09/2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

Maia Week #8 Battle Report

At 8 weeks of age, Maia is 10.4 pounds of baby in a half ounce bag. She sticks to a fairly regular schedule of eating every couple hours during the day, but then spacing out to four hour shifts in the wee hours of the night. Her night generally runs from about midnight until 9 AM the next morning, which is the profile of my nights in grad school before I met Mike and started playing Monopoly until 3 in the mornings.

She still doesn't go to sleep very easily, and the biggest trick we've learned to date is to just be okay with carrying her around or hanging out with her until she's ready to sleep -- cutting out any explicit goal of having a sleeping baby greatly reduces the frustration of having her stir at the last minute as you prepare to leave the room.

Yesterday was my last day of work at the pencil factory so I'm officially a full-time dad and ready to nurture this baby and her environs into the Yggdrasil of Loudoun County. I'm also looking forward to her first big batch of immunizations so we can be a little bit more mobile and less homebound. With an overnight trip already under our belt, trips to visit friends should be a piece of cake!

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, September 04, 2017

List Day: 10 Post-Booty Changes

  1. Naps on the couch are 100% less snuggly without Booty to perform chest compressions throughout the nap.

  2. We can leave food out on the counter unprotected for many minutes and no one jumps on the counter to eat it. The same goes for bills and other important pieces of paper left unsheltered around feeding time.

  3. I still think I see Booty when I spot a dark shape (like the base of a floor lamp) in my peripheral vision.

  4. I only have to scoop the litter box every other day.

  5. Amber has moved from the beta position at the foot of the bed to the alpha position at the head of Rebecca.

  6. Amber is softer because she hangs out more and gets more brushing and pets.

  7. There is no rigorously scheduled food time on the agenda -- we just eventually realize that Amber hasn't eaten in a while and she begrudgingly agrees to eat a bit.

  8. No one serenades us from the living room during the first 15 minutes we go to bed.

  9. I can no longer see both cats in the same room and refer to them as "Booty and the Ho-fish".

  10. I no longer have to place or clean up puppy pads outside of the litter box from Booty's ingrained habits of peeing elsewhere. I also have a full box of puppy pads (unused!) left over if anyone needs any.

tagged as lists, cats | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Extra Baby Picture Day

For everyone who wants more baby pictures.

This is Maia and her dad, walking around the backyard over the weekend. She learned the words "grill", "fence", and "goddamned mosquitoes". Wearing a baby in a front carrier every day makes me never want to get fat, because it's too hard to make sure you're aiming in the toilet when you can't see what's going on down there.

This is Maia whispering the secret code word to the dog. Parents aren't allowed to know what it is. Knowledge of the secret word gets you access to Club Baby and five starter Baby Bucks.

This is Maia being super cute with minimal effort.

tagged as media | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, September 08, 2017

Maia Week #9 Battle Report

At 9 weeks, Maia is hovering around 11 pounds. At home, I weigh her like I weigh my steaks -- using the bathroom scale while gently cradling the bundle of raw meat in my arms, then weighing again without the extra encumbrance and performing simple subtraction.

We took her to the pediatrician on Wednesday for two-month-old shots. She did not enjoy this in the least bit, but she is now no longer a danger to herself or others when it comes to whooping cough, polio, rabies, pink eye, stink eye, idiocy, or any of a number of serious conditions. In head, weight, and length measurements, she has jumped up several percentiles like an SAT prepper who finally figures out what an antonym is.

During the day, she rarely sleeps more than 30 minutes at a time unless she's in Asian Kangaroo configuration, but she's pretty good at self-entertaining when given enough polka dot patterns to gaze at. She greatly prefers looking to her left, in violation of that Ingrid Michaelson song about looking to the right. To counteract this, we put all of the interesting stuff (like my face) on her right.

We're also experimenting with cloth diapers with mixed results -- Rebecca enjoys the colourful variety and buttock-adjacent softness, while I enjoy how the diapers look like vivid crustaceans when turned inside out but am ambivalent about all of the extra laundry required.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, September 11, 2017

List Day: 5 New Parent Inventions

Feel free to take these to market and reap the profits.

  • Changing Ramp: A changing table with a built-in 10 degree slant, so when the baby pees on herself it drains down to one end of the table rather than pooling around her body.

  • Milk-ex: Liberally spray on your baby's neck folds to prevent spit-up milk from collecting there. Non-carcinogenic, unlike Rainex.

  • Pneumatic Car Seat Straps: Like the Nike shoes in Back to the Future II, simply place your baby in the car seat and the straps will automatically secure into place at the appropriate level of pressure.

  • Retractable Velcro: Velcro remains under the surface of the fabric when not hooked to its target fuzz. This will get rid of unsightly baby clothing centipedes when you open your dryer and find everything velcro'd to everything else.

  • Amazon One-Minute Delivery Sleep System: A front baby carrier whose pouch is a fully detachable swaddle blanket, suitable for sleeping in. At the push of a button, a drone arrives, gently detaches the sleeping baby, and drops it in the crib already dressed for bed, eliminating the inevitable wake-ups when you do it yourself.

tagged as lists, inventions | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:43 AM: Showered and ready for "work".
8:06 AM: Bagel and bacon for breakfast.
8:54 AM: Floor time with Maia.
9:42 AM: Rule 1.A: Daytime naps occur only in the carrier.
9:51 AM: Watching Justified while walking just fast enough to avoid shaking the baby (roll-stepping helps).
11:01 AM: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
12:34 PM: Believing in a different reality does not allow us to circumvent Rule 1.A.
3:15 PM: Crib time with Maia.
4:11 PM: Definitely not the same floor nap experience as I had with Booty.
6:14 PM: Nature walk in Claude Moore Park.
7:17 PM: Glazed grilled salmon for dinner.
7:55 PM: Just before our "go to sleep" dance party.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, September 15, 2017

Birth Day

permalink | 4 comments

Monday, September 18, 2017

Diaper Day

Clear proof that these cloth diapers should be living under the sea.

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Plural by Electric Guest:
The follow-up album to Mondo is a little more mature and mellow. It's a good listen, but doesn't have any super-catchy or highly memorable tracks on it.

Final Grade: B

Founder (PG-13):
This movie does a pretty good job of capturing the nationalization of McDonald's, with a perfect role for Nick Offerman. It won't change your life, but it will probably put you in the mood for some fries after it's over. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Rake, Season One:
I only got about three episodes into this show about a disgraced Australian lawyer before I quit -- it wasn't at all bad, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere and there were better things to watch. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: Not Graded

What Happened to Monday:
This sci-fi movie stars Noomi Rapace as seven different sisters who grow up in a dystopian future where parents are only allowed to have one child. Though it immediately recalls Orphan Black in its setup, it chooses instead to be more of a straight-up thriller / action movie. We enjoyed it from start to finish and now recite its movie title any time we wake up on Tuesday after finding that a whole day has been used up taking care of a baby. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, September 22, 2017

Maia Week #11 Battle Report

Maia is now 11 weeks old and somewhere in the 11-12 pound range. The Internet says she should gain a pound a week for the remainder of her life so she should be at a healthy 260 pounds when she's five years old (The math is sound).

At this age, Maia recognizes us with a smile whenever we enter her field of view and can grab a burp cloth with both hands to stuff in her mouth like she's in a hot dog eating contest. Today she grabbed a rattle and shook it. She still hates day naps, but we're getting better at recognizing the paradoxical state of overtiredness so meltdowns occur less often. We do an awful lot of singing these days, namely Senor Don Gato (the best song ever written), as well as Little White Duck and Itsy Bitsy Spider. Maia recognizes all of these and wiggles with anticipation when we begin. I also invent songs on the fly about the characters in her Enrichment Jungle and will share a few of those next week.

This past week was Rebecca's first week back at work as a Physical Therapist Assistant. She's gone for 8 hours a day, including commute, on Monday through Thursday, and then has Friday off. The first 4 days of Stay-At-Home-Dad life have gone pretty well -- Maia likes bottles and I sometimes have about 10 minutes of my own free time to start a game of Overwatch (I really need to install an older game that can be paused -- maybe back to Torchlight 2 or Fallout 4?).

Raising a small human is not a hard job per se -- it's just very demanding of all of one's faculties. As an introvert, I'm surprised at how socially drained I am after spending all day with someone who doesn't even respond in conversations. Babies are like anti-cats in that regard, as cats imbue introverts with energy while babies slowly leach it out, like Daddy is a gas range in a house from the 1960s. Luckily, I can do the chore-y and schedule-y portions of the job in my sleep because that's how I'm built, so I have more energy in reserve after the draining.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, September 25, 2017

Songs of the Enrichment Jungle

These are the songs I sing about Maia's favourite buddies in her Enrichment Jungle. The eighth notes should clearly be performed in a swing style, because I'm not some kind of heathen.

Volume II will cover the supporting cast, such as the Orange Nut Squirrel, the Boring Felt Owl, and the Monkey Lip Apple.

tagged as offspring, music | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 14 years ago, in April 2003 and provides a nice time capsule into my life as a music grad student in Tallahassee.

On the top shelf is my Marching Virginians 4-Year Mug, that I kept loose change in (to feed meters around town). To the right are all of the Windows installation disks that still only existed in 3.5" format, and farther right are two giant spindles of blank CDs for burning music from the Florida State music library (in order to pass the really awful PhD listening exam where you had to correctly identify 24 songs out of a pool of several hundred hours of music).

The second shelf contains empty CD cases to hold burned CDs. In the middle is my newly-defended Masters Thesis, Labyrinth, and on the far right is a sculpture of a polar bear at a waterfall. My apartment at the time was decorated wholly with recital posters and high school art projects.

On the bottom shelf is my Peter Spencer music theory textbook, an instruction manual for a Roland Sound Canvas that I used to record MIDI versions of my compositions, and the instruction manual for Cool Edit Pro (the go-to solution for audio recording before Adobe bought and shat on everything). Next are the first two books in the Janny Wurts Wars of Light and Shadow series, which is the only pleasure reading I brought along to Tallahassee from home. Since then 6 more have been published, and the next one comes out on October 1!

In the middle of the bottom shelf is Booty, probably eyeing some mouse toy that she just threw across the room. To the right is a box of envelopes for snail-mailing my undergraduate friends, a companion fiction book to the TV show, Alias (which was the best show on TV until it wasn't), and then two giant binders full of personal music CDs, heavy on Dave Matthews and Kansas.

Booty also hated this sightsinging textbook, as did everyone else in academia at the time:

tagged as memories, cats | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, September 29, 2017

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2017 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Renewed my driver's license at a mobile DMV on F 9/1, finally eliminating the 2003 picture that looks how I looked in Florida.

    • Maia got to meet Jack on S 9/2.

    • Maia excelled at the 2 month pediatrician visit on W 9/6, but hated shots.

    • Rebecca got sick on H 9/7 and BU had to care for the whole family for a few days.

    • Visited old friends at Novetta on F 9/8.

    • Sprayed the yard for mosquitoes on H 9/14.

    • Turned 38 and got a year closer to dotage on F 9/15.

    • Had a barbeque with the Smiths, Jacksons, and Bauer/Bennetts on S 9/16.

    • Took Maia to Burger 21 for her first dinner outing in the dirty public on S 9/17.

    • Rebecca headed back to work on M 9/18.

    • I got an interesting job offer from Novetta on W 9/20.

    • We took another nature hike in Claude Moore, saw over 10 deer, and then took Maia to the Colada Shoppe for dinner on F 9/22.

    • Maia went on a road trip to visit the Uri grandparents on W 9/27.

    • Got family flu shots on F 9/29.

    • Planning to have the Uri grandparents over for dinner and a movie on S 9/30.

  • Projects
    • Got back into exercising regularly while rewatching and loving every season of Justified.

    • Finished adding Book 6 of the Wars of Light and Shadow series to the Paravia Wiki in anticipation of Book 10 from Janny Wurts.

    • Took care of some baby.

  • Consumerism
    • Switched Costco days from Saturday to Friday because I have no job and Costco is a beautiful empty wasteland on Friday mornings.

    • Got to level 842 in Overwatch and started dabbling in Torchlight 2 again (a Prismatic Embermage because that is clearly the funnest class).

    • Enjoyed watching What Happened to Monday and American Vandal on Netflix, but TV-watching time shared with Rebecca has greatly dropped since Maia was born.

    • No amazing new music this month, but I finally went back and purchased a bunch of MP3s based on my Pandora Likes.

September's Final Grade: B+, would go up a half a grade if Maia had a switch we could toggle off at bedtime.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

 

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