Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For all you TOP CHEF fans, this is what a new taste profile looks like

The other day, Jeff, Jack and I hiked up the zoo hill, and then hiked up to the National Cathedral on Wisconsin. Although no Grouse Grind (check it out on Wikipedia ... Jeff and I did it in Vancouver pre-Jack), the climb is steady and fairly steep.

To reward our virtue, we decided to dine at Cactus Cantina. Oh well, what better way to pack on the recently-lost calories. While we were there, I took our good friend Deena's advice about how mushed-up avocado is a perfect dining out option for wee ones. So the adorable waiter brought us half an avocado and we mushed it up.

What you see below is Jack's experiencing the new taste of avocado. Jeff calls it his Pirate look. We will be trying avocado again. Enjoy!

Look! You can finally see those two teeth that he was working on a while ago. And yes, the butternut squash was delicious. It didn't all go onto the bib.
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We found this hilarious little French jacket among the many lovely hand-me-downs that our good friends Anita and Mark have given us. The body of it fits just right. I think, though, that the hood may already be a little small. Those French babies must be major pinheads, because Jack's always in the 25th percentile for head size, and look at how the hood pushes his cheeks forward. It's like a push-up bra for his face.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The thirty minute day...

Jack sleeps 2xs during the day. Each time he is down for exactly 30 minutes. I swear Rolex could set their watches by him.

That means that 2xs a day, I have exactly 30 minutes to do whatever it is that I need to do sans bebe.

Today was a special treat. Roberto and company are here working on the house (painting the decks, fixing a leak, etc.) They needed some assistance on what to do with the lovely LARGE piece of furniture on the second story back deck. At the same time, Sandra has arrived to clean the house - GOD LOVE HER! She's been unable to come for a while so her appearance is timely and welcomed. The two dogs are also underfoot. And then there's the Master of the house, who is loveable as ever but has quite the inquisitive mind.

We also have to coordinate what room to be in so that Sandra can clean and not have us underfoot. At any moment another contractor is showing up soon to give us an estimate on putting down field stone on the front steps.

So, where I thought my last job required a highly sophisticated level of multi-tasking, it was a piece of cake by comparison. We are at the stage where Jack needs to be on the ground exploring and learning about his environment. On the other hand, there are times when he needs to be out of harm's way (e.g., 5-6 different adults and 2 dogs moving about with sharp implements and cleaning materials...)

You can only put your child in so many child restraining devices (high chair, exer-saucer, crib) before things start to melt down. And inevitably, if he notices you are vulnerable, he's going to surprise you with a second and entirely unexpected morning poop.

Speaking of morning poops (come on, it's a baby blog of course there are going to be poop stories), Jack has this neat new trick on the changing table. I saw something like it in Cirque Du Soleil. You put him down on his back and he immediately corkscrews the top half of his body so that he top half is facing down...and the bottom half is struggling to follow. Not so easy to take off, clean up remains and rediaper with the Squirming Wonder using his remarkably developed muscles.

The other day I thought "TRIUMPH, I have him diapered." I began resuiting him in his onesie, track pants and socks, and thought -- better check and make sure everything is aligned, tightly secured, etc. (We've had some unpleasant escaping poop situations and have taken our friend Anita's advice - diapers can't be too tight on a baby!). Lo and behold, I recheck the diaper and I have given him a Brazilian thong diaper. Interesting but highly ineffective. I am double and triple checking everything these days!

Off to enjoy the last 21 minutes of freedom until 4 ish this afternoon.

More pics later.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Lost Symbol

For those of you who are Dan Brown fan's (DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons), he's just come out with his newest book. The story takes place in Washington DC and the very first scene takes place at the Scottish Rite Temple on 16th Street. We stopped by for a photo shoot.

This is the temple. It's a very cool building, but we've never been inside. We've both started the novel but have not had a lot of time to read lately!
There are two Sphinxes (is that the plural of sphinx?). Jack did not seem overwhelmed by them.

We will let you know if we figure out what the lost symbol is. Jack thinks it is the Cheerio.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I have a socks thing

It's a little strange, but I love his socks. Jack may single handedly (footedly?) bring striped socks back into vogue.

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Can I get a little help here?

Jack has discovered that the bumpers in his crib actually move.

How could you not snatch him out of the crib after seeing this cute pic?
Well, that's the life of a photojournalist.....

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The Furry Kissing Bandit Strikes!

Note the sneaky brown dog in the background.

He will NOT be denied.

He strikes!

Success! (Hmmmm. This tastes vaguely of sweet potatoes....)
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Labor Day at the McDonoughs

Jeff, Jack and I snuck up to Philly at the last minute on Saturday of Labor Day. Happily we missed traffic and the weather was beautiful. Sunny, warm, with little hints of fall in the air. We barbequed, played baseball (The McDonough Boys --Mark and Michael-- beat Dave and Mark 20-17). The kids were great with Jack. Mary Ann and Dave also worked very hard at making us feel better about the foibles of parenting.

This is Michael, sitting with his parents. He's the middle child. He thinks about things.... alot. He is one of those people that you enjoy just listening to, because life just spills off his tongue. He is already a wiz at the piano. Uncle Mark is predicting Philosopher-king.

This is my namesake. He's the youngest and has the heart of a lion. He's a gambler, a fighter, and has a heart the size of Mt. McKinley. He's also a goof when he wants to be. Underestimate him at your own peril.
This is Anna. Apparently, she scored in the highest 2% in the world on some third grade math test. She really likes art and reading, though. She was so sweet with Jack. She is built like Allison Felix and we all hold out hope that she will carry on Jelly Bean Grandpa's legacy.

Jeff is snuffling with Jack. Snuffling involves burying your face into the many folds of Jack's neck and blowing bubbles. He seems to like least that is what we think the peals of laughter indicate. Mary Ann...seen it all before!

We were teaching Mary Ann the classic political picture-taking technique of "down and out." (Lead with your chin...down and out...hides the chin-neck effectively!). She's really quite beautiful.

This is Dave. He is the anchor of the whole place. When you are in Dave's presence, you find yourself thinking "ok, so the world is gonna' be ok."

He bbq'd steaks for us. And made us laugh. And made us think.

We love Dave. And seriously, how many people can say that about their brother-in-law from Brooklyn?

* * * *

We had a great time especially in the new guest room. We were treated like kings. Mary Ann was particularly hilarious with her gift basket with all sorts of timely baby-related candy, like Baby Ruths, Peanut Chews, Sugar Babies, etc. She also had this laugh-out-loud hilarious frog puppet that ribbets various tunes like Old McDonald. (I know some of you are thinking I am quite daft, but I am telling you, that frog is genius. Kinda reminds me of the talking/singing frog from the Disney cartoons.)

Dave and Mary Ann, thanks so much for taking such good care of us.

A Literary Connoisseur

Jack loves his books. Lately, he's been devouring "Moo, Baa, La, La, La." A classic in the Boynton series. My, my, how our little world is changed.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Skeptical, Pensive, Jocular

I am not buying what you're selling....
Just how much is one guy supposed to get done in one year? Two wars? An economic crisis? Reforming a health care system 50 years in the making?
A nun, a penguin, and a banker walk into a bar.....
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Mark climbing an ice wall on the Glacier.

This was the coolest thing. I saw contestants on the Amazing Race do this and thought: "How hard can that be?"

Hard. Your toes definitely get a workout. All the while you are surrounded by this amazing scenery from the glacier.

The idea is to use your legs. The ice picks are only for stabilization. The goal is to pound the toe of your foot into the ice wall, step up on that foot, and pound the toe of your other foot.
You can tell that is Mark from the large rear end.
Look Mom, one hand and one foot! Crazeee!

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Mark Meets the Glacier Part II

This crevasse is about 8 feet tall. The water works its way through the glacier and will travel down several hundred feet until it hits the stream underneath.
The crampons are pretty fierce but you still had to mind your step. That's an ice pick in my hand.

This is about 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
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