The official website of Noelle Richman, the baby formerly known as Tuffy

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My New Favorite Pic

And Who Doesn't Heart Daddy?

Noe and her friend Jacob on their first Spring Break in Vail. Despite the hand-holding and some slick lines--"You have very beautiful hair. May I ask you what kind of shampoo you use?"-- Jacob was not able to convince Noe to take her top off for the Babies Gone Wild cameras.


Somewhere in the late 1980s, Noe's Uncle Craig spent a summer birdwatching and getting laughed at by bartenders in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Now another generation of Richmans has made the pilgrimage. This is Noe earlier this month at a highway rest stop in Ogallala on the drive back from Vail to the IC.

Solid Food, Round 2

Noe seemed to be tiring of rice cereal, and both her doctor and the owner's manual (the American Academy of Pediatricians book that the hospital gave us) said it was time to move on.

We started with the orange veggies--carrots, sweet potatoes, squash--as the pediatrician recommended. Apparently, the idea is to get them used to the nasty stuff before hooking them on the much more delicious bananas and berries.

Has anybody tasted this stuff? Jen had one dab of the squash and proclaimed it so vile that we weren't even going to try to get Noe to eat it a second time.

But she seems to have taken to the sweet potatoes and carrots--of course, a pinch of sugar and cinnamon added to the mix didn't hurt--and even the peas and green beans are mostly finding their way to Noe's stomach.

Still, she was looking quite longingly at the jambalaya we had the other night.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Noe's First Solid Food

Now, let me begin by saying that "solid" is a bit of a stretch. The instructions on the box of rice cereal said to mix one tablespoon of cereal with two tablespoons of breast milk. That creates a meal approximately the consistency of two tablespoons of breast milk.

Noe seemed rather unenthusiastic about the concoction. The ratio seemed to be one spoonful in, 0.9 spoonfuls out. Actually, the conversation went something like this:

Jen: "I don't think she likes it."

Noe: "Oh no, it's good. Just needs a little salsa!"

Seems she's been hanging around a bit with Grandpa Gary.

Also, please note the lovely new high chair, an indirect gift from Noe's great aunt and uncle, Betty and Dick. Very stylish!

In the interest of full disclosure, the picture of Jen with spit-up on her forehead was a few minutes before the feeding, not after. But you have to love it.

And finally, a note to those of you in warmer climes: Enjoy it! Current temperature in Iowa City: a balmy 1. Forecasted overnight temperature tonight: -17. That's cold, baby.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Current Favorite Picture

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thanksgiving and More

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tuffy's First Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

You'd think Jen might be a bit more distressed about this. "Braaaaiiiins!"

In the corm maze.

L to R: Jen, mother-in-law, scary monster. No, wait...reverse that.

Tuffy the sleepy ghost.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Latest and Greatest

Wow! Our daughter has become a person. Just look at how expressive her face is. A few short weeks back, I thought of Noelle strictly as a baby, which is something wholly apart and different from a person. I imagine those of you who have been through this whole parenting experience know what I'm talking about.

It's quite astonishing to watch. Now that Noelle has started with the communicative facial expressions, it's so much easier to envision verbal communcation. For now, though, I'm still stuck using facial expressions to try and get her to change her own diaper.

From top to bottom: (1) Noelle and Ooja helping me and Jen rake leaves last Sunday. (The two of them were equally helpful.) (2) Noelle and Daddy before I left to teach class Tuesday. (3) Noelle signals touchdown. (4) "I'm just so darn cute!"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Pictures of the Lovely

OK, I really, really didn't want to call her "the Lovely." But Jen did. So here we go with more photos of The Tuffinator.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

We're baaaaack...

Oh, how remiss I have been. My plans for thrice-a-week postings have evaporated in a rain of travel, teaching and grading, business and diapers. (Sadly, no writing of late.)

So let's do a bit of catching up. I'll start with this lovely shot: four generations of Burnells. That's Noelle last weekend with her mom, grandmother and great grandmother, Anna, who turns 100 this coming March.

Then today, we took Noelle for her first big hike. The Richman clan piled into the truck and drove up to Swiss Valley regional park west of Dubuque. The weather was a bit chilly (high 40s and strong winds) but beuatifully clear. (Unfortunately, it seems we missed the peak fall colors by a week or so.) Ooja had a dip in the creek, and we all climbed a steep trail through the woods and along the ridgeline, with Ooja blazing the path from start to finish.

Afterwards, Noelle enjoyed a tasty meal while sitting in the car behind a gas station, overlooking a field being graded for new houses, I think. Ooja, lying in the back of the truck, seemed a bit bored by this part of the adventure.

Babies are really great at this age. At least ours is. She doesn't object to doing anything, and she doesn't really cry unless she's hungry or has gas. We just put Noelle in her grandparents-supplied hat and clothes and the new baby fleece mittens we bought her at Active Endeavors, and off we go. When Noelle's not sleeping, she's become very interested in what's going on around her visually. At least I think she has; it's difficult to tell whether she's actually focused on anything.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Democrat in the Making

In her second week--which seems ages ago--Noe developed a problem with clogged tear ducts. Her eyes would constantly goo up with a yellowish mucus. Noe didn't much care, but it worried her parents, who thought we'd somehow failed to protect our daughter from infection in her first days of life.

Fortunately, I know a good ophthalmologist. He assured us the condition was quite common in babies and prescribed some antibiotic eye drops to unclog the ducts. It worked.

But the problem returned this week, most likely, I suspect, because we stopped using the drops too soon. So I've been putting the drops in again four times a day.

Now I know from personal experience that Tobramycin drops sting. It's not the cool, refreshing feeling you get from Visine. It's more akin, I suspect, to decanting a nice white wine vinaigrette into your eye.

Which brings me to my problem. I don't want to be the bad guy. Everytime someone is standing over Noe instigating this unpleasant experience, that someone is me. It's my face she associates with pain and sting. It's me that makes her wince or scream.

That sucks. And I'm sure when she's three or four years old and goes through her "I hate you!" stage, I'll think back to the eye drops.

But all is not lost! As it happens, I hit on a brilliant solution this morning while walking Ooja in Hickory Hill Park. From now on, whenever I need to put the drops in her eyes, I'll just wear my George W. Bush mask. It won't be daddy inflicting discomfort any longer. Nope, W will be the man responsible for my daughter's displeasure.

In fact, I've decided that there's really no reason to limit this strategy to eye drops. All unpleasant aspects of parenthood will henceforth be carried out by W. When Noe gets her first shots next month at the pediatrician, do you think daddy will be standing there in the room with her? Hell, no! When she makes the transition from months of delicious breast milk to strained peas, will daddy be the one with the spoon in his hand? Nope.

Early bedtime? Bad-tasting medicine? Rectal thermometer? W. W. W.

It may be daddy who takes her to the playground or to the Iowa Children's Museum in a year or two, but you can bet it ain't gonna be daddy that will be there when it's time to leave.

So for the first time since the 2000 presidential election--actually, for the first time ever--let me just say, "Thank you, George Bush. Thank you for helping me raise my daughter to love her daddy."

And if Noe happens to vote for a Dem in November 2024, well, all the better.