master of disguise than Sydney Bristow. And we all know who that is: Sawyer Niehaus.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Don't Know What You've Got Until It's Done . . . I Had No Idea How Much I Cared

Our internet is back! Our internet is back! Nothing much to say tonight except that our internet is back! To reward you all for reading a whole lot of text with no pictures over the last several days, here's a Sawyer montage:

We lead off with Sawyer in her Phillies hat -- remember, the battle for her soul continues:

Then, of course, we turn to her first experience with the previously discussed gummy liquified rice cereal:

And the requisite Exersaucer shot, complete with flag munching:

And thumbsucking. Have I mentioned the advent of thumb sucking?

And ultimately, Paul and I just have a really scrumptious daughter:

Monday, September 22, 2003

Food Glorious Food

Our internet has been down intermittently all weekend, so I've been unable to post anything until now, and won't be able to put any new photos on until we get our service restored (which will involve Paul getting on the phone with Time Warner to figure out what the problem is, as I have a tendency to get frustrated and shout at the hapless service staff). So you'll all have to wait to see the pictures of Sawyer's first efforts to eat solid food!

(Well, "solid" is sort of an overstatement. What she ate was more of a gummy liquid gunk bearing some vague resemblance to liquified rice. But it counts.)

She's now had two meals of rice cereal -- Saturday and Sunday evenings. The first foray into rice cereal land was rather precarious. Picture, if you will, the following: Daddy holding down Sawyer's right arm, Bubbie holding down the left, Popsie standing in the corner filming, and Mommy doing her best to pour the ricey goop into Sawyer's mouth from a teenytiny little spoon. Sawyer alternately blowing bubbles into the spoon, trying to grab the contents of the spoon with her hands (hence the need for Daddy and Bubbie to be holding her arms down), and slurping away at the stuff, occasionally swallowing and more often dribbling and burbling.

By the second meal, she kinda got the hang of the whole thing. Paul and I were actually pretty surprised at how well she seems to get the concept of eating from a spoon. She opened her mouth when she saw the spoon coming, closed her little lips around the spoon, and swallowed about 50% of the time. I think she'll have a grand old time when we actually feed her something that tastes good.

Speaking of which, the first delivery of baby food has arrived: about a thousand cunning little jars of organic pureed-within-an-inch-of-their-lives apples, pears, bananas, peas, and sweet potatoes. This is going to be fun.

And sleep. Did I mention sleep? Inexplicably, on both Friday and Saturday nights, Sawyer slept from her midnight-1 am feeding straight through until 6 am on Saturday morning and 7 am Sunday morning. This has never happened before. I kinda feel like this was her statement of "Yeah, yeah, Ferberize this!!" I haven't gotten the full report yet as to how last night went (as Paul was the parent on duty), but I gather it went only slightly less swimmingly. A weekend of milestones!

And finally, toys. Sawyer and I spent yesterday afternoon bumming around the flagship Toys R Us store in Times Square. That place is the Mecca of baby toys. To my credit, I had decided ahead of time to limit my purchases to whatever would fit in a single bag underneath the stroller. More to my credit, I actually stuck by that decision. So we came home with a bag full of neat stuff for Sawyer to play with. (Who am I kidding? "Play with" in Sawyer parlance = "eat.")

Feeding her in Toys R Us was a riot: we sat down on one of the handy dandy Dutailier gliders and I pulled out a bottle. What with all the bleeping and buzzing and ringing and lights flashing and humming and whirring of the toys and the wailing and howling and giggling and screaming and laughing of the 9 billion kids whose parents had come up with the innovative idea of spending Sunday afternoon bumming around Toys R Us, Sawyer was distracted into, well, distraction. It took 40 minutes for the kid to slurp down 5 ounces of milk. She spent the whole time craning her neck to see what was going on and smiling at everyone who came to admire her (which, I am proud to say, was pretty much everyone). I tried throwing a little blanket over her head to avoid the distractions (sort of the same theory as putting a towel over a birdcage to convince the hapless parakeet that it's night time), but all she did was stop eating and yank the blanket off her head so that she could continue watching the world go by. It's not just a job -- it's an adventure.

All in all, an exciting weekend in Sawyer's World.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Test Tube Mommy

Lots of people have been asking about my return to the workforce. Some of you are asking just because you're curious and want to make sure we're all doing okay. Some of you have ulterior motives: either (1) you're hoping one day to be able to have kids and successfully go back to work, and are looking to me as a test tube workingmommy of sorts, or (2) you're hoping I'll see the error of my ways, quit my job, and dedicate myself 100% fulltime to the care and feeding of Sawyer Niehaus.

The short answer to the question of how it's going is: So Far So Good.

Right now, the whole return to work has a very first-day-of-eighth-grade kind of vibe about it. You remember the feeling: you go and buy your new pens, pencils, and notebooks, you lay out your first-day-of-school outfit the night before, and you spend the day in school running around looking for your friends, comparing schedules (Oh my God!!!!! We have Social Studies class together!!!!!!), and catching up on everything that's happened since June. Same general concept.

Things are starting to settle down now, and I'm beginning to get some work done. Fortunately, I seem not to have forgotten how to do my job. So that's reassuring. I still don't have a perfect sense of what I'll be doing all day every day -- plugging me back into the system after a 4 1/2 month absence takes a little bit of time. But it's going as well as could be expected.

How does it feel? Surprisingly normal. The only real differences are that I have baby pictures shamelessly plastered all around my computer, and that I try to get done my work and go home as early as I can. But I didn't have a big bawlfest my first day back, and I'm not spending every minute feeling guilty that I'm not shaking a rattle or a stuffed duck (of which there are many -- quack!) in Sawyer's face. I do miss her, but it's also a lot of fun to come home and see her little face light up in recognition. (I have to say, if there was no lighting-up-in-recognition, I'd have to reconsider this whole working thing.) And we had a great weekend, totally dedicated to Sawyer, in a way that I didn't when I was here 24/7.

So -- overall? It's going well. It'll be better when she learns to understand the concept of the telephone, so that I can talk to her during the day rather than just calling in 2 or 3 times a day to get an update from her nanny. But like I said: so far so good.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Hey Everybody, Take a Look at Me: I'm the Cutest Bunny that You Ever Did See . . .

Every once in a while Sawyer has a particularly photogenic day. Today was one of them.

We spent the afternoon at our friends' daughter Dahlia's first birthday party. (As a side note, the trends in babynaming these days are really astonishing. Among the 8 or so babies at this party were Walker, Quinn (a boy -- like the Mighty Quinn rather than Quinn Cummings), Simon, Lauryn-with-a-y, and Owen.) Sawyer wore a beautiful party dress and graced us with the following pensive portrait:

Earlier in the day, in a perkier mood, she gave me my favorite type of Sawyersmile, which is often bestowed upon us but rarely captured on film:

(I have some fun Exersaucer pictures also, but I'll save them for a less photogenic day.)

Rolling Over Is For the Weak of Spirit

So you'll all recall that for about a week, Sawyer was doing a lot of rolling over from tummy to back. That has come to a crashing halt. No rolling. Not from tummy to back, not from back to tummy -- nada.

It's not that there's suddenly been a lack of developmental progress: every day, she holds herself up a little more sturdily, she grabs at things a little more dexterously, she munches on toys a little more exuberantly. She just doesn't roll over anymore.

I have three potential theories as to why this might be the case:

1. She has forgotten how to do it. (Theoretically possible, I suppose.)

2. She's gained so much weight over the last few weeks that she can't do it. (Unlikely, given that she's doing all sorts of holding-herself-up type things, but boy, is she growing like crazy!)

3. She's gotten bored of it: yeah yeah, been there, done that, now give me some more toys to munch and help me sit up.

From everything we've learned about her personality so far, #3 seems like the clear winner. It's no problem if she elects not to roll over, as it's not a necessary prerequisite for any other critical skill. It's just amusing that she dropped it cold turkey.

Who Are You?

We're curious: who's out there?

We've been getting a lot of hits lately, but we're not sure who's reading about Sawyer's escapades. Let us know who you are -- leave a comment! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Horsies and Sawyerspeak

So this is it -- my last day of maternity leave!

I spent it in a nice relaxing manner. Paul and I went out for a yummy last-day-of-leave lunch, then I went to buy a back-to-work bag, to accompany the back-to-work shoes I bought over the weekend. (A girl can't go back to work after a four-and-a-half-month hiatus in the same old shoes and carrying the same old bag she left in, right?) Incidentally, here's a picture of Daddy and Sawyer playing horsie -- which she's nuts about -- in the Saks shoe department while Mommy was buying her back-to-work shoes.

Following an hour of post-bag-buying pilates, I came home and chatted with Sawyer for a while. "Chatting" consists of Sawyer jabbering away in Sawyerspeak, and me imitating whatever she says (to the best of my ability). I am curious, though, whether her various voicings actually mean something to her. If so, then it must be really annoying for her to have Mommy imitate everything she says.

Hi Mommy!
Hi Mommy!
I would like some milk.
I would like some milk.
Well, you seem to have mastered walking, so why don't you get us both some milk?
Well, you seem to have mastered walking, so why don't you get us both some milk?
Ok, forget that. How about you tickle my toes? Or maybe some of that kissy stuff on my tummy and rapidly expanding thighs?
Ok, forget that. How about you tickle my toes? Or maybe some of that kissy stuff on my tummy and rapidly expanding thighs?
Sigh. I'm so confused.

It's tough to be a baby.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

It's Good to Be the Princess

Meanwhile, my parents were here fawning over Sawyer today (sans Phanatic), and my dad took one of the best pictures of Sawyer ever. Which is saying a lot, given that we have taken more than 1200 pictures of her since she was born! (Yay for digital cameras and sequential numbering.)

Here it is:

And just to make it a really Bubbie and Popsie experience, I should note that the hat is part of an adorable hat and sweater set that my mother knitted for Das Moose and brought to New York today. It's a cryin' shame that my parents are so unexcited about Sawyer.

Photo session completed and growth chart updated! Click here to have a look.

Lip Smacking Yumminess

Happy four month birthday to Sawyer! New growth portrait coming as soon as I get her into a dress and take some pictures.

So I've now been on maternity leave for four months and one week -- I go back to work on Wednesday. In some ways it's blown by, and in others, I feel like I've been home forever. In any event, I go back to work in six days. I only have about a dozen unfinished projects to get through before Wednesday -- clearly, this isn't going to happen. (Although I did make some good progress on Sawyer's photo album last night, and I'm in the home stretch on thank-you notes.)

Susan and Sawyer are getting along great -- I have a lot of respect for someone who has the patience to play with a baby all day. And Sawyer seems to be enjoying herself as well.

I think she's more or less ready to start eating some solid food (to the extent that extremely runny rice cereal can be deemed "solid," that is). Yesterday, I was eating an English muffin while watching her play. She stopped her activity entirely and watched me eat every single bite. As I finished, she started licking and smacking her lips. It was pretty funny, actually! The plan is to start her on solids somewhere around the five-month mark, but it may be sooner if she keeps up with this lip-smacking yumminess.

Off to pose the bunny for her closeup . . .

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

And So It Begins

I knew this day would come.

The day when Paul would put Sawyer into a Cardinals cap without warning. And so it has arrived, on a day when I was sleeping in and Paul had full discretion over Sawyer's wardrobe:

I have a feeling my parents may show up with the Phanatic in tow sometime this week in recognition of the fact that the battle for Sawyer's soul has begun.

We're just finishing up a very enjoyable five-day weekend. First, two days of Kim & Paul time spent at the movies, making us perhaps the last mommy and daddy in America to see Finding Nemo (we speak whale!), out for a spectacular breakfast and a lovely tea (it's impossible to be in anything other than a great mood when we're out for tea), and just generally hanging out getting rejuvenated. Second, three days of hanging out with Her Moosiness, watching her roll over and almost-clock-herself-in-the-head-but-not-quite with the totally luxe monogrammed silver Tiffany rattle that our friend Jamie sent from Atlanta.

Not at all surprisingly for a whole host of reasons, this has become Sawyer's favorite toy. But glamorousness of the rattle notwithstanding, as with any other toy, all things considered, Sawyer would rather try to eat it:

(Wow. I just realized: this post is about baseball and the rattle. If this doesn't make Jamie happy and willing to overcome the oogies he got from reading the various nursing crisis posts, I don't know what will.)