Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Wait...that's from craps...
Seriously, Happy 11 months, little buddy.
The sleep really has gotten better in the last few weeks, although there are plenty of nights that you get your mom out of bed 3 - 5 times. Those nights do not make for pleasant mornings.
In other news, you had your first Thanksgiving out of the womb and it went pretty well. Now that you are officially the youngest member of both sides of the family tree, you get plenty of attention. Your birthday the day after Christmas is sure to be a test of that theory, as most everyone is going to be partied and holidayed out, but for Turkey day you were a big hit.
So back to the happy stuff - you have become much more mobile in the last few weeks and you have learned to wave - it is still adorable, every single time it happens, when you see me walk into the room and you sit up and wave at me. I can't even imagine what it will be like when you can talk (at least for that short window that you can talk but haven't yet learned to be ironic or sarcastic....)
We need to shoot more film, but this moment catches a lot of what was special about this month:
I love you so much, little Man. One year is coming up so fast, and you and I need to come up with a plan for how to deal with your mom realizing her little baby boy is growing up!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Don't get me wrong, son - I still love you, maybe even more than last month, but month 10 marks the point that I am
OFFICIALLY OVER THIS "NOT SLEEPING" CRAP.
Seriously, those 2 weeks when you mostly slept through the night are a distant, months ago memory at this point. Nine nights out of ten, now, you tend to sleep for an hour or maybe two, and then you scream until your mom comes to cuddle and nurse you. Nothing else works. NOTHING.
I mean, if I come and get you out of the crib, you scream at me like a Ring Wraith. If I play with you for an hour, turn on the TV, threaten and cajole you, I can sometimes get you calmed down and back to sleep AFTER 2 HOURS. Your mom is better than I am, in several ways, and my patience with 3 AM histrionics and hysterics is extremely limited.
The aggregate loss of rest has affected every corner of my life, from diet and exercise to creative output and my relationships with others, and especially my relationship with yo mamma. See, what happens is that when you go all Munch on us 3 - 4 times a night, the net effect is to have two adults barely functioning on diminished rest and who have both expended the whole of their respective patience reservoirs on your bullshit...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The basic idea is that for a given phase of life, there are basic set of skills that make the experience more something (productive, fun, safe, effective, etc). What I'm thinking is that a person may accumulate that skill set for a given "band of experience", but that band eventually passes and it is then time to prep/learn how to manage the next band.
Monday, September 26, 2011
For the stat keepers - you still have only 2 teeth, although I feel more coming under your pink and healthy baby gums. Your average hours of sleep per night has dropped back into the ~ 3-4 hours area. You weigh just under 20 pounds. Oh, and there's something else...
And suddenly, everything changed!
We love you, son. This year is flying by, and it's both exhilarating and terrifying to see how having a kid transforms the formerly quotidian into an exhausted, happy mess of a family routine.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I'm dealing with something kind of like that in my pursuit of an interesting life. First, the givens:
- I have a job that takes 40-ish hours a week
- we have a home that requires a healthy amount of time to keep up
- there's a 20lb ball of need rolling around my house that will take as many hours as you care to give it
- i used to run, and thought at times that it might come to be one of the defining aspects of my middle years - "that guy runs, barefoot, for 10s of miles at a time!". Now, the prospect of carving out X miles * 10 minutes is more involved than a quick check to see if I have 10X minutes open.
- i'm interested in installing some solar power systems at the house, with a minimum goal of running some water pumps and lighting in the back yard and with an advanced goal of tying into the grid and watching my meter go backwards
- speaking of the garden, the wife and I have had some lofty ideas about landscaping for aesthetics as well as gardening for produce to actually eat and show our child where at least some of his food comes from
- continuing in the vein of food production, I've long had an interest in hydroponics and other methods of intense cultivation with minimal resource input - I like the idea of a year round herb garden in the house, plus maybe some peppers, tomatoes, etc
- a long running theme in my relationship with a certain couple of friends has been an interest in writing and sharing our writing with the twin goals of encouraging each other's production and actually getting a finished product that could be shared/marketed/sold to a wider audience
- maintain relationships - I have long prided myself on maintaining real world (non-Facebook) relationships with a handful of friends, but the last year or so has really put the strain to that effort. Hanging out with or communicating regularly with friends should come naturally, but it sometimes seems that we (society) have restructured the mechanisms of life to make this sort of interaction more difficult rather than less.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The full title is "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal", and I would like to say that I enthusiastically recommend it to any and all readers, but I suspect that the truth is more complicated.
The story is decidedly unorthodox in it's theology (mostly; see below), and many sincere Christians would likely be offended by many different aspects of the book, while many readers who come to the book without much exposure to modern Christianity might miss out on a good deal of the "inside" humor.
Lamb's general premise is that the 4 gospels recognized by the mainstream church cover only the beginning and end of the life and ministry of Jesus, and that approach leaves out a lot. In order to fill in the missing years, "Biff" is resurrected by an angel, sent by his old buddy Jesus in the modern era, to write a new gospel in celebration of the second millenium (the book was published a few years back).
I find the book and the narrative of the Messiah's middle years very funny, and poignant, and spiritually edifying (from my decidedly liberal spiritual vantage, at least). The likelihood that the novel gets the details correct about what Jesus did between 3 and 30 is pretty slim, but it's a fun speculation.
My own background of 1000s of hours in Sunday school and in personal study of the Bible made the references to the actual scripture jump out, and the way those references worked in the context of the narrative were often clever; in one instance, we see a young Jesus (and Biff) laboring at a housebuilding site where they hear the master craftsmen explain to the homeowner why the foundation had to be excavated down to the bedrock and back-filled, as a "house built upon the sand will not stand".
The liberal use of profanity, the open discussions of sex and sexuality, and the non-orthodox elements of the story did not bother me, but I can see how my more religiously inclined friends might take offense. In an interesting twist, near the end of the book Biff offers a synopsis of the gospel as he saw Jesus teaching it, and the main points line up pretty tightly with the general, modern Protestant orthodox approach.
So, to wrap this up, I found the book entirely entertaining, and I think anyone interested in the story of Jesus or the evolution of the Christian faith, either from an insider or outsider perspective, would find it a good read.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Our oven died, shortly after we decided to make chicken our child's first animal protein.
We had 2 organicy whole chickens from Costco and had planned on roasting one, and carving out some unseasoned white meat for the boy.
When I realized the oven element wasn't heating, it was too late that night to get the bird done, so we punted forward a night.
I used the grill, and by any objective standard it went beautifully. Which means my beautiful wife objected.
At any rate, I liked it and the boy got a bite of fire roasted chicken!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Except for you parents, it's not just another month. It's ANOTHER MONTH! You changed some this month, and made us laugh and smile and bang our heads against the wall.
Back at home, we keep expecting you to crawl (and sprout some teeth, but all we get is drool there), but your version of crawling is apparently modeled on the Superman style:
In other recent developments, you apparently think it's awesome to stick out your tongue ALL THE TIME.
Maybe someday you will be featured in a poster like Einstein, but we kind of doubt it.
Anyway, this month was super cute and a lot of fun and I don't really know what else to say about it, because in the part of my world that is not ALL ABOUT YOU things kind of sucked and made me depressed.
But there was this to brighten at least one evening:
So, month 7 is behind us and number 8 is coming up fast...and you do look nice from behind too.
I love you, Son, and I'm glad we're doing this together.
Monday, July 25, 2011
All Things Are Similar.
Taken together, these two ideas will change the way the world thinks.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I saw a review of these sandals today and I would not mind trying them out.
In the same vein, a good friend of mine has had the opportunity to try out these Merrell "Barefoot Trail Gloves" and had some reasonably positive things to say about them:
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The insight came when I started thinking about my goals for running speed, my history of injury, and how different goals might lead to different experience outcomes. I have so far in my running career not cared much about how fast I run; I have to date cared more about putting up consistent distance numbers, and consistency in running at all. I also [knock on wood] have yet to experience any real running-related injuries.
Several of my running friends who choose to run in traditional running shoes care a great deal about running ever quicker times; I realized this weekend that the higher incidence of injury among this same set of friends could have to do with their shoes or it could have to do with the extra stress on their bodies that is coincident with the press for speed.
I think now that this component of the overall experience of running is important and I have neglected it in past consideration...when people asked me in the past why I ran barefoot, I have talked at length about evolutionary development and about pockets of aboriginal runners world-wide who run great distances barefoot (or in minimalist foot coverings) and about stories (as covered in Born to Run) of such runners who persistence hunt (where you run after a deer or other game until it drops dead from exhaustion) - what I'm realizing now is that while many of those example runners do run fast, speed seems to be a secondary goal or motivator in their version of running.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
In my own experience I feel that my church failed me passively, in so many ways, in terms of preparation for healthy adult relationships, and actively in terms of a church-approved sexual relationship.
Further, I think you can read the article and replace "sex" with any number of other subjects and find it relevant...part of my core NTTATS philosophizing is concerned with the fundamental disconnect between two people's conceptualization of any idea, and the challenge to any long term relationship is finding a way to manage that disconnect. Some people (on some issues) prefer to pretend that there is no disconnect; in other cases it seems that any relevant conversation requires a reiteration of the manifold ways the two parties disagree.
I'm a believer in committed, long term relationships (romantic, friendly, family, etc) and so I constantly strive to keep the NTTATS cynicism in check, and I find discussions like those in today's article provide a helpful framework for that anti-cynical work.
Heather is finely attuned to the realities of blogging on a popular site, and I think it's plain in the rather preemptively defensive tone of some of her comments, and this need to be defensive is one I find especially tragic and problematic.
Just by bringing the name "Bangladesh" and a general awareness that women in less developed areas struggle mightily with childbirth to a larger audience, Dooce has done a valuable thing.
I have no doubt that many will criticize her for being wealthy, healthy, and famous while other people are not, but I think she rightly notes that there is little she can actually do to help with the reality on the ground there. I'm sure Heather will make personal financial sacrifices based on what she saw, but she could not "save" Bangladesh with the sum total of her financial net worth.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
~ 1.5 miles in full on bare feet, and it felt pretty good. I was running a loop around the 0.75 mile block closest to my house, and after two such loops I turned back into my drive...I think I might have kept on going if I had someone to chat with on the road - anyone out there interested?
Monday, June 27, 2011
But seriously, this has been a momentous month, and given the nature of things and calendars and our human interest in memorializing and recognizing arbitrary milestones, the half-year mark is a big deal! It certainly feels like a big deal, and I think your mom would agree that the last 6 months have flown by, except for a few choice [screaming baby] moments that slowed down to a seemingly interminable experience. But more good than bad, as they say, so...Hurray!*
Baby Bjorn - whether we are at the mall, outside for a walk, or perusing the aisles at Costco, you are definitely a fan. Except for the wedding snooze, you are generally wide eyed and curious when hanging in the Bjorn.
bascule bad boys, and it was fun to be reminded of their importance.
But while you are not yet crawling, you did cross an important developmental milestone this month:
"I think he likes it!"
And a few days after the first cereal, we tried a little mushed up avocado...you were not a fan. You may have inherited my mother's aversion to foods which are green in color.
All in all it's been a great month, and a great cap on the first 6 of your young life. It really is moving so fast, sometimes your mom and I just look at each other this complicated look that (for me, at least) tries to communicate this mash-up of feelings: anxiety that it's all going to change, excitement about all the cool things you are learning, gratitude that the nightmare parts of the early months are gone, fear of what nightmare parts the coming months are going to bring...
Life does not prepare a person to be a parent...being a parent to one probably doesn't prepare for the next...the reality of being a parent is that it's an ongoing experiment with daily failures (and unanticipated successes) that make Edison's light bulb seem simple, and you don't really know how it's going until you can look back on the earlier phases with a little objectivity... With that in mind, I'm going to call the first 6 months of this particular experiment a fantastic success: we are all still here, we all still love each other, and I got more than 5 hours of sleep last night.
So the next big challenge is finding a bottle of booze large enough to form a reasonable comparison for your next weigh in! I'm thinking magnum wine bottle?