Friday, February 22, 2008

Baby's first boogers

We've just weathered Stellina's first cold -- not one of those "firsts" I was looking forward to. Poor little bean, clawing at her stuffy nose with the most perplexed expression; coughing and sneezing, then throwing up from all that unexpected commotion. Despite the misery it caused my girl, and the lack of sleep it caused us both, it was an opportunity to put a character quirk of mine to good use. I've always had a strong stomach for and gross fascination with bodily excretions, and that trait will come in mighty handy as a parent, I can tell already. I had to go easy on the bulb syringe, as to not irritate her teensy nasal passages...but it was so neat-o to see how much snot I could suck out with the hospital-grade gizmo. And if a stubborn glob would spring back inward, I'd grab it and pull it out with my fingers. Breathin easy in suburbia tonight...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Egg Head

Stellina is officially four months old, having made her grand entrance -- exit? -- October 8. We dutifully went to the pediatrician for her four-month visit. It was the first time she's been to the doc in which she didn't wail and shudder the entire time, which was a pleasant change for all involved. The stats: she is 14.6 pounds and 25 inches tall, which puts her in the 91st percentile for height (or length, technically, I guess, since she can't yet stand unassisted). Her head circumference is in the 75th percentile. Her noggin is a distinctive sort of shape. No back-sleeping flat spots or anything, it's just kind of conical. I thought that was from her rapid descent from womb to delivery room, but it still hasn't totally rounded out. I asked the doctor, "Is her head unusually long and big?" He studied her for a moment and said, "Well, it's proportionate to the rest of her. It's just oval-shaped. Like mine." I wish I could insert a photo of him at this point because it's really a visual joke. They have the same exact bald eggy head shape. I blathered something about it being a beautiful head shape and changed the subject. Speaking of egg heads, here's the girl in my favorite hat, which I bought on Etsy back in August, before I could possibly have known how fitting it would be:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


My daughter's name is Stellina, which means "little star" in Italian. I got it from a beautiful children's book by author-illustrator Matteo Pericoli that crossed my desk as a magazine editor. It suits her, I think. People respond to her when we're out and about in the world like she's a tiny celebrity. They make ridiculous faces and clap and murmer and invite us to cut in line. Stellina perches in the Baby Bjorn, flashing her gums and groping the fingers of her fans while I, as her agent and chauffer, steer her away from croupy-sounding children. Of course I realize that all babies get this star treatment. As they should -- it's like one big welcome-to-the-world party. And I feel welcomed, too -- strangers have never been friendlier. It's a great gig, this baby-handling business.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr