Friday, May 29, 2009

The Straight Jacket

Every time I put Abby to sleep I have to wrap her in her straight jacket (aka swaddler). Why? Because if I don't her hands distract her so much that she can't get to sleep--they're just soooooo fascinating (see the second video on the last post if you don't believe me). The problem is, no matter how tight I swaddler her, she always manages to get at least halfway out. Last night she had managed to rotate 180 degrees within the swaddle, had both legs out, one arm out on top and one arm out below. I didn't take a picture then, but here's a more benign example.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Abby decided to start talking today...and she hasn't stopped. She's been so funny all day long!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Birds

Not creepy, like Hitchcock, but cute and furry like stuffed animals.

When grandma Messinger came to visit last, she brought an armload of cute stuffed birds, each representing a different species. Not only are these birds accurately colored, but they also accurately reproduce that particular species call. She assembled these birds into an elaborate mobile which we hung in the spare bedroom.

Every visitor we have had since then has exclaimed over the awesomeness of this mobile. However, to my dismay, Abby showed ony a passing interest in the suspended armada of birds. But that has all changed. Last week I hung a few of them over her head in her new Pak and Play and the second she saw them she burst into smiles. She will spend tens of minutes (trust me, for her, that's a really long time) just staring at them and trying to grab at them. Now I take one with me everywhere, incase she needs some entertainment.

Here is a bit of video of her playing with the birds.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fun with Abby Pictures

1. No flash

2. Faded color

3. Black and white

4. Flash

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Lately Abby has been exhibiting signs of narcolepsy. For example, the other night Alex was bouncing her on his knee while singing a lively rendition of the Bonanza theme song and all of a sudden he looked down and she was dead asleep. Who falls asleep mid-knee-bouncing? It happened again last night while he was bouncing her and watching a Twins game at the computer. Too bad that she doesn't always go to sleep that quietly!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I forgot, I did take two photos, both within the first 15 minutes. This is Abby's backpack. She likes it, but only if we're moving, which you don't do a lot of when birding. The sunshade came off the umbrella stroller (don't worry, it's meant to be detachable) and I rigged it to the backpack using pieces of a broken floor lamp that we have. Works like a charm!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This morning Abby and I joined some other EEB students on a birding trip to MacGee Marsh in Ohio. It's about an hour and a half drive from here and is well known for being a hot spot of warblers. I'd say it lived up to it's reputation. Below is my bird list for the day (this list may look short, but keep in mind that I was burdened by a squirming, tired, generally fussy 15 pound baby that did not want to be in her stroller, in her backback, or in her sling but only in her mommy's left arm which by now must have a bicep the size of Africa). I did not get any pictures despite lugging my camera and huge lens around with me--it was hard enough to get my binoculars to my face--so I provided links to pictures for all the warblers. My favorite was the Magnolia Warbler.

Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Red-winged Blackbird
American Robin
Baltimore Oriole
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Kingbird
House Wren
Winter Wren
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler

Other notable birds that my friends saw but I missed due to baby feedings, leaky diapers, and screaming:

Canada Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Northern Parula
Screech Owl
Cape May Warbler

Monday, May 11, 2009

Auntie Beth

We finally got Beth to come visit us last weekend. And all it took was 9 months of overweight, disproportioned, imbalanced discomfort and 31 hours of the most intense pain I have ever experienced. If only I had known sooner... (HAH!)

Beth arrived on Thursday evening, just in time for Abby to start her evening ritual of fussing. Fortunately Barb had fore-warned her that the key to fussing is jiggling. Beth's a great jiggler.

On Friday afternoon we toured downtown Ann Arbor with the umbrella stroller Barb financed.

While we were out we ate lunch at BTB and Beth entertained Abby while I ate my giant burrito much too quickly.

On Friday evening we went for a nice bike ride down by the Huron River. I don't have any pictures because I was too busy biking, but it was fun. Saturday was mostly spent lounging around watching old movies and listening to Beth complain about her sore butt, but around 5 we ventured out to ABC for an early dinner. It was Abby's first sit-down restaurant experience and I'm glad to say it went well!

On Sunday morning we rounded out Beth's visit with a gourmet Mother's Day pancake breakfast courtesy of Alex. What a wonderful weekend. Hopefully it won't take as much effort to get Beth to come back and do it again!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bumbo Training

I really can't wait for Abby to be able to sit comfortably for long periods in the Bumbo. We practice every day, getting those neck muscles in shape. She's doing really well, but is still a bit floppy.

P.S. Thanks to Dennis for the adorable thermals and Aunt Marlene and Mom for the equally adorable moccasins!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Abby is working on learning to grab things. The advantage to this skill is that she can bring things to her mouth for a good licking (see video below). Besides plastic, she also likes licking strawberries and bananas (but not pineapples).

Saturday, May 2, 2009