September 30, 2008


I knew when I wrote about Alden as an extremely manageable wonder-child I was setting myself up for some hubris... and it has arrived. I think Alden is getting another tooth or two, this time on the top. He's licking his upper gum, pulling at his ears, and has been very tender for the past two days. His sleep at night has been spotty and and he seems to get upset for no reason. This is not to say he isn't charming when he has to be, but it's a mixed bag.

On a more lively note, Alden has taken to his Johnny Jumpup, and with the added goodness of drumsticks, has a smashingly fun time.

September 26, 2008

Wonder child

Since Alden has recovered from his ear infection he has become a wonder-child (for the past two days anyway). I think the words that would best describe a wonder-child are 'easily manageable'. Since he started feeling better he has been eating, playing and sleeping in regular intervals. The greatest latest is he is only getting up once a night for a feed and a diaper change. We are counting our blessings, but right now it feels like easy street (apart from the American banking system collapsing and winter on the way).

September 23, 2008

Ear Infection

It's been a while since our last post. God, it feels like years, actually. Alden is recovering from his first ear infection. Kerstin and I are also recovering from this week-long nightmare. It started innocently enough, when Alden barfed up his sweet potato at dinner last Wednesday. He has a shockingly low tolerance for chunks in his food, and I wrongly assumed that I hadn't pureed his meal sufficiently. A few hours later, he really let 'er rip as I was nursing him down in our bed. He soaked the sheets, the pillows, my shirt, his PJs and then dry heaved a few more times for good measure. I had to carry the sodden child into the kitchen to enlist Kerstin's help with the clean up. He had just brought Scott home and was showing him the house. Scott is also a new parent, with a daughter about 4 months older than Alden. He convinced us that we were dealing with a stomach virus of some sort and that it would all blow over in about 24 hours. It didn't. Alden started to cook that night, his fever going as high as 104 F. We went through a exorbitant amount of Tylenol just to keep his temperature down to a relatively cool 101. Keeping milk down was also a problem and we worried about dehydration. Poor little guy was just so lethargic. He slept in 6 or 7 hour stretches, which is way more than he normally does. On Friday, he slept from 3 to 10 am! He has never in his life slept that late. I actually woke up on my own and initially felt amazing, then supremely guilty. (Don't worry, Alden had his revenge by the next night). By day two, it was clear that the fever and vomiting weren't going away, so I took a shortened work day and then it was off the the Pediatrician for us in the afternoon. After pulling out what must have been 45 pounds of ear wax from a very squirmy and unhappy baby (DAMN, that kid has some seriously hyperactive inner ear sweat glands!) she diagnosed the infection in his right ear. I confess, I was a little crestfallen. Isn't all this exclusive breastfeeding supposed to stave off ear infections? I guess it was bound to happen eventually, especially with daycare and all, but still....
After discovering that pain killers are his friend, Alden takes a shine to sucking on the Tylenol dropper.

We got a bottle of Amoxicillin and more Tylenol on the way home and began the medicating in earnest. Tylenol every 4 hours to keep his fever in check, then antibiotics twice a day (or more if he couldn't keep it down). That night, he slept fitfully, to put it mildly. I think I was up every 45 minutes. We went through a record 6 pairs of pajamas before the night was over. Good fun.

On Saturday, he was really fussy and tired, but still wouldn't sleep. And he started refusing his antibiotics, so we had to use a little more creativity (i.e. putting medicine in milk, in mashed banana, and when those failed, distracting him with a toy while the other parent jammed the syringe in his mouth.) His fever finally broke Saturday night and by Monday he was mostly back to himself, minus the sleeping at night part. He is still a little bit off, but I suspect his ear is still hurting him a little bit. He naps for nice long stretches during the day, but at night won't stay down for more than a few hours at a time.

I've had requests for pictures of Alden's teeth - no small feat since he doesn't like to open his mouth unless it's to stick out his tongue. This is the best picture I have where the incisors are actually visible.

Much happier now that the worst is over....

September 16, 2008

Joseph's Birthday

Three Gilg noses, all lined up.
Alden and Sandy
Ellen and Ben keep Alden occupied.
Lobster dinner to honor the birthday boy
Post-prandial birthday cake, courtesy of Karen

September 13, 2008

Joseph and Sandy Visit

Joseph and Sandy are visiting! This is only the second time that they've seen Alden (the first was back in March). Tomorrow we head to the coast to celebrate Joseph's birthday and eat lobster. Joseph and I are also going to attempt a 61 minute run (one minute for each year of his life) with Alden in the jogging stroller. If we're successful, it will be the longest I've run with him. Ben has also been staying with us for the past few weeks and will stay through September. He's been an awesome cook, gardener and babysitter and has been signing "Uncle B" with Alden. That kid has a future in sign.

Blueberry Hike

Settling the babies in their carriers before the hike.
Joshua, Cheyenne and Ronin have returned to Oregon, and we are sad to see them go. Ronin was a real sweetheart and Alden has been missing her terribly. We all had great adventures with the Coxwell-Wiel clan and ate like royalty. Damn, can Joshua and Cheyenne cook! And forage!! The gatherer gene is strong in this family. We took a hike up Mt. Pisgah (Monmouth) in search of chanterelle mushrooms (we've had luck foraging them there in years past). It had rained hard the night before, which led to a very disappointing mushroom harvest. I didn't know this before, but pre-existing fruiting bodies turn to mush pretty quickly after a rain. If we had been able to hike a week or so after the big downpour, we might have found a whole lot more. So it goes with fungi. We only managed to scrounge about a dozen soggy chanterelles on the way up to the top. When we got there, we caught an glimpse of the neighboring lakes and valleys from a very shaky lookout tower. Alden wasn't having any of it, so we moseyed back down the old road on the front of the mountain. On the way down, Cheyenne spotted a high bush blueberry loaded with ripe fruit. We stopped to gather a handful and before we knew it, we'd damn near filled the paper bag we'd brought for mushrooms. As we progressed down the trail, we came across more and more blueberry bushes, each more laden with fruit than the previous one.

Can you spot the Purple-tongued Monkey with his young foraging among the blueberry brambles? They are shy and elusive creatures...
When we got home and tallied everything up, we had about 6 cups of wild blueberries, enough for a fantastic pie. It took us nearly all night to make the pie, between two tired, cranky babies that wouldn't stay asleep, but it was worth it!

September 11, 2008

Alden Drums

With his drool-drenched unitard and his distinctive beats, Alden would fit in perfectly with nearly any college band. And YES, that is the Yamaha DD-50 digital percussion system on which he's shredding, courtesy of Uncle Ben's pre-teen ambitions (circa 1994).

sitting pretty

Alden is really good at sitting now.

September 8, 2008

Joshua, Cheyenne and Ronin Return

Our guests have returned from their excursion to Acadia and the Midcoast region. It's great to have them back and we've been having a great time playing outside. Luckily the weather was wonderful over the weekend, so we hung out in the backyard. Hanging out in the backyard these days involves playing fetch with the new neighbor's dog, Comet and a partially digested tennis ball. That dog will chase a ball for weeks, given half a chance. All adults got bored pretty quickly, although Alden and Ronin thought fetch was pretty darn cool. The dog will drop the ball by your feet and will STARE expectantly until you reach for the ball, despite many an "All done, Comet", and eventually, "Piss off, Comet". It's pretty unsettling, after a while. When we could no longer stand the canine gaze, we had to retreat to the house. Who knew a silly dog could hold such power?
We also hosted our first baby play group, when the Burnes' came over for an afternoon. All babies were kinda interested in each other, and much more interested the toy that the other baby was playing with. Clearly, we all have to work on our sharing lessons.

Joshua stands watch over the women and children.

September 4, 2008


Our guests have gone camping for the week leaving us to do whatever we do when we don't have guests... mostly cleaning the basement and vacuuming. Alden is growing and changing at a tremendous rate. Besides the fact that his teeth are starting to come in, he is becoming stronger and more mobile. He is sitting up by himself for minutes at a time and enjoying standing activities like interacting with his 'DJ flying saucer'.
Alden cannot stand yet, but he can pull himself up by holding onto my thumbs and pulling while I lift. He can also hold himself up when he has something to support his chest and arms. Alden has more energy then he has balance or strength so whatever sitting or standing progress occurs is usually undermined by a flail to the left or a dive forward, forcing us to stay on our toes. We've had had a few close calls so far but nothing serious.
Alden has also become silly for solid food. He can't get enough of the stuff. He still likes milk, but we don't have any problems getting him to eat. He is especially fond of banana.