March 31, 2009

One Down, Eight to Go

Over the last twenty-four hours, both of our children have had near-death experiences. These back-to-back events have left us rattled, and more than tired.

This morning, while playing upstairs with Young Old, both of us still in our pajamas, I heard a loud crash downstairs and instantly knew that Frisco the Cat had been up to nothing good. Setting Young Old down to play with his wooden puzzles, I rushed downstairs and into a slaughterhouse. Blood was splattered all over the living room and trailed into the dining area, where Frisco crouched meekly, no doubt worried about my predictable anger over her nibbling of the plants (which, we later discovered, was indeed the case). Walking towards her, she took off running around the entire bottom floor of the house, tracking drops of blood everywhere. Finally cornering and then swooping her up, I noticed her front paw was cut open and still rapidly spurting blood. For a solid ten seconds which lasted an eternity, I paced back and forth, not knowing what to do, let alone how the hell to do it. In a flash I also realized that I didn't have a vehicle to take her to the veterinary hospital, and that our public transit system had a strict "no pets" policy. Grabbing my phone, I frantically dialed Mama K on her cell and at work. No luck, so I left a pair of shaky-sounding messages. Then Frisco the Cat started wailing, all thoughts of phone calls fled my mind, I grabbed a handful of paper towels and a roll of duct tape, held her squirming bloody paw steady, and quickly wrapped up a makeshift bandage. That's when Young Old began crying. Oh shit, what now? Throwing Frisco the Cat into the bathroom and closing the door so she couldn't escape and open her wound even further, I ran upstairs to find that Young Old had shit himself with such gusto that it had shot out of his diaper and up his back. Quickly changing his diaper, I then threw some clothes on, intending to call a taxi. Whether sensing my frantic desperation to get Frisco the Cat to the vet, or suddenly realizing it was time for some mammary fluids, Young Old burst into screaming tears. Running downstairs, I set the little man on the one blood-free patch of ground remaining, got a bottle warming up, then went to check on Frisco the Cat. Hunkered behind the toilet, shivering with pain, she struggled desperately as I stuffed her into her cat carrier and set her by the door, and all the while Young Old is screaming bloody murder in the background. Setting the cat by the door, I try calling Mama K once more...success!!! Upon hearing that it was an emergency, she told me she'd be home in fifteen minutes. Only now did I begin to breath. The bottle warmed, Young Old and I perched on the couch while I fed him. Midway through, I hear Frisco the Cat struggling mightily behind me in her cage, and look back in time to see her pulling back the zipper and escaping upstairs, sans bandage. Aw, fuck. Setting Young Old down once again (and now he's pissed ), I found Frisco the Cat wedged under our bed. Taking her back downstairs, I quickly re-bandaged her, put her back in her carrying case, and resumed feeding a very very angry Young Old. Like an angel, Mama K burst through the door, almost fainted from the amount of blood pooling everywhere, then quickly recovered and packed the car with the cat and the necessary baby gear, while I topped off the Young One. Once finished, we rapidly hit the road and made it to the vet in record time, with one now oddly quiet, very still cat. Things weren't looking good. When all was said and done, Frisco the Cat was put under, had three tendons reattached, received a load of stitches and came back to the house with her entire arm bandaged up. We still have no idea what she cut herself on, and have a long few days ahead of us, caring for the cat and attempting to keep her from chewing her bandage off.

Last night, though an event much less lengthy and complex, Young Old nevertheless sent fear scrambling into the depths of our loving hearts. During our dinners, Young Old often sits next to the table in his high chair and nibbles on toasted "o"s while eating a bite of pureed fruits and veggies every now and then, with nary a problem. This time, though, we had apparently fed him a spoonful of sweet potatoes too soon after he had popped a bit of his cereal in his mouth, and Young Old soon found himself choking for air, eyes bulging, face turning completely pale, eyes burning red with exertion, his tiny little hands waving above his head with confusion as he lost the ability to breath. With only a moment of hesitation brought on by the realization of how fragile our son's life is, we quickly undid his belt, sat him up straight, and scooped his mouth for blockage. Sure enough, in the crook of my index finger, amidst a swamp of orange goop, sat a too dry piece of cereal. Immediately, Young Old began to gasp air into this small lungs, eyes watering up with happiness, hands grasping for ours. It was a truly terrifying moment, and it wasn't until much later, once we had grasped the enormity of the occasion, that we finally shed our tears of fear and relief.

Love to you both, Young Old and Frisco the Cat. It means the world to us that you've chosen to grace us with your lives for at least another day. We'll do our best to cherish every one of them from here on out...

March 27, 2009

Young Old, Lunar Cycle No. 7

Young Old, amazingly enough, continues to mature and build upon his increasingly diverse set of skills.

This month's new tricks:

-Mention "Young Old" in the same room as the lil' guppy, and he'll turn his head instantly towards you...that is, if he's not doing something vastly more important, like playing with his toys or dirtying his drawers, at which point he'll completely ignore your very existence.

-We're working overtime on developing his language skills, and he's beginning to associate certain objects and people with their proper names, showing deep interest whenever "Mama" or "baba" (bottle) are mentioned. Taking after his father, he reserves his highest form of excitement for the word "booby."

-If you've been reading the posts lately, you'll know that Young Old is now eating foods other than titty milk, and has even began to nibble on an occasional carrot stick or pop a toasted "o" in his maw for a bit of slobbery gnawing. It'd be all the more exciting for us if it didn't now mean that his diaper doodads resemble in both scent and texture those of an adult. Someone is benefiting from the new diet, and it sure isn't Mama K or I.

-Young Old has begun to self-entertain for longer and longer periods of time, sometimes for up to an hour at a stretch, lost in his own little world of colorful blocks, rattles, and fuzzy animals. Another month or two, and we'll be ready for me to head back to work while he babysits himself.

-When wanting to be picked up or snuggled, the youngling has begun to hold his arms out to us and wiggle his little fingers. It's absolutely precious. That is, until he begins to scream bloody murder because we took more than 0.000193 seconds to react to his request. Acquiring patience shall be our goal for next month.

-Blabber, blabber, blab, gooooga, babababababa, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaai, daaaaadaaaaabababa, ohoooooooh, gigggle, scream, shriek, spluuuuuuter, spit, burp, fart. Yes, Young Old has found his vocal box, and night and day has begun to take full advantage of his discovery. He has since become my alarm clock, waking me up with a "blahblahblahblahblahblahblah." I can't wait to discuss Goethe and Kant with my budding conversationalist.

-The Young One is now an avid cup drinker (water only, of course), and a sippy cup has become a regular companion of his. When we go out to eat, it feels like we spend more time helping him sip out of our iced-water glasses than feeding our hungry bellies, a worthy sacrifice as it's just so damn adorable watching him slurping away.

-He's sitting completely unassisted now, and has graduated to using a high chair at home and at restaurants. It's nice to have our laps back, if only for a few hours a day.

-No crawling yet, but he's able to squat on all fours with a bit of assistance, and can scoot backwards or pivot around in circles. Seeing how much work it is to deal with toddlers, we're not complaining that he's putting off complete mobility. How else am I going to leave him unattended during my four hour naps?

-Little Old is now sleeping in his own room, in his own crib, and counting Zzzzs for 6-7 hours at a stretch. It feels strange to wake up semi-rested now, and I kinda miss the blurry vision, hallucinations, and general fatigue-induced stupor. Wait, no, that was hell, and I'm never going back.

-Young Old and I have constant laugh offs. He'll giggle-squawk at me, pause and wait patiently for me to belly guffaw, then try to outdo me. It's hilarious, and I hope to get it on video for your viewing pleasure. The laughter is the thing I cherish most about raising this child. It makes all the sleepless nights, bio-hazard cleanups, and loss of freedom actually worth it. One laugh from my son, and the world's worries melt away into an eye-squinting, belly-warming, ear-to-ear grin.

-As previously stated, Young has discovered his twig and berries, and at every opportunity will head south on an expedition of discovery. Charming, my boy, simply charming.

-Not sure when infant pups develop an understanding of object permanence, but it seems that Young Old has begun to grasp the concept, often moving things out of the way to get at a previously visible object. Pretty cool to play around with, though he just gets mad when I try and hide his smokes.

Young Old at seven months:

March 23, 2009

Break from the Babe

I'll be heading off into the wilds of California for the next six or so days, completely solo. It's a much needed daddy-break, and a good chance for Mama K to soak up some alone time with Young Old during her spring break. Oh, how she misses him so during her days at the office.

Not sure if there will be any posts forthcoming during this time, but check back in a few days and who knows?, you might be pleasantly surprised.

That is, if I'm not having too much fun playing hooky from life's responsibilities.

Fare thee well, and so long, shitty diapers!

Mama K, I miss you and The Boy already.

March 22, 2009

I'm Tired So You Get Pictures, Vol. 21

Late night, this night last. Sleepy eyes, and mushy brain, an uninspired post is made.

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The three of us merry musketeers headed out to Hood River for a Mama K work trip. Young Old and I spent the weekend exploring the sleepy rivertown and lounging around in the hotel room. He's becoming very adept at self-entertainment, which is an extremely welcome development.

Hood River Hoodlums.

We try and squeeze in a storytelling session at least once a day. The Boy is quickly growing a voracious appetite for the written word, along with a literal taste for pretty pictures.

Auntie Ren and the Young One, maxing and relaxing.

Educator Ali and our Duke of Diapers.

Our friend Ina's Coco and Young Old were both mesmerized by the pile of bacon on my plate at a recent brunch. You've got an eye for the delicious, kids. Bacon > Boob Juice, indeed.

A pair of older photos from Grandma A:

Uncle Railroad and our Boy Dribble.

It's true...they really do grow up much too quickly. This was only a month or two ago, and he looks so damn tiny.

March 19, 2009

We're Bouncing

This kid is gangbusters for the bouncy chair.
video video
Shiiiiit, I'd crawl in there for a bounce or two if only I could.

March 17, 2009

Young Old Moves Out

Last night, Young Old finally exercised his independence, bravely gathered his resolve, and packed up all his belongings, moving down the hall to his very own room.

Let me tell you, it was a sleepless night.

We've developed a minor case of separation anxiety, though Young Old is absolutely thrilled to have his own space for once.

Let's just hope he at least drops us a call once in a while.

We miss you, Little Buddy.

March 16, 2009

Young Old, The Movie XIV

Young Old was mad at us for a week for withholding his daily dosage of chocolate cake, but teasing him is an essential part of our parenting style.
video

March 13, 2009

Pictures from Illinois, Pt. 3

The final batch...

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Cousin Busch Lt. sporting the marsupial sack.

The infamous "Walk To The Square."

Great Uncle Dutch, playing the babe-accordian.

Cousin Amanda and our bare-footed country boy.

Uncle Ginger, reigning Champ of the Curried Chili. Young Old is obviously getting tired of all this picture posing.

Cousins Matt and Megs, getting in some last minute baby-time before we headed back to Portland.

Take care, fam. We look forward to the next visit...tag, you're it.

March 12, 2009

Pictures from Illinois, Pt. 2

Young Old meets his first baby, Alexis, his eighth cousin thrice removed. It was a touching moment. Really, just look.

Young Old with Mama K, her Cousin Stephanie, and "that other squirmy thing that looks kinda like me, but not really, and makes kinda the same sounds as me, but not really, and likes to play with all my toys, which I'm cool with as long as one of these giants wipes her spit off afterward, 'cause we just met."

"Hey! I can do that, too! You're cool, in my book."

Bath time at Great-grandma's.

As you can see, Young Old's patience is wearing thin with all the obligatory family photos. "Okay, let's hurry this up people...gotta date with a diaper change and some boobs in three minutes."

March 10, 2009

Pictures from Illinois, Pt. 1

A month or so back, Young Old, Mama K, Auntie Ren, Uncle Railroad, and meself headed out East, on The Boy's first plane trip, to visit Mama K's family in Illinois. Flying into Chicago, we rented a car and headed south to the small town of Macomb...Young Old handled the long hours of travel like a G, barely fussing, soaking in all the new sights and sounds, loving all the extra time with Mama K, and just basically have a great time. Arriving in Macomb, Young Old quickly touched all his relatives' hearts with his loving charm (and a generous dose of vomit). He handled the dozens of new faces extremely well, soaking up all the attention as he was passed from hand to hand, and delighted in meeting another baby born only a few days before him. It was good times for all, a true midwestern experience, with time spent at The Pub eating fried things smothered in cheese sauce, walks to the town square, tears shed over the death of the local Made-Rite burger shop/health inspector's nightmare, innumberable cans of PBR and Busch Light consumed, and the amazing experience that is the All-American Chili Cook-Off.

All in all, a great experience for the little one, though, goddamn, if it wasn't the dal-garn hardest thing to get him back on his sleep/feed/shit routine once we returned. We're only now coming back into focus around these here parts.

Anyway, thanks folks for the hospitality and the love. Young Old misses you already.

The inevitable barrage of pictures, with more to come tomorrow:

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Young Old enjoying his first visit with Great Grandma J.

Auntie Ren feeding Young Old the contents of his previous diaper. We're all about recycling in the Northwest.

Young Old demonstrating the proper way to play with the new toy Great Aunt Mo bestowed upon him.

That's a mischievous grin if I've ever seen one.

Lap time with Great Aunt Janis.

A moment alone amidst the writhing chaos that is a family reunion.

Great Aunt Marsha getting some baby love.

"You guys feast on delicious homemade chili, while I get to gnaw on plastic. What's up with that?"

March 9, 2009

Young Old the Liver

Of the cards we've received for The Boy, here's another personal favorite. This one's from my pal, Reid.

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March 6, 2009

Young Old Makes a Discovery

Young Old found his genitals today and thinks they're just the coolest.

It's all downhill from here, right?

March 5, 2009

Parental Advice

To parents and parents-to-be, a bit of hard-earned wisdom.

Don't let your child wave his arms outside the window whilst driving past mailboxes.
Sorry, Young Bud, but I'm sure you'll quickly learn how to compensate for your loss.

March 2, 2009

Fattening the Lamb

We recently introduced Young Old to solid foods, and the boy has taken to it like a newborn to titty. So far we've been sticking to the basics: rice cereal cut with breast milk, cooked and mashed fruits and veggies, chewy hunks of beef jerky, etc. The Kid has some appetite on him.

A few flicks of the first several feedings, with movies to follow tomorrow.

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I love the look of complete concentration on Mama K's face. She received the honors of providing the first taste, since, in a way, this was the first step towards turning him away from her life-giving milk supply (though we'll continue to supplement each meal with it).

Papa Old's turn.

Mikey likes it. Frisco the Cat, seen creepily in the background, wasn't sure what the hell was going on.

Taking a break...deep breaths, buddy.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Don't cross the streams!

All done! Don't ask about the sock or the teething ring. He performs these little tricks when our heads are turned.
He looks seriously fattened already. A few more weeks of this, and we'll all be enjoying some foie gras de bebe.