August 30, 2008

Growing Up

The Boy is aging. I always heard from other parents, including my own, how quickly children get older/bigger/taller/etc., but never paid them old folks any mind. I mean, for me, childhood was an unendingly slow process, a seeming eternity of youth...a phase I really don't feel all that far removed from.

Well, anyway, it's all true. Lately I've been waking up in the morning (and mind you, by morning I mean the 11am wake-up, not to be confused with the 1:30am, 4:00am, 7:00am, and 9:30am wake-ups) and groggily casting my gaze at Young Old. Without fail, each time, it's as if I'm staring at a new baby. His nose gets bigger, his eyes change color, his hair gets longer in some places, more sparse in others, he lengthens, he widens, he loses body parts (the umbilical cord stump fell off this week), his ears end up in different locations, and his scrotum shrinks or enlarges depending on cosmic factors obviously far beyond the reach of my ape-like understanding of the inner-workings of the universe.

He's twelve days old and already looking like a good little hipster with his tight tight pants and t-shirts showing off a bit of abdomen whenever he stretches. In fact, we've had to ditch many of his "Newborn"-sized outfits because it just looked silly having to utilize two individual onesies in tandem just to cover the kiddo. Someone sure dumped water on this mogwai.

Okay Mom, you can stop the sagely nods, just-wait-and-sees, and one-day-you'll-understands. You were right. Though I hate to admit it, we do indeed "grow up so fast. "

August 29, 2008

A Momentary Respite

Young Old is now well into his first week of life, and we're just now getting the hang of this parenting thing. Thankfully, we've figured out a few tricks to calm the little beastie boy when he's fussin', which means a lot more sleeping on his part, and a lot more downtime on ours. Knowing full well that this is a luxury to be enjoyed while it lasts, we relaxed like retired folk, i.e. lots of naps, wordy magazine articles, and untold episodes of The Sopranos (thank god Young Old can't understand English yet, but I bet his first words are delivered with an Italian-Jersey accent).


Somebody call the Millennium Falcon...their Wookie is on the loose. Hlaarraaarrghhhh!

Grandma and I catching up on bad fantasy novels while Young Old slumbers.

The Hair, pre-bath. Greasy Italian genetics definitely representing.

Young Old's favorite place to rest his cantaloupe.

Reading thought-provoking articles out of Harper's magazine when your brain is mimicking a Slushy machine is probably one of the most difficult tasks we've faced thus far.

Yes, having a newborn is a lot of work, and you're so tired you feel like someone upstairs in the skull room accidentally hit the auto-pilot button, but don't let anyone ever tell you that there's no time to do your own thing. I thinks it's a lie, perpetrated by the parent generation as a form of birth control. One just has to be creative.
For example:

August 28, 2008

Young Old for President 2048

Young Old sat raptly at attention during Barack Obama's history-making presidential nomination acceptance speech tonight...he cooed his support at all the right moments, spit up whenever McCain's name was mentioned, and took a timely and disgustingly rancid dump when the subject of Dubya Bush was brought up. A dislike of "mavericks" and "cowboys" must be genetic, because we haven't yet had the time to inoculate him against the Grand Ol' Party.

Anyway, he's so hooked on politics that he's already determined his career of choice:

Props to Pops and Squirt for the t-shirt selection.

August 27, 2008

Photos from Papa Don's Visit

A few flicks from my father's brief visit to Portland.


Dreaming of the Big Titty in the Sky.

Grandpa getting in some bonding time, the big softy.

Three generations of Italians...all that grease kinda makes you want to take a bath, don't it?

Daddy Old and Young Old. Damn, I love this kid.

We've already got Young Old signed up for Baby Jujitsu...haduken HAAAAAI!!!!

The geezer teaching the youngster how to get in a proper nap.

It's hard to imagine these suckas will be size 13 someday.

August 26, 2008

Polliwog Photos

A few more photos of our young tadpole.


Mama K, mid-strangle...those late night, early morning feedings are starting to get to her, I think.

Hitting the gym for some "Tummy Time".


He really likes his Grandma.

Thank god for all this's been allowing me to catch up on my backlog of snuff films without worrying about corrupting the little youth.

August 25, 2008

The Recovery

We've been home from the hospital for four days and have finally started to settle back into something akin to a routine. The chaotic mess we abandoned in favor of the delivery room has now been nursed back into a more manageble disorder. We finally got around to showering the hospital funk from our weary bodies. We've ironed out a few of the kinks related to Young Old's belly demands and sleep (or lack thereof) cycles. We've had time to take a moment and breath in the reality of our status as parents, and what this gift of responsibility for another life truly means.

In other words, we've been laying around doing a whole lot of nothing, clothed in our pj's, watching the boob toob, catching up on some reading, taking naps, eating disgustingly fatty and delicious foods. Oh, and cleaning up a whole lot of piss and shit. In fact, during the early hours of morning Mama K and I have begun to affectionately call the wee one Eat Shit Sleep; despite the distinct lack of the third word, I think Eat Shit is just a tad vulgar when cooed to your son at 4am milk bladder feedings and the subsequent daiper change, however appropriate our weary feelings may be, bless his incontinent little heart.

Mama K has been recovering nicely. She reconnected with her dear friend named Beer (Lagunita's Cappucino Stout, brewed in my hometown of Petaluma, CA. Props!), though no more than a sip until we start up bottle feeding in three weeks, at which point we can let the alcohol in the breastmilk metabolize while chilling in the fridge for a few hours. You see, we've got our alcoholism down to pure science. Um, just kidding, Mom (...but we are in Portland aka Beervana aka Brewtopia, so don't begrudge us our malty-hopped beverages, thanks!).

Onto other small victories...Mama K was exceedingly happy when she was finally able to tie her own shoes again. Don't worry, I gave her a gold star and a cookie for her success. She's also been very excited to have some of her figure back, tearing into the darkest recesses of the closet to rediscover the fashion items she can work towards once again more stretchy pants, Bella Bands, suspenders, or super glue needed, thank God.

Unfortunately, we made the horrible mistake of pulling out the scale. You'd think after birthing Young Old the belly worm, she'd be back down to her previous weight class, ready to compete with the other featherweight contenders. Pre-body snatch, Mama K weighed in at 145 lbs. (I know, I know, you'll all cringing for my personal safety after exposing a woman's weight, or even discussing the topic, but rest-assured, Mama K personally approved this story). At her peak, moments before crapping out Young Old, she had moved up the scale to around 193. Upon coming home, after a dainty step onto the scale, we both inhaled quickly in surprise...183 lbs. Apparently, that's the normal amount of weight one loses after birth. 6-9 lbs. for the baby, a pound of placenta (which would be a cool band name, no?), and a pound or two of fluids. Kes, however, after a bit of silent brooding, uttered disgustedly, "Great. That's depressing." We promptly did 478 jump squats and ran a half-marathon to get her spirits back up. [Update: She just weighed herself at 175, and is now feeling much better about this whole process.]

Young Old is acclimating well to this bright, noisy, scent-filled world. He lays there in awe upon waking up from a lengthy nap, contentedly soaking up all the colors and objects he can capture within the foot or so he can focus on. We think he can recognize our voices and has been turning his head to look at us when we walk into the room or sit down next to him, though it is in the realm of possibility that this is mere coincidence. One thing he can do with great certainty is scoot around like a molasses-trapped crab, slowly clawing and kicking around when on his belly. This does not bode well for my plan to avoid teaching him to crawl or walk until the age of 19.

Grandpa Elder-than-Old was in town this weekend, having driven the six hours from Northern California to witness this child, his first Grandson, for a 24 hour period before having to head back home for work the next day. This show of love and commitment to his offspring's offspring came as a bit of a surprise, figuring the last time I had mentioned to my father about coming up to visit the baby when born elicited this response: "Just let me know when he can discuss Sartre and Nietzsche." You've redeemed yourself, my good man. Bearing gifts didn't hurt much either. Young Old is now equipped with a onesie emblazoned with FUTURE PRESIDENT, a t-shirt stating PARTY IN MY CRIB, 2:00AM, and a teddy bear wearing a shirt that says I LOVE MY GRANDPA holding a baby teddy bear.

However hard I try, it's all just too cute for words...

August 24, 2008

Hospital Photos

A brief photo journey of our hospital stay, from soon after birth through the day we left to go home. Enjoy.


Young Old's first sponge bath. The lungs on this kid, let me tell ya.

Grandma and Auntie Ren encasing the youngster in his first leotard, I mean, onesie.

Mama K and the Babe.

Our little polliwog.

Me, gushing with love over our creative masterpiece.

Our good friend Ali, who along with Nicolette below, helped nourish our bodies and spirits with their love and bountiful deliveries of healthy meals.

Nico, getting in some snuggles with Young Old.

Auntie Ren with her first nephew, re-energized after a much needed nap.

I was so tired after the birthing, that eating just wasn't on the list of priorities.

Grandma with Grandson #1.

My friends Jeff and Syd. Young Old is visibly infecting them with the Baby Bug.

Mama K, full of life and ready to get the fuck out of the hospital.

August 23, 2008

Finally...the Details

I love you all dearly, but maybe now you can finally cease the clamoring for the details of Mama K's labor and Young Old's birth. To keep it simple, and truth be told the lack of sleep has been a wonderful amnesiac, I'll provide a basic, and potentially fabricated, timeline with a few comments along the way.


6:30pm 8.18.08
Due to some unforeseen complications (do we ever really anticipate these things?), we ended up at Labor & Delivery at Kaiser Permanente's new Sunnyside Clinic in the deepest darkest heart of Clackastani, Oregon, approximately 6 days before Young Old's due date. Surprise, surprise, the due date is apparently a rough approximation. Upon entering, we were sent to a triage unit, and promptly told to hang out and relax while the midwife on duty was delivering three other womb goblins.

8:00pm 8.18.08
Our nurse Denise helped us move over to the birthing room, a spacious suite replete with a wide array of amenities, such as a comfy bed for me, a mini fridge for the beer, CD/DVD player for mood setting, and hundreds of half-hidden medical gadgets to ensure that we didn't forget we were, in fact, still in the hospital. Due to Mama K's water having broken the day before, paired with the above said complication, it was decided that labor would have to be induced with Pitocin, the synthetic version of Oxytocin, the hormone that naturally instigates contractions. Unfortunately, due to operator error, the IV drip rate was set way too high and Mama K instantly went into horrific body-shaking contractions, spaced about 30 seconds apart and lasting for minutes at a time.
Me: "Ummm, is that there Pitocin coming at the right rate?"
Nurse: "Ummmm, ooooops." A comforting response, to say the least.
Bleeps and bloops ensued and Mama K's contractions leveled out to a more manageable rate. For the rest of the night and early morning, Mama K and I did our breathing exercises...Ahhhh heeeee, ahhhhhh hooooooo. Much dizziness on my part, and a good deal of wickedly terrible pain on her side followed. Her sis, Auntie Ren, made it into Portland via Seattle in record time, and instantly got to work supporting the both of us...thanks, Seren, you were absolutely amazing and neither of us would have lasted a second more without your help. We spent the next 10.5 hours in various labor positions/locations...we tried out the birthing ball, the bathtub, walks around the birthing wing IV in hand, leaning over the bed, squatting on the couch, and many more colorful kama sutra-like positions I am hesitant to describe. Finally, Mama K settled into the warm soaking tub, her liquid throne for the remainder of the evening and morning. Here she labored through five hours of the most painful contractions, lasting minutes at a time with a minute break in between. She was getting so exhausted that she ended up falling off into a body-shocked sleep, only to quickly wake up in a terror when the next contraction hit it's peak. This, combined with the news that after all of this she was only 2cm dilated, helped us come to the conclusion that an epidural was inevitable, and at this point, desirable. Mama K asked me if I was disappointed in her for "giving in"..."Hell no!" I replied. I honestly think I would have begged for the spinal tap within the first hour of this shit. I'm still in awe of the patience and endurance my wife exhibited that this day, and I'm sure for the rest of my life, I've never seen such a show of strength of heart and body as she put forth, and my love for her is all the greater for it.

6:30am 8.19.08
Epidural nicely in place, the contractions continued without all that painful bullshit, and Mama K's body was able to finally relax a bit and get some must needed rest.

7:00am 8.19.08
Nurse Denise sat down next to Mama K to help outline the expectations for the rest of the laboring process.
Nurse Denise: "Okay, so in a few hours you may feel a deep urge in you abdomen to push. Kinda like when you're driving on the freeway and you really have to go poop, but there's no where to get off the road and you have to hold it for several hours. That's when you know the baby's about to come and then you start pushing with all your might."
Mama K: "Ummm...I think I'm feeling like I have to poo. Really badly."
Nurse Denise: "Quick hold back her ankles, let's go! Oh, and I'm off in 20 minutes, so it'd be nice if you hurried up and got him out before I left."
Well, sounds like as good a reason as any to push a human out of your crotch. So Mama K started in...

7:25am 8.19.08
And baby makes three. His crumpled little head unfolded like a Transformer as he emerged into our world, umbilical cord firmly wrapped around his neck as he emulated an unnaturally big eggplant. Thankfully the midwife was cyborg-quick, and snipped the cord, enabling Young Old to take his first breath and scream his guts out. No holding him upside down by the ankles, no bottom slap. Mama K didn't even scream during the pushing, and didn't tell me what a fucking asshole I am, and didn't ask me "Why the fuck did you do this to me?" Nothing like the movies, and honestly, I felt a bit ripped off.

Young Old's Specs:
-7 lbs. 8 ounces
-19 inches long
-Thick, long black hair.
-Dark, dark blue eyes.
-My ears.
-Mama K's eyebrows.
-A mixed contribution from both of us in the nose department.
-My muscular solar plexus.
-After long afternoons of inner debate (Mama K shrugged the decision off onto me. Thanks, babe!), an uncircumcised penis. We started out wanting an all-natural birth, and damn it, fate wasn't taking this choice away from us.

The Stay:
The next two days at the hospital were basically uneventful. Young Old turned out to be very healthy, apart from some oddly babbled references about a guy named Billy Reuben (okay, so he was actually a bit jaundiced, which has since mostly cleared up). Mama K's mother flew into town moments after the birth and has since moved in with us for the next week or so to help out with dishes, cooking, and general Grandma support. Again, huge thanks are in order, you're helping us maintain our tentative grip on sanity. Just please stop trying to kill our cat and burn our house down, okay? Sorry, just had to get one last jab in, Aurora. You are loved. Anyway, the rest of the visit looked like this: lots of lazy lounging in the hospital beds, cleaning up the sticky tar-like shit of the Devil called meconium, reading various newborn info packets, cleaning up meconium, making decisions on immunizations and wellness tests, cleaning up meconium, receiving visits from our dearest friends, cleaning up meconium (are you sensing a pattern here?) and, of course, bonding with the babe.

To stress the point of how terrible this meconium stuff is, please refer to the below picture, courtesy of some brave soul at Wikipedia:

The rest, as you psychics know, is the future, and you can catch it right here on the daily.

August 22, 2008

First Full Day Home

I deeply apologize if this isn't very coherent, but muthertruckers are hallucinating up in here. That period of rest known as the Nap, let alone the Good Night's Sleep, has mostly eluded us so far, since whenever Young Old is sleeping we've been frantically unpacking bags, going shopping, cleaning the house, making phone calls and responding to emails. Basically, the exact opposite of what we need to be doing, which is go to bed and recover. Even when we do get around to it, we end up laying there in a hyper-vigilant state..."What's the baby doing? It sure sounds quiet in there. Is he breathing? Let's get up and see". Most other times, our eyes close for mere moments before the famished little colostrum connoisseur begins his Code Red hunger alert. Mama K whips the boob out, and I clean up the diapered aftermath. Repeat every 20 minutes. Seriously, if you ever get the bio-urge to start this process, but are having some second thoughts, come over to our house for a night...insta-birth control. Of course, the other side of things is that if sliced bread was actuall cool, this kid is the coolest thing since. He's adorable, and we find ourselves losing track of the outside world by simply staring into his dark blue eyes and his look of intense's almost as if he knows the meaning of life, but can't quite figure out the words to share it with us. He's so damn soft, smells like heaven, grasps onto your finger like we're already best friends, loves it when I sing to him, and has better hair than I do. What's not to like? We've never felt so tired, and yet so energized to invest our love in someone else besides each other. It really is a very strange "Holy shit, this is my son!" feeling, that you really have to experience to understand.

Anyway, enough rambling...on to the updates:

-Mama K's milk came in today, so Young Old has been feasting like a fiend, and thankfully, sleeping for an extra 30 minutes every time he conks out now. Thank you, Jeebus.

-Young Old had his first experience with "Tummy Time" today. Apparently, since babies are to sleep on their backs at all times to reduce the incidence of SIDS, they tend to develop Flat Head, and a resulting Flat Brain, probably. So now, when the little guy's awake and alert, we plop him on his belly and let him develop Flat Face, though I'm not sure how that's any better. He seems to like it though. He can already shuffle himself sideways like a hermit crab, and he accomplished way more push-ups than I could ever manage. Like six or seven. This kid is ripped.

-Frisco the Cat introduced herself today. She seems to have accepted Young Old into the family with little jealousy, and thankfully there've been no vengeance poops left in the middle of the carpet to demonstrate any unexpressed displeasure. In fact, she seems downright intrigued. She paces around the babe's bassinet, obviously pondering inwardly "What the hell is that thing?"...or maybe just wondering if she'd get yelled at for jumping in for a quick nap.

-I officially drive like your grandma now, 30 mph on the freeway, riding the brakes the whole time, constantly looking in the mirrors, yelling at all those young whippersnappers to slow down and respect the notion of safety. Seriously, driving with a baby in the back is a quick cure for speeding and road rage. Young Old loves the car, instantly falling into the deepest of sleeps. Mental note to self: get that carbon monoxide leak fixed, asap.

I know many of you are by now dying for the details of Mama K's labor and the birthing, including the youngin's specifications. Tomorrow, I swear. I need to sit down with Mama K and compare notes on what all happened, but at the moment she's out cold, and there's no way in hell I'm waking her. That's Young Old's job, which I'm sure he'll perform sooner, rather than later. Until then, thanks for all the support and messages of congratulations...can't wait for you all to meet Young Old in person.

August 21, 2008

...7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Young Old!

As most of you have heard by now, our son was born this Tuesday, August 19th at 7:25am. He's a healthy little wookie...really, he has a full head of thick, black hair, plus a bit of back and shoulder scruff...and we're both deeply in love with him already. I'm still in complete awe of the mantle of responsiblity that's quickly settled upon our shoulders. We're both operating on maybe a dozen hours of sleep between the two of us, spread out over three days at the hospital, so we're more than a little tired, but I knew from all of your wonderful phone messages that you'd be dying for an update. So, yes, we're now safely home, turning off the cellies, locking the door to visitors, and concentrating on that whole parenting thing.

The trip was strange and bone-tiring, filled with many new-felt emotions and the most amazing payoff imaginable. More to follow tomorrow...the bed is singing it's lovely siren song to us weary travelers. Zzzzzzz...

August 17, 2008


Mama K woke up me up this morning to let me know her mucous plug came out.

Some events, well, one just simply doesn't go into detail about.

Anyway, according to our vast library of chilbirth books, this supposedly means that Young Old will squirm his way out anywhere between tonight and three weeks from now. Thanks, science!

August 16, 2008


Mama K requested that I post a few photos here that didn't make it into the newsletter she recently sent out (and which you've probably all received by now).

Here is the now-infamous Pregnancy/Birth Timeline (along with my potential grad school plans) that I jotted down this time last year in a moment of frantic self-chaos. So far, I'd say we've been meeting the deadlines.

An ultrasound of the little belly critter during the second trimester. A bit creepy if you ask me. Looks like he's already taking after his Mama.

Mama K and I at our latest baby shower (yes, we've had more than one...score!) here in Portland's very own Laurelhurst park. Beautiful spot, our favorite folks, heaping piles of loot for Young Old...a wonderful evening all around.

Mama K's sister sculpted this lovely diaper cake for the Portland shower. It was quite the hit, but was a bit chewy for my taste. Thank you anyway, sis.

August 15, 2008

The Countdown Begins...10 Days Till D-Day

Damn you, car seat.

Our first clue should have been the name of the model we selected. The Alpha-Omega Elite Deluxe 3-In-1 Infant to Toddler child restraint. Who comes up with this shit? When the half-destroyed package finally arrived (thanks UPS!), I half expected Jesus to pop out intoning the book of Revelations; "I am the Alpha and the Omega! Bow before me!". Unfortunately, something much more terrifying emerged, the most ungodly complicated contraption heretofore known to me. It's not that it's just any old car seat, it's just this particular model, which came packaged with a 54-page manual detailing step by step the single most efficient way to make oneself feel utterly stupid. Missing from this novel of pain and suffering is a handy glossary, it's absence made all the more felt by diagrams laden with undefined terms such as Buckle Plate, Harness Retainer, Splitter Plate, and LATCH Belt. After a sweat-filled (it's lately been well over 100 degrees) 2 hours of stressful installation/self-torture, the thing felt a bit, Thankfully, we had recently received a tip from another member of the parenthood cult, to head to Segal's, where they would install any car seat for free, regardless of where purchased.

Upon arrival, we signed onto the waiting list; mere moments passed before a British gent ambled over to us, weary resignation plainly evident.

Bummed Limey: "The Alpha-Omega Elite, right?"
Mama K: "That's us!"
Bummed Limey: "Those are the most difficult to install." Looking at Mama K's distended tummy, "Is it for an infant? I've never heard of an infant Alpha-Omega."

Great. Despite the website we purchased this beast from, the box, and the manual all proclaiming it's ability to seat a young pup weighing between 5 and 100 pounds, apparently it's unable to fit a newborn. Call me crazy, but can anyone think of the last time they saw or heard of a 5lb. toddler? So anyway, after getting a second opinion from a fellow car seat technician, who both were amazed at my snug installation, the Brit tech gravely informed us that any hospital staff's inspection of our car seat would result in a denial of baby release due to safety concerns. He felt so bummed for our sake, that he didn't even bother to sell us another, more appropriate seat, instead directing us to a competitor nearby, adding that we could always come back to him and he'd help us install the new one.

So another 100 bucks later ($250 for the pair), we are now the proud parents of two very clunky plastic car, this boy better love us when he finally makes his debut.

August 14, 2008

From Old to Young

Greetings, and welcome to my belated attempt at documenting my wife's waning days of pregnancy (or, what we've affectionately referred to as the Invasion of the Body Snatcher), as well as the trials and tribulations I very much intend to wade through next year as a stay-at-home madman...I mean, father. At the moment, I fully intend on keeping updates coming on the daily; once Baby comes, though, I've heard things tend to become somewhat busy very quickly, so we'll see. This all came about in response to the near-constant barrage of requests made to us by friends and family for updates and pictures. Hopefully now, when we're waist deep in leaky diapers and surrounded by the gluttonous cries of our newest addition, and the phone rings, we can answer in our wearily sleep-deprived voices, "Check the blog."

So no offense, okay?