Friday, April 30, 2004

oooooooo! dis!

Last night was a bad night.

That is an exaggeration.

Last night featured a bad 40 minutes of inconsolable wailing. I tried every trick, every hold, everything. Finally, I gave him a bottle, one ounce of which he eagerly accepted and then expelled with equal enthusiasm. Now I understand "itchy with baby vomit."

He kept this up until Grandma Suzie came out wearing a shiny blue jumper with red cape and an "S" emblazoned on the front and asked if she could help. I handed him to her and he shut right up. Didn't hear from him again the rest of the night.

Made me feel this big, let me tell you. He cut me so low, I'm playin' handball off the curb. This morning, I had to crawl up a ladder just to put on my shoes.


We'll be reviewing this post when he asks for . . . well. . . anything.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

i miss my son

It is 10:21 pm and I am taking a break from making little mounts for little icons to post some of the latest.

David rolled over for the first time yesterday or the day before; this week is sort of a blur.

I got to witness it.

On videotape.

As we prepare for the upcoming exhibition, I am at work pretty much all of the time for a few weeks. I find that thoughts of my very cute baby boy just randomly pop into my head while I am working.

Boss--"So we can place this case here, and then this icon here to show the blah blah blah. . ."
Me--"This morning David was sooo cute; he blah blah blah"

I am really really grateful for the videotape, but I'm pretty disappointed that I was not there. On the other hand, if I had been there, he probably would not have had the opportunity to roll. He is not really fond of being on his stomach, you see. Jaime lays him down on a little padded mat and he is not sure what to do. He is not clear on the concept of turning his head one way or another so he just eats play mat. He also stays curled up so his knees are folded under him causing his bottom to stick up in the air and his face to press even harder into the mat. His arms are underneath his chest providing something of a fulcrum for further pressure of the face against the mat. None of this amounts to being held or being fed so on the whole he is very upset and crying. The roll over is not so much a conscious decision as it is the result of pitiful, desperate flailing with his pinned little arms countered by the weight of his bottom way up in the air. Eventually he pushes just right and then topples over. Jaime correctly insists that this is necessary. He has to be on his tummy in order to develop to the crawling stage which is necessary to get him to the crawling over and tearing up my books stage. Had I been there, I would have given in and picked him up and carried him away to safety swinging from building to building on webs that shoot from my wrists. As a result, he would never learn to crawl, which is better for my books, but would bad in his first job interview.

I also hear that he is over 10 pounds now. Note, I don't think that he has grown and inch in length since birth. Apparently, part of the rolling-over developmental stage is getting to be adequately round so as to roll more easily.

Jaime says that he has another trick on the mat. When he is gassy crying and cannot be comforted, she can lay him tummy down and he will fuss and fart a lot for several minutes and then fall asleep. She took pictures that I will post as soon as I am home for more than ten minutes.

Later sleepy-heads.

Sunday, April 25, 2004


This has been an exciting fifth week. Not "exciting" like winning the Pulitzer prize for blogging, but "exciting" like, "wow, it's exciting how many diapers a person can change in five weeks; I had no idea."

The week began with the First Bottle. Mom pumped and Grandma Susie got to feed. This was followed by the excitement of Dad handling the 2:00 am feed while Mom slept for four hours straight for the first time in months. Mom's production is not quite up to feeding and providing extra meals, so when he takes the bottle it is a cocktail of milk and formula with a splash of Gripe Water--shaken (you fill in the rest). Toward the end of the week, he got his first bug. Minor fever, major fussiness. He got to have his nose plumbed with one of those little snot-extracting bulbs. The fussiness led to the First Use of a Pacifier.

I missed most of this because the Museum is my new home for a couple of weeks. Grandma Susie is filling in as Grandma, husband, maid, errand boy, and general angel. I wonder about 15 times a day how he is doing and if he wonders where I am or has he just forgotten all about me.

I learned this week that his name in Ethiopian is "Dawit"

My friend, Valerie, wondered via email what interesting question she could ask me so as not to ask some boring old question like "is he sleeping well" or "hey, buddy, what the heck is your problem?" I could earn a living with nickels from those. Well, for Val and anyone else unable to come up with a new question on your own, here are a few freebies:

"How many head injuries has he sustained as a result of his clumsy parents?"--three

"Who does he like best?"--In order, mom, grandma Susie, invisible person standing in the corner, dad.

"Which [euphemism] is his favorite?"--the left

"Should congress act now to pass legislation declaring that sweet baby smell an addictive substance like cocaine and cable tv and regulate it?"--yes, I could make a fortune on the black market selling David's smell.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"watch the squirrel, not the clock"

shut up, I know I should be working, shut up. Instead, I am reading this:

"Orphaned baby squirrels frequently will suckle on the nose, ears, elbows, thumb nub, genitals, stomach of other babies or even themselves. They will also suckle on stuffed animals, a towel, just about anything. I tried to make a pacifier for them so they wouldn't suckle each other but nothing's like the real thing I suppose. They can sometimes suckle so much that they give each other hickeys and get themselves very raw."

no punchline. that's it. everyone with kids knows what i'm talking about.

david's least favorite suckle-toy

so you want a thousand words

I know that you keep coming back for the wit, but there are some who are really just in it for the photos. I have decided to make things a little easier. Over in the sidebar, you will see a strip of thumbnails that link to full size images at my new photoblog at Buzznet. That strip will automatically update with the most recently posted photographs as I post them.

The advantage for you is no more boxes with a little red X. Additionally, you don't have to come to the blog at all. Just bookmark the Buzznet site and return to it regularly.

The advantage for me is that Buzznet is easier to post to and I don't have to manually link to the images

The disadvantages are that Buzznet resizes the images so they will not be suitable for making decent prints. If you must have a print, email me and I will post the image to Ofoto. Also, I can't actually put the photos in the blog posts but that is ok.

Someday, when I have money coming out of my ears and time to burn, I will have my own Website that will be beautiful and integrate the words and images together. But for now, I have to confine myself to the freebies.

happy viewing

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

9 lbs 15.4 oz

Mom got David weighed today for his four-week birthday. He is a tub. At this rate he will soon hold the World Record for most number of chins on someone who is not a British Head of State.

I have some exciting new photos for you, but I am having serious computer problems and am currently typing on Aunt's computer. Without going into details I will just ask you this: if you see an Earthlink and a Microsoft executive having a meal together, poison their pate for me, please.


The Only Ectomorph in the Family.

Monday, April 19, 2004


squishy little sausage legs
wormy fingers, hotdog arms
and your calimari ears
add to your tasty baby charms

funky little monkey feet
a tiny turned up turtle nose
a pair of hematite-blue eyes
a tummy that just grows and grows

puckered grapefruit heart-shaped lips
above a triple chin
and your frequent fragrant farts
followed by your funny grin

you got a fuzzy melon head
you've got a cry that melts our hearts
you've got pudgy puppy skin
covering your baby parts

recovering from childlessness

Hello, my name is Jason, and I am a recovering Childless Person. Before entering into this treatment program I had no children and lived a childless life. My story is by no means unique. I lived the organized pointlessness similar to many others afflicted with this disease. I scheduled (and kept) appointments with other people, I went to bed at reasonable hours and woke up when my alarm sounded. I had "free" time in which I did things like read, write, (I am ashamed to say) fly kites. I even planned things that one could only do during "free" time, believing that I deserved this time to myself. I see now that l was addicted to these spare moments without obligation and they were controlling my life. Things began to turn around about ten months ago when my wife got pregnant. My life began to spiral out of control and it became clear that I was not going to be able to sustain my childless lifestyle for much longer. I could say that I hit bottom exactly 28 days ago and my childless existence ended. That is when I checked into this program and my recovery began.

Most of you are familiar with this program. It is basically a "deep end of the pool" approach involving a chaotic, unpredictable, "schedule" of soothing shrill cries, changing poopy diapers, getting spit-up on and peed on with occasional "rest periods" of staring into my son's shiny grey eyes as one would stare into a bottomless well.

Many of you are also familiar with the "12-steps" of childless recovery--the new blueprint for my life:

1) I admitted that I am powerless over my childlessness and that it had come to define me.
2) I acknowledged that there is a Power stronger than myself--namely, my child.
3) I made a decision to turn my life over to the taking care of a child.
4) I made a searching inventory of all of the baby-related stuff at Target and Toys-R-Us, and gave this list to people to buy.
5) Admitted to myself, my wife, and anyone who would listen that I have no idea how to take care of a baby.
6) I was entirely ready to have a baby remove defective open spaces of time from my schedule.
7) I humbly asked my baby to forgive me for bonking his forehead on the arm of the rocking chair as tried to move him into an new position that might make him stop crying.
8) I made list of all of the persons that we need to send "Thank you" cards to for food and gifts.
9) I made direct amends with my neighbors who can surely hear my child's wailing in the middle of the night.
10) I continue to take a personal inventory and if I ever find myself with out a barf rag handy, take steps to correct the situation.
11) Seek through endless asinine babble to make a conscious connection with my child in anticipation of the day that he can just tell me what he needs without screeching.
12) Having been awaken by his crying, try to carry his message to his mom to feed him so that I can get a few more minutes of sleep.

I know that these 28 days are by no means the completion of my recovery from childlessness but are rather the beginning of a lifelong process of growth and struggle as I learn to live my life without the need of "free time."

Thank you for your support

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Goin' a baptizin'

For all of you that can make it, we have scheduled David's baptism.

Saturday, May 1 at 5:00, at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Christian Church. Be there or be square.

Why are we baptizing our baby? Well, here is a good answer, and here is another.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004


For today's lab experiment, you will need the following
-- One gallon of whole milk
-- One chink of concrete large enough to fit in your mouth. There are plenty of such chinks in the alley behind where I live, but if you are not so fortunate then you can get a chink by hitting the sidewalk with a sledge hammer. Remember, the city holds you responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk adjacent to your property, so be sure to break someone else's sidewalk.
-- A tape recorder. Ideally, use one of those dictation recorders with the fast playback
-- A cat
-- Some duct tape
-- A turkey baster

First, set the milk out on the counter for a week or two.

Swallow the concrete. Wait several hours. When the time comes, use the tape recorder to record the noises that you make as you pass the concrete.

Using the duct tape, attach the cat to the gallon of milk.

At 2:00 am hold your hand out in front of you, palm up as if you were holding a bowling ball. If you are right-handed, use your left hand and vice versa. Place the milk/cat on your hand and hold it out in front of you. Bounce it up and down a bit. With the other hand play back the recording at full volume, preferably at fast playback and with headphones.

Feel free to pace back and forth. Keep this up for an hour or two. Occasionally open the milk jug and use the turkey baster to squirt some of its contents on yourself and anything else--your favorite shirt, your couch, your rug, the cat, your Picasso, whatever, have fun with it.

Welcome to parenthood.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


I would like all of you to join me in a little celebration. As I write it is 10:30 am. The last time that I was up with a screaming David was 3:00. That is seven straight hours without crying. I actually awoke alarmed this morning and asked Jaime what I had missed. He ate, he slept. YEY!

Joy and sorrow

Sometimes it may seem like it is all bad but I assure you that it is not. Even when it is bad, we are grateful for he struggle.

Jaime describes sleeping David as being like heroin. She knows that she is supposed to be asleep too, but just staring at him is addictive.

We have gone out in public a couple of times and if one more person tells me how beautiful he is, my head will not be able to fit through the neck of the t-shirt that I sleep in and I will catch pneumonia and die . . . but we were talking about David.

A couple of times a day he is awake and not in discomfort from the gas and we sit and stare at each other--or he just looks around. He is gaining more control over his face and neck everyday so he has more expressions and each new one is worth a press release.

He grabs my fingers and we do little presses. When I am dressing him, I will put my finger through the sleeve, he will grab it and I will thread his hand through that way.

He rarely complains about my singing, so I sing to him a lot. Our favorites are "Blackbird," "Scarlet Ribbons," and "Awed by the Beauty."

Jaime also says he is a virus, and not in the good way ("cute as a bug" or "infectiously adorable"). She means that one day we find something that works to make him stop crying, but he mutates so that thing doesn't work the next day. He keeps us on our toes.

This week is Great and Holy Week--the week leading up to Pascha (Easter). One of the more beautiful hymns sung at the services goes "Behold, the bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching." Jaime pointed out that the Bridegroom could come at pretty much any point and we would probably be awake for Him.

Which is true. At times the frustration has brought us both to tears. But we know that we can be joyous even for those tears. This is the "sweet sorrow" that our priest warned us about when we got engaged--the purifying struggle, the cross that leads us to victory over death. David is reforging us--hammering our hearts into a shape that better resembles Love. Not to be grateful for that would be saying "I am fine just as I am, nothing more needs to be done in this heart."

We also take joy in the fact that even when he is at his worse, he is not the worst. I read somewhere that newborns cry an average of three or four hours a day so David is by no means unusual, fussy, or "high needs." This doesn't help when we are an hour into one of his cries and we have done all of the tricks and the best that we can do is keep him to a dull moan rather than a screaming rage. But even then I am very aware that it could be worse. I have seen sick babies. I have seen premies that could fit on my hand. I have friends who have learned that their child has a permanent, lifelong, mental disability. I know people who are struggling with a grandchild born with cocaine in his system. By comparison David is easy. He is just the amount of struggle that we need, no more no less; thank God.

Friday, April 09, 2004

a few new images

See a few new photos here.

Does size matter? Well yes and no. I promised that I would make the images that I am posting a little larger. The first two images in this folder were taken by some friends that visited so I can't do anything about the size of those. The rest should provide nice 4 x 6 images. The issue is this: Ofoto and Photoshop disagree about how many pixels constitute a 4 x 6 image. Photoshop has sized everything that I post at 4 x 6, but according to Ofoto, the number of pixels is not sufficient. Fascinating, right?

Teaser: some exciting new blog developments are in the works. . . stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

two weeks

David is two weeks old today. The fun never stops. In the novel Ender's Game young boys in military school play military games as training. One team consistently wins so with each new day, new rules are introduced and old rules are changed to make it different and more difficult. Every time Ender's team has figured out how to win the game, the rules change. The author, Orson Scott Card is very familiar with parenting. The highlight of this week was a discovery of a situation called Gastroesophogeal Reflux (you spell it, I am busy cleaning up pee). We have been told frequently by healthcare professionals that many babies spit up a lot--especially boys--due to an underdeveloped flap separating the tummy and the esophagus. But they all failed to mention two important points: 1) This can cause discomfort symptoms that are identical to the symptoms we have been attributing to severe gas, and 2) this is very easily treatable. We learned this from a book and so we changed our regimen and pow, game won--go jeesh. No more spitting up everything that he ate, no more hours of writhing and screaming. He gets Gripe Water, he eats, we keep him upright for 30 minutes, he is fine. Yes, it sounds simple to you who probably slept for more than seven hours this week. So life is beautiful, tra la la la la, until earlier today when, for no apparent reason, he upchucks while he is eating. What is that about? So we adjust, change what we are doing just a bit and try to figure out the new rules.

Jaime is in some discomfort that I can't really get into here and she is sort of frustrated today. Apparently, she thought that the pain and discomfort of pregnancy would let up once the baby was actually born.

On Friday, I called the church to talk to a friend with many kids and had this conversation:

Me: Do you have any tips for dealing with thrush?
Friend: My kids didn't have thrush but my sister's did and she is a lactation consultant and she is right here; I will put her on.
Me: er
Friend's sister: Uh, hello?

Really, how many times do you call a random place with a lactation question to find that there is lactation consultant standing right there? What luck. Towards the beginning of the conversation she mentioned that she happened to be feeding her child as we spoke.

Me: So, you are pretty good at this then.
Her: Yeah, well it helps if you are going to be a lactation consultant.

Then later she interrupted me with "oh! She just spit up I-don't-know-much milk on me."

Nice to know that this even happens to the experts.

OK, well, Jaime just laid a sleeping baby on the bed next to me, so I am signing out.

I have more pictures. If you say your prayers, I will post them.

Love J-dad.

PS. I wrote the above last night but didn't get to post. That sleeping baby awoke a few minutes later and launched into a two-hour screaming fit. With all previous fits, we could figure out some way of soothing him. Then, we changed the feeding regiment and the fits subsided altogether. So this one was a new change of the rules. But it eventually ended with a feed and he has been fine since. He is now laying next to me again. Jaime needed to shower. She said "I am itchy with baby vomit." There is a vivid picture.

Saturday, April 03, 2004


Congratulations to grandpa Brice who has gotten a new job/promotion as the Mental Health Coordinator at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. Way to go grandpa! If David ever has to go to prison, I hope they send him to Hutchinson!

"He has great color"

He looks pretty good in black and white, too. Click here for full size. As I take more black and whites, I will add them to this album so you can check in every so often.

I have figured out the size problem and will correct it beginning with the next photos I post.


"Thrush." It sounds almost wholesome, like a bird from a Shakespearian sonnet. Well it makes mom cry; it makes baby cry; it makes daddy cry and daddy doesn't actually have it. Jaime was having enormous pain and thought that she was failing at developing proper feeding technique. Come to find out, this was the problem. It is being treated and she is doing much better. David on the other hand is suffering from some serious gas in the lower GI. There are three possible causes that we know of (listed in order of potential severity): 1) a growth spurt--something we can't do anything about, but should pass soon; 2) The Thrush is fermenting the milk in his bowels-- we are treating him for this with medication but it could still last a couple of weeks; 3) Colic--there is actually no reason to suspect this right now, but it makes the blog a little more dramatic.

Stay tuned, drama fans.