Sunday, August 29, 2004

we are experiencing technical difficulties

I am having some technichal difficulty with the blog that is preventing many of you from seeing the new masthead or the most recent images. I am working on correcting this.


Friday, August 27, 2004

the color and consistency of david's new poop.

As we should all have learned by now, when our diet changes, so does our poop. The only difference for babies is the monumental gross-factor. David has transitioned from a primarily mothers-milk diet to a primarily formula diet for reasons that I might discuss later. Accordingly, his poo has changed from mildly gross to revolting. This is enhanced by the fact that a baby his age only poops once or twice a week so when it is time to change the diaper, industrial machinery is needed. Babies and diapers have many wrinkles and creases capable of holding--of packing in--pounds and shillings of poop.

The primary change in the poop has been its color and consistency. Last week, I could smell him from across town, so I came home and changed him. His diaper was modestly full of a substance that is the consistency of cake frosting out of a can and was a green-blue-gray color. This is a close approximation:

But I had changed him too quickly and he had more to produce. So, an hour later, I had to change him again. This time is was the consistency of lumpy chocolate syrup--like what is left on the plate after eating cake and ice cream. The color was more yellowy, like this:

Earlier this week, I waited longer to change him so when I opened the diaper, it was PACKED FULL. The majority was the green-blue frosting, but in the middle of that, like a topping, was the yellowy syrup. Like this:

Now I know that computer monitors vary wildly in how they produce color so you are not getting exactly the same thing as I am with my Adobe Gamma calibration and all. Feel free to come over and look at my screen sometime. Better yet, keep your nose open. When you smell him (which you will be able to from where you are sitting) come see what I am talking about live.

Later, smelly

Monday, August 23, 2004

self sufficient

Aunt Skylar pointed out that I'm neglecting my duties here. Last week, she began to feed David when he surprised her by grabbing the bottle and feeding himself. Yeah, I neglected to tell everyone that he can now hold his own bottle. He isn't great at it and drops it a lot if left alone, but he can hold it long enough for me to update the blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I thought about cutting the feet of this jumper

colorado images

As I still learn to navigate the wide, wide world of digital imaging, you get to suffer. I posted the five cutest David shots below and was hoping to create a wicked-cool slide show for the rest of them. Alas, I am not "there" yet. Additionally, some of you want to be able to print a few of these photos. So I have returned to Ofoto and posted the 48 best images in big chunky files for your printing pleasure. There is a caveat. I accidentally reformatted these photos so that they are HUGE. I don't know how that will affect print quality since it means that Photoshop upsampled them, which usually denigrates image quality. If you have no idea what I am talking about, that is ok. Clearly, I don't either. If you get a print, and it is lousy, send me an email. Customer satisfaction is somewhere in our top priorities.

Anyway, here they are.

I only have Sue, Nick and Nora's email, so please pass this link on to any other Oakson that might care.

Later, mountain rangers.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

With grandma Susie
Sleeping, with dad and Hildy
Cutest patriot
With dad in a field of Sage.
Hildigard, David's favorite thing about CO
Napping with Kramer

"In the event of a barf landing . . ."

The baby travels well. Grandma Susie took us to the airport and helped us load all of our luggage to checkout. After a tearful goodbye, I had to wrestle her to the ground and pry David from her arms. Then I strapped him into the baby carrier and we headed across the Eastern Plains of Colorado attempting to find our gate. Along the way, I got smiles and attention from everyone. Strapping a baby to your frontside is a sure way to get on everyone's good side. David, of course, returns the smiles with his own giggly response. It's great fun.

On the plane the woman trapped between us and the window was experienced with children, which was a blessing because even with two adults, it is still difficult to manage one's luggage and personal items in the cramped cabin of an airplane with sixteen wiggling fragile pounds of baby to keep off of the floor. She would pick up his binky when it dropped to the floor where I couldn't reach it, she dabbed his spit-up when I wasn't paying attention, she even got Jaime's water out of the bag at my feet when I was having trouble reaching it. It is a blessing that she had experience because it meant that she didn't mind getting spit up on at the end.

Jaime fed David when we boarded, but was concerned that he didn't get enough. He was content for most of the flight sucking on his pacifier, but started to get a little uncomfortable on the way down. So we gave him a bottle, which he eagerly consumed. He no longer seems content to drink his fill and be done. When a bottle with liquid is in front of him, he drinks. This will not serve him well in college. Well, that is new, so we didn't stop him as he emptied a rather large bottle of formula. Perhaps he was really hungry from traveling, right?

Then, I put him on my shoulder to burp.

But he didn't burp.

He barfed.

and barfed.

and barfed.

Everything that he had just eaten, everything he had eaten that day, everything that he had ever eaten came out of him. All that his mother had ever processed for him, all the formula that was ever made. At the reunion, we had some rockin' food prepared by people who spend a lot of time perfecting the preparation of food. Those folks can eat. Jaime processed a lot of great food into milk. It all came back--the brisket, the torte, the brownies, the baked beans, the pickles, those delicious little onions soaked in balsalmic vinegar. It poured over me like the Red Sea on Pharoah's soldiers. Thank God the seats can be used as flotation devices. Thank God the woman trapped by the window is forgiving, even with barf on her paperback. I have taken showers and have been less soaked. Remember that time, that one special summer when you and your love got caught in the tempest and didn't care because you were so in love and when you got home your soaked clothes clung to your skin, dripping and heavy and wet wet wet? That was merely humid dampness compared to the thorough soaking to the bones that I received as our plane touched down in Kansas. My clothes were soaked, all of our receiving blankets and barf rags, all of the barf rags of all the other babies on the plane, everything absorbent in the cabin, soaked. People started opening those little barf bags and filling them just to have a souvenir of The Worlds Biggest Baby Barf Ever.

The baby travels well, but don't burp him 'til you are out in the open.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

welcome to the rockies, where a baby's feet never touch the ground.

A few highlights of our trip to Colorado:

For David the highlight of the trip was Hildigard the Dog. Unlike Tuff, back home, Hildy's head and tale are in the same time zone, so he can see a whole dog, not just a tale or a head. And when he saw that dog he giggled his most excited giggle--pumping arms and legs in delight. Hildy was not quite so sure about David, who seemed to be butting in on the attention that we were supposed to lavish on her. But they got on well.

And David enjoyed much lavishing of attention. He was lavishingly lavished. For a week, he had Grandma and Grandpa and Great Grandma and Grandpa cooing and fussing and holding and laughing. He played his part well with his advanced repertoire of syllables, grins, and giggles. Then we would take him back for a night of screaming and fussing. The strange, thin, over-stimulating environment didn't settle well with him and sleeping was a real problem for the three of us. Also he is experiencing the chewing, drooling discomfort of early teething. If I leave out important details about the Colorado trip, it is because I was sleeping.

The weather was beautiful, so we spent a lot of time outdoors, walking, hiking, playing with Hildy. One day David, Hildy, and I went on a hike through a valley of sage-brush meadows. Another day, Jaime and I went horse-back riding in the mountains around Sweetwater Lake. You know in those movies where guys ride up on horses, jump off, and immediately start fighting with swords or guns or fists or whatever? Those are heavily edited. They totally cut out the part where the guys dismount and then limp around for ten minutes waiting for their knees to resume bending back-and-forth rather than side-to-side.

I also got my teeth worked on. I'm sure that many people think that their son-in-law talks too much, but few people can take such decisive action on the issue. My father-in-law is a dentist, so every trip to Colorado means a cleaning and checkup. He gave me a new filling and worked on an old one. It is a nice perk--especially if you are unemployed. Before being a dentist, Steve was in the Navy and was a football player. All I can say is--I had no idea how far a person's lips can stretch.

The Feast of the Transfiguration was also spent ascending mountains as we went over the Divide through Rockie Mountain National Park on the way to a family reunion in Estes. At the top, it did occur to me that this would be a good place to pitch some tents and camp.
The weekend of the end of the trip was a family reunion of most of Steve's siblings, nieces and nephews. This was even more people to hold David and coo and fuss over him. On the whole it was very relaxing a lot of fun.

The highlight for me was simply being reunited with my lovely wife and child. We could have sat around and picked each other noses and I would have been equally content after a week without them.

Sorry that I'm being pokey with the pictures. I am learning something new.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


We returned from our travels last night, and I promise words and pictures soon. But first, a couple of updates.

Firstly, Happy Birthday, Mom! Jaime turns 28 today. No longer in her mid-twenties or really even a "twenty-something," but more a "pre-thirties". Lets all join hands and wish her Many Many Years!

Secondly, we celebrated Jaime's big day with a special trip to the doctor's office for David's "Four-month" checkup and piercing.

The doctor says that he is doing great. He has mastered all of the things that a four-monther is supposed to have mastered. Additionally, he is vocalizing at a six-month-old level. He gets that from me. I vocalize at that level, too. Then she challenged him to a game of chess, which he won easily, which is good. When he loses, he spits up on the board and it's a pain to get that gook out of the knooks in the rooks.

He is 16 pounds, 2.8 ounces, and 26.5 inches long-- one half inch longer than what his car seat is rated at. So we had to walk him home. His weight is still average, but his height is in the 87th percentile, the same percentage as the five-year survival rate of heart-transplant patients at the University of Washington--well above the national average.

Lastly came the shots. This time, instead of watching his legs, where all the action was, I stayed focused on his face. I distracted him with Grover, which was making him giggle. Then, suddenly the grin was replaced with a startled look that I can only describe as "%*$#!" This time he cried less but I cried more.

At four-and-a-half months, he is a joy and a blessing. He talks and grins and plays and rolls over and holds his little feet with his little hands and sucks and drools and (still) barfs. He is also going through some weird night-time thing where he spends some time screaming for no apparent reason and can only be comforted by someone standing. He is also getting more difficult to feed--fighting and tugging with impatience at his mother. We fear that we are going to have to cut back on breast feeding--or perhaps wean him completely. Two nights ago, we were at grandpa Gary's and he was throwing fits all night but refused to be calm long enough to feed. A packing error left us without formula and we had to find a 24-hour Walgreen's at 4:30 in the morning to buy some.

But he travels like a cute-but-seasoned professional--more on that to come.

Stay tuned, chess fans.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

barf rush

Well, I'm headed West.
After a week of feeling undressed because there is no barf on me, of sticking my finger down the throats of passing children just to get a hit (Grandpa Gary's joke), after a week of sneaking into daycares, changing diapers, and sneaking back out just so my hands don't fidget nervously (Gary again), after a week in which I only did TWO LOADS of laundry, after a week of sore loneliness, I am headed to Colorado to be reunited with my wife and child--and my mother-in-law and father-in-law--and his parents and extended family.
I doubt that I will update from the Rockies.  I will be too busy watching "Koyanisquasti" on the 56-inch-screen TV with surround sound--oh yeah, and enjoying my wife and child and all that nature and stuff and the, like, 2% humidity.  I wanted to mountain-bike down the slopes at Vail but Jaime pointed out that we no longer have insurance coverage since Blue Crass, Blue Schlock wants to charge me $600.00 per month for insurance coverage now that I am unemployed.  I would go on about that, but this is a family program.
Take care, flatlanders.  I'll return with pictures.