November 18, 2008

Movie: Moooooon

Aside from the total cuteness of this movie (thank you, thank you), it's interesting (to us at least) because of his language use. I think he's recently realized that everything has a name, and as a result his vocabulary has started to expand very rapidly. In this movie he learns the word "sky" (though come to think of it I think he'd already learned that word once or twice before). Note his super darling pronounciation of "outside."

Posted by talia at 11:14 PM

September 28, 2008

Movie: Moodyman

I don't really know what to say about this one except that clearly he is a big Moodies fan. Me too.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:03 PM

September 26, 2008

Movie: Shopping with Felix

He is STUBBORN. Probably you guessed this.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:05 PM

August 31, 2008

Movie: Homey

The garden is also a somewhat more informal environment, so as long as he keeps his head warm we really don't care what he wears.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:44 PM

August 30, 2008

Movie: Punishing Felix

Sometimes Felix is bad. And when he is bad, especially when he is bad and KNOWS PERFECTLY WELL he is being bad, then he needs to be punished. But how to do it in a way that convincingly conveys our message? I'll take away his hands, I thought, surely something that will count as punishment for such an active boy.

The first few times it worked beautifully: he noticed, was frustrated, and seemed to realize it was the price he was paying for his mischief. But then he realized that in the end he can always wait me out. I still take away his hands when he's bad, but I do so with a decreasing sense of conviction. New punishment ideas, anyone?

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:49 PM

May 24, 2008

Movie: Pop!

This movie, destined to be a Talia's Favorite I am sure, was intended to come out somewhat differently than it did. We have had these suction bowls for some time, but have never been able to get them to stick effectively. For some reason I tried again yesterday and this time the seal worked. Felix couldn't get the bowl off until he figured out that pushing it against the rim of his tray broke the seal. So I thought I'd make a movie of that, a clever solution to a tricky problem. To his regret and the viewer's (and director's) delight, he decided to return to the brute force approach. I'm still laughing.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:13 AM

May 23, 2008

Movie: Treadmill

This one entry has two movies. The first one may be a bit of a mystery. Try to guess what our hero is up to, then watch the second one.

I know you're not supposed to let kids play on these, but it's so rare that we find something that fully entertains him and keeps him in one place at the same time.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:07 AM

May 11, 2008

Movie: Softly, softly

As the last photo set shows, Felix got a booboo bad enough to require stitches. Five, to be precise. He did not seem greatly put out by the entire experience, but he definitely knows they are there and that they must be treated gently. With the baby-standard attraction to soft things being as powerful as it is we can hardly expect he won't touch them at all: they're made of silk and so the draw is irresistible. Also, he usually fondles the ears of his sheep pillow when falling asleep, and in this scene was falling asleep upstairs where he doesn't have the pillow at hand. But the stitches are always there, or at least they were until last Tuesday when we had them removed. For some reason I miss them.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:01 AM

April 3, 2008

Movie: The sexy side of Felix

Legwarmers: FM, as always, leading the fashion trend!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:33 PM

March 13, 2008

Movie: Brushing Felix's teeth

This movie is particularly apropos as he has just today cut his third tooth! Gotta keep 'em clean....

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:58 PM

February 19, 2008


featuring all (well, mostly) new material, winsome reflections, and a lesson or two learned!

OK, first of all, who we talking about? We talking about the one and only...




The boy's a year old, which means a year ago today we were here:

In some sense we still are. It's not that the experience is unforgettable--to the contrary, the stress of it all kind of makes it hard to remember clearly, or at least it does for me--but rather that it changes you, it becomes part of you. There's a before and an after and from then on it was after.

He was quite calm there at the beginning, a rather misleading first impression as he has since proven to be as active as babies get. Still, given what he'd just been through it's no surprise he was a bit tired:

I especially like how his entire head crinkles up when he yawns in this movie. Fortunately, he's filled out quite nicely:

Yes, he was wrinkly to begin with, but what struck us most of all was how tiny he was:

Note the huge bags under Talia's eyes, and the fact that Felix's ear is no bigger than a brussel sprout.

By definition, his first year was a year of firsts. Now, for your pleasure, a review of the best of these firsts:

The first time he rocked out:

The first time he peed on me (within hours of getting home--funny how it looks like the cow did it--however since then he's only peed on Talia):

His first spy mission, what a sneaky guy:

His first plane ride (he's great on planes):

His first trip to NYC:

His first "werkbeurt" at the garden:

His first boo boo:

And thus his first band-aid:

And right around the same time, by no coincidence I'm sure, the first time he tried to run away from home (he might have gotten away with it if he hadn't tried to take so much stuff with him):

Blowing his first bubbles:

With his first patient:

His first case of motion sickness:

We could go on and on, especially if we started blogging about all the firsts with food, but there's more to get to so we'll end the Firsts with this: his first milk!

In truth he's taken to milk without a hitch, so long as you serve it in a bottle, and thank goodness because we're all out of formula. In all respects he is and remains a great eater, happy to eat, or at least try to eat anything:

He's not the neatest baby you've ever seen however:

The happy result of all this eating is an ever-growing baby:

Which unfortunately means a heavier load day by day:

If you've been following this blog (or listening to us in any other venue) then you know that FM's weak point is sleeping. It's not that he can't fall asleep...'s that he won't stay asleep. But that's finally changed! For this I have no footage, so you'll just have to take my word for it: he has finally given us a few uninterrupted nights. A perfect night sees him in bed by seven (where he'll often spend some time pulling on his two music box animals, but within fifteen minutes or so he's out) and then asleep until 5 AM or later when he calls for his bottle. A quick refill and he's out again for an hour or longer. He has done this half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks and already we feel sanity returning. WE ARE GRATEFUL AND HAVE REWARDED HIM WITH A BLUE BALLOON!

Felix has been quick to nail a lot of the various baby milestones. Turning over, crawling, sitting up, standing up, all child's play, so to speak. But what about the biggest, most exciting (to us) milestone of all? Well good news, and JUST IN TIME for his birthday, WALKING. Yes, yes, but let us build to it....

He was an early crawler and a fast one, and he learned to pull himself up things quickly too so he's had little reason to learn walking. Still, he’s had the elements of it for some months: he will happily stand up if he has something to pull himself up with, and he loves running behind his cart, as shown here:

But recently he’s taken it to the next stage. To start with we discovered, quite by accident, that he can stand independently. If sufficiently distracted, he'll simply forget to drop to a crawling position and can easily go several seconds before realizing what he's doing and coming down. Here’s proof:

With this example before us we started to practice walking with him:

This was reasonably successful, so much so that we thought we'd see if we could get him to really walk in time for his birthday. With proper motivation he did!

This footage is from TODAY, so I think we can safely say he walked at 1 year of age. I expect he'll really put it all together within a week or two and then he’ll be running around like crazy and will no doubt abandon the less efficient crawling motion. I’ll really miss the "splap splap" noise of his fat little hands whacking the floor as he goes from point to point though. That, I suppose, is part of growing up.

Before going on with the footage I should follow up on my promise to share a couple of lessons learned. Here are two. #1: If you’re having sleep problems try everything. With us, for example, I think a good deal of his improvement in sleep may have resulted from switching him to non-disposable diapers which keep him drier overnight. Didn’t think of that until month 12. #2: Try splitting the nights one-on-one-off rather than doing it in shifts. May sound harder, may prove easier.

Here’s another one: don’t worry too much about how difficult changes will be. You have to guide a baby through a lot of changes in the first few years, or so the books tell us. For us, every time we thought it was going to be a fight it turned out to be no such thing. We thought he needed his pacifier, that he had to have night feedings, that he was going to miss breast milk. No, no, and no. He will have trouble with some transitions, not everything goes smoothly, and perhaps he would have had more trouble had we tried some of these things sooner, but the point is simply that you can’t necessarily predict what will and will not be a problem, so don’t lose (even more) sleep over it.

OK, now back to the good stuff....

FM’s a great kid, robust, outgoing, fearless, strong, ineluctable...

...and he’s ONE YEAR OLD. Felix Milo Shuldiner you're the greatest and your daddy super loves you, especially when you dress just like he does:

Your mother and I are sorry about all the vaccinations...

...and about making you wear fuzzy hats on cold mornings...

...and I'm still sorry for calling you "babiac"...

...but it's not like you haven't gotten us back now and again...

...and you have to admit we take you on some pretty fun adventures...

...and whatever else happens we promise we'll always be by your side!

Keep going, baby boy, keep going!

Posted by atshuldiner at 3:38 PM | Comments (11)

January 6, 2008

Movie: High five

Now that's motivational teaching!

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:14 PM

December 28, 2007

Movie: Making his way down the stairs

Making his way down the stairs from Talia on Vimeo.

Posted by talia at 4:31 PM

December 27, 2007

FMS the Fearless Flyer

FMS the Fearless Flier from Talia on Vimeo.

Posted by talia at 7:00 PM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2007

Movie: Fish For Felix

We keep a very careful list of FM's new foods and introduce them according to a strictly spaced schedule, the idea being that if he is allergic to something we will be able to identify the culprit right away. Yes, we keep the list, but a certain amount of off-list activity does take place. The reality is if you're out somewhere and he is hungry (or, like as not, realizes you are eating and he isn't) he is probably going to get a bit of whatever you're having. And since stuffing bits of things into his face is so gratifying, chances are he'll get some more bits after that. That accounts for introducing him to fried fish (fresh, we swear) and french fries (a different occasion) at such a tender age. I do regret exposing him to that music, but there was nowhere else to sit. One day he will forgive me, unless, of course he turns out to be allergic to dueling accordions.

Posted by talia at 3:34 PM

October 1, 2007

Movie: A Tooth Unrevealed

OK, a bit anticlimactic for you, dear viewer, but for us a simply enormous thrill. Why this milestone more than many others? I guess because we've waited so long for it--we thought he was seriously teething for more than two months now--and because while it is in reality a gradual process, from the outside it seems sudden: no teeth, then one day BOOM there it is. Also exciting--though we should try not to get our hopes up--is the possibility that this explains his frequent waking the past several nights.

Posted by atshuldiner at 9:07 PM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2007

Movie: Spic and span baby, part 2

Following his successful conquest of the dishwasher (one in a series: see also Conquering the Oven), I thought he might turn his attention elsewhere, for example to the refrigerator or some other novel appliance with pleasingly cold steel surfaces. No, he wanted to show it was no fluke, so back he came for round 2. Which just goes to show: I never should have let him start on this in the first place. Emptying the dishwasher, previously a streamlined process in which, for the sake of speed, we didn't even sort the silverware, now takes a quarter hour, most of which is spent fishing Felix out of the lower dishrack.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:47 PM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2007

Movie: Stop Crawl and Roll

Here's a not particularly coordinated crawl session. He's somewhere between military man crawl (or what the Dutch call "tijgeren," which means to move like a tiger) and real crawling, and his climbing skills are rapidly advancing. A good roll there too, but unfazed he gets back to business.

I believe we took this footage fairly late in the day so he wasn’t in his best form, but did take the fall quite well. What you are seeing is his early attempts to pull himself up a more challenging surface than the easily graspable bars of his crib. You are also seeing his willingness to do anything for his mother. Finally, note his occasional useless flailing of his legs. That is a throwback to earlier days when he, like many babies, would alternate productive crawling with unproductive balancing-on-the-tummy-and-making-flying-motions. Now, a month on, he has abandoned any motion that doesn’t get him closer to his goal.

Posted by talia at 4:02 PM

August 5, 2007

Movie: Baby Jail

His new babyprison, from which he attempts to lick his way out. I was against buying this thing, but this footage alone was worth the price.

The theory: a safe place for baby to play. The reality: once he discovered its unsatisfying texture he soon lost patience with the confinement. Sigh.

Posted by talia at 8:43 PM

July 23, 2007

Movie: Old Skool New Skool

That is one hip baby. You should see his Michael Jackson videos.

Dance baby, dance dance dance! You can’t blame us, he really doesn’t mind—stuffing his fists in his mouth is generally a sign of delight—and we swear you’d do the same if you had a chance. By the way, we take requests: send us your favorite song and we’ll see if he’s inspired to boogie.

I should mention that this is harder to do than it looks.

Posted by talia at 5:32 AM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2007

Movie: Who's that in the Mirror?

Who's that in the mirror, and why is he so funny? No, seriously, can anyone explain what the deal is with babies and mirrors? Does he know it's him? And if so, how?

What is the deal with babies and mirrors? I would really like to know. Do they understand it’s themselves? Or does he simply look as cute to himself as he does to us? Whatever it is, he always gives himself a big smile.

Posted by talia at 3:47 PM

June 1, 2007

Movie: Desperate for a bite to eat

You think you're doing everything right, and then you discover your child is so desperately protein deficit he'll eat insects.

His new-found ability to consciously manipulate objects was immediately put to use not in batting at things or shaking them around—it was quite a while before he found a rattle really interesting—but in bringing things to his mouth. Many babies have a period when their depth perception isn’t working well with the result that they can’t tell how far away something is. They typically react to this by trying to hug things to themselves. I don’t really recall Felix doing a lot of that; my memories are dominated by this movie, which displays his single-minded grab-and-stuff technique. You will see the same degree of concentration in the “wax on, wax off” movie, and to the same end.

Posted by talia at 11:02 AM

May 9, 2007

Movie: Co-Sleeping

This is why we don't co-sleep. Really, we tried, he's just too noisy.

So much noise from such a small baby! He makes less noise now—while sleeping at any rate—but we’re just as happy to have him in his own room. The downside, of course, is that it takes a trip out of bed to deal with his night problems, whether feeding or just general disturbance. In principle, this should mean that only one parent need be disturbed for any given event, but in practice, and for many reasons, that’s not the way it works.

Suffice to say, sleep is a big, indeed the big issue for us right now. He’s good about going to sleep as a rule (not a strict rule, admittedly) but he’s up with much too much regularity. The problem is, I think, two-fold: first, he is accustomed to too many night feedings, and second, he hasn’t yet learned to put himself back to sleep, so all disturbances require parental intervention.

The real problem is that we have waited too long, and now there is a complicating factor: he has learned to pull himself into a standing position using the bars of his crib…but hasn’t learned to lie himself back down. Well one way or another he has to get sleep-trained, and now, at six months and a week or two we are making a concerted effort on this front. Wish us luck.

Posted by talia at 11:22 AM

May 1, 2007

More Milo

In the second month he started to take form. Others claimed to be able to see Felix’s parents’ features in Felix’s face, but I at least could not. Nor could I in the second month, but I did notice that at least his face started to look more or less the same from moment to moment and day to day. Oh, and back then we switched over to calling him “Milo” for a while. Then he was simply “FM” (at least in my writing). Then we learned that babies learn their names very early and realized we should stop messing around. So we went back to Felix and have stuck with it. For now.

Posted by talia at 2:51 PM

April 11, 2007

Movie: Baby in the Bath (rated R)

A lot of babies are afraid of water. He has never shown the slightest concern. However, he also did not shown a particular awareness of being in water in these early months. He would float, but he wouldn’t splash, he didn’t seem to recognize the surface of the water, or to notice that it got him wet. He didn’t and still doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in flowing water. Still, he enjoyed the warmth and the lightness of being in it, and still does, though nowadays he’s more likely to want to stand than sit or lie in the tub, as everywhere. And, I think, he particularly likes being naked.

Posted by talia at 3:22 PM

Movie: Huey Lewis and the Mustard

Our tribute to Huey Lewis and the News, which, for some reason, is very popular on Portuguese radio.

Thank goodness infant poo is as innocuous as it is because it really does show up in surprising places. This movie also highlights my gift of spontaneous versification, a gift I did not recognize myself as having in such a high degree until circumstances called it to the fore.

Posted by talia at 3:18 PM

March 28, 2007

Quiet Moments

I love him when he’s asleep. I love him all the time, and even more as time goes by and he becomes more whatever he is, but really I love him the best when he’s asleep. He does everything with great enthusiasm, he’s very high energy when he’s awake…and then he’s out.

That having been said, by far our biggest problem with this child is that he doesn’t stay out for long. More on that elsewhere.

Posted by talia at 3:52 PM

March 19, 2007

The Many Faces of Felix

We took dozens of photos Felix around this time and I did what I usually do: went through them all and deleted the ones that were either bad shots or effectively doubles. It didn’t work. First of all, Talia bought this SLR camera with a portrait lens so pretty much every shot looks incredible. Second, Felix somehow just doesn’t look the same from shot to shot. In fact there’s a series of about ten portraits in which he looks like a different US president in each one (the “something surprised him” photos; in the one posted he looks just like Gerald Ford) despite the fact that they are all taken mere seconds apart. The irony is that being foreign born he can never be president. I do not mourn this fact.

Posted by talia at 10:58 PM

March 15, 2007

Movie: Waking up...or not

Babies at this age spend a certain amount of time in a sort of half-sleep, and moving from one phase of consciousness to another is not the seemingly smooth process that it is for most adults. They can also be surprisingly hard to wake up. Not a problem, of course, since mostly what you want them to do is sleep.

Posted by talia at 4:20 PM

February 21, 2007

Movie: Dance, Baby, Dance

We love making him dance. Actually, I should say I love making him dance and Talia loves watching me make him dance. It’s just such a funny contrast to the movements he actually makes, and the fact that for the most part he doesn’t seem to particularly react to being moved so wildly about we also find hilarious.

Posted by talia at 10:25 PM

February 19, 2007

Movie: First Movements

Talia’s favorite part of this movie is how Felix flips off the viewer (or rather the photographer, me) right at the end. That is not my favorite part. My favorite part is how now, looking at him, I can somehow see those motions in the much more competent arm movements and finger gestures he makes. He seemed so formless when he was born, but later on I see that a lot of the personality, and likewise a lot of the physical character, was there already at the beginning.

Note the way he reacts to sound. I don’t think we ever got a film of him doing it, but he used to give a big “praise Jesus” gesture when startled. We tried not to startle him, even though we loved to see him throw his arms wide open like that.

One last point: you hear the sound of the lens trying to focus. This is because I had the camera set wrong and so it kept trying to refocus. Why did I make this mistake? Because I had never tried to make a movie of something so small before and thus had never been so close to my subject. He was really small at the beginning. Now, six months on, he is built like a tank.

Posted by talia at 10:19 PM