Saturday, December 27, 2008

Creepy music. . .

Music toys are very sophisticated these days. Sure old music boxes and such played some good melodies, but the new battery powered toys can put out midi music with melody and harmony that would put some symphonies to shame. . . that is until they start to lose power. The batteries get low and for some reason the first thing to go is the melody. But the harmony keep on going.

The music becomes dark and somber and to be honest creepy. Our little guys crib TV is going now and it plays some macabre songs while casting an eerie blue light across the crib and it's occupant. . . laying there trying desperately to fall asleep, terrified by the sounds. OK maybe it doesn't both him, but it weirds me out.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Thoughts. . .

That image to the left is the front of this year's Christmas card, for those of you I don't know outside of this site. So the cards have been sent, the presents have been wrapped, the cookies have been made, not much else left to do.

Last year I took some video and made a little first Christmas thing. It's sappy and boring, but I had fun making it. Enjoy, until the copyright police shut me down for using an unlicensed song.



By the way, the song is from the CD Santa's Playlist by Sister Hazel. I'd recommend it to anyone as a great addition to their holiday collection. . . especially for their bluegrass version of The Dreidel Song.

Fruit Snack update

We opened a new box of fruit snacks, the same kid that before were brown and shriveled. This new box was colorful and moist instead. Guess we just got a bad batch.

This has been a fruit snack update.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bouncing baby boy

Quick funny story. We just went to a shoe store to look for dress shoes for Christmas Eve. We set the little guy down so he could walk—he'd been stuck in the car seat for a little while. He immediately grabbed a mini basketball because it's THAT kind of shoe store. So after grabbing the basketball he starts running towards the front plate glass window, excited because he thought he could run straight outside.

He hit the glass basketball first and bounced off onto his butt.

Once we stopped laughing we found a good pair of shoes.

On a side note, the whole family is off for two whole weeks. I'll update you when one of us kills someone else. . . unless I'm the dead one.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feeding rules. . .

  1. Some things can only be eaten with a spoon. These items can be fed to the eater with a spoon or the eater can put it onto his/her spoon—with his/her hands—and then eaten off of the spoon. If no spoon is available the food, which is the best food ever on a spoon, will be rejected and treated as the most vile food on the planet.
  2. That which will not be eaten needs to be as far away as possible, preferably on the floor. This includes "yucky" food as well as some favorable foods*.
  3. Cheerios will hold a baby out for a long time. . . Corn Chex will slow them down just as much if not more.
  4. Bananas>Peaches>Cheese>Ham>Veggie Puffs>Bread. . . Juice>Milk>Water
  5. If the feeding is being overseen by the female parental unit, messy food must be rubbed into the eater's hair at some point in the feeding.
  6. The eater reserves the right to demand any food regardless of having already tried and dismissing it already.
Failure to adhere to these rules of feeding will result in the eater throwing his/her head back and screaming.

*"Hmm I've had this Cheerio in my mouth for 3 seconds, I'd prefer a fresh one." and then he throws it overboard. Below the high chair is a perpetual pile of previously chewed food.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back to normal. . .

This morning went much, much better. No crying, no fighting to go back to sleep. He woke up happy and talky. But have just been a bad day. I guess we all have those, even the short people.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not a morning baby. . .

This morning was the worst morning I've had in a long time. Normally I stumble out of bed, throw on some clothes and make my way to what I'm calling my "morning coffee." I open my son's bedroom door and there he is, lying, sitting or standing, happy and smiling usually talking with his stuffed panda, Pete. He shows me how he knows how to turn his TV on. Sometimes when the light comes on he'll giggle, quickly run to the end of his crib, and lay down to play dead.

This morning. I woke to the sound of crying, and as we went into his room we were not greeted by our normally happy baby. Someone had snuck in and replaced our baby with a sleepy, crabby, screaming badger (or some other such mammal).

All through getting him dressed, if he wasn't crying he was closing his eyes to fight waking up. He was not happy all. At breakfast he cheered up a little once he got his cup of milk, he drink most of it right away. Then he scarfed down a banana. And then he was crabby because he had to put his coat on. Grandma reports that he was crabby and lying down all morning so she gave him a morning nap.

His mother and I haver been sick and we thought it somehow missed him. I guess we thought wrong. So far his only symptoms are sleepiness and crankiness. Of course our main symptoms were horrible chills. . . how can you tell if you baby has a chill?

Poor little monkey.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas chicken. . .

Sunday afternoon, while out little sugar plum snoozed, we put up our Christmas tree. My wife was so excited, one of her coworkers told her how her son (who's a couple months younger than ours) got so excited when he first saw the tree he almost fainted. My sweet wife even wanted to videotape our son's reaction to the tree to save if for posterity.

I thought it would scare him.

My suggestion was overruled and we erected the tree while he napped. I put up and fluffed our fake fur tree (shut-up it's a damned good fake tree), took good care to hang the lights and garland—my wife selected and carefully hung the ornaments, making sure the soft non-breakable ornaments were low and the others were out of toddler reach. The stage was set.

He woke up and, after a diaper change, his mother sent him in. The second he caught a glimpse of the tree he froze, then turned and ran, almost in tears, back to mommy and clutched her leg to be lifted up. Over the next few hours he got used to the tree, he'd point at it and exclaim to us "dat." We'd reassure him by saying "Christmas tree pretty, twinkle twinkle." To which he'd return to playing near the tree.

And things had not improved this morning. After breakfast (he didn't see the tree on the way to breakfast) I set him down so he could finish his morning milk whilst exploring the house. He walked toward the living room, saw the tree and turned around to grab me so I could protect him from the big, bad, scary Christmas Tree of Doom! I suppose a 7 foot tall tree suddenly looming over all your toys can do that to a kid.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two questions about food. . .

  1. Is my son the only baby who, when he realizes he's hungry (e.g. all the time), must eat everything he can fit in his mouth right this second? So much so that he'll stuff his mouth and then come to the conclusion that he needs a drink to help wash it down, but then either a) his mouth is so full he can't suck through his sippy cup so he has to pull some food out in order to take a drink or b) his mouth is so full he can get a drink but the drink won't fit in his mouth so the milk just runs out and down his chin. What was the first question? Oh yeah, is my baby the only ravenous baby out there.
  2. When you put a piece of food in your child's mouth (normally something messier than normal—non-finger food) he pulls it out just so he can set it down and put it back in his mouth by himself. Anyone else have that happen.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bottomless pit. . .

We're raising a little eating machine. He just sits and eats and eats and eats. This morning for breakfast he ate a pancake, 3/4 of a banana, a handful of Cherrios and 5 oz of milk. . . quite a feat for a man who supposedly has a stomach the size of his own fist.

Today was heaven for him, Thanksgiving. He didn't like turkey, but the potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and the bread. . . dear lord the boy ate 2 whole rolls, one each family dinner! The boy doesn't stop. I don't now where he puts it.

I'm worried if he keeps up this pace we're going to end up on Maury Povich in a couple years, with an 80 lbs preschooler. He's still not a big boy by any means, but if he keeps putting away so much food he'll have things flying in orbit around him in no time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are you prepared to rock? . . .

Is it possible to be a parent and still rock? Short answer "no," long answer 'hell no."

We went to see Jason Mraz last night (I know a concert on a Monday night what the crap is that?). We're both mostly zombies this morning. I say mostly because, though becoming parents has zapped our ability to really rock, it HAS increased our ability to function on a lot less sleep.

It was a good show, even if it was a bad venue for a rock concert. I'm glad we went, but I'm realizing I'm becoming an old man.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Warn me next time. . .

Dear Beechnut,

Why does your box of Fruit Nibbles neglect to tell me that the Fruit Nibbles contained within look like dried squirrel brains. Don't believe that they do? Click here.

Don't get me wrong, they taste great and I love your "No Junk Promise" (meaning there's no artificial colors added) but warn a guy when the food going in is going to look like the food coming out. I don't mind how they look, I'm happy to give my kid something that looks like healthy food, but the image on the front make the Fruit Nibbles look like any other brightly colored fruit snack on the market.

Just be honest. I don't mind putting little brown wrinkly things in my son. . . that sounds bad, but you know what I mean.

EDIT: Whoops wrong little brain link.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life lessons. . .

It's been a few days since I posted. Since then Mr Schnicklefritz has learned. . .
  • Canvas shopping bags are fun and, despite being stuffed into one, fun to drag all over the house.
  • The correct response when daddy says "how about you drink some more milk" is to drink his milk. And yes he's now drinking nothing but good old-fashioned 2% moo juice.
  • Keeping up a nap schedule sucks.
  • Lack of naps makes one crabby
  • Daddy's baked macaroni, peaches, bananas, and pineapple (unless choking because of being swallowed whole) kick ass! Lemons are still iffy (more video coming soon)
  • The most fun game to play in the morning is to crawl to the end of the bed and play "possum" until daddy picks you up.
  • Mail and bills are fun to grab and wave around while running from mommy and daddy.
  • Sometimes all a little man wants to do is dance.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big boy. . .

The guy in the office next to mine has a two-year-old son. He just went in for his two-year appointment. Everything was mostly normal except for one small thing.

He's in the 120th percentile for height.

That's right 120th. But only 80th percentile for weight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feed me. . .

I have tried some of the feeding ideas that some people gave me. I liked the drained soup idea, but our now more picky eater didn't like them much. He's also decided that the pancakes he loved aren't so great afterall, but bananas are the best thing ever, next to cheese puffs.

On the cheese puffs. . . I admit when I started on those I gave him the popular brand of cheese puffs, you know the one with the cartoon cheeta? Since then I have bought a bag of Snyders of Hanover's MultiGrain Aged Cheddar Cheese Puffs. We both love them and they're not that bad for him. He doesn't get anywhere near a full serving, he'll eat 3-5 depending on how long we're all sitting at the table together. I have compared them to the Gerber equivalent and they are a little higher in sodium, but still close (BTW I love the veggie dip flavored gerber little crunchers, I wish they made adult bags of those).

Ham and cheese is still big. Mostly he just eats bits of what we're eating. He'll eat a whole banana in a sitting. He loves the softer apples I got last week, I'll cut the flesh out for him and eat some flesh and all the skin myself.

The good part of all of this is him eating better means we eat better. We want him to eat what we're eating and we want him to eat more fruits and veggies so we eat more fruits and veggies. I like that part.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mom's say the darndest things. . .

Overheard in our kitchen tonight. . .

You're not going anywhere. I'm bigger than you and you're tied to a chair.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What the F%#@! . . .

This weekend a couple we are friends with and their 2-year-old daughter came over to hang out. At one point we got out cookies and their daughter was sitting next to our little bottomless pit (he's always eating), he was in his high chair, both were eating cookies. He started to fuss. She patted him on the arm and said "don't worry little buddy, I'll get you out of this shit."

We all tried hard not to laugh.

I got to thinking about it later and it occurred to me, it's not funny.

She had learned the word in passing. There's a small window between being able to say anything around your kid and your kid repeating everything you say. They missed that window, and she now knows how to use the word "shit" in perfect context.

Everyone's seen the Landlord, it's fun to watch a little kid saying funny things. . . until it's your kid.

The little girl's mother then related a story to my wife about a couple they know who actually worked to get their son to call everybody a "douche bag." They succeeded and were happy about it. All their son is trying to do is make mommy and daddy happy. He has no idea what he's saying. All he knows is if he calls a random person a "douche bag" mommy and daddy are happy. It's exploiting a survival instinct.

And in a couple years they will be outraged when their son is suspended from school for saying something vulgar. They'll blame the teacher, the principal, and the other kid's parents for ganging up on the kid. I bet they'll never think to blame themselves for deliberately teaching their son to use the words that got him in trouble.

Especially right now, we live in a society where we tell our kids they can grow up to be anything they want to be. Words like shit and fuck have become more main stream. . . but they're still vulgar and offensive to some people, they'll still get you a fine on network television (the supreme court just heard a case on fuck last week). They can still get you fired or sued. Deliberately teaching them to your kids only sets them up for future problems. You may not have a problem with them, but someone who controls your child's fate on some issue will.

So I've decided to try and curb all spoken foul language. This may mean I'll use more foul language here, to vent it out. We'll see how that goes. I'm sure a expletive or two will slip out here and there, but I have to try. If it means I have to replace "shit" with "shoot" or "fuck" with "fudge," so be it. It'll sound silly to adults, but it'll sound better to the ears that matter most.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Box sweet box. . .

Everyone knows the old adage you give a kid an expensive toy and they'll only want to play with the box. On Thursday we received our new car seats (great price on Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 car seats at albeebaby.com). They came with 3 big boxes (yes we needed 3 seats). Later Thursday night our little tramp decided to pack his things and move into one of the boxes. He had his jingly rabbit, a book, a cloth diaper, a sippy cup and one of his mother's shoes. . . what more could a boy need to live on his own. At one point her tried to take my watch to add to his nest (is that ravens or magpies that steal shiny objects?). I was about to take a picture of that in his box, but he crawled out stole the camera and added that to his collection too. of course his mother had to drop by to check on him. Fun photos below.

The dreaded MMR. . .

I don't need to site any articles here, nor do I want to. Some people believe vaccines cause Autism. Some people believe that's bullshit. The big scary shot that those who do believe is the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot that is given at one year. Jenny McCarthy claims she saw an instant difference when her son got his MMR shot. He went from a happy healthy boy to a shell of a toddler with Autism. . . she wrote a book about this. She also claims that her son is now Autism free, as if it was some sort of pesky rash.*

I should point out here that some people believe that Autism shouldn't be "cured." That Autism isn't a disease and it is what makes their kid who they are. If we had always had a "cure" for Autism we probably wouldn't have the Theory of Relativity (Einstein didn't speak until he was 6) or Microsoft Windows (it is suspected that Bill Gates was and is still Autistic). . . maybe that last part would be a good thing. According to a few Autism experts I've heard speak, if you go to San Francisco or Seattle (the tech centers of the US) you can't throw a rock without hitting an Autistic person. Programmers, economists, theoretical physicists. . . very prone to be people with at least mild autism.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. So if in fact the MMR shot instantly causes Autism. . . then we survived it.

Our one-year check-up was Tuesday. He's right at 50% for height, just below 50% for weight, and at 80% on head size (big melon). He spent most of the appointment running around the office looking for something to get into. Then he got 4 shots. He has to go back for his flu shot booster in 4 weeks.

*I should clarify I have no problem with Jenny McCarthy, I greatly admire her past work. I only have issue with her suddenly being an expert on Autism. I suppose with her becoming a spokesperson for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) puts her around experts and some of the information has rubbed off.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Equally Shared Parenting. . .

This weeks jumping monkeys episode featuredEqually Shared Parenting. I am a big proponent of this.

The idea is that both parents need to help out with. . .
  • Breadwinning
  • Childcare
  • Housework
  • and Recreation

I just need to get my wife more involved in the housework part, but over all I think we do OK. I suppose I have a more flexible work schedule which was one of their points (two people working 30 hours a week make more than one breadwinner working 40). Almost all our recreation is done together.

Anyway, there are some good tips in the How It Works section of this site for how to get both parents completely involved in having kids.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lemonhead Jones. . .

There is almost nothing better in the whole world than the face a baby makes when they taste their first lemon. The shock and apparent disgust is only made funnier by the fact that most actually grab the lemon and eat more. . . I think it's a rush for them. Sadly I was over anxious and gave our little sour puss a lemon before I was filming him. This, however, is the second night attempt. The faces aren't as good as the first night, but I still think they are funny.

There will be more.

Dog story. . .

Only because Cara Mama is curious. About a year after we were married we adopted a dog.

Our local mall had an adopt-a-stray group in one of the stores and we'd go in to watch the dogs sometimes. It was enough to see the dogs and we normally were OK with keeping with our no pet pact we made when we got married. One day when we went in there were two dogs in the front pen. A brother and sister set. He was friendly and nice. She, Jada, was timid and shy. We imagined their story and moved on. Weeks went by and we returned and saw them there again. And a few more weeks we came back and now the brother had been adopted, leaving Jada alone in the world. We felt so sad for her we gave in and adopted her.

She was scared of us, but hated when we left her. She was couldn't stand for us to pet her, but also couldn't stand when she wasn't right by our side. We tried to get her used to being alone in our house, and tried to have her crate trained. . . she bent the bars on her crate with her teethe and snout and escaped every time. We assume that she was abused at some point from the way she acted. It wasn't long before we realized she was more than we could handle at the time.

So, tears streaming down our faces, we took her back to the adopt-a-stray shop. A few weeks later we asked about her and she had been adopted by a family with kids and two other dogs. Hopefully she's happy.

After that we decided on a strict no pet policy.

Fast forward 6 years and we have a baby. I find taking care of him so much less work than having a dog. As soon as our animal lover is old enough to take care of a pet on his own we'll review the policy, but it won't be soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sign of relief. . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dog. . .

A couple months ago our little animal lover learned about dogs. His great aunt's australian shepherds, Sammy and Kiera, to be exact. Sammy was indifferent and a bit grumpy with him, but Kiera. . . Kiera thought he was interesting, exciting and tastedlike bacon. At least I'm assuming that from all the licking she did.

Once we came home he noticed the dogs that live next door. They were out doing their business while he was eating, his high chair offers a good vantage point to see the neighbor's yard. He pointed and said "da." We got excited and said "yes, dogs, good job buddy."

Ever since then, at least a few times a day, he points out the sliding glass door and says "da." Normally this is met with "no sweetie, they're inside sleeping" or some other such assumption. Occasionally he gets it right and then he keeps at it, pointing towards the door saying "da." "Da?" "No." "Da?" "No." "Da?" "No." "Da?" "No." "Da?" "No." "Da?" "No."

We need to get our neighbor's number to call he when he wants the dogs outside.

And then grandma's neighbors had their dog out in their back yard the other day, a back yard he can also see from a sliding glass door, a sliding glass door that he now goes to points and says "da."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do not feed the baby. . .

It seems like every week we approach another big milestone or transition. Lately there's a big transition looming over us. . . moving from baby food to table food.

For several months we've been feeding our little bottomless pit 4 times a day. Every feeding is about 4 hours from the last starting with breakfast at 7am. Every feeding consists of a jar of baby food and a bottle of formula. We're chicken and still waiting for next weeks greenlight from the pediatrician to start him on milk instead of formula, but we are working on altering his feedings so we eliminate a bottle and start feeding him a full meal of table food.

And that is where the problem starts. What full meal of table food should we feed him? We've been feeding him bits of our food for months now. We feed him anything we think he can chew or will dissolve in his mouth. He'll eat anything. He loves mushrooms, green beans, black olives, bread, potatoes (anything from mashed to french fries), cheese puffs (I'm a bad influence), and lots of other things but still to this point it's just been bits of food more for novelty than sustenance.

So far the only full meal I've discovered is ham and cheese. I put slices of ham and cheese on a slice of whole grain white bread and toasted it in the toaster oven to melt the cheese (as glue for the bread and ham). Cut it into bite sized pieces and he ate it like it was the best food ever. . . however, the boy can't live on ham and cheese every day.

What full meals do you feed a new toddler who only has 3 full teeth?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Coward. . .

A old friend of mine is going through a tough time. She has a 6-month-old. We had intended to get together for lunch. She called and canceled because her son had to have eye surgery for a condition that weakens the ocular muscle, but that's not the tough time part. The week after the surgery I checked in to see how he was doing and reschedule lunch. She seemed cold and blew me off. . . then a week later she emailed to apologize. . .

She said she was out of sorts because she found out her husband had been cheating on her since their son was a month old.

He said he wanted to try and work things out but he was in love with the mistress and if he were honest with himself he'd really want to be with the mistress. But he owed it to my friend and their son to try and make things work. . . then last week he walked out on them and is now living in a hotel.

This is not the first story that I've heard. Five years ago, my own sister had her husband walk out on her with a 2-year-old and a 1-month-old. Another person I know recently had her husband leave and then come back and they have a 1-year-old.

I know that pregnancy and the first year of having baby can be tough on a marriage, but come on. . . first, how do you have time to have an affair with a baby at home!? Yeah, suddenly becoming a father is overwhelming and all but what the hell!? I get it. The wife, who focused all her love on you, now has chosen to move her focus to this new little person. I totally get that, but why haven't you gotten in the game and starting loving him too?

I'm not saying that keeping your marriage alive isn't really important. God knows the last year and a half of pregnancy and babyhood hasn't been a picnic for my marriage either, but be a man and suck it up. The sex-crazed wife from married with children doesn't exist. Sure we all saw Al Bundy refuse the advances of his hot wife and thought "what an idiot, I'd totally hit that." You know what? She doesn't exist. If you're like most everyone else, you're going to be the one begging her.

Before we got pregnant and several times after my wife and I had a couple conversations. I told her "I don't care if we get to the point of not liking each other. I don't care if we start dating other people. I don't care if we don't want to stay married. We will remain married and fake it until our little dude is 18." That baby is a bigger commitment than those vows you took. Add to that a mortgage that you both own on and you're bound together for life. Even if you leave you're now saddled with an ex-wife, how shitty is that. You don't like how the marriage is fix it. You're stuck with her either way, might as well make it good.

Be an adult and do what's right. Sure, you're not getting as much sex as you did before, yes, it's hard to get away and have dinner much less a romantic weekend road trip, no, your life won't be the stuff of movies. . . look at that little face and tell me it's not worth every second of it.

Coward.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday party. . .

It's official. He's 1.

So weird to think that it's been a year already. Seems like only yesterday my wife was nudging me saying "oh my God I think my water just broke." Those few days in the hospital and some of the time over the next couple months are so vivid like they just happened. The months flew by so fast. I can only image what the next several years will do.

Yesterday's party was good. A little crazy with the kids and getting the food ready in time, but still good. He got so many more toys than he knows what to do with and lots of clothes too. He didn't want to open the presents at all. He had a good time walking around the house with everybody there.

We gave him his own cake. And then to make things easier on ourselves we made him a nice cake-eating onsie. So without further adieu. . .


Happy birthday buddy. . . even though you can't read this yet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Of blankets and table food. . .

As our little family approaches one year were about to undergo a few transitions. Many foods fall off the not safe to eat list; many safety practices are fading away (did you know playing with a knife is still not safe?).
  • We served our little man eggs for the first time this week. He seemed to think they were OK, not great, just OK. We mainly aren't sure about feeding them to him again because we'd feed them to him for breakfast and we've learned twice this week that self feeding in the morning is a slow process that is bound to make us late.
  • Milk has been a no-no for this year and now it's supposed to become a staple of his diet. Thankfully that means the stinky formula is going away. He's already had cheese, yogurt, and ice cream so I'm guessing milk isn't going to be a problem.
  • Still no peanut butter or honey.
  • Once little Houdini broke free of his swaddling, the crib is supposed to be a no blanket zone. No blankets, no plush things, no bumpers, no fun! We've already been breaking that rule with Pete. And we used the bumpers until he was standing and climbing. Now I guess we're supposed to introduce a blanket into the sleeping routine.
So many rules, and now they don't apply.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary. . .

Three days from now we'll be working on putting our house back together after the birthday boy's cousins (terrorist organization that they are) destroy our house. I'm hoping this won't involve any industrial solvents or spackle, but you never know.

Oh and I'll have been a dad for one whole year.

Forget the fact that the little man living in our house is turning one, I'm celebrating my one-year anniversary of being a dad. He hasn't been changing someone else's diapers for a year, all he's had to do is sleep, eat, poop and play. Sure, he's learned to sit, crawl, use his hands for anything, stand, walk, point, play peek-a-boo, chew, clap, sleep through the night, laugh, smile, climb, say dog (or sometimes it means duck), turn the TV on and off, play with about 20 different toys, drink from a cup, and probably another dozen or so things that someone my age takes completely for granted.

I learned to love a little boy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Once you go mac. . .

I'm a mac user. I love my mac. A friend of mine recently asked if they should replace the old PC with a mac. I went on and on telling them a lot of good things about the mac and why it was a good idea to go with the mac. They said they asked someone who loves by PCs about it too and all they could do was tell them what was wrong with the mac. . . somehow they never mentioned what was so good about the PC.

No one seems to know why people keep going with PCs since they don't always work out so well. It's hard to get them to create anything good, but I suppose if you only want your computer to do the basics, and you're OK with everything crashing once in a while, it's fine.

I guess it's because it's what they're used to having.

I hope they decide to go with the mac.

**NOTE** This post idea was stolen from a man who called in to PRI's Whad'Ya Know? A radio show I listen to via podcast every week. I will try to make this be the most political I get in the next few weeks. . . I can't promise anything.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old story. . .

Before this blog ever began I had another blog. I had been thinking about blogging for a couple years and finally had a story to share that was worth sharing. This is not the exact post, this is what I remember from the story which makes me madder today than it did then for two reasons. . . 1) I have a kid now and 2) a year or so after this happened Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby were found 3 blocks from where this happened. . .

My wife and I were shopping for parts of a Halloween costume at a local consignment shop. We were going as parts of the Scooby-Doo gang with some friends of ours. We were looking for a purple skirt so my wife could be Daphne. And so far we were having no luck.

We left the shop at the same time as a group of people and made our way to our car. The other people went to their cars as well, but in the group was a toddler. My wife pointed to him as we were about to pull away and asked "who does that baby belong to?" The toddler was, at this point, walking alone in the parking lot right in front of the store.

I pulled up to where he was standing in the parking lot roadway. I stopped the car and got out. I said "hey buddy." He smiled. I looked around. Not only did I not see someone looking for their kid I didn't see anyone, not a single face in a car or a building, no one was around.

I offered the little guy my hand. He wouldn't take it. I thought for a moment about picking him up but quickly realized that could look really bad. So I tried to heard him back up onto the sidewalk so I could figure out what to do next. He was mostly easily herded until he got to the step on the sidewalk and then he fell on his hands and began to cry. I didn't know what to do. I'm now suddenly standing in front of a store with a crying baby that I don't know, and still (now almost 5 minutes later) there is no sign of any parent.

I opened the door to the consignment shop and yelled, "is anyone missing a kid?" Only the 16-year-old girl working behind the counter heard me. "What?" she asked. "This kid was walking around the parking lot alone, and now he fell and is crying." She followed me outside to the kid. As soon as she approached he reached up to her (I supposed a 16-year-old girl in a school uniform would be more inviting to me than a 30ish year old man with a week old beard too). She picked him up.

Now I should point out that next door to the adult consignment shop is a kids consignment shop.

"You take him inside and ask around about his mom, I'll go next door and see if he wandered off from there." I walk next door and again yell, "is anyone missing a kid?" This time it got a reaction. Paniced faces quickly did a head count and people said no. I quickly explained to the girl working there "I found a toddler wandering alone in the parking lot, he's next door if anyone is missing a kid."

I stared to go back to the first shop and as I looked in the window I saw the little guy holding an adult woman's hand walking towards the back of the store. My wife tells me she's pretty sure that was mom and we drive off.

Afterwards a couple things went through my mind. . .

First and foremost I should have called the police. That woman might not have been mom and even if she was mom needed a wake-up call. Mom didn't notice the kid was missing for almost 10 minutes and then she only noticed because someone in the store asked her if her kid was missing. If something like this happens again I will call the police.

Second, 10 minutes. Again, 10 minutes because someone told mom the kid was missing. If I had picked the kid up, put him in my car, and got on the highway that was less than a minutes drive we could have been another state before the police had even arrived at the store. The state line was 15-20 minutes away. That's also the same distance to our house. We could have had him home by the time he was noticed missing.

There are a lot of morals to this story. Watch your kid, watch for other people's kids, always call the police in a situation like this, and hope that people who are horrible enough to kidnap a random kid are also stupid enough to take that kid out in public.

missing children. . .

A friend of mine forwarded me an email with the subject "Amber Alert: Please pass this on." I opened it and read the story of a 13-year-old girl named Ashley Flores. it even had a picture of Ashley. Oh there is one thing, according to snopes Ashley isn't real. Well I'm sure someone in the world is named Ashley Flores, but she hasn't been abducted. . . nor have Evan Trembley, Penny Brown and the numerous other kids who use the same exact copy of this email with a different name and picture.

What kind of sick fucker fakes a missing child as a chain email letter?!

The story gets worse. This same friend sent another email about a missing 6-year-old girl from North Dakota named Reachelle Marie Smith. . . but cute little Reachelle (that's her in the above picture) really is missing. She's been missing since May 2006 and the one person they suspected was found dead of an apparent suicide. There are very few leads to go on now. 2 years have gone by, the trail is cold, chances of her ever returning to her Aunt (her legal guardian) are slim. . . so are chances of her still being alive.

This gets to me a bit because of the local turned national story last year about Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Shawn and Ben were found in a St. Louis community about 15 minutes from our house. They were found 2 blocks from the story I'll post tomorrow.

Moral of the story—as much as is sucks to do so—before you forward one of these, copy the name from the email and search for it on snopes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

By George I think he's got it. . .

Remember before how I asked if walking would just be a one day he can't the next day he can? If not read the previous post, I'll wait. . . .

Yeah, that's exactly how it was. Yesterday he'd take an occasional step. Just one. Today he is walking. Not far, only a few feet (6-8 at a time), but he's walking.

Monday, October 6, 2008

If you're happy and you know it. . .

Our little laugh track is developing well. He crawls around like a pro, he has been waving hello and goodbye with moderate consistency, he has been standing unassisted since before he could crawl, his personality has been flourishing for months. . . but he hasn't started clapping. It's a silly party trick ("Clap like a monkey!").

And then last night halfway through his bath he started clapping as if to say "daddy, that was the best hair rinsing in the history of the world." So he clapped, which made us clap and laugh. So then he'd clap and laugh, which made us clap and laugh, which made him clap and laugh, which made us say, "OK, that's enough clapping," which made him laugh and clap more.

What is it in kids that just clicks and makes the suddenly start doing something new? This wasn't just banging his hands together in an awkward way. This was full-on open-palmed clapping, with the actual clapping sound. Like he'd been doing it for months.

Is this what walking is going to be like? One day nothing, the next day running laps around the house?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One small step for baby, one giant leap for babykind

Our little wanderer took a step last night. One unsupported step. And I was the only person who saw it. He was standing near the trash can in the kitchen, banging on it (it won't kill him). He turned to try and go to the jumperoo and his legs were spread a bit. So he moved his back foot up and forward. I gasped. He raised his arms over his head and squealed. His mother knew something had happened, she was upset when I told her that she had missed it.

That's it, just one little step.

On another development note he have more teeth about to erupt. You know how you see the little light colored bubble right before the tooth pops out? His left front tooth has been that way for a little bit. Because he doesn't like us to open and look in his mouth I flip him upside down a few times which makes him smile wide and open up for us. While looking at the progress on the front left tooth I noticed the one on the left of that is poking through, so I kept looking. . .the one to the right of the front right tooth is poking through too, everything but the front right tooth.

Crazy growing going on.

ADDITION: I forgot, he also learned how to climb up onto a box last night. It was a night of great discovery.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm a slacker. . .

I'd like to say my silence these past few days is because nothing is going on. Our little tennis ball (fuzzy and round headed) is crawling like a pro, talking like a motor mouth, and learning a lot. That's the problem. There's so much going on (most of it small), I don't know what to talk about. So in the meantime here's a couple fun links.

Breast pumping champion.

Eco-friendly baby crap.

Zillions* of crock pot recipes.

*Estimated number

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good guide. . .

I was listening to a podcast that mentioned Good Guide. Good guide is an online review site that ranks products based on environmental, social, and health performance. So you can find our that the detergent you're using is melting your skin, will kill small furry animals once it goes down the drain, and was made in a sweatshop in Cambodia by slave children who work for jelly beans.

I mention it because it has a baby section.

Good stuff.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Once upon a time. . .

I came across this article today. It makes me very sad.

I know quite a few parents are annoyed by the princess phenomenon sweeping over their daughters like a contagious disease. I tend to agree with some of the underlying points of this article. Once the princess are removed from their harrowing stories they become nothing more than a pretty face. The role model becomes just a model.

Some say that fairy tales are too scary for kids. Grandma getting eaten by a wolf will give them nightmares. They might, I'm sure at some point the wolf gave me nightmares. It also gave me a non-sugar-coated view of death. And when it was told to me it had already been watered down from the original. I still remember being freaked out by the old Fairy Tale theater episodes (which are funny today).

The point of these stories was to warn children of some horrible things. Little Red Riding Hood warned of strangers, Cinderella told the story of how step families could be cruel, the Golden Goose warned of the error of greed. Most were not as neat and tidy as the fables of Aesop, but they had lessons to teach about some rough subjects. I think we need them now just as much as before.

So to copy off Cara Mama I'm going to ask a question of the week.

What was your favorite Fairy Tale or bedtime story that scared you as a kid?

Mine was probably Rumplestiltskin. Creepy little dude who tried to steal babies before they were born. Be careful what you offer someone, you may just have to pay them.

For anyone who would like some fantastic audio versions of some great stories I'd recommend these. I'm saving them so I can play them for our little guy once he's old enough to understand most of the words. I highly recommend Jack and the Bean Stalk and Rumplestiltskin. Both of the actors who read them are great.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fun gallery. . .

I was playing around with some CSS for a friends website and figured out how to make this nifty gallery. For anyone who knows CSS this won't look like much, for anyone who doesn't kneel before me I'm Not Skippy! . . Ahem, roll over the thumbnails to get a larger view, click them to go to the original.

Conservative. . . 

I just ran across this article. I thought it was an interesting idea. The wife will never go for it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bite me. . .

Have you ever bit down so hard your whole body shook? You know, when you get SO ANGRY and you tense up, clinch your fists, and gnash you teeth together and shake (sometimes while screaming out expletives)? That's what our poor little monkey doing lately.

He's biting the carpet, the couch, his stuffed animals, the safety padding on the coffee table, my shoulder, his mother's thigh, his bath toys, the bathtub, his crib, the window sill, the TV and anything else he can find when the tooth pain hits. You can see it on his face, the pain starts and he searches frantically for the nearest thing to bite. I try to offer him alternatives, like a soft rubbery teething ring, you know something he should want to bite down on. Instead he bites something odd like the remote control and then plays with the teething ring. Putting it in a cup and then "drinking" it. . . or at least dumping it on his face.

It must suck being a baby.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Good Ol' Kentucky. . . 

Late last we we started trying to get our little traveler excited about our road trip to Kentucky Lake (I don't know why they put the "lake" at the end). We'd say "are you excited about going to Kentucky?" and he'd look at us as if to ask "what's a Kentucky?" So we all piled into my mother-in-law's Monte Carlo (which I admit I didn't think would hold us at first, but it was very roomy) and made the three and a half hour drive to a cabin by the lake.

The drive was fun. It was the most time we've had to sit, make faces and talk to the little man in a long time. Normally, play time consists of lots of crawling and climbing and not much close-up interaction. It was a nice change. Then he had his two-hour nap. I sat and read a book. Nice quiet ride.

So we arrived at the cabin and met my wife's aunt, uncle, and grandparents. . . and their 3 dogs. The female Australian Shepherd ran right up to him and licked his face. He wasn't sure how to react and looked at us as if to ask "is that a Kentucky?"

The little guy had a great time. He got to know my wife's side of the family more and spent some time being around dogs, which he loved. We took him out on a boat, went swimming in the pool, and were able to try out his new, all-terrain stroller (good on grass not so much on gravel).

Saturday night we went to the local "Shop-o-rama: Home to 50,001 different items," and it was there I realized I was in a red state. What led me to this conclusion? The display of confederate flag merchandise was a tip off, the display next to it of Jesus themed t-shirts was the second, and the clincher was that next to that was a rack of baby camouflage onesies. . . complete with lace around the neck! And this wasn't the cute cammo you see at Old Navy, this was serious hunting cammo!

Sunday morning we were woken by the sound of 50 mph gusts of wind left over from Ike. The tree outside our bedroom was creaking, threatening to collapse like some of the other trees nearby had done before it. Trees and branches were falling all around. We all watched the news reporting how the bulk of the storm had moved straight through St. Louis (were all of us except my wife's uncle live). Thankfully, no trees fell on our cabin, but just as I finished making omelets for everyone, except myself, the power went out. I ate the bacon, hash browns and cheese danish that had already been cooked. We packed up the cars waited a little longer for more of the storm to pass and set off for home.

On the way down a state highway we were stopped by a felled tree covering the road. The first few people stopped were out of their car assessing the situation. My mother-in-law asked "well now what?" I said "now you stop the car and we get out to help move the tree." My father-in-law, my wife's uncle (who was driving behind us) and I got out, along with several other people stopped by the tree, and we all helped push and pull the tree to the side of the road. Then we all went on our way. The rest of the drive was mostly uneventful: a couple over turned trucks, some small pieces of debris, the baby spitting peas all over his car seat.

Then we arrived home to a mess.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Here comes the flood. . .

We got back from a family road trip to Lake Kentucky (more on that soon) to find our power was knocked out by the hurricane remnants and our basement flooded because no power, no sump pump.

I just spent the afternoon and evening cleaning up mud and water from the basement (partly in the dark, again no power). Including climbing into our crawl space and hosing it out. . . 

Now the power is back on and the bulk of the cleaning is over. I know we're luckier than others involved in the storm, that doesn't make clean up suck any less.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hampered

The newest sensation sweeping our house (or at least the members of our house under 1 year of age) is tipping over the hamper and playing with the dirty clothes.

OK "dirty" is a strong word. They are clothes he has worn, but it's not like he's wallowing in the mud or anything. Sure he sweats a little in them, but still, it's baby sweat.

He crawls into his room, drops Pete the Panda (his bed buddy) into the hamper and then tips the hamper over to fish him out. A small clothing avalanche occurs followed by a free for all clothing grabbing extravaganza! A couple nights ago he had socks hanging out of his mouth while he threw a pair of pants before wrapping a sleeper around his head.

Somehow I must find a way to make folding the laundry fun.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chewing cud. . .


So this morning from the time our little munch-kin has woken up he's been chewing on nothing more than usual (get it "munch"kin chewing. . . ah forget it). So in addition to chewing today he's been playing with him tongue. Watch for it in the above video. The lighting isn't great so it's hard to see at some points, but it's one of two things.
  1. He's just discovered he has a tongue and he's playing with it.
  2. His top teeth are starting to come in, they are too small for us to feel, but he feels them and it trying to explore them (which is more likely, because he's still chomping down on the flooring).
Either way it's funny, you can't hear it well on the video, but he is making sucking noises with it too.

Weirdo.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Teething woes. . .

Forget gnawing on the arm of the chair, tonight the teething was so bad, he actually tried biting the carpet. He opens wide, mashes his face into the carpet and tries to much on it.

No oral sex jokes please.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Shroud of baby. . .


A couple nights ago our little klutz had a bad night. He fell three different times. The one time he was crying and drooling really hard. Knowing that, the above then explains itself.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Water baby. . .

This past week our little guppy has decided that he is through with sitting in the bathtub. He starts off with trying to stand up holding on to the side of the tub. We then pick him up and put him back down on his butt. He then fights to not sit on his butt and rolls over to a crawling position in the tub. He'll slowly slide down the tub and his mouth will get bubbles in it which makes him cough. Then he'll see the water and dive down for a big drink. . . and cough some more.

Nothing we do is helping him want to sit back up like a normal person. He still seems to love being in the bath, he lays on his belly and kicks his legs and waves his arms like he's Michael Phelps. He just won't sit up, which makes us worry he'll swallow too much water and drown.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nom nom. . .

How do you know your baby is having a tough day cutting teeth? He climbs up and starts to gnaw on the arm of the chair. Seriously, the arm of the chair is now soaked, he was biting it hard. He calmed down once the camera came out.

Cranky crab. . .

I just got an email from a woman I work with outside Chicago. She said she wants a "cranky crab" shirt for her 19-year-old daughter. I told her I'd let her borrow ours. . . I'm a dirty old man.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

And the silver spoon. . .

Today, my wife asked what it was that was making me so cranky lately. Why I have the baby blues. She asked me and just as I started to answer her the little guy started fussing a lot in the back seat of the car so she forgot about our conversation and went back to entertain him (we were in a drive-thru).

So I'll spill more of it here. I'm upset because I can't leave my job.

I love my job. I have no intention of actually leaving my job, but now with a kid in tow I'm less able to get fed up one day, yell "fuck you all" and walk out. . . not that I would have before, but the option is gone. It makes me feel a bit trapped.

Then there's my freelance projects. I am picking up freelance clients left and right, but freelance clients mean working at home after my regular job, which means less time with my wife and kid. 3 years ago I would have killed for more clients and projects, today I take them one job at a time, and I even passed a few on to another designer friend of mine.

There's a couple opportunities coming up that will be great for me career wise. I need to move forward on them, but they are going to take a lot of my free time. You can't explain to a 10-month-old that daddy is working and would love to let you play on the computer with him, but he can't right now. To him it's I won't play with him, plain and simple. A couple weeks ago I tried to do some work while he was awake, he crawled into the office and tried to climb up to my lap. . . he cried when I wouldn't pick him up so he could play. It hurt, but it's what I needed to do.

He doesn't understand, and though one day he will, that feeling of daddy won't play with me will still loom.

OK cue "Cat's in the Cradle."

NOTE: See the last post for your fun, baby pictured post

Safety first. . .

We've decided to do some more child-proofing starting with padding the coffee table where our little daredevil does most of his stunts. So we bought some safety padding to line the corners and edges.

In fact tonight before we could get the padding out and adhered to the table he climbed up and fell on his cheek which looks like it may cause a bruise. Normally his falls don't leave any lasting marks. His forehead will be red for the evening and once he wakes up in the morning it's all OK.

As we got the pads out we discovered the secret of making any house baby-proof. Buy a box of child proof edging, open the box, and hand the pads to the baby. . . that's it. The baby will be so happy to play with the pads that he'll not want to climb on anything dangerous.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Or not. . .

So yesterday I posted some heavier stuff about how I was feeling about life now and the person I've become. Then I thought "no, people don't want that, they want funny stories and pictures of a baby." Then I thought "wait a second, I started this blog to give the perspective of being a dad. Not as a place for stories about a baby." So I'm following up yesterday's post with some more thoughts on the subject. . .

It's the transition from husband to father that is tripping me up. I see that now.
A former coworker of mine who was married over 40 years said it best. Loving your child unconditionally is easy. . . you have no choice, it is ingrained into your relationship by it's very nature. You will always love your child. Loving your spouse unconditionally is hard. . . you chose to love them, you weren't born into it. If you don't work at it you will lose them.

Too many people become parents, they forget about being married and it isn't until a few years later then realize they aren't in love anymore.

Those of you looking for some big revelation now are going to be disappointed. No I'm not saying I'm leaving my wife, or cheating on her (this would be a shitty place to reveal that). I'm saying I am seeing the beginnings of that happen not just to my wife and I, but to other people I know.

Parents concentrate so much on their kids that they neglect the relationship with each other. Then they divorce (only 63% of children grow-up with married parents). What hurts a kid more, focusing a little less affection on them so you can concentrate on you spouse or having them survive with mommy and daddy in separate places?

And for those of you who didn't come here for more whining here's a picture from our first trip to the playground.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eh forget it. . .

Enough of that. No one comes here to hear me whine about my feelings. They come here for pictures of a baby in a firehat.

Reflection. . .

I'm a smart ass. I've always been a smart ass. I, and a good friend of mine, formed and live by the rule, "funny always outweighs mean." The problem is lately I've skipped some of the funny and have just become mean. I'm cranky, I've been making mean comments to people, I've dropped the smart and am just being an ass.

I'm not sure what it is. The combination of not sleeping completely soundly for ten months, changes at work, lack of sex, the impossibility of reasoning with a crying baby, turning 32 (I'm now well into my 30's), the feeling of not accomplishing more already, the looming tower of projects at home, the pressure of being responsible for raising a kid into a upstanding citizen, and everything else. Maybe I'm just becoming a cranky old man. . . turning into my father.

I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I haven't been unhappy with the person I am for a long time, but I'm unhappy with my current personality, persona, self. . . or maybe just frame of mind. And lately I've been thinking everyone around me is starting to hate me too. I'm too young for this to be a mid-life crisis, perhaps it's a quarter-life crisis.

I don't know what I need. I've been thinking of taking up some type of meditation. Something to relax me so I won't be snapping at the drop of a hat anymore. Something to center myself and get back to my fun-loving, happy self. I need something.

Sorry for the quick piece of non-kid related self-examination. I suppose it's dad related. I think the shock of being a dad has taken a little time to catch up with me. For a bit I've been wrapped up in enjoying him that I haven't felt like a grown-up yet and now it's starting to hit me. Who knows?

But I don't like it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New baby alert. . .

A good friend and former coworker of mine had a baby last week. Maxwell Joseph was 4lbs 14oz, was 18.5 inches long, and was born on August 21st. New babies are always exciting, but I'm just using it as an excuse to post this comic I found last week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ooh ah-ah. . .

Before you ask, it's from target. Get them while they last!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It sucks.. .

I've vacuumed a few times while Mr. Clean wasn't napping. Normally his mother is feeding him a bottle on the couch so I take the time to vacuum. He watches me intently and seems to like the sound the vacuum makes. Today I decided to see what would happen if I vacuumed while he wasn't safely away.

I thought he'd be scared. Like a dog or cat I guess.

He wasn't. After an initial jump when I turned it on. He watched as I vacuumed around him. Then he thought is was chasing him so he crawled away a few times (which allowed me to vacuum the spot when he was sitting. Then he followed me down the hall. Played with the cord and chased me and the floor sucker (I'm tired of typing vacuum) all over the house. Then I chased him back the other way through the house.

Everything is a toy to this boy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And the award goes to. . .

Thank you Amy. I had no idea I was in anybody's top 7. When I started this thing I thought it would just be for myself, I didn't think anyone would read one post much less follow me.

So, the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated

I don't have 7 blogs I read regularly. But I do have 4ish.

1. Of course Ranting Radish who nominated me. We trade tips back and forth. I think we're raising the same baby. She seemed to follow my wife while she was pregnant. I've always thought if we didn't live 1,000 miles apart we'd have had a play date by now.

2. I follow another Amy. Her son Peyton is also the same age as our little man. It's good to have another baby to compare to. Amy has also recently decided to become more serious about photography. Being a graphic designer I love good photography. She's got a good eye and started a photography blog too. For awhile our posts were so similar I suggested we do a collaborative blog giving the mom vs. dad side to things we were encountering. I'm still up for that.

The Amy's are fun. My wife and I both read their blogs and since all 3 of our kids are right about the same age we actually sometimes talk about them like we really know them. I'll say to my wife "Amy was saying that she traded in her BPA bottles for an IV feeding device" and she'll say "which Amy?" Both Amy's started commenting here when my wife and I went through our Down's Syndrome scare. They've been so kind and supportive and fun ever since.

3. Sarah. Sarah and I met in Jr. High School. We were good friends throughout high school (when she started dating Eric). Then we graduated and you know how it goes. You never call you never write (by you I mean me). I always mean to. . . but now I can keep up with what's going on with her, Eric, and their 4 girls. I wish more of my high school friends had blogs. I suppose that's what Facebook is for.

4. Cara mama is the one blogger I read who has a secret identity. I had planned on doing that in the beginning. We seem to share the same sense of humor. It's humor that doesn't always jump out in a blog, but I normally know how she's thinking something is funny.

Honorable Mentions:

Motherhood Uncensored. Some days I love it, some days I hate it. Most days I can't believe she has to beg her husband for help. . . and sex. The woman has a libido most men would kill for their wives to have.

Mamma Joe. . . Joe has a daughter who is a bit older than our little monkey. Joe is in the beginning stages of a messy divorce and recently turned her blog private so her husband can't post threatening messages there (he posted one). We disagree about walmart, but over all we get along.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eureka. . .

Diapers stink. Diapers go into diaper pails. Ergo Diaper pails stink. It's a fact. Look it up.

In the beginning we had a diaper champ and it was good. Then a few months later the smell seeped into the plastic and now the diaper pail itself smells.

How do you stop them from making your house smell like a nursing home? How do you tame that horrible, horrible smell? I've tried everything. The order-absorbing air freshener at the bottom of the pail made it smell like flowers and diapers. The baking soda didn't do much except make it look like I was a magician when the white cloud came out as I changed the bag. The scented trash bags didn't do anything but cost me more money.

Then I got an idea. I was watching this new Food Network show, the Food Detectives. They did an episode that included a segment on smelly fridges. In it they mentioned getting an activated charcoal filter to soak up odors. I've always known activated charcoal could purify water (one cup has something like one whole acre of surface area), but had no idea it would do work on stink.

The problem is finding an activated charcoal air freshener like the one they had on the show. So I did the next best thing. . . I went to the pet store and got a plain box of activated charcoal. I then cut off the bottom part of another box to line the diaper champ (you could easily use a paper plate of bowl) and poured the charcoal in the liner.

I will not say that it is now completely odor free, but the difference is substantial. I'm hoping after a little time and a few cycles of changing the charcoal we'll be close to odorless in the diaper department.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yoddle-le-he-hoo. . .

We had a day like Ranting Radish. Friday, our little wunderkin learned to stand up in his crib. Saturday he decided this was the only thing he could do in the crib. So from 11 a.m. until 6p.m. he refused to take a nap. Finally we decided to take him to the park (because we couldn't take it anymore) and he fell asleep in the car.

Long enough nap to hold him over until 8 p.m.

Sunday looked like it would end up the same way, so I did a bad thing. I sat in a chair and held him until he drifted off and then put him down. I don't want him to get attached to being held to sleep.

By Sunday night, our little mountaineer had figured out how to sit back down after climbing up. By this morning he was able to stand in his crib knock over his monitor, throw out his stuffed panda and sit back down with his legs dangling out between the slats.

Last week he could crawl and if we helped maybe stand up on us. Now he can climb and stand next to anything in the house. Madness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Overnight. . .

So since his first crawling Cruise McClintock has quickly become very mobile, which makes him very happy. He's also into stuff he shouldn't be. So we take him away and tell him "no" which makes him very unhappy.

It's amazing how it seems that in just a couple days he's changed completely. His late evening nap is gone, he's moving everywhere, he's standing on his own a lot, he's so much happier, he's eating more real food. . . he's a whole new baby. And not even a baby. He seems so grown up. It's a little sad.

Back to the mobile front. Almost every night we chase each other up and down the hall. I hide in a room and jump out yelling "boo" and he laughs as he crawls down the hall to find me. Then when he does I claim "daddy's gonna get you!" Which makes him squeal and take off the other direction—looking back occasionally to make sure I'm still chasing him. Then I catch him, hang him upside-down and blow on his belly. . . he laughs.

He laughs at everything. He is a little ham. He'll sit and start making random grunts and then he'll laugh at himself. He'll even laugh when someone smiles at him. A far cry from our once very serious baby.

This is a great time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Water wings. . .

After 3 classes our little minnow finally enjoyed swimming this morning. He had him splash a lot all week in the tub, to the point of water flying all over the bathroom. Now he seems to really like the water.

Yay!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Breakthrough. . .

After months of teething, our little T-rex has pushed through his first tooth.

It is sharp.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No "P" in it. . .

Puffy McDuffy likes water. . . most of the time. He enjoys his bath, he touches the water from the garden hose when I water the veggies, and he uh. . . he likes to drink water?

Anyway, after our doctor told us about the dangers of swimming and asthma for infants under 6 months of age, we decided to wait a little before embarking on swimming lessons. I lived in a pool growing up and really want him to learn to swim, so early swim class was a must. So we took our tadpole to the local YMCA for the infant swimming class.

Let me take a minute to state I do not subscribe to the idea of babies swimming. In fact I find videos of people training their babies can swim a little creepy, and dangerous (creating a false sense of security). I'm not naive enough to think that he's actually going to learn anything more than enjoying being in the water.

And he does enjoy being in the water. We went to the pool, got in the water and splashed around for 10 minutes or so before everyone showed up to class (I know you have a baby, but I have one too and I was on time). Then class started. Class is lead by a woman who calls herself grandma, she should be a great teacher. . . I mean she was there when prehistoric man first flailed his arms to stay afloat after being chased into the water by a wooly mammoth. She should be a great teacher. Instead she's pushy and doesn't remember anything and I probably expect too much from her since she's 183 and it's amazing she can still get in and out of the pool.

So there we are enjoying playing in the pool, happy as can be. . . then class started. We began with a rousing round of The Wheels on the Bus (how that relates to swimming is a mystery still). It's not easy to hold a baby above water while dong the motions for The Wheels on the Bus. Then we move to swimming in a circle, and it was all over from there. Yes, my son is the crier. . .

For three straight weeks.

We're going to keep trying for the next two weeks, but I'm not holding my breath. . . I'm just trying to teach him how to.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sitting up. . .

So like others I walked in after our sleepy bear woke up from his nap to find him sitting up in his bed. He then exhibited this talent a couple more times he'd crawl then sit-up. He prefers pulling up to standing (see previous video post).

He's also teething hard. We saw the first little dot of a tooth at our 9-month doctor's appointment. His first tooth is pushing through. Oh and he's now 19.5 lbs and 28.5" tall. He's currently in the other room crying. He watches through the bars of his crib waiting for us to come get him, or he climbs up the sides of the crib.

Poor little monkey.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crawling and Climbing. . .

I have wanted to post something about our little crab crawling. He's doing great. In two weeks he's gone from barely lunging forward a few inches to crawling all over. How do you tell people how well a baby's crawling? So I thought I'd show a little bit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

First family road trip. . .

A week ago we were in Chicago—our first family trip (NOTE: all the links below are pictures). The trip was originally supposed to be to Denver. . . a 15 hour drive. We decided that the 5 hours to Chicago was a better move. Even with the closer destination it took us 7 hours to get there. We left at 6 a.m. so he might sleep for a couple hours on the way. . . he didn't. So we stopped three times.

The first stop was to feed him breakfast. We stopped at a rest stop and laid out a blanket and sat him down and fed him. Then he crawled around a little. The second time we just let him crawl around. The third time was for lunch for us and him and we stopped at a Burger King. . . there was no crawling around there.

So immediately we went to Shed Aquarium. Our little adventurer was mostly more interested in the other people than the fish. It was a bit of a mistake taking him straight to an attraction before the hotel, but it worked out OK. He liked the hotel room. He made himself at home.

We spent our second day to the Art Institute and Millennium Park. We found out there was a concert in the park at the Frank Ghery concert shell (see above) so that night we walked back and ate sandwiches in the park and listened to music.

The last day we took a trolley tour of Chicago which included Navy Pier. We also walked the Miracle Mile.

We walked a lot, and Chicago is not very stroller friendly. Revolving doors and strollers don't mix and almost every store/building has nothing but a revolving door. But it was cool walking through the city together.

There were a lot of things I would have done differently, but it was a great trip. The little monkey did better than we could have expected being away from home, sleeping in a strange place, and going for long periods without solid napping.

Anybody else going on trips? What some advice on traveling with a baby? Let me know I might have some good advice.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cheap date. . .

We can no longer change our Mr. Mushy Face without this. A half used tube of Desitin. It's not that he has diaper rash or anything. It's that he's decided he won't be tied down to be changed anymore. So to distract him we hand him the tube of ass ointment to play with while we change him. . . we didn't plan on it, it was a spur of the moment thing. He was trying to escape one day so I handed him the closest thing I could find.

We especially need it to change poopy diapers. If we don't give him something to play with he grabs his well. . . he grabs his own shit. What do you want he's 9 months old!? I'm sure some day he won't want to grab his own feces.

This is a great time to mention his other favorite play things. I've already mentioned his bowl.

He loves playing with paper. We've given him magazines we've finished reading and he rips them apart and plays with them. The first few times he tried to eat them. Since then he's stopped and, though we watch him still, we're less worried about him eating the paper (plus working in a business that prints a lot I happen to know most printed pieces are perfectly safe, printed with soy-based ink on good clean paper).

He plays with the remotes and the cordless phone. We use them to teach him to crawl (which he's doing like a pro now, but that's another post). He loves playing with cups, coasters, and empty water bottles, but his new favorite toy is an empty Pringles can.

He plays with the canister, then when he gets bored we take off the lid and he plays with that, then again when he gets bored we switch again. He's even learned that it's fun to yell into the tube because his voice sounds funny. He'll put the tube edge in his mouth and yell.

The joke has always been you spend money of expensive toys and the kid will play with the box. Our kid won't even make it to the box, he'll get caught up playing with the paper.

What non-toys can your babies not live without?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Careful what you wish for. . .

Every parent looks forward to their child saying "ma-ma" or da-da" for the first time. Last week the kid was into whispering "da-da." It was cute. Now he's learned "ma-ma."

"Ma-ma" doesn't mean he wants his mother. It means he wants something. . . held, a toy, food, sleep, the remote. . . it also means he's sad, happy, angry (that's just a loud "MA!"). I know the first couple times my wife was ecstatic the first time our little pizza roll said "ma-ma," but, judging by the look on her face when I got home, if she hears it one more time I fear she may drown the kid in a sack.*

He's lucky he's cute.

*Note: my wife is a lovely person and would never actually drown our son in a sack.

Falling in love. . .

My son falls in love every day. . . sometimes more than once. We go to the store and he'll find a little friend and be so excited to see them. He especially gets really excited when he sees little girls. He kicks and laughs. The other day he kept looking at a maybe 12-year-old girl and he did his fake laugh (really loud) and everything else he could do to get her attention (smiles, kicks, the oh so sexy ear shattering squeal that he does). He laid it on a little thick. He doesn't yet understand the subtleties of flirting.

Then they leave his sight and for a few moments he's sad. Then he moves on to the next one.

If he's anything like me this will go on until he's in his 20's.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is it me? . . .

I think I've said before that he best feeling I get during my day is when I come home and Mr. Bo Jangles sees me for the first time that day. He squeals and bounces up and down (or just kicks his legs if he's laying down). He's like a group of 12-year-old boys who have just been given a bag of illegal fireworks. I don't think I've ever been that excited in my life (while clothed). That excitement is all directed at me. . . It's a nice feeling.

Then I wonder if the excitement is hurting him.

All day long my wife tells me how the little guy is crawling around. She'll leave the room and when she comes back 1 minute later, he's on the other side of the room getting into something he shouldn't.

Then I arrive home and he sits or lays and grunts while watching me. I'm not trying to be cocky, but I think he's so excited to see me that he can't move. Either that or he thinks I'm a big sucker and if he whines I'll go pick him up or hand him what he wants. . . I don't think I do that.

On another crawling note. We got new carpet last week. It's thicker and less worn than our old (of course) which means he's getting carpet burn on his little knees.

It's hard out there for a baby.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Instamatic. . .

I have finally posted a whole crap ton of photos on Parker's photo page.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday



Happy Birthday Daddy!

Love,

Your little monkey.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Takeoff. . .

I will post video in a few days when he gets better, but as of last night our little man is officially crawling. It's only a couple lunges forward, but it's forward motion and I'm counting it. God help us, he's mobile.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm not number 1. . .

Photographic proof I am not the worst father in the world. W00t!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First cold. . .

My baby has the sniffles. Actually this morning he sounded better, but for the past few days his nose has been really drippy and he's been coughing like crazy. His nose is the worst of it, no snot bubbles or anything just drippy and crusty. YAY babies! Sunday night was the worst of it. He woke up several times during the night coughing.

He was a little trooper though. He sounded awful, but he's been smiley and happy and moving around a lot. In fact the bright side is he's been sleeping more. I guess just his body trying to make itself better. . . the human body is amazing.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Boats, Aunts, and Automobiles. . .

July forth we loaded up the car (with EVERYTHING from our house) and took a trip to my wife's cousin's lake house. It was a good chance to see how the silly little man would do on a longish car ride, sleeping someplace strange, and being around so many people. He did good.

Good is relative. He didn't nap much, he whined a little, and the next day he was pretty cranky. He loved being around everybody! He's a people person. It's nice to be able to walk up to one of my wife's aunts and say "here, have a baby" so I can go do something. He was a hit.

Towards the end of the evening we suited him up and went for a boat ride. After 7pm and before 10am is reserved for fishing so boats can't go fast and disturb the fish. So we thought it would be fun. We fed him his bottle on the boat and the 3 of us huddled under a towel for warmth (never thought I'd say that about July). Part way through, I was bad and took his life vest off. He as so miserable and refused to be in any other position but standing while wearing it.

Anyway, it was a good little trip. The little guy was up way past his bedtime, but he slept well with Grandma and Grandpa in the back seat on the way home. We're now embarking on day 3 of family gatherings and then we're off until next weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stop, drop, and roll. . .

Sorry it's been so long. I feel bad about it, but there isn't much lately that I've wanted to talk about. We've fallen into a routine. Every night I come home from work the little man is excited to see me (which is the best feeling in the world), I make dinner, we eat, we keep the kid as happy as we can until it's time to eat, bathe, and go to bed.

Same thing every night.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice grind. I love the grind, it's a grind I can see myself staying in for years (BTW as I type this he is falling asleep while drinking a bottle). The grind is great. . . for my wife and I.

For Rumplecrabbypants it's a grind ladened with the worst frustration of all. . . the inability to crawl. He knows he could do it if it weren't for the fact that he can't. He can roll, he can spin on his belly, he can gets on his hands and knees and rock. . . he's so close to crawling and it pisses him off!

The only shitty part for us is there is nothing we can do to help him learn. He just looks at us as if to say "you can work the diaper stuff and that magical spoon thing, why can't you help me move?" So we all wait, some of us more patiently than others.

Everybody we talk to tells us to watch out once he moves, that he'll get into everything and we won't get a moments peace. I'm sure it'll be tough to keep up with him, but I think he'll be much happier once he can move to get the toys he wants. . . or the remote, the phone, his mommy's hair, daddy's bottle of tequila, or anything else he sees.

Soon, my baby boy, soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two, two, two posts in one. . .

Does anyone else's baby really like being upside down? Little monkey.

(Warning: Some corse language to follow)

Originally that was all I was going to post tonight and then I made a mistake and watched the Baby Borrowers. I almost cried several times. This show was advertised as being funny, instead it's one of the saddest things I've ever seen.

For those unfamiliar with the show, three sets of teen couples decide to see what it's like to be parents. They do this by "borrowing" other people's babies.

What the fuck kind of parent agrees to give their 8-month-old to a teenage couple for 3 days!?!

The parents watch on CC camera from a house next door and can intervene if things get really bad. One mom got involved because the teen mom watching her kid wasn't feeding the baby because he was spitting out the food (he must not be hungry why else would a baby spit out food) so he had gone most of the day with no food. Another father came over because they did nothing but hold the baby when all she wanted to do was crawl around (they had no idea she could crawl), the last mom came over when the couple was trying to get the kid to sleep with no bath, no food, a dirty diaper, dirty clothes, and finally threatened to put her in bed screaming and ignore her for the night.

And most of these fucktard teens were offended because the parents were telling them how to take care of their babies!

The tears welling up in my eyes, I watched as the parents sat by watching their kids being mistreated. I'd say "those poor parents" but these dumbass parents chose to give up their babies for 3 days! I will say "those poor babies" because they're at the height of teething and separation anxiety and their shitty parents hand them over to teenagers who think raising a kid would be neat. The kids look so miserable.

I will not be watching another episode.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lil' geek. . .

I'm a mac user. I love mac, and this program is one more reason to love it. it's called Baby Banger (yes, I'm aware that is an unfortunate name).

It's a little application that take over the computer with a plain white screen and as you hit keys it makes sounds and pus up colored shapes on the screen, so when the baby is grabbing for the computer to be like mommy or daddy you can let him have a few minutes to play without hurting anything on the computer.

The key combination to quit the application almost takes 3 adult hands to press all the keys.

Our little guy loves it. He can finally get his hands on the keyboard so he doesn't feel left out when we use the computer around him. It also teaches him a little cause and effect.

There are a couple windows applications that do this too. CrashBangWallop!3 is one. Mini123 is another. I know nothing about them so use at your own risk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Funny or creepy?. . .

OK I say funny, my wife says creepy. . . you decide.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Better than Dr. Scholls. . .

I have found a new podcast. I've mentioned before I like podcasts. I was listening to Jumping Monkeys this week and their guest was a doctor. . . Dr. Mike.

You know all those questions you forget to ask your baby's doctor about at your regular check-ups? All those things you feel silly calling and asking about? All those emails you get trying to scare the crap out of you because you're unknowingly slowly killing your child? There's a good chance Dr. Mike covered it on his PediaCast.

At times Dr. Mike's reading of recent medical articles can be a little dry, and he can go on about some silly things, but all-in-all he reminds me of our doctor. He doesn't go in for hyped up medical things. He's is heavily pro-vaccination, and pro-not-being-stupid.

I highly recommend checking out his appearance on Jumping Monkeys and just as much his podcast, PediaCast.