Tuesday, December 9, 2008

new videos

i just uploaded a bunch of videos on our flickr site, including a few of bryn with her birthday presents, and others of her playing with various toy and non-toy objects. the birthday cake video finally uploaded successfully, and i added a video of bryn opening her first ever birthday present. finally, make sure you check out the video in the sidebar of adam cutting down our tree, which was damaged by hurricane ike.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

adventures of a one year old

bryn had her first birthday a few weeks ago, and we celebrated with a small party and a ridiculous number of presents.

at her party, bryn also got to choose her destiny... it is chinese tradition, on a child's first birthday, to let her choose from among several objects signifying a variety of careers. so we put out a book (not a lightweight either - gabriel garcia-marquez), a pen, a (toy) stethoscope, a passport, a paintbrush, a gold dollar sign money clip (i know, *classy*), a toy ballerina, a toy saxophone, a baseball and a whisk. you can check out the video to see bryn's choice process, but it was pretty clear what she wanted: the money.

the romantic interpretation is that she will be come kind of fancy financier or maybe the next fed chairman, but i think it just means she will be rich. good thing, because her parents certainly aren't going to be.

at the ripe old age of one, bryn's diet is also starting to expand rapidly. she, of course, had birthday cake at her party. it was a cake that uses vinegar instead of eggs as the leavening agent, but she did get regular old store-bought frosting in a can (turns out it doesn't actually contain any eggs or dairy). bryn wasn't really all that interested in the cake or the frosting, and actually stayed pretty clean. check out the full video documentary here. apple chunks are much more popular,

and clementine oranges are currently the best form of bribery. bryn also got to try some turkey and mashed potatoes on thanksgiving (although she actually slept through our dinner). most nights, we can feed bryn something from our plates (rice, brussels sprouts, chicken), which makes life a lot easier and dinners a lot more fun for all of us.

and, most exciting of all, bryn made her first 911 call. yes, i am one of those parents who ignores all the warnings of other parents and law enforcement officers and lets my child play with the telephone. i figured it would be such a fluke for her to call 911, especially given the current limits of her manual dexterity, that i could risk it. well, it took about 3 months, but finally she did it. and then hung up, so i didn't even know about it. instead, i got to be surprised by the two officers at my door and the paddywagon in my driveway.
officer #1:   we got a 911 hang up call from this house.
me:               oh, sorry, it must have been the baby.
officer #2:   so is everything ok here?
me:               yes, we’re fine
officer #1:   don’t let the baby play with the phone.
me:               yes, ok. sorry...
live and learn, i guess.

Friday, November 7, 2008

october fun

well, now that the election is over, i can let go of my obsession with sarah palin and go back to blogging about my baby, my permanent obsession. we did lots of seasonal things with bryn this month (no, we don't do anything without bryn). we enjoyed the fall foliage, and so did the neighborhood kids.

we went pumpkin picking at circle s farms, which includes hay rides, hay barns (actually quite treacherous - who knew? lots of falling down, itching, coughing, sneezing and sometimes some puking... we just observed and tried to stay out of the way though), corn mazes and pumpkin donuts. it was very cold that day, but bryn had a good time, at least until we got to the hayride. i think i feel a family tradition starting up...

and, the most exciting part for me, we dressed bryn up for her first halloween! on trick-or-treat night (the day before halloween in our neighborhood), bryn was a sock monkey.

she greeted all the trick-or-treaters, and we took her to a few houses for some trick-or-treating of her own. she even left the hat on for awhile. on the following night, we went to our friends' house for their annual halloween party. they graciously invited us to bring bryn along, and even offered their son's crib (they have parents in town who babysit... overnight! i'm jealous). so, of course, bryn had to have another costume. i got some baby stretch pants, leg warmers (babylegs - one of my new faves), and a teeny sweatshirt (the collar was repurposed as a headband), and voila! pat benatar was reborn. [UPDATE: *adam* got the stretch pants and sweatshirt, and picked out the sock monkey costume. i shouldn't have tried to take credit]

she was quite a sensation at the party and, after an hour power-nap, was up partying until 1 a.m. (that's not actually *that* late for bryn... 11 is a common bedtime. we don't have a lot of structure here). hmmm... wonder where she gets that from? in other news, bryn is now up to four teeth, all front and center. she loves her finger foods but still hates being spoon-fed, and we haven't had any recent mishaps with the snack-trap. she isn't walking yet but has become quite adept at "cruising" (walking while holding onto furniture, walls, etc.) and continues to get into things that we think she can't.

it's more fun than ever... i can't believe it's been a year already.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

campaign accessories

i had to check out this story about the $150K of campaign money spent on styling sarah palin. is this sexism "rearing its head", as ms. palin might put it? after all, we haven't really heard anything about money spent on styling the men in this race... we don't even really hear about what they are wearing.

well, after reading up a little on this, i'm concluding that the story is not sexist. first of all, it was campaign money, not personal expenditures, and the money was apparently used to style the entire (extended) palin family. there are laws prohibiting expenditure of campaign funds for personal use, so there are potentially questions about legality and ethics here. second, when men have spent campaign money on personal styling, they've gotten just as much media attention (for example, al gore's image and color consultation from naomi wolf and john edward's $400 haircuts). and finally, i will repeat myself and say that sarah palin can't be mrs. middle class hockey mom and approve of this kind of spending on clothing and accessories. maybe if it was just for herself (after all, if one needs to look professional and polished and comfortable for 18 hours a day, it makes sense to spend more for good quality stuff), but baby stuff too?

UPDATE: this was not technically campaign money. according to this nytimes.com piece, because the money came from the republican national committee and not the mccain campaign, there is nothing illegal or unethical about the expenditures.

Friday, October 10, 2008

can't have your cake and eat it too

sarah palin can be "just one of the folks." but she can't be joe six-pack hockey mom and complain about not having her photos retouched. the background on this: the october 13th issue of newsweek magazine featured an extreme close-up of sarah palin (click on the photo to enlarge) on the cover. it is a good picture of her, but it is so close up that you can see all the gory, unflattering details (pores, wrinkles, make-up, facial hair). fox news was quite upset about this:

(thanks to my sis for a heads up on this and for the video) now, i don't even like to look at myself in a magnifying mirror, so i can empathize with not wanting an unflattering photo on a national magazine cover. but, the flaws that fox news thinks should have been retouched are features of EVERY woman, every person's face. so, if you're going to be one of the folks, you have to look like one of the folks, even if it is on a national magazine cover. to be fair, palin hasn't personally publicly complained about the photo, but i interpret fox news' report as evidence of her tacit recognition of this as an actual issue. (newsweek's statement on this: "As a news magazine, it is not our policy to cosmetically retouch the photography we publish.")

more importantly, you can't try to get your ex-brother-in-law fired and steer clear of ethics violations. an investigation by the alaska legislature has concluded that palin abused her powers as governor and violated the alaska executive branch ethics act.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the snack trap

one of the great gifts from our baby shower was the snack-trap, a cup with a split silicone lid designed to allow fingers in but keep snacks from falling out. great idea... unless you have a child like ours! the other day, on the way out the door, i put some multigrain cheerios (lightly sweetened but multigrain, so that makes them at least as good as regular cheerios, right?) in bryn's snack-trap and gave it to her for the first time ever. about a mile from the house, i look back in my mirror, and bryn has the whole lid off the cup. but, wonder of wonders, the cup is sitting upright between her leg and the side of the car seat with almost all the cheerios still intact. well, i think, that was probably a fluke, or maybe i didn't put the lid on all the way. so, at the next light, i grab the cup and put the lid back on, double-checking my work. looks good, bryn gets the cup back. another half a mile, and we are on the freeway. i look back again, just as bryn manages to yank the lid off. but the lid doesn't just come off, it pops off, because it takes a lot of force from an 11-month old. so the lid goes one way, the cup goes the other way, and the cheerios go flying EVERYWHERE. now we still have the whole car ride ahead of us, bryn has nothing to entertain her, and she, and my backseat, are covered in sticky bits of multigrain (here's where lightly sweetened is a *really* bad idea) because, of course, before getting the lid off, bryn had been sticking her slobbery fingers in and mangling all the cheerios.

so, as a friend put it, bryn is either: very clever (i bet grandma and grandpa go for this one), very brutish, very impatient or very lazy. whatever it is, she is only allowed to have the snack-trap under close supervision and within arm's reach of me. also because she likes to hold the cup by the lid, thereby pushing in one or two of the flaps, and then dangle it upside down to shake out the contents bit by bit. still, the snack-trap is better than just giving bryn a regular bowl or cup and, hopefully, she will use it as directed when she gets a little older. but i doubt that, for some reason...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


and a shout out to the third grade class... you all get extra credit for watching this video. (wink)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

i'm not the only one

i just can't stop myself from venting about palin. her candidacy has been the most frustrating thing for me in politics... ever. i feel conflicted (i want a woman to succeed, but not this woman) and disappointed (her inadequacy is not only making women look bad, it is making the discussion more sexist and more paternalistic) all the time. and some republicans actually agree with me (or i should probably say that i agree with them). kathleen parker says,
Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted. (from the National Review Online)
i can hardly wait for the debate on thursday although, no matter the outcome, i doubt it will make me feel better.

oh, and for anyone who missed it, here is the second episode of tina fey as sarah palin. try to figure out which lines are lifted verbatim from the real interview with katie couric (i believe there are about 30 seconds, altogether).

Friday, September 26, 2008

bread and butter

i know the visitors to our blog come for updates and, especially, for photos of bryn and not for my shallow one-sided political commentary. so, here i go, back to our bread and butter. bryn has been consistently crawling on hands and knees for about two weeks now, as evidenced by some of our videos. she is also now quite adept at standing and holding on with only one hand, leaving the other hand free for banging on stuff or grabbing things that are off limits. some of her favorites include cat food, magazines and various types of cords.

bryn is obsessed with crawling and exploring, so much so that she hardly even plays with any of her toys (although she does develop fleeting attachments to non-toy objects... like whisks and brushes). diaper changes have also become much more difficult, and making sure that bryn doesn't ingest the wrong thing requires *constant* vigilance (the other day she almost ate one of truman's broken toenails... ewwww). and, while she has yet to try any real walking, she has figured out the walker and has a great time zooming around the kitchen (not while we're eating dinner though, of course).

what else... bryn has a new tooth, top front, and she has figured out how to make noise by clacking/grinding her teeth together. i'm transitioning bryn into the next size for clothing (6-12 or 9-12 months), so all her pants are either too short or too long. she did get to wear an awesome new onesie for adam's birthday though:

it says i (heart) dad, for those of you who don't read chinese. thanks to teresa and scott for that outfit! we're also contemplating shoes for fall/winter and for walking. some people tell us that shoes are essential for proper walking - did you other parents out there put your infants in shoes?

Monday, September 15, 2008


that's my current assessment of sarah palin. she might be intelligent (although i'm not totally convinced), and she may be an awesome multi-tasker. but in no way do i find her to be at all ready to lead this country. and it's not the lack of experience per se, it's the ignorance. she seems to know about as much about foreign policy and current events as i do, which is not very much at all. 

i'm happiest with this assessment of her because, for now (although i'm not sure for how long), i can still believe that she is an exceptionally intelligent and capable person who was just put into a position that she wasn't quite ready for yet. i can put aside our ideological differences (not enough to vote for her) and want her to succeed for the (metaphysical, at least) benefit of girls everywhere. what i cannot stomach is the nomination of a woman who is under-qualified when there are plenty of qualified women around (e.g., Harriet Miers, the Bush nominee for the Supreme Court that preceded Alito). it's like setting up a straw (wo)man just so it can be torn down and proven inadequate yet again.

and, to chime in with others (for example, dowd and warner, usually not my favs, and i still don't agree wholeheartedly, but we're definitely on the same page), the sexism we're seeing these days is truly outstanding. republicans and conservatives now get to champion gender equality and accuse the "liberal media" of sexism. i would have been ok with strange bedfellows if it meant that we could really make some inroads for women, but these accusations of sexism are thrown about every time sarah palin gets examined critically. so the new gender equity "champions" are saying that palin shouldn't be, and making sure that she isn't, held to the same standards as men. which, of course, begs the question of what equality actually means. and, for their part, the "liberal media" is doing a terrible job too - for all the times that you ignored complaints from conservatives, now you're backing off palin for fear of appearing sexist? all the critiques you were happy to print about hillary clinton, and not even a tiny fraction of that is relevant for palin?

finally, here is a great clip from SNL, although i'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

deep philosophical questions at the bunchen household

is dressing up like a ghost and scaring people illegal? because those people on scooby doo always got arrested.

is less scrupulous the same as more unscrupulous?

why do clothes for infants have real pockets? (one pair of bryn's pants has SIX pockets!) do other babies carry their own stuff around?

while we've been pondering these weighty issues, bryn has been contemplating other matters of weight, specifically how to shift it around. she can now pull herself up to a standing position and uses this skill to get into EVERYTHING. (outlet covers have been recently installed, as bryn's manual dexterity has also been improving) and she has learned how to get herself into a sitting position, so she plays quite independently now... crawling to something, sitting up and playing with it, crawling somewhere else with object#1 still in hand, standing up, banging object#1 on whatever she pulled herself up on, throwing object #1 and a few other things on the ground, and then repeat. the coffee table still baffles her though - she pulls herself up on the shelf rather than the top of the table and then gets her head and torso wedged between the two. sometimes she looks like she actually wants to crawl onto the shelf, but she isn't quite able to do that either. in any case, the outcome is the same: bryn yells until we put her back down to sitting or onto her stomach. finally, just today, bryn started crawling around on all fours! she has been scooting for about two months already, and we (and her pediatrician) were starting to think that she might just skip crawling altogether.

we're still working on getting evidence of all this but, in the meantime, we have posted some other photos and videos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Memoriam
Ernie BunnellFebruary 25, 1941 to August 3, 2008

Ernie passed away peacefully after a two year battle with cancer. He was a generous, kind and great man with terrific wit and humor. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. We're happy that Bryn got to know him for the time that she did, and we're grateful for the time we had with him. He will be much more than missed.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to the Ernie Bunnell Endowment Fund at Rochester High School (e-mail us for details). Ernie's career at Rochester spanned three decades, and he was a dearly beloved teacher there.

We would love to hear your memories of Ernie. Please feel free to share in comments.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

little lightbulbs

so far, most of bryn's big milestones have been related to motor skills (head control, hand use, rolling, sitting, scooting). we've seen some cognitive skills emerge (recognizing us, smiling, laughing, recognizing her own name), but nothing as impressive as this week. on tuesday, bryn was playing with a basket that contained a few toys. the toys were all at the bottom of the basket, and she kept tipping the basket towards her, then letting go and trying to grab the toys. a sisyphean effort, of course, and really kind of amusing. but, after a couple minutes of this, i watched her tip the basket with one hand, hold it in place, and then reach over and grab a toy with the other hand! it was amazing!

also amazing, but more frustrating, is that bryn has started to both understand and ignore admonishments. when playing in the family room, all objects and areas off the carpeted area are off limits, and we have been starting to (try to) teach bryn this. it starts with sternly saying her name, which gets her to turn her head and look at us, then give us a big aren't-i-just-the-cutest-thing smile. sometimes, after we repeat this a few times, bryn will stop and scoot towards something else. other times, it escalates to "unh unh", then "don't", and finally "no" as she inches closer, and closer, and finally touches whatever it is that she shouldn't be touching. this morning, in a particularly sassy mood, none of the above had any effect, except to make her move faster in anticipation of being nabbed by mom... wonder where she gets her stubborn streak from?

Friday, July 11, 2008

congratulations all around

we're very excited that bryn has a brand new first cousin - her first one, in fact! adam's brother, aaron, had a beautiful baby girl - sierra jade - a little over a month ago. we got to meet her at the end of june, and she and her parents all look great. they have also moved to seattle, where aaron has started his residency at the uw. check out their blog for more details, a few pictures and (hopefully - hint, hint!) updates.

next, my little sis is engaged! scott popped the question on june 26, and teresa said yes! he clued us, my parents and several of teresa's friends in early, so we made plans to celebrate their engagement at the masciello's annual fourth of july bash on long island.

we had a great time and are thrilled to be welcoming scott into the family. (btw, this makes scott and teresa the cheniellos) i can't wait to start helping with the wedding plans, especially since bryn has, of course, been designated flower girl!

congratulations to our sibs - we love you and are so excited to have you join our world of old married people with kids!


it's been an eventful few weeks for the bunchens... bryn started eating her first solid food - rice cereal. she doesn't seem to have strong feelings about it either way and will tolerate about two tablespoons, leaving another two tablespoons or so on herself or her highchair. you can watch the video here (but probably only her grandparents will actually make it through the whole thing). her second new trick is raising both arms up above her head when she wants to be picked up. she'll only do this in the jumperoo (something kind of like a walker, except it bounces instead of rolling) and highchair, so i don't know if it's an issue with balance or an issue with generalization. in any case, i can't resist it, even if she does it in the middle of dinner. finally, and most exciting, bryn has started "scooting" (also known as belly-crawling)!

this started around the end of june, and now bryn can get across a room in about 10 seconds - if properly motivated. putting this together with the pushing up on straight arms means that bryn's perception has really gone 3-D. she now goes for toys up on shelves and tried to crawl off our bed yesterday for something on the floor. her sitting is also much improved now, so she really likes to play independently and go from toy to toy on her own. it's pretty neat to watch - two months ago we never could have imagined her doing any of these things, and now she practically feels like a teenager.

a few other little things: we also felt bryn's first tooth this week, although it is not actually visible to the naked eye as of yet. her yelling has slowed down so that she usually only does it when unhappy about something. she still chatters a lot, and now makes b, d, g, c/k and m sounds. the other day it sounded like she said "o-ba-ma"... we'll see if she can get that perfected before november.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

sittin' pretty

a baby sits among us! bryn has (pretty much) figured out the basic sitting thing. she has been doing the "tripod" sit (leaning forward propped up by her hands) for a few weeks now, and we noticed last sunday that her side-to-side balance had improved quite a bit. then, on wednesday, she had her first sustained solo sit!

since then, she's being doing a lot of sitting on her own, usually for a few (literally, 2-3) minutes at a time. bryn has also been pushing up on her hands a lot more and getting that much closer to crawling. the other day, she even woke herself up from a nap by rolling over... it was so cute seeing her push up on her hands and look around all groggy and disoriented, then flash a big sleepy grin when she spied us across the room.

check back in a few days for a special father's day post in which we tell you how bryn likes her first solid food!

Monday, June 2, 2008

yelling, rolling and posing

the good news: bryn has discovered a new way of vocalizing. the bad news: it is yelling, and she uses it indiscriminately... and frequently. bryn has also discovered how to roll from her back to her tummy, and she does that frequently as well, especially if she spies a toy that is out of reach. she has yet to do any consecutive rolls, but she's also starting to push up on her hands, which is an early harbinger of crawling. so we have initiated operation mobile baby to prepare. i hope she won't totally give up snuggling with mom once she is able to explore more on her own.

bryn also learned how to crinkle up her nose this weekend. sometimes she does it like she is sniffing (she does have hay fever), other times it is with a big grin, and sometimes it is just goofing around (usually with dad). i was worried that this might end up being the only face she would make all weekend, which was not what i had in mind for her first set of portraits (!). in the end, she didn't make that face at all, and she didn't really smile either... she was just kind of cranky and not happy about being out of our arms while strangers made faces at her and teased her with toys. she fell asleep on the way to the studio, which i thought was a good thing but, in retrospect, i think she might do better with a bit more time beforehand to take in her surroundings. still, the results were good enough to upsell us from the $9.95 promo package (it wouldn't have taken much - we are both impulse buyers and addicted to our baby). my goal is to go more frequently and stick to just the promo package. it's annoying not having digital images though... but, lucky for you all, i decided to scan and post this set!

these were taken at portrait innovations.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

first cross-country trip!

we took bryn on her first plane trip this month. first, she went to dc with me to attend the - wait for it - 2008 World Congress on National Accounts and Economic Performance Measures for Nations. my mom was kind enough to join us in dc and keep bryn company while i participated in the conference (i really had to twist her arm). she and bryn had a great time chatting and playing, but grandma proved to be very faint-hearted when it comes to the cries of babes, or at least the cries of her grandbaby... just 10 minutes drove grandma chen to fervent recitation of the hail mary. bryn also got to meet her great grandmother yang (who promptly declared bryn to be prettier than her mother), as well as two great-uncles and a great-aunt who live in the dc area. we were only in town for a day and a half so, unfortunately, we didn't get to visit any of our other friends.

the next leg of our trip was to san diego for adam's cousin's wedding. it was beautiful - right on mission bay - and the guests were appropriately adoring of bryn (thanks to aunt teresa for the super cute dress!). bryn was quite well-behaved, although i did have to walk her around during the ceremony, and she even slept for the last hour or so of the reception, right through all the music and dancing. what a trooper. at the wedding, bryn also got to meet a second great grandmother, great grandma hartley, and a great uncle and some second cousins. oh, and we saw one of the flower girls go down the aisle in a wagon... this means that bryn should be available for weddings as soon as she can sit up (another couple months?). i can't think of anyone who might need a flower girl sooner than that, but i could probably be persuaded to carry her down the aisle if necessary.

on sunday, bryn got to see and touch the pacific for the first time in ocean beach, ca! she tolerated putting her feet in, but got angry when dad let her butt get splashed. it was great to be on a coast again, and we were happy that bryn's first ocean was the pacific rather than the atlantic. here are some pictures from our trip and some from the wedding, and here is a little preview because it just doesnt' feel like a post without a picture.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

rockin' our world

we had an earthquake last thursday! it had a magnitude of 5.2 and was centered in southern illinois. it was also reported to have been felt over 120,00 square miles!
Scientists do know that because of the flat, dense terrain, tremors travel more quickly and over more territory in the central states than, say, on the West Coast, making smaller seismic events more widespread and possibly more dangerous. And because earthquakes happen less frequently in the country’s midsection, people are less aware of the risk. (From The NY Times)
we were woken up by the doors on our armoire rattling, and i felt the bed shaking as well. adam, not known for his lucidity when awoken in the middle of the night, jumped up to try to stop the armoire from shaking. i told him i thought it was an earthquake, but that just made him push on the armoire even harder. the quake ended soon after that with no damage done here. and we thought we moved out of earthquake territory!

meanwhile, bryn has been changing more and more each day. she's laughing more - we even got it on video! and her head control has gotten to where she can try out some new toys (although the physical therapist tells us that the bumbo and jumperoo are more for the parents' convenience than for the child's development). this is all bittersweet for me; i already miss the newborn days and don't even want the 4 a.m. feedings to end. still, people who told me that there is something awesome and special about every age were totally right. bryn is more fun than ever... i just feel like i didn't fully appreciate and enjoy all the days and stages that have already passed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

ah, the onion

for all our friends out there with small babies, those who will soon have small babies, and those who have forgotten what it's like to have a small baby: for those of you who are thinking about having small babies, ignore this and focus on the adorable photos of bryn instead.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

family update

well, it's been an eventful few weeks for us - but "eventful" for new parents means something totally different than it does for normal people.

we had a blizzard. i'm not exaggerating - it was an official blizzard which, i think, is as much about snow as it is about wind, because there wasn't THAT much snow (we saw more in boston, anyway). still, a good time was had by all.

bryn got her first cold just before easter. nothing too serious, just a little cough and runny/stuffy nose, but hard to endure. when i took her to the pediatrician, all the other mothers in the waiting room would turn and say "ohhh, poor thing" every time bryn coughed. she actually stayed her usual happy, laid-back self for most of the cold though - lucky us!

we thought the easter bunny was going to skip our house this year, but bryn had a surprise for us. she rolled over - tummy to back - on easter morning! necessity is the mother of invention - bryn really hates being on her tummy (but she's starting to like it more now and rolling over less). we missed the very small window in which to get a picture of bryn in her easter finery without any spit up, so we'll have to stage a re-creation at a later date. speaking of spit up, just when we thought bryn had exhausted the possible locations, truman helped her discover a new one.

and last sunday we went to a baseball game, our first in columbus and bryn's first ever! we saw the columbus clippers, a AAA team in the washington nationals system (formerly the ny yankees), play the charlotte knights, and got free cow bells. as a bonus, we also got to see an old mariner favorite - bret boone... and on his birthday! my new plan is to befriend him and work our way into the glamorous world of professional baseball. bret, if you see this, you're invited over for dinner!

finally, bryn is starting to bat at stuff and hold objects. she's also laughed twice in the last few days... we think. we're still working on her motor skills, mostly neck and upper body strength. bryn is much more interested in working on her social and emotional skills, kind of like mom.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

props for hillary

i've been a hillary supporter from the beginning - i think she has real policy solutions whereas the other democratic candidates typically just "talk the talk." but i do find her to be a less than inspirational speaker, even quite dull in prepared speeches. i also find myself worrying that she will fall to mccain the way kerry fell to bush - unable to translate intellect into confidence. so maybe we do need an inspirational candidate, even if i am less certain of his efficacy as a policymaker.

but then i realized, i have never felt inspired by speech given by a woman, any woman. there are certainly inspirational women out there, and it's not possible that they all have or are inferior speech writers. so what's going on? i think this piece from the washington post sums it up pretty well. we are not used to seeing women as inspirational leaders... sure, women often do things that are inspirational, but they don't lead while doing it. generations of feminism have gotten us to where we have no trouble with women leading the way, but not to the point where we see women leading us. it's enough to send me right back to the feminism of my younger days, just like many other twenty- and thirty-something women.

disclaimer: these comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the rest of the bunchen household.

birthday fun for grandma chen

we put together something a little different for grandma chen's birthday this year.

we also had a video call with the chens on grandma's birthday. bryn's great uncle george happened to be visiting, so he got to see her (at least live, if not in person) for the first time. his first compliment: "she looks very smart!"

btw, if anyone is interested in video calls with us, look for us on skype. you just need an internet connection and a microphone of some sort that connects to your computer. you don't need a webcam but, if you don't have one, bryn won't be able to see you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

happy birthday grandpa bunnell!

we sent our very best (yes, this is the best we could do on a cranky cold evening) to grandpa bunnell for his birthday yesterday. wish we could've been there to help you celebrate!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

happy valentine's day

bryn weighed in at 10 lbs. 12 ounces today (with diaper), putting her in the 75th percentile based on adjusted age (age from her due date) and in the 10th percentile for her calendar age (age from her birth date). not bad.

she also made her first valentine this week, which basically just required laying relatively still while i took her picture.

and, finally, evidence of bryn's smile! she is smiling often and purposefully. the other day i went to get her after a nap, and she smiled at me when i walked up to her bed. *sigh*

as always, for you diehard bryn devotees, click on the flickr link on the right for even more pics - including more smiles and outfits from her aunt and uncle.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the paternal side

we were lucky enough to also have a visit from grandpa, grandma and uncle on dad's side. the similarity between grandmas was, at times, uncanny - "she's super cute!" "look at all her of adorable facial expressions!" and, of course, their irresistible urge to hold bryn. grandpa preferred adoration from afar (ok, one couch cushion over), but proved to be a natural anyway.

uncle aaron got in a little practice before his own bundle of joy arrives this summer. he kept suggesting maybe he was too bony for bryn's taste, but i say babies smell fear. and we have photo evidence to the contrary.

di was invited to give two readings from her novel, the protest. for those of you in our area, we have a few more copies of this acclaimed book!

and, sadly, dad had to return to work shortly after the end of the visit. but, that does mean no more late-night diaper changes for him. we'll commemorate dad's babymoon with the following:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

An Apology

Sorry for keeping Bryn to ourselves. We very much like to share her photos but find ourselves playing, feeding or sleeping with her much more than posting photos.

Grandma and Grandpa Chen claimed they came to visit all of us. Funny thing, they kept telling us, "go out and enjoy yourselves." Some favor. Of course Bryn had to stay home for proper nurturing. When Mom and Dad went out for dinner, they quickly realized who was getting the favor.

If you are looking at this photo and some version of "ahhh" does not come to mind, you should follow the tin man down the yellow brick road.

National Geographic shot: we think Mom and Bryn look very peaceful and natural... well mom anyway, Bryn may be protesting via the shaken fist. If only we could splice some foliage into the background. Photoshop is going on the xmas list, along with whatever Bryn is asking for in this photo.

Note from Mom: The big box baby store doesn't sell a whole lot of babywearing devices so, for anyone who might be curious, this is a Moby Wrap, and we both love it, despite what this picture might suggest.

This is the rarely seen clean Bryn. Look carefully, no stains on the shirt!

Also, as always there is more to come, we just have to figure out how to make our camera work better. She is growing so fast we find it takes too much time to put pictures up on this flog. So, for a real good look, come and visit. Skybus flights can be as cheap as $10. Keep a lookout. Also, steelhead fishing can be arranged if anyone is so inclined.

General updates are that Bryn is making lots of eye contact and cooing all the time. Smiles are still random, but they definitely seem to be developing. She is well over 9lbs and very much enjoys her baths (takes this from Mom).

Site updates? We should soon be posting video. However, this site only takes small vid files so we may be migrating somewhere else. We will leave directions if that happens. Any suggestions are appreciated. Also, check out the flickr shots, poll and movies. Bryn's movie is her first. She was still in the Nicu. Truman's film is not nearly as precious and includes some rather regrettable behavior.

Thanks for all your kind comments they are very much appreciated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Home Time

Rub my belly... now.
"Christmas, eh"?

Here she's ready for her first walk.