October 30, 2008

I'm Tired So You Get Pictures Vol. 11

Viddy the pixels, my droogs.

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My friend Jennifer recently stopped by with her daughter T to get her fix of Young Old. I don't blame her; he is addicting.

A rare treat for Young Old. Rather than listen to Papa Old drone on and on while reading that godawful boring blah blah fucking blah out of his Harper's magazine, he was able to feast his eyes and ears upon something a bit more age appropriate. By the way, Portland's library system is wonderful. They sent us a free kid's book in the mail as a way to encourage early reading for the budding bookworm. Thanks nerds!

Really, though, Young Old loves to be read to, sitting there raptly at attention, eyes scanning the colors and shapes, ears pricked for the droll sounds emanating from our lips.

Mama K fresh home from work, soaking up her Baby Boy, whom she misses so dearly throughout the day. Don't worry, Mama K, he knows you love him...

As you can see from the boxes stacked against the wall behind these two angelic faces, we are in the midst of a serious packing effort, in preparation for the closing on our first home sometime tomorrow or early next week. Wish us luck, because frankly it scares the hell out of me how unbelievably crazy we are for doing this in the middle of our nation's current financial Armageddon. *inhale* Breath Old, breath.

Frisco the Cat was very pleased with herself for staging this boycott of Young Old's thievery of her adult playmates' attention. Mama K went to use her breast shield (a form of body armor utilized to protect against Young Old's Jaws-like chompers), and found Frisco the Cat's favorite mouse cuddling with the faux-nipple. Good kitty, way to stick it to the WoMan.

October 29, 2008

Young Old, The Movie III

Enjoy this very charming and very sideways video of Nessa Bug and Young Old having an absolute ball. Also, a few other pictures from our visit to Bellingham, WA:

video



October 28, 2008

Belly Bedlam in Bellingham

Our weekend in Bellingham was a bit of a self-induced whirlwind. You see, I just had to hit up all of my favorite grub joints, despite said locations numbering well above the number of meals that we'd be eating while in town. Boomer's Burgers, La Fiama, The Bagelry, Mallard's Ice Cream, and the Boundary Bay Brewery were just a few of the items on our "to-do" list. We hit pretty much everything, even with doing breakfast at Auntie Annie's each day, and enjoying a dinner with her folks (Mary and Brian, it was a pleasure, as always!). The few remaining hours when we weren't stuffing our faces and drowning our bellies, we mostly hung around the house letting Nessa Bug bask in Young Old's cuteness. "He's so cute!" was easily her favored saying during our stay. Young Old was great the entire trip, barely crying, limiting his fussiness to a manageable level, and mostly spent his time staring at Nessa Bug with wide delighted eyes, thinking she was just the most entertaining person he'd yet experienced. When the younglings were slumbering, Mama K and I got in some much needed adult conversation time with Auntie Annie...thanks, girl, it's nice to know we can still communicate using complex words rather than relying exclusively on grunts and long vowel sounds.

All in all, it was a great visit, and thanks go out to Auntie Annie and Nessa Bug for sharing their space with the three of us. Hope we didn't disrupt the routine much. Much love to the two of you (and Richard!).

A few pictures:



October 27, 2008

Hi From Nessa

[I recently received this email from Nessa Bug, regarding our visit at her and Auntie Annie's home last week. Thought I'd share it with all of you, it's that cute. She's six years old, almost seven this next month. -Ed.]

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I had a fun time with baby [Young Old] this weekend. He is the cutest baby in the whole wide world . I just want to give him all the love. It was so fun to have him come over. He is a squirm a sauras .not a snuggle sauras . He is just a monkey .

LOVE YA
NESSA BUG


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We love you, too, Nessa. Young Old misses you already!

October 26, 2008

Young Old's First Adventure

Having decided that we had been neglecting our friends up north in Bellingham, Washington for entirely too long, combined with the fact that we had been adventure-starved ever since the little man was bestowed upon us, we decided to head out on a four-day round trip journey by train to visit our dear friend Auntie Annie and her daughter Nessa Bug. This was to be Young Old's first rail voyage, unfortunate only in that it was not a proper "riding of the rails" filled with tramps, fleas, cop pursuits and knife fights. Ah well...all the same, it was a grand trip, Mama K and I enjoying the magnificent scenery scrolling past our window, Young Old seeing how many times he could vomit and shit his drawers within a six hour time span. Really, though, taking the train beat driving any day. We didn't have to stop and pull over every 30 minutes to feed or change the little guy, potentially making a 5 1/2 hour drive into an 8 hour nightmare. The Amtrak train has a diner car fully-stocked with tasty nibblets and life-warming coffee slurps. Onboard bathrooms left something to be desired in the sanitation department, but all the same, saved us time as we never stopped getting closer to our final destination. We'd also like to think we were being environmentally friendly by utilizing this oldest form of mass transit, though I'm not sure what powers these suckers...steam, coal, the blood of gypsies? All in all, the round trip tickets for Mama K, Young Old, and I came to $60; no complaints there. Hands down, this is my favored method of travel from here on out.

More on the trip tomorrow. Until then, here are a few photos from the beginning of our journey out of Union Station aboard the Cascade Express.

Choo choo.

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I always vowed that I'd never be that guy, you know, the Dad with twelve bags. And yet here we are, lugging around enough supplies and rations to feed and cloth an army for six months of jungle warfare.

Young Old, waiting for the train to arrive, says "Boooooring. Let's get this show on the road, folks."

Boarding the metallic beast of burden.

Young Old, future hobo.

October 24, 2008

Bike Date

A few weeks back now, Mama K and I were treated to some babysitting via Grandpa Alaska and Auntie Ren. Taking full advantage of a few hours of much needed respite, we decided to test out Mama K's now-healed nether-region by heading out on a multiple mile bike ride, her first since incubation. Suiting up in our assorted nerd gear, we dusted off the bikes, did a bit of tire maintenance, and then broke loose into the neighborhood on our two-wheeled vehicles of fun-filled speedery. Our destination was the coffee shop Crema, a regular weekend morning haunt of ours when we used to live further east near 28th and NE Clackamas. It was an exhilarating ride, Mama K openly giggling with the rush of air coursing through her geeky brain bucket, me struggling to make headway in my 138 lb. beach cruiser (my commuter bike was stolen this summer by a sneakily Damnable Cocksucker). Upon reaching our destination, we ordered a pair of individual pots of tea (mint or some decaffeinated hippy herb for her, sencha green tea for moi) and set up shop outside on the warm, busy concrete sidewalk for a bit of the old "conversation." We ended up expressing some of our more recent frustrations with being parents, lovers, and friends, and balancing it all with social lives, work, purchasing a home, and a constant stream of visitors since The Birth (no dis intended, folks, we do love you!). Tempers were raised, tears were shed, and honesty was on the tip of each of our tongues, but in the end, once again we saw eye to eye, embraced warmly, and left the table feeling united once more in our hearts, ready to tackle any challenges that lie before us. Pedaling back home, we couldn't keep our eyes off one another, smiles lighting up at the mere shared glance, the spark reignited after a long couple of weeks...

I love you, Mama K. Raising this boy with you is, so far, the height of my life's happiness.

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The nerdiest photograph ever witnessed by humankind:

October 23, 2008

Papa Old Crashes

A week or so ago, Mama K came home from work to find the first floor of our apartment unexpectedly vacant. Upon calling out my name and getting no response, she walked up the stairs, peeked into the bedroom to witness this scene:

The previous night had been a late one, not even hitting the pillow until after 3:00am, then waking up the next morning around 7:00am when Young Old demanded some belly-fill. Horrible diaper rash, full-bore growth spurt, hourly feedings, explosive gas, and diaper change after diaper change (literally, I changed his diaper four times in a row...just when the clean one was on, BAM!, insta-shitty pants). This all added up to a very tired Daddy Old, and a very cranky Young Old who gave me the "Get your effing hands off of me" look every time I attempted to put him down for a nap. Finally, exhaustion stalled my engine...propping an alert and grumpy Boy next to me, I snuggled up and passed out, my hand gripping the youngun's waist so he couldn't sneak off and shoot birds with his pellet gun. I'm not sure how long we were there, but damn, it sure was heart-warming looking back at these pictures.

October 22, 2008

I'm Tired So You Get Pictures Vol. 10

You know the drill. Very little sleep, no energy to write, lots of cute pictures.

We both win.

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Like I said, this kid is growing up in a major way. Holding his own bottle? Sheesh. Next thing we know, he'll be stealing the car (just make sure you fill it up before you bring it back, son).

Young Old and Grandpa Alaska enjoying a deeply intellectual mind-reading session.

He's a happy one, that's for sure.

Auntie Ren displaying Young Old's bath cocoon.

It was great having you, Auntie Ren and Grandpa Alaska. Thanks for bonding with The Boy; thirty years from now, I'm sure he, too, will appreciate it.

October 21, 2008

Lunar Cycle No.2

[Apologies for the unexplained absence, loyal readers. Mama K and I took Young Old on a train journey to Bellingham, Washington last Friday, and only just returned last night. More on the trip later once photos are downloaded. Now on to our regular broadcasting... -Ed.]

The little brain goblin controlling Young Old's growth recently hit the "Overdrive" button. Our little son has become not so little anymore, adding a handful of inches over this time last month, and almost doubling his weight, likely the result of his voracious mammary-milk appetite. Sometimes I have to remind myself how much I'd be eating if I was shooting for close to 400 lbs. by next month. His muscle mass is expanding at a ridiculous rate, allowing him to hold his head up as long as he'd like, to stand up with very little assistance, and to sock me so hard my eye bleeds. He's discovered his fingers, and has begun to hold his pacifier in place and assist with holding up his milk bottle. He's also fascinated by everything he brushes up against, running his fingers through my beard, grabbing onto his own hair, and attempting to yank his ears off. The same goes for the tongue...anything remotely close to his mouth now gets the tongue treatment...jab jab, lick lick. Often, he simply tests the air like a cobra, attempting to locate unwary prey, like the lens of my glasses. Our favorite part about whatever milestones he's nailing is the new found method of verbal communication. His eewing, grunting, gurgling, aahing, and coooing strike a chord in whichever brain region of ours is responsible for smiles and laughter. We literally burst into love giggles whenever he decides he wants to give this whole "talk" thing a spin. Lately, we've been holding cooing conversations for ten, twenty minutes at a time. The Boy and I are bonding, and it feels great whenever I step into the room and he looks straight into my eyes and gives me a huge smile, then proceeds to babble what I hope is a "Don't worry, Dad. You're doing just fine."

Young Old at two months:

October 16, 2008

Auntie Ren and Grandpa Alaska Come to Town

Last week, Young Old's Grandpa Alaska (Mama K's father) came down out of the great Northern wilderness to visit with his grandson for the first time. He seemed a bit awkward around him at first, which is understandable as he hasn't dealt with one of these slimy little critters in almost three decades, but quickly settled right into the flow of things, helping me out immensely during the days when Mama K was away at work. His Auntie Ren also drove down from Seattle two weekends in a row to help us out with all the snuggling, feeding, and diapering (oddly enough, she volunteered each and every time to clean his arse up, with a relish that Mama K and I distinctly lack...almost makes us wish she moved in with us). Between the two of them, Mama K and I got some much needed rest from the less exciting baby duties, and we just wanted to give our immense thanks for all the help, fam. Come anytime, and not just 'cause you clean a mean diaper...

A few photos:



October 15, 2008

Papa Old's Psych Ward

Young Old recently discovered his limbs, and since that point has been in a near-constant state of manic arm and leg frenzy. Face punching fist jabs and legs running through air like a Warner Bros. cartoon character, this kid is going gangbusters over his new found abilities. Now I'm normally not one for inhibiting personal growth or limiting individual freedoms, but today I about had it. Young Old was gyrating and kung fu punching with such gusto, that he was stressing himself out, repeatedly socking himself in the eye, knocking his heels together, twisting his back and neck out of working order, etc. So like any orderly dealing with an out-of-control lunatic, I mummy-wrapped Young Old nice and snug in a straight jacket-like cocoon of relaxation and limited self-harm potential. We both giggled (well, he gurgled) at how silly the whole circumstance was, then he gave me a look like "Okay, jokes over. Let me out." To which I replied, "Nap time," which, thankfully, he was cool with.

My little locomotive loco:

October 14, 2008

A Loooong Day

Very tiring day, on the stay-at-home front. Young Old has a distressingly painful diaper rash, and erupts in shrill screams the instant he #1s or #2s it. What this means is that I changed 4,287 diapers today, and my quadriceps are still killin' me from going up and down the stairs.

Mama K came home to this.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzonked.

And yes, that is a cord coming out of Young Old's sleeve. When his battery runs low, we have to plug him in for an hour or so to revitalize him. This baby thing is a bit low-tech, if you ask me.

October 13, 2008

I'm Tired So You Get Pictures Vol. 9

There will be very little typing tonight, not really because I'm tired, but because my finger tips are burned, due to an unfortunate kitchen accident involving bacon (as should all good accidents).

So a few pictures of the burbling babe:

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Mama K soothes the beast.

Homeboy hates going to sleep, but, much like his father, really dislikes waking up.

Frisco the Cat wants to snuggle, but says "Close enough."

Our very own Nuclear Family Unit.

October 11, 2008

Reflexive Love


There's something deeply heartwarming and precious about Young Old's fidgety phalanges stilling themselves to embrace our much larger digits. I know, I know, it's a reflex, this constant gripping of any firm object within reach, but as Young Old matures I get the feeling that there's love in this reflex, a sense of peace and comfort, a sort of "thanks for helping me out, mom/dad" conveyance. It instantly garners a smile, no matter how tired or grumpy our previous moods were, righting our relationship, waking us back up to the reality of how much this little guy means to us. We love you, Young Old, even if that too is an instinctive reflex of sorts. It seems, my little buddy, that we're all hardwired to care for one another in that deepest sense of the word.

And hopefully, we can build on that for the rest of our lives together...

October 10, 2008

I'm Tired So You Get Pictures Vol. 8

Just returned from our first party (congrats Green and Ms. Vicious!) since The Boy was excreted, and we're feeling pretty spent.

Pictures are definitely in order. Enjoy.

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Young Old and I researching infant developmental milestones together. I'm trying to get him on track for writing his own Wikipedia entry by no later than age 5.

Our Little Dragon. Rarrgh.

Frisco the Cat listening attentively to Young Old's hushed instructions on how best to help him escape his restraints. The plan failed.

Our friends Becky and Jesse sent us this great wooden train spelling out Young Old's moniker. Thanks folks! With all this locomotive gear, Young Old is destined to be a Foamer.

The at-home gang, cold chillin' with grilled cheese, fool.

October 9, 2008

Hip Hop and Young Old Don't Stop

Young Old is still dropping them gurgle rhymes, breaking those burped out beats, and standing (or squatting) in his (likely poop-filled) B-boy stance at all times possible. He's a fiend for the rap music, so I'm sure you can imagine the excitement Young Old felt when receiving this very appropriate onesie in the mail from our Brooklyn bud Holly, showcasing a perfect blend of his musical and political upbringing (or is that brainwashing?).

I'm a bit partial to this photo, as Young Old is demonstrating the perfect rap-induced sneer while bumping a bit of the old Aesop Rock.
Thanks, Ho!

October 8, 2008

Snout Genetics

Who's proboscis did Young Old inherit? You make the call...

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The Mother:

The Father ('scuse the blackheads, I forgot to exfoliate for the viewer's pleasure):

The Boy:

Personally, I think it's a perfect blending...Mama K's squat Welsh blow hole, and my Romanesque trunk nostril.

October 7, 2008

Our First Date

This last weekend, Mama K and I were treated to a night out on the town, sans Young Old, who we left behind at home in the capable hands of his Auntie and Grandad. This was to be our first moment apart from the little bugger since impregnating The Wife almost a year back. Though we were both very confident in the feeding, cleaning, and snuggling abilities of our relatives, both of us admittedly felt a bit of unease the moment we got into the car and found ourselves not having to strap the squirmworm into his safety seat. The car felt, well...empty. It wasn't until this moment that we both truly felt the meaning of the word "family," and how much we had begun to take for granted the fact that we were no longer a pair, but a trio. Our third wheel was missing (what does that term even mean?), and the ride that is our relationship suddenly felt a bit off kilter. We spent the next few minutes rationalizing our decision to head out for some "us" time, taking deep breaths and repeating the mantra, "We are not bad parents, we are not bad parents, we are not bad parents."

But time heals all, and the night went on, leaving our sudden feelings of guilt and hesitancy at the wayside. The evening was to be that penultimate form of the "Date Night," the dinner and a movie combo. At our old standby for special occasions, The Farm Cafe, we found ourselves low on the seating priority list, expected due to their lack of a reservation system. We each sat down at the inky-dark wooden bar with a micro brew in hand (Eugene's Ninkasi Red for me, a Berkeley-brewed chocolate porter for Mama K) and slowly rediscovered interruption-free conversation, which flowed non-stop throughout the wait for a table and into the meal, at which point all words had no room upon our lips as we devoured plates of hand-crafted cheese, local fruit, scrumptious salad, and crusty warm bread. We continued with Grilled Corn and Smoky Blue Risotto for Mama K, and the infamous Farmhouse Veggie Burger (best in town, and, in all honesty, probably the world) for moi. All in all, a very satisfying meal...good food, good words, good vibe.

Floating off to the car, bellies bursting with delight, we raced up Sandy Boulevard to one of our many great local independent movie theaters, the recently remodeled Roseway. Big Coen Brothers fans, we eagerly purchased tickets for their newest film project, Burn After Reading. As we settled into our comfy seats, gluttonous fists clutching sugary nuggets, we both realized that we'd hadn't so much as thought of our little man back home in hours, totally enjoying and absorbing one another's presence, not as parental partners, but as friends and lovers. The reel (actually, I think it's a digital set-up) rolled, and the laughter spilled forth. A very funny film, filled, as all of their films are, with wonderful characters, witty dialogue, and deliciously surprising gore. Not a great Coen Bros. film, but certainly a good one. Credits rolled, and we wearily slouched out to the car (hey, we're getting old and responsible and all that shit), headed home to bed and our beautiful burping boy.

Walking in the door, we simultaneously let out a collective sigh of relief; Young Old was not only still alive, but he was fed, diapered, and pleasantly slumbering away. Though the night alone as a couple was much needed and much appreciated, it completely filled our hearts with love to see him again, to become three once more.

However Young Old, and please take no offense, we will be making Date Night a weekly tradition from here on out. Gotta keep the love alive, my little friend.


Auntie Ren and Grandpa Alaska, thank you so much for making this possible...