Fall is the best


Uncle Mike, Auntie Chatarina, Uncle Scott, and Auntie Adriana came to visit

We have been so blessed with family visits lately!! The Aunts and Uncles came (A. Amy is coming in Nov.) to see us recently. Uncle Mike very happily brought along his shiny new X Box 360 so that he and Nick could play "Rock Band" together. Mirah was sleeping when they arrived, somehow they managed to rock out and she snoozed away. Chatta and I even got to play a tiny bit. The next morning Scott and Adriana arrived. Mike got to eat Indian food for lunch. This made him very happy and it's important to keep this uncle happy. Then we ended up going for a boat ride around the Thimble Islands. They are small islands with mansions on them. The weather was windy and chilly. We managed to have a good time anyway. Nick stressed out both of the Uncles by taking Mirah up and down the stairs of the boat to several times. I wasn't phased. I am used to that level of energetic exploration and I'm glad M's got an adventurous papa.

Nick had big plans to make a delicious Cuban meal for us all, but due to the fact that the electricity was out all morning, his plans were delayed. After a series of unfortunate events (the most unfortunate being finding the oven OFF after the roast had been "roasting" for 1/2 of the 3 hour roast time- I swear I didn't do it), we ended up opting for pizza. We did get to eat the cake he made from a new cookbook we have. It was very tasty and used agave nectar instead of sugar (there goes your nerdy mom again, Mirah). Everyone was very satisfied, but Nick with his high hopes, was a little disappointed.

It was such a fun time to have all of them here. Mirah fit in quite well with the group and she beamed with joy all weekend. Except for one moment....


Uncle Mike "shared" his B with Mirah. The picture says it all.

Grandma Maddy's visit

Grandma Maddy came to visit!! It was Uncle Scott's birthday on the 11th so we went to New York to celebrate. Mirah went on her first subway ride, tried some watermelon (loved it), visited the giant FAO Schwartz toy store (fell asleep and we kept shopping much to U. Scott's dismay), rode on the carousel in Central Park (way too fast), and smiled at people on the subway. She liked the city because of all the people and things to see, but by the end of the day she was exhausted (mommy, too). After our nice visit with Scott and Adriana, we returned to CT. The fall colors were in full force and the weather was perfect. We took a walk at the beach, picked out a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch, ate peach pie (not Mirah, sorry honey), went shopping for Mirah, went out to eat, ate cupcakes while looking over the city (no cupcakes for Mirah, sorry again), hiked Sleeping Giant (Grandma was happy when that was over), ate homemade pumpkin ice cream at Wentworth's (definitely taking you there, M, for your first taste of ice cream someday...)and took some nice walks around our neighborhood. Mirah loved having her Grandma here. She was working on tooth #4 so somedays she wasn't feeling her best. Grandma loved her up and made her laugh. Mirah caught a few moments of Days of Our Lives with Grandma, too. (see pic on photos page). I sat her down while Grandma was watching. I ran around gathering M's things preparing to go out. She didn't move a muscle. Oh honey, I'm sorry but that is the last of "Days" that you will be seeing around here. Maybe you can catch some more at Great Grandma Gunlikson's someday. I think she watches it, too!
It was so nice to have Grandma here. We are so thankful for her visit.

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Seattle Pics!


There is a new gallery with pics of Me and my buddy, Maci. Go the "Mirah's photos" page.



Videos from Seattle

Here are a couple cute videos from our trip to Seattle.

Happy 8th months, Mirah Belle!!!

Hi Sweetie Pie,

You're napping now so I'm going to frantically try to get this post done. Wow. You are 8 months old. I just read what you were doing at 7 months and it seems like that was an eternity ago. Here's a recap of what's transpired since then and what's in the near future:

1. You sit up in your crib. I still remember the first time you did this. Daddy had put you down for your morning nap. We could hear you rustling around in your room suggesting that you were awake. He took a peek in to check and quickly he said to me, "you gotta see this..." I looked in and there you were just sitting up in your crib looking around. I could tell you were excited about your new found ability to get yourself up. I loved it so much that I got really excited and you kinda gave me the "I know it's cool, but, geez ma you it's not THAT big of a deal" look. Now it's a common occurrence to go into your room and find you just sitting there doing your baby thing.

2. Here's a big milestone- YOU ARE CRAWLING!!!!! It's been a long road and we've seen how determined you are. You stuck with it and now, girl, you're a mover. It was such an interesting process to watch. You had been looking like you wanted to move for some time. And you had some pretty interesting solutions. At one point you put together a series of rolls, pivots, and dives to get yourself somewhere (not sure if it was where you intended to go). Then your arms started to play an important role. The only problem was that they were pushing you backwards and away from your sought-after destination. This frustrated you. And you were not happy to find yourself halfway under the couch when all you wanted to do was get to your maraca. Before we left for Seattle you had made a couple tiny moves forward, but I'd say you hadn't gone any more that 12 inches with your left knee, right knee combination. It was clear though the you were getting it. Then one day I could see in your eyes that you had decided you were a mover. Your maraca was across the room. You REALLY wanted it. You were going to get it. Off you went. One leg (i think it was your right) was more dominant in the movements. The other just kinda came along for the ride. You looked a bit like a wounded soldier crawling across the battlefield, but with baby Bambi-like wobbliness. You stuck with it and soon you had the maraca in your hand. Way to go, M! Here's a pic showing you right after you made your big jaunt...


3. More teeth on the way. Yep, the two top ones are almost here. I can see them just under the surface. And oh, do we feel for you. It's obviously quite painful. These past few days you really seem to be feeling them. The last time your teeth were coming in I got no sleep because I was up all night with you in your room wondering why suddenly you forgot how to sleep. This time around I have a better understanding of what's going on. Daddy and I don't like to see you suffer so we comfort you the best we can. On the bad nights we cuddle you up with us in our bed. Then we all get some rest. It seems to be going much better this time around. I am so excited for you to get these top teeth. Way too cute!

4. You like books, but only certain ones. I know them well and we read them over and over again. Most I don't even need to look at anymore because I have them memorized. For my sake, I try to sneak in a new one every once in a while to mix it up, but you catch on and protest. If it's not one of your usuals I can't even get past page 2. You tend to like the ones that I sing or the ones in which there is something to touch. That is, with one exception....Good Night Moon. You love this book. I read it to you almost every night and you sit through the whole thing. Sometimes I read it more than once and you are still mesmerized. I don't know what it is, but it is a gem.

5. You love music. It always seems to lift your spirits. I realized yesterday that I need to make sure I give you a good dose of music everyday since you love it so much. Recently I've been caught up in the election and the all the other issues going on that I have been subjecting you to a lot of NPR. I know, you're mom is kind of a nerd. I'm hoping though, that I might be expanding your vocabulary and teaching you the values of intellectual discourse (ok, total nerd).

You are clearly an active participant in this world, little Mirah. Daddy and I realize this. Everyday we are trying our hardest to be the best parents that we can be for you. Unfortunately, though, we aren't perfect. You will find out later that not everyone has such a hard time finding their keys, or wallet, or cell phone. With all of our imperfections, though, we hope that you will also realize how incredibly much we love you.

Cheers to another great month with you, my girl.



Mommy and Mirah's trip to Seattle


The wayward travelers are back from Seattle. It was a great trip, but great things rarely come without sacrifice. Let me explain. Imagine you have an 8 month old baby. Ok, try to keep that baby in one spot for 5+ hours. Yeah. I did this...... Twice. When buying the tickets I was thinking like a non-mom. I perused my options. One stopover.... sounds good to me. Book it. Lesson learned.... stopovers are....... good.

Mirah, I'd like to give you a recap of the two lovely flights we had together.

Hartford to Seattle:
1st leg: Hartford to NYC/JFK--- the excitement begins at the gate where I have to fold up your stroller. I had thought out this process ahead of time and put you in the Bjorn carrier so that I could have my hands free. Unfortunately the stroller has a broken seat cover and I had to wrap it with a bungy cord to keep it closed. I tried to convince your dad that it would be good to fix the stroller before the flight, but he made the case to fix it after I got back. In case it gets more broken in transit. It doesn't sound convincing now, but being a philosopher your dad can be very convincing. I gave in. Argh. I wish I wouldn't have because here's what happened..... Get the stroller folded up. Lean over to put the bungy cord around it. Not long enough. WHAT?!? I know this is the one we used before!?!?! In a panic I knock over the diaper bag and baby items roll out. Two women (moms, I'm sure) stop to help me. Meanwhile the buckle on the carrier comes open and you start to fall out. I catch you and you cling to my arm dangling like the kitten in the "Hang in there" poster. Good little kitten. You hung in there. The moms get the cord wrapped around the stroller. Whew. I walk on the plane all sweaty and frazzled. Let the fun begin.

The first leg from Hartford to JFK was a piece of cake. 45 minutes or so and you napped. Then came the looooooong layover at JFK airport 3.5 ridiculous hours. We walked around a lot. Looked at people. You smiled and made lots of friends. I dreaded the walk down the ramp to fold up the stroller again. I practiced once in the terminal to make sure I wouldn't repeat the previous performance. This time.... much better. Whew. Next comes the 2nd flight--JFK to Seattle (~2500 miles). You napped for the first 45 minutes. Good start. Then NO sleep for a long time. Lots of bouncing and squawking and giggling. Finally I think to myself we must be almost there. I look at the flight progress map. We are above Minnesota. What?! 3.5 hours to go! I have no idea how I am going to do this. I start watching the minutes go down one by one. I decide I better take you to the bathroom to change your diaper. This ends up being another ordeal. I always thought these bathrooms were small, but take a baby in there and you find out that how small. EVERYTHING is within reach. Besides the fact that you rolled over about 50 times as I tried to change you on the tiny table. You threw one of your toys on the DISGUSTINGLY dirty floor. ack. From there you found the soap dispenser. I let you play with it because it stopped you from rolling as much. Next...you found the tissues right above your head and start pulling them out like crazy. Aaaah! At this point, I figured as long as I got your diaper on and you don't fall onto the gross floor, it's a success. Finally we emerge from the bathroom. I was very hot and very tired. I check the map. We're over North Dakota now. 3.25 hours to go. Please go to sleep, Mirah, I think, please. One hour later.......... you're sleeping. wow. Thank you. You sleep the rest of the flight. We make it to Seattle.

Seattle was great. We got to meet my friend Krystal's baby girl, Maci. Such a sweet and spirited little gal born almost exactly 2 months after you. While we were in Seattle you crawled for the first time and Maci learned to sit up. It was very exciting. I've got videos and pics to post soon. It was such a nice time.

Then the time came to go home. We missed Daddy and he missed us a lot so we were ready. I hoped that things would go better. Let's just say that although the flight out to Seattle was long, everyone sitting around us said "what a GOOD BABY" at the end. And after the flight back to Connecticut........ none of that talk. I don't hold it against you, my dear. 5 hours is a REALLY long time. A REALLY LONG TIME. This time around you slept for the beginning of the flight. However you didn't just drift off peacefully to sleep. You had, um, a melt down. And then you crashed. Everyone around me let out a collective sigh of relief. You had a nice nap, maybe 1.5-2 hours. Every time you moved I tried to accommodate you so that you were so comfortable you wouldn't awaken. But soon.... you did. Oh man. I guess maybe since you learned to crawl in Seattle you were even more disturbed by my restricting you to seat 22D. We took 3 trips to the bathroom. Spent a lot of time hanging out in the back with the flight attendants and walking up and down the aisles. Most of the time spent in our seat involved me not letting you escape from my grasp. You bounced, and leaned, and tried to grab onto everyone that walked by. I realize now that you probably really just wanted to show off your new crawling skills. I mean you had a brightly lit runway! Not only were you physically active the rest of the flight, but your attention span was about....30 seconds at best. Your paci helped but I forgot to bring a clip to attach it to you, so I spent a lot of energy trying to catch it as it fell to the ground. Exhausting. Finally, I mean, finally we made it JFK. It was a short layover and a short flight to CT. You slept for the short flight. I just focused on making it there. Then we did. Dad was SO HAPPY to see us! He missed us and especially YOU so very, very much. You two had some nice moments together and I walked along side like a tired old dog (with that 15 yr old dog kinda walk). I was in rough shape. Really rough shape. It took us so long to get to the baggage claim that our suitcase was sitting there alone, the belt had stopped, and everyone else from the flight was gone. I wish I could say that I just rested peacefully on the drive home to Hamden, but I couldn't. Somewhere probably above Michigan I developed an excruciatingly painful headache. By the time we got to the truck the pain was overwhelming. I can say with confidence that I KNOW what it is to be uncomfortable after having given birth to you without a drop of pain medicine. Let's just say this headache was right up there with the un-comforts of childbirth. I told your dad that he might need to take me to the hospital because I thought I might die. Instead I puked. Ya, gross, I know. No one likes to do it, but so far that and flying with you seem to go hand in hand. (It happened on our first flight to Williston this year, too). Don't worry though. I still plan to fly with you again. We've got many places to see in this world and lots of visits to family and friends, too.

One last thing... Today you are 8 months old. Amazing! I will write about that tomorrow.

Love you little travel buddy. Next time we're bringing daddy.