| 01.28.2005 | somewhere, a marketing manager is smiling

Children must be a marketer's dream come true. They soak knowledge up like sponges. That knowledge includes brand names and messages.

I've always been amused - and slightly disturbed - by the fact that Emma could recognize so many brands at such a young age. I remember, for example, driving down 405 one afternoon just before she turned two and she pointed at a truck passing by and said, "That's Ralph's, Daddy!"

We no longer get quesadilla's - we get Baja Fresh. We don't get chicken nuggets - we go to Old McDonald's for Chicken McNuggets. Daddy doesn't drink coffee - he drinks Starbucks.

Emma doesn't like pink lemonade - she likes Poppin' Pink. We don't go to the grocery store - we go to Trader Joe's. We don't play games - we play Xbox (and Burnout by EA, to boot!) Pavillions, Target, Pier 1, Pottery Barn (Kids, no less) and on and on and on.

The culmination of all of this came the other night as we struggled through yet another cold. (I had it, too, of course. We're hardcore BIDS sufferers in this house.)

Emma woke at about 1 AM on the eve of Sam's birthday party and tottered down the hall. She appeared at the door of our bedroom, bleary eyed, and pronounced:

"Mommy, I'm sick. I need some Tylenol."

Not medicine - Tylenol.

Somewhere, in their dreams, there was a Tylenol marketing manager smiling.

Next trip to Pavillions... err, I mean, the grocery store, I made a point of buying the store brand ($3.96) instead of Tylenol ($8.97). I felt guilty, as if I didn't love my child enough to by her the real stuff. That was tempered by feeling like I was striking back at the evil marketeers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to grab a Kleenex and blow my nose.

@ 9:38 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (4)

| 01.27.2005 | bailey elizabeth northcutt

Congratulations to my brother, Paul, and his beautiful bride, Jessica, on the birth of their daughter Bailey Elizabeth Northcutt.

She was born just one day after Henry was supposed to arrive. Gran and Grandpaw Northcutt would have been in real trouble had he come on time. What to do when you have two new grandchildren thousands of miles apart?

@ 9:27 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (1)

| 01.24.2005 | darren makes marks on the wall

Earlier this week sweet Emma was playing with the school house Darren and Rebecca gave her many moons ago. It's always been a favorite of hers. She's even gone so far as to name the little girl and little boy that came with the set "Darren" and "Rebecca". It's quite sweet to watch her playing with them.

While feeding Henry in the other room, Marla heard some noises coming from Emma's room as she played. Marla knew she was up to no good, but with a nursing baby in one hand it's tough to intervene. Time passed, the noises stopped and all was right in the world.

Later in the day, while straightening the toys in Emma room, Marla noticed lots of brown marks on the wall. She turned to Emma and stared.

Emma innocently stared back and said, "Darren makes marks on the wall."

Yes, yes, indeed! Darren does make marks on the wall... when you repeatedly bash his head against it.

At any rate, enjoy the pictures of our playground supermodel. She's staring to pose well for me if I can trick her into playing along as a game. Note to other parents: try sticking stuffed animals on your camera to make them laugh.

Unlike Big Sister, Henry isn't getting into much trouble these days. He's continuing to do a lot of sleeping, a lot of pooping and a lot of wee-ing.

He has started to grow more aware of his surroundings, though, and stay awake longer between feedings. You can see for yourself in the photos, of course.

We had his weight checked again on Monday and he was up to seven pounds. Another 8 ounces in 7 days. He's packing it on!

I need to update the chart and see where we're headed. 100 pounds seems entirely reasonable, don't you think?

@ 10:46 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (4)

| 01.20.2005 | henry growing nicely

We had our weekly doctor visit on Monday checking on Henry's growth. We were all pleasantly surprised to find that he'd gained a whopping 13 ounces in just one week! (The average is 0.5 - 1 ounce per week.)

He was slow in gaining the first two visits and from Dr. Dyer's tone we expected that if he didn't perk up she would be recommending some supplemental feedings.

She was really pleased this visit, though, with everything from his color (no more jaundice) to level of alertness to weight.

I think her exact comment was, "He's just like a newborn now." (She had commented several times that since he was a premie we should expect that he'd just continue to sleep until his original due date since he still needd "time to cook.")

We had definitely noticed the change this week ourselves, with his periods of alertness growing longer and more frequent. It was nice, though, to hear our own assessment echoed by a real doctor.

I took a few minutes last night to do the proper geeky thing and charted both his actual weight gain over the past four weeks and also project forward based on current trends. (Afterall, what else do you do at 1 AM when you're up for a feeding?)

My R^2 value is pretty poor (0.95) so I think this analysis may be flawed. Or you could use common sense and realize that a 100 pound baby at six months is a little on the extreme side. (A woman did give birth to a 16-pounder in Brazil today, though!)

@ 12:26 AM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)

| 01.19.2005 | she keeps going and going...

We can't, of course, forget sweet, sweet Emma amid all the gushing over her darling brother Henry.

She's been enjoying Grandma and Grandpa Mandel's visit with us immensely. There's generally been a "warming up" period when they visit as she gets used to someone other than Mommy and Daddy tromping around the house and wanting to play with her.

Not so this visit.

The very first night she was up and in their laps at supper time eating from their plates as she so loves to do. Food is just so much more delicious when it is a) someone elses and b) fed to you by someone else.

The last half of this gallery is from the 15th, when we were all dressed up for Henry's naming at the synagogue. (We couldn't bring ourselves to do the Bris where the Hebrew name for a boy is traditionally given. I have too many Seinfeld memories.)

At any rate, after the naming we went to Corner Bakery in Tustin for tasty lunch and some play at the fountain there. It was only later that I realized that on a day all about Henry I hadn't taken a single picture of him. Oops!

Emma enjoyed herself thoroughly. Running, running and running. And a little more running. I've got too many favorites from the fountain to name them all, but I'm particularly tickled by the exchange captured between her and Grandpa Mandel. Too cute.

@ 10:15 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)

| 01.17.2005 | i'm awake, i'm awake!

A few more pictures dribble in from the first part of January tonight.

Henry's been slowly growing more aware of the world around him and spending more time awake. Emma absolutely adores him and wants to hug and kiss him all the time.

Who can blame her? He is awfully cute.

Henry had his weekly doctor's visit today and received excellent news. More on that tomorrow along with pretty charts and graphs... and pictures, too!

Update: Oh, and congratulations to Lumberjack and family on the birth of their son, Seamus J. De Arte this morning! (At 10 lbs. 1 oz. Seamus was just about twice Henry's birth weight and a full 6 inches longer.)

@ 11:25 AM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)

| 01.14.2005 | first week of january quickie

Here's a quick set of photos because I know that Grandma Northcutt is dying in Atlanta with nothing new in over a week.

I've got a few tales to share of parenthood queued up that I need to put the finishing touches on. The first is "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" and it's nearly done... but I'm so exhausted that I just can't contemplate creative writing.

(Well, not so much creative but you know what I mean.)

And now... my sweet, sweet bed calls offering one glorious hour of sleep before it's time for Henry's next meal.

@ 11:15 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (4)

| 01.05.2005 | when henry met grandpaw

My dad, AKA Grandpaw, was in town just after Christmas on business. Despite being over 50 miles away in glorious Rancho Cucamonga he struggled through LA traffic to meet his second grandchild. (Well, Riverside traffic, anyway, which can be worse.)

He joined us for some dinner and, of course, lots of hugs and kisses. Emma introduced him to Noodlebug (Baby Einstein is so 2002) and they shared a lemon bar.

Grandma and Grandpa Mandel are headed down to meet Henry next week. I know they're excited. We've been looking at pictures of them meeting Emma a good bit.

Emma has been asking to look at pictures of herself when she was a baby while Henry's eating. It's pretty darn cute. "I want to see when Emma was a baby! I want to see Mommy feed Emma with a bottle. Oh, no! You're crying!"

Lastly, I hate to admit it, but, yes, I am playing Grand Theft Auto with my son in my arms.

@ 10:03 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (1)