Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Sawyer inhabits a sparkling new world. Click here to get to Sawyer's World, or just change your bookmark to

See you there!

Monday, March 08, 2004

A Whole New World

We're considering moving Sawyer's World from Blogger to here. Check it out and let us know what you think.

(This is what I do when I take the day off from work to let Susan and Sawyer get reacquainted.)

Comments Are Back!

After a brief no-comments hiatus, comments are back. Comment away!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

This is kind of interesting:

(May 1972, me at my grandparents' for my first birthday party.) If you eliminate the mop of blonde curly hair, you're definitely in the ballpark.

Meanwhile, that dress is currently hanging in Sawyer's closet, awaiting the arrival of springtime. I hadn't realized it was my birthday party dress -- it's actually one of only two of my own baby outfits that Sawyer's got. I guess that gives it a little bit of an edge in the which-of-Sawyer's-seventeen-spring-dresses-will-be-the-chosen-one-for-her-birthday sweepstakes.

You Can't Stop the Big

There is no way to restrain the So Bigness of Sawyer. As shown below, with Bubbie:

She's So Big and she's eating like a champ with those two teeth. We've launched a Table Foods initiative, which thus far is proceeding quite well. In preparation for Susan's return tomorrow from the Nanny Pilgrimage to India, I've put together the following list of Mommy-Approved Foods that are currently in the kitchen ready for action:

Monterey Jack cheese, whole wheat pasta, dried apples, mandarin oranges, broccoli, bananas, whole wheat toast and waffles, raisins, Cheerios (duh), wheat chex, deli turkey, Wagon Wheels, and Yobaby yogurt. Cheese and turkey are extremely popular. It's pretty impressive. Here we are just before leaving for the market to reload the fridge with babyfriendly yummies:

All in all, our nannyless month was pretty darned painless, thanks to the efforts of Grandma Marlo and Bubbie. I'm not even sure that "efforts" is the right word -- although they worked hard, I don't think that either of Sawyer's grandmothers found that spending a bunch of quality time with her constituted an "effort." In particular, this was quite a momentous bonding opportunity for Grandma Marlo and Sawyer -- my parents get to see Sawyer every week or two, but Paul's parents are out in St. Louis and so only see Sawyer every couple of months. I'm pleased to report that Sawyer is now great buddies with both of her grandmothers.

Friday, March 05, 2004

So Big!

You may comment here on Sawyer's 10 month photo.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Happy Birthday Daddy!

(Thank you! Thank you verrah much.)

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Those two little toothlets are definitely turning out to be teeth. It's not easy to get her to let us take a look at them, but every once in a while we catch a glimpse: toothlings they are!

Sawyer's been having oodles of fun crawling and exploring all over the not-particularly-baby-proofed apartment. She's getting to be quite talented at standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down and . . . you get the picture. She also seems to be starting to understand instructions. If I say "stand up," she stands up. If I say "dive!" she lifts her hands from the sofa, turns sideways, and dives into my arms. (Which is seriously cute.)

Right now she's racing all over the apartment in her diaper blowing raspberries and swinging around one of my necklaces. She's very good about playing by herself -- she doesn't seem to need someone hovering over her all the time. We just keep the doors to the bathrooms and our bedroom shut, and she runs around her room, the dining room, the hallway, and the living room.

She's got enough hair that I tried putting in a little barrette yesterday -- not that she needs one, but the hair can actually support one. But it doesn't look like her. She's just not a barrette kind of girl, I guess!

Don't you think?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

For those of you who are attuned to such things, you may have noticed a lack of discussion here in Sawyer's World of anything vaguely resembling the subject of teeth. There's a good reason for this. We have no teeth.

We're not concerned -- there's no congenital tendency toward lifelong toothlessness on either the Ziev or Niehaus side. However, we have found the ongoing state of no-teeth to be a curious thing, given that Paul apparently got two teeth when he was five months old. Although I held out until 8 1/2 months, Sawyer is now at 9 1/2 months and counting. (We peruse Paul's and my baby books for the details of our own babyhoods -- neither Bubbie nor Grandma Marlo can spout this data off the top of their heads.)

But now, there's news. Today, we spotted two little white thingies resting in Sawyer's lower gums -- thingies that would seem to be the little prongs of freshly minted teeth! Very exciting stuff. Ultimately, I think we'll miss her toothless grin more than we'll discover any usefulness of the two little toothlings.

The food situation is improving once again. Tonight, she went to town on a container of yogurt:

Monday, February 16, 2004

More Food Adventures

We're back to "NO" on the food front, but we just had an interesting discovery.

Sawyer flatly rejected the yummy pears I had prepared for her, as well as the sweet potatoes and chicken, but happily accepted and sucked on the teething biscuit I handed her to chomp on while I prepared to toss a handful of cheerios into her tray. So I took back the biscuit, dipped it into the pears, and handed her a pear-coated biscuit. Lo and behold, she sucked the pears right off the biscuit without complaint. She ended up polishing off both the pears and the chicken/sweet potato combo, using the biscuit instead of a spoon. Go figure. We seem to have a spoon aversion going on today rather than a baby food aversion. I guarantee that this will not be a permanent solution, but it did get us through lunch!

She's also gotten really good at eating a cheerio while spitting out whatever other food I have secretly attached to the cheerio. (Today it was bits of banana.) Quite a nimble little mouth.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The food situation is improving! During Bubbie's visit this week, she did a nice job of reminding Sawyer that she does in fact like food. Sawyer even tried something brand new this morning: some Yo Baby yogurt. Go team!

The weather on Tuesday having broken freezing for the first time in ages, Mommy and Sawyer managed to make it to the playground. Sawyer's swinging skills are much improved -- she's realized that she can hang on to the swing and stabilize herself.

(I know -- the ears are pretty darned cute.)

Now that Susan is on the world's longest nanny vacation, we are settled into our schedule of oodles of caregivers. I was on for Monday-Wednesday; Wednesday-Friday were a combination of Bubbie, Popsie, and Aunt Carly, and we now have Grandma Marlo and Grandpa Bob visiting for the weekend, after which Grandma Marlo will do a couple weeks of Sawyer-bonding. It's a shame that no one wants to hang out with Sawyer!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Dining Update

We are still pretty heavily weighted toward the Cheerios around here. I did manage to get about half a jar of apples and apricots into her for breakfast, primarily by scrunching a plastic bag and waving it around her face while she was eating. If today is anything like yesterday, that bit of fruit for breakfast will be it for non-Cheerio sustenance today. I'm chalking the whole thing up to a Phase, and have decided not to sweat it. Let them eat Cheerios!

Meanwhile, the scanner that Paul got me for Festive Winter Holiday is now up and running. Theoretically, the grand project is to digitize all the photos of my childhood for posterity. For those of you who have spent any meaningful amount of time at my parents' house, you should realize that this is something of a pipe dream. Just in the three years before my sister was born, the cabinet housing the photo albums contained Kimberly Volumes 1-23. (Like father, like daughter, says she who is up to photo #3263. I can't imagine how many pictures there would have been if digital cameras had existed in the early 70s.) The massiveness of the project notwithstanding, I'm pretty excited about it.

So, now that the scanner is operative, here's something interesting:

The baby in the center looks familiar, no? Except that it's not Sawyer -- it's my sister, Carly, around the same age that Sawyer is now. (That's me on the right in the yellow shirt -- the others are my cousins and grandfather, circa 1975.)

Back to the real deal: as I indicated on the growth chart, it's getting increasingly difficult to take a "formal" portrait of Sawyer in the green glider. Here's the latest attempt:

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Nothing but Cheerios

Up until two days ago, Sawyer was perfectly happy to eat anything so long as it was Stage II baby food or Cheerios. The content of the baby food was irrelevant, just as long as it was heavily pureed to the consistency of, well, baby food.

Now, we've been told to start adding more texture to her diet, so that she can get used to eating real food. No problem, right? She already snarfs Cheerios like they're going out of style. By the handful. Texture should be no problem.


You put the littlest bit of Stage III food (same as Stage II, just slightly less well pureed) into her mouth, and she makes a horrible gagging face like you had just stuck a tongue depressor all the way down her throat. And to improve the situation, she's now morally opposed to any baby food, regardless of the degree of pureedness. If it's on a spoon, she's not interested, because -- God forbid -- it might have lumps.

Which brings us back to Cheerios, which are now the only thing she's interested in eating. She talks to the Cheerios, she sings to the Cheerios, she munches and crunches the Cheerios by the fistful. I tried cutting up a soft banana into little Cheerio-sized morsels yesterday -- nothing doing. It's Cheerios or bust.

(And why isn't it spelled Cheerioes, just out of curiosity?)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease

And now, for our next trick: the dive!

Sawyer stands leaning against the sofa or her learning table or her other learning table type thing or the magazine rack, happily hanging out and enjoying all 27ish inches of her vast height. Then she turns 90 degrees to face me (or Paul, or Susan, or whomever), lifts her arms in the air, gets this huge wide-mouthed look of excitement on her face, and takes a total header of a dive into my waiting arms! She does a lot of cute things, but this one is beyond cute. Fast forward 10 years or so, and I know exactly what this kid is going to look like on a roller coaster.

Of course, it's inevitable that she's going to try to do this sometime when no one is there to catch her, and she's going to smush her face on the floor. Thus far that hasn't happened. She only seems inclined to dive when there's a good catcher sitting next to her. She doesn't, however, care whether you're paying attention to her. Yesterday she dove onto my leg while I was looking at something else.


Sunday, February 01, 2004

On the other hand . . .

But then there are pictures like this. (Click on photo for closeup of kissable little face!)

Off now for Sawyer to watch her first round of Super Bowl commercials!

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Some of you have mentioned to me that Sawyer must be the most photogenic baby in the world, because she's always smiling in her pictures. This is not true, on a number of levels. First, as she's gotten more active, she's become less interested in smiling for the camera and more interested in doing things like trying to eat the ficus tree in the living room or diving into an empty Land's End box. But more importantly, I don't think most of you realize exactly how many photographs have been taken of Sawyer since her birth nearly nine (!?) months ago.

According to the counter on the digital camera, it has taken 3167 pictures. Now some of those were taken before Sawyer was born, and every once in a while, we take pictures of something or someone other than Sawyer. So, for kicks, let's say that we've taken 100 non-Sawyer pictures with this camera, leaving 3067 pictures of Sawyer. That's 340.8 pictures per month, 78.7 pictures per week, and 11.2 pictures per day. 11.2 pictures on each and every one of the 273 days she's been with us! That's a well-photographed baby. It's no wonder that the three or four pictures I post per week tend to be good, no?

But in the spirit of full disclosure, here are a few recent pictures that are a bit more candid than others:

Sawyer raspberrying:

Sawyer scaling Mount Package-of-Paper-Towels:

Sawyer "reading" (it's pictures like this that made my father insist that I learned to read when I was nine months old, so why not give him fodder to declare the same thing as to Sawyer?):

And, of course, Sawyer crawling toward me with Daddy's sock in her mouth:

That should solve the photogenic baby issue.

(And for a quick update on other developments: (1) She crawls at lightning speed now. (2) Ditto on the Cheerios -- she can scarf 10 in about 30 seconds. (3) Today's instrument was the oboe.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Sawyer Musician!

There's a show on Noggin that Paul and I think is just about the cutest thing going -- Oobi. For those of you who loved the sock puppet as we did, this show is for you! All of the characters (Uma's his sis, he's big, she's small, Kako is his very best friend, Grampu loves them all) speak in these 2 word sentences, which is perhaps a little too catchy. After an episode, Paul and I find ourselves saying "Sawyer big! Mommy eat." and things like that. This morning we saw an episode where Oobi takes piano lessons. It concluded with the proud statement by Oobi and Grampu: Oobi Musician!

So off we went to baby music class on Saturday. The conclusion? Sawyer is a very intense little music student.

They did this cute little thing where the teacher played a double bass while the babies put their hands on the instrument to feel the vibrations. Sawyer was enthralled.

I am pleased to announce to you today:
Sawyer Musician!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Grrrr Bop!

Sawyer had a lovely visit to her bucolic Bucks County country home this weekend -- while her parents, grandparents, and aunt spent the weekend reorganizing Bubbie and Popsie's basement, Sawyer performed all sorts of nifty new feats and perfected a few skills-in-progress:

* She can now pull herself up to a full stand. The partial version from last week is shown here:

* She has added to her growing list of consonants the letter "m," which led to a one-time event of "Mama" on Saturday morning. Needless to say, this was rather exciting. (However, I should be clear that although this "mama" was uttered in my presence, I am quite confident that it was in no way intended to refer to me. I'm not that delusional. ) "Bababa" has also morphed into "Bop."

* After spending much of last week doing this bobblehead doll thing with her head, she has now refined that gesture into an emphatic shaking-of-the-head-as-if-to-say-no. Again, no pretense that this gesture actually means anything other than "Hey, guys, look what I can do with my head!" Of course, we're setting all sorts of bad precedent here -- every time she does it, Paul and I say "that's right, Sawyer, No!" and generally praise her for doing it with umpteen cheerful renditions of the world "no." This will ultimately come back to bite us in the butt when we need to actually teach her the meaning of "no." While I recognize this, I also recognize that we are powerless when presented with Sawyer shaking her little head back and forth with a big grin on her face.

* She's more-or-less perfected the non-commando crawl, and has started reaching her arms out to be picked up. Fortunately, when crawling, she only lifts one arm to be picked up, thereby avoiding the two-hands-lifted-face-splat thing that I had been a little concerned about when this "pick me up" thing started.

* As I had suspected, Sawyer discovered Cassie's existence this weekend. Cassie was not thrilled. The routine went like this: Sawyer notices Cassie, crawls into kitchen to eat dog. Cassie gets up, wanders into living room, lays down. Sawyer notices Cassie, crawls into living room to eat dog. Cassie gets up, wanders into kitchen, lays down. After a few rounds of this, Cassie greeted Sawyer's approach with a growl. This from a dog who does not growl. Or bark. Or move, if she can avoid it, but who has been known to go after squirrels and groundhogs with gusto. That was it for Sawyer and Cassie -- at least until Sawyer is a bit more distinguishable from a groundhog who can say "Bop!"

All in all, a successful snowy weekend. Although snow isn't Sawyer's favorite thing just yet, that doesn't stop her from dressing the part:

Oh, and by the way: she seems to like Daddy again.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Poor Daddy!

Paul is feeling a little traumatized today.

Sawyer is going through a bit of a phase: when she's sad, she only wants Mommy. Not Daddy. NOT DADDY!!! Just Mommy. For those of you who know my husband well, you will immediately realize that this is a recipe for one sad Daddy.

I have emphasized that this is definitely just a phase. Sometime in the all-too-near future, she will realize that as a little girl, she is required by law to prefer the company of Daddy, and then Mommy will be SOL for the duration of eternity.

But for the time being, Paul is kinda bummed.

Meanwhile, Sawyer is about 98% recovered from her cold, just in time to visit her bucolic Bucks County country home for the holiday weekend. She hasn't been there since she's been crawling. Aunt Cassie (no, not Aunt Carly -- Aunt Cassie -- a/k/a the dog) should enjoy figuring out what to think about a baby skittering all over the house. I suspect Cassie will go hide underneath the dining room table all weekend. It's Sawyer's world, after all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

So after much internal debate as to precisely how many nosewipes per hour is too many to let a baby be around other babies, Sawyer made it to music class yesterday. I'm told that the teacher was quite impressed with my daughter's musical ear: she passed a bassoon around the room for all the babies to touch. All of the other babies looked at it quizzically, and one or two of them reached out a hesitant hand to touch the bassoon. No such reticence for Sawyer. (Can you guess where this is going?) She reached out with both hands, grabbed the bassoon, and tried to eat it. Clearly she's on the fast train to Juilliard. I may add a Saturday class to her repetoire -- not because this nascent musical brilliance needs to be cultivated, but simply because I don't want to miss out on amusing baby music experiences with bassoons and other edible instruments.

After doing some research last night, I have come to the conclusion that midtown Manhattan is something of a wasteland when it comes to baby facilities. The Upper East and Upper West Sides are chock full of baby classes, gyms, and other fun things to send a baby and her nanny off to in order to keep them from going stir crazy in the apartment all winter. But as for midtown, while I'm extremely grateful for the Hands On music school only four blocks away, that seems to be the extent of what's available. Hm.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Just a cute sniffly baby in a snuggly cat suit on Day 10 of her cold . . .

Friday, January 09, 2004

Deja-choo all over again

Still sick. Still sniffling, snotting, and coughing. We decided that the pinkeye probably wasn't pinkeye after all, so that's one item off the list. (I'm a licensed D.Dr.,* so I'm qualified to make this type of pronouncement.) (*Daughter of a Doctor.) And the fever ended up being just a one-day event. So we're doing okay.

Oh, but there's more: we now have the additional fun of a nightly 2 am wake up call. This involves howling and whimpering until both Mommy and Daddy get up, groggily lurch over to the couch in Sawyer's room, and form a three-person bundle of sleepy Niehausness for half an hour. Then she's happy to go back into her crib for a few more hours. In the words of Albert Einstein, Vaaa-hoooooo.

One of the bummers of this round of illness is that Sawyer missed the first week of her new baby music class! It sucks to miss the first week of class, you know? You have to get the syllabus from someone else, the casebook is inevitably sold out, you get behind on the reading -- it's just a mess. I promise a report on baby music as soon as she actually manages to attend!

Saturday, January 03, 2004


Our little pumpkin face is sick again. She's got a cold (Day 3), conjunctivitis (Day 2), a cough (Day 1), and a fever (Day 1). Until the fever struck this afternoon, she was in a perfectly cheerful mood despite the face full of snot. Now she's fussy and unhappy and heartmeltingly plaintive in her little sighs and wheezes and whimpers. Poor little bunny.

We started her on eyedrops for the conjunctivitis today. I can't bring myself to call it pinkeye, since her eye isn't pink! One of her eyelids is a bit swollen and the eye is teary, which apparently may be some double-secret form of pinkeye that doesn't actually involve a pink eye. Or so the pediatrician says. Anyway, we got one drop in perfectly easily, and then she got the joke and squinched her eyes shut as tightly as she possibly could while screaming bloody murder. Paul literally had to pry her upper eyelid open with both index fingers while I moved the lower one in order to dribble in an eyedrop. And we only need to do this four times a day! God help us if she develops another ear infection and we need to do antibiotics along with the eyedrops.

Tomorrow we're supposed to head to Philadelphia for International Declare Your Love Loudly for Grandpop Day (don't ask), but I think that Sawyer won't be up for the journey. So we'll be spending her eight-month birthday right here, wiping her little face and Purelling her little hands and letting her snuggle her snotful little face into the crook of our necks . . .

P.S. Now that we've got the vaporizer pumping all sorts of healing humidity into Sawyer's room, this just made me chuckle. Poof! (The link comes to Sawyer's World via Baby and Baggage, yet another blog at least partially about motherhood by a lawyer or ex-lawyer.)

Thursday, January 01, 2004